Monday, December 30, 2013

NYC’s Best New Year’s Day Brunches

Don’t let that New Year’s Day hangover keep you hiding under the covers all day. That’s no way to ring in the first day of 2014! Soothe your headache and settle your stomach at one of these restaurants offering the best in New Year’s Day brunches and all around cures. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC’s 5 Best New Year’s Day Brunches xo

Friday, December 27, 2013

NYC New Year's Eve Survival Guide, 2013

This is a New Yorker's nightmare. (credit: Village Voice)
Back in 2010, I shared my tips for New Year's Eve Do's & Don'ts in New York City. From attending a ticketed bash to hosting a girls' night in, refer to that post for all you need for a rockin' New Year's Eve celebration!

Will you be single when the ball drops this year? No worries! Follow my advice on how to be single - and happy - when ringing in 2014 on Hpnotiq's blog.

Still in need of plans for this New Year's Eve? Make reservations now for a phenomenal meal at one of these restaurants offering NYC’s 8 Best New Year’s Eve Dinners or head to one of NYC’s 7 Best New Year’s Eve Parties, both rounded up on CBS New York.

My city girl New Year's Resolutions from 2011 still hold true today. Find them here and let me know what you're resolving to change or improve on in the New Year in the comment box below!

Whatever you choose to do on December 31st, I hope you have a safe and fun night! xo

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Merry!

(Festive print from Cin Cin Vintage - on sale!)
Merry Christmas from my little hometown in Massachusetts! Whether you celebrate the holiday or are just happy to have a day off from work, I hope you are with family, enjoying some well deserved rest and relaxation. Eat, drink and be merry!

Enjoy the holiday (and log off of your computer, already!) xo

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Where To Dine Out (Or Order To-Go) On Christmas Day In NYC

Merry Christmas Eve! If you're staying in (or visiting) New York City for Christmas, you'll want to read on for insider foodie tips for a worry-free feast...

Who says Christmas means you have to slave away the day to create an elaborate meal? Make reservations to dine out on Christmas Day at one of these New York City restaurants. Go all out with an Italian Feast of The Seven Fishes or keep the day casual with German bar fare to keep your whole family in the holiday spirit.

Or does the idea of getting your whole family dressed up and out the door for a prix fixe at a restaurant has you stressed out too? Then order in! These New York City restaurants are offering everything from festive main dishes to traditional holiday desserts to-go. 

Check out CBS New York for my articles on 5 NYC Restaurants For Christmas Dinner To Go and 6 NYC Restaurants To Dine Out On Christmas Day xo

Monday, December 23, 2013

7 NYC Restaurants To Dine Out On Christmas Eve

I haven't blogged in a week?!? What a hectic holiday season, lovely readers! I apologize for my lack of posts and tweets. 

Whether you celebrate Christmas or are just looking forward to ringing in 2014, I hope you find time this week to relax with cheesy holiday movies, binge on sweets (without counting calories) and spend time with family and friends.

If you're staying in NYC - give yourself a break this holiday season. Forget the long lines at the grocery story, slaving over a hot apartment stove and endless hours of prep and cleanup in favor of dining out this Christmas Eve. Book your holiday dinner at one of these New York City restaurants offering special menus to celebrate – stress-free – with your loved ones. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on 7 NYC Restaurants To Dine Out On Christmas Eve xo

Monday, December 16, 2013

NYC’s Best Shareable Desserts

Oversized, overflowing and overindulgent. Sharable desserts in New York City have long been a staple, from  summer sundaes to the warmest winter fondues. Grab your whole crew – and a ton of spoons – to pig out on these sharable desserts in NYC. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC's 8 Best Shareable Desserts xo

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Best Slices Of Cheesecake In New York City

No other sweet says “New Yawk” like the cheesecake. From light and smooth to heavy and thick, New York City style cheesecakes are baked into range of creamy textures. 

This holiday season, gift a hostess with one of these classic NYC cheesecakes or just enjoy a slice to yourself with a hot cocktail for a comforting end to any meal.

Check out CBS New York for my article on The 6 Best Slices Of Cheesecake In New York City xo

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Cafe Mocha Offers Cheese Plate With Bottle Of Wine

You read that right: free cheese! 

I almost didn't share this deal for fear that it would finally catch on and crowd my beloved cozy neighborhood wine and cheese spot. But as a dairy and gluten addict, I couldn't resist passing this insider tip on to fellow foodies who need a carb and cheese fix, on a budget.

