Archive | December, 2009

Post Christmas Shopping

Post Christmas Shopping

phtoI bought this leather jacket at a store called Therapy in the Mission(SF). It was my birthday  so  I got 10% off from the total retail price.  Great service + great price = fun place to shop!
545 Valencia St
(between 16th St & 17th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 865-0981
www.shopattherapy.com
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Bridal Hairstyle

Bridal Hairstyle

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Tried a new hairstyle this weekend. A simple, loose bun. I used to wear my hair in pigtails in high-school- which was all the rage when I was living in Tokyo. They call it “odango [japanese dumpling] with pigtails…and it looks like two horns on the top of your head.

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Best Skin Care

Best Skin Care

I heard about Odacité products from a friend who long suffered from rosacea, and she swears by their products…so curious me, I contacted Valérie Grandury the brains behind Odacité..read on…

odacite

What are some main ingredients in Odacite products?

Freshness is our main ingredient, because it is the key to effectiveness. We use fresh organic aloe vera juice instead of water for its healing properties and it also allows a deeper penetration of actives. Jojoba oil is also rapidly absorbed by the skin because of its resemblance to human sebum (the natural oil our body produces to protect our skin). Jojoba oil is perfect for any skin type, it will dissolve clogged pores and restore the skin’s health.

What prompted you to start an organic skincare line?

In 2004 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. This event triggered a desire to completely reinvent my life, reconnect with nature and step into a beautiful and fascinating healing journey. I adopted a raw food diet, quit my job in the film business to dedicate my time to learning and studying the healing power of plants and became a Health and Wellness coach.

I soon discovered that one of the most toxic elements in a women’s daily life are personal care products. Much to my astonishment, when I turned to organic skin care I discovered that the products did not bare a manufacturing date and I wondered how the ingredients could retain any active properties after so many years in a jar.
Emboldened by my new philosophy of not cutting corners when it came to health, I decided to start making my own fresh skin care. The underlying motto I applied to food: it all lies in the freshness of the raw ingredients, would apply to my skin care.I sourced the freshest, purest organic ingredients from all over the world and formulated my own age-defying blends. The crèmes made such a difference on my skin that i gave them as presents to my friends. It was an instant hit. Odacité was born to answer a growing demand from women who saw the difference those fresh blends made on their skin.

What is one difference in using organic products? Does it differentiate the look of our skin? How so?

Using organic ingredient on your skin (just like as food) allows you to lower the toxic burden you and the planet are exposed to every day. Studies also show that organic ingredients have a higher concentration in vitamins which act as powerful antioxidants, fighting free radicals and reversing the aging process.

Why is freshness so vital to skincare products?

You will never find Odacité in stores because Odacité products are freshly made for each and every customer, dated and immediately shipped to you straight from the lab! Studies show that a natural ingredient will loose 1/3 of its antioxidants and vitamins after 6 months. By making fresh organic blends on demand for each customer we guarantee that each ingredient remains 100% active. With our fresh blends we have no need for harmful preservatives, we only include ingredients vital to your skin’s needs. We have zero toxicity. Each ingredient in Odacité skin care is present in its most active available form, since they are in their freshest, natural state. They are therefore truly bio-available and more easily absorbed by your skin for better results.

_Mini-Fridge

What was the biggest challenge/s in being an entrepreneur?

Your work never stops. That’s why you need to love what you do.

Check out Odacité mini-fridge ————>

What are some new products slated for 2010?

We are constantly looking for fresh active ingredients to create new products. Right now we  are working around pomegranate oil.

What is/are best-selling Odacité product/s?

Harmony Package. 6 months of complete care program. Each product works in synergy with each other to deliver amazing joint benefits.

The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do? To raise awareness about toxicity of our life style.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning? A new day.

Who is your inspiration? Nature

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be? Who ever the universe decides.

What is your favorite Odacité product? Night time repair serum

Your three rules to live by? Be grateful- Follow your dreams – be passionate.

Your must-have makeup item? Mineral powder

Your city/country of origin? Paris/France

Your proudest accomplishment? My kids

Photo Credit: Odacité

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Miso Soup Diet

Miso Soup Diet

I-Ryot500

Miso soup is one of my favorite winter meals and Marukome’s Ryoutei-no-Aji is the best of the bunch.  It has the right amount of bonito and kelp dashi mixed in with red miso base. I take my miso soup with a variety of condiments–tofu, green onion, radish – even konnyaku.

