Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Baby Girl Fashion Tip

File this one in the hell freezing over department:  I never thought I'd be doling out fashion advice for kids.  But as any new parent can attest, I have learned a few tricks and now feel like I'm an expert

Tongue planted firmly in cheek as I wrote that last phrase.

Parents of little girls know that shopping for baby clothes is more fun and more expensive than it should be.  I got caught up in the baby clothes buying craze.  From baby-butt soft Kissy Kissy onesies to a DVF for Gap romper that Jordan wore only twice before she outgrew it, those adorable infant clothes fully sucked me into their fashion vortex.

Of course, it's ridiculous to spend a ton of cash on everyday clothes because kids outgrow them so quickly.  Thanks to my colleague, Bill Jones (and perhaps his beautiful wife Stacy), I figured out how to make dresses and pants last a little longer.

The Joneses gave Jordan the cutest Gymboree sweater dress for babies age 3-6 months.  Jordan wore it as a dress really well for a solid three months last winter and into early spring.  During the summer it was a little warm.  Now that the weather is cooling, and she has grown like a weed, we have repurposed the dress as a top, paired with leggings that Jordan wore six months ago as pants.

You can see in the photos, it's basically a top with versatile capri-type leggings now.  This is a great outfit for the season.  Even better, there's now another life cycle to two articles of clothing that she can wear deep into the fall.  Any flowy dress can be worn again as a top while those uber-cheap stretchy pants can be used again as leggings.  I LOVE that.  

That sound you're now hearing is the collective "duh!" veteran parents are saying.  But seriously,  amidst all talk of breast feeding and Boudreaux's Butt Paste, why did you guys not tell me this?

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Friday, September 28, 2012

How to Score Affordable-ish Business Class Air Fare to Paris

With the summer travel season wrapped up, it's time to start thinking about fall and winter plans.  I'm not an expert but do keep a more-than-casual eye on travel trends and prices.  I recently purchased airline tickets to Europe and might have uncovered a Transatlantic sweet spot in November enveloping the Thanksgiving holiday.
Back to the scene of many fun crimes!
My husband is turning 50 (but he acts 35!!) in November.  He wanted to return to Paris and spend a solid week in La Ville Lumiere.  I sucked up and started searching for deals.  My philosophy is to fight for business class on international flights and save money by purchasing the cheapest flights available when traveling domestically.  I also want his 50th birthday to be that memorable once-in-a-lifetime experience and don't want the air travel to suck the life force out of us.

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Says 'Dallas' to You?



The New York Times recently published a great series offering "The History of New York in 50 Objects" inspired by the BBC's radio series "A History of the World in 100 Objects."  The idea was to feature tangible things that capture the essence and history of a city.  New York items such as the ubiquitous MetroCard, the AIDS button, the Greek coffee cup and a bagel all immediately come to mind.

New Orleans Water Meter
New Orleans has things like the fabulous water meter lids.  Las Vegas has casino tokens.  Chicago has pizza.  You get the idea.

What about Dallas?  What captures the essence of our town?

Reunion Tower

Reunion Tower?  That's a building.  Pegasus?  The new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge?  Sure, they come to mind but they don't quite fit the bill.

A large can of hair spray?  A Neiman Marcus credit card?  Big diamonds?  A Mambo Taxi?  Lee Harvey Oswald's bullet?   

Those pop into my head immediately.  But I struggle to think of something so iconic that truly screams DALLAS.  Can you?

Is it because our city has a branding problem?  Does Dallas have an identity?  You can say it's one of commerce.   Dallas is a relatively friendly environment in which to do business.  I say this coming from a long line of self-made entrepreneurs.  My grandfather was an early real estate developer in  Oak Cliff.  My stepfather had a gallery in Caruth Plaza for years.  My mother still has her boutique residential real estate firm headquartered in Lakewood.  My biological father started and sold an oil and natural gas company in the 70's before the big 1980's Dallas payday that had everyone building ranches in downtown Dallas or buying diamonds by the ton.  You can make a lot of things happen in this town.

But can you name something, a simple tangible object that says "Dallas"?  If you could tell the story of this city through items that represent it, what would be on the list?  A State Fair of Texas food coupon?  A Tolltag?  Help me.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to Get Great Arms With Just A Few Moves

Staying in shape not only improves your appearance but also helps you keep up with the kid.  Who knew!

We all did. 

Perhaps I didn't know just HOW important staying strong for a little one was.  From picking her up and putting her down to leaping up from a sitting position to chase her, I've learned the hard way that one must be physically ready to handle a kid.  My arms were sore the first few weeks I had Jordan because I wasn't used to carrying a child in so many different positions.  I've also dealt with a sore back because I wasn't ready for all the lifting associated with moving her around the house.  Instead of complaining about it, I'm proactive in my exercise routine to combat any muscular weaknesses.

But enough preaching.  Onto specifics.  A Facebook friend asked me to share my arm workout after seeing this recent picture.


My arms are not as "cut" as they could be.  I tend to carry fat just below my rear deltoids and above my triceps.  I'm benefiting from a good pose here (and not benefiting from a bad shirt that makes me look pregnant).  Regardless, my arms are pretty strong after a lifetime of lifting weights, practicing yoga, taking pilates and riding horses (an excellent full-body toner).  If I was more diligent with my diet, I would have that true "cut" look you see so many really lean women possess.
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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Best Coffee Shops in Dallas

Ocular Keratitis.  Google it.  Yeah.  

