Archive | June, 2009

Ron Simms Jr.
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M.I.S.S. Techcessories: World Cup Soccer Figure USB Drives

M.I.S.S. Techcessories: World Cup Soccer Figure USB Drives

M.I.S.S. Techcessories: World Cup Soccer Figure USB Drives

With soccer fever sweeping the country after the US’ dramatic victory over Spain in the FIFA Confederations Cup, now is the perfect time to pick up one of these adorable World Cup soccer player USB drives and show your love for the most popular sport on the planet.  Featuring 1GB of storage, all you do is pop the head off of one of these little guys and shove them into an available USB port.  Represented countries include Portugal, Germany, The Netherlands, Croatia, and, my personal favorite, Italy, whose player looks ready to headbutt a Frenchmen at a moments notice in retaliation for Zidane’s actions during the 2006 World Cup finale.  Available now at Runkya for roughly $30.

M.I.S.S. Techcessories: World Cup Soccer Figure USB Drives

Pop the head off of one of these little guys and you've got 1GB of storage!

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BLB
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Ears to the Street: S.uper S.exy S.urfer S.tyle. Bring the Surf to your Turf.

S.uper S.exy S.urfer S.tyle

S.uper S.exy S.urfer S.tyle

When I was about 8 years-old I wandered into the local skate/surf shop. I instantly spied Mr. Zog’s Sex Wax and curious as I was I asked what it was for. The shop worker smiled and replied “It’s for your stick”. O.M.G. you can only imagine the confusion in my little mind.

So, I never took up surfing but since the day’s of Jimmy’Z denim and neoprene fashions, we’ve always had a hankering for the fashions of wave riders. The body con silhouettes, bold color-blocking, heavy duty hard-ware and stitch details of a surfers uniform lend perfect details for everyday wear. This Summer be bold with pieces taking influence from those that hang-10 and you’ll be hanging tough clad in a neoprene dream. Whether you get inspired by actual surfer’s garb…why not rock a rash guard with a mini and heels?  Or go the design inspired route with ankle booties from Pierre Hardy, you’ll be happy to try something new. If your coordination is best left to surfing the “www” and not the open seas, you’re in luck this season because you can dress the part of a Big Kahuna without the fear of a wipe out.

Posted in accessories, FASHION Comments (3)

Gee
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Maya Bags: A Taste of High Fashion in Belize

Maya Butterfly Bag

Maya Butterfly Bag

Belize. When you think of the small Central American country, images of beaches, blue oceans, and tropical drinks with mini-umbrellas floating on the top come to mind. Thanks in large part to features in swanky publications such as Vanity Fair and celeb tourists like  Diddy, the previously untapped nation has become the vacation destination du jour for those in the know. Beyond the beautiful coral reefs and super-tan-potential beaches, the country has a rich history rooted in the indigenous peoples of Central America who ruled the region centuries ago, namely the Mayan people. The ruins of massive Mayan temples are popular destinations in the country, and as tourists descend from the stone structures after a long climb to the top, many of them stop to look at the tables of homemade goods that the existing Mayans (still alive and well, albeit in very small populations) have crafted.

Maya Bags-- Neon Brights Perfect for Summer!

Maya Bags-- Neon Brights Perfect for Summer!

One of those tourists was Judy Bergsma, a woman who came to Belize for a relaxing vacation and left with a business plan in mind. Enchanted with the simple products that the Mayan women created by hand, Bergsma soon discovered that the conditions these women were working in were not as enchanting. The country of Belize is still a third-world country, and a huge amount of the indigenous peoples–including the Mayans–fall victim to cultural and economic discrimination. Many of the women are dependent on their husbands for any type of income, and as a result often remain in less-than-healthy relationships because of their lack of financial freedom. Bergsma realized that with a bit of help, these women would be able to utilize their skills in order to become income earners and develop a greater sense of economic independence.

After much planning, financing, and a whole lot of patience, Maya Bags was born. The company works in conjunction with over 70 women in the Mayan villages to create various collections of stylish handbags and home accessories. The handbags features designs that blend natural themes with historically Mayan images–motifs of local animals such as butterflies and birds are popular designs. Bergsma provides the women with quality fabrics, such as the Belgian silks and durable cotton/spandex blends that many of the bags are made of. The combination of high-end fabrics and natural elements involved in the production of the line ensures that each bag is environmentally sound and sustainable for years to come.  In addition, the women undergo extensive design tutorials and receive assistance from high-end visual design professionals such as Izabel Lam. The result is a collection of cute, practical, and unique handbags that are stylish enough for the fashionista on the go, but still remains to the rich cultural history of the Mayan people.

Maya Bags--Clutches

Hand-woven clutches feature vintage button clasps and soft Belgian silks!

Totes perfect for the gym or your favorite kid in your life!

Totes perfect for the gym or a day at the beach!

As far as economic independence, Bergsma has generously been able to ensure that the Mayan women, in addition to earning fair market wages for their work on the lines, own 42% of the stock in the company. The line of handbags, sold at both Barneys Co-Op and The Museum of Natural History in NYC, is doing remarkably well and the Mayans involved have come to understand the importance of economic independence for women living in third-world countries. Bergsma’s vision “to help build the self-esteem and independence of Maya women by helping them become income earners in their households” is a tangible goal that is closer to fruition each day.

Look out for the bags at a Barneys near you, and trust, they are the perfect cute accessory for rockin’ with a sundress this summer!

