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Showing posts from 2012

Gratitude Moment--Year End Reflections

When, we started this blog, we started it with sole purpose of putting out the best and most positive information that can help people.

However, the blog has taken shape form and we all are amazed at the response from everyone, who reads this on a daily basis. We are have been transformed because we actually practice what we believe and believe to be true.

We would like to thanks the small business owners and NGO who allowed us into their mental space to give you the best new products and services that are being offered.

We would like to thanks the outpouring of love and support that goes along with writing a blog on a monthly basis.

Preview for next year January:

1. What's Next? Making and Follow Through with New Year's Resolution.
2. Travel Corner- Jackson Hole, WY
3. Finding Your True Purpose
4. Ways to Keep Healthy This Winter
5. How to Raise Healthy and Balanced Children
6. Overcoming the Winter Blues
7. Heart Warm Soups and Stews
8. Creating Community via Tea Time
9. Lea…

Building on JOY!

Oh JOY!

Yeah, the holiday season for some isn't so joyus. Memories of lost loved ones, or failed marriages, or tradegies.

However, being POSITIVE, I find whenever, I am tempted to go down self-pity party lane or "they don't care street. I pause and think about... JOY!

None's life has ever been so bad that you can't think of a happy time.

 Especially, during this season, my mother still loves Christmas and having her holiday parties is one way that brings JOY into her life and the lives of our family. So instead of me going into my previous party planner mode and "planning" HER celebration, I do things when it is absolutely neccessary.

Another way to find the JOY in this season, is classic holiday movies such as:

1. Home Alone-- all three
2. Trains, Planes, and Automobiles-- really funny!
3. Space Balls (This is old but it is a Mel Brooks classic)
4. Charlie Brown Christmas
5. Santa Clause with Tim Allen

If you are having a family gathering, I suggest a…

Fast, Low Calorie: Empandas for the Season

Every part of Latin America and the Caribbean, has there own version of a meat pie.

Mexico it is a Tamale- made with corn dough and meat filling steamed in corn husks.

The Caribbean it is pastel's- which is either, corn, cassava, or plantain dough filled with meat, steamed in banana leaves.

Through out Brazil and the rest of South America, there are the "empandas," which are meat pies filled in pastry dough, that are fried.

Many Latinos indulge in some form a meat pie, especially during the holiday season.  In the Mexican community, where making tamales is a 12- 24 hour process.

Fast forward to my version of the classic: Empanda

Ingredients:
1. 1-2lbs. lean white ground turkey meat.
2. 2 Tablespoons of Spanish Olives
3. 1/4 cup of currents or raisins
4. 1 diced bell pepper
5. 1 diced onion
6. Fresh Thyme and crushed Fresh Bay Leaf
7. 4 cloves of garlic minced
8. 2 Tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
9. 2Tablespoon of organic Tomato Sauce or 3 plum tomato's
10. Defr…

Tis the Season, How to Give without Offending

Many Americans are good natured, we are the leading country when it comes to philanthropic giving.

However, many good intention Americans who do give find themselves baffled or confused, when their sincere efforts are often rebuked. In an article I read on the New York Times, many residents of the Rockaways who are survivors of Hurricane Sandy, were horrified when hoards of "volunteers" descended upon their community.

Why? Why would a person be horrified to receive help?

Many good natured volunteers, see a need then immediately jump into action, without asking "How may I help? How are you? "I have these items, that I think you may need, would you like them?" Instead, they assume many of the residents need this and that and their approach although well intentioned comes across as "You self- righteous, people, who ignore us all year long, and NOW you come to help?"

A perfect example of someone who felt the burning need to help a homeless man who need s…

My Homage to Quality Fashion

As this year comes to close, I shared a lot, especially the value of getting a good bargain in life; however let this not be confused with CHEAP.


When something is of value it has class and elegance.

The styles that are constantly repeated are ones that add great VALUE to a person's life. Shift dresses, pedal pushers--as my grandmother would have called it- or Capri pants, pencil skirts, and sequin clothing will always be in fashion. Jackie Onassis had a closet full of the shift dress because they were classic clothing timepieces.

