Meet the new Nail Art Studio in town! – introducing Studio L!

the nail art craze isn’t going anywhere. i should know…i used to be an addict for a solid year (in my younger days).

in the early years of nail art in NYC, there were two very formidable places: Sakura & Marie Nails. but, as all things do — the city & the scene have both evolved. now there are a bevy of places & players from which to choose.

since i didn’t know any of the technicians at Sakura anymore, and you have to book weeks in advance to get something at Marie Nails, I asked my friend & Nail Art Junkie Keri Blair for suggestions….and so i booked an appointment at Studio L.

Studio L is a small nail art salon, tucked away on the 16th floor of a commercial building in the garment district.  it’s owned by Manami, who happened to be one of my all-time favorite nail stylists from the Sakura glory days. she is one of the most talented as far as flat art design, creativity and technical skill.

Studio L is relatively small: they only have 4 mani stations and two pedicure stations. but it’s nice that it’s not a storefront — you’re removed from the hustle & bustle of the street.  they are equipped with all the latest nail art magazines, as well as a bevy of shades — including NEON ones!

my first visit was this past Sunday — post to follow.  but here’s their info (and some nail art designs to tie you over):

STUDIO L

247 West 38th Street (between 7th & 8th Ave), 16th Floor

(646) 499-5357, nailstudionyc.com

Basic Kale Chips: an Addict’s Tips & Tricks

after seeing a tweet from my friend Felicia Sullivan today, i got inspired to come home and whip up a batch of Kale Chips.

Kale definitely lives up to its “super food” title:

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. (from WebMD)

 ←even my dog loves kale!

Kale Chips are a fantastic snack food – especially if you’re vegan/raw vegan and you’re missing that salty crunchy snack. not only is it nutritious, the recipe for basic Kale Chips seems SUPER easy:

  • kale, de-veined
  • salt
  • pepper

i mean, can’t beat simple ingredients. but after making a few batches at home, here are some helpful hints from a kale chip addict that will hopefully make your DIY Kale Chips easier:

  • Cleaning: kale has so many beautiful folds & curly-ness — but that just means you have to be SUPER thorough when you clean it. dirt/mold/bugs tend to get stuck in the folds.
  • De-veining:  they always tell you to “de-vein” the kale, which usually means you pull the stem/spine away from the leaf.  i don’t know about anyone else, but that always results in me tearing the kale leaf – not cute.  SO, rather than de-veining (pulling the spine away from the leaf)  – just de-leaf it instead (pull the leaves away from the stem).  this is far more manageable and this way, you have more control to make sure each “chip” piece is of equal size (see next tip)
  • basic cooking principle: make sure each piece is the same size to ensure even cooking. we should never forget basic principles of cooking – even when making something as simple as chips.  as best as possible – try to make sure each chip/leaf is of equal size so your batch cooks evenly
  • coat evenly:  whether you’re making a simple Olive Oil/S&P Kale Chip recipe, or you’re doing a more fancy version with a nut-mixture, you must make sure that each chip/leaf is evenly coated. this will also help ensure it cooks evenly

whether you bake or dehydrate your Kale Chips, the above tips should always apply.  personally, i prefer dehydrating — even though it takes longer, i feel it retains more of the green kale flavor in the chips.  but either will do!

  • for dehydrator: lay out on dehydrator trays, dehydrate for minimum of 8 hours at 115°F.
  • for oven: bake at 300°F for approximately 20 minutes (or until crisp). let cool

hope these tips are helpful for my fellow Kale Chip Addicts! :)

Organic Avenue Love Deep Cleanse: Day 2

day 2 of my 5-day Organic Avenue Love Deep Cleanse.  all juices, no solid foods.

mood:  cautious. it was a monday, so the first day i truly needed to be an active member of society. also, it was the first day of my 2-day conference on learning to “lead with presence”.  scary on more than one level.

activity level:  full day of a leadership conference + a yoga class at night.  i have to admit, there were moments during my yoga class where i was feeling light-headed.  maybe after 2 days of fewer calories, i didn’t have enough to push through a really challenging yoga class.

The Menu: total calorie count (minus the Coconut Mylk) = 715 calories.  i figure the max the Coconut Mylk could be is around 700…if so, we’re talking about 1400 calories.

  • CHLOROPHYLL SHOT (0 calories)
  • COCONUT WATER (86 calories)
  • PEAR JUICE (209 calories):  one of my favorite juices, probably because it’s so sweet and palatable.  but absolutely delicious.  apparently pear is a hypo-allergenic fruit that is high in fiber but less likely to produce adverse reactions
  • MASTER TONIC (108 calories): the very typical idea of a “cleanse” with the cayenne pepper.  not as sweet but very delicious nonetheless
  • VEGGIE VIBE (146 calories): my absolute favorite “good for you juice”. it doesn’t taste (or look) that green, and it’s quite delicious!
  • GREEN LOVE (166 calories):  my 2nd favorite “good for you juice”. while it’s definitely green, i think the lemon and parley cuts through it a little
  • COCONUT MYLK (Org Ave won’t really tell me how many calories are in this, which leads me to believe that it’s really high — also not listed on their website. very suspicious…):  it literally tastes like you’re eating a coconut. delicious!

the verdict:  by the end of day 2, i had a bit of a lull in energy — especially after the yoga class.  but was hoping that it was the worst of it!

