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Editor’s Pick: Pinnacle Vodka

By  August 19, 2014

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Discover your next obsession with our Editor’s Pick series, must-have products for your home, wardrobe, makeup bag, and office curated by Glam editors.

For me, August means sunny days on the beach, dance parties at (adult) summer camp, and nights overlooking city rooftops. But not one of these activities would be complete without a cold fruity beverage in hand.

While I’m a a girl who enjoys a beer on almost every other occasion, I’ve been totally won over by the flavored Pinnacle Vodkas. They’re perfect for when you (ahem, me) only have one other mixer in your fridge because the vodka already has a built in flavor–which also means less calories when mixing simple drinks. Here are two of my favorite combinations, so pour and enjoy, whether at camp, the beach or roof! –Michelle Kushner

Creamsicle Cocktail
1 Part Pinnacle Marshmallow or Whipped Vodka
1 Part Orange Juice
1 Part Sprite Zero

Summer Coconut Cake Cocktail
1 Part Pinnacle Cake Vodka
2 Parts Pineapple Coconut Skinnygirl Sparkler

Pinnacle Vodka, from $15.97

Childhood Goodies Glam Girls Still Love

By  August 19, 2014

Sponsored by Kellogg’s® Froot Loops®

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You know those treats and tidbits common during our childhood that we really never forgot about? We think about them from time to time too. Here are five we just can’t grow out of loving.

 

Little Black Book: South Beach, Miami

By  August 18, 2014

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South Beach, though just a neighborhood of Miami, is often the first destination most people think of when planning a trip to the city. And with hundreds of clubs, restaurants, boutiques and some of the country’s most famous hotels lining the streets, it’s no surprise why. We recently took a break from the Miami Swim Week tents to scope out the scene.

Where to Stay

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Gale South Beach

South Beach is synonymous with Art Deco architecture (the neighborhood was destroyed by the hurricane of 1926, and then reborn during the Art Deco movement) and most boutique hotels are designed in the 1930s style. Unfortunately, while these properties boast visually stunning exteriors, if you’re not careful, you might find yourself cramped in a dated 1930’s style interior room as well. The exception? The Gale South Beach, which reopened in December 2013, fully renovated with all the modern technological amenities. Guests enjoy sleek rooms, equipped with high-definition 55 inch LED televisions, iPhone and iPod docking stations, WiFi, and marble showers with rain head faucets. Those who book in the Signature Terrazzo category and above also enjoy provide balconies. Rooms are compact (standard in South Beach), but the buzzy public areas—The Regent Cocktail Club, Rec Room, and Rooftop Pool Deck—more than make up for it.

Where to Eat

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Casa Tua

For special occasions, nothing beats the enchanting garden ambiance of Casa Tua. The upscale Italian restaurant, while located just a block away from Collins Avenue, feels secluded and a world away from the South Beach party scene. The name of the establishment translates to “your home” and is as intimate as you would expect—expertly balancing a feeling of exclusivity and warmth.

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Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Setai

Sunday brunch in the Setai courtyard brings the concept of a lazy, boozy bunch to a whole new elegant level. Here, the bottomless champagne is top shelf (Tattinger) and you’re guaranteed never to be without a full glass at all times. The four hour buffet includes sweet and savory stations such as five different types of waffles and pancakes, unlimited fresh fruit juices and smoothies, premium deli suggestions, salads, eggs, cheeses, desserts, and grilled meats including truffle roasted chicken and caramelized leg of lamb. Bring a group of friends to lounge around for hours, all to the music of a live jazz band.

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Dolce Italian

This Collins Ave eatery which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be whatever you need it to be: a quick grab-and-go juice and coffee stop in the morning, a gourmet pizza take-out spot for lunch, or a sit down group dining destination in the evenings, complete with antipasti and mozzarella bars and an extensive wine list.

What to Do

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Hit South Beach

The obvious choice when in Miami — it’s easy to laze away at the beach for the entire day. Most hotels have reserved beach front properties. Just remember to bring some cash. In some cases, umbrellas may be an additional $15 — plus, you’ll want to order a piña colada or two from the beach bar to keep you cool in between dips in the ocean.

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Party at Hyde Beach

If a pool party with bottle service is more your speed, let Hyde Beach at the SLS be your South Beach destination. The indoor-outdoor club boasts over 8,000 sq feet of pool, beach, garden, and lounge space and you can enjoy it all with José Andrés food and drinks at your beck and call.

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Shop at The Webster

A visit to South Beach is not complete without a pit stop at the famed boutique The Webster. The 20,000 square foot, three-level, concept store sells over 100 men and women’s brands from Alaia to Valentino. Even if you’re just browsing, consider the stop a vital part of your fashion education.

Where to Relax

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THÉMAÉ Spa at the Setai

After all the parties and the afterparties, even the most active vacationer will need to unwind. Step into the spa at the Setai, hands down the most zen spot in all of South Beach. The spa has a core offering of pampering massages, facials as well as nail and waxing services. The spa also recently teamed up with luxury French brand THÉMAÉ and now uses the line of tea-based anti-aging products in the spa rituals.

Barbecue Basics: Summer Grilling Tips and Tricks

By  August 14, 2014

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Select your source
Gas versus charcoal … whichever way you go, your barbecue won’t suffer. Some grillers prefer the smokier taste from a charcoal fire, while a gas burner is more convenient for others. Know what you’re cooking on, and prepare accordingly.

Oil up
The best way to keep food from sticking to the grill is to wipe across the panels with a vegetable oil-soaked towel before heating the grill. Use tongs when flipping or turning grilled items so you don’t burn yourself. Most foods will release from the grill easier when they are cooked long enough.

Serve only the best
Make your barbecue extra personal by serving guests grilled goodness you believe in. Hebrew National hotdogs are a must for next-level summer celebrating—made with 100 percent kosher beef for a great-tasting, quality frank.

Throw on some veggies
The barbecue isn’t reserved just for meat. Grill up your sides as well! Coat vegetables like onions, peppers, asparagus, and tomatoes in olive oil and place them in a perforated grill pan on top of the fire to avoid small pieces falling through the racks.

Clean it while it’s hot
The easiest time to remove food stuck on the grill is when the grill is still hot. Use a grill brush before and after cooking to clean off the grates. If you don’t have a brush, a large ball of aluminum foil works well too.

6 Shark Week Sippers to Serve for Your Viewing Party

By  August 11, 2014

Sharks are taking a bite out of everyone’s TV’s this week as Discovery’s annual marine marathon hits the airwaves. While many fans of the sharp teeth will be tuning in, there’s sure to be a slew of viewing parties with custom cocktails to celebrate. If you’re in need of a few ideas, these delectable drinks will  delight your audience even before the blood hits the water.

Shark Attack

Shark-Attack

2 oz. Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
3 oz. ruby red grapefruit juice
1 oz. DeKuyper Mixologist Series Blood Orange Liqueur
Orange slice (for garnish)

Build in order over ice in a tall glass. Garnish with an orange slice and enjoy.

Blood In The Water

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2 oz. ZYR Russian Vodka
2 oz. Club Soda
1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
Dash of Grenadine

Add the vodka, club soda, and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass before adding a dash of grenadine as a garnish.

The Shark Fin

The Shark Fin

2 oz. Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 oz. DeKuyper Mixologist Series Blood Orange Liqueur
2 oz. fresh lemon sour
Juice of one whole lime
Lemon wedge (for garnish)

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain over fresh ice in a glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

Dangerous Waters

Dangerous-Waters

1 ½ oz. Skinnygirl Meyer Lemon Vodka
2 oz. sugar-free strawberry lemonade
Muddled blueberries, raspberries and strawberries
Splash of sparkling water
Blackberry or lemon wedge (for garnish)

Mix vodka, muddled blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in a glass. Top off with a splash of sparking water and add ice. Garnish with a blackberry or lemon wedge.

Shark’s Tooth

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2 oz. TY KU Coconut Sake
1 oz. Rum
1 oz. Cointreau

Add the sake, rum, and Cointreau to a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake and strain into a martini glass.

