Author Archives: Erin

Westchester Warehouse Sale

Westchester Warehouse Sale

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https://www.instagram.com/914popups/

 

Save the Date for a sale that you won’t want to miss.  On March 14th, 914PopUps is hosting a Westchester Warehouse Sale at The Coliseum in White Plains. Like any other event that 914PopUps puts on, it *will* be incredible. 914PopUps is a retail concept brought to Westchester by two Westchester women, Melissa Tomlin and Sarah Roth.  Think: Indoor Sidewalk Sale.  If you’ve never been to one of these events, here’s what to expect:

  1. The location will be fantastic.  In the past, their events have been held at BLVD in Scarsdale, LifeTime Fitness in White Plains and Chelsea Piers in Stamford.   The venue is always a draw, as it gives something new and different to the guest.  At BLVD, it’s complimentary beauty services and the other facilities offer shoppers a free day pass to try out the facility, so there’s that added value that makes it appealing.  The Coliseum is a beautiful facility for this event.  If nothing else, it’s a perfect time to see the inside and keep it in mind for your future events.
  2. The vendors are always new and different.   We’ve all been to the school and church fundraisers and while they are good events, the vendors tend to be run-of-the-mill.    A little on the functional side, a little more mainstream.  Somehow, Melissa and Sarah carefully curate their events to bring a richer, higher quality vendor to their shoppers.  Some that we might not already be familiar with.  Before speaking with Melissa, I had not known about Fado in Katonah or Quatre Filles in White Plains.  I love their “finds” and enjoy the regulars that I already know and love;  LOLA, Laurie Berg and Three Gems Unlimited.   And, even better, at this event, everything is on SALE! 
  3. There is usually a charity component.  Melissa and Sarah believe in giving back, allowing their shoppers the opportunity to participate in something larger–  The last event supported the Tennis Foundation in Ghana. This event will support SNARR Animal Rescue by allowing shoppers to shop during the VIP Hour by purchasing a $15 ticket in advance.
  4. There’s food.   And it’s good food. Always.  Melissa and Sarah find new Westchester-based restaurants and food vendors to share with their audience.  It’s a win-win, as we’re all happy to learn about a new restaurant in the area.  At this event, The Coliseum menu items will be available for purchase.
  5. There are unique experiences.   Sometimes, there are speakers or wellness coaches.  You *will* learn something new.  You will find out about a beauty treatment that women are fussing over.  You will meet someone new and find a new business to follow on Instagram!   At this event, you can test drive a Maserati.  Or a Volvo SUV.  Talk about a unique experience.  The Premier Collection is a sponsor of this event.
  6.  It’s a feel good (guilt-free) Moms Night Out.   It’s more than martinis and manicures. You can get a few friends together for something other than dinner and drinks.  You leave feeling great, looking great, having supported local, mostly women-owned, Westchester- businesses right here in your own community.

Hope to see you there!   


Guest Blogger:  Jerome Strauss, Drone Photographer

Guest Blogger: Jerome Strauss, Drone Photographer

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Jerome Strauss

Event & Drone Photographer

Born and raised in France, I have lived in the United States for the past 23 years, first in the Midwest, and now in Eastchester, with a one-year stop in Hungary. By day, I specialize in analyzing customer data for some of the world’s biggest brands (Kroger, Home Depot, Macy’s, and now Ralph Lauren). I am also a husband and father of two funny and ever-curious boys (age 7 and 9).

I fell in love with photography the first time I traveled to New York City at age 18, on a summer trip to discover American culture and improve my English. My father let me borrow his fancy Nikon, and even though I knew nothing about aperture or shutter speed back then, several of the pictures I took on that transformative trip are still my favorites, especially the ones I took from the top of the World Trade Center.

When I left my hometown and family in 1996 to go to college in the United States, I didn’t have a very clear idea where my life was headed. I loved to speak English and I had made great friends in this country over my two summer trips, and I was eager to have a chance to live abroad. As it turned out, the U.S. became my permanent home. I met my soulmate during my first month at the university, graduated with her in 1999, and began my career in data analysis. I remained an active photographer through the years, but my photography really picked up when I got my first digital camera, and years later, when my wife got me my first SLR camera for Christmas. I have honed my skills ever since, and about three years ago, I began doing commercial photography, covering events such as birthday parties, baptisms, and small weddings, steadily growing my client base in the New York area through referrals and word of mouth, and then expanding to corporate photography (portraits, company events).

My next transformation as a photographer began when I saw pictures my cousin had taken with his drone. I was immediately fascinated with the point of views he was able to capture with it, and soon after, I purchased my first drone. I immediately fell in love with flying and capturing images that were unlike any other I had taken before. I began taking my drone with me on day trips and hikes and used it whenever possible. I learned quickly, and a few months later, I obtained my license to use my drone for commercial photography.

I think of my drone as a flying camera which allows me to see the world in unique and interesting ways. Whether it’s from a hundred yards up in the sky or just a few feet above, the creative options are nearly endless. In the past two years, I have taken thousands of drone pictures, mostly in Westchester and the Hudson River Valley, but also in France, Israel, England, Germany, and India. I have also added drone photography to my commercial portfolio, blending it with my event photoshoots, but also expanding into projects with realtors, property developers, and luxury hotels.

What do I offer as a photographer? A creative eye, a talent for capturing interesting urban shots and people’s natural expressions, and the inclusion of unique drone shots you won’t get from most photographers. I can help you capture amazing pictures of your home and neighborhood with my drone, or travel to other places you’d like to capture from an aerial point of view. You can check more examples of my work on my website (www.jeromephoto.net) and my Instagram account: @jsdronephotography.

Please contact me at jerome.strauss@gmail.com if you are interested in working with me or would like more information!

