Saturday, September 27, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | ECO LIVING: Environmental Destruction or Sustainability? The Need For Effective Action and Call for #PositiveChange


100% GMO canola/rapeseed field 
 
"We're in a giant car,
heading for a brick wall,
and everyone is arguing over where to sit."
~David Suzuki, geneticist, anti-GMO activist

 
 (photo of Central California Coastline by Rodney Washington)
 
"It's not too late to save the planet...
Every single one of us makes an impact
on this planet every single day.
But we have a choice
as to what impact we’re going to make.”

~Jane Goodall
De-forested Rainforest area
 People who will not sustain trees
will soon live in a world
which cannot sustain people."
~Bryce Nelson
Tar Sands production field in Canada

“There is a tendency at every
important but difficult crossroad
to pretend that it's not really there.”

~Bill McKibben, The End of Nature
Read the interview with Bill in The New Yorker


For me, ecouraging #positivechange
 is not just a slogan. It is a call to action.
A reminder that every day, all of us, as citizens of the Earth,

make choices that affect the earth.
And of how easy and how very important it is
to make choices that make a positive difference...

To make decisions that consider not only 
you, and your immediate needs or wants, 
but to consider the needs of others, as well,
and even those who will come after you.
#PositiveChange is about
your personal legacy 

to humankind and to the earth. 
Are you in?
What kind of #positivechange
have you made today?


I'd love to hear your feedback.
Agree? Disagree?

live beautifully,


stephanie-



Friday, September 26, 2014

LIFESTYLE: The Etiquette Of Winery Visits | Expert Tips On Wine Tasting Dos and Don'ts

For those of you who enjoy wines, one of the most fun and beautiful
ways to spend time together with friends or your significant other is to
head off on a road trip to Wine Country. And with so many
wine-producing areas across the country,
there most likely is one nearby enough for a day trip.
But due to some of the vague, yet de rigueur, behavior
expected of visitors, it can be a bit bewildering
or even intimidating to some. To ease any anxieties
and get the most out of your trip,
I've compiled a list of 'Do's and Don'ts' to keep in mind,
with the help of some wine tasting experts.

Top Tips for a Wine Tasting at a Vineyard or Winery


My Top Tip Pick: "The Technique"
: ...for those looking to glean the most from the wines, swirling is a
great way to stoke (read: aerate) wine’s myriad aromas. For maximum
control, place your glass on a flat surface and swirl while grasping the stem.
When tasting, hold glasses by the stem rather than the bowl; holding
them by the bowl coats glasses in greasy fingerprints and can disturb
the temperature of the wine (ideally it’s been poured at just the right temp).
Inhale deeply before taking a sip; wine’s aromas comprise one of its most
beguiling offerings! Upon drinking, swirl the wine around in your mouth to
ensure it coats all the surfaces; we pick up different texture and flavor
sensations in different parts of our mouths.
Read her entire article 
My Top Tip Pick: "Ask Questions"
"Don't be a passive taster,... but engage the wine server. They are excited
about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember,
a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know,
the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet,
do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely
remember you the next time you visit."
Read their entire article
My Top Tip Pick: (for the ladies!) "Skip the Lipstick"
"A wine glass slathered around the rim with goopy lipstick is not
something anyone wants to see, especially if you’re the culprit.
And wine pourers don’t care for it because the lipstick often won’t
come off in the dishwasher... I suggest taking a break from lipsticks
and heavy glosses and going for either a tinted lip balm or a
smudge-proof lip stain that won't transfer."
Read her entire article
My Top Tip Pick: "Keep Your Wines Out of the Hot Car"
"A car that’s sitting in the sun will cook your wines in no time flat.
Find a way to avoid that." I'd suggest putting a large cooler into
your car or trunk with sealed freeze packs. Also have something
that can be placed between the bottles to keep them from
knocking into each other all the way back home.
Read their entire article 
(John & 'Dottie' are now independent of wsj. You can visit them on their Facebook Page)

Tips all experts agree on:
~ Do not wear perfume or cologne to a tasting.
~ A winery is not a bar; be polite, subdued and
   respectful of your hosts and the other guests.