It's also a condition brought on by excessive caffeine consumption which can dry an individual's eyes and cause blurry vision.  The condition forced Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton to miss five games before returning to the lineup on Monday.  As Hamilton said before the series opener against the A's "it’s me we’re talking about here. Guys, it’s me. It’s Josh. It’s going to be something weird.”

True words. 

I'm just wondering why my eyes aren't desert dry?  I would leave my husband for caffeine if I could.  Like any coffee lover, I look forward to that first cup in the morning more than anything. ANYTHING.
A good cup of coffee is such a sensory experience.  The scent is a discovery in itself.  The appearance foreshadows the taste of what's to come.  And then there is the taste.  Get the coffee, creamer or milk blend perfectly right and it's pure heaven.  Miss it by an ounce or two and.....blech!
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Saturday, September 15, 2012

It Was Only a Matter of Time: The Starbucks Diet


Jared Fogle dropped 245 pounds eating Subway sandwiches in the 90's.  Some random chick lost weight eating only Taco Bell drive thru fare.  Now a 68-year old Virginia librarian claims she has lost 85 pounds over the past two years getting her meals from Starbucks.

Here is a sample of Christine Hall's daily diet.  

She usually starts the day with oatmeal and a black coffee (140 calories)  while her lunch and dinners consists of either a bistro box - a selection of cheese, bread and meats - or a panini which  total around 220-460 calories.
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

So Too Much Soda Can Make You Fat...Shocking!

Shocker.  Consuming too much of anything can add extra heft to your body.  The New York Board of Health is expected to approve Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on the sale of large sugary drinks in restaurants, stadiums and movie theaters tomorrow.  In theory, it is supposed to help fight the obesity epidemic spreading like warm butter on toast across the country.  People will still be able to get their sugary soda fix.  The plan has flaws.

I think this is ridiculous not so much because it infringes on residents' civil liberties, which you could argue it does, but because it takes away the personal responsibility factor in controlling your health.

I was 50 pounds overweight at one point because I drank Mountain Dew and consumed M&M's like they were going out of style.  No one forced me to eat copious amounts of that junk.  I wasn't fat because it was sold or advertised on television.  I was fat because I chose to eat too much of it.  I promise that when you take personal responsibility for your choices and health, your life will change for the better. 

I digress.

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Healthier Options for Your Cowboys/Giants Noshing Pleasure

For some, you know who you are, the best part of tonight's Cowboys/Giants season opener is the festivities surrounding the game.  I'm not talking the "Glory Hole" vs the "Beat the Giants ass!" smack.  I'm talking about the revelry: the parties, the food and cocktails.

Unfortunately, one snack-filled night of football can be a diet killer.  I watch games for a living.  The mindless munching can wreck havoc on your body and leave you bloated, backed up and regretting what you ate.  The good thing is there are some great alternatives and ways you can enjoy all those wonderful snacks without consuming a day's worth of calories, fat, sodium and sugar.

Here are few tips for your football party pleasure:

Cut the Cheese with Veggies
Have your favorite queso but just a tablespoon or two.  Instead of chips, dip some broccoli and cauliflower in the queso.  It's outstanding.  The vegetables provide the crunch that chips would while satiating your cheese fix.

Salsa Salsa Salsa
Not salsa of the Victor Cruz touchdown celebration variety but of the chunky condiment kind.  Salsa is the perfect choice for almost everything.  I use it as a salad dressing, a topping for baked potatoes, a dip for vegetables.  Use a low sodium, all natural version.  There are a ton from which to choose.  Serve the salsa with baked tortilla chips, vegetables, pretzels, whatever you like.  
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Monday, September 3, 2012

I Lived on Guam for Six Months and Lived to Tell About It....Barely



"Hafa Adai, Guam!" 

That was how I started my sportscasts at 6pm and 10pm at KUAM Island News for six months in 1996 as the Sports Director of the tiny NBC affiliate.  It's the typical greeting for Guam residents and natives, called Chamorros.

When I tell people that my first, full-time on-air job right out of college was on the U.S. territory located below Asia and above Australia there is always an immediate double take followed by questions.

RELATED: 14 Things You Need to Know If You Want to be a Sportscaster
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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sitting at Your Job All Day Will Kill You. Tips to Fight Back

There are few things I hate more than sitting at a desk all day.  Report after report after report reinforces that it will kill you.

Sitting stops the electrical activity in your muscles the moment you put your booty in the chair.  If you sit six or more hours, you're at a greater risk of dying 15 years earlier than someone who sits less.  The decreased muscle activity results in a drop in your metabolism, resulting in smaller caloric burn.  In turn, enzymes that break down fat decrease as does the body's ability to control blood sugar levels.

Say you exercise.  Sorry.  That doesn't make much of a difference.  

When I'm anchoring shows for my day job, I spend a solid 7-8 hours in a chair, in front of a computer working on scripts and researching stories.  I feel the effects: sore hips, tight back, ankles and feet that fall asleep.  So I've developed a few tactics to combat the terrible effects:

-Squat while surfing the web. It might sound and look silly but squat for a minute or two at various intervals throughout the day and you will feel a burn, the good kind.
-Stand while you are on the phone.  Again: standing better than sitting.
-Take a walk break by getting some water, walking to the restroom on a different floor, talk to someone in person versus phone or email.  You get the idea.
-Stretch: just a simple cat/cow pose or pike stretch can do wonders.
-Stand, take a deep breath and arch your back, almost a full back bend with your arms raised over your head.  This is a truly invigorating move that gets blood flowing.
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