You’re Invited: The Gilt City Sample Sale on April 7-9th!

The legendary Gilt City Warehouse Sale is getting a complete makeover! The Gilt Sample Sale, taking place on April 7-9th in NYC will be featuring a new design and exciting lifestyle offerings, such as:

  • Onsite styling
  • On-demand tailoring
  • Luxurious pop-up shops
  • Gilt City concierge

gilt city sample salesGilt City Shopping Party

The Gilt Sample Sale will offer stylish apparel, shoes, handbags, jewelry and home decor from coveted designers like Balenciaga, Prada, Valentino, John Varvatos and Paul Smith—all at up to 80 percent off retail. Look forward to a revamped layout and shopping experience, complete with the ability to browse by price point, trend and more. 

Gilt Shopping Partysample sales nyc

Each ticket includes:                             

  • Admission for one to the Gilt Sample Sale at Center415 on Friday, April 7, 2017 from 9 PM -11 PM
  • Up to 80% off designer brands like Chloé, Valentino, Tibi, Sandro, Maje, The Kooples, Derek Lam, Helmut Lang, Jimmy Choo, Tom Ford, Paul Smith and John Varvatos
  • Complimentary Chateau d’Esclans Whispering Angel Rosé
  • Mount Gay Rum will be serving unique craft cocktails, including stirred Old Fashioned cocktails and refreshing Rum Punch, from recipes developed by NYC’s best mixologists
  • Personal styling advice from celebrity stylist, Catherine Peridis
  • On-demand alterations and tailoring from Air Tailor
  • ROYCE New York pop-up shop with leather accessories and complimentary onsite monogramming
  • Lifestyle concierge services from Gilt City
  • Luna and Cliff Whole Nutrition bars
  • Sounds by DJ Rosé
  • Complimentary coat check (guests must check all coats and bags/purses larger than 5″x7″ before entering the sale)
  • FastPass line for those with bags smaller than 5″x7″ and no coats
  • Complimentary Coco Community coconut water to help you keep your strength up as you shop
  • Free mini facials & makeup application from The Ritualist and APTO Skincare (or enjoy a 30-minute service at extra charge)
  • Retromarine pop-up shop with handmade trunks for men
  • Onsite Miansai accessories sample sale
  • Wala Swim pop-up, a curated collection of the best fitting suits

Get your tickets on Gilt City before they sell out, click here!

The NYC Chocolate Project: Cocoa Store

Located at 15 E 18th Street the Cocoa Store is easily the smallest chocolate shop that I’ve been in. What they lack in space, they make up in creative use of that space. The walls are lined with some of the priciest chocolate I’ve had, and the jewelry-style display case makes their limited selection of truffles feel extra special.

The Cocoa Store in NYCNYC Chocolate Shops

Cocoa Store is a “retailer of prestigious chocolate brands from around the world”, and carries primarily five chocolate brands: Amedei, Domori, Castronovo, Dick and Taylor, and Harper Macaw.

You can buy single truffles from the display case, or chocolate bars and collections from behind. I definitely recommend the miniatures collection in front of the register, in this case your best bet is to acquaint yourself with the flavors of the chocolate offered before committing to a whole bar or collection.

Cocoa Store NYC register

Out of all the chocolate shops that I’ve been to, the Cocoa Store offers the most intense (and expensive) chocolate. If you, or someone you know, are hardcore chocolate connoisseurs – the kind that know the bean location and cocoa concentration of their chocolate – then you and they will love this place. Especially dark chocolate fans.

Initially I was sort of skeptical of the prices I saw at the Cocoa Store, however a little digging proved that the chocolates offered here are the real deal – they’re boutique chocolates with a world-wide following. Amedei’s single plantation chocolate, Chuao, is considered by some very influential chocolatiers to be possibly the greatest chocolate in the world. Food & Wine’s Pete Wells wrote an excellent article on the chocolatiers here, it’s well worth reading whether or not you’re a chocolate fan.

