Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week! Alon Livne Fall/Winter 2014 Backstage with Per-fekt Beauty and Tigi Hair


Drum roll… very first Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week show and backstage preview!  I live only a few blocks away from Lincoln Center where fashion’s biggest behemoths gather in a design tribute to all things fabulous and chic.  Fashion Week has always held this mystique for me …the tents, the celebrities, the long-limbed models, the flashing frenetic press.   Besides, what could be more quintessentially New York glamour than a runway show?  Calling my inner Carrie Bradshaw, I jumped at the opportunity to attend Alon Livne’s Fall/Winter 2014 show with a special backstage invite to see Per-fekt Beauty and Tigi Hair perfect amazing hair and makeup looks.


1920’s delicate femininity inspired Alon Livne’s Fall/Winter 2014 collection presented at The Hub.  Breathtaking were the looks, especially the heavy beaded designs.   Before ultimately launching his own chic and well-tailored line, the talented young Israeli designer trained with Alexander McQueen in London and at just 22, was appointed to the evening wear and couture department of Roberto Cavalli.


Founder of Per-fekt Beauty, Richard Anderson was on hand insuring a “naturally enhanced” version of each of the stunning models.

Backstage leading up to the show was perfectly executed controlled chaos.   Hair and makeup’s finest achieving that understated 20’s glamour and feminine appeal with Per-fekt Beauty and Tigi Hair products playing center stage in the amazing transformations.  Turns out, models look a lot like “us” sans professional makeup and hair–okay, on average, they are about 21 years old and need a lot less shellacking than a 3o-something Mom…nevertheless, watching the transformations was very cool.


Per-fekt skin perfection gel, concealer and cheek perfection gel played center court at the makeup tables.  The products look absolutely amazing and apply with an incredible ease and ultimate smoothness.  I’m head over heels impressed with the texture  of the skin perfection gel and the amazing pigment of cheek perfection gel–check out my own filterless pic featuring the products below!  Per-fekt’s collection of innovative products can be found in the U.S at Sephora, Henri Bendel, and are regularly featured on QVC.   



Per-fekt Skin Perfection Gel, Luminous and Cheek Perfection Gel, Blushed


Livne envisioned hair for the show as a clean short look with symmetrical lines and high gloss and shine.  Inspired by Livne’s direction and the delicateness of the elegant collection, Tigi’s global creative director Nick Irwin created stunningly polished hairstyles with modern sophistication.  Catwalk by Tigi Your Highness Weightless Shine Spray and Catwalk by Tigi Session Series Finishing Spray helped shape these sleek and ultra polished looks.


The dazzling show and cool backstage pulse make for one of my best New York moments yet!

Thank you Per-fekt Beauty and Bold PR!


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I subscribe to like a gazillion magazines…old school, glossy, bulky and actual paper magazines.  Well, I’ve been obsessed with Sunset Magazine since I was a 20 something, west coast aspirational homesteader.  I still get my trusted copy every month even though I’m 3000 miles away from its target demographic (west coast outdoor living enthusiasts).  Well, I’m completely infatuated with the August issue’s spread on a stunning prefab house in the expansive wilds of Montana.  With some further Google snooping turns out has an even more spectacularly detailed spread of my Ruby Springs dream paradise.  My poor, poor husband.  I’m exhaustively annoying when I become fixated on a vision.  This quick afternoon search yielded these numerous links featuring some great info on pre-fab home ownership (including a cautionary tale to go along with the awesome architecture and interior design porn):

1) More design porn…

2) Great details A to Z…

3) The good…

4) and the cautionary…

I swear this here and now:  I will have my green, custom, dream pre-fab home one (not-so-far-away) day…said with absolute conviction by the girl who NEVER got the Barbie Dream House she begged and begged for…honey, blame my negligent parents for the link madness I’m about to virtually thrust upon you.

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Date Night in Hell’s Kitchen…


Like a deer in the headlights…or short grain rice in a paella pan (:

versus the alternative: Hell Date in our Kitchen…which generally includes tired, hungry hysterical kids, spilled whatever and a counter full of disaster…aka a typical Wednesday night at home.   Recently, with my saintly sister-in-law visiting, the husband and I jumped at the opportunity to have her watch the kids so we could spend a little long needed time away from the cuckoo’s nest.   After a couple work-swamped and kid-frayed months, a night where we could reconnect…an evening to escape a bit.