Tips you shouldn't forget:
~ Arrange for a Designated Driver, or better yet, arrange
   for a taxi or shuttle, so that all may enjoy, but safely.
~ Dress stylishly, yet appropriately. Don't dress too casually,
   but do leave your high heels at home. Also d
ress in layers,
   bring your sunglasses, scarf, hat and a folding umbrella.

Have you gone on a Winery Tasting trip?
Share some of your favorite memories or aspects with me!
and, of course, please do look for wineries that offer organically grown wines!

Happy Autumn!!
live beautifully...

stephanie-












Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. I typically like to ask the servers what wineries THEY like to visit, so I get the inside scoop of a region I am unfamiliar with. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. I typically like to ask the servers what wineries THEY like to visit, so I get the inside scoop of a region I am unfamiliar with. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Ask questions. Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Ask questions. Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
Ask questions. Once you're get to the tasting bar, don't be a passive taster, who just stands there and says nothing. Engage the wine server. They are excited about the wines and want to share that excitement with you. Remember, a winery visit is about the full experience, not just the wines. You never know, the servers may pour you a wine that is not on the menu, or better yet, do some barrel tasting. Connect with the servers and they will likely remember you the next time you visit. - See more at: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx#sthash.26GCODpV.dpuf
http://www.winecountry.com/winetasting/etiquette.html  by Courtney Cochran

http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Wine-101/Tips-for-Visiting-Wineries.aspx

 http://guides.wsj.com/wine/going-wine-tasting/15-steps-to-a-successful-winery-visit/

http://www.therichlifeonabudget.com/2014/03/what-to-wear-wine-tasting-10tips-from-an-expert.html






Saturday, September 13, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | LIFESTYLE: The Tao Of Travel, The Wisdom Of Wanderlust

"Live totally, and live intensely, 
so that each moment becomes golden 
 and your whole life becomes 
a series of golden moments."
~Osho




Travel
is fatal
to
prejudice,
bigotry, 
and
narrow-mindedness.”
~Mark Twain





"Rest is not idleness,
and to lie sometimes on the grass
under trees on a summer's day,
listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds float across the sky
is by no means a waste of time."

~J. Lubbock

Am amazed at how both our
worldly perspective, and our creativity
opens up and flows freely after one has
traveled, rested or spent time relaxing.

Hoping you are able indulge your wanderlust, 
 and find ways to rest & restore - 
whether it is to travel, enjoy a simple walk outdoors,
or a just have a lie-down on the lawn.

Enjoy a beautiful weekend, all!


live beautifully,
 stephanie-

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

ART | DESIGN: Beyonce by Carine Roitfeld, from CR Fashion Book No.5 | via Art a la Rue


Photography by: Pierre Debusschere

Andrea at Art A La Rue blog
put up a post that just knocked me out 
with the sheer dynamic artistry of both the subject
and the stunning, styled photography. 
Agreeing with her words, I'm sharing today and hoping you'll
let both of us know what your thoughts were on this post!

From Art A La Rue: "I have been following the
infamous Carine Roitfeld as she continuously surpasses
 the bars she sets herself. In her latest issue,
no. 5, of CR Fashion Book, she features 
Beyonce in the most artistic version of herself 
and the whole shoot deserves some serious praising.
I love imagery that not only illustrates fashion to..." 


Enjoy!

and...
live beautifully!

stephanie-


 



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Late Edition FAV QUOTE FRIDAY: Our 'Moral Fiber' and The Beauty Of Ethical Fashion

 
 "The is no beauty in the finest cloth
if it makes hunger and unhappiness."
~Ghandi
 



 "Buy less, choose well, and make it last."
~Vivienne Westwood


Joanna Lumley & Marc Bolland at East London building covered in clothing waste.
10,000 pieces were used; the same number that go into landfill every 5 MINUTES!

