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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Must-Have Home Tech: Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor!

Chances are, you have the latest tech in your pocket. The newest phone, the latest laptop, netbook, tablet, and activity tracker. We adapt to new technology because they adapt to our needs, they make our lives easier – they change the quality of our lives. So when new tech like the Netatmo hits the market, I definitely sit up and take notice. With a seamless design and fully integrated app, Netatmo is the smart indoor climate monitor that takes four critical measurements of your indoor environment which can then be used to make healthy changes.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

Netatmo hosted media (including me), this afternoon for a Parisian baby shower, where we were able to have a first-hand view of the Netatmo Healthy Home Coach in action. The event was held at The Hudson Hotel penthouse – which has some of the prettiest event space in the city, and is simply gorgeous.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

We were joined by lifestyle expert Limor Suss, who shared with us the ways that Netatmo makes her life easier as a mom. The Netatmo Healthy Home Coach is slim and compact, allowing it to blend seamlessly into your nursery or home décor. What it does is use sensors to measure that space’s noise, humidity, air quality, and temperature. Lorni mentioned how babies sometimes wake up from their naps a little sweaty, well, the Netatmo climate monitor will notify the app on your phone when the room gets a little too warm or humid for your baby and offers suggestions on how to alter the room’s climate.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

The mobile app is compatible with iPhone iOS8 and above, as well as Android smartphone 4.3 and above. Alongside a handy dashboard, you can ask Siri the status of a rooms climate (it works with HomeKit), and the app also enables you to send notifications to whomever (babysitter, grandma, husband/wife, etc.) is at home and would be up to opening up a window when it gets too hot, or turning down the humidifier.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.comNetatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

Believe it or not, according to Netatmo most of us spend up to 80% of our life outdoors. So it’s definitely wise to invest in maintaining our indoor space. I really loved what the Netatmo representative said, “Stop guessing and start knowing”. Netatmo’s Healthy Home Coach is not just for babies – if you’re especially sensitive to humidity or would love to track the noise levels in your New York City apartment that might be causing you loss of sleep, the indoor climate monitor will definitely be useful to you too. Personally, I’m pretty excited to incorporate this device into my home, I love the concept of having access to information that will allow me to take more control over my home environment.

Netatmo Debuts Smart Indoor Climate Monitor | read more at nyctalon.com

The Netatmo Healthy Home Coach is available online here, as well as at Best Buy, Home Depot, and Amazon (ARV $100).

Interview: Katie Cassidy on NYFW #Hot2Adopt Feline Fashion Show & The Modern Cat Lady

This past week I was lucky enough to catch Katie Cassidy, star of CW’s Arrow and The Flash, between shows and speak to her about her NYFW Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Show and Lounge with Fresh Step. In addition to a feline-inspired fashion show, complete with cats on the runway, the Hot to Adopt lounge also offered attendees an exclusive opportunity to adopt their very own feline right there!

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More information about the exclusive Hot to Adopt tee (as seen on Katie) after the interview:

The NYC Talon: Can you tell me a little bit about your Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion Lounge with Fresh Step, what can we expect?

Katie Cassidy: Yes, so you can expect feline inspired looks which I think is fun. I’ll be hosting the Hot to Adopt Feline Fashion event and fashion show with Fresh Step and I think it’ll be fun, I think it’ll be interesting. Obviously it’s for a good cause and you can actually purchase this shirt [pictured above, more details below] at freshsteps.com and part of it will go toward helping cat shelters all over the country, which is such a great cause and I’m excited to do it. I’m excited to see what people will wear, and actually we’ll be having cats walking down the runway which will be fun, yeah it’ll be very cute.

TNT: So I saw your post on TKC [Katie’s blog, post seen here], are cat ears something we’re going to see on the runway?

KC: Yeah, I certainly think so, I probably will wear some. I know there’ll be cat accessories that are very feline inspired, and it’ll be fun to bring that sort of awareness to people and get rid of that sort of crazy cat lady stigma. So we’ll be taking fashion and felines and sort of turning that stigma around. I actually just bought this clutch will a little cat face, it’s very cute.

TNT: Yes – I just saw that Kate Spade’s fall accessories have this adorable cat icon!

KC: Yeah and I just got this jacket from Stella McCartney that has this cat print all over it!

TNT: That sounds awesome. So, I know you have a cat…

KC: I do

TNT: And I think you have a dog, I’ve seen tweets with Felicia –

KC: [Laughs] To be honest with you I just love animals, and Felicia is my dog that I actually co-own with our stylist we have on Arrow, our hairstylist. Because when I travel, it’s hard when you have a dog or a cat, but a cat, obviously they can take care of themselves – but not for too long! But you can’t really leave a dog at home. Yeah, she’s been really fun.

TNT: I know you mentioned earlier about the cat lady stigma, what would you define as the ‘modern cat lady’?

