Fall Beauty: Peter Lamas Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub

11886189_651669664869492_8558972247693848168_o           We’re officially in the homestretch of summer! It’s time to go back to school but also to enjoy the last few weeks of warm weather while we can. It’s not quite time to switch up your morning coffee order to the seasonal and eternally trendy pumpkin spice latte, but to hold you over while you anticipate this delicious taste and the true start of the fall season, I’ve found an amazing pumpkin exfoliator and just had to share it with you.

The Peter Lamas Naturals Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub was one of those spontaneous and lucky beauty finds that you only come across every once in a while. Not only is it packaged beautifully, but it is also made from natural ingredients including Pumpkin Enzymes, Apple and Almond Acids, Apricot Grains, Pumpkin Oil, Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. On a whim I decided to give it a try, and the first time I used it immediately had me hooked.

This facial exfoliating scrub does everything its description tells you it will. It deep cleanses, exfoliates and even brightened my skin tone. Additionally, it smells AMAZING. The aroma that wafted around my shower made my stomach grumble. The scrub smells poignantly of pumpkin muffins or even a pumpkin angel food cake. It is sweet and seasonal yet not overbearing. Believe me, you should definitely splurge and try it yourself! The Peter Lamas Naturals Exfoliating Pumpkin Facial Scrub is for all skin types, and retails for $28 and can be found here!

Stay Classy! xx

Practically Perfect Porchini Mushroom Risotto

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Just a few simple ingredients can go a long way in a good risotto. The fluffy rice and porchini mushrooms make for a practically perfect pairing, and this risotto is the perfect appetizer or side dish, especially when accompanied by a nice white wine. I adapted this recipe from Shaquille O’Neal’s personal chef, Thomas Gosney’s new cookbook “Method of Procedure.”

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Prep Time: 10 Minutes         Cook Time: 40 Minutes

11951891_650561688313623_4882047658194576084_nLet’s Get Started 

2 cups Arborio Short Grain Rice, Italian short grain rice
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
4 cups Mushroom Broth, Vegetable Broth or Chicken Broth (hot)
1 cup Dried Porchini Mushrooms
2 cups Hot Water
2 tbsp. Whole Butter
2 tbsp. Pecorino Romano Cheese
1 tsp. Fresh Chives or Green Onions, finely chopped
1 tsp. Fresh Italian Parsley or Curly Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
½ tsp. Truffle Oil (optional)

 Let’s Get Cookin’

Pour hot water into the dried mushrooms to rehydrate them. Let sit while preparing 11949544_650561704980288_7938299672130010412_nother steps, this will provide the mushroom essence for the Risotto.
Heat broth to a simmer.
Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium temperature. Add Arborio Rice and sauté so all the oil is absorbed into the rice. Continue cooking until the rice is lightly browned.
Strain the mushroom essence into the rice, stirring so the rice doesn’t clump up. Set the hydrated mushrooms aside. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed. Add broth 1 cup at a time repeating the process until all liquid is absorbed. This will take about 25 minutes.
When you are close to the end add the mushrooms. Ideally, you want the rice to be al dente. It should have a creamy consistency, not thick.
Remove from heat and add butter and cheese. Sprinkle with chives parsley and drizzle truffle oil all over.

Let’s Get Creative

As I mentioned above, if done right, this recipe is practically perfect. To make it even better here are some suggestions.

  • Add some pignoli nuts
  • Add some white wine
  • Add other varieties of mushrooms to the essence

Enjoy! Stay Classy! xx

On The Green: A Day At The Barclays

11224490_650561651646960_5352827232267740716_o            Before I start this post I have to admit something. Other than a few amateur lessons before I turned ten and a handful of medal-winning appearances at my grandma’s “Pitch & Putt” tournaments, my knowledge of golf is non-existent. I could not tell you the difference between a driver and a putter, the reason professional golfers have over ten clubs in their golf bags or even the secret behind hitting the ball in the air where it needs to go. I am an athletic person, and I love sports be it playing or watching them, yet I never took the time to figure out golf in particular. Cue to me, ten years later, dating a golfer, and finding myself on the beautiful green of the Barclays FedEx Cup Playoffs, part of the PGA Tour. Everything happens for a reason, right?

I’ll be honest. When the invitation came to attend the tournament the only thing11058727_650561588313633_8346802363042092456_n I was nervous about was deciding what to wear. (For future PGA tournament goers with the same outfit stress— wear light colors, bring sunglasses and a hat and wear sunscreen. Dresses, skirts, appropriate shorts are all fine, I promise.) I figured that I would be able to catch on and decipher what was going on easy 11954644_650561604980298_6656474710263691637_nenough, after all I knew the point of the game, hit the ball into the hole with as few hits as possible. Unfortunately this naïve view of the game left out other factors such as the wind, terrain, and choice of club and distance measurement. It is certainly not an easy sport, and is nothing like mini golf.

