5/31/15

4725mag travel tips: a beginners guide to hiking your own backyard and beyond

Because first things first, you need the right outfit. And let's not get this twisted, you don't need any bells and whistles to comfortably hike.




Our top 5 hiking outfit essentials:

1) A comfy pair of leggings: because pants suck at the best of times, let alone when you're getting a little physical. One of our hiking favorites are these wet look leggings from F21. Even though we are far from being their target demographic, we're a sucker for these as they are made from a good, heavy knit jersey with a forgiving amount of Lycra to keep it all held in while allowing them to retain their shape. 


2) A good pair of sneakers: while a hiking boot is a purchase we may consider the more accomplished we become in our hiking game, we're currently into hiking in our Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit sneakers. They nimbly form to any rocky, textured dirt or sand surface with a good deal of traction. Plus they serve double duty as we can jog around Lake Merritt in them or take them to the gym too. 


3) A bandana or scarf: we like to wear one loosely around our necks to help protect our d├ęcolletage from the sun. Plus it's great to have on hand to dab any sweat off your brow, because if you're anything like us, a sweat will be broken. We love this black cotton one from Levi's.


4) A long sleeved, white shirt: in a vain attempt to slow down the aging process, we no longer mess around with the sun. The white coloring will reflect light and UV rays as the long sleeves protect your skin. This puppy is from Old Navy and is super cheap - we do not mind sweating in it or getting it a little dirty at all. 


5) A fanny pack: we love being hands free and welcome the opportunity to pack it up at any time - especially when we're donning our Gucci fanny pack. But when hiking you'll want a spare hand to hold a bottle of water - you'll need up to a liter for every hour hiked if you're in hot weather - and this will perfectly hold all your other little essentials like lip balm, car keys, sunblock and your cellphone. 


Ok, now you are ready to hike, it's time to decide where you are going


Our first foray into hiking was a few months ago in Joshua Tree. A 10 mile hike through the desert was kind of an intense (yet awesome) intro but we're now curious about where we can hike in our own beautiful East Bay backyard. This weekend we visited Redwood Regional Park, check out our adventures below:




Clearing in the Redwoods // mile 0.75, Stream trail, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, CA.


"REDWOODS R BAE" graffiti // mile 1, Stream trail, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, CA.


Fern gully // mile 1.5, Stream trail, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, CA.


Eucalyptus trail opening // mile 2, Stream trail, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, CA.



Young Pine Tree detail, with ladybug visitors // mile 2.5, Stream trail, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, CA.


Out of the canyon, valley view // mile 3.3, Ridge trail, Redwood Regional Park, Oakland, CA.

5/16/15

4725mag eats: or drinks... a food lovers guide to mastering a juice cleanse



We are SO not the juice cleanse types. Our steaks usually come with a side of G&T and they come often - taking in our favorite Oakland eateries is a treat we revel in, unabashedly, as often as a few times a week. 

However, even we like to take a little break sometimes and cut down on the consumption of all of our favorite things - we understand that life is a delicate balancing act. 

You name the dietary restriction - low fat, low carb, low calorie, no dairy, no meat, no sugar - we've tried 'em all. Somehow imagining it'd transform our cocktail slinging, burger munching ways forever. 

Though it wasn't until trying a juice cleanse for the first time last year, that a true shift in lifestyle and attitude to food and drink occurred, one that we can live with longterm. (Well, one that has at least "worked" for us during this past year) 


Upon researching which cleanse we'd like to try, we had a couple of asks:

1) It has to be local - we didn't want this hyper-fresh, unpasteurized product schlepping thousands of miles before reaching us, so that cut out the well known east coast juiceries, e.g. Blueprint

A myriad of options exist in the Bay Area and since we have become juicing advocates, Oakland has really added to the mix with the Uptown Juice Company and Oakland Juice & Co. I have to thank my friends at the Oakland Vision Center for the Uptown tip! 

2) They had to offer a range of cleanses - one to cater to the beginner, like us, and ones we could grow into as our juicing prowess developed. This process of elimination led me to Urban Remedy, based in Marin.


After juicing - which entails 6 different juices drank every 2 hours with LOTS of water, low caffeine green tea or caffeine free herbal teas - every month or two for a year, we are comfortable doing their least calorific and most green 3 day cleanse entitled "The Super Green", shown above. We find a 3 day cleanse is short enough to feel manageable, but long enough to notice real results - glowing skin, better fitting pants and you experience a real clarity of mind.

One of our favorite "side effects" of a cleanse is that when you operate on approximately 1000 calories a day, your more limited resources allow you to only take care of what really matters. Cleansing is not only an effective way of refining what you eat and drink, it refines what projects you take on at work, what social engagements you commit to and allows you to step back, look at your responsibilities and prioritize. 

The other thing we love about cleansing is that it is not cheap - if we're making a $200+ commitment to anything, we're doing it right! 

The point of this process is to not get hammered the night before and suffer through day 1, with a body so deeply in shock and craving everything you're trying to rid it of on days 2 and 3 that you jump into eating a hotdog and fries the second the cleanse is over. 

This is where the lifestyle shift comes in. To truly get the benefit out of this process, we're sorry, but you have to ween off all the good stuff for 5-3 days before the cleanse and then ween yourself back into the world of delicious, chewable, solid foods for 3-5 days after. 

Trust us, after you've dedicated all that time to your health, that cheesesteak doesn't even sound that good any more. More tips for success and things to prepare for...

