So it finally happened. I found the best bagels in NYC! OKAY, I’m sure there are probably a few dozen or so places out there I haven’t tried, but I can assure you this place takes the cake… or rather, a deliciously schmeared everything bagel. I had my first Hot Jumbo Bagel the other evening when a bartender at a local establishment came back from a break with a dozen bagels. He tossed me a garlic bagel, and I was hooked. Hot Jumbo Bagels knocks the socks off H&H, Broadway Bagel and Zabars by far, and is located at 1070 East 2nd Street between 56th and 57th.
With an increasingly busy schedule which includes engagements and competitions in Pittsburgh, New York, Norway and Germany, Soprano Suzanne Vinnik is finding herself living out of a suitcase more often than her own apartment. The young diva shares some of her money saving tips for looking like a star without purging your clutch.
I feel like I am always on the go! I’ve converted several of my fellow opera singer friends to the joys of LUSH! I LOATHE paying money to check my suitcases at the airport!!! I know that I can save money by packing up my cute little Betsey Johnson duffle bag and put it in the overhead! On the road these are the products I bring to avoid costly luggage!!!! If you travel as much as I do, save your money and bring solids!!!! ☺
Godiva Shampoo Bar- (VEGAN) it is a great two-in-one shampoo and conditioner! It is made with cocoa and shea butters, which moisturize the hair follicles and make them feel soft! It has a sexy jasmine scent that will last all day long!!! It makes the entire bathroom smell incredible after I use it! I put it in my shampoo bar tin for safe storage! When they say it’s good for at least 50 washes… they are NOT kidding!!!! For $10.95 you can’t go wrong!!!!!
Coal face cleanser- this is a great cleansing bar made of ground up charcoal that absorb excess sebum and acts as a mild exfoliator. After wearing stage makeup this really gets my skin feeling CLEAN! $11.95 for 3.5 oz.
Full of Grace- this bar is great on the road because it makes my skin very moisturized after washing my face! I normally would use a moisturizer but this works great when I can’t bring liquids with me! When I am home, I put this on before using a face mask! $13.95
Alkmaar Soap- (VEGAN) Normally, I love to use my favorite soap THE FLYING FOX but on the road like I said I cannot bring my liquids! I bring this amazing bar of soap that looks like cheese!!!! It has a creamy sexy jasmine and honeysuckle scent with smokey vetivert undertones! $7.95 for 3.5 oz.
Karma Bubble Bar- sometimes I’m lucky enough to have a bathtub on the road. When I know that I’ll have one I bring this bubble bar along! I just break it into four sections and crumble it up underneath the faucet (I get 3-4 uses out of each bar)! It is one of my favorite scents from Lush and it just makes me feel relaxed! $8.45
Tuca Tuca Massage Bar- Instead of bringing a lotion with me I can bring this little massage bar with me!!! Again, I store it in a little tin which I get for free when I buy both my massage bar and solid shampoo bar!!! I love the way this stuff smells!!! $7.95
Tuca Tuca Solid Perfume- I will not leave the house without perfume! It’s part of being a diva! I want people to know when I am about to make my grand entrance! $8.95
Delivering a fierce “Tour de Nice”, Chef Andy D’amico offers to the Upper West Side of Manhattan a delicious culinary excursion to Nice, France as well as a full gluten-free menu for those patrons with celiac disease or general health concerns. While famous for their Croque Madames et Monsieurs, I prefer the Poached Eggs Provencal at brunch time. The dish features ratatouille in a crisp puff pastry with a delicious tomato cream sauce. For dinner, it is my humble opinion that no one does Grilled Salmon better, at least in this neighborhood. Add to your entree the best escargot in town for a truly French experience. Remember, salmon is quite possibly wine’s friendliest fish, so choose anything from a Champagne to cleanse the fat from your palate or a medium-wieght pinot that would pair just as well. Be sure to try this “tour de force” on your next “tour de France.”
- Make Nice at Nice Matin (jacoboheme.wordpress.com)
- Oh Rapture! Oh Holy 5 Napkin Burger! (jacoboheme.wordpress.com)
- The Pour: At Nice Matin, a Wine List That Hits All the Marks (nytimes.com)
- Matin Ssenoga : Uganda (kiva.org)
- French Riviera – Nice, France (travelpod.com)
After meeting one of Lara Slatkin’s fabulous fragrance experts from NEST Fragrances at an Upper East piano bar, I was privileged to have been sent three of the company’s unique candles (Nest’s Grapefruit Candle is a rumored favorite of Sarah Jessica Parker). Nestled in a gift bag were the following fragrances which you can pick up in person at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus or online at amazon.com and candlesoffmain.com:
Orange Blossom, a blend orange blossom, orchid, tiare flower and freesia combined with tangerine, lemon and musk.
