Friday, March 30, 2012

Style: Crazy for Collegiate Collections

[CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE]

March Madness has almost come to a close...
but why not show your school spirit all year 'round?

There are so many wonderful collegiate collections out there now at all price levels. Whether you're a student or alum, you can find that perfect gift for all occasions! Cheaper options include athletic style apparel from Old Navy (~75 Schools Available; $5.50-23) and bright insulated plastic tumblers sporting your school's patches or graphic designs from Tervis (~270 Schools Available; $13-25) which come with a lifetime guarantee.  More mid-range options include sporty totes, gym bags, panties, and apparel from Victoria's Secret Pink (23 Schools Available Online, 39 Schools Available In-Store; $10.50-74.50) and preppy plaid bags and small accessories like aprons and oven mitts from Pomegranate (6 Schools Available; $12-72).  If you're looking for a great investment gift, check out the Brooks Brothers collection of ties and shirts with your school's insignia (15 Schools Available; $54.75-99.50), Vineyard Vines's ties and tote bags (~48 Schools Available*; $75-95), or Smathers & Branson's stunning collection of small needlepoint items like wallets, belts, coasters, and key fobs (67 Schools Available; $25-165).  If you're looking to be a bit cheeky, Hanky Panky also offers an extensive line of collegiate lingerie (37 Schools Available; $25-53)...

*Vineyard Vines seems to have more schools available at their respective university bookstores. My alma mater does not show up on their website, but I was able to find totes, headbands, ties, and sash belts in the University Shop on campus. Sometimes the schools put in a special order. You can also find some of these items from time to time on Ebay if you're lucky. (See Image Below)

Here are some of my favorite items that I have purchased or given as gifts:
Stanford & Princeton Ties and Stanford Headband (Vineyard Vines), Stanford Tumbler/Cup (Tervis), and Stanford T-Shirt (Old Navy)

Is your favorite collegiate line not on here? 
Please share it with me in the comments below or by sending a tweet to @HauteontheSpot1

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Style: Spring Sales Galore!

Code: SPRINGSALE

Code: MARCH30

Code: PLUS10

No Code, FREE Shipping on Orders $50+


Events: Two Great Charity Events

The Special Olympics New York Junior Committee Hosts...
Stop, Drop, & Donate
Thursday, March 29th, 7-11pm
Dorrian's (1616 Second Avenue at E 84th Street)
Donations Only, No Tickets
Donate HERE or at the event
"Special Olympics empowers children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities including mental retardation, autism, and Down syndrome, through a variety of year-round Olympic-style athletic trainings and competitions and other related programming. Special Olympics New York serves more than 51,000 athletes - 30,000 in New York City alone."


The Chi Omega Alumnae Chapter of New York City Hosts...
Chi Omega's Night Out for Make-A-Wish
Thursday, April 5th, 6:30-9:30pm
Mad River (1442 Third Avenue at E 82nd Street)
in the Upstairs Private Lounge
$10 Cover Charge, Drink & Food Specials
For more info, visit the Facebook Event HERE
100% of the proceeds from the cover charge & tips to guest bartenders will benefit Make-A-Wish
(Clarifying Note: Open to ALL guests regardless of gender, fraternity affiliation, etc)
"Make-A-Wish grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy."

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Events: Meet Ivanka Trump Shopping Event

Ivanka Trump is a rising star in the fashion world. She started off with a fine jewelry collection and has now come out with a fantastic line of handbags, sportswear, and shoes.  I really like the bags and shoes especially, as many of them seem like the perfect styles to take to work.  In celebration of her new collection's release at Lord & Taylor, Ivanka will be making a special guest appearance at their flagship store today. From 7-8pm she will be available to greet customers in person and will be handing out signed sketches to those that make any purchase from her collection.  10% of the sales from tonight's event will benefit the United Nations Foundation's Girl Up Campaign. You can find the store's full details on the event HERE. 

Also, check out Ivanka's lovely welcome video for the event HERE.

The majority of Ivanka Trump's pieces are priced below $200.
Here are some of my favorites:


Can't make it tonight? 

