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Quit Wine-ing, I’m turning the big 4-Ohhhhhh (270 Days to Go)

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If u make a big deal out of it well then doesn’t it become a big deal? Turning 4 Ohhhhh that is.  (I can’t say the word, but it rhymes with shorty.)  Well to me it is a big effen deal and I’m trying to wrap my  head around it.  Today marks exactly 9 months to the day when  I leave my 30’s.   The next 9 months I’ll be blogging and tracking my pre-4 Ohhhh  journey of continued self-exploration while I’m in preparation for a total celebration (that someone dear to me better be planning and throwing :)  And it better be EPIC….

There’s really no way I can avoid turning 40, unless I get hit by a mack truck, my parachute doesn’t open or some divine intervention takes place.  Turning 4 Ohhhh seems like a better option than having a wake.   So I’ve decided to welcome it with open arms, a six-pack of abs and an ass that can you can bounce rocks off of.  Too much to wish for?  Probably….. but I’ll die trying.

I’m working on a list of personal challenges I want to reach by then….trying to keep them realistic yet challenging when I hit them.  Not if I hit them…WHEN….  It’s basically my pre-40 bucket list.  Here goes… ( I’ll be adding to this as I can come up with some new, fun exciting challenges.  Feel free to throw some ideas my way….)

PERSONAL CHALLENGES:

1)  I KNOW I should be doing Yoga a few times a week for increased clarity, more flexibility and longevity.  Is this something I can possibly, for the love of God, stick to this time.  I hate yoga, I honestly do.  There I said it.  I HATE it.  I don’t know why.  I love it when it’s over and how I feel but in the process of the class it’s painful-utterly painful.  I compete with myself way too much and it just hurts.  I would rather go to the gym and do deadlifts with 120 lb weights.  Which I do on a regular basis (well maybe not with that much weight.)  But yoga, no, can’t stick with it.   I actually cried the last time I took a power yoga class in Laguna Beach, during class, during pigeon pose LOL.  P.S The instructor was really hard…. REALLY HARD.   Twice a week yoga is a must.

2)  Break up with wine, at least partially…I’m going to have to have a talk with my right hand because she loves Chardonnay.  And lefty over here loves her some Pinot Grigio from time to time.  I’m gonna have to throw the cuffs on more so than not if I’m gonna get the body I want by the time 4-Ohhhh gets here.  I really don’t drink THAT much, but those extra 150-300 calories 4 nights a week add up and usually results in lower will power which results with my hand in the cookie jar… or rather spoon in the peanut butter jar…..  I just read somewhere that more than 7 drinks per week  for a woman  is considered alcoholism 😱.  Say Whaaaaa…… so that means no you can’t have two drinks a day and still be on the other side of that? I thought 1-2 drinks a day was GOOD for your HEART– DR. OZ.   I’ll have to do some further research on this.

3)  Finish a project I’ve been working on for 19 years.  Yessss….it’s taking FOREVER……….I’ll elaborate more on this later.   Maybe.

4)  Do random acts of fitness each week.. Such as Barre Classes, Pilates, Long Bike rides, run a 5k here and there, hike, stripper pole dance classes–whatever it takes….  Right now I’m off to go Paddle Boarding for the first time up here in Cape Cod….wish me luck!

5)   Continue to lift heavy as I have been the last 4 months to build a strong, fit body that will get me through the next 30 years!

I want people to look at me and say “No! No you’re not 40! Get the F out!”  Or “Damn girl, lookin’ fine.”   Followed by a big appalause.  (Emoticon inserted here with smiley face and big crocodile tears.)

(Here we go…….270 Days and counting….but who’s counting.  Goal Date March 20, 2015 when the big Four Ohhhhhh smacks me on my toned booty to say Happy Birthday and welcome to the rest of your life….)

Anyone else out there feeling this? Lol.  The pressahhhh of 4-Ohhhh.  Oh how time flies…..right out the window.  Lemme know your thoughts….

Here’s to the start of a fun journey and to building myself an internal support group, and to not falling off my paddle board into the mouth of a Great White….

