Part 1: Philly Fashion Blogger Focuses on Perfect Posture

Throughout childhood, I have vivid memories of my mother constantly reminding my siblings and I to standup straight. She tried everything; from pulling our shoulders back when we would slouch, to balancing a book on our heads (more for muscle memory), to even wearing this strange device that had a little needle that would poke you when you started to slouch. I give my mother a ton of credit for trying but it seemed as if nothing would change our bad behavior.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love more than anything to always have perfect posture. I mean who wouldn’t? Have you seen Claire Underwood on House of Cards? She has impeccable posture and I’ve always wanted to channel that. Great posture makes you instantly look more confident! I’m not sure why I can’t mentally remind myself to standup straight as soon as I feel myself slouch. Nevertheless, in most cases, I am unsuccessful. I am sure if I could figure out a way to improve my posture, my neck and upper back would thank me for that. I cannot even tell you the amount of “knots” I have. Grrr!!!

Of course, as I was sitting at my desk hunched over, I officially had enough of my bad behavior and needed to make a change. I started to search the internet for tips and tricks to remind myself to standup straight. Since I use different apps to monitor my steps and eating habits I figured there had to be something out there to assist me with my forever dream of standing up straight, right? And guess what…there is! I found a company online called Upright. They are leading the charge to help the world improve their posture.

I just received my Upright Trainer in the mail and I am super excited to give it a go. Here is how it works:

  1. Order your Upright Trainer device either here and or here
  2. Download and install their free app – available with iOS and Android – then connect your device to your phone
  3. Attach the device to your upper-back via their hypoallergenic adhesive stickers (comes with 5)
  4. Receive immediate posture feedback – from the app or the device will vibrate gently on your back to alert you whenever you start to slouch. YES!!
  5. Track your progress to ensure you are on your way to improving your posture

It’s that easy and I cannot wait to keep you updated with my progress throughout the next few weeks. This has been a long time coming and I am excited to see if the Upright Trainer will help improve my lifelong dream of remarkable posture.

Check out Upright Trainer here for more details.

Philadelphia Lifestyle Blogger Stays at The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort

I just finished my stay at the luxurious Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort and I am super sad to leave. Why do vacations end within a blink of an eye? Well even though the time flew by, my stay was nothing sort of fabulous and The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort is a spot you need add to your vacation list!

The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort is located in the North Mountains nestled cliff side in Phoenix, Arizona. No matter which building you stay, or which area you are exploring on the property, you are guaranteed to soak in impactable views. Not only are the views wonderful but the resort has numerous amenities available during your stay from full-service spa, awarding-winning golf, eight fabulous pools, Starbucks coffee shop, fitness center, three restaurants conveniently on-site that also offer in room dinning, a boutique gift shop with a variety of souvenirs, seasonal activities and more.

As I arrived, I was greeted by everyone in the lobby. I felt so welcomed. I was provided with water, as you must stay hydrated during these amazing hot temperatures – 111 degrees to be exact. I was fully briefed on all the amenities the property had to offer as well as off property activities. A map was provided highlighting the areas I wanted to explore as well as the location of my room. I was shuttled to my room and was ready to take on the festivities.

Their room suites (all 584 of them) are very spacious and also have separated living areas. There is a balcony located off the bedroom to take in their breathtaking views. They have extremely comfortable bedding where you can also utilize the blackout blinds for an even more tranquil sleep. There is a mini-refrigerator fully stocked and or large enough for you to bring in your own treats. And a separate bathroom area that made it easy for people to shower and get ready in different areas. With the rooms being so spacious, it is perfect for families to share and still feel as if they are in their own room. My husband and I had plentily of room for the two of us and used the living room area as the hang out room for other family members.

Since I was born in Arizona, nothing makes me happier than lounging pool side getting kissed by the sun. I love having a healthy bronzed skin! The resort has eight pools scattered throughout the property. I spent 95% of my time at The Falls Water Village location because it had everything I needed: lounge chairs, private cabanas, spaciously large pool, full-service bar and café, hot tub, volleyball, enclosed waterslide (not really my thing but I gave it a go), tranquil cascading waterfalls and 100% relaxation! The only minor downfall was the temperature of the pool was pretty chilly. It wasn’t your normal refreshing cold that when you’ve been sunbathing and needing to cool off. But again, didn’t keep me away and it’s not the end of the world.