During happy hour and into the evening, Cafe Mocha in the East Village offers a complimentary cheese plate with the first bottle of wine you order for the table. And this isn't a cheapo plate. Three cheeses - a rotating variety including one soft, one semi-soft and one hard - are plated with nuts, fresh fruit, fruit jam and toasted bread. This plate would most likely cost around $15 at any other restaurant, so this feels like a steal. 

The wine list is relatively affordable as well, so you can enjoy a $34 bottle of a decent Malbec (my favorite on their list so far) with the cheese plate for a casual date night or catch up session with one of your best girlfriends. My darling friend Renie and I have made Cafe Mocha our weekly meeting place over the past few months to unwind after work, indulge and gossip, of course. We also like to order one of their flatbreads, like the Artichoke with Chicken or Steak and Goat Cheese, to round the evening out with a filling, yet affordable, dinner.

Enjoy this wine and cheese deal, but keep it to yourself as long as you can! xo

Cafe Mocha. 116 Second Avenue.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giving Thanks

While many of us only stop to give thanks during the month of November, when thankful statuses are filling up our Facebook feed each day, or just on the day of Thanksgiving, when surrounded by good food and loved ones, it's important to make a point to stop and give gratitude for both the big and little joys in our everyday lives.

This past year has been a transitional period. I've loved. I've lost. I've freelanced. I've started working full time again. From relationship to career, it seems like I've seen it all in 2013. Through all of the disappointments and struggle, I've been fortunate to have family - and friends who have become family - to support me every step of the way. To lift me up when I'd rather be crying on my apartment floor. To cheer me on before each and every job interview. I may be strong, but I wouldn't have made it through all of the ups and downs unscarred without these people in my life.
(image via Etsy)
Here are just some of the people and things I'm thankful for today...

My parents who have encouraged me from my first ballet class to my college musical theatre auditions to my decision to completely change careers at age 25.

My sister who gives tough love like no one else I'll ever know. But also knows when it's best to hug me and keep her mouth shut when I just need a listening ear.

My best girlfriends who are my sorority sisters and those who have become my second sisters during our twenty-something years in Manhattan. Each and every one of these women is just a phone call or happy hour date away. Therapy sessions don't come in better form than venting, rehashing and laughing with these women. They give the best advice, even when it takes me a few tries to follow it. 

My health and for the wealth of resources for women in New York City, like Planned Parenthood, when we are in between jobs (and not paying for Cobra) and in need of an exam or low cost birth control.

My cute little apartment that has served as the first place I could call my own. It may be only 350 square feet, but it's my very own 350 square feet in the East Village. And it's where I can eat Pad Thai in my pajamas while watching The Real Housewives of New Jersey whenever I please.

Nonfat lattes for being my caffeinated fuel during a year filled with interviews and workout sessions. My favorites can be ordered at Au Breve Espresso, Abraco and La Colombe Torrefaction.

Gel manicures that have kept my nails looking good for almost two full weeks at a time for press tastings, interviews and blind dates. Especially on days I've felt nothing close to being polished in my head.

Red lipstick for giving me confidence when I don't have time for makeup and on nights out when I want to feel a bit sexy.

Spin class at Crunch taught by Carl Hall who makes me werrrk it out like no other.

What are you thankful for on any given day? xo

Monday, December 2, 2013

NYC’s Best New Hot Cocktails

The chill of late autumn has arrived in New York City, leaving us searching for something strong to stay warm and toasty. From sweet classics like spiked hot chocolates to fancy takes on cider, here are a few hot cocktails to keep you toasty – and toasted – all season long.

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC's 9 Best New Hot Cocktails xo

Saturday, November 30, 2013

NYC’s Best Black Friday Brunches

I hope everyone had a lovely Thanksgiving. Whether you traveled back to your hometown to catch up with loved ones or stayed in New York City for a Friendsgiving, I hope your long weekend has been filled love, laughter and lots (and lots) of comforting meals.

My Black Friday is spent at the Providence Place Mall year after year with my little sister and mother, armed with pre-packed healthy snacks and coupons, of course. This year we even roped my dad into the day long sales. If I was to stay in NYC for the holiday, a Black Friday Brunch would have been on my to-do list! Did you happen to dine out yesterday? If you missed out on these brunch specials, make sure to brunch at these restaurants later this winter for delicious sweet and savory plates.

