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Are you an innie or an outie? And I'm not talking belly buttons. What I'm really asking is do you prefer working out inside, or outside? This is something, that through your time spent completing the 10 Day D&R Fitness Challenge you should have picked up on. Did you like the controlled environment of the treadmill? Or, did you prefer playing tennis outdoors? It is something to reflect on, because working out in a space you prefer will make your workout more enjoyable. And, if your workout is more enjoyable, then you'll be more likely to do it!

Day #10 is the perfect day to test you theories. Today, those of you who prefer outdoors will get in an hour bike ride, while those of you who love a climate controlled room will take an hour spinning class. Both riding your bike and spinning are great forms of exercise when you execute them properly.

Tips for getting the most out of your work out today
 (bike riders):

Know of a hilly area nearby? Biking in an area that changes in elevation will help with conditioning and strengthening muscles.

Sing while you bike. Or, for an extra cardio boost sing along to your favorite playlist. (if you're able to sing every word, and hold out every note you are either a.) not pedaling fast enough or, b.) the resistance on your bike is not high enough. This would mean you need to switch your gear up to a higher number.) 

Tips for getting the most out of your work out today (spinning):

First time cyclers: make sure the seat of your bike is level with your hip while you're standing next to your bike, before you hop on. Make sure, when your feet are in the peddles, that you are NOT able to fully extend your leg straight down. This can cause an injury. If you can fully extend your leg, then your seat is too high. Lower the seat to fix this issue. Your handle bar placement is also important. For those with back issues do NOT have your handle bars too low, or too far away from you.

Alumni Cyclers:  Your instructor should know how to get your blood pumping, but just in case you feel you're not getting the cardio you need, or your RPM is dragging add jumps. 
Jumps are performed by moving in and out of the saddle in a smooth, controlled movement. Jumps help you strengthen certain muscles, and also further develop your timing, and balance. You are employing your muscles to shift from the seat to the standing position and back.

My tip for jumping: Start with 8 full cycles in the standing "third" position, then 8 in the sitting "first" position. Then 4 up, 4 down, repeat 3x. Then 2 up, 2 down, repeat 4x. If you're still not feeling the burn continue with variations of the 4 up/4 down and 2 up 2 down jumps.

All Cyclers: Don't be afraid of adding resistance. 

I know the D&R Fitness Challenge was only supposed to last 10 Days, and that it is a great way to jump start your fitness adventure, but I want to leave you with this thought: If you want to live healthfully, and if you want to live a long life, then try to condition your body to work out more consistently. I know we all go through our ups and downs when it comes to fitness- we can be really into it and go every day for a week, and then we could repel it, because we have no energy, we're drained, and so on. But, all it takes is a 30 minute workout 2-3 times a week, every week, to make a difference in our health, in our energy levels, and in our moods! So keep it up lovelies!

Keep Going, and Stay Lovely,


Editor and Curator of

Dusk & Rubies
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Do you remember that moment in The Devil Wears Prada where Miranda, Meryl Streep's character, starts creating a look by pulling pieces off the rack? She puts the pieces together all willy-nilly, and yet the look she creates is flawless. Well that moment happened in my reality, except Miranda was replaced by fashion designer Cynthia Rowley.
Last Thursday I attended a private shopping event hosted by the playful and vivacious Cynthia Rowley. The private event was held at Cynthia's grand and whimsical 4-story Madison Avenue townhouse which houses the Cynthia Rowley Flagship Store, and CuRious Candy! Halfway through the night Cynthia began playing, and I say play because she really is like a child at play around clothes. She began pulling jackets, and dresses, and necklaces together to create a new look. I recreated what she pieced together below. While the exact necklace she used is no where to be found- I hunted the Internet for it, any statement piece will do!
Take a look at some other fun looks below:
(Exact leggings: here, Exact vest: here)

Cynthia Rowley all smiles as Farah cuts her decadent cake!
The night continued with awesome accessories. Here are a few of my favorites below:
Get your flask bangle: here They come in both silver and gold, and hold up to 3 oz.
Inside Scoop: Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow loves the flask bangle! I love how its design isn't compromised by its function.
Trend Spotting: I saw a lot of gold jewelry for this season, and a lot of charm bracelets. Her charm bracelets were extremely playful, with one charm being her signature rabbit. (The theme of CuRious Candy pays tribute to the darker side of Alice In Wonderland.)
Probably my favorite accessory of the night were these camel colored, leather studded shoes- which are not available online. They are only in stores!
Not only were all the guests afforded an amazing discount, champagne while we shopped, and free giveaways, but we were also allowed to try the candy upstairs! You can't imagine all the edible goodies she curates!

Everything from the glitter to the rhinestones is edible!
Edible silverware, dishes, and tea cups!
Cynthia does have a flare for the whimsical and absurd, but that is why we love her!
2nd floor: CuRious Candy
Love the playful side of Cynthia Rowley? Watch the following videos for more inspired fun!

