EVENT RECAP

  • COOKING & EATING W/ CELEB CHEF CHARLES CHEN

    There are very few things in this world that will make me leave my house on a dreary Sunday afternoon. Food, specifically eating, is at the top of that list. Cause there’s a difference between going out to eat and going food shopping.

    When my email dinged less than 24 hours before and it was an invite to attend a cooking session with TV host, Healthy Chef and Wellness Expert Charles Chen I knew I would be putting the weather forecast out of my mind as I’m always down to eat rain or shine.

    This exclusive invite only event took place at Freshmade NYC and hosted by Charles Chen and Talent Jungle and the purpose of the event was to teach people how simple it is to make fresh healthy vegetarian meals at home. The menu consisted of 3 courses. He would teach me how to prepare dumplings, sushi and a simple dessert.

    First up were the dumplings. The tables were filled with various types of fillings. I chose corn, cabbage and a meatless substitute (which is delicious considering I’m a die-hard cow eater). As usual I had no clue as to what I was doing when I chose those ingredients, but I felt they were safe choices and it would be impossible to muck this up.

    And I was right! After boiling them for about 5 – 7 minutes or til they became a little translucent they turned out GREAT despite the fact I had never made a dumpling before in my life.

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    Filling my dumpling
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    After my dumplings finished cooking
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    Dumplings are in my belly

    The second course would teach us how to make sushi. Now I can openly admit that I am not a fan of sushi. My limit is California Rolls, which to most doesn’t even count. But hey, it’s what I like and what I chose to make. Which meant that I would need to invert my roll, meaning the seaweed goes on the inside and the rice is on the outside.

    If you’re a newbie to rolling sushi then get ready to roll up your sleeves cause this is a doozy. The keys to having it come out halfway decent is remembering to keep the sushi mat wet and to not pack it with so much rice or other things. If you make it too fat it will be hard to keep it together. Mine looked like 4 California Rolls rolled together to make one mega roll. It too was good but way more than I could chew.

    And lastly, we dipped fresh strawberries in melted chocolate and sat them in the freezer for a few moments. Talk about delicious…and filling.

    It may not seem like it was a lot of food but trust me I was full for the rest of the day. Whoever said you needed large portions to stay full is telling you lies. I happily did not look at another meal it was dinner time.

    This event was awesome and shout out to Charles who not only was super helpful the entire time, but he also changed the way I see myself in the kitchen. I say I can’t cook but I truly did better than I expected. There’s no excuse why I can’t recreate these quick and easy to prepare meals for my own family.

    I didn’t take many pictures as I was too busy eating and Snapchatting, so check out the video from the entire event.

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    Photo Credit: Charles Chen

     

  • GUEST POST: DISCOVER WELLNESS & TRAVEL WITH ORGANIC SPA MAGAZINE
    BY ALLAYA COOKS-CAMPBELL

    What do you get when you combine top-of-the-line skin care, high-end luxury spa resorts, and a aromatic greens salad?  The Organic Spa Magazine Media Event, that’s what!

    Held at the Mandarin Oriental New York, a premier New York City destination, the Organic Spa Media Event brought together dozens of brands and hundreds of influencers, united by the goal of creating holistic well-being.  This year marked the fourth such gathering, and attracted media attention from all over the northeast, with companies representing the United States, Europe, South and Central America, and China.

    While larger lines like Aura Cacia were there debuting their new product lineups, newer startups like Plume—Hair and Lash science were present as well, revolutionizing the cosmetics industry with a plant-based, all-natural lash boosting serum.  MyChelle boasted a highly effective, yet baby gentle line of sun care that felt more like a moisturizing treatment than a sunscreen.  Between visiting all the companies, attendees were encouraged to partake of a healthy and delicious lunch, with lush green salads, fresh fruit, sandwiches and hibiscus iced tea.

