Author Archives: Tamara

BUILDING A LEGACY OF STYLE

St. James & Company owner, Cabral Miller (standing) and model at a recent shoot at the Newark-based boutique.  (Photography by Rachelle Clinton)

As you know, from time to time I pen pieces for a variety of media outlets that cover some of my favorite lifestyle topics (fashion, beauty, culture, etc) and more. I recently was tapped by Heed Magazine (an online magazine whose mission is “focused on expressing the positive, diverse and spiritual perspectives…as it relates to current events, politics and pop culture) to profile a very special place– St. James & Company, a family owned and operated men’s boutique in the heart of Newark’s burgeoning arts district.

Owned by the Miller siblings, Utenzi and Cabral Miller, St. James & Company is a beautiful example of Newark’s drive and passion to revamp and rebuild its tattered reputation– building a legacy to be proud of.

Read the article about Cabral Miller and St. James & Company here.

Kate Hudson Designs an ‘LBD’ Collection for Ann Taylor

Tamara:

You can never go wrong with a Little Black Dress. I’m liking a lot of the pieces from Kate Hudson’s collection for Ann Taylor. What are your thoughts?

Originally posted on Style News - StyleWatch - People.com:

Kate Hudson Ann TaylorHarel Rintzler/Patrick McMullan/Sipa

Even a star who has her pick of any dress in the fashion universe, like Kate Hudson, still knows the power of a great little black dress. It plays an invaluable role in every woman’s closet, often doing double or triple duty for work, weekend and date night. One way Hudson might differ from the rest of us LBD lovers? She doesn’t just have one or two — she has a ton.

“I think we all agree we love a little black dress,” Hudson says. “It’s one of those things a woman should never be without. I have a whole section in my closet devoted to LBDs!” (Can we hear a little bit more about the other sections? Just one for ponchos? A floor-to-ceiling sunglasses shelf?) So with that in mind, Hudson designed her second collection for Ann Taylor: a five-piece black dress showcase, with…

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NYFW F/W 2014: Asaf Ganot (Refined Ruggedness)

As per the request of Mr. Socialite—I am going delve into the world of menswear and its accoutrements more. Hopefully you won’t mind too much.  It can actually be quite interesting. Besides…I have a weakness for a well dressed man (I think that is how I got snagged by Mr. Socialite in the first place).  I don’t know what it is…maybe it is the confidence—that swagger—that he exudes knowing that he looks debonair. He knows he’s a dapper don in that immaculately tailored suit and commands the attention of every room he walks into. That is the power urbane gentleman …and in the end what makes him sexy.  New York-based menswear designer, Asaf Ganot, depicted that this season at his presentation during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.

With the former cathedral turned event space of Hoffman Hall at the High Line Hotel serving as a backdrop, the Asaf Ganot Fall/Winter 2014 collection was a glimpse into the appeal of all things manly.

Known for his signature aesthetic, Asaf Ganot marries luxe materials and impeccable craftsmanship. His collection fused contemporary menswear with cutting edge construction capturing the true essence of luxury. Drawing inspiration from Asaf’s travels and experiences and translating that into a vision of the modern man, he created a sophisticated assortment of looks that are both rough and refined and radiates an air of confidence.

Featuring quilted leather jackets, cashmeres with Donegal patchwork, cable knits finished with leather detailing, rich tweed suits complemented by shearling trimmed coats in a deeply rich palette of obsidian, ash and stone contrasted with shiraz, beluga blue and regal purples, the line was a blend of rugged looks paired with classic Italian made menswear fabrics that with the power of today’s technology was enhanced to ensure comfort and function without sacrificing style.  The knits were treated with unique washes in faded and tie-die finishes resulting in pieces that appeared to be worn by salt, air, snow – that of an active lifestyle of a worldly, strong man of style.

I definitely saw a few pieces that would be the perfect addition to Mr. Socialite’s wardrobe and the well-dressed man in your life too.

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NYFW F/W 2014: Saunder (Film Noir Meets the 80s)

Despite Mother Nature’s relentless fury– in the form of epic snowfalls and freezing temps that the Olympians in Sochi could only dream of– New York played host to another installment of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week. Acting as correspondent for one of my favorite fashion blogs, Fashionista NY Girl (by fellow bloggette, Heather Epstein), I found myself headed to the savvy neighborhood of Chelsea and the tres chic, High Line Hotel. The High Line Hotel, a former seminary turned boutique hotel, served as an impressive backdrop to the SAUNDER Fall/Winter 2014 Collection.

