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.

 

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week the always elegant Josephine of Chic At Any Age is hosting Fashion Flash. She is one of those rare women that  looks effortlessly chic  whether  she is relaxing in the sun or attending a concert at Albert Hall.   I tend to stare at these women trying to deconstruct what they  did to  look so good.  When I discovered  Chic At Any Age  it was like the Rosetta Stone for style.  She explains  the reasons behind her fashion choices in a way that I adapt her ideas to my style isues.  If you’re already a fan  you know what I mean.  If  Chic At Any Age is new to you, you will have  a lot of fun drilling down  into her archives for beautiful, wearable fashion ideas.

Fashion FLash Book Review; IconsFashion Flash Book Review:  Icons by Dodie Kazanjin

When I think of icons, I think of unique, famous people.  But this time, icons refer to those items of clothing that  carry  their own fame and legend.  Well known Vogue writer Dodie Kazanjian   does an up close and personl  experence  with  style icons  that include Manulo Blahnik shoes,  the Chanel suit, the Armani jacket and the Kelly  bag.  She braves the elite of the elite stores to try  on and select a legendary piece of fashion history.

As she chronicles  her journey to actually be able to acquire  each piece ( there are waiting lists for $3000 bags!), she spins  out the back story behind them.  For example,  she details the extraordinary features  that are in each Chanel jacket,   and that the big Hermes bag that Grace Kelly used to hide her pregnency from  photographers was there after known as  the Kelly. My favorite chapter chronicles her  search for the perfect  Little Black Dress.  Fashion editors are forever recommending  the LBD as a fashion staple,  but no one  has ever actually   described  how hard  it is to find the perfect one.  Most designers seem to create for that ubiquitous freakishly   tall blonde with 4% body fat. Ms Kaszanjian is 5 feet, 2 inches with a wonderful  mane of curly  dark hair.  Her journey through  one shouldered,  feather trimmed, ruffled and cut out black dresses is  so relatable that I was chuckling as  I read  the piece.  The fact that in the end  she walked away empty handed, made me  love this book even more.

 

 

 

 

 

Its Fashion FLash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week my favorite fashionista Diva Debbi  is hosting  Fashion Flash.  There  is  reason that she has more than 12,000 Polyvore followers.  Her eye  for color , shape and texture  comes through in her  amazing style posts.  With fall  hard upon us, I can’t  wait to see what she  has created for  colder weather.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  Dropping Acid– the Reflux Diet  Cookbook and Cure

My BFF from college never smoked, but when she turned 50, Annie  developed a chronic cough  that never  went away.  A non-smoker  she has tried the usual medications for asthma,  but nothing  really seemed to work.  When she asked my pulmonologist  husband  for help, he suggested she visit a ear, nose and throat specialist ( ENT)  to examine  her larynx.  He explained that  about 30% of his patients with  annoying, chronic  coughs had reflux rather than pulmonary problems.

Dropping Acid by Jamie Koufman, MD not only explains how this works  but offers  a full lifestyle program to control problems.  The list of “don’ts”  is long, but Dr Koufman  offers  extensive  science behind her recommendations.  For example,  she  explains   how  soda triggers symptoms and that the rise in the number of peope with reflux is prarallel to the rise  of  soda consumption. Other recommendations include no food three hours before going to sleep. The list of food triggers can be daunting  to  cooking and eating out but Dr Kaufman offers  dozens of  genuinely appealing recipes.

Garlic, onions, butter  and tomatoes are  well known reflux triggers  are also key ingredients  to  many  cooking styles and countries.  Dropping Acid  has managed  to coax  rich enjoyable flavors without  the usual  seasongs.  She uses ginger, coriander and prociutto to build taste and texture  for meals that are delicious  and reflux proof.

Dr Kaufman, a noted laryngologist   now has  a companion book – The Chronic Cough Enigma.  She  offers a clear differtial diagnosis of the different types of reflux and  the  best treatment options.   Keep in mind that  over 50,  reflux  is increasingly likely  and this pair of books is  a valuable tool for dealing with this  all too common problem.

As it turned out Annie , an attorney for Holocaust survivors, does not keep 9-5 hours ( more like 9 to 9). And as long as I have known her, she has had an open can of Tab on her desk. I gave her my copy of Dropping Acid and I am looking forward to hearing the results.

