How to Live a Life of Plenti

About three weeks ago I attended probably one of the more timely events, at least on a personal level, for me. On a Thursday evening I joined Yoplait’s new Plenti yogurt as well as NYT Best Selling Author Gretchen Rubin, Chef Gabe Kennedy, fitness expert Dasha Libin Anderson, and lifestyle expert Pippa Lord for a private modern wellness workshop. I’m not usually over fond of “life building” advice – maybe it’s because there was a boom of self-help and advice books when I was a kid and I always associate it with not leading a busy enough life that you have time to wonder if you’re doing it right.

LandofPlenti Event

Fast forward to three weeks ago where I was up to my ears in work, and found myself sitting in front of Gretchin Rubin who wasn’t giving useless generic pieces of advice (aren’t those the worst?!) but who was actually sharing some of the best advice on how to manage your time more effectively through habit (a way to make consistent effort in a particular area) building, and how that in turn can make us (me, we) more happier people. It’s actually pretty cool to hear about how each person’s particular personality makes them predisposed to function around expectations a certain way – which also explains how a person like me is more inclined to take care of work and others, but forget to take care of myself too. In fact a ton of people are inclined to do the same.

Plenti EventPlenti Yogurt

Here are two of my favorite takeaways from Gretchin’s session: 1) Gretchen creates a power hour once a week where she works on things she’s been procrastinating, noting that you can do anything for one hour. This sounds so do-able! I have a ton of things I’ve been procrastinating on, and an hour is really such a small cut of time in the frame of my entire week. And 2) One of the most effective strategies for banishing bad habits or changing habits is the strategy of scheduling. Schedule 10-15 min a day to indulge in your bad habit and then let it leave your mind. I loved this tip – now the trick is choosing which of my bad habits to indulge in, haha!

Chef Gabe Kennedy led us on a More Abundant session, where he shared his secret formula for a happy meal – every day you need an in-season vegetable, a green, a lean protein, a healthy fat and a sour food, like Yoplait Plenti Greek yogurt. He added, “One of my food secrets is to eat a “sour” food every day – Greek yogurt like Plenti is a great way to get that sour. Plus, it has my favorite seeds flax and pumpkin.”

Yoplait Plenti Yogurt

Dasha Libin Anderson led the More Fulfilling session, the founder of Kettlebell Kickboxing shared some great fitness techniques that could be done even at the office – and I’ve already started doing them myself and have shared them with my friends! Following that, during the More Interesting session, Pippa Lord encouraged us to do what we value – it’s easy to get so busy that we forget to be real cultured people with interests that can hold valuable conversation with each other. She recommends putting together a culture bucket list, and not being afraid of ditching the chores and spending a day being lazy – I can totally get behind that!

Plenti Lifestyle Advice

Altogether it was great, fulfilling evening – I learned so many great things, and I was able to finally try Yoplaits Plenti yogurt which I now love to have right after work/school when I need that extra boost of energy! Try it – trust me, it tastes amazing!

To find out more about Plenti yogurt, click here!

No More Dairy Envy with Lactaid & Birch Coffee

I was kindly asked to attend this event by Lactaid, while I couldn’t attend, The NYC Talon writer Kayla did – here’s her recap:

As an uptown girl, I rarely make appearances in the outer boroughs of NYC, even those as close as Long Island City. However, when I heard that Lactaid had teamed up with Birch Coffee for a special event, I couldn’t resist going.

Coffee Roasting at Birch Cofee NYC

Birch is one of the many entrepreneurial businesses that makes this city sparkle with ingenuity and adventure. Paul Schlader, one of the Birch’s founders, enthralled us with tales of his travels to places like Costa Rica, Honduras, and South Africa, in his insatiable desire to bring the world’s best coffee back to us, here in NYC. As he recapped his experiences with coffee farmers, workers, and their families, I could really tell how invested he and his business partner, Jeremy Lyman, are to making Birch as honest and committed to its coffee providers as it is to its coffee drinkers.

Coffee Roasting at Birch Cofee NYC

As a “mild” coffee addict with more than a touch of lactose intolerance, Lactaid has been my go-to product. I can experience every drop of caffeine goodness without losing the flavor and consistency that only a dairy product can produce in coffee. I love that they’ve partnered with a local coffee business for their No More Dairy Envy campaign to show that yes, you can enjoy amazing (and favorite) treats like coffee, cappuccinos, and other treats without any discomfort!