KC: Hmm, the modern cat woman. Well, that’s what I think is so cool about this kind of thing because it’s bringing fashion and felines together and you have these, like as we saw on the cover of Porter magazine recently that there is a cat on the cover and I think adopting cats is more than just on trend, and we’re seeing them more on like cute clutches and shoes and it’s a sign of strong independent women. It’s something that’s cool, and again I love cats – actually [laughs] I want to get another one!

TNT: I’m a massive fan of your blog, are we going to see some What Katie Wore posts for Fashion Week?

KC: Yes! You certainly will, I have a photoshoot happening at some point tomorrow, I don’t know what time but yes you will.

TNT: Cats are kind of classified as lounging animals, if you have one day to absolutely lounge about and devote to rest & relaxation, what would you do?

KC: Everybody loves the spa, I feel like. Probably…I don’t know if I would just like have a relaxation day… I would probably go get a facial, or go to the gym, or not talk on the phone, or go on social media. I would probably just want to be by myself, you know? And order lots of pizza.

TNT: A girl after my own heart!

KC: Yeah – girl, pizza is my jam!

And that concludes my interview with Katie! She was so sweet, and I was very excited to interview her. She was in a rush, which was lucky otherwise I very well might have bombarded her with my embarrassing Arrow/The Flash Black Canary/Black Siren questions.

To purchase Katie’s exclusive Hot to Adopt t-shirt, check out FreshStep.com here.

I love Fresh Step’s commitment to encouraging and celebrating cat ownership, and this tee is honestly adorable. But there’s more! All through the month of October Fresh Step wants you to step out and declare your love of modern cat ladies (and gentlemen too!) by declaring “Feline Fashion Fridays” – cat owners cat show their love of cats by posting a picture of themselves with their cat to Fresh Step’s Instagram using the #freshstepcontest hashtag each Friday for a chance to win free Fresh Step litter, a $250 VISA Gift Card, and the limited edition #hot2adopt T-shirt!

Check out FreshStep.com for more info.

Why You Do Not Want to Miss the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel NYC Wine & Food Festival

Every year NYC eagerly awaits the hottest food event of the year – the Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival. The NYCWFF is a four-day long festival featuring a variety of food related activities and as many food celebrities as you could ever want to see. You can rub elbows with Rachel Ray at her annual Blue Moon Burger Bash, or hang with the entire cast of Chopped at their rooftop event at Pier 92. Why stop there? With a plethora of food events, tastings, and seminars and panels, you really have a multitude of options – here are some of our favorites:

The Grand Tasting presented by ShopRite

If you only do one event, go to the Grand Tasting. Not only do you get a swag bag, but you also get to spend hours wandering around a 130,000-square-foot culinary wonderland. You’ll get to sample food from some of NYC’s finest establishments, sip wine & spirits from the Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits of New York portfolio, and collect cooking techniques and tips at the Samsung Culinary Demonstrations. Bring a friend, you’ll both have an amazing time. Tickets start at $185, get yours here.

Brunch

While the coveted Lobster Place Oyster Bash is sold out (we’re still crying over our lack of tickets), there are three other brunch events to choose from – Josh Capon will be hosting the New York Yankees Pinstripe Brunch presented by Delta Airlines, if you have a Mastercard then you’ll definitely want to check out Broadway Tastes presented by Variety, and if you’re on a budget A Brunch with Craftsman and Wolves hosted by James Beard Award-nominated Chef William Werner is only $85! Act fast, tickets sell out quickly!

Bank of America Dinner Series Curated by Chefs Club

So you’ve missed out on A Dinner with Ghetto Gastro hosted by Martha Stewart, but don’t despair there are plenty of other great dinners to attend. Explore Israeli and Middle Eastern culinary traditions at A Kosher Dinner with Elior Balbul, Eden Grinshpan, Amitzur More, and Yehuda Sichel, who are bringing kosher cuisine to the forefront of the NYC dining scene.

Other options include:

  • A Dinner with Melissa Clark, Marco Canora, Sara Jenkins and Marc Murphy – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7:30pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Floyd Cardoz and Anita Lo – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Mourad Lahlou and Alex Stupak – Thursday, Oct. 13th at 7pm, $250.
  • A Dinner with Deuki Hong and Edward Lee – Friday, Oct. 14th at 7pm, $250.

Full listing here.

Hands-on Classes

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If you’re looking to get your hands dirty, NYCWFF offers some excellent hands-on events. You can learn how to add spice to your kitchen with Lior Lev Sercarz’ A Guide to the World of Spices, where you’ll not only create your own custom blends but you’ll also head out with an early release of Lior’s upcoming cookbook!