A great silk scarf always add a great sense of class to any outfit, so why not add value to your traditional navy blue suit and add a tasteful and colorful scarf. Many ladies of the Victorian Era, always had scarves, my other grandmother always wore a scarf, in fact her scarf and hat collection was so highly regarded, that when she died, that is the one thing many people wanted.

However, ridiculous fads like Acid Wash jeans, and ripped clothing they wer…

How to Schedule Time for Holiday Intimacy

You and your significant other are on a marathon race with holiday parties, shopping, charity benefits.

All of which can leave you both extremely exhausted. And the thought of sex or any intimacy before Valentine's Day is not appealing.

Couples who have the strongest relationships, know that intimacy during the holiday season is as essential to having a great relationship, as it is year around.

So what to do when you have so many commitments?

ESCAPE!
You may not be able to physically leave town, but the Four Seasons in NYC is a great way to spend a weekend together, even if you live in NYC.

Can't afford that?

SKIP A DAY:
Strategically create one day when both your phones, ipad's and computers; do not work. Spend some alone time at home, going over the times when you both shared your first holiday season in your bath tub together. To set the mood light a Moroccan Amber candle from NEST and fill the bath tub with Lavender and Aloe liquid soap from khiels and have the Korres …

How to Maintain or Lose Weight During the Holidays

It may sound "STRANGE" but, if you are committed to health, you won't allow the these 4 or 5 weeks of cheer and holiday parties get you off track with your diet.

Here are some fail proof ways to get through the holidays without going on a 5 month detox afterwards.

BEFORE YOU BAKE OR COOK:

If you are in charge of the baking for an event, always eat a small protein based snack, either almonds or low fat cheese, BEFORE you start to bake.

Always have 3 bottles of cold water handy, cold water actually speeds up the metabolism, cools body temperatures, and satisifies hunger and thirst while cooking.

TASTE TESTING:
Make a small sample of your holiday dish, before serving or bringing it to a Holiday Party.  You can actually serve to your family or if you are newly dating your boyfriend/girlfriend,great way for you to get feedback before serving to the masses!

SUGAR RUSH:
After watching Cupcake Wars and Chopped as my Sunday afternoon ritual, I volunteered to bake for  two chari…

Battle of the Boxes: Sugar Must Have Boxes Win!

KUDO's to the founder's of Birchbox, Sample Box Society, and all the other sample societies.

If you can build a multi-million dollar company off of samples, then you are truly a genius.

I did subscribe to Sample Box Society from BeautyBar.com and the packaging was awesome and the five samples, I received with a $15.00 coupon towards any purchase in the box, with a mini mag of beauty tips from Allure Magazine, so for $15.00 a month, good, but not great.

It was still a bit pricey for me because I use a range of beauty products, from various stores. I figure if I order from sephora.com or khiels.com even nordstrom.com gives beauty samples, I am guaranteed to get 3 free samples with every purchase, so for 3 stores that's a total of 15 samples.When my points are at a ridiculous level at sephora.com then, I get deluxe full size samples from Stilla,etc.

But, I still wanted something that I can look forward every month, my treat to myself for a job well done!

BEHOLD-- The Must Hav…

Buy YOURSELF a Gift!

Tis the season and fa la la, and all that good stuff.

We are constantly reminded about the less fortunate especially around this time of year.

I believe since we live in global world, this blog is read via all corners of the world, we should assist in ways we know best to contribute to the greater good of humanity.

However, in doing so we need to learn how to start to treat ourselves a bit better, the holidays are actually a source of great pain for some, because they do not have family or in some cases, they are estranged from their families.

So, in our "buying" for others, purchase something for YOU!

Purchase something that would remind yourself that you matter as well, you are worthy of the best life possible, and if you are out in the stores and something comes over you not to buy something for a particular person, trust your intution, it never steers you wrong.

I actually, had a broken toe for several weeks, so I had to be homebound amongst all the storms, Thanksgiving…

Party for a Purpose: Fashion Fights Cancer Soiree

Fashion Fights Cancer is a non-profit group which makes up of the latest designers and trendsetters, with one goal in mind-- to eliminate cancer, bring comfort to cancer patients, and support to cancer survivors.

For several years I have covered Fashion Fights Cancer events, when they had shopping sprees events, fashion shows at the Mercedes Benz dealership on the Westside of New York.

