Friday, November 6, 2015

How 2 Make The Most Of Your Day


This might not be easy for everyone, but this is how I function best in life. Anyone who knows me will tell you I get up earlier than most.   Everyday, even on the weekends you’ll more than likely see that I’m up by 6:30 – 7:00AM. I get so much done early mornings because I’m not distracted by friends calling or texting, social media, there isn’t anything on TV yet. So I can get my day going with minimum distractions. If I go to the grocery store, its empty. The gym, all to myself. If I were to sleep in until 10 or 11, I would feel like half the day is wasted and you can’t run errands to businesses at night after they close so you’ve lost half the day to get SH.. done.


With your list of things to do for the day, write them in the order of most important to least or with the worst task first. This ensures either your most important task gets done or the task you are dreading the most is finished because who wants to finish a daunting errand after a long day of work.


Three. Not five or 10, but three. This is a realistic goal to set for the day to get things done without feeling disappointed that you didn’t get everything done. In my planner, the top has three lines for the most important things I need to get done that day. I always write them there so I can see it and its a good reminder to focus on those three, because for myself if its more than that I’ll likely forget or not have time to do more than that amount of tasks


In DC Metro area (even here in little o'l Frederick, MD it's CRA CRA....) there is always traffic or road construction. When planning out my day, I schedule them in the order of location so instead of driving back and forth, I work myself from the furthest location and work myself back home towards the end of the day so I don’t spend unnecessary time in the car or waste gas.  Not always great about this but when I am - its great!


There is power in saying no. The older I’ve gotten, the more comfortable I am with saying no to people. This allows you to really focus on what you need to do for the day. No, I can’t go to lunch. No, I can’t finish this project today. No, I can’t drive you. This goes hand in hand with not overbooking yourself so that you can focus on the things you need to do to have a productive day.


Give yourself deadlines and maximize your time. I struggle with this working from home, but I say to myself that I need to complete a task within an hour or I have one thirty minute break. When I schedule out my day I try to make the most out of it so I don’t waste time doing things that didn’t need to take as long.
Just a few thoughts I wanted to share  - how do you organize your day?  Any helpful advice would be appreciated - we all have only 24 hours in a day and want to make the most of it!  "NOW IS NOW"

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Portland, Maine Was FANTASTIC!!!!!

My first trip to Maine was just what I had wanted - full on Fall foliage - chilly but not too so.  Just at the end of the season - so not too crowded.   My new gloves, ski hat & Pea coat were just enough.  (BTW - tried on about 5 new pea coats and ended up getting a decent Black one with removable hood from Walmart on $39.99 that's right - better than the one from Banana Republic and 1/6 price of LL Bean.  I can't really compare to the beautiful one from Burberry - $1600) 

starwood restorts, westin hotel, portland harbor, maine, lobster, chowder, travel, urablankslate, blank slate, lori tauraso, loriannmd, frederick md, blogger, sass magzine, food porn

westin hotel, portland maine, travel, lori tauraso, urablankslate, blank slate, blogger, blogging, travel review, shopping, customer service, fredrick, frederick news post, downtown frederick partnership,
Mike and I stayed at the Westin Portland Harbourview   what a lovely hotel - great staff (Dan @ the front desk was wonderful - over and above what we expected)  Close to all the action and they have a shuttle to take you to and from the waterfront and local spots if you don't wanna walk or move your car.  We flew there - easy as pie.  Only 1hr 20 min from DC.  Small easy airport to navigate and a lobster restaurant in our reach as soon as we landed.  The airport was about 12 min from our hotel and we were off the the races.  Got my camera ready and headed to Kennebunkport for our first taste.  Good but not great - OK Maine..... on to the next.  Gilbert's Chowder House - getting better and right on the waterfront.  People are laid back and very friendly. Haddock stew was a big thing....  So are clams and this girl loves fried clam strips!  However I was informed I could have those or have REAL fried clams - so not wanting to look like a idiot - I had the REAL fried clams - YUMMMMMMMM & SOLD.  I can never go back to those frozen little pieces of whatever they are again.  
lori tauraso, loriannmd, frederick md, nova, dmv, baltimore, travel, urablankslate, blank slate, travel, travel review, food porn, portland maine

