The Top 5 Things To Do In Savannah

The Top 5 Things To Do In Savannah

Savannah is an extremely beautiful, historic city. It’s also known as America’s first planned city with lots of parks and squares (22 survive to this day). And because of SCAD, it has a young, creative vibe.

I visited for 4 days/3 nights and was the guest of two longtime Savannahians so my experience was definitely more “insider” than tourist. I also appreciated getting a local’s perspective on the who, what and where of the city. Alice and Bob seemingly know everyone so I met lots of fascinating people – including one of Savannah’s major style icons, Ann Lytle (see pic below).

Here are my top recommendations for a weekend visit to Savannah:

1. Explore The City On Foot

It’s a small, easily navigable town with lots of charming old buildings. I especially love the variety of ironwork balconies and the downspout fountains that are shaped like fish or dolphins (see pic below).

Make sure you stop by some of the major squares and parks e.g. Forsyth Park. There are also lots of small restaurants and bars with outdoor seating. And you MUST stop by Leopold’s Ice Cream Parlor – it’s 100 years old and popular with both locals and visitors – and they make rosewater ice cream! Other restaurants worth dropping in on as you explore: The Public Kitchen & Bar, Soho South Cafe, The Grey, The Collins Quarter.

See below for more pics of Savannah and additional tips.

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HEALTH UPDATE: Top of the List for Boomers, Reverse Aging!

HEALTH UPDATE: Top of the List for Boomers, Reverse Aging!

EVERYTHING on my personal health radar has to do with maintaining peak fitness for my age. That said, getting older is definitely not for sissies as my body reminds me daily.

And since Boomers are apparently healthier than Gen Xers (see #7 below), here’s my best advice for my younger friends:

  • Never let your weight get out of hand (treat it like a life and death situation, because it is!) Every single aspect of my health has been dictated by my weight.
  • Do something physical for at least 1 hour DAILY – workout/walk/ ride a bike/ take the stairs
  • Keep your mind sharp: read books, learn new skills, seek out new and interesting people to add to your network.

Here are the 9 most important health trends I am currently tracking:

1. America is getting older and heavier

  • 2 out of 3 Americans are either overweight or obese (Source: CDC)
  • 1 in 3 obese people suffer from arthritis
  • Obesity causes excess fat in the body which releases inflammatory chemicals that may play a role in arthritis flare-ups.
  • Osteoporosis is a major public health concern for 44 million Americans aged 50 and older.
  • The orthopedic industry is booming!

 

2. Active Lifestyles Counter Aging

  • Women who don’t exercise and who spend too much time sitting, are biologically eight years older than their counterparts who are more fitness-oriented!!!
  • Physical activity should continue to be part of our daily lives as we get older, even at 80 years old.
  • Exercise has been found to keep the cells “younger.”

 

3. The flu and pneumonia are the biggest infectious disease killers today

  • Get your flu shots people – even though this year, only 48% effective!!
  • A recent study of 100 years of infectious disease deaths shows that only pneumonia and the flu are still dominant– and responsible for nearly 40% of all deaths from infectious diseases today.

Read on below for more health trends. I am especially psyched about FORWARD, the new tech-forward doctors’ office concept created by Google and Uber alums based on their first-hand medical experiences.

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Losing Weight and Feeling So Good. How did I do it?

Losing Weight and Feeling So Good. How did I do it?

This is a miracle. It is February 5th and I have survived the holidays without putting on a pound. As a matter of fact, I have LOST 6 pounds over the last 6 months (a big miss compared to my lofty goal of shedding 5lbs a month!!). In August when I wrote about my horrific weight gain, I knew it would be hard to lose weight because my social life consists almost entirely of eating out and catching up with friends over cocktails and wine. But once I lost 5lbs and managed to keep it off for a few months, I knew I had passed a milestone of sorts.

Also, for me, 5lbs is noticeable. I feel much better, my blood pressure is down significantly, and my arthritis is definitely under control. I look better and my clothes fit better. The pictures above are from the last few months. I will do a better job of documenting the weight loss between now and the summer.

How did I do it?

For the first few months, my weight loss teetered around 2-3lbs – sometimes up, sometimes down. It was not very inspiring to see no progress. But once I started to get diligent about what I ate things improved.

Here are ten rules that are working for me:

  • No eating after 10pm. I literally tell myself “you could have these chips or candy but tomorrow morning, you will feel so disgusted with yourself when you step on the scale.” That works 75% of the time and now that I see the weight loss, I am even more inspired to do the right thing and not get derailed by unhealthy snacks.
  • Count the calories. I use the Lose It app and am diligent about adding every last morsel of food or sip of wine. My goal is to not go over 2500 Calories when I go out. And I am trying to stay home 2 days a week so that I can stick to 1500 calories twice a week.
  • No snack foods. This is easier when Brad is away because then I simply do not buy any. Now that he’s back and the cupboards are once again stocked with crackers and cookies and chips, I have to show more self-restraint.
  • Buffet table willpower. The 3 days that I work at Ludlow House each week, I have to show remarkable self-control. I always get a large piece of salmon and fill up the plate with greens. And I have gotten good at telling myself that although I’m spending $18 for lunch, I don’t want to give in to all-you-can-eat piggery because when I step on the scale, I will be very very unhappy with that decision.
  • Dial down the drinking by one or two glasses of wine when socializing.
  • No drinking when attending large parties.
  • No salt – very bad for my blood pressure
  • Avoid cheese and salami – caloric and bad for my blood pressure. This requires ridiculous amounts of will power. While I am writing this post, I am literally 15 ft from the buffet table but have not touched the cheeses or salamis.
  • Work out every day. Additionally have signed up with a trainer once a week to strengthen my core. My third week of working with him and I am definitely feeling – and seeing – the difference. Also, I walk everywhere and take Citibike instead of subway or taxis.
  • Don’t sabotage yourself. I often find that once I hit a new plateau of weight loss, I will do something really stupid like eat a pint of ice cream that I know will make stepping on the scale a disaster. What often works is telling myself how much better I will feel/look in the morning if I forego this craving now.  It has worked often enough that I am routinely overcoming the desire to binge eat at night.