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Wine Making

Wine Making

beard

Originally educated as an attorney, Elliot Essman spent many years as a professional business and legal writer and later branched into food writing. He was nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Journalism Award for his beverage writing, and turned to wine writing in 2006. He now reviews wines from all over for his web site www.stylegourmet.com and speaks to community organizations about wine.

I met Elliot some time ago and we’ve remained friends over the years. I love his common sense and value his expertise in all things related to food!

eezacaYou are now a wine connoisseur – how did it come about?
As a confirmed food fanatic I discovered one day I had a hole in my knowledge concerning wine. I immediately began professional wine studies, began to review wines, and I never looked back.

What are your top 3 dessert wine recommendations?
2006 Inniskillin Vidal Icewine (Canada)
Achaia Clauss “Imperial” Mavrodaphne of Patras
2004 Kiona Vineyards Late Harvest Riesling, Red Mountain, Washington

The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do?
I love wine and I love writing. I Love learning about wine and teaching about wine. If I have anything to do with expanding knowledge of and enjoyment of wine for other people, I will be satisfied.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?
This depends on the day. Usually, after my cup of tea, my first thought is to follow-up on networking leads from the evening before. I get to writing several hours later.

Who is your inspiration?
I do not have anyone in particular who inspires me.

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, what chef would you be?
Being an intellectual with a sense of humor, I relate most to Alton Brown.

What is your favorite dish?
Duck. And cassoulet with duck in it.

Your three rules to live by?
Always be polite to other people.
Honesty is its own reward.
Listen but be ready to lead others if called upon to do so.

Your must-have drink?
XO Cognac

Your city/country of origin?
I am a native of Manhattan.

Your proudest accomplishment?
Mentoring others many times, especially in public speaking skills.

Exciting people creating enviable lifestyles…more at:

Skate-Boys
http://www.diiver.com/?p=2509

Emily Sugihara at BAGGU
http://www.diiver.com/?p=2381

Andres Velencoso
http://www.diiver.com/?p=1301

Photo Credit: Elliot Essman

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Green Tea Diet

Green Tea Diet

Mate_Sencha_Shot.jpg-

By now you are probably aware of my love affair with Yamamoto Yama green tea. But I need to give kudos to another tea empire, Itoen (partly because my good friend Rona Tison works there). They also carry my favorite tea Sencha Shot, a green tea espresso. It has a strong condensed taste but packs the health benefits of green tea. Try it for yourself.

Read more about my favorite types of tea:

PG Tips
http://www.diiver.com/?p=2503

Samovar Tea Lounge
http://www.diiver.com/?p=2460

Garden of Dreams
http://www.diiver.com/?p=740

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Workout Clothing

Workout Clothing

In the past, my workout attire consisted of anything I picked up at a department store, but very recently on a trip to Honolulu, I walked in to a Lululemon store and purchased some workout gear. Here is my interview with Jessica Edwards, a perfect lululemon athlete…

What is lululemon athletica?
A yoga-inspired athletic apparel company

How is your apparel line different from say, Nike or other sports apparel brands?
We set ourselves apart because our garments are made by athletes for athletes to accommodate a range of athletic pursuits – athlete feedback is critical.  Also, we design with function as our top priority; whether it is our locking zippers, cuffins, thumb holes or ponytail holders, everything has a purpose.  And finally, lululemon garments are produced with signature technical fabrics to maximize performance.

LW5404RT_GroovePant_BLKBBLUHOBLU_fvYour workout apparels are extremely comfortable – what is the secret to such mega comfortable clothing? Plus, the fabric is sweat proof…I am impressed.

The most common (and comfy) fabric is lululemon’s signature luon®, made of nylon and lycra®; luon’s nylon fiber is texturized during the manufacturing process, making it fluffier and softer feeling- so the overall result is that this synthetic fiber has a feel that is more like cotton.

What is the story behind Lululemon athletica’s manifesto? I love it…
Our manifesto stems from our mission: To create components for people to live longer, healthier, and more fun lives.  The manifesto is a means for us to share the lululemon culture and inspire others.

