Check out my review of the Turbocharged lifestyle on 9News, NBC Denver
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Check out my review of the Turbocharged lifestyle on 9News, NBC Denver
Part one of my 2010 Holiday Gift Guide was on NBC 9News last Friday. Above is a video of the segment. Click the link below to go to the 9News Website for more details on each item, pricing and where to buy!
Part II of the holiday gift guide from the Denver Post is next, with eight more fabulous gifts for everyone on your list…
As American politics becomes more and more loaded with muck and mire, its reach seems to now extend to our entertainment. Say it isn’t so!
By now you’ve heard of the national travesty that occurred this week on ABC’s hit television show Dancing With the Stars. R & B singer Brandy Norwood, best known as “Brandy,” who has been at the top or tied at the top with her judges’ scores for most of the season was ousted in a tragic upset while teen activist Bristol Palin, daughter of former Vice Presidential running mate Sarah Palin, heads to the show finals despite having the lowest judges scores week after week.
What makes the difference is audience voting. Final scores are tabulated using a combination of audience votes and judges’ votes. For many weeks now, Palin has defied the odds, staying in the competition while those with higher scores, and arguably better dancing, are sent packing. It’s an American story through and through – the underdog becoming triumphant, a system of voting intended to let the people decide outcomes, and the right to speak our minds on behalf of what some see as a flawed system.
Controversy has swirled Palin ever since the ouster of beloved American TV mom Florence Henderson of The Brady Bunch fame. Viewers have shouted “unfair” as show contestants with better performances than Palin go home week after week. But this week’s semi-finals show brought a new fervor to the picture. Many were shocked when top-scoring Brandy missed the finals by the hair of a chinny, chin, chin; while Palin survived to dance another day.
“It’s the Tea Party fixing votes,” scream some, “It’s her mom’s supporters campaigning for her” hrumph others, and still more accuse an unreliable voting system. All reasons that have merit, but by no means is this the total picture. Just as nay-sayers scream foul at the younger Palin, as if she rigged the system herself, others say “America loves an underdog,” “She’s improved so much,” and “She’s just like I would be if I went out there.” Many on either side of the highly-polarized feelings are unwilling to accept that both sides could be accurate and the combination of the two are creating a perfect storm that’s keeping Palin in the competition.
What’s disturbing to me is the amount of hatred spewing out of some people’s mouths: Expletives flying, accusations being hurled, unkind words for Brandy and for Palin (depending on which side of the coin you land) are not in short supply. But some show die-hards are claiming to be “done,” that they’re sick of the system and no longer willing to watch. Quite a few “boycott Dancing With the Stars” pages have shown up on Facebook and one Wisconsin man was arrested when his wife called 911 after he shot their television during the show. He obviously won’t be watching for a while.
Sadly, it’s like the show is a mirror for the current state of American Politics – you don’t like what’s going on, then pick up your ball and go home. What happened to voting for what, or in this case, whom you believe in? Many have complained that some “on the right” are registering and voting hundreds of times. And I’ve seen websites with comments directing people how to get massive numbers of votes in for their DWTS “candidate” (specifically, Palin). When you’re up against that, it does seem unfair, but at the end of the day, those zealots are willing to do what most are not. After all, it takes a special something to spend hours on end registering and getting in hundreds of votes for your favored contestant. Though it’s wrapped in the pretty package of support for Bristol Palin, the true actions of such voting tactics is done to send a message: “We have the power to do this, and we will.”
And that puts the ball in our court. Just as in mid-term elections, we had a choice – participate. If you don’t like the system, work to change it. Get out there and make your opinions heard – vote.
Dancing with the Stars happens to be my guilty pleasure, and I’ve found this season just as upsetting as many others, but I don’t think a boycott right now is the answer. Maybe the travesty that has occurred will mobilize show fans to exercise their votes for whom they’d like to see win. I’d been voting for Jennifer Grey, star of the iconic film, Dirty Dancing; and Brandy because I was amazed at the entertainment quality of their performances every week. I’d discounted Disney child star Kyle Massey for most of the season, though he was a joy to watch. But in the Semi-finals, he BROUGHT it! His performance brought down the house, and was elevated to the level of Brandy and Grey.
Massey won me over with his amazing performance and the tremendous improvements he’s made since day one. The night of semi-finals, Massey for me surpassed the enjoyment of watching Brandy or Grey, and won me over wholeheartedly. As long as he brings the same energy and execution to the finals (and if history is any indication, I think he will), he’ll get all of my votes.
