Author Archives: Shawna

One of my favorite sales of the year:  The Pedigree Ski Shop Annual Tent Sale

One of my favorite sales of the year: The Pedigree Ski Shop Annual Tent Sale

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Labor Day is the unofficial end to our summer as Korben’s school is back in session.  There is no “back to school” clothes shopping or a mad rush around town attempting to select school supplies from Target, Staples or any other store when you have a preteen boy.  As long as Korben has sports shorts, t-shirts and a few tennis shoes that fit him he’s perfectly content.  The wonderful Value Drug Store in our town knew exactly what my son needed for middle school (didn’t even need to have a supplies list); we simply called told them what grade and they pulled everything together.

The first real shopping of the season for our family is not for school but rather for skiing at one of our FAVORITE sales of the year…The Pedigree Ski & Tent Sale.

We are an avid ski family.  Frank has been skiing since he was eight and worked as a ski instructor in Europe during his teenage years.  I was a beginner Snow Boarder when I first dated Frank, but converted to skiing within a few years.

It was never a question of IF Korben would ski but a matter of WHEN.  I won’t lie, I was nervous putting our son on skis at age three – but Frank was ecstatic.

One of the best aspects of moving from Manhattan to Westchester was stumbling upon the gem of a store called Pedigree Ski Shop in White Plains.  Pedigree has everything that a beginner to expert skier or boarder would want.  Pedigree employees are all very knowledgeable about their sport; be it tennis in the summer or skiing in the winter.  I have overheard conversations, that prove to me that they staff their store with dedicated sports enthusiasts.  The annual tent sale (this year from October 4-8th) in White Plains is where one can score some amazing bargains for the entire family and should not be missed!

About Pedigree Ski Shop:  If anyone were to ask what has been the secret to the long lasting success of Pedigree Ski Shop, the answer would be “a family mentality”.   In 1962, Pedigree Ski Shop was born out of the dreams and inspirations of John Fuerst and his wife, Jay, to turn their beloved sport of skiing into a profession. Now, more than 50 years later, their five children have continued to raise this store into what has become the best shop carrying skis, snowboards, tennis gear, swim gear, and skateboards. In fact, Pedigree has become so successful that it has grown into 4 equally outstanding stores.  

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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As I was putting my son James to bed last night, he asked me, “Mommy….what’s the next holiday?”

“The next holiday is Father’s Day,”  I said.

Isn’t that how it goes??   Not a day to recover from one long weekend before thinking about what’s next.   This inspired me to write this post today on Father’s Day gift ideas, a little earlier than I had planned.    I spent an entire week on Mother’s Day last month, but I’m going to make this one long post on my 10 gift suggestions for dads.   Not a lot of pics, just a list and links to some great things for the dads.   Some are things I have bought for my husband, others I bought (or will buy) for my own dad and thrown in are things that have come across my email, things I have found online or in catalogs over the last month or so.

So here it goes.  I am doing this without any notes written down.  I hope I can make it to ten!

1.   Jeans.    I have had the best luck with mens jeans at Men’s Wearhouse on Central Avenue in the Scarsdale/Greenburgh area.  Today I realized that I missed the 2 for $100 designer jean sale, but they always have great sales.   I think now they are regular priced and the second pair is half off.   Still a good price for the brands they carry.  The jeans are cool enough for modern dads without looking like your 40 year old husband is headed to a club. Or worse, looking like the male equivalent of “mom jeans.”  Jeans, and sneakers, can totally make or break your husband.   My husband loves the slim Lucky Brand jeans and they actually have the 36 inseam in stock for tall men.   Most stores have X32 and X34 in the store but for the tallest men who need the 36 inch length, Men’s Wearhouse has them.  Actually, their whole big/tall section is great.  My husband is 6’5″ and it’s hard to find him clothes in the normal stores.   The true Big and Tall stores assume he is big AND tall….When really, he is just tall.   34×36 is always in stock and the sales people are helpful without being annoying.

2.  Steak Dinner (or Staycation) at The Time Nyack Hotel.    I visited last week and loved it.  I plan on taking my husband for dinner one evening when the weather looks nice.  Check out the menu below and/or my review of the visit and tour from last week.   Sunday Jazz Brunch will start soon!   Waiting on an exact date for that.

http://media.thetimehotels.com/d/nyack/media/Hotel_Time_Menu.pdf

http://www.emmawestchester.com/the-time-nyack-hotel-truly-an-experience/    

3.  Food.   Face it.  Guys like weird food.  I call it weird because I am a plain Jane.  My husband would love Mantry items.  Finally a cool subscription box for guys!   They have sauces, spices, snacks and more.  The bonus:  Mantry donates 1% of sales to City Harvest, helping rescue over 20 tons of food and redistributing it to families in need of good, fresh food.   I wish it was more than 1% but it’s better than other companies, I suppose.    http://mantry.com/

