Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NYC’s 7 Best Cinco De Mayo Cocktails

Celebrate the 5th of May with specialty cocktails featuring Mexican flavors and flare. These New York City bars and restaurants are offering delicious ways to imbibe on Cinco de Mayo. 

Check out my article on CBS New York for NYC’s 7 Best Cinco De Mayo Cocktails to cheers this coming weekend! xo

Monday, April 29, 2013

Get Smooth For Summer With Hair Removal By Nair

(Sponsored by Nair)

The warm spring breeze in New York City has us removing layers of coats and sweaters, reminding us that summer is right around the corner. Tis’ the season for teeny bikinis, short shorts and a whole lot more exposed skin. While some of us splurge on hair removal treatments at NYC’s top salons, not all of us can afford laser, wax and threading services on a weekly basis.

Luckily, Nair products provide professional results at home for staying smooth all summer long – at a fraction of what you’d pay at a salon or spa. Growing up with olive skin and dark hair, I begged my mother to allow me to shave my legs in early middle school. I also prayed for a way to remove my “mustache” because I feared teasing from boys I had crushes on. Thankfully, my mother indulged me in my quest for hair removal and introduced me to Nair at this early age because she believed it was a safe and painless way for a young girl to gain hair-free confidence, without the embarrassing stubble of shaving. Years later, as a twenty-something New Yorker, I still swear by Nair’s products for easy and affordable at-home hair removal.

While Nair’s offerings over 15 years ago were dependable and reliable for my middle school self, the Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Total Care Body Trio and Face Trio are the newest depilatories to join the popular Brazilian Spa Clay Line inspired by the beauty secrets and hair removal expertise of Brazil that you’ve just got to get your hands on this summer. Each product is infused with mango butter and açai berry to moisturize and mineral-rich clay to purify the skin. 
(Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Total Care Face Trio)
Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Total Care™ Face Trio is the first 3-step depilatory for the face with a suggested retail price of $13.99. Here’s a simple breakdown of how to use this summer-friendly product for your face:

Step 1: The first step is the pre-balm, which coats the skin to help minimize irritation and redness
Step 2: The second step is the depilatory. There’s no drying time, so you can apply the depilatory immediately after using the pre-balm.
Step 3: After removing the depilatory product, apply the moisturizer, which is similar to a typical facial moisturizer. This will help neutralize the pH of the skin, bringing it back to the normal level.
(Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Total Care Body Trio)
Nair Brazilian Spa Clay Shower Total Care™ Body Trio is the only 3-step in-shower depilatory system, including the convenient Nair Shower Power® technology that works while you shower. The suggested retail price is $13.99. Here’s a simple breakdown of how to use this summer-friendly product for all over body hair removal:

Step 1: The pre-wipe contains mineral oil and chamomile to prepare your skin before removing hair.
Step 2: Apply the depilatory, which is resistant to water through emollients similar to those found in waterproof sunscreens so it will resist runoff while you shower. Keep the area out of the direct stream of water.
Step 3: After the hair is removed, apply soothing post-use gel with Aloe Vera for a perfect finish.

My pre-teen self would have fallen hard for these easy to use hair removal products. Learn more about Nair's full line of summer hair removal products to get ready to bare it all this summer xo

Friday, April 26, 2013

What To Do This Weekend in NYC, April 26 – 28

As a writer covering "the best of New York City" for CBS New York and a lifestyle blogger focused on dating, dining and all that comes with city life, it only seemed right to start a new Friday feature on Bright Lights, My City offering exactly what to do for the weekend. 
(Clarkson's Duck Confit with Sweet Potato Hash)
Shop, dine and wander at Hester Street Fair, opening for the season this weekend in the Lower East Side. From foodie favorites like Luke's Lobster to fashion jewelry finds from Wink And Flip, it's the perfect way to spend a lazy afternoon.

Cheers with your crew at Tequila Park, opening this Friday at Hudson Common serving up tacos and tequila. And if you can't make it this Saturday or Sunday, their opening makes for perfect timing to plan a Cinco de Mayo celebration for the following weekend.

The team behind Mulberry Project brings us Greenwich Project, launching their brunch menu this weekend, complete with healthy fresh pressed juices for those who are cleansing to indulgent dishes that may just be worth a diet cheat.

Text, email and chat underground at these subway stations, now offering free wi-fi.

Sip on a "Beluga Garden" cocktail at Noir New York for a taste of one of the very best vodkas I've ever had the pleasure of drinking. This special cocktail features fresh muddled strawberries and basil, Beluga Noble Russian Vodkafresh lime, a splash of balsamic and is finished with a dusting of white pepper. This high-end vodka will be soon popping up around NYC at other trendy lounges and dining destinations, so keep an eye out.