No worries! I've frequently found several of Ivanka Trump's items  from older collections on sale at Macys.com, RueLaLa, OpenSky, and others - so keep an eye out! Additionally, if you like any of my picks above, they will be available at Lord & Taylor and several other fine retailers.

Also, if you hadn't read it yet, I highly recommend Ivanka's book The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life. It's a very easy read and provides simple yet inspirational advice that is especially useful for young women who are interviewing for jobs or who are aspiring entrepreneurs. You can easily pick up the hardcover book for under $5 on Amazon Marketplace HERE.  I have the 2009 edition (pictured left). However, you can also purchase the updated 2010 edition (paperback and with a different cover) from Barnes and Noble for $13 HERE.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Style: Chic in Chambray for $18-90

Chambray (delicate denim) shirts are a hot trend right now.  The great thing about this particular item is that it is so versatile.  It can be layered or paired with a variety of different styles.  It goes especially well with several other trends right now: tribal & ikat prints and jewelry, animal prints, graphic prints, floral prints, and druzy quartz, agate slice & other semi-precious stone jewelry. Chambray can create anything from an earthy safari look to a flowy beach ensemble and is very comfortable for travel.

Here's a variety of chambray shirt designs that won't break the bank:


Pair with (bottoms): tribal & ikat prints, khakis, white/brown/olive green linen, animal prints, graphic prints, floral prints, & different shades of denim
Pair with (outerwear): fringed tan leather, tribal print woolens
Pair with (jewelry): turquoise, hammered silver, geometric designs, tribal designs, leather bands, friendship bracelets, feathers or feather shaped silver, cast leaves or leaf shaped gold or silver, large cuff bracelets, semi-precious stone collar necklaces in rose quartz or shades of green, beige tinted pearl earrings, long strands of large semi-precious stone/metal/wooden beads in neutral colors, tiger's eye, hamsa designs
Pair with (shoes): gladiator sandals, gold thong sandals, ikat or tribal print wedges, animal print loafers or ballet flats, ankle height tan western style boots, hemp lined espadrilles, slip on casual sneakers, boat shoes or topsiders

I personally have the Old Navy $29.94 chambray shirt (pictured above). I absolutely love it! It's great quality and feels so soft. It pairs particularly well with three of my favorite items in my closet right now (all separately, not together): a pair of flowy black & white tribal print shorts I bought years ago at a French Connection sale, a chunky southwestern print long blanket-wrap knit sweater I recently purchased on OldNavy.com, and a pair of linen shorts I recently purchased at the Old Navy store. I also have a great molten gold collar statement necklace from Erwin Pearl that looks great with the shirt's open neckline. 

Purchase my favorite chambray shirt for only $29.94 HERE
If you purchase it today during their special sale, it will be only $23.95 (or $20.95 with a $100 purchase). Enter code: SPRINGSAVE. Shipping is FREE on orders over $50.

What do YOU pair with YOUR chambray shirt?
Let me know in the comments below or send a tweet to @HauteontheSpot1!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Style: Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap, & Piperlime SALE up to 30% Off!

There are some DEEP online discounts this weekend at Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, & Piperlime (20-30% OFF, see details below). Grab them while they last - offers end Monday 3/26/12They have promotions all the time so be sure to sign up for their e-mail listsHowever, I must say I thought their 17% off for St. Patrick's Day was a great deal but I definitely should have waited. This is the best I've seen so far!

A few of my picks from each shop (prices shown are BEFORE the discount):


Click the image to ENLARGE 


Old Navy, Gap, & Banana Rep: 25% Off, 30% Off Orders of $100+
Code: SPRINGSAVE

Piperlime: 20% off
Code: SPRINGSAVE

All Four Sites: EVERYDAY FREE SHIPPING on Orders Over $50

Friday, March 23, 2012

Foodie: Bill's Gay Nineties - Last Night to Visit!