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC's 7 Best Black Friday Brunches - because you can dine at these delicious restaurants anytime of the year xo

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

10 NYC Restaurants Serving Thanksgiving Dinner 2013

If you’re not cooking or ordering a to-go Thanksgiving feast, options abound in New York City when it comes to dining out this holiday. Whether you’re interested in innovative plates or crave a traditional Turkey Day meal with all the trimmings, these New York City restaurants are offering holiday menus to enjoy the day with your loved ones without lifting a finger.

Check out CBS New York for my article on 10 NYC Restaurants Serving Thanksgiving Dinner 2013 xo

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hello, 29

I've got a feeling the last year of my twenties is going to be the best year yet.
(Birthday gift to myself)
This weekend my sister made the trip in from Boston for hours of shopping, dining and wandering around the unseasonably warm weather in the city. We treated ourselves at the Rebecca Minkoff Sample Sale, hit the gym (so we could feel less guilty about brunching on fries) and just enjoyed some quality sister time together.

Yesterday I was treated to a lovely birthday brunch thrown by Ashley, one of my best friends since college, with so many of my favorite people in attendance. From pumpkin french toast to bacon mac n' cheese (made by my dear friend Belindamy special day was filled with delicious bites and strong cocktails, of course.

Here's to 29! xo

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Single Girl's Survival Guide: Blind Dates

Because no ones knows you better than your best friends, say “yes” when one of your girls wants to set you up on a blind date.

Start with a phone call. Let her pass along your number to get the ball rolling on introductions. A few text messages are fine, but make it clear that you'd love him to call before your date. This allows you both to get to know each other a bit beforehand. You may find you already have things in common and it will make for less awkward silences on the big night out.

Facebook stalk him. You don't need me to even list this, right? Doing a little online PI work is normal. Who doesn't Google a blind date? Or at least have your friend email you a photo, so you can see if you're attracted from the start.

Throw out all expectations. Even if you had an amazing two-hour phone conversation before your date, you can't expect Ryan Gosling (or whoever your Mr. Perfect is) to arrive at your door. Just keep yourself busy leading up to it, for less time to obsess over him and the possibilities. You'll most likely be pleasantly surprised.

Dress to impress. Wear something you love. Something that makes you feel confident. Whether you shop for a new LBD or just want to wear your favorite skinny jeans and heeled booties, it's important you feel your best.

Follow Patti Stanger’s drink minimum. Millionaire Matchmaker’s feisty star is know to advise her clients not to drink more than two cocktails on a date for clarity. But, two drinks isn’t much - especially if it’s a long date and you're eating dinner. Depending on your tolerance, what you dine on and how many hours you're out chatting, go for the amount of drinks that works for you personally, whether that's two or four. 

Ask questions. You don’t want to feel like you’re on an interview, but you must ask questions to learn more about him. If you’re usually chatty and the center of attention, try to pull back a bit so he can share his thoughts and experiences.

Keep an open mind. Don't be quick to judge - because you can't find out everything about a new guy on your first meeting. It's important to remember that chemistry can grow and some people are just plain nervous on dates. Give him the benefit of the doubt - and maybe even a second date - if there is potential

Don’t be negative. Because no one likes a Debbie Downer, stay positive and keep things light.

But if it goes horribly wrong? Go here for tips on how to escape a bad date.

What do you do to enjoy a blind date? xo

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Delicious Take-Out Thanksgiving Dinners In NYC

Thanksgiving is sneaking up on us — just over two weeks away. If you’re worried about burning the turkey or simply not making the grade when it comes to the holiday feast, fret not. You can order the takeout version with all of the trimmings. From traditional sides to the sweetest desserts these New York City restaurants are offering Turkey Day dishes to-go. But hurry, you’ll need to get order in quickly.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stay Tuned!

It's been a week since I've blogged. Sorry, dear readers! I started a great new job last week as a content producer and community manager at a PR firm, so I had to take a break from my lil' old blog for a few days to get organized.

I promise to get back into the groove soon balancing my full time gig with freelance writing and my social life, of course. I'll be posting more on where to dine, how to date and what to do in NYC later this week. Stay tuned! xo

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Motivation

Mondays aren't miserable. Mondays are a chance at a fresh start.

