Author Archives: Erin

Glamping in NYC

Glamping in NYC

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***Original Posting, July 11, 2018.   Reposting June 2019.***

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:

Alamo Kids Camp:  Choose Your Ticket Price

Alamo Kids Camp: Choose Your Ticket Price

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It’s officially summer. I start off each year with a list of things to do with my kids and find myself scrambling in late August trying to accomplish everything I had planned. Both of my kids are enrolled in camp but are already asking to skip some days. My rule is that if they skip, we need to go on a mommy field trip. I have compiled a pretty lengthy list of things to do this summer. Most are somewhat educational, a little further from home. Others are local and a little easier to accomplish.

We’ll certainly take advantage of the Kids Camp this summer at the Alamo Drafthouse in Yonkers. Alamo is perfect for rainy days and the price is right, giving families the option to choose their ticket price. Read below to see how Alamo supports local nonprofits; Very happy to see that this summer, Alamo Yonkers has chosen Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson and The Hudson River Museum. (cheering!)

All summer long, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is hosting Alamo Kids Camp, where families can choose the price they pay to see their favorite family-friendly films on the big screen and give back to the local community all at the same time. Guests choose their ticket price of $1, $3 or $5, with all of the ticket sales donated to local nonprofits designated by each Alamo Drafthouse location. Since 2015, the Alamo Kids Camp program has sent nearly $500,000 back into local communities, with more than $150,000 raised last summer alone!
Alamo Kids Camp movies are shown daily, Monday through Friday, during matinee hours. Most Alamo Kids Camp screenings are for kids ages 3 and up, but some locations are All Ages. Check
drafthouse.com/family for all things Alamo Family – local policies, full Alamo Kids Camp schedules, fun activities, and more!

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 Family Party at The Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane location in Austin, Texas. / Photo by www.hlkfotos.com

ALAMO KIDS CAMP Summer 2019 Lineup

Alamo Kids Camp / July

  • KUNG FU PANDA
  • MADAGASCAR
  • WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT
  • THE NEVERENDING STORY

Also watch out for:

PBS Kids at the Alamo: Title TBD!Stay tooned.

THE LION KING Family Party Oh, you know we’re doing a Family Party for the biggest Disney live-action remake ever. Tickets will be going up soon.

Alamo Kids Camp / August

  • THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER
  • CASPER
  • THE LEGO MOVIE
  • TEEN TITANS GO! TO THE MOVIES

Other August fun at Alamo Drafthouse

THE IRON GIANT Movie Party: This is one of the greatest movies ever made, and you’ve gotta come to this interactive 20th-anniversary celebration.

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 Family Party at The Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane location in Austin, Texas. / Photo by www.hlkfotos.com

ALAMO KIDS CLUB

In addition to Alamo Kids Camp, kids between the ages of 3 and 13 can join Alamo Kids Club. Members of Alamo Kids Club receive a sticker each time they see a film at Alamo Drafthouse and earn prizes such as free snacks, plush toys, and more as they collect more stickers. To join, visit the theater box office or ask a server for an Alamo Kids Club prize book. Then visit drafthouse.com/family to register the book.

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Sheila Rodriguez

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Sheila Rodriguez

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I met Sheila a couple of months ago at a Westchester Blogger Babes event hosted by Bloomingdales. Sheila goes by Shey (pronounced “Shay”) and has a beauty blog, Glam By Shey. She shares fashion and beauty tips & products with her readers.

Her outfit choices are unique and when I asked her about it, she taught me a new term: Garconne style (which is French for tomboy) and it’s characterized by mixing masculine and feminine pieces to create a look. She does it well as you can see in her photos below.