"He says, 'Son, can you play me a memory / I'm not really sure how it goes / But it's sad and it's sweet and I knew it complete / When I wore a younger man's clothes.' / Sing us a song, you're the piano man / Sing us a song tonight / Well, we're in the mood for a melody / And you've got us feelin' alright" - Billy Joel's Piano Man

One of my favorite New York landmarks is definitely the famed piano bar, Bill's Gay Nineties.  The peculiar name actually tells a lot about its history. Bill's celebrates the 1890's (hence "Gay Nineties") and was originally opened by a man named Bill Hardy (a jockey and boxer) in 1924 as a speakeasy. Although a den of nostalgia for the 1890's, the bar had to face the realities of the 1920's. Cara Buckley of The New York Times explains, "There was a lever on the bar that, when pulled, would shuttle bottles of liquor down a chute to a basement pit filled with sand so that the glass would not break. A false brick wall in the basement still opens to a secret room where liquor was kept." 

The bar is currently owned by Barbara Bart Olmsted, the daughter of the man that originally bought the bar from Mr. Hardy in 1965. and the decor strongly reflects the Prohibition Era, with playbills from turn-of-the-century shows and tables and panels where waiters used to stash hidden spirits. The bar is a popular spot for locals seeking after-work drinks to tourists seeking a late night spot after going to the theatre. Patrons of all ages enjoy the beloved piano player on the ground floor (the restaurant is on the upper floor), shouting out song requests and singing along in unison to traditional tunes like "Sweet Caroline" and even melodies geared towards the new generations like Lady Gaga's "Telephone".

Sadly, during these hard economic times, Bill's Gay Nineties is now facing the hardest obstacle in its history - even more difficult than running a bar during the Prohibition Era! The building's owner has refused to renegotiate the bar & restaurant's lease, despite Ms. Olmsted's offer to match any competitor's rent.  So, after nearly 90 years of operation, Bill's Gay Nineties will be forced to shut its doors at 57 East 54th Street. Barbara Olmsted is hopeful that she will be able to find another location nearby and plans to move all of the beloved woodwork and decor.  However, many argue that it will not be the same.  The history and the infamous "ghosts" that created the ambiance of the bar could be lost forever.  Such seems to be the way with many of Manhattan's famed landmarks.  As you may remember, a similar sadness surrounded the closing of historic rock club CBGB's in 2005 as well as more recent closings of New York institutions such as The Plaza Hotel's Oak Room and Elaine's.

Bill's Gay Nineties will be closing its doors TOMORROW. Be sure to stop by this evening for your last chance to see this icon in its original location, with all of the charm that it has to offer! To read the full article about the closing in The New York Times, click HERE.

Have any of your favorite New York institutions closed recently? 
Tell me your memories & stories in the comments below!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Arts: Garden State Film Festival's 10th Year

Asbury Park Press presents
the 10th Annual Garden State Film Festival
Starts TOMORROW!
Thursday, March 22nd - Sunday, March 25th
Asbury Park, NJ


The GSFF is the fastest growing film festival on the East Coast.  The festival attracts an impressive collection of shorts and feature length films from all over the world, representing a variety of genres.  Several are making their US Premieres at the GSFF. Because Asbury Park is famous for its historic music scene, there are also a number of films focusing on music of all genres - anything from rock to jazz. The majority of the films will be screened on Saturday and Sunday. I've checked out the complete film guide and am very impressed with the diversity and caliber of the line-up (and I've been to the Sundance Film Festival & Tribeca Film Festival so I know great festivals when I see them!).

FILMS OF INTEREST:

SATURDAY: DBT (10:30am P3) is a silent short film about today's means of communication in which texting is the only dialogue used in the film; Cultures of Resistance (Noon S31) is an inspiring documentary celebrating groups in Burma, Brazil, Palestine, Lebanon, and several other countries who are standing up to violence and exploitation through many unique forms of artistic expression and creative activism; Admissions (2pm S32) is a short film starring Academy Award Nominee James Cromwell that "[features] an Israeli couple and a Palestinian...set in the Admissions Room for the afterlife."  The film notes explain, "Its purpose is to start a conversation that heals"; Roadmap to Apartheid (2pm S32) is a thought-provoking documentary narrated by Alice Walker, author of The Color PurpleZoltan: The Hungarian Gangster of Love (3:30pm P6) is an absurdist black & white Hungarian comedy short about the Don Juan of a remote Hungarian village; A Dangerous Place (6pm P7) is an action/thriller about an executive at an NJ pharmaceutical plant who begins to suspect that her fellow employees are poisoning people in public because their company makes the antidote; Doorman (6pm B16) is a short film about a Manhattan doorman who is isolated from the world and starts receiving mysterious packages filled with just packing peanuts; KJB - The Book That Changed the World (6pm S34) is a historic documentary starring famed actor John Rhys-Davies that follows the court of King James, the Gunpowder Plot, and all of the crooked and masterly characters that were involved in the events surrounding the 1611 authorized version of The Bible; Theo Fleury: Playing with Fire (6pm B16) is a Canadian documentary in its US Premiere based on the NHL star's tell-all biography of his path to the hall of fame that was ended by his addictions to booze, drugs, and gambling and how he has faces his demons; Busco Empleo/Looking for a Job (8pm O47) is a short Mexican film that will be making its US Premiere and the plot sounds very relevant to our times and uplifting; Danach/Afterwards (8:30pm) is a German drama about an East German father and daughter reunited whose troubled lives have lots of mysteries that are uncovered during their journey to retrieve the girl's grandfather's safety deposit box key; Below Zero (9pm C28) is a Canadian thriller about a screenwriter with writer's block who locks himself in a meat cooler "in order to meet a looming deadline".  This blurs his sense of reality and fiction; A Boy's Life (9pm C28 - same block as Below Zero) is a short film about a boy whose father is away working for the military.  During this time he tries to convince his coping mother that the monsters under his bed are real.

FRIDAY & SUNDAY: Shuffle (Friday, 8:30pm P2) is a fantasy/drama/romance about a man who begins to experience his life out of order - waking up at different ages, days, and years in his life.  The film stars TJ Thyne of TV's hit Bones and the make-up is done by Academy Award Winner Barney BurmanHopelessly in June (Sun, 2:45pm B19) is a feature about a woman from a Southern Baptist family who moves to LA to become a financial analyst.  While there, she falls in love with a successful businessman from an extremely liberal Hollywood family.  The cast includes actors from Spiderman 3UpDeadwoodThe Dark Knight, and There's Something About MaryAdults Only (Sunday, 3pm P11) is a comedy about a forgotten Olympic gold medal gymnast who takes up a job at his brother-in-law's adult video store in order to make ends meet, while concealing his true identity.

TICKETS: A Single Screening Pass ($10) allows you to watch 2 hours worth of films in a single screening block.  A block often consists of a  short film (under 60min), a feature film, and a Q&A session with the filmmakers. Your other ticket options are: Opening Night Cocktail Party ($25), Professional Panel Discussions ($10), Black Tie Awards Dinner ($125), and the Weekend Pass ($45-50, includes everything except the Awards Dinner). The Cocktail Party will be at the Paramount Theatre and the Awards Dinner will be at The Crystal Point Yacht Club in Point Pleasant, NJ.

GETTING THERE: Read the Festival's suggestions HERE. You can take NJ Transit from NY Penn Station to Asbury Park. The ride will be a little under 2 hours (you have to switch in Long Branch) and will only cost you $15 each way for a regular ticket or $6.75 if you are a child/senior/disabled.  Show your NJ Transit ticket and get a FREE tote bag with the purchase of a Screening Pass! Theaters are a short taxi ride from the Asbury Park NJ Transit Station. Driving is a bit shorter and cheaper, it takes 1.5 hours and there is $10 all-weekend street parking pass you can get for the festival.  If the day seems too long, make a weekend of it! Asbury Park is just a few short miles from a couple Jersey shore beaches. For a less MTV-style break, I'd recommend popping down to Point Pleasant Beach and visiting Jenkinson's Boardwalk, Surf Taco, and Hoffman's Ice Cream Parlor.  I've done a day trip from Manhattan to Point Pleasant before, it's not a bad drive and just about 20 minutes from Asbury Park. It's a very clean beach that attracts lots of families and a pretty clean-cut crowd. Make sure you have some cash - you'll have to pay small fees for beach parking (around $10) and entry (around $8). If you are an MTV fan, drive a few miles farther south to Seaside Heights to check out your favorite landmarks from the show.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Arts: Orchid Evenings - NY Botanical Garden



Happy first day of Spring, everyone!  The flowers are starting to bloom and it seems that everyone is orchid obsessed these days (myself included)! They are a great staple decoration to brighten up any home and, although I've heard rumors to the contrary, seem fairly difficult to kill.  Trust me, I am about as far away from having a green thumb as humanly possible. While my small flower pot has survived, I can only imagine what it would be like to cultivate a sea of orchids...wouldn't you? Well, now's your chance to see nature's beauty on full display (sans the responsibility)!