We are all faced with stress on a daily basis, from tight deadlines in the office to heartbreaking breakups that rock our personal lives. No matter what you’re going through, we can all choose to be happy. Choose to find the good parts in the not-so-good days. 

Living a fast-paced New York City life can take a toll on even the strongest people we know. Never ending job searches, label-less relationships and the high price of rent are just a few of the things that can have us feeling down and out. 

But this week, no matter what's bringing you down, let's start it off with a spring in our step. Listen to your favorite song on your commute this morning, schedule in some time for workouts to enjoy the benefits of those happy hormones and plan a date night with a friend to look forward to attending. View this week as a new chapter, rather than a dreaded end to a beautiful weekend.

How do you beat the Monday Blues? xo

Thursday, October 31, 2013

NYC’s Scariest Haunted Houses

If Carrie previews aren't scaring you and every black cat that crosses your path is seen as cute rather than a curse, you may still get some hair-raising goose bumps braving one of these scary New York City Haunted Houses this Halloween season.

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC’s 5 Scariest Haunted Houses

Happy Halloween! xo

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NYC’s Best Autumn Staycations & Getaways

The gorgeous fall foliage in city parks combined with comfortable weather for walking are just a few reasons why we love staying in New York for a ‘staycation’ during the autumn months. 

Whether you’re looking to play tourist for a day to explore our city or travel a few hours around the Tri-State area to relax, these seasonal city activities and mini getaways are your best bets to enjoy the season. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC’s 6 Best Autumn Staycations & Getaways xo

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Best Halloween Treats & Desserts in NYC

October 31st is quickly approaching (tomorrow!) so bakeries and restaurants all over New York City are gearing up for an annual sugar overload. Indulge your sweet tooth in these seasonal goodies, perfect to bring to a themed party or to treat your little ones on Halloween. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on The 7 Best Halloween Treats & Desserts in NYC xo

Monday, October 28, 2013

Be Yourself, Together: Target Gift Card Giveaway!

As a self-proclaimed professional bridesmaid, I’ve planned bridal shower games, toasted the happy couple at engagement parties and coordinated bachelorette weekends. 

While a few days in the Hamptons to celebrate the bride would of course be my favorite occasion out of all the wedding events, when it comes to gifting the bride-to-be, her shower is the best occasion leading up to her wedding day to treat her to something extra special.

When you're shopping for a bridal shower gift, Target offers everything a newlywed could need, from kitchen essentials to décor. If she's like Giada in the kitchen - or just wishes she was - you can't go wrong with a KitchenAid Stand Mixer or a set of Calphalon cookware.
It may seem like the bridal shower is all about the bride with endless pours of bubbly mimosas, silly party games and female chatter, but the gifts she'll tear open alongside her bridesmaids are for the couple to enjoy together. 

When Target reached out to me to share what I love most about wedding season as a bridesmaid extraordinare, I fell for their wedding theme of "Be Yourself, Together." Couples who are not only comfortable to be themselves when they are around each other, but also support one another to be the best versions of themselves with unconditional love, are the relationships that stand the test of time.

Target was kind enough to offer me a $25 Gift Card to gift a lovely reader of mine! To enter for a chance at this great gift (because who can't use something from Target?) visit the Target Wedding Catalog and leave a comment below explaining which product is your favorite to use or gift at a bridal shower for a chance to win! The winner will be chosen this Friday, November 1, 2013 by 5pm.

If you're planning a wedding, visit the Target Wedding Registry to sign up for a selection of gifts from bedding to electronics to make your new house a home. 

And feel free to follow along on all the wedding fun with Target by following #TargetWedding on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest xo

Content and/or other value provided by our partner, Target.

Friday, October 25, 2013

What To Do In NYC This Weekend, October 25 - 27

(Downtown Cookie Co.)
The weekend before Halloween means costume parties, themed cocktails and spooky sweets around New York City. Dress up in your best Miley Cyrus and rock out all weekend long.

For something more low key or romantic, plan a cozy NYC staycation or mini getaway on this beautiful fall weekend before it turns into a chilly winter. From wineries upstate to a wild night in AC, there's something for everyone here.

Support the arts on Sunday, October 27 at Not My Day Job, where actors and musicians trade in their aprons for microphones. 

