March 19, 2009

Getting "Obama Arms"

Whatever your thoughts on Mrs. Obama's decision to bare her arms in the First Lady's recent portrait, there's no denying that her above-the-elbow assets are quite enviable. Apparently revealing them has spawned a new crazy - the desire for "Obama arms." I wonder if the President is jealous? (Or intimidated by the thought of paparazzi beach pics that emerge from the family's upcoming vacations?)

Want biceps like an Obama? You're not the only one...and trainers are cashing in. (You know it's a story when the Times is covering it!!)

While imitating a celebrity (in the White House or elsewhere) is no reason to get in shape, trainers recommend an integrated workout that combines weight lifting — working biceps, triceps and shoulders in one session — along with cardio activities, core strength development and diet.

For shoulders, trainers suggest lateral raises. The client, holding dumbbells, raises her arms out to her side, repeating the motion 10 to 12 times, for three sets. For people who want a leaner look, trainers suggest using a lower weight with more repetitions (15 to 20).

To work the biceps, experts recommend the standing biceps curl paired with triceps kickbacks, either standing or leaning on a bench. Triceps can also be developed with a variety of bench presses or dips. Traditional pushups, as well as pushups on a stability ball, engage the triceps and biceps and can help mere mortals achieve a similarly toned look.

The goal is clear, as "Obama arms" don't allow for wiggly triceps.

Learn more here in the New York Times story.

March 10, 2009

Spring has sprung!

(And hopefully this time it will stick.)

To celebrate, jewelry designer Kristin Pearce is giving away the adorable green double-strand necklace seen below. That gorgeous green will look just as pretty with Lilly as it will with an "office" outfit!

I had the chance to meet Kristin a week or so ago when she was visiting Greenville from Miami for a trunk show. Her pieces are fun, classic and very easy to wear - I could have snagged an armful! I walked away with just one necklace, though, patting myself on the back for self-restraint.



Here's your chance to win one of Kristin's pieces for free! Visit her blog for more details. You can also take a look at her items for sale on Etsy - enjoy!!

March 8, 2009

Thoughts


1. Is Ray LaMontagne in heavy rotation on your iPod? If not, do you believe, as this reviewer does, that he sounds like a cross between Michael McDonald and John Mayer? I can totally see his point but, unlike the blogger, actually think that'd be a less-than-horrible thing. Bad taste on my part? Whatever...Ray sounds like he's from a few decades ago - and looks that way too. Love him. Anyone else a fan? Check out his performance on last night's SNL here.


2. Moms in America - particularly in L.A. - take note: Prophylactics are never an appropriate Christmas gift. Unless they're the invisible, unspoken, don't ask/don't tell kind. Well no, not even then. Gross, Zac Efron. I suppose I could thank you for raising a difficult topic of discussion amongst your tween fans and their parents, but instead I'll remind you that they're tweens. You've tacitly admitted that you and your equally unable-to-legally-drink girlfriend are getting to know one another in ways these 12-year-olds shouldn't be. What do you think the readers of Tiger Beat will be discussing after gym class next week??


3. If you'd like to minimize the damage to your reputation that might come along with some embarrassing photos and, say, your boyfriend's mom putting something besides coal in his stocking - take note: Sometimes an extra inch will take you from a shirt to a dress. Alas, sweet Disney star, you've not made the cut here - no pun intended. Add some tights and an inch or two and I'll let it slide. Kudos, however, for your work on the Stairmaster. Nicely done. We'd still notice if you were wearing tights, though!

4. Pomegranate Italian Soda from Whole Foods is delightful. Like a cocktail without the bite or price tag. Recessionistas, enjoy!



5. If a man breaks up with you on national television for another woman he's also dated and broken up with in a remarkably public fashion, keep the ring. The network paid for it, silly girl - sell that thing on eBay and take yourself a nice, long Caribbean cruise. Or, if you still feel compelled to return the ring, don't hand it to him. Let's hope we don't see this bauble on new girl's hand. It wasn't that pretty to begin with, love, and neither was he. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you don't watch nearly enough TV.