 

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

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Fashion-Flash-logoThis week Cindy of Prime Beauty is hosting Fashion Flash.Before I discovered Prime Beauty I had boxes of lipsticks,  foundations, bronzers,  and mascaras that failed to deliver  for me.  This site  changed my failure/success rate with new make-up choices.  Cindy does the heavy lifting, testing each one  and providing in-depth analysis of  fragrance, texture and color. The ads promise so  much that its easy to get drawn in. Prime Beauty gives  me  much better info to make good  beauty purchase decisions.

Fashion FLash Book Review: Cuisine SanteFashion Flash Book Review: Cuisine Sante by Christopher Buey

I recently reviewed  Afro Vegan by Bryant Terry which offered meat-free versions  of  African and  Carribean cuisine.  It beautifully captured the flavors  of the original cuisine but  with a fraction of the fat and calories.  I  wondered if there was  an equivalent  book that did the same for traditional french recipes.  When I had tried  myself to  simply to cut back on the butter,  cream, bacon and salt  on french cookbooks,  the meals  just didn’t taste French. When I found Cuisine Sante in a quirky  second hand book store  in  upstate New York,  I was inspired to try again.

The book genuinely drills down into the subject.  It  starts with clear, well illustrated  photos  for techniques like filleting a fish, boning a chicken and prepping  vegetables  in traditional  french style.  It  offers recipes  for  stocks with full flavor yet  lower sodium levels by compensating with additional seasoings like ginger and mushrooms.   For creamy dishes, Cuisine Sante substitues Greek yogurt for heavy cream and  exchanges  olive oil for butter in braised  dishes.  I love  carot soup  but it usually is packed with butter and  cream.    I love a  true rich quiche but  the  fat and  calorie   count is truely scary. I’ve tried making a low fat version but  they were watery and bland.   The  Cuisine Sante version  cuts calories by “sauteing”  the onions in a mixture of wine and thyme until lightly carmelized and mixing a bit of  cream with skin milk for the custard.  The result?  Even better than the original.

I  wish that  Cuisine Sante  provided nutritional breakdown of their recipes. Cuisine Sante does not consider their recipes diet food, but  healthier versions  of beloved french meals, but I really like to know what I am eating.  Some of the recipes are time  consuming and others are technically challenging.  But   there are  many  simple  yet hearty   dishes like glazed  pork loin,  ratatouille, “creamy” carrot soup which allow me to both eat  French and wear French.

 

 

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

This  week,Fashion-Flash-logo Positive Aging Expert  Barbara Hannah Grufferman is hosting Fashion Flash. In her blog Best of Everything After 50 and on her regular Today Show appearances, Barbara  has  a positive view of life that  is virtually contagious. While  we  certainly can’t  stop getting older  we can control  how  we approach  the  life and times after 50.   Online  there  can  be an overflow of  naysaying and negativity in blogs  about aging, but   Barbara  will  empower  you to  make each  day of  your life the best day of your life.  She interviews experts  on fashion, fitness and health to  pull out the best ideas and latest information.  And don’t miss  her entertaining and informative  video series with AARP!

Fashion Flash ReviewFashion Flash Review:  Dr Ellen Marmur in Self magazine

New York dermatologist  Dr Ellen Marmur has been  an unfailing friend and supporter of No-Nonsense Beauty Blog since it started four years ago.   Despite a packed waiting room, four children, a full research program, and  a regular guest  slot on Dr Oz, Dr Ellen  is never too busy  to answer our  questions and demonstrate new  tools and techniques.

Now you can read about another side of Dr Marmur in the August issue of Self magazine.  In addition  to being  a world class dermatologist,  Dr Marmur  is passionate about hiking.   Reading what  hiking  means to  her and how it makes her feel reminded me of the  importance of having  an activity in your life that  makes you feel calm and excited at the same time.

Most of  our time is spent getting to a specfic goal eg   meeting  a work deadline,  doing the laundry or  toilet training a two year old.  But  there are these activities in our lives where the process  is  as important as the conclusion and you feel  happy and engaged in every step of the process.  For example, my friend Kelly loves to knit.  From finding the pattern,  choosing the wool and selecting the right  needles, Kelly’s face  just glows  when she works on  a   knitting project.  Kelly runs a small  scientific  publishing company  and it can be hard to find time to knit during the week.  But every year she sets  time aside to go to knitters  camp  to learn and share with other crafters.

Cooking is my happy place.  I love each step of the process from planning the meal, shopping for ingredients, prepping the vegetables  and seasonings  and listening the  the sounds and smells that tell me a dish is coming along as planned.   Having an activity  where time  passes effortlessly and the process is  as pleasurable  as the final result, is  the ultimate  stress reducer. Having  this type of  interest is  so important to  a healthy  mind and body.  What is your “happy place”  and how do you make time to include it into your life?