Cheers,

Shannon

 

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We all need a lil’ Hanky Panky…

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I’m not sure just how excited you get about your underwear, but I basically jump through the roof every time I slip a leg down through the hole of a pair of Hanky Panky undies!  No, I’m not kidding!  These are the absolute best undies on the planet as far as I’m concerned.  And even better, they’re one size fits all!  Hanky Panky really has your assets covered.  They’re beautifully made and don’t move around when you are working out (which is the worst ever–don’t go to Lulumon for their’s, you’ll be adjusting your stride the entire time at the gym to try to get your thongs back to the right spot.)

I started wearing Hanky Panky four years ago and have only tried two other brands since then and they sucked.  There’s no comparison.  Once you go Hanky Panky, you don’t go back. These are a great investment at $18-$22 a pair.  They don’t fade, they don’t lose their elasticity, they’re fashionable chic, they’re lace and you can’t tell you are wearing them!   Everyone I’ve turned on to them are eternally thankful :)

We just got in a huge shipment to Park and Madison.  We have the low-rise thong (which I wear), the original thong for the little more conservative and some adorable boy shorts for those that don’t dare to a thong at all.  Come by and try a pair, you won’t be disappointed.  (You’re welcome in advance.)

P.S. These make a great Valentine’s Day gift!!  We can help.

 

http://www.shopparkandmadison.com

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Naked in Laguna Beach

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Naked–thought that might grab your attention.  I’m using the term loosely here.  I don’t mean necessarily stripping down to my birthday suit (well almost on a few occasions.)  I’ve been in Laguna for 29 days now and have tried to experience as much of it as I can,  mostly naked.   Packing in the best restaurants, the healthiest fare, the coolest boutiques.  I’ve tried to eat as “naked” as I can while I’ve been here, avoiding anything cooked for two meals a day and eating foods with the least amount of ingredients (other than fresh.)  I’ve also tried to consume more vegetables than ever before.  It’s been easy.  Hey, this town is set up for diet success for sure!

The Stand, on Thalia Street, has been my breakfast every day.  I stop in on my walk home from the gym and grab their vegetable mixture drink.  You can mix it how you want.  I’ve been doing Celery, Cucumber, Chard, Parsley, Spinach, Lemon and sometimes a slice of Apple.  It is absolutely amazing–no need to cook!  The Stand is a totally vegan place and has an incredible menu!  Try a soup as well!  Right now I’m having a bit of their split-pea soup, it’s to die for as well as their Lentil Soup! My nine-year-old son agrees (even though I had to force the pea soup down his throat at first bite, but then he loved it!)

I’ve eaten out 26 nights because my husband refuses to let me cook.  He said I didn’t come here to cook dinner, lol, I guess he’s right.  Every single night I’ve either had seared tuna or tuna tartare.  I never thought I’d ever say this but, “I’m almost sick of tuna!!!!!”   Tuna tartare is a “naked” dish.  It’s diced up raw Ahi tuna mixed with different things, usually a little sesame oil, papaya or pineapple, sometimes tomato and red onion, and usually topped with Avocado or guacamole.  I’ve probably had it over 200 ways in my life.  I am a true connoisseur of this dish!  The Lumberyard serves it up the best with 230 Forest a close second (they add crab in theirs.)

I’ve been to Feelwell4Life.com, which is located on Glenneyre, where I actually do get naked!  It’s a one-stop shop for anything you need really to feel healthy.  I’ve gone to Tiffani for a few colonics, she’s super cool and doesn’t make it seem weird at all that she’s having a conversation with you about paddle boarding while she’s injecting loads of water up your, well, pipeline.   If you want something out of the ordinary for your massage, David’s your guy.  He uses a Western (rhythmic patting) meets Eastern massage technique  (tons of warm oil, yay) to leave you feeling like you don’t have a care in the world.  He greeted me barefoot, with a hug, and wearing all black and sporting harem-ish pants.  Check their website out for all the great things they have going on there!

One last thing.  The Cliffs has the best app ever, raw scallops with wasabi, ginger and seaweed salad.  I thought it was going to rival the nasty raw scallops I had in NYC at the wine bar at Rockefeller Center.  This dish, totally naked, rocks!  I highly recommend it!  And it’s half price during happy hour!