Why? Because if it’s true that many are “stuffing the bag” for any of the contestants, this is not the time to dilute my votes – I’m going to pick whom I want to win, and go for it. If everyone complaining does the same, then maybe, just maybe it will outlast the few who are taking their time to rig the system. If everyone does this (focuses votes on whom they’d like to see win) then it’s a real possibility the people’s favorite — whomever that is — will come out on top.
If we pick up our balls and go home, at this point anyway, how will it change the system? There’s still an opportunity to affect change and possibly save the integrity of the show — effectively reversing the powerlessness felt when some of our favorites went home despite good performances. Bottom line is the show is for entertainment, and there are plenty who will tune in to see what the outcome will be this season. So let’s do our best to make a difference. If there’s no change, if many people object the outcome, if it still seems unfair, then boycott next season. If DWTS has jumped the proverbial shark, and lost viewer confidence, then it will show in ratings, and maybe, just maybe then they’ll heed the message.
Procrastination. As a partially reformed type-A personality, procrastination is the kind of thing that puts a frown on my face and a wrinkle – no, a FURROW – in my brow. What a waste of time, energy and our God-given human spirit!
Yet, as I begin each workday excited and ready to tackle tasks ahead, somehow the procrastination monster takes hold of me. It’s almost as if my subconscious is saying “Let’s see how much time we can waste today and how little we can get done .shall we?” (insert sinister laugh here). I sigh, perplexed, and without a clue of how to tackle this monster (after all, that would involve doing something), I give up trying to control the situation.
And, just as it should be, once I relinquish control, the answer becomes clear: Physical activity. I know, I know, you’re wondering what physical activity has to do with tackling the procrastination monster. Well, the answer is that my being is out of balance. Here I’ve been thinking that procrastinating is all about avoidance, when in actuality, it just might be a signal that we (in this case, I) need to be a bit more selfish. Selfish enough to take care of myself as I see fit, with life-balance as byproduct.
I took an amazing seminar this summer that describes true balance as a square with four quadrants. Each quadrant involves an area of our being – physical, mental, spiritual and professional. Lately, I’ve been working diligently in three of the four quadrants – all but the physical – so I think it’s time to refocus on the physical, since it’s currently my weakest area.
To get back into the game, I’m choosing a fairly strenuous yet surprisingly de-stressing healing activity – one that incorporates mind, body and spirit. Today, I challenge myself to 30 consecutive days of Bikram “hot” yoga.
As a certified Power Yoga instructor, I know the strength and healing that can be gained through yoga. The Bikram style has true transformative power for me, though there are many misconceptions about yoga’s power, purpose and practice. One of more than 200 styles of yoga, Bikram typically is called “hot yoga” when conducted by a non-Bikram-certified instructor. It’s important to note that yoga done in a heated room does not constitute “hot yoga” as any yoga can be conducted in warmth, with the heat intended to help muscles warm up quickly and make the body more flexible. Knowing this subtle difference is critical, as other types of yoga have many benefits, but not what I consider to be the curative powers of Hot Yoga.
Specifically performed in an extremely humid one hundred-plus degree room, this type of yoga practice includes twenty-six posture exercises intended to systematically move fresh, oxygenated blood to every area of the body with an intention of creating a full restoration or rejuvenation. One practically sweats out physical, mental and emotional toxins as participants finish class drenched, trailing puddles of perspiration behind them as they leave. In other words, I believe the vigorous activity, systematic preening and focused attention in hot yoga can help nudge the mind, the body, the emotions, and even the spirit back where they belong – in balance with each other. Bringing our internal and external bodies into sync gives us the power to bring our professional work into alignment with the other parts of our being.
Making a goal of physical commitment for thirty consecutive days sounds daunting, but I remind myself to keep an eye on the prize. Focusing on each day, one-by-one, allows me to take steps toward the goal, keeps me from being overwhelmed, and stops me from wondering how I will achieve something so audacious.
And so it is with procrastination. Whether one thinks there’s too much to do, worries things won’t work out as they should, or wonders how a specific goal will be achieved in these types of situations, feelings of being overwhelmed can take hold, stop us dead in our tracks, and create a pseudo-paralytic state. And when are we most overwhelmed? I think you’ll agree, it’s when one or more of our four quadrants are out of balance with the others. To release the monster’s grasp, focus on your weakest quadrant and create a goal that allows for little steps that add up to a big payoff.
It took about a week for my Bikram yoga experiment to help me realign my work life, but I’m happy to report that so far, the outcome is positive – the procrastination monster has been tamed.
How about you? Is there an area of your life that’s nagging you ever-so-quietly (or ever-so-loudly for that matter)? A little introspection and a decision to re-balance priorities, just might be the remedy to set things in the right direction.