"We used to just throw away plastic bottles.
Now we recycle them without even thinking about it.
We need to do the same with clothing."

~Joanna Lumley


 
April 24, 2013, Rana Plaza collapsed, causing a death toll of 1,129
men and women, mostly low-wage garment workers. Read the NYT update.

"Fast Fashion isn't free. 
Somewhere, someone is paying."
~Lucy Siegle

For more information on the ways
'Fast Fashion' damages our collective moral fiber,

 live ethically, 
live beautifully. 

stephanie-

Friday, September 5, 2014

STYLE TREND: Disheveled, Distressed and Divine | Relaxed, Spontaneous Hair, Late Summer Fashion via planet blue



loving the tossed-together feel,
the relaxed and sexy style 
of these fishtail braids
and distressed tank. 

What's your take on this trend?
love it or ditch it?
 ~
View the full post
at planet blue blog
shot right here in
beautiful sunny So-Cal.

~
#boycebraids

hair and makeup
by the triple-talented
LA Celeb MUA,
Crystal Boyce
( @crystalboyce )

photography 
by the gifted
 ( Rowan_Daly )




Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ECO LIVING: Planning Eco Travels Can Be As Simple As Choosing A Sustainable Green Hotel | Top 10 via Organic Spa Magazine


 Solange Calistoga - A long-time green resort
that has many eco-features. With electric car-charge stations,
full recycling practices, solar rooftop panels,
reclaimed water irrigation, and staff bicycles!

Cool!

If you ever wondered if it mattered to
put the effort into eco-practices, 

the results of the committment of these
hotels proves the point that is very much is worth it: 

record amounts of water and energy resources saved 
and waste products recycled!



The Umstead, Cary, North Carolina -
The Umstead saved one million gallons of water 

last year, recycling is up 15 percent,
and their in-house 5-star restaurant
uses  up to 80 percent locally sourced ingredients,
with 28,000 pounds of bio-waste 

sent to compost last year.
Beautiful!



Devils' Thumb Ranch, Tabernash, Colorado - The owners of
this stunning 6,000 acre property are so committed to
sustainable practices, they've won an EPA Award.

Bravo!

View the list of all 10 deserving winners
of the 2014 Green Spa Awards:  
Hotels, Spas and Resorts chosen for
their outstanding Sustainable practices.



 Happy GREEN travels!
live beautifully,
stephanie-

Friday, August 15, 2014

FAV QUOTE FRIDAY | ECO-LIVING: How Green Can Your Next Wine Outing Be? 6 Items To Bring On Your Sustainable Summertime Picnic

"It's a Kiss, It's A Smile,
It's a Sip Of Wine, 
It's Summertime!" 
~Kenney Chesney
Summertime is a great time to go off to the park, the beach
to a concert or to anyplace where you can sit, relax and dine alfresco.
I've lined up all you need for a sustainable wine outing, 
complete with all the green accessories
for you to enjoy day-tripping in eco-style!
Now what to bring?
Award-winning Querciabella Chianti Classico -
organic, biodynamic, vegan wine, of course!
Get it online, or on your travels to Italy.
Also try Frey Organic Vineyard,
America's First organic winery, with no sulfites! 
 
'Una cena senza vino e come
una giornata senza sole.'
~Italian Proverb
(A meal without wine is like a day without sunshine!)
 
_____________

Of course, next you'll need to get there in style, 
and without breaking any bottles.
Take them in the cheery Cameo wine carrier, 
from Graf & Lantz, available online
Or find 5 more sharp styles on their website.

 

"With freedom, books, flowers and the moon, 
who could not be happy?"
~Oscar Wilde
_________________

Drink  your wine or favored beverage from these fabulous
eco-friendly wine glasses by Govino, online.
  "A book of verses underneath the bough,
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou."
~Omar Khayyam, The Rubiyat

_______________________


Coincidentally, that's where you can also get your LeafWare, too!
Plant-based eco plates and utensils, completely eco & degradable.
 "So long as you have food in your mouth,
you have solved all problems for the time being." 
~Franz Kafka

_________________

 Set it all up on an organic LuLu Wrap 
 Convertible Picnic Blanket/Tote, with it's storage pocket, napkins and water-resistant recycled lining  -
you're in eco-picnic heaven!

