Valentine’s Day gift guide: Last minute offerings

Looking for some last minute Valentine’s Day gifts? Here are my picks for the special guy or gal in your life:

Beer My Valentine Bucket –If you’re looking for the perfect gift for any man, this would definitely be it. The bucket comes with six micro brew beers, Honey Mustard gourmet popcorn, Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper gourmet popcorn, beef jerky and other snacks. It’s a great combination!

Valentine’s Day Brownie Cake– This great, big, heart-shaped brownie cake is perfect for the chocolate lover. The 9″ cake has xo’s and a sweet Be Mine message. It’s a deliciously sweet gift!

Santa Margherita Sparkling Rosé– Looking for the perfect drink to have on Valentine’s Day? Then you should pick this beautiful bottle. If you want to add a bit of romance, add some rose petals for the perfect Rose Petal Rosé!

Wacoal Lace Affair Chemise– This sexy number has the perfect amount of lace at the top. It’s a fitted chemise, but super comfy. My favorite color combination is the Tango Red/Silver Peony option!

b.tempt’d by Wacoal Ciao Bella Bralette– Here’s a feminine bralette that gives the perfect shape and support. It has a nice scalloped detail at the neckline and the lace is super pretty. My favorite color option is Haute Red!

Love Beauty and Planet– It’s nice to find a brand that’s all about doing good both for beauty and the planet. Each bottle is 100% recyclable and contains naturally-derived ingredients. One of my favorite collections is the Murumuru Butter & Rose that has a shampoo, conditioner, hair masque, body wash, and body scrub. Each product is under $10 so the collection is very affordable!

A4 Cinematic Lightbox– This lightbox is a stunning gift that fits well in any room. It has space for 3 lines of text and 85 individual letters, numbers and symbols to choose from. So your options are limitless!

Color Changing Unicorn Mug– Here’s a super cute gift!  When you fill it with a hot drink, you’ll see the unicorn’s charming multi-colored mane. The white ceramic mug has a capacity of 300ml, and it will make any unicorn lover happy!

Photo by: Gourmetgiftbasket.com

                                             Photo by: Gourmetgiftbasket.com

 

Photo by: Santa Margherita

 

Photo by: Wacoal

 

Photo by: b.tempt’d by Wacoal

Photo by: Love Beauty and Planet

 

Photo by: TheFowndry

 

Photo by: IWOOT

6th Annual WindowsWear Awards : Cheers to creativitity

Last Tuesday, WindowsWear invited me to its annual WindowsWear Awards Party at Up & Down. Simon Doonan, Barney’s Creative Director, hosted the event. Creative teams from Bergdorf Goodman, Bloomingdale’s, Brioni, Chloe, Christian Louboutin, Coach, Barneys New York, Diane von Furstenberg, Diesel, Etro, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, Guess, H&M, Harrods, Henri Bendel, Jimmy Choo, Kate Spade, Kleinfeld Bridal, La Perla, Lord & Taylor, Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Valentino, among others, attended. Some of the winners included the following: Best Pink Window awarded to Gucci in Milan, Best Homage to a City awarded to Tiffany & Company in New York, and Best  Holiday Window awarded to Harrod’s in London. The award categories for the best fashion window displays were so fascinating. Check out the rest of the winners here.

Guests at the event enjoyed Anna Cordineau Cava, burgers, and fries. They danced the night away to beats by Up & Down’s DJ. Guests also enjoyed hearing Simon Doonan list the awards winners and present the Simon Doonan Award to the Dolce & Gabbana creative team. The celebration was lively and inspiring with so many creative, intelligent individuals in one room. Congratulations to all of the winners for their innovative achievements!

Jon Harari, Raul Tóvar, Michael Nietzow  Photo by: Brinsley Edwards

Simon Doonan  Photo by: Brinsley Edwards

Randy Jones and guest  Photo by: Brinsley Edwards

Laudemio Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Impeccable Quality

Laudemio is the quintessence of fine, high quality extra virgin olive oil. I had the pleasure of attending a tasting luncheon for the brand at Leopard Des Artistes. The cold pressed oil is methodically produced in Tuscany by 21 estates that pick the olives at the right stage of ripeness, embracing quality and unique taste. Diana Frescobaldi, president of the Laudemio consortium attended the luncheon and gave guests background on Laudemio’s history. She also provided some tasting notes on the six different oils (Frescobaldi, Antinori, Fattoria San Michele a Torri, Petrolo, Gonnelli, Fattoria Le Sorgenti) that were present for tasting.

