#SCBDExclusive: #Health and #Fitness Interview Shirley Archer: 9 to 5 Workout

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Shirley

When Shirley Archer, world-renowned fitness and wellness educator, trainer and award-winning author of 15 books, suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, she learned a lot about “self-care and how to create optimal health,” Shirley says.

“Eating well, managing stress, sleeping well and regular exercise are all parts of the puzzle to create health and fitness,” Shirley shares. “After restoring my own health and feeling great, I wanted to share all the valuable tips and information that I had learned to help other people.”

Shirley’s “Fitness 9 to 5: Exercises for the working week” allows us to exercise while we’re working. You can’t make any excuses that you have no time because you’re working a lot.

“I am absolutely positive that others are in their offices feeling frustrated and wondering what it is that they can do to stay in shape while working full-time,” Shirley says. “You can maintain muscle tone, strengthen, stretch, manage weight, improve posture and reduce stress with the tips in the book.”

We all know staying positive and motivated can be quite difficult, but with tips from Shirley, we know it’s more than possible!

“I’m motivated to support others. I believe that if I don’t “walk the talk,” why should anyone believe what I have to say,” Shirley says “My mom always taught me that a picture is worth a thousand words so I make a point to live everything that I also teach.”

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According to amazon.com, this “This handy book features 75 quick and easy exercises that can be performed discreetly while sitting at a desk, standing at a file cabinet, and even on the morning commute.” Along with that, there are Coffee Pot Curls in the kitchenette build up biceps, while Stairwell Bun Blasters are sure to improve the bottom line. And stress-busters for tired eyes and wrists keep computer fatigue at bay. I mean, who wouldn’t want to work and exercise at the same time?

Always remember that you can change. You can push yourself to lose and maintain that weight. You are powerful and strong enough to stay true to yourself!

“I want to help people create the healthy life that they deserve – to feel and look their best, to avoid suffering and to enjoy life. These tips will help prevent back pain, neck and shoulder aches and maintain strength and flexibility,” Shirley says.

Please feel free to check out Shirley’s digital edition, sold on sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google play, kobo and ibookstore.

For more information on Shirley and her books, visit her sites:

http://www.shirleyarcher.com/featuredproducts.html#.Uz2fm3MmU6t

http://www.shirleyarcher.com/

#SCBDReview: #Health and #Fitness: Pig Board Snout A Pig Game

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Pig Board Items

Are you looking for a game that involves health, fitness & fun? Well, you should check out Pig Board Snout A Pig.

Stephanie Lough, the publicist for this popular game says, “The key to the game is turning negative thoughts and feelings into positive action. The game is simple – players take a picture of something that represents an issue they are battling in life (be it a photo of their favorite dessert, to an ex that they never got closure on, the theme is entirely customizable to the group!), and share with the group their lingering negative feelings. This can be as silly/funny to serious/thoughtful as the players chose to be. After their story, they “snout” the image to The Pig Board, and with it they vow to let go of those pent-up feelings for good!”

While there are gyms, fitness equipment, home video workouts, this is a game to get you in the mood to work your muscles! If you’re looking for something new & exciting, be sure to check out this game!

The Pig Board can be a great motivational tool several ways – both as a game for a weightless support group, or as simple visual reminder for individuals to stay on track, shares Stephanie. She also mentions that, “It is important to note that in no way does The Pig Board imply that people who are trying to lose weight are piggish or should view their former selves as piggish. The Pig Board is simply a cute “friend” who is available to take any emotional burdens (or decadent chocolate cake recipes) off the shoulders of his owner!”

But, I was very curious about this game and asked how it assists someone who wishes to get in shape.

“Like a vision board can help inspire you to reach your goals, The Pig Board can be used as “fit”spiration, as well as give you the opportunity to discuss your fitness successes (and fails) with a group of like-minded individuals. Studies have shown that people are more likely to stick with their exercise and diet plan when they are not alone!” Stephanie says.

Pinned Board

Everyone is so focused on the act of working out and no one takes the time to think how mental it can be. You must be in a certain mindset to get motivated. You can’t just decide one day, “I’m going to work out” because more than likely, it won’t happen.

“Mental wellness is just as important as physical health, and while there are gyms, fitness classes, equipment and so much more available to help people maintain physical health, caring for mental health is a much more taboo topic,” Stephanie says. “The Pig Board opens to door to healthy dialogue between friends, promoting emotional strength and therapeutic release of mental burdens.”

For more information, visit– http://snoutapig.com/

Happy workout!