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    The Media Event was a direct embodiment of the mission of Organic Spa Magazine, providing “insight and informed advice on natural beauty and skin care, health and wellness topics, fitness and food, eco fashion and design, green travel and much, much more.”  In addition to being a fantastic opportunity to meet other wellness-minded professionals, try luxurious new products, and scope out the best destinations for a much-needed break, the event was an oasis in and of itself, leaving attendees relaxed, rejuvenated and inspired.

    babydroppingsAllaya Cooks-Campbell is the mother of an adorable newborn and step-mommy to two gorgeous tweens. She works very hard to keep her children from developing her sense of humor. An avid yogi, gamer and novelist, Allaya lives in New York with her husband, Damany. You can find her exploring motherhood at babydroppings.com.

     

    Photo Credit: Damany Campbell of Kanji Photography

  • RESIDENCE INN BY MARRIOTT HONORS
    LA LA ANTHONY AS THE 2016 RESIDENT MOM OF THE YEAR

    The Resident Mom award presented by Residence Inn by Marriott highlights their continued commitment to celebrating moms. Now in it’s sixth year, Residence Inn by Marriott will recognize La La Anthony as the 2016 Resident Mom of the Year.

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    Photo Credit: Residence Inn Residence Inn by Marriott

    To celebrate Residence Inn in New York City hosted an intimate cocktail party for this year’s honoree.

    About La La Anthony
    La La Anthony is an actress, producer, New York Times bestselling author and fashion-and-cosmetics mogul whose presence in the film and TV industry is rapidly growing. But her most important roles, however, remain closer to home as a mom to son Kiyan and wife to husband Carmelo.

    As an accomplished businesswoman and role model La La encourages women and mothers, in particular, to forge their path. Throughout her career she has devoted equal parts of her time to work, home and fun, and employs this balance even when traveling. Her busy career often means celebrating holidays on the road with her family, and the superstar has picked up a few tricks along the way.

    “La La exemplifies what it means to be Resident Mom of the Year,” said Diane Mayer, vice president and global brand manager, Residence Inn. “She has proven that dedication and hard work can drive success and propel you to reach your goals. La La is a devoted mom and wife who balances her career and family, and yet, still finds time for fun and discovery. This strikes a chord for many moms, and is a perfect fit for Residence Inn, a brand that understands the importance of maximizing time and thriving while on the road.”

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    Photo Credit: Getty Images

    See a portion of the interview below where La La shares her family travel tips and why she loves Residence Inn.

    In addition to sharing those tips La La unveiled ‘La La’s Lists’, a series of curated grocery delivery lists exclusive to Residence Inn. From signature beverages, including Shirley-La’s Temples, to holiday treats such as peanut butter cup pilgrim hats and fun ideas for children’s birthdays, La La’s Lists provide creative concepts for milestone occasions.

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    I think these lists are great! They are simple and easy to make recipes that even I can’t mess up. They come with everything you need to host simple yet memorable events at home or to bring to larger gathering like potlucks.

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    About Residence Inn by Marriott
    Residence Inn by Marriott is the global leader in the extended-stay lodging segment, with more than 700 properties located in the United States, Canada, Europe, the Middle East and Central America. Residence Inn is designed for long stays, by offering spacious suites with separate living, working, and sleeping zones. The goal is to make family travel easier and to allow moms to maximize their time with select conveniences and services including: free hot breakfast and Wi-Fi; fitness centers; pools and complimentary grocery delivery service. Most importantly, spacious suites complete with full kitchens give families the opportunity to spread out and live better during extended stays.

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    Photo Credit: Residence Inn by Marriott NYC Midtown East

    As a resident you will enjoy amenities such as fully functional kitchens in all rooms and suites; grocery delivery service; 24-hour markets and complimentary breakfasts help guests maximize their time and thrive while they travel. The RI MixÔ evening events afford guests the opportunity to socialize and connect with the local community. Each Residence Inn offers free Wi-Fi in both public and guests spaces to ensure continuous connectivity while on the road.

