Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Josephine of Chic At Any Age  is hosting Fashion Flash!  These days whenever I have a style question, I first   look for answers  on Chic At Any Age.  In her archives I  can find the answer to almost any  style questions from what to wear to a concert in the fall to  best  looks for weddings. Following her  beautiful and affordable advice, I feel confident and pretty.

 

Fashion Flash Book review: Style StalkingFashion Flash Book Review:  Style Stalking by  Barberich and Gelardi

Style Stalking is the second book in my series of fabulous lifestyle books by equally fabulous bloggers.  It was created by the founders of the uber popular site Refinery 29. The organization of Style Stalking is as original and compelling as the fashion its offers.  Rather than  the usual style advice offered in the usual way, the chapter titles include Brights, Layering, Denim and Metallics.  Each chapter  has six sections including ” basic training”,  “seasonal” and “style moves”. This  provides helpful structure to the dynamic  fashion that  pushes the style envelope.

The book opens with a bang with a chapter called Brights. Great text provides  compelling commentary to the street fashion photos.  I was fascinated how pink can be used as a  neutral in a lace skirt, hot pink sneakers, or a voluminous overcoat. The chapter on layering clearly illustrates how an all white outfit looks much more interesting when layered.  Apparently the key to layering without causing bulk is to vary the length of each item. In summer the secret to comfortable layering is to wear wide cropped pants and breathable fabrics like linen and chambrey.

The seasonal section in my favorite in every chapter.  Most  fashionistas seem to ignore climate in their idea inspirations.  IMO it  doesn’t  matter if styling is flattering and fabulous– if I freeze in witer or roast in summer, these looks are non-starters.  Style Stalking adapts each  look to the season  that takes this book to an altogether new level.

Most of the photos are not fashion shoots, but real women captured on the streets of NYC.  They look wonderful and  I  tried to see how I could  pick-up some ideas that I  could adapt to  my own life.  However I found that in photo after photo I didn’t  own any of the  featured  coats, bags, and sweaters. By contrast flipping through the styling in other fashion books I can always find new ways to wear  what i already have in my closet.   My takeaway–  I need to step out of my comfort zone.  And  isn’t this just what a good  book should do!

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week,  Kari  of  Fab Over 40  is  hosting Fashion Flash! Kari is one of the most active beauty bloggers and her almost daily posts are packed with  up to date beauty, fashion and health information. There are no fillers or guest posts from brands, but original  and thoughtful articles  on a topics we care about. I’m so proud to be blogging with  her!

Fashion FLash Book Review-- Younger next YearFashion Flash Book Review:  Younger Next Year– for Women

The title of the book was  so empowering, I could not wait to crack it open and get started.  It was the  follow-up book to the hugely popular ” Younger Next Year”  that was aimed at men and endorsed by Dr Oz, New York Times and the Washington Post.  With this type of heavy weight support, it had to be fabulous.

But from the first pages I was disappointed.  Its  main ( and singular) advice was the benefits of gut busting, sweat drenched  exercise.  Rather than advising  to go slow, warm -up or providing genuine  advice , it  keeps  pushing the reader  not to be afraid of going beyond their limits.

There are two authors, both men.  One is  forty smething internist and the other is an older lawyer/businessman.  They have basically written a 300 page  pep talk   promoting exercise.  There  is  little information  on health issues, skin care,or stress reduction, all essential   factors  for longevity.  On diet,  the authors  sum up their nutritional advice   as “Don’t eat crap. And don’t eat too much.

There is very little  information that deal with issues that are unique to women.  For example when   the book addresses   menopause, Dr  Lodge states that  menopause does not cause weight gain.   That’s simply not true. The hormonal firestorm that is menopause radically changes  a woman’s metabolism that leads to  rapid weight gain. For  safe and effective health and exercise advice, that are focused on  the needs of women, I suggest  you Pass on Younger Next Year and visit two of our blogs- Moving Free With Mirabai and Society Wellness. In these two sites  up will find factual practical informtion for women of any age.

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis  week  it  my turn to  host Fashion Flash!  I am so proud to be part of this group of smart, determined women  who share the  best and latest information in fitness, fashion, health and beauty:

* Josephine of Chic At Any Age shows  how to stay chic and on trend by wearing a “blanket wrap”.

* Fashion blogger Pam Lutell of Over 50, Feeling 40 shares a great new book Style Evolution by Kendall Farr.

* Feeling stressed? Me to! As the holidays approach stress starts to build. Mirabai of Moving Free with Mirabai suggests  some easy exercises to get that stress burden off you  back.

