Fake Bags promote Terrorism

26 Apr

Not just fake bags, but anything that is a designer counterfeit.
Child labor, terrorism, human trafficking: Buying counterfeit designer goods is hardly harmless.

It is estimated that up to 7 percent of our annual world trade — $600 billion worth — is counterfeit or pirated; that fakes are believed to be directly responsible for the loss of more than 750,000 American jobs; that everything from baby formula to medicine is counterfeited, with tragic results; that counterfeiters and the crime syndicates they work with deal in human trafficking, child labor, and gang warfare; and that counterfeiting is used to launder money, and the money has been linked to truly sinister deeds such as terrorism.

Most consumers believe that buying fake goods is harmless, that it’s a victimless crime. But it’s not. It’s not at all.

CRACKING DOWN ON COUNTERFEITERS

In the past year, there have been some victories in the battle. Among the most prominent was Louis Vuitton’s win against eBay in court in Paris this past June. (Counterfeiters have long used the Internet, particularly eBay, to sell their phony goods.) According to LVMH, the luxury-goods group that includes Vuitton, Givenchy, and Celine, 90 percent of the Vuitton and Dior items offered on eBay in the first half of 2006 were counterfeits. That’s right: Nine out of 10 were fake. Most consumers have no idea. How would you know?

HOW TO SPOT A FAKE

  • Question the price. If it’s too good to be true, it’s probably not real.
  • Know the dealer. A couple of years ago, Gucci discovered Wal-Mart was selling fake versions of its bags. To guarantee that your item is authentic, buy it at the brand’s own boutique or at an authorized retailer, like a brand’s department-store counter.
  • It’s all in the details. Is the stitching straight? Is it well made? Do the edges match up? Does it have polished rivets or cheap screws? Is there glue residue? If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.
  • Look for signature marks. Since the 1980s, Vuitton bags have been stamped with a serial number and date code that are registered at Vuitton HQ. An Hermès leather bag has stamps that identify the artisan who made it and the year it was made. Find out what your brand’s hallmarks are.
  • Check the logo. Some counterfeiters alter the logo slightly. Classic examples are the Ralph Lauren polo player without a mallet or the Lacoste crocodile facing left (fake) rather than right (real). Know exactly what the logo is and check it.
  • Beware of cross-pollinating. Counterfeiters will put any logo on any product, like a faux Prada triangle tag on a Chanel-like quilted bag. Make sure the logoed product is really the purported brand’s design.
  • Know your vintage goods. “Established designer-resale stores take precautions to avoid selling counterfeits,” says Cameron Silver, owner of Decades in Los Angeles. “However, there is no guarantee. An informed consumer should know the hallmarks and quality controls of an authentic item.”
  • Still vexed? Check with the Authentics Foundation (myauthentics.com), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping consumers avoid buying fakes.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

  • If you see someone selling counterfeits, contact the STOP! Hotline (1-866-999-HALT; stopfakes.gov). If you see suspicious activity such as a clandestine workshop or smuggling, call U.S. Customs and Border Protection (1-800-BE-ALERT).
  • Support the Teacher of Ten Thousand Generations Foundation, which rescues child laborers from counterfeit factories in China and puts them in schools (confuciusfoundation.org).

New York is soon to be passing a law fining the individual that is caught buying a fake. Which would mean buyers of counterfeit products could be jailed or given a fine of $1,000 if caught handing over cash for “Guchee’s” on Canal Street. Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who serves the Chinatown district and will introduce the bill Thursday April 28th 2011, says “We don’t want to be known as the place to come to get counterfeit goods.” (A bit late for that?)

It’s not worth it… If I can’t afford a Hermes Birkin bag, then so be it. Who wants to buy one for $100 bucks, that is crap quality, hurts people (mostly children) to get you your “high-end” product and everyone knows you can’t afford a Birkin!  So is it really worth it! No way!

LAST CHANCE TO WIN!

6 Apr

Again… If you want to WIN a My Duo Double Stroller by Stroll-Air you must, must get to their contest page and get going!
CONTEST PAGE STROLL-AIR

This baby comes packed with all the features we need and it is so user friendly. So here goes:

*Fully adjustable handlebar height
*Dual-facing seats (easy to click in and out and lightweight)-takes about 2 times to get the hang of it but after that it’s easy – one baby can face you and the other out or both facing you or both out – takes about 10 seconds to switch
*Napper bars w/ strap
*Fully reclining seats sits at about 85 and 180 degrees
*Fully adjustable footrest – keeps kiddos feet from dangling
*Wind/Rain Covers
*Mosquito Nets
*Umbrella
*Boots (footmuff)
*Air pump
*Diaper Bag – attaches to handlebar
*Swivel/Lockable Front wheels
*BIG basket
*Coil shocks

Good Luck!