 

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Alissa Rubin

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Alissa Rubin

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CBD – The wave of the future.  If you haven’t heard yet…You will!!
CBD is known to balance your body. The benefits are endless but the ones you hear most about help with anxiety, depression, pain, ADHD, eczema, menopause, epilepsy, cancer treatment, and sleep.  Truly the benefits are endless.  I myself, have been taking Kannaway since August and I cannot believe the difference.  I have always suffered from severe anxiety and would do anything to feel better.  This helped!  Not in 5 minutes like a pill would but over a few weeks, you start to feel like yourself again, like you haven’t felt in years.  For me, it has also helped with my hormones during different times of the month and even my sex drive.  I cannot stress enough how these cannabinoids are needed in everyone’s bodies.  This is not an overnight fix but I promise you, the effects are life-changing.
The difference between Kannaway and other brands are that Kannaway is grown and shipped from Europe, which means there are no GMO’s or pesticides in the ground where they are grown.  Yes, you can now buy CBD anywhere but you are ingesting this in your body and you should know what is in the product and how much CBD you are actually getting.  Remember none of these products are approved by the FDA, so anyone can put anything on the bottle.  Kannaway also trades under the company Medial Marijuana on the NASDAQ as symbol MJNA so they must have full transparency of their products.  
I am happy to help anyone with ordering, how much to take, what to take and just be a guide in feeling your best!!  
Here is my link feel free to reach out anytime!!
Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Rachel Chan

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Rachel Chan

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Each month we feature a woman in Westchester who falls into one of our preferred categories:  eat, shop or play.  This month we are featuring someone who falls into the “play” category, mostly for kids.  Rachel Chan is certainly our youngest Westchester Woman Wednesday yet.  She’s 23, a Westchester native and she’s the founder of the Westchester Gaming League.

I met Rachel this fall when I signed my son up for the Fortnite League at the Microsoft Store in The Westchester.  A few days after I registered him, the doorbell rang and she was there to deliver a t-shirt and Fortnite themed treats for him.  I asked her if she worked at the Fortnite program and was shocked when she replied, “I’m the founder.”

WHAT?   You’re practically a teenager!    To my surprise, she’s so much more than a teenager and gamer.  Rachel is a Tarrytown native, having attended The Hackley School and the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in computer science and math.  She now splits her time between Westchester and midtown, as her full time/day job is in tech consulting in Manhattan.

About a year ago, she met her mentor, who introduced her to the world of entrepreneurship and planted the initial concept for the league.   After spending hours and hours researching how gaming leagues worked (combined with the popularity of Fortnite) the idea came to life and she began registering students for classes at The Westchester this fall.   For Rachel, it was important to create a community where kids could have fun and foster in-person relationships.

Working with Microsoft as a sponsor was a win-win-win.   Microsoft gets the traffic into their stores, Rachel fills the classes (estimating 60 kids per weekend!)  and The Westchester, gets shoppers into the mall each week. I have not been into The Westchester on a weekly basis for YEARS– but for the past 8 weeks, I walked in and shopped in the stores and enjoyed dinners with my husband and daughter while my son attended classes.   I won’t disclose the dollars spent during these eight weeks, but if not for this league, those dollars might have been spent online or in other retail stores.

Here are Rachel’s top choices for places to eat/shop/play in Westchester:

Eat
Favorite Salad: Lefteris Gyro, Tarrytown
Favorite Pizza: Wood and Fire, Pleasantville
Favorite Sushi: Kyo Sushi, Hartsdale
Favorite French Onion Soup: JP Doyles, Sleepy Hollow
Favorite Wings: SmokeHouse Tailgate Grill, Mamaroneck
Favorite Ice Cream: Main Street Sweets, Tarrytown
Shop
Favorite Store: Lush in the Westchester Mall
Favorite Apparel Store: Century 21 in Yonkers
Socialize
Favorite Coffee Shop: Coffee Labs, Tarrytown

 

Follow Westchester Gaming League online now:  

Instagram for the league
@nygamingleague
If interested in signing up for the Winter session, beginning on January 18th, follow the link below.

Winter Registration is open now.  To sign up, click here

Westchester’s Winter Wonderland

Westchester’s Winter Wonderland

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If you’re looking for a fun family day in Westchester, check out the Winter Wonderland at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla.   In it’s fifth year, they have added lots of new things for this season.    I’m guilty of always thinking the only holiday fun is in the city;  but promised myself I would check this one out this year.   Great job on this event, Westchester County!   

Here’s what you can expect at the Winter Wonderland:

The Winter Wonderland Holiday Circus

Join us each night under the big top. Winter Wonderland Holiday Circus is great fun for all ages.

Show times are:

  • Weekdays and Sundays – 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.
  • Fridays and Saturdays – 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m.

 

Magic Shows

The dining tent is home to the new magic show that everyone can enjoy while warming up and eating food from the food trucks. Schedule: 5:45 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7:45 p.m.

FUNderland Village

Our new FUNderland Village features 10 rides and four games and a new train ride that circles the light show. You can hop on the Winter Hay Ride as it takes you up close to the base of the Kensico Dam. Your admission price covers unlimited rides.

The Santa Experience

One of our most popular features is the Santa Experience where children and their families have the opportunity to meet Santa himself and take their own photos! The Santa Experience gives children the chance to share their wish list while making a lasting memory of a lifetime. Expect to see surprise guests too!

Outdoor Ice Rink

Your admission price includes unlimited skating (with skates included) on our spectacular outdoor ice rink. Skate against the backdrop of beautiful Kensico Dam Plaza and twinkling lights all around. Lace up and enjoy one of Westchester’s only outdoor ice skating rinks.

Musical Light Show

Bigger and brighter LED lights magically light up illuminate the night, choreographed to favorite holiday music. Walk or take a train ride around the triangle to get the full experience!

Family New Year’s Eve Party

Join the celebration on Monday, December 31. The gates open at 5 p.m. Pyrotechnic show and ball drop starts at 7 p.m.

Your pay-one-price admission of $20 includes unlimited visits with Santa, skating, Holiday Circus, FUNderland Village, our spectacular light show and more.  Buy dinner or a snack, a warm beverage at a selection of food trucks and vendors, and warm up in the Holiday Spirits warming tent.  Parking is free.

Guest Blogger:  Peach Stylist Danielle Dachik

Guest Blogger: Peach Stylist Danielle Dachik

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I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger for Emma Westchester this month.   I’m an elementary school teacher and a Peach stylist– and I want to share this amazing brand with Westchester Women. 

“Trust yourself!”      

“Go for it!”     

“You can do it!”

These are a few of the sayings I use daily with my students.

My name is Danielle Dachik.  After teaching for more than 20 years, my goal with the children I work with is this: be sure they feel confident being themselves, taking risks, and knowing their worth.

Children at a young age have so much enthusiasm and confidence when they are a part of a nurturing and uplifting environment. I am sure adults aren’t much different. Twenty years of teaching has proven to me that we all thrive in a positive and supportive environment. It is this idea as a teacher that inspired me to become a Peach stylist!  

Peach is a company dedicated to helping women thrive and elevate their lives every day. Whether going to the gym or work, lounging, or going out for a night of fun, our clothing can take you through it all! We are a company looking to lift each other up! That culture of positivity is contagious!

BE PART OF SOMETHING BIG.


ELEVATED STYLE AND A CARING COMMUNITY OF WOMEN HELPING WOMEN.