Shey was happy to share her top five beauty tips with us. Many of these tips have already been shared on her blog or in a video format on YouTube. I’ve taken the links and included them below so you can access them quickly and easily. From this point on, I’ve kept Shey’s “voice” so as not to rewrite her tips. She does a great job of sharing them so here’s what she has to say:

Shey’s Top 5 Beauty Tips:

  1. Lash extensions are great for any time of the year really, but in the summertime, they are a must-have. Summer days are meant to enjoy and not worry about wearing waterproof mascara at the beach or pool with lash extensions you won’t need to. Lash extensions also make your makeup routine easier because you feel glammed up by having them. All you to need in the morning is some tinted moisturizer, bronzer, lipstick and you are out the door, feeling glam. If you never had lash extensions and want to know more, click the video to see my amazing experience at Iconic Lash Lounge, the best in Westchester!

2. In the summer we are out in the sun a lot so sunscreen is a must! I really like the sun-defying sunscreen oil with SPF 50 by Supergroup because it’s nothing like I have ever used before. I like how shiny it makes my legs and arms look when I am at the beach or pool. Even though it’s an oil, it’s not greasy. It has meadow seed oil which is rich in fatty acids and tocopherols. These ingredients help prevent moisture loss and leave skin soft and supple. I use it on my body only. For my face, I use their Everyday Sunscreen with SPF 50 which does not feel like sunscreen at all and works well under makeup!

3. Speaking of being in the sun a lot, if you don’t want to be in the sun but still want a tan or a sun-kissed look. Or maybe you are going somewhere tropical and want to have a base tan before going, then a spray tan is a must! I would suggest Tropea tans, which is a custom airbrush spray tanning service in Westchester. They use only a vegan and chemical free solution, so it’s perfect if you have sensitive skin. If you want to find out more check out the YouTube video I created with helpful tips to prepare before and after the spray tan.

4. Taking care of your skin is so important, especially during the summer months when we tend to wash our face more. My favorite cleanser that I have been using for over 4 years, is Simple foaming cleanser. I have combination to oily skin so I love how it makes my skin feel clean without feeling dry. Simple products are made without dyes, perfumes, or harsh chemicals that can upset the skin. You can buy it at your local drug store for under 10 bucks!


5. My last summer must-have is a summer haircut that works with your hair natural texture, especially if you have curly or wavy hair. In the summertime, I try not to blow dry my hair because with the heat the last thing I want to do is blow hot hair on myself with a blow dryer lol. Vaza hair salon in Ossining specializes in curly cuts. I had my hair cut there before and really liked how my hair looked whenever I air dried it. The salon also shows you how to properly care and style your natural waves or curls! Vaza Hair Salon is listed on my list of the “Top 5 Beauty Salons in Westchester” blog post found below.

You can follow Shey online at http://www.glambyshey.com on YouTube or on Instagram at @glambyshey

Homepaired:  Live-in childcare reinvented

Homepaired: Live-in childcare reinvented

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The only online marketplace connecting families with American students

If you have followed me long enough, you know that I’ve hosted au pairs for the past 4 years. I have loved the cultural exchange and I feel that my kids have learned SO much about geography, language and culture over the years. We’ve had great experiences and some difficult times, but the good has FAR outweighed the bad. Our au pairs have been like family to us and we’ve had wonderful support from Cultural Care since 2015. The program was a win-win, in that we had affordable, flexible, reliable live-in help while giving our au pairs opportunities and experiences they would never have had. Here’s a link to my article from about a year ago: http://www.emmawestchester.com/2018/07/18/the-truth-about-hosting-an-au-pair/

This spring, we decided to exit the program as our needs have changed. Our kids are now 13 and 9 years old (much more independent than at ages 9 and 5) and after years of hosting, they felt it was not fun anymore. My teenager felt like having someone around all the time was “annoying” and my nine-year-old is now able to walk from the bus alone. On the rare cases that I’m not home at the end of the school day, they are OK having a snack and starting their homework independently. It also helped that my other responsibilities lessened over the years (passing of my elderly grandmother, selling an investment property and fewer extracurriculars after school.) It feels like we’re all grown up in my house.

