Your New Workout Song: Bonbon

We currently have Era Istrefi's song, Bonbon, on repeat. We missed its release earlier this year, but recently learned about the songstress behind the music. Elements that seem to be inspired by Sia and Rihanna reverberate delightfully in the hip song, but Era adds her own distinctive mark, singing in her native Albanian. There's an English version of the song that is great, but we love the original track. Vogue recently did a piece on Era. Big things are in store for her. She's cool and smart. Now where can we get a hot pink trimmed winter coat...

Picture Credit: Google Image

The Mango Salsa of Your Dreams

While you can get mangoes all year long, we think they are best in the summer months. Throwing together a delicious mango-jicama salsa to eat with chips, on fish or with delicious chicken, seems like a good idea. On a lunch run to Whole Foods, we grabbed some ready-made to eat with our favorite chicken drumsticks tonight. It's pretty easy to make yourself too. Give yourself 10-15 minutes and follow the below recipe from Food.com. We've slightly modified it to give you more scrumptious taste options. If you are worried about how to actually chop a mango, fear not. Watch the funny Alton Brown video. Be warned -it contains fake blood, so if you are squeamish, fast forward to the end to see the best way to slice and dice a mango.

MANGO-JICAMA SALSA
SERVINGS 4-6

1⁄2 cup ripe mango, diced
1⁄2 cup jicama, diced
1 Roma tomato, diced
2 tablespoons lime juice, freshly-squeezed
2 tablespoons orange juice, freshly-squeezed (Note: We think this can be optional.)
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1⁄2-1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
Optional: 1 cup red onion, diced (about 1 medium red onion)
Optional: If you forgo the OJ, you can throw in ½ cup kiwi, diced (about 2 kiwis)
salt (to taste)

DIRECTIONS
Mix the ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for about 2 hours before chowing down.  

Confessions of a Dermatologist: Take Control of Oily Summer Skin

Dr. Sejal Shah is our skin savior. She recently laid out the fundamentals for flawless "I woke up like this" skin. Now she tackles how to control that slick, oily layer that is sitting on your skin, piled up from the heat and sweat of the summer months. Shiny face can impact even the most pulled together gents and ladies. We've all been there. For real. Take control and make sure your healthy glow is just that:

If you have oily or acne-prone skin, you may have noticed that the summertime is no friend of yours. Even if your skin isn't oily, it may feel oilier than usual. Hot and humid weather actually tends to make your oil glands produce more oil.

So what's a gal or guy to do? Don't panic. Here are some tips for shine control when you're stuck in a heat wave. 

Change up Your Wash
We know you are wedded to the face wash you've been using since your teens and early 20s. Well, it's time to switch things up and use a wash with alpha-hydroxy acids, beta-hydroxy acids, or tea tree oil to help balance the oil.  

Tone Things Up with a Toner
If washing twice a day isn't keeping the oil at bay, try adding in an alcohol-free toner to absorb some of that excess oil. It takes seconds to use and make a world of difference. 

A Mask Is Your Friend
Consider using a clay mask once or twice a week to absorb some of that excess oil. Remember, if you find that using an oil-balancing cleanser, a toner and a mask leaves your skin feeling very tight or even oilier than usual, then you may be over-drying your skin. Listen to your body and scale back on one of your skin tools if your skin is getting overly sensitive.

Don't Stop Your Sunscreen. Ever.
People often make the mistake of avoiding sunscreen because they feel that it makes their skin greasier, but this does more harm than good. Instead of eliminating the sunscreen completely, pick up a mineral based sunscreen or look for one with denatured alcohol, which makes the skin look matte. 

Lighten Up Your Routine
During the summer, take all your products, including your makeup, down a notch. For example, switch out your creams for lotions. If you are already using a lotion, try hydrating serums. Instead of a heavy foundation, try a BB cream or tinted moisturizer. Your skin will thank you and you'll save some time in the morning.   

Don't Forget About Blotting Papers
Unlike powder, blotting papers won't leave you a cakey mess. Also, they are great because they soak up excess oil without stripping the skin, so you can't really overuse them. (In the Midfield Side Note: We've spied legions of New Yorkers religiously using these this summer.)

When All Else Fails, See a Pro
You've tried everything and are at your wit's end, take a deep breath. Dermatologists have many in-office treatments and prescriptions in their toolbox that can tackle this greasy problem. If your home remedies aren't cutting it, then it's time to make an appointment.

