Archive | February, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

29 Feb


Local People Who Make Me… Happy

22 Feb

1) Juan at Pour Mt Kisco. It’s not only that he’s super friendly and has an infectious smile, but he has cleverly named drinks after himself, like the Juantini. I coined one after him too — the Gin & Juanic. Go visit him. He’ll make you smile.

2) Amy, the yoga instructor for my Tuesday AM Vinyasa class at Saw Mill East. Her energy is so calming and her class is just amazing. She also has the best yoga soundtrack ever, which includes Dave Matthews, Tracy Chapman and Adele. Need I say more? The light within me sees the light within you, girl.

3) The guys behind the counter at Belizzi. On nights when the hubby is covering the Knicks at MSG, I often stop here on my way home from picking up Jack from daycare and get the two of us some pizza for dinner. Jack doesn’t yet understand why when you get a slice they put it back in the oven first to warm it up. This step of the process often makes him cry. Because if there’s anything my son loves, it’s pizza, and when it “disappears” he thinks he’s not going to get to eat it. Belizzi guys to the rescue. They always hook it up and pass Jack an Italian roll to chew on while he waits for his disappearing pizza to reappear. Bravo, guys. Ya’ll must be dads…

4) Maria Colaco makes me happy, period. Sure, she’s my friend, so I’m biased. But seriously – she is one of the reasons I truly love Mt Kisco… And she’s moving away this summer. So needless to say I’m totally heartbroken. I’ll have to get my fix of her while she’s still here, which means it’s time to re-invigorate those weekly coffee dates, mama. No excuses!!

5) Jack’s daycare teachers at Kaleidoscope. Those ladies are so loving and thoughtful, and treat Jack with such care. I can tell each morning that I drop him off how happy he is to be there, and that makes ME happy. Nothing is better than seeing your kid’s eyes light up at the person/people who takes care of him during the day. So thanks, Anika (‘nika!) , Zaneta (‘netta!)  and Nicole (‘cole!).

There are my good vibe shout outs for the week. Who makes you happy? Share the love, here!

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

22 Feb

Words of Wisdom Wednesday

15 Feb

Local Getaways, On the Cheap

13 Feb

Ah, what a luxury a true vacation sounds like to me. You know, the kind where you actually pack a week’s worth of “another season’s” clothing, board a plane, and arrive hours later in a completely different climate, ready to relax and shed the stress. These days, I’m lucky if I can get an overnight “vacation” with the hubby. It requires organizing sleepovers at “Ammy and Papa’s” house for both baby and dog, and with life’s have-to’s being what they are, often one-nighters are the most we can pull off without throwing everything off it’s axis. Thus I’m a huge fan of the “daily deal,” which often offers great deals on 1-night stays within a 3-hour or so drive of Westchester. Perfecto!

Here’s my personal go-to list of online sale sites I frequent. I’m a picky traveler, so I’m very excited to say a lot of these feature 4 and 5-star properties. All hail luxe, Italian cotton sheets and fancy shmancy bath products!

Groupon Getaways – take the awesome, often too-good-to-pass-up  Groupon deals on things like bowling and laser hair removal and apply them to travel. Yes, Groupon now features hotels and inns in their daily deal roundup. Today features overnight stays at The Westport Inn (Fairfield County, CT) for $89-99/night, Barton Hill Hotel & Spa (Lewiston, NY) for $99-129/night, and The Dormer House (Cape May, NJ) for $89/night.

Living Social EscapesLiving Social, the more level-headed little sister to the Groupon, also now features travel deals under the title “Escapes”. Current deals include a 1-night stay for 2 with brunch, champagne and strawberries, 2 inclusive spa-treatments and spa credits at Anastasia’s B&B (Hempstead, NY) for $224. You’ll also find two NYC boutique hotel deals.

Gilt Jetsetter – If you aren’t familiar with Gilt, you might be living under a rock. In which case I say, please come out and meet Gilt, your new online addiction. Gilt has carved a niche in the high end, making deal shopping not only a chic experience, but an incredibly addictive, rewarding one. Their customer service is second to none, and their daily offerings across every category are diverse, distinct, and well, deal-licious… Jetsetter is their travel deal arm. You’ll find awesome global digs here, but you’ll often scout some pretty cool “local” deals, too. Right now they’re featuring The Bedford Post Inn for $295/night (regularly $495). How’s that for a local getaway?!