Coffee Roasting at Birch Cofee NYC

Walking through the roasting and quality-testing areas, with Paul as our guide, allowed us to experience what it takes to turn coffee from a bean into a delicious cup of joe. The step by step process of roasting, grinding, sniffing, dripping, smelling, sipping (and repeat!) could only be done by a person as passionate about coffee as Monet was about painting.

Coffee Roasting at Birch Cofee NYCUnderstanding Aroma Perception in Coffee

As far a coffee goes, I generally don’t get excited about seasonal flavors, but the Pumpkin Spice Latte I had at Birch knocked my socks off. The Lactaid foamed up and made a delicious and creamy cup of coffee that disappeared WAY too quickly for my liking. That’s one flavor combination I will be chasing through coffee breaks for the rest of the season.

Thanks so much for having us Lactaid & Paul and the Birch Coffee team! To find out more about Lactaid follow them on facebook, twitter, or visit them here!

Spa Day with AmLactin at Guerlain Spa!

It’s not every day that I get to start my morning off with a massage. However, last Friday I joined AmLactin and Dr.Doris Day at Guerlain Spa in the Waldorf Astoria for a little R&R and to learn about why AmLactin is the lotion every gal should have in her skincare arsenal!

Spa Day, AmLactin, Guerlain Spa, Waldorf Astoria, NYC, Dr.Doris Day

I’m one of those people who suffer from really dry skin, and while I love prettily scented lotions and potions they don’t always “do it” for my skin – or worse, they’ll irritate it. AmLactin moisturizers contain alpha-hydroxy acids, which are pH-balanced for the skin and effective at exfoliating and hydrating.

AmLactin, Lotion, Cream, Sensitive skin, Skincare

The AmLactin line includes Moisturizing Body Lotion, Cerapeutic Restoring Body Lotion, Ultra Hydrating Body Cream, and Foot Cream. I’ve been using the line to rehab my winter weary skin – I tend to let my skincare fall by the wayside during the colder months, I just get sort of lazy about it because I usually wear clothes to cover up and stay warm rather then show off and stay cool. The craziest thing is that when I apply the lotion to my skin it doesn’t just sit on the surface and it doesn’t feel sticky or oily, it absorbs quickly and my skin feels softer and really rehydrated. It’s the only body lotion that I’m using right now and I’m just in love with it.

AmLactin, Dr.Doris Day

“The lactic acid in the Utra Hydrating Body Cream & Cerapeutic Restoring Body Lotion are designed to soften the skin and gently push forward those cells that are ready to move up without over stripping your skin” Dr.Day told me in an interview, “I love it, I’ll slather it on my feet when I got to bed and you know a lot of men will even use it on the beard area too”

When asked what she loved most about the line she said “It’s a great multi-tasking product – I love the idea that while I’m exfoliating I’m also moisturizing”. I have to agree – any product that works and saves me time is right up my alley!

Guerlain, Guerlain Spa, NYC, Spa, AmLactin

My massage was fantastic (and the first one I’ve had in ages) and the Guerlain Spa in the Waldorf Astoria is simply gorgeous! Easily one of the best Friday mornings I’ve had to date!

To find out more information about AmLactin and Dr.Doris Day click here!

Build-A-Bear Workshop Opens in FAO Schwarz in NYC!

Last Friday, my sister and I headed downtown to the newly opened Build-A-Bear Workshop at FAO Schwarz. I’ve actually never been to a Build-A-Bear before, so it was pretty exciting for me!

Build-A-Bear Workshop in FAO Schwartz in NYC

The Build-A-Bear Workshop in the FAO Schwarz store is actually their very first store-within-a-store, and is the only one in the US right now. Jules and I arrived early, before the ribbon cutting ceremony (check out pics from the ceremony here!) and were able to go through the complete experience.

Building a Bear

I love how interactive the whole experience was, and I feel like having the Workshop inside the legendary FAO Schwarz store adds a whole other layer of fun and really makes it a NYC destination experience not to be missed!

A Bear Named Sally

Jules ended up creating her very first Build-A-Bear, which she named Sally. She was able to add fun characteristics to Sally’s heart – for instance, she’s smart, strong, and loyal. Sally also has a beating heart and plays “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” whenever Jules squeezes her left arm.

I really love how Build-A-Bear included a lot of NYC themed exclusive animals and accessories!