I couldn’t resist being a part of this company that seeks to empower women with clothing that looks and feels amazing. Our designs are truly meant for every woman.

There are several ways to participate in our Peach mission!

  • Let me help you find the perfect piece or two to try our Peach products as one of our valued customers.
  • Host a trunk show to bring our products to your friends. Shopping at home and together is such a fun experience. Free shopping credits are always a fun benefit for our hostesses!
  • There is also a huge opportunity in joining this company as a stylist. We want to share our wonderful products and find women who believe in our culture of positivity. Get paid to wear and share our clothing and mission.  Our discounts and commissions for stylists are exceptional!

Are you ready to live your best life? Join us in our mission.  Whether participating as a customer, a party hostess, or a stylist, women benefit from the contagious culture of positivity!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me help you in whatever way you want!

https://www.discoverpeach.com/s/danielled4

Recipe: PB&J Smoothies

Recipe: PB&J Smoothies

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The ultimate comfort food—Peanut Butter & Jelly!  What is it about this classic combination that feeds the body and soul? This nostalgic slice of Americana just never goes out of style. The average child will eat 1,500 peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches before he or she graduates high school. What?!?  That’s a lot of peanut butter!

Feel good about the peanut butter that you are feeding your family by making the switch to PBfit.  With 87% less fat than traditional peanut butter and 1/3 the calories, all natural PBfit will make this traditional combination healthier and even more delicious than ever.

Now you can enjoy this American classic for breakfast with a quick and convenient smoothie.  Whip this up for breakfast for the whole family.  Mom and Dad will be transported back to their childhood and the kiddos will ask for this healthy and filling breakfast every morning.  At only 300 calories with an impressive 13 grams of protein, start your day off with a healthy smoothie that truly satisfies!

Including a recipe below, but you can find dozens more here.

 

 

PBfit & Jelly Smoothie

(Ditch the bread for your next PB&J!)

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blackberries & strawberries)
  • 4 Tbsp PBfit
  • 1/3 cup milk or milk substitute
  • 1 Tbsp honey (or other sweetener)

Add all the ingredients into the blender and blend until desired consistency.

 

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Nicole Steinthal

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Nicole Steinthal

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This month’s Westchester Woman Wednesday is Nicole Steinthal.   She’s a lifestyle blogger as well and she’s got one foot in Westchester and one foot in Greenwich.  She’s a supermom to her college-aged son, TJ and two daughters, Daisy and Peyton.   She posts on her blog daily and covers topics related to fashion, dining, entertaining.  Her blog is called NS Lifestyles and while it is kind of like our “eat/shop/play” posts, it’s another level!   She posts recipes that she uses, gives her rundown of recommendations at HomeGoods and organizes group outings of 40-50 people to Broadway shows monthly.   I will include some favorite posts below.

Nicole’s December Broadway Outing:

http://www.nslifestyles.com/2018/09/our-december-show-is-harper-lees-global.html

Trader Joe’s Favorites:

http://www.nslifestyles.com/2018/09/trader-joes-favorites.html

Fall Decorating Ideas: 

http://www.nslifestyles.com/2018/09/neutral-decorating-for-fall.html

Home Goods Roundup: 

http://www.nslifestyles.com/2018/08/home-good-round-up.html

When I was thinking about how to properly interview Nicole, I thought, let’s keep this totally natural.  When scrolling through my recent texts, I realized how we go back and forth.   One day recently, I had a car maintenance appointment in Greenwich so I texted her asking her.  “In Greenwich.  Good salad?” and she answered back with a suggestion immediately.  The best was the day at my son’s school book fair when I snuck a pic on my phone of a woman’s purse that I admired.  I did not have the nerve to ask her what brand it was. “Excuse me, I’ve never spoken to you.  What brand is your bag?”   So I snuck a pic sent it to Nicole and within minutes, she replied with links on where to buy the bag!!    Our text chains are so random and while we might not talk or see each other frequently, we pick up where we leave off each timer we do meet up in person.   So her interview is basically her list of favorites, tried and true or what I would call her personal Rolodex for just about anything you could ever want or need!!

Nicole is proof that even when you have older kids, there are always things going on and she’s the kind of person that everyone knows and stops to say hello to!  Each time I’ve met Nicole for lunch in Rye, she seems to know just about everyone– which brings me to how we met, and that’s through Instagram.  We found each other because we were always liking the same things and commenting on the same pictures so the conversation started and we’ve been friends ever since.

In Nicole’s voice from here on:

I am honored that Erin an Shawna consider me a mom “just like us” because I think they are beyond fabulous and I am soooo honored to be picked for their Wednesday girl!!!  This fall marks my 4 year (!!!) blogging anniversary.  As a lifestyle blogger, I’ve seen and tried it all…here are some of my fav’s around Westchester and Beyond…

Salad:   Asian Chicken Salad at The Kneaded Bread – Port Chester
Casual Eatery:   MIX Kitchen – Greenwich healthy lunch spot with quick snacks that make you feel good about what you eat.  I love their greek salad, protein bits, and their gluten-free donuts!!!!
Restaurant for date night and also girls night out:  Le Penguin- Greenwich  The floating Island is my fav dessert ever…
Pizza:   Sals – Mamaroneck HANDS DOWN
Baked Goods:   Sugar Hi -Armonk
Coffee Shop:  CF – Greenwich
Local Deli:   Jerry’s Post Road Market – Rye
Movie Theater:  IPic – Dobby Ferry
Outing: Gallery or Museum tour with Emily McElwreath expert art docent!!!
Hair Salon:  Beauty Box in Rye (ask for Melissa for your color) 
Mani/Pedi:  Coco Nail Salon – Rye Brook
Facial Services/Treatments/Anti-Aging Center: Skin Westchester in Rye
Dermatologist:  Dr. Anetta Ressko – Rye
Laser Hair Removal:  Westchester Laser in Rye Brook
Asian Foot Massage and Reflexology:  Footsie – Mt Kisco
Pharmacy: Rye Beach Pharmacy
Doctor Concierge Service: HealthSapiens 
Best Work Out: Pilates Reformer
Florist: McArdyles Greenwich
Local Artist: Katy Garry Fine Art
Lighting Store: Padto Port Chester
Consignment Shop:  Penny Pincher in Bedford Hills
Fashion Styling and In-Home Consignment Services
SC Style and Cosign
Gourmet Grocery and Wine Shop: Citerella in Greenwich
Ice Cream: Carvel
Interior Design and Staging: Iconic Modern Home
Home Zhusher:  Cricket Burns..using what you already own, your house will be ready to be photographed for a magazine in a few days…Brilliant!!!!!
College Prep:  Carnegie Prep – Greenwich
Personal Shopper:  Monica Naro – Saks Greenwich
Fur Designer:  Linda Richards – NYC & Port Chester
Best Jewelry Selection: Queens Antiques
Favorite “Something For Everyone” Shops:
Lola NY – White Plains
Style – Armonk
Anthropologie – White Plains, Greenwich
Zara – Yonkers, Greenwich
Westchester Ninja Warriors

Westchester Ninja Warriors

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This week, we are lucky to have a guest blogger.  His name is Noel Reyes and after talking with him I realized there’s no way I could write this one up on my own.  He’s an accomplished American Ninja Warrior and he’s brought “Westchester Ninja Warriors” to our kids!   We are so lucky to have him and his program here in Westchester.    Here’s what Noel has to say…

https://www.nbc.com/american-ninja-warrior

“I could do that!”