Known for eclectic looks inspired by designer, Emily Saunders global jaunts, this season, SAUNDER not only drew inspiration from abroad but from the 80s BBC miniseries ‘The Singing Detective.’ For my complete commentary on the collection, check out my piece for Heather’s blog here.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE CURVY SOCIALITE!

It’s been an amazing year. I thank each and everyone of you for taking a moment to visit my blog and get to know me and grow with me. I’m gearing up for a wonderful 2014 filled with new experiences and great finds. I can’t wait to share the journey with you.

Brad Paisley said it best when he said…

You can pen your own future. 2014 is your year– and it’s going to be a remarkable one. What will your story say?

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my lovelies!

CONTEST ALERT: “Pin it to Win it” with Rafaella!

Just in time for the holidays!

It’s contest time ladies!

RAFAELLAthe women’s sportswear division of Perry Ellis, want to give someone a very special holiday gift through their “Pin it to Win it” Contest.

It’s really simple to enter….

All you have to do is create a Pinterest board with your 4 favorite Rafaella items and enter it on the Rafaella Facebook page on the contest tab.  A winner will be chosen once a week and will receive the items they pinned (pending availability).
The contest runs through the 21st, last winner will be announced the 23rd. They will be contacted by the information they provide on the entry form.
The full rules are listed below. The official hashtag for the contest is:  #holidaycontest
GOOD LUCK!

 

LET THE HUNGER GAMES BEGIN! (Reviews of BYSTRICTIN and VYSERA)

With today ushering in a once-in-a-lifetime event, Thanksgivukkah (the rare occurrence when Thanksgiving and Hanukkah fall on the same day), many of us are preparing for a day (and for some eight days) of enjoying savory entrees and sweet delights with friends and family. Seriously…this does not bode well with those of us trying to watch our waistlines. So what’s a girl to do?

We all know that if you cut down the amount of food you eat, you will shed those unwanted pounds. For some that is easier said than done. For others, a little assistance is needed. In extreme circumstances, some opt for surgeries like gastric bypass or even the lap band. With any surgery there are risks—potentially dangerous ones. And let’s not talk about the astronomical costs associated with bariatric surgery. And need I remind you that you can’t get gastric bypass if you are not clinically obese (and even then there are criteria that one must meet in order to quality). Does that mean that there is no hope for those of us who are looking to lose fifty pounds or less? Fear not my dear readers…there is hope.

Well, earlier this month, I shared a tip that I got from Dr. Oz about eating black soybeans a half hour before lunch and dinner to help curb your appetite. It actually works. But maybe beans aren’t your thing.  Well, here are two more Curvy Socialite approved suggestions that may help you in that battle against those oh-so-tempting latkes and turkey that will be staring your down at the dinner table tomorrow.

For the past few weeks I have been testing two new products that have recently hit the market.

BYSTRICTIN

One of the hardest things about weight management (fancy way of saying dieting) is that it can be hard. No, I’m not making excuses about putting in the hard work at the gym or moving in general, but rather I am talking about lifestyle can get in the way. Working long hours at the office, traveling regularly for work or having a job that has you attending a lot of events doesn’t really lend for having healthy eating habits…no matter how hard you try. Your gym time is or naught if you find yourself munching on snacks all day or skipping meals and gorging yourself later.  Maybe BYSTRICTIN is for you.

BYSTRICTIN Meal Replacement Formula

BYSTRICTIN is all about blocking your hunger.  Utilizing the patented Gastric Fill Technology, BYSTRICTIN uses an all natural ingredients to create an immediate feeling of being full causing you to eat less. I can see your faces right now—giving me that “ummm ok “look. Ok. Let me tell you a little more.

BYSTRICTIN contains a special complex blend of soluble fiber (doesn’t contain stimulants, fat blockers or diuretics) that comes in a variety of flavors (I tried the vanilla one) that you mix with water to create a shake. All you have to do is replace a meal or two with the shake followed by a glass of water and you’re done. The ingredients in BYSTRICTIN will absorb the water and expand in your stomach within minutes—the patented Gastric Fill Technology. You should feel satisfied without feel jittery or other crazy side effects.

