Beauty & the Brunch

Historically speaking, brunch has gone through three phases— it began in Britain as a privilege for the wealthy, moved to the US as a way for Hollywood stars to eat glamorously after early morning plane rides in the 1930’s, and was known as the “varsity” meal for its association with hung-over college students. All of this is according to sociologist Farha Ternikar, author of Brunch: A History.

However, the most contemporary form of brunch is a glamorized social gathering, a midday meal full of eggs, toast, frittata, truffles, mimosas, bloody mary’s… hungry yet? Today, brunch is the meal that you envy on shows such as Sex and the City, the meal that you gather your very best group of girlfriends and hangout for half the day at. Brunch is no longer a convenient meal, but a glamorous (and delicious) excuse to catch up with the people we love.

This week was an exciting week, two of my best friends and I were in the same place— for the first time in a few months. Though we thoroughly missed the fourth edition to our crew, who was traveling the west coast, the three of us decided that a much needed catch-up brunch was in order. As per the usual with us, we underestimated the amount of time it would take for us to catch up, and in approaching the parking meter found ourselves on agreeing that two to three hours should do the trick. (We returned to the car four and a half hours later and not nearly done swapping stories of our time apart).

Deliciously colorful tacos at Mojave Grille.

Deliciously colorful tacos at Mojave Grille.

We adventured to one of my favorite brunch spots in NJ, the Mojave Grille in cute downtown Westfield. Despite one of us oversleeping and one of us having car trouble, we made it to the restaurant still in time for the brunch menu, which featured entrees such as a mushroom frittata with truffle oil and adorable mini steak tacos (all fresh ingredients, yum!)

In my opinion, brunch is a meal meant to bring people closer together. Whether or not you choose a place with bottomless mimosas, that time of day is one that is beautiful, the sunshine is at its peak, and the hang overs are coming to their ends. My friends and I sat in the sun for hours, talking about summer travels to Spain and Panama, the struggles of long distance relationships, the struggles of the single life, and planning the rest of our exciting summer together. Despite being overly glamorized by television shows and celebrities, brunch truly is necessary meal of extravagance and relaxed conversation— something that we all need to pencil in every once in a while.

Stay classy! xx

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Now Inhale – Exhale

At what point does one come to realize that breathing is an art? Especially one that we don’t take the time out of our day to do correctly. Really, when was the last time you took a nice deep breath? Or even few moments for yourself to do something you love; meditation, yoga, exercise, crafting— and don’t sell yourself short. For most of us, it has truly been a while. After the week I’ve had, a real bundle of stress and frustration, a sprinkle of good and a lot of bad, I didn’t even realize until the weekend how long it had been since I’d taken a nice big deep breath, and then let it all go.

Too infrequently do we reward ourselves with a break. We run from one thing to the next, getting caught up in waves of appointments, work schedules, train timetables, and we rush through it all before we get a chance to fully enjoy any of it. Last summer I had my first exposure to meditation and loved it. Even if you set aside the time for just a ten or fifteen minute session, you notice an incredible rejuvenation in your happiness, memory and overall appreciation of the good things that are occurring throughout your day. Just taking note of these small blessings makes a world of difference. You can find some of my favorite meditations here: http://gabbyb.tv/free-meditation .

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Tried meditation and it’s not your thing? There are many people who have tried keeping a gratitude journal, writing a list each night about the good things that happened to them throughout the day, and this really creates a happier perspective as well. Others get the same benefits from an exercise regimen, a little bit of sunshine or even the relaxing sounds and atmosphere of the seashore.

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I spent a much-needed day down the shore this weekend, and I have to admit that there are few places inherently more relaxing. Even the colors of the shore are bright and happy, the sound of the waves relaxes one to a light sleep and the addition of Vitamin D adds a perfect warmth to the mix. This day added a much needed change to my outlook on the stresses that I’ve been dealing with, and was a great way to reconnect with my appreciation for all things natural.

I hope everyone’s having a great, relaxing Memorial Day Weekend!