This photo was provided by the hotel

The restaurant in the pool area is Cascades Café and I had wonderful service every day I was there. The cocktails are FABULOUS! They are super refreshing and kept me hydrated and cool while sunbathing.

Favorite Cocktails from Cascades Café:

  • Banana Bo Tai:
    • A frozen drink made with Captain Morgan Rum, Mango, Banana, Sweet & Sour, Float of Myers’s Dark Rum
  • Citrus Watermelon Cooler:
    • Vodka, Watermelon Ginger Ale, Lemon
  • Rum Runner:
    • My server’s creation

Food was great for sharing and pretty delicious. Even though the other pools on site were nice, this one by far was my favorite. It has something for everyone in your party.

Not only do they have the Cascades Café restaurant, the resort also has two other fine dining restaurants onsite: Different Pointe of View and Pointe In Tyme. Different Pointe of View is by far their most popular. It is located mountaintop within the resort property (be sure to jump on the shuttle as it is a hike). Breathtaking, panoramic views that will stay in your memory forever. Absolutely stunning and a perfect place for photos. I loved the ambiance and the menu is very sophisticated. Pointe In Tyme is located near the Pro Shop not too far from the lobby. I dinned there a few times for breakfast and enjoyed the cuisine. If you don’t want to leave the resort, this restaurant is perfect for breakfast and lunch. The pricing was a little high for breakfast but everything on the menu looked very appetizing.

As many of you know, I live in Philadelphia and I am always up before sunrise, which was ideal for me to walk the entire property and take in the panorama views of downtown Phoenix, the beautiful desert valley landscape along with the views of the resort. And let’s not take hike lightly. With this beautiful resort being cliff side of the North Mountains, there are hills, many of them and they are steep. Yes, the property does offer round the clock shuttle service (which is amazing) but I recommend walking the property at least twice during your stay (morning and night). I really enjoyed the peacefulness during my hike. I was in awe of the views and I promise you, the pictures do not give it justice. As a reminder, be sure to bring a good pair of walking shoes. You will be glad you did.

I give this property major kudos around their creative for activities. There are so many activities available during your stay and you can find the listing here. One that I experienced was the Saturday Wildlife World Zoo Visit. Every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. they bring in a couple of wildlife animals from the Zoo to show their guests the variety of animals that come to visit. This is a great activity for families and the best part is that it takes place at The Falls Water Village. You can still enjoy adult time by the pool while your kiddos sit nearby learning.

For my Industry Family

The resort was perfect for my cousin’s wedding. Not only did I get some much-needed R&R but with me being in the events industry, it was great to experience the full experience of what this resort can offer with their meeting and event space. All of their event space is very sophisticated and perfect for all types of meetings and events. They have over 65,000 square feet and 36 meetings rooms that can accommodate events from 50, to 1,500 participants. If you are looking for a new location to wow your participants, you must check them out! They have 584 all-suite accommodations with fabulous amenities. They are only 12 miles (roughly 20 minutes) from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Find out more details here.

To say my stay was unforgettable is an understatement. Not only did I love many things about the resort but hanging out with my family made it even more amazing. There was something for everyone and it was great to have everything we need onsite (there is a Safeway grocery store nearby to stock up on any of your favorites during your stay). Their staff is exceptional, and they truly made sure my stay was everything and more of what I excepted. Everyone was friendly and very attentive. I loved my experience and happy my cousin chose this location for her beautiful wedding. Thank you again The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort for a fabulous time!

Want to experience The Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort, click here.

If you are looking for a delicious restaurant off property, be sure to check out one of my favorites Mora Italian by chef Scott Conant.

