Art That Leaves An Incredible Mark: Affordable Art Fair New York City

This past March, I had the pleasure of attending Affordable Art Fair New York City at the Metropolitan Pavilion. The annual fair featured over 70 national and international galleries that showcased contemporary paintings, photography, and sculptures. All artwork ranged between $100 and $12,000. The multi-day event featured art talks, live painting demonstrations, meet and greets with the artists, and special themed hours such as Art After Dark and Stroller Hours. There really was something for everyone.

Every piece of art at the fair was impressive, but here are my highlights. I enjoyed seeing artworks by Magdalena Laskowska, Mark Johnston, Lucinda Metcalfe, Jenny Keith, Christine Tonolini, Chloe Saron, and Betty Ball. Galleries such as Phillips Michael Art, JJ Contemporary Art Gallery, Elisa Contemporary Art, FREMIN GALLERY, and NAVA Contemporary stood out with their assorted ranges of artwork.

It was amazing to see so much creativity in 1 venue! Affordable Art Fair New York City will be back at the Metropolitan Pavilion for its Fall edition from September 25 to 29th. Be sure to check it out!

Fill The Bag Benefit: A night to celebrate meaningful food initiatives

Large Group Photo NEW YORK — On March 5, 2024, Fill The Bag Benefit helped New York Common Pantry (NYCP) raise nearly $1M to fight food insecurity. NYCP’s Board and Advisory Council came out in force to support the event. Pictured, back row/standing (from L to R): Alan Pardee, Dominique R. Jones, Thad David, Scott Crawford, Amy Fritz, Mattias Stitch, Sherrell Andrews, Doreen Morales, Cristina Fernandez, Margie Sung, Edward Brown, Charlie Higgins, Paul Emery, and David McInerny. Seated (from L to R): Cathy Taub, Didi Fenton-Schafer, Elaine Clark, Jamie Hirsch, Annie Huneke, and Christina Li. Photo credit: James Poster Studio

Photo credit: James Poster Studio

Fill The Bag Benefit MC and Auctioneer
NEW YORK — On March 5, 2024, Fill The Bag Benefit helped New York Common Pantry (NYCP) raise nearly $1M to fight food insecurity. Featured (from L to R): Lydia Fenet, founder and CEO of the Lydia Fenet Agency, led a rousing auction. Willie Geist, host of NBC’s Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist, was the night’s Master of Ceremonies, following on the heels of “Super Tuesday” reporting. Margie Sung is New York Common Pantry’s Board Chair. Photo credit: James Poster Studio

Last week, New York Common Pantry (NYCP) hosted its annual Fill The Bag Benefit at the Ziegfeld Ballroom. NYCP is a nonprofit organization that combats hunger and promotes dignity, health, and self-sufficiency. The benefit event MC’ed by MSNBC’s Morning Joe Will Geist, welcomed over 500 guests and raised nearly $1 million. It honored PIMCO, an investment management firm, for its collaborative partnership. The event also honored Andy Dsida, an active, strongly involved NYCP volunteer.

At the beginning of the event, there was a lively cocktail reception. Guests enjoyed informal networking and learning more about NYCP’s Choice Pantry Program. This program is a free service that provides fresh and nutritious food to qualifying participants. In addition, representatives from Live Healthy!, a nutritional education program, were present sharing recipes and insights. The program offers virtual classes to learn about nutrition and creating recipes. Both initiatives strive to provide accessible, affordable, and flavorful organic food options.

The benefit continued with a dinner program where NYCP’s supporters shared their passion for NYCP’s endeavors. Margie Sung, NYCP’s Board Chair exclaimed, “To all of our supporters and problem solvers here in the room tonight, thank you so much for being here and doing what you do because we can only do this together. And for those of you who are new in the room tonight, I will guarantee you’ll learn something new and appreciate the hard work of so many.” Andy Dsida mentioned that “there’s a real feeling of importance in the mission which means that everyone pitches in, we don’t give up.” You could truly hear and feel the passion that NYCP’s supporters have. What an incredible organization and event!

