Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My neck..my back..



Often I wake up in the morning and read an article from one of the many magazines that are delivered to my mailbox every month.  This morning as I lay in bed sifting through the October issue of Elle Magazine, I happened upon an article about a woman afflicted with Scoliosis.  For those that don't know it's basically a slight to severe curvature of the spine that causes terrible pain for those who have it.   She talked about how from the ages of 14- 21 she had to wear a metal back brace for 23 hours a day.  She talked about the freedom she felt when she was allowed to remove her "armor" as she called it.  She stressed that 20 years after her brace was removed the importance of exercise on a everyday basis keeps her from having to ever wear that brace again.  She talked about the strength as well as the insecurity it tattooed into her for life.

This article hit very close to home for me.  I too have Scoliosis.  I've had it along with the physical pain from it for as long as I can remember.  I never had a back brace for reasons that I will not bore you with and never really did anything about the problem when I was growing up.  I thought it was something I just had to live with.   
One day as I was laying flat on my back, knees up, head clouded and unable to work I new that I would have to so something to relieve my pain or settle for functioning at half mast for the rest of my days.. and anyone who knows me knows that THAT WAS NOT AN OPTION! 

Thus bringing me to the subject at hand.. Bryan Kest Power Yoga DVDs.

I discovered these DVDs about 7 years ago when I realized that the treadmill,  weights, bike, stair stepper blah blah blah were just not cutting it... 

Okay that's a lie...

Let me start over.  I came across Bryan Kest one day on a desperate search for an exercise routine that could shape me up yet not require me to leave my house.   I know I know!!!  Anyhow,  I ordered the Power Yoga 3 DVD and prayed that this might be my solution.. and it was.   Wake up, throw on shorts, pop the DVD into my laptop and voila!  The man himself is teaching a class right there in my living room.

At the time I had no idea that this little DVD would be a huge solution to my endless cycle of  back pain.  Mind you, I had NEVER done Yoga before in my life. SCARY!!  It was super hard at first, but the more I practiced, the more I was not functioning at "half mast".. and when I would skip a week.. my back would let me know. 

Not to mention it allows me to eat pretty much what I want...and keeps me long and lean..Whoo Hoo!!

Now after all this time by no means am I able to contort my body into pretzel like positions.  Lets be realistic people.  My hips are still not crazy flexible. My upper body strength is still not exactly where I would like it to be...but compared to where I was, I  have come a long way.   My problem still exists ...but I now have a solution and as long as I practice on a regular basis I get the benefits of an almost painless back and a lean body :) Power Yoga is my armor. 

Bryan Kest Power Yoga... I "Like"


P.S.  If you just can't get motivated at home The Bryan Kest Yoga Studios are in Santa Monica and they are donation only :)



Taye ;)

Bryan Kest Power Yoga DVD
www.poweryoga.com


Photo's: Taye Hansberry Photography ©2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Paper.... Plastik... Super Cute


Growing up in the vast city of  Los Angeles one has to expect that over time EVERYTHING will eventually change.  Neighborhoods gentrify.  Freeways go up.   Entire malls come down.   However, to actually watch the neighborhood I grew up in do a complete 360 is pretty dreamy for me.   It's like watching your baby grow into a mature,  responsible,  creative adult.  Well not quite but you get the point!

A little comparison shopping,  shall we..

Pico and Fairfax..affectionately labeled as "the hood" when I was a kid, is now Wilshire Vista (okay that part is a bit strange).   Meaty Meat Burger,  yes there was a place called Meaty Meat Burger is now a CVS pharmacy.   Maurice's Snack and Chat is now a posh little place called Chic Wine Bar.. and what was once solely a dance studio/theatre is now the coffee shop Paper or Plastik.

Like so many of the events in my life.. This is how the discovery took place:

Cut to about three weeks ago.   I was driving East on Pico Blvd  with full intentions to pay my mom a visit and  was ridiculously starving.   Shocker... I know.  I was actually planning to stop at Bloom when I noticed the huge beautiful windows of  what looked like a new restaurant.  So I made a quick U turn, parked and walked in.  I had no idea that it was the soft opening of what has turned out to be one of the cutest coffee shops in Los Angeles.
 Paper or Plastik is an open, airy,  oasis of Intelligentsia coffee (we all know that I love that place), loose leaf tea, sandwiches by Heirloom LA, pastries by Cake Monkey and plain old fashion great energy!  This ample space is still part dance studio.   You can literally watch dancers rehearse from the second floor window. 