While you’re on the Gilt site, pop over to their City tab and take a peek at some awesome NYC restaurant deals. Gilt City is my go-to site when I’m on the hunt for an interesting date-night itinerary. Today I found a dinner for two package at Tartinary for $68 (regularly $108), and a Make-Your-Own-Mimosa Brunch for two at Trix Restaurant for $42 (regularly $80).

TripGramTripGram’s tagline is “Exclusive last-minute getaways near New York City.” And that’s exactly what they are. With current hotel and B&B offerings in Boston, MA and Newport, RI, this is a good place to have on your radar when you’re willing to hop in the car for a 2-4 hour drive.

SniqueAway This site is affiliated with TripAdvisor, which means it’s synced up with those super-helpful user reviews, which makes decision-making that much easier. While they offer deals globally, there almost always is something within driving distance of NY. Right now, for instance, you can book a room at The Standard Hotel in the East Village from $209/night, or head down to D.C. for a weekend and stay at posh The Normandy Hotel from $109/night.

JauntsetterJauntsetter is technically a newsletter, not really a “deal” site per se, but they often aggregate travel deals that are great for New Yorkers, from other sites. So sign up for their email newsletter, and see what they’ve got cookin’.

Savored – If you haven’t signed up for Savored, hop to it. You’re missing out on saving 30% off your restaurant bills. Sure, they are still limited in restaurant inventory, especially in Westchester County. But they are also still in their nascent stage. In the meantime, book a rezzie through their website at partner restaurants like Crabtree’s Kittle House or X2O. The way it works is you pay $10 to book the reservation through Savored, and then when your bill comes at the restaurant, 30% of all food and drink will have automatically been deducted from your check. Yes, you heard me correctly – the discount is good on wine and liquor too! There are no coupons to redeem, no QR codes to scan on your phone. It’s discreet discounting at it’s finest! On a recent visit to Crabtree’s, we saved $90 off our $300 bill – NINETY BUCKS! If that’s not worth the $10 reservation charge, I don’t know what is.

I was not paid for this post in any way. I just LOVE a good deal, and in honor of Valentine’s Day tomorrow, I’m sharing the LOVE with you all… 

What Not To Do For Valentine’s Day

7 Feb

Dear Husband / Boyfriend / Lover / Friend with Benefits,

I know Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and you’re probably thinking, “oh boy, what am I going to get her this year. I can’t forget it like I did last year – that didn’t work out so well for me.” Well let me just stop you right there. Here’s a cheat sheet, if you will. Please, by all means, follow along.

1) Don’t buy me flowers. You’ll spend 3x as much just because it’s hokey Valentine’s Day. You know how I like a bargain. Wait until Feb 16th and surprise me with something special, like peonies. They’ll cost less, and with the money you save you can stop and pick up milk at the store – we’re out, FYI.

2) Don’t get me chocolates. If there’s one thing I do NOT want, it’s chocolates. I can buy my fat ass chocolate whenever I choose, on my 14 trips a week to Target. I don’t find it romantic. It doesn’t say “honey, you’re so sweet.” It says “I was at the Rite Aid and the dude in front of me was buying Russel Stover’s and I realized I hadn’t gotten you anything.”

3) Don’t you dare bring any heart-holding stuffed animal into this house. If you do, you might find that stuffed animal in your tailpipe on Feb 15th. I don’t need a constant fuzzy reminder that I hold the key to your heart. We’re married. I better! Even chocolate is better than this.

4) Don’t buy me heart shaped jewelry. I don’t care what Jane Seymour says about her “Open Hearts” collection. I don’t buy it, and you shouldn’t either. No necklace is ensuring that you’ll be able to let love in. Unless it’s the Hope Diamond, maybe.

5) For the love of God, don’t show up with one of those silly “Couples Coupon Books.” You know, the ones where I can tear coupons out and redeem them for things like emptying the dishwasher, and doing laundry. You know, the things you’re supposed to be helping with anyway, as a 21st Century “EQUAL” partner in this thing called mawwwiage. If I have to trade in a cutesy coupon to get some help around here I might go crazy. As in, more crazy than I already am.

