Category Archives: Uncategorized

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Lauren Ferrara

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Lauren Ferrara

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Lauren Ferrara, Precision Spa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

We’re Back!

We’re Back!

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

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

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

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

 

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Diane Clehane

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Diane Clehane

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Armonk Outdoor Art Show- Sept 23 & 24

Armonk Outdoor Art Show- Sept 23 & 24

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56th Annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show

Saturday & Sunday, September 23 & September 24

10:00 am – 5:00 pm, Rain or Shine.

205 Business Park Drive, Armonk, NY 10504

Ranked one of “The Top 50” Fine Art and Fine Craft Fairs in the US by Art Fair SourceBook and among the top “Fine Art and Design Shows” in the New York Metro Area by Sunshine Artist Magazine, the 56th annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show will continue its long tradition of showcasing fresh and diverse art.  Over 185 juried artists from 29 states, Israel and Canada, will be featured, with 35 new artists added to the show this year.  A broad spectrum of art in every medium and price point will be on display, including painting, mixed mediums, printmaking/drawing/ pastels, sculpture, photography/digital art, wearable art, and fine crafts. Free personal consultants, trained in fine art and home design, are available to assist visitors in selecting art that best fits their taste and decor. 

New This Year:  More Activities, Food and Drink – All as Fresh as the Art!

Family Activities Tent – All new, fun-filled, free activities under a Big-Top Tent!

Presented by:

First Five – Hands on projects, appropriate for children ages 1-5 with adult participation.

The Harvey School – Interactive programs, appropriate for children ages 5-12.

The Neuberger Museum of Art – A creative exploration and experimentation inspired by the works in the Neuberger Museum’s permanent collection. Fun for children of

all ages.

 

Food, Craft Beer and Wine – Diverse vendors with new additions!

Including: Luke’s Lobster, Captain Lawrence Brewing and Market North

 

Gold Sponsors: Equinox, Houlihan Lawrence, Northern Westchester Hospital, Rosen & Company, Inc.,

White Plains Hospital Medical & Wellness and Westchester Medical Center will entertain and inform.

The Art Show is sponsored by Friends of the North Castle Public Library, Inc., and net proceeds benefit the Town’s libraries in Armonk and North White Plains.   

Admission price: $12.00, $10.00 for seniors or with coupon, children under 18 free.

There is ample free parking on site.  Sorry, no dogs allowed.

For further information, and discount coupons, visit: www.armonkoutdoorartshow.org

Facebook /armonkoutdoorartshow 

Instagram @armonkoutdoorartshow

 

Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Andrea Worthington

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Andrea Worthington

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Happy Wednesday!   Today’s Westchester Woman Wednesday feature is all about Andrea Worthington, of “Baby Got Chat” aka www.babygotchat.com  

Here’s her story:

I came to Westchester from NYC in 2014, as a soon-to-be new mom in my second trimester. I expected to buy a house near the train and use it as a crash pad while I continued doing everything I loved in the city. What I didn’t expect was to fall in love with the lifestyle this county offers: suburban perks with an urban mindset. I also didn’t expect to fall in love with being a parent to the point where I left my job as an art director at a media/publishing company to raise my daughter and newborn son. My passion for discovering everything Westchester has to offer our children has led me to BabyGotChat. My aim is to try everything so you don’t have to, and report back with direct and honest reviews and recommendations. 

Interestingly, I connected with Andrea via a Facebook moms group and we realized we kind of do the same thing, only hers is for kids 0-5 and mine is mostly for kids 5 and up.  She keeps an awesome calendar and reviews just about anything that moms would like to try, reporting back to her readers.  We both like to write for moms, connect with moms and we share a love of Westchester County; I am a Westchester native and I love when newcomers feel at home. Andrea recently posted this article on her site, The Cheap Moms Guide to Westchester, which I loved.    I also really loved her solo Momcation story this spring.   So here are links to both:

http://www.babygotchat.com/featured/2017/7/9/the-cheap-moms-guide-to-westchester 

http://www.babygotchat.com/featured/2017/5/8/time-for-a-momcation?rq=cruise

Over lunch recently, I had to ask her where her favorite places to eat, shop and play were.  With zero hesitation she answered:  Emma’s Ale House in White Plains, Ridge Hill in Yonkers and Lifetime Fitness in White Plains.   🙂      Here’s how you can follow Andrea’s blog Baby Got Chat and social media outlets:

www.babygotchat.com

Instagram: babygotchat

Facebook: babygotchat

Twitter: babygotchat

 

Yoga Hike, Book Club, Food Trucks, Art Show and Teen Classes!

