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LuxEco Living
Eco-Rich luxury through vibrant health.

Entries by LuxEco Living

Baur Au Lac Zurich Switzerland: LuxEcoLiving's Best Hotels in the World

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 1:27 AM

By Nancy and James Chuda founders of LuxEcoLiving and Healthy Child Healthy World


Zurich Switzerland

Hotel Baur Au Lac is credited for having been the location where...

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Travels With Journey: The Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa Gets 6Paws and 4Wags

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 1:16 AM

By Nancy and James Chuda founders of LuxEcoLiving and Healthy Child Healthy World

Pismo Beach California

Journey Dolphin Headshot20151105_170556"It has to be one of the best pet-friendly hotels...

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Olympic Dressage Winner "Monsieur" Leaves A Historic Legacy Behind For Charlotte Bredahl

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2015 | 1:25 AM

By Nancy Chuda founder and Editor-In-Chief LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World

American Olympian Charlotte Bredahl had to euthanize her 1992 Olympic dressage partner Monsieur on Saturday 17 October 2015. The chestnut gelding was 34 years old.

On Saturday evening 17 October Monsieur developed a colic and as the horse had begun to struggle with old age, Bredahl decided not to have him undergo invasive surgery but to euthanize the horse.

"The last few months his legs were having trouble carrying his enormous 17,3 body and when he colicked Saturday night I knew it was time to let him go," Bredahl explained. "I bought him in a partnership when he was a gangly and unruly 5-year old and had him until he was 35 (sic). The last time he had a saddle on was 15 years ago when I retired him after 10 years at Grand Prix. Had I known he would live another 15 years I might have kept him in work a bit longer."

The Danish born Charlotte Bredahl-Baker discovered Monsieur at Niels Grøndahl's yard in Denmark in 1986. The Danish warmblood was born in 1981 at Henrik Simoni's yard and was by Lowenbrau out of Heidi (by Guter Gast xx).

Bredahl and Monsieur's career highlights include team bronze at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona and the gelding became the 1994 and 1997 USDF Grand Prix Horse of the Year. They missed out on the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta due to an injury. The horse was retired from competition at the CDS Annual Convention in January 1999.

Charlotte Bredahl with the retired Monsieur at their home in California

"For the past ten years Monsieur lived in pasture always with a tub of soup (liquid hay pellets) in front of him. He outlived three different pasture mates (polo ponies) who also lived into their thirties," Bredahl explained. "He was truly 'the wind beneath my wings.' He carried me to shows all over the US and Europe, he carried me to an Olympic Team Bronze in Barcelona, he taught me more life lessons than any person could have ever done. I am forever grateful for having had (him) in my life. I will always love (him) and never forget (him)."

Photos © private

Related Links
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Chronicle of the Horse: Horse of a Lifetime: Monsieur
What's Happening: September 2005 - Part 3
Dr. Hilary Clayton: Head Position Judged in 1992 versus 2008
Nicole Uphoff's Rembrandt: A Living Work of...

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Travel Back In Time: Solvang Celebrates A Master Time Maker

(0) Comments | Posted November 1, 2015 | 1:09 AM

Solvang, California

Step back in time and meet Nick Pliagas


Time matters whether its the simple observation of the stars, changes in the seasons, or day and night.. from the beginning, prehistoric man needed to measure nomadic activities to tell time.

When you travel to Solvang California you become immersed in an environment that appreciates, in fact celebrates the passing of time honored traditions. Whether it's food focused on timeless Danish style cuisine, or old fashioned candle makers, hand made chocolatiers, farmers who grow a delicious variety of organic apples and shop keepers who earn a living dipping them in hand- spun caramel, visitors who come here can find places that beckon a slower paced lifestyle. Thus, time becomes more valuable.


Before clocks and watches we had sundials, hourglass and water clocks. Another ancient time measurer was the water clock or clepsydra. It was a evenly marked container with a spout in which water dripped out. As the water dripped out of the container one could note by the water level against the markings what time it was.