I tried BYSTRICTIN for about a month and used it as my breakfast in the morning. For the most part, I didn’t really feel hungry for most of the day.  I only used it to replace one meal and had a light lunch and dinner (usually a salad for lunch and some type of protein (chicken, turkey, etc) vegetable and a side for dinner) and I managed to lose 10 pounds at the end of a month.

Interested in finding out more, visit BYSTRICTIN’s website at www.bystrictin.com.

VYSERA-CLS

Every year there is a new pill that pops up that claims to be the next “miracle” to solve our your diet needs.  They say they can help you lose weight (while you follow a strict low-cal, low fat diet). What if there was something that could take it one step further and actually “reshape” your entire body? I know you nearly choked when I said that. There is a new product out there that does just that – with real clinical research to support its claims. That product is…VYSERA.

So how does it work? It’s simple really. All you have to do is pop a pill right before you eat. You don’t have to wait half an hour or anything. You literally just take VYSERA just before you take your first bite. Recommended to be taken with your largest meals (say lunch or dinner), you take one tablet with each meal and that’s it. After 30 days, you should notice a change in weight and the inches on your hips, thighs and butt!

I know you’re wondering how they can make sure a claim. Well, they had a team of scientists who performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial where they had subjects take the pill along with their mail meal of the day. Thirty minutes later, the study group had a significantly lower percentage of blood sugar in comparison to the placebo group. They also noticed lower levels of increase in insulin, peptides and in the hunger hormone ghertin (who knew there was a hunger hormone?). At the end of the study, scientists found that VYSERA also caused a significant reduction in body weight, fat mass, BMI, fat tissue thickness and waist/hip/thigh circumference while maintain lean body mass. So what does that mean in laymen’s terms? When you take VYSERA, you end up absorbing a fraction of the calories in the meal and after regular use; you end up melting away the inches and the pounds. Who doesn’t want that? And the best part…no crazy side effects!

I tried this product as well for a month. I ate normally and took the pill generally at lunch and dinner (my highest calorie meals during the day). At the end of the trial period, I was 7 pounds lighter and had lost an inch off my waist, and a inch and a half off my hips and thighs. Definitely not complaining. You know this is going to be with me at the dinner table tonight.

Want to get your hands on VYSERA, visit www.vyseracls.com.

Because the ingredients in both BYSTRICTIN and VYSERA do not contain stimulants and all those other stuff in diet supplements of all, it’s safe. But with any type of supplement, you should consult your doctor before you start using it.

And with that, I wish you an your family a very Happy Thanksgivukkah….now LET’S EAT!

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BLACK IS THE NEW GREEN : Black Soy Beans, the Curvy Socialite & Dr. Oz

We live in a society that is obsessed with being fit, healthy and young. I’m not going to lie; I am not immune to it. To be honest who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? There are entire industries built around our quest to achieve our fitness goals (hello…the beauty and fitness & wellness worlds make billions of dollars every year). Think about it…you can get liposuction during your lunch hour, extensions to make your hair look longer or fuller, Botox to hide the wrinkles and let’s not forget the magic creams and pills that will make you look younger, have the cellulite disappear and give you the energy to run ten marathons.

Some of these miracles in a bottle actual work…others not so much. And many times these fixes are super expensive. But what if there was something out there that could help you curb your appetite, regulate your blood glucose level and decrease your cholesterol… all this for around $2? I can feel you looking at me sideways through your computer screen. Yes there is something out there that it cheap and healthy that can NATURALLY help you do all these things…enter the BLACK SOY BEAN.

Black Soy Beans? Yeah you read right. Not your normal edamame (salted green soy beans you get at many Asian restaurants as an appetizer); black soy beans are a naturally low carb, high fiber, high protein and a great addition to a healthy diet. How do I know? Well for 3 days, I did an experiment in preparation for an appearance on the Dr. Oz show (airing on this afternoon and replaying on tomorrow—click here to view the preview). For three days I ate a half of cup of black soy beans a half hour before lunch and dinner and recorded my results (two days prior to that I ate normally as my control).

And here’s what happened….

  • I felt fuller longer. With black soy beans being such a high source of protein and fiber, it took longer to digest which means you are actually fuller longer.
  • As each day progressed, my portions got smaller. The soybeans were curbing my appetite. Based on my food log (and that of Karen…the other guest who did the experiment with me), Dr. Oz surmised that I ate 35% fewer calories a day by the end of the experiment. And let me repeat, I DID NOT FEEL HUNGRY.
  • Also, at the end of the experiment, I lost 2.5 pounds (and I wasn’t even trying).

