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I usually despise forwarded e-mails, but my best friend sent me this one the other day … It amused me so much that I just had to share it with you on this beautiful Saturday, which I’m spending with my boyfriend on our way to San Francisco, CA! (I’m on Wi-Fi on our Virgin Airlines flight. Wild!)

Important Women’s Health Issue:

* Do you have feelings of inadequacy?
* Do you suffer from shyness?
* Do you sometimes wish you were more assertive?
* Do you suffer exhaustion from the day to day grind?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, ask your doctor or
pharmacist about Margaritas.

Margaritas are the safe, natural way to feel better and more confident about yourself and your actions. Margaritas can help ease you out of your shyness and let you tell the world that you’re ready and willing to do just about anything. You will notice the benefits of Margaritas almost immediately and with a regimen of regular doses you can overcome any obstacles that prevent you from living the life you want to live.

Shyness and awkwardness will be a thing of the past and you will discover many talents you never knew you had. Stop hiding and start living, with Margaritas.

Margaritas may not be right for everyone. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use Margaritas. However, women who wouldn’t mind nursing or becoming pregnant are encouraged to try it.

Side effects may be more severe than this depiction, depending on how strong the dose is that your doctor prescribes.

Side effects may include:
– Dizziness
– Nausea
– Vomiting
– Incarceration
– Erotic lustfulness
– Loss of motor control
– Loss of clothing
– Loss of money
– Loss of virginity
– Table dancing
– Headache
– Dehydration
– Dry mouth
– And a desire to sing Karaoke

WARNINGS:
* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you are whispering when you are not.

* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to tell your friends over and over again that you love them.

* The consumption of Margaritas may cause you to think you can sing.

* The consumption of Margaritas may make you think you can logically converse with members of the opposite sex without spitting.

Please share this with other women who may need Margaritas.

In honor of the impending weekend, let’s talk about: DRINKING!!! Whoo! Quick Disclaimer: If you’re under 21, don’t drink. OK, now that we have that out of the way…

All natural and with only 100 calories per 4 oz. serving, this makes my fiesta!

I don’t watch any of the Real Housewives, because I don’t really care for reality TV dramas involving whiny rich people (with the exception of Tori Spelling, because I’m a 90210 junkie). So I didn’t know who Bethenny Frankel was, until I heard from my sister that it was she who invented Skinnygirl Margarita, a pre-mixed margarita that is all-natural, free of high fructose corn syrup and low-cal…

Let’s backtrack, shall we, for a wee bit of history here: My sister, Emmie, my mom and I ARE OBSESSED WITH Mex/Tex-Mex cuisine and margaritas. We make our own from-scratch salsa and guacamole. My boyfriend, Dan and I love going to a restaurant in Paterson, NJ called La Hacienda with our friends, primarily because they have frozen margaritas that are insanely knock-you-on-your-butt amazing. (The food is killer, too.) If I had to have only one alcoholic beverage for the rest of my life, it would be a margarita. But, sadly, most restaurant margaritas are insanely high in calories and sugar. What’s more, many are made with premixes that are filled with horrendous-for-you chemicals and preservatives, like high fructose corn syrup, sodium benzoate, glycerol abietate (huh?) and FD&C Yellow No. 5. Eww.

Knowing that a homemade margarita (lime juice, triple sec, 100% agave tequila) is healthier, Em and I have done it. But it’s definitely time-consuming. Being that we’re busy gals, pre-bottled Skinnygirl Margarita—made only with quality tequila, a hint of agave nectar, lime juice and triple sec—sounded right up our alley.

We proceeded to hunt down the nearest bottles of the stuff in our respective areas (she’s currently at school in Tallahassee, I’m in Northern Jersey). When her boyfriend managed to find it first, she texted me…

Em: Matt got me skinnygirl magarita!!

Me: Did you try it!?!

Emmie: Yah! Its good. Not sweet enough though but thats cause its low cal

Me: Aw – I wanna try.

About a week later, I found it at our ShopRite Liquor store—$15 for a 750 ml bottle. A little steep, but when it comes to quality—and hey, even “better-for-you”—liquor, you can’t be cheap, right?

I text Emmie: I found skinnygirl!! Gonna try!

Emmie: Good!!

Me: Was it worth it?

Em: I like it. Refreshing and no fuss – and not too sugary, ya know. dont have to worry about disgusting synthetic stuff

(An hour goes by. I’ve bought it, and I’m now at home.)

Me: Mmmm!! I love it!

Em: You got it?

Me: Yes and just had a sip haha (Straight from the bottle, FYI.)

Em: Yum!

And yes, it is yum! I do love it! To me, it tastes just like a real, on-the-rocks margarita you’d get a restaurant. But I love knowing that there’s nothing creepy in it, and I appreciate knowing that it’s relatively low in calories and sugar. So, thank you, Bethenny Frankel – you get four thumbs up from the Brown sistahs!

Pretty much the best white wine I've ever had.

However, if your summer beverage of choice errs more toward a lovely chilled white wine (which clocks in at about 110 calories per standard 5 oz. serving) and/or sangria (which may be more like 200 calories), I highly recommend Conundrum. Whole Foods was heavily promoting this California white wine when it caught my eye. The wine guy at my local WF assured me that it was worth every penny of the $18 price tag, and then after I brought it to a BYOB sushi restaurant on a group date, my friends strongly agreed. A proprietary mix of Sauvignon Blanc grapes, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay and Viognier, initially, it’s almost too sweet, but then you find that it is actually really balanced. Friends and I agreed that it would be delicious in white sangria. I am gonna have to try that at some point soon!

And last, but not least, when it comes to light beer…

My girls and I are on board with this Bud. (Photo via Anheuser Busch)

Oh so serious beer drinkers will poo-poo most light beers as “watered down” or even “undrinkable,” but when you’re concerned about calories, light beer is often a reasonable option. But I tend to agree that regular Bud Light tastes like drinking beer-flavored water. Bud Light Golden Wheat, on the other hand, tastes like the light version of my favorite regular beer, Blue Moon. I actually don’t know why they haven’t made a Blue Moon Light, because that would be even better. But at least now, we’ve got BLGW – which is citrusy, slightly sweet and awesome. Bud Light Lime is also refreshing and has that margarita-ish kick to it that I love. Also, believe it or not, I tried MGD 64 recently…not bad! For a one-point beer, I’d definitely buy it again.

But no matter which spirit you select, remember kiddies: drink responsibly! 🙂 And FYI: some health benefits of drinking (in moderation).

What’s your drink of choice this summer?[tweetmeme source=”MaressaSylvie” only_single=false http://www.URL.com%5D
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Because I’m enjoying vacation with my family in Key West and Fort Lauderdale, Florida this week, I may be a lot less attentive to TBL than usual. However, I just met a local artisan who inspired me to write about following your heart through your art…in order to be true to yourself. 

Hi, I'm delicious. (Key Lime Pie from The Blond Giraffe)

So inbetween frozen key lime margaritas and key lime pie (my fave), it would be my pleasure to introduce you to her. Stay tuned! xo