Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tequila 101

One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor! I can’t say I love that part about tequila, but I do love its taste. So a little more today about the infamous Tequila (which is pronounced: teˈkila in Spanish). Tequila is a distilled alcoholic beverage that is made from the blue agave plant. Many people mistake agave as a form of cactus, but it’s actually looks more like a like a large Aloe Vera plant.

So how exactly is tequila made? Harvesters cut off the leaves of the blue agave plant stripping it to the heart of plant (kind of like a pineapple) and they press out their juices, and place them into fermentation tanks and vats. The agave juice is then allowed to ferment in either wood or stainless steel vats for several months so they can convert the sugars into alcohol.

The quality of tequila is reliant on it being made from 100% agave, and if it is the label will say so. The best tequila makers take pride in delivering quality tequila. Most tequila brands are 80 proof, many distillers will distill to 100 proof and then dilute it with water to reduce its harshness. Some of the more respected brands distill the alcohol to 80 proof without using additional water as dilutants.

You may often see the terms “gold”, “silver”, or “platinum” on tequila brand labels. They mean nothing about the quality of the tequila. Non-100% agave tequilas may contain agave sugars but more so they contain other sugars that they caramelize into alcohol, which adds a brownish (gold as they would say it) color to make it look like it was aged for longer than it really is.

Joven Abogado:  It is not 100% agave, and has not been aged. This kind of tequila is often called mixto, meaning it’s a mixture of agave and other sugars.

Blanco:  meaning white, has not color at all, it’s crystal clear. It is diluted with water to bring the alcohol down to 80 proof. Many tequila drinkers prefer blano tequilas as they fill they are the closest to the purity of the Agave plant.

Reposado, meaning rested, have been aged in oak containers for at least 60 days; some are distilled for up to a year. However there is no limit on the size of the oak container. Better tequilas are aged in smaller 55 gallon barrels, like the size used for aging wine. Really good tequila is aged for at least 6 to 9 months, allowing tequila a mellow bit and adding color naturally.

Añejo meaning aged tequila must be aged for at least 12 months. Higher quality tequilas are aged for 18 months. Añejo tequilas are almost always the most expensive, because of its quality. The best premium tequilas are añejos’ such as Herradura’s Seleccion Suprema, Cuervo’s Reserva de Familia, or San Matias’ Rey Sol and are aged at for least 3 years. Extra-añejos are aged in oak barrels for at least 5-6 years. In blind tastings, they are often taken for whiskies or brandies.

Ever heard of Mezcal, or mescal? It is most commonly mistaken for tequila. It is definitely a relative. It’s made from the maguey plant, but most importantly it is most known for the worm like creature. Most people are led to believe it’s a worm but it’s actually larva such as a moth or butterfly, as Mexican Laws prohibits the placement of “Worms” in distilled beverages. The larva is often found in the heart of the agave plant. So it became a tradition to add it to the Mezcal because it contained so much of the agave sugars. It’s supposed to be a component ingredient essential to the liquor’s flavor and color, but the worm and larva is also a delicacy in Mexico.

So how will you take your tequila; on the rocks, straight up, neat, in a tequila sunrise or margarita? However you chose to drink yours, make it memorable, and choose wisely, as cheap tequila hangovers are the worst!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Say Hello to Beautiful Hair!

Are you tired of frizzy and unmanageable hair? There are many hair treatments available to treat frizzy hair, but most of them either don’t completely get rid of the problem, or they cost an outrageous amount of money.  Most women are very particular about their hair; who doesn’t want beautiful and smooth hair every time they step out of the shower? Looking presentable and attractive is a must for most women; however beauty comes with a price. But now there is revolutionary hair therapy that eliminates up to 95% of frizz while conditioning your hair, and saving you time and money.

This protein based hair treatment is called Keratin, and it will make your hair so much more manageable and easier to style.  Keratin Hair Treatments are one of the most popular hair treatments around. The treatment eliminates dryness and frizz leaving hair smooth, shiny and gorgeous. It’s especially ideal for individuals who live in hot, humid and moist geographical areas.

