Image and Lifestyle

Fashion, Style, and Professional Impression in Hong Kong

Blue Jeans for Athletic Legs

For Ladies with Athletic Legs:

Finding your soon-to-be favorite pair of jeans is pivotal to your 2010 Fall/Winter wardrobe.  As a person with athletic legs, I know the denim shopping process can be particularly stressful for an otherwise easy-to-dress person.

Typically, when we find jeans which fit over our quads, the waist and hips are too big.  Or, the waist and hips are a perfect fit, but our muscular legs now look like sausages.  Before you begin shopping, know whether you will wear your blue jeans with flat or heeled shoes so you are able to have them altered in the shop (if possible).  It is important to be cool and relaxed during the process, as nothing is more frustrating than trying on clothes in a sweaty rush.  Lastly, ask for feedback.  It’s hard to listen to criticism, but it helps to shop with someone who will be honest.  Below with my opinions and rankings for different denim options for women with beautiful, muscular legs:

*****Classic straight-leg cropped, rolled. Just like the skinny boyfriend, but with a more forgiving leg and less slouchy than the original boyfriend.  My favorite new jean.  These feel fashionable and slim… showing the booty, skimming the thighs, and revealing the ankle and calf.  They look effortless and cool and will be wonderful for the rest of summer with strappy sandals… and with an ankle boot for fall.  I purchased mine at 7 For All Mankind and have seen many celebs wearing similar cropped looks these days.

*****Boot-leg jeans. Unfortunately, this jean takes me back to circa 2000 with the flare that balances the hips… so be careful when buying bootleg that there are updated, fashionable details on the jeans such as distressed interest, or some design detail which is modern.  The flare should be subtle and not bell-bottomish.  I suggest wearing with high heels for a long, lean leg.  Your backside is almost guaranteed to look great in these.  Wear with a top that shows your backside and is not too long or over-sized.  These jeans also look stunning with a suit jacket or blazer for a dressed-up/dressed-down look.  As always, for a slimmer look, go with a dark, clean wash.  I like True Religion for their Boot-leg jeans – the stitching is unique and creates a slim leg illusion.

****Wide leg jeans. These are great for athletic legs for a more laid-back vibe.  Shop till you drop to find the perfect pair, in a darker wash and then wear it with a top that has less volume so it balances all the fabric on your lower half.

***Skinny jeans are harder for us, but it is the look of the moment.  Acne and J Brand are the only skinny jeans I like.  Go with slightly heavier weight and darker wash denim that is not too stretchy.  I highly recommend saving skinnies for cooler months, tucked into knee-high boots with a longer top, jacket, or scarf hanging down past the widest part of your hips.  The skinny jean is not the focus of the outfit and you shouldn’t show too much leg in this look.  Stay away from thigh pockets, skinny cargos, and skinny pants with any horizontal detailing across your thighs/quads.

***Flare jeans. Really hit or miss with this style which evokes a more hippy-dippy feeling.  I suggest wearing a more slim top which hits at the waist level if you are slim, or a peasant-style loose top if you are not.  Pair with an attractive belt and a shoe that has appeal when it peeks out from beneath the flare.  As an exception to the rule, this style tends to look fabulous in a lighter wash for a more worn-in look.

**Leggings & Jeggings – A similar aesthetic to skinny jeans, but often more comfortable and less flattering.  These are cute with an even longer top/dress, and high-heels or ballet flats for casual day-to-day excursions.  Sometimes tucking into boots works if the fabric doesn’t bunch at the knees or at the tops of your boots.

**Boyfriend jeans. Not my favorite trend.  It usually looks somewhat  frumpy and unfeminine on most people.  I feel shapeless in this style, though I think 45 RPM makes the cutest options, and in lovely denim quality and true indigo.  This is a great alternative to the classic Mom-Jean if you must.

*Straight-leg jeans are currently slimmer than in previous seasons and tend to look like skinny jeans on muscular legs.  However, they won’t do us too many favors and are only worthwhile if a pair makes the hips and backside look perfect.  These are so-so in my book and I think either go skinny, or go boot… but straight isn’t my cup of tea.

*Skinny boyfriend jeans. I love this trend on celebrities, but after trying on 10 pairs of skinny boyfriend jeans today, I’m here to tell you that this is not our look.  Baggy bum, tight calves, tight thighs, loose waist – worst of every world.  Again – love the look, but it doesn’t suit stronger, thicker legs.

