Sopranos Finale – Much Ado About Nothing?

11 06 2007

Wow, talk about disappointment. With last weeks episode so full of guts and glory I at least thought the season wouldn’t end in the same sleeper fashion it began. There was a whole lot of build up for nothing. They may just as well have never aired the last episode. It seems like the only resolution that came to light was AJ no longer being a whiny little depressed rich boy who has everything baby… and he’s still most of that… and who cared anyway?

What did you think?


NEWS FLASH: I Haven’t Been Crazy Since 1999.

10 06 2007

My primary role with Destination Nation is product development. I started in the industry as an esthetician, later became an esthetics instructor, and then started studying the chemistry behind the products. I am the reason the Destination products are packed full of good ingredients like grapeseed oil and shea butter and don’t contain any parabens or mineral oil. I am very proud of the products in our line and I am constantly reading other product ingredients and researching skin care ingredients to ensure to that the products we offer are the best for you.

In 1999, while employed at a fancy-schmancy spa, I attended a class on the spa’s behalf about sun damage and aging skin. I am sure the spa’s owners sent me with the idea that I would come back and sell a bottle of sunscreen to every customer that walked through the door and by the end of the year, they would be able to vacation from those profits at some remote resort never thinking about me… boy were they wrong.

I have always been a bit of a skin purist. I feel like the skin care industry works on the insecurities of the general population and that many of the products out there sell a false sense of hope, producing no results, therefore making the buyer feel even more insecure that their skin is bad or their problem cannot be fixed. There are product lines out there that contain well over 100 SKUs. Are we really to believe that we need 100 products to make our skin look good?

So, back to this class. During the class I was presented with an enormous amount of information on what the sun does and how it does it and why its so bad. The repeated message was “SPF, all day everyday” and attendees were encouraged to sell their clients all kinds of sunscreen products and advise them to use it everyday regardless of their activities because “the sun is everywhere”, “the sun makes us look old”, “the sun is evil”, blah blah blah. Maybe it was the skin purist in me or maybe I am quick to think of conspiracy theories but something to me seemed a little off with this message. I spent my early teens growing up in sunny Florida. I didn’t know the meaning of sunscreen, nor did I care and to this day I can still pass as a good 5 or so years younger than I actually am. These sunscreen companies were trying to sell something and its a great marketing scheme – if people use more sunscreen, they will sell more sunscreen.

Upon my return home from this class, I knew I couldn’t go to the spa owners that spent money to send me out of state to this class and say “I won’t do it.” I pulled out all of the material I received and began my own investigation. It was then that I realized that cancer, of all kinds, had a lower rate the further south you traveled. Aha! I was onto something. I then realized that as higher SPF’s became available to the market, their protection numbers continued to increase almost identical to the way skin cancer rates rose in the years following. I also realized a similar rise in Seasonal Affective Disorder as SPF numbers increased. I gathered as much information as I could and went to work the next day prepared to take a stand: I will not push sunscreen on every client.

Since that day, I have advised my clients to only use sunscreen if they are putting themselves in a scenario where they have the ability to burn.

Let me further explain my thoughts.

I am not saying there is no place for sunscreen. In fact, I think it is often necessary during the summer month’s activities. But, if you use sunscreen all day, everyday, you are not allowing your skin to build up a natural tolerance to the sun. Without a natural tolerance to the sun, you are more likely to burn. Without a natural tolerance, when that SPF wears off or you forget it one day you are way more likely to burn. Sunscreen also prevents us from getting a good source of vitamin D which is an essential vitamin in maintaining organ systems and preventing Seasonal Affective Disorder. This means that every person has their own limit to how much sun they can get. My roommate, for example, has strawberry blond hair and quite possibly the fairest skin I have ever seen. I don’t think she needs to wear sunscreen all the time, but I do think she should have a bottle nearby should she need/decide to spend a little extra time outdoors on a sunny day. On the other hand, I do not have a tendency to burn and the last time I wore sunscreen was last summer while spending the day on a boat.

Burning is bad. Having a sunburn severely dehydrates the skin and in extreme cases can damage the formative skin cells. The “aging” that is related to the sun is more an issue of dehydration and not replacing the skin’s vital moisture and nutrients.

That doesn’t mean go tanning. My stance is more of an “anything in moderation” stance. I am not in anyway shape or form saying hang out in the tanning bed or at the beach until you look like that lady from There’s Something About Mary.

There you have it. As you can imagine, I have been scolded by just about every other skin care professional I know. I have been told by my own mother that my theory is crazy and I have had clients think that maybe I just didn’t know as much about the skin and products as everyone says I do.

Until this week!

Research published this week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has determined that that vitamin D (also known as the sunshine vitamin) cuts the risk of several different types of cancer (not just skin) by 60 percent. The sun is our best form of vitamin D. The skin makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight’s ultraviolet rays. Multivitamins usually carry a much weaker variant known as D2.

“The findings … are a breakthrough of great medical and public health importance,” said Cedric Garland, a prominent vitamin D researcher at the University of California at San Diego. “No other method to prevent cancer has been identified that has such a powerful impact.”

So there you have it.

My final advice: Go have fun in the sun! Buy a bottle of sunscreen and use it only when necessary and make sure it doesn’t contain any parabens.