But, last night instead of going to another "meeting" I partied with the best in the fashion world, to celebrate life and ensure to myself that I would take an active part in taking care of myself.

I do come from a family of women who have had breast cancer, and I can tell you it is no fun, seeing some die from the disease, but being POSITIVE it is all the best, when you see other family members have an inner resolve to beat the disease and live in happiness.

So, as the DJ spinned the last record, as I saw the incredible Fern Mallis and the wonderful Tamsen Fadal of WPIX News in New York, I to…

Creating an Awesome Tabletop with Impulse Designs

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I am certain that you know that I love for things to look awesome!

Especially when it comes to entertaining and creating an awesome tabletop.

The wonderful people at Impulse Designs-- provide wonderful supplies for the Four Seasons Hotel, etc.

Based on the response from gilt.com,  you guys snapped up Impulse Designs great martini glasses and wine globlets.

By now everyone should have china, by the way lenox.com still has some create pieces left, we are still using the awesome Raj votive holders that we bought at createandbarrel.com,, the centerpiece this season should be of course holiday poinsettas.

However, a great tabletop isn't great without that extra dazzle, and we at positivexpert, know that to achieve this we can use awesome chargers.

We are extremely lucky to have Gabriel from Impulse Designs, share her top picks to make your holiday tabletop dazzle with chargers.


Once again thanks to Gabriel and her team at impulsedesigns.com, for sharing these awesome items.




Spotlight on Goodness- Seth Cochran/Operation OF

One, hot August afternoon, while doing research, I came across an article about a MAN who is the leading the way on maternal and reproductive rights.

Since, this U.S. election cycle this has become a hot item issue where woman's reproductive rights have been challenged, I decided to contact him. After a lengthy conversation and several months of e-mail correspondence,  I determined that he and his organization is the real deal!

SETH COCHRAN and OPERATION OF:

Seth Cochran an Ivy League grad working as a financial manager at ADC Telecom in Berlin.

He was in charge of a $169 million budget with seven factories across Europe, clearly he was on the fast track to "make good coin"; however he had a yearning to contribute to society in a meaningful way.

According to Seth being a financial success "couldn't make up for the feeling that he wasn't doing something that really mattered, while at his corporate job he built up ADC's corporate foundation activities in …

Day Four: Chick Lit Books for the Reader

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I bet you didn't know there was a sequel to The Nanny, she is back!
Bitter is the New Black, really funny read on why you shouldn't take a Prada bag to the unemployment office!  So, here are my picks for Chick Lit books.

Day Three: For the FOODIE

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Yeah, you know Uncle Sam and Aunt Bertha, they just love food!

No, I don't have a Uncle Sam or an Aunt Bertha, but there are people who just love food.

Being health consciouness, you can give them little indulgences:



So they work up an appetite by making the cookies, have snack popcorn is good for you, then relax and enjoy the cookies with Hot Chocolate and Marshmallows.

Day Two Of Gifts: Nest Candles

Back in the Fall, they won the battle of the candles.  In fact, as I am writing this now, my office smells of the lastest scent.

Back to the gift, I found a great deal on authentic Nest Luxury Votive Candles on amazon.com, a box of six votives for $40.00, one candle retail's for $32.00, and it is a box of the best scents.

Great for the person who is constantly stressed out, aromatherapy works wonder for the nerves. Also, it is a great hostess gift, a gift for one of your child's parent's--who helped you out during the year.

For that special touch was I took one of the great votive holders, I got at createandbarrel.com and put one of the candles in them, two per dinner party guest.

Nest Candles are my abosolute favorite gift.

Day One: Male Grooming Products

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We start our Holiday Special with once again our Male Grooming Expert: Michael Sin, Co- Founder of Urban Cargo: All Price Points and Product Information Can Be Found at urbancargo.com

The following are the special boxes that Michael has curated for our male audience


This Box is Especially Designed for the Body!

Holiday Parties- Sample Menu for All

After Thanksgiving, we are full swing of attending parties or opening our homes to families and friends and our husband/wife's business partners.

