Self-care: Pilates Plus

So I finally broke down and joined the club

Machines they call PROformers. d. king

The club with those scary machines.  The kind that come with interchangeable spring loads and all kinds of kinky ropes and gadgets that are supposed to whip you into shape.  It’s quite intimidating. At least at first. It’s been a month now and I’ve only missed a couple of days.  I did a class called Ass & Abs which is slightly above my level of expertise and now I’m sore.  But it’s a good sore.  The sore where I can feel my muscles….it’s a start.  I’m not aiming to have a six-pack exactly…I’m looking to tone, strengthen, have more flexibility and improve my balance.  Oh hell who am I kidding. I want ABS dammit!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pilates Plus in Palm Springs has three rotating instructors; all excellent in different ways.  They watch you and they will never let you get away with doing things incorrectly.  Believe me; I know!  I’ve been reprimanded more than once.  I must say the non-stop 50 minute workout goes by very quickly and in all honesty I’m hooked now.  Hooked on a feeling….and the reality of liking what I’m beginning to notice.  Also, my eating habits are getting lighter too except for last night when I ate a lobster roll at Dead or Alive wine bar.  But the key to Life is Balance.

Proformer. d. king

Before this I did mat Pilates on occasion.  Here’s a bit of history:

Pilates was created in the 1930s by Joseph Pilates and quickly became popular among dancers as a method of training and rehabilitation. There’s no denying that Pilates offers some great health benefits. Included is core strength and stability, improved posture and balance, flexibility, and the prevention and treatment of back pain.

Pilates on a Mat vs. Pilates using a Reformer

Pilates allows you to work your muscle groups with no impact on joints. It also works your precise, small muscles in controlled ways. The machines are the basis of a core-burning workout that blends Pilates, cardio and strength training.

The simplest way to do Pilates exercises is on a mat. The more challenging and effective way is on a reformer, a device which uses pulleys and springs to create the resistance that’s impossible to generate by simply using the body.

What about weight loss?

Weight loss is a result of creating a calorie deficit whereby you eat fewer calories than you burn and then you drop pounds. Now in some cases, hormones and other metabolic factors come into play, but the primary driver of weight loss is calories in versus calories out.

Pilates Reformer is a great exercise for core and it can help you burn calories, but maybe not as much as certain other activities. And, like any movement, how many calories you do burn depends on how long your session lasts, the intensity of the session, your ability (if it’s new for you, you’re likely to work harder and burn more calories) and your size.  So it’s best to do a mix of some cardio like biking, running, swimming, hiking, fast paced walking combined with pilates and/or yoga.

Yes; it’s work indeed.  But well worth it because your body is a machine.  One that you want to make sure is in  tip-top working order. So she says! 

In Vancouver I’m going to source out a couple of studios.  I already belong to a gym close to home that offers varied daily yoga classes and mat pilates with good instructors. And truth be told, if it’s not within close walking distance to where I live, I probably won’t go.

How about you? Have you tried the reformer, proformer or megaformer?  What are your parameters for working out and how often?

Advertisements

Dead or Alive

Dead or Alive

is the name of a little local speakeasy I’ve walked by a million times but only during the day.  In the daytime from the outside you can’t tell exactly what it is unless you already know, and of course it was never open.

There is only one giveaway – a neon sign that says wine & beer.  I thought it was a discreet little hole in the wall after hours store that sells wine and beer.  In some sense that’s correct, but it’s a very cool hole in the wall.

Last night after dinner I decided to walk my dogs by there and for once and for all let go the mystery. And I’m glad I did.  Inside it’s very dark but the lighting is jazzy and there are little heart shaped keychains that light up so you can read the menu which by the way is surprisingly well curated.  Every second Friday Freddy from Broadstreet Oyster (in Los Angeles) has a pop-up with fresh shucked oysters & lobster rolls that rival the best one I had once in Kennebunkport, Maine.   Other Fridays they have live jazz.  It’s a comfy local hangout where you can easily talk to strangers.  And I can sit outside with my two.

The rest is taken from visitpalmsprings.com

Okay. Anyone who names a bar “Dead or Alive;” – and doesn’t put up any signage, so you don’t know where it is until you meet someone who’s been there – has to have a good reason, right?