4.  Anything from The Grommet.   Really, anything.   It’s gadgets galore and you go through the website wondering if these things are even real.  Check it out and see for yourself.   There is something for everyone!   https://www.thegrommet.com/ 

5.  What I Love About Dad Book.  I bought this book and let my daughter write in the pages, answering the prompts about what she loves about her dad.   It’s nice to have the kids handwriting, their words and their spelling.   I picked it up at The Paper Source at the last minute a couple of years ago and it’s one of those gifts my husband treasures.  It’s really from her heart.   Sentences to fill in such as:  I love when you ___________ and The best thing we do together is ______________.   The best $10 you will ever spend!   When I go into my husband’s desk drawer looking for batteries or a screwdriver, I usually see this placed near his special items.   And she’s only 10.  Imagine how he will feel about it when she’s older.

  http://www.papersource.com/item/What-I-Love-About-Dad/3303_035/825703500714.html

6.   Driving Experiences.    Found often on Groupon and discount sites, your husband can drive a Ferrari or Lamborghini 5-10 laps in a parking lot.   For most husbands, that is cool and all but you can rent a car for an entire day on Imagine Lifestyles.   Only in certain cities, luckily, NYC is one of them.   For the guy that can’t just ride for 10 laps and call it a day, you can rent an entire day.

 http://www.imaginelifestyles.com/new-york-ny-luxury-car-rentals

7.  A waterproof bluetooth speaker for the pool.  Can be controlled with your smartphone. It also makes a nice light show in the pool.   So there’s a robot to clean the pool and now this so you can have your music too.   Someone reading this will buy this– I am certain.    http://www.derbyduckfun.com/#!bluetooth-speaker/is5kk 

8.  UV Clothing.   Dads expect lots of shirts and ties and they are always a safe bet for the grandfathers and father in laws.   These are great for summer, can be worn immediately and protect the skin from the dangers of the sun.  They are not just swim shirts– They have polos, golf shirts, hoodies and jackets– even shorts.

UV Skins website:  http://www.uvskinz.com/   and all the stuff just for Men:  http://www.uvskinz.com/Swimwear-Shirts-Shorts-Men-s/1821.htm 

9.  Personalized Items from Zazzle.  They are offering 30% off right now, until Friday.   15% off sitewide and 30% off Father’s Day Gift items.   Last year I got my husband some funny tees…. His favorite was the iDad tee, play on words for iPad.   I know, geek humor.  There’s literally something for every dad– The beer drinking dad, the golf dad, the superheroes loving dad and more.  I actually loved their personalized (photo) ties and think they make a nice keepsake.    http://www.zazzle.com/fathers+day+gifts   or visit   www.zazzle.com 

il_570xn-893878726_6as110. Last but not least, cards.  I found this seller on Etsy via another source, possibly Time Out New York.  It’s called Crimson and Clover Gift, based in Brooklyn but don’t let the innocent name fool you.   Many of the cards are suggestive, inappropriate and rather raunchy.   I found a clean one, but if I was looking for a risque one, I’d have had a number of choices!    Here’s the link to their Etsy Store.  Don’t judge!

 https://www.etsy.com/shop/CrimsonandCloverGift?ref=l2-shop-info-name

My son and my husband are both Star Wars obsessed recently.   Thought this was cute for him to give him.

And because I always sneak one extra in….. I just bought matching monogrammed Polo shirts for James and little James.   I always have luck with matching items for them on their site.   http://www.ralphlauren.com/shop/index.jsp?categoryId=81751386&ab=global_personalization

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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My inbox is flooded with ideas for Mother’s Day gifts for moms; the sporty mom, the organic mom, the busy mom, the gardening mom, the glam mom and more. I’ve decided to spend this week sharing things for mom as a result. After all this is a site for moms (#momslikeus) and we all have different likes and interests.

Because I like things in threes, I am going to share 3 things that I came across this week.

1. Check out these cool baseball caps for moms, $25 each

http://www.mothertruckerco.com/

2. How about some getaway weekends for Moms:

I visited Club Getaway last summer with my family on a family weekend. But Club Getaway is really a summer camp for adults. It’s a full weekend filled with activities that resemble summer camp. If you know someone who loves the outdoors, sleeping in cabins, kayaking and campfire songs, Club Getaway is a great gift. I wrote about it last year and loved going to visit it last summer. The two questions people have for me are about the cabins and the food. Both are surprisingly OK. The meals are catered by the Connecticut Culinary Institute and the cabins are air conditioned with private bathrooms. They have a calendar of events all summer long and they do have some family weekends later on in the summer.

