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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