Looking forward to some more stripped down meals!  Remember, less is more!

Cheers!

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Dirty Laundry. Fashion Freaks.

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Friday Fashion Freaks is my blog about, well, fashion.  But also a place to air some dirty laundry.  I’ve owned a designer denim and clothing store for the past seven years so I know a bit about how clothes and good retail therapy can really make us feel.  Clothes definitely aren’t just about the way they look.  They are comforting, eccentric, electric, flashy, conservative, naughty, preppy, haute couture, vintage, borrowed and blue.

Speaking of blue, blue jeans, (a.k.a designer denim) are one of the best things that have ever happened to fashion (in my humble opinion.)  Jeans…oh… I could write an entire book about them.   I’m sure I have over fifty pairs in my closet.  They are slimming when you’re having a fat day, or sexy when you need just the right pair to go with the most amazing top. (On the other hand, they will gladly give you spillover/muffin top when wearing them to low and too tight.)  Jeans are baggy (boyfriend jeans–great for when you have PMS), high-waisted to rock a super-trendy style, low-waisted, straight leg, boot-leg, flare……Right now anything goes in the denim world.  A girl can’t have to many pairs in her closet.  Ever!

But we don’t wanna get stuck in a denim rut, (or in any rut for that matter!)  I try to limit myself on how many times I wear them a week so not to cramp my style.

Then there’s a jeans best friend, the sweater or top, because we can’t go around topless.  On a snowy day you can grab your favorite chunky sweater and a great pair of jeggings and curl up by the fire, feeling all snuggly and just perfectly perfect while reading a book.   Or pair them with an eccentric top and pumps for a night out.  And then there are accessories, the icing on your cake, whether subtle or over-the-top.

Please, don’t get me wrong, I don’t lie around in jeggings and sweaters all day.  I’m quite a socialite, and take undying pride in putting the perfect outfit together for a night out for a specific function.  I love to put on a dress anytime, casual or formal. At the end of the day, I’m a girly-girl.

But this blog isn’t just about denim and lace.  It’s about how we feel on the inside too.  We know you can wrap a package up and make it look all pretty, but when our box gets opened, we want to know the gift inside is just as beautiful.  I love the fact that clothes can help alter the outlook of your day.  Shopping therapy really does go a long way, but it runs out when your wallet is empty.  I think we need to try to become the most fabulous package we can because looks and fashion only go skin deep.  We need to love the skin we are in no matter what age, no matter what race, no matter where we came from.

Here we can spill the beans and encourage each other to be better every day and swap shopping tips and tricks.  I will give you the heads up on trends coming your way in fashion and try to give some good advice from my experience, from the best underwear to the best buy I see each week, I may even have it in my store!

Here’s to happy shopping, smart spending, and feeling glamorous all day long.

P.S.  Why can’t men ever put their toothbrush back?  It travels the same distance as mine?

Shannon

 

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Weight Loss Wars…How to Win

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Most of us struggle with our weight.  Whether it be 5 pounds for fifty, the majority of Americans need to shred some fat.  I’m sure many have made the same annual New Years Resolution of losing the weight that they put on the previous year.  Typically, that is mine as well, but not this year.  Why?  Because I knew I would fail at it.  We left our East Coast home on December 29th, to have an extended stay in Laguna Beach for six weeks.  Admittedly, this has its weight loss perks and it’s weight loss challenges.

Here the weather has been amazing, giving no excuses to go out and run at any given time of the day, as long as I have a sitter or husband here to watch the kids since I’m home schooling them while on my staycation.  Which is enough to drive any sane person into eating an entire tub of Karmel Sutra Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!

Let’s not forget about the forty restaurants in a five block range from our house, almost all highly Zagat rated with food to die for!  So yes, my extra five pounds from last year is still where it was, on my ass!   Of which somewhat feels like a pillow-pet.  I’m trying not to be too hard on myself, I knew the wining and dining thing was part of the deal out here, we are in the magazine and promoting business and it’s part of why we came.  I have enjoyed every minute of it.  I’ve warded off any more extra poundage with kicking my workouts into a much harder gear.  Trying new routines are great for keeping your metabolism guessing and getting you out of your same workout rut and therefore burning more calories.

