Oscar Party Drinks… Skinnygirl Style

The Skinnygirl Starlet

The Skinnygirl Starlet

Ladies and gents… The playoffs of pop culture are upon us!  And the winner is… Skinnygirl Cocktails for transforming your “Girls Night In” viewing party into an A-list show stopping event.

Listen, I don’t care what the trash mags or gossip queens have to say about Bethenny or her brainchild, I think the idea of a low-calorie libation is brilliant. What she does in her marriage is her business, not mine (though when thinking about her divorce I  want to squeal “why, why??” Nancy Kerrigan-style).

So, as a tribute to all things entertaining, unveil a signature Skinnygirl Cocktail at your Oscar party. I reckon the ladies will love it.  Choose from The Showstopper, The Starlet, or The Bombshell to keep the theme going all night.

A party tooklit and recipes are below (thank you to Beam for providing us with this star-studded idea!):

The Skinnygirl® Cocktails Awards Season Party Toolkit has all the glitz and glam you need to entertain like a leading lady. From award badges and recipe cards to printable ballots and bottle labels,  Skinnygirl Cocktails has your party covered – down to a red carpet backdrop so guests can strut their stuff and strike their own pose.

The Showstopper

2 parts Skinnygirl™ Tangerine Vodka

Squirt of fresh lime

Squirt of fresh lemon

Squirt of fresh orange

Splash of Lemon-lime soda

Orange slice to garnish

To prepare: Shake Skinnygirl™ Tangerine Vodka, lime, lemon and orange juices with ice and strain into martini glass. Top off with a splash of lemon-lime soda and garnish with an orange slice.

The Showstopper

The Showstopper

The Starlet

1 ½ parts Skinnygirl™ Cucumber Vodka

2 parts club soda

Splash of no sugar added cranberry juice

Lime wedge or cucumber slice to garnish

To prepare: Pour over ice and garnish with a lime wedge or cucumber slice!

The Bombshell

2 parts Skinnygirl™ Bare Naked Vodka

Splash of dry vermouth

Fresh olives to garnish

To prepare: Shake with ice, pour into a martini glass and garnish with fresh olives

Skinnygirl™ Vodka retails for $21.99

http://skinnygirlcocktails.com/

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Palm Springs Best Brunch & Lunch Spots

Jiao Tea Smoked Pork Belly with shaved fennel, cilantro, pink grapefruit, and black vinegar

Jiao’s Tea Smoked Pork Belly with shaved fennel, cilantro, pink grapefruit, and black vinegar

We’re huge fans of Palm Springs. We can’t get enough of the warm desert wind, the dates, the architecture (for those who missed it this February, try Modernism Week next year) and, of course, the margaritas. With that in mind, we want to tell our cronies to be sure to try out the restaurants owned by design-savvy couple, Tara Lazar and Marco Rossetti of the Cheeky’s group. Their restaurants include Cheeky’s (perfect for brunch/lunch), Jiao (asian), and Birba (delicious cocktails… try the Heated Snake or the Hello Nancy or both). All restaurants are either next door to one another or a stone’s throw away on Palm Canyon Drive.

Blondie`s Eggs Benedict w/ real bacon, sauteed arugula, Deb`s Cheddar Scone

Blondie`s Eggs Benedict w/ real bacon, sauteed arugula on Deb`s Cheddar Scone 

Organic, delicious, crowded (so grab a drink next door at Birba), and reasonably priced, I’d drive two hours just to have Cheeky’s bacon flight which includes spicy jalapeno, sweet maple vanilla, smoky applewood, and roasted garlic ($4). They change their menu weekly according to what’s fresh, but there’s always a kickass Huevos Rancheros, a Bloody Mary that comes in a campy little boot glass, and, dios mio, I just saw Cochinita Pibil on this week’s menu… nom nom nom.

Cheeky’s/Birba

622 North Palm Canyon Drive

www.cheekysps.com

A Little Luxury at Les Deux Alpes

Les Deux Alps

Les Deux Alpes

Ah, le superb resort of Les Deux Alpes, nestled in the French Isère département, is a village at the mouth of the largest skiable glacier in Europe, giving visitors access to all-year-round skiing. Since we’re all about winter right now (I even skied Central Park this weekend, fellas), we say… check out some online reputable agents to book ski deals, and you can see for yourself how fabulous this resort is while benefiting from great value for the money.

Les Deux Alpes offers around 137mi of pisted runs, perfect for the family (or you and your amour). Often termed ‘upside-down’ due to the steeper runs being nearer to the resort than the beginner slopes higher up the mountain, there are plenty of opportunity for everyone – no matter how proficient they are on a pair of skis. Don’t worry about the beginner and intermediate runs being further up the mountain though – there are gondola rides that can help you get there.