6) I don’t want lingerie. I’d far prefer a handbag. I promise if you get me the Marc Jacobs one I want I’ll hold it briefly while only wearing my knickers. Lingerie is not a gift for a lady. It’s a gift for a man, masquerading as a gift for a lady. Got it?

Anything else, dear, is fair game.



_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

(tear along dotted line, sign, and address to your loved one)

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

2 Feb

1) I was on Wheel of Fortune when I was 21. That’s right, I got to spin that wheel, baby. And I won $6k to boot, and a year’s supply of Trident gum (which I didn’t know at the time I would have to pay taxes on. Good thing I didn’t take the denture cream parting gift, too). I may have won more money, but I lost my turn after asking for the wrong letter to a puzzle that ended up being “The Ozark Mountains.” Let’s just say I’ll never forget those damn mountains as long as I live.

2) Speaking of mountains, I fell off a cliff in Israel. When I was 17 I went on a 6-week adventure to the motherland. During a rock-climbing excursion in the Negev, which my travel mates and I were clearly not qualified to do (and not strapped to anything for), I lost my balance and plummeted 15 feet onto rocks. The Israeli Army had to come in and “pully” me up the side of a cliff, strapped to a stretcher, and then take me to a local hospital by Jeep, over rugged, rocky terrain. Let’s just say it was not my shining moment. I didn’t find out until weeks later (back home in the US) that I had broken a bone in my tush. My new theme song became “Baby Got (Broken) Back.”

3) I interned for Howard Stern. I spent a summer during college as Robin Quivers’ news intern, which meant I had to prepare all the “wild and wacky” news for her radio segment each day. I also had the pleasure of serving Mister T a t-bone steak (which I had to personally procure at 5:45am). I once got a contact high from Snoop Dog and his endo-smoking entourage, and I even had to blow-dry Howard’s pants on-air (not while they were on him, of course), which also made it onto the E! show. Brilliant. Another shining moment, this one captured on film. Thank goodness for that journalism degree.

4) I haven’t spoken to my mother since the day after my wedding, four years ago. Our relationship had always been tumultuous and dysfunctional, and after a very unflattering rendition of it played out at my wedding, I decided that the relationship had reached such a toxic level, that for my own mental wellness I had to walk away. It’s been hard to cope with at times, but I stand by my decision and feel stronger every day for it.

5) I once talked my way into a round trip upgrade to first class on British Air – for myself AND my girlfriend. I convinced the check-in girl at JFK that my office was supposed to have taken care of the upgrade earlier in the week. She felt so badly that it wasn’t in the system, she sheepishly apologized and told us she would put the upgrades through, no problem. This was pre-9/11 — I doubt something like this would ever “fly” these days, but dang if there isn’t anything better than first class on British Air. I’m talking leather bound menus, comprehensive wine list, cozy slippers… the works. That trip to London was the bees knees. Do I feel bad about lying? Um…hmm…no. It would have been a crime for those comfy, fully-reclining seats to have stayed empty all flight. (I’m talking full-on horizontal beds, people!)

6)  My son’s middle name is Hendrix, after Jimi. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic rendition of “Little Wing.” And Jack Hendrix is now our Little Wing.

7) My hubby and I met online. On Friendster. Which has since been converted to a Japanese networking site, I think. But I saved my log-in and profile just so I could keep the messages we sent to each other before we actually met in person.

8) I’m obsessed with all things Real Housewives. It’s kind of crazy. Not only do I look forward to each new episode, but I read the recaps afterward. Yes, I know… think of all the humanitarian things I could do with the time I suck away on this junk. I know this, but I can’t stop. It’s an addiction. I love the New Jersey and Beverly Hills gals the best.

9) I spent a few years as a fashion stylist. I did photo shoots for Matrix/L’Oreal and editorials for fashion magazines like Oyster. I worked with such notable photogs as Dah Len, Mick Rock and Tony Notarberardino, and genius makeup artists like Donald Simrock and Miriam Azoulay. And I realized that fashion is exhaaauuusting.

10) I had a dear friend commit suicide 6 years ago. He lived a very troubled life as a gay man whose family would not support his lifestyle. He grappled with addiction. And he battled depression. He was also one of the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful men I’ve ever known. I think of him often and hope that wherever he is, they are playing Golden Girls on a continuous loop just for him.

What don’t I know about you? Please share!