You can also learn how to bake bread with Zach Golper of Bien Cuit, roast like a pro with The New York Times’ Melissa Clark, and decorate cakes with none other than Sylvia Weinstock! Classes will take place in state-of-the-art professional culinary kitchens at the Institute of Culinary Education. For a full listing of hands-on classes, and to buy tickets click here.

There really are so many awesome events to choose from, and if you’re on a budget then definitely check out the $100 and under options as you’ll certainly find something to your taste there! Are you planning on going to the 2016 Food Network & Cooking Channel New York City Wine & Food Festival? What event sounds the most exciting to you? Let me know in the comments, or feel free to send me a tweet with the #NYCWFF hashtag!

*Photos courtesy of NYCWFF, from NYCWFF 2015*

Get Out & About: NYC Events this September

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In my opinion fall is New York’s best season, it’s the perfect time to wander around and enjoy the city. You could also head up to the Hudson River Valley and go apple picking or on a wine tasting tour – basically, it’s the most ideal time to enjoy the best of New York, it’s when I consider myself the luckiest to live here. This month, the season of social activities kicks off with some great events, so if you’re not too busy during New York Fashion Week or too exhausted after it you’ll definitely want to check these out*:

Weekend Getaways with the MTA LIRR -

Montauk Tour

Getting away has never been easier thanks to the MTA! My family usually goes on an MTA getaway every fall. Heading upstate for apple picking, and wine & cheese tasting adventures while surrouned by the beauty of the Hudon Valley region is the highlight of my autumn. This year Long Island is looking like a great destination too! Right now Gilt City is offering discounted tickets for a Montauk Tour, Wine Country Tour, and Oyster Festival – don’t miss out. Kick off cooler weather with a perfect day adventure (prices $3-67, more info here).

Gilt City Warehouse Sale: Brooklyn Edition -

Gilt City Warehouse Sale

Sip on SOTO Super Premium Junmai Daiginjo Japanese Sake and snack on Twinkies (um, how ideal does that sound?) as you shop through Gilt City’s warehouse sale. Merchandise waits for you to snap up at up to 80% off retail, featuring designer brands like Valentino, Tibi, Sandro, Derek Lam, Helmut Lang, Tom Ford, John Varvatos, and more! The sale takes place from Friday September 9th to Saturday with morning, afternoon, and evening sessions available. Get your ticket here!

Pig Island -

Pig Island

Pig out at the annual Pig Island celebration! On September 10th join fellow foodies at the Erie Basin Park in Red Hook for this porky celebration featuring all things pig. Dine on decadent beer and pork samples from New York’s best chefs, brewers, hard-cider makers and vinters. General admission for one is just $75, and $150 for two. Take a pal and go hog wild! Details here.

US Open 2016 -

The US Open 2016

This Tuesday, September 6th, go where all the cool kids go – to the US Open! The final Grand Slam event of the season takes place at the Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing NY, where you might catch a glimpse of tennis royalty like Serena or Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic, or Rafael Nadal. Score 40% off upper promenade admission on Gilt City here.

LUCKYRICE Moon Festival Cocktail Feast -

LUCKYRICE Event NYC

Hit the town on September 16th at the LUCKYRICE Moon Festival Cocktail Feast. Held at the Bowery Hotel, this raved about event offers a delicious way for event-goers to enjoy Asian inspired Bombay Sapphire East Gin cocktails from top New York mixologists. Make it a girls night out with VIP admission and enjoy an additional hour of sipping and tasting. Tickets on sale here.

The New York Coffee Festival -

The New York Coffee Festival

This is my kind of event. NYC has a passionate coffee culture, as evidenced by The New York Coffee Festival. Featuring over 70 artisanal coffee purveyors and gourmet food stalls, this will be the NYCF’s second year – it’s a perfect event for any coffee fan! Score 40% off VIP admission – that means all day access and priority access at the entrance (because nothing should keep you from a good brew) as well as other perks – on Gilt City here.

The Great Big Bacon Picnic -

The Great Big Bacon Picnic

Because one pig event wasn’t enough, The Great Big Bacon Picnic in Williamsburg is another chance for you (and a friend or two) to celebrate all things bacon! Top-shelf spirits and craft beer will be served alongside bacon delicacies from over 100 local chefs, brewmasters, and distillers. Saturday, September 24-25th | 3 sessions | tickets on sale here!

Refinery Rooftop’s Beach House Party -

Refinery's Rooftop Party

On Saturday, September 10th join Refinery for their Rooftop Beach House Party in midtown. Toast to the end of summer with specialty cocktails while snacking on tasty treats like sliders, ceviche, grilled steak, scrambled eggs, and more. Tickets here!

*While all of these events feature Gilt City links, this post is not sponsored by Gilt City, I just find Gilt an excellent way to find and save money on NYC experiences. Speaking of saving money, use my link to get 25% off your first purchase!