Fanny Packs=Glam Packs

6 Apr

Ok, ok, I know.. Fanny Packs are for nerds. Right? I mean it’s always been a fashion NO WAY! But what if it’s Gucci? Does that help? or if you spot Rihanna rocking one? helping?

What is a fanny pack?
A fanny pack is a small fabric pouch with a zipper enclosure secured to the waist by a strap. Unfamiliar with the term, “fanny pack?” You may be more familiar with other words synonymous with fanny pack, such as bum bag, belt pack, belt bag, hip sack, hip pouch and hip pack.

Great fashion comes from the 80s …
Fanny packs took us by surprise in the 1980s. Although not your typical group of trend setters, this fashion accessory was introduced to us by mothers, fathers, tourists and anyone else wishing to simplify life with a hands-free purse. By the late 80s, everyone had one.

I personally don’t care who is wearing them in Hollywood, or if they are a nerdy tourists accessory. I love it! I think a well made, classy, trendy one can be really cute. Also not too large.. just a thin pack that semi looks like an oversized belt. There is a fine line, so you have to make sure your more fashiony then baby boomer at Disney Land with the kids. ehhhh yeah….

See, this LV one is kinda cute! A little large for me… but still it doesn’t look bad.

I dub the new term Glam packs! (Fashion Note: To be worn only in the day) ;0)

Frosty Barbie Pink Lips

29 Mar

Make up looks for this Spring/Summer!
I first saw this trend in Israel years back… I wasn’t really feeling it then, but it did look great on the girls over there. Dark hair, olive skin and then a pop of pink lips.
I started playing with a few colors that would work with my completion and my bright blonde hair…and now I am really digging this trend! I keep everything else pretty simple. Big, full lashes, hint of bronzer, and then the pink frosty lips.
The Diane von Furstenberg collection showcased models wearing neon pink lips with a matte, velvety texture. Add a pop of color to your spring/summer makeup look with this hot trend! Tone it down or wear it right off the runway by filling in your lips with the brightest lip liner, then topping it with a sheer lip gloss.

I love the look on Monica,Barbie frosty pink!

New Obsession…

29 Mar

Usually I obsess over new trends, debuting cars, shoes, and brand spankin’ new gadgets (uh hello, iPad 2) but there are times in the baby world where there is a product so awesome and kick butt that I can’t help myself. Well, I just had a baby 2 weeks ago, and I have been on the double stroller hunt for months…6 months to be exact. I didn’t want to make the same mistakes I did before. I bought the Quinny Buzz for my daughter and ended up unhappy…and it ended up on Craigs List.
So I found an expert to help..the Stroller Queen. I paid her a fee to help me hunt down the perfect stroller for all my needs. I took a quiz of about 10 questions. Like, How important is the fold? What type of area do you live in? Urban? Small Town? How much upper body strength do you have for lifting into a car, etc…
So we went back and forth for a week or so, after looking at tons of sites, reading blogs, watching tons of You Tube reviews, and asking millions of annoying questions, she finally found my perfect stroller.

The Stroll Air Duo!

Look at this beauty!

Here is some info about it and why I am now obsessed, and a Stroll Air Fan.
Basically it’s a side by side double buggy, but what makes it unique is that it can accommodate two full sized car seats onto the chassis.
Not that I personally need that but if you have twins then bingo! If you’re thinking that it will be impossibly wide, one of the seats mounts slightly lower than the other so it still manages to only be 29″ wide so easily glides through doorways. So that means I can go shopping in New York and get in and out of stores without getting myself all frazzled.
The fully rotating wheels make it easy to turn on a dime and it has fantastic manoeuvrability. My biggest issue with the Quinny Buzz was the front wheel, It would get stuck at the worst times!  So that was a big selling point to me, easy to move!
The air filled wheels make easy work of grass and mulched surfaces and the  wheels can be locked straight for even rougher terrain. It comes with two seats which can be positioned independently so that you could have your toddler facing forwards while your infant can face you. That was also a big selling point to me… I like the choice of having my kids face me. And I also Love the fact I can have a car seat attached or bassinet.
The seats have a fully flat recline which is quick and easy to adjust, as well as adjustable footrests and bumper bars. Each has a huge canopy to shade from the sun and comes with a mesh net and a rain cover. The handle bar can also be adjusted to suit the height of the adult carer and comes with a matching diaper bag.
It is easy to fold and has stand on end position in a half fold but when fully folded is very compact for a double buggy. Some serious thought has gone into the design of this Stroll Air double Stroller and for me it ticks all the boxes.