You can find wonderful recipes at foodnetwork.com

Here is a menu that is versatile for everyone:

Appetizer- Stuffed Mushrooms

Entree-
Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb
Vegetarian Lasagne made with raos.com

Sides-
Roasted Vegetables
Salad
Rolls

Dessert
Classic Myers Lemon Cake

Beverages:
Mulled Wine
Warm Hard Cider
Champagne- Chilled
Water with Lemon

If you are catering the event make sure your servers know exactly what ingredients are in the dishes, and the food is served at the right temperature.

Ambiance: Candles are wonderful and clean scents I am in love with nestfrangrances.com, especially Wasbai Pear.

Cheers to a wonderful Holiday Party!!

Cookie Swap and Classic Cookie Recipes

One of my former bosses would return from her Mid-Western state from Thanksgiving, with at least two dozen cookies.

She explained that over the Thanksgiving Holiday, people would gather at eat other's homes and bake different cookies, the swap them, she also explained that this tradition dated as far back from her European Ancestors.

When Crate and Barrel had Cookie Swap classes through out the country, it reminded me of her and how it brought her community together.

Especially, during these times of uncertainty it is good to do things that promote community and a sense of belonging.

Oh! Cookie Swaps are not just for the mom's who want to spend time with their children in the kitchen.  You can have a cookie swap for singles, newlyweds, woman vs. man type of bakeoffs, so be creative in who you invite over for your cookie swap, play music, drink some egg nog and have FUN!

Back to the Recipes! We have a lot of new cookie products on the market and sometimes you just want the basi…

Gift Ideas for the Teen to College Age Student!

As Black Friday and Cyber Monday approach, and looking at our gift giving list you wonder what to give the ever changing Teen and College Age Group.

Here are my picks that go over well without fail:

Tween/Teen Girls:
Gift Cards are the BEST: Here are the top retailers for this group!

1. Sephora and Ulta Beauty Stores:
Tweens-nail polish and nail art, body washes.
Teens-makeup such as Benefit, Fresh, Urban Decay, and Sephora brands, nail polish, nail art and body washes, lastly roller ball perfumes such as Juicy Coutre, Wonderstruck, and Someday by Justin Bieber

2. Forever 21- Teens aand Young Adults, love this store, whenever school is closed in my neighborhood, this store is packed with this demographic from all over.

3.Hollister- This is another maven for this group, this is where they go to get casual clothes, and if you go to the one on Madison Ave. and you have to wait on line it has a club feel to it, this group likes this type of environment.

4. Abercromie& Finch-- Teen girls and …

Surviving Black Friday.

You decided that you would get a couple of things for your loved ones for the Holidays. You have also, been reading this blog for a while and you know, you can always get something better for a lot less.

Here are some tips and tricks that I have learned to get great buys for Black Friday.

1.Make a Realistic List of People to Buy- 
You should give out of the joy of giving and not because you are obligated. 

2. Understand Everyone's taste and Appreciation- 
Some people love cookies baked from Toll House, you can get from the local supermarket, while someone people appreciate macaroons from Paynard. This is very important because some people feel very offended if you give them a gift, that is not at their taste level. I have seen this go either way.

3. The Night Before Black Friday-
If you are going to a mall or an outlet, go on the website the night before and mark down, which stores you want to go first, you should have a ranking order.

4. Hours of Operation-
People love to push, just becau…

Teaching Your Child about Giving Back!

I can remember telling my nieces and nephews that I wasn't giving them Christmas Gifts this year because I give them all throughout the year, and they were mortified!

In light of the recent Huricane disaster, I think this year is a great time to start to teach our children the importance of "Giving Back."

Instead of not giving your child anything for Christmas, we start by evaluating their Christmas list and telling them that one item from the list will be donated to the American Red Cross or another reputable charity.

Or you can make a day out of it. Let them know explicitly that part of what they are going to buy is for charity. When you get to the stores have them pick out a toy for another child, or blanket or a pair of slippers, if you go food shopping, again have them choose an item for the family member.

When you go home, you can have them assist you in packaging the items for the charity. This is a great way for them to start to begin to have empathy for others, and …

How to REALLY Save this Holiday Season

We've heard of couponing and deal clubs,  but I am certain you can even save even more on your holiday shopping needs.