What are top three customer favorites?
Groove Pant  – all purpose, low impact sport pant made from our signature luon fabric
Power Y Tank – a long racerback tank, perfect for layering; made from our signature luon fabric
Men’s Kung Fu Pant – lightweight 4 way stretch luon pant, ideal for but definitely not limited to yoga.

What are some new products slated for 2010?
Keep your eyes open for a ton of new product – being dropped this month!!!

What is your position? Background etc.,
I am the Western Community Guru.  I am responsible for the development and leadership of the community programs in California, Arizona and Nevada (i.e. community relations, public relations, marketing, etc.).

The Usuals…
Why do you do what you do?
I know that lululemon is elevating the world from mediocrity to greatness by creating components for people to live longer, healthier, and more fun lives….it’s kinda a no brainer!

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?
I get to wake up every day knowing that I will meet someone brand new…and I usually get to do it at a really cool yoga class!

Who is your inspiration?
My sister.  She is the most courageous, compassionate and creative person I have ever met.
If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?
Audrey Hepburn – She led an iconic life of style and purpose; wildly successful and a truly passionate humanitarian.

What is your favorite lululemon athletica product?
Wunder Under Pant – Wear this pant to the gym, work or play – function & fashion in 1

Your three rules to live by?
Life is rich – don’t take life for granted.
Sweat once a day.
Laughter is life’s sweetest creation – Laugh once a day.

Your must-have sport drink?
H20…and vitamin water XXX

Your city/country of origin?
Mesa, AZ  born and raised; LA transplant since 2000.

Your proudest accomplishment?
That’s a really tough questions.  I’d have to choose 3: standing up for my sister in her wedding, completing grad school, and securing a killer gig with lululemon.

Photo Credit: Lululemon

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Japanese Food Delivery

Japanese Food Delivery

KonnyakuKonnyaku, a staple Japanese food, is my new obsession. It’s hard to describe the food, for its made out of konjac plant and has no real taste to speak of…it is probably the most bland thing in the market, but a big block of konnyaku has close to zero-calories and can be paired with multiple kinds of dressing. It is well-known for its medicinal purposes as a detoxing agent for the body.

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Quick Desserts

Quick Desserts

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xooro opened up in Southern California introducing yummier versions of fritters. The treats are probably some of the most original creations I’ve seen in the world of dessert…the flavors range from chocolate coconut, mississippi, triple chocolate, mango, maple bacon–they even have gluten free xooros. Seriously I am willing to fly to SoCal just to get a bite of this dessert…


How did xooro come about?

Being in Madrid watching the youngsters at the wee hours and wanting to bring something cool and unique to the US

How did  your fascination with fritters come about?

I’ve always loved food so it wasn’t difficult for me to come up with the flavors, although we had huge difficulty in the application, when we started we didn’t had the technology, it took us several months to master the process, it became so natural now that most  people don’t get it, but imagine setting liquid chocolate in a 300º burning xooro, physically it’s impossible and nobody believed we could do it.

You have some amazing creations (maple bacon, mango etc., flavors) – what is your inspiration for the flavors?

The key in our products is to incorporate flavors from cultures from all over the world, for example we use dulce de leche from south america, pistachio from the southern italy, dark chocolate from switzerland, vanilla creme from france, hazelnut from turkey and we use rice bran oil for the deep frying because being a health freak I wondered if japanese have been using it forever in their tempura and they stay so skinny, then it has to be good, by the way it tastes great.

DSC_7269

Where did fritters originate and how are the US audience welcoming your creation?

The fritter name came from the idea of being a unique product description, because a xooro is the result from a cross of a churro and an éclair so you won’t find them anywhere else, the basic churros come from spain and they’ve been around forever.


What is the telling sign of a good fritter? Crispy outside, warmness soft inside.

What determines your choice on what kind of flavor is used to xooro?

Initially I wanted to put together a full line of more traditional flavors first and from there start creating more exotic ones, it’s hard to believe but most of the people still go for the traditional.

03.12.20080812.xooro.036What are the most popular xooro among customers?

Triple Chocolate, Jordan’s favorite (Nutella filling, white chocolate coating), Almond Creme (Originally inspired in a more traditional spanish dessert called “Turron” we had to change the name to something more recognizable.