Cocoa Store NYC display case

Domori, another specialty chocolate, was founded in 1997 and are credited with restoring the cultivation of Criollo beans. In 2002, Gianluca Franzoni opened a plantation in Venezuela where he is cultivating varieties of Criollo that are on the verge of extinction.

Castronovo, owned by one of few female chocolate makers in America, Denise Castronovo, offers sustainable American craft chocolate. “Castronovo sources the cacao beans and contributes to providing an income for indigenous people who live off of the rainforest.  The prestigious awards she has received, including 7 World Final International Chocolate Awards, and 8 Academy of Chocolate Awards from London are just the result of her lifelong commitment.” – Cocoa Store

Amedei Chocolates NYC Cocoa Store

Dick and Taylor source their cocoa from around the world, using only organic cocao and organic cane sugar. With options like Black Fig, 72% Maple Coconut, and a limited release Vietnam Tien Giang with tasting notes of spice cake, apricot, and almond butter, you really can’t go wrong trying at least one. Each 2oz bar runs about $8.50, and ranks as a small, affordable luxury. Plus, the packaging is absolutely beautiful.

Harper Macaw chocolates are sourced from two of Earth’s most threatened biomes – Brazil’s Atlantic and Amazon rainforests. Their mission? Turning chocolate into a force for tropical reforestation. You clearly see their inspiration in the creative and eye-catching design of their chocolates.

Harper Macaw Chocolates Cocoa Store NYC

On my first visit I ended up spending roughly $80 on chocolates – I had a few pralines and truffles, an Amedei Toscano Red Chocolate Bar, Domori Napolitains D-Fusion Sleeve, a Single Origins Sleeve, a Domori Pret a Porter Chocolate Gift Bag, and a Criollo sleeve.

The sleeves are the best way to familiarize yourself with the varying degrees of cocoa content, bean sources and flavors, while the chocolate gift bag is great for gifting and easing yourself into the serious and intense flavors offered. The bag itself seems to be themed around hazelnuts with exception of the Rum and Chestnut ‘Cuneesi’ Pralines – which utilize chestnut cream and Agrimontana chestnuts liquor instead.

Amedei Chocolates in NYC

My favorite was the Amedei Toscano Red Chocolate Bar, which features a minimum of 70% cocoa content, and dried red fruit (strawberry, cherry, and raspberry). I always love the marriage of tart and sweet, and while the dark chocolate here isn’t exacting teeming with sugar, it’s still beautifully done.

Amedei Toscano Red

After doing my little bit of googling research into the brands sold at the Cocoa Store, I really feel much more enthusiastic about this little shop. You’d be hardpressed to find brands like Amedei elsewhere and I only know of one other place – 2beans – that carries Domori. In terms of access, the Cocoa Store is part of what makes the city so great – that we have the ability to hop on the train or bus and are able to access luxury chocolates, possibly the greatest chocolates, quite easily.

Cocoa Store
15 E 18th Street
New York, NY 10003
(212) 982-8005

https://cocoastore.nyc/

Everyday Art: Luxury Spanish Porcelain Brand, LLadro, Brings Creative Pedigree to Lifestyle Products

As a self-confessed homebody, having nice things at home means a lot to me. A gorgeous piece of art makes the home look more inviting, a boutique candle makes the home smell more inviting – you know what I mean. It’s the little things that create a space that’s expressive of who we are. So naturally I was excited when Lladro invited me to swing by their boutique on Madison Avenue. Lladro is a Spanish luxury porcelain brand that are widely known for their creative, classic, and completely collectible creations. Lladro porcelain pieces are painstakingly handcrafted, and are collected around the world for their beauty and craftsmanship. As much as I loved looking at Lladro’s ceramic artwork, I was there to check out their Home Fragrances Collection.

Iladro detail1detail3

The Lladro Home Fragrances Collection consists of a core Heavenly Dreams candle and diffuser selection, a signature nose candle, and a signature Volutes candle.

Iladro Home Fragrances

Each of Lladro’s Heavenly Dreams candles feature a ceramic angel figurine on the lid, they come in three poses: Thinking of You, Dreaming of You, and Missing You – which translates into the angel folding its arms, leaning on its arms, or waiting expectantly. I love this detail so much, it really ties the candles into the mother brand. You’re basically buying a small Lladro creation.