Orchid Evenings photo from NYBG.org
Be sure to check out Patrick Blanc's "The Vertical Garden" on display at the New York Botanical Garden (that's the one in The Bronx, not Brooklyn) until April 22nd. It's the nation's largest display of orchids and is supposed to be absolutely breath-taking! In addition, the exhibit will have special "Orchid Evenings" every Saturday until April 22nd and on Friday April 20th. A ticket to "Orchid Evenings" will provide you with a cocktail, DJ performances, special offers from the exhibit's partners, and extended evening access to the garden shop. Click HERE to purchase tickets for "Orchid Evenings" and to view a list of upcoming DJ performances and the partner's offers. The offers include discounts at several NYC restaurants, so you can make a date night of it! There are two entry times each night, 6:30pm or 7:30pm.  Tickets cost $30 for non-members and $20 for members. Ages 21+ only.

Can't make it during a Saturday evening?  There are two 2-for-1 admission deals to see "The Vertical Garden" at any other time.  One deal is offered via NYCGo and is valid until April 1st.  You can view this deal and purchase tickets HERE. The offer can either be redeemed at the box office, or if you visit the NYBG's official website and purchase tickets with the code 9047. The other deal is being offered via Goldstar for $4-10 tickets (i.e. half price).  Right now they have Tues-Fri tickets available for all days up to April 20th on their site. You can view this deal and purchase tickets HERE. However, with Goldstar it is possible you might incur a small processing fee, as they often have for their other events. The exhibit's regular price is: $20 for adults, $18 for students/seniors, $8 for children 2-12, and FREE for children under 2 and members.  FYI: all tickets to the Orchid Show should be equivalent to All-Garden Passes which means you have access to everything else at the NYBG too.

Tips on Getting There: I learned the hard way when I went to the NYBG's Holiday Train Show that you need to be mindful of the Metro North (Harlem Local Line) weekend schedule when planning a visit.  Trains leave from Manhattan's Grand Central and 125th Street Stations, although at some times only once an hour.  However, you can take advantage of the special CityTicket deal on a weekends which will only cost you $3.75 each way! It is available at all ticket windows and machines in the station. You can also take the B/D/4 Subway Trains to NYBG (Bedford Park Boulevard Station); however, it takes a little bit longer and drops you off significantly farther away from the venue...about a 20 minute walk.  Nevertheless, the weather is a lot nicer than it was for the Train Show, so it could be a very pleasant walk! You can find the NYBG's detailed directions HERE.

Still can't make it?
 

FREE Alternatives: Check out the Orchid Show on Pintrest HERE. You can also view BBC's interview of Patrick Blanc HERE...he seems so lively & wildly creative (even down to his blue hair)! Such a fun and agreeable personality.  The video definitely made me smile.

GIFTS: I also highly recommend the NYBG Garden Shop. It's got an amazing selection of gifts - the perfect place for a Mother's Day or Easter gift for your relatives! You can view its (significantly) smaller online shop HERE to find things like the Orchid Show's official book, seedlings, and apparel.  

My personal picks? This mug, notebook, and hand & nail cream:

There's also a sale going on today at daily deal site Beyond the Rack for some fantastic faux potted plants. They can stand alone or you can put them in your favorite decorative pot! Here are my favorite deals from their orchid selection:

Monday, March 19, 2012

Style: Club Monaco Sample Sale Starts Today

Sale items in the Club Monaco Store (facebook.com/clubmonaco)

The Club Monaco Sample Sale starts today and goes until Thursday.  They have "clothing and accessories from the Fall 2011, Holiday 2011, and Spring 2012 collections starting at $1" according to The Vogue City.

