SKINNYGIRL® COCKTAILS TASTEMAKERS: COCKTAILS IN THE CITY

sipping margaritas

Women love to throw parties. We love to gather friends and share. Whether it’s a big celebration, like an engagement or a baby, or maybe it’s just surviving a crazy week of balancing work, family and life. We love gathering our BFFs and raising a glass. Skinnygirl® Cocktails is celebrating the women who gather. The women who plan. The ringleaders who pop up in your inbox to invite you to a #RHONY party or a knitting circle or a potluck. The tastemakers.

To kick things off, Skinnygirl® Cocktails gathered some great party planners, style mavens and foodies in New York for an influencer summit. We sampled wine, noshed on gourmet food, whipped up cocktails and swapped ideas on how to throw great parties. You might say we were working. You might also, say, we are really, really lucky!

Wine dinner

Most of the fun happened at the James Hotel. We kicked things off with a wine tasting led by Dan Irving, VP of the Winery Exchange (the company that makes all of Skinnygirl® Cocktails wines), paired with food from David Burke’s restaurant at the hotel. (More to come soon with our exclusive wine pairings party in June).

tastemakers cooking class WP_20150313_13_17_19_Pro

The next day, we were treated to an exclusive cooking party where we learned how to whip up a gourmet meal incorporating Skinnygirl® Cocktails products into each item we made. The cooking party was a treat. We sliced and diced and prepped our own gourmet lunch. I loved seeing how the cocktails can also be integrated into recipes.

with bethenny

And then, there was the celebrity experience! Bethenny Frankel arrived for cocktails and a chat on the final evening. She shared the winding story of her success (the woman doesn’t take no for an answer).

margarita party

Inspired? I sure was. So to celebrate Bethenny’s return to Bravo’s Real Housewives New York City, I dreamed up a fiesta for friends. I created a quick and easy Margarita Bar using Skinnygirl® Cocktails ready to pour margaritas.

margarita party with skinnygirl

Planning the party was easy. I used the ready-to-serve Skinnygirl® Margarita and then came up with some fun add-on ideas.

simple bites for margarita party

1. Keep the food simple. I used chips and salsa since it was a simple party, I kept the focus on the drinks.

2. Step up your ice. I prepped oversized rocks. This way the margarita will stay cool without getting watery.

3. Get your guests involved. After I demonstrated rimming the glass with lime and then adding salt from our salt bar, everyone was able to join in the fun. I picked three flavors: a tart lime, sea salt and a sweet one. TIP: use washi tape and a Sharpie pen to label all the flavors.

4. Have a signature drink. I picked the Spicy Margarita. To make this I followed Bethenny’s instructions in her cocktail guide. I muddled some jalapeno added it to  a rocks glass that had been rimmed with a sea salt mix. Add in a large “rock” and then pour over the chilled pre-mixed cocktail. Easy peasy and so tasty.

Here’s a look at details from the party:

spicy lime cocktail recipe

Maybe you’re saying, “Yes, that’s so me! I plan these bashes all the time.” Well you can join in the tastemaker movement. It’s so easy. Just head on over to Skinnygirl® Cocktails Tastemakers page here you’ll fill our a few details, get a confirmation email, then voila! You’ve got access to awesome content to plan and celebrate the events big and small with your girl posse.

skinny girl social media

This is a sponsored post. All content is original, there is no scripted information and all opinions are my own.

Skinnygirl® Cocktails is a registered trademark of Jim Beam Brands Co. (“Beam”) and is used with permission. The information, comments and ideas expressed on this website do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Beam, its affiliated companies or any of their directors or employees. Beam does not sponsor, authorize, or otherwise endorse this website.

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Catching up with Real Housewife KYLE RICHARDS at Restasis Event

kyle richards restasis

Did you know Kyle Richards star of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” series suffers from chronic dry eye? Kyle Richards is partnering with Allergan, the makers of RESTASIS® to raise awareness of Chronic Dry Eye.

Many moms suffer from dry eye (as many as 25 million people in the US report symptoms) and let it go untreated. At the NYC event held at the Eventi hotel, I got the chance to chat with Kyle. She said, “Like most moms, I’m incredibly busy and didn’t take time to go to a doctor.” Kyle said she had symptoms for five years and it wasn’t until “it got so bad it effected my quality of life” that she sought help.” oKyle was diagnosed with a type of Chronic Dry Eye disease and was prescribed RESTASIS® for relief, the first and only prescription medicine approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that helps eyes’ natural ability to produce tears.

“A few years ago, during the filming of the ‘Housewives’ first season, I began to notice that my eyes were bothering me throughout the day. I started stashing artificial tears anywhere I might need them – in my purse and different areas of my house – using them several times a day for temporary relief,” said Kyle. The problem is, without enough tears, the film protecting the eye can break down, creating dry spots on the eye surface.

