Six Sensational ‘Year of the Rooster’ Watches for the Chinese New Year

No more bits and pieces. No more having to look at multiple stories and places online. Today we bring you a comprehensive look at the top luxury watches designed to celebrate the upcoming Chinese New Year beginning on January 28, 2017. This year begins the year of the rooster, and, five top brands unveil six sensational Chinese zodiac watches.

The rooster is the 10th sign in the Chinese zodiac (and was last honored in 2005). The rooster is generally aligned with loyalty, a sociable and friendly (albeit, a bit bossy) nature and with a punctuality that is bound to impress. This boisterous bird promptly calls out dawn and does so while puffing his chest, ruffling his colorful feathers and proudly showing off his scarlet red comb and waddle.

This year the luxury brands that salute the bugler bird include Ulysse Nardin, Jaquet Droz, Chopard, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin – brands known for unveiling an annual timepiece that blends Swiss craftsmanship, Chinese lore and a host of métiers d’arts. Interestingly enough, each brand has depicted the rooster in a decidedly different mode.

Ulysse Nardin, for instance, unveils its Classico Year of the Rooster in 18-karat rose gold and created in a limited edition of just 88 pieces. Powered by the in-house-made UN-815 self-winding movement, the 40mm watch is a COSC-certified chronometer that offers 42 hours of power reserve. The stunning dial depicting the rooster is created in the centuries-old technique of champlevé enamel.

The backdrop for the rooster is a rich copper-colored metallic enamel that reflects the sky at dawn. It is achieved using different metallic oxides in the painting process. Essentially, the dial is carved with a chisel and the carved cells are then painted and fired repeatedly to achieve the depth of color desired. Ulysse Nardin has mastered this craft and is one of the few watch brands to continue to produce unique champlevé enamel dials in its Donze Cadrans dial manufacture. At the base of the dial – – at the feet of the rooster — are eight blue-centered gold flowers. The rooster stands tall in all its majesty with blue feathers outlined in gold, a white head and a bold red comb.

Jaquet Droz this year continues its concept of releasing several versions of the Chinese New Year zodiac sign. Each depiction is created in a limited edition of just 28 pieces and there are two dial renditions of the Petite Heure Minute watch depicting the Chinese Fire Rooster. Additionally, each dial design is offered in two versions. One watch dial features a sculpted rooster in 18-karat rose gold standing in the bottom center of the dial and surrounded by a background of smoky gray, black and white flowers. The rooster is in its calling position, beak open and feathers ruffled – all magnificently carved and sculpted in gold. A second version of this dial depiction features the rooster in the same stance, but this time totally painted with dark blue feathers, a golden and red head and lush blue tail feathers – also against the muted background of gray, white and black flowers. Crafted in 18-karat white gold, the case and lugs are set with diamonds.

The second dial design is a fully hand-painted dial with the rooster standing in a similar stance but facing the other way. He is not calling out dawn, but rather seems to be looking at something else in a distracted mode. He is pained in white with rich black feathers and brilliant red comb and mettle. He stands beside green grass and a few pink flowers. This dial version is offered in rose gold and in rose gold case entirely set with diamonds.

Piaget also offers an Altiplano ultra-thin Chinese Zodiac watch in a hand-painted motif. Featuring a white mother-of-pearl background dial, the rooster is pained in Grand Feu cloisonné enamel with feathers in tones of gray, white and black. The bright red comb on his head and wattle on his chin offset it. Master enameller Anita Porchet has painted the dial and will paint each of the 38 limited edition pieces being made. The watch is powered by the Piaget 430-P manual-wind movement and is housed in an 18-karat white gold case 38mm set with diamonds.

Chopard also uses an ultra-thin movement in its L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Rooster watch. For Urushi painting, the brand once again partners with the Yamada Heiando firm in Japan to produce the dials of the 88-piece limited edition watch. The lacquer used in Urushi paining is harvested sap, taken from the Urushi tree just once year. In this watch, lacquer is applied within mother-of-pearl cells that help enhance the   iridescence of the rooster, which is painted in vivid blue with gold and orange tail feathers. He rests alongside a bed of eight gladiolas. The L.U.C 96.17-L self-winding movement with micro-rotor powers is equipped with two barrels, offering 65 hours of power reserve. The 39.5mm watch is crafted in 18-karat rose gold.