Hopefully, these tips will keep your skin looking it's best when the heat and humidity are at their worst.   

Craving more tips from Dr. Shah? Follow SmarterSkin Dermatology on Facebook or Twitter.

Sejal K. Shah, M.D. is a board certified dermatologist in SmarterSkin Dermatology, a private practice in Manhattan. She practices all aspects of dermatology with an expertise in cosmetic dermatology and lasers, hair loss and ethnic skin. Dr. Shah utilizes the latest treatments and technologies to enhance her patients’ natural beauty. (Full Bio)

SmarterSkin Dermatology
225 Broadway, Suite 1610
Manhattan, New York
212-225-8444


Picture Credit: Pinterest via the Oil Cleansing Method

Casper Wants Your Dog To Sleep Like A Baby

Our Chief Puppy Officer, Guinness, has a penchant for destroying fluffy dog beds. But, we were intrigued when we heard the news around Casper's new dog mattress. Are we going to rush out to get one ? Not yet - Guinness seems content with her sleep mat and array of dog blankets. But, we will be watching to see people's feedback, especially on the durability of the beds. If Guinness is lucky, maybe a fancy Casper holiday gift is in her future...

Picture Credits: Casper

Outlander - Inspiring Our Obsession with Tartan

Recently, we've become enthralled with the series, Outlander. Watch the first episode and you'll understand why. Seeing the array of stylish and beautiful tartan in the show's wardrobe got us thinking, is there a difference between tartan and plaid? In short, yes. Designer, Scot Meacham Wood provides a solid macro analysis for you. Still a wee bit confused - it's OK; just take our word for it that they are different. If you want to get your hands on authentic tartan, but don't have time to fly over to Scotland, have no fear. Lochcarron ships worldwide. With a history dating back to 1892, they know a thing or two about Scottish textiles. 

Picture Credit: Alexander McQueen coat in Black Watch Tartan, FW2012; Edited from Vogue.

The Handbag of the Future is Here: ANDI

For years we've been playing the gym bag dating game. You name a brand, we've tried it. And then, one day we met our love match. We were perusing the Equinox store and were drawn to the ANDI Diamond Charcoal Bag. It's light, durable, stylish and the straps are convertible. We can wear the bag as a tote, over the shoulder, cross body, as a back-back, carry our yoga mat etc. you name it. We snapped it up. ANDI has answered our gym bag calls because it's so much more than a gym bag. It's thoughtfully designed. Walking in the rain? Not a problem. The material will keep your gear dry. Your sneakers are heavy - doesn't matter - the bag itself is so lightweight that your shoulders won't be weighed down by any bulky hardware or fabric. We like our ANDI so much we've been using it outside the gym. We tested it out at the beach, commuting to work and to tote our magazines during a road trip. It's a keeper. Staying calm and balanced means surrounding yourself with versatile tools that make your life easier - ANDI does just that. Thank goodness for this chic and functional brand. Shop the entire collection including The ANDI, ANDI Go, ANDI Too and ANDI Pocket. In the city, on a plane, at the gym or on a hike, there's an ANDI for every aspect of your life. 
#BeGoodToYourself

See more videos on how to wear your ANDI here.


Picture Credits: All images used with permission from The ANDI Brand and @theandibrand.

The British Royals As You've Never Seen Them Before: The Crown

Our calendars have long been marked with the Narcos Season 2 premiere on Netflix: Friday, September 2nd at Midnight (PST). But, it's not the only Netflix series we are waiting, with baited breath, for. We've long held a fascination with the British Royals. The first week at University in London, a group of us gathered in our student hall to discuss the triumphs and disasters of interviewing at Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge). During the course of the conversation, a new classmate, looking to impress the ladies, not so casually let it slip that he had attended Eton with Prince William. For the Americans in the group, this was thrilling to hear. The American fixation on the British Monarchy is motivated by a myriad of reasons. Looking back over the 20th Century, the Royal Family's intimate and influential role in British society, politics and culture played a role not just in Great Britain, but throughout the Commonwealth, and of course, over the pond, in the States. Fast forward today, in an era where Brexit is the new reality; the buzz around Netflix's newest series, The Crown, is growing. Even the Royal Family is supposedly a little nervous and excited about the project. While most Americans are rightly looking forward to early November being over to get some respite from the presidential election news coverage, we can also rejoice because all ten episodes of the Crown will be released on November 4th; "Her reign begins." We'll let you enjoy the double entendre in that...

