5 Things I’m Smitten With 58


Two weeks ago we had our inaugural live event- 5 Things I’m Smitten With- in the flesh!
For those of you who attended thank you, and for those who didn’t I’ve made a little video below to make you jealous! Mark your calendars- the next one’s happening in February!

5 Things In The Flesh

Last minute gifts abound this week here on 5 Things. Don’t stress, just let my smitten self save you from holiday gift giving stress. Below are 5 things I would be so happy to find under my tree, and I bet anyone on my list would too.

Happy Holidays!



This isn’t the first time I’ve sung the praises of this mail order t-shirt godsend. The difference is now I’m a member, a convert and, completely hooked. A clever idea, StyleMint is the brain child of fashion guru sisters Mary Kate and Ashley Olson. While I’m a big fan of their other line The Row (can you even take the beauty of their elegant alligator backpack?), this line is more in the category of investments, not an everyday purchase, and certainly not in my budget for a gift this season. With StyleMint you get expert styling advice from the creators of a high-end brand for a less than high-end price. Receive their exclusively designed t-shirts right in your mailbox every month for just $29.99 per tee. You can choose to purchase immediately or store your credits for later. They offer awesome email discounts and specials- I recently purchased two shirts and received a complimentary pair of leggings! Shipping is free, and they wrap their deliveries with a stylish leather cord that can be worn later on as an accessory to your new digs. So if you need a last minute cadeau for a lady in your life, grab one of their gift cards which can be purchased in 1, 2, 3, or 6 credits. Recipients can visit the site, get a personalized style profile with recommendations on which choices to make, and purchase now or wait for next month’s collection. Every one I’ve received has already been worn numerous times. Besides, who doesn’t constantly need t-shirts? The answer is EVERYONE!



Whole Living
I’m an admitted fashion and beauty magazine addict, so when a client brought in a copy of Whole Living Magazine to the studio to share- I figured I would glean a couple of good recipes out of it and send it on to the recycling bin. I was wrong. While their mouthwatering recipes are abound, there is so much more. Wellness advice comes in the form of alternative healing articles like how to fight depression naturally, or which foods to eat to promote longevity. A whole (no pun intended) section on how to balance (my #1 resolution for 2012), with info on career/money, relationships, and how to manage stress. Their fitness advice has thoughtfulness in mind with guidance on how to get your cardio in by bike riding or swimming, as well as articles on yoga and Pilates. Round it all off with natural beauty tips and guidelines on how to make your life greener, and you’ve got a fantastic mag! With an incredible deal of only $10 for a year, a click of your mouse can cross a stocking stuffer off your list. Get this incredible deal here.



Beer of the Month Club
I find that the men in my life are hard to shop for. I stopped buying clothing or accessories as gifts when I once found a $100 cashmere sweater on the closet floor! I love the idea of a gift that continues to give year round and this beer club does just the trick. Each month the recipient receives four bottles of different microbrews from award-winning breweries. Choose between 3, 6, and 12 month subscriptions. Shipping is free and all you have to do is visit the site, make your order, and fill out a gift card. Those hard-to-buy-for men will be happy you got them just what they wanted- although you might have to be the one picking up the empty bottles off the floor.



Another previous mention is a perfect gift for the beauty maven in your life- Birchbox. For as little as $10 a month you can get four or five deluxe samples of hand-picked beauty products delivered right to your door! They have it all- skincare, makeup, hair, body, and fragrance. If you’re like me you like to test-drive something (from a car to a lipstick) before you make a full commitment. Getting small samples is perfect for the commitment phobe and the ones you’re not interested in make great re-gifts! Grab either a subscription for a 12, 6, or 3 month duration, or a gift card she can spend in any amount on the site. With products from Kerastase to Korres there’s bound to be something that will make your giftee smile inside and out.



Fitness and Wellness Gift Certificates
It’s true that this is my business, but what better gift than the gift of feeling and looking better? None. That’s why I’m recommending some awesome gifts you can get the actives (and those who could stand to be a little more active) in your life. First up, my good friends Caroline Levy and Neda Funk have launched an amazing site, Fitist. Their experts create workout plans, partnering with NYC’s (and now LA!) premiere classes, programs, and studios. PLUS- get exclusive last-minute deals on classes, treatments, and even private Pilates sessions (with awesome studios like mine!). Packages start at as little as $115, and some of their holiday specials even include a massage with all that sweat! If Pilates is more your thing my studio, FORM Pilates Union Square is offering some great holiday deals. For every $100 you purchase as a gift, get $50 for yourself to spend on products or services. We’re also teaming up with our massage guru neighbor, The Urban Healer. Get a 60min massage and a Private Pilates session for just $120! Get either special for some premier Pilates and massage in the city here. If you’re in LA and far away from our health and wellness sanctuary in NYC, try out a killer massage with my good friend and healer Nessa Renee. Her Balanced Harmony offers services as a doula, certified massage, AND Pilates instructor. She’s offering a FREE 1/2 hour massage, a discounted hour ($40), or hour and and a half ($60). She only offers this once a year so grab it while you can. GIve someone the gift of health and this person on your list will be in bliss this holiday season!

