Archive for ‘August, 2012’

Modern Anthology

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Modern Anthology: One-stop shopping for the ‘discriminating’ man cave.

I hate it when I stumble upon a place such as Modern Anthology. Not because I don’t like it, far from it. No, it’s because I find myself wishing I had a do-over in life as this is exactly the type of design firm I should have started!

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What’s not to like about Modern Anthology and the amazing design they create and curate? Located in the hip DUMBO neighborhood of BrooklynNYModern Anthology is part retail store selling some of the best vintage furniture, personalized accessories and home knick-knacks imaginable and a highly creative design agency, producing work that any designer would gladly give up their favorite all-black outfit to be a part of.

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Started by John Marsala and Becka Citron, the brains behind “Man Cave,” a DIY Network program, the retail portion of Modern Anthology is a logical extension of the duo’s design aesthetic that permeates their creative work in branding + graphicspackagingretail displayinterior design and more. Citron and Marsala source their products locally, scouring estate sales and swap meets as well as working with other Brooklyn artisans and businesses, including Cobble Hill-based Workstead and neighborhood favorite Recycle-A-Bicycle.

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If your interior decorating tastes lean to the industrial-chic/vintage-vibe look, then Modern Anthology should definitely go to the top of your ‘must visit’ list. Hmmm… I wonder if they’re hiring?

A Life Designed

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Stumptown Grand Opening

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Stumptown Coffee Roasters Headquarters Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony | 11 am Thursday August 30th, 2012 | 100 SE Salmon Street, Portland, OR

Here’s something all the coffee-addicted friends of A Life Designed who live in, or will be visiting, Portland, OR might find of interest. Stumptown, those passionate purveyors of coffee perfection are opening their brand new HQ and roasting facilities this coming Thursday in Portland’s central eastside and are offering a sneak preview of the building and you’re invited! The festivities kick off at 11am. For more information, click here >

A Life Designed

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Herb Ritts—Tribute to a Master

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Herb Ritts. Although you may not know him by name, you most certainly have seen and been influenced by the iconic photographic work of this late master of the lens. Herb Ritts  (1952–2002), emerged from the 1980s world of fashion & celebrity and went on to capture and create some of the most dramatic and memorable images that defined the decades of the 80s and 90s.

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As the Getty Museum in Los Angeles extends its Herb Ritts L.A. Style Exhibition through Sept. 2nd, we give you a glimpse of just a few of the powerful images from the vast portfolio of the genius of shadows and lightHerb Ritts.
Images – © Herb Ritts Foundation

A Life Designed

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The Slow Carb Diet—Progress Report #2

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It’s official… The 4-Hour Body diet ROCKS!

Hello again faithful readers of A Life Designed. As many of you know, I have been following best-selling author Tim Ferriss’s, (shown above), highly popular Slow Carb Diet eating plan that appears in his book, The 4-Hour Body. Well, I am happy to report that I am still sticking with it and outside of a few minor hiccups, (burps really), I have to say… This plan is AMAZING!

I first wrote about The 4-Hour Body back in August of last year in my post; 15 Minute Female Orgasms and Other Intriguing Concepts! I then reported back with my first update after 3 weeks on the Slow Carb eating plan, having already lost a quick 10 lb, in my post; Slow Carbs = Fast Results! My 4-Hour Body Update. Now, 11 weeks in and going strong, I thought I would give you another quick update and discuss some of my observations so far on the Slow Carb Diet.

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My results: 11 weeks in, 19 lb down and counting!!

That’s right… I’ve lost 19 lb in 11 weeks! And, at the risk of sounding like a late-night infomercial, it doesn’t even feel like a diet. No, the Slow Carb way of eating is definitely more of a lifestyle choice rather than a short-term, quick-fix diet and therein lies the beauty of it… It’s sustainable! Because the plan emphasizes protein, your appetite remains satiated longer and the elimination of processed foods, starchy carbs and sugars gets rid of those nasty spikes and drops in blood sugar. The ‘slow carbs’ provided from the legumes in the plan keep you ‘evened out’ between meals. I’ve definitely noticed the difference. Also, because there is no calorie counting involved, (you simply eat until you are satisfied), it truly doesn’t feel like a strict diet full of weighing and measuring of food or elaborate meal preparation. The Slow Carb Diet is the epitome of the ‘Keep It Simple Stupid’ philosophy, perfect for a guy like me.