I’m at “the Diner,” a 24-hour eatery in New York’s meat-packing district. A few weeks back, I had an amazingly delicious and satisfying burger, sans bun by my request, and spring green salad lunch here that left me wanting more.
Across from a makeshift pedestrian mall in the center of traffic (the 8th Avenue Apple Store is on the other side–free wifi, “holla!”), this place is hoppin’. As soon as you walk in, the music gets you bumpin’. They have some of the best tunes here, which adds to the already infectiously energetic and borderline frenetic atmosphere. Even a mom and her two young kids are bumpin’ to the fist pumpin’-worthy tunes.
And the people–where do they get these people? All the female wait staff seems to come straight from a modeling agency. Clad in skin tight black tank tops and leggings or shorts, they provide additional eye candy for the customers. I can’t say the same for the men, but EVERYONE is friendly and customer service oriented. Isn’t that always the way (I mean, mediocre men with hot women)? Think ABC’s “According to Jim” sitcom, CBS’s “The King of Queens,” or even Jackie Gleeson in “The Honeymooners.” Seriously hot women with average, and totally out-of-their-league women. I digress.
The patronage is as diverse as NYC itself, as in the short span of my stay, I saw an extremely polite couple with two small children (“Is this stroller going to bother you,” they inquire before perching it next to my table. And no, it wasn’t an issue, I barely noticed it.), An older couple enjoying quiet conversation in the back, very attractive and hip-looking young people stopping in for a respite from the heat (and some good eats), a forty something couple with their two teens and a middle aged couple with their grown kids. Ecclectic. And it all fits.
A plethora of magazines line the East wall, along with many flat screen tellys around the place for easy viewing of various professional sporting events. Walking in the door, the bar separates the Diner into to large, very open rooms, with the more sports’ oriented, tv-heavy side in the front and a wine-lined wall with textured bubble white wallpaper in the back. It’s on the corner of 14th street and 9th avenue, and a spacious outside patio lines the entire outside “v” footprint, along with ample windowed doors that open the inside to the out. On hot days like today, the doors are closed to keep the cool air in. Much appreciated by many a parched patron as they enter.
The food spans from exotic salads (Roasted Beet & Goat Cheese; Seared Yellowfin Tuna Nicoise); to delightful burgers, including turkey, chicken and homemade grilled veggie with guac., sprouts & herb mayo; ”shared plates” like fried mac and cheese balls and disco fries complete with gravy, cheddar, mozzerella and cheese sauce; Anytime breakfast, and Entrees like the heart healthy Chicken Pollard with chopped salad and brown rice, or Meatpacking meatloaf. Something for everyone here. Oh, and they have sweet potato fries. Yum!
I opt for heart healthy Lentil and veggie soup and seared tuna tacos in corn tortilla with guac and pica de Gillo. Though it didn’t look appetizing when it arrived, the soup served to be a Doni pleaser, a bit watery on top, but full of substance and lentils on the bottom. I expected oyster crackers or crusty bread, but it turns out my saltines were a welcome treat once they soaked in the excess liquid like a sponge! Not one for soggy bread, and highly turned off by mushy textures, I was surprised at the flavor and mouth feel of this wonderful treat!
As I dug in, here came my seared tuna tacos. Wow. Looked GREAT to say the least, but tasted AMAZING! As I come from a long line of “eat it with a fork” folk, (my mother eats fried chicken with a fork. I don’t think she even knows the meaning of “finger food.”), I found my fork too slow! All that cutting and stabbing, fuh-geddaboudit! I picked these suckers up and practically SHOVED them in my face–just couldn’t get enough. Just the right amount of sans-mayo creamy guac, and tuna seared to perfection. Lovely.
As I’m enjoying the thrill of yet another dining experience at the DINER, an elderly gentleman next to me comes in for a milkshake treat. Looks tasty. I ask my server her thoughts, and ordered.
HO-M-G! Yes I did say “ho!” GoodNIGHT this milkshake is good! First one I’ve had in at least a decade (save pseudo, albiet delicious, protien shake “milkshakes”), and this one did not disappoint. I meant to get a malted, but–overwhelmed by the choices, I got caught up in the excitement and forgot to do so. Who cares, ’cause it’s delicious. Blueberry, Chocolate, vanilla, banana, coffee, strawberry, black & white–I couldn’t decide what flavor, so I asked Charline, my server, for her recommendation. Without hesitation, she said–with a HUGE smile mind you–”OREO.” Not necessarily an Oreo fan, but intrigued by the highly motivated recommendation, I order. And you saw the response–HO-M-G!! Delish.