Happy weekend xo

Thursday, October 24, 2013

NYC Servers Show Off Their Real Talents At "Not My Day Job"

New York is filled with millions of talented people who don't get to do what they love as their day job. Because of the high price of rent and the limited number of paying performance gigs, most creatives are left working restaurant industry jobs during the evenings in order to make auditions, dance classes and voice lessons during the early mornings and still afford to live here.

But, for one glorious afternoon, some of those gifted workers will get their chance to shine without having to bring you another mimosa. Support the dreams of talented local artists at Not My Day Job, the first and only annual variety show featuring members of the NYC restaurant industry who are working hard to pay their bills in order to one day pursue their real love.

This year marks the fourth annual talent, culinary and cocktail showcase for the arts on Sunday, October 27th from 1-5pm at the Prince George Ballroom. Join in on tastings and cocktails from Anfora, Brooklyn Star, Colicchio & Sons, Commerce, dell'anima, Evelyn's Kitchen, Gin Palace, Greenpoint Fish & Lobster, Harlow, Hecho en Dumbo, Marzano Bakeshop, Khe-Yo, L'Apicio, L'Artusi, Locanda Vini e Olii, Lugo Caffe, Maison Premiere, monument lane, Pat LaFrieda, Roberta's, Rouge Tomate, Shake Shack, The Wren and Willow Road.

Performances will include the Hot Sardines, DJ JAZZY NICE, coverage by Heritage Radio and more of your favorite talented hospitality performers.

Be sure to get your ticket for hours of entertainment, culinary and beverage delights and your chance to support the arts. This year, all proceeds from ticket sales and the live and silent auctions at the event will go to local arts organizations Fourth Arts Block (FABnyc) and Heritage Radio Network.

Hope to see you on Sunday to enjoy performances and some of NYC's best restaurant tastings xo

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Where To Sip NYC's Best Pumpkin Cocktails

I'm all about pumpkin everything this autumn. But, who isn't? From pastries to coffee, this seasonal flavor makes everything taste cozier. For pumpkin with a kick, order one of these New York City cocktails. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC's 7 Best Pumpkin Cocktails xo

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Support She's The First at RECESS Bootcamp

(Emily Cook Harris, Photo courtesy of Driely S.)
Want to make a difference while getting your sweat on? Emily Cook Harris, known for EMpowered, her personalized training and nutrition program in New York City, is bringing back RECESS, her signature bootcamp class, for a high energy workout to raise funds for a worthy cause this month.
(RECESS Summer 2013)
I had the pleasure of working out alongside Emily at a press event a few weeks back and instantly adored her positive energy, can-do attitude and spunk!

Emily created this playground inspired fitness session to remind busy New Yorkers that while we need to work hard, we really need to play harder. Hopscotch and jump rope are no longer just casual school yard games – they’re a real workout. This kind of RECESS isn't run the way you remember it as a kid. It's still fun, but now it's a kick-in-the-butt too.

You'll burn calories while doing some good, as 100% of proceeds to RECESS supports She’s the First, which sponsors girls’ education in developing nations, giving them the chance to become the first in their families to graduate from secondary school. She's the First is a cause close to Emily's heart as 10% of all of her personal training sessions is donated to sponsor this organization.

Reserve your spot now by making a $25 donation and in addition to a great workout, you can also look forward to free "trick or treat" bags after class full of healthy goodies from Kind bars, Vita Coco, VROU water, Chobani, Dear Kate, Lole Apparel, and more! Emily will also be raffling off fantastic prizes including a $50 gift card to Just Salad, an Alexis Bittar bracelet, Oribe Box Collection and Vince Camuto perfume.

RECESS Class Details:
Wednesday, October 30th, 2013
Uplift Studios, 24 West 23rd Street
Floor 2 
$25 minimum donation
Sign up now!

Hope to see you at RECESS! xo

Monday, October 21, 2013

Meatless Mondays In New York City

Did you know October is National Vegetarian Awareness Month? 

