Wednesday, April 20, 2016

It's been AWHILE!

Wow-- It's been awhile since my last post, but don't worry I won't bore you with what I've been up to in the last few years... Instead, I'll share my latest thoughts on a new trendy therapy that all the hipsters and professionals who can afford it are trying.. it's called floating...

I covered the story for a piece I was producing for our Health section so I decided I should at least try it if I was going to write about it. Floating is exactly what it sounds like.. it's floating-- only naked for one hour in a water tank filled with body temperature water and a thousand pounds of Epsom salt. It's said to deprive you of all your senses in order to ease stress and aches.

Lift Floats in Brooklyn had two different types of pods for me to try... one was an egg-shaped capsule that looked way too claustrophobic for me... and the other was a more stylish suite with an extra large hot tub looking tank under a pretty sparkling ceiling made to look like twinkling stars..Oh yeah, and did I mention that they charge you $99 an hour to float in these things?

Now I do practice yoga about three times a week, so I have tried to "meditate" before, but honestly I never seem to be able to. I have way too many thoughts and to-do lists constantly running through my head for it to ever work. But floating, I was told, is supposed to have some magical power over your mind to quiet it instantly...So after my shoot I undressed and lowered myself into the luke warm water. I popped ear plugs in, turned off all the lights and tried to remain "calm."

Did it work?

Actually, kind of. Here are the notes I wrote in a journal on my subway ride back into Manhattan:

-Definitely relaxed after (well I'd hope so it was the end of my work day).
-Senses feel a little heightened; like street noises, the slight breeze in the air.
-Similar to the relaxing feeling you get when you get a massage, except you don't have anyone touching you and making your aches feel better so your mind is less distracted.
-Had no concept of where I was in the tank, at times an arm brushed against the side wall and I had no idea my position was shifting at all.
-When I opened my eyes in the dark I did "see" a few white lights, green lights, small like the end of long search light that would go in an out...a few images that looked like black puffs of smoke against the darkness.
-Didn't experience any "deep or emotional" memories. 
-I may have fallen asleep.
- I tried not to twitch even though I could feel a drip of water slowly entering my ear.
-I kept swallowing for some strange reason and the rumblings coming from my stomach were a bit distracting.
-Legs were definitely wobbly after, I had to hold on to the pole when I got up and out the little door to the main suite room where you rinse off.
-Salt in the ears for days!

I couldn't print this in my piece, but my friend who tried floating had the best line for it--
"It felt like an unattended baptism." 

Click here if you want to watch my video and learn more about it. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Mother's Day: Have you Shopped for Your Mom Yet?

Haven't bought your Mom a gift for Mother's Day yet? Check out some of my great gift ideas on my latest piece below!