I’m beyond impressed with the variety and delicious taste of the Laudemio oils! Chef Vito Gnazzo along with Chef Eric Howard and Theo Friedman of Theory Kitchen prepared unique dishes with Laudemio for the luncheon. They included antipasti, pasta, scallops over asparagus, and olive oil gelato. Such exquisite presentations of the food! Guests also enjoyed Marchesi Frescobaldi red and white wines. The oils are quite appealing and easy on the palate. Even the packaging is remarkable with a unique glass bottle that has the classy feel of a perfume bottle. Laduemio varieties are available at fine retailers such as Dean & Deluca and Eataly. Be sure to try them!

Diana Frescobaldi and Chef Vito Gnazzo

Editor’s Showcase- Health & Nutrition: Satisfying Options

A few weeks ago, I was invited to the annual Editor’s Showcase- Health & Nutrition at the Marriott Marquis. This event brings together innovative brands in the health, wellness and nutrition spaces. There was an excellent range of product categories from protein bars, gluten-free foods, vitamin supplements, to sugar-free candy. Featured brands included: RX Bar, Zarbees Naturals, Sneakz, Herbalife, Wasa USA, DRY Soda Co., Pure Organic, Gaia Herbs, CV Sciences, Cherry Marketing Institute, OWYN, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods, The Wonderful Company, Culturelle Probiotics, Lorissa’s Kitchen, TRU Chocolate, Sambazon, Harmeless Harvest, Mount Franklin Foods, LoveBug Probiotics, and GT’s Living Foods.

I had a wonderful time interacting with all of the brands and these are my highlights. Wasa USA showcased its delicious varieties of Gluten-Free crackers. The Wonderful Company featured its Wonderful Almonds, Wonderful Pistachios, and Wonderful Halos mandarins. DRY Soda Co. offered a sneak peak of its DRY Zero Sugar line that’s coming out in Spring 2018. OWYN featured its plant-based protein powders and drinks. Zarbee’s Naturals showcased its Elderberry Immune Support Gummies and other supplements. Sambazon sampled its dairy-free Superfruit Acai Bites. Sneakz presented its line of milkshakes and vegan protein powders that have a mix of 5 nutrient-rich vegetables. Lastly, TRU Chocolate featured its line of 72% dark chocolate snacks.

I’m so excited about all of the products from the Editor’s Showcase. What a great mix of healthy and delicious offerings!

Garment District vibes: Two new hotspots to celebrate

Last Monday, I attended the grand opening party for The Rag Trader and Bo Peep Cocktail & Highball Store. The restaurant and underground piano cocktail bar are located in the Garment District, and have a lot of character. They draw inspiration from the ‘40s and ‘50s, the glory days of the Garment District. The main floor showcases elements of an old garment factory with chandeliers and a long bar. I love the nostalgic signs and elegant decor throughout. The upstairs section has ample seating and a Street Taco truck that serves authentic Mexican street food. Down below, the intimate Bo Peep gives a nod to what was once a tailor’s fitting room. I love its plush red couches and nostalgic lamps. The venue’s cocktail menu has over 30 options sorted by intriguing categories.

So many exciting highlights took place at the event! A series of burlesque dancers performed in the main area. Specialty cocktails for the event included The Rag Trader, The Red Dawn, El Guapo, Le Nouveau Spritz, and Three Piece Suit. A Jazz singer and pianist performed vibrant tunes in Bo Peep. Lastly, guests enjoyed a multitude of small bites prepared by Executive Chef Justin Ottervanger ranging from pizza, fried oysters, fried chicken sliders, butternut squash soup, cheese burgers, and mushroom tartelettes. I really enjoy the variety that the venues offer!

