Monday, March 28, 2011

I heart Wendy's

Small, yet satisfying (not to mention, free!):

Wendy's Jr. Frosty v. Frosty Keychain Card

Friday, March 25, 2011

Puppy Love

So sleepy(/chin rest)!

According to the puppy's owner, "My beautiful puppy thought sleeping on the stairs was a good idea (our bigger dog does it) it proved to be a bit of a challenge though."

Monday, March 21, 2011

Stylin' and Profilin'

I love this look:

Love It or Hate It?

I'm gonna have to go with "Hate it":

Carolina Herrera

Hot Mess

Green (Done Right)

Prabal Gurung & Christian Louboutin


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My (free) breakfast:

Courtesy of M. Tang

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Big Breakfasts for Big Results

(I have been redeemed!)

By Joe Wilkes

Breakfast. It seems like forever since Mom told us breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but one study shows it's actually true—she wasn't just nagging us. Breakfast is a key component of weight management: A study presented at the 90th annual meeting of the Endocrine Society showed that participants who consumed large breakfasts high in protein and carbohydrates followed by a low-carb, low-calorie diet for the rest of the day lost almost five times as much weight as the participants who followed a low-carb, high-protein diet throughout the day. So what's the big deal about breakfast? And what is a big breakfast anyway? It doesn't seem like the lumberjack special at the local diner would do much to get the pounds off, so what should we be eating?

The study supported the idea that when we wake up in the morning, our bodies want food. You've burned through all the fuel from the previous day, and now your body's ready to burn anything—even muscle—to get a jump-start on the day. And if you skip breakfast, muscle is indeed what your body will burn. Later in the day, your brain is still in starvation mode from breakfast (or lack thereof), so your body will store all the calories you eat as adipose tissue, or fat, to save up for the next day when you try to starve it again. This study also found that levels of serotonin, the chemical responsible for controlling cravings, were much higher in the morning, which is why breakfast is the meal so many of us are willing to skip. But if our bodies are left unfed, our serotonin levels drop, and our bodies' craving for sweets begin to rise throughout the day.

But before you hit McDonald's® for their 800-calorie Big Breakfast, or worse, their 1,150-calorie Deluxe Breakfast, or you swing by Denny's® for a 740-calorie Grand Slam® or 950-calorie All-American Slam® with hash browns, keep in mind these weren't the breakfasts the study participants consumed. The big-breakfast group had a 610-calorie breakfast as part of a 1,240-calorie day. Breakfasts included milk, lean meat, cheese, whole grains, a serving of healthy fat, and one ounce of chocolate or candy to defray the craving for sweets. The other group's participants consumed 1,085 calories per day as part of a high-protein, low-carb diet; only 290 of their daily calories were consumed at breakfast. Both groups were on their respective diets for 8 months. The high-protein group lost an average of nine pounds, but the big-breakfast group lost an average of 40 pounds. And, perhaps not surprisingly, the big-breakfast group complained less about cravings and hunger.

Fall 2011: Paris Fashion Week

A few samplings of my faves (sorry, PETA, once again there was a lot of fur . . . and it could not be dismissed).  



Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

"When you are joyful, be joyful; when you are sad, be sad.  If God has given you a sweet cup, don’t make it bitter; and if He has given you a bitter cup, don’t try and make it sweet; take things as they come."

- Oswald Chambers (Shade of His Hand, 1226 L)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Study: Coffee tied to lower stroke risk in women

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 10, 2011; 6:39 PM 

DALLAS -- Women who enjoy a daily dose of coffee may like this perk: It might lower their risk of stroke.  Women in a Swedish study who drank at least a cup of coffee every day had a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who drank less coffee or none at all.

"Coffee drinkers should rejoice," said Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Coffee is often made out to be potentially bad for your heart. There really hasn't been any study that convincingly said coffee is bad."

"If you are drinking coffee now, you may be doing some good and you are likely not doing harm," she added.

But Hayes and other doctors say the study shouldn't send non-coffee drinkers running to their local coffee shop. The study doesn't prove that coffee lowers stroke risk, only that coffee drinkers tend to have a lower stroke risk.

Hot Mess

Thursday, March 10, 2011

56 Worst/Best Analogies of High School Students

(Taken from another website, I marked the ones I thought were best in bold.)