6 Gifts for the Jet-Setter Mom

Published May 09, 2013
Showing your appreciation for the mom that’s always on the go is never easy but this year we’ve put together a list of some of the hottest new gifts for the most travel-aficionado mothers out there.
Spending hours on a bus to a private resort or beach can be dreary, but listening to your favorite tunes can always help pass the time. Whether your mom wants to jam out to some classic oldies or relax over old-school blues, she’ll love wearing Frends headphones. These gorgeous and gold encrypted headphones will leave your mother feeling stylish and comfortable. The “earrings for your earbuds” come with an ambient silicone tip that directs sound right into the ear for a natural sound from a 13mm driver. It also comes with a chic little carrying case to wrap up its soft fabric cord and fashion-accessory like buds into so they don’t get tangled or lost. These made for women headphones come with a lifetime guarantee and are compatible with select Apple devices.  Available at Apple Stores, Best Buy, Nordstrom Price: $ 99.99.
Chilly Jilly
When your mother is getting ready to take a long flight you want her to be as comfortable as possible. First class tickets might leave you with a little extra leg room but wearing the right attire can truly upgrade your comfort level. Chilly Jilly has new lounge pants that are so cozy and soft you’ll want to wear them whether you’re traveling or not. Made with a high quality brushed wrinkle-resistant micro fiber, these pants feel and look amazing. These pants are nothing like dumpy sweatpants- with slick long pant legs that feature a fold-over waistband they’ll give mom and extra flattering and slimming touch to the waist. The Chilly Jilly Company also makes a Chilly Jacket that wears like a fashionable blanket with sleeves. It’s perfect for a warmer and restful flight and comes in a pretty drawstring pouch that can easily fit into a purse or carry-on. Available at . Price for The Lounge Pants $45.00 / The Jilly Jacket: $ 60.00.
Everyone loves to bring home a memorable souvenir, but with all the TSA rules and strict security checks it’s sometimes hopeless to think your fragile or liquid items will make it back in one piece. A brilliant way for your mom to protect her keepsakes is to get her a VinniBag. The wine bottle shaped like bag has inflatable air chambers that conform to the items you put in it, giving them isolated, immobilized and cushioned protection all around. With the Vinnibag your mom will never have to worry about flying with her favorite wine from Italy or special memento from Europe. The reusable and recyclable bag is also great to use when skiing, camping or boating. Available across the globe at airports and stores like Brookstone and Bed Bath and Beyond. Price $28 each or 2 for $25.
Hammacher Schlemmer Neck Massager
Sitting straight up for hours while you drive of fly to your next destination is bound to leave you with a painful sore neck. Hammacher Schlemmer recently released a deep or light pressure neck massager. Shaped to put around your neck like a travel pillow the massager has two rollers that knead the back of your neck like two human hands. For a quick bout of muscle pain relief this massager is a great new travel buddy to bring along on lengthy trips. Whether you like a deep tissue massage or a soothing gentle massage an attached controller lets you alter and modify the intensity and direction of the rollers. This travel-friendly device can be plugged into an AC or a car’s DC power plug- both adapters come included. Available Price $99.95.
If your mom’s idea of a relaxing vacation is basking in the sun while reading a good book then it’s the perfect time to get her an E-Reader. The lightweight and compact digital reads are one the best travel accessories to bring along with you anywhere. On Amazon they are promoting a special $179 for their Kindle Fire that originally goes for $199 (special lasts from now through May 12th), but if you’re looking for a more affordable price their original Kindle makes a great gift for under $100. At $69 the Kindle’s electronic ink screen will have your mom lounging by a resort pool with her favorite novel without any annoying glares from bright sunlight. Personalize the gift by sending your mom her first Kindle book to read. Some great new picks to consider;Parenting Without Borders (Penguin), takes readers on a tour around the world to learn about all the different parenting lessons and practices other countries are using. 65 Things To Do When You Retire: Travel (Sellers Publishing Inc) puts together exciting ideas and advice for retirees who want to explore the world with new adventures and opportunities. Available Price Kindle $69, Kindle Paperwhite $119, Kindle Fire HD $199.
Polaroid iF045 Digital Camera
It’s no secret that most mom’s love to take pictures. Maybe it’s in their maternal genes but whenever there is a special occasion or event going on mothers will undoubtedly have their fingers on the shutter button. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced camera that mom can use during her travels the Polaroid iF045 digital camera is a great option and is retailed at just $69.99. Mom doesn’t have to be tech savvy to work this highly functional camera either. With a one-press shutter button and dual screen LCD displays she can snap beautiful clear pictures or take her own selfies at all the places she journeys to. The waterproof, shockproof and sand-proof model also makes this camera the perfect travel companion for family vacations or days at the beach. Available at, the Polaroid store, Sears, Kmart and Staples. Price $69.99.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tips For The Perfect Mother's Day Brunch

Need some tips for the perfect Mother's Day brunch this year? Take it from a Top Chef in my latest article on Fox News! 