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A Fashionista Clothing Store You Must Follow

Makeup by: Becc’s Beauty Bar Eyelashes: Forever Young Med Spa

Shopping is in my DNA and finding great outfits, stores and, of course, deals is what I’m all about. With that being said, I have found a chic, trendy, fashionista dream store that, to be honest, I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I did not come across sooner.  Since I have purchased many successful items, I can truly say that I am officially obsessed with this store. They have a great selection that won’t break the bank. Now that I have found this store, I had to share with all of you!

Who am I referencing you ask? VICI! As I was scrolling through my social media channels, I noticed a sponsored post with an eye-catching statement dress that I absolutely had to purchase. As I clicked on the sponsored post, not only did I love the dress that drew me in the first place but also I found many other pieces that I couldn’t live without.

VICI is an online clothing store with two store locations in California (Newport Beach and Walnut Creek) and their collection is a variety of curated casual wear to head turning statement pieces. Their clothing is very versatile at an unbeatable price.

They are always on the hunt for new items that will wow their large customer base. New collections launch weekly so many of their followers wait until the clock strikes midnight so they can get their hands on the latest trends before they sell out.

If you are unsure of your size, don’t worry! Their sizes vary by brand so be sure to review their easy size chart before purchase. Or you can also call one of their stylists to discuss sizing options, brands and of course answer any additional questions.

Now, let’s discuss this Solange Lace Midi Dress – Taupe that I am wearing. This lace dress is the perfect length and is a head turner – guaranteed! It fits like a glove, has the right amount of lace detail and the scalloped edges adds additional elegance to the dress. It ‘s a timeless piece and is perfect for any occasion. The dress comes in other colors (Grey, White and Black) and is only $68. I’m wearing a medium and have a strapless bra on for additional support. There is a hidden zipper in the back, which makes it easier to put on. The dress was super comfortable to wear and take on the dance floor at my cousin’s wedding.

I paired the dress with my classic Steve Madden STARLET platform heels, Ann Taylor triple crystal stud earrings and my Rebecca Minkoff Crossbody bag.

I love shopping on VICI’s website and have my calendar marked for their new arrivals each week. If you haven’t been to their website, be sure to do so today. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram. I promise your wardrobe will thank you for adding VICI to it.

If you are an avid shopper of VICI, please share some of your favorites. If you are new to VICI, please share one of your favorites in your shopping cart. Happy shopping!

Picture location: Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs in Phoenix, AZ

 

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Philly Fashion Blogger Round Up of the Perfect Little White Dresses

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Before we get started on today’s post, I would like to say thank you for all those who have died serving our amazing country. Even though its only one official day of remembrance, we all appreciate everything you have done for our country. Thank you.

With Memorial Day coming to a close, I hope everyone had a great time with family and friends, and took in some much-needed R&R. Were you able to shop any sales? I did, and I hope each of you found some incredible fashion pieces for the upcoming season. I love holiday sales!

One of my favorite things about the day after Memorial Day, is it’s the official kickoff to the little white dress season. YES! Ladies we all rock our sexy little black dress all year round and now it’s the perfect time for a romantic little white dress. Are you ready?

As you’ve seen in many of my other post, I absolutely love wearing dresses! Besides, no one ever said it was a bad thing to own too many dresses, right? Dresses are very versatile, and they help keep you cooler during the extreme summer months.

On my hunt for the perfect little white dresses, I’ve rounded up some of my favorites along with others that are currently in my shopping cart. Click on a dress below to shop that dress or accessory.

If you have purchased a fabulous little white dress, you know I want to hear about it. Share the dress or accessory link below and I’ll be sure to add it to the list.

Philly Blogger Attends Grand Opening of Scott Conant Restaurant Cellaio Steak at Resorts World Catskills


Photo: Me with Scott Conant

Two of my favorite things would be traveling and eating at fabulous restaurants (my husband doesn’t count as he is always my number one). NYC is a quick train ride away from Philadelphia and every time I head there you will find me dining at the delicious Fusco. It’s magical! Because I’m such a fan of Fusco, I became acquainted with the wonderful staff members of SC Restaurant team, and on numerous occasions, I had the opportunity to meet the owner, restauranteur/executive chef – the one and only Scott Conant. Yes, the same one from many hit television shows on the Food Network channel.