Cant see video? Click: here

Can't see video? Click: here

If you're visiting NYC, then I recommend checking out Cynthia Rowley's store at 43 East 78th Street (at Madison Avenue), New York, NY (map).

Stay Lovely,


Editor and Curator of

Dusk & Rubies Blog
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Farah Zulaikha Private Shopping Event W/ Cynthia Rowley

So often we, especially women, are bombarded with definitions of beauty. We are constantly told who we should look like by magazines, television, and the web. Even science has decided to join this discussion on beauty by dedicating itself to figuring out the exact formula behind sex appeal. With both media and science constantly chattering in my ear trying to tell me what makes someone aesthetically pleasing, meeting Farah Zulaikha was like hitting the reset button- she was exactly what I needed to help me better figure out my own beauty, and what it truly means to be beautiful.

Walking the wintry streets of the Upper East Side, before hailing a cab to CuRious Candy (Cynthia Rowley's flagship building), I kept myself warm with my own excitement- and nerves. I was about to meet the inspiring Farah or, as her admiring followers know her as, Fafa. After my picture was snapped in front of the artful yet playful walkway, I headed into Cynthia's boutique where I was instantaneously made comfortable. Cynthia's people are like the fairy god-mothers of a good time. Within seconds I was gracefully removed from my coat, and my well-manicured fingers were occupied by the stem of a champagne flute. Even more remarkable, was when Farah glided over matching my excitement perfectly by greeting me like a longtime girlfriend.

Farah Zulaikha Private Shopping Event W/ Cynthia Rowley

"You must be Danielle! My publicist told me so much about you! We both love your blog, and she said you were the sweetest thing. I am so happy you're here!"

I was floored to say the least, and extremely humbled by how personable Farah was. She took my hand and pulled me through a crowd of her guests, and we talked about her cause, her dreams, and why she pursued her path in a special interview.

On Being A Fashion Ambassador...
I've always been a girls' girl. When I was younger I would look at magazines and think 'how come no one looks like me?'. I want girls to know that beauty isn't defined by just being one thing. You don't have to just have blond hair and blue eyes to be considered beautiful.

On Her Inspiration And The Launch of Her New Website...
Girls would always e-mail me asking me how I got my hair to be so shiny, or what I do for my skin, and I would tell them 'oh, my mom mixes these home-made remedies in our kitchen and we use it on our hair'. I would make some- I have a background in biochemistry- and send out samples. My followers were like Fafa is this really you e-mailing me?  I would think of course it's really me!

Farah holds up the tinted lip balm in the shade Pink Champagne that everyone invited to the event went home with, and she is all smiles. I told her that I had recently met Maureen Kelly the founder of Tarte cosmetics, whose cosmetics I happened to be wearing, and is also known for her natural cosmetic line.

On  Creating Natural Cosmetics...
Yes, I know Tarte! My lip tint, like Tarte cosmetics, is completely natural and I am really excited about it. From constantly using home remedies, it just felt natural to start to create an all-natural cosmetics. I am really excited about the lip tint because it was a shade designed to look great on every girl, and every skin tone.

As the night continued, Farah personally greeted each guest as they arrived, and we continued our conversation throughout the evening. One of the personality traits that Farah possesses, which I firmly believe is what draws people to her, is her compassion. At one point in the evening I had expressed that it was her philanthropy that I found so profound and beautiful. She replied by grabbing my hand and with a genuine seriousness stated, Yes, I strongly believe that charity is spreading love and beauty. 

Farah is involved in so much, and is bettering the world in so many different ways. I love that Farah is well known not only for her ads and editorials as a model, but also as the face behind her humanitarian efforts. See some of her outstanding photographs below.

By the end of the night, I felt as if I had known Farah for years. Every guest was touched by her enthusiasm, and her ability to put into action the good she wants to see it the world. Beauty grows and spreads like wild fire through women like Farah, and that is the kind of beauty I wish we saw more of. She is humble, philanthropic, kind, intelligent, and friendly. It is because of all of this that Farah radiates beauty, a beauty that is not just visible to the naked eye, or measured by science, but a beauty that can be felt.

I cannot wait to see what Fafa has in store for her #fafanistas!

For more info, and to stay up to date with everything Farah check out her website!
Follow her on
instagram: @Farahzofficial
Stay Lovely,
Editor and Curator of
Dusk & Rubies Blog

Part of the WSWP: Women Support Women Project

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Written by: Danielle A. Rufrano
NYS Teacher Certification in English Language Arts
Freelance writer for: and
BA in English, 2010

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Dusk & Rubies has its own website for special occasion jewelry and one of a kind designs.
Click on the tab shop above.
Click this link below:
Have an idea in mind, but don't see it?
E-mail us and we can help you create your perfect accessory.
Great as gifts for others, and yourself!

Please feel free to use our #Shopsmall banner!

Stay Lovely,


Editor and Curator of

Dusk & Rubies Blog
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