Styling your hair with heat and hair products damage the natural keratin found in our hair. Without keratin, our hair becomes dull; which causes those ugly pesky split ends that leave your hair terribly unmanageable.

Permanent straightening hair products and other treatments usually contain very harsh chemicals that damage and cause severe dryness of the hair. Applying chemical products are only quick fixes and they do not resolve the problem for long. With Keratin as its main ingredient, this amazing hair treatment relaxes and straightens hair without any harmful chemicals.

 Keratin hair treatment replenishes the keratin and acts as a filler to help repair unruly damaged hair. It is specially formulated with natural keratin protein; and has been proven to rebuild, restore, and rejuvenate hair. Keratin protein relaxes your hair without damaging, all while enhancing shine and creating healthier hair. It’s perfect for all hair types even including color treated and chemically processed hair.

In just a few days, Keratin Hair Treatments will revitalize and restore months and years’ worth of damaged hair. So what are you waiting for? Keratin Hair Treatments are the best solution for achieving beautiful straight hair!

Monday, May 7, 2012

A little Whine with your Dine?


After a long week of carpooling, chauffeuring the kids around to all their activities, cooking, cleaning, and oh yeah and working, then like me you can’t wait to go out to eat on Saturday night. Oh… but wait, the dreaded complaints from your children and their disturbing behavior is enough to want to just order in.

If you’re like me though, you just want to have one night free of cleaning up afterwards, and a night to just dress up and get out of the house. With two kids, babysitting is just too expensive, and I don’t know a whole lot of people who are willing to take on our children = 2 fighting siblings.
However, I must say eating out has finally become a little less of a chore. My children are only 22 months apart. Ya, try taking two toddlers out to eat, with one that can’t stay still if his life depended on it, and another who screams bloody murder if “Queen Elizabeth” doesn’t get her way.  And yes her name really is Elizabeth and the shoe fits all too well. Funny enough, my son’s name is Andrew. But he in no way acts like a Prince.  

So what do you do when you want to eat out with uncontrollable children? It’s all about distractions baby! Being prepared for all types of behavior doesn’t hurt too. I usually brought in a suitcase filled with activities. Okay, okay a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point.

  •   First things first… do yourself a favor and utilize the restaurants’ fine furniture. Say what? That’s right, Choose the Appropriate Seating. Sitting in the restaurants’ biggest booth is the best and most important advice I can give you. Have your kids sit closest to the booths wall, one on each side, and have a parent on each side trapping them in. Oh yes that’s right sister, I said Traaappp those suckers in. This will keep your marathon runners imprisoned as much as possible and your fidgety kiddo’s a little less squirmy. Sitting at regular tables say to your children PARTY TIME!
  • Be prepared!  Bring everything but the kitchens sink with you in your diaper bag or backpack. Bring coloring books, travel-sized Play Dough, a travel-sized Magna Doodle, play money, books, baggie of snacks, the list goes on and on. I will tell you one of the best things we brought with us were Leap Frogs systems. This would keep them very entertained for hours. I would suggest putting away at least 3 games, and bring them out only while at places where they need to behave. Otherwise they’ll be used to the same games and this won’t distract them.  We also loved bringing portable DVD players.  What I used to do, is record shows on my DVD recorder like Hannah Montana and Blue Clues (their favorite shows at the time) and them let them watch an hour and a half worth of episodes, or however many  minutes you need them to stay entertained.

  • Who said bribery is wrong? Well I don’t like to think of it as bribery. I like to think of it more on the lines of Positive Reinforcement. Kids will be kids, and they just wanna have fun.  I would tell my children as we were unloading out of the car, that if they would behave while in the restaurant, we would take them to the park afterwards, or out for ice cream or rent a movie of their choice. When they started misbehaving, I quickly threatened to take away their reward for best behavior.

I hope those ideas work for you and your family. I know I would have checked-in at a mental hospital without them; which at the time, seemed like it might have been a nice vacation. Don’t stress yourselves out; be prepared when going out to eat.