Vacheron Constantin unveils two renditions of its Métiers d’Art “Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” watches, each created using sculpture, enamel work and engraving. The hands-free watches are powered by the technically advanced in-house-made mechanical Caliber 2460 G4, and the watch depicts time (hours, minutes, day and date) in jumping format via four apertures. The 237-part movement offers 40 hours of power reserve and the watches carry the distinctive Hallmark of Geneva certification attesting to their superb craftsmanship. The Grand Feu enamel   dial of the watch is etched with foliage that is then filled with gold. In the center of the dial – in full glory—stands a three-dimensional sculpted 18-karat gold rooster. The watch is offered in two versions: 18-karat white gold against a blue Grand Feu enamel dial; 18-karat rose gold against a dark salmon-colored Grand Feu enamel dial. Just 12 pieces of each version will be made.

Each of these ‘Year of the Rooster’ versions is new and will be in stores in 2017. Prices have not yet been established.

Live Life to the Fullest

Act like a kid

Sometimes being a grown-up is, well, boring. Yes, you should pay your bills, make your deadlines, and clean your apartment, but make sure to leave time to be a little silly and have fun.

Be still

Whether you meditate or just take some quiet time to yourself, being still may help you embrace the moment and appreciate your life.

Find your inner optimist

Even die-hard glass-half-empty people can have a sunnier lookout if they work at it. Don’t obsess over bad news or your finances; instead, shine your attention on areas of your life for which you are profoundly grateful.

Get some lovin’

Regular romps are more than just fun and games. Sex is great for your health. It can satisfy all sorts of emotional and physical intimacy needs and helps partners stay close, says Anita H. Clayton, MD, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia and author ofSatisfaction: Women, Sex, and the Quest for Intimacy.

 

Take a hike

 

Literally. There’s nothing better than a hike to remind yourself that there’s more to life than an annoying commute and pesky coworkers. It’s a win-win.

Work your muscles

Not only does working out do wonders for your body, but physical activity also improves your overall well-being and health. “Exercise, yoga, or any kind of regular movement helps get you out of your head,” says James Baraz, a meditation instructor and founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, in Woodacre, Calif.

Don’t waste precious time or energy nursing a grudge. Everyone gets mad now and then, but staying mad is more likely to harm you than the one who triggered your ire.

 

 

 

Live a Healthier Lifestyle

How healthy are you? Do you have a healthy diet? Do you exercise regularly? Do you drink at least 8 glasses of water a day?

Our body is our temple, and we need to take care of it to have a healthy life. Do you know that a shocking over 65% of Americans are either obese or overweight? That’s insane! Think of your body as your physical shell to take you through life.

If you repeatedly abuse it with unhealthy food, your shell will wear out quickly. While you may look okay on the outside, on the inside, your arteries are getting clogged up with cholesterol and arterial plaque. That’s not a pretty sight!

Life is beautiful and you don’t want to bog yourself down with unnecessary health problems. Today, your vital organs (kidney, heart, lungs, gall bladder, liver, stomach, intestines, etc) may be working well, but they may not be tomorrow. Don’t take your good health today for granted. Take proper care of your body.

Good health isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise – it also includes having a positive mental health, healthy self-image and a healthy lifestyle. In this article, I’ll share with you 45 tips to live a healthier life.

 

Be Happier Life

Ways to Be Happier

A few years ago, on a morning like any other, I had a sudden realization: I was in danger of wasting my life.

“What do I want from life?” I asked myself. “Well…I want to be happy.” I had many reasons to be happy: My husband was the tall, dark, handsome love of my life; we had two delightful girls; I was a writer, living in my favorite city. I had friends; I had my health; I didn’t have to color my hair.

But too often I sniped at my husband or the drugstore clerk. I felt dejected after even a minor professional setback. I lost my temper easily. Is that how a happy person would act?

I decided on the spot to begin a systematic study of happiness. (A little intense, I know. But that’s the kind of thing that appeals to me.) In the end, I spent a year test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and tips from popular culture.