The Rag Trader and Bo Peep Cocktail & Highball Store do a great job of bringing together nostalgic elements with great food. They’re conveniently located on 36th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, in the heart of the Garment District. Both are welcome additions to the area, paying homage to vibrant times. I can’t wait to go back!

Photo by: Gabi Porter

Gifting for the holidays and the New Year: A spotlight on delights

Photo by: Pexels

 

Gifting season continues! You can never have enough gifts 🙂 Whether you’re still looking for last minute holiday gifts or gifting offerings for the New Year, here are my suggestions that range from champagne, wines, jewelry, to games:

Champagne Taittinger Nocturne “City Lights”– This champagne is comprised of more than 35 different crus from a variety of harvests. It carries the aromas of white flowers, yellow peach and dried apricots. It’s has a smooth, creamy and very crisp palate that leads to raisins and fruit in syrup flavors. Nocturne is deliciously sweet and will light up any gathering!

Mionetto Luxury Cartizze DOCG– Here you have an elegant prosecco with apple and pear aromas and hints of citrus. It has a soft, creamy and fresh taste with a sugared almond finish. This gift is perfect for someone who enjoys hosting important occasions!

Mionetto Prestige Rose Extra Dry– This rosé prosecco comes in a beautiful pink wrapped bottle. It has pink grapefruit, pomegranate and black currant aromas with a hint of wild rose. There’s a well-balanced acidity with notes of red raspberry and strawberry that complement the effervescence. Mionetto Prestige Rose Extra Dry will definitely get a party started!

Kim Crawford Sauvingnon Blanc– With a beautiful gold limited-edition holiday bottle, this wine conveys sophistication. It has a variety of aromas: lifted citrus, tropical fruit, and crushed herbs Ripe. The flavor is tantalizingly tropical with a blend of passion fruit, melon, and grapefruit. Trust me, this wine is a winner!

Whispering Angel– This wine carries a fruity aroma with a mix of peaches, strawberries, and cherries. It has a dry yet refreshing taste. This gift is perfect for a classy dinner party!

Santa Margherita Prosecco Superiore– With aromas of peaches and sweet flowers, this prosecco is a sweet welcome! It has fruity hints of pineapples and Rennet apples for a crisp taste. It’s definitely well-suited for any occasion.

VieVité Extraordinaire– This sophisticated rosé has scents of fresh fruit, spices and herbs. It has a smooth, refined taste that leaves a long, satin finish. This gift is perfect for the rosé aficionado!

Safi Kilima Tanzanite Bolo Bracelet– Nothing exudes glamour like a beautiful piece of jewelry! This bracelet shines with five tantalizing oval tanzanite stones united with an infinity motif. It’s secured with an adjustable clasp. This is such a chic gift!

Watch ya Mouth– This game is card-based and super funny. Each player takes turn wearing a mouth guard while the other players have to guess what’s being said through the mouth-guard. The game is perfect for anyone who likes a good laugh and a great time!

Each of these gifts are thoughtful and offer a wow factor! Which gifting option is your favorite?

Photo by: Champagne Taittinger

Photo by: Mionetto USA

Photo by: Mionetto USA

Photo by: Kim Crawford Wines

Photo by: Chateau d’Esclans

Photo by: Santa Margherita

Photo by: VieVité

Photo by: Safi Kilima Tanzanite

Photo by: Watch Ya’ Mouth

 

Top-notch gifts that will get you praise-worthy attention

It’s not too late to find terrific gifts for your significant other, best friend, or favorite family member! I love giving and receiving gifts that are functional, envy-worthy, and that bring smiles during the holiday season Check out my list of coveted beauty, tech, and fashion gifts down below:

Baxter of California SHOWE (RED) Kit– This kit offers the perfect combination of daily essentials and a charitable component. 20% of retail sales of this kit are donated to the (RED) Global Fund to raise awareness and funds for AIDS. It includes Sulfate-Free Daily Face Wash, Daily Fortifying Shampoo, Invigorating Body Wash, and Aluminum-Free Deodorant. The lucky gifted guy will be pleased with this shower-ready, cause-supporting gift!

philosophy apple cider shampoo, shower gel & bubble bath– This multi-purpose product smells delicious and gives your hair and skin the softest feeling. It creates a luxurious lather, You’ll want to use it every day!

philosophy mens duo renewed hope for men mattifying moisturizer & the microdelivery face and body scrub– This set is perfect for men’s sensitive skin. The mattifying moisturizer provides comfort and hydration to freshly shaved skin. the microdelivery face and body scrub gently removes dry skin, and minimizes ingrown hairs, leaving skin smooth with the perfect glow. Every guy will love this gift!