According to RackedNY's review, there is nothing over $65 at the sale! Here's the price breakdown on clothes: t-shirts/polos/tanks $10, tops/shorts/skirts $20, pants $25, dresses $30, blazers & jackets $40, coats $50, and leather & suede jackets $65.  In terms of size, they report that most women's clothing is a size M or 6 and men's is a M or 32.
Here's the price breakdown on accessories: candle holders $1, web & nylon belts $2, small accessories/gloves/tights/socks/leather belts/ties $5, books/scarves/hats $10, nylon & canvas bags $20, small leather bags & clutches $30, and large leather bags $50.  


They also report that it's credit card only, no fitting rooms or mirrors, and that everything's a bit of a mess so you'll have to hunt for your finds (and some are quite wrinkly - use your imagination!).  You can read RackedNY's full review including photos HERE.

The sale is open every day from 11am-7pm and is located at 261 West 36th Street between 7th & 8th Avenues, on the 2nd Floor.  It sounds like they'll have an especially good selection of work appropriate sweaters and other clothes as well as some nice small accessories like coin purses.  It doesn't sound like it'd be worth it to hunt if you're looking for clothes and couldn't fit into a women's M or 6.  Since you can't try anything on at the sale, I'd suggest going to a Club Monaco store and trying on a size 6 first.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Foodie: St. Patrick's Day Treats

Here are some simple & cheap treats to celebrate
St. Patty's Day!


If you can't decide what to do or where to go today after having some of these fantastic treats, be sure to check out Time Out's extensive St. Patrick's Day in NYC Guide as well as GuestofaGuest's.  A highlight will definitely be the England vs. Ireland game of the Six Nations Rugby Tournament starting at 1pm EST which should be a lot of fun to watch today!  

To Drink...

FREE Shot of St. Patrick's Emerald Essence at Ayza
Available only on request at Ayza Midtown & West Village March 17th

St. Patrick's Emerald Essence is a green chocolate cocktail - yum!
Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar is one of my favorite spots in NYC.  I love to go there for a tapas-style dinner, sangria, mulled wine, and wine flights.  My favorite dishes are the White Truffle Pizza, Hot Artichoke Hearts w/ Irish Cheddar Cheese & Toasted Pita, and Goat Cheese Brulee Salad with beets and truffle walnut sherry vinaigrette.

Check out Ayza's Blog post on their St. Patrick's Day Shot HERE

I especially love going  to Ayza on Tuesday evenings for Girls Night (FREE chocolate shot & Belgian chocolate covered strawberry).  They also have a Couples Night on Sundays (FREE Jacques Torres truffles, candle-lit tables, rose petals, etc).  If you "like" them on Facebook, you'll also get a voucher for a FREE glass of wine.



Superfruit Skiver 
(Skiver is Irish slang for the person who avoids honest work)
1.5 ounces VeeV Açaí Spirit
Fill with lemonade
Top with your favorite green beer
Lemon or orange wedge, for garnish
Add all ingredients to the mason jar, pack with ice and seal the top.
Shake and enjoy!

[Recipe from the 
Facebook Page of Veev Açaí  Spirit]

~~You can find 9 more festive drink recipes on GuestofaGuest HERE.~~

To Eat...

Traditional Irish Soda Bread
Check out the recipe on my friend Eliza M.'s Blog, "Uptown Nosh", HERE.


And a not so traditional but very cheap option...
FREE Fries at Burger King Served with Heinz St. Paddy's Sauce! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Style: Shades of the Emerald Isles

In celebration of St. Patrick's Day, here are some of my favorite finds that will make everyone else green with envy! With these great prices (everything under $90), you'll definitely save a little green too.

CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE

Find all of these items and more on my "Spring for Green" HavetoHave Page:

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Style: 30% off Banana Republic & Gap Outlets


If you would like me to forward this coupon to you (which requires a section with an individualized barcode), please post your e-mail in the comments below and I will make sure the offer is forwarded to you by Gap/Banana Republic.  The coupon is valid for 30% off at any Gap Outlet or Banana Republic Factory Store this Saturday and Sunday ONLY.

The nearest Gap Outlets to NYC are: Jamaica (Queens), Paramus (NJ), Jersey Gardens at Elizabeth (NJ), Westbury (NY), Watchung (NJ), The Arches at Deer Park (NY), and Woodbury Common at Central Valley (NY).
The nearest Banana Republic Factory Stores are: Jersey Gardens at Elizabeth (NJ), Paramus (NJ), The Arches at Deer Park (NY), and Woodbury Common at Central Valley (NY).

