Quick Tech 411-LOLy


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We are ready to join the rest of the emoji-loving population, now that chic, witty, cool LOLy is here!  Finally, someone (thank you, Gina Pell) understands all that we want to emote!  With it’s animated lips (we LOVE the “Thank You” grill) puppies, boozy queens and clever nods to contemporary life, there are plenty of options for those wanting to give their communication that little something special.

 

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If you are no longer amused by generic smiley faces, download the LOLy app and start saying what you really want to say!  It’s just fun!

Note:  For now, you must cut and paste your emoji of choice from the LOLy app (it takes but a second) but stay tuned, as a keyboard for iOS8 is in the works!

Twist on a Twenty-First

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We love this fresh take on a 21st birthday celebration-a champagne brunch complete with lawn games, vintage touches and a relaxed vibe.  

 IMG_4633A birthday girl with a love for Sundays -“It’s my favorite day of the week” – Sara set her sights on a sophisticated morning to celebrate with her college friends, rather than the traditional ‘bar-crawl” usually associated with this birthday.

Guests were greeted with a vintage typewriter for sharing notes and strict instructions from the birthday girl to turn off cell phones and plug into the moment.

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 Cornhole and oversized Jenga sets provided just enough activity, and the pool and garden were a welcome change from spending the afternoon in the library studying.

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Breakfast was a hearty brunch served family style, with plenty of mimosas, bloody mary’s and champagne to toast the day, but first, coffee!

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No strangers to having every moment of their lives captured, this group was content to pose for dozens of group photos before boarding the party bus back to school.

 Happy Birthday, Sara, it was wonderful to be a part of your special day!

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Hey, Pumpkin!

IMG_4796It finally feels like fall is in the air and that means the return of all things pumpkin.  

From gracing our doorstep in heaps to taking center stage at dessert time, this seasonal signature squash brings a bold spot of color to our decor as well as remarkable health benefits.  An excellent source of fiber, vitamin A and potassium, pumpkin can boost eyesight, aid in weightless and refuel the body post workout. It is naturally rich in phytosterols, which has been shown to reduce LDL, the “bad” cholesterol, as well as the anti-oxidant beta-carotene, which may play a part in cancer prevention.  Pumpkin is hydrating, at 90% water, can boost your mood and is beneficial in keeping skin smooth and wrinkle-free.

The average American will reportedly consume five pounds of pumpkin this year, but it may be that Americans love pumpkin-flavored foods and beverages even more. Pumpkin beer now accounts for two-thirds of all fall beer sales, according to Nielsen and Starbucks’ early release of their Pumpkin Spice Lattes felt like a national holiday. (As an said, we tend to agree with Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’s take on this spiced drink, that “the coffee that tastes like a candle.”)

But back to the task at hand: sharing our favorite pumpkin-inspired foods.  If you have the time, bake The GREAT Pumpkin Bread because it’s amazing and nothing tastes more like fall. If you are slim on time, we have to admit that Trader Joe’s offers a good alternative when baking from scratch isn’t always accessible.  Their boxed pumpkin mix, with its prep time of four minutes flat, is causing us to stockpile our pantry for the months ahead, like a squirrel gathering acorns.

Equally as delicious is another new favorite: Pumpkin Pancakes, also from Trader Joe’s. This light and delicious breakfast treat is irresistible when topped with melted butter and paired with crispy bacon and charmed ever the most seasoned pancake connoisseur.

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If you want to add a little pumpkin to your body regime, try a moisturizing pumpkin body mask (1/2 cup each of pumpkin puree and cold-pressed coconut oil with a teaspoon of ground cinnamon).  Massage into skin, wait 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

For the extreme pumpkin experience, head to the World Pumpkin Capital in Half Moon Bay, California for the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival to “pay homage to the great and almighty gourd.” Complete with a pumpkin parade, art & crafts, a $30,000 pumpkin weigh off and “Smashing Pumpkins: Battle of the Bands” competing on three stages, there is plenty to celebrate at this world-famous annual event.  So raise your Jack-o-tini and toast the arrival of Orange October.

 How are you enjoying this seasonal favorite?

Safely Sparkle

It might be cheeky, with it’s rhinestone case, heart shaped nozzle and names like Hot Mama and Golden Girl, but Blingsting packs a powerful punch. Designed to be carried by women, especially those under 30, Blingsting camouflages a canister of traditional pepper spray, and aims to make self-protection accessible yet fashionable.