#SCBDExclusive: #Health & #Fitness Interview with @JarrettArthur

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At age 21, Jarrett Arthur developed a passion for self-defense after her mom convinced her to take a class. She wanted nothing to do with it stating, “I was thoroughly convinced that I didn’t need to take a class. I was young. I was strong. I was comfortable with being aggressive and the notion of fighting back. Exactly how I would fight back, who knew, but I was sure I would fight.”

She explicitly says, “It was in that very first 60 minute self-defense class that I fell in love with what the training gives us, as women: empowerment.”

As women, we are more inclined to be vulnerable and more likely to get attacked. We need to be able to defend ourselves and not be afraid.

Jarrett: I can’t stress enough how powerful and important it is for women to learn that they can trust their bodies, their instincts, and their minds to get them through the absolute scariest thing a woman can imagine– being faced with someone intent on doing them or their family harm. When I throw a punch or an elbow strike, with all of my body weight behind it, and feel the explosive force, I know that it’s a tool I can trust to ensure that I stay safe. I think it’s something that many men take for granted; the confidence in their protective abilities. Every female I’ve ever worked with can identify with experience of feeling physically vulnerable and fearful in someone else’s presence. What a wonderful thing, to be able to address and resolve that experience.

What we women need to learn is that we can be strong and stick up for ourselves when we’re in a room full of lean men who want to take advantage of us. Our strength comes through fighting and not allowing fear to take the lead. I asked this inspirational woman to name an experience that shaped and changed her life and how.

Jarrett: I can honestly say the experience that shaped my life the most in regards to having to defend myself was actually taking my very first self-defense class. I was giving answers to questions I didn’t know I had. I was giving hope and confidence in areas of my life I didn’t know were lacking those things. Experiencing the truth that I had the ability to keep myself safe from someone who wanted to hurt me, dominate me, maim me, or even take my life, was an astonishingly profound experience. Without upending my life, I began to look at the world in a different way, carry myself in a different way, and believe in myself in a different way. Those changes have worked to not only keep me safer throughout my life, but to help me succeed in many different aspects of my life.

In terms of her health & fitness journey she says, “My love for health and fitness has actually been a love/hate relationship. I’m the epitome of an A-Type personality. I was diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and a rip-roaring Anxiety Disorder in my teens. I can remember the effects of these much younger.  And, also, balance has been the hardest goal for me to accomplish, still in the works, but while everyone talks about balance between work and family, pleasure, hobbies, free time, few people talk about a balance between eating foods that are nutrient dense and wholesome, and eating foods that are decadent, delicious, and less wholesome.”

When it comes to working out, she wishes others would talk more about that recovery period!

“My hope is that health and fitness topics stop trending, and the conversations turn to goals of lifestyle, balance, moderation, and enjoyment.”

To find out more about Jarrett Arthur, check out her blog:

http://www.jarrettarthur.com/

#SCBDExclusive Interview with @StacieClarkLife

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Stacie Clark.

Once you take one look at Stacie Clark, you know she’s a health & fitness guru and she doesn’t play around when it comes to working out. Along with her rock-hard bod, she was recently named “Next Fitness Star” by Women’s Health Magazine. I was given an amazing and once in a lifetime opportunity to interview this hard-working gal. Even at 40, Stacie Clark looks like a rock star.

After submitting a 5-minute video for Women Health Magazine’s “Next Fitness Star” series, Stacie received an email stating she was in the Top 5 and was flown to New York to get a makeover, photo shoot, fit sessions and some video making. It was up to America to choose, so, on August 14th, 2013, the winner was announced on The Today Show. It was Stacie’s, “Best Day ever,” she shares beaming.

According to Stacie, this process took about 6 weeks “from concept to finalization of ‘what is it going to look like’ from timing to theme.” Not to mention, “it took one full day to film,” Stacie said.

Mom of 2, Stacie, has been in this fitness industry for 15 plus years and has her own studio in Minneapolis called Tiger Athletics, with her hubby Chris. It’s shocking to find out that this fabulous woman works out “5 to 6 days a week with 1 to 2 rest days,” Stacie says. She suggests that, “the body needs recovery to repair. That’s when change happens.”

She shares a story that was incredible to the ear because when you glance at her, you would be surprised to hear it, “In college, I had a full schedule and also held three jobs to pay for school.  Well, I gained 40+ pounds.  So I set goals and started working out.  I got in the best shape of my life.  From then on, I never let go.  It was a passion and ultimately became my long-term career in the end.”

Everyone has those ‘lazy’ days, so I wanted to know how Stacie pushes through them, “I have so much passion, commitment and dedication for what I do I can’t help but shout it out to the world and help guide others have fun with you also!  The days I want to sleep in?  Well, you have to have a kick-ass music playlist on hand!  Oh, and coffee before a 5:45am workout!  Then it’s game on!”

