Author Archives: Erin

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!

 

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.

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.  🙂

 

Kids Cooking Co. Winter Classes

Kids Cooking Co. Winter Classes

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The Kids Cooking Co. was founded on the belief that when we teach our children the fundamentals of cooking and give them the time and space to prepare a meal from whole ingredients, we are gifting them something special.  In this fast-paced world we live in, all too often meal time is an after-thought resulting in prepackaged and processed foods on the run.  The Kids Cooking Co. aims to help instill in our young people, a life-long love of learning about what and how they eat.  And we do this in a fun and exciting atmosphere.

The Kids Cooking Co. serves the lower Westchester County NY area offering classes for our school aged children at our Bronxville location.  These classes take place in a commercial kitchen.  For our younger clients, the Kids Cooking co. will come to your preschool and extend the day with cooking enrichment.

 

 

Farmers Markets Move Indoors

Farmers Markets Move Indoors

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(Sponsored Post)

Cold weather doesn’t mean the end of the Farmers Markets.  I’m thrilled that Scarsdale and Pleasantville are moving indoors for the winter months.    Scarsdale just started theirs in the fall, just outside the Harwood Building on Boniface Court.   They will move inside to 24-26 Harwood Court until spring.  Found it to be a little “light” on fresh produce but had some healthy baked goods, prepped meals, pickles, meat and cheese.   My personal favorite is of course the brownies– They have orange flavored brownies!   And I’ve seen H-Mart’s Mozzarella Man there too.  A must try.

Scarsdale Farmers Market, Thursdays 12-7pm

https://villagegreenmarkets.wixsite.com/scarsdalemarket

Pleasantville Farmers Market moved indoors on Saturday, December 2, continuing its service to the community as the largest year-round farmers market in Westchester County.

Opening its 6th indoor season with over 40 vendors, the Market continues to focus on presenting shoppers with the most diverse selection of foods possible, including fresh winter-grown vegetables, humanely raised meats, and regionally sourced prepared foods. The Market is also rich in items stored from the recent outdoor growing season such as crisp apples, squashes, root vegetables, cheeses, honey, preserves and more.

Pleasantville Middle School – 40 Romer Avenue, Pleasantville, NY

8:30am – 1:00pm, Saturdays through March 31

http://pleasantvillefarmersmarket.org/

In all, the Indoor Market features 3 winter-growing produce farms (2 Certified Organic), 1 fruit orchard with crisp apples and fresh ciders, 3 artisan bread bakeries, 4 dairy product vendors with cheeses and butter, 7 meat vendors including fresh seafood, and the Market has prepared foods such as soups, quiches, pies, pickles, sauces, and gluten-free items. The complete vendor roster is posted on the website, along with a map on the site’s homepage that lists the week’s weekly and rotating vendors.

Simply Gather Helps Make Healthy Weeknight Dinners Easier

Simply Gather Helps Make Healthy Weeknight Dinners Easier

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Sponsored Post

December is such a busy time of year – holiday shopping, social commitments, end-of- year work rushes and parent-teacher conferences – it’s hard to fit anything else in the day, including food shopping, meal planning, and cooking lovely family dinners. Fear not(!) as that’s one reason Simply Gather was founded. It’s a hyper-local Westchester meal-kit delivery service that strives to take some stress out of your weeknight dinner routine, and is such a help during extra chaotic times of the year (which lets face it, is just about always today).

Shrimp and Cannellini Bean Bruschetta Toscana

Simply Gather delivers organic meal-kits right to your door, in a reusable tote bag. All their meals can be cooked in 30 minutes or less, and the result is a healthy meal your entire family can eat. Simply-Gather.com has five new meals to choose from every week, including two vegetarian and multiple gluten-free options. Ingredients are locally sourced, pre-measured, and mostly ‘prepped’ for you – a lot of the vegetables come cleaned and cut already, they pick the herbs, chop the garlic – so all you need is a few basic kitchen tools (as noted in each recipe online, like a pot, pan, baking sheet, and olive oil; all stuff you would already have at home). Additionally, Simply Gather partners with local Westchester and tri-state area farms, restaurants and vendors to source ingredients like produce, meat, fish, grains, multigrain pizza crust, bread, tortillas, and whole grain pastas.

