Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Celebrate National Coffee Day, it's September 29


Coffee is that one constant that we have in our lives. It opens our eyes in the morning, picks us up in the middle of the day (iced, of course) and caps off a delicious dinner at your favorite restaurant. Although I celebrate coffee every day (you probably do too), September 29 is officially known as National Coffee Day! Coffee companies like Einstein Bagels are celebrating all week long but not so shockingly some of my favorite coffee combinations involve cordials:

The Frangelico Truffle  –  Cheers!

1 oz Frangelico
1 oz SKYY vodka
.75 oz espresso

Shake with ice and serve chilled up in a cocktail or martini glass. Dust with dark chocolate shavings.

The Coffee Kiss  –  for the non-coffee drinkers

2 oz CAMUS VSOP (or VS)
1 oz Irish Cream
Garnish : Ground coffee

Pour directly into glass filled with rocks. Sprinkle ground coffee on top.

The Evening Flourish – Congratulations on a successful night!

3 cups strong hot coffee
Seeds from 3 cardamom pods
4 tablespoons Flor de CaƱa  7 YO rum
4 teaspoons sugar

Warm the rum with the cardamom and the sugar. Add the hot coffee and serve.





How do you plan of celebrating National Coffee Day??
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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

kate spade new york for Paperless Post


The beginning of this week began like it always does...busy, busy...sometimes I feel the email Gods know I needed a diversion in the midst of an honest to God case of the Mondays. Especially when something as beautiful as this comes in my inbox.


A little hard to see without clicking on but I think you can see the takeaway...kate spade new york for Paperless Post.  

I think I spit my coffee in a grandios fashion. Here again, my two worlds have collided.

If you don't know what Paperless Post is, in a couple of words Paperless Post is like the beautiful, sophisticated New York cousin of Evite. The most gorgeous electronic invitations are found on this site and now I am sure with this partnership the world will now know what I tried to keep as a secret tool in my arsenal. 

The official announcement is that Paperless Post teamed up with kate spade new york to create a smart new line of 75 colorful cards. 

kate spade new york is one of my favorite designers and I am so excited! 

To kick off their line, they are  giving away a grand gift set to make your holidays a bit more merry: a $2,500 gift card to kate spade new york and custom stationery and a professional photo shoot.

Click here to enter to win and after you do that click  here to see their gorgeous invites, announcements and cards. 

I had a hard time to pick one that I wanted to feature but I think this invite really shows the clean line and coolness that kate spade is known for. 


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Monday, September 24, 2012

The Quest For Whiter Teeth with Arm & Hammer

I have an adage...don't trouble trouble, till trouble troubles you...it has kept me out of confrontations , bad relationships and things I don't want to do. One of those things is frequent trips to the dentist. I mean, I used to think I am not going to the dentist until I have to. Not the prettiest picture, I agree. This adage worked just fine until....I had to go to the dentist. 

My oldest friend is a dental hygienist and the conversation went that like this: 

Me: Hey, if I think I cracked my tooth but it doesn't hurt...I don't have to come in, right?


After a few good choices of phrases that I can't repeat in this blog, an appointment was made for me that week. Followed up my two phone confirmation calls, an idle threat via text and the last straw-a phone call to the boyfriend to ensure that indeed I would be front and center in her chair that week. 

The good thing is even though I couldn't tell you the last time I had my teeth properly cleaned, one rip roaring painful cleaning and an extraction later...I was back to good. Boom! Just like that I could start a twice a year cleaning schedule like a big girl. But this means I would have to start playing with their tools regularly...like that dental floss thing...and the way I brush my teeth.

As much as I would drop a couple of hundred dollars on sunglasses without blinking, to pay exorbitant costs for an electronic toothbrush was not sold on me. No matter how much my dentist tried to tell me how much I needed it, I just couldn't do it.

Thankfully, I was recently introduced to some fun affordable products from Arm & Hammer. Like any grandma would tell you, baking soda is one of the key ingredients to naturally keep things white. Specifically your teeth! While Arm & Hammer has many products to reward you with optimal dental health, the Spinbrush battery-powered toothbrush is quickly changing the way I brush my teeth.