Fashion FLash supports SCTAHCombining a Hobby with  Compassion

This summer Dr Marmur  combined  her love of hiking with her committment to skin cancer prevention.  She and her team climbed Mount Kilimanjaro  to raise money for  the American Academy of Dermatology  skin cancer campaign. You   can  go to Marmur Medical to donate to support  this important program.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoI am so thrilled that Pam of Over 50, Feeling 40 is  hosting Fashion Flash for the first time.   I  have been a fan of this wonderful site long before Pam joined Fashion Flash.  She is a former radio show host, journalist and  reaches journalism in Texas.   Pam  has both a great fashion sense and a wonderful positive attitude toward life  after 50- its positively contagious!

Pam  offers a high/low fashion mix combining  Goodwill treasures  with beautiful finds  from major brands and retailers.  And best of all  her fashion choices  show  how good 50+ can really look both at work and at play.  No  4 inch stilettos, no $2000 bags, just  affordable well cut pants, jackets and tops that flatter our changing bodies.I’ve found that Pam helps me ‘shop’ in my own closet, creating   wonderful new outfits  from what I already  have on hand.   If you are already  a fan of Over 50 , Feeling 40, you know what I am talking about.  If  this site is new to you, it will be a new treat.

Fashion Flash Book Review:  Secrets of the Spas by Catherine Bardey

Fashion Flash Book Review- Secrets of the SpaThere  is no shortage of  books about spas and spa treatments, but this one is a keeper.  It offers more than 70  cleansers, masks, moisturizers and  herbal baths that use less than five  affordable ingredients.  They are  super easy to  make   and deliver  genuinely helpful benefits.   For example  a sea salt and and a apricot kernal oil body  scrub is a fabulous all natural exfoliator that is as good for you as it is  for the planet.  I love exfoliating grains for skin and body care, but recent studies have shown that these  granules  remain forever in the environment.  Sea  salt does its job and then dissolves easily in water.  No contaminating  residue!

A  seaweed and aloe vera  mask clarifies  all skin types and the  thyme and fennel  skin cleanser is so   gentle and effective that  alone, its  worth  buying the book.

Other favs include  green tea and cucumber mask,  oatmeal and almond scrub and honey and almond oil mask for super dry skin.  In addition to these recipes,  the book offers  a guide to  the benefits  and precautions of both essential  and carrier oils and a list of  necessary tools– eg bowls, wisk and a spice grinder.   This short  book also   offers a glossary of spa terms  such as  vichy shower, tincture  and peloids.  At the end of the book is a resource guide  for key ingredients.   The author is a former  stylist for Elle and J. Cree and her  passion for beauty comes  through in every  well- designed page.

Its Fashion Flash Monday!

Fashion-Flash-logoThis week  is the first time that  Mary Lou and Carrie  of Second Lives Club is hosting Fashion Flash.  I love the premise of this site– that   our second fifty  years  could  be even better than the first  fifty.  Second Lives Club often profiles amazing women who have made  dramatic and successful  changes in  their lives.  Its  so empowering to read about  women who changed directions  after 50  to find new fulfillment. In addition Second Lives Club  has great features on fashions, books and travel. Subscribe to this site for intelligent  and entertaining information you won’t find on any where else.

Fashion Flash Book ReviewFashion Flash Book Review:  The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

I usually review non-fiction lifestyle books that  deal with fashion, beauty health and food, but The Signature of All Things is so extraordinary, so original that I had to share  it.  This novel deals with   the life and times of a unique heroine that spans   18th century  England, the  American revolution , the civil war and  the dawn of modern science with Darwin’s theory of evolution.   The central  character Alma, a brilliant self taught botonist  is  one of the most interesting women characters in literature.

In the 19th century the  exploration  and  cataloging  of the world’s  plants and animals captured attention much the way we  focus on tech today.   Arguments  about the details and links in the plant world  held   the imagaination much the way we view a new app or  changes in Facebook.  The ability to  draw  flowers and leaves  was  accorded the same  awe and admiration that we  today regard the ability to code.

Using the national passion for natural science as a background, Gilbert writes a novel that is both  original yet accessible.  She makes  me care about all the characters, even when they are  cruel, ignorant or weak.  Just when  I think  I see the direction of the story , Gilbert  changes direction– and it takes  the narrative to another level.  Her  simple direct  tone  allows her to  address complex ideas and subjects with singular clarity.   If you  read one book this sunny summer,  make it The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert. Its worth every  minute of your time.