Tamari Steak Stir Fry with Noodles and Shoots

Founded by Caren Weintraub, a local Larchmont mom who has two young children, the recipes are all designed to produce two slightly different meals from a single work stream or cooking effort – one for
more grown up palates and the other for pickier eaters. This way you can cook once and get both, a more sophisticated meal for the adults and something simpler for the kids. ‘Kids Kits’ are included with each night’s meals when ordered for kids, and those include extras just for the kids like panko and tartar sauce to kid-friendly that fish filet, or veggie sticks as an alternative to a salad or roasted brussels sprouts.

There are also fun activities to engage the kids while you quickly cook dinner, and keep them from hanging on your ankles or apron strings.

Mediterranean Chicken Quinoa Bowl

We’ve tested the competition, and can tell you that Simply Gather’s low carbon footprint is another major differentiator. There’s no shipping involved, and every week when the meal-kits are delivered, they pick up the tote bag and ice packs from the week before. They use the biodegradable plant-based containers and bags, and if you return any of the packaging items to them they’ll recycle or reuse it for you. And with no shipping, ingredients are really fresh and less jostled by the journey.

 

We all know how important eating dinner together as a family is, and Simply Gather has found a great
twist on helping make that easier – and healthy – for your family.

You can find Simply Gather online at https://simply-gather.myshopify.com/

on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/simply_gather/

or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SimplyGatherFindUs/

 (646) 883-9469

 info@simply-gather.com

10 Gift Ideas for Girls

10 Gift Ideas for Girls

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Each year, I find it more and more difficult to shop for my almost-tween daughter.  She’s only 11, but the average eleven-year-old today has wonderful taste, coupled with no concept of a dollar.   So they want their big ticket items (electronics, laptops, iPhones, FitBit watches, headphones) and then what?  Moms scramble for the “other stuff” to make Christmas morning fun.   The hardest part for me is that the little brother has the giant pile of toys, LEGO sets and trucks, making big sisters pile of accessories and things look pale in comparison.  So mom has to find some cute girl items that they didn’t know they wanted.  Here are my top 10 for this year.

1. Strap-Its Bras and Bra Straps

https://www.strap-its.com/

I found these locally at Three Gems Unlimited in Scarsdale.   My daughter loves hers (looks like this one to the right.)   I found their website and loved their story.

strap-its 

is a collaboration between 

our daughters and ourselves.  

We were tired of seeing our girls going out 

in outfits showing their bra straps.  We knew

there had to be a way to wear fashion with class. 

Searching on the Internet we could not find the kind of 

straps that we envisioned. So, we decided to start designing 

new straps with a bit of edge and sophistication. 

Once we began wearing them, our friends started asking for

them… and so began the story of strap-its…

We hope you wear and enjoy them and share 

strap-its with your daughters,

nieces, and sisters..

xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Fairy Lights

http://www.fairylightsfactory.com/

I came across these at the Winter Village in Bryant Park and struck up a conversation with the owner, a lovely French woman, who lives in Larchmont– Feels like this happens to me everywhere I go- Always a Westchester connection.   I was overwhelmed by the color choices and the sizes and had to come home to measure and look carefully at the color schemes in my daughter’s bedroom so I could place my order online.   I have a bunch of girls to shop for this year (girls who have just about every “in” thing or will have it by Christmas morning) so I have to be creative.  They’re all getting Fairy Lights!

3. Melsy’s Illustrations

Another one from Bryant Park… Melsy designs very cute phone cases, prints, journals/notebooks, coffee cups and more! She sells on sites, at pop ups and through her Etsy Shop.   Check out these links below:

https://www.casetify.com/melsys/collection

https://www.instagram.com/melsysillustrations/

https://melsys.patternbyetsy.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Love Your Melon Hats

https://www.loveyourmelon.com/

Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America as well as supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer.

You’ll find really cute beanie hats, pom pom hats, infinity scarves, family sets with books and all for a good cause.   50% of proceeds go directly to charity so you won’t find a great sale on them– but for the Black Friday to Cyber Monday weekend they are offering free shipping to meet a company goal of reaching $1 million for pediatric cancer patients.

 

5. Lokai Bracelets

Another “shop for a cause” item are the trendy Lokai bracelets.  The Lokai circle has made a huge impact and raised millions of dollars for various charities – funding schools, building clean water wells, supporting research for diseases, and so much more.  My favorite are the new metallic ones below

Here’s a link for 20% off your first Lokai purchase:  https://share.lokai.com/x/PrTnCD

 

6. Slime Monthly Subscription Box

https://slimeboxclub.com/

Needs no explanation.   These girls all love slime.   $30 per month and you can buy as many months as you want.  I’ll never understand how this craze became so popular but I do like that it gets my daughter off of her screen, mixing ingredients and playing like an 11 year old girl should.