Products that I am using with noticeable results and a thumbs up from my dentist include the ARM & HAMMER Spinbrush Pro Whitening battery-powered toothbrush, ARM & HAMMER Whitening Booster and ARM & HAMMER Advance White toothpaste with Stain Defense Technology.  These are all great products to help you achieve a bright, white smile and keep your mouth clean.

If your teeth are sensitive, they also have a new Sensitive product line, which includes three varieties of Sensitive toothpaste and a battery-powered toothbrush specially designed for sensitive teeth.

Because I can't explain it as well, click here to see how Spinbrush® stacks up against the "manual" competition. I am really excited to have the opportunity to try something that is new and affordable. There is no reason to use the ole manual toothbrush again. Click here for where you can get your Spinbrush!



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Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Dry Bar...the one thing to do in NYC

When I trek up to NYC, I always try to try something new...you know, something unFlorida... something that the Sunshine State will never see in my lifetime. From a decent cupcake to last year's braids, it is my way to be a tourist...and a hell of a lot cooler than a Circle Line tour. 

This year, my time was a little more limited, as were my choices to accomodate the need to get my version of the  true New York experience. Since I have been in a fitness state of mind, I really wanted to try to take a good exercise class...I follow Soul Cycle on Twitter and every morning via Kelly Rippa's arms and I thought that might be fun. I really wanted to try a Pure Barre NYC Class so so so bad...even at a $35/class price I REALLY wanted to relive my days as a little ballerina in any way possible. I decide against the fitness route because of my Rockettes experience. 

Long story longer, I decided on The Drybar, where I read over and over that this was THE one thing to do for your hair this summer. The mantra of The Drybar is No Cut, No Color. Just Blowouts. 


The day of my appointment, it was POURING rain! Of course it was! I also had an anxious ride into the city. Carrying your heavy luggage through Penn Station makes me so nervous-I always think I am gonna impale someone!  So I was a little shaken when I arrived, to say the least. 
When you walk in the hotel and go downstairs this amazing nirvana awaits you. The girl behind the counter greeted me warmly and asked me what I would like to drink!! Yes, it was 10am but I clearly needed some bubbles to calm.

I was a little nervous because although I don't have rain hair and can gracefully wash and go, (don't hate, its only about one of three things that I really have in my favor) I have never been one to set or curl my hair so that it would keep. But, then again I never had an official blowout. 

At The Drybar, they left no stone unturned. The place was bright and beautiful and so pretty. I knew right away, I had made a right choice. I was taken back to the shampoo area and received a nice shampoo and a head massage. They finish off the wash with their signature towel bun, I need to know how to do this! At each station is an iphone charging station. Free WiFi and a bonus: Old movies on the flat screen....is this The Darlynn Bar or The Drybar...at this point I wasn't sure. 

Chosing the Go Big or Go Home blowout AKA as Southern Comfort, was my best bet I thought because I have an issue keeping my hair from falling normally, maybe the extra help would be a benefit. The end result was amazing and I wish to God they had a Drybar in Florida. If you can believe my hair lasted for three days without washing. 

The one thing I am attracted to the most besides my awesome hair is the way they brand themselves. It is so beautiful! I know, I am so weird! Look how gorgeous their menus and promotional pieces are? 

The End Result!
If my time at the DryBar wasn't enough, as I was checking out with the lovely receptionist offered me a FREE Drybar umbrelly! Heaven in an Hour. To say the least. 

The back story on the Drybar is awesome. It was started by co-founder Ali Webb who took her mobile blowout business to the big time. Another women entrepreneur story that will make you smile is here.

Find the Drybar on the web, Facebook and Twitter. I visited the NYC location at the Parker Meridien but you can find a location near you here.

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Saturday, September 22, 2012

My First Food Truck Experience


I give my area a lot of grief for not coming to the plate. Even though Orlando and the rest of Central Florida that gets it is just a few miles down the road...in good ole Daytona, we are slow to a lot of punches. We just don't jump on a lot of trends very quickly. Imagine my excitement, when my friend Al Smith starting promoting that there was gonna be a Food Truck Rally in September!