The art of telling time soon became mechanical in the 1300's when mechanical clocks, which used weights or springs, began to appear. These early mechanical clocks worked by using an escapement, a lever that pivoted and meshed with a toothed wheel at certain intervals. This controlled the movement, or "escape" of either the weights or the springs that were powering the clock, in order to regulate the speed at which the gears and wheels which measured the time turned.

Fast forward to the early 1800's, when one of the most important events in clock making occurred. Eli Terry developed machines, patterns, and techniques that produced clock parts that were exactly alike, so they could be mass-produced and interchanged from one clock to another. This drove the price of clocks way down, and allowed common people to own at least one, if not many, timekeeping devices.

And at the dawn of the 20th century only women wore wristwatches. No self-respecting "real man" would wear one. However, in the first World War, soldiers wore wristwatches because taking out a pocket watch to check the time was difficult or impossible in battle. Half a century later, digital watches, which used electrical currents running through quartz crystals to cause vibration and tell the time very accurately, began to appear.images-2images-1

The next great advancement in timekeeping was in 1967, when the atomic clock, which used the oscillations of cesium-133 atoms to tell time, was invented. This clock had an error ratio of 1 second for every 1.4 million years. Recently, in 1999, scientists developed the cesium fountain atomic clock, which is off by only one second every 20 million years. This clock is the most accurate in the world.

images-4There are very few masters in this field who can restore and repair rare horological instruments. Nick Pilagas is a self-taught expert. In fact, his skills and knowledge are so rare that it is essential that he mentors others so that these one-0f-a-kind antiquities, do not sit unused instead become purchased for enjoyment or gifted to museums educational purposes.

The evolution of some of these very rare European time pieces like the ones demonstrated, were equivalent to flat screen televisions; people watched the masterfully designed theatrical interiors as they came to life which told stories about that time period but today they give us a pictorial glimpse as to what that lifestyle might have been like.

Visiting Nick's repair shop, makes you want to trade your Apple smartwatch for a horological antique that keeps real time and honors every moment.

Today's time pieces are some of the most expensive in the world.

19a075084c20527a0e27c0bea8138c57Rose Gold and Diamonds Eiffel Tower Watch Paris France

Jaquet-Drozs-La-MachineMost Expensive Clock in the World Jaquet Droz's La Machine





The Prince de Conti's Planetary Clock

Editor's Notes

Visit Nick Pliagas at 490 First Street Solvang, CA 93463



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Children's Health Gets the Spotlight at Annual Gala

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2015 | 11:40 PM

By Megan Boyle, Editorial Director, Healthy Child Healthy World
Reproduced with the permission of the Environmental Working Group

On Oct. 1, advocates for children's health gathered in Beverly Hills, Calif., for the 23rd Annual Healthy Child Healthy World Gala.

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Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep: Valmont Baptizes The Bear Bracelet To Preserve Fish In British Columbia

(0) Comments | Posted October 8, 2015 | 6:40 PM

By Nancy and James Chuda Founders of LuxEcoLiving and Healthy Child Healthy World

Paris, France

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow! Creeps in this petty pace from day to day. To the last syllable of recorded time. William Shakespeare- Excerpt from Macbeth

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Travels With Journey: Bacara Resort and Spa Is One of the Most Beautiful Beach Getaways

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 12:16 AM

By Nancy and James Chuda founders of LuxEcoLiving and Healthy Child Healthy World

Four Stars and Five Paws


Santa Barbara, California

_z92zgWu9-EtZAphLkpOkk-hc74o-40A3VEZwwwYPJ8 LuxEcoLiving's Travels with Journey


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Gaia Retreat and Spa Wins Top International Honors In Australia

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 12:05 AM

New South Wales, Australia

By Nancy Gould Chuda Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World


Gregg Cave is a brilliant creative pioneer in the travel industry. He literally just stepped off the plane...

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Chef Seth Nathan Brings Delectable Culinary Delights to Mad & Vin Restaurant

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2015 | 12:00 AM

By Nancy Chuda Founder and Editor-in-Chief of LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World

Solvang, California

LuxEcoLiving Photo Credit- John Easterling, Olivia Newton-John Easterling, Chef Seth Nathan, Nancy and James Chuda

The new...