Joico K-Pak Holiday Trio W/Gift Tote 3-pc. Value Set – 24.9 oz. This trio repairs and strengthens damages hair. It includes K-Pak Shampoo, K-Pak Conditioner, and K-Pak Reconstructor all inside of a cute holiday bag.

Achi Tweezers– These rose gold tweezers are perfect for grooming during the winter season. This pretty, shiny gift will be a welcome addition to any gal’s vanity area!

Armitron watches- This brand has such an assorted range of watches at affordable price points. The watches are stylish, functional, and celebrate the spirit of individuality. My pick for men is the White Analog-Digital Watch with Gray Accents, a modern, sporty watch that’s classy. My pick for women is the Rose Gold-Tone Dress Bracelet Watch with Mother-of-Pearl Dial and Swarovski Crystal Accents. It’s elegant, statement-worthy, and simply perfect for any occasion.

Scentbird Hand Creams– These creams feel so luxurious and smell delicious! They’re made with real fruit extracts, vitamins A + E, soothing aloe leaf. Plus, they’re 100% cruelty free with NO parabens or sulfates. A little bit goes a long way for smooth skin. My favorite scents are Rose & Prosecco and Pineapple & White Amber.

instaCHARGE Dual-Plug 22,000mAh Portable Tablet and Phone Charger– This is perfect for the tech-savvy person who uses devices a bunch. It charges smartphones, tablets, media players and more when you’re on the go. It also comes in a variety of great colors and its ultimate compact accessory!

ARDELL Faux Mink Lash Lookbook 8 Pairs + Duo– Who doesn’t love glam eyelashes? This kit offers a variety of fun looks to sport during the holiday season. This is a hit for anyone who wants their lashes to take the spotlight!

Avon True Color Lots of Lips– This makeup gift features an 80-piece assortment of Avon True Color minis. All of the colors are beautiful and perfect to alternate with throughout the holiday season and beyond. It’s a makeup lover’s dream!

Avon Joyful Beautiful Knit Scarf– This scarf is so soft and cozy. It has some fun pom-poms at each end and is available in hot pink or red. Whoever gets it will be wearing it all winter long and loving it!

PRAI Platinum Firm & Lift Serum 3.4 fl. oz. in Paw Print Pump– This serum minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and gives skin an uplifted sensation. Your skin will feel firmer in no time. I also love the adorable packaging that has a paw print and glittery details!

Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pure– This fragrance is enchanting with the freshest scent. Its main component is water which is combined with lily of the valley, jasmine, and damask rose. The bottle is even in the shape of a water drop to further show the timeless flow of water. The fragrance exudes elegance and serenity, perfect for the modern, confident woman!

Nigella Therapy Perfecting Gift Set– This set is perfect for minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and for delivering radiant skin. It includes the Perfecting Day Serum, Perfecting Night Serum, and Nigenol® black seed oil. All of the products are made with 100% pure and natural black seed oil, a powerful ingredient for rejuvenating the skin. They’re beautifully packaged and skin lifesavers!

These gifts offer great benefits, value, and joyful cheer! Which option is your favorite?

