Thursday, April 16, 2020

It's Child's Play, Games and Toys with 2020 Vision

Board games like these act as three-dimensional books to engage children in meaningful and educational play.
These are unique times.  Especially in my NYC/Metro Area with the Wuhan Corona Virus outbreak has families under "stay at home" orders. Many families are having to "emergency homeschool" as the schools have been shut down since even before spring break. So there are some excellent options to keep children harp in addition to online video schoolwork. Thinking back to some of the board games and toys I had as a child makes me appreciate this new era of entertainment now available.  The main focus of many of the games we played was to teach how to think ahead.  Chess and checkers were always being played but also board games like Stratego which my older brother Lenny loved to beat me at...every time!
So these new games and toys allow children to have more practical, hands-on play that will introduce them to solutions to real-world problems.  Better than that, these eco-educational games from Adventerra show them how they might be able to help based on everyday choices.

Water Game shows children how to conserve one of Earth's most precious resources, fresh water.  This is something we all are faced with every day and children can learn quite early not to waste water. This boardgame show the importance of fresh water while helping them to develop daily water-saving habits. This game balances cooperation with competition which is a GOOD thing.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Year, New You Health & Beauty Product Purge

A self-care day with all-natural health and beauty products.  What could be better?  Amelie Cloth Shower Turban in Painted Peony by Louvelle 

Oh yes, it's a NEW year and also a new decade.  Trending now is the urge to purge our lives of toxins and unnecessary chemical additives in our food and personal care items. This can be quite the challenge even for someone like myself with a pharmaceutical background.  Reading the label is important but understanding it is essential.  Waxes, parabens, and silicones should be on everyone's product purge list.  You should also note where on the label an ingredient appears.  The products listed first make up the largest percentage of the formulation.

There are also natural health and beauty tools that offer a gentler, better choice moving forward.  Here is my list of the top new "clean", natural health and beauty products to consider for 2020:

Garner's Garden 100% Natural Body Butters

1.) Garner's Garden 100% Natural Skincare Collection - Their Whipped Body Butters are very close to the ones we make at home. The very first ingredient on the list is organic, unrefined shea butter followed by coconut oil. Topped off with pure essential oils like lavender, grapefruit, and lemongrass, these body butters offer deep moisturizing and healing properties with NO artificial chemicals or fillers.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

'Holiday Looks' Christmas & New Year's Eve Edition

Holiday Glamour!  Elie Tahari Halter Evening Gown.

Holidays are the time for over the top glamour and shine!  Rich gold and silver metallics with vibrant jewel-tones are perfect for this time of year and when making an entrance at that Christmas Ball or New Year's Eve party.  The goal is to look chic and elegant with a touch of shimmer.  When it's time to get ready, you'll need to make sure you compliment the festive surroundings.  That little black dress will need some gold or silver embellishments.  The dress shown above is by NYC designer, Elie Tahari and is simply gorgeous with beautiful rich gold flowers against a satiny background.  This particular design even has hidden pockets! I like to wear a gown like this with a light crinoline underneath which gives it a little lift and movement as it is floor-length. This is a generous women's Size 6 with a long back invisible zipper and very comfortable to wear.  Get more details about this Tahari ASL, Size 6 evening gown now HERE 

Tahari Evening Gown

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Christmas Traditions: The Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker

Principal dancers, Mykhailo Shcherbakov and Olga Pasternak of The Moscow Ballet.
Perhaps nothing harkens back to a traditional Christmas like The Nutcracker Ballet.  First performed in 1892 in St. Petersburg, it like Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty are Russian ballet to its core. Undergirded with music by the renowned composer, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker celebrates its 75th anniversary since it was first performed here in the US in December of 1944.

The Moscow Ballet is now on its 27th North American Tour, making 144 stops along the way. Each stop requires a meticulous set up of special stage matting as well as lighting, scenery, costumes, and effects. Rehearsals are done on stage prior to the first performance to allow a thorough warm-up.

Warming up with rehearsal time before The Nutcracker performance.
The Moscow Ballet's Nutcracker production offers much more than the original, classical ballet. Included are extremely powerful, yet controlled grande jetes and tour en l' air by the male danseurs, yet innovative moves showing extreme flexibility as shown in the Arabian Variation in Act II.  
Some of my personal favorites included the high-speed pirouettes by The Nutcracker Prince and the tender pas de deux between him and Masha. Other highlights included the corps de ballet for the Waltz of the Flowers and the Sugar Plum Fairy's dance. The whole production is absolutely breathtaking and ethereal!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Holiday Gift Guide: Cozy Ideas for Winter Warmth

Australian Wool Shawl in "Baroque" by Scarflings.
Some of the best Christmas gifts I've ever received (or given) have been those associated with staying warm. Think toasty wools scarves, warm booties, and fleece-lined gloves. All such gifts show that you care about the recipient's comfort and happiness. Here are a few gift ideas along with tips on how to get the best of the best warm things for everyone on your list.