These are very often the words of a soon to be “Ninja”. Just as often, these words are followed by “How do they do that?” or “That’s not as easy as it looks on TV.”

Now you’re hooked. I myself fell victim to the ninja addiction nearly 8 years ago. My name is Noel Reyes. I’m a 34-year-old FDNY firefighter from Brooklyn NY.  I’m also a husband, a father of 4 and since 2012 an American Ninja Warrior.  I have been fortunate enough to compete on seasons 4, 5, 6, and 7 of American Ninja Warrior. I have a season 6 city finals finisher’s badge and a trip to the Las Vegas Finals on my resume. I also competed on season 2 of Team Ninja Warrior where I was wildly successful winning my first 5 races against some of the top names in the sport.

Now I am trying to bring the sport that I love to the people of Westchester. I was lucky enough to team up with The Westchester Gym in Elmsford, NY to design and build “The Ninja Room”. I am happy to be able to provide a fun and unique environment for children and adults alike to explore their physical talents in a new way. With replica obstacles from the hit television show and some original designs as well, ninja hopefuls of all ages can come and train to become their strongest selves ever. For those with just a curiosity to try the obstacles for fun or those with the hopes of one day competing on national television, The Westchester Gym is the perfect place to hone your skills. We provide classes for all ages and skill levels with the curriculum designed and taught by myself with the help of fellow competitors that I have recruited to assist with coaching.

We also provide a fun new atmosphere for birthday parties as well as corporate events and team building seminars. With ninja gyms and leagues popping up across the country the goal is to create an unbeatable force of ninjas to take on teams from other gyms in local competitions. All of this will be done with the intention to prepare our ninjas through hard work and lessons in technique and obstacle fitness to one day compete on, what we call in the ninja community, “THE SHOW.”

Who will join me in jumping, swinging and climbing on the journey to conquer Mount Midoriyama?Links to myself on the Team Ninja Warrior:

https://youtu.be/fuswr0eoPk8
https://youtu.be/gpGIk7DepEo
https://youtu.be/_9r79emMgTI

Gym links:
www.westchesterninjawarriors.com
Instagram: @westchesterninjawarriors
Facebook: @Westchester ninja warriors

http://www.thewestchestergym.com/

Our Etsy Shop

Our Etsy Shop

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Your business isn’t complete until you have a website;  And Facebook page, a Twitter Account and an Instagram.  A pinboard on Pinterest is on the back burner right now….a YouTube Channel is likely NEVER going to happen, a podcast is in our near future (yes, we have this in the works) and we’ve just opened our Etsy Shop.   Just when we catch up, the next big thing happens.  Let’s enjoy this for a while.  Here’s the link to our Etsy Shop.   Yay!!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/EmmaWestchester

Simply click the link to see this screen appear.   We’ve got mugs, tees & journals so far.

***The women’s tees run small, sort of “junior sizing” so I suggest sizing up on these.   The unisex cut is a little more forgiving…..wider arms and fuller at the bottom.  ***

MUST give credit to our graphic designer Cassandra Caruso for making this all possible.  From the logo to the products, she’s helped us figure out what we wanted.   Our love for Cassandra started in early 2017 when we asked her to be our FIRST Westchester Woman Wednesday

Here’s the background on who Cassandra is and what she can do for you! 

http://www.emmawestchester.com/2017/02/01/westchester-woman-wednesday-meet-cassandra-caruso/

Shawna’s article focuses more on what Cassandra can do for your business!  (see our avatars below!)  

 http://www.emmawestchester.com/2018/08/15/hello-beyouteefull-designs-by-cassandra-caruso/ 

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Kimberly Giannelli

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Kimberly Giannelli

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Earlier this week, I had my monthly in-person meeting/interview with this month’s Westchester Woman Wednesday choice, Kim Giannelli. I usually do my best to fit the person’s schedule and honor their restaurant (and meal) of choice. For some women, lunch is easier; for others, getting away mid-day is hard and they prefer dinner.

Kim chose dinner. At Playa Bowls in Bronxville. Not exactly what this mom would consider a great place for dinner, but off I went to meet Kim, with my 12-year-old, who happens to adore Kim almost as much as she does Playa Bowls. Three hours later, our conversation ended. The store was closing up and we had completely lost track of time, talking about just about every single topic, from her work, of course, the eat/shop/play topics, dancing, NYC, Playa Bowls, her dog Penelope and more. I almost don’t even know where to begin.

First- Who is she? Kim is a thirty-something who has figured out a way to achieve balance by doing all of the things she loves. I consider this the definition of success. She’s a lifelong dancer/ballerina, the VP of a boutique PR firm and she’s mom to Penelope, her French Bulldog. Besides these three very time-consuming roles, she works on lots of other creative projects with children; from private dance lessons in Scarsdale, producing musicals with Young at Arts in Bronxville and choreographing dances with Jazz Co in Eastchester. Those are just a few of her small projects.

I must mention that in our 3-hour chat, almost every group of kids and moms stopped to say hello to her, as she has worked with them in one way or another. I observed her interactions with the kids each time and noticed that they were so interested in what she had to say and vice versa. “Are you going back to Young at Arts?” “Will you be dancing at Central Park Dance again this year?” “You were great in hip-hop, but don’t forget how much you loved ballet.” My ulterior motive in bringing my daughter along was in hopes of her giving her some smart advice, which she did, but never did I expect that every tween and teen roaming through Bronxville would receive the same treatment that evening. It was incredible to watch.

A lifelong dancer, Kim finished college and worked in marketing– for Lincoln Center. What’s a better fit for a recent graduate who loves art and theater? After ten years there, her career evolved into public relations. Naturally, she would join In the Lights PR, as they represented many artistic clients that she genuinely understood and loved. It’s clear that Kim is a master at helping businesses and personalities find their story and figure out innovating, interesting and impactful ways to tell them. She’s aware of the shift in the market right now and is enjoying herself in building campaigns that involve PR and social media marketing.