His company Al Smith Productions and Marketing holds great events throughout Daytona Beach with the intent of making us ease a little bit into urbania. That is prob not his mission statement, but it is definitely my take-away of his efforts!!

Ally and I started the day at our favorite "on the beach" haunt, The Beach Bucket for a light lunch and Bloody Mary's.  
When we pulled up to the Food Truck Rally, I was pleasantly surprised that it was BUSY! Really busy and it just started! There was a bunch of different food vendors to take in. They had a couple of restaurants that were local which I expected, but Al worked really hard to get vendors that were from other areas of established Food Truck locations like Altamonte, Maitland and Orlando.
Cafe Heavenly Lobster Roll

He also showed respect to the area businesses by holding it on a Sunday during dinner time when most of the restaurant's in the downtown area are closed (yes, I too think this is sad). About 18 trucks total were parked near Daytona Beach Regional Library from 5-9 p.m.

One of the best thing about the Food Truck Rally is that there was a big variety and it really suited everyone's taste.

Among the local restaurants, the food vendors were FireHouse BBQ, Saigon Sizzle, the Brisket Bus, SweDISH Food Truck, Kona Dog, The Flattery, Crooked Spoon, Stay Calm Cupcake, Shred-A-Bowls, Bemi Bom and Dimples Delight. By the way, do you notice everyone listed has a social media presence on Facebook AND Twitter? They get it!  
Click to be hungry

When we first got there, I sadly wasn't starving. That was a big mistake! So, we walked around and took it all in and made a plan. You must make a plan at these sort of events!

While the Lobster Roll and Corn and Crab Chowder from Cafe Heavenly were obvious first choices, something drew me to the Tree House Truck.

I can't tell if it was the cool urban vibe that reminded me of NYC, or the menu....each item looked better than the next. The people that were in the truck were cool and very friendly and were nice enough to my Food Truck virgin self. Because it is a little overwhelming, right? Treehouse Blue Bacon Fries? Yes, please! They were awesome.

Mama PBJ

But, what might have started the hyperventilation process was the Mama's PBJ. You may want to sit down for this one-Peanut Butter and Jelly, Nutella and Banana deep fried. I should have this labeled this post unskinny and unclean but WHO CARES. It was awesome, beyond human comprehension. I could only eat one half, and happily ate the remaining half for breakfast the next day. This is making me a little sad, not being able to go get another one right now. Check them out on Facebook and Twitter and try to catch them when you can!


Tree House Food Truck on Urbanspoon Pin It

Skinny and Clean- Easy Spicy Shrimp Pasta

Do you remember when I canned tomatoes earlier this summer? To say that I am obsessed with using them is one understatement....to also state that I am in a sheer panic of the day that eventually I will run out and have to make more is another.

But the one thing that I will tell you, having these canned jars of awesomeness within reach have really eased my plans when looking for something to make for dinner. As most foodies can attest, most of the time I get bummed when I have a meeting after work so that I am not able to make dinner for the night. But, there are those seldom times where you went balls to the wall all day and the last thing you want to do is stand in a kitchen. Instead of going out and spending money, last week I made a recipe I want to share. 

I am featuring shrimp in my recipe, because in search of eating healthy, shrimp is easy to cook with and a choice that even the pickiest eater will feast on.. Known for its sweet taste and versatility, the scrumptious shrimp is the all-occasion fare for every season, and the fall is no exception.

As a nutritional bonus, a 3-ounce serving of shrimp contains a mere 83 calories and just 1 gram of fat, while providing nearly 20 grams of protein and a wholesome serving of heart-healthy omega-3s and essential vitamins, such as B12 and selenium.  It’s the protein-rich crustacean that fits perfectly on any menu.

The Shrimp Council, whose mission is to promote shrimp as a nutritious and delicious protein, is home to a treasure chest of mouthwatering shrimp recipes which can be found here. It makes it real easy when you are busy but still want to  eat healthy for dinner tonight.

I will be honest, writing recipes is really hard for me. I am Italian so it is always a little bit of this and a little bit of that ...hence, why I am a TERRIBLE AWFUL baker!! This one is so very easy, I shouldn't have a problem.

Easy Spicy Shrimp Pasta
Yield:4 (or 2 hungry people with leftovers)

3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
Olive Oil
1TB stick butter or margarine
1/2 container chopped onions
either a big can of diced tomatoes or 3/4 jar of canned ones
1 lb of small shrimp, cooked.
4T red wine
1/2 TB sugar
italian spices, either fresh or dried of your choice-I usually use parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil, Cavenders, salt and pepper, etc.
crushed red pepper
1 lb of thin spaghetti
Parmesan Cheese (my favorite is Kraft)

In a medium saucepan simmer onions, garlic, olive oil and butter or margarine for about 5 minutes. Add red wine, sugar, and all spices and simmer for another 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook on low as little as 15 minutes or as long as all day! The longer it cooks the better it tastes. Be sure to stir often and if you see anything on the top that needs to skimmed, that is the acid from the tomatoes. Do your best with a spoon and skim that off.

While that is simmering, grab a paper plate (save on dishwashing) and lay out your shrimp. stream a little olive oil on top and then load them up with spices...I usually do salt and pepper, garlic powder, again Cavenders, some Old Bay is you have it Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning, Shrimp. The trick here is to be generous!!!

Start your water boiling. I salt, and then throw some oil in the water. When the water starts to boiling, add the spaghetti. Make sure you check the directions and take about a minute away from what they suggest you cook the pasta...you want the pasta to be ala dente.

While the pasta is cooking, add the shrimp to the sauce. You want to make sure that the sauce is not cooking at too hot of a temperature so you won't over cook the shrimp. Once the shrimp is warmed up and well mixed into the sauce, add red pepper to your spicy preference. I like to do this at the end so the other spices have a chance to really get into your sauce before the red pepper takes over.

Add the pasta to the sauce and shrimp (or visa versa) and mix quickly to blend under no additional heat. Serve a salad and maybe splurge with some garlic bread and voila! The best thing about this dish is it is quick, easy and healthy if you use the right pasta.

As far as wine pairing, with its competing spices and acidic tomatoes, this pasta dish calls for a simple Italian white like Pinot Grigio.



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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

My First Post On Manilla


I am very excited to tell you that I am a new blogger on Manilla! I will be writing a monthly column as a Women and Business Contributor. I am so excited! As I have previously prattled about here, I am a big fan of Manilla! It is truly an honor!  


How to Ensure You Get Paid on Time (When You Work for Yourself)

As you start your journey of self-employment, you get to figure out exactly how you want to have your business managed. It is exciting, liberating and a little nauseating at the same time. 

One of the first things you have to decide is how you wish to bill and how you wish to be paid. A common obstacle for new business owners is asking for the dollar in the first place, and then there is the chore to be paid on time. Because your next meal depends on this, you’ll eventually find ways to get really good at getting paid on time each month.

Here are a few suggestions:
Read full article from Manilla here

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Does Facebook Help Our Memory?

How do you capture your memories? Thanks to the gift of social media, your Facebook, your Instagram and even these blogs are now in charge of capturing our life stories. Besides the obnoxious compulsive hankering you may have for scrapbooking projects that you start and never finish (this may be just me)...when was the last time you actually printed a stack of photos from your phone, camera or Facebook to retain a memory that you can hold? In contrast, how often do you look through your or your friend's Facebook timeline and relived some good times through its pictures, posts and status updates? Isn't it weird what used to be a normal practice for saving memories is now usually saved solely during the holidays for a gift? 

Although this may seem like a Saturday morning prattle over my coffee, I actually have a reason for bringing this up. PBS recently posted a YouTube video that asks Is Facebook Changing our Identity? It discusses Facebook, specifically, and how easy it helps our memory by having an electronic fallback. Using Facebook enables us to paint our picture of our identity by the events that we attend, the pictures that we take and the statuses we post. Making memories is hard enough and as we get older, how can we remember it all without the assistance of social media? 

Don't believe me? Go click back a couple of years on that timeline that everyone is complaining about...When I clicked on 2009, I found pictures and posts of one of my favorite trips to NYC, our trip to Gaylord ICE where we took the best pictures ever, Megan's 30th Birthday party and a gem where I prattled about 25 things about me, some that I still resonate with three years later. There is even photographic documentation of me playing with my first Iphone. With one click of a button, my life in 2009 is documented...and this is when I was only on Facebook a wee bit. How many boxes of photos would I have to drag out of the closet to capture these memories if not for social media?  

Check out this You Tube video where it dives a little deeper philosophically. It talks about what Facebook is doing for your memory like what Google does for facts and information searching. It reasons that Facebook's new timeline layout is enhancing the ability to construct our self identity by super-charging our memory.

This is the latest episode on PBS Digital Studios’ weekly Web series,‘Idea Channel’. hosted by Mike Rugnetta and produced by Kornhaber Brown. Another reason besides Downton Abbey (WHEN is that coming back on?), that PBS is now cooler than ever.



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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Booby Trap Book Review and Giveaway

One of the neat things about writing this blog, is that a lot of cool opportunities come near me. On the top of the list is the opportunity to read and review a great book and give my readers a chance to get a copy!

The Booby Trap epitomizes the Don't Judge a Book by its Cover logic, pardon the pun. The main character is Bambi Benson, a beautiful, busty waitress at The Booby Trap, which is similar to a Hooters or WingHouse. Appearances are deceiving as Bambi is actually a MBA student only working at The Booby Trap for the extra money to put herself through college. More importantly, she is using her time at The Booby Trap to provide research for her thesis as she is a PHD candidate at Harvard.

The story begins with Bambi at work and Trip Whitley is her customer. Trip is rich but misunderstood and at this first meeting-very arrogant. It is a quick read (because you can't put it down) and a reminder how things are not always how they appear. Trip and Bambi's chemistry is undeniable and addicting. You found yourself empathizing with Trip's character with the ability to see though his arrogance and the money, leaving a boy who seeks approval from his father. I think a lot of us can resonate with that! Bambi is a smart girl that you cheer for throughout the book. I was sad when it was over, I hope that there is more tales from this couple up the author's sleeve!

Anne Browning Walker, the author, is a career writer and researcher but this is her first fiction novel. Find more information on Anne here on her website or Twitter.

Enter now for your chance to win a copy of The Booby Trap! This offer is open to all residents in USA and Canada only. Enter to win below!!


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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Hulu Spices Up and Redecorates with Martha Stewart


As previously mentioned here and here, I am on the Martha train and am excited to share some good news from her empire. I am really enjoying her iPad magazine and have been dvding her shows when I can. Now, I am really excited to read that Hulu has picked up her shows which will be great for the busy girl, but even better you can go peruse her holiday and seasonal content for ideas galore...right at your fingertips. I love Hulu and Hulu Plus because I can watch it anywhere on my IPad. 

From her press release:

America's domestic goddess Martha Stewart is bringing her cooking, arts and crafts along with her kitchen table to Hulu and Hulu Plus. On September 10, the Martha Stewart Network is launching for the first time online with the premiere of three popular shows, "From Martha's Kitchen," "Emeril's Table" and "DIY Crafts."     

Viewers will get a chance to roll up their sleeves, learn new recipes as well as release their inner creative artiste with fun, easy do-it-yourself projects. The premiere episodes of all three shows will feature celebrity guests, new recipes as well as fun craft ideas. For example, star chef Mario Batali joins Stewart in the premiere episode of "From Martha's Kitchen" and provides tips on how to make a tasty chicken salad. In the premiere episode of "Emeril's Table," beloved chef Emeril Lagasse uses lemon and olives to create various delectable chicken entrees while funnyman Conan O'Brien joins Martha in the premiere episode of "DIY Crafts" to make an original twig peg rack and to quote Martha, "It's a good thing!"     

In addition to shows from the Martha Stewart catalog, viewers will also have access to Martha's popular seasonal content like Halloween, Holiday and Wedding celebrations. Hulu has plans to add additional programs in October and throughout the end of the year giving Martha Stewart's timeless content a cozy home.    