Gadget Love: the mophie juice pack powerstation

after being an FAndroid for over a year, i’ve just recently switched back to an iPhone 4S.  one of the major adjustments was battery.  not only was my Android far more battery-efficient, but i was able to purchase an extra batter pack, so if i was low on juice, i could pop out the battery and put a fresh one in.  BOOM!

on the iPhone – not so much, since the battery is a permanent part of the device.  unfortunately, for a girl like me who is always on-the-go + addicted to her phone, this posed a problem.

the more popular option: the mophie juice pack air. it’s received nothing but rave reviews from everyone i know, but the one major issue: i have a real issue with how bulky it makes the phone.

(photo from intash.com)

enter the mophie juice pack powerstation. what is it? a portable, external battery that can charge any iOS device. so not only is it great for iPhone, but for iPad as well.  then i read this rave review from The Next Web and I was sold!

SIZE:  size is great – compact, about what I reckon an old-school iPod was. extremely lightweight.  it also has this great, rubberized texture to it.

there are two ports: a micro-USB + iDevice port.  and it also has a “power on” button – standard to all mophie devices, which is what will start charging the device, once plugged in.

GRIPES:  gripes about this — it only comes with a USB-microUSB cable to charge the powerstation, so no outlet plug-in.  it also doesn’t come with a Apple Dock Connector, which is a bit of a pain.

PERFORMANCE:  great! i can fully charge my iPhone from around 10% battery to 100% THREE times before having to re-charge the power station! for a person like me who is rarely sedentary…it’s perfection.

highly recommend this for anyone who is on the go! :)  well worth the price!

mophie juice pack powerstation, $79.95

Organic Avenue Love Deep: Day 1

Day 1 of a 5-Day Organic Avenue Love Deep.

baseline:  despite being vegan this past year+, i’ve definitely let some bad habits slip in: two fully-caffeinated sugary Starbucks drinks a day, tons of cooked stuff, candy galore and…oh hi, carbs!

mood:  apprehensive.  based on the above, i was expecting Day 1 to be painful: headaches, moodiness and major bitchiness.  oddly enough, none of it. which leads me to believe the worst is still to come. (yikes!)

activity level:  day 1 was a Sunday, so tried to keep it low key. went to a 90-minute Jivamukti yoga class before i started my cleanse, then lounged around the rest of the day watching bad-but-good movies (Miss Congeniality, Titanic, Twilight)…and also squeezed in a massage. anticipating the worst, i decided to take it easy.

the menu:  i specifically asked for there to be “more” calories, since i wanted to continue my daily workout regime during the cleanse.  today’s total calorie count: 1,054

the verdict: loved the flavor of every single juice today. in the past, i’ve had not-so-great times with some of the green soups, but thankfully, no green soups on this menu! energy levels are decent…but we’ll see what happens tomorrow when i have to go to work and be functioning member of society!

www.organicavenue.com

5-Day Organic Avenue Love Deep Cleanse — pray for me!

i love a good cleanse. my first time trying it back in 2010 – i experienced unexpected levels of energy, mental clarity and productivity.  it was because of my cleanse that i realized just how much what we eat affects our bodies.

after my first time cleansing, i went a bit extreme — became 100% raw vegan for a good 6 months.  i’m not going to lie — i felt GREAT! but at the same time, it made me into a social leper — less because of me, but more because everyone else felt like they needed to be more accommodating because i’m a “special needs” eater.  fast forward to today, when i’m more VEGAN than anything else, trying to be as raw as i can.

why a cleanse?

2 weeks of eating crap + thanksgiving holidays + no chance to go to yoga = blah Heather.  so as soon as i got back to my apt, i signed up for the 5-day Organic Avenue Love Deep Cleanse: all juices, no solids for 5-days.  i don’t know what the hell i was thinking, but i know this will give me a jump-start into resetting myself!

there are PLENTY of cleanses to choose from, but i’m down with Organic Avenue. Why?

  • they use glass bottles – they’re committed to reducing waste
  • they use organic ingredients (duh)
  • they are really accommodating with any special requests: if you don’t like the taste of something, just let them know and they’re happy to adjust
  • they are truly committed to this lifestyle — this isn’t about a quick weight loss mechanism, it’s about living a healthier, cleaner existence

will be keeping you posted on the progress!