Apparently the washingtonpost held a contest in which high school teachers sent in the “worst” analogies they’d encountered in grading their students’ papers over the years. (I place “worst” in quotes because many of these actually strike me as quite witty). The top 25 of these have been circulating around the “Sandra Bullock” (”net”, get it?) recently, but I decided to post all 56 that I was able to find. Here they are, in their order of objective funniness (in my opinion):
  1. Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
  2. He was as tall as a 6′3″ tree.
  3. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
  4. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00 p.m. instead of 7:30.
  5. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.
  6. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.
  7. The ballerina rose gracefully en pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.
  8. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame. Maybe from stepping on a land mine or something.
  9. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.
  10. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.
  11. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM.
  12. The lamp just sat there, like an inanimate object.

7 Myths about Sleep

By Joe Wilkes

Numerous sleep studies over the years have set forth a variety of different theories, often conflicting, regarding the health benefits and costs of getting a good or a bad night's sleep. Some of these studies have called into question or actually disproved certain long-held beliefs regarding sleep (and the lack thereof); here are seven sleep myths and some information that indicates that it might not always be best to believe everything you were told when you were a kid.

  1.  You should get 8 hours of sleep every night. Not exactly. Studies conducted during the last decade show that mortality rates were lowest among those who slept between 6.5 and 7.5 hours a night. People who slept much more or less had more health problems across the board. It was hard to tell why people who slept more had poorer health. There may have been a chicken-and-egg scenario where they may have slept more because they suffered from depression, alcoholism, or other illnesses that caused them to spend more time asleep. On the other hand, the people who didn't get enough sleep were prone to their own health problems, including problems resulting from stress and lack of concentration, alertness, and physical ability—not to mention falling asleep at the wheel.  
  2. You should keep the same bedtime every night. This one's partially true, but there's some wiggle room. While it's preferable to keep a consistent routine and sleep schedule, it's not always possible. Experts now say that if you're a little more stressed out or anxious or just not tired, you're better off staying up than hitting the sack. Our bodies are the best gauge of when we need some shut-eye. Insomniacs often trap themselves into a cycle of anxiety wherein they can't get to sleep for fear of not being able to fall asleep. Instead of forcing yourself into bed at an arbitrary time when you're not tired, spend a little time doing a relaxing activity—reading, listening to music, meditating, taking a hot bath—and then go to bed when you feel like you're ready to lie down and close your eyes. Studies have shown that you're as likely to fall asleep then as when you force yourself to adhere to a self-imposed bedtime—you'll just enjoy the process of relaxing more and will sleep better. 
  3. Burning the midnight oil helps you get more done. Maybe not so much. Haven't we all pulled an all-nighter? It's a grand tradition that many feel provides its own inspiration. I know I'm a self-avowed night owl, and you could never convince me that I could get more done in the morning than in the late hours of the night. But a study from the University of North Texas discovered that undergraduate students who were "morning" people had much higher grade point averages than their nocturnal counterparts. The night owls had significantly impaired concentration during the day and poorer memory. So apparently, "early to bed, early to rise" does "make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise" . . . or at least wise. The jury's still out on the others. 
  4. Exercising before bed will keep you awake. Or, perhaps, exactly the opposite! A Brazilian study showed that while heavy aerobic exercises and anaerobic/strength training exercises had minimal effect on sleep patterns, light to moderate aerobic exercise, like a relaxing walk or a medium aerobic workout, actually helped people sleep better. The old saw about jumping around to "get the blood moving" has actually been proven to work the opposite way. People who engaged in a bit of light exercise before bed fell asleep more quickly and stayed asleep longer than the more sedentary members of the test group. A UCLA study also found that in older adults (59 to 86 years old), a regular tai chi regimen (regardless of when it was practiced) seemed to provide better sleep schedules and fewer sleep disturbances compared to doing no exercise at all.
  5. Sleep is the fountain of youth. Here's one that may actually hold some water. A University of Chicago study has shown a strong correlation between a lack of deep sleep and the physical decline as we age. They studied the level of human growth hormone production in study participants, and found that the people who slept longer in a state of deep sleep produced significantly more of the hormone, which contributes to muscle maintenance and lower body fat. When the participants' sleep was purposely disturbed by the scientists, they produced much less of the hormone. So both the quantity and the quality of the sleep was found to be important in the production of this anti-aging hormone. Just think, if all those baseball players had gotten more good nights' sleep, perhaps they wouldn't be having so many legal troubles.
  6. Insomniacs are more productive. Not quite, as it turns out. A study from the Tufts New England Medical Centre in Boston found that in the four companies (airline, manufacturer, pharmaceutical company, and law firm) with a little over 4,000 total employees, the loss of productivity due to sleep issues added up to about $54 million. Many of these costs were attributed to prescriptions for sleep aids, sleep-related disorders like depression, and safety-related costs due to people falling asleep on the job. The rest had to do with general productivity loss. The study estimated the cost of insomnia as 2-1/2 weeks of productivity annually for every worker.
  7. Spicy food gives you weird dreams. This may actually be true. A team of researchers from Australia found that participants who ate spicy meals before bed took longer to get to sleep and didn't sleep as long or as deeply as those who ate blander dishes. Some of the evidence is attributed to the obvious indigestion that can occur, but the slight elevation in body temperature caused by the zesty food was linked to poor sleep in previous studies. No real conclusions regarding the weird dreams or nightmares of the participants, but suffice it to say, spicy food doesn't equal sweet dreams—or at least not good sleep.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Suspenders (Gone Wrong)

Celebrity Advertisements

(Done Right)
PS. I love the bag.

