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Summer at the Seaport

Soooo... it's been a while, huh?  I think even my mom has given up on reading my blog at this point, since I've been the WORST at posting.

But, here YOU are. Even if you stumbled here by accident, thanks for stopping by!

The summer was a blur, work was crazy busy, I got a $500 Keratin treatment and HATED it, this here blog officially turned 10 years old (!!!).

And somewhere in there, I turned 45.

Forty effing five. Wtaf.

I just might be having a midlife crisis.  So I'm thisclose to buying a sportscar and dating a 26 year old.  I've even started working out.  Kind of.

Who am I?

Anyhoo... I'm still not sure where my life is going, but my work is going pretty well. We had a big event back in August for female social media influencers, so let's both pretend that I posted this back then...

In my whole career, I've only worked on my bday 3 times.
I had no choice this year because our big event was just days away,
but these lovely ladies made it much better.

And tastier! My friends got me a special delivery from my fave Otto,
and cupcakes from Buttercup Bake Shop, near my old NYC apt.

In another room, our magical interns stuffed 2,000 tote bags. 

Our event was at the beautiful and brand-new Pier 17,
in the Seaport District, which was right on the East River.

Inside was a different story... so I needed to find tons of vendors to help me 
transform this raw space. It didn't even have light or electrical outlets.  
It did have AC, luckily.  After all, it was August -- they aren't monsters!

This was the day I learned about construction,
as we widened the entryway for our thousands of attendees.  

We had a crew of about 100 guys for move in,
and they transformed the whole floor for us, all 40,000 sqft of it.
It took us about 25 hours to move in, and about 12 hours to move out.

Day one, and our view of the Brooklyn Bridge couldn't be prettier.

Follow the pink and purple balloons...

Our florist used over 2500 real roses and carnations on this photo wall.

This is my friend, Justine, making Kelly Kapowski
(aka Valerie Malone, aka Tiffani Thiessen) laugh.
I wonder if she knows that when Lifetime makes the story of my life,
she will be playing me?

Gabrielle Union! As beautiful in person as you imagine she would be.

That little green lady on stage is Amy Schumer.
She wasn't going to come. Then she was. Then she wasn't.
Then she did. As you can see, nobody noticed... 

Pret a Manger sponsored all our food,
and whenever you see one of the stores, you should go in and eat there.  
ALL their food is made fresh, on site, each day. 
That meant they baked 1500 croissants each morning, 
assembled 1500 salads & wraps, and baked 1500 cookies every afternoon. 
Just for us. Mind-blowing. And delicious.

These are the amazing designers on my team. They are v creative.

This is the view from the ladies' room. Now, they're just showing off!

Fast forward to day two, the gracious and stunning Christy Turlington Burns 
interviewed Senator Kirsten Gillibrand on women's health. 
Before she came in, I met with her Secret Service guy,
former NYPD, who was massive and extremely polite.

I've known these girls since they were 8, as part of a program we run for Gen Z.
They're now 13 and interviewing Angie Thomas, author of The Hate You Give.
So so proud of the women they are becoming!

Best Buy was a sponsor and brought a cool sequin wall that you could write on,
a box that dry cleans your clothes, and a fridge you can see inside without opening the door.
The future is now, my friends.

Honest Beauty brought their new makeup line,
and there was a line wrapped around the place with women wanting to try it. 

Baked by Melissa wrote our name in yummy mini cupcakes.
I may or may not have eaten the whole G.

Ever wonder what 1500 Barbies look like?
It's nothing compared to the stampede of grown women wanting to get one!

Who is that girl in the middle taking a picture with me and my friends?
Oh hi, Jessica Alba!

And just like that, it was over.  Bye bye, Brooklyn Bridge.

Say cheese if you are exhausted!

So, that's that. I wish you could have been there!

I'll find the time to post again soon, I promise.  I need to pretend it's still September, so I can write about my 10 year Blogiversary, and I hope it is still October when I post about all the new fall TV shows I like.