7. Mini Backpacks

Ummm…they’re everywhere and I feel like they are the go-to pocketbook right now.   Even Target has some cute ones! Nordstrom Rack online too.

 8. LulaRoe

https://www.facebook.com/groups/lularoenicolekohloff

I sort of have a love/hate relationship with it for myself but I think it’s perfect for kids who outgrow clothes from season to season, whether in size or in taste.   Some women pull it off better than others but I think kids can pull them off really well.    Kids can find leggings with dogs, ice cream cones or hot dogs or depending on the season, Disney/Christmas/Valentines patterns.  I’ve shared a link to one of my favorite consultants pages.  Nicole is a local mom, who does live sales usually after the kids have gone to sleep.  Even better, sometimes they are in her home shop, which is always stocked well, organized and user friendly.To the right you’ll see a really nice photo showing ways to wear LuLaRoe “well.”

9. S’well Bottles 

25% off on the site for Black Friday but can be found locally at LOLA in White Plains and Tuckahoe and at Athleta in Scarsdale too.  Love the many color choices and collections.  https://www.swellbottle.com/bottles

10.  Don’t Forget the Stocking Stuffers! 

I hate to put anything too valuable in the stocking.   It is usually filled with “just for fun” stuff but getting it full can be costly.  I usually fill it with the 3 for $15 Bath and Body Works soaps and creams, bath bombs, make up remover cloths and beauty supplies from ULTA (dry shampoo this year– Batiste Brand is $6-$7 a can) and some candy or socks.

And as I finished this post up, I realized that my searches and the pages I was viewing were being tracked– because THIS article wound up finding it’s way to me.  Those Google Gods are always watching us!!   20 Gift Ideas for Young Women literally wound up on my screen as a result so I had to share this:  https://www.theodysseyonline.com/20-gift-ideas-girls .  It’s a pretty good rundown and offers some things I had not included in my list.

Happy Shopping!

Santa, Shopping & More

Santa, Shopping & More

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Every so often, I post a bunch of links from other bloggers that I think you might enjoy.  These all pertain to the holidays so figured now would be a great time to share some great info from those who want to do all the research for us. (Lots of hyperlinks below….click where it’s underlined!)

SANTA CLAUS 

The first share of this week is an incredible roundup of Santa Experiences in the area.  I have taken my kids to a few over the years, usually the easiest is the Santa at The Westchester Mall.  I have the photo of that same green chair year after year.   I loved Baby Got Chat’s summary of the good, the bad and the ugly– or as she called it the Naughty or Nice Santa’s.   I don’t know how she got all of this info on the Santa’s but this is some good scoop!   http://www.babygotchat.com/featured/santa2017 

BLACK FRIDAY

If you’re gearing up for Black Friday the online way, I recommend following MyPurseStrings Twitter posts on best deals, some of which are available right now!   I don’t know how she scours the site for the best deals, but when she posts, I know it’s the lowest it’s going to be.    She will share them on her Twitter page but her site is worth following too.  Her posts are about apps, technology and suburbia.   Oh, she just got a really cute dog too, if you’re interested in reading that!

CHRISTMAS IN NEW YORK

LOVE fifi + hop for family travel stories.   Shawna and I worked with her recently on a post about a ski vacation to Whistler and this week she posted about Christmas in New York.   She’s Westchester based and a great resource for family travel, day trips, staycations and more!

Travel Exchange: Why Whistler Resort Makes for the Ultimate Ski Vacation

SHOPPING EVENTS

Last but not least….and there are many.  Shopping Events, live and in person, supporting local vendors and independent sales consultants.  I don’t have them ALL but I will share yours if you give me a shout.   The few I know off right now are:

Athleta Scarsdale– Black Friday, 11/24

Junior League of Central Westchester, Scarsdale, Friday 11/17

Moms of Pleasantville Holiday Boutique 12/4

Moms of White Plains Holiday Boutique, 11/30 at La Bocca 6:30-10:30

Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, 12/4

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet CC Benitez

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet CC Benitez

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Each month, we feature a Westchester Woman for our “Westchester Woman Wednesday” series.   This month, we’ve decided to feature CC Benitez, who is relatively new-to-Westchester mom.   CC is originally from Oregon (she and Shawna connected instantly) and believe it or not, we found each other by way of Twitter.   CC lived in Brooklyn for a time and recently moved to the suburbs, just over the city line to Yonkers with her husband and son, the way many city dwellers do.   The goal was space, schools and ultimately a new business!   Not the typical path for most of us, but CC decided to take her fashion and retail background, along with her Brooklyn sensibilities and open Lil Chameleon in Tuckahoe.