Yoga Hike, Book Club, Food Trucks, Art Show and Teen Classes!

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We don’t keep a proper calendar of events but from time to time we post an article with some things that we think you might want to know about!    Here are our top eat/shop/play suggestions for the coming months.

August 26th, Hike + Yoga + Meditation 

Start your day with a heart pumping hike over the rolling hills of Rockefeller State Park to the historic Rockwood Hall situated on the banks of the mighty Hudson River. Here we will practice an invigorating yoga flow followed by a guided meditation. Next, it’s time for lunch and free time to explore, journal, and take photos. After that we will practice a walking meditation as we hike it back to home base. Once the retreat is complete leave time to explore the area! The nearby Rivertowns (Tarrytown, Irvington, Dobbs Ferry, and Hastings on Hudson) have a wide array of shops and restaurants, many with stunning views of the Hudson River. And the world renowned Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture is just down the road from the preserve!

For more info and to sign up: https://www.mindbodyfitnessny.com/yogahikes

 

September 10th, Food Truck Mash Up at Empire City in Yonkers.  

https://tickets.lohud.com/e/food-truck-mash-up/ 

NJ vs. NY FOOD TRUCKS!

Vote for your favorite truck!

The best food trucks facing off for one day only!

Full beer and drink bar, live music, kids carnival games AND MORE!

September 15th,   Emma Westchester’s Friday Night Shopping Party at Athleta Scarsdale.  For those who have attended our Athleta Events in the past, you know they’re not something you want to miss.  You can get styled for fall!   Will have some great vendors and information booths as always.   (Am in the process of lining up some this week and will share as they’re confirmed! )

September 21st, Meet Author Gabrielle Nevin at Barnes & Noble in Eastchester.   Bring your whole book club!    Her book Young Jane Young doesn’t come out until Aug 22nd, so plan ahead, pre-order here and pencil in 9/21 for your meeting.  I’ve gone to the author events at the store and they do a great job!

 

Save the Date:  September 23 and 24.   Armonk Outdoor Art Show.   More info to follow.   A great event, this year with some added activities for the kids!   http://www.armonkoutdoorartshow.org/

Here are some things for the kids, tweens and teens:  

365 Central Park Ave., Scarsdale, NY 10583

(914) 449-4411 | 

The perfect class for athletic or inactive teenagers, CP Teen aims to build healthy habits in young participants. Build self esteem, strong muscles, and coordination in a body that is changing and growing. Club Pilates is a fun, safe environment where proper movement and body alignment is learned using the Reformer, springboard, TRX and more.

Guest Blogger:  Westchester Daddy

Guest Blogger: Westchester Daddy

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We’re so happy to feature a Westchester dad today for Father’s Day.    It’s always interesting to me to hear how people who aren’t Westchester natives discover Westchester, decide to make it home and best of all, hear what they love most about their town.  I believe that Westchester has something for everyone.  This dad does too!  🙂

(You can follow him online at www.westchesterdaddy.com or @westchesterdaddy on Instagram)

From Claremont to Claremont

by Kevin Hylton

I knew I was going to be ok in the burbs when I found the Bronxville coffee shop Slave to the Grind.” I have two daughters (four years and 16 months) and I’m basically stitched together with a delicate recipe of caffeine (by way of coffee) and IPA.

I don’t mean to sound overly dramatic. I was excited to move to the suburbs.  I was the riot leader in our family trying to make the move happen for years.  But even when our one bedroom apartment in Morningside Heights was bursting at the seams, the possibility and eventual reality of a signed contract of sale to move to southern Westchester kinda made me regurgitate my fish tacos.

I moved to NYC after I graduated from law school and worked for a large law firm.  But I actually moved to NY to try become a screenwriter/take advantage of the entertainment industry in Manhattan. Soon after moving to Harlem I pivoted from the law and started writing as a theater and film journalist, then a playwright and eventually I got a gig screenwriting for Disney animated TV.  All this I did from my tiny apartment in Harlem on Claremont Avenue.