Until then...


Say Cheese

I wish I could say I have a good excuse for why I haven't blogged in so long, but anything I tell you will sound... cheesy.

You know the drill: work, more work, life, blah...

I did make time for a Cubs game at Wrigley with my fam and a Bon Jovi concert at MSG with my best friends. Super funtimes!

But mostly, it was work.


Anyway, a few months ago, a little birdie told me that Planter's Cheez Balls were coming back this summer (this Sunday, to be exact). Well, I have eaten them, and I can tell you...

They're perfect! As good you as you remember from those family roadtrips to The Shore when you were a kid.

And I'm pretty sure a whole can is still a single serving, right?  Yes, just like Pringles.

In honor of this snack comeback, here are my cheese, glorious cheese Top 10:

    Thanks, Mr. Peanut! These are nothing but crispy, cheezy goodness.  For the record, I also love Nacho Cheese Doritos, Cheddar Cheese Chex Mix, Cheetos, Cheez Waffles and Cheddar Cheese & Sour Cream Ruffles, but these are a hands-down nostalgic fave. Welcome back!
  2. CHEEZ-IT:
    The classic kind is a tasty snack. I like them better than Cheese Nips, I wish Big Cheez-Its were bigger, and I don't like any of the new flavors or shapes, except Extra Toasty.  Those are pretty great too.
    I seriously think I would have starved in grades 4-6 if I couldn't have this for lunch. Every day, my mom would make 6 of them with Wispride spreadable cheddar cheese sandwiched on a Ritz cracker, wrapped in tin foil.  It was perfectly aged by lunchtime, and I washed it down with an iced tea Ssips. In other news, I still eat them today. On Wheat Thins.
  4. MAC & CHEESE:
    The homemade kind is pretty awesome, but it takes time. Which I don't have. So, for me, it's Kraft Deluxe or Stouffer's. Both are creamy, comforting and made better with a liberal coating of French's Fried Onions.
    This is the only thing I order when I go to a diner. Unless I want breakfast for dinner, then it's pancakes. But otherwise, it's this. Always with bacon, usually with onion rings. Never disappoints.
    Another diner classic! Disco's not my style, but Cheez Whiz cheese fries can't be beat. Especially late night. Even more so when the fries are tater tots. Tots for the win!
    There's literally nothing better on the planet than a NY slice. I could eat one for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Cold or hot. It's all good. When I can't get the real deal, I'll bake up a Stouffer's French Bread, or make English muffin pizzas (Thomas's Sandwich Size + Kraft Mozzarella with a Touch of Philly + Ragu Pizza Sauce = Happiness).
    A few summers ago, I started grilling, and I make a mean cheese burger! But I don't always feel like cooking, so it's Five Guys for me. I wish they'd put a Shake Shack in Hoboken, then the Guys would have a run for their money. (Are you listening, Danny Meyer? We have a Drybar, a Sephora & a West Elm -- bring your bougie burgers here, stat!)
    It's well-documented that this is my birthday cake of choice, and there's ONLY one kind: New York Style. If I'm feeling fancy, it's Juniors all the way, but for a quick pick me up, Sarah Lee frozen cheesecake with strawberry topping does the trick.
    I'll admit it, I like my American cheese yellow. Tastes better, especially when it's Land O Lakes freshly sliced THIN from the deli counter. It's worth the wait. But I've also never met a Brie, Blue, Feta, Gouda, or Goat cheese I didn't like. The same cannot be said for Cheese Curds. I've eaten them in Wisconsin & even tried them fried. They're squeaky and awful. Like if a cheddar cheese cube and an eraser had a baby. Chewy? You betcha.

So, enough about health foods!

Imagine if I were lactose intolerant? That would suck. Sorry if you are.

I will leave you with a lame joke: What do you call a cheese that's not yours?

Leave your answer in the comments... (if you still read this!).


So Thrifty

We're still a month away from Earth Day, but I've been in a recycling state of mind.

