Enjoying the Work/Life Balance

We can all learn something from Peter Muller and the recent decisions that he’s made. As one of Wall Street’s best quant traders, Peter Muller should be working hard. After working incredibly hard for years, Muller decided in 1999 that he needed a break and he went on a sabbatical.

As he told Business Insider, “I became enormously successful, but I wasn’t as happy or fulfilled.” He travelled the world and used his incredible musical talent as a pianist.

When he returned, he managed to find that work/life balance that is elusive to so many. He told Morgan Stanley that he needed room in his life for music as well as business. As he said,

“I took a big step back. And I figured, I’m going to pursue music… I recorded a couple of albums, and I became executive chairman of the group that I built. And I realized that I needed both [music and work] – they both feed and influence the other.”

He’s been performing with his band at least once a month for the last nine years. And while he has a “crazy, busy life” he manages to perform at least once a month and to give the money to charity.

Here is a sample of his work:

Quiet, Reserved Actor Finds Love Where He Least Expects It

120718KeithJill1Sometimes love is found where you least expect it… That is certainly what happened to New York University graduate Keith Powell, the man who played “Toofer” on the hit television series 3o RockHe explained that despite the fact that his career seemed outgoing, the publicity actually made him withdraw and remove himself from social experiences.

“I was feeling judged a lot, and I was closing off from people,” Mr. Powell explained.

Four years ago, when Powell was 29, a former classmate asked for his help with a workshop for a new play. Since the season of 30 Rock had already ended production, Powell agreed.

There he met Jill Knox, an actress who he described as “really hot, but also a little nutty.” He was surprised by the openness with which she discussed her love life, recent breakup and general life stories. “The things she said were so charming and funny,” he said. Still, Powell was much more reserved, and kept his distance.

Less than a week later, however, Powell found Jill waiting for a bus and asked her out for brunch. They went back to her apartment instead, and ended up talking for hours. Knox talks openly about how Powell was not her type, and that romance was not on her mind. According to her he was too skinny, and too young. But, Knox gave him a chance and the two grew ever closer. Powell also convinced Knox to expand her love and painting and pursue a career in the visual arts.

“We had so much in common,” Powell shared. “And also, I realized that I needed someone like her who is a little reckless and who throws caution to the wind.”

“Keith was crazy about Jill,” a friend said, explaining that Powell would always talk about how talented Knox was. “Keith was always a very grounded guy, very logical and sensible.”

In 2012, Powell really did throw caution to the wind and popped the question while the couple appeared on House Hunters Renovation. The two were married on October 12th, 2013, at the Tribeca Rooftop.

 

 

Blake Lively to Launch New Lifestyle Brand

blake livelyBlake Lively, the 26-year-old star of Gossip Girl, has announced her plans to launch a lifestyle brand in the upcoming months. Though many are drawing parallels between Lively’s new business and Gwyneth Paltrow’s newsletter “Goop”, the latter has earned a less-than-perfect reputation while Lively is off to a fresh start.

“I have so many passions outside of acting and things that I grew up being good at and that I don’t utilize when acting,” she said in an interview. “Acting was something that my family did so I just kind of got into it by default, but there was so much that I cultivated, thinking that I wouldn’t be an actor.”

“The main element of it is that it’s about storytelling and it’s about living a very one-of-a-kind, curated life, and how to achieve that,” Lively explained.”
She also discussed her decision to take a break from her acting career. “A lot has changed for me in the last year. I got married, I finished ‘Gossip Girl’ after six years, I had my first break in a while and I’ve been working on this company … it has been nice to have a separation from my show.”
Lively has already begun to cultivate her new lifestyle reputation by showing off her cooking skills at the Bedford Post Inn kitchen. She shared that she has also worked at the upscale restaurant Per Se, where she impressed the other professionals.

How to Stick with Fitness Resolutions

FitnessMillions of Americans listed healthier lifestyles amongst their New Year’s resolutions. According to recent studies, the majority of these are headed for despair.

“We’ve tracked the patterns,” reveals YMCA Health and Wellness Director Sue Dissinger. “After 30 to 60 days people start to slowly decline or quit.”

The figures, which are based on several years of study, have been confirmed throughout the health and fitness worlds. People generally lose enthusiasm after about a month, despite their best intentions.