5 Things I’m Smitten With 53


Before I had my studio, I taught Pilates all over the city. One of my more pleasurable experiences was at Flywheel Sports. I learned to spin, and got to be a part of something on the ground floor, and I met so many fantastic people- including Caroline Levy Limpert. Caroline did press among many other things for Flywheel, and we hit it off right away. Now, about a year later we both have launched our own ventures. Mine, a boutique Pilates studio in Union Square, her’s Fitist, a one-stop website for fitness devotees and those who aspire to be one. Caroline, along with her partner and equally delightful lady, Neda Talebian Funk, are on to something here. These “fitists” have assembled some of the hottest experts like celebrity trainer David Kirsch and well known Pilates mogul, Alycea Ungaro- and invited them to design workout plans for everyone from the tri-athlete to the “rookie”. Partnering with some of NYC’s leading classes and studios, their site is a one-stop-shop to manage, book, and plan your fitness regime. Enjoy perks other than just looking and feeling great- like last minute deals on personal training, massage, and even private Pilates sessions (some with yours truly). If trying to be fit gives you a headache, these ladies will ease your pain.



Ever since my all-time favorite clothing store, Martin and Osa shuttered, I’ve been a fashion ship without an rudder. After months of mourning, I’ve found a new brand for my life, Madewell. Owned by JCrew, Madewell is like their younger, hipper, edgier sister. While they’re still classic and timeless designs (they offer solid basics that will go with everything you already have in you wardrobe), they mix it up with polka dot pants, mis-matched patterns, and bohemian touches like fur collars, bo-ho beads, and combat boots. The designs are the same high quality that you’re used to from J-Crew, at a similar price point. Make sure to sign up for their mailing list to get discounts and be in the know about sales and new styles. Check out their fall lookbook, just be sure to keep a handkerchief handy to wipe up the drool that’s sure to occur.



There’s nothing better than false modesty, except maybe the real thing. Addicted to Twitter, I love that I’m capable of perusing the tweet-o-sphere for hilarious little gems. My newest favorite, that’s all the titter of twitter is Humblebrag. The humblebrag is the ultimate ironic statement. You’re so famous that you have to tell everyone you hob-nob with David Beckham, only to add it he is less than stellar. You want everyone to know that you’re a successful novelist, but also that you were pained when you saw someone leaf through your novel only to put it promptly back on the shelf. You’re gorgeous and glamourous enough to be mistaken for Jackie O, but feel the need to make the rest of us ogres feel better by saying they probably thought you were the elderly Jackie O. In other words, the privileged and favored’s laughable views on their lives. Follow them for a daily dose of hilarity and if you hear of any humble brags yourself send them their way!



Summertime means bounty at our local NYC Farmer’s markets. One of my summer favorites are cherries! I eat them straight out of the bowl most times, but lately I’ve been craving some Cherries Jubilee. Here’s the recipe I use. This year I’m getting a cherry pitter to make my life a little easier and make the jubilee materialize faster. Here’s to life being just like a bowl of cherries!


I first heard of Kickstarter when my good friends Lee and Scarlett Cherry, two amazingly talented artists, were using the site to gain funding for their music project- Labor of Love. Scarlett is an incredible singer and together with her husband Lee, they decided to document the birth of their first child musically. It’s a new dawn where artists, musicians, designers, chefs, directors, and writers can bank their dream projects by reaching benefactors where they couldn’t before. This benevolent service resurfaced when my good friend and old neighbor, Christine Haynes who is an budding designer, contacted me about a line of patterns she’s hoping to fashion after her designs using Kickstarter. It’s nice to know that my donation can help artists who need really need it (plus if you give a certain amount you get a gift, GIFTS I said!) So I’m giving what I can to help Christine and you should too. Whether your pockets are deep (or shallow like mine), each dollar makes it way to where it’s needed. So give, just give.