"From Martha's Kitchen ": Showcasing the best classic cooking ideas from Martha Stewart, "From Martha's Kitchen" features all-time favorite recipes, essential techniques, and easy tips for simple weeknight meals and easy, elegant entertaining.  Fan-favorite chef Mario Batali guest stars in the premiere episode. Watch as he and Martha cook up a delicious, mouth-watering chicken breast salad. 
   
"DIY Crafts ": Martha Stewart brings together her best how-to projects to excite and inspire crafters of all levels. From scrapbooking and decoupage to handmade gifts and cards, the creative, delightful crafts are explained with detailed instructions and reflect Martha's signature sense of style. Join funnyman Conan O'Brien and Martha as they take on portable saws, secateurs and drills to create a fun twig rack.

Cook, decorate and celebrate with Martha Stewart Living exclusively on Hulu and Hulu Plus.The shows premiered yesterday on Hulu and Hulu Plus. You can watch Martha's Kitchen here and the DIY Crafts here.                               



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Frangelico Proclaims September National Hazelnut Month

September is being celebrated for the first time as National Hazelnut Month. But, for me-every day is Hazelnut Day. It is definitely my favorite flavor of coffee, creamer and of course I am obsessed with Frangelico Hazelnut Liquor. It has always been my favorite after dinner drink and I turn everyone on to it. Some people put it in their coffee, I like to sip it next to it. 

I was first introduced by a bartender who reveiled a secret: Did you know a shot of Frangelico will cure you of that "Oh My God, I ate so much I am gonna die" feeling?? The funny thing is, I have no scientific proof of this, but it works, and this is how I met the awesome of all that is Frangelico and a love affair was born. 

To celebrate the first ever National Hazelnut Month, restaurants, bakeries, and this girl are handing it to the Frangelico Gods with some great food, desert and drinks. 

From their press release:

While not having achieved the notoriety of the peanut, almond or pecan, Italy’s trademark nut is about to get its day - or more accurately, its month - in the spotlight. Frangelico® Hazelnut Liqueur, along with chefs and bartenders nationwide, is officially proclaiming September as the first-ever National Hazelnut Month.

In the shadow of National Pecan Month (April), National Almond Day (February 16th) and National Peanut Month (March), hazelnuts seem to have lost their place in moments dedicated to honoring history’s great nuts, and for no good reason.  The use and flavor of hazelnuts has become increasingly popular among culinary elites and foodies nationwide. Yet, for some reason one of the world’s favorite nut varieties is conspicuously missing from the gastronomic calendar.  

Credit:The National NYC
To rectify this, Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur has teamed up with gastronomic trendsetters to bring consumers new and inventive ways to incorporate the hazelnut flavor into their culinary and cocktail recipes this September. Chef Paul Corsentino, who has appeared on Food Network’s The Next Iron Chef, Super Chefs and Iron Chef America, has signed onto the National Hazelnut Month Movement. “Hazelnuts are the perfect fall flavor,” he notes. “They add a wonderful taste to dishes both savory and sweet, and are surprisingly versatile.”

How to Indulge

Frequent The National 

In celebration of the hazelnut, Food Network Chef Geoffrey
Zakarian’s restaurant, The National, in New York’s Benjamin Hotel, is set to unveil a limited-edition hazelnut menu including items for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner.  

Hazelnut lovers will be able to indulge in their favorite nut flavor with inventive and inspired dishes, created by the restaurant’s Executive Chef, Paul Corsentino.  The menu, which is available for the entire month of September, will feature creations including Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Compote, Candied Hazelnuts and Frangelico Maple Syrup; Hazelnut and Lobster Canelloni; and Roasted Duck with Hazelnut Fregola Risotto. (LBD Note: Holy Cow!)  

A dessert using Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur will also appear on the menu.  A portion of the proceeds from this special hazelnut menu will be donated to City Harvest, the world’s first food rescue organization.

Sip Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur  

National Hazelnut Month’s official signature cocktail is the Fall Basket.  The cocktail will be served at The National alongside the limited edition hazelnut menu.

Fall Basket

1 oz. Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur
1 1/2 oz. apple infused vodka
Splash of simple syrup
Splash of cranberry juice
Brown sugar rim, Served up, garnished with a thin slice of apple


Find Your Sweet Tooth

Bakeshops are jumping on board to join in the celebration of National Hazelnut Month.
Isabelle's Curly Cakes, a Todd English establishment, will be serving hazelnut cupcakes featuring Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur from their Boston bakery, also available online at izzyscurlycakes.com

Credit:Butter Lane Bakery
Butter Lane Cupcake Bakery-(my absolute favorite bakery in NYC) will offer a specialty Frangelico cupcake in their East Village, New York location and online at butterlane.com

We Take the Cake, located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will offer an assortment of Frangelico cakes and cupcakes at their retail shop and online at wetakethecake.com


Get Nutty

Nuts.com, a family owned business for more than 22 years and the authority on all things nuts, will offer a limited edition hazelnut gift basket during the month of September. 

This gift basket will delight any hazelnut fan with a medley of raw hazelnuts, salted roasted hazelnuts, in-the-shell hazelnuts, dark chocolate covered hazelnuts, raw Duchilly hazelnuts, and Hazelnut Supreme coffee.


This gives you many ideas of how to celebrate the new National Hazelnut Month but let me give you one of my favorite ways. This will change your life, I promise. 

The Salty Pretzel Shot
Equal parts of the following:
Vanilla Vodka
Butterscotch Schnapps
Frangelico

Shake over ice and strain into a shot glass.
This is shot like bad tequila ... Lick the salt off your hand shoot the shot and bite a lemon
and repeat!



For more information on Frangelico please visit Facebook or at their website.



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Friday, September 7, 2012

Socially Acceptable-Manilla

It is tough working for yourself. Yes, it is awesome but it is tough when you are starting out. There are a LOT of balls to keep in the air. It makes me a little dizzy to think that (knock wood) I have pulled it off for two years next month. I am at that point almost that I need a little help only because I have asked my cat every day this week to make me coffee and she just looks at me...I have taken the advice of a friend and fellow business owner who said do one thing for yourself-if you are not going to pay someone to work for you, pay people to work with you. What she meant is to start throwing money at things I don't want to do...a bookkeeper, someone to keep my house clean, etc. That makes a lot of sense to me, the last thing I want to do after being the owner, the salesperson, the bookkeeper, the accounts payable, the receptionist, the insert title here for my company is go home and clean my house.

Even my daily personal tasks are suffering. As odd as it seems even though I have money in the bank, the last thing I want to do is sit and figure out which bills are due when and where. I am never ever late on my bills ever but I was finding myself waking up in the middle of the night freaking out because I hadn't paid my Bloomingdales! Does this ever happen to you??

I now use Manilla, which I credit for saving my sanity (and my credit). Manilla is (according to their website, which explains it best because me just saying over and over it is awesome is not gonna explain it for you) Manilla gathers all of the information you need to manage your bills and accounts and puts it in one secure place, available 24/7. With automatic reminders, Manilla lets you know when important bills are almost due, or when rewards points are about to expire. So, you take a little of time entering your bill information in once and Manilla does the rest.

The great thing about Manilla is that it will work seamlessly on all platforms whether it is your IPhone, IPad, Android or computer. I am always a big fan of the clean interface and it breaks it out for you by category! Save your sanity and check out Manilla-you will thank me! I promise! You can find more information about Manilla here.

I am getting excited to work with Manilla soon as a guest blogger. I will be sure to let you know when it posts next week! In the meantime, check out the cool Back to School promotion using Pinterest that they are offering this month!

The Manilla Back-to-School Sweepstakes
  1. Use Pinterest to pin at least one photo of something you or your child needs for school (like clothes, school supplies, money for loans — anything!) You can pin as many photos as you want. See a few examples on our Pinterest board.
  2. Tag each pin with #ManillaBack2School
  3. We’ll choose at random one pin. The winner will receive $500 to buy it (or anything!).
The promotion ends on Friday 9/14/12.




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Thursday, September 6, 2012

When and How To Conduct Business Using Social Media

As my friend Heather, an etiquette expert will sure agree there soon will be official rules on what constitutes as proper communication for business using social media. One would think that some of this would be a common sense issue, but I have learned the hard way that these kind of things must be explained rather than assumed. Lately, I have threatened to throw my computer out the window at the random ways I have been contacted to do business. I am convinced that some people lack the filter and unfortunately because I am wired so differently, I am losing new business because of it. I don't know if some will take this as an offense or a no dur to these thoughts of mine but it has been bugging me lately compelling me to take it to the blog. Lucky you! Actually, if every thought I had ended up here, I am not really should WHAT would happen. Anyways, I digress...

The term itself should help this conversation along...it is SOCIAL media. I know this has made you completely reachable at all times via Facebook, email and text message but some courtesy of how and when to contact should be heeded.

The easiest thing to talk about is the time that you reach out to your business contacts. I think that when communicating via text message is a practice that gets abused the most. If it is business related, it should be between business hours unless you or your business is on fire and I am in charge of the water. Having said that, most people know that if you contact me at dawn on any given day, I am up and probably on cup of coffee number 2. But for sane people, it is really courteous to keep this between the hours of 9a-5p Monday-Friday. Not too long ago, I was contacted for new business at 9p via text message. I am not quite sure that this is ok. And of course, I forgot about it until two days later. A good practice if this happens is to not answer it until the next business morning/timeframe. I feel if you answer it back you are encouraging that this is ok. Maybe this doesn't bother you, but then it gets to the point that there is just no limit of what is work and what is not anymore.

Emailing is a little different but not too much. I tend to email at all hours of the night but tend to use schedulers like Buffer or Snooze (free) or Boomerang so it reaches the client at an appropriate time. There is nothing like the feeling of waking up to a nasty email that was sent after hours, kind of sets the pace of your say, huh? If you must send an email after hours, it really doesn't hurt to say "Sorry for this late or weekend email, please dont write me back until it is working hours"

Facebook Messages and IM's. This is where I get a little unkind. Why is anyone conducting business via Facebook aside from initial contact is beyond me. What frustrates me is that it is a little obtrusive,  Do you agree? The Facebook, my personal Facebook page is where I enlighten and inspire with witty prattle and cute pictures of my niecey poo, it is my place to be me, not necessarily the platform to conduct business. My suggestion that would keep me from putting my head through a glass window is to contact them via message, NOT an IM with your contact email and number and let the conversation take place over there.

Of course you could always pick up the phone...


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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Ladies, College Football Season is HERE

I have a very small tomboy streak in me, that I think is under a lot of layers! On the outside, I am putting my last dollar towards my new Tory Burch sunglasses, but if you could peel back some layers, you will find a girl who thinks about NASCAR, NCAA Football and Baseball constantly and still would play with worms and fresh garden dirt given the chance. Most of my dearest friends are guys and I cherish them. So, every year I wake up the first weekend in September and start getting VERY VERY Excited-COLLEGE FOOTBALL is here!!!  Very unladylike!! 

Maybe you don't like football and look to this time as a get-away from all normal activity. But, if you are like me...many an a idea of recipes, clothing choices and tailgating options start a swirling as soon as the end of the summer nears. 

Clothing. 

Lucky for me, my bestie has my wardrobe covered with her clothing line Halftime Designs. This is THE place for any game day clothing. It isn't the easiest to find something great to wear that is cool and feminine to support your favorite team. There is nothing less tasteful than a jersey and jean shorts!She has MANY a cool option for your team!Check her website here, she has NCAA, NFL, Baseball and more! Here are my two favorite Florida State Seminoles Designs! 




Recipes

I am exciting to tell you that I will be a Wholly Guacamole blogger for this football season! I am so anxious to start blogging of all the fun HOMEGATING recipes that I will be able to make with me friends. Wholly Guacamole sent me some amazing products this week and I can't wait to show you what I came up with! 

Go to Target or Walmart throughout the summer and stock up on plastic wear, easy cleanup and convenient and thrifty! 
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