I  spent 6 hours there last Monday drinking green tea and getting copious amounts of work done on my laptop.  There may have been a chocolate croissant in the mix as well... oh come on..it was begging to be eaten!!

There is free Wi-fi under the name Tip Generously...love it!!...  and if you are in the mood to shop for gifts from all over the world,  hand picked by the owners,  there is a snazzy little shop filled with goodies on the second floor.

So grab your laptop, a latte, a croissant  (chocolate) and enjoy...

 Paper or Plastik... I "LIKE"

Taye ;)

Paper or Plastik
5772 W. Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, Ca  90019
323.935.0268
paperorplastikcafe.com

Photo's: Taye Hansberry Photography ©2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Salts Cure




6 Plates
3 Sides
5 Desserts
3 Drinks

This is the menu I was presented with when I sat to eat lunch at The Salts Cure.

Sweet and Simple!

This open faced restaurant (my way of saying that the kitchen is front and center) may be pint sized but the flavor in the food in enormous.

They make everything in house.  I actually walked in and watched the chef pull a roasted chicken from the oven, rip the meat from the bone and make a Roasted Chicken Salad Sandwich. Umm yum!  Does it get better than that?

Wait there's more..

Then I watched the waiter squeeze lemons per glass for the house made lemonade. 

Again there is more..

Not much later I watched another chef slice pieces of fresh bacon for my BLT...

...Which turned out to be the BEST BLT I have ever had in my life.  I kid you not!!.. It was so good that I had to Twitter about it the minute I took the last bite...and I am not big on Pork.

Highlights:
The menu changes daily.
They recently opened their doors for dinner. 
They cook the food right there in the open.  

The first day that I went to check out the place they were closed Note: they are closed on Tuesdays.  I found that out the hard way.  Uggg.  However to my luck they were in the middle of a staff meeting.  Sooo.. being the girl that I am I decided to have a lovely conversation with a gentlemen named Zack (one of the chefs) who told me that the owners were on a trip up North to buy hogs.  Yes I just said hogs..  Pretty darn cool.

They hand pick and hand cure all the meat and fish..and see those amazing potato chips in the photo above ..yeah those..hand sliced and made to order.
 
Thus what prompted my trip back the next day... And I am so glad I did..  If you are anywhere near the corner of Santa Monica and Gardner in West Hollywood I strongly advise to partake in the eats at The Salts Cure.

The Salts Cure...I "LIKE"

Taye ;)

7494 Santa Monica Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90046
(323) 850-7258

Thursday, September 9, 2010

H&M..gets me all warm an fuzzy inside..

Coat, white shirt, high waited pants all H&M.  Glasses: Ray-Ban.  Cashmere socks HUE.  Shoes: models own

               Dear H&M,
                       
                       My old pal...my old friend.. We once parted ways.   I am so happy to know 
               that we are pals once again.  I was convinced that you had strayed so far in the 
               direction of big bad clothing corporate doom that you may never find your way 
               back.  I am utterly delighted to be wrong and am willing to forth rightly admit that.  
               Welcome back to the light.  Welcome back to the light!!

              Sincerely,
              Taye

Okay so if H&M and I were friends this would be a letter I would have to write.  

Back story: Within the last year I had become completely disillusioned with H&M.  I would roam racks unable to find anything I lusted after...And I am a firm believer that one must lust after the clothes they choose to make a part of there existence.  

Then last Saturday, as I ate breakfast at Primo with a lovely friend.  There it was.  H&M.  The big Sunset Blvd. store just staring at me in all it's corporate glory.  Now an emanate part of the Los Angeles landscape.  Utterly confused,  I ate my omelet and reminisced on the days where H&M was my friend.  Well the kind of friend that takes my money, but friend nevertheless.

As the breakfast came to an end and we were to part ways,  my eating buddy asked the question that would spark the rekindling of my love affair with H&M.  Simple but effective, she said, (unaware of my current feelings for the place) "Hey.. You wanna stop in H&M?"  

And the flirtation began.  I walked in and literally (as if a force was guiding my) picked up three amazing items...and learned about THE APP!!

Which is what I will end this blog with.. The H&M APP.  If you own an iphone and you like to shop..stop reading this now, pick up your phone and get to it!!  

I'll give you a couple minutes....tick... tick... tick..




Okay were back.. where was I?  Oh yeah...the H&M APP.   Whats not to love!!  Not only can you browse through the style guide..AMAZING!!  Not only can you see photo's of the newest items to hit the store..WHOA!!  Not only can you view adorable little vignettes showcasing the new collaboration between H&M and LANVIN!!  But you can ..okay you sitting down??