Just this month, a new company launched that caught my attention. It’s called Homepaired and it brings together American students (or college grads) and families looking for live-in childcare. I remember having friends in my twenties who were hired as “nannies” and they were all American girls. They came from more rural parts of the country and enjoyed living and working in Westchester and Fairfield Counties during the week and visiting NYC on weekends. I don’t know how that ended but it seems that Homepaired is bringing that back; connecting American childcare providers with host families who need childcare. You can find Homepaired online by following this link: https://www.homepaired.com/

How is it different than the au pair agencies? First and foremost, the cost. Au pair agencies are governed by the Department of State. They all follow the same rules and guidelines for the most part. What makes this different, is the balance of what the agency makes vs what the child care workers will make.

American childcare workers (homepairs) will make their hourly minimum wage, based on the state they will work in. Currently, in Westchester the minimum wage is $13 per hour. Homepaired will make a lot LESS than the au pair agencies and the homepair will make a lot MORE than an au pair. (Au pairs are paid a weekly stipend of $200) Homepaired will charge a family a finder’s fee of $175 a month, to be paid monthly. That’s a significant savings, as a family pays an au pair agency an upfront fee of $8,000 for their year in the program.

Overall, Homepaired may cost a little more at the end of the week depending on how many hours a family needs; but for a family that wants an experienced driver, with a college degree from the US and no cultural or language barriers to struggle with, the costs might be well worth it. It will come down to what type of help the family really needs, i.e. someone to help with complicated homework assignments as kids school work increases in difficulty.

Homepaired is eager to provide well-paying job opportunities to American citizens the way the Department of State does for non-citizens. Homepaired does not restrict you to one-year placements and makes the process of hiring live-in childcare far simpler and faster than going through an au pair agency– a matter of days, vs. weeks.

***Below is information directly provided by Homepaired for this sponsored post.***

About Homepaired:

Homepaired is the only online marketplace connecting families with American students. We believe that childcare is broken in this country, so we created Homepaired to benefit the well-being of our stakeholders who are working families, mothers/fathers trying to get back to work and students crippled by debt and rising rent.  

“Like many families today, we are both working parents with young children who desperately needed reliable childcare – in-home childcare sounded like a dream! But like many families who investigate au pairs, we found the process lengthy, expensive and filled with barriers (cultural/language). We created Homepaired to benefit the well-being of working families, with a business model that allows live-in childcare to be accessible to more families and allows them to pay a fair, living wage (plus room and board) to the American college students. This transparent marketplace ensures that the development needs of children are matched with the talents of the students who provide it. We believe that childcare is more than just getting the kids fed and dressed for school, that this precious time can be used to inspire, teach, and coach children to succeed in life. We hope you will join our family!”

-Anthea King, Co-founder, Homepaired

www.homepaired.com

(noun)
 
An American student, living “room and board” free with welcoming families, offering next-level care and mentorship to kids
A savvy college student looking to use their skills and talents to save money, build networks and enjoy new and exciting experiences
The smart and ethical alternative to an au pair

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Noreen Bello

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Noreen Bello

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Noreen Bello, fashion influencer
@noreenstrendycorner

Last month, I attended a Westchester Blogger Babes event and met Noreen Bello. She’s a Westchester native and a White Plains mom of three. Like me, she’s a former elementary school teacher who is now home raising her kids and writing a blog. Noreen and I became fast friends.

What struck me at first was the beautiful outfit she had on. I figured she had to be a stylist or fashion blogger. That was a no-brainer. I complimented her outfit and she replied, “Thanks. It’s from Target.” (Yes, the outfit in the photo above is from Target. The bag too I think!) After talking about her blog and her taste, I learned that most of her OOTDs (outfits of the day) are quite affordable.

Her IG page, @noreenstrendycorner shows one beautiful photo after another, where she is dressed in clothing from The Gap, Amazon, Target, Old Navy and other reasonably priced stores. It reminded me of when my grandmother would say, “If you have good taste, you can shop anywhere.” Noreen proves that in her daily posts on Instagram.

In fact, Noreen is a fashion influencer for LIKE to KNOW.it which is the single largest influencer shopping channel and consumer media platform. Here are some of her photos from the site (it’s also an app) that allows users to like and shop the style in the photo.

I met with Noreen earlier this week and she was kind enough to share her Top 5 Spring & Summer Style Tips with us.