Meeting people (especially celebrities) is always a 50/50 toss up on whether or not your encounter will be an enjoyable experience. And ever since I had the opportunity to meet Scott Conant at Fusco, every encounter has been delightful. He is extremely down to earth and exceedingly passionate about what he does. This passion also trickles down to his staff, both in the back of the house and front of the house. Because I’m a regular at Fusco, Scott’s team invited me to his grand opening of his newest restaurant in Monticello, NY.

The restaurant is located in the beautiful Resort World Catskills, and the grand opening event of Cellaio Steak was nothing short of extraordinary. When we arrived at the restaurant the experience from beginning to end was wonderful. Scott was there as we walked up to the restaurant and greeted us as if we were old friends. He is really good about making you feel like he remembers you even if he doesn’t (I mean the guy meets millions of people, so well done!). I had the opportunity to also met his wife, Mel, and she was lovely. Like him, Mel was very down to earth. I can see how much love they have for each other and support each other in everything they do.


Photo:(second from right) Irene Chiang, Director of Marketing & Events | SC Restaurant and (far right) Mel Bozkurt-Conant

After some time, we were then escorted to the bar where we found a very robust collection of wines (over 500 to be exact) and signature cocktails. We drank Manhattans, sipped on amazing Champaign and a variety of classic wines. If you love wine, you must see Cellaio Steaks wine collection. You can learn more about Cellaio Steak menu here. The wine listing is incredible and super easy to pair with any dish you order.

After a few hours of cocktails and mingling, we were taken to our table in dining room for the well anticipated food. Yes, it was epic! Scott had small plate tastings of all his famous pastas, along with a seafood, bread and carving stations. And let’s not forget about the famous cheese wheel of truffle risotto. The food was so amazing, that I devoured it before I could even take a photo (whoops)! The entire staff made sure that each table was fully attended to and that everyone had enough of Scott’s famous Pasta Al Pomodoro. Our server Tyler (pictured below) knew of my profound love of the Pasta Al Pomodoro and made sure I had my fair share. Thank you, Tyler!

After dinner, we went back to the bar and chatted with other guests and meet with additional members of Scott’s team. Everyone was just as fabulous as the next one. My personal favorite had to be Scott’s right-hand man and pasta sauce creator (pictured below), he has been with Scott since the very beginning. I was totally tempted to kidnap him, so he could teach me his ways. But that wouldn’t be fair to all of you! The night was topped off with another manhattan and a glass or two of champaign accompanied by a variety of decadent desserts.


Did I mention how out of this world their manhattans are? We couldn’t get enough! We were drinking them so fast, the glassware couldn’t keep up. Yummy!

One of my favorite things about Cellaio Steak was how warm and inviting it was. The people, the abeyance and the cuisine are very sophisticated. Scott and his team were excellent hosts and the company was amazing. Don’t let the name fool you, this is not your traditional steakhouse. Scott has married his Italian inspired cuisine perfectly with a steakhouse vibe.


Photo: The fabulous Jay Kolakowski, Director of Restaurants | SC Restaurants

We were having such a fabulous time that we didn’t want the night to end. But all good things have to come to an end and as we all walked away we were gifted one of Scott’s cookbooks. It really was a fabulous evening.


Photo: My husband, Jeff Davis and I

Thank you again very much to Scott and his team for inviting me to the grand opening of Cellaio Steak. This truly was a fabulous experience and we cannot wait to see the continued success for years to come.

Cellaio Steak is the fifth restaurant in of SC Restaurants and you can find the listing of each restaurant below:
Fusco | 43 East 20thStreet. New York, NY
Mora Italian | 5651 North 7th Street. Phoenix, AZ
The Ponte | 8265 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA
Masso Osteria | 11011 W. Charleston Blvd. Las Vegas, NV
Cellaio Steak | 888 Resorts World Drive. Monticello, NY

Can’t make it to one of Scott’s restaurants? Order his amazing cookbook and enjoy his recipes from the comfort of your own home.

Here is a photo of Brandy (from Nutmeg Nanny) and I. Brandy and her husband (not photographed) were delightful, and we instantly connected. Brandy is a food blogger and you can find more details on her blog here.