March 2, 2009

In like a lion...

Six inches of snow in Greenville - I've never seen such! What a winter wonderland! (Coupled with crazy drivers, closed businesses and gray, slushy streets. But let's focus on the positive, shall we?)

Style isn't exactly a priority on snow days, but I hope I was able to stay (relatively) cute while avoiding hypothermia. It took some effort, but I enjoyed wrapping myself up in bright colors on such a dreary day.

Around my neck:

I wear scarves most days anyway - didn't I tell you it's the year of the scarf? Inside or out, these babies keep me toasty warm despite my year-round tendency to sport goosebumps and chattering teeth. I'm such a trendsetter...

On my back:


My vest is a bit more orange than this, so Bradley likes to ask if I'm a) going for a swim and need a lifejacket or b) I plan to eat lunch with the rest of the chain gang.
Bright, puffy and warm = a winner to me, though!

In my ears:

(These didn't keep me warm, per se - I just felt they had to be included in the mix!)

On my arm:
A fun Christmas gift, this bag is waterproof and plenty big enough to hold my giant clutch wallet, ridiculous number of lip glosses and even the "cute indoor shoes" I packed and never wore!

On my feet:

I read once that patterned wellies "infantilize" one's feet, but I disagree. My navy pair with cute hound dogs on them are barely noticeable with jeans on - I think one sly dog slips out at the toes. The only boots I have with a good grip, these got me to lunch and back with nary a slip 'n slide!

At my rescue:
Bradley and his noble truck/steed, driving me into the office. And picking up a friend on the way. Steep driveways covered in ice are nothing to fool around with, to be sure. I could get used to this truck and driver mode of transportation!

Hope y'all are safe and warm today!! Stay bundled up - unless you're sweet Kristen, who loves to tout her year-round springtime weather. Such are the benefits of living in Florida, I suppose. While I can handle snow once a year, I'm very much looking forward to the end of March. It's going to go out like a lamb, I just know it. Hurry, spring!

March 1, 2009

You-a-palooza

Many, many years ago, long before the invention of the iPod, friends would make one another mix tapes (and then CDs) to share their love, devotion and all-around good taste in music.

Around the same time, Ozzfest, Lollapalooza, Woodstock reunions, Lilith Fairs and other giant-sized (read: sticky, sweaty, crowded, overpriced but fabulous) outdoor music festivals allowed people to hear several of their favorite bands at once.

Bradley and I are currently holed up, cozy and happy, awaiting the absolutely-happening-it's-a-sure-thing Blizzard of 2009. This leaves me lots of time to blog-browse and let my mind wander.

I never attended a Lilith Fair but, trust me, I was tempted. If I could create my own outdoor music festival, though, it would be a week-long affair of sheer musical joy. (For me, that is.)

I'm going to have to think about this a bit more, but here is the rough draft of my Anne-a-palooza. I'm dying to hear yours! (Living artists are best, but I suppose we could bend the rules if you have one late, great artist you're dying to hear at your festival. It is, after all, a you-a-palooza.)

Stage 1 - Calming Classics: James Taylor, Van Morrison, Allman Brothers

Stage 2 - Ladies I Loved in the 90s: Lisa Loeb, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Jewel

Stage 3 - Boys with Guitars: John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Marc Broussard, Keane, Ray LaMontagne

Stage 4 - Just Dave: DMB. Obviously. You didn't think 16-year-old Anne would buy a week-long music pass and not sit in front of the Dave stage the whole time, did you? Okay, then. Ben Harper can come too.

Stage 5 - Shower, Extensions and Fake Tan Required: Britney Spears, Mandy Moore, Beyonce

Stage 6 - Country Cuties: Dierks Bentley, Taylor Swift, Sugarland

Note: U2 and Coldplay were out of Anne-a-palooza's price range...

I'm dying to hear your suggestions. (And also - don't you wish grown ups got snow days?)

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