Before the cleanse:
  • Eat raw for 5-3 days - your body will not miss that grilled cheese, can of beer and bag of chips (yep, that can be dinner for us sometimes) half as much if you've already rid your system of all those craveables.
During the cleanse:
  • Avoid stress and any taxing social engagements - again, this goes back to only doing what really matters and dedicating these few days to yourself and your immediate priorities.
  • Spaciness can occur - you may find yourself having to pause for a second to track down a really obvious word in your brain. If you have an occasion coming up where you need/want to be hyper sharp and on your game, do the the cleanse the week after.
  • Exfoliate and cleanse - we love an Epsom Salt bath at the end of our cleanse to help move along any residual toxins and before that a good daily scrub courtesy of a pair of lathered up exfoliating gloves to aid your skin cell renewal. You'll look sparkly and awesome, we promise. 
After the cleanse:
  • Ween yourself back into regular eating - we cannot stress this enough. We hear you, you are starving - but we have learned from experience that now is the time to dig deep and find the will to break your cleanse properly by eating right. Besides, we don't want to undo all that hard work, and you definitely do not want to end up like us that time we broke our cleanse by heading to a BBQ and going buck' on the grilled meats and potato salad and were unable to, ahem, use the bathroom for a solid week. 
Moral of this story? If we can juice cleanse, SO CAN YOU. We wish you nothing but good luck. Tell us how you get on.  

5/8/15

4725mag's daily beauty must-haves: essential water, essential oils,embellished basics

#beauty #products #beautyproducts #productreview #naturalbeauty #perfume

I recently turned another year wiser and more contented in that uncanny way your thirties allow versus your (or maybe just my) more perturbed twenties - aka, I had a birthday. I'm a firm believer in self-birthday-gifting; you work hard for the money, so hard for it honey - so you better treat you right. What better time is there to do this than around the anniversary of your birth?

With an inbox full of "It's Your Birthday!" coupons and a tax return due, I fearlessly embarked upon an aggressive and furious bout of online shopping, racking up those airline miles.

None of my favorite retailers - from large to local - were left unvisited. No style desire left ignored - beauty products, to fashion accessories, outerwear, denim, shoes, jewelry, knitwear and e-v-e-r-y-thing in-between. It was such a gluttonous and sick episode, in a fit of guilt I returned a good chunk of the splurge, losing a free flight or two but at least I felt like a decent-ish human again.

#beauty #products #beautyproducts #productreview #naturalbeauty #perfume

However one box, from San Francisco based boutique Curator, provided more joy than all the others. Containing three simple, yet righteous, nuggets of fashion accessory and beauty gold, that have easily been my best acts of self-birthday-gifting this year.

Let's start off with the hand crafted, brass embellished hair tie. This is the perfect little touch of style that my commuter ponytail needs. Many a perfect-do has been ravaged by the fog and wind San Francisco has to offer, but with this puppy - and sometimes a strategically placed scarf - I will win the battle between my follicles and the elements.

Now, let's visit Curator's apothecary. Both gloriously named and packed full of small batch production, all natural cleansing and beauty products - here is where the shopping experience gets tiny-squeal-of-joy good.

#beauty #products #beautyproducts #productreview #naturalbeauty #perfume

I took a leap of faith in buying perfume online. With piqued curiosity due to my love for the arid, unforgiving yet serene desert landscape, and also because it could just smell like a sweaty, unkempt dude, I added L'Aromatica's "Desert Man" perfume to my basket and never looked back.

With dense notes of sweetgrass, myrrh and Mojave desert harvested sage, "Desert Man" smells nothing short of heavenly. It is pure, shooting star spotting on a still, cool Joshua Tree night, magic in a bottle. I've found a new favorite and I may buy a few more bottles so I'm stocked up, just in case.

I never quite understood essential water until a friend gifted me a subtle, non-musky, fresh rose petal infused bottle a few years ago. Knowing at the time I had a tense work environment, she directed me to spritz myself any time the going got tough to, literally, cool myself off. From that moment on, I was kind of addicted. There wasn't anything that didn't benefit from a good misting at least once a day.

Loving the intoxicating, smoky woodiness and exotically sweet, rich aroma of Palo Santo oil, I had to pounce on this lunar-infused, glacial essential water from the Midnight Collective. Pacific Northwest flower essences mix beautifully with natural floral hydrosols and pure essential oils that are hand infused under the New and Full Moons.

It's hard to deny that kind of craftsmanship for a few dollars. That's right, you can't. It's time to go shopping.

Shop my beauty cabinet:
Desert Man perfume, from Curator SF
Palo Santo Oil and Cedarwood Essential Water, from Curator SF
- Brass hair tie, from Curator SF

5/4/15

4725mag travels: Palm Springs desert oasis photo set

#4725mag, #4725style, #4725travel, #coachella, #desert, #deserthike, #designer, #explore, #gucci, #hiking, #iPhone6photography, #mytinyatlas, #naturephotography, #palmsprings, #mountains

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Top to bottom:
- serpentine rock detail, canyon floor // mile 0.25, Tahquitz Canyon trail, Palm Springs, California
- it may be a desert hike, but we're doing it in style - thirfted Gucci belt bag, Creosote bush and canyon detail // mile 0.5, Tahquitz Canyon trail , Palm Springs, California
- Tahquitz Creek, desert oasis // mile 0.75, Tahquitz Canyon trail, Palm Springs, California
- desert pot pourri, dead tree detail // mile 1, Tahquitz Canyon trail, Palm Springs, California
- dragon fly, Tahquitz creek detail // mile 1.25Tahquitz Canyon trail, Palm Springs, California
- Tahquitz falls // mile 1.5, Tahquitz Canyon trail, Palm Springs, California
- granite detail // mile 1.75Tahquitz Canyon trail, Palm Springs, California
- San Jacinto mountain detail // mile 2Tahquitz Canyon trail, Palm Springs, California