I love the choice of having customers choose their own fillings and topping – what is the most unique creation so far?

Peanut butter filling with nutella, dark chocolate coating with almond topping.

What was the biggest challenge/s in being an entrepreneur?

Funding and technology

What are some future flavor for debut in 2010?

S’more marshmallow/dark chocolate , Guava sea salt/dark chocolate, probably some savory ones.

The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do?

We love the fact that is so unique, we think it has huge potential, I can envision a xooro store in every major city of the world

What makes you want to wake up in the morning? My Son

Who is your inspiration? My Grandfather

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?

I wouldn’t change anything

chocoWhat is your favorite flavor of xooro?

Turkish Hazelnut

Your three rules to live by?

Honesty, persistency and loyalty

Your favorite bar to visit?

Hudson Bar NYC

Your city/country of origin?

Mexico City

Your proudest accomplishment?

Finishing The 2006 Chicago Marathon

Some of my favorite desserts at:

Soy Granola
http://www.diiver.com/?p=2542

Blueberry Toast
http://www.diiver.com/?p=281

Delicious Ice-Cream
http://www.diiver.com/?p=1401

Photo Credit: Xooro

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My Favorite Motorcycle Accessory

My Favorite Motorcycle Accessory

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I took Lisa’s Introduction to Motorcycle class at SF City College and was struck by her teaching style. She is extremely proficient in her field (knows the inside/out of mechanics) and at the same time held her own in a room full of men. At times, the boys did throw some lewd questions her way, but she answered them with a smile and professionalism. If you are a lover of anything to do with motorcycles, I would HIGHLY recommend signing up for one of her classes.

How did your passion for riding, fixing and ‘creating’ motorcycle start?

I got started as a motorcycle mechanic because I worked at a motorcycle shop, rode a motorcycle and had an interest in learning how motorcycles worked. For years, my life was motorcycles, working on bikes, going on rides, then hanging out and talking about bikes when I wasn’t working on or riding them.

Do you still own a body shop? If not, what was your typical day like as an owner of a body shop?

Before I started teaching at CCSF in the Automotive/Motorcycle department, I worked at two of the local shops in San Francisco and had my own motorcycle business. For anyone wanting to start their own shop I would recommend having a lot of experience working on bikes first. It is also good to specialize in a particular bike, so you don’t lose a lot of time figuring out the subtleties of each motorcycle.

How did you you get started as an instructor at CCSF?

For years, I was like many folks in San Francisco always taking night classes in whatever subject I had an interest in. After I moved to the Bay view and had my own garage I used to volunteer as a student teacher in the Motorcycle program because I loved the people and the environment at the Evans campus. Soon after that I started a teaching the Moto 60 class.

What was the biggest challenge/s in teaching?

The biggest challenge I had as a teacher was overcoming my stage fright. Each semester it has gotten easier to be in front of the class. For me, teaching the motorcycle class blends some of the things I love most; motorcycles, people, community, mechanics, and sustainability all come together in the class. It feels good to give what I have and have so much come back from my students. Every semester, I watch students come to class eager to learn how to work on motorcycles and by the end of the semesters the students are actively engaged fixing motorcycles and know a lot about how they work. Watching them become empowered is really what it is all about.

What classes do you teach at CCSF?

At CCSF right now I am teaching an Auto 50 class and two Moto 80 classes. I love being at CCSF.

The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do? Because I love it.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?

My two year old son, Loram, wakes up at sunrise daily.

Who is your inspiration?

Myles Horton, founder of the Highlander school, activist, socialist, and teacher; who influenced many great leaders, such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, is someone who I feel inspired by. His ideas on community empowerment and strategies for liberation are ideas that I try to incorporate into my teaching style.

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?

Adeline or Augusta VanBuren, the first women to ride across country on motorcycles in 1916.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Burma Superstar

Your three rules to live by?

Practice presence, patience and love

Your favorite brand of motorcycle?

I don’t have a “favorite” motorcycle. I appreciate many dissimilar aspects of different motorcycles. I love Japanese motorcycle for their reliability. European motorcycles for their styling.

Your city/country of origin?

Salt Lake City, Utah

Your proudest accomplishment?
Being a single mother of two amazing boys.

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