 If your prepared the moment you step foot out the door with you bag of staples, you can go anywhere. Not just to a restaurant but other places where proper behavior is expected, like doctor’s offices, the bank, stores, and especially Church!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Exercise for the Busy Mom

Exercise, now that one used to always be the hardest one to check off my list! Seriously, who has time to exercise? I barely have enough time use the restroom, I have to exercise too?

My name is Allie. I am a mother of two adorable children.  We all say that right? I definitely won’t get the Mother of the Year Award. Heck, I probably won’t even be a candidate for Mother of the Week. But I am a master of juggling. Ok well, I was able to juggle everything but exercise. With working full time, my kids’ activities, daily errands, daily chores, and homework, exercise was always at the bottom of my list and always left uncrossed.

If you’re like me, you too probably felt that with all that constant movement there’s no need for exercise. But then why am I still gaining weight? Well, hmm, maybe not eating right and not routinely exercising was the cause? Yes… ok it was!

In July of last year, I set out to make a change. I had finally gained a total of (drum roll please) 80 unbelievable pounds. I was so depressed, and just wanted to crawl into a corner. My relationship with my husband was going downhill due to lack of self-esteem, and my attitude problem. My mothering skills were at an all-time low, and I had no social life. My weight had become a recipe for disaster.

Finally, it was time to stop making excuses, and make a new start for myself.  I started dieting, and the weight was melting off. But I still wasn’t exercising. I tried to incorporate it as much as possible. I started out just walking 2-3 times a week, but that still wasn’t enough. Well, then I set out to run! Yes, running was a great stress reliever, but I felt like I had to do an hour 3-4 times a week to see any difference.

That’s when I hit the internet, in search for an exercise that I could do from home. I knew financially I couldn’t afford to pay for a gym membership, and well I have commitment issues. My exercise program had to be easy to do from home, had to keep my interest and most importantly I had to be able to do it in less than 30 minutes.

After searching a while I found a really cool website called Warrior X-Fit. It’s all that and a bag of chips! Ok not the best example, how about a bag of 100 calorie chocolate covered pretzels?  Their workouts consist of 6 different exercises every day. I absolutely love it because I don't get bored and most importantly I am always working the different muscle groups. With Warrior X-Fit, I don’t have to commit to a monthly fee because its 100% free all the time. I don’t need any fancy equipment; all you need is one resistance band. Most importantly, it only takes 20 minutes a day. That was the deal maker for me.  I need an extensive yet easy workout that’s less than 30 minutes a day.  Hey, now I’ve just shaved another 10 minutes off my daily exercise routine. Now I have time for a nice relaxing bubble bath before I retire for bed.

Working out doesn’t have to be a chore. Check out Warrior X-Fit and watch the pounds melt off and your muscles tone!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

New York Office Suites

In New York City, finding an affordable office space can be almost impossible, until now. Office suites are the ultimate flexible option when your business needs a temporary office space. Business owners can set up instant offices, all throughout the New York Area.  Many companies dislike long term leases, and unnecessary expenses associated with owning their own office. That’s why office suites are becoming the smart sense choice, more and more every day.

This is a great solution for small businesses still trying to sink their feet in success. Most small businesses don’t have the money to immediately lease out the first available office space. They are still trying to establish their company and have very few employees, and working from home only works out short term.

Office suites typically have amenities that include lounge areas, desks, chairs, phones systems, and high speed internet access. They also include great features like shared conference rooms.  Many times businesses only use board or conference rooms weekly or monthly. So why pay for extra space when it’s not needed all the time. In addition to all those great amenities, the suites usually include the utilities, cleaning and maintenance, all included in the monthly fee.

Office suites are awesome because there are no long term leases or commitment needed. They are great for a starter business or businesses new to the area as it’s easy to move when your business grows. They offer flexible short and long-term solutions that accommodate the needs of businesses.

Office suites are also great business centers. Not all businesses need office spaces. They just sometimes need a temporary business center for productivity.  Again, this is especially important for small starter businesses. Working from home is not always an option, but leasing a huge office space, could quickly saturate your profit.

Are Office Suites the best financial solution? Does a one legged duck swim in a circle? Of course, it does, but you won’t have to, at we find the best deal for your business by searching all the available office suites available all over New York City. We take care of the entire headache so you can sit back and focus on the growth of your business.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Make your eyes Pop!

