North Carolina! C’mon and raise up. Take your shirt off, twist it ’round yo head. Spin it like a helicopter. Petey Pablo anyone? Ok, I’ll move on. I went to NC last weekend to attend the High Point Market, an industry trade show for all things furniture and design. It’s kinda like fashion week but for interior designers. New collections are being showcased, buyers from around the world fly into to see them and some how little ol me was in the mix of it all this year. Why you ask? Well, I’m co-hosting a brand spanking new show called Design Smackdown with Thom Filicia, who happens to be a BIG DEAL in the design world and a hilarious human. The purpose of my trip was to promote my show and meet my fellow Design Network peeps. It was a blast. Southern hospitality is alive and well in North Carolina my friends. Love it! The trip was a whirlwind of parties, shmoozing and being blown away by all the incredible designers and artists I met. I stayed at the Grandover Resort that was located on a stunning golf course. We had an insane brunch on Sunday that I’m still recovering from. I think I got carried away with the biscuits. Oopsies. I ate most of my meals at either the resort or at Market. One night we had dinner in the Theodore Alexander showroom- that was pretty awesome! It was a bit of a challenge finding vegetarian meals, let alone vegan, but luckily the last day I got the best vegan wrap from Jerusalem Market in Greensboro. The sweetest Palestinian family runs it and they make fresh, flavorful food all day er’y day. If you find yourself in Greensboro- check ’em out. Below is a snapshot of my trip and at the bottom of the post is a sneak peek of my new show. Enjoy!
Watch a preview of Design Smackdown below!
Good things are bound to happen when you combine a Healthy Happy Vegan Kitchen with My Dancing Kitchen! Recently my friend Kathy Patalsky came over to share this easy, delicious vegan chocolate pudding recipe. It’s SO SO SO freaking good. My fam and I love this guilt free treat. Kathy is one of the top (if not THE TOP) vegan influencers on the internet and dare I say the WORLD. She has a vegan cookbook with killer recipes and multiple websites about all things vegan. She’s such a pleasure to collaborate with and her dance moves are always on point. Check out all her info below including this fabulous recipe.
Here is the RECIPE:
Double batch Easy Chocolate Avocado Pudding
4 avocados (medium), peel removed
1 cup maple syrup (add about another 1/3 cup to taste if desired)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (add 1/3 cup more for extra chocolate-y results)
2 Tbsp Virgin coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean pod, scraped) – optional
Salt to taste (1/8 tsp is minimal)
Add avocado and maple and vanilla to blender.
Melt chocolate and coconut oil together in microwave until silky smooth (heat at 30 second intervals and stir).
Add chocolate mixture to blender.
Blend until silky smooth.
Salt and add additional sweetener to taste.
Serve warm and freshly blended or chilled!
Consume within a few days – slight darkening will occur next day as avocado oxidizes.
Where to stay: I LOVED my experience at The Grand America. It’s a luxury hotel walking distance from downtown. They have a fantastic spa where I received a TWO HOUR massage. (#Heaven) There are multiple dining options in the hotel, including a lobby bar with live music on the weekends. (Yes, you can drink booze in Salt Lake!) They also have a toy store, pool, gym and even a French Patisserie.
Where to eat/drink: I had a few meals at the Grand America but I also wanted to explore the city. The Copper Onion came highly recommended for brunch. My girls and I had a great time there. We also LOVED the speakeasy inside Bodega. (aka The Rest) That was by far my favorite place. Definitely check it out if you find yourself in Salt Lake. Tons of people told me to eat at Red Iguana and sadly I didn’t get a chance to. Next time!
What to do: Other than the staring at the stunning mountains, one of the main attractions is the Mormon Temple/Temple Square. The building itself is beautiful from the outside. Because it is considered a sacred church you must be a member to go inside. City Creek Mall is a few blocks away and requires no membership! It’s a nice indoor/outdoor shopping center with great retailers and restaurants.
Watch my Salt Lake City video below!
My love for the Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts continues to grow. The hotel chain is known around the world for being super lux and having exceptional service. But, what you may not know about the Four Seasons is how kid friendly they are. Idris has now stayed at three FS properties (Santa Barbara, Paris and Westlake Village). I’m constantly blown away by their attention to detail for their youngest guests. This holiday season my fam and I were invited to experience the Let It Snow event at the FS Westlake. In typical Four Seasons fashion it was glam, family friendly and so fun. Idris had the opportunity to dance under the “snow” with Minions, eat popcorn, hang with Santa, ride a train and decorate cookies with Mrs. Claus. Michael and I enjoyed wine while all this was happening, so it was a win win! We also experienced the Italian dinner at Mercato and the character breakfast the following morning. So fun! (Idris went CRAZY with excitement when he met the Minions!) You can see the full list of Let It Snow activities by clicking here.
This year give your favorite people a Four Seasons Giftcard so they can pamper themselves in the spa, enjoy fancy cocktails, dinner or a lux night out at any FS location around the world.
Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone! Tis the season for holiday parties and fancy events. Need a little makeup inspiration!?! I got you boo! Below are two EASY makeup tutorials that will be perfect for any festive soiree. I know this time of year is filled with photo taking and making tons of memories. With these looks you’ll definitely be the belle of the ball. The first tutorial is a fresh faced look with a bold lip and pops of shimmer sprinkled throughout. The second is an fun emerald smokey eye with a soft lip. Both looks are universal and will look fabulous on anyone. Promise. Go out and rock them you cuties! Click the pictures below to see the full tutorials or head to the Eco Tools YouTube channel.
P.S. I used all Eco Tools brushes to create both these looks.