I find more and more, that women are not working in the fields they started out in.   So many of us “Westchester Moms” have gone to school for something, worked at it for a time and then veered off in another direction.   Sometimes it’s an entirely new career path (the lawyer turned yoga instructor) and sometimes it’s using the same skill set just in a different way.   CC decided to create the “mommy haven” that every mom wants and needs, that many of us did not have when we were new moms.   Lil Chameleon is exactly what she dreamed up: a play space for kids to take classes to learn and grow, a cafe for moms to hang out and meet other moms over a cup of coffee and a healthy mom and child snack and a resale boutique where moms can buy, sell and trade outgrown clothing items and toys.   It’s a 3 for 1, one stop shop and it’s not like anything else nearby.

People ask me: Is it a consignment store?  Not really.  Is it a jump-around play place?  No.  Is it a drop off?  Nope.  Really, it’s an experience and you won’t truly get it until you check it out for yourself.   It’s a place where moms can meet up with other moms while their kids play.  It’s a shop that takes things off your hands, gives you cash on site or store credit for future purchases.   It’s a place where your child can take a toddler yoga class or Intro to Spanish class, while you catch up on your email and make some new mom friends.  It’s clean and beautifully decorated and takes the stress out of hosting a playdate at home.   (I think of those embarrassing times when my son refused to share with a child we’d invited over our house.)   Everyone’s on neutral territory, you’re not locking up the dog or feeling like you have to prepare delicious and healthy snacks that your guests will enjoy.   I honestly would have loved Lil Chameleon when my kids were younger.  A place to eat, shop and play…. my three favorite things.

CC is a woman who recognized a need and made it happen.  She spent months researching and planning, settling on Tuckahoe as her desired location.  Since construction in the summer and her grand opening this fall, CC has learned a lot about Tuckahoe and the surrounding areas, including Eastchester, Bronxville & Scarsdale.   The locals are stopping in and supporting her store (yay!)  The moms have great taste and are savvy spenders (absolutely!)  The surrounding businesses offer city life in the suburbs, with great dining, shops and now a place just for moms (and dads) to buy, sell, trade, relax and play.

 

Lil Chameleon is located at 29 Elm Street in Tuckahoe.

You can find CC in the store pretty much any day and anytime or follow her happenings on the Facebook page:  https://www.facebook.com/lilchameleonresale/

Visit Lil Chameleon online, view class schedules and more:  https://www.lilchameleon.com/

World Kindness Day

World Kindness Day

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Today, on World Kindness Day, Seventeen.com reveals the results from a timely new poll on bullying, which finds that bullying is still a massive issue in school and that most of it is happening online in the form of cyberbullying. 

  • 68 percent of the 716 people surveyed between the ages of 13 and 24 said that they’ve had cyberbullying problems at their school, and more than half of those polled said that they themselves have been cyberbullied. It also revealed that 62 percent of those polled have considered transferring schools because of a bully.

 

  • Cyberbullying doesn’t only happen in the comments section on Instagram. More than 20 percent said that someone has stolen their password or cell phone and pretended to be them online as a means of humiliation. Those polled also said that appearance and weight are the top issues that drive the bullying they experience and witness.

 

  • With the presence of bullying in the classroom and online, teens today truly appreciate the power of kindness. When asked what characteristic is most valued in their peers, 90 percent said kindness (followed by 50 percent of those who value humor). Popularity was the lowest valued trait in peers.

You can read more about the survey results here: http://www.seventeen.com/life/a13452267/cyberbullying-is-the-school-epidemic-no-one-wants-to-talk-about/.

 

The survey also revealed that many young people actually don’t know what bullying is or what it entails, so Seventeen.com features a new piece breaking down the definition of bullying and cyberbulling, and how to stop a bully: http://www.seventeen.com/life/a13453003/what-is-bullying/.

