Let’s Go Glamping!

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Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Oljato, Arizona

Who else has a serious case of wanderlust? We worked with NYC Private Shopping Tour to showcase the best glamping locations so all you have to do is hit the open road with a sense of adventure.

First stop: Picking up your airstream rental for traveling in style. The Airstream is a classic and is hands down the most elegant RV ever made. And they are surprisingly easy to rent. Choose from DIY adventure where you rent with a tow vehicle, or have them meet you at the campsite of your choice.

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Then, head to the land of the giants trees and canyons at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. An international biosphere reserve, with bighorn sheep, bears and the cutest alpine chipmunks and many other species. The giant sequoias can grow to 30 feet wide and 250 feet tall. And the The foxtail pine (shown) is found between 7,500 and 11,500 feet. Hike in the canyons, go native, visit caves or ride a horse. Unwind at the Sequoia RV Ranch, with it’s own swimming hole.

You think only movie stars can retreat to Malibu? Think again. Why not visit Malibu Creek Park up in the canyons and Leo Carrillo Park along the Pacific Coast Highway. Sunbath, swim, stroll on the sand, hike in the canyons, bike or ride horses. Get in touch with nature in style. Malibu Beach RV Park is the place to stay.

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Now pack! Bring along easy things that can mix and match. Like a clever towels strap, backpack, cover-up that can easily double as a blouse and a bathing suit that takes the plunge into the ombre-meets-tie dye trend for summer.

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Feel Fierce at Any Age with Tips from Catherine Grace O’Connell

 

 

Aging? It’s a good thing! If you think Fierce. Here’s how!

I never let my age define me, except of course when it’s in a good way. It’s good to be wise, and have a vast network of friends and media contacts to turn to — and who can turn to me when needed. But being a female founder in your 50s can also be a challenge  because when you’ve had one successful career, you tend to get boxed in. I’ve found as I’ve transitioned from being the print to digital it can be confusing for people to understand that I have a new and exciting role. Catherine Grace O’Connell wants to make sure women are not feeling invisible, or worse, irrelevant, as they get to the middle of their lives. “Too often women don’t feel like society values all we have to offer”, she says.  Now, Catherine has decided to do something about it—and help women everywhere and every stage of their lives. This Monday, Catherine wants you to do something “fierce” to celebrate the power of women in a way that is meaningful, personal and impactful.

When I met Catherine O’Connell, I was impressed. She is a creating a movement around the fact that women “in mid-life” can be cool and be forward looking. She has good reason, since her health and wellbeing is nothing she takes for granted. A debilitating case of Lyme Disease nearly killed her and it was exactly a year ago that she turned her life around by adopting a new forward thinking attitude to save her life.  Forever Fierce, is a new movement kicking on on Monday February 19th. The goal is to reboot and re-energize your way of thinking. No matter what your age, it’s the day to promise yourself and decide that the best is yet to come. Her interview may just change your life, it has already changed mine.

LSD: What made you turn it around? What was the “moment” it all changed for you?

CGO’C: I will never forget it. I was weak and debilitated from Lyme Disease, and nothing had worked in terms of treatment. I was in bed, less than 100 pounds, and so fragile I couldn’t walk around the block. My daughter came over and asked: “What would you do if you were well?” I almost immediately went from ill to well, in my mind! I started dreaming, scheming and creating bucket lists. I thought: “I would do a yoga retreat and I would blog about my experiences.” In that moment, I stopped thinking like a sick person, and started thinking and acting like a well person.

My daughter helped me set up my Instagram account. I had never heard of Instagram two years ago! I didn’t know how to do it, or even what a hashtag was. Her simple question had lit a fire from within, and I started to think in a new direction. It didn’t take long for my dreams to become a reality. I made these things come true. That’s when I realized my work was filling a need: to change the paradigm of how women think at Midlife. I decided to help women of all ages become Fierce … not in a mean or threatening way, but in a way that allows us to be authentic and to own our power. So I created a movement and women have responded!

LSD: It’s one thing to think, “I gotta get better, get out of bed, and start joining the living again.” It’s a whole other level to say, I’m going to start a movement, and make an international day of celebration! How did that happen?

CGO’C:  It came through as a powerful inspiration during a yoga class. I heard this loud and clear: “Get off your mat and go get 50 bloggers that are women at Midlife and beyond and connect them.” I jumped off the mat, ran out of class and called 3 of my virtual blogger friends. They hopped on a plane to LA, and The Fierce 50 was born! Women needed it. I stood up because I “saw” that we were invisible and needed connection.