  1. Wear floral. It’s in for spring and summer. Not everyone loves floral maxi dresses, so wearing one floral piece is fine. Pair a floral skirt with a solid top or wear a floral blouse with a pair of blue jeans.
  2. Invest in a nice denim jacket. They go with everything and she loves her Banana Republic jacket the most. If you’re not a denim jacket type, a white one will do.
  3. Buy one pair of wide-leg pants. The striped ones are popular right now. They are lightweight and easy for this time of year.
  4. Don’t be scared of a pop of color. Noreen’s personal color of choice is yellow. She wears it year-round and you will see lots of yellow when you check out her photos. In spring and summer, it’s a lemon yellow and in the fall she moves to mustard. But shades of yellow are her thing.
  5. Accessorize your hair. Headbands, barrettes, even scarves are all on trend this season. On the topic of hair, I must mention Noreen’s amazing hair. She has a “beach wave” style that she does with a curling wand. She learned how to do it by watching YouTube videos. Here’s a video that shows how to create the beach wave style. I am trying this tomorrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB0qsfc1CSw

Noreen’s Top 5 Spring + Summer Style Tip Photos

denim jacket & hair accessories
floral blouse
a pop of yellow

I couldn’t leave without asking her about her eat/shop/play favorites in Westchester. She loves Lombardo’s for pizza and salads as well as Bareburger, both in White Plains. For dressing “up” she likes Nordstrom Rack and Lord + Taylor, mainly for dresses and shoes, with brands like TopShop and BCBG being two of her favorites. For play, anything outdoors with her family makes her happy.

You can follow Noreen on her blog http://noreenstrendycorner.com/ on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/noreenstrendycorner/ or on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app by searching Noreen’s Trendy Corner.

My Week on Social Media and Netflix

My Week on Social Media and Netflix

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So last week I had some “elective” surgery. Nothing bad, but it left me resting at home with LOTS of time to spend online. I flipped from one social media account to another, downloaded some apps, binge-watched shows on Netflix and read a few interesting articles. To wrap up the week, and justify the time spent, I will share my “Top 10” of the week when I was glued to my iPad!

# 1, 2 and 3. News articles I came across this week.

Below are links to three articles. The most serious being the articles about people who are in their 40’s not being immune to measles, in need of a booster. Frightening actually. A technology article about the change in the “perfection” aesthetic of Instagram (yay!! authenticity wins!!) and the third is about the downward spiral of one of the first mommy bloggers.

Should You Get a Measles Booster Shot? Here’s What Experts Say

https://news.yahoo.com/measles-booster-shot-apos-experts-165246355.html?ncid=facebook_yahoonewsf_akfmevaatca&fbclid=IwAR12vSRPFt2GKi5iYVeYlc_3raM16lwRRDrT0KyFARS9gatKh-iSt4uO6A4

The Instagram Aesthetic Is Over

The look made famous by the platform just doesn’t resonate anymore.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2019/04/influencers-are-abandoning-instagram-look/587803/

She was the “queen of the mommy bloggers.” Then her life fell apart.

https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/4/25/18512620/dooce-heather-armstrong-depression-valedictorian-of-being-dead

#4 & #5 are Netflix picks. I do love documentaries but I went with easy-to-follow this week. Having been a fan of Big Little Lies, Divorce and other shows about moms in their 30’s and 40’s, I chose two more shows about moms in their 30’s and 40s. Shocker. Both so relatable and well-written!! What I love is that the moms on both shows are moms like us! 🙂

Girlfriends Guide to Divorce Follows a best-selling author of a self-help book series who hides her recent separation as she starts to navigate her life as a single woman in her 40s in Los Angeles.

Workin’ Moms on Netflix. Maternity leave is over and it’s time for these four moms to return to work while navigating kids, bosses, love and life in modern-day Toronto.