It comes in a traditional diner “shake” glass, all frosty, chilly and giving me come hither winks as drips of condensation seductively meander down the glass. Eyes wide, though feigning self-constraint, I immediately go for the whip cream imbedded oreo, and before you know it, a high pitched “hmmmmm,” along with a big sigh escape my lips. I’m in heaven.
Trying to soak it in through every pore, my tastebuds can decipher the oreo cream from the chocolate bits as little chucks remain. Who knows where, because theose chunks sure aren’t visible to the naked eye–this shake is as smooth as it is tasty. And heavenly. I’ve been transported.
Slirping like a 10 year old–a sound I normally would despise–I can’t get enough. It was gone too soon!! I think I’ll have another. Okay this time it comes with two Oreos! ”The more you order, the more Oreos it comes with,” laughs Charlene. Now I’m doin’ some Bill Cosby chair dancing, pumping my shoulders to the music and snapping my fingers like that toddler dance — you know, the one they do, along with the “mm mmm” song when they get chicken nuggets or mac and cheese (especially the kind from the blue box). As I get into it, the malt isn’t quite as delish as the regular, but it sure is good! I don’t plan on leaving any remnants behind…
The Diner; Meatpacking District, Manhattan, NY. highly recommended!
Our Founder, Doni was at NBC 9 News again today, and this time the topic was weddings! Building on her Martha Stewart Weddings article that focused on design-it-yourself style, here are suggestions to make your wedding your own…
For details on where to buy each of the products featured , click here to visit the NBC 9News website.
And with open arms at that! We enjoyed our time in Dallas, and our Penfleurs, Bloomin’ Greetings and accessories were a hit! We love all of the many new retailers who are now part of the Simply Alive! Family!!
Bloomin’ Greetings is Simply Alive!’s latest line of products. In conjunction with acclaimed fashion designer Aaron Potts from New York, Oh So Beautiful! Cards in Phoenix and Scentology Cards in Los Angeles, we’ve coupled our Penfleurs to create the gift of a beautifully long lasting writing instrument and greeting card that’s a framable gift of art.
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Enjoy the photos!
This was a wonderful, highly informative interview! Donnyale shared her story about how she grew her homebased based business and attracted the attention of celebrities and QVC. She gave listeners insider knowledge about the challenges and compromises associated with launching and selling a product on QVC. She went on to tell us how she landed product placements at the EMMY Gift Lounge, VH1 Music Awards, and other celebrity events and discussed the importance and benefits of being a vendor at industry trade shows to get a jump start in the market.
CLICK HERE to read the full interview.
December 24, 2006
Special to The Denver Post
Sunday Style Section
style | enrich your life
By Doni Luckutt
Article Launched: December 24, 2006 1:00 AM MST
Studies say the average American–yes, that’s you and me–gains seven pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year. And, the most popular new year’s resolution? Loosing weight.
With all the office goodies, fabulous parties and reverie, how do we battle the lurking bulge? Yes, yes, we know– working out and watching what we eat enhances fitness and helps maintain healthful weight, but often that’s easier said than done.
Enter educo-gym, one of the newest systems in the weight loss revolution, boasting to be the fastest way humanly possible to get in shape.
MaryAnn Malone is owner and trainer for educo-gym in the Denver Tech Center. She?s hoping to modernize how we view fitness. “It’s not just training,” said Malone. “It’s an awareness of how we eat, nutrition. It’s focus on going back to a natural, low-glycemic diet, keeping the hormones in balance, keeping the insulin steady.”
The program includes nutrition counseling, exercise, food supplements, and thrice weekly 15- to 20-minute weight training as the core workout. The training is so intense, you actually get your full cardio and weight training simultaneously. According to this concept, low calorie diets and aerobics actually make you fat. Their system is designed to increase muscle mass, burn calories, increase energy and reverse affects of aging.
The beauty about this to me — the exciting part is the whole lifestyle,? quipped Malone. “People have more success at work, phenomenal energy- the big things is the energy,” she exclaimed, emphasizing that maintaining a healthy, fit body makes for a clearer and more fit mind.
“It affects everybody around you it’s very much a mental thing as well–contributing to somebody’s well being,” she said. “And it’s all done three times a week, twenty minutes a session it will get you in the best shape of your life.”
Lifestyle expert Doni Luckutt features products, services and information to “live connected.” Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Simply Alive! we’re committed to providing solutions for interpersonal connection. From health, to communication, community (local and global), and sustainability–this is your one stop shop to better connection with yourself and those you love. For additional information products, celebrity followers, and press coverage, visit us at www.SimplyAliveWorld.com
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