Sunday, December 7, 2008

Is There a Dr. Fish in the House?

Check out this story from NPR (NPR truly is one of my favorite things!). Is this not THE grossest thing you've ever heard of? I saw an ad for the "Dr. Fish Pedicure" at a local spa, and I couldn't believe it was real!

Laur--these fish may even do a better job than the PedEgg!

Flesh-Eating Fish Perform 'Pedicures'

More than 6,000 customers have tried the $45 treatment since the salon began offering it five months ago, according to owner John Ho. The salon says it's the first in the United States to offer the service.

"We have tripled our volume," he says. "At the beginning … I was begging people to go in. But you know, it just went haywire."

On a recent Sunday afternoon, the Vietnamese-owned salon is packed. In the back, thousands of silvery carp flit around in a holding pool. At some point, they'll all be transferred into smaller tanks to suck dead skin off customers' feet.

'It Kisses Your Skin'

One such customer, Barbara Campbell, steps into a tank of around 200 fish.

"Which ones are the hungriest? That's what I want to know," she boldly asks a technician.

Known as Garra rufa, the silvery inch-long fish originate from hot springs in Turkey. It's there that they developed an appetite for the only food around — human flesh.

Calm down; Garra rufa, which look like a cross between goldfish and minnows, can't technically bite because they don't have any teeth.

"It kisses your skin," explains Leah Le, who works at the Yvonne salon. "But more it just sucks off your dry skin."

Kelly Jackson, 27, is a fish-pedi convert. She says the experience is better than having a human scrub her feet.

"It's all organic," she says, "[I] absolutely loved it.... Your feet never felt so clean."

The 'Doctor Fish' Is In

In China and Japan, Garra rufa are known as "doctor fish" and are often used to treat skin problems like psoriasis.

After reading about it on the Internet, salon owner Yvonne Le traveled to China to get a full body treatment.

"I lay down in the pool for 40 minutes," she recalls. "I come out and my skin [was] so beautiful and smooth."

Forty thousand dollars and 10,000 fish later, Yvonne and her husband, John, brought doctor fish to the United States.

The expensive fish are a gamble for these entrepreneurs, because they're difficult to maintain. Ho says he wakes up in the middle of the night just to check on them.

Keeping Fish Warm, Customers Happy

"There's a lot of risk in taking care of the fish," Ho says. "You've got to give them warm water. If the water [drops] below 70 degrees, they'll die."

The fish stay well fed on a steady supply of human skin. Over the past few months, technician Le has watched them double in size.

"When we first had them, they were tiny. You could feel, like, this little nibbling, and now you can feel the sucking and it's more powerful."

That might sound unpleasant to the uninitiated, but the salon is filled with giggling customers.

"When you go in, you just gotta laugh," Ho says. "I have people who laugh 'til their tears come out. I don't think money can pay for that, you know what I mean."

Thursday, December 4, 2008

In the Doghouse

Requisite viewing for all husbands: a little shopping advice. (It may take a minute to load--it's worth it!)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Few Gift Ideas

Here are a few things that I have or have seen that I think would make great gifts.

Gifts for Her:

1. Beaded Serving set from Pampered Chef: I do have these and love them.
2. I also LOVE the PedEgg. It makes my feet feel like I've just had a pedicure. They are available everywhere (Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond)
3. Onion Keeper: I LOVE this. It's from Bed Bath & Beyond and it keeps onions fresh for about a month.

4. These hangers are slim and made of velvet which means clothes don't fall off! They are from Bed Bath & Beyond and I have seen them at Target too. They are $10. for a pack of 10.

Gifts for Him:

I bought this Pea coat for Nathan last Christmas and he loves it. It looks and feels like the authentic Navy Pea coat. I bought it at Old Navy and they brought it back this year. It's $80.
He also loves the Art of Shaving. It is pricey but this set is $38. and is available at Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom. .

Gifts for Babies, Kids, and Family:

left to right
1. Leap Frog Musical Table. We bought this for Andrew for his birthday and he loves it. It's $40 and at Target.
2. Mini doc amplifier. I haven't tried it but it looks really neat. It's speakers for your IPod and it's $20 at the Container Store. Great stocking stuffer.
Build a Snowman Kit. Restoration Hardware for $14.

Gifts for Teachers & Neighbors:

Available at Williams Sonoma; all under $20.

Another idea is a box of California Cuties with 1/2 gallon of egg nog.

Gifts Worth the Price:
left to right
1. Kitchen Aid Mixer. My parents bought us one several years ago for Christmas and I am a firm believer that every kitchen needs one. They range from $250-900
2. Juicy Couture Track Suit. I have about 4 black ones and I live in them. They are about $200 for the set and available at Neiman Marcus, Saks, Bloomies, Nordstrom.
3. Burberry Check Scarf. It's a classic and makes a great gift for a man or woman. $265. also at Neimans, Saks, Nordstrom, Bloomies.

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Best Workout EVER!!!