Allergan, the makers of RESTASIS® also connected me with Doctor Christopher E. Starr. Doctor Starr is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Director of Laser Vision Correction Surgery, and Director of the Fellowship Program in Cornea, Cataract & Refractive Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

“Chronic Dry Eye is a disease, and once the condition is diagnosed, there are treatment options available. For those who are not making enough of their own tears due to the underlying inflammation, RESTASIS® is a prescription eye drop used daily, 12 hours apart, twice a day that has helped my patients produce more of their own tears.”

Dr. Starr said winter can make symptoms worse, so it might be time to get your symptoms checked. As the Inflammation gets worse from having dry irritated eyes the ocular surface gets harder to treat and requires more intervention. Restasis is an anti-inflammatory drug that is designed to break the inflammatory cycle. According to Dr. Starr, the  dosage is 2x a day and Retasus is usually covered by insurance.

To figure out if you have chronic vs. occasional dry eye see your doctor for a careful eye exam. You can get started by taking this quiz www.restasis.com/Chronic-Dry-Eye-Disease/Do-You-Have-Chronic-Dry-Eye-Disease

restasis quiz

To learn more about Kyle’s experience and to find an eye doctor in your area who treats Chronic Dry Eye disease, visit www.Restasis.com/KyleRichards

This is not a sponsored post. I’m not a doctor, and I don’t play one on TV. If you think you have Chronic Dry Eye see your doctor. 

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Colgate Optic White Beauty Bar Featuring Tide Pods

keratin complex, beauty bar. colgate optic white beauty bar featuring tidek pods, tide pods, real housewives, luann de lesseps, marysol patton, treatment, braid bar

Nothing makes you feel a bit more like an A-lister than getting your hair done next to celebs. Nicole and I had the pleasure of attending the Colgate Optic White Beauty Bar featuring Tide Pods at Salon Ziba today where we were treated to some serious VIP treatment thanks to the talented stylists.

Nicole of Momtrends

Cocktails were a flowin’, delicious apps were passed and there was even a fro-yo station with toppings galore. How fun is that?!? We were there amongst celebrities like Real Housewives LuAnn de Lesseps and Marysol Patton, Kristin Cavallari and more. And let me tell you…this event couldn’t have come at a better time!

keratin complex, beauty bar. colgate optic white beauty bar featuring tidek pods, tide pods, real housewives, luann de lesseps, marysol patton, treatment, braid bar

keratin complex, beauty bar. colgate optic white beauty bar featuring tidek pods, tide pods, real housewives, luann de lesseps, marysol patton, treatment, braid bar

After running around the city today, my hair was in serious need of some help. Thank goodness for Keratin Complex who provided me with a lovely blowout. I walked out event ready…Well, my hair was ready to rock and roll anyway. I definitely needed to change out of my v-neck tee before I hit up any hot spots. Just sayin’.

keratin complex, beauty bar. colgate optic white beauty bar featuring tidek pods, tide pods, real housewives, luann de lesseps, marysol patton, treatment, braid bar

keratin complex, beauty bar. colgate optic white beauty bar featuring tidek pods, tide pods, real housewives, luann de lesseps, marysol patton, treatment, braid bar

keratin complex, beauty bar. colgate optic white beauty bar featuring tidek pods, tide pods, real housewives, luann de lesseps, marysol patton, treatment, braid bar

Nicole had some dry styling done and her gorgeous voluminous curls were seriously fab. Also available were a braid bar, makeup touch ups, manicures and a Satya Jewelry table…Check out Nicole modeling a gorgeous cuff!

keratin complex, beauty bar. colgate optic white beauty bar featuring tidek pods, tide pods, real housewives, luann de lesseps, marysol patton, treatment, braid bar

keratin complex, beauty bar. colgate optic white beauty bar featuring tidek pods, tide pods, real housewives, luann de lesseps, marysol patton, treatment, braid bar

Before we left, we had to stop by the photo booth for a little goofy photo sesh…You can’t go wrong with a boa and top hat? Am I right? Of course, it’s a bit hard to follow Mrs. Cutler, AKA Kristin Cavallari. Haha!

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Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were provide with services at the salon, but the opinions expressed are our own.

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Haiti Crocs Cares Program With the Countess & LHJ

Haiti Ladies Home Journal

I’ve been blessed with abundance. A recent trip to Haiti with Ladies Home Journal and Crocs served as a reminder for me to practice gratitude. Last December, I traveled with Sally Lee (Editor of LHJ), LuAnn De Lesseps (of Real Housewives fame), Jennifer Brandt (PerfectlyDisheveled.com), Cathering Connors (HerBadMother.com) and a team from CrocsCares and LHJ. Our mission was to pass out hundreds of new Crocs shoes to Haitian school children in need.