Well, the year is over, and I can say: It did. I made myself happier. And along the way I learned a lot about how to be happier.

Don’t start with profundities. When I began my Happiness Project, I realized pretty quickly that, rather than jumping in with lengthy daily meditation or answering deep questions of self-identity, I should start with the basics, like going to sleep at a decent hour and not letting myself get too hungry.

Do let the sun go down on anger. I had always scrupulously aired every irritation as soon as possible, to make sure I vented all bad feelings before bedtime. Studies show, however, that the notion of anger catharsis is poppycock. Expressing anger related to minor, fleeting annoyances just amplifies bad feelings, while not expressing anger often allows it to dissipate.

Buy some happiness. Our basic psychological needs include feeling loved, secure, and good at what we do. You also want to have a sense of control. Money doesn’t automatically fill these requirements, but it sure can help. I’ve learned to look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes; and to have enlarging experiences.

Be More Social

Reach Out and Touch Someone – Literally

Being in physical contact with someone you care about is an automatic stress reliever. Hugs and holding hands with the people you care about are therapeutic for the both of you. In fact, a study conducted by The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that a massage can actually boost your immune system and make you more content.

While socializing is generally considered a leisurely, enjoyable activity, it can feel tedious for some, and even be a source of anxiety. Many people are too shy, insecure, or embarrassed to let go and be themselves in front of other people.

Others get too consumed with work or school and simply forget to socialize. Whatever your story is, this article will teach you how to open the doors of your life to other people.

If you’re an introvert, then you know that your natural instincts don’t motivate you to go and socialize with people. However, you still love to spend some time with others when it’s appropriate — and love to have great friends in your circle. Introverts don’t like to socialize too much, but also hate to be lonely.

Read on to discover three strategies that will help you be more social as an introvert.

Different people make friends in different ways. Some people are only interested in very close friendships, while others like having both close friends and casual friends.

 

 

Lead to Happiness

Life that Lead to Happiness

Are you truly happy? Do you even know what it means to be happy and what it takes to achieve happiness? These are important questions for anyone who is seeking happiness to ask themselves.

I live my life to maintain my own happiness while trying my best to not cause unhappiness to anyone else. If you want to be happy you need to understand that you can be happy and that you should be happy. Many people make the mistake of believing that they don’t deserve happiness and accept their unhappy state as their destiny.

The truth of the matter is that happiness, like anything else in life, needs to be nurtured. The following are a few tips that I follow to create happiness in my life.

Understand what it is that will make you happy. Everyone has unique requirements for attaining happiness and what makes one person happy may be very different from what makes someone else happy.

Revel in your individuality and do not worry about whether or not your desires are comparable to those of your peers.

 

Live Happy, Wild, and Free

In the past I was not known as a happy, wild, and free person. (OK maybe wild, I had my moments…) In stuck phases, peppered with depression, darkness, and hopelessness, I often wondered what it would be like to feel happy, wild and free

I fantasized about living in Europe, writing in cafes like Hemingway, having wild crazy affairs with sexy men, or even moving to Hawaii and wearing nothing but sarongs and flip flops all day. But in truth, these fantasies were empty.

I knew in my gut that fantasies of escape would not bring authentic happiness or true freedom. Maybe at the onset, but in the end trying to create happiness, wild moments, and freedom outside of myself is only temporary. I’m left with facing whatever is still present within me.

Write out a short-list of the simple things that give you pleasure.

Keep them in the front of your consciousness and make sure you engage with them at least a few times a week. As you do these things, stay present and mindful of the joy they bring you.

Talk less, and when you do talk have noble conversation.

When you hang out with your friends and loved ones, learn to love the spaces in the conversation. Listen more to their tone as they share rather than thinking about how you are going to respond.

Get 10 minutes of sun a day.

With sunscreen, there are benefits to getting sun. Well-documented research shows there is a relationship between low vitamin D levels and poor health, such as frail bones, multiple sclerosis, and prostate cancer. We need vitamin D!

Also, light hitting your skin, not just your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder.

Living a Happy Life

Living a Happy Life Starting Right Now

It doesn’t matter your age, how much money you have in your bank account, your marital status or what you do for a living, we all want to be more successful in our lives.

16 Tips for Living a Happy Life Starting Right Now

Be committed.