Mom jeans – AKA anything with the double threat: pleat and high-waist.  Pleats tend to make hips and thighs look larger, so try to find trousers with a flat front, and extra stretch for comfort.  Try the brand “Not Your Daughter’s Jeans” which have been receiving positive feedback as the socially acceptable and ultra flattering “Mom Jean”.

The below link will take you to another blog all about blue jeans for different body types with prices and photos.


Filed under: Dressing Style Tips, Fall Fashion 2010, Legs, Shopping Advice, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Best Pregnancy Applications for Parents-to-Be

Hello Preggers and Pops!

This post is all about interactive baby & pregnancy applications for parents-to-be who utilize the convenience of gadgets such as the Android smartphone, i-phones, and i-pads.  (FYI, is user-friendly for multiple portable devices and allows for easy song/video/application conversion from itunes.)  A wonderful gift idea for a mother or father-to-be is an i-pad already loaded with applications on pregnancy… or perhaps a gift-voucher for the applications most useful during pregnancy and beyond.

Included below my a selection of the most interesting medical, prenatal, and baby-related applications:

  1. i-pregnancy – $4.99: The most popular prenatal application on itunes with excellent customer ratings.  This application seems to offer everything an expecting mother and father would want to know including information on pregnancy symptoms and solutions, OB visit tracker, weight gain details and expectations and includes weekly updates for Dads-to-be.
  2. BabyBump – $4.99: With equally impressive customer ratings, BabyBump includes a kick counter, contraction tracker, weight graphs & charts with BMI-based weight gain prediction, a calendar, full-text journal, and a weekly photo slide show tracking your baby’s developments.
  3. Pregnancy Tracker (What to Expect When You’re Expecting) – FREE: interactive guide to everything pregnancy-related from the same people who brought us the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting.
  4. WebMD – FREE: This application has excellent reviews for general health information including a symptom checker, first-aid essentials, conditions, pill identification tool, drugs and treatments, local healthcare listings (USA only I think).
  5. Medimatch – $4.99: 135 most important medical calculators and scoring tools for general medical information.
  6. Lexi-Comp (Individual) – 30-day free trial:  Trusted clinical knowledge from medical databases.
  7. Pilates for Pregnancy $4.990$9.99: Available as a complete set or individually based on trimester, this application offers exercises for your entire pregnancy with an interactive organizer.
  8. Foods to Avoid When Pregnant – $.99: Perhaps convenient for dining out, but a seemingly basic  application.
  9. Baby – $9.99: Mixed reviews from customers, this application is all about keeping track of your baby’s first everything – steps, words, growth… good for recording special moments and might be handy for sharing with out-of-town family.
  10. A Practical Guide To Managing Paediatric Problems on the Postnatal Ward – $16.99: A practical, medical application for all-issues relevant to working within the postnatal industry.  Receives excellent reviews and geared toward those working in the medical industry… but perhaps parents would find it revealing as well.

Best wishes – have fun exploring all these neat  resources!

Filed under: Baby Care, Dads-to-be, Education, Expectant Parents, Health, Health pregnancy, i-pregnancy, Pregnancy, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, pregnancy tracker, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Prenatal tools, , , , , , , , , , , ,

I-pad Amazing for Fitness

Hello Fitness Buddies,

My sleek & chic i-pad just arrived from the US and I am pleased as punch!  After a quick charge, it connected seamlessly to the internet and I was off and running within seconds.  Without cables or complications, and large enough to truly use it (as opposed to a phone-sized gadget) I had an instant crush.  I held it in my hands ready to DO something cool.

First task: download favorite photos and do a little slide show.  Easy!

Second task:  Integrate this attractive new toy with my love of fitness and health.  Again – easy!  Sign up to i-tunes (free) and look in their store for tons of impressive applications designed for i-pods, i-pads, and i-phones.  Fitness and health applications are perfect for novice or expert fitness levels with information on personal training, workouts, individual exercises, calorie counters, pedometers, yoga moves, etc.  Below with a list of convenient applications to teach, motivate, and organize your workouts.  Since most applications cost just a few dollars, you have nothing to lose by trying them out on your path to getting healthier.

These creative and smart applications are sure to inspire and motivate you:

  1. i-trainer = $3.99
  2. All-in-Fitness = $1.99
  3. Interval Timer = $1.99
  4. Zigyt (agility training drills) $1.99
  5. Yoga spot (free and paid)
  6. Food Tracker Pro = $1.99
  7. Burn and Eat+ = $.99
  8. Wellness Calculator Suite = $1.99
  9. Pocket Yoga HD = $3.99
  10. MyNetDiary = $9.99
  11. Glycemic Index and Load = $3.99

With such reasonable application prices and easy to use tools, everyone can learn more about fitness and create their own strategy for exercise, health, and nutrition.   Yay!