Midlife isn’t an age, it’s an experience. It’s a time in a woman’s life when she begins to feel less relevant and starts being treated differently by society. A community for women at Midlife and beyond didn’t exist so I created it. I decided to “Be the change.” This happened organically and overnight. Women loved the connection! Brands and advertisers took notice started asking to work with our group. This was an idea that turned into a movement organically and it was very exciting.

I believe in letting go of boundaries. I intentionally made myself personally available by sending my cell phone to every person that reached. To me, personal connection is everything. Before I knew it, I had a thriving business that turned into 6 businesses within two years. It all happened because I had a belief system that I followed. I was filling a need – my own need and the needs of others. I needed to feel visible and I relevant and women followed.

 

LSD: How did you grow it so fast? You have 40 thousand Instagram followers and a vibrant community on Facebook. Impressive!

CGO’C:  When I started my page on Instagram, I immediately decided to share an inspirational message with everything that I posted. I tend to be very real, raw and vulnerable. I told my story openly and honestly, and I had people reaching out from around the world wanting to know my secrets. I believe in sharing everything. I also believe in helping others. I always say, “I’m not changing clothes. I’m changing lives.” That’s all I’ve ever cared about. Money doesn’t get me out of bed. Touching hearts and changing lives does! My first year, I spent hundreds of hours helping others via phone or meeting in person. I don’t have that kind of time any longer. Now, I do it in a much larger way with my community. We host events, both virtually and in person. We have a lot more coming. The Forever Fierce Talk Show and Forever Fierce Media Productions started from the launch of the Movement. We have a Forever Fierce YouTube Channel and Newsletter launching this month and global webinars to share what we’ve learned in a big way. The Forever Fierce Show has become the Voice of the community. We changed from “The Fierce 50″ to the more inclusive, “Forever Fierce” because women in their 30s asked: “What about us?” So we rebranded it. Anyone can join and look forward to aging. It’s not a bad thing anymore, it can be cool. I posted that we would be doing a photo shoot in LA and women flew in from as far as from Germany to come and participate.

LSD: So what can women do to participate, who live all over and can’t get to LA for the events of the day?

CGO’C: They can post on any social media platform: What does it mean to be Fierce for you? And tag #ForeverFierce.  Also, they can join the community or get the newsletter, listen to our Forever Fierce video talk show, and tell us how you’re being fierce, so when we start our YouTube channel we can share the stories. 

LSD: You say that you’re making Midlife cool and including Millennials, so they look forward to aging. I love that! (My daughter, who is 22 and fiercely feminist, tells me that she thinks ageism is “Not okay” so I did something right!) Tell me about your Hintd list. It’s great and a real mix of beauty and wellbeing products you espouse. What went into making your list and why do you recommend these things specifically?

 CGO’C:  I created a list for “Healing from the Inside Out” and encouraging women to love the skin they’re in. I believe in using natural ingredients to look and feel better. Loving the Skin You’re In is the topic of my list. I take Ghee every morning because it’s a moisturizer and is a great detoxifier. Padma Basic is all about healthy circulation. I put Saranghae products on the list because I believe in Korean skincare. I use these items in my own life. Part of Loving the Skin You’re In is nurturing yourself –treating yourself to a spa at home day. I found Saranghae on Instagram and stalked them! Their products are loaded with natural mushroom extracts that provide tons of moisture and plump the skin.

CGO’C: Our overall mission: To shift the perception of women at Midlife and Beyond. To celebrate empowered women and let the world know Midlife is cool! And to tell women, you can go from feeling irrelevant to relevant, from invisible to visible. It’s up to you. Expand your mindset and what’s possible!

LSD: I love that. It really is up to each of us to define how we age, and not let others tell us what is or isn’t age appropriate. We get to be as young feeling as we want! What is your best advice for someone who wants to truly feel this way, and shift that paradigm?

CGO’C: Surround yourself with other women like you – the best way to change is to be part of a community of other women who feel the same way.  We are not about age but about breaking down boundaries. We want to take the labels off and remove all boundaries. Aging is a continuum. “Inside every Midlife woman is a Millennial that was an inside every Millennial is a Midlife woman to be.”

LSD: I love the idea that we have the power to flip a paradigm. I’m flipping, I’m flipping!

 CGO’C:  Women have to shift their own paradigm and maybe it’s not about a specific job, or money or career, but it’s about expanding your mindset and not allowing society to put you in a box.