It’s all for the love of wine, says Dead or Alive owner Christine Soto. As a Level 1 Sommelier, she’s on a mission to educate everyone about wine – and her choice of her wine bar name, and the lack of signage, is all part of her plan. “A name is not important. My bar is all about the experience; to give people the opportunity to make a discovery. I like to make it a surprise,” she told me, as she filled my glass with her “from the tank” house Chardonnay inside her cozy establishment.

Cheers!

FYI: I really liked the Tank House Chard from France.  And I like surprises….which only goes to mean I’ll be back!  Maybe even tonight for the lobster rolls.

Happy Weekend!

http://www.deadoralivebar.com/

 

Palm Springs Places: Holiday House

It’s great when you feel like you’re on holiday in a place where you’re really not...only because it has become your second home.

d. king

Palm Springs snowbird season is coming to a close.  As a result I’m coming close to the end of my quest for discovering and sharing the cool, the eclectic and the fabulous little boutique hotels, inns and places to take you away from the norm.  I’m sharing places I’ve either stayed at or at least visited and spent some time in hanging around where they’ve almost had to kick me out.

d, king

More places are on my list but it will have to wait until next season.The places I’ve blogged about are the inconspicuous little gems that you may not otherwise ever know about unless by word of mouth or you find by accident or through research.  Take for instance the latest – a 28-room boutique hotel located downtown Palm Springs called

Holiday House

d. king

I love this place.  Holiday House is exactly what it sounds like. I also like that in order to create a communal environment, Holiday House does not have televisions in any of the rooms.  Personally speaking if I’m on a ‘real’ holiday I don’t want to watch TV.  I would relax and then hang out at the very friendly bar and order food from the pleasing restaurant menu.  I was just there on Tuesday for Taco Tuesday and it was excellent.  It’s very comfortable. They also have a fried chicken Friday but you must reserve in advance.  I hear it’s fabulous and I hope to find out soon – possibly even next Friday – just before I leave.

d. king
d. king
d. king
lobster tostada starter. d. king
d. king

This hotel was originally built in 1951 ​and was a project of​ mid-century architectural designer Herbert W. Burns. Burns was one of the most important figures in helping to define Palm Springs modernist style, or what has now become mid-century modern.

From the website:

When it first opened, the Holiday House was billed as the newest “luxury hotel” in Palm Springs, and catered to what they referred to as “exclusive select clientele”.  For years, the Holiday House ranked as one of the top hotels in Palm Springs. Since its inception, the hotel has changed hands and has garnered many different names and identities. Most recently it operated as The Chase Hotel.​ In 2017, Holiday House re-open​ed​ with its original name and spirit.

Tammy

The design centers around Gio Ponti inspired tile-work in the bar and artwork throughout the property including pieces by David Hockney, Roy Liechtenstein, Herb Ritts, Alex Katz and Mr. Brainwash, with a garden sculpture by Donald Sultan.

d. king

Guests must be 21 and over to check-in.

https://holidayhouseps.com/

 

d. king
d. king

Festival Fashion

Stylesetters

Second weekend of COACHELLA is coming up.  Here’s a random splattering of some festival glamsters.  Around town it’s fun to watch.  It’s not hard to tell who’s going. 

Stephanie Panpradith, left, and Regina Trigueiro, both of Ventura, pose at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, CA., Saturday, April 14, 2018. (Staff photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Yeehaw looks at Coachella 2019. Photos: Emily Malan/Fashionista
Ashley Coco of West Hollywood, poses during Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Club in Indio on Friday, April 12, 2019. (Photo by Watchara Phomicinda, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)
Photo: Los Angeles Times
Pinterest

Always a pleasure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dips: Healthy Hummus

Hummus is an essential party pleasing dip.  You can buy it, however it’s pretty easy to make, plus it’s extremely healthy.  Hummus is rich in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. The best thing is that it tastes soooo good.

Hummus Dip with oven baked Pita Chips & cut up veggies.  Cut up pieces of bought pita bread and bake in the oven at 350F for a few minutes to crisp up into chips.

Ingredients:

16 oz. can garbanzo beans (chickpeas, rinsed)

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. cumin

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp. Tahini (sesame paste)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

sea salt to taste

1/2 tsp. smoked paprika

1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

Pinch of Cayenne (optional)

TIP: add a few tablespoons of water to mix (if too thick) and you prefer to avoid adding more oil.