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Beans… so many beans. Steering clear of speed bumps and plateaus.

Anyone who has read about or followed the Slow Carb Diet has undoubtedly heard of, or perhaps experienced first hand, the dreaded ‘bean backlash’. One of the primary staples in this way of eating are beans and various legumes. They fill you up and provide the slow burning carbohydrates that keep your engine running evenly. Problem is of course, this can also backfire… Literally! I recently experienced this, shall we say… “backup” just last week and it was not a pleasant experience. Fortunately, I began supplementing my diet with Psyllium Husks powder mixed in water daily and after a few days of discomfort I was good as new. I HIGHLY recommend that you take a product like this or Metamucil from the start, trust me. Other than this, I truly have had no other issues while following this style of eating.

Cravings are non-existent because once a week you get to eat absolutely anything you desire. This does two things; keeps you from going crazy and feeling restricted like so many other diets do and, it keeps the body from slipping into starvation mode by giving you a blast of additional calories once a week to prime the metabolic pump and keep the body guessing. No more nasty sticking points where the body senses restricted calories and goes into self-preservation mode, slowing down your metabolism to a crawl and effectively shutting down the weight loss. Cheat days make this a thing of the past. Perfect!

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Gang… As far as I’m concerned, the bottom line is this; If you are in search of an effective, simple and (relatively) painless approach to dropping a little or a LOT of weight, I whole-heartedly recommend you look into the Slow Carb Diet. And to those of you who are already following the book and enjoying positive results, I raise a (plan-approved) glass of Merlot and toast your efforts! For myself, I am going to continue following the Slow Carb Diet and will report back soon with another progress update. Until then, remember your Metamucil and… Happy Slow Carbin’ it!

A Life Designed

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Now Serving… Death Wish Coffee

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Oh Barista… Could you please make mine a Venti?

As a dedicated lover of the bean, notorious coffee snob and big fan of the bolder blends, it’s no surprise that a coffee calling itself Death Wish would catch my eye.

Touted as the “strongest coffee in the world” and selling at $20 for a 1lb bag, the makers of Death Wish Coffee claim to have;

…found a coffee bean with close to 200% the amount of caffeine as your typical coffee shop coffee; we roast it to a medium-dark for a strong and robust flavor and then we grind it to the proper level for extreme potency.

To that we say… fill ‘er up!

A Life Designed

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The Vintech P550 Tribute—Ode to a Classic

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From the shadows of the legendary Porsche 550 Spyder comes the Vintech 550 Tribute. Gentlemen, start your engines!

Some cars just seem to hold a special place in the hearts and minds of car enthusiasts and lover’s of fine design. The 1950s Porsche classics, 550 Spyder and 356 Speedster are perfect examples of cars that have ascended to the rarified ‘icon’ status.

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If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then this new creation from custom car builder Vintech is a sexy and worthy tribute indeed to the 1950s German classic. Sporting a sleek, sculpted body and an engine twice as large as the 1.5-liter the car originally came with, the Vintech P550 Tribute is sure to cause double-takes wherever it goes.

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The Vintech P550 Tribute is so hot, even the original “Little Bastard” and Porsche 550 owner himself, James Dean would probably approve. Price $TBA

A Life Designed

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Alpha Dogs—Elon Musk

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Elon Musk… The real life Iron Man.

Welcome to the first installment of a new, periodic series of posts at A Life Designed celebrating that rare breed of guy that men wish they were more like and a woman, despite professing a desire to find a nice, sweet guy, really wishes she could be with… The Alpha Dog.

6a00d8341c630a53ef011571289169970c-800wi-e1345436592198These are the elite of the elite, the outliers… The big guns who swing for the fences in the game of life every time up to bat and more often than not, hit it out of the park. And what better Alpha Dog to be our lead-off hitter than Elon Musk, a man whom despite just barely clicking past 40 on the age-odometer, has accomplished far more than 99.99999999% of all the guys out there who are reading this ever will, combined.

