Welcome to December, Let’s Chat!



Happy Friday! I thought it would be fun to share some things I am finding interesting, thought provoking, or just simply fun this week. Enjoy!

I love reading and I love celebrities, so when you have celebrity’s who write books, there is a good chance I am going to read it. Luckily celebrity memoir’s and health/fitness/beauty books have become very trendy so there does not seem to be any lack of content out there. Last night I went to an event by Book Passage to see Anna Kendrick talk about her new book, “Scrappy Little Nobody.” I find it fascinating to watch celebrities in real life. We become so accustomed to the characters they portray on our TV’s or on the big screen and can easily forget that is not who they are as people.  Anna seemed to be exactly what you would expect. Bubbly, confident, full of energy, funny, she was non-stop throwing out zingers and one liners to the audience, however it seemed to be following a well rehearsed “real life” her. I left wondering if there was much authenticity or was it just the version of herself she wanted portrayed. Either way I have yet to read the book, but I imagine it is going to be amusing and filled with lot’s of humor.

Patagonia’s Black Friday sales hit $10 million — and will donate it all–  You know how people have spirit animals? Well for me, Patagonia is my spirit company. I dont know what it is about the brand, especially since I tend to be brand-agnostic, but I have always loved them. My crush started in high school. Anytime I saw anyone was wearing Patagonia I felt like they must be the most adventurous or authentic person out there. In college the admiration continued. I did a whole independent research symposium on outdoor retailers and their efforts on sustainability, which without dating myself was prior to anyone knowing the “Sustainability.” To no surprise Patagonia was leading the pack with all of the efforts. Next I read Yvon Chouinard’s book  “Let My People Go Surfing” right upon it’s release in 2005, fascinated by the man behind the brand. Which if you have not read it I highly recommend! Patagonia continues to impress me as a company. They have a clear cut vision and purpose, which is acted on continuously in their business practices. This year they made headlines by pledging to donate everything they made on Black Friday to help fund over 100 environmentally friendly companies around the world. Now that is something to be inspired about this holiday season!

9 Delicious & Gorgeous Bay Area Cookbooks to Gift This Holiday Season– I love cookbooks! I think there are two types of people when it comes to cookbooks. Those who use them religiously when cooking and try every recipe they can. And then  the second group of people like me who will try maybe a recipe or two, but mainly buy them to look through all of the pretty pictures and keep on a bookshelf to show off. Here is a list of beautiful books for either gifting to yourself or others all from local chefs.

ModCloth’s First Store Is Exactly What Shopping Should Be– This article appealed to me on a few different levels. The first being I work in eCommerce and daily research articles describing what is moving and happening within the segment. Second Modcloth is partially based in San Francisco, so again I found this interesting as the company is close to home. Lastly I personally found it very easy to relate to based on my own personal experiences. 9 years ago I had my first trip ever to Las Vegas with 2 of my girlfriends. Upon landing and checking into our hotel, we decided to go out shopping and find new outfits to wear out for the evening. My girlfriends became ecstatic when we passed by Betsy Johnson. They ran in, grabbing beautiful dresses off of the rack to try on. My stomach dropped before even entering the store. I knew there was not going to be anything in my size, which at the time was a 12-14.  As my girlfriends came out of the fitting rooms sporting their size 4 figures, they looked at me puzzled. Why was I not trying on dresses? I simply explained nothing was really my style and therefore was just passing. This was a bold faced lie! I loved all of the dresses. They were beautiful and it hurt me to not be able to try them on with my friends. Mod Cloth is looking to create a shopping space where all women can feel confident, sexy, and equal. This is a concept I can get behind. It is these small things that may seem insignificant to some, but can be make or break another someone else.


Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 6/29/14

For Fitness, Push Yourself– “Everyone agrees, of course, that any exercise is more healthful than none. But beyond that baseline, is strenuous exercise somehow better, from a physiological standpoint, than a relative stroll?”

Cuomo Plan Seeks to End New York’s AIDS Epidemic– New York is a state that typically likes to lead the way in terms of change. We saw this with food calorie counts being required on menus in New York City’s restaurants and coffee chains since July 2008. New York is also looking to be one of the first states to require GMO labeling on foods. This article focuses on how New York has decided to take a stance on helping to make HIV no longer the huge  city epidemic it is currently by 2020.

Hangovers, Why– If we could find a cure for hangovers, what an amazing concept. This article is a good one for those of us who enjoy a few drinks from time to time. I had no idea this was an area of focus for scientists, but worthwhile in my opinion. “But the interesting thing is that one of the most effective hangover cures are ones that administer glucose. One of the other mechanisms of the hangover is to do with glucose metabolism and not having enough blood sugar.”

“Is a Calorie Really Just a Calorie?”– I like this article because it asks the question I have thought about many times, are all calories equal? It is like any diet or weight loss plan. Everyone has had success with something at some point. I think it comes down to finding what works for you and is sustainable. However I like the 3 points he lays out at the end. In summary try to eat more whole and real foods.

Watching too much TV may increase risk of early death: Three hours a day linked to premature death from any cause– “Adults who watch TV three hours or more a day may double their risk of premature death from any cause. Researchers suggest adults should consider getting regular exercise, avoiding long sedentary periods and reducing TV viewing to one to two hours a day.”


Photo from Huff Post

Health & Fitness Articles of the Week – 6/1/14

Can Diet Drinks Aid Weight Loss?– I personally find the diet soda controversy very interesting. For me personally I can honestly say diet soda was sometimes a savior during my weight loss and I do not know if I would have been able to accomplish my results as quickly without it.  Diet drinks allowed me to get a sweet fix in the afternoon without turning to sugar and were a huge help in social events when wanting to avoid alcohol.  I did end up giving up diet soda two and a half years ago when I went into weight maintenance and since then my sweet tooth has diminished substantially.

Fitness Crazed– This article asks the question are trendy workouts really better then classic exercise? “The human body is an adaptation machine. If you force it to do something a little harder than it has had to do recently, it will respond — afterward, while you rest — by changing enough to be able to do that new hard task more comfortably next time. This is known as the progressive overload principle. All athletic training involves manipulating that principle through small, steady increases in weight, speed, distance or whatever.”

30 Percent of World Is Now Fat, No Country Immune- “Researchers found more than 2 billion people worldwide are now overweight or obese. The highest rates were in the Middle East and North Africa, where nearly 60 percent of men and 65 percent of women are heavy. The U.S. has about 13 percent of the world’s fat population, a greater percentage than any other country. China and India combined have about 15 percent.”

Mental Illness Can Shorten Lives More Than Chain-Smoking– This is an interesting perspective I have never thought about. Something to keep in mind. “About 20 percent of people in the United States and the U.K. smoke, he adds — around the same percentage of people who suffer from mental illness.”

Mastering the Art of Self-Negotiation– This article is not as much research based as tips and tricks to help you stick to your plan. I thought the advice was good, so thought I would share. “For every positive choice that affects our health and well-being, there’s at least one counter-argument that – in the murky waters of our mental workings can dissuade us from our good intentions.”


Photo from Huff Post