Here’s the article with pics from last year: http://www.emmawestchester.com/club-getaway-is-summer-camp-for-adults-and-only-1-hr-from-westchester/

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Along those lines, I learned about Zaxfit Camp for Adults recently too. I am sharing the link to the site as well as the link to the one-day pass offered on Gilt City. This one is coming up soon though!

http://zaxfit.com/

https://www.giltcity.com/newyork/zaxfitcaampnycapril16?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=ZAXFITCamp&linkId=23481235

3. Look At Us Now, A Creative Family Journal, $16

look-at-us-now-coverartThis adorable book, by Bernadette Noll was just published in May 2016 and it serves as an interactive diary for families to complete together. It has creative questions to engage parents and kids and captures the day-to-day of family life. It’s not like a baby book, where a family keeps records of milestones like birthdays and ceremonies; It’s for the things that seem like routine things like inside family jokes, strange happenings and things that are specific to just your family. It’s a great way to foster connection, reflection and creative fun for the whole family.

The author, Bernadette Noll created this book for families to start anytime. If you have not started a baby book, you can start it now. It keeps track of small moments between you and your family, capturing snapshots of times you wouldn’t otherwise document. Because time flies, she wanted to collect the memories of day-to-day life with her family. 🙂

http://slowfamilyliving.com/2015/08/look-at-us-now/

Some sample pages from the book:

Favorite App: Life 360…Giving Me Peace of Mind & Korben More Independence

Favorite App: Life 360…Giving Me Peace of Mind & Korben More Independence

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Korben spends the summer in Germany with my in-laws and has been doing so for many years; he has an amazing time, but I’m a nervous wreck for 2-months while he is away. An article in Time Parenting called “How to Parent Like a German” describes my in-laws attitude towards kids independence which is so different from mine.

Germans let children go almost everywhere alone. Most grade school kids walk without their parents to school and around their neighborhoods. Some even take the subway alone. German parents are concerned about safety, of course, but they usually focus on traffic, not abductions. The facts seem to be on the Germans’ side. Stranger abductions are extremely rare; there were only 115 a year in all of America, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Justice study. And walking around without parental supervision, or “independent mobility” as the researchers call it, is good for kids.

Though the facts show that I’m completely irrational in my over-protective hovering of Korben, I have been trying to change my helicopter parenting ways and give him more and more independence. The turning point was when Korben turned 9 and we gave him an iPhone for his birthday. I realize that for many, this age is too young and I should’ve waited till he was 10 or even 12, but we felt that Korben was mature enough to have the responsibility of having his own phone though we did give him parameters (how long he could be on it) and restrictions (parental controls and no social media). Not only was Korben ecstatic to get a phone I was ecstatic with what it gave me – Peace of Mind! I immediately found an app called Life 360 and this become one of the first apps that I downloaded to Korben’s phone.

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The Life360 app allows me to view Korben on a map and as long as Korben has his phone, I know exactly where he is without having to call, text or send an email! Throughout the school year, I would know when Korben arrived/left the school grounds, when he was with his friends for play-dates, if he was out with our sitter running around or at home and now that Korben is in Germany, I’ve been able to check-in to see where he is without having to call or text numerous times a day.

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Even when my in-laws decided to travel to Denmark, I was able to track Korben and knew the beach town that they were staying in and was able to zoom in on Life360 to see the house that they rented for the week.

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What is Life360? Life360 is a free smartphone app that helps families and close friends stay in sync throughout their busy day. With Life360, you can see where your family and friends are on a private map, stay in touch with group and one-on-one messaging, and get help in an emergency. Life360 was started in 2008 and has 75 million members and growing!

Is Life360 Free? Yes! Our core service is (and always will be) 100% free of charge. However, we do offer some premium features for a small monthly fee. Life360 Premium is $4.99/month or $49.99/year and gives you more of the app you love. Plus, you can try it for free for 30 days!

What phones will run Life360? We work on iPhone, Android, and Windows devices or over SMS using a non-smartphone. We were previously able to offer a beta app in Blackberry, but this app has been discontinued. Even though we support all Android devices, certain non-GPS Android devices may be unable to install our software. In these cases, we suggest inviting the non-GPS device to a Circle as a “non-smartphone”. This will still allow users to locate this device on demand. While some users were previously able to use tablets with our app, the latest version and technology is no longer compatible with these devices. To locate someone who owns a non-smartphone, you will need to upgrade to Life360 Premium, which costs $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year.