Thanksgiving Meals:  Dine In or Dine Out Options

Thanksgiving Meals: Dine In or Dine Out Options

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Roast Turkey- City Limits

 

Moderne Barn

Celebrate the all-American holiday with a 3-course, prix-fixe menu by Executive Chef Ethan Kostbar.

Details:

  • $65 per person
  • $32.50 per child 12 and under
  • A la carte menu not available on Thanksgiving
  • Reservations accepted from 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Menu Highlights:

  • Lobster Bisque: Maine lobster, brioche croutons, tarragon
  • Heirloom Kumato Tomatoes: Burrata cheese, house-made pesto
  • Traditional Roasted Turkey: Herb cornbread stuffing, chestnuts, brussels sprouts, natural gravy, cranberry chutney
  • Butternut Squash Risotto: Black truffles, roasted chestnuts, goat cheese
  • Pumpkin Pie: Whipped cream, cranberry chutney
  • Apple Pie: Ginger ice cream, caramel sauce
Heirloom Salad- Moderne Barn

City Limits Diner

City Limits is selling their famous Thanksgiving dinner take-out package!

Details:

  • $399 + tax for complete dinner for up to 12 people
  • Reservations for pick-up must be made before Thursday, November 12 or until sold out
  • Holiday dinner includes:
    • 18-20 pound whole roasted turkey
    • Mushroom, leek, potato and turkey confit stuffing
    • Cornbread & sausage stuffing
    • Mashed potatoes
    • Candied yams with citrus glaze
    • Autumn vegetables with chive butter
    • Turkey giblet gravy
    • Field greens salad with red wine vinaigrette
    • Cranberry orange relish
    • City Limits artisan breads
    • Spiced pumpkin pie
    • Cinnamon apple streusel crisp

If you’re traveling to a family or friends house for Thanksgiving, don’t show up empty handed. City Limits Diner will be offering take out desserts.

Details:

  • City Limits bakery and retail counter will be open from 7:30 am to close on Thanksgiving Day (and days leading up)
  • Deadline for specialty ordered pies is Sunday, November 12
  • Select desserts will also be available for same day pick up on Thanksgiving, on a first come, first serve basis
  • Desserts include:
    • Spiced pumpkin pie
    • Cinnamon apple crisp
    • Banana cream pie
    • Pecan & wild turkey bourbon pie
    • Cranberry & poached pear linzer tart
    • Valrhona chocolate mousse torte
    • Pumpkin & Tahitian vanilla bean cheesecake
    • Flourless chocolate truffle torte

 

City Limits Diner will be open on Thanksgiving and accepting reservations. Enjoy a special dinner menu with traditional Thanksgiving fare.

Details:

  • Regular menu will not be available
  • Reservations can be made between 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Menu Highlights:

  • Butternut Squash Soup
  • Turkey Meatball Pizza: Jalapenos, mozzarella, tomato
  • Slow Roasted Turkey: Cornbread stuffing, sweet potatoes, traditional condiments, gibley gravy
  • Beef Wellington: Brussels sprouts, green beans, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red wine sauce

 

Warm Apple Pie- Moderne Barn
Petit Beignets- Moderne Barn

 

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Julianne Steiner

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Julianne Steiner

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Our February choice for “Westchester Woman Wednesday” is Julianne Steiner.  I first met Julianne about 4 years ago when I bought a Groupon for a facial.  I never had a real aesthetician, that I saw regularly.  I would go to Tranquility Spa every 3-4 months or squeeze in a facial when I was away on vacation.  I remember talking with her at my first appointment about having an aesthetician, the way you would have a hairdresser.  I sort of put facials and skin care in the same category as nail care, where it didn’t matter who gave you a mani/pedi one month to the next.  I started to treat skin care the way I do hair care, and started to see the value of going to the same person for my skin over the years.

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Julianne is a Westchester native, now raising a family here in Westchester.  She’s lived all over, from Hartsdale to Pleasantville to Eastchester.  She briefly lived in Stamford, CT and in the Country Club section of the Bronx.  What’s remained constant is that she’s been in business for 13 years in the Heathcote Section of Scarsdale in what locals call “The Five Corners.”    She’s located on the 2nd floor of the Wilgrin Building on Palmer Avenue, opposite Balducci’s.   Julianne offers everything from skin care to laser hair removal to make up application for special occasions.