Portland has a little artsy edge to it.  College right it the heart of town.  Reminds me how I envision Seattle, Washington to be (whenever I get there - HA) but on a smaller scale.  The food scene is pretty hip too.  We found a super seafood joint called Eventide Oyster Co.  this place has some Asian influence (fine with me!) and the Lobster roll is on a non-traditional butter steamed bun - Whhhhaaaattt!!! So flipping good - no words to express! Put on the top of the list - small joint so prepare to wait but DO IT!
eventide oyster co, portland maine, travel, oysters, lobster rool

loriannmd, blank slate, oysters, travel review, reviews, travel, frederick md, nova, dmv, blank slate, nyc, shopping, urablankslate

travel, maine, lobster, review, food porn, lori tauraso, jet blue, westin, eventide, lori ann tauraso, fb, blogger, sitis girls,

Found a New Ramen House as well - Ramen Suzukiya 
all freshly made - its a little cozy joint & Dish!
Next just around corner from out hotel we came across the best hot and flipping' sour soup, dim sum & soup dumplings at Empire Chinese Kitchen - seriously the best we have ever had!  

Then we took a day trip north to Bailey Island and went to Cooks Lobster this my friends was IT.  They are commercial "lobstermen" - no fooling around no little tanks to gawk at - they just get them right outta the bay and steamed up a fat 2 1/2 lb lobster for us.  Outta this world people!  I found my home!  HAHA.  
Mike & I at Cooks Lobster - this is the claw from the 2 1/2 beast!
Fried clams there as well were perfection - coleslaw yummy and the blueberry pie over the top.  Put it on your bucket list!  Over the years I have developed a slight shellfish allergy which has been getting worse but this trip was worth the hives, itching and slight swelling.  

We headed back home happy & content.  So glad I finally made it up north.  Was just exactly what I expected and wanted.  I think Boston is next on the list for sure for our East Coast Travels....
BTW - Doing a juice cleanse when I get home to recover from the gluttony and "re-set" my tummy digestion - I'm not used to eating like that...." So watch for some great healthy posts!
Blank Slate, urablankslate, blogger, lori tauraso, loriannmd, lori ann tauraso, frederick md, designer, travel, writer, makeup artist, shopping, portland maine, maine, lobster, fall, fall 2015, nyc, strivectin, sass frederick magazine, frederick news post, cooks lobster and ale house, Bailey Island, Ocean, mist, sunset
Me just outside of President Bush compound Kennebunkport Maine

Cheers! Happy Hump Day!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fall Links i Love - 75 Yesterday Now A brisk 42 - Fall Is Finiky

Just got back from Portland Maine and trying to regroup - the weather here in the DC, MD area is often finicky this time of year so while I edit pictures and work on my Portland Post - wanted to share some fall links I love - always so much inspiration out there from fellow bloggers - vloggers and youtube "queens" - enjoy and share with me your favorites too!

vogtstories fall-halloween-decor- 
vogtstories, fall 2015, cheers, lori tauraso, loriannmd, fall decor, pumpkins, pinterest, uralblankslate, nyc, blogger, window displays , the tasting room frederick, tr restaurant, lori tauraso

southern living fall-decorating-ideas Make Custom Candleholders 
southern living, blank slate, urablankslate, lori tauraso, loriannmd, fredreick md, nova, dmv, dc, baltimore, fall 2015, decor, tables decor,

french charmed, blogger, loriannmd, lori tauraso, blank slate, urablankslate, nova, frederick, va, baltimore, travel, decor, holiday, fall, fall 2015, thanksgiving, tablescapes, home, pumpkins, cheers, parties, urablankslate, loriannmd, lori tauraso, frederick md, fall 2015, holidays, decor, tablescapes, thanksgiving, holloween,  downtown frederick, nova, nyc, southern living,

OK - gotta scoot - working on another Fall display out front of The Tasting Room.  
Off to Home Depot to find cabbage plants and urns...... wish me luck!  


Here's how it turned out - not too bad 

Thursday, October 22, 2015



Now you all know by now I love spa's services and holistic body, face& mind treatments.  I was all geared up to enjoy The Standard Miami but....... didn't turn out quite how I expected.  

