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Gifts that Give Back

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Holiday shopping can present you with a moral dilemma: you want to shower your loved ones with beautiful gifts but it seems entirely contradictory to the spirit of the season: that is, remembering the poor and suffering and giving back, or at least donating a used coat or an hour of companionship to those less fortunate than ourselves.

Karma Notes

But this year you can get your goodies and give back, too, if you shop at sites like the brand new UNICEF Market. Their prices are great – we love these handspun silk scarves from Thailand – $22.99 for the pair!  It’s what UNICEF calls “Triple Win Pricing.”  #1 you save because there aren’t layers of middlemen getting the goods from artisans to consumers; #2 children benefit since a portion of the proceeds help fund UNICEF’s programs providing lifesaving nutrition, medicine, education, clean water, emergency relief and more to children in need; and #3 UNICEF Market artisans set their own prices and control their own businesses. UNICEF Market offers artisans a free platform to sell their work throughout the United States.

They also have this “Karma Notes” recycled glass carafe with glasses, made with upcycled glass collected from the beaches of Bali.

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Paddle Diva SUP Board Christmas Sale!

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This holiday season why not get her that SUP board she wants and deserves!

We’re offering great deals on SUP boards in stock and more on 2014 models.

SUP Love: Get it for $1,000 — save $575!

BOGA Paddleboards: Get it for $1,000 — save $195!

Riviera Paddlesurf:

  • Riviera Series: $750 (save $200)
  • Riviera Select Soft Tops: $750 (save $200)
  • Riviera Select Series: $1250 (save $100)

Diva SUP Board: Get it for $1,100 (save $550)

Diva SUP Yoga Board: Get it for $1,000 (save $500)

Sale ends December 17 so contact Gina ASAP at 516-383-2296 if you don’t want to miss out!


Looking Forward, Looking Back

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It’s been an amazing year for everyone at Paddle Diva. The beginning of 2014 found the Bradleys enjoying some extended family time in Rincon, Puerto Rico, away from the hustle bustle of life in New York. It was during this trip that the Bradleys adopted Coconut, one of the rescue pups they fostered in Rincon. Coconut featured prominently into life at Paddle Diva’s SUP Center this year – always there to greet clients, but really, Coconut just hangs around hoping for a ride.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding with Your DogWhen March rolled around, we found ourselves heading back down to Rincon to prep for one of our amazing SUP Yoga retreats with Jessica Bellofatto (we have another one coming up January 22-26, so make sure you reserve your spot). Unfortunately, Gina’s accident with a scorpion fish sent her back to New York for treatment and a longer than expected recovery. Thankfully, Jessica was able to step up and lead the retreat, for which she was crowned Inspirational Woman of the Month for April.

Once the Hamptons summer season kicked in, it was business as usual at Paddle Diva: SUP lessons, SUP fitness classes and group paddle tours. We still have the only floating fitness studio in the Hamptons, and in 2014 we pumped up our offerings for ASI training and certification, for both SUP and SUP Yoga teachers. Because summer brings glamorous visitors to our parts, that’s when we have our big fundraisers. Gina’s efforts to promote a healthy planet landed her a spot as an Event Chair for the 25th Anniversary Party for the South Fork Natural History Museum; she was also spotted hobnobbing with Bethenny Frankel at the Hamptons Paddle & Party for Pink. It was truly a summer to remember – if you haven’t seen our highlight reel, you should check it out:

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Hamptons Thanksgiving, Locally Grown

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As soon as Halloween ended, friends and family started asking where we are going to spend Thanksgiving. Last year we spent an untraditional Thanksgiving in Rincon, Puerto Rico, but this year Scott and I decided to stay home in the Hamptons. There was some initial protest by Emma and James, who always look forward to visiting Rincon, but it’s hard for any American kid to resist the call of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. We’ll host my mom and any stragglers that might make their way to our home.

Thanksgiving is all about the food, of course, and I’m only preparing locally purveyed foods: a small turkey from Iacono Farms and produce from Amber Waves. If I’m thankful for anything, it’s for my family’s health and for having access to this bounty of fresh and beautiful food!

Thanksgiving makes me mindful of everything we have that others don’t — I know for a fact that most Americans are not eating healthy food. It’s not really our fault – not everyone lives near turkey farms and vegetable stands. Most people buy their food in supermarkets and take for granted that the products found on supermarket shelves are safe and nutritious. We purchase and consume food without really understanding how it’s produced, but how it’s produced affects our health and the health of our planet.

How timely that our friend Susan Rockefeller’s latest documentary, “Food for Thought, Food for Life,” is about to be released.

This holiday season, take time to think about what it is you are serving your guests, your children – yourself! Take a look at some of the work being done by Stone Barns Center and the Center for Ecoliteracy and support the movement towards more sustainable farming practices. And if you are lucky enough to have good, wholesome food on the tables, be thankful!

Integrating Fitness into Your Everyday Life

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People ask me what I do to keep fit when peak paddling season is over, and if you’ve been reading my blog you probably already know that I don’t stop SUP-ing just because it’s cold outside! Even after the Fall stand up paddleboarding tours taper off, we go out on the occasional down-winder.  But it does get more difficult to get out on the water as frequently as I’d like.

I’ve always been an advocate for getting outdoors for exercise – running, biking, hiking – these are all activities that I love and do regularly.  But our winter weather here in the Northeast can make that difficult, too, if roads are slick and trails are icy.  In previous years, I’ve enjoyed TRX training and various yoga and Pilates classes at our local Hamptons gyms, but more and more I find that I prefer to work my exercise into my everyday life – and I believe that integrating fitness into the daily routine is far more beneficial for one’s health in the long run than going through the motions of a dedicated workout session a few times a week.

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