Process:
This recipe really could not be any easier.  The key to smooth hummus is letting the food processor do all of the work. Throw the garbanzo beans, lemon juice, cumin, garlic, tahini, and rest into the food processor. Turn the food processor on for about 30 seconds and then slowly pour in the olive oil.  Add a few tbsp. of water if it looks like the hummus is too thick. The food processor really helps in creating that creamy texture we all love.

For toppings I love toasting some pine nuts in a pan.  Simmer some herbs in olive oil and pour over top.  Parsley is great too.

Store in the refrigerator in an air tight container. Homemade hummus usually lasts for about 7-10 days in the refrigerator.  But I can assure you it won’t last that long.

 

 

Art + Fashion: hidden treasures

Here’s a story about a most remarkable renovation/restoration

This is something else I’ve been meaning to post because not only is it highly unusual, it’s extraordinary.

The 17th-century oil painting discovered behind a wall during construction of the Oscar de la Renta boutique in Paris. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times

A new Oscar de la Renta boutique in New York was undergoing renovations three months ago when something unusual was discovered on the second floor. When workers were clearing out garbage and debris at the end of the space on that floor, something seemed definitely amiss.  As they were clearing and resurfacing, something else resurfaced.

Something had been hidden behind a wall, and it wasn’t asbestos. It was a 10-by-20-foot oil painting of an elaborately coiffed and dressed 17th-century marquis and assorted courtiers entering the city of Jerusalem.

The restoration is expected to be done by May. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times
Teams of restorers swab away some of the varnish to allow colors to come through. Credit: Julien Mignot for The New York Times

Full Story here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/fashion/the-treasure-behind-the-wall.html

 

 

Hidden Paradise: The Mesa

Hidden Paradise is the very appropriate tour name given by the Palm Springs Historical Society to refer to The Mesa; an eclectic and beautifully secluded hillside neighborhood.  I took all of these photos two days ago, on the last day of the tour for this season.  It was a hot one….and I’m not referring to just the tour.

Beyond this gate was the home of actor Joseph Cotten (Citizen Kane, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte among many other well known films).

I was invited to go on this relatively new tour, not being aware of how incredibly close in proximity The Mesa is to where I reside. I’m really happy I chose this walking tour from several the society offers because it’s another hidden jewel that I’m told many locals don’t even know about.  Even though some of the homes you can see from a distance, you may not know how to get there.

As they say on their website it is truly a slice of paradise. The amazing variety of architecture  ranges from the romantic Spanish Colonial Revival of the 1920’s to today’s dramatic contemporary styles.  Even one original mid-century modern home that stands out.

Max Factor (the makeup maven) family mansion.  The gate was open; it felt somewhat inviting.

With a glamorous past it has long been home to the Hollywood elite (Natalie Wood, Robert Wagner, Cher, Joseph Cotten, Henry Mancini, *Johnny Mercer, Jack Warner of Warner Brothers Studios, among others). Many have been celebrities from the World of Music – singers, composers, lyricists and musicians.  Even the cartoonist Lee Holley, known for Denis the Menace and comic strip Bugs Bunny who passed away in his home here just last year.  Our guide told us that he was so friendly he’d give away some of his original cartoon drawings.

Home of cartoonist Lee Holley – a fairly modest home here.

There are many vacation rentals here now too.  One home had no outside windows at all in the front to keep passersby from peering inside.  But I’m telling you; never judge a house from the outside.

Unless you’re lucky enough to get an invite to one of Barry Manilow’s fundraising shindigs, you can see his home and that of his friend Suzanne Somers from the outside only.  However the area itself which is larger than it appears is striking just to walk around and  see the gorgeous gardens.  In fact, it was really more of a garden/landscape tour than home tour – walking around for 2 hours+.

You can see the home of Suzanne Somers in the distance.  She said she can see Barry Manilow in one of the rooms of his home (which is a compound) – way up on the opposite side of the hill.

A crown jewel of desert architecture, Ship of the Desert, is located here.  Designer Trina Turk (love her clothes) resides here.  I’ve seen this home from afar many times. I know a few people who’ve been to a cocktail party inside (there are no hallways) during Modernism week.  They referred to Turk as a lovely and gracious host.