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Travels With Journey to the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows: For Some of the Best Days of Your Lives

(0) Comments | Posted September 29, 2015 | 11:55 PM

By Nancy and James Chuda Founders of LuxEcoLiving and Healthy Child Healthy World

44f0f3b5-4a45-4ce7-9198-87c5bec25816The Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows gets 5 Paws! Excellent location, fabulous service and extra treats for celebrity pet Travels with Journey.

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How Fit Are You?

(0) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 1:48 PM

By Nancy Gould Chuda, founder and editor-in-chief of LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World.

The holidays are coming. You just spent a fortune on that special cream that is meant to reduce stretch marks, but did you ever consider that stretching in between your chores might...

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Olivia Newton-John Shares Success: All in Her Family

(4) Comments | Posted September 24, 2015 | 1:30 PM


By Nancy Gould Chuda Founder and Editor-in Chief of LuxEcoLiving and co-founder of Healthy Child Healthy World

Some call her Liv, others Livvy, and if you're a close family friend and want to get her attention you say,...

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Wayne Pacelle CEO of The Humane Society of the United States: Protecting The Rights of Animals At All Costs

(0) Comments | Posted September 21, 2015 | 3:05 PM

The horrific news of Cecil the lion sounded a worldwide cry for help. The news of the poaching and eventual trophy kill by the Minnesota dentist who supposedly was lead astray by Zimbabwe field guides usurped every mainstream media sound bite including those of Donald Trump. But the impact of...

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Meet the Finger Lime, That Strange Fruit That Looks Like Caviar

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2015 | 6:17 PM

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The Truth Behind 'Organic' Cosmetics

(2) Comments | Posted September 20, 2015 | 6:11 PM

By Megan Boyle, Editorial Director, Healthy Child Healthy World
Reproduced with the permission of the Environmental Working Group

When it comes to food, we know what "organic" means.

The USDA-certified organic label ensures that foods have been grown without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides,...

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The Trouble With Disinfecting Wipes

(0) Comments | Posted September 18, 2015 | 2:20 PM

By Megan Boyle, Editorial Director, Healthy Child Healthy World

Reproduced with the permission of the Environmental Working Group

They're cheap, appealing and easy to find. They even smell nice.

It's no wonder that disinfecting and antibacterial cleaning wipes are so popular. Last year Clorox executives reported that...

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Why A Nuclear Threat Could Spell Disaster For Climate Change and Humanity

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2015 | 6:09 PM


is-2Exactly 70 years ago the world changed forever. The Enola Gay dropped the first nuclear weapon used in war on the citizens of Hiroshima. From that moment on the face of the world and the future of humanity became unrecognizable.

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Feeding Infants While Flying

(2) Comments | Posted August 10, 2015 | 5:00 PM

By Megan Boyle, Editorial Director, Healthy Child Healthy World
Reproduced with the permission of the Environmental Working Group,

For parents, feeding a new baby can feel like a full-time job.

Add to that the stress and complications of airplane travel, and it can feel like a...

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The 5 Worst Ingredients in Kids' Body Care Products

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 5:43 AM

By Megan Boyle, Editorial Director, Healthy Child Healthy World
Reproduced with the permission of the Environmental Working Group,

From shampoo to toothpaste, sunscreen and lotion, the average child is exposed to numerous chemical ingredients every day through common body care products.

Where can concerned parents start...

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The Plaza Athénée Paris: LuxEcoLiving's Best Hotels in the World

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2015 | 10:15 PM

"We didn't want to do a 'wow' kind of renovation, we wanted to keep our soul." Mr. François Delahaye, the general manager of the Plaza Athénée and the chief operating officer of the Dorchester Collection.

What can I say? It was a revelation. Like the opening of a hit play on Broadway. BRAVO! All the grande pompe of its iconic facade and bright, brilliantly RED awnings hang like masts blowing in the wind. A light spring rain dampened the darlings, the scarlet geraniums which tumbled ever so gently from the bolstered and buffed Art Nouveau balconies. Checking in to the newly remodeled Hotel Plaza Athénée whose $268 million dollar expansion sets the bar WAY HIGHER than expected for just one of the crown jewels of the Dorchester Collection.