Philly Fashion Blogger Partners with Ann Taylor for Fashion Show at INDIE’s Open House

Photo by Nathan Lich, The Onyx Urbnane

Fashion shows are such an exhilarating experience for the organizers, models and the audience. I know some people have their opinions on fashion shows, mostly, “I would never wear that!” But our fashion show was completely different. We showcased Ann Taylor’s latest trends for the upcoming summer season and educated the audience on how to pair those outfits with vibrant, yet affordable, statement pieces.

Opulent Events by Gracie reached out to the Empowering In Heels team about this opportunity and it was one we could not pass up. The event was to host a celebration of a new event space in Philly called INDIE. Longtime residents of Philadelphia know this space as the old Egypt Nightclub. Gracie was looking for an additional wow factor for her event and asked if we would be interested in hosting a fashion show during her event. Did someone say fashion show? Yes please!

It truly was a no brainer and I knew exactly who to turn to for the wardrobe: Ann Taylor in Philadelphia. We needed to make sure the fashion we would be showcasing would be a showstopper. Also, I wanted to be sure each outfit would resonate and be relevant to the audience. We knew the majority of the audience would be professional working women, which made Ann Taylor a perfect fit. With this fashion show, we could easily showcase how versatile each article of clothing, and accessory, would work with their busy lifestyle – all without breaking the bank.

I personally love everything about Ann Taylor’s collections. I’m always rocking their looks and I confess that 85% of my closet was purchased from their stores. When I am passionate about a collection, I want to show others how they can achieve the same strong and professional look.

On to the show. I loved everything about it! A huge thank you to the fabulous models for representing each outfit perfectly. And a very special thank you to the one and only Rebia Smith for emceeing the event. Rebia did an unbelievable job explaining (in very precise detail) each piece and how and where to wear it. Every person, male and female, left feeling inspired and had key takeaways on how to spice up their look (or their significant others style) for the upcoming season.

Below you will find outfit details of each ensemble along with video clips from the fashion show. Enjoy!

Look 1

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The Fabulous Models

Ann Taylor Philadelphia is located on Walnut Street between 16th and 17th in Rittenhouse Square. Their team members are extremely knowledgeable and happy to meet with you to discuss your personal style, wish list and pull outfits together for you to try on. Whether you know a thing or two about fashion or nothing at all, no worries, they have you covered. Stop in today to meet the amazing fashion showcased above and introduce yourself. You will be glad you did!

Which outfit was your favorite from the fashion show?

Photo by Nathan Linch, The Onyx Urbnane

Event Hosts

Opulent Events by Gracie
Opulent Events by Gracie a vibrant, innovative, full-service events company whose mission is to strategically create, plan, and execute the most memorable events.
Gracie Foreman, President
Website

Carl Alan Floral Design
Carl Alan Floral Designs offers variety of floral arrangement and designs for all of life’s special moments. Make your next event memorable with a floral design from Carl Alan!
Vito Russo
Website

Additional Photography/Video

The Onyx Urbane
The Onyx Urbane provides photography and videography for upscale events, promotional images for companies and business minded individuals. Check out their website for additional services.
Nathan Lich, CEO/Founder
Facebook
Business Instagram
Personal Instagram

Videos From The Fashion Show

Photo by Nathan Lich, The Onyx Urbnane
Photo by Nathan Lich, The Onyx Urbnane
Photo by Nathan Lich, The Onyx Urbnane

Thank you again to Ann Taylor in Philadelphia and our strong, beautiful models; Dana, Tammy, Maureen, Maggie, Mannish, Abby and Rae. An even BIGGER thank you to Rebia and Rae from Ann Taylor Philadelphia for making this event possible. Well done ladies!

Philly Fashion Bloggers Take On A New York Fashion Show

Earlier this year, Kathryn and I were invited to attend the (capsule) New York Women’s RTW & Accessories show. The event showcased the best high-end progressive designers and brands from around the world and we were able to get a sneak peek at their SS18 lookbooks and learn more about their specific style in the fashion world.