Whether it’s your everyday lifestyle or you practice Meatless Mondays, these vegetarian dishes are packed with so much flavor that even a hardcore carnivore could appreciate them. Dine at these NYC restaurants throughout October – and beyond – to enjoy some of the best veggie dishes the city has to offer. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on 8 NYC Dishes To Celebrate Vegetarian Awareness Month xo

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Star Studded Macy’s Culinary Council Recap

Remember my recent single city girl purchase of a Keurig at Macy's Herald Square? Well, I'm now officially obsessed with brewing pumpkin spice coffee at home. Saving money from my usual latte binges around the neighborhood and having the opportunity to sip on a hot cup before leaving for work in the morning, feels pretty darn good.
(credit: Cindy Ord, Getty Images)
After giving you the inside tip on getting an invite to the Macy's Culinary Council 10th Anniversary event with a purchase of $100 or more in the home department - like my rockin' Keurig - I attended the event, alongside my dear foodie friend Sarah
(View from Stella 34)
When the elevator opened up to the 6th floor, immediately I had to snap a shot of the incredible view on Instagram. Can you believe that Stella 34, the restaurant inside Macy's where the event was held, was used as storage until only a few years ago? Good thing this space and beautiful view is now for shoppers who want to take a break to dine, rather than a boring home to boxes, seasonal merchandise and mannequins. 
(credit: Cindy Ord, Getty Images)
Alongside fellow press, bloggers and guests, we dined on a plethora of small plates made by some of the greatest chefs in the culinary world, who were present to take part in the evening. That’s right, chefs Todd English, Marc Forgione, Nancy Silverton, Marcus Samuelsson, Ming Tsai, Takashi Yagihashi, Johnny Iuzzini and Tom Douglas made appearances with delightful speeches.
(credit: Stephen Smith, GuestOfAGuest)
Each invitee was sent home a bit tipsy with a full stomach, as well as a useful tote bag filled with a $20 Macy’s gift card, a cookie, a takeaway glass and a recipe book. Look out for more products and events from the Macy's Culinary Council! xo

This was a sponsored post. I was compensated for content. All opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

6 Great NYC Shelters To Adopt A Dog

(credit: ASPCA)
Ever since my heart was warmed to the idea of welcoming a dog into my life, I've been dying for a furry companion. A little Yorkie with a pink bow in her hair to follow me in and out of East Village coffee shops and to the park would be the best, right?

Unfortunately, my studio is too small for a little pup, so it seems I'll be waiting until I move to Brooklyn - in the far future - with a backyard and more square footage than my neighborhood currently allows in my price range.

But, if I was ready to adopt now, it would be the perfect time. Because October is Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month! If you’re looking to add a new member to your family or become a first time pet parent, there’s no better time to search for a dog to adopt. Check out these New York City shelters to find the right four-legged friend for you. 

Visit CBS New York for my article on where to adopt a shelter dog in NYC xo

Friday, October 11, 2013

Celebrate Macy's Culinary Council's 10th Anniversary

Finding the perfect compact - and functional - kitchen items for a tiny East Village studio can be a challenge. Thankfully, I headed to Macy's Herald Square this week for a much needed gift to myself. 

As a downtown girl about town, I'm guilty of having a serious addiction - to caffeine. From a nonfat latte at Au Breve Espresso to Hazelnut Iced Coffee at The Bean, I spend way too much money on a daily basis to satisfy my cravings. With this in mind, I scoured Macy's for a coffeepot that would not only brew up delicious cups each morning to help me save a few bucks, but also one that would fit on the almost-invisible countertop in my apartment kitchen. 
When I came upon the Keurig display, I knew I had to purchase the K10 Mini Plus Personal Brewer. In red, of course, for some added flair. Added bonus: it was on sale for $99. Score! I also snagged a $12.99 box of Pumpkin Spice flavored coffee for a fall treat in the comfort of my home.

Have you been to the Macy's in Herald Square lately? If you haven't in a while, here's the number one reason to get there ASAP: You'll receive two tickets to the Macy's Culinary Council 10th Anniversary Party when you make any $100 or more purchase* in the Macy's Herald Square Home Department from Oct 9th - 15th, a $20 Macy's giftcard**, and a special Culinary Council 10th Anniversary recipe booklet***. 

The Macy's Culinary Council, a collection of acclaimed chefs that travel the country doing cooking demonstrations, will be hosting a 10th anniversary celebration at Macy's Herald Square's Stella 34 Trattoria on Tuesday, October 15 at 6pm. And I'll be there too! The celebration will feature chefs including Tom Douglas, Todd English, Ming Tsai, Johnny Iuzzini and Takashi Yagihashi as well as delicious bites and a champagne toast.

