Archive | April, 2011

3-D with Coby..

30 Apr

By Christabelle…

Looking for some exciting gift ideas for dad/grad or Christabelle? Of course you are.  Our friends at Coby Electronics, (the consumer electronics leader with products designed to fit every lifestyle), is embracing the 3D entertainment experience with an exciting array of new offerings, including a 3D Soundbar that bathes the listener in crisp, clear sound and a portable DVD player that simulates 3D visual effect for unmatched impact.  These innovative new products and all of Coby’s 2011 introductions — from TVs and MP3/MP4s to portable DVD players, headphones and more. There is something for everyone on your list!

Among Coby’s all-star new offerings for 2011 are:

  • CSMP88 Multimedia 3D Soundbar Speaker System – A complete surround sound experience from a single speaker.  Audiophiles can enjoy their favorite movies, music and games in a whole new dimension with 3D sound technology from Sonic emotion.  Listeners simply connect their TV or MP3 player to enjoy rich 3D sound without the need for costly or complicated equipment.  The unit offers advanced wavefield synthesis that eliminates dead zones and immerses listeners in balanced 3D sound.
  • V-Zon® TF3DVD7019 – A 7” portable 3D DVD/CD/MP3 player in one that enables consumers to watch their favorite DVDs in 3D without the need for special glasses.  The unit’s advanced simulated 3D engine creates depth from regular 2D content to deliver the dramatic viewing experience consumers crave.  The unique new DVD player features LED backlight technology and plays digital audio, video and photo files directly from USB and SD/SDHC memory cards.
  • V-Zon MP957 MP4 Player – This generous 5” screen HD video player features HDMI 1080p output that lets users experience high-def video, music, photos and text that are crystal clear.  Available with 4GB or 8GB of internal flash memory, the unit is expandable with an optional micro SDHC card.  A world/alarm clock, calendar and gaming apps also are included.
  • V-Zon MP977 MP4 Player – A high-def video unit featuring a gorgeous 7” LCD screen, this new MP4 player supports 1080p video in a wide range of popular formats.  Available with 4GB or 8GB of internal flash memory, the new unit is expandable with an optional micro SDHC card.  The MP977 comes equipped with a world/alarm clock, calendar, gaming apps, integrated stereo speakers, and 3.5mm headphone jack.  A convenient remote control also is included.
  • MP828 – The new 2.8” Touchscreen Video MP3 Player with Speaker and Camera is a multi-functional unit that invites users to enjoy video, music, photos and text.  Available with 4GB or 8GB of internal flash memory, the player stores up to 2,000 songs, 4,000 photos or 24 hours of video and offers expandable storage capacity with an optional micro SDHC card.  The MP828 also includes a built-in 0.3MP camera, integrated FM radio, Coby Media Manager software and more.

Cocktail of the Week: Van Gogh Vodka

29 Apr

By Christabelle…

A lover of the arts…there is nothing finer than admiring artwork with a refreshing cocktail in hand.  Super premium Van Gogh Vodka, Van Gogh’s flavored vodkas and Van Gogh Gin are distilled and bottled by the Royal Dirkzwager Distilleries in Schiedam, Holland. The city is famous since the 16th century not only because of the excellent water quality but also for innovation in distillation sciences. Who knew?  Now shake me up…WELL.

Van Gogh Lemontini

1-1/2 oz of Van Gogh Citroen Vodka

1 oz of water

1 Tbsp Sugar

1/2 Lemon

Squeeze half a lemon into a mixing glass and then place the lemon in the glass.  Add sugar and muddle. Add the rest of the ingredients, fill with ice and shake well.  Strain into a sugar-rimmed martini glass, garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy.

Van Gogh Oranje Sunset

1-1/2 oz of Van Gogh Oranje Vodka

1 oz of Cointreau

1 oz of pom juice

1 dash of lime juice

Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass and shake well, then pour into a rocks glass, garnish with a lime wedge and enjoy.

(21+ – please drink responsibly)

The Greeks in Chi-Town…

27 Apr

By Christabelle the Greek…

For wine-lovers, escaping to Greece is now as easy as a trip to Chicago and Avli Estiatorio.  The contemporary Greek restaurant features the most extensive Greek wine list of any restaurant in the Midwest.  Avli lets you tour all the regions of Greece with an impressive list of over 115 authentic Greek wines. With bottles ranging from $20 to $100, everyone has a chance to accent their meal with a savory wine. A more expensive specialty reserve wine list is also available upon request for wine connoisseurs and those who are looking to further enhance their dining experience. This list boasts wines from my dad’s island of Samos (as in where he grew up – not as in my own private island…)

“We carry a number of wines that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in America,” says owner, Loui Alexakis.  “In addition to the roditis and retsinas that most people think of when it comes to Greek wine, our wine list features bottles from Paros, Cephalonia, Santorini and more.” Starting in May, Monday’s will feature wine flights for $10 with either 3 half glasses of white wines from the island of Santorini or 3 half glasses of red wines from the Nemea region.

The North Shore restaurant is the only Greek restaurant in the state of Illinois to be honored with a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.  This prestigious national award recognizes restaurants whose wine lists appeal to a wide range of wine lovers, offer interesting selections and are appropriate to their cuisine.

Heading to Chicago? Stop by Avli Estiatorio and tell them Christabelle says “Yiasou!”