The event was extraordinary! My favorite part was talking to the designers and learning more about their forward-thinking approach to design. And, yes, the fashion there was incredible! I was inspired to be around so many great minds. Feeling their excitement and their passion for their craft made this event so much more special for Kathryn and I.

We met a ton of great people and companies. And even though we enjoyed many, there were a few that stuck in my mind the most. As we walked the event space, I wanted to capture those fashion trends and ideas so we could pass them over to you, our dedicated readers. In chatting with these companies, not only did we find great fashion, but we also got to learn about their brand story and how they are unique in their own special way. Here are six of my favorites.

JCH creates bold, textural handmade jewelry accessories for the modern woman. JCH was the first booth that captured my attention at the show. When initially walking by I was immediately drawn to her unique jewelry pieces. Piece after piece I was falling more in love with her designs, textures, colors and uniqueness of each item. Here are a few of my favorites; Wide + Narrow rings, Ear Tassels, Tourmaline Studs, Woven Cuff, Crescent Necklace and DBL ARC + Fiber Necklace. I can tell each piece is made from the heart.

Outland Denim had quite possibly one of the best brand stories at the event. They created the Denim Program, which offers employment and training opportunities for women rescued from human trafficking, sexual exploitation and other human rights abuse. A higher quality of jeans is also a focus for this company based out of Australia. They don’t cut corners on their materials so these jeans will last a long time. You need to check this company out!  We spoke with Aaron and James (founder) for quite some time. I was enamored by how passionate they are about their story and how they continue to make a huge impact for women. We reviewed the different styles of jeans and also the inspiration behind their names. As you know, until recently, I didn’t have much luck in the jean department and with their quality and length/style of their jeans – I have found another winner. Here is some of my favorites.

Qilo is a contemporary streetwear brand for men based in NYC. I was drawn to their brand not only because of their sweatershirts (as you all know my love for sweatshirts) but their pineapple logo. Their clothing is made out of quality fabric and is very fashion forward. Here are a few of my favorites Cubix Graphic Sweatshirt, Suede Side-Zip Sweatershirt in pink and Two-toned Dad Hat in powder blue/orchid.

Peony & Me is a contemporary athleisure brand that is taking the industry by storm. They have many interchangeable styles that are very fashion forward. Their products look fabulous in the gym and on the go. I loved every piece they had on the show floor and even their website. I actually own a couple of pieces from them as I recently learned about their company prior to attending this show. It was great to see them at the show and learn more about their brand and what sets them apart from the others.

Voloshin is an effortless, comfortable, statement driven clothing brand based in Philadelphia. We met with Lindsay and Amy (founder) and we instantly had a connection. Amy’s love for fashion is deeply routed and her unique style and passion for ancient printing technique really sets her clothing line apart from the others. Voloshin uses only natural fabrics, as they don’t want their clothes to be made from fossil fuels. They love using block printing, which makes sense to have their clothing line produced in India where you will find some of the oldest blocking printing facilities (discover more on their process here). I loved their dresses – such amazing details on all of them. Many of their dresses can be worn for any occasion and they all were comfortable, stylish and very feminine. Check out more of their collection here.

Katie Diamond is fine jewelry that is custom to perfection. Initially Katie designed jewelry for her family and friends, which quickly turned into her starting her entire collection. I loved the display of her dainty and luxury looks showcasing her layering necklaces, elegant earrings and her assortment of stacking rings. Every piece has such attention to detail.

Thank you to all of these brands for sharing their stories with the Empowering In Heels team. We loved being able to connect with this amazing community that is shaping the future of the fashion landscape.  We look forward to watching your brand grow and being even more successful for years to come.

Nutrition: On Trend for Spring

Photo by: http://www.jacksaady.com/

With a new season comes the turnover of our wardrobe. We trade our sweaters, boots and scarves for sundresses, tank tops and bathing suits.

But did you know you should be changing the food on your plate according to the season too?

Seasonal eating is the process of eating according the to the three harvests – spring, summer and fall. It’s eating as nature intended.