I'm not talking cans, I'm talking clothes.

A few times a year, I dig through my closets & drawers and round up a couple bags of things to donate. It's all nice stuff -- some even brand new -- but in a size that doesn't fit (anymore), or I no longer like the style, or I never liked it in the first place (but was too lazy to return).

Shitty, I know.  But my careless spending is Goodwill's gain.  And I've given some great stuff over the years -- once a pair of Uggs, never worn still in the box, and a JCrew winter coat with the tags still on!

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw, I'm thisclose to becoming the old woman who lived in her shoes.

Anyway, a few weeks ago I was watching TV (what?!), and I saw a commercial for The RealReal, a luxury consignment shop.  It got me thinking: There are probably others out there who have nice stuff that they don't want or need.

So I gave it a Goog, and it seemed pretty legit.  People who have nice stuff sell it.  People who like nice stuff -- and discounts -- buy it.  And inbetween, somebody checks it out to make sure it really IS nice stuff, and didn't come from a basement in Chinatown.

Now, the sharing economy is nothing new. Think eBay, ZipCar, AirBNB, Rent the Runway or Uber.  Whether it's for a night or forever, it's just peer to peer selling with a tech middleman to handle the transaction.  And consignment is even older -- from Goodwill to used bookstores (which, for the record, are booger books and are totally disgusting.)

Could this be good?

I wasn't sure. So rather than sending my nice stuff into the abyss, I decided to try it out by buying something instead.  Here's how it went...

Item: Stella McCartney Falbella Foldover Tote
Condition: Very Good
Savings: 63% off (!)
Shipping: $11.95

The Verdict: Love it!  I've wanted this bag for ages, but spending $1000 on "vegan suede" seemed nuts -- even to me.  But there were all the high-end brands on this site, and they say everything has been verified for authenticity.  I also liked that they had a store in NYC. Shipping wasn't free, but it came quickly -- just 4 days after I ordered. And it looks new, it feels luxe, it doesn't smell or have anything funky going on in the lining.  It's just a really nice bag. I've got 4 words to sum up my experience: This. Could. Be. Dangerous. Somebody lock up my Amex.

Ok, so after that good experience, my mind was open.  I happened to be on Instagram and I saw a social media influencer promoting a site called thredUP, where she got a pile of secondhand clothes for a steal.  

Let's just say, I was influenced.

So, I browsed around the site, and picked up a thing or two... you know, for Science.

Items: Michael Kors sweater & Rachel Roy shirt
Condition: Brand new with tags
Savings: 75% off (each!!)
Shipping: Free

The Verdict: Really good! There were thousands of things to choose from, and you could filter by clothes with tags. My order took 8 days to arrive, but that was still a day sooner than the estimate. And the box (pictured above) was really adorable.  I'm a sucker for good marketing so the email & letter that I got from James Reinhart, their "Chief Knitwit," was a really cool touch as well. And the clothes are... nice! Really no different than what I would have picked up from Lord & Taylor, Macy's or Nordstrom, but at significant savings.

If you're still reading this -- and you know me well -- you might be shocked to hear I bought ANYTHING used.  I mean, sometimes it even grosses me out to buy clothes at a STORE if they look picked over!  Which is why I never buy clothes at Marshall's or TJ Maxx.

I might be scarred from my days as a 16 year old working the fitting room at The Gap. People are nasty (and they steal).

But this was different!  Everything was refurbished, either like new or it WAS new. And it was crazy cheap. So, my eyes have been opened to a different -- more economical and eco-friendly -- way of shopping. 

Hope yours have been too.  Happy recycling! 

(Oh, and if you've ever sold anything on these sites, let me know how it went.)


Here's to Your Health

This might be the longest I've ever gone without posting. So Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy (almost) Valentine's Day.

Now that's out of the way, I should prob explain why I've been MIA!