Iladro Candle1

The Heavenly Dreams candles are all inspired by the Mediterranean and the brand’s creative universe, and the scents include: Gardens of Valencia, Mediterranean Beach, A Secret Orient, Tropical Blossoms, and last but not least, I love You, Mom.

Lladro Banner 728 x 90

I couldn’t actually pick a favorite, but if I had too I’d choose Tropical Blossoms and Mediterranean Beach which are both so lovely. Mediterranean Beach has an orange blossom and woody tone, but it’s very fresh and transformative as a home scent. Tropical Blossoms, which is the scent I ended up picking, is a floral perfume of Italian mandarin and frangipani, with the tropical fragrance of benjoin. I didn’t even know what benjoin was until I burned this candle, then I was all obsessed by finding other fragrances with it. It’s basically a balsamic resin taken from the bark of specific trees, it has quite a distinctive smell.

Iladro Candle2

All of the Heavenly Dreams candles burn for up to 45 hours, the diffusers have a duration of up to three months, and the Nose and Volutes candles last up to 35 hours.  Once you’re done burning them, you can absolutely reuse these for cotton balls or to hold your makeup brushes on your vanity.

I’m not going to lie, the boutique kind of feels like an art museum. I learned so much about their process – like how pieces like this equestrian number can take a number of artists to create. Each layer – from color to accessories to glaze – will require it to be re-fired in the kiln. Another cool fact? When Lladro releases a limited edition item, they will make the set number of that item and then actually break the mold. Yep, breaking the mold ensures that no other replica can be made – it really asserts that collectors are indeed investing in a unique piece.

Lladro Ceramic HorseIladro NYC Boutique

Speaking of unique, the lighting! I could not get over how gorgeous they were. Lladro lighting definitely falls into the realm of luxury, with prices ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars. But a girl can dream, and this girl is dreaming of their Niagara Chandelier’s. They use optic fibers to suspend painstakingly crafted porcelain fairies or foliage. The light travels down the fiber and illumiates the ceramic creations, creating a breathtaking sort of Midsummer’s Eve-type effect. You can also bend the fibers yourself, cracking them and creating fissures for the light to catch along the fiber. Boy, if I had a spare 50k!

lladro niagara chandelierLladro Luxury Lightinglamp1Lladro Lamp 2

Between the gorgeous lighting, contemporary and charming Animal Heroes collection, their work with artists, and their amazing Home Fragrances Collection, Lladro is not just your grandmother’s ceramic brand! It’s an innovative lifestyle one too!

To find out more about Lladro’s Home Fragrances Collection or their other products watch the video above, then click here!

*This post is sponsored, product or services were provided. For more information please click here.*

The Ultimate Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Single Edition Media.

Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? Probably not. I feel like Valentine’s Day is the holiday that most people shop last-minute for. In life, you have people who start shopping for the holidays the second post-holiday clearance gets tucked into the back shelves. They’re a whole year ahead of the rest of us. Then you have last-minute Larry’s who descend upon the mall on Christmas Eve, their panic-fueled purchases creating a true hit or miss situation in the realm of gift-giving. But Valentine’s Day is a last-minute shopper’s paradise. And just because we’re all out here shopping a week or two before the “big day”, doesn’t mean our gifts have to be the standard crappy card and drugstore chocolates (though they have their place in the gifting hierarchy too). If you really want to show someone you care (whether it’s your single bestie or your spouse or – hey girl – yourself), I definitely recommend you check out this line-up of potential gift-giving gold:

Ultimate Valentines Day Gift Guide

I first discovered Edible Arrangements back when I was much younger, and I’ve loved them since. They make gifting – especially last minute gifting – an utter breeze. There’s no misinterpreting an Edible Arrangements new Edible Signature Chocolate Box. In my opinion, gorgeous fresh fruit and chocolates from master chocolatier Jacque Torres is the best way to say “I love you”.