Holiday Gifting: Make the holiday spirit shine

Holiday gifting is special, joy-filled, exciting, and memorable. You’re all about getting the perfect presents. It’s not too late to get your friends and loved ones some fantastic gifts!  Here are my recommendations this season, ranging from beauty to wine:

Bare Minerals Tiny Treasures 4-Piece Makeup Set– This set has 4 makeup must-haves: Mini ORIGINAL MINERAL VEIL® Loose Setting Powder in Translucent, Mini All-Over Face Color Bronzer in Warmth, Mini MINERALIST® Lip Gloss-Balm in Sincerity, Mini MAXIMIST® Phyto-Fiber Volumizing Mascara in Maximum Black. Layer them on for a beautiful clean look!

Bare Minerals Skin Stars 3-Piece Skincare Kit– This set includes 3 of the brand’s bestselling vegan skincare essentials.  The 3 products are: AGELESS Phyto-Retinol Night Concentrate, Mini SKINLONGEVITY Long Life Herb Eye Treatment, and Mini AGELESS Phyto-Retinol Face Cream. These products increase hydration, brighten dark circles, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Ultimate game changers!

Mineralist Ocean Wonders Eyeshadow Palette– This palette features 6 shades that are made from talc-free rich mineral pigments. The shades are inspired by the ocean and include Sand, Horizon, Beach, Aqua, Tidal, and Inlet. Such a beautiful assortment of colors!

BUXOM Personal Best Lip Plumping SetThis duo includes Full-On Plumping Lip Cream in 2 flattering colors: a Mini Blushing Margarita and a full size Hot Toddy. Both have Vitamin E and pout-plumping peptides for long-lasting shine and moisture. This set delivers the perfect pout!

BUXOM Player Eye Kit– This set spotlights the eye game. It includes a full-size BUXOM® Lash Volumizing Mascara in Blackest Black and Power LineTM Lasting Eyeliner in LBD. Ultimate wow factor!

ELLIS BROOKLYN APPLE LOVE Eau de Parfum– This beautiful fragrance pays homage to NYC’s energy, sophistication and headiness. The perfume transitions from a juicy apple to a super smooth blend of Peach Skin, Muguet, Plum Blossom, Sugar Cane and Vanilla. It’s invigorating!

Homecourt Cece Tray Set– This aesthetically pleasing set includes Dish Soap, Hand Wash, Hand Cream and a new black steel tray created by Yamazaki Home. Perfect home essentials for staying clean and moisturized!

Lion Pose UNSPOTTED 4X® Acid Jelly Night Serum– Get the gift that keeps skin ageless! The Night Serum combines 15% active acids with antioxidants like glutathione to lift away dead skin cells and visibly improve the evenness of skin tones, while visibly reducing dark spots and acne scars in just 2 weeks.

itk soothing under eye stickThis easy-to-travel-with stick provides hydration to and soothes the under-eye area. It has caffeine, which gives eyes a refreshed glow, and it has aloe vera, which provides moisture and lessens redness. It’s the ultimate gift for revitalizing tired eyes!

Jamie Makeup Best F*in Makeup Remover Mist This daily mist removes makeup like nothing else on the market. It’s super soothing and leaves skin feeling clean, calm, silky smooth, and nourished. The packaging is also beautiful, making this product a must-have for any makeup routine!

KNESKO Green Jade Calm Holiday KitThis clean beauty trio calms, revives, and strengthens the skin. It includes Green Jade Calm Serum, Green Jade Calm Face Mask, and Green Jade Calm Eye Mask, all in a cute travel bag. That green jade glow is legit and delivered perfectly by this set!

FLOWER Beauty Garden Lights Shadow Palette This shimmery-pigmented palette takes inspiration from vibrant garden colors. It includes Sunlight (light gold), Petal (light bronze), Iris (lavender), Wildflower (deep plum), Ivy (deep olive green). This is the ultimate palette for a whimsical, metallic eye look!

Narciso Rodriguez 3 Piece All of Me Eau de Parfum Gift Set– This set has notes of geranium bourbon, rose centifolia and sandalwood. It contains a fragrance, body lotion, and travel spray. The floral musk is innovative and captivating!

Eugenia Kim Frances in Black Cashmere– This soft and classy beanie is made from 70% wool and 30% cashmere. It looks good on anyone and will keep your gift recipient warm and cozy all winter!

Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG–  This prosecco is composed of 90% Glera grapes and 10% Chardonnay grapes. Its vibrant yellow color and crisp, refreshing taste will win at any holiday event!

Valdo Marc’s Oro Brut Prosecco DOC– This sparkling wine has an evenly balanced structure and is easy to drink. It starts off with white blossom flavors and closes out with a crisp, dry palate of lemon, melon, and tart Rome apple. What a versatile choice!