IMG_4484Shockingly, one in four women will be sexually assaulted on a college campus, and every two minutes in the US someone is sexually assaulted. While carrying a self-defense product isn’t the only precautions one should take, making the decision to carry Blingsting naturally coincides with an increased awareness of surroundings.

For a milder approach or for the younger set, Blingsting recently debuted a heart-shaped glitter personal “ahh!-larm” which clips easily onto a backpack, keychain or dog leash. Pull the pin and you’ll make an instant scene with the 120 decibel alarm.Screen Shot 2014-10-16 at 10.13.16 AM

We love that Andi Atteberry, 34,  founded the company because her dad continued to bring home cans of dismal-looking pepper spray for her and her mom to carry. Sparked by her love of the bedazzled, she turned her dad’s concern for her safety into a successful business of supplying “super sparkly safety stuff” to increase awareness and help women and girls protect themselves.  Another great example of female entrepreneurship making the world a better place.

*Special thanks to LiveWell teammate Lindsay for sharing what’s on her keychain! We’re ordering them for ourselves and all the girls in our lives stat!

Thinking Pink!

Orange may be the new black, and the traditional dominate color of the season, but we know that pink is the true hue of October and rightly so.

Pink ribbonThe facts are staggering: one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, the most common cancer among women worldwide. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, over 220,000 women (and 2100 men) in the United States will be diagnosed this year and more than 40,000 will loose their battle. Early detection, better screening and improved treatment options and increased awareness have brought good news:  death rates from breast cancer have been declining since 1990 and the current 5-year survival rate, when the cancer is detected early, is 98%.

But the fact remains, breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the US, and thankfully, there are many ways to support the efforts to cure, treats and prevent breast cancer throughout October. Whether it means you schedule a mammogram yourself, donate scarves for women going through treatment or join a walk to raise awareness, any effort in this fight can and will make a difference.  With so many options this month, we offer our own:

photoWe are  grateful to be able to share “The Silver Lining,” the story of Hollye Jacobs  (wife, mother, palliative care nurse, marathon runner and social worker) who was diagnosed with breast cancer at thirty-nine.  Unable to find encouraging, inspiring or even attractive books during her treatment, she wrote her own, chronicling her personal experience and showcasing her professional expertise. “The Silver Lining” is a playbook for both those diagnosed and for those supporting loved ones on their journey.  Filled with incredible photography by  Elizabeth Messina, the book is filled with the practical, the humorous and the hopeful and an absolute must for anyone touched by breast cancer.

It wouldn’t be LiveWell without a cocktail to celebrate this month of awareness.

IMG_4746Think Pink!

2 oz vodka

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz Simply rosemary*

1 oz fresh watermelon juice

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 5-6 large ice cubes, shake vigorously and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with anything pink and enjoy.

Tell us how you will join the efforts this month, how are you thinking pink?  The first five followers who do will receive a bottle of our SIMPLY rosemary, the house-made rosemary infused simple syrup featured in the Think Pink! cocktail.

Frozen at Pressed Juicery

IMG_4455California was hit hard in 2010 with the juicing craze. Suddenly there were hundreds of recipes online and in print, kale growing in every garden and a parade of kitchenware to produce your own juice. In Southern California, however, Pressed Juicery in Brentwood was one of the first spots to encourage people to abandon their kitchens and drink their greens elsewhere.

Teens and adults began their new healthy obsession with juice cleanses, spending $8 on a single bottle containing kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, cucumber, celery, apple, and lemon. Celebrities and ubermoms swore by Pressed Juicery promises: a regulated, nourished colon, increased energy and stamina, increased mental clarity, better sleep patterns and a radiant complexion. Customers embraced the “getting back to your roots mantra” and Pressed Juicery began to expand its stores throughout Southern and Northern California, as well as online with free at home delivery.

Just when palates started adjusting to the earthy ingredients, Pressed Juicery in 2014 announced a new addition: “Freeze,” a soft-serve frozen treat using only juices from fruits and veggies, plus almonds and coconuts. This trifecta (it’s vegan, gluten free & dairy free) is not quite the consistency of frozen yogurts, but it rivals other frozen yogurt stops because of its comparably short ingredient list and sweet distinctive taste.