So far I’ve attempted a Bikram Yoga class (100 plus room temp and burns 500-1000 calories a class), a Brazilian Booty class by a Brazilian dance goddess, Spin and running.  I’ve balanced some negative calorie days (eating perfect) with positive calorie days (too much wine and raw fish.)  So I’ve been pretty even.  But, if you wanna lose weight, the first thing you have to know is how to count calories and on average how many you are burning by just existing.  This way you can be negative in your caloric intake to shed those pounds.

This is a great way to calculate how many calories you should eat to hit your weight loss goals in the time you want to hit them:

http://www.healthyweightforum.org/eng/calculators/calories-required/

I have a few rules on getting you off on the right foot!

1) Figure out what your main vices are and get rid of them now!!!  A.k.a. the things in your cabinet that you can’t stay away from when you are mindlessly eating!  Mine is peanut butter and chocolate.  I purged my house of them yesterday so not to sabotage myself.

2) Eat whole foods!!!  If it comes in a box or a can, DON’T eat it!

3) Do cardio first thing in the morning on an empty stomach–still have your coffee but only use Stevia as a sweetener, NO SUGAR in it, and opt for a splash of 40 calorie a cup Almond Milk.  The caffeine will wake you up and help to burn extra calories during your workout.  When you workout on an empty stomach like this it allows you to burn almost twice what the calories burned say on your piece of cardio equipment because you have been in starvation mode since your last meal, which should be dinner from the night before. (And hopefully eaten by 8:30 pm)

4)  Keep a food journal.  Write down EVERYTHING YOU EAT! Just buy a small one that fits in your pocket or purse, anything larger and you will forget it exists!  Or use an app on your phone to track it!

Aim for -500 calories a day to lose one pound a week!  One pound of true fat is a lot of fat, and that’s what you want to burn, not muscle.  Muscle is hard-earned and precious and if you aren’t eating a diet high in clean protein and low carb then your body will go for your muscle first when in starvation mode!  Eat lean protein 5 to six times a day, 15-25 grams a sitting!!! (Chicken, egg whites, light fish, lean turkey and beef, soy if your vegetarian).

If anyone needs help with this, take a pic of your food journal after a few days and I’ll evaluate it for you!

Good luck!

P.S. Be honest with yourself, write EVERYTHING down that you eat!!

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Ugh….Uggs…

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I hate when I go somewhere for an extended period of time and forget to bring my favorites things. (Although this is really my first “extended stay” for more than 7 days anywhere.)  But seriously.  I brought 5 pairs of underwear for a six-week stay.  Only one pair of boot cut jeans vs. 4 pairs of jeggings, and absolutely not one “beachy” thing for daytime trips to the sand.  It’s kind of laughable considering I’m a seasoned fashionista.  Oh what to do?  Davey says, “Just go buy what you need,” and wouldn’t that be so lovely.  Maybe he’s not aware of my price point shopping level, lol.  That wouldn’t really work.  I’d be eating rice and beans the rest of the trip.

I even left all my makeup except for what fits in my clear Sephora bag that I always keep in my purse.  How much time and planning went into my packing?  Obviously not much, considering it was done the morning of our departure.  My four-year-old complains of the same thing.

 

“Mom, I need a sundress!”  Knowing I didn’t bring any, because I was unaware of exactly how Californians dress in their “winter” time, I hold up a short sleeve dress and say, “Wear this one.”  She rolls her eyes, sure of herself that it isn’t a sundress.

“Mom!  It needs to have skinny straps to be a sundress!”  Born with an incredible sense of style, I know she knows she’s right.

“We will find you one, but for now pick something that you have here with us, please.”

“Ugh, fine.”  She throws on her hot pink petticoat skirt and leopard print tank, and her black Uggs.

“You’re wearing Uggs to the beach?” I ask.

“Sure am.”  She tosses her locks over her shoulder and marches out the door.