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artiffact
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M.I.S.S. Healthy Bites: Get Vitamins in Your Water…the Fresh Way!

nutrition2You’ve eliminated soda. You’re all about juice, not drink. You even drink water as much as you can. But when you hit the store, your taste buds want something sweet and light, and since you’re on the healthy tip, you want something nutritious. A kaleidoscope of colors catch your eye…VitaminWater . You pick one up and read the short blurb about how its special ingredients will boost your body in some way. Your eyes skip over the nutrition facts label…it’s called VitaminWater after all, and it promises benefits, so it must be good for you, right?

Well, not exactly. You gotta give it up to the marketing strategies of the drink company, as most of these beverages promise something that you’re in need of. Tired? Drink Revive. Need help concentrating? Try Focus. Even rapper 50 Cent has his own grape-flavored formula, boasting that it gives 50% of some recommended daily vitamins. While that may be true, just because something has vitamins doesn’t automatically make it the best choice for your body. What company is behind all of this marketing? Coca-Cola, yes, VitaminWater is owned and distributed by Coca-Cola. Red flag! While Coca-Cola owns Minute Maid, a popular brand that is made of 100% juice, it’s almost safe to say that the Coca-Cola company doesn’t have their consumer’s health as a priority.

M.I.S.S. Healthy Bites: Get Vitamins in Your Water...the Fresh Way!

If it promises benefits, it must be good for you, right?

The labels contain phrases like “Drink better water,” “Hydrate responsibly,” and even “The inside is natural,” but I can already taste the fallacies with those statements. Nothing is better than fresh clean water, and that’s the most responsible hydrating you can do for yourself. There is no way that VitaminWater can be better than water because it contains just as much sugar as a can of soda, and it’s the same type of processed sugar, too. True, VitaminWater contains more liquid than a can, but chances are, either way you’re going to finish all of either size. Reading the label may be tricky because the facts show that one bottle is 2.5 servings. If you just skim over to look at the sugar content, you’re not taking the whole bottle into consideration unless you do your math. And about the “natural” ingredients? There is nothing natural about a flavored fruit water containing almost no juice.

So what is the real vitamin water? Walk in to your favorite Mexican joint and you’ll see it sitting gloriously in huge jugs, in a kaleidoscope of colors just like VitaminWater, except these colors are natural, from real fruits, and processed fresh daily. Yes, aguas frescas, meaning fresh water, is exactly what its name says. While these drinks don’t come with witty remarks and nutrition labels, you don’t need those to want to buy it. Depending on the flavor, the drinks can also contain a good amount of natural sugar, but most of the sugars come from the fruits. The best part is that the vitamins don’t have to be processed into the drink for it to be healthy because the fruits used already contain vitamins. There is nothing better than fresh!

You can easily make your own aguas frescas at home, and the summertime is the best time to enjoy it because there are so many refreshing and nutritious fruits that you use.

Try these yummy flavors:

  • Strawberry
  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew
  • Mango
  • Pineapple

nutirion3

All it takes is a little patience and time and you can have your own batch of aguas frescas faster than it takes to drive back and forth to the store.

  1. Choose your fruit and chop into small pieces. De-seed if necessary.
  2. Blend chopped fruit and then strain the puree into a pitcher. If you like your drinks with pulp (which contains more fiber for the digestive system), skip the straining!
  3. Add water. You can determine how much water you want, more for a lighter drink, less for more flavor.
  4. Chances are, your drink is already sweet, but if you need more sweetness, try adding a little bit of honey, 100% maple syrup, or agave nectar, which are all great alternatives to sugar. If you don’t have those, a spoonful of sugar should do the trick.
  5. For more flavor, try to mix different fruits together, or add lemon, lime, or even mint.

If you don’t have the time or energy to make a giant jug or even a small pitcher of your own aguas frescas, then try a simpler version. I’ve seen infused water at fancier restaurants and bars, and the preparation is quite simple. Slice or muddle fruit and let it soak in cold water. I particularly enjoy sliced cucumbers, or muddled strawberries and mint. The longer you let it sit, the more flavor you’ll get. The result is a simple water with a kick, and, a little vitamin power for your body. No need for gimmicky labels, you get what you get, flavored water with vitamins.

And for those of you taking the Soda Free Summer challenge, VitaminWater is now a no-no.

Posted in beauty & health, Cuisine, health Comments (2)

artiffact
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Live Green: Buy a Tee, Plant a Tree

Live Green: Buy a Tee, Plant a Tree

Live Green: Buy a Tee, Plant a Tree

Sure, you look great in your fit, but can you say that you feel good about wearing it?

As more and more companies begin to green their ways on the production line, some are starting to use their sales power to really make a difference. Vintage Blue, a vintage-inspired women’s line already down with eco-friendly practices, has teamed up with green fashion magazine, Boho, to offer the “Live Green” t-shirt. The simple green tree silhouette is one that many brands convey, and even the message is one that we’re all familiar with, but this shirt is different from all the rest. Yes, the heart design sets the shirt apart from them all, but the real difference is that this shirt makes a difference because by simply buying one you can help stop global warming. $1 from each sale will be donated to the Arbor Day Foundation’s Plant a Tree Program, making this a tee that keeps on giving. With so many environmental issues plaguing the earth, conscious fashion can be the catalyst for change.

Ready to really live green? Get your shirt here.

And when someone tells you that they like your top, you will have so much more to say.

Posted in CULTURE, FASHION, life Comments Off

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