As for her Kick Ass video, Stacie says, “It’s the hottest workout for 2014!  Get fit and sexy and tight and tone in 30 minutes or less!  This is a do-it-quick, do-it-anywhere interval-based workout series designed to ignite calorie burn and burn fat fast, combining both cardio and strength training. I designed a combination of “work it to burn it” moves targeting multiple muscle groups that fire the core simultaneously so your workouts are twice as effective at getting results!  I’m a master at maximizing your time.  Your body gets a marathon metabolic boost that keeps going long after your workout is over, so pounds and inches fall off to reveal beautiful, lean muscle! All you need is a set of dumbbells and a small space. Your body weight does the work.”

She also notes for best results to “make healthy food choices to compliment all your hard work and dedication!”

If you need motivation and dedication look no further because Stacie can give it to you. Anyone can use her “Power Sculpt Series” video.

After watching the previews, it made me want to buy this DVD. Be sure to check it out ASAP and finally tone that body you’ve been dying to have!

And, if you wish to know about another beneficial program Women’s Health Magazine came out with, look into Women’s Health Fit Club. According to https://fitclub.womenshealthmag.com/, WH Fit Club gives you access to the hottest, most coveted workout studios and leading fitness experts across the country.

There are two programs, one for $15.75 for one month, which has unlimited access to WH Fit Club and all of our videos and $39.99, a 3-month program,  which allows unlimited access to WH Fit Club and all of our videos for three months. You’re able to search classes taught by the specific celebrity of your choosing. Stars like Simone De La Rue and Kristin McGee and our Stacie Clark are featured on the DVD.

There’s no harm in checking either of these out. So, hop to it!

#SCBDExclusive Interview with Kenny Santucci: Health & Fitness

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Kenny and I.

Sipping his skim mocha and chatting at Joe’s Coffee Shop in New York, MTV’s The Challenge, Kenny Santucci, 30, spoke softly about his journey being overweight as a teen. You would never guess this guy could possibly be self-conscious, even at 6’1 and around 190 pounds!

“I still see myself the way I used to be sometimes,” Santucci noted. “So, I always have to stay in great shape and look my best or I feel like shit.”

Around ages 13-14, Santucci began really looking in the mirror and evaluating his appearance and decided he was unhappy with himself. He began wanting to eat and look better.

“I really got into health and fitness at 16 and found CrossFit at 28,” said Kenny.

Santucci is a Head Coach at CrossFit GSP in Rochelle park, New Jersey where he assists people with feeling more confident and good about their appearance and themselves.

According to Kenny, the first thing you see when you walk into his gym is “Change happens here.” Those words stuck with me as I took the time to focus on his words and the way he talked about CrossFit. With passion in his eyes, he went onto say how much he’s seen people progress from unconfident individuals into feeling comfortable in their own skin and it made me believe how much of an impact CrossFit has been on this man’s life.

“It’s a fun environment where you cheer louder for the last place guy,” said Kenny.

People may see CrossFit as a tough and intense workout, but what  they miss is the family and social togetherness side of it, which Kenny explained to me.

As for the health & fitness side, Santucci mentioned these tips he lives by, “Try and stay away from bread and pastas and never ever eat fast food and soda because they are so bad for you.”

At the end of our hour-long heart-to-heart, he shared with me how much he’s fallen in love with CrossFit, the surroundings and helping people. As for feeling motivated, Kenny has those “lazy days” too where he needs to push himself to work out. But, do you know what he does?

“I tell myself how good I’ll feel after.”

So, try to stay positive and healthy this year, folks!

 

chai.

 

#SCBDExclusive: Interview with Chef Josh Barnhard of Josh’s Coastal Chaos

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A few months ago I had the opportunity to meet with a local chef Josh Barnhard at his restaurant, Josh’s Coastal Chaos that is located in Point Pleasant, NJ. Josh’s Coastal Chaos is unlike anything in its area and focuses on giving its customers good, hearty meals that have a creative focus and are also a bang for your buck. Check out my interview with him below and see how he got started and his plans for the future.

SCBD: How old were you when you started cooking?

JB: I’ve always loved cooking since I was little. I was 17 when I started working in a kitchen and continued to work in restaurants throughout college. I  worked at Tiffany’s in Toms River, Front of House at Lone Star and Charlie Brown’s.  Then I  started working at my family’s restaurant, Taylor’s Dockside Grill while working other jobs. I also learned a lot when I worked for Aramark for a period of time.

