• It’s Prosecco Day! Celebrate with These Products, Services and Recipes

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    It’s National Prosecco Day! A day that we celebrate the nectar of the gods. So what exactly is prosecco? It’s sparkling wine. If you’re thinking it’s another name for champagne you’d be wrong. Why? Cause for one they’re two different things made in two different places. Champagne is produced in France and prosecco produced in Italy. They’re also made in completely different styles which is one of the reasons why you’ll find champagne usually costs more than prosecco. Wine Folly has an excellent breakdown of their differences that’s worth checking out. The more you know.

    So, how does one celebrate National Prosecco Day? Well, one by drinking it and the other ways are:

    Prosecco Pong

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image: Amazon

    If you know how to play beer pong then you know how to play prosecco pong. That game comes with 12 wide neck plastic recyclable champagne saucers and 3 ping pong balls. All you need to add is your favorite prosecco. Also, check out Tropical Prosecco Pong and Prosecco v. Beer.

    BUY: Game

    Prosecco Made Me Do It by Amy Zavatto

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image: Amazon

    This coffee table cocktail book contains sixty delicious drink recipes paired with bright, fun, original artwork by Ruby Taylor. Also included: a brief history of prosecco, purchasing and serving tips, and a guide to cordials, syrups, and liqueurs.

    BUY: Book

    Be There In A Prosecco tee

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image: Amazon

    No description needed. I got mine already. The material is soft and a little stretchy. They are true to size. I got XL cause I like my tee’s baggy. Get yourself one, and one for a friend.

    BUY: Tee

    If you can read this…socks

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image: Amazon

    Send silent messages across the room with these “If You Can Read This Bring Me Prosecco” socks.

    BUY: Socks

    Antica Farmacista home scents

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image: Amazon

    I love a good house scent and this selection of prosecco home fragrances is right up my alley. It has top notes of satsuma citrus balance with subtle floral notes of muguet. Apricot and passionfruit complement the sweetness of sugared black currant.

    BUY: Diffuser BUY: Room Spray

    Prosecco pamper set

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image Credit: Seven and Six Cosmetics

    This made to order bath set comes with a face mask, prosecco bath bomb, mini bath bombs, Himalayan salt, charm bracelet, bath oil, cruelty-free soap, and face towel.

    BUY: Pamper Set

    Marie Hunter candle

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image Credit: Marie Hunter

    This black candle has a 90 hour burn time and features top notes of Satsuma citrus balance with hints of muguet. Apricot and passionfruit complement the sweetness of sugared black currant.

    BUY: Candle

    The Bubble Tap Trailer

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image Credit: Bubble Tap Trailer

    If you’re on the west coast and you’re having a party you can reach out to The Bubble Tap Trailer. Their self-containing vintage trailer will roll up to your event filled with bubbly ready to serve to all your guests.

    Visit a local wine shop & discover something  new

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    After passing Tipsy in the heart of Clinton Hill, Brooklyn for the thousandth time, today seemed like the perfect day to finally stop in. I went in to get a look-see and to try a new bottle of wine. I got a bottle of TreCase Prosecco. I’m going to save it for the weekend while the kids are away. I suggest you visit a new wine shop and try a new bottle of wine. You never know what you might find.

    Minibar Delivery

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Image Credit: Minibar Delivery

    Did the liquor store close? Or did it run out of your favorite? Don’t fret cause Minibar Delivery has your back. Order wine through your phone and have it delivered to your door. The app is on droid and apple. Just drop your address and see if they deliver to your area. If they do, order one of their top-rated proseccos (La Marca Riondo, Ruffino, Mionetto, and Bioldo) and whip up one of their yummy recipes:

    Frozen Peach Bellini

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr
    A summer version of an Italian classic, this frozen cocktail is everything you need to keep cool. The classic Bellini features prosecco with a splash of peach puree. We’ve added a splash of mango nectar for a blended frozen favorite.

    3 cups frozen peach slices
    1 cup mango nectar
    Your favorite prosecco

    Blend peach slices and mango nectar until smooth
    Fill champagne flute until half full
    Top with prosecco
    Garnish with peach slices

    Aperol Spritz

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Transport yourself to Italy with this delicious summer drink that’s on the top of everyone’s cocktail list these days. The delicious combination of bitter Aperol with sweet Prosecco make this a refreshing treat that’s beloved by all. It’s easy to make, and even easier to drink.

    4 oz prosecco
    2 oz Aperol
    1 oz soda water
    Orange wedge

    Fill a large wine glass with ice
    Add Aperol, prosecco, and soda water
    Garnish with an orange wedge

    Plum Drum Prosecco Smash

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    This prosecco cocktail is sure to get any party started. Does your prosecco need an upgrade? Try our Plum Drum Prosecco Smash.