Plaza Athenee Exterior Plaza Athenee


If you count the minutes which leads to hours for a one night stay you can do the math, put simply, in August (prepare and pack now!) 695 euros, or about $920 at $1.32 to the euro, for a standard single of 270 square feet with a queen bed and a "quiet inner courtyard view," will get you peace of mind and the splendiforous expectation that you have arrived not only in Paris but get to live (albeit shortly) among the international iconoclasts who consider the PA their home.

Nancy Athenee Ducasse Breakfast

It was early morning and from our vantage point we could sense that our serenity was attributed to material things. For one, you could literally fall out of your bed dressed in those Italian-made Beltrami 300-thread-count satiny cotton sheets, and be steps away for the haute couture houses like Dior and Chanel or you could put on your newly made white linen robe and head to the Dior Spa for a little more rejuvenation to uplift those sinking pockets under eyes from lasts nights cap du jour at Le Bar.

"I'll toast to the 101-year-old Plaza Athénée," I said in honor of Mr. Delahaye, who was named manager of the year by the industry group European Hotel Managers Association last year. A former butler to the Duke of Westminister. Mr. Delahaye could re-write Schulberg's, "What Makes Sammy Run."

And include his own kind of Chutzpah!

The historic backdrop from which he covets is still considered a special place in Parisan hotel history which includes the presence of Rudolph Valentino and later Christian Dior, who turned his formal haute into one of the most prestigious houses and locations in all of Paris.

Diamonds were not only Harry Winston's nom de lieu but the recent location of integrating the magnetic impulse to shop for the worlds rarest of rare gem stones within only a few interior steps of the hotel itself was pure brilliance.

What attracts a more youthful crowd without having to relinquish the income derived from older wealthy customers was a big challenge. Lighting is key. It works for both although better for those who prefer to lounge in the classic French interior and be upstaged by designer fabrics like the lush International Klein Blue, named for the French postwar artist Yves Klein, who often used it in his works.

10-update-blue-blog427The ceiling of the hotel's Le Bar is done in waves and folds of fabric. Credit Lauren Fleishman for The New York Times

As for the young at heart the street-level cocktail lounge, Le Bar and of course the signature Alain Ducasse restaurant bestows an ambiance that can't be felt in any 5 star hotels in Paris. There are others who try to capture this ambiance but fall prey to older and staid traditions that frankly just don't translate.

Within a space-aged landscape of Swarovski Stars (illuminated chandeliers) that dazzle and drip a silvery essence, the restaurant Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée marries the perfect balance for every palate. Paris-based designers Jouin-Manku have created a new idealistic mode for fine dining a la "pods." The fresh fish known for its light and indelible taste is featured here along with many legumes.

I always ask for fresh steamed spinach and was told that it was literally picked an hour before having been grown and harvested in Mr. Ducasse's private city gardens. Voila!

And if your lucky enough to get and have saved up for Suite 745, your affair, whether you are older and wiser and prefer to order your newspapers delivered immediately upon arrival or young and inclined to savor breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed, this three bedroom luxurious apartment with terrace on the hotel's Art Deco seventh floor offers a view of the Eiffel Tower from each room, including the lieu.... but who cares for the view when you can go under cover. And at 7,500 euros a night you better like the way you look covered in 300-thread count satiny cotton.

As for the competition. The refurbished Ritz Paris, famed for its Bar Hemingway, is set to reopen next year on Place Vendôme; a renovated Hôtel de Crillon in Place de la Concorde is also due to reopen next year; and the Peninsula Paris near the Arc de Triomphe opened its doors the same weekend as the updated Plaza Athénée.

A special congratulations to Mr. Delahaye and Mr. Ducasse. Your's is the Best Hotel in Paris if not the world.

Nancy Athenee FlowersEditor's Notes:

Hotel Plaza Athénée Paris25 avenue Montaigne 75008 PARIS France Room & Suites Reservations: +33 1 5367 6667

Special thanks to our American and French teams, Prin Baclan Hawkins PR New York, Stila Cosmetics, Linda Gaunt, Kelly Willingham, and Lauren Vidal/ Audrey at Niiki Bijoux Paris

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