Edible Arrangements

I honestly was blown away with this collection. This would be my dream Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) Day gift. Chocolate and a fruit bouquet? Yes, please! The fruit in my bouquet were all perfectly ripe, I loved how you can literally smell them. Good fruit give off the most sweet and intoxicating smell, and Edible Bouquet features great pieces of fruit. Did I mention the chocolate dipped strawberries? So, so good. By the way, procrastinators rejoice – Edible Arrangements do same day delivery! So what are you waiting for? Order here!

*Right now Edible Arrangements are offering The NYC Talon readers $10 off when you spend $39+ through 2/11/17! Click here and use code: ‘SAVE3966′.

Edible Arrangements BouquetEdible Arrangements2

Another excellent gift idea? A gorgeous new perfume! Fragrances are an excellent and personal way to say that you care. Get her/him their favorite scent or get them a Perfumania gift card so they can choose one of their own. Perfumania is your fragrance destination, they have the best selection – I ordered my Valentine’s gift from there three days ago and it arrived yesterday, so the shipping is amazingly quick. My pick is the Dolce by Dolce & Gabbana, which has gorgeous Neroli, Water Lily, Narcissus, Papaya Flower, and White Amaryllis notes. It’s addictive.

Perfumania Coupon CodeDolce1

Score 25% off your order AND get free shipping at perfumania.com from 2/1/17 – 2/14/17 with code ‘NYCTAL25’!

Really impress them with a new watch! The Casio G-Shock S Series GMA-S110CM-2A watch is an amazing addition to anyone’s accessory collection. This tough watch is a part of the G-Shock for Her collection, created for the woman that seeks a sportswear-inspired toughness to add to her modern style. Check out the entire collection here!

Casio Watch valentines day

As someone who comes from a family of artists, I’m no stranger to the Faber-Castell brand. They are the number one product to reach for among creatives, and it’s no wonder with 256 years of experience creating high-quality products underneath their belt. Give that person you love the gift of creativity. Host your own sketch and wine night or paint and wine night with these tools. My picks? The Faber-Castell CASTELL 9000® Graphite Design set, PITT® Artist Pen 8 count Wallet in Black, PITT® Artist Pen Studio Gift Box of 24 and Gelatos® Dolce 2 Gift Set. Check out more from Faber-Castell here.

The Gelatos are super exciting – not only are they available in 68 colors, but they work and blend beautifully with or without water. They even can be used on porous surfaces. Very cool.

Valentines Day Gift Guide

Last, but certainly not least, is the latest snack that I have found myself absolutely obsessed with – Sunsweet PlumSweets. Now I know studies have shown that eating prunes supports bone health, especially in postmenopausal women, but I honestly just snack on them for the flavor. PlumSweets feature diced prunes coated in premium dark chocolate. And before you ask – they are made with real fruit and absolutely no high fructose corn syrup. Sunsweet for the win! Bring this over for a romantic movie night, toast with champagne and enjoy!

Score your $1 Sunsweet PlumSweets coupon here and find out more info about this tasty treat here!

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Debut New Coconut & Almond Milk Creamers at Tasting Table Event

This past week I was invited to join Coffee-Mate & Natural Bliss at Tasting Table in Soho to get a closer look at their new plant-based creamers in action. If you don’t know, Tasting Table is basically a test kitchen and dining room – it’s where all the cool culinary action takes place, from video shoots to invite-only dinner parties. I’ve heard so much about it, that I was so glad that it lived my expectations. It is such a dreamy space and their team is amazing.

Tasting Table CocktailTasting Table NYC

Tasting Table & Natural Bliss put together a ‘Breakfast for Dinner’ menu that blew my socks off. There was a fun Acai Berry Bowl station, where Coffee-Mate’s Natural Bliss Coconut Milk Creamer was put to the test. I’d never actually had an acai bowl before and if they’re anything like the one I had at Tasting Table, then I can see why they’re so popular.

Acai bowl station at Tasting Table

We also had Citrus and Beet Salad, Mushroom and Soba Salad, Vanilla Almond Chia Pudding with Fresh Fruit, and my all-time favorite item of the evening – Almond French Toast.