After a long winter of warming soups, roasted vegetables and slow cooker meals, it’s time to lighten up your plate.

So, what’s on the nutritional “runway” for spring?

Leafy Greens
Health Benefits: Spring is nature’s new year and it’s abundant in leafy green vegetables to help alkalize and detoxify the body.

Getting a variety of greens – spinach, kale, arugula, chard, etc. – ensures you’re getting the maximum variety of nutrients in your body and flavor for your taste buds!

How to Store: Before placing your leafy greens in the crisper, place a paper towel in the container to balance the moisture content and extend the life of the greens.

How to Serve: Enjoy them as a salad, toss them in a smoothie or sauté them up as a side dish.

Asparagus
Health Benefits: Asparagus is a great source of fiber, iron and chlorophyll.

How to Store: We get a little fancy around here in storing asparagus. Keep the rubber band around the bunch, trim an inch off the ends, stand the asparagus in a glass jar with an inch or two of water and loosely cover with a plastic bag in your fridge. This will keep it fresh for up to a week!

How to Serve: You can steam, grill or sauté them for a tasty side dish to any spring meal.

Beets
Health Benefits: These deeply colored veggies are great for your blood, circulation and overall detoxification.

How to Store: Beets can last for up to two weeks in the veggie drawer in your fridge.

How to Serve: Roast them as a side dish or addition to your salad or add them to your next smoothie or juice! Don’t toss the leaves! They’re a great green to serve up as a side dish or toss in your smoothie.

Strawberries
Health Benefits: These treats are loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants and sweet flavor – they even are known to whiten your teeth!

How to Store: If you’re going to enjoy these within 3 days of purchasing and your kitchen is a neutral temperature, place your strawberries in a beautiful bowl on your countertop.

How to Serve: Eat them whole, slice them up, layer them in a chia seed parfait, blend them in a smoothie – the options are endless!

Enjoy these spring foods in this special edition Empowering In Heels Spring Cookbook!

Author: Alene L. Brennan, RYT

Philly Fashion Bloggers visit Soft Surroundings

As fashion bloggers, we love finding great brands and deals for our readers. And when we were contacted by Soft Surroundings to attend their grand opening at the Promenade in Marlton, NJ we were intrigued to learn more about what their brand was about. Neither one of us had ever heard of Soft Surroundings (a shame really) and our first instinct was to check out their website. We were pleasantly surprised with the number of products they offered and couldn’t wait to visit them in person.

As we walked in the store, we were instantly welcomed by their friendly staff and a soothing aroma that filled the store. The store greeter introduced themselves and started asking questions about us, our hobbies and lifestyle. Why you ask? Soft Surroundings’ moto is all about looking your best and feeling fabulous from head to toe every day. They want to understand each potential customer a little bit more, so they can recommend styles that work with their lifestyles. We were blown away by their attention to detail and how every employee presented themselves the same way to each and every guest that walked through their doors.

As we walked around the strategically designed store, employees explained to us what Soft Surroundings is striving to accomplish. They understand that women in general don’t always put themselves first on their priority list. Soft Surroundings’ philosophy is to help women take the time to put themselves first from their clothing, make-up, skincare, accessories and even their home decor! When you work on putting yourself first, you can take better care of those around you, which can lead to a healthier, happier life. As you can see from the store photos, you feel the sense of ease and comfort everywhere you look.

Soft Surroundings isn’t just a clothing store; they have so many options for women of all ages. Home décor, i.e. the bedroom, is one of their major focuses. After a long hard day of being on the go, they want your bedroom to feel like a retreat night after night: comfortable, stylish and a place of relaxation. We found ourselves drawn to their effortless elegance of their bedding. Everything is high quality and proof tested before being showcased online and or in stores. If you’re like us and don’t have a ton of skills in interior design, they have a designer program to help create your perfect retreat.

As we continued walking the store floor the excitement never lowered. We uncovered more offerings such as adorable knickknacks, rugs, fragrances, beauty products, accessories, and even more. We loved watching the excitement on other shoppers’ faces as they found item after item that they loved. With everything they offer, Soft Surroundings is proving to be a one stop shop for women. The only thing missing was a glass of wine and hors d’ oeuvres!