#6 The Royal Baby. I waited all week in hopes of being the first to know about Baby Sussex being born. I now believe that Megan gave birth and they are waiting to announce. I got tired of the reports on some of the “royal” pages I follow, saying that there were reports of an ambulance at Prince Harry’s residence and signs of the Queen visiting their home. I was glad that Harry canceled his trip and wondered what took him so long to do so. Prince or not, he has to be home with his wife and baby! I will just wait and find out when they want us to. In the meantime, here are some cute Harry pics, just because.

#7 is an app called Qeepsake, pronounced “Keepsake.” It’s basically an online baby book, where you fill in memories and entries via text message. Having two kids, ages 9 and 13, I struggle to find a printed photo when I need one and forget having a record of their milestones. With all the technology we have today, I believe we are not recording as well as our mothers did. With Qeepsake, you enter your kids’ names and each DOB and it messages your phone questions about your kids. You can reply to when you have the time. I love being able to save the memory or capture the thought, without writing it down. At some point, I can print out a book with these nice little questions and answers. Check it out here:

#8 YouTube! My kids watch YouTube more than they watch TV episodes. In fact, it’s kind of a news source for my 9 year old. He sees everything on YouTube. He knew about the fires in California last year because he watched videos about it on YouTube. He told me about Prince Harry’s idea to ban Fortnite, after watching a video about it.

This week he shared a video with me by a guy named Lil Dicky. It has such a great message, but it is spoiled by some inappropriate language. Singers like Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Halsey and others sing lines in the song too. Something about it has a Disney quality to it– but I’m still researching it to find out more!

According to the website, LD and super producer Benny Blanco put on their hard hats and reached out to almost every artist they knew. And then they asked those artists to help save the Earth by being in this song and video. Hey, sometimes we forget that celebrities are Earthlings too. And they all love living on this planet just like all of us. So of course they said yes!!  https://welovetheearth.org/

It’s called EARTH and I’m sharing the “clean version” of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2SMvfGe72U

# 9 I bought planters on Wayfair. I don’t take good care of pets or plants. This spring I am going to give it a try. My son and I recently went to a nursery and he loved the plants! I actually felt a little guilty that he has never had the experience. I bought myself some planters to be delivered in time for Mother’s Day so we can have something to take care of together. Check out the nice planters they have on Wayfair: https://www.wayfair.com/outdoor/cat/planters-c489055.html?rtype=9&redir=planter

#10 THIS. I found this graphic on Instagram or Facebook and actually printed it out and hung it on family my bulletin board. My goal for this spring is to slow it down a little, be a little more mindful, grateful and healthier physically as well as mentally.

Trendmat is Open!

Trendmat is Open!

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Trendmat is Westchester’s newest, cutest and smallest shop! Located in Millwood, in an old Fotomat kiosk, it’s filled with all of the trendiest accessories for girls, tweens and women.

Even cuter is Westchester native (and Chappaqua mom) Sarah Shapiro who is the brain behind this operation. She’s recognized that the retail climate is suffering due to the ease of online shopping so she’s keeping her overhead low, offering her items at a fair price point and sharing unique brands with her shoppers.

I visited last week because I had to see what this tiny boutique had to offer and I was not disappointed. I left with fringe for my sneakers, some jewelry items and bag accessories including a new bag strap for an old purse! Because I frequent all of the local spots, I see a lot of the same merchandise. I kept asking, “Where did you find this??” as I browsed these shelves. Most of the local shops don’t have the best items for kids. A lof of the Trendmat items were from the usual trade shows, but the others were local vendors. It’s always nice seeing women supporting other women. My favorite piece was a beaded necklace, made by 100 Percent Beads, a Chappaqua-based business. I expect to see more local collaborations with Trendmat in the coming months.

  • Store Hours 
  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 9:30 – 1:30
  • Wednesday 9:30 – 1:30
  • Thursday 9:30 – 1:30
  • Friday 9:30 – 4:30
  • Saturday 9:30 – 4:30
  • Sunday Closed

You can find Trendmat on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/trend_mat/

If you’re old like me, you can stick with good old Facebook for updates too. https://www.facebook.com/trendmatNY

Happy Shopping! Her real Grand Opening will be on Saturday 4/27!

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.