Moss & Mint, garden mint, apple blossom and muguet are infused with a touch of oakmoss and vetiver.
Wasabi Pear is my personal favorite scent and my newest petit plaisir. This wonderful candle is a blend of Anjou pear and ozonic watery notes infused with the essence of wasabi.
NEST Fragrances carries candles in a varied array of sizes and scents. With votives starting at $14.00, traditional sizes at $32 , 3-wick candles at $58 and, if you really feel like splurging there is the NEST Fragrances Luxe 13- Votive Gift Set featuring all twelve of NEST’s everyday fragrances along with a holiday votive.
Located at 325 Bowery, Peels offers ambiance and hearty food in the middle of one of the cities trendiest areas. Try building a biscuit with interchangeable gravy, egg, sausage, cheese and even fried chicken for an affordable, yet hearty brunch option. This place also serves delicious French pressed coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters.
Kate Moss once said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”… so did an acquaintance of mine who works at Gucci when he noticed my now visible weight loss of 50 pounds. “How did you do it?” he asked while sniffing an imaginary line of cocaine. Strangely, I wasn’t offended; although it took me two years to actually lose the 40 pounds I gained at university (and an additional ten) people didn’t really notice the difference until I had lost over twenty pounds. It took me a full year and those twenty pounds to realize “Hey! Diet AND exercise“… they work so well TOGETHER! Presently, I enjoy sticking to South Beach Diet‘s heart healthy guidelines… with the occasional splurge of course.
I also feel that it’s time for powerful media to stop embracing stick figures like Kate Moss as something sexy and aspirational. There’s really nothing sexy about a walking skeleton with a powder white mustache… Which brings me back to the UK Skins…. I know, I have an insatiable lust for this show and it really should calm down. In the series 1 finale of Skins, the mentally unstable and anorexic Cassie convinces one of her rehab clinic mates to leave the grounds with her for the evening. Her friend replies “What if we get hungry? There’s food out there!” I’m here to tell you to eat! Eat in moderation, Eat healthy, and eat smart. As always, too much of a good thing can be bad, or in some cases, deadly. Also… if you’re actively promoting healthy habits in your life, don’t be afraid of the occasional, or even weekly splurge. At the moment I am eating a double glazed old-fashioned style donut… and boy is it delicious!
So here I am, 45 minutes into my flight back to Manhattan, I really need to use the restroom, the seat belt sign has been turned back on thanks to turbulence (which I have yet to feel), while I listen to the man behind me describe how his parents got by for 2 years on money they made donating plasma… its a fascinating story, but I’m now plugging in my headphones to try and listen to Danielle de Niese’s new Mozart album that I just downloaded. Let me just say that I really really love this singer/ actress.
Speaking of Mozart, I was visiting two of my best friends, Kim, Josh and their newborn daughter ( my Goddaughter) Kiera when I started thinking about something I read in The Mozart Effect a few years ago. The book discusses the various effects that not just classical music, but Mozart’s in particular has on our brains. Did you know that some music can actually make you dumber? I wonder if that applies to the millions of Justin Bieber fans… Anyhow, Studies have shown that when an adult listens to Mozart’s sonata for two pianos in D Major, his or her IQ actually raises by about 7-8 points, but only for about 15 minutes after an initial 10 minutes of listening. The study also showed that when newborns were played the piece, they showed an astounding improvement in spacial-temporal reasoning. As you know, babies spend that first 3 months adjusting to, well… everything. From being able to produce Melatonin in the evening to having a visual range that expands beyond twelve feet, we literally experience a whole new world as a developing human.
Another study involved control groups of 3-4 year olds in which one group was given piano lessons for eight months, the other groups were given computer lessons, singing lessons and one was provided with no training. The group of children who were provided the piano lessons scored on average a staggering 34% higher in tests of spatial-temporal reasoning than all the other children.
So what does this mean? Simply that some music makes you smarter, some doesn’t, and Justing Bieber just might fry your brain.