My day at the Plainfield Country Club was fantastic. Standing amongst fellow brightly colored and (mostly) quiet and respectful spectators was such an exciting experience. It was nothing at all like the loud baseball and football crowds I am used to! 11951411_650561574980301_1741765262848236948_nIt was relaxing to watch these professionals do what they do best, and incredibly impressive to watch just how much they could achieve with a few pieces of equipment. Sure, I spent most of it whispering questions to my boyfriend about the game or what was going on or which player was hitting; but it was wonderful to experience something different!

Who knows, maybe I’ll have to take up a new sport :)

Stay Classy! xx

B2S Series ’15/’16: How To Revamp Your Fitness Routine

Workout procrastinators rejoice! Believe me, I know how it feels. You really really wanted to get into shape before going back to school. In fact you had it all planned out, workout routines, new gym clothes, bright sneakers… now where did the summer go?

franci-bio

PC: KMR COMMUNICATIONS

Fortunately I was able to interview NYC-based fitness expert, personal trainer and nutritionist, Franci Cohen (you may have already seen her featured in SHAPE and Women’s Health!) to find out the best way to get into shape despite a super busy collegiate schedule.

  1. If you’re restricted on time, what are the most effective exercises that you should focus on?

“Cardio and core! Cardio is the best way to burn calories, increase metabolic function, and the core is the trunk of your body. Strengthen your base and everything else                                                      becomes stronger as well.”

  1. How can one boost his or her immune system during the colder months?

“ Sleep! Lack of sleep compromises immunity greatly, and if often overlooked as an imperative part of one’s health and immunity during the winter season.

Fluids! Constant replenishing of fluids forces invading pathogens or bugs out of the body before they can attack your immune system.

Vitamin C! This is always my go-to for an immune boost. The trick is to take it in divided doses. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it does not get stored in the body, so it must constantly be replenished. Basically, several 180mg pills taken throughout the day will definitely keep colds and flu away!”

  1. When is the best time to workout?

“Mornings are best! The post exercise endorphin rush sets the “happy” tone for the day. Exercising at night often interrupts circadian sleep rhythms.”

  1. What are some of the biggest nutrition and fitness myths people might believe?

“The biggest myths are that eating less will help you lose more! And exercising more, overtraining, will get you stronger and help build healthier muscles. Both are so far from the truth.”

  1. What are your tips for people trying to stay motivated to continue their fitness/diet routines?

“Don’t kill yourself and get depressed if you skip a day of exercise or stray from your healthy eating habits on occasion. One bad day is not going to make or break you!

Find a fitness buddy, this will keep you motivated and will keep you from skipping workouts when you’re feeling lazy.

Set modest short-term goals (not just the long-term ones) so you can feel gratified and accomplished more often.”

  1. How do you feel about pre-workout drinks and post-workout proteins?

“If you are exercising moderately and for a short duration (an hour or less) it really isn’t necessary or beneficial. But for more labor-intensive workouts, fueling up properly before and replenishing after can be an asset in the quest for leaner and stronger muscles, and more efficiency during future workouts.”

  1. What are some healthy (and yummy) meat and protein substitutes for vegetarians?

“Complementary proteins such as rice and lentils or other legume combos that contain complementary amino acids.

Soy products, but make sure to choose unprocessed ones that don’t contain high sodium contents).”

I guess it’s back to early bird workouts, vinyasas and runs in the Botanical Gardens for me! As soon as I’m fully recovered from wisdom teeth surgery, that is. But I can’t wait to get back into my routine and start off this school year the right way!

Stay Classy! xx

B2S Series ’15/’16: How To Land Your Dream Internship

11813525_641876075848851_6425556138116437396_n            I’m a bit biased when it comes to landing an awesome internship. In addition to being driven and ambitious, I attribute a lot of my internship success to being at the right place at the right time, a.k.a. attending a university in the city in which I would love to work one day, full-time, for real pay.

Living in NYC has opened up so many career opportunities for an aspiring magazine editor such as myself. From interning for a boutique Public Relations firm in SoHo I was able to make amazing connections that led to an Editorial Internship and “Reportership” at New York Family magazine. It was from this amazing experience last fall, and a four-month tango with the book-publishing world while I interned for W.W. Norton Publishing, that I had a confirmed realization that the magazine industry was where I was meant to work. From here I was able to score the best career opportunities of my life so far, being a Photoshoot and Personal Assistant to a famous New York Times food photographer and contributor, and an Editorial Intern at Good Housekeeping magazine.