NYC Build-A-Bear Workshop

I’m definitely planning on making my own Thor bear – although I’d definitely like to see a Loki costume too!

Thor Build-A-Bear

We love the new Build-A-Bear store and are already planning a return!

Timeless Beauty at Pelham Parkway NORC and the Sue Ginsburg Senior Center!

What I love about beauty is that it is timeless and that it can be found in every woman. Last week I was extremely blessed to provide a little TLC for some lovely ladies at the Sue Ginsburg Community Center via the Pelham Parkway NORC program. The Sue Ginsburg Community Center & the Pelham Parkway NORC are great programs that are a valuable resource for the community’s seniors. Seniors can drop in for a hot lunch, check their email, get their blood pressure checked or any one of the other services available, it truly is appreciated. At our Timeless Beauty event, I was lucky enough to meet some seriously timeless beauties!

Beauty Set UpBronx Beauty EventBeauty Products

I gathered up some of my favorite beauty products – including Benefit’s Hello Flawless Oxygen Wow Foundation , lovely colored lipsticks, Sally Hansen nail polishes, NYC eyeliners to name a few and headed out the door. I loved talking shop with the ladies, they shared my general enthusiasm for beauty and were eager to swap tips, tricks, and product recommendations! It was a pleasure learning from them as they shared some tips of their own with me – like what products they use to moisturize delicate skin and favorite sun protection lotions.

Timeless Beauty Event

As part of the event some even had their nails painted while refreshments were served. It was a great time! I genuinely loved being able to show some of the ladies how to highlight their natural beauty – which is what makeup is about – not wearing a mask, but just flaunting what you’ve already got and feeling beautiful. I wanted them to feel pampered and beautiful.

Bronx Beauty Event at Pelham

At the end of the event swag bags were provided by The NYC Talon for everyone that had their makeup done (in The NYC Talon colors, of course). The ladies also got to take home the eyeliner and lipstick of their choice.

Swag Bags

It was a lovely afternoon, and I want to thank NORC and the Sue Ginsburg Senior Center as well as all the lovely women at the event – I certainly hope that we’ll do it again!

NYC Wine & Food Festival: Day 2

*This post is a part of my work with Progresso, however all opinions are completely honest and my own. For more information please see the PR tab above. Thank you!

My second day at the NYC Wine & Food Festival was pretty eventful – I definitely ate more, haha! There was less of a crowd, and I was able to actually stop at different places rather then being pushed along by a massive swarm of people. Here are some of my memorable eats:

NYCWFF FoodMore food from NYCWFF

My favorite was the smoked salmon from Domain NYC. They smoked the salmon right there and were drawing a curious crowd. They plated it in these little plastic orbs so that when you opened the lid your nose was flooded with the mouthwatering smoky scent of the salmon.

Domain NYC at NYCWFF

Another favorite was from Chipotle. Confessesion: I’ve never ever had Chipotle before – I know, I know, shame on me. However, if they turn out food as good as the carnita tacos I had from them at NYCWFF then they’ve won a new customer.

Chipotle at NYCWFF

I also had a great clam chowder – however, I had been eating for a few hours straight and was too full to finish it.

Clam Chowder at NYCWFF

In between eating I did manage to win a Rachel Ray grill set from the Progresso Artisan stage! I was so excited – I told you guys how I saw all these people on day 1 walking away with cool prizes, well, I absolutely did not expect to win one myself!

Progresso Artisan Giveaways

I have to say, one of my favorite moments from NYCWFF was meeting Ed Levine of SeriousEats.com. I’ve been reading Serious Eats since I was in middle school, and it was definitely a source of inspiration as both a writer and a eater. How much of an inspiration you ask? Well, between reading Serious Eats and Ruth Reichl’s books, I went from wanting to be a doctor to wanting to be a food writer, and I even went so far as to start my own NYC food blog while I was still in high school.

Progresso Artisan Stage Serious Eats Ed Levine and Kenji

Anyways, Ed was on the Progresso stage with J. Kenji Lopez-Alt (Serious Eats & The Food Lab – we’re also massive Kenji fans at my house), as well as other chefs who were dishing up their own soups as well as engaging NYCWFF attendees with tales of their favorite soups, ingredients, and techniques. Good times. Check out what the chef’s created!