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SCBD: What made you want to choose cooking?

JB: My dream career is one where I can creative and I can do that with cooking. I am  extremely passionate about cooking and music.

SCBD: What made you want to open Josh’s Coastal Chaos?

JB: I was working at Taylor’s Dockside up until the time Superstorm Sandy hit.  The damage was so bad because of Sandy that we couldn’t reopen.  After a while I decided to Chaos in Point Pleasant  Beach and its been open since April.

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SCBD: What’s your vision with Josh’s Coastal Chaos?

JB: We’re doing a lot of trial and error. We currently have breakfast and lunch every day and may even serve dinner at some point due to the high demand from our customers.

SCBD: What would you call the cuisine here?

JB: We’re a family based restaurant that specializes in comfort food with a chaotic twist. We have everything to breakfast classics to lunch favorites. We don’t serve any frozen food, everything is homemade from the chicken fingers to pancakes.

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#SCBDExclusive #Interview with Singer, @FreddieBourne

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I’ve always been a trend spotter and love being the first to know the coolest up and coming designers, artists, singers and more. When I heard, Freddie Bourne, a Fairleigh Dickinson student I’ve known for a while was working on an album, I had to give you all the inside scoop:

Frederick “Freddie” Bourne is an American singer-songwriter, occassional actor, and keyboard player. Since his solo career began in 2012, Bourne has not strayed from the music scene, opening for acts such as Tyler Hilton from the television show “One Tree Hill”, Jersey Acoustic Music Award Winner Chelsea Carlson, and playing for Gavin and Joey DeGraw’s bar The National Underground. Bourne recently has been hard at work in preparation to release his first debut album, “Only Human”, which is expected for a August 6th release date on iTunes.

Canvas Clash Performance opening up for Tyler Hilton

SCBD:  How long have you been singing?

FB: I began to sing when I first learned the theme from “Barney & Friends” and I was playing piano with it at the same time. But I probably didn’t begin seriously until I was about 9-10 years old in school choirs.

SCBD: Who or what influenced you to start singing?

FB: Embarassing enough, I actually really looked up to Aaron Carter’s second album “Aaron’s Party (Come and Get It)” and I ended up knowing every single song on that album front and back emulating his voice. It was really awesome at the time to see someone that wasn’t too far away from my age doing something that was getting such feedback from people and making a living.

Live Room

SCBD:   How long have you been writing music?

FB: Writing music was actually a little later on. I knew that I always wanted to write but I ended up getting so discouraged because of numerous amounts of writer’s block growing up. Either it was that or it was the fact I was just simply too last to want to write. But when I got to high school and started doing shows with one of my bands, the songwriting came up as I wrote the music along with the other members. Probably around the age of 14 or 15 is when I decided to hone my songwriting technique.

Cafe Improv Performance

SCBD:  When did you decide to take up the album project?

FB: I’ve been planning to release one for about four years, whether it was with one of the bands I was in at the time, or the fact I wanted to rearranged cover songs, it was always something in mind. When both the bands broke up, I had all of these lyrics that were going to waste because the band never went through with them or we never worked on them. By then, I was asking myself, “What’s stopping me?”. I called up my producer the next day and said I’m ready to take this on and two and a half months later and nights till 3 am paid off.

Tom Browning Jr and Joe DeGaetano

SCBD: What kind of songs should we look out for?

FB: Many of these songs have a variety of context. The album is called “Only Human” because it explores many of the experiences that people feel like they go through alone, but the reality is that they are not alone. There comes a time where someone feels that they go through this abnormal feeling experience in their lives and that no one can compare nor understand. But my objective is for people, that this applies to, which essentially is everyone and anyone, that it isn’t overlooked and that it’s a part of living in this life we have.

SCBD: What’s your personal favorite?

FB: “Secret I’ve Kept” is still one of my all time favorites. I wrote this song about someone who never had the courage to tell a person they really felt a connection with. I feel many people just try to brush it off but it’s a nice thing to reminiscence about and then see the growth from that time period till now telling them how you feel in this song – which is focused on the emotion rather than all of the technical aspects of the track. We recorded it live in a church in one take because we wanted to make sure that the feelings were as honest and true as possible.

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SCBD:  What’s one thing you want SCBD readers to know about you and the album?

FB: The album isn’t about me – I take the Dan Folgerburg approach and base it on observation. I feel when writing an album and it’s so close to who you as a person – it’s great people can see the struggles and the feelings you’ve had and your journey, but I’m not someone who wants to put my life out there and people get this idea or reputation of who I am. I rather them speak to me personally face-to-face, to know that information. This album focuses on the listener.