To see this bad boy in motion, Click Here. I know that this totally looks like a torture device and it partly is. Our rec center is trying this machine out to see how people like it. Let me tell you, I LOVE it. I was on it today for an hour and 20 minutes on resistance level 6 and did not want to part with it. It's the Precor Adaptive Motion Trainer 100i. By far the most challenging piece of equipment I've been on. It makes the elliptcial feel like a child's toy. The motion is very different and it took me about 15 minutes to get use to it. When you are in full motion, it feels like you are sprinting in 2 feet of sand. If you start to "slack off", your stride will be like that of a stairmaster. There is a graph that shows you if your stride is that of a stairmaster, runner, or sprinter. This machine kicks your butt. If you live in Highlands Ranch, it is at Southridge until Dec 1st. They'll ask at the card desk for feedback after you use it. It's the bomb dot com.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sucker for Makeup (and Heidi Klum)

I live for Project Runway. I would love to be on the show but I don't know how to sew; so that's a problem. Heidi has a cute personality on the show and she is fun to watch. I am a semi-sucker for brands. She has come out with a makeup line for Victoria's Secret. I haven't seen it in person but I love how the colors look on my computer! I hope looks aren't deceiving. I would love to have this collection for Christmas. Hint, Hint, Nathan or Ann or Mom and Dad! Here is a link (this one works)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ghost Town

Ry was reading the newspaper this morning and announced to me that Beverly Hills Chihuahua was the biggest box-office hit at the movies this week. For the second week in a row. Cringe. If you saw it and liked it, I'm happy for you. Please just don't tell me about it.

For the rest of you who are looking for a great movie, go see Ghost Town! It's a well-written, funny romantic comedy, full of twists and turns. Ry and I both loved it, and I don't think it was just because we haven't been out together, alone now for nearly 10 months (We went for a date when my mom was here. She stayed with baby.).

OK--being footloose and baby-free for the evening probably did have something to do with it, but we weren't the only ones enjoying it. It was one of those movies that had audience laughing out loud and clapping at the end!

I'm not sure how widely it's playing (the theaters have to save lots of screens for back-to-back showings of Beverly Hills Chihuahua). We had to see it a small, arts theater here. If you can't see it on screen, look for it when it comes out on DVD.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sigerson Morrison for Target!!

Sigerson Morrison is a high end and pricey brand of shoes. Neiman Marcus carried them when I worked there. They are also carried at Saks, Bergdorf etc. . . Hollywood celebs love their ballet flats. Reese's shoes were $429.00 Good news: Sigerson Morrison is designing a line for Target!! Gotta love Target. The line comes out at the end of October. I will be there to buy the aqua or silver ballet flats for under $30 ( pictured below). What a deal. I wasn't crazy about the other shoes in their line for Target but here's a link to see the collection. GO TARGET!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

I found this fun site called Yearbook Yourself. You upload a picture of yourself and they show you how you'd look from years past. Yes, all the pics below are of me (Laura)!! I will say that the 1990 pic looks JUST like Ann's highschool/college pics when Aqua Net ruled the world!!


Below is an actual pic of my mom (left) from 1969 and my sister Ann (right) in 1990.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Halloween Again

I promise this will be my last post about Halloween! Growing up, Halloween was our mom's Christmas! I know Ann will agree with me on that :o) It was such a fun time of year; filled with candy, homemade costumes and birthdays (mom's right before, dad's on, brother's right after). Again, I have to put Target on a pedestal. Their decorations are so cute this year. Here are a few fun finds and here's the link to see more. Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


1. Clothes

Let's start with the most important. Clothes. Because lets be honest girls, if we don't feel cute while working out, what's the point? This is the BEST line of workout clothes. Luluemon. I discovered it last December in the pro shop of a fancy/shmancy gym. I just thought they had cute tops and bottoms so I bought a few pairs. I really didn't realize what a great purchase I had just made. Until I started working out in them. These are the most durable, long lasting, well-made, CUTE workout clothes out there! I immediately went online and found that there were stores with the full line in San Fran and Newport Beach. You can bet every time I am in either location, I stock up! (I just did this past weekend! yippee!) So, check and see if there is a store in your area. And if not, keep checking! They are great! (and sooo cute!!!!)

2. Yoga
I am so into yoga right now. I have been doing it religiously once a week for two years now, but I just kicked it up a notch. A new yoga studio opened two minutes from my house and they heat the room to 95 degrees!!! I was very sceptical. I had heard about this, but thought it was really weird to workout in such heat, on purpose! But, I went to a free trial class and gave it a shot. It is WONDERFUL!!! I am sold! I am a heated/yoga junkie! I must say that I have NEVER sweat like I do in that class. The sweat is literally dripping off my body and it looks like I just jumped into a pool of baby oil. But it feels sooo good to sweat like that! I actually crave it. The yoga masters say that is is very detoxifying and cleansing and good for the body and skin. I dunno, I just know that it feels good!!! Also, when we workout in a heated room, you can get into deeper stretches. Mind, body, soul, meditation, breathing. It is my weekly therapy. I am a JUNKIE!

3. Garmin

These just keep getting better and smaller every year. I got a Garmin GPS for Mother's Day last year and I never leave home without it, when I'm running, that is. This little watch tells me my running pace, how far I have gone, how long I have been working out, my heart rate, my calories burned, where to go! (turn here etc!), and as you can see, the date and time! I can also workout with a "virtual training partner" and so many other things that I haven't even tried yet. This GPS/watch has definitely changed my workouts. Now when I run, I am very much aware of how fast I am running. And it has pushed me to many times go farther or longer. If I get to the end of a run and let's say I ran 5.8 miles, I will keep going until I hit 6, just because! Or if I have burned 380 calories, I will keep going until I hit 400. You get the idea. I guess I like my numbers nice and neat! But hey, it pushes me to do more!

So there you have it friends. My exercise thoughts for today. I went to yoga this morning and am full of the exercise spirit! :)