Some strained couples might very well find their way back to each other over a dim-lit restaurant table or sitting together peacefully in a dark theater (the only thing I’d find is him snoring annoyingly next to me)…but our road” home” has always led to and from Spain.  My longing for and his love of the place is the very first thing we discussed on our fateful first introduction to one another.  10 years and 2 kids in, we still (delusionally) plan kid-free distant holidays on the Iberian coast and Andalusian countryside.  Spain is our place.  Our panacea.  Well, if you can’t go to your panacea, you can sure as Barcelona rebuild date night over a kick-ass paella and mouthwatering tapas!  Turns out the fastest way back to both of our hearts is through our Spanish food-loving stomachs.   And so it’s a date.  And we agree to meet a Summer Tapas and Paella class at Sur La Table on W. 57th. …


wrestling my apron…not the most auspicious start…

An expansive and impressive cooking class space greets us…along with another 6 couples and the charming and energetic Chef Robert Ro.  Our menu for the evening: Sauteed Shrimp with Pimenton and Sherry, Majorcan Flatbread with Caramelized Onion, Pine Nuts and Raisin, Vegetarian Paella with Piquillo Peppers and Artichokes and Chicken Paella with Chorizo and Asparagus.

"This sure beats me snoring through a chick-flick!"

“This sure beats me snoring through a chick-flick!”

Interactive, fun and delicious food: an absolutely great environment to reconnect, learn some new skills (mainly, the firefighting wonders of kosher salt after one of our eager classmates set the paella pan on fire…shout-out “Pyro” Ron!) while preparing a fantastic meal that you get to rewardingly devour.  Honestly, one of the best dates I’ve had in years with this old guy.

A little affection...

A little affection…

Classes generally run about $59-$79 per person which includes all food and use of cooking materials and tools.   August classes include:

Coastal Italian Cuisine, Summer In Provence and Taste of Tuscany, etc…Check Sur La Table’s monthly calendar for many more class options.


Veggie Paella fixins’


The start of chicken/chorizo paella…


The cooking passionate Chef Robert Ro.


He answered the call of Group Leader…lead, playa’, lead (:


Veg goodness…


Working the dough…


Majorcan flatbread with caramelized onions, pine nuts and raisins.


Veggie Paella Yum.

Te amo, mi Viejo.  Gracias por una noche romantica (:







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Only 2.5 Hours Away From NYC–Family Vaycay

Viceroy view

Majestic view from the Viceroy Hotel, Brickell.

This question comes up time and time again on my local Mom’s listserv:  “Where can I take the kids for a family friendly vacation that’s only 2 hours or so away from NYC?”  Go south, my mommy friends.  Hop a quick plane ride  (about 2.5 hours going and just over 2 hours on the return) to paradise…bienvenidos a MIAMI!  Yes, Miami is often thought of as an adult Shangri-la: crazy nightlife, hot clubs and topless beaches…BUT,  it is also a very family friendly place.  Especially, if you stay out of the South Beach party playground.  I personally love the Brickell/Key Biscayne/Coconut Grove/Coral Gables areas (neighborhoods all within 5-15 minutes of each other) which also happen to be a stone’s throw away from the airport–convenient when having to car-it with fussy baby New Yorkers who hate being tethered to automobiles.   Airfare from NYC is generally affordable (think $150.00 for coach class if bought in advance and outside a holiday or high season period).  Below–shots from our most recent viaje–my favorites for a great Miami family holiday:

Bill Baggs State Park, Key Biscayne

Calm and clear waters…Bill Baggs State Park, Key Biscayne

Just over the Rickenbacker Causway (and 10 minutes from our hotel in Brickell–see below), is the glorious Key Biscayne and Bill Baggs State Park.  $8 admission fee and you’re smack dab in paradise.  Beautiful beaches and calm clear waters, a very family friendly beach.  Bike rentals are also available in the park in addition to the most awesome cuban inspired meal you might ever eat while wearing a bathing suit…check out: Boater’s Grill.


Heavenly view from our table at delicious Boater’s Grill


These are memories (:

These are summer memories (:


Peace is the Beach (:

While I love the beach and could spend every day there, the husband is more a dry land fella.  No problema, family friendly activities abound…and if you go off season (early summer), something holier than thou to crammed New Yorkers: NO LINES, anywhere.   We had two great outings: 1) the Miami Zoo.  A top notch and fabulously expansive facility.  The highlight of the day was feeding the giraffes in the Samburu Exhibit.  We waltzed right up to the giant beauties without even a 10 second wait.  2) the wondrous Miami Children’s Museum.  Another mammoth center of fun with a gazillion things for the wee ones to do.  Again–miracle of miracles–we went on the 4th of July and we were, like, one of only 10 other families inside.  Mind blowing…I’ve seen more people at a Starbucks on Columbus and 67th on a random January morning.  I like me some elbow room.