Valdo Marc’s Oro Brut Prosecco Rosé Brut DOC– Whoever you gift this Prosecco to, will absolutely love it! The fruity and flowery aroma along with the warm, soft taste make this beautiful rose petal-colored sparkling wine a winner. Charming elegance at its finest!

Empress 1908 Elderflower Rose Gin– This gorgeous ruby-colored gin is composed of juniper berries, orange peel, red rose petals and black carrot. It’s the perfect mix of citrus and spice flavors with a subtle sweetness!

Horton Rum Ready-to-Drink Cocktails– This product line of rum-based canned cocktails will definitely get the party started. It includes Diet Kola, Pineapple Soda and Lime Soda flavors. The packaging is so fun and inviting. You can’t go wrong with this one!

Sonoma-Cutrer Simply Cutrer Chardonnay– This case of canned wines features Sonoma-Cutrer’s signature wine variety in an easy-to-drink format. Simply Cutrer is made with notes of citrus flavors like peach, nectarine and juicy melon. The yellow and white striped cans are super cute and will please every wine drinker!

 All of these products are wonderful gift options that will bring lots of memorable smiles and gratitude!


*Images provided by the brands

Dry scalp relief: Aromase to the rescue


Dry scalp is the worst. I’ve dealt with it every winter for as long as I can remember. I’ve tried practically every anti-itch shampoo and scalp treatment on the market and none of them delivered long-lasting relief. So I was ecstatic to discover Aromase, a hair care line dedicated to improving scalp health. The star product is definitely 5α Juniper Scalp Purifying Liquid Shampoo. It’s a scalp pre-shampoo that softens and ultimately gets rid of scalp buildup. The liquid consistency reduces redness and sensitivity. It’s good for dry scalp, dandruff, neutral scalp, dermatitis, oily scalp, and psoriasis. You can use it by itself or with another daily shampoo for best results. The frequency of use depends on your scalp type. I’ve been using it for a week now, and I’ve already noticed a difference. My scalp is definitely less itchy, flaky, and red.

I also started using Aromase’s Glycyrrhetinic Acid Skincare Tonic. It’s a leave in treatment that you can use throughout the day to soothe inflammation and reduce itchiness. I love how the formula is lightweight and doesn’t leave my hair feeling oily or stiff. Again, I see and feel a noticeable difference.

Both products smell great and are finally providing my scalp with much needed relief. I highly recommend them!

Behind The Blue Door: Maximalist style with luxury and design elements

Douglas Friedman, John Demsey, Alina Cho

Martha Stewart

Fern Mallis, Dennis Basso

John Demsey, Molly Ringwald

John Demsey, Amy Astley

Inside John Demsey’s townhouse

*Event photos by Neil Rasmus/ and Interior image by Douglas Friedman

BEHIND THE BLUE DOOR is a new luxurious, oversized coffee table book that celebrates maximalist and innovative interior design. It showcases beauty industry pioneer John Demsey’s home that has a stunning blue door and a plethora of elevated furniture and decor. Journalist Alina Cho wrote the book and photographer Douglas Friedman captured beautiful images of John’s home.

Last Wednesday, John celebrated the book debut at his Upper East side townhouse. Alina and Douglas hosted the fete to honor a tour of John’s home in print. Almost 300 prominent New Yorkers attended the festive occasion. Guests included: Martha Stewart, Molly Ringwald, Zac Posen, Francisco Costa, Dennis Basso, Derek Blasberg, Linda Fargo, Fern Mallis, Mickey Boardman, Ann Caruso, Rosie Assoulin, and June Ambrose. They each had John personally sign their books. Amy Astley, Whitney Robinson, Antony Todd, Blair Voltz Clarke, and John’s personal art curator Heather McKenna Pardo and interior designer Bibi Monahan also attended.

BEHIND THE BLUE DOOR highlights John’s impressive use of patterns, color palettes, and art within and throughout his home. Moreover, he has over 900 artworks on display and a mix of photographs, rugs, vintage and new furniture, decorative objects, sculptures, and other stunning design elements. John has mastered the skill of showcasing maximalist design with his eye for captivating, interior design pieces. His townhouse has six floors and each floor has its own color scheme and unique mix of design. It’s truly impressive!

In addition, the front book cover is beautiful with an alluring photo of the notable blue door of John’s home. The back cover is also attractive with a mesmerizing photo of one of the aesthetically pleasing rooms in John’s home. It looks amazing on any coffee table and is an interior design treasure!