Flight there & home w/Jetblue terrific airline my favorite besides Virgin Atlantic - driver from airport was wonderful and helpful .

Arrived at hotel - looked cool from the curb
 It took quite a while to get bellman to help with bags - lobby was cramped and front desk attendant's were not terribly friendly.  Instead of telling & showing me where spa / pool was (room was not ready)  they just pointed.  Took me forever to finally find room on my own - thanks front desk not marked number from sidewalk/hall

A lot of unkept areas and tripping hazards........ 
Things were dirty - not at all how looked on the website - the wallpaper heading to the ladies locker room was ripping and carpet tiles were filthy!!!!!  
The whole scene was odd - one floor to check into the spa - sauna front desk - another floor to get a robe and locker room - no spa shoes were given - things so spread out.  The HAMM area was dirty and and towels not replenished often.  Ritual baths there too and take a while to fill so I was told to leave my treatment scrub and robe by bath and use steam - when I came back a couple had emptied my bath and began using it and my scrubs - WTF?  I told them and front desk gave me new scrub set and tried to charge me for 2!  Than it was Co-Ed and I know Miami is Miami but really - seemed a little to "swinger" like to me.  Not holistic spa more like trying to be the "W-HOTEL" ya know?  One goof ball was every where I went doing - yoga stretches and making overly zealous noises - ya know?  

Good note - some of the juices were really good - ginger lemon aide very yummy and good for you!
The avocado toast was my favorite but - anything else they kept putting bell peppers on.  It showed up in everything - even after I said I was allergic to them - over and over again.  

The in room baths were super and loved that but not a lot of privacy - my next door neighbors were having a good'ol time but I was looking for some quiet & serenity - when that was the case loved my outdoor bath.  
Long and short - I would NOT go back - not the health trip I wanted - not the customer service and not the "heathy" atmosphere I have come to love, need and expect from spas of this caliber and price$$$.  It is close to the South Miami Scene and clubs etc. if that's your plan - cool.  It's not on the beach but florida sunshine and the pool was pretty and sunsets were lovely!

 So that's my thoughts on The Standard Miami - Not so much folks - better off at home steaming and sauna at Spa world and doing my own juices and cleanse!

In Portland, Maine right now and "LOVING IT"  will give you the lowdown this weekend!  

Friday, October 16, 2015

Gearing Up For Trip To Maine,
You already know that Sahara-like conditions in the airplane cabin wreak havoc on your body, ( hello tummy troubles - digestion etc..) and your face is no exception!
Even the most experienced travelers struggle with dry skin and breakouts while on the road, but the worst part is that if you don’t take precautions, you could end up with prematurely aging skin over time. The desire to explore the world should not cost you your good looks.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get your skin ready to go a day or two before takeoff, how to protect it from drying while in the cabin, and how to revive it post landing.

Avoiding the Plane Face – Step 1: Pre-flight

It’s just as important to hydrate in advance of your trip as it is once you’re in flight. H2O, coconut water and herbal teas are some of the best hydrators out there. For extra nutrients, electrolytes and anti-oxidants, a fresh green juice or natural tonic can do wonders. Pineapple with mint and lime tastes amazing and your body will like it too.
Prep the Canvas
Your skin will need some extra love everywhere, so give yourself a scrub with a loofah and exfoliating shower gel to remove dead skin cells, and use a more gentle treatment like an enzyme peel or add baking soda to your cleanser for a gentle exfoliation while travelling.  After evening out your skin surface, put on a deep moisturizing face mask that will soften your skin and add an extra boost. Just a few minutes revives the skin surface and helps with product absorption.
Layer it on
To keep your skin well-hydrated, it’s best to apply a toner and serum before moisturizer even if it’s not your usual routine. Night creams generally have more concentrated ingredients, which will add a kick to the regimen. Put on a little extra on this occasion.
Fresh is Best
Makeup may help you look and feel great before leaving the house, but it will likely have the opposite effect after a long flight by clogging your pores. Before your flight, cleanse your face with gentle facial wipes - my favorite traveling and at home are Maybelline NY Clean Express gentle towelettes - oil - free too so your skin can breathe.
If you forget to bring them, go to the nearest cosmetics counter in duty free and “test” their cleanser or wipes to remove any leftover foundation and powder. Be careful though – you never know how your skin will react, especially under these extra challenging circumstances, so avoid experimenting with products you’ve never used before.

