Thursday, July 26, 2012

Are Yoga Toes A Gimmick?

I received a pair of yoga toes at work, brought them home and forgot about them.  That is ... until two weeks ago.  Now I'm obsessed with trying them out to see if they are of any benefit.  Yoga toes are sold as a natural way to stretch your toes and exercise your feet.  Enthusiasts claim they make toes and ankles more flexible, feet stronger, improve the circulation of your legs, stretch your leg muscles, realign foot structure, improve your arches, alleviate stress and correct common foot problems, such as bunions, hammer toes and varicose veins.

Well when you put a pair on, you definitely feel the lifting and spreading of your toes.  Yelp, that much is true.  The advise is, begin wearing yoga toes for 10 minutes, building up to one hour.  My tip is, slide your little toe into the stretcher-thingy first before the others.

Although I could immediately wear mine for an hour, or longer [fell asleep on my couch with them on], as well as, walk around my apartment to get stuff, I can't honestly say I feel or see a difference when I take them off.  After two weeks of daily wear, my feet feel exactly the same.

Some foot specialists do recommend them for soothing foot pain caused by squeezing feet into narrow shoes and high heels.  And according to UCLA's Dr. Carol Frey, a professor of orthopedic surgery, there's no real need to spend $39 - $49 for YogaToes.  Dr. Frey says yoga toes "are a straightforward design," so the cheap ones work the same "as long as they stretch the toes just enough without pain."  So buy the $10 knockoffs.  

I'm giving my yoga toes a month to do something spectacular for my active feet.  I'm w.a.i.t.i.n.g.  and keeping an open mind.  What about you? 

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

M. Mac: The Rock Fish Dress

It happened again.  I wore the shorter length of this classic Rock Fish dress in pubic, and a pedestrian approached to tell me how cute it looks.  In fact, I receive more attention for this all cotton dress than for any other garment in my wardrobe.  The fish dress comes in several colors, styles and lengths.  Essentially, it's a big, comfortable t-shirt with tailored armholes and side slits.  The two dresses I have fall just above the knee.  They are summer staples I wear to work, on errands, or as a beach cover up.  The dresses are so versatile, I can dress them up or down with ballet flats, Mary Janes or flip flops.  The fish dress is a basic, I always pack for vacations also.
  
The fabric is very durable.  The dresses can be machine washed and dried many times over.  I don't even iron mine, and they still manage to look polished.

Who would predict that a simple, practical dress could attract such public attention?  But the Rock Fish dress does.  People always ask me where they can get it, and now they know.  To order click the M. Mac link and speak to Jamie.
Other patterns are available, including these.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Micro Apartments Are Coming To Manhattan

 New York City: You are looking Uptown, East side; click to enlarge.
Here in New York City you grow accustomed to seeing small apartments and weird configurations when you enter other people's homes (not to mention an occasional "only in New York" fetish, it is best to overlook.  Ooh, that's an entirely different discussion).  But now Mayor Michael Bloomberg has launched a plan for a residential building in Kips Bay [at 335 East 27th Street, near First Avenue] to develop teeny-tiny, cubical apartments, about half the size of a subway car.  According to local newspapers, he will have to suspend zoning laws in order to build the 80 proposed micro units, which are to be even smaller than what developers can now build.  Currently, apartments must be 400 square feet or larger.

The proposed micro units will measure between 275 and 300 square feet.  The flats will only be 10-by-30 feet.  Bloomberg says it's the wave of the future.  Presently, 75% of Manhattan residents live alone, or with one other person, and there is a shortage of studios and one-bedrooms.  Average studio apartments now rent for $2,000 a month.  Rent for the cubbyhole apartments is to be determined, but city officials expect it to be below market rate.  It will be interesting to find out, just how much lower.  And you know what?  Whatever the asking price, people will line up to pay it.  These units will go.

Bloomberg has launched a contest, asking architects to come up with a winning design for the units.  All must be well-lit and have kitchens, bathrooms and a sleeping-dining area.  (Hmm, I'm thinking futon.  And forget about entertaining.)

It's not a bad idea to create affordable [that's a relative term in a big city] housing, but when is a space too small?  Realistically, how far could you downsize to live in a desired area?  Can you imagine not having anywhere to go during a television commercial?  Arghhh!!! 

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hairstyles: Pretty Braids

Genetics are fascinating.  Often times when children are born, recessive genes win out.  Both of my parents had curly hair, but my hair is straight.  (My mom is still trying to understand how and why.)  My curly-haired friend, Cara S., also has a daughter with straight hair.  Some people said Lindsay looked like me, a remark that delighted her growing up, since I got to be the fun Auntie, who came for visits.  But I'm digressing.

As a teenager, my mom thought I should have curly hair and encouraged me to roll it.  It's a good thing, I totally ignored her.  Curly ringlets are pretty, but I never once minded having straight hair.  Straight hair is an easy style to maintain, and yet, you can do a lot with it.  In the summer, it's fun to braid sections of it.  I love YouTube for its hair tutorials, showing you how to braid hair, step-by-step.  Right now, my favorites are a waterfall braid (here) and one called a same-side lace braid (here).  Click on The Cute Girl's Hairstyle channel (here) for other ideas.

How in the world did any of us learn anything before YouTube?

And a word to my parent, who continues to have an opinion about my hair:  Mom, there are two types of people on the planet: People who have straight hair (me!), and people who wish they had straight hair (you!).  

All kidding aside, my mom has lovely curls, which flatter her face.  Obviously, there is no one standard of beauty (mom!).  Embrace whatever your hair type is ... and work with it.  Curly, wavy, or straight, it's all good.

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