See the fine print below for more details and hope to see you on the 15th! xo

* Purchase must be made Oct. 9th -15th at Macy's Herald Square only. Must be 21 or older with proof of ID. 
** Show your receipt and receive your tickets in the Herald Square Cellar between 10am -6pm, Oct. 9th -15th only. 
Tickets are non-transferable.
***One set  of tickets per customer, while supplies last and time permits. Macy's gift card  is valid Oct 15 - 22, 2013. Event is subject to cancellation or change.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post. My opinions are my own and unbiased. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Best Fall Date Ideas In New York City

It’s time to replace your lazy days at the beach and romantic Central Park picnics with cozy pumpkin picking adventures and shared cups of apple cider. Whether you’re looking to impress your crush or reignite the flames with your one and only, I’ve rounded up the best fall date ideas to get things hot as the weather cools down in New York City. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on The 8 Best Fall Date Ideas in NYC xo

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Single Girl’s Survival Guide: 8 Things Not To Do After A Breakup

Breakups are the worst. But, as someone who always looks on the bright side, I eagerly shared the perks of breaking up when I was getting used to the idea of being "on a break." Then with the help of my supportive friends, I typed my thoughts on what not to say to a friend during a breakup, because hey, some people (not my people, but some people) try to be comforting without realizing they're not helping. 
(Because who can't appreciate a GIF of LC)
So what else can you learn from my newly single lifestyle? The things NOT to do after a breakup, of course.

Pretend you’re fine. Cry. Start a journal (or blog). Surround yourself with friends who will listen to every little detail of the night he walked out, without judgment. Don’t have a mini breakdown at work, but give yourself moments in the bathroom to pull yourself together if something reminds you of him during office hours. Let yourself feel as much as you need to feel when home alone at night. It’s normal to feel angry, hurt or even humiliated. The loss you’re mourning is real.

Play his old voicemails. Don’t torture yourself by playing his messages from months ago. The man who said, “Hey, baby. It’s me. Just calling to say I love you and miss you” isn’t the same man who left you crying on the floor two months ago. Delete every single message.

Stalk him on social media. You don’t have to de-friend him, but hide him from your Facebook feed, so you’re not tempted to read every single comment on his posts, leaving you to wonder, “Who is that brunette with the big boobs who think’s he’s ‘SO funny?’”

Take it out on your body. We've all seen the cliché chick flicks with scenes capturing the heartbroken heroine inhaling a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. Let yourself indulge at first, but then be kind to your body. Get your ass to spin class, relax at yoga or take up a new routine like CrossFit. Might as well look hot in your skinny jeans for an extra confidence boost as a single woman on the town.

Communicate. I know, I know. I’m absolutely guilty of reaching out to my ex and responding to him when he’s felt like he missed me right back. We’ve all got thoughts we want to process when we feel like there wasn’t real closure, leading us to ask that one last question. On top of that, we’re used to texting, Gchatting and calling our ex constantly, so this new void feels pretty crappy. Contact him to get his stuff out of your apartment, but after you’ve severed ties regarding belongings, leases and pet custody, close the door on reaching out again. It’s really hard when you walk by your favorite restaurant from when you were a couple or you read a BuzzFeed listicle that you know he’ll appreciate, but you’ve got to resist the urge to reach out. Let your friends and family be your support system when you need someone who cares to listen.

Try to be “just friends.” He was your best friend – your potential life partner. Not just any old friend. Once you’ve ended your romantic relationship, you can’t be buddies, unless you’re ok with the idea of him dating other girls right in front of you. Even if he says he wants to be friends because he loves you, be clear if you prefer to move on separately before considering a friendship with him in the far future. 

Sleep with your ex. See more on that here.

Give up. He wasn’t The One. If he were, he would have stayed and worked things out no matter what, right? Continue taking care of yourself. Take time to refocus and pursue the things you’ve always loved to do. Spend time with loved ones. Learn what you can from the relationship that just ended - most importantly what you don’t want in your next relationship - and move forward. Be thankful that the wrong relationship ended to free you up for the right one.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Best Tacos in New York City

Los Angeles may be known for its authentic Mexican food, but there are plenty of New York City restaurants holding their own against the West Coast taco haven. From food trucks to fancy downtown restaurants, NYC’s taco scene covers everything from fresh fish tacos to creative sauces and toppings. 

Even if you didn't get to celebrate National Taco Day on Friday, October 4, you can still dine at one of these delicious restaurants offering the best tacos in the city.