Read more about it here:

The Washington Times Chicago

My Memorial Day Trip…

8 06 2007

The first bit of criticism I will take is for my tardiness in posting this. I have, after all, been home for over a week. The second criticism I’ll take is for telling you where I was… in Kalamazoo, Michigan at a Moped Rally. Yes, I said moped rally. Laugh all you want, we even call it the “comic book convention” from time to time.

My trip began with a flight into O’Hare Airport to one of my favorite cities in the US, Chicago. I didn’t spend much time in Chicago this trip but I did get the opportunity to go to Irazu for one of their delicious Oatmeal shakes. Ok, twice. If you haven’t been to Irazu, they have some of the best Costa Rican food on earth (possibly better than in Costa Rica?) but the real draw is their oatmeal shake. In fact, I Googled oatmeal shake the other day to see if I could find a recipe and about all I found was articles on Irazu. So if you’re in Chicago, check it out, its on Milwaukee in Bucktown.

The rest of my time in Chicago was spent at Warbux Mopeds which is new to Chicago and recently opened by a friend of mine. It was a very busy day there even though the shop was technically closed in preparation of Kalamazoo. The Chicago “moped gangs” named Peddy Cash, The Flooze and Murder Club were pretty much all there making last minute modifications and repairs to their mopeds.

The next day, we made the three hour trip to Kalamazoo. There’s nothing fascinating about the trip from Chicago to Kalamazoo. The only real landmark I recall is a truckstop somewhere in southwestern Michigan but I did get to smell the delicious smell of chocolate while leaving the city. For those of you who don’t know, Chicago smells like chocolate in certain parts thanks to the Blommer Chocolate Factory . Other parts smell like urine and vomit.

Every Memorial Day, Kalamazoo hosts the biggest moped rally in the nation and this year was no exception. In its tenth year, with record attendance numbers, moped enthusiasts and Moped Army members from around the country swarmed upon the tiny little town with the funny name. The weekend includes moped riding, lots of insane parties, music and so much more.

Its taken me over a week to begin writing this post and I still believe I am at a loss for words. It was an amazing trip. I had the opportunity to see my friends from all over the country (Tempe, AZ, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, New York, Louisville, and Cincinnati to name a few) as well as make some new ones. The premiere of the Moped to South America movie took place during the rally weekend and everywhere you turned there was another moped. There was an article written in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. You can read it HERE.

I’m going to let the pictures speak their 1000 words. Here’s the link to my Flickr Set. Enjoy!

After the weekend, I returned to Chicago for a day. Completely exhausted, I managed to pull myself together enough to get to the airport in time for my flight home. I can’t wait to do it again.

Next trip, the Pacific Northwest.

Art Basel is Coming! June 13th – 17th

7 06 2007

Courtesy MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel/Zurich) AGThe art world Olympics known as Art Basel will be storming Basel Switzerland again next week. Art 38 Basel takes place from June 13 – 17, 2007 and features about 300 leading art galleries from 30 countries on all continents. Art Basel is the world’s premier modern and contemporary art fair. 20th- and 21st-century art works by over 2’000 artists will be on display. 55’000 art collectors, art dealers, artists, curators and art lovers attend the annual meeting place of the art community.

I will be there only in my dreams but if you are going, let me know, I would love to hear about it!

Photo: Courtesy MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel/Zurich) AG

I Am So Excited To Tell You About…. This Book!!!

5 06 2007

Our very own Trip Legend Award winners have just released a limited edition book from their trip entitled “Moped to South America”. The book documents three moped trips through beautiful photographs by Graham French.Through 208 pages of both color and black/white photographs you will travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles, Seattle and, most notably, the southern tip of South America.

Documenting over 13,000 miles and 12 countries, the book is comprised of diverse portraits and beautiful landscapes that anyone would love. This is a limited, numbered 1st edition of 500.

Already featured on

Find out more and get your own copy at

Around the office….

4 06 2007

We have this joke about the razor industry and their relentless attempts to add more and more blades in creating the ultimate razor. If by ultimate they mean highest priced, they just may be succeeding but I believe anything beyond three blades is pretty uncalled for and a waste of money. So, this cartoon from The New Yorker entitled Crap From The Future really made my day.

Long Time….

22 05 2007

It has been a long time since I posted last due to a few technical errors. [I fried my laptop and it has been a long road to recovery but I am pretty sure everything is going to be A-ok.]I am proud to say that lots of cool and interesting stuff is going on with Destination right now…. we are mid re-vamp of our website and the new site will offer you the opportunity to submit your own personal travel stories that could possibly land you on the label. We will also be reviewing your submitted stories in search of the 2007 Trip Legend Award winner. So, now is the time to gather your thoughts about your last trip and pull together some photos and video. We are not looking for your average travel story, we are looking for the most awesome one. Be on the lookout, and I will let you know when we’re live.

My goal is to get back to telling you about all of the latest, interesting or obscure things that you should know about on a regular basis but due to my own travel schedule, I won’t be able to start until after the Memorial Day holiday. I will be traveling to Chicago for a few days and then off to the quaint little place with the funny name, Kalamazoo, Michigan. I am sure I will have lots to talk about upon my return. Chicago is one of my favorite cities (at least during the summer) and I am super excited to go back. If anyone has any “must see/must do” ideas for Chicago, let me know.

Talk to you next week.