Avoiding the Plane Face – Step 2: Inflight
blankslate, urablankslate, cheers, flying, travel, spf, md, va, dmv, baltimore, loriannmd, lori tauraso, blogger, blogging,

strivectin, lori tauraso, blank slate, urablankslate, frederick md, nyc, skincare, spf, shopping, anti aging
Filters are Friends
You may not know this, but if you face an open window during a flight, you actually expose yourself to UV-A rays. (Apparently) For pilots, 1 hour of flying is equivalent to 20 minutes in a tanning bed—and you won’t even get a tan, so there really is no upside here! Simple solution? Keep the shades down! If you must keep them open, moisturize with a calming serum or face oil, and apply a deeply hydrating cream with SPF to protect your skin.  I prefer Neutrogena for babies and La Roche-Posey sunscreens and one of my favorites Repair & protect moisturizer with SPF 30 - LOVE
Make sure you reapply the SPF moisturizer throughout the flight to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Be warned: Many surfaces on the plane are so much more unsanitary than you think, so always make sure you clean your hands before touching your face.  Use antibacterial wipes - (always keep some in my carryon bag)
Facial Spray No-nos
Some people say that there’s nothing better for your skin than moisturizing mists. As logical as this sounds, moisturizing mists can actually have the opposite effect. Laws of chemistry suggest that if you spray the mist on too liberally, your skin’s moisture is drawn out as the droplets evaporate off your face.
So, if you use mist, I use Evian - make sure you remove any excess mist with a cotton pad before it steals away your natural moisture, and use products that are enhanced with anti-oxidants.
There’s Skin on Your Hands too
We’ve already talked about making sure you keep your hands clean in the less than pristine environment on the plane. While doing this keeps your hands germ free, it also dries them out, so don’t forget to use a deep moisturizing repair cream afterwards.

Avoiding the Plane Face – Step 3: Post Landing

After you arrive at your destination, cleanse your skin with a gentle wipe or a cleanser that will soften and clean without stripping the skin of all its natural oils.
Apply a Rejuvenating Mask
Face masks are an important part of the post-flight routine to rejuvenate the skin after spending hours in pressurized dry air in an airplane.
It’s best to bring along single use packets to save space and avoid having to put the mask in a travel-sized container, where it can harden and change texture in the process. Follow with a light layer of moisturiser and lip balm to help rejuvenate your skin.
Don’t Forget the Eyes!
Flying can also be stressful on the eyes, so pop a jar of eye gel or cream into the mini fridge before you go to bed. Apply it to the under eye area in the morning to treat puffy eyes caused by the long trip and little sleep.
In a pinch, snag a spoon from room service and do the same thing. In the morning, rest the rounded back of the spoon under your eyes to help quell any swelling.
And there you have it! A great way for you to keep your skin healthy and happy while globetrotting. What are your tricks and favourite products to keep your skin intact while travelling?  Let me know - Next up how to pack - one of my biggest challenges.........

Rose Water - Who Knew

Yeah It's Friday!

Quick post to showcase another at home beauty treatment on the inexpensive side that I wanted to share and has many wonderful benefits!  Gotta try it and let me know your thoughts - Cheers!

Rose Water, loriannmd, blogger, urablankslate, downtown frederick, sass magazine frederick, nova, dc, baltimore, strivectin, nyc, shopping, anti aging, beauty, travel, water, roses, diy, at home beauty, polyvore, blank slate, blankslate, cheers, friday, tgif, at home office

With all the beauty products I try (and love), it’s hard to believe that some of them are so simple and really just basic ingredients! One of the things that I have used for myself and clients that really has helped keep skin calm is Rose Water!  It’s pretty crazy. but just using a cotton saturated in Rose Water (mixed with water- I use bottled water for this to keep it pure - like I do with my soups - my tap water has God know what in it....) and than using as a toner is incredible!  It soothes your skin and somehow makes it more even.  It also helps fight acne and just calms it overall!  The best part, it’s available at most grocery / health food stores and costs about $5 - $7.
When I first get this Rose Water, I pour half of the contents into another bottle (preferably glass) & mix it with water, which you can use this to tone your skin (I especially love it for backne, and also bumps on your arms). For extra acne fighting, just crack an uncoated aspirin and toss it into the mix and use it at night! You can even put some in a spray bottle and just lightly spray your skin when you leave the shower for clear skin that smells delicious! The uses are literally endless and it is so beautifying, it’s a must for every girl (and guy) to have!