Control Room

SCBD: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

FB: I’m a type of person that goes day by day. I have no idea where I will be or what I will be doing as a career. I work in radio broadcasting and making excellent lead way there with internships at Howard Stern and whatnot. I see that as more ideal for me to be in case the music doesn’t work out to be a full time job.  The music industry is slim and the chances of making it are even tougher. The fact is, I know this album may not go anywhere, but that doesn’t discourage me because I knew I put something out with my heart and soul and something that will be appreciated by some. Even if only one person understands this album and the meaning, I’m satisfied.

SCBD: What’s one saying you live by?

FB: It’s not a saying but it’s definitely some helpful advice that helped me get through the creation process easily: Good and or bad reaction is better than no reaction at all. Regardless if people like certain songs or dislike others, at least it’ll make an impact on them in order to remember the track. If there is no reaction, it’s just shut out and just ends up in the background completely forgotten. I’d rather be bashed than have a bland “it’s okay” response.

 Thanks Freddie for giving us the exclusive look into your debut album, “Only Human” and make sure you listen to his debut single, “Push Away”!

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#SCBDExclusive: Interview with Abbey & Lindsay, Owners of Cake Couture NJ!

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Cake Couture NJ is a home-based custom cake company founded by two Jersey girls from my hometown of Howell, Lindsay Mauser and Abbey Lanz. Last time I was home I had the opportunity to interview them on the company, their cakes, and more!

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SCBD: How long have you been baking and cake decorating?

CCNJ: We’ve been baking as long as we can remember. We started getting into cake decorating by taking classes at Michael’s when they had them locally. Abbey received her degree in pastry from the Culinary Education Center of Monmouth County in 2011 where she performed in pastry competitions too. She’s always been more passionate about cakes rather than general pastry, you can see it in our work.

SCBD: Who came up with idea to start Cake Couture NJ?

CCNJ: We started making cakes for family about 4 years ago and then came up with the name and really started our business three years ago. When we first started it was Abbey and my (Lindsay’s) sister Erin but Erin wasn’t as passionate about it after a while so I stepped in and we’ve been successfully working together since. We feel that our cakes aren’t just any cakes so we felt that Cake Couture was the perfect name for us.

SCBD: What is special about your recipe compared to others?

CCNJ: Well, you can’t really compare us to any other cake or cupcake out there. We’re very creative and are constantly coming up with new recipes to try. We love coming up with new recipes for flavors we like.

SCBD: I’ve seen pictures of your cakes and the artwork looks so professional. How did you learn this?

CCNJ: We learned the most by doing it all the time and through trial and error. It’s all about finding the right temperature, etc.

21st birthday beer cake

21st birthday beer cake

SCBD: What’s a new flavors are you working on?

CCNJ: We are currently working on summer flavors, our latest creation is working on some summer cocktail cupcakes like margarita, and more!

SCBD: What’s the most popular cake flavor order you get?

CCNJ: Our vanilla with vanilla butter cream and red velvet with cream cheese frosting are our most popular.

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Cupcakes with faces of Aunt & Grandma

SCBD: What’s the most unique order you’ve had?

CCNJ: Our most unique order so far was for cupcakes with our client’s grandma & aunt’s faces on them. It took a lot of work but it was fun to do and rewarding at the end.

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21st birthday cake

SCBD: What was your first order? Who was it for?

CCNJ: Our first order was for a 21st birthday at a big banquet hall, we were pretty nervous but it was a success. The cake had pink quilted zebra print on it.

SCBD: What’s a quote you both live by?

CCNJ: “She who leaves a trail of glitter, is never forgotten.”

SCBD: What’s Cake Couture NJ‘s motto?

CCNJ: “Made with Love” which we always have on all of our orders and ”Edible Art For Magical Moments”.

SCBD: Where do you see Cake Couture NJ in five years?

CCNJ: We have high hopes and would love to be doing bigger events and have it turn into our full time job. We are looking forward to having bigger orders and to be in demand in the tri-state area. We are  working with the Ronald McDonald house on their event in May and donating a cupcake tower to their silent auction on May 19.

SCBD: Last, what do you want SCBD readers to know about Cake Couture NJ?

CCNJ: Nothing is impossible for us, we are willing to take any order. We take our time with every order and are very critical of our cakes. We do consultations and tastings for cakes for any event.

Harry Potter cake

Harry Potter cake

Make sure you like Cake Couture NJon Facebook  follow them on Twitter @CakeCoutureNJ! I’m definitely looking forward to working with them more because they have such a great thing going!

Cheers– let’s eat cake!