Working at Hearst was an incredibly eye-opening experience into the world of 11792112_645114722191653_8236191526551002255_omagazine journalism. I immediately fell in love with how different each workday could be, full of events, interviews and varying tasks. It was also apparent that this was an insanely competitive industry in which to get one’s foot in the door, and also to become successful. Fortunately I was able to attend an incredibly helpful workshop, the second-annual Marie Claire@Work Series, where I was able to hear insider tips and tricks from an inspiring panel of Hearst Magazine professionals.

Marie Claire VP/Publisher, Nancy Cardone kicked off the series and excited the crowd before introducing her first speaker, Marie Claire Executive Editor, Leah Goldman. Goldman immediately launched into the importance of having an executive presence in the office. I’m highlighting some of her top tips below!

  • Gravitas: integrity + vision.
    • This is so important because it shows that you can still be confident and graceful when under fire. It shows that you’re decisive, have emotional intelligence, and a vision, all factored in with your communication skills, reputation and pedigree.
    • You never want to be the highest heel in the room.
    • You need to own the game, master the game and then change the game.

After Goldman, the Senior Marketing Editor at Marie Claire, Alexis Wolfe, came up to speak about work outfit essentials and investment pieces that all aspiring magazine professionals should look into purchasing. Here are some of her go-to pieces!

  • A classic pump. Not too high, not too bright, but a comfortable shoe that you can make it through the day in.
  • Short black leather boots. Even though they might seem a bit casual, they’re incredibly comfortable, especially for fashion or beauty editors who are on their feet in the closets and around the city all day.
  • A work cross-body bag. A neutral color that can match anything, and hold everything you might need to get through a busy day.
  • A notebook. You’re not going to get hired because of your amazing memory, but your organizational skills will definitely come in handy.

11143485_641876049182187_8633424174270304465_nAfter a few more speakers, the panel came to an end with a Q&A and professional photo shoot so interns in the audience could update their LinkedIn profiles—super handy!

I found the tips at the Marie Claire@Work Series to be really helpful as this is the industry that I aspire to go into upon graduation in the next few years.11781679_641876022515523_3900979322001418652_n (1)

However, for those who are still in the process of searching for their dream career or internship in any industry, I have also come across a well-written guide called “The Coffee Run: And Other Internship Need-to-Knows” by Sydney N. Fulkerson. 11826029_645317028838089_6248342311062053623_nThis helpful guide covers all aspects of intern life including the internship search, tips for excelling at daily and mundane intern tasks and advice for how to network and stay in touch with the connections you make throughout your internship(s). It is short and sweet and provides honest advice that can help move your career in the direction you want it to go in.

Fulkerson’s book retails for $14.99 and can be purchased in paperback or as an e-book, on Amazon.

Follow your dreams this school year, and stay classy! xx

B2S Series ’15/16: Celeb. Trainer Tips To Make This Semester Your Safest One Yet

PC: 5W Public Relations

PC: 5W Public Relations

Here we go again! The back-to-school countdown has begun. High-school students are cramming in unfinished summer homework, college students are purchasing last-minute dorm essentials and textbooks, and parents are starting to stress about how they can help make this school year the best one yet for their children.

Going into my junior year is incredibly bittersweet. I’m no longer an underclassman and I have already spent the most consecutive semesters on Fordham’s gorgeous Rose Hill campus as I ever will, (I’ll be studying in London spring semester!) As an incoming Junior I’ve already mastered most of what comes along with being a college student, internship savvy friend and a basically broke, yet classy, college girl trying to make the most of life in NYC. However there are still some fears that I had going into freshman year that still come over me from time to time. Living in a not-so-safe area can make nighttime, and daytime, walks off campus stressful, especially for someone without formal self-defense training. I’m hoping that this post might help alleviate some of your fears as it did mine!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Celebrity Trainer (think Amanda Seyfried and Keri Russell!) and Self-Defense Expert, Avital Zeisler. She shared with me some self-defense tips (all of which one can perform while wearing heels!) and I’m sharing some of my favorites with you below.

photo 5 copy 2

PC: 5W PR

  1. What is the Soteria Method and what inspired you to create it? 

“I have personally made the decision to not let the possibility of being attacked compromise the quality of my life or femininity. This highlights the possibility of being threatened while wearing heels. The Soteria Method is an approach named after the Goddess of Safety that can contribute to confidence and survival against such a threat.”