Julianne Steiner

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http://jsskincare.com/

 

Julianne and her sister Jessica Steiner (a licensed massage therapist, in the same location) have offered a special deal, “better than a Groupon” for Emma Westchester readers.   Julianne and Jessica are offering the following services/packages for first time customers.  Simply mention Emma Westchester when booking your first appointment.

  • One 45 min micro facial, regularly priced at $175 is being offered for $70.
  • Two 45 min micro facials, regularly priced at $350 are being offered at $145.
  • Three 45 min micro facials, regularly priced at $525 are being offered at $170.
  • One 60 min massage, regularly priced at $140 is being offered at $100.

These prices do not require a coupon purchase and do not have to be used by a certain time.  You can contact Jessica to arrange massage appointments by calling 914-924-7744.   You can contact Julianne to schedule skin care appointments by calling (or texting, yes texting!) 914-874-4453.  

Shawna and I met Julianne for lunch last week at one of our favorite spots, the Metro Deli in Scarsdale.  We asked her about our three favorite topics: eating, shopping and playing in Westchester, as we plan to ask all of our featured Westchester Women.   Shocking to me, Julianne loves eating at Korean BBQ in Yonkers (link to NYTimes article) I think it’s called Korea Gardens (link to restaurant) and The Cookery in Dobbs Ferry.  She likes kimchi pancakes (need to google image that one) and seasonal food items and considers herself a foodie.

thecookery

Not surprising is that she’s a Sephora junkie, always looking into the newest makeup and skin care products.  Her go to outfit is a maxi dress in the summer and she usually shops for clothing in department stores like Lord and Taylor, Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.  I had to ask what her favorite skin care products are, in case anyone wanted secret tips. She swears by MD Solar Science products because it’s truly a doctor-approved skin care/sunscreen and safe for your skin. She loves Dermaware because they are corrective products and her product of choice is Jurlique. Get this…the only line she has continued to sell in her 13 years.  She loves them because they are organic products.

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On the topic of “playing,” Julianne admits that her family and her work are what she needs the most.  I would have taken that as her answer, but Shawna pressed and asked her for something outside of home, work and family.  To complete the interview, without skipping the third piece of it, Julianne enjoys the outdoors, hiking, going to wine tastings, dining out, visiting the city and going to comedy clubs.  Between running a business and a household, I think she forgot for a short time, what her outside interests were!

JulianneJessica.jpg
Julianne and her sister Jessica are BFF sisters. They work together all week long and choose to spend their time together on weekends. After moving out of their family home, they were roommates for some time.
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Julianne and her husband Adam, with their 3 girls, Danielle (12), Sarah (10) and Ally (18 months)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mark’s Quality Meats & Gourmet Seafood

Mark’s Quality Meats & Gourmet Seafood

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One of the best finds of late is Mark’s Quality Meats.   When school begins, I get back to my cooking dinner routine and find myself every September wondering what to make for dinner each night.  It’s kind of like starting over, getting everyone back on routine with activities, homework and a sit down dinner.   I was thrilled when a friend recommended Mark to me.   With skepticism, I called and made an appointment for Mark to come to my house and tell me about his services.   I made a few careful selections to start just in case the food was not terrific but once I tried everything, I was amazed at how much I loved each thing.

Mark has a very simple business concept: Restaurant quality food delivered to your home.   And that’s exactly what he does.  He delivers to the Hamptons, NYC, Westchester and Fairfield Counties.   When you call to set up your appointment, he will let you know what day he is in your area and if you’re not home, everything is left in dry ice for when you return.  It couldn’t be easier.

I started with 36 Kobe sliders, 12 filet mignon steaks, a bunch of baby back ribs and a gigantic bag of chicken fingers.    Over the course of a few days, we tried each item and were very happy.   All items are vacuum packed for freshness and delivered frozen with instructions on how to cook.  First thing we tried were the ribs– well only my husband tried them, since no one else eats them.  He said they were perfectly tender and seasoned and actually compared them to the ribs he had at The Taphouse!   Quite a compliment for something that came through the door frozen and cooked at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.  I made homemade mashed potatoes in 30 minutes while they cooked.   Kids and I enjoyed the sliders that night and Mark even supplied mini slider rolls for us!   So that was a win!