    2 plums
    6 thyme sprigs
    1 lemon
    2 oz simple syrup
    1 bottle of Prosecco

    Peel and chop two plums
    Muddle with the thyme simple syrup and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.
    Add ice and shake.
    Pour strained into a glass and top off with prosecco.
    Garnish with plum slices and thyme sprig.

    Lemon Lavender Bubbly

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Simple yet classy, this prosecco cocktail is sure to impress all guests (even your fanciest friends).

    2 oz lemonade
    ½ oz simple syrup

    In a champagne flute stir lemonade and simple syrup
    Top with prosecco
    Garnish with lavender

    The Blueberry Sparkler

    national prosecco day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    The drink everyone celebrates with just got an upgrade. Upgrade your party bubbly and serve this at your next soiree

    2 oz light rum
    1/2 oz lime juice
    1/2 oz simple syrup
    Mint leaves, lime wheel, blueberries

    Muddle blueberries and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker
    Add rum, lime juice, and simple syrup and shake
    Pour into a glass with ice and top with prosecco
    Garnish with lime wheel, mint leaves, and extra blueberries

    Share in the comments below how you plan to celebrate National Prosecco Day.
  • 10 Things You Can Do To Celebrate National Book Lovers Day

    National Book Lovers Day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    August 9th is National Book Lovers Day, and bibliophiles all over the globe are about to get lit.

    If you don’t know what a bibliophile is, simply put, it’s a person who collects and loves the hell outta some books. There, see, by learning a new book lover term you already did one thing to get the party started. Here are nine other things you can do to keep the celebration going:

    Visit your local bookstore

    National Book Lovers Day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    As much as I love B&N I also make it a point to support my local independent stores. These stores service and support the community in ways that big chains don’t. My favorite independent store is Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene BK. They’re small but pack a powerful punch with their carefully curated selections and cozy atmosphere. I never walk out empty handed.

    Discover a new genre

    We all have our favorite categories to read but what if we decide to skip historical fiction (my fav for the past couple of years) and venture into the sci-fi section. Or instead of choosing fiction look at some non-fiction titles. You’ll never know what your hidden love is if you don’t go exploring.

    Start a new book

    We all have a stack of books that we’ll start “tomorrow”. Yeah, two years later the book is still there with 20 books stacked on top of it. Today is a great day to choose one, crack it open and read it through to the end. I have more than a dozen but here are 5 that will try to finish before the end of the year.

    Click on the title to learn more
    Finding Gideon
    Children of Blood and Bone
    The Perfect Nanny

    Get a library card

    National Book Lovers Day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    If you don’t have one then you owe it to yourself to carry yo ass to your nearest library and get one. And if you do have one, then head over and check a book or two out.

    Continue a book you stopped reading

    Our shelves are filled with books we’ve started and for whatever reason, never finished. This a perfect time to continue where you left off.

    Sniff some old books

    Only a true bibliophile will understand me here. There is something so alluring about opening a book, burying your face in its pages and inhaling deeply. It’s intoxicating, especially when the book is really old. The yellower the pages the more you wanna sniff it. Am I the only one who wants and old book air freshener?

    Signup for a Goodreads account

    National Book Lovers Day valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Yeah, yeah I know you don’t need another social account or log in to remember. But if you’re a book lover then this will be the only book based platform you’ll ever need. You log in and from there you can discover, rate and have conversations with fellow book lovers, and because you can connect it to your Facebook account you’ll be able to see your friends suggestions and ratings.

    Donate books to the less fortunate

    Contact your local libraries, schools, shelters or elderly homes etc. to find out about their book donation policy. You can also set a stack on your stoop and passersby like me will most def go through what you’ve left out. Whatever you choose, don’t throw them in the trash. Books do not belong in the trash.

    Give the gift of a book

    Who doesn’t love presents? Give someone you love the gift of a book they’ve been dying to read or a gift certificate so they can pick out their own book.

    How are you going to celebrate National Book Lovers Day?
  • Here Are 10 Tips for Navigating & Surviving CurlFest

    curlfest mommyrandr valerie pierre #curlfest

    This was my first time attending CurlFest hosted by Curly Girl Collective, and I had a blast! But, it was quite overwhelming. There were thousands of people there. Literally wall to wall Black Girl Magic. You walk in and everything is grabbing your eye. You want to go to every corner to see and do everything. But it’s impossible.

    I was there from 12 to 5 and I didn’t see a fraction of everything there. But that’s okay. The experience of being there was well worth it. But next year I will be ready, and so will you if it will be your first time attending.

    Here are my Top 10 Tips for Navigating and Surviving CurlFest:

    Go To Bed Early

    Yes, the event starts at noon, and that leaves plenty of time to sleep in. But this event takes place in the center of a park with very little shade in the middle of July. It’s hot. The heat will drain you. I’m tired as I write this and it’s just 9:30 p.m. The earlier you go to bed the more refreshed you’ll be to tackle the event. There’s a lot to do so you’ll need all the energy you can get.