PC: 5W PR

PC: 5W PR

  1. What are some of the most efficient moves that you’d recommend to your clients who may find themselves in a threatening situation?

“First of all, remove the heels if possible. Second, try to escape, even in the heels. And third, learn how to use your heels as an improvised weapon of sorts. If worst comes to worst, these are some easy yet efficient moves that you can pull out at any time, anywhere.”

Tactic #1: Defensive Push Kick
Soteria 3 Factor Combative Theory.

  • Primary Target: Groin
  • Surface Area: Ball of Foot
  • Range of Motion: Forward Hip Thrust

Tactic #2: Palm Strike
Soteria 3 Factor Combative Theory

  • Primary Target: Nose/Chin
  • Surface Area: Heel of Palm
  • Range of Motion: Combative Twist of the Body
  • PC: 5W PR

    PC: 5W PR

  1. What are your top 3 tips for college women to stay safe on campus?

“ 1. Trust your intuition. Learn to be mindful of the feelings and signs that your intuition may communicate to you during times of real life scenario applications, including parties and while dating.

  1. Invest time in developing Situational Awareness. This is simply being more aware of your surroundings so that you can detect when someone is off or out of place faster, and react accordingly to what has been detected around you.
  1. Create safety operational plans. These plans include the following. Always travel with a trusted friend off-campus, to parties and other events. Develop code words with these friends that could be used conversationally or over text when you feel uncomfortable in a situation. Make sure to never leave your drink unattended or go home with someone or a group that you do not know. And carry a bag with improvised weapons that you feel comfortable using, including heels or pepper spray for example, so that you are able to defend yourself if needed.”

I hope you’ve all been able to find useful tips and tricks in this post to help make this upcoming semester the safest and most awesome one yet!

Stay Classy! xx

You Heard It Through The Grapevine

The past few days have been hot and humid in the city. The SoHo streets seem emptier than usual, and the shops and restaurants (and basically everything else with A.C.) seem to be prospering. I spent the morning at a meeting way Uptown and then made my way to SoHo, celebrated in Creperie NYC on MacDougal Street with amazing crepes and smoothies, and then spent the rest of the day wandering through Washington Square Park and the shopping mecca that is Prince and Mercer Streets. I missed the Refinery 29 Ice Cream Time truck by 1 minute (literally, they ran out of ice cream and Timex watches with the person before me) but with the recommendation of a friend, J. Dowd, my day brightened again pretty quickly.

Buffalo Exchange is a high-end consignment store in the Village that features everything from Valentino to J. Crew. After endless browsing I came across this beautiful light plum 100% cashmere bat-winged sweater. I’ve been looking for a cape for a while, admittedly my eye’s been on a red and tan plaid one from Lord & Taylor, but I haven’t found one that could beat this soft and pretty Jae Basilio design.

Even though we planted them three years ago, fresh grapes have finally started to grow in the left corner of my backyard. They’re beautiful and delicious and you can see them (and my new favorite cape sweater) in the photos below. I found this an ironic connection to how I found out about the Buffalo Exchange. The grapevine isn’t always the line of “telephone” that people might imagine it to be!

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Stay Classy! xx

Elegant Éclairs with Homemade Whipped Cream & Wine-Infused Strawberries

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Indulge yourself, you know you want to. This easy to make and extravagantly delicious dessert will not only make your stresses go away (OK, maybe just for a few minutes) but will also impress the lucky people you share it with. This is my take on Masterchef Season 4 winner Chef Luca Manfè’s “Strawberry Shortcake with Bauli Mini Croissants & Whipped Cream.”

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Let’s Get Started:

2 Packages (6 per package) of Bauli Mini Croissants, halved11094334_647196081983517_2420268203236458509_n
1 C Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ C Powdered Sugar
1 t Vanilla Extract
1 C Fresh Strawberries
2 T Fresh Lemon Juice
1 T White Wine (or more, who’s counting)
1 T Granulated Sugar
Fresh Mint, finely chopped (optional)

                                           Let’s Get Cookin’:

11870719_647196131983512_7246038042515738072_nToss the strawberries with white wine, lemon juice, granulated sugar and chopped mint. Let sit in bowl.
Bring the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla to a whipped volume with a stand mixer or a whisk.
Fill halved mini croissants with strawberries and whipped cream.