BEHIND THE BLUE DOOR is published by Vendome Press in New York City and can easily be pre-ordered online. I highly recommend it and hope you’ll check it out!

Talya Bendel-Haas Bridal: Romantic bridal fashion and detailing


Courtesy of Talya Bendel-Haas Bridal

bridal fashion 2

Bridal fashion

Photo courtesy of Talya Bendel-Haas Bridal

bridal fashion 3bridal fashion 4

Courtesy of Talya Bendel-Haas Bridal

Last week, I attended the debut collection bridal fashion show by Talya Bendel-Haas Bridal. It took place during New York Bridal Fashion Week in the iconic Woolworth building on Downtown Manhattan. Some of the sponsors included: Birch Events for the Production Design, Florals, and Décor; O.J. Williams for Casting, Additional sponsors included: David Weisz Fine Jewelry; Yocheved Gross, Cami Esses, and the Hair and Blush team; Nina Shoes, The Knockturnal for show consulting; and TeddMed Inc. B12 and IV Drips. The collection is a collaboration between Talya Bendel and Esty Haas, drawing from Hasidic and Orthodox backgrounds and extensive fashion industry experience. It features 16 romantic, intricately detailed bridal fashion designs inspired by pivotal and historical fashion moments. Every look had a unique and fitting name such as Pearl Queen, Floral Reef, Grace Kelly, and Love Triangle.

In addition, Talya Bendel-Haas Bridal collection is beautiful with predominantly modest styles that are vibrant and that exude elegance and independence. My favorite looks included a sparkling gown called Sassy Sparkle Overskirt and an off the shoulder mini dress called Ballerina Babydoll. I also loved Pearl Princess that showcased architectural inspiration with its lines on the bodice. Its puffy long skirt was also stunning. I loved all of the lace, sequin, and angular detailing. The veils were also intricately detailed with lace and floral patterns. The minute each runway model came down the runway, I could see that every dress represented strength, resilient beauty, and refined glamour. Many congrats to Talya Bendel and Esty Haas on the incredible work. What a dreamy bridal fashion collection!

Diner en Blanc: An unforgettable culinary celebration

    Photo by: Jared Michael Siskin


Photo by: Eric Vitale


Image by: Jane Kratochvil


Photography by: Alexa Kay


Last Thursday, Diner en Blanc hosted a memorable culinary evening in the Meatpacking District to commemorate its 11th year. 4000 people attended this phenomenal celebration of wine, food, music, and friendship. They were all decked out in stylish, all-white outfits. They also brought beautiful and innovative table decor to the event. Some of that decor included flowers, mini chandeliers, signs, umbrellas. and feathered centerpieces. I loved seeing everyone wave their white napkins around 7PM to mark the official beginning of the celebration. Afterwards, attendees enjoyed dinner, dancing, and camaraderie.

Special guests included Mayor Eric Adams, Le Diner en Blanc Worldwide founder Sandy Safi, and Broadway singers Margo Siebert and Allison Blackwell, both of which beautifully performed 3 songs each. In addition, entertainment included a cheerful quartet on stilts and a festive DJ. Between the entertainment, style, and location, it was quite an impressive evening.

In fact, it’s the first time that Diner en Blanc has been hosted on the cobble streets of the Meatpacking District. The event’s organizers collaborated with the Meatpacking District Management Association and the Street Activity Permits Office to make that happen successfully without a hitch. The event, which boasted a vintage glam theme this year, spanned over 5 blocks and neighboring businesses gladly welcomed this momentous occasion. Moreover, the cobblestone backdrop was perfect for the transition from sunset to night time and to showcase everyone’s incredible attire, decorations and accessories. I’m thrilled that I got to witness this one-of-a-kind culinary celebration.  I can’t get over all of the wonderful sights and sounds that took place throughout the evening. Guests were full of energy and smiles, wishing that the night didn’t have to end. Here’s to another year of Diner en Blanc in New York City- a fabulous outdoor dinner party!