Filed under: Classes, Education, Fitness - Motivation, Health, Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, Technology, , , , , , , , ,

Antenatal Classes – Hong Kong

Hello Parents-to-be,

Antenatal classes prepare you for labour, birth, and early parenthood.  At the same time, these classes are an ideal place to meet other parents and share information about their experiences since they are going through the same phases and changes that you are.  Here is a powerpoint slide presenatation from The Women’s Clinic in Hong Kong relevant to 3rd trimester complications and expectations; by Dr. Alexander K. Doo:  antenatal_classes.  If you are interested to attend antenatal classes in Hong Kong, consider the following locations: 

Adventist Hospital

This private hospital runs a four-week Prepared Childbirth course (two-hour classes, once a week; $1,000) covering labor, relaxation and alternative pain relief techniques, delivery methods and breastfeeding. It also runs a two-hour baby care class for Home Helpers ($250).

Obstetrics Unit: 2835-0523; 40 Stubbs Road, Hong Kong;; 3651-8888


Annerley offers a wide range of antenatal classes, focusing on natural childbirth, hypnobirthing, and more traditional antenatal classes, Babies and Beyond. It runs refresher courses for women expecting their second or subsequent child, as well as courses for mothers of twins. Most courses are five weeks, but semi-private Fast Forward courses are available that compress the lessons into two four-hour sessions. Annerley also runs antenatal checkup and motherand- baby clinics, postnatal visits, developmental assessments, a sleep clinic and lactation consultancy. The organization also runs a nanny agency.

1801 Car Po Commercial Building, 18-20 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central ; 2983-1558


Matilda International Hospital

Matilda runs a six-week parentcraft course explaining what to expect in the last weeks of pregnancy, giving birth, breastfeeding and giving tips on how to cope in the first weeks of a child’s life. It’s popular, and not just with those who give birth at the hospital, so book early (Health Education Dept: 2849-0357). Courses are held at the hospital, or the Matilda Medical Centre, Suite 2601, 9 Queen’s Road Central. Classes are held in English. Cantonese, Japanese and private lessons are available by arrangement. Prices include lecture notes and refreshments.

24-hour helpline: 2849-0123; 41 Mount Kellett Rd., The Peak; ; 2849-0111

The Family Zone

Set up by qualified British health visitor and Matilda Hospital midwife Yvonne Heavyside, the Family Zone offers Active Child Birth and Baby Basics courses, as well as post-natal home visits, parent childcare, domestic helper assessment, guardian service and more. Prices vary.

9887-3235 ; ; 2544-3399

YWCA English-Speaking Members Department

Antenatal & Babycare Classes

Classes for parents including baby massage, first aid and CPR, effective parenting, cooking for infants and toddlers. Also classes for domestic helpers in basic baby/childcare, first aid and CPR, and more.

3/F 1 Macdonnell Rd., Mid-Levels; 3476-1340

 Source for classes found at:

Filed under: Baby Care, BabyBump, Classes, Education, Expectant Parents, Health, Health pregnancy, Hong Kong, Pregnancy, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, Pregnancy Foods, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Prenatal tools, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

CPR and Domestic Helpers Courses for Baby Care – Hong Kong

Dear Friends,

When was the last time you took a CPR class?  After recently updating my CPR/AED certification, I firmly believe a few hours learning essential techniques to save the life of a loved one (or a stranger) is time well spent.  Everyone in the home should know how to properly perform CPR on infants, children, and adults in case of an emergency. 

Annerley in Hong Kong offers a special CPR course for infant and child life-saving techniques on Saturdays for 4.5 hrs, priced at for HKD$1,200.  Annerley also offers course for domestic helpers to learn about all aspects of baby care and safety in 6 x 2 hr sessions priced at $2,650.  Due to the large amount of time that many domestic helpers spend with the children in the home, classes focused on child CPR, safety, and care will provide value to the entire family and offer your helper life-long skills from a trusted source. 

If you are interested to learn CPR and emergency care, many hospitals, medical centers, and government offices offer CPR/AED courses.  I recommend CPR courses through OPS studio on Stanley Street in Central (they run classes each month… upcoming August 4th CPR/AED class), or contacting the major hospitals or fire department for information on where you can learn CPR/AED and other critical first-aid information.