Memorable moments in Paris you ask? Oh ya know wine everyday all day, dinner at La Jules Verne on top of the Eiffle Tour, visiting my friends show room to get one of the sickest leather jacket ever, dinner on a River Cruise, a WEDDING AT the FOUR SEASONS PARIS, followed by an intimate dinner celebration at the Bacarat Museum, oh and a private tour of the Louvre (do you hate me yet!?!) It’s okay if you do…. I’d hate me too! Everything about this trip was perfection. Traveling to Europe with my son and some of our great friends to experience their beautiful wedding ceremony was a surreal experience. Did I mention Michael officiated the wedding!?! How cool is that. I’d like to make one tiny suggestion if you do decide to travel with a small child-get a babysitter for a few nights so you can have some adult fun. We had a sitter 3 nights in a row which meant we could actually enjoy all our lux outings! All our Parisian adventures can be seen by clicking HERE.
Just want to say a quick thank you to the Four Seasons Paris for one of the most memorable hotel stays we have ever had. It is stunning hotel with fantastic service, exquisite floral arrangements that leave you speechless and first class amenities for not only my husband and I , but my SON. In the words of Arnie, We WILL BE BACK.
Versailles and Champagne photos and video coming soon.
Au Revoir Paree!
I don’t even know where to begin. I LOVE Europe! Last month Michael, Idris and I made our way to London, Paris, Versailles and Champagne. It was a whirlwind of adventures, delicious food, crazy experiences and lots of wine. Lots and lots of phenomenal wine. Good wine in Europe? Who’d a thought! This was our first time taking Idris out of the country and I can’t wait for him to get more stamps on his passport! Some of London highlights include dinner at Ceviche in Soho, Afternoon Tea at the Four Seasons London and of course The Princess Diana Memorial Park in Hyde Park. Watch our London vlog by clicking HERE and enjoy the photos below!
PARIS VLOG will be going up on my YouTube channel. Be sure to subscribe so you can be the first to see it!
* This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own.
Last Thursday I was invited to a screening of Mission: Impossible Rouge Nation. Getting in the spirit of things, I silently crept down my hallway like a true Mission: Impossible spy. I leapt over a massive pile of toys, dodged a dirty diaper, tumble rolled out the door and proceeded to make a swift exit. Unnoticed by my son, I sped away in my BMW. Coffee in hand and phone fully charged, I was ready to navigate through the evil LA traffic. The life of a mom and a spy are not really that different.
Ok, ready to hear about the screening? Let me just start by saying- it was a blast! Maybe it was the fact that I actually went to the movies, or that it was in an IMAX theater, either way, I was literally on the edge of my seat the entire time. I’ll be honest, I typically don’t watch a ton of action films, but I think I may be hooked now. Seeing this on a big screen really made a difference. I felt like I was part of the movie-right there in the middle of the action.
Want to know about the movie? It was an intense non-stop, jam packed film without a dull moment. Did I mention it was action packed!?! Tom Cruise (who DOESN’T AGE!) and his team join forces and embark on a seemingly impossible mission- to take down the rouge nation, aka the Syndicate. I loved the badass babe, Rebecca Ferguson, who kicks some serious bootay all over the film. Not only is she gorgeous, and totally fit- she can do some major fighting in stilettos. This mama needs to get some tips from her asap. Mission Mompossible anyone!?! I am going to channel her inner strength next time I’m working out. I need to make sure I can fend off any evil attackers that may come after me and my little peanut!
Another bonus from the film; the travel scenes! You guys know how much I love to jet set, so seeing clips from around the world made me want to grab my family and hop on the next plane to somewhere exotic. I’m looking at you Casablanca. If you’re into travel, motorcycle racing, car chasing, and butt kicking, this movie is for YOU! Good news, it is in theatres. You can get your tickets at Fandango.
WATCH THE MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE ROGUE NATION TRAILER
This blog post is part of a paid SocialMoms and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation blogging program. The opinions and ideas expressed here are my own
I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now- but June has been one of the busiest months of my life… and now it’s July. WTF! I went to Florida twice last month. Cray cray. The FIRST Florida trip was to Miami. I was invited for the opening of a new hotel; The AC Hotel Miami Beach. Me and my fellow bloggers, journalists and social media influencers got to see a side of Miami I didn’t even know existed. This trip focused on art and design. The last time I was in the Magic City was for a friend’s wedding which happened to be during Art Basel. The hubs and I were lucky enough to visit some of the exhibits, but I had no idea how much the art scene is booming there. Actually, everything is booming in Miami. It seems like people have money to burn. Because I was on a press trip we were escorted around town to a variety of unique places that tourists typically would never see. Some of the cool spots included the Perez Art Museum, the Design District, multiple galleries, great restaurants and my favorite place of all; the Wynwood Walls. This is the coolest display of street art I have ever seen. It’s BADASS. Seriously, I beg you to go there.
Here is a bit more explanation of the pics. The rooftop pool is from the AC Hotel Miami Beach along with the photographs of what’s in people’s bags.
The vertical gardens and palm trees are from the Perez Art Museum. I strongly suggest getting a guided tour of the museum. It makes it way more interesting.
The dip porn and watermelon salad are from Mandolin Aegean Bistro in the Design District.
The glamorous looking interior and tropical pool is from The Edition Miami. Love that hotel. Definitely staying there with the fam next time I go. It was very Sharzad friendly. Beautiful pools, beach access and totally lux.
The Chanel whistle and sick Balmain dress are from The Webster. The Webster has a ridiculously amazing collection of unique pieces from some seriously high brands. Um, hi Chanel whistle!
*THANK YOU to everyone I met on this trip for making it so fabulous and THANK YOU AC Hotel Miami Beach!