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Events: Two Great Charity Events Under $60

UNICEF Tap Project
A Launch Event for World Water Week
Thursday, March 15th, 8-11pm
Griffin (50 Gansevoort Street between 9th Avenue & Greenwich Street)
Your $40 Ticket Includes: 1 Hour Open Bar, 2 Hour $7 Beer & Wine Special, Hors D'oeuvres*, Silent Auction, Gift Bag, and a Special Guest DJ
Buy your ticket HERE
General Admission: $40, Admission w/ Student ID: $20
"Just $1 provides 40 days of clean water for a child and with your purchase of this $40 all-inclusive launch event ticket you give a child 1,600 days of clean water!"

*Chef Jahangir Mehta will be preparing the hors d'oeuvres.  Not only was he a contestant on Next Iron Chef, but he is also the chef of Graffiti Wine and Food Bar.  I went there with a group of friends and we were all blown away by our selection of tapas / shared small plates and drinks.  If you can't make it to this event, definitely check out Graffiti sometime - I highly recommend it!


The Junior Committee of Cancer Care Hosts...
The 3rd Annual Sweet Charity: Candy for a Cause
Thursday, March 22nd, 7-9pm
Dylan's Candy Bar (1011 Third Avenue at E 60th Street)
Your $55 Ticket Includes: Sweets, Wine, Cocktails, Raffle Prizes*, and Gourmet Cuisine
But your ticket HERE
Advance Tickets (by 3/21 at 5pm): $55, Tickets at the Door: $65
"Cancer Care offers free, professional support for anyone affected by cancer."

*Some of those raffle prizes look especially great - a $500 gift certificate to Juicy Couture, a wine tasting for 10 at AOC Fine Wines ($500 value), a tasting lunch for 4 with wine pairings at Bouley Restaurant ($440 value), two tickets to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, two $500 gift certificates to Marie Robinson Salon, and much more!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Arts: Night at the Museum - Natural History


Do you love museums? And DJs? And dancing & sipping on cocktails?  Look no further than the American Museum of Natural History's legendary parties.  This Friday night (March 16th, 9pm-1am) they'll be featuring two DJ sets by Black Moth Super Rainbow and John Stanier of Battles at "One Step Beyond".  Party access also gives you the opportunity to check out the Rose Center for Earth and Space / Hayden Planetarium on the night of the party, which I highly suggest if you haven't visited it already.  You should also hang on to your party ticket for FREE admission to the American Museum of Natural History & Rose Center at a later date (a $19 value).  There are currently some great exhibits going on there like "Highway of an Empire: The Great Inca Road" and the crowd-pleasing "Butterfly Conservatory" with over 500 live butterflies.

This week Thrillist is offering a special $25 ticket to Friday's party that includes admission through a special Thrillist VIP line and 1 drink of your choice.  Tickets sold directly through the Museum seem to put you in the regular line, possibly without the free drink, for the same price.  No matter how you purchase it, if you use your ticket on a later date for free admission to the museum, the ticket has practically paid for itself!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Foodie: First Ever Chinatown Restaurant Week


Until March 18th participating restaurants will offer both their regular menus plus a special 3-course prix fixe Chinatown Restaurant Week for $18.88 per personYou can visit the official website for Chinatown Restaurant Week HERE.  Here's an interview with a preview of what to expect from each restaurant that was posted by FM News on Not for Tourists.

Participating restaurants include: Asia Roma, Delight 28, Golden Unicorn, Grand Bo Ky Restaurant, Happy Lucky, HK Wonton Garden, Lobster Boat Restaurant, Lucky Plaza Restaurant, Mika Japanese Cuisine and Bar, Nha Trang One Vietnamese Cuisine, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Peking Duck House, Pho Grand, Red Egg, Shanghai Gourmet, West New Malaysia Restaurant, and Xe Lua Vietnamese Restaurant.  So, if Chinese food isn't your favorite, there are also a variety of Japanese, Malaysian, and Vietnamese restaurants involved.
You can view the 
menus for participating restaurants HERE


I've personally been to Red Egg before and highly recommend it for groups.  They usually have wonderful options served Dim Sum style.  It's also just 1 block away from the Grand Street 6 Train. I've also been to Peking Duck House which is a little bit more upscale, so the $18.88 should come out to a pretty good deal.  Although I've never been, I think the Nom Wah Tea Parlor, Lobster Boat Restaurant, and Lucky Plaza Restaurant's menus look pretty delicious too!