The opening launch party was nothing short of remarkable. The staff was incredibly knowledgeable and welcoming. They prove their mission with every customer that walks in the door – to look and feel your best every day and no matter what you are looking for, they have something for you.

Not only did we leave with some amazing takeaways, we have already ordered multiple items online. We can’t wait to go back to see the original staff members who made us feel so welcomed and educated us on a company that is truly leading the way of making a difference for hard-working women.

Check out Soft Surroundings today and let us know what you think. Find a store near you for a wonderful experience. If you don’t have one near you, be sure to check out their online store for great finds. Share your top item or one that is currently in your shopping cart.

Thank you again to the Promenade in Marlton, NJ team and those from corporate on making our experience grand.


Philly Fashion Blogger: Why I Chose to Add Botox to My Beauty Routine

When you think about Botox, what is the first thing that runs through your mind? I’m thinking it’s probably a variety of negative or positive thoughts depending on information you research or whom you speak with. Am I right? Well, just like everything in this world, everyone has different views on everything and I wanted to share with you my experience with Botox injections and why I chose to add it to my beauty routine.

I never thought I would get Botox. I had my doubts, as I never really understood the full health benefits. And I wasn’t even sure if I needed it. But as I got older, I started noticing the wrinkles on my face were becoming more prevalent and the natural aging process was in full effect. Of course, I didn’t want these wrinkles to progress at a rapid pace, so I started using even more creams and nothing was truly doing the trick. I needed another way to prevent these unforgiving wrinkles and that is when I started investigating Botox injections.

What is Botox and How Does it Work

Here is a definition of Botox. When your muscles are contracting they start to leave defined lines/wrinkles on your skin (which will start to form wrinkles). Botox is administered into those contracting muscles that causes those lines/wrinkles and helps with “freezing” those contracting muscles from creating deeper lines/wrinkles. I find this in my forehead and around my eyes.

Research and Consultation

After hours of research, I decided to make an appointment to meet with a professional – no matter how much research you find online, it is very important to have a licensed professional answer your questions and having a great Doctor is key. I met with Dr. Sam and she answered all my questions and provided me with a lot of facts. She walked me through the entire process of Botox and really eased any concerns I had.

One of my main concerns I wanted to share was having too many injections and not looking natural. She explained to me that her approach is ‘less is more’ for her patients. Especially for first timers, she wants you to feel extremely comfortable and leave feeling like a new person…naturally. Less is more and it’s easier to add more than take it away. I also informed her about how I suffer with migraines and I learned that Botox injections have been proven to help with migraines as it freezes the muscles and nerves in your face. This enticed me more to move forward as this was something I had been suffering with for so long, that I started dreaming about what life would be like with fewer migraines.

Administering of the Botox Injections

After all my questions and concerns were answered, the actual injection process was super simple. She washed my face clean, took before photos, marked the desired injection spots, and provided me with a mirror to review the areas she feels needed the most attention. Once we agree, it’s time to start the injections. I would describe the feeling of the Botox injections as a little pinch and nothing more. Since it was my first time, I was a little nervous about how painful they might be. But after the first initial one, I was all set and my mind was at ease. The entire process was under fifteen minutes. Afterwards she rubs you’re the injection spots to smooth everything out. She provided me with simple instructions on next steps.

Aftercare

  1. You cannot lay down flat for at least a minimum of four hours
  2. No working out for the first 24 hours

Additional Details

The cost can vary depending on where you go. I paid $12 per injection spot and Dr. Sam administered 17 total injections. Depending on the person of course, Botox injections can last anywhere from 3-5 months.

Overall Thoughts

I had my first round of Botox injections this past December after a long and careful deliberation with myself. Such a weird feeling; however, it has been totally worth it. I feel like a new woman! I love that my wrinkles have disappeared, and my migraines have really subsided. Yes, I still can move my face but now there are no lines/wrinkles visible. I am extremely satisfied with my decision to start adding Botox injections to my beauty routine.

Have you ever tried Botox? Did you like it? Please Share your comments.