Magical experience...Miami Zoo

Magical experience…Miami Zoo

An African Safari without a HELL flight and vaccines!

An African Safari without a HELL flight OR vaccines!


Mammoth Facility of Fun


A little lunch at the Miami Children’s Museum


Triceratops Rodeo

Where to rest your sun soaked head each night?  I’m a fan of the Viceroy Hotel.  Located in Brickell (about 15 minutes from the airport and another 10 to Miami Beach), which is more mellow than the often raucous South Beach and it still has a very cool urban-meets-beach vibe and an impressively evolving dining scene.  The best part of the Viceroy hotel would be it’s gargantuan infinity pool, enormous hot pool and sweeping views of Biscayne Bay.  A close second: the roomy rooms with little European kitchenettes (think small sink, mini-bar fridge–perfect to sock away apple juice sippies or string cheese and yogurt–microwave and fancy coffee maker) that come in handy when snack time comes a shriekin’ for the youngins’.  We stayed in an enormous double for about $190 a night (rates vary, check website) which fit 5 of us nicely.


Hell of a Massage Found Here ^^^^^^^


Count ‘em: THREE pools…alright, one of ‘em is decorative…but not the BIG one.


Our room. Fit a family of 5 quite nicely.

Eats.  So many wonderfully delicious things to shove into freshly bronzed faces.  Below are a few of my all time favorites.  You cannot get a bad meal at any of these fab joints:


Rosinella. Home of my favorite risotto.

1) Rosinella, Brickell.  Simple and delicious trattoria style Italian.


Ceviche 105. Mouthwatering ceviche and Peruvian dishes.

Ceviche 105, Downtown Miami.   The place for ceviche.


Best everything Coral Gables Bakery/Restaurant

Chocolate Fashion, Coral Gables.  Gem of a breakfast/lunch joint.  Awesome and addictive bakery.

peacock cafe

One of the best Egg Benedict of my life.

Peacock Garden Cafe, Coconut Grove.  Whimsical garden setting and stellar brunch options.

So there you have it: sun, swim, play, eat, sleep…what makes for a better family holiday?   Te quiero, Miami.  Nos vemos pronto.  xoxoxxo



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Midtown Meandering

Finally, spring has sprung in NYC!  Cherry blossoms bloom a heavenly pink.  Yellow daffodils carpet patches around the thawed city while magnolia trees burst with dreamy fuchsia bouquets.  There’s really no better time to be here.

Local Cherry Blossoms

Some New Yorkers might argue that fall is the best season, but my inner earth goddess craves the rebirth and renewal of spring.  All winter, I live in eager anticipation of the new awakenings, glorious light and the crisp AMs that give way to gentle afternoon sun and blue boundless sky.

Heaven is a Magnolia Tree

With the warmth, walking is once again a welcomed wonder and unknown streets beckon exploration.  The city feels like a gift and we’re all just a bit more grateful.  With my older one in preschool most of the day and the “baby” well into toddler-hood (and comfortable with a sitter), I’m making it my springtime goal to get out more and discover new places to play, eat or just pop a quiet squat.  I live bordering the UWS and Hell’s Kitchen.  While familiar with most of the kid friendly joints, idyllic parks and well known landmarks heading uptown, Hell’s Kitchen/Midtown West have remained more mysterious to me.  My general familiarity with the area includes: 1) mostly 9th Avenue with its takeout food Mecca, sports bars and NO shortage of gentlemen’s clubs.  2) 10th Avenue with its rush of foot traffic, mass of students and hurried medical staffers rushing to and from John Jay College, Fordham University and St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital. 3) 11th Avenue with its exhausted cab and livery drivers napping along quiet industrial streets that feed into the West Side Highway.  Though despite the lackluster descriptions above, there are some great neighborhood gems that compliment the concrete mass just east of the Hudson River.

While we spend most of our play dates in Central Park, De Witt Clinton Park (located between W. 52nd and W. 54th St./11th Avenue) is a great neighborhood alternative.

A huge baseball/soccer field sits center stage, but the park also has an expansive shaded playground and water features for kids.  A nice dog run and mini gardens also dot its perimeters.

You can see glimpses of the Hudson River from the children’s play area and an added bonus, the tourist favorite horses and carriages that hoof daily through Central Park are housed directly across the street from De Witt Clinton on 52nd Street.  My youngest one loves watching them trot by as she glides on the swings.

Just up the street, continuing on 52nd Street (between 10th and 11th Avenue), is La Bergamote Patisserie and Bistro.

La Bergamote

Really a quaint neighborhood ‘bijou’.  Whether you’re popping in for a latte and croissant or staying for a more sumptuous breakfast or lunch, this place is tasty and consistently delicious.

I’m a huge fan of their fruit tarts, madeleine cookies and fresh salads with sinfully great bread.



Ideally, get some treats to go and head over to Oasis Community Garden just a stones throw away (also on 52nd between 10th and 11th Avenue), turn right when exiting La Bergamote and head a few doors down.  A honest to goodness oasis smack in the middle of urban sprawl.

Honest to Goodness Oasis

The small garden has a lovely little green lawn where butterflies flit about and roses and perennials decorate a charming pathway made from bricks of the former tenement house that once stood on its lot.   Kick off your shoes, relax and take it all in a minute…life is good…and we are blessed.  Happy spring!

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It Takes a Village…

DreamDry, Flatiron

DreamDry, Elegantly Modern Lobby

…to make me attractive. I spend the bulk of my days in food crusted leggings and toddler smeared tanks, unwashed hair in a bun with a blotchy face and a perma-smudge smokey eye (less colorfully known as chronic sleep deprivation) that extends down half of my face.  My remarkable transformation below–from exhausted mom to Old Hollywood inspired glam–snapped at a recent family wedding.

Offering up my best Ms. Lake

When crediting a village, I really mean my neighborhood team of hair stylists, colorists, spray tan technicians, manicurists and–due credit–some poor soul off somewhere in China perpetually hunched over and painstakingly weaving tiny eyelashes onto silicon strips…or at a minimum (and only just a hair less mind numbing), endlessly pushing the button on some droning industrial machinery.  Back in my village–NYC–master miracle workers, Rachel Zoe and Robin Moraetes recently set up fabulous shop in DreamDry, a 2,600 square-foot elegantly modern salon in the Flatiron District (35 W.21st St. 212-886-5194) that puts the awesome do in getting your hair did.  Similar to the blowbar concept, hairstyles (both up and down dos) cost $40.   Evoking iconic Hollywood glamour, choose styles ranging from the “Veronica” with its retro polished waves to the “Brigitte” a sexy voluminous bedhead look to the chic and sophisticated up-do of the “Audrey.”  For the extra busy mom crunching minutes, the salon offers time slashing wash free/dry only Express Styles ($30).  Mini Me/tiny divas are also welcome with Little Ones styling ($30).   And–goosebumps– coming soon: some Uptown/Midtown Love when DreamDry adds a second location on 57th Street/Columbus Circle this summer.  Yey! Made all the better when my “village” encompasses a 10 block walking radius.




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babyGap Grows The Adorable: Limited Edition Peter Rabbit Collection

During our January sojourn out West, me and the Rank and File attended a super fun event put on by the babyGap to launch their limited edition collection inspired by Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit.  Drawing from Potter’s mischievous characters and magical adventures, the babyGap brings to life a modern interpretation of the enchanting world of Peter Rabbit through imaginative gifts for girls and boys from newborn to 24 months.  Each apparel and accessories piece of this sweet collection is wonderfully cute and whimsical but also in keeping with Gap tradition, completely functional and totally wearable for the high energy little ones.  A great time was had by all!  The collection is available beginning Monday, January 14th in babyGap stores and online at


Some of my favorite pieces ^^^^^^^^^

The sweetest onsies…

Elizabeth Banks delightfully reads to the tiny attendees…

story spellbound (-:

Me annoying Molly Sims with typical Mommy D control freak behavior: barking orders at my camera “man” (-:

My darling Owee with Elizabeth Banks

A sweet take on carrots…the kids ate multiple servings of “veg” this time around…

Darling carrot cupcakes

Awesome Kids’ Band: Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band

Hop games

A popular petting zoo with…you guessed it…rabbits!

Find the bunny, win a yummy prize

Peter’s photo op (-:


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