Stay safe  🙂

Filed under: Baby Care, Classes, Dads-to-be, Domestic Helper, Education, Expectant Parents, Health, Hong Kong, Pregnancy, Prenatal tools, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Stress During Pregnancy – Implicated in Preterm Birth and Low Birthweight


Hello Friends and Mums-to-be:

Did you know your baby’s weight is affected by your stress levels?  According to an interesting research paper from The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, stress during the first trimester of pregnancy causes preterm birth and reduced infant birthweight (Zhu P, Tao F, Hao J, et al., 2010).  The researchers studied the effects of an expectant mother’s exposure to ‘severe life events’ throughout the phases of pregnancy by sampling 1800 women, all of whom delivered after 32 week’s gestation.  Results indicate that women with higher levels of life stress during the first and/or second trimester have an increased risk of preterm birth.  The unit of perceived stress during the first trimester reduced birthweight by 99.09 grams (3.5oz).  Therefore, pregnant women and women expecting to become pregnant should take care to avoid severe stress, especially in the first trimester.

 Previously, the effects of stress on the fetus during pregnancy were unknown, but researchers did know the stress hormone cortisol was higher in the amniotic fluid when a mother had a high level of stress and cortisol (Sarkar et al., 2007).  This means that when a mother becomes stressed out, her unborn baby will release the same hormone.  Prolonged exposure to cortisol leads to illness, depression, and exhaustion in adults… and we now know that it adversely affects unborn infants as well. 

So, it’s time to relax and enjoy being pregnant as much as possible.  Regular exercise, meditation, and emotional support has never been more important.  I found interesting and helpful advice on coping with stress during pregnancy at this website:


Zhu P, Tao F, Hao J, et al. Prenatal life events stress: implications for preterm birth and infant birthweight. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2010;203:34.e1-8.

Sarkar p, Bergman K, Fisk NM, O’Connor TG, Glover V. Ontogeny of foetal exposure to maternal cortisol using midtrimester amniotic fluid as a biomarker 2007 Clinical Endocrinology 66 (5), 636–640.

Filed under: cortisol, Dads-to-be, Expectant Parents, Health pregnancy, Manage stress, Pregnancy, pregnant, Prenatal Health, Stress, stressed-out, , , , , , , ,

Arranging a Date: Logistics and Charm

Hello Romantics,

Whether you are in a well-established relationship or fresh on the dating scene, these strategies might help you be more charming and allow you to focus on the excitement of an evening out, rather than the logistics.

Reservations: Ensure a table with a view, check the dress code, put both of your names on the list, or Mr & Mrs. So-and-So (so they greet you both – nice touch), and ask about the corkage fee for bringing your own bottle of wine.  If you are buying movie/performance tickets, aisle seats are generally preferred and it is charming to smuggle a little surprise treat into the show to share.

Coordination: Embarrassingly, I am a firm believer in coordinating outfits 😉 …not matching, but in-sync with one another.  Ideally, colors and style will be somewhat balanced so you both feel comfortable and look nice together as a couple.  Communicate about what he/she will wear and remember the restaurant’s dress code.

Transportation: Summer in Hong Kong guarantees walking anywhere will leave you rumpled, sweaty, and flustered from the heat and humidity.  Insist to pick your date up or arrange the reservation with enough time to allow for rush-hour traffic in a taxi.

Rendezvous: Meeting at the table in the restaurant never feels right.  As a couple, you lose the sensation of making an entrance, a warm greeting, and the full-body first impression of the evening – one of you will already be seated at the table.  I suggest arriving together or meeting in the lobby or lounge.  Ladies should not carry their own drinks from the cocktail area to the table.

Ordering:  Sharing is a wonderful way to bond over food.  Personally, I love discussing the menu and building the meal as a team… then the man orders in a gentlemanly way.  It’s charming!

Dessert: Any romantic date would feel incomplete without dessert.  Order it to share, even if you are both stuffed.  Again – charming!

After the Date: I guess it depends on how charming you both were to each other….

Enjoy, and remember to drive sober to arrive home safely.