Helpful Essentials for Transitioning Back to Class

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

I just finished my summer semester last week, and now I’m back on campus for the fall semester. It’s great, and I feel uncharacteristically excited about this semester. I think it must be the impending cool weather, and the fact that my birthday and all the good holidays take place during the fall semester. Honestly, I’m thisclose to sipping pumpkin spice lattes, donning my brand new booties, and throwing leaves in the air as I prance around in my off-the-shoulder off-white cable knit sweater, reveling in my utter basic-ness. Before I get ahead of the season, it is important to acknowledge that this is back-to-school season, where buying dorm supplies and picking out matching folders is a national endeavor. I was lucky enough to get my mitts (cool weather fashion, anyone? No? still too early?) on a brand new BabbleBoxx! Chock full of amazing goodies that are ideal for those of us heading back to college, here are my picks for heading back to class:

Instax Camera by Fuiji FilmBabbleBoxx College

FUJIFILM’s new INSTAX MINI 70 is perfect for capturing every late night study sesh or Spring break fiesta. I love old school instant film cameras, the great thing about the INSTAX MINI 70 is that you get that awesome instant film aesthetic but with the benefits of all the excellent features that this camera has – that includes macro and micro focus, as well as a selfie mode. The selfie mode automatically adjusts settings for perfect selfies – so you can make sure to get everyone in your snaps! I’m understating things by saying I’m kind of obsessed with this, I’ve already started my own photo collage. Thinking about putting together a college care pack for your collegiate? They’ll love one of these, trust me. Available in Canary Yellow, Moon White, Island Blue, Passion Red, Midnight Black, and Stardust Gold – check out the entire collection here.

New Instax Miniiced coffee

Being able to plan ahead and learning how to cook for one (or two) is definitely something you should do before you walk for your diploma. GreenPan’s Mini Ceramic Non-Stick pans are perfect for cooking for one, its size is great for portion control plus space efficiency, and the handle is silicone coated! I love my new Square Egg Pan, it’s more than adorable – I actually have never been able to do proper sunny-side-up eggs until I got this pan. Turns out that’s thanks to the Thermolon™ ceramic non-stick surface which was designed for perfect frying results, using less oil, and needing less cleaning. Since using it I have yet to tear a yolk! Basically, with tools like the GreenPan, I can pull together a back to school or study brunch in a snap. I am the brunch queen.

GreenPan is offering The NYC Talon readers an amazing back to school discount! From now until September 4th get 20% off AND free shipping with the promo code ‘SCHOOL20′. Start planning your back to school brunch and check out all the GreenPan’s here!

Green Pan1eggses

You’ll definitely want to make sure you have everything you need for that first day back. My first fall class was on Thursday and I can’t tell you how many people were without paper or pens. Even on that first day you get weighed down with a ton of information – what your semester schedule will be like, your professor’s office hours, online course codes, what days your lecture won’t be meeting for class, etc. The student next to me earned major side-eye from one of my professors because he was unprepared. You’ll want a pen that can help you take notes like a pro! My favorite pens are these new Zebra pens – they’re the sort of pens you would never lend out for fear of losing them. They write smoothly, the H-301 Steel Highlighter doesn’t bleed, and 3 Series Ballpoint pens are dreamy. They look as well as they write – sleek and professional. I love using their color gel pens to color code my agenda, they dry in less than a second and the ink is smooth and distinct. If you’re someone who is stationary and writing-implement obsessed like me, you will love these.

Back to School NeccessitiesBest Pens for Back to School

Keep chapped lips at bay with Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula FlipBalms! These are so cool, my sisters immediately laid claim to two of these. Palmer’s is my go-to for cocoa butter products, they always have impeccable quality products and these new FlipBalms are no exception. Available in three flavors – Juicy Watermelon, Creamy Coconut, and Ripe Mango – they feature a revolutionary “flip to open” packaging design, which I adore because it keeps you from losing the lid, and it keeps you from having to touch (and potentially get dirty) the balm itself. The formulation is packed with natural ingredients like pure Cocoa Butter, raw Shea Butter, and Vitamin E. I love that they fit easily into my purse, so my lips are always moisturized.

Palmer's Lip Balms

Speaking of my purse, you can pretty much always find Simply Sensitive Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths tucked in there somewhere. As a female constantly on the go, there’s no denying the usefulness of these cloths. They’re great for post-gym, and I loved that they rely on gentle formulas that are hypoallergenic, alcohol free, and won’t irritate sensitive skin. Plus, the individualized packaging makes them discreet to carry around – they’re also available in Island Splash and Sheer Floral.

Summer's Eve

Do you have any back to school essentials? How to you ease into a new semester? Let me know!

FUJIFILM INSTAX MINI 70 | GreenPan Mini Ceramic Non-Stick Egg Pan | Zebra Pens | Palmer’s NEW Cocoa Butter Formula FlipBalms | Simply Sensitive Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths