Archives for October 2014

Oprah Life You Want Weekend – Meditation with Deepak Chopra

Oprah and Deepak ChopraThere is something about the stillness and peace of mediation that is intoxicating to me. As most of life demands constant action to remain current, meditation starts you on a journey back to the root of you and your connection to the universe in order to provide insight and clarity.  In the second day of The Life You Want Tour we got a great start with a guided meditation with Deepak ChopraDeepak Chopra is renowned for his meditation insight and its ability to lead you to a higher level of living and understanding.  At the Life You Want Weekend he put his skills to great use during the meditation.

Young girl doing yoga (lotus pose) in the parkWhat is great about a guided meditation is that you relieve yourself of the thought “what am I supposed to be doing now?” Especially as a novice to meditation, learning how to quite one’s mind can be the most difficult challenge in the process.  In a stadium full of people and with the gentle voice of Deepak Chopra guiding the meditation it felt like an easy transition to focus and still the mind.  One of the most powerful things that I got from the meditation was Deepak’s philosophy that the entire universe is present inside each of us.  Therefore instead of looking for answers the journeys begins with us and the ability to just ask and let the answer find us in the stillness of our minds. In this spirit Deepak guided so to challenge the universe inside each of us to some of the most difficult questions we face in our journey to know ourselves:

Who Am I?

What do I want?

What is my intention?

What is my purpose?

What am I grateful for?

It is in these questions and with the stillness of meditation we can leave what we though the answers were or what the world expects the answers to be and really find our own truth. The meditation separately focused on each part of our being, from encouraging an energetic body, to a kind and compassionate heart, to a chakra that brings a reflective and alert mind all to get to the lightness of being where you can flow in harmony with the universe.  The challenge of the mediation to drown out the business of my life produced a great result as I took a big step closer to developing my own personal mantra.  As Deepak shared a mantra is an instrument of the mind that lets you go beyond the mind it is a great way to not just define ourselves to ourselves but to the universe as well.  What is your personal mantra to define your life and encourage you to reach your goals?

 

 

 

An Intimate Evening with Oprah at the Life You Want Weekend

Live The Life You Want Weekend, MiamiSpending an evening chatting with Oprah??? Sounds too incredible to be true but indeed at the Life You Want Weekend you walk away from the first night feeling as if you had an intimate evening learning about someone whose journey has taken her from Mississippi to becoming a household name. Oprah has the uncanny ability of being able to share her spirit and story in a way that you can not only relate to but can see yourself in.  The first night of the show put this ability on shine as she shared not just her story but some of her critical lessons and her spiritual anchors that have allowed her to handle her blessings and tribulations with grace and strength.

From the lighted bracelets to the fun music the evening starting off with building a strong sense of community. Whether you came with friends or by yourself the energy in the building made you want to reach out and touch someone for the better.  As the introductions began the dim lights and bracelets began the audience on a journey of surprises as well as awakenings.  As the bracelet lights took us from red to orange to yellow you began on a path that could lead you anywhere but also with the hope that it could lead you to everywhere you wanted to go.  As Oprah began sharing I was immediately struck not by the amazing way she was able to share her story, but the ease that her story telling leads you to see yourself in the story.  Although her story is her own I began to see where I could grow and I could change and most importantly that if a small black girl from the country of Mississippi could have the courage to reach for her dreams and become OPRAH than why couldn’t I also let the small voices of God and fate lead me to my destiny.

While there were many awesome life lessons shared throughout the night the two that provided the most impact to me where these:

I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

These two very simple truths of life have the power and shape and mode anyone’s life into the life they want as they become more aware of themselves and God and the world and their own power in it to become a better version of the person they already are. Although I believe those truths before hitting the door there is nothing like hearing it from Oprah to give you an extra push from belief to faith and walking the walk to implement those truths in how you think and how you act.  With that just being the tip of the iceberg on the journey I am excited for more in Day 2!

 

Raise the MacAllan, a whiskey lovers dream

Raise The MacAllan 1First stop on a great visit to Chicago and what better way to catch up with friends than enjoying a favorite…MacAllan Whiskey. Over the years I have become a huge whiskey fan and The MacAllan is definitely one of the best of the best in the world of single malt Irish whiskeys.  While some back away from whiskey because of its strength (40% alcohol by volume), The MacAllan proves that you can indeed really enjoy all aspects of the whiskey experience.  The brand does a great job of balancing power and style with a rick flavor and a smooth finish. Raise the Macallan 4

The secret to this delicate balance for The MacAllan is their curiously small stills.  Famous enough to make the face of Irish currency these stills are proof positive that The MacAllan puts quality over quantity in every step of the process.  The small still and individual batches are just the first step in a long process that produces an exceptional spirit.  From beginning to end The MacAllan has its hand in every part of their creation process and yes this even includes sourcing barrels in which to age the spirit.  Instead of grabbing up bourbon or sherry casks The MacAllan does something unheard of, they grow the wood that makes the cast.  That’s right, when you can pick up a bottle of The MacAllan in a local store, the process of creation actually started 100 years previously when the seeds for their oak trees are first planted.  Through growing, harvesting, sherry creation, and drying the wood you are talking about a very long and very expensive quality all just to guarantee quality.  Raise The MacAllan 5Raise the MacAllan 2The MacAllan spares no expense, even small details such as allowing the wood to dry naturally in order to maximize their color and flavor which come from the wood, in bring something great to whiskey lovers everywhere.

The process truly demonstrates their craft and their passion for producing exceptional whiskeys. With only 16% of all productions ending up in bottles you can see why their finest cut becomes one of the finest whiskeys.  With such a painstaking process it’s easy to see why The MacAllan appeals to such a wide audience and is a great way to bring people together with the fun, laughter, and memories that really makes life great.

 

 

The Art of Fashion: The Little Black Dress Recap

IMG_8781With the definition of art being the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, it is easy to understand that indeed fashion is a medium of art.  Last week as a kick off to the weekend celebration of art known as the Bayou City Art Festival, art met fashion head to head at The Art of Fashion: The Little Black Dress.  The Art Colony Association, known for the incredible art and life celebrations it produces in the Bayou City Art Festivals and Art Heist, connected the beauty of fashion and art with one fundamental question– “What moves you?” Regardless of if you are moved by wonderfully elegant, or fun, or sexy, The Art of Fashion Celebrating the Little Black Dress took the simple concept of the “Little Black Dress” and celebrated how the different vision of four different designers all made their own unique art expressions.

 

IMG_8782As a kick off to the fun of the Bayou City Art Festival the event gave a fun glimpse into the weekend art celebration ahead. With art pieces throughout you by featured artist Ella Richards you were able to get your palette wet of the different art you could appreciate over the weekend.  With a fun mix of art and fashion appreciators in the space the flow was easy to relax and enjoy the fun celebration.  The fashion show showcased the variation of visions that designers create when they think of the little black dress.  IMG_8710 IMG_8712With fashions from local favorites Azuz, Chloe Dao, Jonathan Blake, David Peck and Tenenbaum & Co. you got a full range of all that could be offered in a little black dress.  From sleek and sexy to reimagined looks to vintage fabrics, every look took you deeper into the vivid visions and imaginations that are in place for designers to create.  Fashion not only has the ability to inspire the aesthetic but to also be empowered when you find the perfect look or cut to bring out the best in you.  Personally, my imagination took me not just to how I would look in the creations, but to all the fun places, people, and experiences that the clothes would fit right in.  As art is a reflection of life, there is no better way to celebrate the art of fashion than by living it up in the creations!  With great ambiance and fun provided by Bayou City Magazine the event was definitely a great way fashion experience.

 

 

 

 

Biking, drinking and friends combine with Pedal Party Fun

Pedal Party Fun 5A fun new twist on the idea of a bar crawl is now on the move in Houston. Pedal Party’s offer all of the fun that comes from the quick changes of scenery and libations that comes with a bar crawl united with an innovative way to transport a group from one place to another.  The star of what makes the pedal party so innovative is the Party Bikes that motors the fun.  Instead of walking or biking or hoping in cars the Party Bike holds up to 16 partygoers and moves them along the bar crawl route.  The pedals attached to the seats as the engine puts the power in the party goers hands to keep the party going.  In exchange for all of the hard work put in by partygoers as they pedal up and down midtown or Washington Ave., the middle area of the Party Bike houses the appointed bartender to keep the libations going and energy up.  You have a chance to bring your favorite beer, wine or drinks aboard and give everyone time to have fun with just the party goers as well as mix and mingle with others throughout the bar crawl.

Pedal Party Fun (2)In celebrating a dear friends birthday one of the clear advantages of the Pedal Party is the chance for all the party goers, whether friends or strangers at the start, a chance to meet and greet and get to know one another. With the music blasting from the bus, you find that as the pedals start moving and the drinks start flowing some of the introduction period moves quickly to conversations and.  In a normal bar crawl you have a tendency just to stick with who you know or came with or even branch out to others at the bar, but with the time on the Party Bike you can all bond in the new experience.

Pedal Party Fun (3)The experience is only enhanced by the fact that within your window for renting the party bus you get to work with your driver to determine the bars and areas that will be the most fun for you and your guest. Our route went to Black Finn, Boheme and the Third Floor but you can choose to turn up or turn down or get a great mix of both depending on exactly what you like to do, drink and see.  Pedal Party Fun (4)Because the Party Bike provides an easy mode of transportation to get everyone from A to Z you don’t have to be so confined with bars and spaces that are very close to one another.  Instead have some fun by picking and choosing your favorites and have a great time enjoying the ride along the way.  By adding private and open components you get some of the best of parts of both having an intimate party as well as getting to feed off the fun and energy you can find in a bar.  Pedal Party Fun (1)

 

 

 

 

Passage of the Guardians with The Glenlivet

The Glenlivet passage of the guardians with Master of Scotch Craig Vaught

The Glenlivet passage of the guardians with Master of Scotch Craig Vaught

“Fruity or Floral, Spicy or Smoky?” No, you are not choosing your favorite perfume, in the world of whiskey these questions determine which path you will follow to meet your match in the many flavors whiskey has to offer.  For many the thought of whiskey is a big leap for their palette, instead choosing to play it a little safer with drinks on the more mellow side of the street.  The Glenlivet passage of the guardians (1)When you jump with both feet into the world of whiskey, however, you find that whether your focus a drink’s balance, smoothness or flavor you can probably find something you love on the whiskey aisle.  I had the opportunity to attend the Guardians event by The Glenlivet yesterday and got not only some great insight into the world of Scotch Whiskey’s but also a reminder as to why The Glenlivet is one of my favorite Scotch Whiskey’s.

The Glenlivet passage of the guardians (6) The Glenlivet passage of the guardians (11) The Glenlivet passage of the guardians (22)

 

 

 

 

Set in the elegant Parador in the Museum District, the Nights of Passage The Glenlivet event transformed the venue into a museum for the history, fashion, and fun that has risen out of The Glenlivet brand since its inception.   Craig Vaught, the Master of Scotch, was on hand to share his insight on why the brand has become such an amazing staple in the world of whiskey.  The often imitated but never duplicated recipe and history that lead to the branding of The Glenlivet speaks to the craftsmanship that makes this spirit so exceptional.

The Glenlivet passage of the guardians (13) The Glenlivet passage of the guardians (12)For the Night of Passage with The Glenlivet we received an expert tour guide into the world of whiskey by Craig Vaught.  One of the first doors you will face when entering the world of whiskey is the choice between Single Malt and blended whiskeys.  For Craig this crossroads is similar to choosing the balance of a fine violin that comes from a single malt versus the smooth boldness that comes from the whole orchestra you can find in a blend scotch.  Each choice may be difficult but equally rewarding and we followed the smoothness route to the range of The Glenlivet products.

Following that decision we were presented with the question that really divides and conquers for a preference for drinking whiskey:

Aroma – Choosing between the fruity, floral, smoky or spicy bouquet of each whiskey

Palette – How does the whiskey sit on your palette

Finish – After the drink is done, what notes of flavor remain

The Glenlivet passage of the guardians (5)The aging process having a powerful effect on the answer to these questions. When you pay attention, though, you can find your perfect fit all within the same brand by narrowing down your answers to the tough.  The 12 year offers a smooth finish with fruity undertones that are universally popular while the 15 year offers a bolder, and spicier version with more of a kick to your palette.  For the best of both worlds, the 18 year version gives you all of the smoothness found in the 12 but some of the more bold favors and finish you find in the 15.  All in all there is no better way to find your fit than trying them all out side by side and the Nights of Passage Guardian event by The Glenlivet gave the perfect opportunity to do that.  Try out all the versions including some of the newer favors such as Nadurra or Guardians and experience the history, taste, and enchantment you can find with The Glenlivet.  The Glenlivet passage of the guardians (16)

 

 

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