Now for the purposes of the experiment, I ate the black soy beans separately prior to my two largest meals, but you can easily add them to your favorite dishes that call for beans. Check out some of the suggestions from Dr. Oz’s website below.  But I will warn you. They can be a little bland. I personally love them with hot sauce (and for those who know me personally I like everything with hot sauce) but a pinch of salt is fine too.

Black Soybean Chicken Caesar Salad (pictured). Click the image to see some tasty recipes as suggested by Dr. Oz and his team.

I’d love for you guys to give it a try and share with me some of your thoughts. Who knows…you may end up liking it and adding it to your grocery list like I did.

 

Also, if you like the necklace I wore on the show, you can get it and other great pieces at Shop Lately! Click the image to visit their site!

Also, if you like the necklace I wore on the show, you can get it and other great pieces at Shop Lately! Click the image to visit their site!

 

 

BEAUTY FROM THE INSIDE OUT (Health Supplement Review)

Since I started the Curvy Socialite a few years back, I have focused on what makes us look good on the outside (fashion and beauty). Maybe it’s because I am getting older or maybe it’s because certain things just happen to go hand-in-hand, I’m introducing a new topic to the blog…Health & Wellness. I think I might have heard a groan or two out there in the blogosphere, but give me a second to clarify…

We all know that a great outfit and flawless make up and skin care can work wonders, but what happens when you remove all the finery and you are looking at the blank canvas in the mirror? Is it as good-looking as what it looked like all dressed up a few moments before? Let me take it a step or two further….have you started noticing a few fine lines appearing here and there? Or dare I ask…has your significant other even seen you without make-up on?  Though we would love to think we will be young and beautiful forever, at some point we need to take measures to ensure that—and I’m not talking about plastic surgery.

With many of the readers of this blog coming from diverse backgrounds and age groups (I have readers from as far as Singapore and Australia and as young as 20 and as old as their 70s), they all have one thing in common…they love to look good. And as we get older, we just need a little extra help doing so. When we were kids, we relied on our parents to make sure we ate right and got all the necessary nutrients we needed to be active, healthy kids. By the time we got to college and could choose our own food (and could say no to the brussel spouts and asparagus), those good eating habits…well, they weren’t so good. Then we started working and it was all downhill from there. You were lucky if you could have a home-cooked meal once a weeks (or month) like you did as a kid with something from every food group. And that lack of balanced eating started letting itself be seen with tell-tale signs (lack of energy (also from lack of sleep), slower metabolism, foggy mind and more. But fear not dear readers! We can start to counter act these ill effects. How…you may ask?

(Drum roll please….) with VITAMINS & SUPPLEMENTS!

Ok…no you can’t fix everything with a pill. But for the woman (or guy) on the go…vitamins are a start. As a thirty-something-year-old woman who is always going someplace or doing something, I know I am not always getting the all the good-stuff I am supposed to.  It didn’t help that in July I found out that I had thyroid problems which were leading to issues. I try to lead a healthy life—exercise regularly, eat healthy foods and all that jazz. But who am I kidding? I haven’t had a meal containing on the food groups in ages. And sleep…well…I think I get at least 4 hours on average a night. That’s just not going to cut it.

According to experts, a woman in her 30s is looking for a few key things when it comes to her health in addition to overall wellness:

  • To rev up her metabolism (we’re not in our 20s anymore and the phrase “a moment on the lips equals a lifetime on the hips” takes on a new meaning)
  • Anti-Aging (we want to keep our youthful  glow as long as possible)
  • Energy (with everything we have to or choose to do, we need as much as possible)
  • Heart Health (heart disease is the number one killer of women—thank you to the Heart Truth campaign for bringing the awareness to that)

Add to this list we want to have healthy pregnancies (as many of us are thinking about having families).  And though we try our best, we are not always getting everything (or as close to it) we need as possible.

I have always been concerned with my health (according to my significant other…I’m a hypochondriac). Though for the most part, I have been relatively healthy, the Virgo in me wants to be perfectly healthy.