100% Wool Scarves - This type of scarf makes the perfect gift because it is so very versatile and travels well.  The name Pashmina is derived from the Persian language and literally means soft and shiny. Known for being extremely plush, the yarns are derived from the Ibex goat native to Kashmir. Pashmina vs Cashmere: Both are very soft but Pashmina fibers are finer and thinner thus making them ideal for lightweight items like shawls. This "Baroque" Scarflings 100% Australian Wool Shawl is a generous 245 x 110 cms with tassel edges. Not as soft as my Pashmina shawls but very warm and functional with beautiful detail. See all the assorted fibers and patterns of shawls and scarves at

Monday, November 25, 2019

Holiday Presence: The Health & Beauty Gift Guide

Lancome- Paris Holiday Gift Set: Creme-Mousse Confort, Rose Jelly Mask, Tonique Confort, Bienfait Multi-Vital Night, Bien Multi-Vital Sunscreen Cream with large, gold zippered travel bag to store everything. 

The trend for 2020 is clear, nourished and hydrated skin. It's a new decade and in my opinion, this is where things are trending in beauty: Neutral palettes highlighting clean even-toned skin with a bold lip for evening. Likewise, rejuvenating, restful sleep is also going to be in play towards overall natural beauty. 
Health and Beauty Spa Quality Gifts for others on your list...for you!

Here are a few spa-worthy gifts that will bring a smile (and glow) to your recipient's face or even yours!

  • Garner's Garden 100% Natural Skincare This collection includes shea-rich body butters with Lavender and Citrus essential oils. These whipped body butters are organic and unrefined making them perfect for sensitive skin. Also, their Lavender Moisturizing Body Oil can be applied before a bath or shower to pre-condition the skin.  This set can be found at 

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Holiday Travel Essentials You'll Need This Year

Traveling home or abroad for the holidays? Take these little game-changers along for a bon voyage!
There are a few things that go in my bag whether it's a short trip or long. However, during the holiday season, many of us will be boarding planes, trains and taking more lengthy excursions. I always like to be as comfortable and as safe as possible so here are my picks for the specific challenges of holiday travel:

  • A Travel Pillow - Some people pack their own pillow for longer overnight stays or even for use on the plane if it is an extended flight. Whatever the case, one of the best pillows I've found has memory foam and pure silk cases. Sleep 'n Glow is similar to my Tempur-Pedic pillow but offers more support and spinal alignment due to the deep contours. The fitted silk pillowcases make this pillow an overnight beauty treatment for skin and hair.  Something we all could use to combat that jet lag once we make our destination!
Sleep 'n Glow Pillow and Silk Pillowcase

  • Comfortable, breathable undies - Sitting for long periods of time in transit can really wreak havoc on your bottom. Even more so, you'll want panties that travel well and dry quickly after washing. These Hipsters by JUMPER Premium Threads are highly ventilated, wicking and made of 60% ProModal and 35% peppermint leaf fiber. Both are natural plant fibers with the peppermint being very anti-microbial. These offer four-way stretch and an incredible fit. Each pair comes with its own travel pouch to pop in your carry on luggage!

    Peppermint Tech Hipsters

  • Foldable Natural Fiber Toothbrush - My Sonicare toothbrush came with a travel case but I really don't want to risk losing or breaking it on the road. A better option is this folding toothbrush by Doctor Plotka. The bristles are natural, gentle and anti-microbial all at the same time. So much lighter than an electric toothbrush too. 
Developed by a dentist, Doctor Plotka's Travel Toothbrush

  • Lavender Hand Cream - This organic lavender hand cream is the perfect size, (1 fl oz) to fit inside your cabin bag or purse. Lavender is naturally calming and has the added benefit of being antimicrobial as well as boosting the immune system. This one by Garner's Garden is very rich, made with sunflower and shea butter as well as pure essential oils. 
    Garner's Garden assorted essential oil hand creams

  • Body Wash & Body Lotion - You can always take along a cosmetic counter or travel-sized sample of your favorite product but this set by Eau Des Minimes of Lagorce France takes it to another level. This botanical recipe dates back to 1862 and is based on Eaux de cologne that was prepared in the convents at that time. Both are well within the TSA's 4-ounce liquid limitations but are enough for a week-long trip or more. A little goes a long way! 

Clockwise: Hipster's Women's Bikini Briefs by Jumper Threads, Doctor Plotka's Travel Toothbrush, Garner's Garden Lavender Essential Oil Handcream, Le Couvent des Minimes Botanical Shower Gel, and Body Cream, Molton Brown Travel Accessories Kit with a sewing kit, shower cap, and shoe polisher.