Let’s Get Creative:

I found the mint in the recipe to be delicious but some people may be opposed to it, in which case feel free to leave it out!
Mid-August is when strawberries are the most “in-season” fruit, which is why I chose them for this dessert! However the recipe will be just as yummy with other fruits such as peaches or raspberries (or raspberries infused with champagne… hmm next time!).

Enjoy! Stay Classy! xx

Shhh, The NYFW Beauty Secret Everyone’s Sipping On Backstage

This is not a drill. Fall 2015’s trendiest week in New York City (actually, the entire U.S.A.) is less than a month away. Oh yeah, this is exactly what you think. Mercedes-Benz Fall Fashion Week has crept up on us again (September 10-17). But this time, to mitigate the usual havoc of shopping sprees, aligning the coolest, riskiest outfits to wear to the occasion and stalking designers’ social media for after-party or secret fashion show locations, you can take comfort in knowing how to survive (literally, hydration is key) the long hot week using the same technique as the Fashion Week models.

PC: Big T NYC

PC: Big T NYC

11058630_646980362005089_7749557435048477201_nBig T NYC was created by New York Fashion Week insider Theresa Krier. Working backstage at NYFW she realized how thirsty all of the models were under the bright hot lights and how none of them reached out to drink the available sodas and sugary drinks the tables were stocked with. Understanding the need to hydrate in a way that won’t bloat, Krier created Big T NYC, the world’s first couture tea. Since it’s 2013 debut, her tea is a Fashion Week must-have and the models’ beverage-of-choice. Take it from me, it’s amazing!

I tried my first cup of Big T NYC today in Tell-Tale Glow, 11219115_646980295338429_4550061515616261836_nOrganic White Tea after my run and yoga routine this morning. I spooned about a teaspoon of the leaves into a tea strainer and let it steep in my favorite teacup, for about 5 minutes. It was delicious, cleansing and the flavors were really poignant. It made me feel like I did something good for my body and actually influenced me to eat clean for the rest of the day!

This flavor, Tell-Tale Glow, is made from all organic ingredients. It includes organic white tea, goji berries, 11898678_646980278671764_4722311450659975457_ncurrants, elderberries, rose petals, osmanthus blossoms and natural essential oils. These ingredients are so high in anti-oxidants that drinking a cup of this tea is meant to be the secret weapon that is zero calories, all organic, super hydrating and will keep your skin looking amazing all throughout the day. I can totally understand how this is the NYFW backstage drink-of-choice!

You can get your own Big T NYC couture tea here! The Tell-Tale Glow loose leaf tea retails for $19.50.

Stay Classy! xx

So Let’s Root, Root Root For The Home Team

If there’s one name that’s on the tip of every New York sports fan’s tongue, it is Steven Matz. Just this season, Matz made his debut as a major league baseball player and the starting pitcher for the Mets. Just 24 years old (I know right!) he broke records in his first game both batting and pitching. He became the first major league pitcher to drive in four runs in his first career game! P.S. The Mets are now the #1 team in the league!

I have to admit that I’m not only a big sports fan, especially New York sports, 11406932_629157077120751_139465901491952724_nbut I’m a HUGE baseball fan. I played it all, Tee-Ball, Baseball, Softball, Whiffle Ball… and not only do I love to play, but I’ve also coached Little League and cheered on the sidelines of my sisters’ games. I’m a fan of the sport, the anticipation of each play is exciting, especially when one is attending a big game at Citi Field or Yankee Stadium. Each year I try my best to make it to both stadiums to see the Mets and Yankees play. I attended one of Derek Jeter’s last games, and unfortunately have missed my favorite player, David Wright, for the last year and a half due to untimely injuries that seem to occur just after I purchase my tickets.

The rush of these games, regardless of who’s on the field and who’s in the dugout, is incredible. Immersed in a crowd of like-minded individuals cheering on the same team (or maybe another) excites a spark of competition in each individual that creates a closer bond and connection with the game going on below. The team that you cheer for soon becomes referred to as “your” team, and if they win, that means that you win as well.11412319_629157097120749_9212233169371487423_n

I love the Victoria’s Secret PINK MLB collection. It brings a fun and girly twist to otherwise standard major league baseball fan apparel. I purchased the shirt I’m wearing from the collection and love showing both my team spirit and personality through the fun sequins on the tank. Another great option, just for Yankees fans though, is Amber Sabathia’s collection (she’s CC Sabathia’s wife, and if you don’t know who that is this probably doesn’t apply to you) for tiny MLB fans. Although there’s nothing wrong with a signature Mets or Yankees jersey, these alternative options are more expressive (and actually a lot less expensive).

How do you like to show your team pride?

Stay classy! xx