Make reservations for brunch at Clarkson in the West Village. This recently opened restaurant launched everyone's favorite daytime meal mid-April with delicious dishes like Duck Confit with Sweet Potato Hash and Milk Braised Pork Belly.

This weekend I'll be on a mini getaway to MD visiting one of my very best gal pals, Caitlin of Style Within Reach and The Glitter Guide. Happy Friday, lovely readers xo

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Gilt City Warehouse Sale 2013

(Zac Posen, Original Retail: $2,190; Warehouse Sale: $430)

New Yorkers may flaunt their fashion sense, but we also love a good deal. With the high price of rent and frequent dinners out at the newest (and priciest) restaurants, getting a discount on the designer clothes we crave is a must.

Take advantage of the ultimate discount shopping event at Gilt City's Warehouse Sale. This popular event features Gilt’s top brands - from men’s and women’s fashion to home accessories - at up to 90% off retail. From dresses, skirts and denim to accessories including handbags, pumps and sunglasses, you'll have a new spring wardrobe in one shopping trip.

Grab your tickets asap before they all sell out to take advantage of admission to the Gilt City Warehouse Sale at the Altman Building on Saturday, May 4, 2013 with 2 hour time slots available from 11 am – 9 PM with a complimentary coat check, onsite bar sponsored by La Marca Prosecco, snacks and dipping station provided by Pretzel Crisps, additional merchandise provided by Closets for Causes and an Uber $20 gift card with purchase, all to the tunes of a live DJ to help you shop 'til you drop!

PS: Make sure to enter their fun contest: Tweet and Instagram a photo of what you purchase from the Warehouse Sale by using the hashtag #RaidtheWarehouse to enter to win $100 of Gilt credit xo

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Moules Frites at Jacques Brasserie's Belgian Feast

Moules Frites is an indulgence that takes seafood lovers on a trip to Paris at their table. Getaway to France, if only in your culinary dreams, at Jacques Brasserie, a classic French Bistro on the Upper East Side.

Sundays through Thursdays from 5:30-7pm, head uptown to enjoy a heaping pot of Moules Frites with a draft beer of your choice for just $22. Choose from a selection of broths, including Marinieres (Chardonnay, garlic, parsley) and Dijonnaise (mustard, shallots, garlic).

This heavy meal is a great deal for the price - piles of mussels, fries, a beer, and fresh out of the oven bread for dipping into the flavorful mussel broth will keep you stuffed at under $30 per person!

From Escargots to Salad Niçoise, make sure to try other French delicacies when cozying up to your date or gossiping with your best girlfriends over the Belgian Feast at Jacques Brasserie.

Jacques Brasserie. 204-206 E 85th St.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How Soon Is Too Soon To Move In Together?

(A lovely pink building on my block in the East Village)

With the high price of rent and the fear of a potentially crazy Craigslist roommate, New York City couples tend to rush moving in together.

In your early twenties, having roomies in the city was wonderful. You always had friends around to watch trashy reality tv, brave the long line at Trader Joe’s and to give an honest opinion on a first date outfit.

When the clock starts ticking away to thirty, and you’ve finally landed a job with enough zeros at the end to live alone, many of us move out of our shared three-bedrooms for a tiny studio. It may seem manageable at first, but living solo can get pretty costly for even those who are making the big bucks (and unfortunately, that’s not me). From cable to ConEd, the bills add up quickly. 

When you’re in a relationship, having your boyfriend around your shared apartment multiple nights a week can be a real pain in the butt for roommates, so once you’ve got your own pad, your significant other can come and go as he pleases. (Or at least as often as you’d like him to be there  - because a girl does need her alone time!)

When couples have become comfortable, moving in together seems like the next big step. But, how soon is too soon to move in together? I’m all for living with your guy before getting married because how else would you know if your living styles are compatible? Or at least that there’s a chance you can “fix” his quirks, like training him to get his dirty laundry in the hamper rather than in piles on the floor.

In an expensive and often lonely city like New York, couples tend to move in together before they’re really “ready” due to financial necessity or just because they think it will take the relationship to the “next level”, whatever that really means. This can unfortunately lead to a dramatic breakup, when a broken lease and major fines are more serious than your broken hearts.

What’s your take on the right time to move in together? Does it vary couple to couple or is there a timeframe when you know you should be boxing up your belonging to make the big move? xo

Monday, April 22, 2013

NYC’s Best Spas & Salons For Eye Beauty

Lengthening your lashes can be difficult to go at on your own. Curlers can be turned into torture devices, mascara always stains your favorite towels and shaping your eyebrows for the right arch can easily be ruined by over-plucking. Leave your eye primping to these NYC professionals, who are masters at lengthening lashes and sculpting brows at their salons and spas.

