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Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

I’m so happy to announce that Style Bites, the TV series I wrote, directed, produced and hosted, is airing daily on The Lifestyle Network! Check it out at 6am/12pm/6pm/12am PST on DirectTV, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. Full episodes are also available on YouTube.

I was blessed with the opportunity to create my own show back in January and it’s been a whirlwind ever since! I haven’t had a chance to recap my wonderful experience as it’s been an extremely busy few months! So, I’d like to share a bit about my adventure with you now…

Style Bites is based on this blog, Your Gal Kara: Your Glam, Affordable and Luxurious Resource.

Watch Highlights from Season 1 of Style Bites here!

As you all know, I am a true fashionista! I love fashion magazines, watching (and walking in) runway shows and learning about new designers and collections. And like a true style savvy gal, I love a fashionable deal! After all, I’ve been working in the fashion industry since I was a teen; from modeling, styling and producing shows to creating PR campaigns for new and renowned brands, I’ve done it all!

Some of you may not know that I come from a family of restaurateurs. The Thai women in my family have been in the restaurant business since I can remember, and food has always been at the center of my life. I love to cook and experiment with new spices and recipes. And my biggest love in life is to travel and explore world cuisines! 

It seemed like a natural fit for me to create a show that combines my two loves, fashion and food! Style Bites grants exclusive access to the latest restaurants and hotspots, offers tips on how to achieve the latest trends and reveals coveted secrets from fashion and beauty insiders. "Style Bites is the ultimate bible on chic living," said Olivia de Jesus, Managing Director for ABS-CBN International North America.

Style Bites

Glam Guide breaks down the hottest fashion trends from the runway to the red carpet. Learn practical tips and discover affordable finds to help you live with flair. Featured guests include Halston Heritage, Liza Stewart Showroom, L.K. Bennett, IFBB Pro Gigi Amurao, Aerithe and Linea Pelle.

Designer Dish grants exclusive access to the industry’s top designers, exclusive events, fashion previews, and beauty hotspots. Indulge with an in-depth look at today’s most coveted style influencers. Featured guests include celebrity brow expert Kelley Baker, Traffic Women at the Beverly Center, butterflyzebra, Lou Razon, Calleen Cordero and Sew Down.

Style Bites also gives audiences a Taste of the Town, a premier table at must-try restaurants that guarantees to satisfy cravings for unique food finds and mind-blowing cuisine. Featured restaurants include supperclub LA, Crème Caramel LA, Crustacean Beverly Hills, White Rabbit Truck, Paiche and Cornell Winery.

And if just a taste is not enough, learn to Cook Like A Chef. Walk into the kitchens of renowned chefs and tastemakers as they share their most celebrated recipes that you can make at home. Featured chefs include Coreen Peralta of Tia Conchita Brands, Frankie Garcia of Local 1205, Nick Nishi of Hamakaze Sushi & Izakaya, Marius Blin of Esterel, Penpim Jittorn of Thailand Plaza and Carolos Tamazos and Lisa Crossman of Waterloo & City.

Check back here for behind the scenes photos from Style Bites season one, as well as full length videos of all 24 segments. I’d love to hear from you to see what you think of the show, so feel free to leave your comments below. And if you have a favorite designer, fashion tip or restaurant that you think I should feature in a future episode, let me know too!

Thanks to everyone for your love and support! xo

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Live Your Dreams on the Flying Trapeze

Sex and the City fans will surely know the episode when Carrie attempts the flying trapeze. Ever since I saw Carrie struggle with doing a catch, I’d always been inspired to step outside my comfort zone and try the trapeze one day. This past July, my dream of flying through the air with the greatest of ease became a reality.

“I could never! I have the most terrible fear of heights!” – Charlotte

“Well, I do not…you’ve seen my shoes.” – Carrie

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I’ve never been scared of heights. I enjoy roller coasters and I love an incredible view atop the highest skyscrapers. And not unlike Carrie Bradshaw, I live for my high heels. So I’m not quite sure what came over me when it was my turn to jump off the platform at TSNY Los Angeles.

The Trapeze School New York made its debut in the Big Apple in the summer of 2002. Shortly after, HBO featured the school in the popular Sex and the City episode “The Catch,” and the thrill-seeking phenomenon was born. It was only natural that the trend would hit the west coast, with TSNY Los Angeles opening an oceanfront facility on the Santa Monica Pier in 2008. With the beautiful Pacific Ocean on one side and the lively amusements of the pier all around, this is truly the perfect location.