About a week ago, I produced a huge event for work -- #BlogHer18 Health, where about 1,000 health & wellness social media influencers joined us for 2 days.  And it has been ALL consuming.

It's extremely hard for me to do anything a little bit. If I'm going to spend my time on something, I'm generally all in.

So by the time this incredible experience was over, I was sick (isn't it ironic?), my feet were full of blisters, I'd neglected my friends and family (and YOU), there was zero food left in my fridge, and my apartment was in a shambles.

The good news is it was a really great event, and I'm SO proud of my team who pulled it off.

But one thing is clear: I need some balance.  I think they call it "self care" -- that phrase makes me barf.  But there's def a middle ground that I'm missing.

Do YOU have any suggestions for still having a life while making a living?  I'll take whatever tips or tricks you've got in the comments below.

And while you think, take a look at these pretty pics... I wish you could have been there!

Pretty cool kickoff ringing the closing bell at the Nasdaq.

Acoustic performance by super-talented Brynn Elliott.

(Non-alcoholic) rose for days...

The calm before the storm.

Selfie wall, inspired in part by an Old Navy commercial.

So proud of the Hatch Kids, who gave an award to Chelsea Clinton.

Dance moves with the sweet, petite Julianne Hough.

Keynote speaker and total badass, Jillian Michaels.

The lovely Kate Walsh played a doctor on TV!

Camila Alves McConaughy & Pitch winner,
Bethany Edwards who invented a flushable pregnancy test!

The iconic Arianna Huffington.

Blue & green smoothies? Don't mind if I do!

Raise your glass.

A venue with a view.

A friend of mind posted this -- made me laugh.


The Essentials

It's been awhile, huh?  I'm the WORST.  

Not sure what I've been so busy doing? (Working, eating, breathing, decking the halls, and, of course, watching TV.)  

I am kind of loving my new TV site.  I feel like a couch potato for Science. At least, that's what I tell myself mid-binge.

Anyway, for the most part, actual actors haven't noticed anything I've posted about them -- except for the crazy talented stars of Crazy Ex Girlfriend

They're crazy awesome.

Reality stars have been delightful. I've hit the radars of people on Below Deck, Real Housewives of the OC, Big Brother, The Challenge and most recently, Floribama Shore (which you need to watch, like, now).

I even got a like from Byrd the Bailiff on Judge Judy!  

It was life-changing.

Anyway, there's this new show on Bravo called Stripped -- is anyone watching this thing?  It's nuts. They take EVERYTHING from you -- even your clothes -- and every day for 3 weeks you can take a single item back (from a storage shed a mile away -- which you walk to naked or covered with leaves or pizza boxes from the neighbor's trash).

Once you get past the floppy pixels, it's actually an interesting social experiment and it got me thinking: If I could only have 21 items -- one per day -- what would I take and in what order would I take it?

Keep in mind, on the show, you do get your empty house as shelter, you have a sink/shower/toilet, packaged food, water, and toiler paper.

They're not monsters!

But you still have to go to work and see people.  Ok, maybe they ARE monsters.