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC’s 5 Best Spas & Salons For Eye Beauty xo

Friday, April 19, 2013

Journey of Love Wedding Showcase This Weekend

With this week’s Boston Marathon tragedy, along with today’s ongoing news investigation all over both traditional and social media, it’s hard to avoid all of the heartbreaking and terrifying news. While my heart and thoughts go out to my family and friends in the City of Boston, I’d like to take a moment to share an upcoming event for this weekend with my bride-to-be and bridal party readers to enjoy a few hours to themselves to concentrate on the happier moments.

(image via)
The beautiful Hornblower New York and Lover.ly are partnering to inspire you in everything wedding related at this Sunday’s Journey of Love Wedding Showcase. As a professional bridesmaid I’m always out in the bridal trenches – gown shopping, attending fittings and stalking Etsy for goodies from veils to stationary.

This Sunday, view an array of themed weddings while sipping on Prosecco and touring Hornblower Infinity. No matter where you’ll be tying the knot, you may just find exactly what you are looking for to plan the wedding of your dreams at this lovely event. This dockside event is aboard Hornblolwer Infinity with an open house from 2-6 pm. The day includes exclusive access to wedding vendors, a fashion show, free flowing beer, house wine and Prosecco (for your favorite single bridesmaid to make it through this afternoon with all smiles), gourmet hors d'oeuvres, cake and food tasting and giveaways.

Tickets are $15 tickets and you can book here xo 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

NYC’s 10 Best Plates of French Toast

For those of us who always go for sweet over savory when it comes to breakfast, French Toast is a go-to choice. These city restaurants offer some of the best – and most creative – French Toast plates to sweeten your morning or lazy weekend afternoon. 

Check out CBS New York for my article on NYC's 10 Best Plates of French Toast xo

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Single Girl’s Survival Guide: When Bridesmaids Can Say ‘No’ to a Bride(zilla)

(Recent bridesmaid duty in an adorable robe from the non-bridezilla bride)

A 4am wakeup for hair appointments on the big day, slow dancing with her creepy older brother and wearing a vomit green ball gown are all wedding situations you’ve got to get through with a big smile and a closed mouth. But, there are some situation that even the nicest bridesmaid shouldn’t grin and bear it for. When it comes to emptying your bank account or changing your personal routine, a bridesmaid can absolutely say ‘no’ to a bridezilla.

Enrolling in a mandatory diet or fitness plan. Sure, we all want to look our best when getting fitted for (read: stuffed into) a bridesmaid dress, but being told by the bride that you need to drop a few pounds (or can’t plan to have your first baby) before her big day is outrageous. The bride can live on protein shakes for the next six months, but her bridal party has their own lives and individual lifestyles. If you want to get toned before her big day, go ahead and adjust your normal eating habits and gym schedule. But, if a change in your lifestyle comes from a rude suggestion – or worse an order – from the bride, you need to establish what you are and are not willing to do when you agree to be a bridesmaid. While you can’t say, “I refuse to wear orange", you can be assertive about your own body, such as "I'm trying to get pregnant, and I'm not putting that off for the sake of your wedding album."

Purchasing a designer (read: over $500) bridesmaid gown. Thank God for David’s Bridal. For those of us who’ve been in more than 5 weddings, we can appreciate a $99 dress. Whether it’s on clearance or goes for $800 at a boutique in Soho, a bridesmaid dress is a bridesmaid dress. They really do all look the same. Tacky fabric, unflattering silhouettes and awkward lengths make almost every bridesmaid dress a runway no-no. There's maybe a 10 percent chance you will like the dress you end up walking down the aisle in, but you’ll have to let go of your personal style for the day. When it comes to the issue of the price tag, the bridesmaids must be considered. Let the bride know you’re excited to stand up for her, but when it comes to the dress, alterations and shoes, you’d like to stay within a reasonable budget.

Flying off to an exotic bachelorette getaway. Flight, hotel, car rental, dinners, cocktails, new bathing suits… Expecting bridesmaids to dish out a month’s rent to celebrate one of the bride’s last weekends as a single lady sounds fun in theory, but may actually put her friends in debt with their landlord. Don’t be afraid to be upfront with the bride or maid-of-honor when the bachelorette party is being planned. It’s more than okay to say ‘no’ to a full blown vacation. A more reasonable weekend away in the Hamptons or Atlantic City may still seem pricey, but at least there’s no airplane ticket involved!

Attending more than one bridal shower. If the bride and groom met in New York City, but grew up on opposite sides of the country, both the mother of the bride and her future mother-in-law may be planning showers for the women on their sides of the family. Be prepared to attend – and assist – at the bridal shower closest to where you live, but don’t sacrifice money and time to travel to a second shower, just to keep the bride in your good graces. Let her know that while you’ll be jotting down gifts, hosting bridal bingo and creating a festive bouquet out of ribbon and bows, your work schedule only allows for one weekend of bridal shower fun.

When do you think it's acceptable to say 'no' to a bride?

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