LSD: Let’s give them something for flipping the paradigm and feeling Fierce. If they Hint-to-Win-It by adding the Saranghae products to their Hintd list, they can win it! We will give five lucky hinters — who are feeling fierce– a package of this beauty product. Hint, win, feel fierce, and join the Forever Fierce community! Thanks, Catherine! Go ladies!

Interested in reading more about how Catherine is bridging the generation gap? Read on.

 

 

Boy Meets Girl Meets Hintd

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Stacy Igel, Keeping it fun.

Stacy Igel is one of those awesome female founders whose success came with all the hard working beginnings, family involvement, and lucky breaks. She told us her story over coffee at our offices at Spring Place in Tribeca. Next thing we knew, she had made her list of the perfect holiday gifts. As CEO of Boy Meets Girl and an advocate for women, causes and being authentically you, it’s full of fun gifting inspiration and cool products.

When she launched Boy Meets Girl, shortly after 9/11, she had made t-shirts with red white and blue that took off, and her line was picked up by Bergdorf Goodman. Her collaborations with models, actresses and musicians elevated the line to cult status. Over the years, Boy Meets Girls has become one of those perennial favorite brands sold all over the world, as message tees with a purpose gained popularity and kept up with the times. Her collaboration with Veronica Webb is just the latest in this series.

Check out her Hintd list just in time to buy that perfect statement gift for yourself or the person on your list who loves the message and the meaning.

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Also — as if you needed any more proof that she is the hottest designer of the moment — Stacy is in The New York Times below and Business of Fashion  on the topic of “Super Model Mania.”
Happy reading, hinting and shopping!

The foot doc to the stars is making sure you have happy feet too!

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When I was too injured to run, a friend in LA took pity on me and sent me to an amazing foot doctor. Now we are featuring his “instant arches” which make any shoe — no matter how towering, wobbly or sexy — comfortable, wearable and not create a pain as you dance, run around and enjoy the party season with ease.

 

The backstory: I was starting my triathlon career and just as winter training set in, the cold temps meant running on stiff muscles, and suddenly I had a painful, sidelining injury known as “Plantar Fascitis” where your bottom of the foot where your heel meets the arch feels a sharp stabbing pain, even when lying in bed. Every step is like stepping on a thumbtack, and you literally cannot run. This is frustrating, to say the least, and the weeks wear on your mind and your mental attitude goes south since, for me, running is as much a mental break and mood booster as it is a physical workout and body benefit.

 

I was in LA, too injured to run, and a TV star we were featuring on the cover of SELF told me I should go see an amazing foot doctor whose name is Dr. Steven Rosenberg, and he could not have been nicer. We decided that I should try a shot of arnica and I trusted him enough to put a needle in my foot. The arnica relieved the pain temporarily but more importantly, he handed me these little black spongy arch inserts to put in all my walking shoes. Having insoles in my sneakers was not enough. Turns out if you have high arches, most shoes and sandals don’t provide enough arch support to keep your bottom of your foot from collapsing, tearing in micro little injuries to the infrastructure of the arch, and you can end up with Plantar Fascitis. Luckily, my foot injury cleared up, but now I wear these in my shoes daily and it helps keep my arches supported and my feet comfy, so I can race around all day, and feel great.

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Thanks to Dr. Rosenberg following my career, keeping in touch, and watching Hintd grow. He has offered to give away three packs of the Instant Arch supports. I just bought three more so that my shoes all feel like sneakers.

Check out his site, and our list. Happy dancing, happy holidays, and happy feet!

 

Your Next Unforgettable Vacation

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Travel blogger Samantha Ruiz, @samisfierce, takes popular destinations like the now must-do Peru, and figures out how to avoid crowds and tourist traps by getting off the beaten path. Here are some of our favorite highlights from her list, steal them now before her secrets get out.

 

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Few things are more important than having a good travel bag. And I think an easy crossbody is perfect. It’s big enough to fit my camera but small enough that it’s easy to carry around! The color matches everything and the flap makes me feel like all my belongings are secure! I take this bag everywhere!

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Coach, $395

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If you really want to get off the beaten trail stay at PeruEcocamp en route to Machu Picchu. Wake up in the middle of the cloud forest in a cozy geodesic dome, ready to hit the hiking trail. You can stay for the just one night or book tours that for up to a week. Prices range from $150 for one night without a tour to $3,791 for a seven night, eight day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu. Other tour options are available. Get 15% off when you book your tour with the code, “glampwithsam.”