Have YOU been to any of the participating restaurants? Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Foodie: Pranna Happy Hour Specials & Gilt City Deal

Photos from GiltCity.com

One of my favorite Happy Hour venues in Manhattan is Pranna (Madison Avenue at E 28th Street).  They offer a fantastic Extended Happy Hour Special from 4-9pm that allows you to get any of their Wok appetizers (Wok Fired Hanger Steak, Basil Wok Chicken, or Wok Fired Tofu) for only $5 with the purchase of one of their special $5 Draught Beers, $6 Bottled Beers, $7 Featured Red/White Wines, or $8 Signature Cocktail of the Day.  All of their drinks are served with FREE freshly baked Naan bread with 2 delicious dipping sauces. I absolutely love their yogurt and coriander sauces - they pair so nicely with a draught beer!  All of their other cocktails are usually $12, but well worth the splurge for a few of them considering the creative ingredients.  Check out the full cocktail menu HERE.  Be sure to drop your business card in their collection bowl to receive a special on future appetizer purchases (I think it was a $10 credit last time I went).

Aside from Happy Hour, Pranna serves as a wonderful restaurant for "Modern Southeast Asian Cooking" with appetizer dishes like Chicken Satay with Red Curry Peanut Sauce, Edamame Falafel with Raita & Curry Flavor Tabouleh, and Spiced Roasted Duck Spring Rolls with Plum Sauce and Cucumber Relish ($8-12).  For entrees, they have favorites such as Chicken Tikka Masala, Drunken Noodles, and Pumpkin Curry ($20-24).  On Thursday-Saturday nights they host a "Late Night Lounge" which serves a largely International and Southeast Asian crowd from what I've heard.

For the next two days you can grab a great deal on Pranna at Gilt City.  For $95 you get a "tasting menu for two, family-style" that includes two welcome cocktails, an amuse-bouche, two appetizers, two entrees, a dessert, and a Pranna VIP member card (entitles you to 15% off future meals + priority reservations).  It's advertised as 40% off an original price of $160.  You can purchase the Gilt City deal HERE.  Depending on what you want, it may or may not be cheaper to purchase the Gilt deal, as some dishes are quite reasonably priced already (especially the appetizers) and you may not want a dessert and/or cocktail.  I think the VIP card might be the biggest draw for the deal because if you love your meal you will definitely come back and use that 15% off!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Style: DVF Vintage Snakeskin Wrap Dress - The Look for Less

This year Diane von Furstenberg recently re-released one of her vintage wrap dress designs from her Spring 1974 collection in honor of the "IMPACT: 50 years of the CFDA" exhibition. The dress is absolutely gorgeous and I highly recommend it as a timeless fashion staple for your closet.  Animal prints are very in right now so you'll definitely have lots of opportunity to wear it this season. However, if you're on a budget I've found a great alternative for you today at RueLaLa that would definitely make you the most chic lady in the office.

The Look...
Limited Edition New Jeanne Two by Diane von Furstenberg
DVF.com, $345
Buy it HERE.
For Less...
Animal Print Faux Wrap Belted Dress by Single in Black
RueLaLa, $79.99 (Orig. $216)
Buy it HERE.
Sale ends in 1 day!

Style: Herve Leger - The Look for as Low as $40!

The Look...
Herve Leger on Saks Fifth Avenue, $1250-1590
For Less...
Herve Leger on Rent the Runway, $100-150 to Rent

Bandage Dresses by French Connection $150-$205

For CHEAP...
Bandage Dresses by Wow Couture on Beyond the Rack, all $39.99 (orig. $80)
Originals at WowCouture.com
Today's Featured Designers & Shops on Twitter: @HerveLegerbyMA, @Saks, @RenttheRunway, @FC_Woman
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