Doctors and other health experts say that the following vitamins and minerals are key to a woman’s health in her 30s

  • antioxidants
  • vitamins E & C
  • folate (found in B vitamins and folic acid)
  • calcium
  • iron

Because in today’s society, we are always on some type of diet, not eating some food because it will kill you (and then eating it the next week because it will give you eternal life) we are always lacking something that is vital to our health and well being.  So I am working on getting myself back on track.  Here are some of the supplements I’ve added to my diet to help me on this journey.

SAINTHOOD HERBS™ Mental Agility (Boost Series)  

MENTAL AGILITY by Sainthood Herbs

Be it from lack of sleep or not enough of the good stuff in my diet, I find myself from time to time suffering from a bit of brain fog (you know…when you are brain is shot and you can’t even remember your own name). I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a new brand of products from California named SAINTHOOD HERBS™. More than just herbs, Sainthood Herbs offers three specific product series with a distinct set of benefits (BOOST, SOLUTION and WOMEN)—eliminating the guesswork of trying to find the right product. Their concept is simple: give the healthiest alternative to enhance your lifestyle with effective, naturally made supplements. And added benefits…all of their products are naturally gluten free, wild-crafted herbs, healthy, safe, non-GMO, sustainable and eco-friendly.

For 30 days, I sampled the supplements targeted for Mental Agility from their Boost series and I noticed a difference after about a week. I found myself more clear-headed and able to focus on what I had to get done each day. Because I am a list maker, I measured success by how many items ended up being carried over to the next day. By the end of the 30 days, I was super focused and able to knock out of my to-do lists with no problem even adding more tasks giving me more time for myself as the end of the week.

Click here to see the full range of products offered by Sainthood Herbs.

 

APTEKA NATUREL™ Vitality Naturel Energy Enhancement Supplement

Vitality Naturel™ Energy & Well-Being Dietary Supplement.

APTEKA NATUREL is a company that prides itself on being small and ensuring the highest quality of products. They hand pick the best of the best natural products (many are exotic—hailing from such distant locales as Nepal, India, Siberia and the Amazon).This all natural health and wellness company provides a full range of supplements and oils.

Because during the time leading up to Fashion Week and right afterwards, sleep isn’t always my friend (and the weather changes aren’t helping either), I find myself a little lethargic. And because coffee (despite my love for a fresh brewed cup of Café Bustelo—yeah I’m that old-school it’s-so-strong-it-puts-hair-on-your-chest coffee drinker) can’t always cure all, I tested Apteka Naturel’s Vitality Naturel Energy Enhancement Supplement.

For 30 days I popped the Vitality pill with a glass of water first thing in the morning instead of my coffee. Within a few days I notice that I wasn’t dying for a cup of Joe first thing in the morning like usual. Very different for the “high” one would get with caffeine, I felt awake without the crash towards the afternoon. By the end of the trial period, I found myself being satisfied with one cup of coffee a day instead of the 4 that I sometimes had to combat fatigue. And with all natural ingredients (with this particular supplement, the ingredients came from New Zealand) I had no weird side effects and I actually found that I slept better at night (because I didn’t have an overload of caffeine in my system).

Click here to see more of the Apteka Naturel line of supplements and oils.

 

 

This is just the beginning of my journey of finding the right balance that will work for me and my health, but I will gladly share the process with you. But let me add a disclaimer here….before you take any supplements, vitamins, etc., please consult a doctor.

 

ANN NAHARI LAUNCHES LINGERIE BRAND; CHRISTINA MENDEZ CHOSEN AS THE FACE OF THE DEBUT COLLECTION

Ann Nahari, the California-based luxury plus size fashion brand, recently launched a new lingerie division under the name Ann Nahari Intimates. The full figured fashion house teamed with famed plus model Christina Mendez as the face of the new division.

As with its ready-to-wear collection, Ann Nahari Intimates is designed by Sumiyyah Rasheed. Originally launched in 2000 under the brand name Full Figure Design, the new lingerie division is a complete revamp and rebrand of the collection for the Ann Nahari woman.  “We have upgraded the whole collection with better fit and fabrication,” says Ms. Rasheed. “The new collection reflects both sexiness and comfort with styles that are on trend.” 

After testing the collection with a small market in the southern California area to rave reviews, Sumiyyah decided to roll out the lingerie collection, which was designed to complement the ready-to-wear collection for the brand.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the debut collection..

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