Lori Steven, a dietician with WakeMed Cary Hospital, explains the phenomenon. “We often make our goals too big, too ambitious,” she said. “We say, ‘Once the year starts, I’m going to cut all sugar out of my diet.’ That’s extreme. It’s not sustainable.”

“The main reason most people fail is because they don’t have a plan,” adds Ronnie Neal of Rex Wellness Center. They need to have specific goals, not just “I want to lose weight” or “I want to get in better shape.”

Stevens recommends setting realistic goals, like cutting dessert out of weeknight meals. “Or, instead of saying ‘I’m going to work out every day and run a marathon in March,’ say you’ll work out five days a week and do a 5K in April, then maybe a 10K in June and a half-marathon or marathon in the fall.”

Neal adds: “Writing down your goals hardwires them a little more into your subconcious.”

Lastly, it is very important to stay patient. It can take months to see real results, but stick with it and don’t get discouraged!

HIT Workouts: An All-Inclusive Exercise in 4 Minutes Flat

The general belief is that the best amount of exercise to get in a week is 150 hours. Many would claim that this suggestion is in the fact what keeps them overweight or unhealthy, since finding even an hour or two of free time during the day is no small feat.

An amazing solution to this issue is the HIT workout, or High Intensity Training. This miracle worker helps the body lower blood sugar levels, release fatty acids, and improves both aerobic and anaerobic aptitudes within minutes.

This 3-4 minute form of exercise is not new. One HIT routine was developed in the nineties by Dr. Tabata of the National Institute of Fitness and Sports. He dictated a workout that merely included eight 20-second bursts of high activity with a 10-second pause between each one. In total, such a workout would take less than four minutes.

HIT workouts consist of exercises like squats, pushups, sit ups, lunges, ‘the plank’, crunches and dips. Done in quick succession, these drills will leave the body aching, shaking, sore and continuously burning calories. The body will continue to burn fat and strengthen muscles long after you shower and continue with your day.

The benefits of the HIT workouts are endless. They are short and do not require equipment, can be done as many times a week as possible, burn fat and strengthen the muscles, circulatory system and respiratory system, alleviate stress, boost your mood and focus and improve sleep. There is no excuse; finding a total of four minutes every week is no chore.

How to Give Your Home a Pre-Spring Makeover

The winter months have left your home looking rather gloomy, and while spring might seem rather far off, a great project to get started on now is a simple home makeover. Try to involve your children, as well, to give them a good reason to ditch the computer or TV for a few hours after school.

The first step in touching up your home is, of course, a paint job. Don’t try to tackle the whole house, this will end up costing an arm and a leg, and will also stretch your patience with the process. Choose a few areas or rooms that could use a change; the difference in color will change the entire space, saving you the cost and effort of repainting everything. Of course, spend the little extra you may need to fix up any scratches or areas that have peeled.

This season’s popular colors are pastels and deep jewel tones. These will help brighten up any space, as well as give them a completely different mood. Try to match your choices to the white or cream bases that are already used throughout your home. A deep minty turquoise, for example, looks stunning with white walls, shelves or rugs. If you’re hesitant to commit to a new color, or too lazy to paint full walls, go out and buy some stencils and add a little bit of color and personality that way instead. You can even paint on children’s furniture, too, like a desk or a dresser. Wall-stickers are another great option to achieve this look.

Next, work on the more specific décor. Look around your main areas, and revamp your photo collection. Buy an eclectic bunch of new picture frames (mix colors, shapes and sizes), then sort through your photos and choose some favorites to put on display.

Now, move on to your furniture, rugs, cushions and other living room accessories. Don’t bother buying anything new; try to work with what you have. If the stuff looks kinda shabby, why not try removable covers? This will give you an opportunity to try new colors and styles without committing to the new look. You can even dye them yourself. Add ribbons, lace, tassels or designs to your cushions- if you’re intimidated by sewing machines, you can use hot glue instead.

Third, think about adding some plants to your interior. Beautiful potted flowers, or leafy vines like ivy, literally add life to a room. At your local nursery, ask for sturdy, indoor plants, that perhaps have a pleasant smell. Put some on top of the refrigerator, by the stairs, in the bathroom and on the piano, and make sure to put a bit of thought into the pots you choose.

Last but not least, think about the curtains, towels, bath mats and shower screens. These little things give the room its finishing touches, changing the atmosphere from hectic or messy to appealing and organized. While you’re at it, buy some new plastic drawers to keep in children’s bedrooms, bathrooms and the den to help keep things in reach but out of sight.