French ToastChia Cups

Because I was in a breakfast sort of mood, coffee was a must. Made with no GMO ingredients, natural bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk plant-based, non-dairy, creamers are deliciously smooth and creamy. My pick? Caramel Almond Milk Creamer. I’m a sucker for caramel anything, so this with my standard coffee is pure gold. There’s also Hazelnut Almond Milk Creamer, Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer, and Sweet Crème Coconut Milk Creamer (which made my acai bowl extra special).

Natural Bliss Almond Milk CreamerCoffee Mate Creamer

Avacado toasts, Carrot Apple Kombu Shooters, and Chickpea Panisse rounded out my evening of fun. And I can’t forget the Caramel Tres Leches Cake as dessert, which was perfectly done.

Tasting Table Avocado ToastAvocado Toast

Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Almond Milk and Coconut Milk Creamers are now available at retailers nationwide – with the Hazelnut flavored Almond Milk creamer being sold exclusively at Target stores. For recipes and more information on the new natural bliss products, click here.

On Our Radar – Events in & Around NYC this Winter & Spring

This list will be updated continuously throughout the Spring of 2017. Keep coming back – or follow The NYC Talon on twitter (@KristaK2) for updates!

My Little Pony and Milk & Cookies Kids Spa and Salon Offer “My Little Pony Pamper-Me” Pop-Up Spa | February 9-17

The NYFW Pamper Me Pony Pop Up Spa

Little fashion fans and their parents are invited to get ready for the runway by stopping by the My Little Pony Pamper-Me Pop-up Spa at Milk & Cookies Kids Spa and Salon.  This unique My Little Pony experience will allow kids (and parents) to rest their hooves between runway shows, play with all new My Little Pony fashion-themed products and enjoy an exclusive menu of My Little Pony-inspired spa treatments, named after the Mane 6!  Services include:

Spa Services

1196 First Avenue (btw. 64th & 65th St.), more info here.

French Wink is opening the first pop-up concept Store dedicated to French lifestyle products | February 10-14

Valentines Day Pop Up Store NYC

French Wink is opening the first pop-up concept Store dedicated to French lifestyle products.

We selected the very best of France from the internationally renowned French brands to the new designers and creators not yet seen in the US. 
We will welcome you in our little Paris where you’ll be tempted by our unique selection of clothes, fashion and home accessories, kids products and gourmet food.

A lovely way to say it in French to your Valentine. 

Opening hours: Friday 10th at noon – rest of the days from 11am to 8pm, at 230 Mulberry Street, NYC.

More info here.

Meatpacking District Announces ARTech: Adventures in Art + Technology, A Pop Up Activity Center for Children | For the entire months of March & April

Art Tech NYC Meatpacking District

The Meatpacking Business Improvement District (BID) is proud to invite you to experience ARTech: Adventures in Art + Technology!

What Is ARTech?
ARTech is a two-month long pop-up activity center
comprised of STEAM-based experiential workshops, installations, and interactive moments for school age children + their accompanying adults.

What Is STEAM?
STEAM (Acronym, Adjective) – Of, or used to describe the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics.

Who is involved?
ARTech is hosted by the Meatpacking BID and programmed by Children’s Museum of the Arts and the New York Hall of Science.

How Much Does It Cost?
ARTech is FREE and open to the public! RSVP is required for a timed entry slot.

When Is It Open?
ARTech will be open March 1 – April 30, Wed +Thurs from 3pm-7pm and, Sat + Sun from 10am-5pm, hours may vary.

What’s The Goal?
ARTech is designed to inspire young minds to explore and consider how these principles impact their daily lives and the world in which they live.

ARTech will enable exploration around problem-solving and creativity and seeks to facilitate experiential learning.

RSVP and more info can be found here.

Care Bears 35th Anniversary Celebration Collaboration with Sprinkles!