The next night was the filet mignon.  Truly amazing.  I have had few steaks in a restaurant that were better.   Yes, they were expensive, the way any filet mignon is, but so worth it.    I cooked 4 of them and have 8 for the next two times I want to serve filet mignon for dinner.   Easy to cook on my stove top grill pan (Im scared to grill) and prepare salad and vegetables while they cooked.  10-12 min on each side and it was perfectly medium-rare.

The next night, my husband and I went out for dinner and left the chicken fingers for the sitter to give the kids with fries.  15-20 minutes at 350 degrees and they were done.   I’d estimate that the bag had 75-80 chicken fingers in it so should last us quite a while.  Fresh white meat, not overly breaded and my daughter said they were better than when we go out to restaurants.  I told her that they are the same as the restaurants– so no need to have UBER Eats deliver them to us when we have a sitter!

Mark has offered to give any Emma Westchester reader a free package of chocolate chip cookie dough with their first order.  Trust me, you will love his food.  I did not even get to his seafood or his catering items this time around but with the holidays coming up, I will be sure to try them out.    A first order, with staple items was a major success and saved me a lot of trips to the supermarket in the past couple of weeks!   I’m including his website, some gifting options and menus below.     He has made me actually enjoy cooking dinner again!

https://marksqualitymeats.com/

https://marksqualitymeats.com/gift-boxes/


Military Inspired Jackets for Fall

Military Inspired Jackets for Fall

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It seems that every designer has their own version of the military/army jacket for women this season.  Some are cuter than others; some more affordable than others.  Some feminine, some not.  Some long, some short.  Some camouflage, some just green.  Some adorned with little patches. 
Everything from bombers to parkas, cropped or three-quarter length. With plain hoods or with a fur trim!  Not so sure about those….but Barney’s seems to own it! 
What a range, something for everyone young or old, conservative or edgy, economical to uber-pricey.  Keep your eyes open in your travels and count how many women you see in these jackets! 
I found this article all about how to pull off your military jacket: 
 
Military Inspired Jackets

 

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Hannah Fastov

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Hannah Fastov

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I’m a little early this month!  It usually takes me until closer to the end of the month to get my act together and get the Westchester Woman Wednesday post up, but for October I wanted it live before this woman’s one year work-anniversary.

Hannah Fastov is the designer, creator and founder of Dash Dash Dot Dash Dash Dash (it’s Morse Code!) or simply shortened for the sake of her URL: https://godashdot.com/

Yes- Only ONE year ago Hannah launched this project.  Her goal was to design, create and manufacture a bag that would change the way women lived, in more ways than one.  This bag would do the job of many bags. The Infinity Bag is named for it’s infinite possibilities.  It’s an all-in-one bag that holds everything from gym clothes, a change of shoes, a laptop, lunch, a water bottle and more.  With many compartments and pouches, there’s a spot for everything– even a yoga mat!  The bag is functional, yet fashionable, with stylish tassels and straps (more on that below).  There’s also a Weekender (a larger Infinity bag) and a Backpack.

This little crossbody bag is a bag inside a bag. Easily snaps in and out.

 

Early in 2017 Hannah began selling her bags at trunk shows and in small boutiques across the country. Before hitting the one year mark on October 15th, she’s already in contract with Nordstrom!   A pretty impressive achievement for a woman who has been in business for less than one year.

Here are some local places that carry – – . – – – bags!   (Dash Dash Dot Dash Dash Dash, which means GO)

New York

LUV2BFIT, Rye Brook

Great Stuff, Scarsdale

Great Stuff, Rye

Great Stuff, Chappaqua

Pedigree Ski Shop, White Plains

Connecticut 

Pedigree Ski Shop, Stamford

Great Stuff, Greenwich

Great Stuff, Westport

Online

www.freepeople.com 

Amazon

https://godashdot.com/collections/all

“This name was months in the making and feel it truly speaks to who we are; we are the bags that let you –.— GO! All of our handbags, and any future products we create, will enable you to carry your stuff, neatly and organized, so you can focus on living.

Morse code is the universal language. That is exactly what our products are, universal. No matter where life takes you: navigating your early years out of college, becoming a mother, dealing with long commutes, retiring and taking to the jet set life, we got you covered.

Dash Dash Dot Dash Dash Dash is long. So as our friends, please call us by our nickname, Go Dash Dot.”