Girls Day in NYC: Blushington in the Underground & Bosie Tea Parlor

Girls Day in NYC: Blushington in the Underground & Bosie Tea Parlor

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Last week, Shawna and I decided to change things up a bit and spend the day outside of Westchester. Nothing too crazy; nothing historical or cultural….Simply a change of scenery doing two of the things we love most; shopping and eating. We wanted a different experience…to find something that our beloved Westchester can’t offer us. We had our makeup done at Blushington in “The Underground” at Le Parker Meridien in Midtown and had tea service at Bosie Tea Parlor in the West Village.

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Blushington is a nothing short of amazing. A full service makeup/beauty salon for everything from eyelash extensions to waxing to “just eye make up” to “full face” makeup, even tutorial lessons lasting about 60 mins. With locations in Texas and California, NYC welcomed Blushington to the Underground aka Woman Cave in Midtown Manhattan.

img_8898We downloaded the Blushington app, reserved appointments at the same time and in 30 minutes time, had a fresh, natural “day look” for ourselves. $55 plus tip and no pressure to buy products, which I appreciate. I’d so prefer to pay for a treatment than go to the department store counter for the “free makeup” (ick) and then select which items I want to buy after the fact, in return for the makeup application. Blushington does not make commission on sales so they use what they think is best and there’s no pressure to buy the products. I did wind up buying a bottle of cameilla oil for my eyelashes (a natural enhancer) and the perfect shade of berry lipstick that they used on my lips.

I’ve always enjoyed the amenities at Le Parker Meridien. Norma’s http://www.parkermeridien.com/eat/normas/ has an amazing brunch and my husband has enjoyed getting a shave at the barber shop on the main floor. The Burger Joint is a fun, greasy spoon, “trying to look rugged” dining option for hotel guests (and outsiders alike) who aren’t interested in “proper” hotel dining options or their price tag. http://www.parkermeridien.com/eat/burger-joint/menu/

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But the Underground is like a woman cave! It’s got everything any woman could want or need. A drybar, nail salon, spa, gym, cafe and of course Blushington. It’s one level below the main lobby at Le Parker Meridien and you could literally spend the day there.

http://www.blushington.com/

http://www.parkermeridien.com/pamper/

Our next stop was for tea at Bosie Tea Parlor. Selecting a location for tea was not easy; Not due to a shortage of choices by any means. There are lots of tea choices in NYC. But, we wanted tea when we wanted it; Not at 3pm necessarily and without the tea accessories, the doilies and the floral tablecloths. We also didn’t want “high tea” which felt stuffy, served to us with white gloves either. We found the perfect spot when we found Bosie (on the BBC website of all places!) and it was “just right.” Not too matronly and not too royal. Really, who needs the attitude, you know?

Their tea service is served all day, the decor is “normal” and they have a full menu for those that might not want to have “just tea.” For $32, I was very pleased. Included scones, cream and jam that were to die for; tea sandwiches, dessert and a pot of tea. I skipped the champagne this time. I had to get back to meet the school bus by 3pm!

bosietea

http://bosienyc.com/

http://bosienyc.com/tea-service/

All in all, a great day out with my blogging bestie, just in a different area code. Looking forward to our next girls day out.

GLOW AirBrush Tans

GLOW AirBrush Tans

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I am fair skinned.  With freckles.  Who doesn’t tan.  Clearly, tanning is not something that comes naturally to me.

Over the years, I have spent many hours in the sun trying to achieve a golden tan and worse, in tanning beds/booths trying to get the perfect summer tan.  It’s a wonder that I made it to 40 without any serious damage to my skin.   It was not until around 35 that I realized the seriousness of taking care of my skin, avoiding wrinkles and worse, skin cancer.   When I became a mom, it was like a switch went off in my head and all of a sudden, I was logosunscreen obsessed.  My kids are sunscreened daily from April- October and I rarely sit anywhere (with them or alone) that is not shaded.   A big change from my 20’s and early 30’s to say the least.

Last week, I visited Glow Airbrush Tans in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center.  It’s located in the building beside/upstairs from Lester’s around the back in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center.  I wanted to get a spray tan before going away for a long weekend with my kids.  I have spray tanned before and have been less than thrilled with the results.  It’s just too dark for someone with my complexion.

This airbrush tan, was mixed/customized for my skin tone (very light) and came out very natural.  When I saw people on the day right after it was done, they didn’t automatically ask, “Did you tan??’  Other times, I would be confined to the house until it wore off by day 2 because it was so unbelievably dark.   I knew when Day 1 was not too dark, that day 2 and the days that followed would be even better.  And it was.  I had just enough color on my face, arms and legs to wear spring dresses and sandals in April without having to worry about my winter white skin!

I highly recommend Glow Airbrush Tans.  You can find them online at:   http://glow914.com/ or in person at Glow AirBrush Tanning, 14 Rye Ridge Plaza, Suite 220, Rye Brook, NY.