 

DSC02999Turns out, it’s cold in Peru. I was so happy that I packed this vest! It was small enough to carry around and thick enough to keep me warm! But despite the chill, the sun in Peru is very strong. It’s important to pack a wide brim hat that fits snugly on your head, to protect you from the sun and won’t blow away when you reach trail peaks.

Plaza Vest, Outdoor Research, $175; Traveller hat, Akubra, $153

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But it’s not all hiking clothes all the time! Pack along an unexpected red dress to add a pop of color to your insta. Dress, Lulus, $67

 

 

Insider’s Guide: Shopping with Kurt Slanaker of Spring Place

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We asked Kurt Slanaker, Director of Membership at Spring Place, to share what he’s shopping for this fall. His list reveals the brands every well-dressed man should know.

On defining his style in three words or less…Casual yet refined.

On what he’s shopping for now… Stoffa’s Rabbit Felt Rollable Hat, Common Projects Chelsea Boot in Grey, and anything Teddy Santis creates for Aimé Leon Dore.

 

Stoffa Felt Rollable Hat, $200, Common Projects Boots, $537, Aimé Leon Dore Thermal Layered Top Coat, $1000

On a man whose taste he most admires… Mr. Yasuto Kamoshita, the Creative Director of United Arrows.

 

On stores and designers that are doing it right…  The best men’s clothing is now found in boutiques. Places like The Armory and Drake’s mix tailored and casual wear effortlessly, Magasin in Los Angeles is the newest addition out west and they’re doing wonderful things for menswear, and sites like Grailed are the only places to find the best clothes for your dollar.

 

From left: The Armory crew; Vintage Dolce & Gabbana jacket from Grailed; Suiting from The Armory; Drake’s scarves; Casual pieces from Magasin

On splurging…Amazing watches last a lifetime and only gain value, I’m obsessed with my Baume & Mercier Clifton 10055 and would gladly purchase another.

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Baume & Mercier Clifton 10055 Watch, $4800

On what he wears when he doesn’t want to get dressed…Oxford button down and chinos, it’s my uniform regardless.

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On how his taste has changed from when he was a teenager… My style has always been influenced by being casual, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be dressy. Now I understand how dressing appropriate applies to situations, it’s about maturing without losing your personality.

On the secret to good parties… It’s all about the experience and people, both need to be curated and of quality.

On how to schmooze without looking schmoozy…In today’s digital world, it’s about connecting people in-person. But not just introducing people, having background and understanding of each individual and a reason why you’re connecting them, think of it as social and community manipulation.

On the best thank you gift… A handwritten note goes well beyond anything else you can send someone as a thank you.

Early riser or night owl? Can you have your cake and eat it too? Being in the hospitality and relationship industry you have to be both, and each has their own respective reasons and purposes.

Sparkling or tap? Sparkling, live as the Europeans do.

Belt or suspenders? When it comes to suiting, always suspenders.

Statement socks or no show socks? There is never a good time for statement socks, your watch and your shoes should do all of the talking.

Plants or pets? Pets, they bring joy to life.

Uncle or father? Father.

Clean shave or bristles? Bristles, more specifically a 5 o’clock shadow regardless of the time.

On most recent things consumed….

 

From left: Item purchased: La Colombe iced coffee; Show binged: The Defiant OnesSong listened to: Grizzly Bear ‘Painted Ruins’

 

Mansur or Mango?

As if he didn’t have us with the bucket bag, Mansur Gavriel has done it again with the fall must-have: The unstructured coat. Our favorite versions come in soft pastels that deliver an unexpected pop of color against autumn’s landscape. (You won’t want to bother with a filter on your Insta with these). Gavriel’s coats range from $995-$1500 but we found lovely look-a-likes at Mango, ASOS, and Zara. If we had to put our money on the best loosely inspired take, it would be Mango’s Mohair Blend (above right), the lines are equally soft and slouchy. The most noticeable difference is that the Mango coat is mohair so it has a bit more texture. Above from left: Mansur Gavriel’s new coat collection; Mango Mohair Blend Coat, $199

Mansur Gavriel’s Wool Oversized Coat, $1095; Mango’s Wool Handmade Coat, $230

Mango’s Unstructured Mohair Blend, $120; Mansur Gavriel’s Cashmere Classic Coat, $995

Mansur Gavriel’s Wool Oversized Coat, $1095; Asos Swing Coat in Wool Mix, $99

Regardless of what you choose, make a date to check out either his stores in Soho and Madison Avenue when you are in NYC. The sleek art direction and juxtaposition of color make the spaces feel more like warm and inviting art installations than stores.