Soup Number 1Soup Number 2

Later on restauranteur Joe Bastianich (Eataly, Del Posto, etc.) regaled the Progresso Artisan audience with everything from soup and wine pairings to stories of how he personally identifies with the Progresso brand, and more specfically their new Artisan Soup line!

Joe Bastianich at NYCWFF with Progresso Artisan SoupsI have to say, being a Progresso Artisan ambassador was awesome, and I can’t wait to share with you all what I thought of each of the soups – so stay tuned!

Zyrtec Combats Allergy Face at the Macy’s Flower Show!

As a blogger, you occasionally get to do really fun things. Well a couple weeks ago I joined Zyrtec at Macy’s flower show where I learned a few tips and tricks on dealing with my allergies and I had an awesome and incredibly informative make-over!

zyrtec allergy face
I suffer from THE WORST allergies, I mean I have to start taking an antihistamine before the weather even gets warm. If I don’t I usually get itchy eyes, and itchy throat, a cough, some sneezing  maybe popping in my ears from inflamed sinuses, and eventually my really bad allergies will turn into a full blown illness. So to avoid this I usually stick to using Zyrtec.

But even with Zyrtec on board I can get what is commonly known as “Allergy Face” – which is when your face shows the classic signs of combating allergies. Signs like redness around your nose, bags under your eyes, maybe even red or watery eyes, and even a swollen face. If you have allergies, then you know what I mean! Well, at the Macy’s flower show beauty expert Rebekah George gave me a few pointers at keeping Allergy Face at bay:

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It all starts in the bag – if the makeup you’ve got in your beauty bag has been in use for a year or longer it’s time to toss it. Clean out your makeup bag using the one-two-three rule. Keep blush no more than one year, mascara for about two months, and check your lipstick for discoloration every three months. I know I’ve been guilty of holding on to makeup for waaaayyyy longer than a year.

allergyface1
Take advantage of the big bold brow trend – my makeup artist, whose name I have shamefully forgotten (sorry!) went for the bold arched brow look to distract from my puffy watery eyes and I cannot believe how good I looked, lol! I’m serious, I’ve always been afraid of big bold brows (and looking like Groucho Marx) and I never believed that they’d actually look good on me. But I can honestly say I’ve never seen my brows look so good, and they were great when combined with strategic placing of concealer, highlighter, and bronzer – you couldn’t even recognize that I was a former “Allergy Face” poster girl!

For more information on Allergy Face and how to combat it, click here!

Thanks to Rebekah for some awesome tips, my Benefit makeup artist and her envy-worthy skills, and Zyrtec for showing me how to combat Allergy Face!

*Disclaimer: I was not compensated to attend this event, opinions presented here belong to The NYC Talon and are not influenced in any manner.

Partying with Post-Its!

Last Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending probably the coolest Post-It and Scotch (as in the tape, lol!) party ever! I went with my sister (the artist) and had so much fun!

We were greeted at the event by loads of Post-It art – from mini post-it pieces of art to large twister-looking sculptures. I was completely blown away by all the amazing things you could do with Post-Its!

Here’s some photos from the event:

postit fashionAren’t these the most fashionable post-it products! I love them!

postit artAwesome Post-it art created by Greg Adamson and Robert Mann respectively.

postit artAMAZING Post-It art – who knew you could do so many creative things with Post-Its!?

Alton DuLaneyDesign Consultant Alton DuLaney shows off the skateboards he designed using Post-It and Scotch’s line of office and craft products!

postit signature seriesI had an inside peek at Post-It’s new Signature Series which will be sold online and at boutiques! They’re designed by artists and look gorgeous!

I had such a blast at this event, my sister is already dreaming of one day designing her own line of Post-It’s for their signature series, lol! I loved seeing the original and unique pieces created by artists with Post-It’s and loved the new products they have out. It’s really great to see Post-It’s veer into designer and craft territory – the Post-It brand is no longer relegated to the corner of one’s desk, with new designs and fabulous products Post-It demands attention!

*Disclaimer: I was invited to the event as press and received a gift bag during the event. However, my opinions are 100% my own and not influenced in any manner.

Steve Novak Previews McDonald’s New Premium McWrap!

Last week I was lucky enough to join Steve Novak and McDonald’s as they previewed McDonald’s newest creation – the premium McWrap!

McDonald's First Taste Press Event

Lots of press at the 2nd floor’s First Taste event

At McDonald’s 14th Street location Thursday March 28th, press, New York Knick Steve Novak, musical talent, and locals gathered to celebrate the launch of the premium McWrap.