There is also believed to be the same amount of miles in off-piste track, particularly the area known as La Grave, giving plenty of opportunity for cross country adventure. If you’re a little more practiced skier, this could be a great way to hone your skills and escape the crowds on the groomed slopes.

Are you a boarder? Don’t worry – there’s an extensive snowpark boasting a half pipe, a multiple kicker and a handful of grinding rails, meaning you can grab and grind as much as you like. Since we do love a good grind.

While the groomed slopes and marked runs are fabulous for novices, if you want to really test yourself, the glacier is a perfect place to go. Offering skiing throughout the year, the glacier can be accessed by Jandri Express ski lift or a funicular railway that transports you through a tunnel beneath the ice.

The resort also provides an ideal spot for mountain biking during the summer months, both downhill and freeride options readily attainable.

So, take the plunge and head for the family friendly resort of Les Deux Alpes. Whatever you hope to achieve from your ski holiday, this resort will surely provide it!

New Opening April 2013: Hyatt Union Square

Guest Room at the new Hyatt Union Square (Opening April 2013)

Guest Room at the new Hyatt Union Square (Opening April 2013)

A new hotel in Union Square for all you Big City Apples. Taking reservations for April 2013, the new Hyatt Union Square New York will be located at 134 Fourth Avenue. Channeling the energetic spirit of the area – known to many as the new Digital District – the new Hyatt plans to bring high-style design through artistic lounges and rooms, ranging from loft-style studios with and without outdoor terraces to two distinct presidential suites. The hotel will also offer new restaurants by One Five Hospitality Group, led by well-respected restaurateurs Jo-Ann Makovitzky and Marco A. Moreira, owners of the highly acclaimed Tocqueville and 15 East restaurants.The hotel’s signature restaurant, The Fourth, is slated to be an all-day American Brasserie that will serve traditional brasserie fare with a modern American interpretation. Singl Lounge (for all you Singls) hopes to be a new spot for locals and guests to catch up during the day or night.

Be on the look out for an extensive single malt scotch selection and single vineyard wines by the glass.

www.unionsquare.hyatt.com

Feel Like Getting Your Travel Yogi On?

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga in Aruba... what, what?

Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga in Aruba… what, what?

Bali, Santorini, Tulum, Cabo, Maui, Vermont? Yes, everyone I know, including myself, is always looking for that perfect yoga retreat, preferably, if you’re me, on an island somewhere exotic where my hair is just full of curly life. Enter: The Travel Yogi, a specialist in international yoga retreats and yoga adventures, who promises to put you there… with yogis on stand up paddleboards! Seriously, that’s a retreat on April 6-13th on the island of Aruba. But wait… there’s more!

From March 16-23, Bali is host to yogis participating in a weeklong retreat while also taking in the international yoga and music festival: Bali Spirit Fest.  And the best Mediterranean views? Well, those are reserved for yogi guests joining the May 4-11th retreat in Santorini.

Badass Bali Yoga

Badass Bali Yoga

The Travel Yogi is a gem of a concept… expand boundaries through yoga and travel. Founded in 2010, the goal was the following: find balance and personal transformation through yoga practiced in naturally inspiring destinations. We can dig. Engaging truly gifted teachers who can expertly handle all levels of experience and ambition, they distinguish themselves from others in the same space, by discovering and organizing compelling locations that get yogis feeling adventurous in a way that typical yoga retreats may not.

Jennifer Hoddevik, The Travel Yogi founder and owner had this to say: “Warm and inviting island destinations are always popular retreats, because the rejuvenating properties of water and yoga go hand in hand.” We agree, Jennifer, oh do we ever.

So, for example,what’s on deck in Aruba? Seven nights in a boutique hotel with a beachfront yoga pavilion and spa.

This is what yoga in Santorini looks like, folks

This is what yoga in Santorini looks like, folks

Included in the $1,649 per person double rate are accommodation, two yoga classes a day with instructor Maria Santoferraro (Daily Downward Dog blogger), stand up paddleboard yoga class with Rachel Brathen, sunset catamaran sailing with snorkeling excursion and snacks, daily breakfast, two hotel lunches and dinners and two restaurant dinners in town, plus transfers to and from the airport.

A March 16-23 Bali retreat with LA-based teacher Gigi Yogini (yes, you read that right, Gigi Yogini),  is scheduled in Ubud, the arts and crafts center of Bali, to coincide with Bali Spirit Fest March 20-24. This retreat is unique in the overlapping of the international yoga and music festival and the amazing vibe this brings to the already vibrant town of Ubud.  The per person rate from $1,795 includes seven nights accommodation, all meals, yoga workshops, massage, a full day ticket to Bali Spirit Fest, airport transfers and more. Participants are encouraged to extend their stay to include the end of the festival.