Beyond her impressive resume, Kim is a truly beautiful person. She’s pretty in a way that is different than most. She’s simple, yet edgy. She’s stylish, but she’s bold. She’s unique and she pulls it off perfectly. I had to ask the question that I don’t ask most people. Who inspires her? Her answer: Betsey Johnson. It all made sense. The pops of color, the punk meets glam look, that’s Kim. In talking about Betsey’s style, she shared her story about going to her 70th birthday party and giving her this photo (below) telling her that she had been a creative inspiration for her for so long. Kim shares that same energy and boldness.

It almost seems silly to share Kim’s eat/shop/play favorites after the above paragraphs. Playa Bowls covers eating, most of the above is about her work and talents, so I’m left with shopping and playing. I will end off with her favorite “play” thing, which is her dog Penelope, who she’s currently working on making #InstaFamous. If anyone can do it, it’s Kim!  You can follow Penelope on IG here.

Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up- Book Review

Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up- Book Review

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This is a book I wish my mom had given me at about 12 years old.   Having my own 12-year-old daughter, I am happy to have it so I can educate her in a way she can understand, by reading a book that appears like another girl’s journal.   Over the years, I have bought the dorky books on growing up and bodily changes, only for her to roll her eyes and laugh at the illustrations and eventually say thanks, but no thanks.

The book is called “Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up” and it’s very well done.  (Follow link here– Amazon has some good photos of the inside.)  It helps girls, as well as their moms, get through these tough parent/child topics in a comfortable way.  The book is user-friendly and contains all the secrets, tips and expert advice on the good, the bad and the awkward moments of adolescence.

It’s written in the form of a diary from ‘Camp Silver Moon’ as if the lessons on changes of life are passed down from one group of girls to the next.   There are 9 voices (girls) who share their experiences with everything from menstruation, hygiene, health and of course, crushes.   Luckily there’s a table of contents, so girls can feel free to read it in any order they please!   The voices of each girl are ones girls can relate to and the stories are likely things girls today can relate to as well.

I did snap some photos of the pages to share, only because I know some won’t link to Amazon if they’re reading on a smartphone.  It’s easier to scroll so scroll below to see inside the book.  Not the best quality but you’ll get the idea!

Bunk 9’s Guide to Growing Up:  Secrets, Tips and Expert Advice on the Good, the Bad & the Awkward.

Written by Adah Huchi and Illustrated by Meg Hunt

Buy Links

Workman: https://bit.ly/2nTLleP

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MbrkfN

Barnes and Noble: https://bit.ly/2AZjfph

Books A Million:  https://bit.ly/2M7qe4p

IndieBound:  https://bit.ly/2w0xxjQ

menstruation materials…..
all about bras
crushes…
skin care
Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Shannon, Lori & Christine

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Shannon, Lori & Christine

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I’m thrilled to share this month’s choice for Westchester Woman Wednesday.   In fact, I should say “women” because it’s a trio of talent that has taken The Dance Gallery in Tuckahoe to a new level.   The Dance Gallery had been previously owned by Stephanie Urbina (since 2012) and it was pretty much a one woman show.  In 2018, Shannon DiNota stepped in as the new owner of The Dance Gallery and helping her with the transition are Lori Mortensen and Christine Magliari.  Each one has their own skill set that they bring to the table, but the commonality is their shared vision for the studio.

Besides already having been instructors at The Dance Gallery, they were also parents (one an aunt) of dancers at the studio.  It was a natural move for the three of them to come together and build upon the things that were already great about where they worked and chose to have their daughters (and nieces) dance.  Each brings a different experience;  Shannon is a lifelong dancer who has studied, performed and taught in cities across the US and London. Lori has a music and theater background and is the business manager for the studio. She brings along her communications background and experience. The office manager is Christine, who wears many hats.  She’s an actress, a pilates & yoga instructor, stylist and musical theater instructor.   All three women have ties to the Tuckahoe/Bronxville/Eastchester community and are truly an asset to the young dancers at The Dance Gallery.

Their mission is to offer quality dance instruction by experienced professionals who possess a passion for teaching students of all ages in a disciplined and nurturing environment. The Dance Gallery teaches dance as an art form, emphasizing fundamental technique and diversity of styles including classical ballet, jazz, tap, modern, musical theater and hip-hop.  Since the takeover in early 2018, new programs such as Irish Dance, Bollywood (Indian dance) and Adult Tap Dance classes have been added.

What I love personally is their gentle, yet serious approach. It’s age appropriate and allows girls a safe and comfortable dance environment. It’s a mixture of traditional and “new” which was evident in the June recital.  Some classic ballet pieces, some modern selections and my favorite, the “Annie Fusion” where the younger girls performed Annie’s “It’s a Hard Knock Life” the traditional way (imagine buckets and rags) followed by the older girls who performed the modern version of the same song, with choreography and outfits that were a little more mature.  Everyone gets what they need and everyone leaves happy.

THE DANCE GALLERY is located at The Main Street Depot, 25 Main Street, 2nd Floor, Tuckahoe, NY 10707​​

Phone: (914) 255-4092

Email: ​info@thedancegalleryny.com  

Fall 2018 Class Schedule can be found here.

DGNY bracelets made by Beads by Meg… @beadzbymeg on IG or beadzbymeg.com
L to R- Lori, Shannon and Christine at The Dance Gallery Recital, June 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Links to all Bios can be found here.

The Truth About Hosting an Au Pair

The Truth About Hosting an Au Pair

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I’m a SAHM and I have an au pair.  People ask me, “Why?”   My reply, “Why not?”  When I resigned from teaching full time, I never expected that I would be in the house with my kids 24/7/365, waiting for my husband to get home so I could throw the household responsibilities on him as he walked in the door.  More than ever, I needed a life outside of the home now that I would not be at work, interacting with people, using my lunch hour to run an errand or enjoying five minutes alone in my car.   We decided to hire a part time nanny when my son was born, mainly to deal with the morning madness.  Getting my 4 year old to PreK, with an infant was going to be hard (not impossible) and stress inducing.   Being on a pick up and drop off schedule for school at the same time as an infant’s changing nap schedule was not something I was looking forward to either.   We decided having someone 4-5 hours a day was all we needed.   It gave me a break, helped keep the baby on his routine and allowed my daughter to make it to school on time, fed and prepared each day.  I was happy to food shop alone, get to the gym and enjoy a break before the big one came home and we ran to and from the playground and after school activities, followed by dinner, baths and bedtime.