Filed under: Relationship Building, , , , , , , ,

Workout Music to Motivate – 2

Hello Fitness Lovers,

Below with 13 songs to get your heart rate up, put a smile on your face, and load into your MP3 for your next awesome workout!  I particularly like Baby Got Back from way back in the day  🙂

  1. Beautiful – Akon, Colby O’Donis & Kardinal
  2. Evacuate the Dancefloor – Cascada
  3. Addicted (Full Club Mix) [feat. Hadley] – Serge Devant Ultra Trance 09
  4. Baby Got Back – Sir Mix-A-Lot
  5. Unusual You – Britney Spears
  6. Infinity (Klaas Vocal Mix) – Guru Josh Project
  7. My Chick Bad – Ludacris & Nicki Minaj
  8. Young Forever (feat. Mr. Hudson) – Jay-Z
  9. Break Your Heart (feat. Ludacris) – Taio Cruz
  10. Let’s Get Crazy (feat. Akon) – Cassie
  11. Carry Out (feat. Justin Timberlake) – Timbaland
  12. Jump (Malinchak Club Mix Radio Edit) – Flo Rida
  13. Take U Home 2 My Mama – The-Dream

Filed under: Fitness - Motivation, music, , , , , , , , ,

My Pyramid – Create Your Plan for Healthy Eating

My Pyramid Available at


 Hello Friends! 

They say how you look is 80% diet; 10% activity; 10% genetics.  I tend to agree to a point and recently discovered a wonderful website provided by the USDA (US Dept of Agriculture) full of dietary information.  This impressive site is loaded with interactive tools to generate caloric requirements for your body and lifestyle, menus, eating plans, cost calculators, dietary guidelines and numerous other relevant and up-to-date facts to help guide you through weight loss, weight gain, and special population considerations for pregnancy,  breast-feeding, and pre-school aged children.  

  For example, at “My Pyramid Plan”, I input my weight, height, activity level, age and instantly received feedback for exactly what portions and food groups I should consume each daily to meet my body’s requirements.  Interestingly, the USDA recommends a 2,400 daily caloric consumption for my lifestyle.  In my case, I am relatively young, active, and currently at my ideal BMI.  Your caloric needs will likely be significantly lower if your are intensely physically active for less than 1 hour per day.  I often hear people suggest a daily limit of 1,200 for losing weight, but limiting calories too significantly will cause weight gain in the long run due to your metabolic rate decreasing.  

 Truly, the only way to maintain a fit and toned physique is with adequate physical activity, sleep, water, and a clean diet complete with fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.  Each body processes foods at different metabolic rates and with different requirements, so referring to websites such as will provide trustworthy and safe information to help you achieve your goals.  Losing weight is not only calories in and calories out, but the nutritional value of those foods, the intervals at which you eat, intestinal motility, etc.  Check it out and enjoy creating an eating plan and menus to generate safe weight loss and improved health with long-term results.

Filed under: Education, Expectant Parents, Health, Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, Pregnancy - Healthy Eating, Pregnancy Foods, Prenatal Health, , , , , , , ,

Healthy Take-away Lunches in Hong Kong

 Balanced, nutritious, and moderate diets are essential to achieve optimum health, fitness, and happiness, but it is not always easy when you’re on-the-go.  Below with the most popular and conveniently located take-away lunch options in Hong Kong:  

  1. Dressed, Salads with Style – they offer fantastic salads, soups, and wraps:
  2. Life Cafe – organic restaurant/cafe with unique and delicious food for take-away or dining in:
  3. Mix – convenient cafes with wraps, smoothies, fruit cups, and salads: 
  4. Pret-A -Manger – healthy options (not all) for dine in and take-away soups, salads, and sandwiches: 
  5.  Cru – Sai Kung.  They have a large menu and it’s not all healthy, but I particularly like their salads and many appetizers. 
  6.  Simplylife, Bread and Wine;  Particularly the take-away/dine-in selection at the IFC for the wide selection of vegetable salads and soups.  They sometimes use too much oil, but the variety of vegetables makes up for it.  Beware of their cheesy bread, pastries, and sandwiches… not as healthy.;
  7. RED – located in IFC on podium 4 & connected to Pure Fitness, this restaurant makes a great effort to offer delicious & healthy salads, sandwiches, and side dishes:
  8. Larger supermarkets such as City Super, Great, 360, and Taste sell items you might consider for lunch: yogurt, 1/2 sandwich, salad, roasted chicken leg, sushi, etc.   

I have heard that the following restaurants are excellent for healthy and organic options for lunch and dinner, but have yet to try:   

Bookworm – Lamma Island – 

Eden – perfect for lunch or dinner 16 Arbuthnot Rd, Central, 2868 0625. Mon-Sat noon-11pm. Meal for two: around $600

Beo – Hong Kong Island 

 ** If you have suggestions for additional healthy places to eat, please leave a comment and share your experiences. 

Filed under: Healthy Eating, Losing Weight, , , , , , , ,