The first of three scheduled Santorini retreats is May 4-11 with Angel Lucia. Similar programs are scheduled Sept. 14-21 with Dimitra Kotanides and Sept. 21-28 with Giselle Mari and Jennifer Prugh. The program, based at an ocean view luxe boutique property is from $1,995 per person double inclusive of accommodation, morning playful yoga flow, evening restorative yoga, welcome poolside fruit and wine, daily breakfast, four group dinners and airport transfers.

Hoddevik explains that destinations are scouted by The Travel Yogi team and are vetted for suitability to host yoga teachers and guests seeking yoga retreat holidays and vacation adventures with time out for yoga each day. Non-yoga practicing travel companions are welcome to join twice daily yoga sessions, or not. Prior proficiency in yoga is not required and, even for practicing yogis, the yoga is always optional. While the retreats are yoga focused, other destinations offer Yoga Adventures with the opportunity to practice yoga while engaged in other adventure travel activities.

A list of international and domestic destinations for 2013 include, but are not limited to: Aruba, Galapagos, El Salvador, Santorini, Maui, Cabo, Tulum, New Zealand and Vermont. Guests practice and play with some of the yoga world’s best known instructors: Annie Carpenter, Kathryn Budig, Giselle Mari, Jennifer Pastiloff and Ashley Turner, to name a few.

So sign thee up!

http://thetravelyogi.com

All photos (c) The Travel Yogi

Art in the City: Doug Argue’s The Art of Translation

Doug Argue's Drift Dive (Edelman Arts)

Doug Argue’s Drift Dive (Edelman Arts)

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”

— William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

And man, don’t I wish my cavern had one of Doug Argue’s paintings on its walls? Reminiscent of Jasper Johns and Basquiat, Argue’s “The Art of Translation,” is a new exhibition of paintings by genre-busting painter Doug Argue. “Doug’s approach is as novel, and fully realized, as the works of Jasper Johns, Brice Marden and Jean-Michel Basquiat, at the height of their powers,” says Asher Edelman, founder of Edelman Arts and host of the soiree.

As Edelman Arts explains: “The painter puts his unique vocabulary to work with a visual and conceptual subtext of letters. From a distance, the paintings suggest color field painting or abstract expressionism. A closer look reveals the paintings are comprised of prismatic realms of flowing shapes and patterns. Painted with oil on linen, the letterforms are individually stretched and transformed, capturing language’s ephemeral, fluid nature.”

And in the artist’s words: “What’s important to me is the flux of language—changing constantly in meanings, sound, grammar, in every way—and letters as metaphors for molecules, atoms, and chromosomes—providing a system of combining and recombining with almost infinite variation, while providing continuity in the evolution of the universe, life, and language. The letters also represent sounds. When I use them and break them up, they turn into free-roaming sounds.”

While Abstract Expressionists’ paintings were retrospective—capturing or reflecting a prior idea or emotional state—Argue’s paintings seem propositional, anticipatory—projecting into what the Frankfurt theorist Ernst Bloch terms the “not-yet.”

Doug Argue (b. 1962) currently resides in New York City. His works are included in numerous public collections, including the Walker Art Center, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. In 2009, he was awarded with the Artist of the Year by the London International Creative Competition. Argue has been the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, the Prix De Rome, a Bush Foundation Fellowship and a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Edelman Arts presented a solo exhibition of his works in 2011 and an exhibition of monumental works in conjunction with New York’s Haunch of Venison in June 2012.

Opening: February 21st from 6-8pm, 2013

Runs from: February 22nd – March 23rd, 2013

Edelman Arts

136 East 74th Street

New York, New York 10021

Aerial7 Earphone Beanies? Yes!

Aerial7's Headphone Beanie!

Aerial7’s Headphone Beanie!

My ears are frizzzeeeezinnnn here in NYC. So, when I heard about AERIAL7, knitted headphone beanies, I said… “Dame! Dame!” (That’s Spanish for “Gimme! Gimme!”) Serving as the perfect winter accessory that are as functional as they are stylish, they’re a versatile, “wear with everything” accessory with built-in headphones to use with your iPod, mp3 player, smartphone or other mobile device. Yes, the Sound Disk Beanie keeps you entertained and digitally connected all day long.

But these aren’t your ordinary headphones. AERIAL7’s sound disk speakers – circular, on-ear headphones – are thin enough to fit inside the beanie’s special compartment and are also adjustable and removable, so they can be worn a ton of different ways based on your winter activity, whether it’s running morning errands in the cold, out on the powdery slopes, or even when you just want to channel your inner DJ/Rapper/Hipster.

The Sound Disk Beanie retails for $60 and comes in four styles and an array of colors so check these puppies out!

www.aerial7.com