Thursday, June 25, 2009

Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ Concept Store Opening Party

Blake Lively and Kim Weling

Lucy Liu

Evan Rachel Wood

Chloe Sevigny in the crowd

Staccato Opulent Necklace

Wall of precision-cut loose crystals and components

Ring display

Mary Norton handbag, CAYLA headband, Cuccinelle handbag, Roeckl gloves

Pedro Garcia shoes

Definitely one of the hottest parties of the summer was the launch of the 5,000-square-foot Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ store on June 25, 2009.

Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively hosted the event, as she teamed up with Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ and charity: water to unveil the special-edition Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ Divine Rock necklace during the grand opening. 100% of the proceeds from the necklace will benefit charity: water. The necklace can be purchased for $88.00 at the concept store at 499 Broadway (between Broome and Spring) or online at, now through the end of August. I haven’t picked mine up yet, but plan on getting one during my next store visit!

Celebrities in attendance included Lucy Liu, Evan Rachel Wood and Chloe Sevigny.

I expected the space to be tiny, but to my surprise the store stretched out from the front of the store on Broadway (right across from Bloomingdale’s Soho), to the back of the store ending on Mercer Street. There is a lounge & café as you head toward the back of the store, as guests were able to sample the delectable hors d’oeuvres and treats.

The entire left wall is comprised of precision-cut loose crystals and components, allowing customers to customize and create their very own jewelry pieces. The ready-to-wear collection has something for everyone, with pieces in the $35 range to over $1,000. Shoppers can choose from charms, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings.

Downstairs you will find a lounge area with all-over Swarovski crystal cubes, which are actually very comfortable to sit on. There are also displays including Swarovski-detailed shoes, handbags, and tiaras.

The concept store in Soho is the only Swarovski CRYSTALLIZED™ store in the United States. Other stores are located in London, Shanghai and Austria.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Power of Leather AXE Instinct Launch Party

Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz

Lance Bass

Cheryl Burke of Dancing With the Stars

Shiny Toy Guns

AXE and Rolling Stone celebrated the launch of AXE Instinct, the new scent of rare leathers, with hints of spicy pink pepper, raw-leather accords and warm pepper wood. The scent is available as a deodorant body spray, body gel, deodorant stick and antiperspirant stick.

The party was hosted by Ashlee Simpson and Pete Wentz, with musical performances by DJ AM and Shiny Toy Guns, at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square, on June 24, 2009.

Celebrity guests included Lance Bass, Cheryl Burke, Kim Kardashian and Reggie Bush.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

K-Swiss Classic Remastered Party Hosted by Ed Westwick

Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick hosted the K-Swiss Classic Remastered launch party at the metro level of Bloomingdale’s 59th Street store on June 18th. In celebration of the new kicks, Ed judged a dance-off competition, with music by DJ Josh Madden. Unfortunately the dance contestants were not of the likes of the So You Think You Can Dance stars. I expected to see better popping movements, unique moves or at least some natural or technical mastering.

The first 50 customers to purchase Classic Remastered sneaks got their photo taken with Ed Westwick.

Jewelry Information Center Annual Fine Jewelry Luncheon

"Ginko Leaf" cuff by Anna Ruth Henriques

Eighteen-karat gold necklace with aquamarine and
rainbow moonstone gemstones by Robin Koffler

Eighteen-karat gold handmade bangles, with or without
diamonds by Maya Jewels

"Enduring Skulls" necklace by Ruff & Cut Signature Collection

On June 18, 2009, the JIC, Jewelry Information Center, held their annual fine jewelry luncheon at the Vermilion Restaurant.

I spotted a few favorites immediately after perusing the jewelry pieces on display. My ultimate favorite is an eighteen-karat gold “Ginko Leaf” cuff with reconstituted coral and diamond accents by Anna Ruth Henriques. It’s very difficult for someone petite as me to find a bracelet that fits my wrist, but this one fit beautifully when I tried it on!

Guest speakers for this year’s luncheon included the Women of Jewelia, from the book “The Necklace”, as they explained their inspiring true story of how thirteen women shared a diamond necklace, changing their lives and the community surrounding them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the lunch itself, including watermelon salad with cilantro and basil, Caldeirada de Peixe, which is a Brazilian seasonal seafood stew with an Indian kick tomato rice and the Vermilion Hedonism for dessert, a dark chocolate flourless cake served with chili masala orange blueberry sorbet.

There were a few pieces of jewelry that were raffled off that I would have loved to win, particularly an “Enduring Skulls” necklace from the Ruff & Cut Signature Collection, featuring continuous skull links in sterling silver.

Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company and World Gold Council co-sponsored the luncheon. Jane Basch bracelets, Jewelers Mutual jewelry travel cases and Lika Behar evil-eye bracelets contributed to the gift bags.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Private Diptyque Sample Sale

Diptyque candles

Curt and Scott Goldman

Scott serving up Combier

French luxe candle and fragrance company, Diptyque held a private sample sale event this evening from 6-8, for editors, buyers and VIP guests. Everyone was stocking up on favorite and discontinued scents at 40% to 90% off. I stocked up on some great gifts - candles, soap sets and hair and body wash, but you can also find eau de toilette, cologne and other bath & body products. Shopping was easy with testers to help you find just the right scents and a box to put your products in.

Scott Goldman, President and Director of Sales for Cadre Noir Imports, was serving up my favorite liqueur, Combier, combined with champagne to create the 'French Perfume', the perfect-themed drink for this shopping event. It's always a pleasure to see Scott and his brother Curt, CEO of Cadre Noir Imports, as they always make each event they are involved with a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere.
The public sale starts tomorrow and it's totally worth going to. Be sure to quickly find what you want and fight the crowd, as I'm sure it will be a busy sale. Get their early if you can!

11 East 26th Street between Madison and 5th Aves, 6th Floor
Thursday June 18 - 9:30AM to 6PM
Friday June 19 - 9:30AM to 4PM
ONLY Credit Cards Accepted, No Cash or Checks, No Returns

Monday, June 15, 2009 Launch at Townhouse Spa

Jeannine Morris, founder of

Sweet, sexy servers

Sweetly decorated wall at the Townhouse Spa

Manicure stations

Hair by DEX New York

Makeup by DEX New York

Vie Luxe candles

Jeannine Morris, founder of, held a beauty-licious party at Townhouse Spa on June 16th, to celebrate the launch of her beauty blog. Jeannine thought of just about everything to entertain her guests – a chocolate fondue fountain to dip marshmallows and strawberries in, yummy cherry-tini drinks, sweet and sexy servers and let’s not forget the incredible spa services that Townhouse spa was offering during the event.

I’ve always wanted to try out the spa services at Townhouse Spa, and I can definitely say they are now at the top of my list and I hope to go back there soon! I was able to enjoy a facial and chair massage. There were so many other services to choose from, including mini manicures, jelly foot bath pedicures, ricebran body smoother, demo eyelash and hair extensions and makeup touch-ups and sexy, summer hair styling by Celebrity Artists from DEX New York.

Stylist Sarah Shirley was on-hand, encouraging attendees to enter to win a 4-hour closet clean out valued at $600. I also had my first encounter with Vie Luxe, with candles on display including Buenos Aires (wild jasmine flowers, exotic Ceibo petals, ombu leaves & white pepper), Tuileries (white tuberose, rare jasmine, lavender buds & geranium petals) and Cote D’Azur (white lily, water hyacinth, fresia, pink rose & French verbana). The luxurious scents were present throughout the spa.

On the way out, guests received a Quintessentially gift bag filled with beauty treats including samples from Arbonne, Dr. Christine Rodgers, DERMAdoctor and FC5 Swiss, whitening toothpaste from Dr. Debra Glassman, DEX mineral tinted hydrator, Thymes body lotion, Sally Hansen and N.Y.C. New York Color nail polish and an all-in-one eye shadow/blush/lipgloss/eyeliner compact from e.l.f. Cosmetics.

So congrats to my fabulous friend Jeannine! Always a great source on everything beauty, I wish Jeannine the best of luck with her new blog and will be sure to follow it!

IS Vodka NY Launch at STK

IS Vodka hostesses serving up vodka shots

Photos courtesy of Stefan Diaconu for IS Vodka

On June 15, I attended the press and media party for the IS Vodka launch at STK steakhouse in the Meatpacking District. The private tasting introducing IS Vodka to New York featured signature creations by mixologist Sean Sugrue, accompanied by tasty hors d’oeuvres including sliders and tuna tartare.

My favorite drinks were the blackberry nicky (IS Vodka, sugar, fresh lime, soda and muddled blueberries) and white orchid. Other drinks included the basil caipiroska (IS Vodka, fresh basil, sugar, fresh lime and soda) and the vesper lynn.

Launch of Old Soul Surfboards and Surf Photography Exhibit at Chocolate Bar, Henri Bendel

Old Soul Surfboards by Joe Freeman

Framed photography by Matt Schwartz of She Hit Pause Studios

Chocolate Bar brownies

It’s always a pleasure to attend an event at Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar, this time at the Henri Bendel location on June 15, 2009, to celebrate the launch of Joe Freeman’s Old Soul Surfboards and the opening of a new surf photography exhibition by Matt Schwartz of She Hit Pause Studios.