"The soul should always stand ajar, 
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience."
~Emily Dickinson

___________

 
I really enjoyed creating this special edition
of our Fav Quote Friday post for you.
I hope you enjoyed it!
Let me know about your
favorite outing this summer?

live beautifully,
stephanie-


ART | LIFESTYLE: 9 Tips To Help You Take Your Best Travel Photos via 'Hand Luggage Only' Blog

 
 I follow a blog called "Hand Luggage Only", 
written by Lloyd and Yaya in the UK. 
I love it because of its
fabulous perspective on traveling.

 
Today I'm sharing a recent post, this one by Yaya, 
on taking great travel photos.

 
 I thought it was great because it didn't
focus on the technical aspects of photography...
  but on the idea that it's your trip, 
and that taking your photos should be fun and
are a great way to remember the special moments 
of your vacation.



Get all 9 of his helpful tips

Where have you been traveling this year?
I'd love to know!

live beautifully, 
stephanie-

Sunday, August 10, 2014

BEAUTY: My First Product Review Is For Vertere Skin Care - Seeking Help For Wrinkles, Dark Spots or Adult Acne? We've Got Good News


Being an entrepreneur, I meet quite a few other businesses and products. But only a few really catch my eye, and not many beauty products attract my attention - mostly because they are often filled with unsafe, cheap ingredients and don't deliver on what they promise.

When I first saw fellow entrepreneur Bethany Hilt's Vertere Skin Care, I was at first attracted to the beautifully designed packaging (of course!) So I took a look. And then looked some more, finding not the usual disappointing ingredients, or typical 'hyped-up' "all talk, no action" market-speak. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised by the ingredients, reviews, test results and testimonials, and got more interested. So much so, I asked Bethany
if she would be willing to send me a sample amount to test on myself. (A first for me: I've never test reviewed beauty products, even all organic ones, which these products are not, by the way) But I was still quite excited when Bethany agreed. 

Before I tell you how my test went, let me tell you about her company and products. The name of her
company, 
Vertere® (pronounced ver-tare-ah), is Latin and means 'to turn'.  Bethany had starting mixing up
beauty concoctions as a 6 year-old with her grandmother. She is the creator of a new pair of products that eliminate using multiple products that each address a single issue, but instead effectively work on aging, spotting and adult acne similtaneously. She is also the Founder, President and CEO of Vertere.


From the website:"Vertere is the first and only skin care brand specifically created to improve the appearance of aging, hyperpigmentation and adult acne with one regimen and it may be used by all skin tones. Vertere’s multifunctional, synergistic blend of proven, clinically active scientific and natural ingredients produces visible results rapidly without going through multiple steps, without using multiple products and without breaking out as a result. We use multiple key ingredients at clinically proven levels rather than simply one ‘star’ ingredient or minimal concentrations."

In other words, Bethany made a great effort to make a superior and effective product, and chose to
sell it at a reasonable price. Fabulous!



Now, for my Review Test. I received my beautifully packaged 2 small containers, one with the
Refining Treatment Cleanser, and the other had the Dramatic Transformation Cream - SPF15.

According to the instructions, my samples should have lasted about 3-4 days use, but the way I used it,
my test ran about 7 days of use. I decided give it the "acid test"; using it on the most problematic areas
of my face - the places where other products I had tried failed miserably, affecting no visible change after
6 or more weeks of use.

My test of Vertere Cleanser and Treatment Cream was used:
1. Under my eyes, for slight puffiness, small wrinkles and the dreaded dark circles
2. On a crease-wrinkle that goes horizontally across my forehead

3. Small dark spot at the top of my cheekbone, from sun-damage 




I used both products Vertere products together, cleanser, then cream, at least once each day, and twice
a day for about half of the test period.

