Is It Healthy? Deciphering the Designations on Your Wine Bottle

The SpenceSure, you’ve gone organic at the grocery store, but have you gone organic at the package store? Deciphering the labels on wine can be at least as difficult as reading the dry goods ingredient labels. Thankfully, Kayla Cox, the owner of one of my new favorite wine stores, Savor Wine Boutique in Atlanta, Georgia, was willing to break it down for me (and you):

  • Biodynamic – Wine with this designation on the label is organically farmed. Other crops and animals are used so the farm is self-nourishing.
  • Natural Wine – This type of wine avoids additives such as sugar and sulfites, as well as technological processes that manipulate the wine.
  • Organic Wine – Wine that is truly organic has no sulfites added during the wine making process. Grapes grown  to make the wine are cared for using certified organic practices.
  • Organically Farmed – This wine is made from grapes grown in a certified organic vineyard. No chemical fertilizers or artificial pesticides are allowed during their growing, harvesting, or the wine production process.
  • Sustainable Farming – Products with this label have been grown, harvested, and produced using environmentally friendly farming practices.
  • Vegan Wine – This type of wine is processed manually and filtered with minerals instead of animal-derived products or gelatin.

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10 ’90s Inspired Things on American Apparel’s Website I Wish I Could Unsee

The ’90s were a great time to grow up. We had Oregon Trail, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, iMacs, and 90210. We also had memorable and yet forgettable fashion trends. Why American Apparel has chosen to bring back the “good ole days” with their latest collection is beyond me. Take a peek:

Casio Ladies Digital Wristwatch

1.  Casio Digital Display Watch – They say, “We selected this Casio watch for its classic and simple aesthetic which has remained authentic and fashionably relevant since its original design more than 20 years ago.” I say, “It was kind of cool on dads in the ’90s, and isn’t cool on anyone now.”

Cotton Scrunchie

2.  Cotton Scrunchie – Remember the episode of Sex and the City when Carrie was discovered wearing a scrunchie and Berger made fun of her? That was ten year ago. Ten years from now, that episode is going to happen repeat in real life to a whole generation of reformed hipsters.           Continue reading

What is Lyme Disease?

Blacklegged TickYesterday, after appearing shockingly thin in Instagram pictures, ’80s pop star Debbie Gibson revealed that she has developed Lyme disease, an ailment that effects 300,000 people in the United States alone. Most of us know that you can get Lyme disease when you spend time in the woods and that Irene from the Seattle season of The Real World had it but that’s pretty much it.

Such a public admission of diagnosis is bound to raise some questions about what you know about Lyme disease. Here are five questions and answers:

One -> What is Lyme disease and how do you get it?

Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks.

- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Two -> What are the symptoms of Lyme disease?

Symptoms of early localized Lyme disease (Stage 1) begin days or weeks after infection. They are similar to the flu and may include:

  • Chills
  • Fever
  • General ill feeling
  • Headache
  • Joint pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Stiff neck

There may be a “bull’s eye” rash, a flat or slightly raised red spot at the site of the tick bite. Often there is a clear area in the center. It can be large and expanding in size.

-National Institutes of Health

Three -> How does my doctor determine if I have Lyme disease?

A blood test can be done to check for antibodies to the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. The most commonly used is the ELISA for Lyme disease test. An immunoblot test is done to confirm ELISA results.

In areas where Lyme disease is more common, your health care provider may be able to diagnose early disseminated Lyme disease (Stage 1) without doing any lab tests. In the early stage of infection, blood tests can be normal.

-National Institutes of Health

Four -> What is the treatment for Lyme disease?

Patients treated with appropriate antibiotics in the early stages of Lyme disease usually recover rapidly and completely. Antibiotics commonly used for oral treatment include doxycycline, amoxicillin, or cefuroxime axetil. Patients with certain neurological or cardiac forms of illness may require intravenous treatment with drugs such as ceftriaxone or penicillin.

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Five -> How do you prevent getting Lyme disease?

Take precautions to avoid direct contact with ticks. Be extra careful during warmer months. Whenever possible:

  • Avoid wooded or bushy areas, or areas with high grasses and leaf litter.
  • Walk in the center of trails.
  • Check yourself and your pets frequently during and after your walk or hike.
  • When walking or hiking in wooded or grassy areas, spray all exposed skin and your clothing with insect repellant.

You may also treat clothing, such as boots, pants, and socks, with a product that contains permethrin. It remains protective for several washings.

Ticks that carry Lyme disease are so small that they are very hard to see. After returning home, remove your clothes and thoroughly inspect all skin surface areas, including your scalp. Shower soon after coming indoors to wash off any unseen ticks.

-National Institutes of Health

Still have questions? This page on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has pretty much everything you need and want to know about Lyme disease.