Padma Lakshmi: Mother’s Day is a Thanksgiving of spring

Published May 08, 2013

When it comes to Mother’s day celebrations, everyone loves the delicious and bountiful tradition of brunch.

Padma Lakshmi, the beautiful host of Bravo’s "Top Chef" and mother of 3-year-old daughter Krishna, says Mother’s Day brunch is a great time to get all of your family together to share good food and family memories.

“Take out your family photo albums and put them out on your coffee table,” Lakshmi said. “Encourage your guests to talk about the history of your family and the family traditions that they remember growing up with.”

Padma’s First Mother’s Day

Lakshmi reminisced back to her first mother’s day when she gathered around her closest friends and family for lunch. After years of struggling with endometriosis, a painful uterine condition, Lakshmi’s pregnancy was called a ‘medical miracle’.

“I had such different circumstances around the birth of my daughter. On my first Mother’s Day I honored my cousin. I bought him a present and got up during lunch and said I want to thank you,” Lakshmi said.

Lakshmi says she couldn’t have made it through it all without her family’s help.

“I think it’s really important to remember that we are parented by a lot of people in our lives. From my cousin taking me to my sonogram appointments to my mother coming to live with me while I was bed ridden, they were all there for me when I needed them most,” she said.

A Table Full of Generations

When your family table speaks for more than one generation it can be tough to find something for everyone but Lakshmi, the author of two cookbooks, says putting together a healthy menu for everyone at your table can be done.

“I don’t believe in being a short order cook, we all eat the same thing in this house,” Lakshmi said.

Yet Lakshmi does suggest that if you know a guest has special dietary restrictions, like avoiding meat or heavy salted foods, then you should try to offer alternatives.

“Whenever I’m hosting I try to remember who I’ve invited and what their preferences are,” Lakshmi said. “You may want to under salt things if someone has salt limitations as you can always put salt on the table for those who want to add more.”

Most of Lakshmi’s family is vegetarian (which she is openly not) but being the gracious host that she is, Lakshmi likes to please the ones she loves.

“At first it was hard to collate that meal, but I’ll make sides that cater to everyone and have a main meat dish along with a vegetarian option as well.” Lakshmi said. “You could easily do a white bean dish or a black eyed peas dish with a little pumpkin or zucchini, something that feels hearty. It’s also really easy to do a lentil salad with chopped bell peppers and apples with a light lemon juice and oil dressing,  it feels cool and refreshing.”

A Healthier Sweet-tooth

You won’t find this celebrity chef in line for a brunch drizzled with sweet sugary syrups and crispy fried fat-traps.

“I personally don’t like waffles and sugary things for breakfast. Why not do a yogurt parfait with beautiful cut fruit and yogurt. You can sprinkle in some raw sugar with a dash of cinnamon for a little extra touch of sweetness.”

If your mom enjoys something more on the sweeter side then try to keep it lighter.

“If you love pancakes I would opt for the crepe, it’s much thinner and then you can fill it with some stewed fruit or baked apples. And rather than adding whip cream to it you can add a dollop of vanilla yogurt instead,” Lakshmi added.

Remember It’s Your Party Too

Although hosting a Mother’s day brunch might seem like a culinary challenge only for the pros, Lakshmi says to remember that the idea is to enjoy the time with your loved ones. If your guests feel like you’re stressed, it will stress them out too.

“You don’t want your guests to arrive and you’re all frazzled, so select a menu that 75 percent of it can be made ahead of time,” Lakshmi said. “You could do a simple roast chicken and a lentil stew the night before so that all you’re doing is warming them up the next day before your guests arrive.”

One of Lakshmi’s favorite stress-free dishes to make is a Spanish tortilla. 

She says the inexpensive meal is easy to make with just a few ingredients; eggs, sautéed onions and potatoes. Best of all, it can be served at room temperature so you don’t have to worry about reheating it or serving it as soon as it comes off of the skillet.