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#SCBDExclusive Interview with Executive Pastry Chef & Playing with Fire star Julie Elkind!

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Two weeks ago, E! premiered a new show, Playing with Fire which is based on the lives of some of the heavy hitter’s in New York’s culinary scene such as Candice Kumai, Anna Boiardi, The Koch twins, and Julie Elkind. With her drive and motivation at the age of 26, in four years Julie became the Executive Pastry chef for the ESquared hospitality group and  just recently took on the position as the Executive Pastry Chef at Executive Chef/Partner  Michael Ferraro’s Delicatessen in SoHo (see her intro in the show in the clip above). I spoke with Julie and we discussed life, her path to success, favorite dessert to make, new position at Delicatessen, and of course, Playing with Fire.

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SCBD: You’ve been doing pastry for a while now, who influenced you to get into it?

JE: It’s been in my family ever since I can remember. I grew up around some really great home cooks, we’d always be working on different projects in the kitchen. It’s amazing to do pastry for a living. I never really feel like I’m working because it’s a labor of love.

SCBD: In the show, Playing with Fire we see that you are always out to prove yourself, did this start when you were back in school?

JE: I was always great at Science & English in school. Math was never my strong point until I was able to bring it into pastry and use it everyday. I always felt like I had to prove to my parents that I could do well since they set such a high bar for me. The most important for me to prove something to is also myself. I am always challenging myself with new concept and ideas that the mainstream may not accept right away. I’m still always learning everyday and feel even as a veteran being in the industry thus far I still have to prove myself in the kitchen. I also think its important that people in the industry listen to the next generation of chefs and our ideas.

SCBD: Where did you go to school for pastry?

JE: I attended the Culinary Academy of New York which is now the Star Career Academy of New York. During my time there I learned a lot of basics and everything to prepare for my hands-on experience in the kitchen.

SCBD: When you started did you ever imagine you’d come this far?

JE: I believe when you start doing anything you love you want to come far and I always wanted to be a successful pastry chef. I never imagined the show would come about but I’m always making sure I am staying humble. In my opinion, staying humble is the key to the growing and creating process.

SCBD: What advice would you give to aspiring pastry chefs?

JE: Never rush yourself. A lot of my generation feel that they have this sense of entitlement that they will be a famous chef once they are out of school. It may look easy but it’s not, it requires time and must be a labor of love. They should be patient and keep creating their own ideas.

Also, I believe its important to never rush into a job that your not ready for. If you don’t think its meant for you, wait your turn and take a job when the time is right. That was some of the best advice someone gave me. Never be afraid to ask questions and never assume. Always use your commonsense especially in the kitchen. You gain your place and respect in the kitchen by hard work.

SCBD: At the young age of 26, you’ve gained so much success and recognition as a pastry chef and now with Playing with Fire. What advice do you have for millennials on the path to success?

JE: I am always giving my staff tough love as a manager but I always give them encouragement when they do something worth rewarding. I just want them to be able to teach other chefs what I taught them. Staying humble is key and you must believe in your own food or brand. Being a pastry chef is what I always wanted to do. I personally find success when customers are enjoying the food I create. I want my food to bring a sensory and memory connection to them that may not necessarily be a food trend. Any dish I make is something I am personally proud of and would not sell it if I wasn’t.

SCBD: On that note, congratulations on your new position as Executive Pastry Chef for Delicatessen in SoHo. What do you like most about the new position?

JE:  Executive Chef/Partner Michael Ferraro (Delicatessen) has the same style as me just on the savory end so it’s the perfect collaboration. It’s good to work with another chef that’s an equal because we work as a unit. When I took the job my instincts told me it was right and it’s been great to be respected by a fellow chef. It’s a great positive atmosphere because where I can grow.

SCBD: What is your favorite dessert to make at home? On the job?

JE: I love making ice cream and gelato because you can make tons of flavor combinations. I love coming up with new ideas, it’s the best part! I get butterflies when I change a menu because I am so proud and excited of my food. I am always checking to see what is in season by going to the local green market. I am alwayss painting a picture of a new dessert just by spotting a fruit or citrus I can use there. I love taking different flavor profiles on successful dishes rather than just using what worked before.

SCBD: Playing with Fire is really taking off, what should see expect to see from you this season? How does it feel to be part of this successful show?

JE: This season on Playing with Fire you will see what I did at the previous company I worked for to get where I am now. You will also see my constant balance between relationships, time in the kitchen, as well as my social life. You will see how it’s possible to have it all with the right people by your side. I believe you always have to keep pushing through even if you hit a speed bump. You will see how I handle bumps in the road but with strength and endurance I keep moving forward. You will get to know me personally and see some of my stressful moments at home and at work. New York City is a demanding city to live and work in. I don’t want to give too much away but you’ll have to tune in to find out more.