1. Bank Card Option-
Find out if your bank has a points options associated with your debit card. If this is the case use the credit option of your debit card this way you can accrue points with your purchases. Remember, that caftan, that someone told me looked like I got it fom Barney's, it was purchased via my points.

2. Credit Card Points--
This really does work, I was able to purchase several books strictly through points. If you have enough points then, they will send you vouchers for restaurants through their participating partners.

3. Certain professions are given discounts at certain stores-
Culinary & special events- William Sonoma, certain catering supply companies would give a discount if you are in the profession.

4. Being a Loyal Customer- Local Businesses-
This great bistro that I go to for brunch in the West Village, knows me because I was …

Adult Etiquette = Good Mannered Children

I read an article in the NYT Style Section about the rude and disrespectful behavior that children from the "Upper East Side."

Some were trying to figure out what could have gone wrong? These were all children from "good" families, but they acting extremely rude and showing they had no manners.

Thankfully, I came into my parent's life in their later years. I was  raised by my father who is a survivor of WWII and the Great Depression and my mother who is a South American immigrant. 

The two things that were engrained in my mind were get a great education and discipline!

Growing up when adults wanted to talk, I had to leave the room, until they were finished talking. If you "accidentally overheard" something, you were told that was not for your ears or your lips. 

I was never to use the word "hate" because it was too strong of an emotion, you disliked the action of what someone did, but you never hated anyone.

I was taught the value of work from an …

Questions to Expect from Family: T-Day Humor

Going home for Thanksgiving or for the Holidays can be stressful, so here are some questions you can anticipate from family members.

Older family members don't care what they ask, As my grandmother would have said " I am old enough, I can say what I want."

For Singles:
1. Have you met anyone "nice" yet?
2. Do you remember Janie/John from church/synagogue well they are in town, I spoke to their mother and they are free for the weekend. Next thing you know some random person, you vaguely remember is over for dessert.
3.Your biological clock is ticking dear, You may want to think about freezing your eggs/sperm. In your doggie bag to go home is the number of a fertility clinic.
4.So, if you work all those long hours, why aren't you a millionaire yet? 
5.If you are a millionaire and still single, "Money doesn't buy you happiness, Dear." 
Yet, still they had fun when you paid for their vacation home in the Caribbean.
6. Before, the holidays, you just had a …

Playing 20 Questions

The majority of business owners want to make money, since the advent of Groupon, Bloomspot, several business have used these services to lure in "potential customers" only to find out that they aren't repeat customers.

I have read several articles that these "deals" just don't make the business owner any profit, etc. However, last year, I had to "research" for a particular client, so I bought several vouchers to a variety of places and I discovered the "real reason" why people aren't return customers.

Many places, play "20 Questions" with potential customers, you know you are sitting in the manicurists chair and they ask you:
1. Where do you work?
2. Where do you live, what part of Manhattan or Long Island do you live?
3. Who are you dating?
4. What does your boyfriend do?
5. Where do you like to shop?
6. When are you due?
7. Do you have kids?
8. Where do they go to school?
9. Where do you vacation?

Playing 20 Questions isn't only …

Ditching Thanksgiving: Two Perfect Places to Go

So you and your significant other have decided that you guys had enough, and sticking around for another family event is taxing; especially after working longs hours. But, you still want that country rustic feel. 

Check Out My Picks!


Out of Town Guests: Your HOUSE Rules

Those of us who live in NYC often find ourselves being a host/hostess to overnight guests around the Thanksgiving Holidays.

Many of them flock to NYC to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the windows on 5th Ave, Broadway, Black Friday Sales, clubs, etc.

Before anyone comes to visit you should:

1. Find out their intentions- is it to shop, a play, dinner, go clubbing and picking up men or women. This way you can better plan their visit and diminish expectations.
TRUE STORY:
I had a cousin who was coming from out of town and he said it was to spend quality time with the family, having not seen him in a while, I bought theater tickets for him and his significant other and his sister and myself.
Well, when he arrived going to Broadway was not in the plans for him, he wanted to do Black Friday shopping only. So, lucky I was able to find some friends who were available and we went to the theater.

Always have your GUEST EXPLICITLY state their intentions 2 weeks before a visit.

2. Fin…

Caution Buyer Beware's: When Not to be FRUGAL