So if you have twins or 2 younger kids this is an amazing stroller! Even if you have a 3rd semi older child you can get the standing attachment. I can’t wait to get one!

Be sure to friend Stroll Air on Facebook too

They have contests randomly, who wouldn’t love to win a Duo? 😉

Nasty Gal

1 Mar

I am in love with this month’s new arrivals at online boutique, Nasty Gal. Founded by Sophia Amoruso in San Francisco, CA circa 2006, Nasty girl has a collection of unique vintage pieces as well as most wanted items from today’s hottest designers.

I actually wish they had more inventory! I just bought 5 dresses from Nasty Gal and will snap some photos and rate them when they arrive. I’m obsessed with this skirt! Tulip Skirts have been in and will be hot for Spring/Summer!  This is not sooo much tulip but knotted, but I love these type of skirts!

I am also loving wooden heels with cute ankle socks… Super trendy yet subtly sexy! Great for Spring! I just bought a really cute wooden heel and can’t wait to pair them with my cute AA black/gold shimmer anklets. I never got on the clog trend.. I am actually anti-clog… even if they are Chanel. So I think these are a good mix of the wood but still fashionable. Jeffrey Campbell makes a bunch of great wooden heels/wedges.

Good Luck and COME ON SPRING!

 

Soho Shopping

26 Feb

If there is one thing I love, it’s shopping in Soho. I haven’t gone in a long while due to this nasty winter. So I have been hitting up my fav online boutiques instead. (hello000 NASTY GAL.com!) Anyway the weather will soon be warming up and I can get out to my favorite spots. It’s always fun to make a day out of it. I usually start with a Mani-Pedi at Valley, and get super cute 3D Nail art done, then head out for  some shopping making a pit stop for a outside lunch/drink..(can’t forget the drinks! mmmm Sangria) and ending it with a yummy treat at a high end chocolatier or candy shop. Soho days are the best days! And if I am in the mood for hunting down the deals I head over to Canal and bargain my way at all the little booths.

Here are a few Boutiques/Shops worth hitting up:
(There are TONs more but it’s all up to your taste and you never know what you will stumble upon roaming the streets)

Sabon– It’s a high end soap brand from Israel, I always buy it when I am visiting the Holy Land, but if you are not going to be making it there anytime soon, it’s worth checking out! Excellent handmade soap, smells amazing and is elegantly packaged. Great Gifts!

Seven New York– Women’s and Men’s Clothing. Outrageously ridiculous and beautiful collections. And Outrageously expensive! If you love bold pieces in your wardrobe, you have to check SEVEN out. (Nothing to do with Seven Jeans)

Kiki de Montparnasse– Sexy Sexy Lingerie…and Adult Toys. I am impressed with this “adult themed” store.  The Kiki de Montparnasse boutique combines sex and art in a very elegant way. Not only is the lingerie sexy and beautiful, but all the “intimate tools” are gracefully displayed.

In God We Trust-There are awesome clothes for both guys and gals. For a store so teensy tiny it really packs a punch. It just exudes cool. From the clothing (small, new designers) to the accessories (rabbit fur beanies, brass stud earrings, an assortment of bowties and leather motorcycle gloves) it’s worth the quick browse when you’re strolling along Ludlow.

Kiteya– Accessories, Cards & Stationery. An adorable Japanese store in SoHo that stays true to its origins! This store offers up the kind of selection you expect in Japan. Lots of little trinkets, bags, apparrel w/ Kimono/Japanese style fabrics and designs.

Google the Store names for the locations/hours etc.

Good Luck and have a blast Shopping in SOHO!