No matter what goals you have set for yourself in life, you have to be committed. It’s through commitment that you’ll continue to make the improvements needed to better yourself.

 

Whether it’s taking a chance on launching a startup, getting a gym membership to improve your physical well being, or taking a cooking class because you want to become a chef, commitment is what drives us all to become more successful.

People care about you, not your success.

People don’t care about the expensive clothes you wear, how big is the house you own or the car your drive.

Let’s be honest.

That’s not to say that they don’t respect your achievements or possessions.

Instead, they care you as an individual and they’ll support you no matter what — because they love you. Believe it!

10 Simple Tips to Live Happy, Wild, and Free

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.” -Morris West

In the past I was not known as a happy, wild, and free person. (OK maybe wild, I had my moments…) In stuck phases, peppered with depression, darkness, and hopelessness, I often wondered what it would be like to feel happy, wild and free.

I fantasized about living in Europe, writing in cafes like Hemingway, having wild crazy affairs with sexy men, or even moving to Hawaii and wearing nothing but sarongs and flip flops all day. But in truth, these fantasies were empty.

 

1. Write out a short-list of the simple things that give you pleasure.

Keep them in the front of your consciousness and make sure you engage with them at least a few times a week. As you do these things, stay present and mindful of the joy they bring you.

For example, I love eating a fresh juicy nectarine on a summer’s afternoon, and meditating in the morning after a fresh brewed cup of tea, and taking a walk with my husband and window-shopping. What are some of your simple things?

2. Get moving.

Maybe you like the openness and relaxation you feel after a yoga class or the sweat and wild release of spinning. You may enjoy seeing your dog run happily in circles as you throw balls at the park.

Whatever movement inspires you, do it and observe the happiness and freedom it brings. Also, take a short walk after having a meal. This not only helps with digestion, but also instantly relieves any heavy feelings.

3. Eat light.

Support your body/mind/spirit with simple meals three times a day. On retreat, we eat out of three small bowls, usually a grain, a soup and a vegetable. Eating light helps us to feel lighter and also increases concentration, digestion, energy levels, and productivity.

As a practice of mindfulness, I put my eating utensil down between each bite and wait to pick it up again until the food is completely swallowed. It takes 20 minutes for our meal to be digested, so I know if I eat slowly for 20 minutes, I will feel completely satisfied without having to eat large portions.

4. Take a cold shower.

Waking up in the morning and taking a cold shower revives and wildly awakens the senses. Here are some benefits of cold showers:

  • Improves circulation
  • Relieves depression
  • Keeps skin and hair healthy
  • Increases testosterone and fertility
  • Increases energy and well-being

5. Talk less, and when you do talk have noble conversation.

When you hang out with your friends and loved ones, learn to love the spaces in the conversation. Listen more to their tone as they share rather than thinking about how you are going to respond.

Pay attention to what happens to your energy when you talk less, and how much happier you feel as you conserve more energy. Plus, you will love the simple intimacy of your relationships as you increase presence and heart-centered listening, freeing yourself of complications and unwanted dramas.

6. Get 10 minutes of sun a day.

With sunscreen, there are benefits to getting sun. Well-documented research shows there is a relationship between low vitamin D levels and poor health, such as frail bones, multiple sclerosis, and prostate cancer. We need vitamin D!

Also, light hitting your skin, not just your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder. Here comes the sun! Let the sunshine in!

7. Turn off the TV.

Rather than watch TV, use your time more mindfully. Read, walk, meet friends, or join an evening group or class. Use your time to connect to others and yourself. Or jump in and do something different, spontaneous, and wild!

8. Create.

Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist there are so many ways to express creatively. Cook with a loved one, dance in your living room, sing in the car, journal without editing or crossing out, learn a new joke.

Be happy, wild, and free as you express yourself more creatively!

9. Enjoy nature.

Find the nature that surrounds you—really see it. Observe yourself as you witness nature and appreciate its growth and timing.

If you feel like things are going too slow, too fast, or you aren’t really sure of where you are going, remember there is a natural timing for everything, and all the roads are taking you to the right place at the right time.

Ask yourself, “How can I compare nature’s experience to my life? How am I just like the wild flower that is growing on the path?”