Care Bears will always have a special place in my heart, because – like most people my age – I used to watch the show when I was a kid. I distinctly remember my sister informing me that I was Grumpy Bear and that she was Cheer Bear, a comment which of course incited an all-out war. Ah, siblings. Actually now that I’m older I much prefer to be associated with Bedtime Bear, for obvious reasons. Last week Care Bears announced a partnership with Sprinkles, the first cupcake bakery, as a part of their 35th anniversary celebration. From January 5th-25th, Sprinkles will offer limited-edition Care Bears cupcakes and sweet surprises at all bakery locations!

care-bear-cupcakesmini-cupcakessprinkles-care-bear-promotion

First of all, can you believe Care Bears is 35 years old?! What?! Second of all, what could possibly be sweeter than a cupcake with a Care Bear on it? Nothing. Nothing could be sweeter or cuter.

care-bears-fruit-juicecare-bear-merchandisecare-bear

I was invited to decorate a cupcake of my own, but after a clumsy attempt (alas, I am no cupcake froster) at it I mostly stood around texting pictures of the cupcakes to my sister. Sweet revenge. Also, if you’re looking for a real treat, try enjoying your Care Bear cupcake with some nice champagne. So, so good.

sprinkles-limited-edition-care-bear-cupcakeschapagne-and-cupcakesbouvet-brut

In addition to limited-edition Care Bears cupcakes, whisper words will be revealed weekly on the Care Bears and Sprinkles Instagram pages with instructions for fans to redeem freebies and special goodies at check out. On January 21st, aka National Hug Day, big celebrations will take place at select stores where fans of all ages can partake in product giveaways and cheerful activities.

sprinkles-care-bear-cupcakes

Stick around for lots of sharing and caring and hugs from Care Bears with Sprinkles and other great partners in 2017!

The Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide (for last minute shoppers)

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.

the-ultimate-holiday-gift-guide1

Calling all last minute shoppers! If you haven’t checked off everyone on your holiday shopping list, then you’re not alone. Normally I’m really good about getting my shopping done earlier, but this year I’m still hunting for the “perfect” gift for some of my friends and family. I blame school, work, and the three weeks that I spent being atrociously sick. Luckily, my BabbleBoxx friends hooked me up with the ultimate package of perfect gifts. Any one of these items would make a great gift, so feel free tweet/share this post as a massive hint to the people you’ve been nice to this year. Or you could always choose the fail proof method of treat-yo-self (just saying, it’s fail proof).

quick-and-easy-holiday-gift-guide

When I was much, much younger I used to spot the Omaha Steak ads in the Sunday coupon adverts. I swore that one day I would order steaks from them, they looked amazing and special and I just knew they would taste so good. Fast forward to recently and I can honestly say they are some of the tastiest steaks that I’ve had. And my whole family – including my hardcore steak fan father – agree, they are super tasty.

omaha-steaks

The Tasteful Gift Gourmet Collection includes 2 filet mignons, 2 top sirloins, 2 boneless pork chops, 4 potatoes au gratin, 4 caramel apple tartlets, and 1 signature seasoning packet. You can gift this collection by way of a gift certificate. Omaha Steaks associates are super-friendly and cashing in their voucher is a breeze, shipping is included in this collection and can be enjoyed year-round. Honestly, if you know someone who likes steak or good food, this is a perfect gifting option.

vermont-brownies-review

And that’s not all that’s a great gift for the foodie in your group of friends and family. The Vermont Brownie Company has an amazing Gourmet Brownie Sampler, I’m pretty much heartbroken now that I’m done with mine. With flavors like Espresso Dulce de Leche, Maple Toffee Crunch, Triple Chocolate Chunk, and (my personal favorite) Peanut Butter, this sampler is a definite win.

best-brownies-by-mail

Usually I have to beg my sister to make brownies, but now that I know that the Vermont Brownie Company makes such tasty brownies – well, let’s say I won’t be asking her to make hers any time soon. The Vermont Brownie Company’s brownies are all fairly large (you could probably split one between two people if ice cream is involved), and are dense without being cakey – pretty much model brownie material. The Company sources their ingredients from local vendors, which include the likes of Cabot Creamery, Callebaut Belgian Chocolate, Vermont Creamery and King Arthur Flour. The Vermont Brownie Company is offering 15% off to The NYC Talon readers when you order through this link!              