Have a wonderful day all - posting later today RE: travel reviews!  Finally  

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fall Is Here & I Couldn't Be Happier

Happy Wednesday!

Fall Is Here & I Couldn't Be Happierurablankslate, blank slate, lori tauraso, loriannmd, frederick, md, nova, va, dc, baltimore, fall, 2015 fall, decoration, tablescapes, hiking, blogger, sass magazine frederick, maine, shopping, tasting room

The foliage - the holidays - bundling up - gloves - hats - cuddling by the fire & walks outside seeing the beautiful leaves changing.

I am so lucky to live in Maryland.  We get the best of it all!  The Beach, Mountains, Washington,DC & Baltimore's Inner Harbor close by.  We have all Four Seasons - Skiing - Swimming - Hiking - Shopping - History - Parties - Fashion & Great Food!

So in the spirit of Fall, I tried my hand a seasonal flower arrangement this week @ one of our restaurants and think it turned out ok - Mike ( the hubby ) loves it so that was pretty flattering.  I was trying to find something with some longevity / staying power -It's a pretty large arrangement and a focal point of the corner - so you have to go big or go home - LOL
loriannmd, lori tauraso, frederick, downtown frederick, fall 2015, flowers, pumpkins, floral arrangements, the tasting room, interior design, fall, hiking, blogger, blogging, instagram, diy

trrestaurant, the tasting room, fall 2015, decor, flowers, pumpkins, loriannmd, lori tauraso, decor, shopping, downtown frederick , nova, md, va, baltimore, sass magazine frederick,

Working on the front porch at home today as well - it's gonna be so nice!  What else is nice is that Mike is outta town for a few days fishing and I get my lovely home to myself - to binge watch Ladies of London - as many bath's as I want - flowers everywhere and my house will stay neat and clean!  Love ya babe but......  So I'll post back later with decor updates.  I am also hosting Thanksgiving this year - small only 8 - 10 but I am gearing up - checking on what I have, need & want.  So many great things to do with the table!  

Also, here is a sneak peak at the photo shoot.  I hope the pictures turn out ok - I was so nervous!  
sass magazine, lori tauraso, loriannmd, shopping, photo shoot, photography, blank slate, urablankslate, downtown frederick, silk & burlap, treaty general store, relish decor,

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Save Your Tights From Running Away

Hellllooooo Dahling,

I've heard about this trick for several years now - but never tried it and thought how can it work?  Well - Fall is here and that means I'm pulling my tights out.  I love them - the layering - the added texture plus keeping my little legs warm and toasty.  However nice ones are not cheap!  It drives me nuts when they run or get a hole or snag etc..... So I decided to finally try this so called life saver - well kids IT WORKS!!!!!!  I was just absolutely shocked so I just had to pass along this 411 to my peeps!  Tell your wallet Lori says"your welcome"!

blankslate, urablankslate, fall 2015, fall, nyc, frederick, shopping, tights, dkny, sass magazine, nova, dmv, washington dc, baltimore, blogging, blogger, lori tauraso, loriannmd, google, macy's,, nordstrom, neiman marcus, downtown frederick, frederick magazine, fashion, fashion week, 2015, trends, diy

You freeze them.  Yes FREEZE THEM!
Yes, it sounds crazy, but hear us out: The next time you buy a new pair (and before you wear them), run them under water until they’re damp. Then place them in a plastic bag and freeze overnight. Take them out and give them a day to defrost and thaw out.
You only need to do this once--after that, you’re good to go. The chilly temps firm and strengthen the individual fibers of your tights, making them less susceptible to runs later on.

OK, my public service announcement is over - back to the grind!  