SCBD: Last, where do you see yourself in five years and what are some quotes you live by?

JE: If you asked me five years ago, I’d never imagine I’d be where I am now. I am constantly challenging myself and making sure I serve the best quality desserts. I’d love to work towards getting a James Beard award and being recognized by the James Beard Foundation for my work. I really aspire to be like the previous James Beard award winners who give back and leave a legacy, it’s a lifetime of work.

Since not everyday is the same, I just want to do great work and get recognized for it.

I actually have a few quotes I live by:

“Commonsense isn’t always common”, which I am always saying in the kitchen.

“Do what you love for nothing, and turn it into something”

“Never take a job for money or sell yourself short.”

“The only person who can judge you is yourself”

“Believe in yourself and don’t be afraid of anything.”

“Don’t knock it til you try it.”

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You can catch Julie on Playing with Fire on E! at 8PM EST on Friday nights. You can tweet her @JulieElkind & become a fan of her on Facebook, here. Don’t forget to follow Delicatessen @DeliNYC too!

Make sure you use #PlayingwithFire when you tune in! :D

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

#SCBDExclusive Interview with Christina Aurrichio, Owner of Chi Flo

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This month, Christina Aurrichio, an FDU graduate like myself, launched an amazing new, up and coming fashion line, Chi Flo. The line is creative and unlike anything out there because of Christina’s passion and love for drawing and fashion. When I saw that she was launching the company and her premiere line, Grimm Street I had to get the 411 and have my readers get a first look because I see Chi Flo going places and you’ll probably want to buy your first shirt after you read this.

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Christina Aurrichio, Owner of Chi-Fl0
Photo Credit: Rob Roselli

SCBD: Thanks Christina for letting me interview you and give my readers the first scoop on your new line, Chi Flo. It’s great to see another peer and fellow Jersey Girl make their mark. Who or what inspired you to come up with Chi Flo?

CA: No problem Sara! Thanks for all the support and promoting, I’m very impressed by all you’ve accomplished as well. What inspired me to create Chi Flo was a mixture of things. I am very passionate about my artwork and always wondered how to properly display it. I also am very passionate about fashion and the whole city scene. You know—the girls in the city with a sketchpad  in their backpack, a cup of coffee in hand, and a keen sense of style…just trying to make it big. Chi Flo is all about the balance of my artwork, the fashion sense, and actual occurrences life occurrences. It also showcases my love for making light of bad situations. For instance, the BAD GIRLFRIEND shirt should be worn by girls with a sense of humor who have been maybe labeled as a Bad Girlfriend before, or just know how to joke about themselves. It’s just so much bigger than a t-shirt line for me, and I hope someday it catches on.

SCBD: How long have you been drawing for? What’s the best drawing you’ve made?

CA: I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid, maybe about 7. My big brothers and mother were always extremely creative and seeing them creating music/crafts/drawings made me want to do the same. I can remember looking at my Flinstones storybooks, loving the character Dino and just taking a piece of paper and drawing him. It was always an exciting challenge to get better at drawing every time I picked up a pencil. It still is an exciting challenge. I’ve never been classically trained in drawing. I think that says a lot as well.

My favorite drawing I drew would be the “Not Your Savior”.

SCBD: Chi Flo focuses on using original artwork, why do you think that’s crucial to any successful fashion line?

CA: I  think nowadays, every time you turn a corner someone is creating a new t-shirt line from scratch or a website that re-sells already made t-shirts the buyer purchased wholesale. Granted, I am supportive of anyone doing so. However, most of those people aren’t coming up with the designs themselves. They are either Google-imaging “skull and crossbones” or “graffiti letters” and just placing them on a shirt. Again, those people are smart and I support them. They may also sell faster because they sell shirts that are trendy with the times. But myself personally, I just couldn’t come up with another carbon-copy t-shirt line. I thought “I have the ability to create designs, why not use that to my full potential?” Plus, what’s better than wearing a shirt that no one else has? If I had a dollar for every shirt I see with an inverted cross, or a typical sugar skull, I wouldn’t have to hustle a t-shirt line!

SCBD: Chi Flo is not just a fashion line but it is also a lifestyle, what does that mean to you and your customers?

CA: When I say that Chi Flo is a lifestyle, I truly believe it is. Chi Flo sells shirts with meaning. For example, the “Not Your Savior” shirt is my favorite design because I drew it when I was going through a bad break-up. It was purely from my heart. To me, Chi Flo shirts are like listening to a good song. If you can relate to the lyrics, or in this case what the shirt says, then the design will jump out at you and mean so much more. Chi Flo is self-expression, but in a cute way!