Matt takes large format Polaroid images, pulls apart the film and rubs the negative onto watercolor paper. Matt’s prints, framed and limited edition pieces were on display and for sale throughout the event.

Four lucky attendees won the raffle for a surf Polaroid from Matt Schwartz, one hour private surf lesson from Joe Freeman, chocolate bar gift set or $50 chocolate bar gift certificate.

I thoroughly enjoyed Chocolate Bar’s mini brownie bites, alongside some wine sponsored by Barefoot Wine. Beerlao also sponsored the event.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Riesling & Co. World Tour 2009

2007 Eiswein by Einig-Zenzen GmbH & Co. KG

My favorite wine happens to be a sweet, rich and fruity Riesling, so it was my pleasure to attend the Riesling & Co. 2009 World Tour at the Tribeca Rooftop on June 10, 2009. The Riesling tasting showcased world-class winemakers from Germany, Austria and Alsace. The Tribeca Rooftop also catered the event, offering sushi, dumplings, fried rolls, noodles and salad to attendees. Right after the wine trade/media tasting from 1-5pm, there was also a consumer tasting that took place from 6-9pm.

With the limited amount of time I had, arriving late in the afternoon, I went through 24 tables in one hour. There were 31 tables and producers total. The tasting book listing all producers by region and table number with floor plan was very helpful. I learned that I prefer Rieslings between 110-160 g/L of sugar.

I took note of my favorite Rieslings including:
1999 Weisser Burgunder (Pinot Blanc) Icewine by Winzergenossenschaft Britzingen eG
2007 Gewurztraminer Auslese by Weingut Markgraf von Baden
2005 Riesling Beerenauslese by Reh Kendermann GmbH Weinkellerei
2007 Eiswein by Einig-Zenzen GmbH & Co. KG
Rudolf Muller 2007 Eiswein by Zimmermann-Graeff & Muller
Weingut Dreissigacker, Rheinhessen: 2005 Rieslaner Auslese by Wineconsale GmbH
2007 Riesling Eiswein, by Weingut Dr. Pauly-Bergweiler

Germany happens to be home to more than 60% of the world’s Riesling vineyards. Wines of Germany and the European Union (EU) are conducting a three-year joint campaign, “Destination Riesling,” to market and increase awareness for European Riesling among U.S. consumers.

The Riesling & Co. World Tour 2009 started in Copenhagen, Denmark on April 22, 2009, and ends in Amsterdam, Netherlands on September 21, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide Media Event

Clickfree Portable Backup Drive (Photo courtesy of Clickfree)

Belkin Retractable Travel Mouse and 7" Laptop Carrying Case (Photos courtesy of Belkin)

Acer A0751H (Photo courtesy of Acer)

VTech LS6245 (Photo courtesy of Golin Harris)

Nikon D5000 D-SLR (Photo courtesy of Nikon)

On Wednesday, June 10th, I attended the Holiday Gift Guide Event at the New York Marriot Marquis. I got a glimpse of new and upcoming products and found a lot of gift ideas for the holidays, most of which were in the electronics arena. Here are some brands that really sparked my interest! I need to get a hold of these products and experience them for myself, since I definitely need a lot of technology upgrades!

CLICKFREE AUTOMATIC Backup – offers a variety of portable backup drives, with no install or setup needed. Easy to use, just plug it in and the backup automatically starts arranging files and data.

Belkin – I’m always looking for compact petite accessories, and that includes the electronics arena. Some favorite Belkin products include the 7” laptop carrying case and the mini retractable mouse, both in plum berry.

Acer America/Gateway – I’ve really been in the market to get a lightweight netbook to access internet, email and make site updates. I can definitely go for the Aspire One A0751H. At 2.75 pounds, this netbook has a 11.6-inch LED high-definition screen, full-size keyboard and either a 3 or 6-cell battery that will last up to four to eight hours respectively.

VTech Communications, Inc. – The VTech LS6245 expandable cordless phone system has a modern, super sleek thin design. With the power of bluetooth technology, the LS6245 can receive both landline and cellular calls on the handset.

Nikon, Inc. – Features include a 12.3-megapixel resolution for clear and crisp photos, 19 scene modes to get the best picture possible, and the In-Camera Re-touch image editing. The Nikon D5000 D-SLR is affordable at $849.95 and comes equipped with the camera body as well as the versatile 18-55mm zoom lens.