“It’s a holiday like Thanksgiving, you don’t look at your email, you don’t answer your cell, it’s about stopping what you’re doing to spend time with your family. Mother’s day to me is like a Thanksgiving of spring.”

Read more:

Friday, March 15, 2013

Help Is On The Way...St.Patty's Day Hangover Cures

My latest article I wrote for it out!

Concoctions to help with your St. Patrick's Day hangovers

Published March 15, 2013
If you’re getting ready to take part in all the boozy festivities for St. Patrick’s Day you may want to consider having one more special refreshment on tap this year. Forget the old hair of the dog hangover cure.  Today there are a host of drinks and concoctions that manufactures say will give you a little luck of the Irish by helping you ease your aching head and churning stomach.  To help you celebrate and curb your hangover fears, we put together our top picks for preventative hangover drinks.

Directed to take as your last drink of the night, the citrus-flavored beverage combines nutrients, vitamins (like B1 and C) and amino acids that together produce one of your body’s most powerful antioxidant, glutathione. Glutathione is like your inner body superhero, it fights off the evil toxin acetaldehyde that forms in your body when you drink. “Mercy preps the body for battle against acetaldehyde, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and healthy,” Dr. Steven Lamm, a NYU School of Medicine faculty member who supports the product told The 65-calorie beverage should be taken for every 3-5 cocktails you consume.
Price: $12.50/4-pack

This nutritional shot by Juice Generation is filled with 100 percent Prickly Pear extract. According to a Tulane Health Sciences Center study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, an extract of prickly pear cactus can decrease hangover symptoms by reducing inflammation in the body. The study found that when taken hours before drinking, the extract can alleviate symptoms like dry mouth and nausea. “Prickly pear has long been used to reduce inflammation, it fights inflammation because it is loaded with micronutrients such as calcium, iron, potassium, selenium in the skin, zinc in the seeds, and carotenoids in the pulp,” licensed certified nutritionist Maria Calton told “The physiological misery from a hangover can absolutely be minimized. It’s all about removing the inflammation, detoxifying the body and replenishing your micronutrients,” Calton said.
Price: $3.95/ 1oz shot.

Although it might look like just another sports drink, 989 is an enhanced vitamin beverage that promises to leave any dehydrated and hung-over patron with a healthy dose of nutrients. The 100 percent natural and calorie-free drink helps replenish your body with 9 vitamins, 84 ionic minerals and 5 electrolytes. To ensure that all of its vitamins and active ingredients stay fresh and unaffected by environmental elements like air and light, 989 stores its ingredients inside the bottles air-sealed cap. When your hangover starts to kick in you simply twist open the cap to release the feel-better vitamins into the water below.
Price: $1.99-$2.49/20oz bottle

When Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, the King of late-night parties, endorses a drink that helps him recover after a night of party-hopping and globetrotting, you know it must work. He and actor/producer Mark Wahlberg recently lent their names to this and other sports nutrition products.  At the AQUAhydrate press conference Diddy announced, “I was at a party last night till 4am, and look how fresh and hydrated I am today.”  Makers of this performance water beverage say it is all about the enhanced electrolytes and a high pH (+9). While the electrolytes work to rehydrate your body the Ph (+9) helps combat acidic waste to bring your body back to balance.
 Price: $1.99/ 1L Bottle.

Although these beverages seem like miracle solutions to hangovers, not all health experts are convinced. “Some might help you recover a bit faster—but people who are convinced that they do wonders are probably falling prey to a pretty hefty placebo response. In other words, they could get just as much relief from drinking Gatorade,” Monica Reinagel, Licensed Nutritionist and the Nutrition Diva for Quick and Dirty Tips told

Dr. Michael Oshinsky, a hangover headache researcher at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia says the only true hangover cure is… not to drink too much, but, if you do, “It would be sufficient for people to treat their hangover by hydrating the body, taking a drug like Advil the night before and then in the morning have a cup of coffee and eat something,” Oshinsky said.