Mason Sandwich Co: Fast Food Done Right

Mason Sandwich Co: Fast Food Done Right

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Mason Sandwich Co recently opened in Eastchester.  I wasn’t expecting much when we stopped by one afternoon after Korben’s soccer practice but was pleasantly surprised.

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On our first visit, we tried their Muffuletta and Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup – YUM!  We enjoyed the sandwiches so much, that we went back a few days later and had their Chickwich Sandwich and Arugula Salad with Grilled Chicken – AMAZING!

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The quest for a better sandwich led brothers George & Louis Brindley to open their own sandwich shop. Tired of the same old fast food options and disappointed with the offerings of “gourmet” food restaurants, the guys decided to make their own craft creations and make it truly special.

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Mason Sandwich Co is a casual neighborhood restaurant offering quality fast food at affordable prices and has become my new favorite “go to” lunch spot.

33 Mill Road, Eastchester, 914-776-2766
masonsandwiches.com
Hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily
The Time Nyack Hotel: Truly an Experience

The Time Nyack Hotel: Truly an Experience

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This is one of those posts that writes itself.   The pictures will tell it, thankfully because there are no words to describe The Time Nyack Hotel, that opened up last week in Nyack.   A historic brick building, that used to be a factory is now home to the first hotel of this type in the Hudson Valley. It’s chic, sophisticated and luxurious.

Check out the photos taken on Wednesday when Shawna and I toured the property and had lunch with Christine Zipparo, the hotel’s Director of Sales, also a Westchesterite.  Lunch, btw was at BV’s Grill by Bobby Vans.  Yes, of Manhattan and Hamptons Bobby Van’s Steakhouse fame. Absolutely incredible.

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This photo was taken poolside, right off the restaurant.   There is plenty of outdoor seating, a beautiful bar and relaxing pool area with beautiful chaise lounge chairbeds and umbrellas.

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The lobby is decorated beautifully.   Eclectic furnishings with a variety of area rugs, armchairs and light fixtures. It’s urban-style reminds me of what you’d find in Miami Beach or in the trendiest NYC locations.

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A nice range of wine and champagne choices presented beautifully upon entering the restaurant.  :-)    It was lunchtime, so I didn’t partake, but I hope to visit again and enjoy a cocktail outside this summer.

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Loved this beautiful entrance to the lobby from outside.  You’d never guess it was so close to the highway.  They’ve installed sound barriers to handle the noise and they really work!    Similarly, the guest rooms have a frosted window for each guests privacy.

What makes it different is that it’s all about the details.  Instead of writing them all out, I will list them:

  • 133 modern loft style rooms with high ceilings, some with balconies
  • Frette linens, turndown service and Bigelow bath amenities
  • 24 hour fitness center, local courtesy shuttle,  bike rentals
  • BV’s Grill, lobby lounge bar, meeting/events space, rooftop bar and lounge, in-room dining
  • Complimentary wifi, Smart TVs, safe, refrigerator and Keurig Coffeemakers

It’s like nothing else in the area.  Sure, Westchester has a variety of hotels to choose from.  But the price point, for the level or service almost doesn’t make sense.  Starting at $199, it’s a no-brainer.  The hotel will shuttle you to a nearby spa, to shop at the Palisades Mall or to the Shops at Nanuet in their shuttle, a Mercedes Sprinter.   There’s a Tesla charging station on site.  It’s all about luxury and service at The Time Nyack.   Your experience will be wonderful, the service will be incredible and the amenities will be top-notch.

As a local Westchester resident, I am thinking of how I can (and will) make sure of The Time Nyack.

1.  I will absolutely visit the restaurant.  Many times, my husband and I meet friends who live outside of Westchester mid-way for dinner.   This is a great dining option.  I’ve traveled to Ruth Chris for a nice dinner experience, I will happily cross the bridge for a nice dinner.

2.  Staycation.  My husband and I often spend an overnight in the city and can have the exact same experience at The Time Nyack for half the price.   Last weekend we stayed at the Conrad Hotel in Battery Park City and while very beautiful, it was an expensive overnight.   The Time offers the amenities, exercise, meals for a lot less.  (No giant parking garage fee upon check out either!)

3.  Sunday Jazz Brunch.  Yes.   That’s coming soon.  So very NYC.  So millennial, I know, but it’s in!

4.  When hosting out of town guests, even just for overnight.   It’s not midtown Manhattan and it’s not cheesy suburban.  I’ll never forget when a relative came into town for a funeral and used the “find the nearest hotel” feature and had their car stolen from the parking lot at the hotel that they blindly selected, or let the internet select for them!  Or the time we hosted a 5 year anniversary party at our house and some of my husband’s work friends from the city selected “some nearby options” and had a terrible experience. (Not naming any names of course.)  I felt like they thought Westchester was a horrible place and questioned why we lived here!

