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Vision

I was invited to serve as a professional reviewer for the Fashion Design Department at MassArt. It’s an honor to be invited to participate in this Review, and my third year being asked back. I took a close look at the portfolios, sketches, and actual garments of the four students I was assigned. Get to know the four fabulous and fashionable students below and take a peek at their designs. styleboston will be on site for the event titled “Vision” — taking place at The Castle on Columbus Ave on May 9’th.

Daniela Cabal

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Kimberly Gale Nowers

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Carolina Espaillat

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Nicole Oppedisano

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Bikram student in standing bow pose

I am a certified type A personality – high energy, constantly moving – a multi-tasker, who despite the occasional setback, is very optimistic about life in general. I am also a runner, or was, until last February when I found something that surpassed even that endorphin high we runners crave so much.  The epiphany? Bikram Yoga, a seemingly unlikely replacement for the cardio workout I had incorporated into my daily life for the past 20 years. Yoga? Come on, that’s for granola eating, Birkenstock wearing vegans, who wouldn’t know an endorphin high if it hit them on the head. How wrong I was.

Introduced to the United States in the early 1970’s, the yoga practice was suggested to me through a good friend, who is also a runner and had been preaching the benefits of Bikram for some months before I actually set foot in the door. The fundamentals of Bikram are the same 26 postures in the same sequence every class; breathing and heat – a Bikram studio is hot…very hot. The temperature hovers around 105 degrees, with 40 percent humidity and is an essential element for this type of yoga. Breathing in and out through your nose takes some getting use to, but it is an effective way to control your discomfort with the heat and regulate your heart rate. I have come to love the heat, it is absolutely necessary to achieving the length in limbs needed to do the postures, but when I first walked into the class I turned to Lucas, the instructor, and said ‘There is no way I am staying in this heat for 90 minutes…no sir.’ Not only did I finish the class, but when I staggered out the door I felt so cleansed afterwards I couldn’t wait to go again. That was a year ago.

There are a handful of locations in the Boston area, including Back Bay and Harvard Square, but the classes I attend are held in a little gem of a studio on Hancock Street in Quincy, where I have come to understand and embrace all its benefits. Bikram is not just a workout, although the physical demand is great. It is about connecting your mind and body for 90 minutes, a time that includes meditation, focus, hard work and a respite from the bombardment of information that has become an integral part of our daily lives.

You sweat – a lot – and the detoxification is addictive. Bikram benefits range from the obvious-improvement in flexibility, balance and an increase in strength and muscle control, to the not so obvious – it has been proven to help with depression, and many practitioners believe it wards off arthritis and controls stress levels. My experience has seen improvement in focus, flexibility, significantly lessened joint pain, and emotion regulation. (My two kids will attest to that.) Hydration and nutrient replacement are key to practicing this kind of yoga, as your body sweats out not only water but potassium, sodium and other electrolytes.

I have pretty much given up running and try to take classes at least four times a week. When I travel, I google the area to find the Bikram studios nearby as I have become reliant on how good these classes makes me feel. I am still that certified type A, but with a stronger, focused, and more balanced perspective on how I run around like a maniac.

Namaste.

 

(Photography and video by Shannon Hawkins)

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Valentine’s day is just around the corner so I thought I would make it easy for you guys and feature a few great gifts in every price range.

These days, my favorite thing in jewelry is personalization. I love being able to give people meaningful gifts, and what better way to do this than showing some love with an engraved pendant. A favorite of mine is the Melene Kent single letter pendants. A great gift idea is the use of the initial of the person’s child, or pet, or first letter of their name. I love to shop local and this company is based in Massachusetts.

Melene Kent

Three Sisters Jewelry Design makes gorgeous hand engraved name plates. I was lucky enough to get one with the names of both my children and my husband’s and mine initials “B M T”, all on three separate pendants layered in a single chain. Imperial Palace Gold Name Charm Necklace I love the idea of layering, so if you really want to splurge, consider more than one.

 

In the medium tier price range, but also sticking with the personalization theme, I found these gorgeous GV Gemvara customizable stacker rings:

GV by Gemvara rings

These are very cool when worn on the knuckles of the younger set. I love the idea of birthstones for every family member, and adding a fifth one for your anniversary date! My ring would be 14K yellow gold with ruby, aquamarine, smoky quartz, sapphire and amethyst. Depending on the size of your family, there are one stone, two stone and five stone options. There is also the option of customizing necklaces the same way. This is another local company started right here in Boston, which makes it a more meaningful purchase.

GV by Gemvara customizable necklace

Also in the medium tier price range is the new T Square bracelet from Tiffany in rose gold. Their new boutique at the head of Newbury Street in the Taj Hotel, has a wide range of pricing, from $100-$10,000.00 And who doesn’t love getting the teal blue box with a neatly tied white satin ribbon?

TiffanyIf your price range teeters on the luxury end, I have also recently fallen in love with Mimi So’s diamonds. I first met her when she came to town for the MGH Storybook Ball, where she had donated a $25,000 package of her baubles. Don’t worry, there are items below $25,000 in her collection. What I suggest for a gift from her collection, are the stacker bracelets, though I LOVE the unexpected nature of the split rings and bows which are a huge signature item of Mimi’s.  However, rings are often a dicey gift item unless you are already married…(according to my hubby). For the stackers, try a single one in rosegold, and add on the white gold stacker at a future birthday and the black diamond one at Christmas. Here are a few more favorite looks from Mimi So.

In any event, if you are late with your shopping—as we all often are!– some of these, such as Gemvara.com have a very quick turn around for customization. But you could also order it, and give a romantic handmade card with a “token” or “coupon” for the item, which will be coming in at a later date. Simply attach this to the bouquet of flowers you are getting your honey and you are guaranteed a smash hit.

The Tree of It

“The Tree Of It” by local Boston artist, Zach Nolin

While tripping through my garden…

More from Zach Nolin

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Boston Recessionistas, rejoice! DailyCandy Deals is coming to the city to rescue our little piggy banks and help us best stretch out our hard-earned dollahs to: get out and shop, eat, see, and experience all the nooks and crannies in town!

Starting from TODAY, August 8, DailyCandy Deals will have its local Boston site  for us all to dive in (way to make our Monday, we are already loving you, DailyCandy)!

To start off the launch with a bang, the website is offering all kinds of über-cool deals, including:

– A romantic tasting menu for two at the fancy Haru;

– First-come, first-serve bargain deals from Fandango for the movie Change Up, featuring none other than Mr. Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman!;

– 40% off of Wembe, an organic skincare line, as well as

– a 50% off deal on a manicure prep set from Julep!

These deals won’t last long (give yourselves a strict 24-hour deadline and >>bookmark<< the website)! So become a DailyCandy Deals Boston MEMBER today, and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the line-up change of exclusive deals and offerings!

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