I will do another health update in May before I head off on my next big trip. But so far, so good.

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NYC absolutely reeks of pot these days. What is going on?

NYC absolutely reeks of pot these days. What is going on?

I know it’s legal in a lot of places but not in NYC, although you’d never know it. Our “pothead” mayor has clearly given strict orders not to make weed (buying, selling or using) any kind of a crime! Heck, even cops in his security detail have been found stoned on duty.

Besides the gross skunky smell, I don’t get how everyone is OK with the loss of productivity and most especially with driving while high. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked by some huge delivery truck parked at a light and the driver is smoking a joint. If the streets reeked of alcohol the way they do of pot, I don’t think people would be so blase about it.

Read on below for more examples of how pot is taking over NYC – and the country! The number of daily pot smokers in the U.S. has doubled over the last 12 years – great for the cannabis industry, not so great for those of us who can’t stand the smell and everything else that goes with it.

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TRAVEL TRENDS: The More Exotic, The Better

TRAVEL TRENDS: The More Exotic, The Better

Paid the final installment for my next Nat Geo Around The World Trip (Northern Route). Especially excited about Mongolia and the Nordic countries. And can’t wait to see Mongolian kids riding their reindeers – see video below. NatGeo, you MUST make this happen!!

But with my June trip paid up and ready to go, I need to start thinking about where to next. And thanks to Bloomberg, I discovered two intriguing destinations – one is totally do-able, one requires a little more boldness on my part. Read on below the video.

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New Year, New You: Refresh and Update Your Home

New Year, New You: Refresh and Update Your Home

Here are 5 trends in home design that I’m tracking for 2017:

1. Super Fancy Wine Cellars

  • The biggest trend is moving cellars up from basements into the main living level.
  • Serious collectors are also opting for two cellars – one below ground for long-term storage and a second, smaller one upstairs for the bottles they’re drinking now.
  • Expect to pay anywhere from $46,000 to $500,000 for your new wine cellar (and that doesn’t include the wine itself!).
  • Per Knight Frank’s Wealth Report wine investment by ultra-high-net-worth individuals is up 241% in the past 10 years.
  • The wine cellar in photo above (right) was created by Sonoma county-based ArchitecturalPlastics Inc. for a collector in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights. It holds 2,800 bottles. The doors, walls, and counters are stainless steel; the racks, cabinets, and drawers are crafted from 9,000 pounds of 1-inch thick, high-quality acrylic.More detailed info on wine cellars per Bloomberg, here.

Read on below for more on street art wallpaper (LOVE!), the comeback of velvet and the huge uptick in millennial gardeners.

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Tattoos in the Workplace: Perceptions are Changing!

Tattoos in the Workplace: Perceptions are Changing!

So fascinating to consider how acceptable it has become to have tattoos in the workplace. In most creative fields, in fact, it is a definite advantage to have a few tats showing. You almost feel like a loser, if you don’t have at least one! Almost unbelievable to think that Starbucks did not allow their baristas to display tattoos until 2014!

I actually thought the tattoo trend might be running out of steam because everyone seems to have one but then towards the end of 2016, more people than ever posted on facebook that they were getting new ones (Christmas gift!). So NO – tattoos are not going out of style, in fact they are more popular than ever.

See below for 3 tattoo trends/styles I’m keeping on my radar!

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Where are the Millennials in 2017? In The Suburbs!

Where are the Millennials in 2017? In The Suburbs!

Several excellent studies published on Millennials recently charting the next phase of their “grown up” lives as they have kids and move to the suburbs!

1. More than a million Millennials are becoming moms each year (Source: Pew Research)

  • 1.3MM Millennial women gave birth for the first time in 2015 (for a total of 16MM Millennial moms)
  • 82% of U.S. births in 2015 were to Millennials

2. Half of Millennial Moms are Amazon Prime members (Source: Roth Capital Partners)
Key findings from the fifth annual proprietary ROTH 2016-2017 Millennial Mom Survey:

  • 90% are comfortable with brands communicating with them via their mobile device while they shop in-store
  • 32% of their spending occurs online
  • More than 80% of their purchases are influenced by the Internet
  • 59% are likely to write a review after visiting a restaurant
  • 53% are Amazon Prime members
  • The majority own between two and five pairs of yoga pants, and 16% own more than five pairs
  • 50% are willing to pay a premium for socially responsible brands
  • 36% trust local food brands the most

Read below for more on Millennial homebuyers.

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