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Above: My Instagram pic and Facebook post got a lot of love this week. ♥

You can find out more about The Time Nyack by following this website:

http://www.thetimehotels.com/nyack/default-en.html

Better yet, go see it for yourself.  You won’t believe this is located right here, just across the bridge from Westchester.

Time Nyack- 400 High Street, Nyack, NY 10960. 845-675-8700

808 Social Opens in North Eastchester

808 Social Opens in North Eastchester

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img_4809-1-e1470801679967-300x96On Monday night, my husband and I visited 808 Social for dinner. We’ve been watching them every step of the way and knowing 808 Bistro pretty well, we knew it would be anything other than a “typical pizza place” which some feared it would be. The chef, Sal Cuccullo wouldn’t let it be typical. His menu items are his own creations. They change from time to time based on popularity and season and he admits that as much as he loved creating the menu for 808 Social, many dishes didn’t make the cut. How many? About 15-20 items didn’t make the menu but he hopes to offer them from time to time as specials. He enjoys experimenting and taking Italian favorites to a new level.

When I say it’s not typical, I will share the menu and some pics and let you see what I mean. Seafood sausage, Italian Egg Rolls and Calamari Tacos were a few of the “small plates” we sampled. Pizza and some burrata smothered bread too. And the desserts…. incredible. I wish my picture of the cannoli came out well, but trust me when I tell you that honey/cinnamon ricotta is to die for. Like nothing I’ve ever tasted. Taking a traditional Italian dessert and making it just a little different.

Aside from the food, the atmosphere is great. Frank Sinatra on the wall, Saturday Night Fever on TV and Red Hot Chili Peppers playing. Followed by Nirvana. An incredible bar, u-shaped and about a dozen seats with a variety of drink choices on the menu.

“You’s Cant Leave” until you’ve seen the dessert menu: (sorry it’s blurry!)

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More about Chef Sal and his first location, opened in 2010: http://patch.com/new-york/scarsdale/meet-the-chef-sal-cuccullo-808-bistro

The North End of Eastchester has needed a place like this and 808 Social really got it right!

808 Social, 185 Summerfield Street, 914-723-2600

www.808socialny.com

My Summer Wish List….All Things Cobalt

My Summer Wish List….All Things Cobalt

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My Cobalt Wish List

 

On The Way Cafe:  Perfect for Breakfast or Lunch with Friends & Family

On The Way Cafe: Perfect for Breakfast or Lunch with Friends & Family

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I love a good brunch and I thought I would be introducing two friends to a hidden gem of a restaurant called On The Way Cafe in Rye last Saturday afternoon. Yet, when we arrived I had made reservations for the wrong day and to make matters worse they weren’t serving breakfast any longer nor did they serve brunch that day…what a bummer!

Grace Degenhardt, one of the co-owners immediately greeted us when we entered and was so friendly and accommodating that we decided to stay.

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I wasn’t too happy. I really had my mind set on having breakfast but we ended up having a great lunch of comfort food that was “sophisticated yet simple” highlighting the ingredients with perfectly proportioned sizes – sourdough and gooey gruyere grilled cheese sandwich, lean pastrami on rye and thin sliced LaFrieda rib eye philly cheese steak wedge. We really didn’t have enough room for dessert but couldn’t resist ordering their Nutella cream puffs and homemade carrot cake…with each of us taking only a few bites but savoring those bites leisurely over individual pots of tea and delicious coffee. A perfect ending to our unexpectedly good meal.

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From the outside, this restaurant is not much to look at. In fact, if you weren’t paying close attention you could easily miss the parking (from the front or back). If one is not familiar with the area, definitely trust your GPS and look for the Sunoco Gas Station.

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I went again on Sunday to FINALLY have brunch and it was well worth the wait; ordering the chef’s special jumbo crab and goat cheese omelette served with rye toast and a delicious cup of coffee and my husband had the country style pancakes with whipped cream and organic maple syrup.

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On The Way Cafe
34 Ridgeland Terrace
Rye, NY (914-921-2233)
Serving Breakfast and Lunch (Tuesday-Saturday 7AM – 3PM; Sunday Brunch 7AM – 2PM; Closed Mondays)
***TAKES CASH ONLY
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Recently Reviewed by Steve Reddicliffe of the NY Times – CHECK OUT THE REVIEW BY CLICKING HERE
Emma’s Favorite Housewarming or Hostess Gift & a little lesson from Emily Post

Emma’s Favorite Housewarming or Hostess Gift & a little lesson from Emily Post

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Choosing a community is a big decision. You’re choosing more than the house; It’s the commitment to raise your kids, socialize with others like yourself and be a part of something as a family. A friend who was searching for a place to live in Westchester County after spending years in NYC said, “I want the suburban trifecta.” By that she meant three things of equal importance: good schools, a nice neighborhood and an overall sense of being a part of a larger community. A wonderful way to celebrate the choice of a new home/community is through a personalized housewarming or hostess gift.

I have given this gift to about a dozen people so far. It was given to me my one of my favorite people on earth and I have to credit her for this fab find! Most recently, I purchased this for a friend who relocated to West Point, NY. The Longitude and Latitude Personalized Sign (L.L.Bean) comes in four colors and retails for $39.95. Some others that I have purchased over the years….Will look familiar to some of you. Others will want it for your own homes.

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Because I love the topic of etiquette, the following are some of Emily Post’s Wisdom on hostess gifts and housewarming gifts.

Should I Bring A Hostess Gift?

A gift for your host or hostess is a lovely way to thank them for their hospitality and is always appreciated. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive; simply consider the nature of the occasion and local custom when making your choice. In some parts of the country, a hostess gift is considered obligatory, while in other places a gift is brought only on special occasions. If it’s the first time you’re visiting someone’s home, then it’s a very nice gesture to bring a small gift. If you have a few extra minutes to wrap it, even if you only use tissue or a decorative bag, it adds to the gesture.

Wine, flowers, specialty food items, and small items for the house all make good hostess gifts. Flowers are terrific too, but if you want to go beyond Etiquette 101, bring them in a simple vase (a Mason jar is fine). You could also offer to put them in water yourself when you arrive so your host doesn’t have to arrange them. If you bring wine, don’t expect your host to serve it that evening- the wines may have already been chosen for the meal. And don’t bring food for the meal unless you’ve been asked to. Otherwise you risk putting your host on the spot and upsetting the menu. Here are a few tips on what to bring when:

Casual dinner party

Dinner party guests usually bring a hostess gift unless they are close friends who dine together frequently. Gift possibilities include wine, Champagne, flowers (preferably in a vase), a potted plant, chocolates, specialty food items such as jams and jellies or other condiments, fancy nuts, olives, olive oil or vinegars, or items for the house, such as cocktail napkins, guest soaps and lotions , a picture frame, or a scented candle. A CD or book is also appropriate if you know your host’s taste.

Formal dinner party

Gifts aren’t usually taken to large, formal dinners, especially if you don’t know the host well.

When there’s a guest of honor

If it’s a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or shower, bring a gift for the honoree.

When you’re the guest of honor

Bring a gift for your host or hostess, or send flowers before the party. After the party, send a thank-you note.

Housewarming

It’s customary to bring a gift to a housewarming. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it should be something lasting for the house. Possible gifts include guest towels, a houseplant, a patio or garden plant, glasses, dish towels, a picture frame, specialty foods like a great olive oil or preserves, or a cheeseboard and/or cheese knives. Update an old-fashioned housewarming tradition of giving salt, and bring fancy sea salt and/or a saltbox or saltcellar. If the housewarming is for a neighbor new to your town, consider putting together a welcome kit containing area maps, the town paper, restaurant menus, bookmarks from your favorite bookstore, transportation schedules, and information on local parks and recreation facilities- anything that will make it easier for her to feel welcome and at home in her new community.

Weekend visit

Either bring or send a gift. Your gift of choice will depend on the length of your stay and how elaborately you’re entertained. While you don’t have to break the bank, your gift should be sincere, thoughtful, and personal.

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Spending a Weekend Getaway at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

Spending a Weekend Getaway at Saybrook Point Inn & Spa

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Three Stories to Success

My husband always laughs at me as he knows I’ve had a good holiday when I come home and have brought the half-filled shampoos from the hotel; have made a mental note to buy the mattress on which I slept and finds me looking at properties in the area I visited. After a weekend away at Saybrook Point Inn in Old Saybrook, CT, about a 90min drive from lower Westchester, I have to admit I have done all three.

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We arrived late on Friday night, and although it was dark when we drove through the incredibly quaint town we could see the historic charm I had been told about and we were dying to get going the next day….That was until the fantastic front desk manager showed us to our wonderful guesthouse called Three Stories. Located just across the street from the main Inn, Three Stories is a recently restored guesthouse with sweeping views of the Connecticut River and South Cove. As per its name this guesthouse originally built in 1892 has been restored to all its three-story glory and painted the most wonderful shade of colonial pink. Inside it has all the fixtures and fittings of a colonial building minus the draught that many of these buildings carry with them.