Blake Lively for Chanel

(Gone Wrong)
I mean could you have a faker, trying-to-look-like-a-model face?

Olivia Palermo for Tibi
South Park. Hands down.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Word of the Day

gastronome \GAS-truh-nohm\, noun:
A connoisseur of good food and drink.
If "poultry is for the cook what canvas is for a painter," to quote the 19th-century French gastronome Brillat-Savarin, why paint the same painting over and over again?
-- John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger, "From Poussin to Capon a Chicken in Every Size", New York Times, September 22, 1999
Even though Paris was then considered the culinary capital of Europe, the food at the Cercle was so highly revered that many well-known gastronomes regularly made the trip to Lyon to eat there.
-- Daniel Rogov, "Three culinary tales for Hanukka", Jerusalem Post, December 6, 1996
I am no gastronome at the best; moreover, I have, over the years, eaten in so many unpropitious circumstances and from so many truly awful kitchens that I have come to consider myself almost as much a connoisseur of bad food as other men are of good.
-- James Cameron, "Albania: The Last Marxist Paradise", The Atlantic, June 1963
Gastronome is ultimately derived from Greek gaster, "stomach" + nomos, "rule, law."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What’s Your Six-Word Love Story?

“ Departure note: I canceled the Netflix.”
“ Mistook love for seizure at first”
“ Met in leftist group; felt right.”
“ Age 62: Match dot com successful!”
“ We had chemistry in chem class. ”
“ Asperger man marries. Everything changes forever.”
“ Met, loved, married 46 years. Alzheimer's.”
“ Love. Splendid thing. Fiery ring. Burns.”
“ In the morning, she made pancakes.”
“ Suspending dreams now for our health.”
“ Fell in love. Then fell out.”
“ Note to self: No more surfers.”
“ Dog approves; maybe this guy's good?”
" Love hurts. Choose vodka or valium."

" Hearts clubbed by diamonds in spades."

" Passion, fireworks, good loving. He’s gay."

" Note to self: avoid head cases."

" He wasn’t worth the panic attacks."

" Chocolate is the coward’s bad apology."

" Loved her madly — then went mad."

" I was wrong. You are right."

" Just Married. Still figuring it out."

" Married my high-school sweetheart; still besotted."

" We have the same operating system."

" Ups, downs, and repeat. That’s love."

(What is your six-word love story?)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2011 Oscars: Red Carpet

Let's be honest, this year's Oscars was a total travesty.

James Franco seemed to be high, Anne Hathaway's overcompensating laughs and wild arm gestures were pathetic, and the show (minus the bit with Russell Brand and Helen Mirren) left me feeling slightly embarrassed and extremely uncomfortable. 

The good news is that there was fashion, and lots of it!

Starting with Ms. Anne Hathaway (aka. the fabulous Rachel Zoe) who had 7 outfits, in addition to her red carpet arrival gown:

I love this look - from the high ponytail to the big bowtie, she made the tux look great:


Eh - also, the hair is hideous, but my sisters and I agreed that it was prep for future looks:

Vivienne Westwood

Fantastic color, not sure about the cut:

Armani Prive

Yes, yes, yes:

Atelier Versace

Looks better in this photo than it did on stage:

Tom Ford

I think this was my favorite:

Oscar de la Renta

. . . until she ruined it by acting like a clown on stage:

Now, on to the red carpet!

(Best Of: Top 9)

#1. Simple perfection

#2. Modern chic

Calvin Klein
3. Youthful simplicity (and major hotness)

Calvin Klein
4. Youthful elegance

5. Couture (Done Right)

Givenchy Couture
6. Sexy and elegant

Elie Saab
7. Beautiful and Oscars-appropriate

8. Age-appropriate stunner

Armani Prive
9. One classy dame

Vivienne Westwood

(Worst Of: Bottom 9)

Atrocious bodice, hideous skirt, mismatched shoes (but I love the Fred Leighton diamond choker):

Christian Dior