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    Photo Credit: Residence Inn by Marriott NYC Midtown East

    And another great aspect is Residence Inn participates in the award-winning Marriott Rewards® frequent guest program where members can earn their choice of points toward free vacations or frequent flyer mileage for dollars spent at any of the more than 4,000 Marriott hotels worldwide.

    For more information or reservations, call the Residence Inn toll-free number at 800-331-3131 or visit them online. For travel tips, the latest information or to connect with other travelers, “like” Residence Inn on Facebook and follow Residence Inn on Twitter.

    This was truly a great event. That included a sweet gift bag that included a copy of La La’s book The Power Playbook: Rules For Independence, Money and Success, a lipstick from her Motives line, three recipe cards from La La’s Lists and Resse’s Peanut Butter Cups Mini’s (not shown cause I ate them my way home from the event while reading her book…which is great!)

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    Watch my Snapchat video during my quick makeover and the tour of Residence Inn New York City.

    Oh, and make sure you join La La and Residence Inn for a Traveling Mom Twitter party on May 19 at 9:00pm EST to discuss thriving on the road, and tips for celebrating special occasions. I can’t wait for this! I’ve already marked my calendar. If you want to join use the hashtags #RIMom and #TMOM. There will be a chance to win prizes including Residence Inn gift cards, perfect for summer family travel and some much needed mommy me time away from the family.

    Thank you Residence Inn for inviting me and many congratulations to La La Anthony on receiving such an amazing and inspiring award.

    Happy Mother’s Day Weekend!!

  • SHITTY MOM FOR ALL SEASONS: HALF-ASSING IT ALL YEAR LONG BOOK RELEASE

    I’ve been a fan of Sh*tty Mom for a long time. You can imagine my excitement when I was able to attend not one, but two events for the release of their newest book Sh*tty Mom For All Seasons: Half-@ssing It All Year Long. It’s a follow-up to their 2012 New York Times bestseller Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide For The Rest of Us. Why was I at two events for the same book release, you ask? Well, I was supposed to go with a pal but she had to work the first night but she was able to come out the next night for the second event. And me being the party mama that I am, why would I turn down an opportunity to have drinks and cake two nights in a row.

    The first event I went to was hosted by Lyss Stern of Divalysscious Moms on the UES (Upper East Side) in New York City. In a fabulous posh apartment packed with women laughing, joking, eating and drinking, while sharing their own personal shitty mom moments.

    For those of you who are not familiar with the backstory of Shitty Mom, their first book The Parenting Guide For The Rest of Us is a parenting guide unlike any you’ve ever read. This is isn’t going to teach you how to make organic origami sandwiches for your kid’s lunchbox. Instead it’s gonna teach you “How to Sleep Until 9 A.M. Every Weekend” and “How To Not Hear the Baby in the Middle of the Night,” With the success of their first book it would only make sense that a second book would soon follow.

    The follow up (shown above) explores the occasions throughout the year that test every mother’s patience and inspire self-deprecating humor and that second glass of wine. The book is organized by the four seasons and will teach you how to navigate your way through motherhood, tell you that it’s okay to laugh at the occasional parenting fail, and it will without a  doubt have you appreciate your own mother.

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    The ladies of Sh*tty Mom
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    Yours truly and Sh*tty Mom

    The very next night had a totally different feel as I met up with my blogging buddy Allaya and other friends downtown at the exclusive HAUS nightclub where The Moms were hosting their own Sh*tty Mom book release party. This dance party surrounded by friends, laughter, cocktails, a rocking DJ and a great book! It was just what the doctor ordered for a mommy only night on the town.

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    Photo Credit: The Moms (via Facebook)
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    Photo Credit: The Moms (via Facebook)

    Pick up your copies of Sh*tty Mom on Amazon today as these books are hilariously funny. Most definitely worth every penny as a teat to yourself or a friend.

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    *Please not that this post contains affiliate links to the Mommy R+R Amazon store.