Whichever method you use for easing the unpleasant aftermath of a night of heavy drinking, in the words of the Irish, “May your glass be ever full”.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Beauty Alert!: Gel Manicures a 'Cancer Risk' ?!

Although I have never tried the popular 'gel manicure' ( because I'm too cheap) that claim to be chip-free and last up to 2 weeks.. I do have friends that rave about them and their longevity.

However-- a new warning from doctors say the flawless manicure can actually increase your risk of skin cancer. That's right, SKIN CANCER!

The UV light used to dry the gel is said to cause some risky damage to skin cells.

The doctor behind the warning, Dr. Chris Adigun of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology, New York University School of Medicine, says "Women who frequently get gel manicures should consider their skin cancer risk because the UV light needed to cure the gel manicure is a risk factor."

The warning may seem a little far-fetched to you but two women who had no history of skin cancer developed tumors on their hands from the UV nail lights (according to research in JAMA Dermatology in 2009).

So what's a Nailista to do? Slap some sunscreen on your hands before going under the nail lamp!

Or, as I do, go back to good ol' regular nail polish that dries under a LED lap (which doesn't pose any health or cancer threats).

I'm the first one to admit I am a tad bit OCD when it comes to my nails and keeping them neat and tidy but with all the scary cancers going around these days what's one more preventive measure? 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine's Day..And All The Silly Survey's & Stats

Who actually reads all those sappy Valentine's Day stories and studies that take over the internet the week before February 14th? Sure some of the numbers are interesting but all the love me/ love me not crap in between is nauseating. So here are some of the more interesting stats for the single and taken gals and guys ( this way you don't have to read the unwanted love news or bachelor/ bachelorette stats...

For the Singles:
  • 40% of people say going out with friends is the best break-up remedy (Bing survey)
  • A surprising 1 in 10 people admit to having broken up with someone on Valentine’s Day. (Bing survey)
  •, revealed that on average a man needs to shell out $218 to “get lucky” on Valentine’s Day. The study also revealed on average how much married, single, and committed men spend during this holiday: Single: $257: Dinner or Activity Married:$203: Presents, Committed a Relationship: $180:Presents
  • Does a date’s height, debt and virginity really matter? 71% of women are not likely to date someone shorter than themselves; 42% of singles would not date a virgin (33% of men and 51% of women); and 65% of singles would not date someone with considerable credit card debt (>$5K). ( survey)
  • Connecting online ranks #1 amongst places where singles meet. nearly 1/3 of singles (27.5%) reported that they have dated someone whom they met online. In addition, 20% of singles met their most recent first date online vs. 7% who met at a bar. ( survey)

" If you want new results in love, you have to do things - and date - differently"- Andrea Syrtash, author of Cheat On Your Husband (With Your Husband)

For the Attached:
  • Romantic love survives long-term. Over 80% of married men and women would marry the same person again, while 76% married men and 73% women are still very much in love with their current spouse:: 8-10 on a scale of 10 being “deeply in love”. (
  • Nearly two-thirds of couples surveyed say a weekend getaway is more likely to spark romance in their relationship than a gift. (U.S. Travel Association)
  • 28% of the couples say their sex life actually improved after traveling together. Of those couples, 40% say the improvement was permanent. (U.S. Travel Association)

"For women, manage expectations so there's no disappointment. Men aren't mind readers. If he gets the day wrong- move on. It doesn't have to be a big deal unless you make it one. If Valentine’s Day is too inconvenient or falls on a busy day, celebrate on day before or day after. Don’t put too much pressure on celebrating the actual day".  Relationship guru and SiriusXM host Jenny Hutt

Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy It's Friday? This Traffic Reporter is!

his Cincinnati traffic reporter likes to have a good time! Who says Weathermen are the only ones who can be goofy on local news...Too bad Good Morning America doesn't cover traffic in the morning, I can see this guy doing a great duet with Sam Champion!