Ship of the Desert. d. king
This home appeared in this magazine in 1936.
and many years later

Michael, our patient tour guide was very knowledgeable about the homes and the people who lived/lives here and entertained us with some anecdotes and juicy gossip.

I highly recommend one of the walking tours (only $20) when visiting or even living in Palm Springs.

Other tours the Historical Society offers are Golden Era (Hollywood Homes of Old Las Palmas), Inns, Architecture and Glamour, The Tennis Club (Celebrity Haven), Rat Pack Playground (and Frank Sinatra’s Neighborhood in the Movie Colony), among Private Tours (Architecture gems and Palm Springs Highlights).

See the 3 guard dogs? As easy as it appears to jump this fence…I don’t think so.  I wonder what lies behind that door….Narnia?

*Johnny Mercer wrote 1,500 songs and won 4 oscars.  He’s probably most famous for writing Moon River for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Also the Days of Wine and Roses, Autumn Leaves, etc.  He was a big fan of Barry Manilow and near the end of his life he donated all of his songs to Manilow.

I plan to go on other tours next season.

https://pshistoricalsociety.org/collections/walking-tours

 

 

 

 

Food: Fabulous Flatbread

If you love pizza and really….who doesn’t?

d. king

This flatbread tastes similar to a thin crust pizza (my personal favorite), but with less calories, and it’s perfect for when friends drop by unexpectedly (or not) and you want to serve up something relatively easy to make in a hurry and extremely tasty.

Try to have some staples on hand always.  It will make your life much easier.

I start with a low-carb tomato-basil or Italian herb wrap or actual flatbread (available at pretty much any worthwhile grocery store).

Set the oven to 350F and put the flatbread on a tray for about five minutes on its own to crisp it up.

Then take it out and add the following (above photo shows what I had on hand at the time which thankfully ended up to be more than enough and extremely flavorful to boot).

tomato sauce and/or paste (I like the tube – it’s less messy)

Sliced tomato

Thinly sliced sweet onion

Artichoke Hearts

Kalamata Olives

Sundried Tomatoes

Grated cheese (mozzarella or parmesan)

A bit of Burrata…even better!

Drizzle with olive oil & a bit of balsamic and spices to taste.

Put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.  Take it out.  Cut into squares.  Serve.

Tip: Of course you can vary the toppings to suit your taste!  Spinach + Feta? If you’re a meat lover add pepperoni, etc.  You can have fun with this.  There are so many variations.

Soooo good!

 

 

 

Monday Mood: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

THIS is gonna be good! 

Photo: DAZED Digital

See Margot Robbie (she was so amazing in I, Tonya) as Sharon Tate in Quentin Tarantino’s new film.

Information taken from dazeddigital.com

Quentin Tarantino’s next movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, will chronicle late 60s Los Angeles, following a struggling actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stunt double (Brad Pitt) as they chase fame. The murder of Sharon Tate, Valley of the Dolls actress, model, and wife of director Roman Polanski, plays a major part in the film’s narrative.

Margot Robbie plays the late Sharon Tate, whose death at the hands of cult leader Charles Manson’s followers in 1969 shocked Hollywood and the world. The I, Tonya actor has now shared a first look at her character on set. She has long blonde hair worn in a similar style to Tate, with a black turtleneck, white miniskirt, and white go-go boots.

Tate – who was heavily pregnant – was murdered along with four others in the home she shared with Polanski, when four members of the infamous Manson family invaded. Manson demanded the attack after record producer Terry Melcher – who previously rented the house Tate was residing in – snubbed him over a recording contract.

Robbie previously told Indiewire that Tarantino was one of her “bucket-list directors”, and that “as long as I can remember, I’ve been a huge Tarantino fan.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt shared an image of themselves in costume in set back in June. Tate reportedly appears as a neighbor. The cast also includes Burt Reynolds, Dakota Fanning, and Luke Perry among others.

The film is Tarantino’s ninth film, and his first since the Oscar-winning The Hateful Eight in 2015. The director has  previously discussed retiring after his tenth feature film.

The movie is scheduled for release before the end of July, 2019 by Sony Pictures.  The film was originally scheduled for release on August 9 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Tate–LaBianca murders.

This is a film worth waiting for.  An incredible director with equally incredible actors.