Fitness Friday: How to Get Toned, Sexy Arms for Summer

Summer is here, and that means breaking out summer clothes such as sundresses, tank tops, and bathing suits. If your arms aren’t ready yet, New York City personal trainer, Hannah Davis, has a plan that will get you toned and tight in plenty of time. “The trick is that most women focus on single-joint exercises, like biceps curls, which work primarily one muscle. Doing complex moves recruits more muscle fibers and works your upper body to total fatigue, says Davis. That means you’ll burn more calories and shed arm fat faster, so your arms, shoulders, and upper back will be sleek in time for their big reveal.” See more for an easy great looking arm workout at Women’s Health.

Frozen Pomarita (Pomegranate Margarita) for Cinco De Mayo

We are huge fans of pomegranate juice at my house. I like to put a splash in my water bottles, but the kids will drink it by itself. This recipe for Frozen Pomarita is perfect for Cinco De Mayo, or anytime this summer, when you want a cool, frozen cocktail beverage. I love that pomegranate juice has so many wonderful antioxidants and healthy properties helping prevent cardiovascular disease, prostate cancers, erectile disfunction, sports recovery problems and more. For more information and studies, see Pom Wonderful and check out their new lite flavors, such as blackberry lychee green tea, and Peach passion with up to 50% fewer calories.

Travel Tuesday: Put Atlanta Food & Wine Festival on Your List

Mark your calendars now for an event you won’t want to miss. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival will be held May 10-13, 2012, and tickets are on sale now. This Southern festival is like no other, and event organizers call it, “A four-day culinary exploration of the South”.  This is the event to eat, drink and enjoy all that is Southern: chefs, sommeliers, beverage innovator and industry leaders and experts on food and beverages in the south.  I was lucky enough to attend and speak at the festival last year, and I thought, “This is the perfect event to come with your girlfriends or significant other.” It’s the ideal Mother’s Day gift. Here are some highlights of this years event:

-200+ Award-Winning chefs, mixologist, sommeliers and beverage innovators

-88 Demonstrations, seminars, discussions & trade programs

-3 tasting tents with more than 100 chefs participating

-14 unique dinners and events

Most of the events will take place in, or within walking distance of, the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown. For more information on tickets, hotel and complete schedule, see The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.

First and third photos by AFWF/Raftermen.

Photo credit for second photo Michael Paley, Proof on Main and Garage Bar, Louisville, KY

Food Blog Forum Orlando: Disney Fun

I had the best time this past weekend at Food Blog Forum in Orlando, Florida in Walt Disney World. I was so fortunate to get to share a round table speaking with the amazingly talented, humble and genuine, Angie of Bakerella. We spoke on “Writing a Cookbook From Two Perspectives” to four different groups.

Food Blog Forum was founded by Jaden and Scott Hair of Steamy Kitchen and Todd Porter and Diane Cu of White on Rice Couple. This one day conference is always so inspiring (this was my 3rd event), and this is the most wonderful, sharing, open and welcoming group of speakers and food bloggers. I must give a shout out to the fantastic staff at Walt Disney World for their incredible hospitality and generosity as well as to Julie, from The Little Kitchen, and Dawn Viola for coordinating this event. One the big themes of the weekend which spoke to me is: “Dream big and share your dream with others” via the man himself, Walt Disney.

Of course, there was food to be had at a “Food Blog Conference.” We had the most incredible parties, including Friday night by the beach at the Grand Floridian, lunch by a multitude of top Disney’s chefs (see above), and a wonderful Irish dessert party while watching fireworks in Epcot on Saint Patrick’s Day.

I met so many new fabulous food bloggers, and I had the pleasure to connect with old friends as well. (See Kelly, from “Just a Taste”, and me at Epcot, above).

I also had the chance to check out some of the best Disney attractions. The Epcot “International Flower and Garden Festival” (above) was this month. It was unreal!

This shot (above) from Animal Kingdom is the mountain of Expedition Everest. Doesn’t this look like I could actually be at Mount Everest?

We went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride (above) in Animal Kingdom, and we saw so many rare, beautiful animals. I can’t believe how close this giraffe got to our jeep.

Downtown Disney is always a blast. You never know what you might find in Disney World. Did I mention that my kids came along as well? They haven’t been there in seven years, so it was quite a treat. My son, Zachary, was a little timid of her (above).

My daughter, Leigh, (above) told me she wanted a picture with Mickey and Minnie. Honestly I wasn’t sure that it would be possible, but if there is a will, there is a way.

We loved staying at the convenient, and very, fun Polynesian Resort. Their beach (above) was so pretty, and their water slide in the pool was a hit with the kids. It’s a perfect way to spend time outside of the parks for some down-time.

Headed to Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City

Fun news! I am super excited! Today, I am headed to Alt Summit (Altitude Design Summit) in Salt Lake City, Utah. It’s a conference I have been wanting to attend, so I put it on my to-do list a long time ago. If you’re asking yourself, What is Alison talking about?” Read on. If you’re obsessed with lifestyle, food and fashion blogs; fantastic images; smart ideas and great design; this is where you should be. Keynote speakers include Editors of Martha Stewart Living, Apartment Therapy and The Wall Street Journal Magazine as well as Founder of Pinterest and New York Time’s Bestselling Author, Gretchen Rubin. Images above by Freshly PickedDaniel Staemmler, and Mode:lina

I’ll be learning more about Design. Lifestyle. Photography. Fashion. Events. Styling. Art Direction. Food. Interior Design.