 

Photo by: Baxter of California

Photo by: philosophy

Photo by: philosophy

Photo by: Joico

Photo by: Achi

Photo by: Armitron

Photo by: Armitron

Photo by: Scentbird

Photo by: HSN

Photo by: Ardell

Photo by: Avon

Photo by: Avon

Photo by: HSN

Photo by: Issey Miyake

Photo by: Nigella Therapy

Vacheron Constantin unveils classically modern timepieces

A few days ago, Vacheron Constantin, the Geneva watchmaker, hosted a cocktail party at The Raines Law Room at The William. The brand unveiled 3 vintage-inspired watches at the event called Historiques Triple Calendar 1942 and 1948, and Historiques American 1921 Small. All three of these watches are modern versions of iconic watches from the past. I love these beautiful and sophisticated watches! Both the Triple Calendar 1942 and 1948 are available with blue or red dial variations, dark brown or dark blue straps, and new manual movements. The American 1921 is very similar to its past version, but it carries smaller dimensions meant for smaller wrists. It’s available with a dark brown or red strap. Additionally, the Triple Calendar 1948 and the American 1921 Small both have rose gold cases. These watches are perfect for watch connoisseurs with elevated taste.

Speaking of elevated taste, the event’s venue couldn’t have been more fitting for the unveiling. Raines Law Room offers an old school classy flair with a modern twist. A perfect setup for displaying the watches and entertaining guests! The bar offered specialty cocktails and guests could get professional photographs wearing a Historiques watch. Guests also enjoyed assorted hors d’oeuvres such as charcuterie and prosciutto wrapped figs. What a delightful evening!

The 3 new models in the Historiques collection are available this month. For more information, check out http://www.vacheron-constantin.com/en/watches/historiques.html Congratulations to Vacheron Constantin on incredibly brilliant new timepieces!

Diamonds for days: Forevermark launches exquisite collections

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending Forevermark’s Tribute Collection launch party in Chelsea. Guests included Zendaya, Chrissy Tiegen, Ashley Graham, Freida Pinto, and Chloë Moretz. I couldn’t get over the incredible display of jewelry! The Forevermark Tribute™ Collection honors a woman’s unique personality, style, and characteristics. It consists of layered pendants, stackable rings and drop earrings. All of the pieces feature assorted Forevermark diamonds in different shapes and are set in 18k white, yellow, and rose gold. They can be worn together or separately to represent each woman’s individual style and qualities. Each piece has the finest craftsmanship and shines like nothing else! The Forevermark Tribute™ Collection can be purchased at participating Forevermark jewelers.

Some of my favorite pieces include: The Forevermark Tribute™ Collection Double Diamond Drop Earrings; The Forevermark Tribute™ Collection Round Diamond Ring; and The Forevermark Tribute™ Collection Pear Diamond Necklace. The pieces are absolutely stunning!

That evening, Forevermark also launched its latest collaboration with designer Jade Trau. It’s the next phase of the five year partnership between the two entities. The Forevermark x Jade Trau Alchemy Collection brings together the world’s most carefully selected diamonds with Jade’s passion for detail and quality. The collection features four diamond shapes – emerald, round, pear, and marquise. Jade wanted to design jewelry that evokes the same connection to diamonds that she developed at a young age. This passion flows through the Forevermark x Jade Trau Collection, inspiring women to form this bond and show off their essence through Jade’s diamond shapes.The Forevermark x Jade Trau Alchemy Collection will be available at select Forevermark Jewelers in early 2018. Cheers to Forevermark on these two new innovative and captivating collections!

Ruffino: 140 years of wines with a bright future ahead

Recently, I attended Ruffino’s 140 year anniversary at Emily West Village. Beppe d’Andrea, Ruffino’s Global Brand Ambassador welcomed guests and chatted with them as well. Guests could enjoy Ruffino Prosecco, Ruffino Sparkling Rosé, Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio, Ruffino Modus, and Ruffino Reserva Ducale. Each wine varietal carries a distinct, memorable flavor. We also enjoyed seasonal spritzers made with Ruffino Prosecco. The wines paired perfectly with Emily’s pizza choices such as The Grammy, Madre, and Vodka Classic- basil. We all mingled and enjoyed chatting about the Ruffino wine portfolio.

Beppe spoke about the Ruffino wines and how the brand has preserved its heritage but also welcomed new creations. For instance, Ruffino Reserva Ducale is deeply rooted in the brand’s history while Ruffino Sparkling Rosé is a relatively new wine for the brand. As Beppe mentioned, “Innovation today must be tradition tomorrow.” The wines are truly remarkable and the brand’s 140 year history is impressive. What an outstanding evening!