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The Elon Musk dossier:

#634 on the Forbes Billionaires list

Co-founder, CEO and head of product design – Tesla Motors

CEO – SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies)

Chairman – Solar City

Board of Directors – Haylcyon Molecular

Former Companies:

Co-founder – PayPal – Sold to eBay for $1.5 billion

Co-founder – x.com

Founder – zip2 – Sold to Compaq for $307 million in 1999.

Education:

University of Pennsylvania, BA, BS in economics and physics.

Stanford – Studied energy physics

Really cool claim to fame: His life is said to be the inspiration for Robert Downey, Jr’s portrayal of the character Tony Stark in the Iron Man movie franchise.

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Thoughts from an Alpha Dog:

Determination is key. I knew there was a good chance I’d fail with Tesla, but I never lost my resolve. The recession was disproportionately difficult for the car business; Tesla was raising a big financing round at the end of 2008 when the economy collapsed, and I had to commit every penny I had to the company to make it through. I gave it everything and, fortunately, it was just enough.

I’m nauseatingly pro-American. It is where great things are possible.

I like to be involved in things that change the world. The Internet did, and space will probably be more responsible for changing the world than anything else. If humanity can expand beyond the Earth, obviously that’s where the future is.

Land on Mars, a round-trip ticket – half a million dollars. It can be done. —Elon Musk

A Life Designed

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Tuaca—The Magic Elixir

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Heaven in a glass… The Tuaca Lemon Drop.

Never one to be mistaken for the ‘life of the party’, one thing your faithful A Life Designed reporter is known for is his take on the popular Tuaca Lemon Drop.

Tuaca is an amazing Italian liqueur with near mystical powers! Based on cask-aged brandy, Tuaca has a deep, fruity flavor with hints of vanilla and orange. It makes for a great shot or you can sip it slowly and savor the complex and sweet mix of flavors.

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One of my favorite ways to enjoy Tuaca is in a Lemon Drop. After much experimentation and trial and error, (it’s a tough life, I know), I came up with my own little spin on a classic that seems to induce big grins by all who have tasted it. My secret? Whereas most Tuaca Lemon Drops replace the traditional Vodka with Tuaca outright, I choose to mix the two together. The secret is to used chilled Vanilla Vodka. The combination of the Vanilla Vodka along with the Tuaca is pure magic. Mix up a batch of these babies at your next party and let the games begin!

A Life Designed’s Tuaca Lemon Drop recipe

  • 1/2 oz  Tuaca citrus liqueur
  • 1/2 oz  Vanilla Vodka (chilled)
  • 1/4 oz  triple sec
  • 1/2 oz sweet and sour mix

Pour ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass rimmed with sugar and serve.

A Life Designed

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Lizard Lounge—a pearl in the Pearl

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Lizard Lounge… Hipster-Chic at Blue Blood prices.

Portland Oregon’s boutique clothing store Lizard Lounge may quite possibly be the most frustrating ‘love-hate’ shopping experience I’ve ever encountered!

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There is a lot to love about this bohemian-hipster outpost, located in the Pearl District and I want to love it, really I do. First off, hands down the interior layout and design of Lizard Lounge is far and away my favorite in all of Portland. Frankly, I just as soon bypass shopping there altogether and simply move in! Decked out in an industrial chic/vintage vibeLizard Lounge has a way of seducing you into imagining you are actually lucky enough to be able to afford to live in a loft in the trendy Pearl District or, even to be able to afford to shop there for that matter!

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Make no mistake, they have some terrific clothing lines such as NAUMister FreedomHorny ToadStronghold and Garbstore but the inflated prices for what essentially amounts to stylish outdoor clothing will have you heading for the beautifully worn-in leather chairs to recover from sticker shock. Seriously overpriced plaid shirts, simple t-shirts and denim abound. Add to this, an unfortunate tendency to get a heavy dose of “We’re way too cool to be working here as clerks” attitude from the staff and the actual shopping experience simply doesn’t live up to the pretty hype.

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But oh what a pretty hype it is. I will still continue to visit Lizard Lounge just to soak up the interior decor and store design, but my wallet will remain firmly in my well-under $100 blue jeans.

A Life Designed 

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