We arrived in Haiti during the late afternoon and I quickly learned that Haiti will not be kept to a NYC pace of efficiently. As we scurried around the airport, we discovered many of the shoes we were to deliver were still held up in customs. The persistent women from Crocs eventually freed the shoes—but not without some drama. Lesson learned: The Crocs team wasn’t just about a photo op. They wanted to get as many pairs of shoes onto deserving feet as humanly possible.

haiti dusty roads

From the airport, we climbed into trucks and slowly, slowly chugged up the hills form Port au Prince to Pétion-Ville (a suburb of sorts of Port-au-Prince). The drive lasted about two hours due to dense traffic. The good news? I had plenty of time to soak in my surroundings. Haiti has had a immensely difficult time rebuilding after the 2010 magnitude 7.0 earthquake. Many buildings in Port-au-Prince remain in shambles.

haiti shanty

The hilly area where we were staying wasn’t particullay hard-hit from the 2010 earthquake, but it was cut off from vital access to Port-au-Prince’s supplies and support. The poverty was palpable. The streets were strewn with litter, and far too many young men an women wandered around aimlessly or took a stab at selling cheap goods from roadside stands. It didn’t take two hours to discern that Haiti is hurting for industry and jobs.

haiti school

Thankfully, some organizations are helping the country rebuild. A good place to start is the school. During our stay we saw three schools and each one was notable for the ingenious ways it served a community. With miniscule budgets, communities did their best to get the children of Haiti a leg up. No matter where you go in the world, we all want the best for our kids.

Haiti school kids

The schools consisted of cinderblock walls and scant supplies. Most families were lucky to scrape together the school fees to cover attendance–there was nothing left for books or supplies. Aid organizations provide what they can. Crocs worked with Feed The Children to orchestrate this shoe drop. Feed the Children has been working to immunize children and get nutritious meals to those in need via community schools.

Just like in any community in the USA, the local school is a community hub. For Haitian kids, school is where they can get medical attention and a regular meal. Rural communities like the ones we visited, don’t have the funds for clinics and there seems to be little reliable food aid.

haitian lunch program

Children trek for miles on dusty, rocky roads for the chance at a meal and perhaps some basic instruction. The lucky few will stick with school and go on to a shot at higher learning in a distant city. With a little more luck, these students will return to help Haiti rebuild. You can see how the process is a long and winding one. The first step is to get children regular medical care, food, and teachers who can make a difference. That’s where CrocsCares come in. Part symbolic, part practical, the act of giving shoes to these needy kids was meant to do two things. First, show the children that they are loved and valued (I am sure there are many, many days when they feel forgotten) Second, help the journey to school be a little lighter, brighter and sunnier.

crocs cares

So we lugged new, bright, beautiful shoes up and down the hills of Haiti. We sat and fit hundreds of little (and big!) feet with ladybug Crocs, striped Crocs, hot pink Crocs, pirate Crocs…you get the picture. My goal was to treat every little foot with the same loving care I would give my girls back at home. Since there was a BIG language barrier (I don’t speak French or Creole), I just merrily sang my favorite Disney tunes as I fitted the little feet.

Haitian Schoolkids

Did the kids know what was going on? I’m not sure. But this I know: For a brief respite life wasn’t as hard. Someone was taking care of them. Giving them something new and pretty and maybe, just maybe, giving them a reason to hope for something better than the cards they had been dealt. We were rewarded with smiles, giggles and the feeling that for a moment we made a difference.

Everywhere you look in Haiti you can see rubble. From the buildings to the broken down adults. But here’s the thing: Hope exists in these kids. In horrible surroundings, they found the capacity to smile. We were treated to a few songs in thanks. The smiles and the melodies will stick with me for a lifetime. Buying shoes for my girls can never be a simple act again.

blogging team Haiti

Hotel Kinam was a little oasis of calm throughout our busy stay. The friendly staff did their best to keep us in hot showers, cool rooms—both of which were much appreciated and a true rarity in Haiti. Back there with our little group we shared stories of the children and of wanting to do more. My mission is to spread the word. I hope you’ll join me by sharing this story in social media and supporting the trip’s sponsors. Tweet this: “Join the 5000 likes 5000 shoes movement http://wp.me/p2X4rL-dT1 @crocs @LHJmagazine @momtrends”

Join the “5000 likes 5000 shoes initiative and enter for a chance to win lunch with LuAnn:

crocs cares

Find out more about our mission in this April’s Ladies Home Journal (with the incredible TIna Fey on the cover!) on newsstands now.

tina-fey-covers-ladies-home-journal-april-2013

Read more about CrocsCares here. Follow the movement on twitter @CrocsCares and on Facebook www.facebook.com/crocscares

For more pictures from the trip, visit the Momtrends Facebook album here.

Momtrends was not paid for this post.

 

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