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After a brief 15-minute training session on land, it was time for my first flight. All around me were kids and teens looking cool as cucumbers as they awaited their turn. I knew I had to hold it together, but deep inside my heart was racing. Although I did gymnastics as a kid, I was terrified of getting up on the rig and jumping off. The sounds of kids screaming on nearby rollercoasters rang in my ear, only making me more nervous. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I climbed the metal ladder. My hands started to sweat while my breath quickened. When I reached the top and looked at the world below, I knew there was no turning back. With the guidance of a TSNY instructor, I put both hands on the heavy trapeze bar. In between long, deep breaths to calm my nerves, I anxiously listened to the instructor as she held on to my harness. My body was positioned with my weight forward to grasp the bar and my toes over the edge of the platform. All I could think was if she let go of the harness, I’d fall. I was told to listen to her exact cues. When she says “Ready,” I’m to bend my knees, and when she says “Hep,” I’m supposed to jump forward with my two feet together and swing through the air.

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With the word “Ready” echoing in my ear, my mind suddenly went blank. When she said “Hep,” I completely froze. I shook my head apprehensively while the instructor said, “Why don’t we try that again. Take a deep breath, you’re going to do great.”

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Before I know it, I’m holding on to the bar with all might and flying through the air faster than I’d imagined. When I reach the end of my first swing, I feel the sensation of free falling as I fly back towards the platform. I unconsciously let out a huge scream, as I lift my legs through the bar to perform a knee hang. Success. Now I’m to let go of my hands and extend my arms to simulate a catch. Success, again. Everyone around me cheers as I release from the bar and fall to the net below. My body is already sore and I’m out of breath…but I’m addicted. I want to fly again and again, and perfect my form with every swing.

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After several practice flights that day, we end the class by attempting to do a catch. Only a few of us have received high enough praise from the instructors to try this release move; as I’m one of the four, I already feel a sense of accomplishment. But the challenge was before me, and I was more determined than ever to perfect this move.

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As I climbed the ladder for my final flight, I realized that all my fears from the start of class had disappeared. Once I learned to let go, I had the most fun that I’ve had in a long time. As it turns out, flying on the trapeze was one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life. Not only did I conquer my fears, but I lived one of my greatest dreams, and I had a hell of a time doing it!

Do you think I was able to complete the catch? Watch this video to find out!

“When you’re young, your whole life is about the pursuit of fun. Then, you grow up and learn to be cautious. You could break a bone or a heart. You look before you leap and sometimes you don’t leap at all because there’s not always someone there to catch you. And in life, there’s no safety net. When did it stop being fun and start being scary?” – Carrie Bradshaw

**Thanks to Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear for the best shoes for the flying trapeze! Not only are these adorable and comfortable flats great for barre and pilates, but they were perfect for my circus adventure with TSNY Los Angeles.  They provided incredible support and protected my feet from the safety net!

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Fashion Meets Function: Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear

You only need to slip once in barre class to know that proper footwear is a must. That’s what inspired Blake Brody to create shoes that are designed specifically for yoga, pilates and barre. Her chic and eco-friendly collection of In-Studio Footwear is both functional and fashionable. With significant traction to prevent falls, the soft, breathable shoes allow for a full range of natural motion; critical during strenuous in-studio classes. The split soles and padded arches add comfort and stability, letting fitness enthusiasts focus on their form and movement.

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Brody’s line is also environmentally conscious, constructed of vegan materials that are anti-microbial and odor resistant. The ballerina inspired collection features a range of styles in neutral and vibrant colors, with decorative side panels and metallic accents. In fact, celebs like Denise Richards are huge fans of the line for its innovative design and sophisticated look.

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Denise Richards in Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear

I was more than excited to try out my pair of Blake Brody shoes at Exhale Spa in Santa Monica, CA. A barre fanatic myself, I too had experienced an embarrassing slip during the painful but beneficial chair position in a recent class. Upon entering the studio, I immediately received compliments on my shoes. (My Jennifer flats are so cute, I’ve even thought about wearing them as regular shoes!)

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Blake Brody In-Studio Footwear in ‘Jennifer’

Fashion aside, from warm ups to wind down, my Blake Brody shoes provided incredible support during the 60-minute Core Fusion Barre class. I was in complete control during thigh and seat work at the bar, allowing me to concentrate on perfecting my form. Lunges and standing stretches were a breeze. The grips on the soles did provide more resistance than typical barre socks during core exercises (i.e.; flat back), but it forced me to work harder and achieve a more intense workout. And the best part, the performance mesh technology helped to keep my tootsies cool when the instructor picked up the pace. By the end of a demanding class, everything on my body was sweating – except for my feet!

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Exhale Spa in Santa Monica, CA

Prices range from $98-$115. Available online at www.blakebrody.com and select spas/fitness centers.

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