Look Like a Camping Pro: Gear to Minimize "Roughing It"

The last of the summer months are upon us, and we are desperately searching for weekend activities before the weather shifts. This past weekend, a friend tried to convince us to go camping with him. He described the joy of setting up a campsite, grilling food etc. We, admittedly, were fixated on the bears that might come to say hello and eat our bag of Doritos in the middle of the night. While we get over our fears of things that growl in the dark, we thought it would be a good time for Jon Rich to revisit his tips for camping in-style and comfort. This is what happens when city-folk get in touch with their wilderness spirit:

When we last chatted (OMG, how have you been???), I gave you insight into the leisure activity known as camping. It’s hands down a unique way to bond with friends and get back in touch with nature, and probably come home with funny stories and mosquito bites (Zika be gone!). However, camping is not all fun and games people - there’s a lot of work to do before you venture out. I’m not just talking about the obvious things like bringing six bags of organic trail mix and a six-pack of LaCroix; there are many crucial steps that need to be taken to ensure that you have a good time, and at the very least, you don’t hurt yourself. Nobody wants to be that guy or gal that shows up the Monday after a long weekend with a cast or awkwardly placed, jumbo band-aid on a random part of your face.

First, let’s talk about basic gear. Depending on the terrain, (i.e. mountains vs. lakefront), you’re going to need a solid pair of hiking boots. Many amateurs, like me, are cool wearing sneakers, which is okay if it’s not rough terrain. But if you’re going to do any type of hiking or climbing, or the ground will be rocky or uneven, you’ll be better off in a comfortable pair of hiking shoes. Leave the fashion and wedge sneakers at home. Brands like Timberland, Salomon and Merrell are great options.  

Next, your pack. This turned out to be one of the most crucial pieces of camping equipment. While I thought a medium-sized, top-loading backpack made for snowboarding would do the trick, I was sorely mistaken. Since that was my only backpack, I also had to lug around a weekend duffel bag, which has no place in the wilderness. This is especially true where there will be hiking. The only piece of luggage you’ll need is what’s called a backpacking pack. You’ve probably seen them on the backs of young tourists. These packs are made to fit a lot of stuff in one, vertical pile, which allows you to wear it all on your back, freeing up your hands. I really could have used that when I was trying to brace myself on the craggy hills of our hike, but all I could do was stick out my elbows for support, while gripping my weekender bag. While there are many brands that make these, Osprey is on my wish-list. For a good one, look to spend about $200.

Getting a good night’s sleep while camping is also key. Depending on the season, where you camp and how much you love mother nature, you’ll need to consider whether to bring a tent and/or sleeping bag. In terms of tents, there are two general types: backpacking tents, which are smaller, have sloping sides, and usually fit just a single human; and camping tents, which are larger, more open and fit more people. I probably shouldn’t have to explain why someone might prefer a backpacking tent to a camping tent, but if you want to assure that you’ll be sleeping without the fear that your friend is going to snuggle up next you and swear it’s just to aggregate body warmth, then grab a backpacking tent and go solo. There are a host of offerings on the market, but the ones I like are in the $300-$400 range. FYI, for those who really love sleeping in their cars, some companies make what’s called a vehicle tent - it's a big tent that literally attaches to the side of your car. There’s even car-top tents. Fancy.  

Sleeping bags. It’s sometimes nice to switch from your luxurious queen, extra-firm mattress and cocoon yourself up in a cozy sleeping bag. The main things you should worry about is whether the bag is waterproof and what temperature it’s made to withstand. Meaning, if it’s below 30 degrees outside, will the bag keep you comfortable and prevent you from turning into an icicle. You should spend about $200-$300. Reliable brands include Marmot, The North Face and Sierra Designs.

With the right, basic gear, you’ll definitely have a great time.You can even focus on the joy of whipping up some campfire-friendly recipes and telling ghost stories while you nosh on s’mores. Remember, everybody likes a happy camper.

Jon Rich is In the Midfield's Men's Lifestyle Editor. He is also a practicing attorney in NYC.