About Avli Estiatorio

Located in Winnetka on Chicago’s beautiful North Shore, Avli Estiatorio prides itself on serving both authentic and innovative Greek cuisine in a fresh, relaxing atmosphere. The beautifully secluded outdoor patio space lends itself perfectly to enjoying a glass or two of vino – Avli’s extensive Greek-only wine list received a 2010 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence – paired with their incredible Mediterranean menu options. Avli was named one of the Best New Restaurants in 2009 by Northshore Magazine and has received a 4.5 star review from Make it Better Magazine. Whether it’s a large family gathering or a quiet dinner for two, a meal at Avli Estiatorio is as close to Greece in Chicago as you’ll get without a plane ticket. Avli is located at 566 Chestnut in Winnetka, Illinois, and can be reached at 847.446.9300 or online at

Wear white BEFORE Memorial Day…on your teeth

26 Apr

By Christabelle…

Summer is right around the corner and what compliments the perfect tan better than a bright, white smile! Now you can have “dentist white” teeth in just two short hours (that is two episodes of True Blood, a car-ride to East Hampton from NYC, a healthy workout at the gym, a plane ride to West Palm Beach).  Yes, in two short hours, your teeth can be the brightest on the block – all thanks to Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips.

Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips work to deliver a noticeably whiter smile after just one 2 hour treatment that lasts up to three months! With just a single strip needed to give you a brighter smile, taking up minimal space in your weekend or travel bag, Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips are the ultimate travel beauty essential. The strip is easy to pack and removal is clean and simple, with no messy residue. Note to readers…try not to be over-zealous like your friend, Christabelle and wear them twice in one week. Your teeth will be to sensitive to even speak. Follow the directions Crest gives you – yes, do as I say – not as I do. Now, go get your smile on with Crest 3D White 2 Hour Express Whitestrips.

NYC Fitness Trainer’s Top 5 Tips to De-Stress at Your Desk…

25 Apr

By Christabelle…

The three o’clock slump might have you reaching for a cup of coffee or sugary snack in order to re-focus. According to New York City Fitness Professional Jon Gallo, “desk workers should take short stretch breaks at least once an hour. Taking frequent, shorter breaks that allow you regularly relax and stretch is more effective than taking a few longer breaks.” Jon also notes that if the majority of your time is spent typing on a computer, you should aim to take a five minute break every 30 minutes spent on the computer.

Have You Taken a Stretch Break Today? Jon encourages employers to post these five reminders in strategic spots around the workplace to motivate employees to “take a break”:

  1. Neck and Shoulder Stretches
    • Roll your chair away from your desk. Starting with your head facing forward, using your hand, gently stretch your head and neck to the left and right
    • Practice this simple de-stressing technique: take a deep breath and shrug your shoulders as high as you can, and gently lower them, while breathing out deeply
  2. Hand and Forearm Stretches
    • Continuous typing can lead to stress injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome. Help reduce the chances of an injury by giving your hands and fingers a break.
    • Roll back from your desk and allow your hands to fall at your sides. Roll your wrists in a clockwise and counter-clockwise direction. Shake them out to reliever any tension
    • Stretch your forearms by flexing your palms towards your arms, gently increasing the stretch with your other hand. Then extend your palm away from your arm, using your other hand to stretch the top of your hand towards your forearm. You should feel a stretch throughout the underside of your arm
  3. Back Stretches
    • Sitting for long periods at a time is unnatural and can create pressure, especially in the lower back region. Jon recommends standing and walking as often as possible
    • When standing, do a simple back stretch by bending at the waist and letting your arms lower towards the ground. Try to release all tension in your back and slowly “roll up,” one vertebrae at a time
    • If you don’t have a back injury, work on improving your range of motion by doing gentle torso twists, rotating your trunk several times to help “loosen up.”
  4. Leg Stretches
    • Sitting for long periods of time also cause blood to pool in your lower legs. Jon says getting moving, even walking around the block, can help improve circulation and “wake up” tired legs
    • Simple leg stretches such as calf raises, quad stretches and hamstring stretches can all be done in the comfort of your cubicle
    • If you feel yourself getting drowsy at your desk, a neat trick you can try is leg lifts: from a sitting position, raise your foot 3-4 inches off the ground and hold it. You will start to feel a burn – keep going until your muscle gives out, repeat on the other side
  5. Stop & Smell the Roses! (General Relaxation)
    • Everyone needs a moment to “get away” from it all. Allow yourself to sit quietly in a break room or outdoors and let your mind wander
    • Music can be soothing and help relieve stress during tense situations. Find your favorite song and let yourself smile – you’ll be surprised how much stress can be relieved simply by smiling or laughing!

About New York City Fitness Professional Jon Gallo

Jon Gallo has been a mainstay in the fitness community for over 15 years. Jon is Certified Personal Trainer, educated by The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America.  Jon is the founder of Now I’m Fit, Inc., a start-up personal training company that provides services for New Yorkers, and Cycle Revolutions, the first professional indoor cycling center in Queens, NY. Jon currently operates Queen’s first full-service MMA and fitness facility for men and women, Tightan Gym, located in Astoria.  Jon also performs “Stretch and Flex” wellness programs for large corporate clients such as Skanska, across New York City.

Jon recently served as the exclusive television correspondent for The Fitness Atlantic Championships 2011, a Natural Body Building Pro-Qualifier, held in Wallingford, CT, where he interviewed P90X Founder Tony Horton.  Jon’s athletic background includes his participation as a player in the AFL’s X-Treme Football  League (2004-2005), and as a Semi-Professional Baseball Player for the New York Eagles (2006-2007). Jon was selected as a judge for the 2005 International Federation of Bodybuilders Competition.  Jon has competed in the 1996 and 2006 F.A.M.E. Show, which promotes natural bodybuilding. For more information, please visit

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