• New York,  WorldWide

    @JCPenney’s New Year, New You with DWTS’s @Karina_Smirnoff


    About a week ago, I told a friend that I was going to jot down a New Year’s plan (I say “plan” because I’m not really into the whole “resolutions” thing). And she asked in surprise, “Isn’t it a little late to be making New Year’s resolutions?”

    The answer is NO.

    First of all, I still get to call my plan a New Year’s plan because it’s only January. I mean, give me a break! But even if I wanted to write such a plan in, say, March that would be perfectly fine, too. Fact is, every day you wake up is a new opportunity to be a “new you” or to aspire to a new goal. Heck, you can make a fresh start right in the middle of the day if you want.

    It’s all about setting a goal, making steps to execute it and sticking to it (and not beating yourself up if you happen to fall off track).

    Last week, I attended JCPenney’s New Year, New You Fitness Event at their showroom in SoHo. The event showcased products and apparel from JCPenney, along with ideas to help you make a fresh start for 2014. Just my luck, this fit in perfectly with my New Year’s plan.

    Goal #1 in my New Year’s plan: Get to the gym more consistently
    I’m a (semi) regular at the gym and I want to become more consistent about not breaking gym days.

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    We got to pick a workout outfit from JCPenney’s Xersion and CityStreets Activewear lines. My current workout wardrobe consists of random leggings and tank tops, so just putting this on got me pumped. It’s not just that it looks great; it’s also specially designed for sweating and moving your body. Can’t say the same for my all-purpose leggings.

    Karina Smirnoff

    Karina Smirnoff teaches a SoHo

    We put our workout gear to the test during a dance class led by the event host, Dancing with the Star’s Karina Smirnoff. Fortunately, she kept the moves easy-to-follow for us. It was a blast and Karina looked fab in JCPenney’s Xersion and CityStreets Activewear lines.

    Goal #2 in my New Year’s plan: Eat healthy
    I like to eat healthy, wholesome foods, lots of fruits, veggies, fiber and protein. I love making smoothies, which makes it easy for me to down all the good stuff in one cup. For the New Year, I want to do more of this and less of falling into a takeout rut.

    After the class, Karina juiced healthy treats with JCPenney’s Bella High Power Juice Extractor and Magic Bullet Blender. Celebrity nutritionist and chef Melissa Petitto was also onsite creating delicious and healthy juices and smoothies with JCPenney’s national brand juicers to quick our thirst.

    Karina Smirnoff juice  JCPenney'SoHo

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    We took home the Bella Rocket Blender for ourselves. I already used it and I’m hooked. It’s so much easier and convenient that the standard blender I’d been using.

    Whatever your plans (or resolutions) are for the New Year, you can’t go wrong with staying active and eating healthy. Just try to spend a little time on your goals each day and you’ll be where you want to be in no time!

  • New York

    Event LOVE: @ABChome Beauty Wellness and Wisdom

    Guest post by Vaitari Anderson

    What an amazing event!  Last week, we were invited to attend a Saturday of Beauty, Wellness and Wisdom at Union Square’s massive ABC Carpet and Home. Since Yvonne was away for business, I offered to attend in her place and I did not know what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised when I arrived!

    Immediately, I was offered Laughing Man Coffee and Tea, which I indulged in quite a few cups of amazing chamomile tea from the brand.  Then, I had the opportunity to sit down and listen as Deepak Chopra walked us through lyrics and a visual presentation of Michael Jackson’s voice created before Michael passed.  The lyrics were going to be for a type of “Earth Song 2” – very whimsical,  related to mother nature and the wonder of imagination.  Deepak then read a quick meditation. Afterwards, I had to take the opportunity to meet him and get a quick photo!


    The next speaker is now a new hero of mine, Horst Rechelbacher who is the founder of Aveda and Intelligent Nutrients. He spoke to our daily ritual of beauty products and what we put on our body is as important as what we put in it.  He focused on explaining that what we put on our body should be digestible or of nutritious value.  He situated the Intelligent Nutrients headquarters in Minnesota where they have a true organic farm and have created a mini ecosystem complete with animals to develop natural and healthy products.  Intelligent Nutrients is a brand that is non-profit and takes the responsibility of providing consumers with products that will not harm them in any way.  I personally found it hard when you go shopping for products to figure out what is “really” organic and will not harm your body. Intelligent Nutrients is a brand you can rest assured is tested to the highest of high standards for beauty products that are non-harmful to your body.  I would love to go to their farm and experience a tour there next time I am in the Midwest!


    We were then treated to Organic Avenue smoothies and juice, which if you live in NYC and have had the chance to taste them know they are amazing!  I tried a green juice with chia seed as I have never tasted a juice with chia seed in it and I was hooked!


    The other outstanding talk that I would like to mention was with Dr. Frank Lipman.  He touched on the removal of harmful foods that we eat many times not knowing they are harmful.  In addition, he believes in the mindset that our bodies can heal themselves if we treat them properly and give them the correct sustenance to do so.  He has studied medicine in China, India and the States and from his experience has created a functional medicine practice.  He spoke and answered many questions pertaining to such topics as dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol etc.


    Between talks many women met with Tracie Martyn for lifting skin care secrets and Tata Harper for mini facials. Makeovers by Rose Marie Swift, essential oil demonstrations by H.Gillerman Organics and consultations by Arcona Spa also took place. Also, Wei of Chocolate and Raaka Chocolate was available to sample throughout the entire day.  In addition, media and online press were given a goody bag full of products from Intelligent Nutrients, Wei Chocolates and Essential Oils and more organic and health conscious brands.

    All in all it was an amazing and enlightening day that I was happy to have the opportunity to attend.  I would suggest anyone into learning a bit more about wellness and health check out ABC Home’s future events.  Especially when they bring Horst Rechelbacher back from Intelligent Nutrients to have an entire event based on their methodologies.

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  • WorldWide

    Detoxing…..not just for weight loss!

    Being a sugar addict, caffeine junkie and fast food queen, it was all catching up fast. I needed and wanted to rejuvenate my body. I came across Hacienda Del Sol Yoga and Detox Retreat in Costa Rica http://www.haciendadelsolcr.com/ on the internet. Next day after bragging to my friends and coworkers about the cleanse I booked to lose weight they were astonished. They couldn’t believe I would use my vacation time to detox in the middle of the jungle with a daily schedule of juices, 2 colonics, and hours of mediation, just didn’t seem fun to them.  A month later I was off to Costa Rica. As I arrived we jumped right in to detox mode and I’m given coconut water, (of course my mouth was watering for a fountain Diet Coke)….so I drank the coconut water. It was truly thirst quenching!


     The first night we were served raw lasagna. It was the best raw food I had ever had, well to be honest the only raw food I have ever had. Made with a spinach walnut pesto, fresh tomatoes, zucchini and other goodness, it was simply delectable! First day was tough and some of the juices you just had to shoot like tequila.



      Mediation and being in silence daily was very peaceful and the colonics….well do I need to go there? After the third day I did hit a wall and wanted to leave I was crawling out of my skin without pinterest, Iphone, and my Starbucks. After crying, kicking and calling United to check on flights nothing panned out. I was stuck. The Universe  knew I needed to stay and walk through the healing process.  From that day forward I gave 110% of my energy (well the energy I had left after my daily colonics) to the trip that was going to change my number on the scale. As the days passed I found myself building relationships with people from all over the world, becoming content in my own skin, feeling vibrant, and looking at life in a different light. I went to lose a few extra pounds and lay out at the beach but instead received a life changing experience! I will be booking my next trip soon to Hacienda Del Sol…..and yes I did relapse on coffee.