When we had our second daughter, I decided to shelf the screenwriting dream for a bit.  I turned my interest in architecture and real estate into a job and became a Real Estate Broker with Houlihan Lawrence’s Bronxville office (where I still work).  Still, I secretly held on to the desire to do some screenwriting on the side but assumed moving to the burbs was the end of the writing dream.

But within months of moving, I found a HBO producer, production company owner, and a comedy central contact all while walking our dachshund in our new Fleetwood neighborhood.  Huh, I guess the suburbs are not a total cultural wasteland where dreams must go to die.

I was never cool enough to be a hipster. But I liked to feel as if I was a bit ahead of the curve. When I moved to Claremont Ave and 124th in the City it wasn’t a Columbia U outpost yet.  It was a bit dodgy. It was, however, a great place to grab an amazing taco for a buck at an authentic hole in the wall. My friends uptown were a collection of my neighbors (who at that time didn’t move every 2 years), the postal and ups workers, the woman in the laundromat, and the guys who owned the liquor store.  And my fears of moving out of this wierd NY City neighborhood was that we’d lose everything that made life feel real: diversity of culture, opinion, and genuineness.   All that and solid tacos, cafe con leche, and a decent selection of beers at the local bar. 

Little did I know that what I’d find in Westchester is exactly what I loved about Morningside when I moved uptown some 12 years ago.  Mom and pop coffee shops, restaurants (including Cuban, Cajun, Mexican, you name it), indie pharmacies and bookstores all are either in my town or a neighboring one. It’s walkable, people are friendly, and I can be at grand central in 24 minutes on the train (15 to Harlem). 

I still can’t quite fathom how we ended up buying our house on Claremont Avenue in Fleetwood.  The coincidence that years of searching for a house would lead us to move from Claremont Ave in Manhattan to Claremont Ave in Fleetwood is bizarre and oddly, really comforting (my 4 year old already knowing what street we live on.)  Regardless I’m happy we made the leap.    

If you follow my blog at www.westchesterdaddy.com or track me on Instagram (#westchesterdaddy) you’ll see some parenting cartoons, resources for parents in the burbs, and the occasional piece on real estate in the area.  I started the blog primarily due to my experience searching for a home for my family in Westchester.  We couldn’t find a site that combined parenting resources with details on towns and info on real estate. Hope you like it.

If you are still in one of the Boroughs contemplating how you could possibly find another place to call home, check out my site to learn more about Westchester.  Or just give me a call (646.388.0030). I’m partial to Fleetwood but if you like Park Slope maybe Hastings or Dobbs Ferry will be your thing. Regardless, you’ll be surprised by what you find. I now believe Westchester has a home for everyone.

If you’re in southern Westchester, below are some of the local spots I’ve found that made me feel right at home.

Slave to the Grind

(Bronxville. Solid coffee and treats in what could be an East Village coffee shop.  Piercings, suits, and flip flops all appropriate)

The Bayou

(Fleetwood.  The most amazing Cajun food and music outside The Crescent City. Like in the Big Easy you don’t have to spend a lot to have a good meal.  Order the red beans and rice some Monday and you’ll see what I mean)

Tecalitlan

(New Rochelle authentic taco spot. Legit tacos. If you’re in the know you already known about Bar Taco in Portchester.  If you are down south check this spot out.)

Bronxville Diner

(Bronxville.  Kitschy diner with nice attention to detail.  Small but mighty. This place reminds me of EJ’s in the City.)

Joes of Fleetwood

(Fleetwood. Many claim this to be the best pizza in Westchester. It gives any old school spot in the City a run for it’s money.  Grab a slice in their no frills spot or sit down to dine in the adjoining restaurant.

Beer Noggin

(Bronxville. If you’re serious about beer you best stop in here. Excellent collection of bottles and rotating taps at this beer shop with regular, daily happy hour and growler options.  Their website has a blog covering beers as well)

For more spots to hit in the Many villages and towns around Westchester check out my site at  www.westchesterdaddy.com

German Style Biergarten Opens in Port Chester (Thursday – Sunday)

German Style Biergarten Opens in Port Chester (Thursday – Sunday)

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Love checking out new restaurants and can’t wait to try out the Village Beer Garden .  I’m a little biased, but I’ve always thought that it was about time that that we have a German style Biergarten in Westchester.  This new addition to the large Port Chester restaurant scene is now open, though only on Thursday & Friday from 4PM and Saturday & Sunday from 12PM located at the Metro-North Port Chester Station.