I'd never actually be on this show, but here's my list of items I can't live without. One for each day:
  1. Maxi dress -- The MVP. I just can't be naked. This will cover my whole body with a single item.
  2. Sleeper sofa -- A two-in-one for sleeping and sitting - genius!
  3. Toothpaste -- By day 3 my breath will peel the paint off walls. I will use my finger to brush.
  4. Cell phone + charger -- iPhone is life.
  5. Sneakers -- My feet will be disgusting and I've prob been using couch cushions as shoes.
  6. Antibacterial soap -- To scrub my filthy feet, pits & hands. I will use it as shampoo too.
  7. Blanket -- I can wear it while I air out my stinky dress AND it doubles as a towel. Comforting.
  8. License -- Because I get carded at bars. Kidding. Because I'm about to get my car back.
  9. Car + keys -- Will make it far easier to go back and forth to storage. And to get to work.
  10. Amex card -- There's honestly nothing an Amex can't do.
  11. Deodorant -- Before my coworkers are certain that garbage stench is me.
  12. Sweater -- I'm probably freezing in that dress. 
  13. Leggings -- Because the dress is unraveling and downright funky by now. I would burn it but... no matches.
  14. Lamp -- I'm afraid of the dark. I hope it comes with a lightbulb.
  15. Refrigerator -- It might be nice to have some fruit so I don't get scurvy.
  16. Microwave -- Now we're cooking.  Two words: Hot. Pockets.
  17. Laptop + power cord -- Mainly because I'm going cross-eyed watching Netflix on my phone.
  18. Lip gloss -- This seems dumb, I know, but I REALLY love lip gloss. Might be addicted.
  19. Comb -- With shiny lips, my hair will look worse.  Make it wide tooth -- knots will be v bad.
  20. Fork  -- Eating like a caveman for 3 weeks was getting old. 
  21. Pillow -- To silence the screams when I finally look in a mirror.
So that's my list of essentials.  Know what I didn't pick?  

No toothbrush, no razor, no socks, no undies, no bra (guard your eyes), and oddly, no TV!  (Technically.)

So what are YOUR essentials? List them below... and watch Floribama Shore.  It will not disappoint.


7 Lazy (Not Lame) Halloween Costumes

I seriously can't remember the last time I dressed up for Halloween.  For sure, it was back when I was young and fun.

I do remember being Raggedy Ann, Wonder Woman, a Rockette, a bunny, Madonna, a farmer (don't ask-- Guess overalls were all the rage), a flapper, an angel, a dude, and (inexplicably) a member of a lady gang.

Not terribly creative.

You know what else isn't creative?  Cats.

No doubt you will see a minimum of 13 people dressed as cats on this and every Halloween.  Don't be that girl.

Finding a great costume doesn't have to be hard!  Let's face it: Nobody's ever successfully recreated a Halloween makeup tutorial from YouTube anyway.  So being a SnapChat filter, or a sparkly unicorn, or Harley Quinn, or that Dragon Queen from Game of Thrones is off the table.

Looking for costume inspiration?  Never fear!  Here are 7 EASY & FREE things I would be for Halloween, if I got dressed up for Halloween (which I don't).

ALL these things are just laying around my house, and probably yours too...

Why? To appear cooler than I am

What you'll need:
- A pink top & joggers
- Metallic heels
- Pink lip gloss & polish
- Shades & other accessories
- Wine bottle & a wine glass

Why? To be trendy & cuter than a zombie

What you'll need:
- Tight black pants & a black top
- Leather jacket & boots
- Red lips, red nails, and a clutch
- A hair straightener
- A Starbucks cup

Why? To be a retro icon that isn't Wonder Woman

What you'll need:
- A sweaterset (bonus if it's pink) & white pants
- A matching headband & ponytail
- Ballerina flats
- A hair curler
- A black lacy bra (for Dark Betty)

Why? To seem like an ironic hipster

What you'll need:
- A gray sweater & jeans
- Cute flats
- Nail polish (I like Bitter Bitch by Tom Ford)
- A bowl & fork
- A nice salad

Why? Because I'm punny like that

What you'll need:
- A fancy top & skirt (or dress)
- Black heels
- False lashes
- A sign that says "sorry"

Why? Because I'm extremely lazy

What you'll need:
- A jersey & hat from your fave team
- Leggings
- Socks & sneakers
- Nail polish in your team's color for spirit fingers
- 2 pony tail holders for pigtails or braids

Why? Because I can still use cat ears AND eat pizza

What you'll need:
- A gray sweater & black jeans
- Black boots
- Black lipstick & liner for eyes, whiskers & nose
- Cat/Rat ears
- Pizza (improvise if you don't have a slice)

So there you have it.  7 looks you probably already have that won't make you look just like everyone else this Halloween. Or at least not like a cat.

You're welcome.

What are YOUR non-cat costume ideas?