Event Alert: Diner en Blanc returns to NYC for an epic night

Photo by: Navid Baraty


Photography by: Jane Kratochvil


Photo by: Jane Kratochvil


Photography by: Eric Vitale


Photo by: Jane Kratochvil

Diner en Blanc is an event like no other that embraces elegance, city experiences, and enchantment. It’s one my favorite annual events, and I’m excited to share that it is soon returning to New York for its 11th year with over 5000 guests expected! Diner en Blanc is an outdoor dinner party concept that started in Paris. It has since then expanded worldwide with NYC as its US launch city in 2011. The soiree is scheduled for Thursday, September 14 at a secret location in the city that gets revealed moments before the event begins.

Guests will wear their best all-white outfits and bring white tables, chairs, and accessories to decorate and celebrate an unforgettable evening with friends, food, and wine. Past Diner en Blanc events featured an impressive variety of entertainment such as circus-style dancers, unique live bands, and innovative DJS.  Previous event locations include Battery Park, Lincoln Center, and Governor’s Island. This affair is unparalleled!

To get a taste of this in incredible experience, check out this video from last year’s event:

Expect plenty of unforgettable moments throughout the evening. One of them is the epic napkin waving where guests wave their napkins to get dinner started. Another one happens as guests share conversations with another and enjoy their delicious meals. Guests will also be curious about who has the best table decorations and will explore and remember the stand out, one-of-a-kind displays.

This event currently has a waitlist, but you should still register at because you could get lucky and attend a unique, entertaining affair! I’m definitely looking forward to THE culinary, celebratory event of the year!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide: Offerings that will make her day special

Mother’s Day is such a special time to celebrate the incredible mothers in our lives. It’s a time to be thankful and also to shower mothers with gifts that show you care. If you’re still looking for some last minute ideas on what to gift, check out the list below for some innovative ideas:

Maniscripting Life Design Journal– This offering is for those mothers that love writing. It inspires the creative juices to write down and in turn achieve goals. The front cover design is gorgeous with gold accents…a perfect gift for a mom who likes to capture her thoughts in a memorable way!

Baby Foot Spa Bundle– This gift set includes an Original Baby Foot Exfoliation Foot Peel, 2 Foot Soak Packets and 1 tube of Foot Scrub. It’s a pampering experience that delivers smoother foot within a week after use. What a treat!

Bubble Collection Discovery Set– This offering includes 6 different travel-size fragrances in an iridescent bubble pouch: Santorini, Connect, Celebrate, Reykjavik, Marrakech, and Chill. Wear each scent on its own or layer the scents up. This is a fantastic gift for a fragrance aficionado!

Flying Embers Botanicals & Bitters Variety Pack– This gift highlights a blend of botanical and bittersweet hard seltzer offerings. It  features 3 different flavors: Blood Orange, Black Lime Juniper, and Cranberry Raspberry. Each flavor is refreshing and a perfect way to unwind. It’s a wonderful gift for a mom that appreciates unique flavors!

*All images are courtesy of the brands

A Candle Journey for the Win: Creating memorable experiences with Village Candle

A candle has an incredible way of telling a story, giving new light to a space, and transforming a room’s aroma. That’s why I was so excited to learn about Village Candle, a Stonewall Kitchen brand that’s based in Maine  that artfully and authentically combines ingredients. Each candle is inspired by a destination, time of year, color, or feeling. Every candle has two wicks, a concept that Village has pioneered to deliver a super clean, efficient burn and a memorable fragrance experience. The candles have unique names such as Citrus Dreams Candle, Mermaid Tales Candle, Anchors Aweigh Luminary Candle, and Secluded Dunes Candle.

I’ve had the opportunity to experience 3 of Village Candle’s remarkable offerings: Flickering Fireflies Luminary Candle, Harmony Candle, and Beachside Candle.

Flickering Fireflies Luminary Candle is composed of pink grapefruit, white lily flower, magnolia and musk notes. For me, it’s the perfect summertime scent that brings back beautiful childhood memories. Harmony Candle consists of cherries, violet, peach, and sandalwood notes. The combination of these elements delivers a peaceful essence for my mind and space. Beachside Candle is made up of sea salt, neroli blossom, white gardenia, vanilla orchid and beachwood notes. I dream of crashing waves, soft sand, and whimsical days when I light this candle…I almost feel like  I’m at the beach!

To say that I’m a fan of Village Candle is an understatement. I’m obsessed! I love how every candle has a long burn time and can really brighten up any room. My mood is instantly uplifted when I light one of Village Candle’s beauties. Whether you’re looking for innovative candles for yourself or as a gifts for special people in your life, Village Candle has the perfect selection for you!


*Photos courtesy of Village Candle