My Personal Test Results:

  • under eye puffiness reduced 
  • wrinkles under eyes diminished and smoothed 
  • forehead crease disappeared  
  • dark spot slightly but visibly lightened (website indicates 1 month of use lightens dark spots)
  • only slight diminishing of dark circles. Would need longer use to see if results would improve further

Overall, these lotions are better than any I've tried or used in the past 5 years. And the results I had in
such a short time, as well as how pleasant it was to use, makes Vertere a winner for me. 


I'd recommend these multi-tasking products.
Why I'm impressed:
Cleanser: I have disliked every lotion cleanser I've ever tried; they never did what I wanted or expected. They smelled terrible, or didn't cleanse my skin, or wouldn't rinse off easily or they left an unpleasant residue, or worse- had all those faults. Vertere is the only lotion cleanser I've ever used that smells wonderful, cleans off my eye make-up far better than any of my actual make-up removers ever did - without stinging or irritating my eyes,
and it rinsed off cleanly and easily, leaving my skin feeling fresh. I only had to use a very small amount, too.
Cream: Anything that shows such results in such a short time is bound to be a hit. For me, this really did make changes, even though I used an even smaller amount than usual, and only for a very short time. I saw nice improvements in my skin overnight, especially in eye area. I was very happy with what changes I saw in my skin while using this cream. It was a bit thicker and more difficult to spread on the skin than expected at first, but I soon found it 'melted' into the skin and did not leave any greasy coating, but a nice smooth and soft finish.


What I Love
What's NOT In It:
anything toxic, no hydroquinone, parabens or phthalates. No SLS (sodium laurel sulphate),

no (petroleum-based) mineral oil, no animal derived ingredients and no animal testing!
What IS In It: non-bioaccumulative preservative ingredients, naturally derived active botanicals and oils,
a high percentage of safe, gentle and botanical active ingredients

Details: Smells wonderful, effective no-sting eye-make-up remover/cleanser, pleasant and easy to use, works well, shows results in a matter of days instead of weeks or months of use.
What I'd Like To See:
1. Substitute some of the ingredients to be organically sourced?

2. Offering both products in smaller size containers for lower pricing and greater availability to more people
3. Alternate ingredient for the
Sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, which, although used in recommended low amounts and considered safe, also has moderate allergy and irritant potential and is a formaldehyde
releasing type of preservative.


In the interest of transparency, Bethany provided me with the full ingredient list of her products, with naturally active botanical ingredients, and 'currently accepted as safe' and no 'known-as-harmful' ingredients on your skin.
 
Vertere Ingredients List
Dramatic Transformation Cream SPF 15
Octinoxate (7.5%), Oxybenzone (5%), Octisalate (5%), Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Lactic Acid, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Dipeptide Diaminobutyroyl Benzylamide Diacetate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Dimethiconol, Caprylic Capric Triglycerides, Stearyl Alcohol, Alpha-Arbutin, Hydrolyzed Rice Bran Protein, Oxido Reductases, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Protein, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Sodium Hyaluronate, Vitus Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Borago (Borage) Officinalis Seed Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Euterpe Oleracea (Acai) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis (White Tea) Extract, Allantoin, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Lactate, Steareth-21, Panthenol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Peel Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil, Retinyl Palmitate, Tocopherol, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate

Refining Treatment Cleanser
Deionized Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Triethanolamine, Lactic Acid, Lauramide Diethanolamide, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Sorbic Acid, Acrylates/C 10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Rose Hip Seed Oil, Tocopheryl Acetate, Argan Oil, Baobab Oil, Burdock Root Extract, Calendula Extract, Fragrance, Orange Peel Extract, Red Clover Leaf Extract, Rosemary Extract, Sweet Orange Oil, MSM, Retinyl Palmitate, Cholecalciferol, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Tea Tree Oil, Xanthan Gum
 
 
Visit the website here VERTERE
and connect with Bethany on Facebook and Twitter!
 
Till next time, 
live beautifully!
 
stephanie-