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC's 7 Best Tacos xo

Friday, October 4, 2013

What To Do In NYC This Weekend, October 4 - 6

(credit: Shake Shack)
Shake Shack's Oktoberfest party, Shacktoberfest (of course) is starting today, Friday, October 4, and bringing a cheddar brat burger, steins of their own Shackmeister Ale and German Chocolate Pecan Concrete to round out your festive meal.

In more Shack Shack news...the city is welcoming another outpost opening this Saturday, October 5 at Grand Central Terminal. Grub Street shares some fun facts about this location here

Until the end of the month, Tres Carnes will donate a portion of its proceeds from all October burrito sales to Friends of Rockaway, and its various rebuild and restore initiatives in the Queens, Rockaway area. "Show off your burrito and get a free Tres Carnes Limeade" when you tag #BuildWithBurritos and @TresCarnes on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, order a “Pink Ribbon Agua Fresca” in October at Maya Modern Mexican Kitchen and Tequileria and they'll donate $1 from each drink sold to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Have a lovely weekend xo

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Single Girl's Survival Guide: Sex With Your Ex

It’s familiar, it’s easy and he knows exactly how to please you. But is sex with your ex ever a good idea?

You’ve recently broken up with your boyfriend of two years. You’re heartbroken over the loss, but you don’t hate him. Because you know in your heart he wasn’t the one. But that doesn’t make it hurt any less or make moving on any easier because you still love him. You haven’t heard from him in a few weeks, until a Gchat pops up during your lunch break. He seems to miss you. He asks how you’re holding up at the office or for a recap of your recent interview. Then the trouble begins. Maybe he sends a flirty message in the form of a joke to test the waters or you’re the one who gets ballsy typing a sexy dream you had since he left.

Hours later he’s running up the four flights to your apartment, swinging open your door, pushing you against the exposed brick wall with a kiss more passionate - and scandalous - than any you remember from your time as a couple.

Sex that’s forbidden – because you broke up, remember? – can unfortunately be more exciting than routine couple sex. Don’t let the mind-blowing orgasm confuse you. It doesn’t mean you’re meant to get back together. You’ve just missed being intimate with the man he used to be, coupled with the fact that we all want what we can’t have. This thrilling rush may have been satisfying in the moment, but remember, it’s what happens after the heavy breathing subsides that you’ve got to consider.

When your emotions are still raw from a recent breakup, getting into bed with your ex could lead to breaking your heart all over again. If you’re “on a break” or holding onto hope that you’ll work things out and get back together, having sex won’t mend what was broken in your relationship. If sex with your ex has you wanting to take him back, remember you’ll also risk taking back the pain, frustration and other negative emotions you've suffered previously in your relationship. It’s called a“breakup” because it’s broken. (Yes, go read that book. Now.)

If he ended things because he felt pressured by all of your married friends showing off their new homes and babies on your Facebook feed, realizing he no longer wanted the same things, falling back into bed together won’t fix these insecurities and differences. Wake up - your old issues haven’t been resolved. You can’t rely on orgasms and a spooning session to heal what was missing or defective in your relationship.

If you had sex with your ex because you were secretly hoping to sooth your loneliness or to feel like you’re a couple again – even if just for a night – the chances are high that this act will be a temporary filler, void of any real commitment or closure from him. Men can separate sex from emotions, so while you may feel like you were making love, it could have been purely physical for him.

Even if you’ve convinced yourself that all you want is commitment-free sex, the touch of his hand on your lower back or a soft whisper in your ear will turn on more than just your sex drive. For most women being intimate is an expression of our love, not just lust. And when it comes to your ex, he isn’t just a random guy you’ve met at a bar for a one night stand. He’s the man you fell in love with, emotionally supported and loved unconditionally. How can you “just” have sex with the man who was your best friend?

As a girl who’s been there, the best advice I can give is this: If you’re not ready to move on, you’ve got to move forward. How can you fall for someone new - someone who may be your Mr. Right - if your ex still has your heart, mind and your body? Don’t rush into bed or even on dates with a new guy until you’re ready, but by sleeping with your ex, you’re delaying your ability to close the door - and put a deadbolt lock on it - so a window can open.

Where do you stand, lovely readers? Is sex with your ex a "do" or a big, fat "don't"? xo
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