Fast forward 5 years and it’s kindergarten for my baby.  (Fourth grade for my older child.)  The part time nanny has been with us all these years and she’s ready to start her career after finishing up her schooling.   It was then that I decided to consider hosting an au pair, not because I needed “child care” but I wanted an extra set of hands at home, more of a mother’s helper.   A consistent, reliable mothers helper.  Sure, MOST au pairs are considered for 45 hour a week child care for working parents.  I needed about half of that, but I wanted one consistent person, who knew my children, my household rules and routines, that could be the other adult in the house for when I needed it.  So after a 4-6 week process, we selected our first au pair.   We went with Cultural Care Au Pair, mainly because they had about 50-60 au pairs in my zip code.   

Currently, we are on our third au pair in three years and I truly believe that it’s been a great experience for all.   It wasn’t until the end of this past school year when I discovered my daughter’s memoir writing assignment that I realized how much this has meant to her.   The assignment was to think about three memories that were meaningful to them and describe it.   My daughter (age 12) wrote about meeting our first au pair and “Learning a New Culture.”   I would love to post it, but couldn’t do that to her….as it was likely one of the most personal pieces of writing ever.  She talked about how excited she was to meet her, the things they did together, how she is like a sister to her and how much she learned from her.   In her year with our family, she treated my daughter like a little sister and gave her some wonderful advice on friendships and hard work.  Much of this same advice was given to her by me (her mom) over the years, but if you know tween girls, they believe it when someone other than mom says it!

AP 1 and AP 2 meeting up in Colombia to pass along the AP iPhone!

 

Here are some “truths” about hosting an au pair.   From here on in I will use the abbreviations: AP, HM and HF- au pair, host mom and host family.   The lingo is quite interesting and after three years, we have a good understanding of it.

  1. It’s not a luxury.  It’s actually quite affordable.  It’s assumed by many that live in help is so expensive.  It can be– but with an AP you’re paying a weekly stipend of $200.  Some APs work 20-25 hours a week, some work 45.  Some have 1 child to care for, while others have 4.   It’s the same stipend whether you live in NY, LA, Miami or North Dakota.   The other money that is paid goes to the agency that transports the APs to the US, handles Visas with the Department of State, trains the APs, supports them while here, etc.  It’s bundled into an administrative fee paid directly to the agency that you’re with.  Depending on the agency it’s in the neighborhood of $8,000 per year.   So plan on your 45 hour work week costing around $350-$375 per week more or less.  If you consider day care will cost that for one child, it works out when you have a second or third child factored in.
  2. Your schedule is flexible, unlike any other child care situation.   If your needs change from week to week, you’re able to switch up the schedule as needed.  If you work odd or rotating hours, it works.  You can schedule 3 long days, a weekend day, evening hours or a “split schedule” which is what parents with school aged kids set up.  Morning 7-9am and Afternoons 3-7pm.   When there are changes to the schedule (half days, school breaks, sick kids) you can adjust it, with notice.
  3. Sometimes the AP is your 3rd adult.  Sometimes she’s your 3rd kid.   I mean this in the nicest way.   Our APs have all been trustworthy and responsible.  But at the same time, they have been like an older sister to my two– who were 5 and 9 when we started the program– Now 8 and 12.   Although they have all been in their early 20s, I have made sure to buy them Valentine’s gifts, like I do for the kids, winter boots for the snow, Halloween costumes and more.   The APs are often leaving their family’s home for the first time and still need a mom.  APs refer to moms as the HM, host mom.
  4. It’s good for the marriage.    This should have been #1 and I think my husband would agree.  There’s no “his and her” lists of things to do for the kids.  If he wants to go to the gym after work, I am not telling him he can’t because of homework or showers.   Having a second adult in the house to stay back and shower one kid while I’m out picking up the other from an activity is simpler all around.   I could bring my son to sit outside the dance studio and do his homework while eating an afternoon snack– but having someone home to let him have a quiet house (or a playdate of his own) is a nice option to have too. It doesn’t hurt that we can go out to dinner alone every Thursday and that when I have nights out, I tell him that dinner is in the fridge and the kids are covered!
  5. They don’t clean!   You would not believe how many people ask me this question, so I am including it.   NO.  They aren’t your cleaning person.   They can straighten up the toys or wash the kids clothing but don’t expect a sparkling bathroom.  The way a typical member of a family will load or unload the dishwasher, they can be expected to pitch in and help.  The same goes with cooking.   My au pair can grill hamburgers for the kids or make ravioli for them for dinner– but when we order in, I make sure to get her the dinner she wants too.  So preparing meals for the kids and packing a lunch are OK, but don’t leave a gluten-free cookbook with sticky notes on the pages on the meals you want.   On nights that I cook the full meal, she’s kicking a ball outside with my son and reminding my daughter to get into the shower or pack her school bag for the morning.  Pets are also a no-no.  People do it, but not the responsibility of the AP.
  6. Their lifelong dream isn’t to watch your kids.   This job is a full experience.  Many APs come to the US to learn English, take classes, meet new people from other countries and travel.   This job enables them to achieve a lot of these things.  Most are college educated, even professionals in their home country.   Some use this year as a gap year before starting their studies.  Overall, they have their own wish list while they are here and it’s important to be mindful of this.  They are usually not formally trained to deal with little kids, so they have a lot to learn when they get here.   Again, many are coming from their family home to yours, without living on their own, owning their own car, paying bills, etc.   They intend to do this for a year (the maximum is two years) and pursue their other life goals.  To take it a step further, I might even add that they aren’t here because they have to be.  It’s a decision they make with their family and the family allows them to go and have this experience in the US.   I have found (just in my own experience with APs and their friends) that they come from wonderful families, who value the learning experience and want them to have an opportunity like this- sort of how American families allow their kids to study abroad for a semester.
  7. Your kids will thank you for it.   There’s a lot of benefits for children.  Language is usually the most common interest for the HF.  They want their child to learn from the AP but really the AP learns from the kids.   My children have only a handful of Spanish words after 3 years of Spanish speaking APs.   My kids have asked to see pictures of what it’s like back home, wanted to learn about their families, often FaceTiming with the parents.  We have been unusual in that we’ve hosted some family members and friends over the years and met up on vacation with the families of the APs.   I do not think that’s typical but it’s worked out for us and my children have enjoyed this time more than I ever imagined they would.