Moroccan Meatball Tagine Recipe

8 Feb

I just made my favorite meatball recipe and I though why not share the goodness? Sooooo, here we go 🙂

It’s pretty simple and If you don’t own a Tagine you can use a deep dish saute pan…but I prefer the Tagine. Mine is cast iron from Le Creuset and is pretty seasoned by now… same idea as a cast iron skillet and ‘seasoning’.

=Quick info on Cast Iron Pans, skillet, Tagines, etc. There are several reasons that people rave about their cast iron pans and cast iron skillets. Besides being an ideal heat conductor, cast iron cookware heats evenly and consistently, it is inexpensive and will last a lifetime (actually several lifetimes) with proper care, and it is an old-fashioned way to cook fat-free. The first most common mistake of why people do not like cast iron is that they say everything sticks. If food sticks to your cast iron pan, your pan is NOT seasoned right and you need to re-season it. Cast iron is a natural non-stick surface and if your pan is seasoned correctly it WILL NOT stick! To season a cast iron pan means to create a slick and glassy coating by baking on multiple thin coats of oil. This will protect the cast iron pan from getting rusted and makes for a non-stick cooking surface.

You season a cast iron pan by rubbing it with a relatively thin coat of neutral food-grade oil (I stress a light coat of oil). Rub the oil off with paper towels or a cotton cloth. The pan will look like there is no oil left on the surface, but there is as the oil is just very thin (the pan will look dry, not glistening with oil). Place the cast iron pan, upside down, in the oven, with a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom to catch any drips. Heat the pan for 30 minutes in a 450 to 500 degree F. oven. Once done, turn off the oven, and let the pan cool to room temperature in the oven. Repeating this process several times is recommended as it will help create a stronger “seasoning” bond. I usually do this process 3 to 4 times.=

Ok back to the recipe….Everyone loves meatballs, and these tasty little morsels are steamed in a fragrant tomato sauce. For a more filling dish, add some eggs. Just drop 2-3 eggs atop the meatballs in the sauce and cover. Let the eggs cook until the egg whites are set. Serve the meat balls over couscous or even plain spaghetti.

Serves 4-

MEATBALLS:


1 Lb ground beef-not too lean

1 Small Onion very finely chopped

2 Teaspoons cumin seeds ground

1 Tablespoon sweet paprika

1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 Teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 Teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley

2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

1.5 Teaspoon salt or as needed

1 Egg

Olive Oil for browning

To make meatballs: In a bowl, combine the beef, onion, cumin, paprika, blk pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, parsley, cilantro, salt and egg. Form the mixture into 1 inch balls. Set aside.

SAUCE:

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Medium onions chopped

4 Garlic cloves minced

2 Teaspoons cumin ground

1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 Cup chopped fresh parsley,cilantro or mint- your choice

2 Cups tomato sauce

1 Cup beef broth

To make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in the bottom of a saute pan or your tagine. Add the onions and cook over medium heat 8-10 minutes, until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper and parsley and cook for 5 more minutes to blend the flavors. Stir in the tomato sauce and beef broth and bring to a simmer. If you started in a saute pan, transfer to your tagine.

You can brown the meatballs, if you like in a skillet or sauce pan in olive oil over high heat. Or simply add them to the sauce uncooked and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, 20 minutes if you did not brown them first. I just plop the uncooked meatballs right into the simmering sauce cook for a good 20 minutes and then right before I serve a crack 2-3 eggs on top until they are set.

Serve with Couscous, spaghetti, or just by themself!

Good Luck and Healthy Dining!

Your Green Baby

1 Feb

Should you supplement your toddler’s diet? What supplements should you give, if any? How much? When? How often?

Experts disagree on whether a daily multivitamin/mineral is a good idea for all children. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), for example, advises giving your child a supplement only if your pediatrician recommends one. Because so many common foods are fortified, most children don’t need supplements, the AAP argues. On the other hand, the AAP acknowledges that a multivitamin/mineral supplement won’t hurt as long as it doesn’t exceed the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for any vitamin or mineral. Other experts say that a daily supplement is a good way to fill in any gaps in your child’s nutrition.

Most experts do agree that:

  • As long as you don’t overdose your child on supplements (exceed the RDA for any one vitamin or mineral), a daily multivitamin won’t hurt.
  • Some children — like vegetarians, or those with sensitivities to certain foods, for example — might need a daily multivitamin/mineral supplement to meet their RDAs.
  • Supplements are not a substitute for good food, and they should never be used to justify a poor diet. If your child isn’t eating well, give him a supplement, but also take steps to improve his eating habits.