IMG_4470With 6 flavors, Freeze appeals to all generations: greens and roots (popular among supermoms on the go), citrus and fruits (for the teens and tweens ready for any new edible trend), and chocolate almond and vanilla almond (for sweets loving kids and adults ). Toppings such as homemade granola, shaved coconut, fresh fruits, and nuts can be added. Unlike juicing, you can’t imitate Freeze at home. The only way to satisfy your craving currently is at Stanford Shopping Mall in Palo Alto, where Freeeze began a test run earlier this summer. It’s instant  popularity means this chilly treat will be hitting other California stores in late 2014.

If this cold treat doesn’t sound like your cup of nutrients, several new flavors (including simple juices like watermelon and orange) have just been released and we’ve already crowned “Brazil Nut” our new favorite!

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Have you tried this new frozen treat or are a fan of the cold pressed? Leave us a comment with your favorite (or least favorite) flavors.

The Spontaneous Cocktail

Tangeine StandinOctober means crisp mornings, warm days  and lots of orange, and we’re craving a cocktail that fits both the weather and the vibe as we transition  to the holidays.  We threw down a spontaneous challenge: friends  skilled at both consuming and creating cocktails were invited over at 5 o’clock and given the task of creating/approving a cocktail for sunset toasting.  

This was a spontaneous party and a tasting event all in one, with only one required ingredient: fresh tangerine juice.

With the citrus base we auditioned vodka, white rum, and ruled out tequila and bourbon before settling on gin. The most seasoned mixologist of our group (Rad Person Jack Bowen) thoughtfully collected an intriguing variety of ingredients, shook things up and adjusted after each batch tasting. You can imagine the challenge this put on the Tangerine Troop-so many glasses, so much tasting, lots of  discussion-but they met the challenge, no detail too small (one dash of bitters or two?) each adding a little something to the next round.

While we did unanimously agree on the final cocktail (Jessica called it “perfection) we could not agree on a name, so here it is:

Tangerine Jack
The Spontaneous Cocktail

  • 0.5 oz fresh tangerine juice
  • 0.5 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 2 oz gin (we prefer Boodles)
  • 0.5 oz St Germain
  • 0.25 oz thyme simple syrup
  • 1 dash orange bitters
  • 1 dash absinthe
  • 0.25 oz egg white

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with 5-6 large ice cubes.  “Shake vigorously until frothy,” recommends Howard and strain into a martini glass. Finish by twisting a lemon rind over the glass and sweep the rim. Garnish with a flower from the garden. Gather your troop and salute the sunset.

As an added bonus, the tangerine juice is perfect for the next morning’s brunch- mix with champagne and a splash of grenadine and your day will be off to a great start.

Assemble a group of friends spontaneously and enjoy this delicious drink or name a required ingredient and let the creativity begin-either way you can’t go wrong by inviting a little spontaneity into your life.  Cheers!

P.S.  What would you name this cocktail?

Quick Tech 411 – BloomThat


Something amazing is blooming in the Bay Area!
 BloomThat is a fresh tech company with its sites on revolutionizing the flower delivery industry-but think of it as the perfect “on-demand” addition to your gift giving arsenal.  If you want to thank a hostess, cheer up a friend or send an “I’m glad we’re friends” bouquet-download the BloomThat app or jump online, place an order and in 90 minutes you will be spreading a little sunshine.photo

Their “simply awesome flowers” start at $35 for locally sourced, seasonal, handcrafted bouquets.  The offerings are simple, only six, but all equally attractive (we are huge fans of the repurposed burlap wrap) and free bicycle delivery is included.  There have been some clever limited edition offerings, such as fresh flower crowns for the Outside Lands music festival, donuts and cold brew coffee, and chips and guacamole for National Guacamole Day. (Yes, there is a National Guacamole Day and we sent the Big Dipper to our amiga KK, pronto!)

Simplicity is the theme and also the secret of BloomThat, and other similar companies, like urbanstems in Washington DC or DailyBlooms for our friends in Australia. By streamlining offerings and the ordering process as well as keeping delivery in house, these companies are able to offering lower prices, faster service and remain eco-friendly.  If you aren’t in a delivery area, look on the sites for a place to enter your zip code to register your interest and hopefully you won’t have to wait long.

For delivery in the Bay Area:IMG_4383

Visit the website or download the app

1. Select the blooms (or treat) you want to send

2. Add the message and information for the lucky recipient

3. Choose the delivery time and pay-you will receive a text message when your flowers are en route and when they have been happily received.