Picture Credit: Tumblr

Stranger Things: The Retro Series We Just Binge Watched

Word of mouth - that's how Netflix's Stranger Things has gained momentum and viewership. We watched the series in three nights. It's hilarious, terrifying and made us a wee-bit nostalgic for the 1980s. Winona Ryder headlines a stellar cast. Stand-out stars include David Harbour who plays Police Chief Jim Hopper and Mathew Modine who plays, well, you really must watch to see his character. We don't want to give too much away. Don't read any of the press about the series - you are at risk of being exposed to spoilers. Just watch it and leave the lights on...scary things lurk in the dark. 

Picture Credit: Stranger Things, Netflix

Your Summertime Soirée Needs A Fancy Drink: Frosé

Everything is coming up rose! We missed the memo about Frosé (frozen Rosé) being the drink of the summer. There are oodles of recipes to try out there. Bon Appétit's recipe was particularly helpful because they also have this video to guide you. Bonus - the drink looks oh so pretty and tastes delish. Bottoms up! 

Picture Credits:
Pinterest @Elle.pl
Pinterest My Kitchen Love 
Pinterest Steel House Kitchen 
Pinterest Fox & Briar

NINDYAA: Luxurious Bedsheets

A few years ago we had the pleasure of working on a brand consulting project with one of the founders of NINDYAA. Today she and her co-founders started a Kickstarter campaign to launch their new line of beautifully hand-crafted bed linens. Inspired by the architecture and design of Pakistan, merged with a European sleek, style sensibility, NINDYAA sheets are designed with a story behind each stitch and pattern. Isn't it time you added a soothing cosmopolitan dose to your bedroom design? Join us in supporting this company as it launches, and watch this space for more exciting news from the NINDYAA team. You can follow along the team's adventures @Nindyaa_com. From the streets of Hamburg to the gardens of Lahore, the brand's inspiration is everywhere. #SleepInStyle 

Put Down Your Phone and Eat Your Meal

It was a quiet holiday weekend in the city and we'd managed to get a booking at Jean-Georges. Whipping out our phones to take pictures wasn't even remotely on our radar once we made it inside the elegant eatery. The only picture we took the entire evening was the polished off dessert plate - the remnants of a delicious berry concoction splayed alongside the crumbs of the glorious confections that had accompanied it. Throughout our meal we'd noticed that a table nearby was obsessively cataloging each course via smartphone snaps, sometimes, wait for it, with a camera flash. Is taking pictures of your food in a formal restaurant a social faux-pas? What about at a family meal? This IKEA advert offers a cheeky take on what "sharing" and "liking" meals would have been like back in the day. Well-played IKEA; well-played indeed.

Chief Puppy Officer: Lady Guinness

Guinness, or Lady Guinness as she is formally addressed, decided to make her own Instagram public. Like many royals, she's mostly a private puppy. But, recently she got the media bug after her first foray into the public's eye at an AKC event. She was there to support her pure breed puppy peeps. Fast forward to min 4:10 to see Ms. Guinness come out from under the snack table, because, um, where else would she be hanging out? Now our In the Midfield Chief Puppy Officer is ready for the big wide world. Or maybe it's just Guinness' world, and we live in it...

Want a New Job? Smile Pretty!

The other night over tacos, we had a mind blowing philosophical discussion. First about the tacos we were devouring, with great gusto, at Taqueria Empellon, (located on what is probably one of the most adorable streets in the West Village), and then about looks. Would you rather be "attractive" in real life or in photographs? Yes, this is serious stuff we know. Shortly thereafter, this article popped into our LinkedIn feed about the optimal career profile picture. Admittedly, sometimes in professional head-shots we don't smile. Maybe we just prefer the Blue Steel "Let Me Take Care of Business Look." After reading this piece, we may be redoing our pictures...Say Cheese!

Picture Credits: This Is What The Ideal LinkedIn Photo Looks Like (+ 6 Tips To Perfect Yours!)

Netflix Documentaries: E-TEAM

In an era of Netflix binging, the best part of our subscription is the riveting and mind-blowing documentaries that we otherwise would miss hearing about. In 2014 E-TEAM, (Emergencies Team) was released and became a Sundance award winner, garnering accolades and trophies at film festivals around the world. We cannot wait to watch this brilliant film. The spotlight that this documentary shines on the outstanding work of human rights experts, to track and share ground-truths, is essential to staying aware of the complicated world around us. Your heart will race watching the trailer. Move over James Bond; the E-team is in town now...(Click here for behind-the-scenes clips and interviews.) Want to learn more about Human Rights Watch? Head over here

Picture Credit: E-TEAM