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Our wonderful room, complete with a full-body spray shower, electric fireplace and king size bed also had a wonderful wrap round balcony that had impressive views of the Marina. With only 8 luxuriously appointed rooms each with their own balcony and named after famed local residents in Old Saybrook’s history, the guest house is an incredibly peaceful and quiet retreat. Individual rooms can be rented or the entire guesthouse can be booked, perfect for a family retreat or special occasion. On the first floor there is a wonderful lounge and dining room, where one can help themselves to delicious banana bread or muffins freshly baked as well as Keurig coffee as you pleased. Mrs. Pratt, the housekeeper is on hand to answer any questions and give helpful tips but ensures you maintain privacy so much so that you feel right at home. Although this guesthouse has been lovingly restored by the Tagliatela family, owners of Saybrook Point Inn they have also given the house modern amenities such as a rooftop patio with fire pit overlooking the South Cove as well as an elevator making the entire house wheelchair accessible. On the lower ground floor a bar and billiards room is also available for use by the guests.

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In terms of food you can’t go wrong in Old Saybrook. Right on the property is their AAA Four Diamond restaurant, Fresh Salt, the only casual fine dining option with waterfront views in the town of Old Saybrook. Their Executive Chef works closely with local farmers; artisans and fishermen to ensure all ingredients are fresh, local and seasonal. Not only was dinner delicious we also struggled each morning to decide on what to eat and on Sundays their brunch is another award winning event. Breakfast can be to stay or to go, if you wish to venture into town where other great restaurants and shops await.

Needless to say with all this it was incredibly tough to venture out but downtown Old Saybrook is picture perfect and we borrowed some of the hotel bikes (they have tandem bikes too) and took a quick ride into Old Saybrook. Cycling along we ventured past historic homes and into the town where buying local is strongly supported. The Main Street with its 375-year history has endless possibilities for shopping and family run businesses dominate where we enjoyed browsing beautiful antique stores, art galleries and sampled some delicious cakes in local bakeries, where everyone thanks you genuinely for your support. A few real estate guides may have been snuck into my bag as well. The town is adorable and its no wonder Katherine Hepburn was a resident of neighboring Fenwick and lived here until her death in 2003. A Cultural Arts Centre (The Kate) has been erected in her name and features a 250-seat theatre and museum honoring Katherine Hepburn and I managed to view some of her awards and learn even more about this wonderful town in which she lived.IMG_4594

Back at the Inn after our morning cycling we enjoyed a very relaxing couples massage at SANNO. We changed into our plush robes and sat down in their peaceful Relaxation Room where we were met by our wonderful therapists, April and Ron. A choice of either an unscented or a selection of scents was included in our massage and we lay down to enjoy an hour of bliss. I’d like to say I remember the massage and even though I have two years worth of knots in my back, I drifted in and out of sleep as the wind outside acted as a beautiful white noise lulling me into a great REM form of sleep. Post massage and my back feeling ten years lighter we returned to the relaxation room before returning to the outside world.

As well as a fantastic spa the Inn has a health club with indoor and outdoor heated saltwater pools. The main Inn has 82 rooms with some having wood burning fires and sweeping water views. Even though there was a wedding on that weekend the hotel managed impeccably and service was friendly, prompt and sincere.

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It is with a heavy heart we had to leave on Sunday but this Inn and its guesthouses are on point and we are already planning a return visit.

Emma Westchester contributor Rosalind Batheja visited on the weekend of 13 – 15 November and stayed at Three Stories Guest House. Prices start from $377 per room.

You can visit Saybrook Point online at http://www.saybrook.com/ but you’ll really want to go directly to their photo gallery http://www.saybrook.com/gallery/ to get a true sense of this magnificent property. It’s really lives up to it’s 4-star/4 diamond distinction.

Here are a few pics to check out before you get there.

Whistler – North America’s #1 Ski Resort

Whistler – North America’s #1 Ski Resort

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Whistler has been rated by SKI Magazine Reader’s Poll as the #1 overall best ski resort in North America.

We recently returned from our annual Whistler family ski vacation and can’t wait to go back again next year. One of the many great things about Whistler is their amazing instructors (for children and adults); they will start teaching kids as young as three. Korben started at age 5 attending the Whistler Kids 5-Day Adventure Ski Camps and has continued to progress from “pizza stance” with no poles to parallel skiing and hockey stops.

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I went from skiing to learning to snowboard and then back to skiing. While Korben and I were learning on the Green and Blue runs, Frank would be backcountry skiing.

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This has been a very long winter, but the good news is that with the long winter brings a longer ski season and Whistler has extended through May. Whether you have a few days or a few weeks Whistler has something for everyone. Check out tips on how to plan your trip, organize your itinerary and research where to stay, where to dine which lessons are right for you on Whistler Backcomb’s Official Ski Resort Website > www. whistlerblackcomb.com

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