Eyes are the most flattering part of a woman’s face, so why not make yours spectacular? But applying your eye shadow incorrectly can make you stand out in all the WRONG ways! Have no fear, I’ll teach you how correctly applying eye shadow will make you absolutely STUNNING!

Step 1 Choose a color that looks best with your eyes. Using the right color and matching your eyes will make those eyes dazzle!

Step 2 Use a primer on your eyelid, along with a shadow base. Priming your eye lid will help    to keep your eye shadow in place for hours. Make a small dot on to your eyelid using and applicator wand and then spread it over entire eyelid.

Step 3 Apply your lightest color across your eyelid entirely in a sweeping motion from brow to lash line; this will be your base color.  

Step 4 Apply a medium color shadow to cover your lower lids.

Step 5 With the darkest eye shadow color, in the corner of your eye above the lash line, create a V-Shape between the creases of your upper lid and follow the crease to the lower lash line. This will make your eyes pop even more by creating a focal point!

Step 6 Apply a shimmery eye shadow directly under your brow bone, to make your eyes appear larger.  To brighten your eyes even more, using the white eye shadow, make a dot on the inside corner of your eye near the tear duct.

Get Conspicuous SMOKEY EYES, in only 10 Minutes!

·         As always, prep your eyelid by using your primer first.

·         Apply black, brown or gray eyeliner, in one of those colors on the upper lash line. Then draw a thicker line in the middle of eye.

·         Once you’ve drawn the line, use your applicator wand to smudge the line in and to blend the colors. To get a full smudge effect, you can also apply a small amount of eye shadow.

·         Apply your lightest color following the directions on Step 2. By using a cream color base you can obtain that perfect Smokey eye look. Then apply your shimmery eye shadow as instructed in Step 6.

·         Now to obtain that Smoking look, use the darkest brown or black eye shadow color. Start blending in the color at the lash line and then gradually blend up the eye lid by using an eye shadow brush applicator. Blend the colors into the lash line to make sure the eyeliner line disappears. Continue blending following the directions in step 5.

"Drink to me only, with thine eyes. And I will pledge with mine". -Ben Johnson
Flash those beautiful eyes and make the Men go Crazy!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Feng Shui Living

The Chinese practice Feng Shui literally means “Wind-Water”. Feng Shui is believed to help one improve life by receiving positive qi (a positive or negative life force). Dating back over 3,500 years Feng Shui was widely used to familiarize buildings. Most commonly these buildings were spiritually momentous structures such as tombs.

So why is this ancient term so popular today? Since the 1960’s a small amount people from all over the world have started practicing Feng Shui living, but lately it has spread like a wild fire. It is believed to be a clever advent to the way our environment transforms our daily lives.

By learning how to organize our surroundings we can enhance our lives.  Having a Feng Shui home is the first step in reprioritizing your life.

Starting with even one room like you kitchen, can be a perfect start to your new way of Fen Shui living. A Feng Shui kitchen can be inviting for your family to spend time together. They say that the kitchen is the warmest place in the entire house as it delivers heart and soul.

·        Creating your new and inviting Feng Shui kitchen is to clear out any Clutter. Unless it’s absolutely dear to your heart, chunk it. Even though clearing clutter is time and well energy consuming the process is like therapy.

·        Design a functional space atmosphere.  Arrange your table and chairs in a way that allows for an easy flow of movement while working your way around the kitchen.

·        Adding flowers and plants create a warm and fresh feeling. They will not only brighten your day but your kitchen.  Flowers are a perfect choice to help disperse energy throughout t an area.

·        Increase your kitchen’s energy by adding a Feng Shui rock water fountain. It’s not only decorative but it is believed that water features symbolically complete a structure. Water gives life and nourishes all living things.  This fountain doesn’t have to be huge, most fountains are small, portable and are placed on a bar or table.

Feng Shui living is a very comfortable way of life. Decluttering and reorganizing make it easy to start your Feng Shui atmosphere.  You’ll be feeling prioritized in no time!