McWrap3

The Premium McWrap is like the Snack Wrap’s older, bulkier brother. Filled with chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce, the Premium McWrap comes in Sweet Chili Chicken, Chicken & Bacon, or Chicken & Ranch.

  • Sweet Chili Chicken McWrap: sweet chili sauce, creamy garlic sauce, and sliced cucumbers
  • Chicken & Bacon McWrap: creamy garlic sauce, bacon, cheddar jack cheese, and tomato
  • Chicken & Ranch McWrap: ranch sauce, seasoned rice vinegar, cheddar jack cheese, sliced cucumbers, and tomato

New York Knick Forward Steve Novak seemed to be a big fan, he signed basketballs, took pictures, and even helped make his own McWrap!

Steve Novak

Steve Novak being interviewed by Bruce Beck

Steve Novak

Steve Novak and Denise of Boyz Rule Our World joking about her height – or lack thereof ;)

After answering questions and doing interviews, Steve joined the “Sweet Chili Chill Out Lounge” on the ground floor and helped judge a rap competition to fin NYC’s freshest MC – with a cash prize for the winner!

I tried out a grilled chicken and bacon McWrap – which was really flavorful and full of juicy chicken. I was really impressed with the size and packaging of the McWrap – it’s actually really convenient for on the go eating, and also mess free!

McWrap4

Choose between crunchy or grilled chicken and pick up one of McDonald’s freshest creations – the McWrap!

LUSH in Union Square: 1 of 10 Stores to Carry LUSH’s Exclusive New Gorilla Perfume Line!

I was lucky enough one recent rainy Tuesday to spend my morning out of the rain and ensconced in the wonderfully fragrant LUSH store in Union Square. As it happens the Union Square LUSH is one of only ten stores nationwide to be hosting LUSH’s newest fragrance line Gorilla Perfume! LUSH sales reps Veronika and Ruben gave me a store tour, introducing me to new products and reacquainting me with old favorites.

lush1
Gorilla Perfume was created in England by father and son team Mark and Simon Constantine. With creative inspiration the line features nine different scents – my favorite’s being Sun and Furze. What’s really crazy is that Sun was inspired by Mark’s trip to Cape May, New Jersey – where I spent many of my childhood summers! No wonder I loved it so much!

Lush Union Square
I’ve always been a fan of LUSH’s seasonal selection, and they often sell out fast. I was able to get my hands on a few of LUSH’s Easter-themed products, and let me tell you they are amazing!

lush union square
Carrot bubble bar, Fluffy Egg bath bomb, Henata bath bomb, & Eggception bath bomb

I love love loved the Carrot bubble bar – it smells like lemon (not carrot) – and according to Veronika you can get a good 4-6 uses out of it. The enormously popular Fluffy Egg bath bomb smells like sweet cotton candy, it turned my bathwater pink and left my skin super soft and silky – definitely a favorite of mine now! Henata was really citrusy, and I loved the “surprise” bath bomb eggs inside! The scent reminded me of tangerines and summer time, it’s very bright and it definitely wakes you up. And the Eggception bath bomb had the cutest little surprise chick inside, I just about died when I cracked the egg open. So if you get a chance, swing by your local LUSH and definitely pick up one (or all!) of these treats!

lush union square
Ruben and Veronika introduced me to LUSH’s massage bars – which are now probably one of my favorite products ever, so thank you Ruben, Veronika, and Lush! I picked up the Heavanilli for my mom and promptly stole it back from her. It smells so good, and I just can’t get over how genius it was of LUSH to create solid massage oil & butter bars!

aqua mirablis
During my visit I also picked up an old favorite – Aqua Mirablis body butter bar. Aqua Mirablis is the most amazing product for anyone with dry skin! Ground almond shells exfoliate and gently removes dead skin cells, while cocoa and almond butters lend some deep moisture to your skin. Plus it smells awesome!

Lush Union Square
I loved the setup at LUSH’s Union Square location, and Ruben and Veronika were amazingly helpful and provided lot’s of information – I can’t wait to go back and see what else LUSH has in store!

*I received product samples from LUSH, as well as a store tour in order to facilitate this post. Special thanks goes to LUSH and lovely LUSH reps Veronika and Ruben who took the time to show me around – thanks guys! All opinions stated here are my own and not influenced in any way, for more info please see my PR tab above.