Personally I give a daily Vitamin, DHA 3, and probiotic to my daughter.  And even in the winter a dose of “Sniffle Stopper” (herbs that prevent the common cold)
Everything I use is all organic, gluten free, and vegan (except for the DHA). I take the same exact vitamins everyday except for adults all in pill form.

Here is some info on the daily preventative care I give my daughter and myself.

Probiotics – probiotics are good bugs or bacteria that live in our digestive tract, and provide us with health benefits beyond belief; in fact research continues today to discover what else these little “bugs” can do for us. Good bugs are still very important for your toddler. They aid in digestion, provide immunity, manufacture B vitamins and vitamin K among other things. If your toddler has been on antibiotics their good bacteria will have been wiped out along with the bad bacteria, this is an important time to re-inoculate the gut with good bacteria to ensure her immune system is strong and digestion is working well. Also if you have a baby girl antibiotics can give her yeast infections because it is taking all the good bacteria out of her system, another good reason to give her probiotics during this time. I give it daily, being on antibiotic or not.

At a year, I recommend moving to a child formulation or an adult formulation. I began giving Maya a children’s formulation in powder form at her first birthday. Half a teaspoon everyday mixed in her drink.

The benefits of probiotics include:
• They improve digestion by stimulating peristalsis, the rhythmic contractions of the large intestine
• They act as natural antibiotics helping to fight off bad bacteria in the gut
• They are responsible for the manufacturing of B vitamins and vitamin K. B vitamins are important for energy production and vitamin K for blood clotting.
• The usage of probiotics during pregnancy is linked to a decrease in eczema and other allergies in babies.
• Probiotics are important for immune health – believe it or not up to 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive tract
• Probioitcs have been shown to aid in the elimination of digestive complaints including gassiness, constipation, diarrhea and IBS
• Probiotics can also help to reduce symptoms of colic in your baby.

Supplementation with a good quality probiotic is suggested to ensure colonization for the digestive tract. You can find probiotics in some food products including yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, tempeh and miso but they will not contain enough to properly colonize your gut and provide maximum benefits.

Vitamin D – For all the same reasons this was important for your baby, it remains important for your toddler. You can choose to supplement or during the summer you can get your energetic toddler outside for some sunshine on unprotected skin – just 15 to 20 minutes 3 to 4 times per week is enough, before or after the strongest rays of the day. If you live in the north, supplementation during the winter months will be necessary as the sun is not strong enough for our bodies to produce vitamin D.

Supplementation recommendations for toddlers given by The Vitamin D Council are for  1000 IU per day for every 25lbs of body weight.

DHA – This healthy fat continues to be important for your toddler. The nervous system and brain are still developing; supporting this development with DHA is important. If you are still breastfeeding your baby will get DHA from you if your diet is sufficient. If he is not breastfeeding then you can begin to supplement with a DHA supplement, usually found in the form of fish oil. There are fish oil formulations for toddlers, usually flavoured to make getting in them a little easier. For vegetarians you can opt to use an algae source of DHA. It comes in a capsule. The photo above is Maya’s DHA in liquid form and strawberry flavored. I mix half a teaspoon in her coconut juice daily. And she drinks it up no problem!

Multivitamin – A multivitamin is really just insurance that your active toddler is meeting his needs for minerals and vitamins. As I mentioned earlier food and eating are not always a top priority for your toddler so providing a multivitamin will ensure they are meeting their needs and preventing a deficiency. The photo above is also Maya’s Multi Vitamin, in liquid form 2 full teaspoon is what I give her.

Vitamin B12 – This is an important vitamin that is lacking in a plant based diet. If your toddler is not fond of meat or if you are raising a vegetarian toddler supplementing with vitamin B12 is important. Vitamin B12’s primary functions are in the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. B12 is also necessary for the rapid synthesis of DNA during cell division. Not a necessary supplement for a meat eating toddler, but very necessary for a vegetarian toddler.

Good Luck and Keep your little bean Healthy and Happy 🙂

(This article is geared towards toddlers not babies under the age of 1 year.)

Sigma Beauty

1 Feb

I know I posted about Sigma before… but you can’t deny they make some amazing brushes…
well here is a link for a free gift with a $30 dollar purchase!

So if you are in the need for some updated brushes, do so now so you can snag the free gift!

Gotta share the wealth! 🙂

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