10. Know the simple truth.

With enthusiasm and confidence, state what you know to be true about your authentic self. Ask yourself, “What is true about myself right now in this moment?”

For example, I am enough, I am worthy, I am good, I am loved, I have what I need, or I am a success.

State this affirmation out loud a few times to embody the essence of who you really are in this very moment. Take it in! Believe this and you are free!

Keeping your focus on the simplest things offers an immediate experience of abundant joy. May you embrace simplicity in your daily life filled with lightness, movement, and sunshine!

What are your simple things that bring light to your life?

6 Tips for Nurturing Your Self-image

Attractive middle-aged woman

Stop the self-criticism and focus on being the best you

From the moment we’re born, we are conditioned to focus on our appearance. Others judge and comment on how we look because there’s nothing else to remark upon—we haven’t yet developed personalities.

“What a beautiful baby!” “She has eyes just like her mommy!” “Who does he look like, mom or dad?” “Oh no, grandma’s ears!” Our height and weight are even the very first official facts sent to our family and friends on our birth announcements. The comments about our appearance begin the second we make our entrance into the world and continue until the day we die.

With the tone set from Day One of our existence, it makes sense that we would evaluate and scrutinize our appearance. And with books, articles and conversations everywhere about self acceptance, one might wonder why so many of us still struggle with this issue, why we still judge ourselves so harshly and have such a hard time accepting and loving the physical self that we are. I believe one of the fundamental reasons we’re so challenged in this area is because of the many mirrors that speak to us each and every day.

Be kind to yourself

You see, there are two kinds of mirrors we encounter in our lives: the actual, physical mirrors we look in to see our reflection and the metaphorical, or symbolic, mirrors that are the people reflecting who we are and how we look.

I want to turn the whole discussion of appearance upside down. Let’s take the focus off of societal messages and ideals about our body image and turn to our own personal self-projections. Whether or not we personally accept ourselves as we are is the most powerful mirror we can look into. Therefore, the goal is to build your ability to embrace who you are and how you look in the most accepting and loving way possible.

You are the only person who is around you 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year in and year out. You impact yourself beyond all others, and you are in charge of your life, your appearance, and ultimately, how you feel inside and out each and every day. That’s why it is extremely important to learn the skills to diminish the critical and harsh ways that you view yourself and move toward acceptance and self-love.

The changes toward having a more positive and accepting image of your body can begin with a few easy steps:

1. Take time out of each day to focus on being your best you

You cannot think negative thoughts about your body at the same time you are focused on nurturing it. Take a yoga class, exercise to a workout video, put on some great music and start dancing around your house. While you are doing these activities, focus on thinking about how good your body feels and how wonderful it is that you are working toward keeping it healthy. If negative thoughts enter your mind, push them out and focus on the good taking place.

2. Make a commitment to stop criticizing your appearance

Commit to not allowing unkind words about your body or yourself to enter your mind anymore. If they do creep in, counteract them with something positive about yourself, such as “I am a good person,” “I am intelligent” or “I am always there if someone needs me.” As I mentioned earlier, you cannot have a negative thought and a positive one at the same time, so keep those positive ones coming!

3. Be good to your body so you feel appreciated and pampered

Take baths, drink delicious healthy juices, give yourself a manicure and shower using a body scrub that will make your skin feel soft. While you are doing these things, remind yourself how you are appreciating and nourishing your body and that you deserve to feel good.

4. Stop comparing yourself to other people

We are all built differently, and no one is perfect. You will always find someone with a smaller waist, less cellulite or smoother skin. It’s a losing battle to try to be like someone else, so instead, focus on being your bestself.

5. Spend time with people who love you for you

The fact is, being around critical, scrutinizing people puts each of us in a similar mindset. Surrounding yourself with positive, accepting people who give compliments freely will leave you in a more positive and self-loving state toward them and yourself.

6. Celebrate your gifts

While you may not love everything about your body, there must be some parts of it that you can appreciate. Do you have shapely legs? Beautiful hair? Thick eyelashes? Hands that can type quickly? A mouth that knows just the right words to say to comfort someone in pain? Be grateful for those qualities and allow yourself to recognize and honor them.