-Hannah 

Lastly, on the topic of changing the lives of women, it’s not just the modern American woman that Hannah has in mind.  She has partnered with artisans in Bhutan and Kyrgyzstan to make additional straps and tassels for her bags.  Locally, she’s partnering with My Sisters’ Place donating half of the proceeds to help struggling women here at home.  15% of ALL SALES WILL GO TO MY SISTERS’ PLACE DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER

Hannah Fastov is a Scarsdale native, living and working in NYC.  You can follow her on these social media platforms:

Instagram: @go_dashdot 

https://www.instagram.com/go_dashdot/

Facebook: @godashdot

https://www.facebook.com/godashdot/

 

 

LEGO Americana Roadshow in Staten Island: 10/7-10/22

LEGO Americana Roadshow in Staten Island: 10/7-10/22

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LEGO® AMERICANA ROADSHOW: BUILDING ACROSS AMERICA TO BE HELD AT STATEN ISLAND MALL IN NEW SPRINGVILLE

LARGE SCALE LEGO® MODELS AND FREE BUILDING ACTIVITIES WILL DELIGHT ATTENDEES OF ALL AGES

The Staten Island Mall in New Springville will host THE LEGO® Americana Roadshow, a highly visual, educational and free traveling installation of larger than life LEGO replicas of some of our nation’s most beloved landmarks.  Ten one-of-a-kind, large scale models of American Landmarks made completely out of LEGO bricks by LEGO Master Builders – including the U.S. Capitol Building, White House, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Statue of Liberty, Independence Hall, and Old North Church – take over Staten Island Mall and entertain customers with stunning visuals and fun facts.

 Staten Island Mall, 2655 Richmond Ave, Staten Island, NY, 10314

 Saturday, October 7 through Sunday, October 22

 Exhibition Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00am-9:00pm & Sunday 11:00pm-6:00pm

 

ADDITIONAL ON-SITE VISUALS AND ACTIVITIES:

LEGO Brick Play Area: Children of all ages can build whatever their imaginations dream up

LEGO Building Activity: Attendees can build their own LEGO Americana Roadshow inspired model and take it home with them (10/14 and 10/15 only). This stop will feature the Liberty Bell as the take away

LEGO Scavenger Hunt: Attendees can collect a special LEGO prize after completing the LEGO Americana Roadshow scavenger hunt.

Photo Credits: taken at the Glendale Galleria, Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, in Glendale, Calif. (Bret Hartman/AP Images for LEGO)

Lil Chameleon OPENS on 10/4!

Lil Chameleon OPENS on 10/4!

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(Sponsored Post)

Announcing Lil Chameleon’s Opening Date & Live Online Class Registration

Lil Chameleon is proud to announce it is opening its doors Wednesday, October 4, 2017 from 9:30 am-6:30pm.  

Where else can you buy carefully selected, nearly-new, high quality brands for a fraction of the price?  Where else are you able to buy, sell and trade your own child’s best outgrown stuff and earn 30% cash or 50% in store credit?  With the best immediate payout around, you’ll quickly see the value shopping at Lil Chameleon.

Why not enjoy a class while out running errands, too?  With online class registration now open, an expectant mother can enjoy the benefits of pre-natal yoga or bond with other moms in a Doula-Yogi guided Stretch & Circle Time. Your kids can explore unique art forms and expand their creative horizons.

Lil Chameleon offers a wide variety of learning opportunities for the entire family.   Maybe you want to learn how to decoupage like Marie Antoinette or explore the world’s reptiles and mammals with Critter Caravan.  Young children are introduced to Spanish through music, and you can express the exciting, overwhelming, powerful feelings that come with new motherhood while taking Art in the Midst of the Storm lead by a licensed art therapist.  

Classes at Lil Chameleon are designed to help mothers (and partners) relax and reflect.  They allow kids to get creative juices flowing, find hidden strengths through art or grow physically through toddler yoga adventures.

Find more information about all Lil Chameleon offers, how the buy, sell, trade process works and register for all available classes here.  Read more about the talented and diverse instructors here.

 

Join Lil Chameleon’s mailing list to stay up to date with the latest announcements and exclusive registration deals.  And visit Lil Chameleon starting Wednesday, October 4 as they proudly open their doors to the public!

 

 

Lil Chameleon

29 Elm Street

Tuckahoe, NY 10707

914.346.5148

info@lilchameleon.com

 

 

www.lilchameleon.com

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