Our House Hospitality, whose eating and drinking establishments include the Rye House in Manhattan and Port Chester, and Sala One Nine, Tapas Bar & Restaurant in the Flatiron District of New York, has created an open-air urban retreat reminiscent of a German Biergarten – only now with the whistle and hum of a north and south bound locomotive in the background.   Steeped in history, the Port Chester tracks were laid circa 1840, coinciding with the originating Munich beer gardens which have since inspired decades of beer halls and breweries around the globe. Village Beer Garden paints the picture of one such gathering place, filled with communal butcher block tables with seating for 200, dotted with red patio umbrellas, and wrapped in steel-glass framing and green shrubbery. Overlooking an active downtown retail, dining, and entertainment district, Village Beer Garden is at the center of a historic town which continues to evolve.  An extensive local craft and imported beer list and creative cocktails mark their territory, complimented by an authentic-meets-A-typical Oktoberfest style menu. Bar pickins include house made pretzel nuggets, sweet/spicy/dill pickles, German meatballs, and fried cheese curd. Lighter fare comes in the form of chicken or salmon Niçoise, chilled shrimp cocktail, and German cucumber salad. A sausage menu ofkielbasa, bratwurst, sweet and hot Italian sausage, and boudin blanc share the plate with krauts and slaws. Crispy chicken schnitzel, juicy burgers, and frankfurters round out the food offerings, with added tater tots, sprouts, spaetzli, and fries.

3 Broad Street – Port Chester, NY 10573 -(914) 481-8771 – https://www.villagebeergarden.com

Got Sneakers?

Got Sneakers?

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My daughter and her friends all have the same sneakers. White Adidas Superstars, with three stripes on the side. You know, the ones that were cool in the 80’s? Look around at the mall and you’ll see every kid is wearing them. She’s on her third pair since April 2016 and keeps getting the black stripes. When I take her out looking for sneakers, I have tried to steer her towards “cuter” ones (without laces) especially slip-ons which are easier for summer. In our travels recently, I have found some pretty ones so decided to share them.

Got Sneakers?

Sk Studio Art Gallery Grand Opening

Sk Studio Art Gallery Grand Opening

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I recently discovered an incredibly talented artist.   Simone Kestelman, born and raised in Brazil, is new to Westchester and is really making her mark.  She’s a lot of things;  an interior designer, installing custom pieces for your home and gallery owner that rivals the hippest art studios in Brooklyn.  Her space in White Plains doubles as a gallery to visit and enjoy her displayed work but has an area for #momslikeus to purchase some of her original pieces.   Currently, there are thousands of pieces for sale in her beautifully restored, 9,000 square foot location in White Plains.

Simone’s work is inspired by her education and travels and reflects current social issues.  Being as well traveled as she is, she’s had the opportunity to observe and understand first hand, the physical and emotional pains of injustice and inequality that affects different societies.   Each piece in her gallery tells a story and comes from a place of deep thought and passion.  Interestingly, her use of the color red symbolizes the magic of children.  She attempts to see the world through the eyes of a child, filled with magic and bright moments.

Simone is a multimedia artist focusing on ceramics, glass and photography. Simone is an internationally acclaimed artist with over 30 years experience. Simone recently moved her gallery from Brazil to White Plains. Her work has been at exhibitions in Greece, Brazil and the US.

Join Simone in a discussion and presentation of her works on June 9th at 7pm and 8pm.

“I think art is the physical expression of our souls at a point in time. I put my feelings and aspirations into my art. Having a living art gallery enables me continuously record my inner state, while also having the freedom to reinvent myself. “-Simone Kestelman

Meet Simone at Sk Studio Art Gallery Grand Opening Event

June 9th, 2017 6pm-9pm

Melissa Tomlin of New York Style Life, is proud to present a Grand Opening Reception for local Brazilian artist Simone Kestelman

Sk Studio Art Gallery

122 Westmoreland Ave
White Plains, NY

(entrance to gallery is on Intervale Street)

Please RSVP by May 26th to gruyich@hotmail.com

Wine and light refreshments will be served.

If you are unable to attend the event there will also be an open house Saturday June 10th from 11am-3pm (no RSVP needed)

Follow Simone online:

http://www.simonekestelman.com/

@sk_studio_ny

 

Epic! Like Netflix for kids books!

Epic! Like Netflix for kids books!