Shark Bite Sipper

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1 ½ oz. Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka
½ oz. Vermouth
½ oz. Olive Juice
Olives for garnish
Shake all ingredients, including the olives for garnish, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Oh, So Glam: fermLiving

By  August 08, 2014
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Meet my latest home decor brand crush: the Copenhagen based ferm LIVING. Their collection of home accents, textiles, and children’s decor has such a fun, retro vibe, but everything features clean, geometric lines and shapes that’ll remain classic for ages. I’m obsessed with ferm’s line of Hex shaped goodies (like this hex shaped bottle opener and paper towel dispenser) — they’re so modern and chic!
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You can buy ferm LIVING products directly from their website; the only downside if you’re in the U.S. is the international shipping fee is pretty hefty and all the prices listed are in Euros. A few U.S. sites also sell their products; be sure to check hereherehere and here.

Victoria McGinley is the editor of vmac+cheese, a New York City based daily lifestyle blog that covers plenty of topics to delight and inspire, including style, design, art, culture, beauty, and original recipes. A native of Austin, TX, she’s blogged since 2008, and in early 2012, launched Vivaleur, a graphic design and blog consulting company. When she’s not blogging or working with clients, you can find her exploring New York with her husband Joe, and their French bulldog, Lucy.

Etsy Sellers Hit Brick & Mortar Stores

By  August 06, 2014

EtsyWholesaleIn what might seem like a backwards move, Etsy is helping its sellers take their goods from the web and into brick and mortar stores. It might seem counterintuitive nowadays, given that most retailers are trying to make a big push into the online arena, but for Etsy sellers, it’s more about opportunity.

The Etsy Wholesale program, which officially launched August 5, aims to help Etsy’s more established sellers take the “next step” and start selling their goods through third-party retailers. The project has been in beta for quite some time, which explains why you might have seen Etsy creations in West Elm stores and Nordstrom’s home goods department. Etsy Wholesale is basically a private matchmaking service that sellers and retailers must apply for. Sellers must be able to show that they have wholesale experience, but if they don’t, tutorials are available to help them get started. All it costs is $100 on the selling side, and a 3.5% cut of sales made.

According to Vanessa Bertozzi, a senior program manager at Etsy Wholesale, “We knew retailers were already coming to Etsy.com [to find] emerging designers. What we heard from retailers is that it was hard to suss out which sellers were able to do wholesale versus which weren’t.” Hopefully, the new program will result in a number of successful matches and give plenty of budding designers some serious exposure.

Whitney Port Dishes on Her Wedding Plans!

By  August 01, 2014

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Wedding bells are ringing for three of The City and The Hills cast members this year. Olivia Palermo already tied the knot in a small ceremony, while Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port are still in planning mode for their own nuptials.

Ever the designer, Port teamed up with Wedding Paper Divas to craft her own wedding invitation collection, unsatisfied by the offerings out there already. She created six new invitations – Aztec Allure, Lavish Laurel, Enchanting Affair, Elegant Union, Golden Garland and Botanical Bliss, meant to satiate any couple’s whimsy.  “I really wanted there to be something for everyone,” she explained of her latest project. “A wedding is something so personal to a couple so I wanted to make sure I was covering every different type.”

Hardly the typical white invitations, Port’s designs vary from bohemian to Aztec prints, geometric shapes to watercolors. Though she wouldn’t reveal which stationary was most like her own wedding invites, she did admit that her favorite is the Lavish Loral, explaining she most gravitates towards its whimsy, monochromatic feel.

As for her own wedding planning, Port and her fiance Tim Rosenman don’t have a theme just yet, but they’re relatively stress-free. “I’m particular and I’m creative so I want things to be a certain way, but I’m calm. When you know you’re doing something right and the reason you’re doing something is so amazing, it’s hard to be stressed out.” Since beginning to plan her wedding, Port’s learned the importance of staying focused. “You don’t need to stress the small stuff. I probably will sweat the small stuff but the important thing is to enjoy the journey because you only get it once – hopefully! It can be such an amazing boding experience if you’re relaxed about it.”

The collection will be available exclusively on WeddingPaperDivas.com beginning August 14. Take a look at the full collection here.