yogajewelz-necklace

Have a yogi in your family? Chances are you probably have a friend or family member who have perfected their mountain pose and downward facing dog. YogaJewelz Unity Om Pendant Necklace is great gift for the yoga lover (or “serenity now!” shouter) in your family. Promoting energy and strength – which, honestly we all use a lot more of – this petite pendant is a gorgeous piece for anyone’s jewelry collection.

yogajewelz-necklace

I love how intricate the design is, but also how simple and unobtrusive the necklace itself looks. A constant reminder to live an inspired life, YogaJewelz Unity Om pieces make a truly meaningful gift.

luma-bella-cool-mist-straightener

Since I pretty much flat iron my hair every other day, the LumaBella Cool Mist Straightener is without a doubt the coolest beauty product I’ve seen this year. Why? Well this straightener delivers a conditioning treatment, via cool mist technology, to your hair as you straighten it. This technique helps prevent frizz, hydrate and moisturize strands, and delivers salon-quality shine. It’s pretty darn amazing and yes, I’m obsessed. Score 20% off your own LumaBella Cool Mist Straightener with the code ‘MIST20’ – this offer is valid through 12/30/16 so snap up yours now here!

cool-mist-flat-iron

As someone who has respiratory issues, the Spire Wearable Wellness & Activity Tracker immediately caught my attention. I’ve always been curious about gathering data regarding my breathing behavior, especially whilst I sleep. The Spire stone works by sensing respiratory patterns to detect changes in your state of mind, then it delivers gentle notifications, insights, and suggested breathing exercises to help you unlock a more mindful and productive day.

spire-mindfulness-and-activity-trackerkubik-160823-spire_1537-1the-spire-device

I’m always down for anything that will help to manage stress, and I love that the Spire is fully integrated into the Apple Health App and works with Apple watch and an Android App is also now available! And for a limited time you can also use this link for $10 off your Spire purchase  – which makes gifting even easier!

So what do you think, which of these items are making it on to your wishlist?

Gilt & Gilt City’s Black Friday Sales Reveal!

As the holidays loom ever-closer, most stores are rolling out their best deals and savings. If you’re like me and prefer to shop Black Friday sales from the comfort of your couch – with leftovers and pie within reach – then you’ll definitely want to check out what Gilt.com & Gilt City are offering for the holidays. You don’t even have to wait until after Thanksgiving! Starting on Sunday, November 20th through Cyber Monday on November 28th, you can stock up on coveted women’s, men’s, and kids’ fashions and accessories, chic home essentials, and unique Gilt City experiences, all at steep discounts! Gilt has given us the full schedule of sales to share with you! Check it out:

gilt-city-black-friday-sales

Black Friday Countdown

GILT:

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (11/20-23):

Extra 40% off on categories such as: Cashmere, Outerwear, Shoes, Designer Accessories, and Top Holiday Gifts (sales launch at Noon and 9 PM ET and run for 24 hours only).

Thursday (11/24):

Up to 80% off on categories such as: Designer Apparel, Designer Handbags, Designer Fragrances, Designer Sunglasses, Designer Shoes and Fine Jewelry; Bedding, Bath, Furniture & Lighting, Kitchen Steals, Barware and Luggage; Kids’ Clothing, Accessories, Gear and Toys (sales launch at 8 AM and Noon ET).

DOORBUSTERS on must-haves from Giuseppe Zanotti, Adrienne Landau, Max Mara and more (launch at 6 PM ET).

GILT CITY:

Thursday (11/24):

20% off Site-wide “Rush” from 5 PM EST – 10 PM EST


 gilt-city-sale

Black Friday

GILT:

Friday (11/25):

Up to 80% off coveted designer brands such as: Jimmy Choo, Cosabella, Australia Luxe, Moncler, Schutz, Tod’s, Paul Smith, Jacadi Kids, Nespresso and Dyson (sales launch at 8 AM and Noon ET).