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Epic! is an unlimited eBook subscription service ($4.99/month and FREE for elementary school teachers and librarians) with the largest catalogue of high quality books from well known publishers that creates a unique and fun experience to get kids excited about reading. Similar to Netflix, Epic! provides personalized reading recommendations based on age and interest and instant streaming. To date, over 20 million books per month are read by children across the nation.   Epic! makes a great gift for a child who loves technology.  

Epic! has become one of the most popular apps in kids and education categories because of its unique ability to provide quick, streamable literature that is controlled by kids. There is a read-to-me feature that provides an audio reading experience to enhance early learners, as well as, quizzes that help educators provide assessment and learning while remaining fun for students.

Kids use technology, and they like engaging in games. The efforts of companies like Epic! bring a melding of education with entertaining technology. It’s comforting to see that there are people like Markosian who choose to dedicate their entrepreneurial creativity to developing technology that benefits learning.

Read more of this article from Scholastic: http://blogs.scholastic.com/rodberger/2017/03/children-self-managed-reading-that-promotes-literacy.html#.WQ0kq1PytTY

You can find more info online at:   https://www.getepic.com/





Westchester Woman Wednesday:  Meet Aleesia Forni

Westchester Woman Wednesday: Meet Aleesia Forni

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Shawna and I go to a lot of restaurants. Some are chef’s tastings or new seasonal menu previews and others are full service meals or grand openings.  It’s always an interesting assortment of guests and we often wonder afterwards who created the guest list.   We leave with lots of new Instagram followers and some of them, we might never run into again.  It’s a fun way to meet people who love the food scene here in Westchester and try some new places out, that we can in turn share with our readers. One “Westchester foodie” that we have seen at a number of events is our Westchester Woman Wednesday for March.   Her name is Aleesia Forni and she a journalist for the Westchester Business Journal and the Westchester WAG Magazine.  Her food photography skills are incredible. She’s one of the rare foodie experts who actually uses a real camera, instead of using an iPhone with filters.  Because of the work that she does, her IG account is amaaaazing– See for yourself by following Aleesia on Instagram at @AleesiaEats

So we decided we wanted to get together with Aleesia and talk about food, dining and just “good eating” in Westchester.   We met for dinner (most Westchester Woman Wednesday meals are lunch) due to Aleesia’s busy work schedule.  She has a job that any one of us would love.  Between the WAG Magazine and the business journal, she’s busy with pretty awesome assignments.  We knew she was not from the area, but we learned over dinner that Aleesia is anything but a Westchester native.  She grew up on a farm in Ohio, attended Ohio State University and wound up in moving Westchester after a short time living and working in Virginia Beach.  Her longtime boyfriend John has been with her every step of the way, each following their own career paths and building their resumes since college.  Their choice to live in the Peekskill/Montrose area was based on their shared interests.  They wanted to find the balance between city and country life.  In one hour they can can enjoy a sporting event in NYC or find themselves on hiking trails in the mountains.

Aleesia is not what we’d call “moms like us” but she’s a dog mom. A really good one, actually. Without being married or having a child, she already has a college savings account for her first child.  (I think I about fell off my chair at that one actually…) Her dog is her baby for now and she’s factored into her budget, one day a week at doggy day care because she realizes the importance of socializing her dog.  And yes, we asked, the dog also has pet insurance.  Why?  Because she’s researched it and realizes that it’s worth having.  It’s safe to say that she’s uber-responsible and what one would call a “conscientious consumer.”  No fancy doggie clothes or impulse buys for this dog.  On my best days pre-age 30, I don’t think I was ever this logical.

So what does she do for fun in Westchester?  Certainly not what I would have guessed.  She has a Pinterest Group!  (I glanced over to Shawna for a reaction and realized that she had no idea what that even meant. I told her it was like Girl Scouts for GrownUps.) They meet once a month and work on things they found on Pinterest pages.  The group consists of 10-15 women, who found one another on Meetup.com.  They knit, make crafts or other projects that have caught their eye.  They meet once a month and take turns supplying materials and space.  I’m certain that Shawna and I will visit one of these groups at some point.

By the end of dinner, I was not sure if I had even covered all of our topics.  I had stopped writing and just listened!  I think we sort of did….although, a very different conversation than we had over lunch with our January and February friends, Cassandra and Julianne!  Our car ride home from dinner was spent talking about post-college days and how neither of us lived or worked the way Aleesia does.  The shared opinion of these two moms is, her mom must be proud!