SCBD: Your first line, The Grimm Street Collection is unlike any line I’ve seen. You’ve mentioned that every collection tells a story. What is the story behind The Grimm Street collection?

CA:The story behind the Grim Street collection is a blend of things. As I had mentioned earlier, I designed the Not Your Savior after a bad break-up. Literally, I couldn’t ‘save’ the other person and had to focus on myself. Next came the Bad Girlfriend. That was an “insult” thrown at me in retaliation. Why not wear it on my shirt then? After graduation and difficult situations, I started to find myself. I drew the Chief Flo as a representation of discovering who I was and my artistic ability. The Street Pigeon represents the cool-side to fashion and just feeling like a boss. Finally, the Smiths Tribute reads the words “Honey Pie, You’re Not Safe Here” . That’s my favorite line from a Smiths song. It represents power and rising to the top. Whoever was going to get in my way wouldn’t be “safe there”. That kind of thing.

Take a peek into The Grimm Street Collection (photos by Rob Roselli):

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NotYourSaviorNOTyourSaviorMenSmithsTributeSmithsTributeGirls

streetgirl2StreetPigeonTankMenstreetpigeongirlsHATZ

SCBD: What shirt is your best seller?

CA: My best seller is the Street Pigeon! I think it is amazing how girls and guys both love the design. I give myself props for that.

SCBD: What’s your favorite shirt and why?

CA: My favorite is the Chief Flo because I truly think the design is beautiful. When I was drawing it on paper, I looked in the mirror so I could outline a face and hair (I was alone so I used myself as the face model). From there, I just drew everything else and made her a sugar skull. I think it’s great that people probably don’t know they’re wearing my face on their shirt!

SCBD: I ordered the Street Pigeon shirt and received it really quickly last week which was awesome. I loved the packaging and sticker that came with it. What separates Chi Flo from other designers out there? 

CA: Great to hear! I think what separates Chi Flo is the whole ‘hometown’ feel. I designed the shirts and everything. A good friend of mine, Rob Roselli, photographed the pictures. Another friend of mine modeled the pictures and more friends of mine will continue to model for me. I created Chi Flo strictly from what I know and love. I’m just not trying to be anyone else. The packaging ties in with the hometown feel because I wrap it myself and put in a thank you note signed personally by me.

SCBD: Chi Flo seems to be really taking off, where do you see Chi Flo in 5 years? 

CA: I hope it continues to take off. I need to constantly keep on top of the advertising and promotion. I stay humble and noticeably hopeful through it all. I have so much stock left still, but I knew I would. I took a big chance. Plus, it has only been two weeks since it’s launch date. I must continue to advertise and be creative. If I continue to do that, I hope Chi Flo will be sold in stores in 5 years. I’d also love to open a boutique with Chi Flo brand clothing. Let’s hope for the best.

SCBD: What are some goals you want to achieve with Chi Flo this year?

I’m so excited to continue to create more designs. The more I sell the Grim Street line, the more profit I can make, and the quicker I can come up with more shirts. I just really want people to love the shirts and recognize that I am an independent business owner and need to sell, sell, sell! I can’t wait to create hoodies for fall and cover-ups for summer. Stay tuned!

SCBD:  What’s one quote that motivates you everyday?

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better”

SCBD: Last, what’s one thing you’d like all the SCBD readers to know about Chi Flo?

CA: I’d like all the SCBD readers to know that anyone can rock Chi Flo and find the balance in their life. Chi Flo represents just that! Wear your heart on your sleeve and also wear art on your shirts. Self expression from deep within is SUPER important and don’t be afraid to be edgy. Stock is limited but there will be more as long as the sales go up! Chi Flo is a small business and needs YOU guys to help promote it! By people wearing Chi Flo, it sort of creates a little Chi Flo army. A bunch of people making a statement in favor of art, independent business, and staying Chi.

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I loved both of my purchases from Chi Flo, the Women’s Street Pigeon Crop Tee and neon pink beanie (pictured above) and I’m sure you will too!

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In honor of the launch of Chi Flo, Christina is offering Small Chick Big Deals readers an exclusive deal:

 Type SCBD into the code box at checkout to get 10% off entire purchase at Chi Flo from Monday the 18th-Wednesday the 20th! :)

Also be sure to sign up for the Chi Flo mailing list, here.

Happy Shopping and supporting Chi Flo!  :D

Sara SCBD Logo Edited

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