 

My kids in Disney. Age 11, 7 and AP, age 22.
Giant Selfie–my kids, my AP, her sister and cousins visiting from Colombia, another Colombian AP friend living in the area w her host kid!
My kids with our 2nd AP and her parents in Mexico. 2017.
My daughter, age 10 in March 2016 with AP and her sister and cousins. Still asking me when we can go to Colombia to visit them. Until then, they communicate on social media.

 

My son (age 8) and our 3rd AP.
My kids in Feb 2018, when we brought our 3rd AP a winter coat at the training school in Tarrytown. AP2 and AP3 had a week overlap with the kids.
Glamping in NYC

Glamping in NYC

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Last weekend, my husband and I visited the brand new Collective Retreats site on Governors Island,  Collective Retreats is known best for their glamorous camping concept.  The company seeks out to find locations where there are no other lodging options available. Governors Island was the perfect place as it’s the only patch of land in NYC without a living space!   I was surprised at how much there was to do on the island.  It’s an amazing day trip for those that believe they’ve covered every square inch of NYC.

Collective Governors Island, one of the higher-end glamping experiences in the area, offers private bathrooms as big as a Manhattan apartment, custom-made furniture, 1,500-thread-count sheets, housekeeping and three meals a day.

Besides loving the island, we loved the experience.   However, it was certainly NOT like being on a camping trip, which suits me fine.  Sure it was quiet, relaxing and peaceful.  But not a bit remote. No worries of even a squirrel running past the tent while you sleep.   If you’re looking for the camping experience, this is certainly not going to give you that feel.  In the evening, when the island is closed and the last ferry has left, it’s nice and quiet.  By morning, you quickly realize…. you’re still in NYC with helicopters buzzing overhead and the Staten Island Ferry passing by.  Constantly.

Meals were better than OK.   A limited menu, but again it was only open for less than 2 weeks.  Breakfast was a continental breakfast and there were choices for dinner; a BBQ box complete with tools and picnic items, or a choice of two menus. Service was somewhat non-existent.  We checked in at the ferry terminal, got our bracelets and tent number and once we arrived on site, we did not encounter staff or fellow guests, other than at the dining tent.  The communication preference seems to be via text, but we did not have a need to utilize that during our stay.  Tents were beautifully furnished with all high end bedding and bath items.   Journey tents are smaller and have a shared bathroom trailer, while Summit tents are larger and have private bathrooms and showers.

Before visiting Governors Island, I checked with fifi+hop for their review.  I’m not going to attempt to write about the island based on my few hours exploring, but I will share some pics of things I enjoyed below!   This article is worth a read, especially if you intend to visit the island with kids.

https://fifiandhop.com/2018/06/12/governors-island-nyc-guide/

I also loved this New York Times article on the Children’s Junkyard Playground.   Worth a read.

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/nyregion/on-governors-island-mountains-of-junk-where-children-find-adventure.html

Visit Collective Retreats online here:

Collective Governors Island 

Our photo gallery:

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Lauren Ferrara

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Lauren Ferrara

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Lauren Ferrara, Precision Spa

We’re slowly getting back into the routine of weekly posts but we never want to miss the chance to highlight a Westchester Woman.    Lauren Ferrara is an aesthetician at Precision Spa in Harrison.

About 18 months ago, I went for a routine brow shaping at a local spa and the aesthetician asked if I had considered microblading.   She herself was not trained, but was considering it because this form of cosmetic tattooing was becoming the craze in Westchester.   After learning more about it (and realizing that my brows were not quite keeping up with my dark hair color) I asked her, “Where’s the best place to have it done?”

Her response, “Precision. It’s like a factory.  They are the best.”

So, I went home and googled it, called and made an appointment for microblading.  At that point, there was a 3-4 month wait.  I was placed on a cancellation list and I was called early, about 5-6 weeks later.   I was greeted by Lauren, who spent a good two hours with me from start to finish.   Almost a year and half later, my brows are still looking great and I will go for my second treatment in September to avoid having them fade this summer.

Lauren was introduced to Nicole Zillitto, the owner of Precision Spa in early 2016.  She calls Nicole the “pioneer” of microblading in Westchester, which is why she went to her for her own brows in February 2016. By June 2016, Lauren was working alongside her at Precision Spa.  Although Lauren had been working as an aesthetician at another spa, she felt it was an incredible opportunity to work and learn from Nicole.  Lauren’s first customer was her husband, Jesse, who volunteered to be her first microblading client!   Currently, Lauren and Nicole take turns doing brows for each other on their days off.

At Precision, Lauren sees 40-50 clients per week between microblading, brow shaping, tints, lash lifts and facials.   I’ve gone to her for pretty much everything at this point and besides getting exceptional services, Lauren is completely entertaining, genuine and fun to talk to about pretty much anything and everything!   It’s for this reason, that I decided to discuss “eating, shopping, playing in and around Westchester” with her and surprising her with this article today!

She’s not a cook.  Both Lauren and Jesse work long hours and enjoy going out to places like Mason Sandwich Co in Eastchester and Harvest on the Hudson in Hastings.   She’s obsessed with working out at SLT Studio in Scarsdale and enjoys browsing the aisles at Home Goods.  She is a dog mom to her beagle-mix, Rosie.

Follow Lauren on Instagram (by clicking here) or visit Precision Spa online at http://www.precisionspa.org/
Before and After Pics

The stages of microblading.   Before and After, with some steps in between!

 

We’re Back!

We’re Back!

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In case you haven’t noticed, we took a brief hiatus.   At the end of 2017, Shawna and I decided we’d take some time “off” from the blog and resume posts in the new year.  A couple of factors contributed to this decision.  Shawna’s day job was changing and she needed some time to adjust to the newness of it all.   I had a bunch of family issues going on– nothing serious, just things to deal with at home;  changing au pairs, some school issues with my son and extended family members with needs that took some more time than usual. I also had some group outings to plan and organize for my daughter’s social life (Two Girl Scout Community events and two Broadway shows.)  So Shawna resumed her role as F/T working mom and I resumed mine as a crazed SAHM.   The break was a nice time for us to reflect on things that we did well, things we wanted to continue and things we did not want to continue.  The best way to really think is to walk away from something and revisit it with new eyes. Emma Westchester has been a work in progress since 2013 and while 2017 was likely our best year yet, most productive and lucrative, it was a little too much to keep up with!

So we sat down after the first few months “away” and decided:  we want it to be fun again.   So we came up with a new format for ourselves.   Instead of posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays– we will post once a week, only on Wednesdays.  Mondays are the first day back to work after the weekend and everyone is catching up on all things, starting off the work week– and Friday everyone is just “done” and ready for the weekend to focus on family.   Wednesday is the lull, where we you can take a minute for yourself and enjoy a minute at the computer and catch up on all things Westchester, if you’re so inclined.   Starting next week, we will change the newsletter to go out on Wednesdays, maybe even every other Wednesday, so we don’t hit your mailbox too often.   We realize everyone is tired of e-mail.