Friday, October 9, 2015


Happy Friday People!

blank slate, urablankslate, frederick md, sass magazine frederick, sass magazine, weekend, diy, dc, md, va, nyc, travel

Wanted to share a few things that are on my radar.......  - has this great go-cart white rolling console table only $169 - gonna use it upstairs in my loft to hold my "sparkling waters - little snacks etc. the "healthy bar cart" Cute, right?
CB2, lori tauraso, loriannmd, urablankslate, blankslate blank slate, downtown frederick, shopping, georgetown, dc, md , va , tysons corner, bar cart, healthy, perrier, sparkling water, anti aging, white, console table,
Next going to do an at home DIY kitchen - chemical peel to mimic the results you'd get from a dermatologist:  Mix 3 tablespoons apple juice (magic acid, a gentle exfoliator), 3 tablespoons milk (lactic acid, a more intense exfoliator found in many anti-aging products), and 1 egg white ( to firm - you've seen me do this before).  Apply for 15 - 20 min, than rise with warm water.  TA DAAAAA

diy facial, sass magazine, frederick md, facial, chemical peel, egg white, apples, fall, fall 2015, nyc, maven beauty bar, loriannmd, lori tauraso, blank slate, shopping, looking young,

My search for a new fall bag:
fall 2015, loriannmd, lori tauraso, urablankslate, blank slate, frederick md, downtown frederick, shopping, silk and burlap, maven beauty bar, blogger, instagram, polyvore. dc, md , va, dmv, baltimore, tysons corner ,
These range from Valentino - #.1 Phillip Lim - the lovely Rebecca Minkoff (a front runner for look quality and great price$$$) which to me is very reminiscent of the the iconic "Chanel Cross Body Mini".... So not quite sure and looking for a nice pair of leather gloves as well.  

Finally the never ending battle to keep organized - Will be another "purging" weekend.  Out with the old in with the new!  Would love to fit a trip to IKEA to grab a few things - need my fix.  

Cheers All & Try To Do One Nice Thing For Someone W/Out Them Asking......

PS - Big Big "Thanks You's" to my friend Hallie +Hallie Burrier of for all her help and patience lending me some great things for my lifestyle shoot for Sass Magazine a great new magazine here in Frederick, MD!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Today, we women are coming into our own and the entrepreneur's rate is at an all time high. We can get so busy and caught up in the day to day things that take our attention away from ourselves and cause frequent overwhelm. We are made to feel like giving to others first is the better way to be. At the end of our days we are depleted of everything. When I talk with friends, business associates and clients, the one thing that is prevalent in our conversations is how much we forget to take pride in ourselves, get dressed up, take a little alone time, indulge our senses with beautiful fragrance, cuddle up with a cozy throw and read a delicious book.

urablankslate, blank slate, lori tauraso, frederick md, md, baltimore, downtown frederick, nyc, dmv, nova, mr bubble, strivectin, shopping, health , anti aging

It's important to remember to take time out in our days, even if its only 15-20 minutes. Put down the phone and do something luxurious for yourself. For me its a bath.  It helps to recharge and refuel your creativity & drive. One way to make it a little bit easier for yourself, is to set yourself up for it. I always like to say "luxury doesn't have to be expensive". Take some time out to create a cozy nook in your bedroom or pile your bath with a cozy robe and slippers. Buy yourself a yummy candle and some soft pillows for your desk. 

Remember it's OK and actually a good thing to say "no" I am not able to commit to that or I'm not gonna be able to attend. This is a biggie for me.  Also much as you can.  It boosts your mood, and has been shown to help keep you healthy.  I have begun to start my day watching a bit of YouTube in the morning for 20 min.  Conan O'brien is one of my favorites!  He, Jim Gaffigan, Will Ferrell & Kevin Hart are at the top of my list.  

So remember my peeps you do you!  Like they say "put your mask on first before helping others" Mine just happens to be the new StriVectin brightening instant 
strivectin, lori tauraso, urablankslate, blank slate, frederick md,

** Also so excited have been asked by SASS MAGAZINE FREDERICK 
frederick, sass magazine , baltimore, shopping, md, va, washington dc, sass, photograph,
to be featured in a small article in the winter 2015 issue including a small photo shoot tomorrow.  Should be great fun and the issue comes out Dec. 1st!  Really looking forward to and flattered to be working with these great and creative ladies!  Ok gotta run - my bath is ready!