Swank Serving Ideas For Your Summer Cocktails

By  July 31, 2014

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For your next summer celebration, deliver delight in the details by serving sippers in interesting, unconventional ways. Guests will appreciate the creativity—and your party will get an instant upgrade in the chic and swank department.

1. Mason Jars
For a shabby-chic aesthetic, make drinks in individual sealed mason jars and have your friends and family grab their premade refreshments from an ice bucket.
Home Essentials “Chalk It Up” 16 oz. mason jars, set of 4, available at Casa.com for $18.99

2. Tin Buckets
If you go the mason jar route or offer bottled beverages such as Smirnoff Ice and/or beer, a swanky presentation via a tin bucket is always a success. Extra points if you style the cool container on a bar cart like the one we found.
Galvanized metal rolling wagon party bucket, available at Pottery Barn for $199

3. Garnishes
Offer guests garnish options on a tray near the drinks. Invest in a bar tool to peel citrus fruit on the spot for its aromatic zest.
Microplane® stainless-steel citrus bar tool, available at Williams-Sonoma for $19.95

4. Dispensers
A bar lined with glass dispensers is a convenient as well as classy way to serve drinks, especially mixed cocktails. Just make sure to label each container.
Pour Delight drink dispenser, available at Modcloth.com for $34.99

Tips for a Perfect Road Trip

By  July 31, 2014

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Quick, before summer runs out–it’s not too late to participate in a timeless American tradition.

Road tripping across the USA is a popular pastime for good reason. What’s more fun than cranking up the tunes and discovering amazing sights and local favorite places to eat and shop? Not much! I’m speaking from experience as a regular road tripper.

My longest road trip was from Miami, all the way across the south to New Orleans, San Antonio, El Paso, Phoenix, Los Angeles and finally up to San Francisco and back!  Most summers my husband and I take to the open road, and by now we’ve got things down to a science. Let me share my top road trip tips so you’ll have the best road trip ever!

  • Print your route. Yes, there’s modern technology. But all of the best map apps won’t do you much good when you’re out in the middle of Nowhere, USA with absolutely zero reception on your phone. The smartest thing you can do is map out your route ahead of time and print the step by step instructions on how to get there. That way when your helpful navigation device’s voice fades away you won’t feel panicked and lost.
  • Download your playlist. The same rules for maps will apply to your music. You can put together a sick road trip playlist and 45 minutes outside of the city be stuck listening to crackly, unfamiliar FM radio. Choose your favorite road trip soundtracks and download them to your device. That way you’ll have continuous tunes throughout.
  • Fill your car with healthy snacks. Think carrots, celery sticks, cashews or peanuts, fat free popcorn, and spears of fresh pre-packaged fruit. Think of mini cheese platters and pre-sliced salami to go with crackers. You want food that you can eat in the front seat while in motion, and you want food that won’t make you feel weighed down and sleepy. Gum is a great way to keep the snacking to a minimum on those long stretches of open road. Road food is pretty much all fast food, so packing items to make sandwiches along the way is wise.
  • Pack and position your cooler.  Two-person road trips are the best, because while one person drives the other can be DJ and photographer and head chef. Pack your cooler wisely – drinks to the front, food items you don’t need often towards the back, healthy snacks within reach, ice all over to keep it chilled. Position your cooler in the middle of the backseat so you can easily reach back and get what you need. That way you can keep rolling without having to stop too often.
  • Get your car together. Make sure you have a spare tire, jumper cables and a flashlight. Get an oil change. Fill your gas tank. Don’t roll out until your car is completely road ready. Having AAA is always a wise move on a road trip.
  • Get a good night’s rest the night before. There’s been so much in the news about driving while tired–it can be just as dangerous as drinking and driving. Don’t push yourself to the absolute limit when road tripping. When in doubt, pull over to rest your eyes for a power nap. If you’re considering driving all night, think better of that and get yourself a safe hotel for the evening to recharge. Remember, late at night you’re more likely to encounter other tired drivers so it’s best to have sharp sensibilities when sharing the road with all the SUV’s and semi trucks. 

Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences.