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I ROCKED the Runway!

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A few weeks ago, I was honored to rock the runway in a very special fashion show.  It’s called the Look Good Feel Better Fashion Show and is produced by the Memorial Cancer Institute and held at Memorial Regional Hospital in Hollywood.  All of the nearly 30 models have or have had cancer.  Since my diagnosis, I’ve not felt as comfortable in a group as I did that night–bald head, brow-less, and wearing fake lashes.  It was a kinship that can only be shared by ones that are on the same path as me.  It was WONDERFUL!

From the moment that I walked into Dillard’s to get fitted, to the moment that it was over and they were shutting off the lights, I had an absolute ball!  Yes, the clothing was provided by Dillards.  Special shoutout to Bloomingdale’s at Aventura Mall for supplying my shoes and the amazing Celso Olaguibel of MAC Cosmetics for making me look runway ready.  1962711_10202959014849524_1706571178_n

Each model had two looks–casual and formal.  My first look was a nautical themed outfit from Adrienne Vittadini.  The pants are on sale now–check this link!  The shoes are Tory Burch Cap Toe Ballet Flats.  You can check them out here.

casual collage

Tell me that I wasn’t working????? Sashay, Shauntay!

The second look was a formal gown in a mauve color.  Since I can’t find the Dillard’s link, I guess they are sold out.  I paired the gown with multicolored Keds from the Kate Spade collection.

formal collage

Many of my friends came out to support me, but honestly, the crowd wooted and hooted for everyone.  We felt so special!  What a grand time!  I can’t wait for next year!

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Current Obsession: Hoka One One Bondi 3 Running Shoes

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Of course, the biggest problem in my life right now is cancer.  It is followed closely by neuropathy–the result of nerve damage caused by my chemotherapy treatments.  In fact, on most days, I’d put neuropathy in front of cancer.  That’s just how bad it is.  My feet (and hands) HURT.  They feel like lightning bolts are going through them, all day everyday.  While it’s not so bad during the day, since I can distract myself–its terrible at night.

Because of this, I have avoided walking unless it’s a very short distance.  Even for mall trips, I park as close to the one store (since multiple stores are generally out of the question) that I’m going to.  And last week, while at a conference, I had to decline all the invitations to hang out at local restaurants.  My feet just wouldn’t allow it.  And exercise was almost out of the question–how can I exercise if I can’t even walk???

So, this past weekend, I headed to the Boca Town Center to find some shoes that would allow me to walk more.  The Hubs suggested New Balance, but when I went in, I didn’t like the choices.  I nearly cried standing there.  Especially since I had walked a long time to get there.  But then we noticed a mall sign for a store called Fit2Run.  And, miraculously, we weren’t far from it.

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I went in and explained my problem.  A nice guy named Matt suggested that I try a brand called Hoka One One.  He said that the Bondi 3 was the most cushioned shoe that they had and that it is favored by those who run Ultra Marathons.  Honestly, it didn’t take much convincing for me to try them on, as by that point my feet felt like I was walking on hot coals.  He also suggested that I try a pair of the Feetures Elite socks.  The socks are quite thin, but offer compression in some spots.  As soon as I put them on, I knew that they were for me.

Then I slipped on the shoes.  Wow.  They felt sooo good.  I felt like I was walking on air.  Don’t get me wrong–they don’t stop my feet from hurting.  But the cushiony goodness inside those shoes made me swoon.  I danced up and down the aisles.  Folks actually came up to me to ask about them.  I sashayed back to Matt and announced that I felt like a little kid with new shoes, because I was NOT going to take them off.  And I’ve not had them off much since then.  My husband ORDERS me to take them off at night–otherwise I might sleep in them.  They are a bit pricey (about $150) but I.DONT.CARE.  If they had cost $1000, I would have had to buy them.

Chances are, if you see me out and about, I’ll have them on.  And if I’m not wearing them, you can rest assured that they are close by!

Disclosure:  ALL opinions are my own, as the Hoka folks don’t even know I exist.  I just wanted to share them with you!

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Cruising is a Breeze!

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This weekend, in preparation for my upcoming cruise, I got a tour of one of the newest crown JEWELS (see what I did there?) of the Carnival fleet, the Carnival Breeze.  It never left the port, but I did get a chance to see what’s in store for me.  Now, I’ve not been on a Carnival ship since I sailed on the amazing Carnival Dream a few years back.  My tour guide actually told me that if I liked the Dream, I would absolutely LOVE the Breeze.  He called it “the Dream on steroids.”  I almost fell over.  The best part about it?  HE WAS RIGHT!

First off, the tour group was small–with 2 other journalists and a member of the company’s PR department.  That’s almost always better than a large group.  Second off, we had a large block of time to explore every aspect of the ship.  And what an enormous ship it is–more than 3 football fields long and holding 14 guest decks.  WOW!  The ship generally sails with almost 3700 guests aboard.

Here are some of the highlights:

carnival breeze atrium collage

The Atrium is 9 decks high and is the hub of the ship.  It features a bank of elevators, including several that are glassed in.

carnival breeze dining options

Since the Breeze does 6 and 8 day cruises throughout the Caribbean, one of my main concerns was food.  Who wants to eat the same thing every single day?  They actually had a good number of food venues aboard (14)–from a fancy schmancy steakhouse to an Italian restaurant to a sushi bar.  Something for everyone, huh?

carnival breeze activities collage

And, there are a ton of activities, as well.  I was most interested in the theatre, the amazing spa, the casino and the Adults Only deck, Serenity.  I spent a lot of time on the Serenity Deck on the Dream.

I can NOT wait to sail away on this big boat.  If you want to book the Breeze, or any of Carnival’s other ships, go to their site.  This is a great time to lock in pricing for future sailings.  See you on board!

Disclosure:  I was invited on this ship tour as a media guest.  All opinions are my own!

 

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I’m Rocking the Red Pump, Again!

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Today is National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and, as usual, I’m ROCKING THE RED PUMP!  The Red Pump Project is one that I have supported for years.  It was co-founded by a dear friend, Luvvie Ajayi.  It’s mission is to raise awareness of the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girls and #RocktheRedPump is their signature campaign!  The campaign aims to start conversation and motivate social media savvy women to talk about the HIV/AIDS epidemic, especially its effect on women and girls–and ROCK THEIR FAVE RED SHOES!

Here are some facts:

  • There are currently 1.1 million adults and adolescents living in the United States with HIV.
  • 1 in every 139 will be diagnosed with HIV/AIDS at some point in their lives.
  • Every 47 minutes, a woman tests positive for HIV in the United States.
  • High-risk heterosexual contact is the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections in women in the US.
  • The largest number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses during recent years was for women aged 15–39.

And these:

  • HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects minority women in the United States. According to the 2005 census, Black and Latina women represent 24% of all US women combined, but accounted for 82% of the estimated total of AIDS diagnoses for women in 2005.
  • HIV is the leading cause of death for Black women (including Black women) aged 25–34 years. The only diseases causing more deaths of women are cancer and heart disease.
  • The rate of AIDS diagnosis for Black women was approximately 23 times the rate for white women and 4 times the rate for Latina women.
  • Teen girls represent 39% of AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year-olds. Black teens represented 69% of cases reported among 13–19 year-olds; Latino teens represented 19%.

These numbers are both sobering and startling.  Let’s start talking, folks!  If you see a chick with red shoes on today, high five her!  And if you don’t, make sure you tell folks why YOU are wearing red shoes!

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Day Trip to Health

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This week, I’m headed to the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa for some much needed rest and relaxation.  It’s one of America’s leading health & wellness resorts (located right here in Miami) and I can’t wait to get there! For 35 years now, more than 100,000 guests worldwide have come here to prevent and reverse problems such as excess weight, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cancer risk factors.  Pritikin is more than just a vacation – it’s a life-changing experience, a total health overhaul and a premiere wellness destination. With exceptional fitness trainers, award-winning chefs who teach gourmet yet waist-slimming dining classes, workshops and seminars, along with world-class nutritionists and a full menu of exquisite spa treatments – a visit twill give guests the full scoop on the latest in wellness and show how to achieve long-term weight loss, decrease blood pressure, see dramatic improvements in heart disease risk factors and develop healthy lifestyle changes that can add YEARS to lives.

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I am SO excited about my visit.  Pritikin’s one- and two-week lifestyle-change programs are tailored to meet the needs of the individual and focus on daily exercise and an eating plan based on natural, whole foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seafood, and limited lean meat.   My schedule includes yoga, aquatics, Tai Chi, spinning, and mat pilates.  But, they are also addressing my inner foodie.  Look at this menu:

Breakfast

  •     Hot, Fresh Oatmeal With Pineapple and Mango
  •     Oatmeal Supreme With Apple, Bananas, and a Hint of Vanilla Served With Fresh Peach Sauce
  •     Assorted Cold Cereals
  •     Fresh Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries and Raspberries; Fresh Mango, Papaya, and Melons
  •     Egg White Omelet Bar that includes Roasted Vegetables, Salsa, Nonfat Cottage Cheese, and more

Morning Snack

  •     Rich, Thick Wild Mushroom Soup
  •     Sweet Potato & Green Apple Salad (a nice combination of sweet and crunchy)

Lunch

  •     Salad Bar Buffet With More Than 24 Fresh, Hand-Cut Items
  •     Tomato Rice Soup
  •     Thin-Crusted Garden Vegetable Pizza, or
  •     Homemade Herb Crepe Filled With Ricotta
  •     Sundried Tomatoes & Fresh Basil In a Rich Marinara Sauce Served With Broccoflower and Spaghetti Squash
  •     Chocolate Mousse (creamy and delicate)

Afternoon Snack

  •     Tuscan Leek Soup (thick and satisfying)
  •     Three-Bean Salad (a tasty new take on a classic)

Dinner

  •     Panzanella Salad (fresh herbs and vegetables tossed with our own croutons)
  •     Orange Saffron Tomato Soup (a mouth-watering sensation)
  •     Pepper-Crusted & Seared Tuna With Saffron Polenta and Sweet Potato Salsa, or
  •     Grilled Bison Tenderloin (cooked to your liking) With Sunburst Squash, Creamed Spinach, and Farro, or
  •     Zatar-Spiced Tofu & Eggplant With Tomato Salsa and Roasted Red Bliss Potatoes
  •     Jewel of Fruit Pie (a fusion of strawberries, bananas and apples)

 

Gulp!  YES!  I’m here for ALL of that! In addition, I get to attend some VERY interesting seminars, with topics like:

  • The Biology of Weight Control
  • Dining Out
  • Heart Attack Prevention

You can follow along on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

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Disclosure:  I am an invited media guest on this trip.  Pritikin has provided meals and activities at no cost to me.  All opinions are my own!  For more information about the Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa, please visit their site.

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Tiffany & Co Wins At the Oscars

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I swear, nothing makes a chick’s day like opening one of those iconic blue boxes and finding a personal trinket.  You know the blue box.  THAT blue box–from Tiffany.  And, last night Tiffany & Co made one appearance after another on the Academy Awards‘ red carpet.  Winners, nominees and spectators alike rocked jewelry from the celebrated jewelers.  I’m not surprised that they chose it–if I were ever nominated for an Oscar (giggling), I’d certainly want to be blue box blinged!

AMY ADAMS AT THE 86TH ACADEMY AWARDS®

Best actress nominee Amy Adams in rhodochrosite, lapis and turquoise earrings  from Tiffany’s 2014 Blue Book Collection

CATHERINE MARTIN AT THE 86TH ACADEMY AWARDS®

Best Costume and Production Design winner Catherine Martin in a Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger® Arrows brooch and diamond X bracelet.

JESSICA BIEL AT THE 86TH ACADEMY AWARDS®

Jessica Biel in drop earrings from the 2014 Blue Book Collection; and a diamond cluster necklace.

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Designing Luxury

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Last week, a very interesting joint venture between Lincoln Motor Company and American Institute of Architects took place at the Miami Center for Architecture and DesignThere was a panel discussion entitled, “Designing Luxury.”  The discussion focused on the similarities between designing automobiles and designing upscale buildings.  Panelists included David Woodhouse, Director of Lincoln Design, and two members of the AIA–Rene Gonzalez and Bernard Zyscovich.

With any product or experience, the world of luxury design follows basic, yet vital, tenets. Both luxury automobile designers and designers of high-end buildings need their creations to meet all the necessary functional requirements, but elevate the execution in a way that speaks to people’s aspirations, taps into their dreams and helps them stand apart from the crowd.–David Woodhouse

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