    Get There Super Duper Early

    There are a few reasons why I say you need to get there early:

    1. To beat the crowd. I was standing in front and center of the main stage at 12:30 p.m. At that time there were about 200+ people there. Which made the event area look damn near empty. That’s the key word right there..empty. This is your opportunity to take photos at the large #CURLFEST hashtag sign or other fun selfie stations, gets floral headpieces made or get all the freebies you can from the numerous beauty vendors. I recommend getting there by 10 or 10:30 a.m. this will give you full reign of the space before the rush of the crowd.

    2. To get a seat in the shade. CurlFest takes place in an open section of Prospect Park. The perimeter of the event has shady spots but not very many. So you want to get there early enough to snag one otherwise you’ll be forced to get a spot just outside of the event or worse, layout directly under the hot sun.

    3. To get a general admission bag. If you were able to snag a regular ticket that meant you were to get a bag – while supplies lasted. Another key phrase a lot of people overlooked as it was mentioned at the bottom of the ticket. So if you want to get that supply get on that check-in line by 10 a.m.

    Avoid The Official Check-In Line

    CurlFest requires no ticket to enter. This is a FREE event. Which means there is NO reason to wait in line. Just walk in. Unless it’s 10 a.m. and you’re waiting to get a ‘while supplies last’ gift bag. Then, and only then, should you be in line.

    I took an Uber and got off at Ocean and Lincoln and walked to the event. It’s a short walk. Less than 10 minutes. When I entered the festival area it was on the left of the stage, which would be considered the back. Should the event be held at this same location next year this is the side I will enter. It’s closer to all of the vendors and allows me to avoid the obscene crowd and ridiculous long entry line.

    If you have an Early Bird ticket make your way to the official check-in as there is a much shorter line for you to pick up your GUARANTEED swag bag. There’s is no need to rush as you are owed a bag. 

    If you have a General Admission ticket and get there after 12:30 p.m. don’t even bother waiting on line for the bag as supplies are long gone. Just enjoy the festival.

    curlfest mommyrandr valerie pierre #curlfest

    Wear Comfortable Footwear

    This is a festival and there will be lots of walking and even more standing. Yes, you wanna look cute, and by all means, you should but remember your feet will pay the price for not wearing something with support. Wear your cute shoes to start but make sure to have your sneakers in your bag for a switch.

    Bring A Large Tote Bag

    The swag bag I received was not heavy but thankfully the items were put in a larger bag (a bag in a bag) which made carrying everything else I received that much easier. But if you aren’t lucky enough to get a swag bag you need to bring your own. There are a lot of vendors present with tons of great stuff to purchase. All of those little bags add up and will get heavier in your hand, especially if you’re buying product. Those full-size bottles are weighty. Having your own tote or backpack to stuff your items will help keep you from losing bags and allow you to be hands-free to do things like dance and take selfies with friends.

    Bring Cash

    I’m not one for cash but not everyone takes credit card, especially at festivals. I made sure to bring about $25 cash with me and guess what? It came in handy. There was an Italian ice cart and she only took cash. Guess who was able to buy a cup? This chick! Don’t miss out on good stuff cause you lack paper in your pocket.

    Bring Your Own Food And Drink

    There’s gonna be thousands of people at this event. There will be a chance food and drink will run out and if you do get some it will probably cost more than usual. If you’re not interested in waiting on line 25 minutes only for the for the taco stand say they ran out when you’re 3 people from the order window (a true story that was shared with me) then I suggest you bring your own goodies. This is a park so no one will check your bag. Bring whatever you need to keep your belly full until you leave.

    Have A Plan

    You need to have a plan of action. This is not an event where you figure it out when you get there. Do you want to get products from beauty row? Pictures at selfie spots? Try new foods? Be sure to get there earlier enough to quickly scope out what’s going on and do that first, then worry about everything else. Don’t be like me and lollygag for a few hours then turn around and realize all of those empty lines have more than 100+ people on them.

    Getting Your Ticket to CurlFest 2018

    Tickets sell out in the blink of an eye. You have to be prepared for when the Curly Girl Collective posts the ticket link. I made sure to turn their notifications on for both Twitter and Instagram. Starting back in May every time they made a post I was aware of it. It allowed me to know when ticket sales were going to happen and to have the link in advance to be ready to purchase at the release time. This is how I was able to snag two Early Bird tickets before the site crashed. Make sure you have quick fingers tickets sold out in less than 10 minutes, and you can only get one Early Bird ticket per person. Yes, I was quite fortunate to buy one and go back and buy a second. So tell your friends to be ready at their computers so they can get theirs as well.