* Besides Ebola, the next biggest media topic this week was the change in Renee Zellweger’s face.  DivaDebbi weighed in last year on the Renee controversy and revisits it again.

* “See me, feel me, touch me, heal me”.  Remember those lyrics?  They’re  Diana Flahive’s mantra for her second life and you”ll find  the unique way she got there on Second Lives Club.

* Positive Living advocate Barbara Hannah Grufferman of Best of Everything After 50  thinks that nothing else can put the finishing touch on an outfit than a fabulous pair of glasses!

* Black eyeliner can  look so harsh on older eyes.  Cindy of Prime Beauty  has some interesting alternatives to show you in her top 10 picks for colored  eyeliners.

* According to Kari of Fab Over Forty, exfoliating and moisturizing  are important factors for aging skin and she shows you why  L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Cell Renewal is a budget friendly skincare  line that delivers both.

* RIght on the heels of the  flu season Jackie of Aging Backwards has tips to help you stay healthy.

* Meanie of Society Wellness Pumpkin Chili recipe that rocks! You can also tweek it to suit your taste and lifestyle. In additional to sharing an insanely delicious recipe, Melanie explains the importance of choosing grass fed beef.

Fashion Flash Book Review:  Moosewood New ClassicsFashion Flash Book Review:  Moosewood Restaurant New Classics

My last book for Vegetarian Awarensss Month is from the Moosewood Collective, one of the first   mainstream  plant based restaurants.  Moosewood New Classics recipes  have   the same combination of originality and accessibility of the other books. Most of the recipes are  easy to do and use affordable, widely available ingredients.

I am always looking for new interesting breakfasts and there are over a  dozen  morning recipes  including  oatmeal topped with date glaze,  cherry scones and three savory tofu scrambles.  There  is a different pancake  for every day of the week  which you can top with plum butter  or ginger peach  compote.

Its no secret I’m a soup junkie and Moosewood definately  feeds my habit.  It offers  a trio of  just about the best vegetable stocks including a gingery  Asian stock that rocked my world.  The fennel leek soup with chunks of carrot  and  feathery fragrant dill is  so good and hearty  that it alone is worth buying the book.

Like any true foodie, I jump to the chance to try out iconic restaurants on my travels. On a trip to upstate  New York,  I detoured 50 miles  to grab lunch at the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York.   I was a little disappointed  with the limited menu and my veggie couscous  was fairly  bland and a bit mushy.   Maybe  the   glory days of the landmark restaurant  is past, but  the brilliance and charm of the   Moosewood Collective  lives on  in their cookbooks.

 

 

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Mirabai  of Moving Free with Mirabai is hosting Fashion Flash.  These days it seems that all a trainer needs is a  lap top and a smart phone–  no credentials, no experience, no  references needed.  This is why I  have so  much  confidence and  admiration  for Mirabai.  She has more than  four degrees and 20 years of experience.  And what I think  makes her extra special is that  she  still bubbles with   a passion and enthusiasm  for  health and exercise  programs.  Mirabai  has created  fitness programs for children, heart patients, word class athletes, and  new mommies.  She knows   how every bone, muscle and ligaments  works and her science based  yet entertaining  approach  always  works, never hurts.  Check out her site for great advice and videos.  You’ll  thank me.

Fashion Flash book reviewFashion Flash  Book Review: Fields of Greens by Annie Somerville

October is National Vegetarian  Month and I have been reviewing  vegetarian cookbooks for  both taste and ease.  I started  with the classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by the justly famous  Deborah Madison.  She was the founding  chef of the ground breaking  Greens restaurant in San Fransisco. The style and cuisine at Greens  took  vegetarian restaurants  where they had never been before.  The vegetables and  herbs were organically in their own  Green Gulch Farm

When I found  Field of Greens, by another Greens  chef, I was  thrilled.   The range of recipes   was  breathtaking–butternut squash soup  with apple confit, linguine with  orange-saffron butter and corn cakes with smoked cheese and chilies.  As a frustrated farmer, I was so grateful  for the real time gardening tips that accompanied   numerous recipes.