My New Obsession: Bluemercury (and Why You’ll Like it More Than Sephora)


Think Sephora plus a spa without all the black everywhere and you have my new latest obsession- Bluemercury. Yes, PLUS a spa!

In 48 locations in upscale markets mainly along the East Coast, Bluemercury is taking the beauty industry by storm with a large expansion in the last year and plans to open their first Georgia store not too far from my house this spring.

What makes it like Sephora? Bluemercury carries high end makeup, skin care, bath, sun care, hair and fragrance lines like Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier, NARS, Chanel, Deborah Lippman, Oribe and Acqua Di Parma. They bring in beauty companies to offer free product demo days multiple times a month at each location. Bluemercury also offers samples of their products.      Continue reading

The Trend of the Diamond-Less Engagement Ring

Jenny McCarthy Engagement Ring

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but who says they have to be the main stone on an engagement ring?

Today’s Jenny McCarthy-Donnie Wahlberg engagement announcement showcased a touch of unconventional class and sophistication when Jenny showed off her large yellow sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds.

Though not as pervasive as the diamond solitaire, gemstones as the main stone on an engagement ring has been popular for a while, especially amongst celebrities.      Continue reading

Is Vera Wang’s New Bridal Collection Video Creepy?

Vera Wang is one of the world’s most celebrated designers and this week her company posted a video to their YouTube channel showcasing her Spring 2015 bridal collection… only it wasn’t made of the stuff you usually think about when you think about getting married. Take a watch for yourself:

So, is it creepy? Edgy? Weird? Wang told WWD that “lightness of being, delicate and discipline, sensual and seductive’ were her inspiration,” hoping that people see the dresses as more than just for one special day. So yeah, that’s why it’s titled “Chasing Alix | Vera Wang Bride Spring 2015.”

What do you think?


To TOMMY, From ZOOEY Comes to Macy’s

Earlier this year I told you that Zooey Deschanel was teaming up with Tommy Hilfiger to create a classic and nostalgic collection and now the collection has come to Macy’s stores and Here are the 14 looks:



(left to right) Tennis Dress ($129.50), Sleeveless Diamond-Print Dress ($149.50), Inverted Pleat Shift Dress ($149.50), Pleated Dress ($169.50)

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The 8th Type of Bikini Waxing Has Arrived

Hot Wax

Bush is back. Yes, the band is currently recording an album that Dave Grohl is producing but in this instance, I’m not talking about Gavin Rossdale and company. This is about your vagina.

And, when I wrote this article about 7 types of bikini waxing I didn’t think that I’d have to add to it so soon but now there’s a new trend being called the, “porn star below, hippie in the front,” “full bush Brazilian,” and the “Brazilian with Hollywood lips.”

As you can probably garner from the names, the new waxing trend leaves full growth on the mound while removing all the hair below.

All this in time for bikini season? I don’t know…

How to Transition Your Workout Wardrobe from Winter to Spring to Summer

Atlanta ActivewearSure, you can buy your activewear from Dick’s or Sports Authority but of you want fashionable, functional activewear for a comparable price point (and undoubtably better service), find an activewear boutique near you like I did.

Last week I visited Danielle and Donna at Atlanta Activewear to talk spring activewear trends, hot selling items, and how to transition my winter weather-friendly workout wardrobe to warmer weather appropriate.

What can’t they keep in stock? The hottest item at Atlanta Activewear is by SPANX and really, that’s not much a surprise. Known for making some of the best shape hugging garments in the clothing industry, SPANX branched into activewear claiming the end of camel toe and with the best-selling Skegging, you have the best of the tennis skirt meets the best of the 3/4 pants.

What are the hot colors for spring? Activewear in cool colors doesn’t sell as well as hot colors so you’ll see plenty of bright pinks and oranges this spring and summer.

What’s trending? Pants and skirts are going back to basics. Danielle told me that after a few years of bright and bold patterns, shoppers are requesting plain colors, especially black, for bottoms.

So, what are your winter to spring to summer layering options? Here are some scenarios:      Continue reading

15 Wedges to Add to Your Summer Wish List

Wedges 1

Skinny-Strap Wedges by GAP ($59.95), Habinaa by Jessica Simpson ($89.00), Sabrina by Sam Edelman ($110.00)

Wedges 5

Storm by Naughty Monkey ($84.99), Dillion by Ugg ($140.00), W Lucy by Ugg ($160.00)

Wedges 2

Sometimes by Seychelles ($90.00), Floriscine by Nine West ($99.00), Lickety Split by BC Footwear ($70.00)

 Wedges 3

Sabrine by Banana Republic ($120.00),  Angle-Wrap Wedge Sandals by GAP ($79.95), ‘Nilanti’ Sandal by Tsubo ($139.95)

Wedges 4 ‘Kyla’ Sandal by Halogen ($89.95), ‘jumper’ sandal by kate spade new york ($258.00), The Holidaypipe Wedge by Stewart Weitzman ($425)