DOORBUSTERS on must-haves from Missoni, Yves Salomon, Cuisinart and more (launch at 8 AM ET).

Win Your Wishlist Sweepstakes: Gilt recently launched a new feature where members can Favorite products (via the heart buttons) and create Wishlists from these Favorites in the Account section. Enter to Win Your Wishlist starting at Noon ET!

Saturday (11/26):

12 Sales running for 12 Hours only on seasonal merchandise. Sales include: Luxe Winter Essentials, Holiday Dressing, Designer Ties, Shoe Steals, Candles & Diffusers, Toy Time and more (9 AM to 9 PM EST).

GILT CITY:

25% off Site-wide from Friday, November 25th at 6 AM ET through Saturday, November 26th at 11:59 PM ET.


 gilt-city-holiday-sales

Cyber Monday

GILT:

Sunday (11/27):

Cyber Preview: Sales on Top Brands including Roberto Coin, Spanx, Ray-Ban, Diesel, Burberry, and Mini Melissa (sales launch at 9 AM and 9 PM ET).

Monday (11/28):

Cyber Monday: Sales on Top Brands continue with Charlotte Olympia, Salvatore Ferragamo Accessories, Cartier, John Varvatos, Villeroy & Boch, and Kidkraft toys (sales launch at 8 AM and Noon ET).

GILT CITY:

20% off Site-wide starting on Sunday, November 27th at 7 PM ET through Tuesday, November 29th at 11:59 PM ET.


 

Gilt offers so many exciting items, and Gilt City is such a great resource for new and exciting experiences – there really will be no shortage of gifting options!

The NYC Chocolate Project: Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland

With two locations in the city, Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland offers NYC tourists and locals some seriously decadent confections. Founded in 1932 in Switzerland by Dolf Teuscher, Tuescher’s signature offering are the champagne chocolate truffles – of which I have eaten many, many, many of. The chocolates themselves aren’t the prettiest things to look at, they’re simple, polite domes dusted in a powdery white sugar coating. But the quality and care put into creating these unassuming treats are obvious in the flavor.

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Teuscher’s champagne chocolates are made with Dom Perignon champagne (the good stuff! I feel like Ina Garten would approve), butter cream, surrounded by a dark cream ganache, then enrobed in milk chocolate. These rank up there with Grey’s Papaya hot dogs, good pizza, and good sushi for me. Pure comfort. My family has actually made a yearly tradition of walking to see the tree at Rockefeller center, taking a touristy picture, then swinging by Teuscher. There’s something about being surrounded by the chaos and glamour of the city while enjoying fancy chocolate flown in from Zurich. Then, of course, we brave the crowds and descend upon the problematic subway system (you did hear that they’re raising the fares soon? Crazy!).

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Don’t sleep on Teuscher’s other chocolate offerings though, these jewel-shaped gianduja truffles were silky and ideal. The Bailey’s Irish Cream and Pistachio truffles are definitely worth trying too. What’s really pleasant about Teuscher chocolates is that you can taste the intensity of the chocolate without missing out on the flavoring aspect. You taste the champagne in the champagne truffles, but the chocolate is good enough that you taste that too. There’s nothing quite as trying as a champagne truffle that doesn’t taste like it has even the remotest splash of champagne in it. You won’t experience such disappointment here.

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Though the $112 a pound price tag can cause general sticker shock, two champagne truffles usually cost between $8-9, which is not entirely astronomical considering that they’re flown in from Zurich and are comprised of quality ingredients. If you’re looking for an extra special gift, stop by during the holidays. These pictures are from the Summer, where they go all out on décor and specially styled boxes, so you can imagine the effort and imagination that goes into the holiday offerings. My family actually hangs a little Swiss doll ornament that we purchased at the Rockefeller Center shop years ago.

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If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, the 61st Street shop is much smaller, and much quieter thanks in part to their no cellphones rule (suggested by a sign posted on the door). Find more information about Teuscher, and to purchase your own chocolates, click here.