The recipes are glorious but   much more complicated  than in the earlier book by Deborah Madison.  Most recipes  in Field of Greens have at least 18  different ingredients and  many have as  many as 35 . Not only  does this make each recipe time consumming, they are pricey. ( By contrast,  the recipes  from Vegearian Cooking for Everyone usually need  6 ingredients including salt, pepper and olive oil). For example,  Somerville uses leeks rather than onions.  Since leeks are   at least 4X more expensive than onions,  this raises the cost of  each course.   In addition to  more ingredients,   many of the recipes  call for complicaed pre-recipes to complete  a dish.  For example,  squash  turnovers  call for homemade dough and corn soup  calls for  homemade corn stock.  The recipes are wonderful, but this is definately not  for weekday meals.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoTHE VAGABOND SONG

There is something in the autumn that is native to  my blood

Touch of manner, hint of  mood,

And my heart is like a rhyme

With the  yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time

I am so excited to be  hosting Fashion Flash  in the fall.  I  love the sense of  renewal  that comes  in the autumn  and our  bloggers feel the same:

* There  is a chill in the air.  Josephine of Chic  At Any Age wants us to look chic and we stay warm  as she offers  great advice on choosing  the best new winter coat.

* Now that fall has officially arrived, Cindy of Prime Beauty  shares her list of her top ten fall lips and tips.

* Jodell of Black Cat Plus is excited to  see animal prints, ethnic patterns and geometric prints among  the trends plus size women will see in the Fall

* Fun vests are one of the biggest trends of the fall. Pam of Over Fifty, Feeling 40  explains  how and why they help us transition to cooler weather.

* Falling leaves are beautiful but falling  hair is not.  Positive Living Advocate Barbara Hannah Grufferman of Best of Everything After Fifty wants  women to know that its quite common to lose some hair  as we get older.  Not to worry!  She has some great tips on why it can happen and what we can do about it.

* Fall is the perfect time  to exercise outdoors.  Try adding  this easy strength training  autumn  workout designed by Mirabai of Moving Free with Mirabai.

* Fall is the start of soup weather  and Melanie of Society Wellness  has some of the best soup recipes  you will find online.   She even provides instructions so that  you  can modify  her recipes to  make them vegan,  gluten-free or increase protein.  My newest favorite is  vegan potato kale.  Just thinking about  it  makes my mouth water.

* Its fall  and to Kari of  Fab Over Forty that means sweater weather.  Today she shares  her five favorite  sweaters to wear when  leaves  start to  change colors.

* A beautiful fall setting can be inspiring in so  many ways.  Marylou of Second Lives Club shares  how one writer has created  an autumnal  environment that illuminates her work.

* Fall is definately time to try something  new and Diva Debbi shares a new  lash system that will produce  the fullest, fattest, lashes everyday… guaranteed.

* Jackie of Aging Backwards sniffs around to discover the benefits of fall inspired  aromatherapy.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Cindy of Prime Beauty is hosting Fashion Flash.  This  all beauty site is an extraordinary resource for the best of the best in every beauty category.  I always check out this site for new  products you won’t see anywhere else. She even has has a  button for free samples!

Fashion FLash Book Review: Brunette AmbitionFashion Flash Book Review:  Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele

I’m usually not a big fan of celebrity lifestyle books.  Its hard to read a  book by a tall, blonde glamazon offering style tips that only work if you have 4% body fat.  Usually  they credit their flawless complexion to good genes and  gallons of water.  The secret  to  perfect body?  A combination of  a brutal exercise routinue  and a claim  that  they  can  eat anything and never gain weight. Seriously.

I  aproached Brunette Ambition cautiously.  I’m a  major Glee fan and  I love the mix of real life dynamics,  great  music and insanely talented  performers.   I really didn’t want to read  another self-serving book  that capitalized on  fame. Not to worry.  Brunette Ambition is an honest, genuinely helpful and beautifully produced book.

Lea Michele is not your standard star.  She is a petite, dark haired beauty with natural  features.   Despite astonishing talent, she is open about her vulnerabilities, her career and the hard  work that  is behind her appearance. For example she describes  her disciplined  low carb, nutrition packed  meal plan  and her daily  yet realistic  exercise program.  Her real time fashion advice is rare and valuable information for petite frames.

At 25, she  has a maturity way beyond her years.  She clearly wanted a book to be a genuine reflection of her core beliefs and values.  She has set very high standards for herself and she follows through in all areas of her life. For example  her menus and  recipes are easy, affordable and delicious.  I am  trying to eat  more protein-packed beans and her recipe for lentil burgers  topped with  avocodo and  lentil soup topped with  melted cheese  are so good I’ve added them to my regular menu rotation.