    Quick Tips:

    Bring your phone charger. You will run your battery taking pics and video.

    Do not drive. There is no place to park. Take the MTA or an Uber.

    Find the Shea Moisture section with fan and mist combo. Life changing.

    Wear and bring sunscreen. Again, this is an open area park in the middle of July with no shade. While tanning is great, burning is not.

    There you have it. These are all the tips to surviving CurlFest. I can’t wait to go back next year armed and ready. I had a great time but now I know what to do when I go back next summer.
  • Rest & Relaxation at EVEN Hotels Downtown Brooklyn

    FYI: EVEN Hotels provided me a discounted rate on our room and a complimentary gift bag for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

    even hotels brooklyn valerie pierre mommyrandr

    It’s been almost six months since the last time Jeff and I had a date night. Which meant it was time for some much-needed couple rest and relaxation,  and with the help of my mom by taking the kids overnight we would be able to do just that. But with the kids gone what would we do? It was my birthday weekend so I didn’t want to stay in house and do nothing. I’m always down for traveling, but where would we go on such short notice? Money reasons would keep us from going too far, then it hit me.

    I pass EVEN Hotels Downtown Brooklyn all the time as I live nearby. It looked decent and the location was great. And as I would learn online this hidden gem is a health-focused hotel that prides itself on giving their guests an experience that will relax their mind, body, and spirit. This was the place for us!

    even hotels

    About EVEN Hotels

    We checked in on a cold and windy Saturday excited to escape the stress of life and parenting. We arrived a little after 2pm and were immediately met with a warm welcome, like literally, the receptionist gave us warm cloths for our hands. She took her time checking us in going over everything the hotel has to offer with a fine tooth comb.

    The main floor when you walk in is bright and colorful, and is broken up into five sections: the lounge area (which comes with board games and shuffle a shuffleboard table, meeting space (with computers and wifi), bar area (this speaks for itself), cafe (which is mostly stocked with healthy food and drinks), and the outdoor patio area (this is a perfect area to chillax in the warmer months).

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    even hotels

    even hotels

    even hotels

    After a quick tour we headed up to the room. We were given sweet ass room on the 12th floor (1202). It’s right off the elevator near the exit door. Now usually I don’t like being by either location due to noise, but neither one of us heard a peep. But I’m sure at some point our neighbors probably heard us. I’ma Jersey gal living in Brooklyn, which means I have no clue how to use my inside voice. Sorry to those who heard my overly loud conversation and laughter.

    But back to this room – it was HUGE! And the fragrance that greeted me, it was like a mix of healthy living and kale. But seriously, it smelled like the epitome of cleanliness and tranquility. You can easily tell the staff really makes sure their rooms are top notch. Now I usually travel with a can of Lysol to spray the room and I never take my socks off. I didn’t need that here. I took my socks off and paraded around the room like I was home. That’s what EVEN Hotels is, home away from home.

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    even hotels

    even hotels

    even hotels

    Health and wellness is more than a motto to the EVEN Hotels brand, it’s a way of life. A life they take very seriously. For starters, they have a mini gym in all of the rooms. It comes complete with resistance bands, ball, yoga mat and plenty of accessories – including a fitness manual to make sure you use all the equipment properly.

    even hotels

    even hotels

    As you can see this was one of the best amenities in the room. It’s a polite low key way of saying, there is no excuse for you to not be doing some form of exercise. But if that isn’t enough for you, venture down to the lobby to use the two-level gym that is only accessible by your room key.

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    even hotels

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    Yup! This overnight stay at EVEN Hotels is gonna be just what the doctor ordered.

    What did we do during our stay?

    So what exactly did we do during our overnight stay? The answer is, nothing. We relaxed. Which is exactly what this hotel wants you to do. We took long hot peaceful showers, cause you know kids don’t let you bathe alone for long. We lounged in the pillow top bed and watched t.v. shows that weren’t on Sprout or Nick Jr. I worked out for all of 5 minutes. And because I love to eat we took a quick walk around the corner to Target Atlantic Center for dinner and snacks.

    I love when hotels are centrally located making it easy for guests to spread their wings and learn about the area they’re in. Being a stone’s throw from BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music), Fulton Mall, Barclay Center and City Point, this makes EVEN Hotels Downtown Brooklyn a perfect choice for locals and tourists. But that’s not all, Even Hotels is so centrally located that you can take damn near any train that runs into Brooklyn to get there including the LIRR.

    Yes, after a cozy overnight stay Jeff and I sadly checked out feeling refreshed, and looking forward to the next time when we can kick our feet up in room 1202. We could have done this exact thing at home but sometimes staycations right in your hood turns out to be the best remedy for rejuvenation.


    What do you think about EVEN Hotels? Have you ever stayed or are you thinking about staying?