You can set your phone so that when you walk into any H & M store..you open the app, shake your phone and a coupon appears.  Yes a discount coupon.  Holy Moly I love it!!

So with that said..I bought all of my items and got a nice little 20% discount.. whoo hoo!!

Now being that I was not going to photograph myself in my new outfit..the lovely Sita and I got together (again) and did a little "this is what I got"  photo shoot.  The outfit..including this ridiculously tasty coat ..all H&M..well mostly..shoes, Ray-Ban's and socks all styled in :)

So the task for my lovely readers, both  boys and girls...(because the boys stuff at H&M is super tasty too) ....download app and head to H&M...

H&M App and H&M stores..I "LIKE"

Taye ;)

H&M App available at the App store


Photo's: Taye Hansberry Photography ©2010
Model: Sita Young





Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Still Hungover?



Okay so summer is supposedly over..yeah right!!  However we Americans did commemorate this passing of the beloved season with a lovely little holiday called Labor Day.  A long weekend in which most of us take it upon ourselves to drink and eat ourselves into a stupor.  Me included!!  So after a weekend at the "Bar Bar", I take it upon myself to head straight for the "Earth Bar".  Hangover cure and all around whole body fantasticness.  Yes people I often use words here that do not exist!!

Earth Bar is like the neighborhood watering hole for those who crave to ingest only the best.  Your trip comes complete with regulars and amazing staff who know you when you walk in the door.  How's that for service!  You can participate in a weekend of craziness followed by a couple days of fresh juices, smoothies and wellness shots and it all just kinda equals out.  Phew!! No need for guilt.  You can go ahead and erase that crazy weekend from your memory all together.

Lets just plow through 3 of my personal favorite items on the menu.

Starting with:
1. The Citrus Cleanse.  Orange, apple, kale and lime all juiced together to perfection.

2. The Earth Berry Smoothie.  Blueberry, strawberry, raspberry, agave and hemp milk.

3. Shots of E3 live and Brain On.  Both like healthy, cell building, body rejuvenating crack.

These three items and you are ready to go!!

Alright so the items on the menu not doing it for you??  The amazing staff including the owner Noah will hands on create pretty much anything you need for whatever ailment you may have.  

P.S. Ask for Ryan...he's like the mixologist of the juice/smoothie kingdom.

Earth bar is basically a whole body, whole food, organic wellness pharmacy.  They even have a clinic where you can get your bi-monthly dose of B-12 shots.  I'm a regular there.  B-12 rocks my world!!

That still not enough?  The West Hollywood branch is located right inside of the Great Earth Vitamin shop.  You can grab a bottle of C and a jug of collagen powder on your way out. The collagen powder is a whole blog by itself..AMAZING!!

But never fear.. for you Westsiders they have a Santa Monica location.. so no excuses to not to better your body ;)

Earth Bar..  I "LIKE"

Taye ;)

Earth Bar West Hollywood
8365 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
323.301.4980

Photo's: Taye Hansberry Photography ©2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Carmen Steffens..anything but over the hill..



They say that anything thing that comes out of Brazil is has been kissed by beauty along with a disgustingly gene enhanced bikini ready body...Uggg.!!  Anyhow back to the subject at hand..Brazil's very own Carmen Steffens had arrived.  Well at least to the Valley that is.  The Westfield Fashion Square in Sherman Oaks has welcomed the Carmen Steffens flagship store into the family.   Sexy..YES...Comfortable...YES...colorful...YES...priced right..YES.. 

Call me a grandma but these days all who know me know that I will not go near a shoe if it at all creates a tinge of pain.  These colorful, Brazilian sky high heels are a perfect mixture of South American spice and comfortable.  Prepare to walk, because you can.  The shoes reminded me of long walks through the amazon rain forest, observing the beauty of nature.  Okay okay I've never been to Brazil....  but you get the point!

Not so much into sky high heels?  No worries, they have signature flats.   The animal print flats are perfect for those I am sexy yet effortless skinny jeans and tee days.  I mean who doesn't love anything with a good animal print?  So the next time you are over the hill..and those who reside in LA know what I'm speaking of.  Stop in the Fashion Square and snatch up some sexiness!!

Carmen Steffens.. I "Like"

Taye ;)

Carmen Steffens 
14006 Riverside Drive
Sherman Oaks, Ca 91423
www.carmensteffensusa.com

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