My favorite part is probably the extensive and unique hair and  make-up section.  Rather than random, generalized advice or  blatant pitch for  products, Brunette Ambition provides detailed instruction for five different looks.   From a date night  to a business meeting to red carpet glamour, she provides easy to follow instructions.  On behalf of all dark eyed, dark haired women, I have to say  thanks!  This book is a keeper.

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Mirabai of Moving Free with Mirabai is  hosting Fashion Flash!  She is an amazing  health educator with  an unmatchable set of credentials.  When  she makes a recommendation on diet or exercise   you can be certain that it is  the best available information and not  made to support a  marketing  plan of a brand. Sort of  no-nonsense fitness!

 

Fashion FLash Book Review:  Seven Sisters StyleFashion Flash Book Review: Seven Sisters Style

The new Ralph Lauren store on Fifth  Avenue has a bookstore!  This was all it took for my  bibliophile husband to go willingly into a clothing store.  The small bookstore  was a treasure trove of style books, many of which were out of print classics.  This  did not work for my husband, but I was in heaven.  Seven Sisters Style by Rebecca Tuite was  the perfect book for this temple of preppy chic– and at $35  was probably the least expensive item in the entire three story store.

I   went to Bronx High School of Science and   New York University,  very far both geographically and socially from  the Seven Sisters colleges.   I loved  going to school in Greenwich Village, but I still would stare like a deer in the headlight  at the  girls in camel coats and  loafers that came into the city on the weekends.  Each Sunday in the New York Times magazine section, John Mayer  advertised  yet another  print shirtwaist and  I could not wait to discuss the pros and cons  of each dress with my  equally unpreppy  friends. .    And as it turned out, this iconic look captured and held  the imagination for many years.   Seven Sisters Style  deconstructs the look of saddle shoes, cashmere   cardigans, Bermuda shorts, blazers  and of course pearls. The vintage photos are priceless from  real life Vasser girl Meryl Streep to scenes from  dorms and classes in the 50’s.  I never realized the rigid uniformity behind the  plaid skirts and  rolled up jeans, but I can see why the sea change of the 60’s  changed forever how women dressed.

While  true prep style  is long gone from the now mostly co-ed seven sisters, author  Truite closes with a look at the designers like the late  Perry Ellis   and of course  the very current Ralph Lauren  who  were  inspired by this  timeless, quintessential American  style.

Its Fashion FLash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week the amazing Kari of Fab Over Forty is hosting  Fashion Flash.  This beautiful site  covers, skin care, make-up,  and fashion with a hands-on  advice that I have come to depend on.  I have to admit that I am an eye liner  junkie and I am always looking for the  perfect tool for the perfect  line.  Kari   tries them all and now I know what brands and  products will deliver the results I want.  Check out  her recent posts on the perfect sports  bra and the new Laura Mercier  just launched fall colors.  You will thank me.

Fashion FLash Book Review-- Vegetarian Cooking for EveryoneFashion Flash Book Review:  Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

There is a very simple reason  that Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is a classic– its just amazing! Published in 1997 it was decades ahead of its time.  The comprehensive   650 page  book covers essential ideas  while offering more than 1000 recipes that are simple, healthy and delicious.

The  first 50 pages could be a short  book all on its own.  It offers a wide range of fundamentals of equipment, best choices of staples and essential cooking techniques.   I love the way Deborah Madison drills down into each and every subject.  For example she clearly explains the differences between the five different types of peppercorns and how each impacts on the flavor of a dish.  She does the same for different types of oils, salts, vinegars, and olives.   So  many dishes are ruined with the wrong  form of an ingredient– a total waste of time and money. With this book,  it should  never  happen again in your kitchen.

Ingredients are especailly imporant in vegetarian  cooking and these recipes illustrate how to deliver powerhouse  texture and flavor.   For examle, I could not understand why my avocodo  and tomato sandwich was  just blah while I devoured  them at my local   vegan spot.   Madison’s recipe  included a light layer of mustard and mayo as well as a sprinkle of arugala.  It made all the diffference.

Madison really understands the  challenges  of creating  satisfying vegetarian  main  dishes that don’t rely on cream and cheese.   There are recipes for  gratins, stir-fries, veggie fillings for crepes and  chunky veggie stews.  My current favorite  is a veggie souffle that is totally satisfying as it uses up  all those bits of leftover veggies from other dinners.

Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone is such a welcome difference  from the weak celebrity  or  TV food show cookbooks.  These days there seems to be an arc  to a celebrity career– initial job followed by book, then product  line and then some type of cookbook.   The scope and   passion of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone   has a rare integrity  in a reality TV dominated culture.