Stay classy! xx

Before You Run Off For Some Fun In The Sun…

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Especially now, with Hugh Jackman as an advocate, awareness in the consequences of dangerous sun exposure is definitely on the rise. Unfortunately, although many people know that unprotected sun exposure could have its consequences, what they fail to realize is just how frequently this happens. In the United States, 1 in 5 people will get skin cancer, and in Australia, where Jackman is from, the numbers are at a frightening 1 in 2. The sun is getting stronger, and now there’s a great new product on the market to help protect us from it, without the nuisances of traditional sunscreen.

Jackman launched Pure Sun Defense with all of the issues that people have with using sunscreen under consideration. It retails for an affordable price of less than $6, and is even child-friendly with fun characters on the bottle designs. Even more important than the aesthetic, this sunscreen is both hypoallergenic and dermatologist approved, and it is also suggested by the American Skin Cancer Foundation.

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I tested two different bottles of Pure Sun Defense, featuring these adorable Minions and Marvel Superhero’s, and found it to be different than most other sunscreens that I’ve used in the past. First of all, the typical sunscreen smell is so faint that you might not even notice it. The lotion is not oily, and is simply absorbed by your skin once applied, and of course most importantly, it does serve its purpose. I wore it while out in the sun for a few hours and I’m happy to announce that I remained protected the entire time (and I have not turned into a lobster.)

If you’re looking for a new, affordable sunscreen, Pure Sun Defense definitely seems like the right way to go. Please protect yourselves from dangerous rays on your upcoming beach trips and outdoor excursions, taking care of your body is undeniably classy, and you won’t regret it.

Stay classy, xx!

OK OK, I Admit To Hibernation

Now that it’s spring, the cold and finals induced exhaustion has melted with the snow, and it is time to get ready for a hot and steamy summer. Yes, that’s exactly right. Now, here’s the truth, I met Hugh Jackman this week. And if I didn’t believe the hotter months were here just yet, seeing tables of ladies around me fanning themselves and swooning at Hugh’s lovely Aussie accent was definitely enough to convince me.

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What a great way to start the week.

Now, you’re probably wondering why you haven’t seen much of this Sydney native in the news too frequently. But quite honestly, he’s been busy. In 2013 Jackman was diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, to those of us without medical degrees, and in fact the “kind of skin cancer you should hope to get if you’re going to get it,” as Jackman put it. In the time since his diagnosis, Jackman has had four skin cancers removed. But he has not let this stop him from doing the things he loves.

In addition to playing the roles of husband and father to his adorable family, and taking on some professional acting roles as well, Jackman has impressively used his spare time to start raising awareness about how unprotected sun exposure really can and does lead to a lot of complications.

So how does Jackman; aka Wolverine, X-Man, Hubby, Daddy, etc. decide to do this most efficiently while helping lower the numbers of those affected by unwarranted dangerous sun exposure? He analyzes the reasons why people don’t wear sunscreen, and then launches a brand of sunscreen, Pure Sun Defense, that seems inexcusable not to purchase.

According to Jackman, the number one reason that people don’t wear sunscreen is price. He jokes that when he was in college, he had to choose between “eating dinner and slathering lotion on my body. For me back then, I hungrily cut costs where I thought I needed to.” (Good thing you’re broke college days are over, right Hugh? Don’t think you could’ve made Wolverine status without a couple hundred dollars of steaks…)

Yet, what Jackman came to find later in life was that 1 in 2 Australians and 1 in 5 Americans will get skin cancer in their lifetimes. And what is most horrifying about this is that this horrible disease is something that one can take minimal steps to prevent.

So to start engraining this in society, Jackman decided it most efficient to start with parents, by designing Pure Sun Defense, a sunscreen brand that is both hypoallergenic, pediatrician approved and affordable at less than $6. The bottles are designed with characters from Disney and Marvel, to excite kids about using the sunscreen, while being the smart and affordable choice for parents— and I mean, you’re never too old for princesses, right?

The MOMS Network did a great job choosing to host this event at the classy and glamorous Hunt and Fish Club (Like WOW check out these pictures). Where even an astronomical mimosa bill cannot deter you from being inspired by the great Hugh Jackman who, has taken to fighting skin cancer with the same vigor as the Wolverine — but sans the claws (for now.)