We’ll still post on things related to eating, shopping & playing in and around Westchester, with or without kids.   We will still post Westchester Woman Wednesday articles.  We will post on things we truly enjoy, as always, because we believe that it’s important to be genuine and authentic.  We won’t post about something we haven’t tried ourselves or something we wouldn’t do on our own, as we have always done.  We’ll continue to stay true to our core mission.   While we’ve been happy to share things for some people, we can’t share one 5K event and not another– or one Charity Shopping event and not another.  So we’ll have to learn to say “no” once in a while.  We’re going to cut out the extra stuff on the site and live by the “Less is More” rule and we’ll practice what we preach each day.

Here’s to “Year 6” of Emma Westchester– keeping it honest and real– and maintaining a work/life/balance for these two moms.  🙂

 

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Diane Clehane

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Diane Clehane

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With the Royal Wedding just a few days away, I felt that this week was the perfect time to feature, Westchester’s own, Diane Clehane.  Well, I still consider her a Westchester woman. I met Diane about 12-13 years ago when she was living in Scarsdale, her home for about 20 years. She moved to Greenwich a few years back, but is back in town regularly for work meetings, hair appointments and lunches at the Scarsdale Metro Diner.   We’ve been Facebook friends for a number of years and when she writes about the Royal Family, I really feel like I am hearing the honest truth, because she’s truly an expert on them.   Her two novels, both about Diana and her numerous articles about the Royal Wedding can be found below.

Diane Clehane is a New York Times best-selling author and award-winning journalist who has reported on and written about the lives of some of the world’s most intriguing people for Vanity Fair, Forbes, People and many other national publications. Her new book, “Imagining Diana,” (<–link to download) imagines what Princess Diana’s life would have been like if she survived the crash. The book has garnered a wave of media coverage in international outlets including The New York Times and The Daily Mail. People.com called this novel “one of the best books on Diana.” Diane is a well respected commentator on popular culture and expert on Britain’s royal family. In fact, she has been cited as an authority on a variety of topics in outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, WWD and Harper’s Bazaar.

Most recently, she’s been contributing to a lot of news outlets for readers who want to know every latest happening as we lead up to the Royal Wedding this Saturday.

 

DIANA:  The Secrets of Her Style and Imagining Diana are available by clicking on these hyperlinks.

Published in 2018, available for download
A best seller– available for purchase

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re interested in binge reading some recent stories about the Royal Wedding, The Best Life Online and MSN have picked up some of Diane’s articles.   

***A total aside….Not royal related….I enjoyed following Diane’s coverage (and honest criticism) of the American Girl Doll collections in recent years.   The article below is a 3-in-1, so make sure to click on the hyperlinks inside the article to get the full story:  http://www.dianeclehane.com/2016/07/american-girl-introduces-new-dolls-that_87.html 
She’s a wonderful writer, dedicated mother and wife and we’re happy to have such a valuable resource here in Westchester…..OK, Greenwich.

And a few things we wanted to share, just for fun.  We can partake in the Royal Wedding festivities online here at home.

  1.   If you love Prince Harry and Meghan…..join this Facebook Group.   I especially like the rules for this group– not that any of this needs to be said, but you know….it’s Facebook.

*No negative comments about Meghan or Harry – if you don’t like them as a couple, you should not be in this group
*Posts must be in English (or translated)
*No pictures of Charles/Camilla – and no bashing them or other royals
*No blocking admins
*No fighting and certainly no defaming/cursing at other members
*No racism/no politicizing (including no using the term fake news)
*memes/pictures/comments that feature other royals and not Harry/Meghan
(much less those that feature something totally unrelated) should be featured on a different page
*Close to saying no cursing — please be mindful, careful, minimal with cursing

2.   If you want to find out what your Royal title would be…This was Shawna’s idea– to include this quiz!   Find your Royal Title.  We can all pretend for this weekend.  🙂

3.  If you’re looking for details on the timeline of events for Saturday. 

 

 

GRAZE NEW YORK

GRAZE NEW YORK

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(Sponsored Post)

As you know, Shawna and I enjoy hosting and attending parties.   I usually enjoy being the hostess and Shawna’s more the “What can I bring?” partygoer.   When we both find something that we love, that suits our very different personality styles, it becomes an Emma Westchester story.  We want you all to know what graze boards are and we think everyone can find a reason to order one.

First and foremost, it’s an art form.  All food boards are created by founder (and Westchester mom) Shari Ivler.   Graze boards end up looking like they’re fake because they’re almost too pretty to eat.   The breakfast board contains fresh fruit, mini croissants, cinnamon rolls, mini muffins, cheese and jam.  There are bread boards, with assorted bread, breadsticks and crackers, topped off with some garnish or a flower for decoration.   The meat and cheese boards contain cured meats and artisanal cheeses, fruit, nuts and crackers.  Crudité boards contain locally sourced vegetables with hummus.  My personal favorite is of course, the dessert board because it’s (kind of) guilt-free with some dried fruit, some sliced fresh fruit and a healthy amount of chocolate.   Boards are available in three sizes (small, medium and large) depending on the number of people you’re intending to serve.  

So….pricing.  It’s always the question people have.  Sure that looks great but how much does it cost?   Well, less than sending a fruit basket or fruit flower arrangement through an online delivery service.  Less than one would spend on a Harry and David gift basket. To me, those food baskets are not really a good value or “sum of its parts.” (Paying $59 for 5-6 apples and a box of crackers isn’t a good value to me.)  In a way, I feel like Shari is a personal shopper for healthy food items combined with an artist/chef who puts it all together.  Way better than I could ever do and a great value.  To top it off, you get to keep the board, in case you’re inspired to create your own board.  Or if you’re like me, you’ll keep ordering.   Prices begin at $75 per board.  More on pricing here.

Each board is wrapped in cellophane and safely delivered to points in Westchester or NYC. (see below).  Graze boards are ideal for book club gatherings, hostess gifts, neighborhood get togethers or picnics!   Shawna and I decided we’d surprise our kids middle school teachers with them this week for Teacher Appreciation Day.  Sure not to disappoint, give them a try– tell Shari we sent you!    


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note that all boards include nuts.  If there are any allergies, Graze is happy to accommodate.  Graze New York offers Free Pick-Up & Delivery Options:  $10 within 10-miles of 10804; $25 delivery over 10-miles with a minimum order of $125.