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Editor’s Pick: Fornasetti Profumi’s Scimmie Scented Candle

By  September 02, 2014

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.

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Sorry, kittens, you can keep your pumpkin spice! I’ve opted for a something more sophisticated this fall.

There’s more than one note that dominates the chillier season, and the right one can instantly set the mood in a space. Fornasetti’s new Otto scent in the vegetable wax candle is a rich blend of Mediterranean thyme, rich cedarwood and birch, incense, lavender, and labdanum – all aromas that had personal significance to Barnaba Fornasetti, as he grew up surrounded by his father’s designs. Plus, the chic scent was crafted by master pefumer, Olivier Polge, who is followed in the footsteps of his father at Chanel. Prior to that, he crafted signature scents for Burberry, Davidoff, Diesel, Jil Sander, Kenzo, and Viktor& Rolf, so this nose knows!

But by favorite feature by far has to be the adorable monkeys feature on the ceramic jar, each sipping some champagne from a rainbow of goblets. There’s nothing like lighting up the candle with these party animals as I primp for a night on the town! – Valis Vicenty

 Fornasetti Scimmie Scented Candle, $165

Easy Living: 5 Things Nobody Tells You about Becoming a Homeowner

By  September 02, 2014

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Welcome to Easy Living, my new lifestyle column all about the things that make nesting fun and will make your home both unique and beautiful. Here I’m going to cover the things that new homeowners don’t think about initially, moving tips, awesome products, good luck items for your home, finding the best rugs and furniture and mattresses, trends in kitchen, bedroom and bathroom décor, cool home products like candles and bed sheets and towels and cookware, tips on hosting the best cocktail party and setting a perfect table, and where to find the coolest products and most awesome deals to beautify your home! 

My husband and I recently became homeowners and it’s been an experience that’s bigger and more all-consuming than I’d ever imagined it would be. From deciding that we’d go for it, to the process of finding our dream place, to making and offer and closing on it, to moving in – it’s an intense progression that will make you feel tested, and will confirm your adulthood in surprising ways. I watch a lot of home design television so I thought I knew what I was getting into. I was so wrong, and so innocent and unprepared. Now that I’ve gotten through the process, let me put you up on game from the perspective of being a brand new homeowner. Here are 5 things I wish someone had told me oh, maybe a year ago.

1. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So you’ve decided that it’s time to move out of your old place and to find a new spot. Not only that, you’re ready to stop paying off someone else’s mortgage, and to pay your own for once. Woo hoo! It’s an exciting time, making the decision. Know and understand that it’s going to take some effort and time to be able to actually execute it. Step number one is getting your credit together so you’ll be approved for your home loan. For us, the road to homeownership was paved with homecooked meals and shopping in your closet, saving money wherever you can is essential to be able to make the big investment later on.

2. You’re best off in the hands of professionals. Saving money is one thing. Looking on sites like Zillow, Redfin and Trulia can give you an idea of what’s out there, which neighborhoods to hone in on and what you can afford. But when it comes to financial planning or really doing a real estate deep dive, turn to a pro. A good financial planner can teach you ways to save you may not have thought of before. A good realtor will know the ins and outs of your potential new neighborhood, and they may even know moving companies and contractors to make the move in process easy and ideal for you.

3. Real life does not equal HGTV. So you’ve found your new place and you’re ready to Property Brothers the heck out of it. Hold up, wait a minute. In reality, two handsome brothers don’t come to your rescue and create your dream home. You’ll most likely have to do a lot of the leg work yourself, and make some tough decisions you’ll have to live with. Also, home renovations take longer than you’ll want them to and not every contractor will be as on point or professional as you see on TV. What may be conceived as a 3 week project can turn into 6 weeks before you blink.

4. This thing is YOURS, babe. You did this. You bought it. You will be so much more careful and caring with your new property than anywhere you lived before. You’ll find yourself investing in things like stud finders – the better to hang your wall art straight with, my dear. You’ll agonize over every little ding in your wall or scratch on the floor. You may become that person who insists houseguests take their shoes off at the door. This is your home and you’ll want it to be perfect.

5. You’re going to be SO proud of yourself. That first day of having the keys and being in the home you worked so hard to get, feels like nothing else. Bask in the glow of ownership and adulthood, you’ve earned it and you worked dang hard for all of it!

 

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.

Labor Day Libations to Salute the Summer Season

By  August 29, 2014

We just blinked, and it seems time has jumped to the unofficial end of the summer, Labor Day! The holiday weekend serves as the last hurrah for those looking for a quick vacay to recharge before the start of a new season and one last chance to hit the surf and sand before the boardwalks close. Before we delve into the spicy spirits synonymous with the fall, you can bet we’ll be kicking back with a refreshing cocktail or two filled with the fruity flavors reminiscent of an amazing summer spent well. Here are a few you can stir at your weekend soirees:

Earl of Paradise Punch

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3 oz. Malibu
2 oz. apple juice
4 oz. chilled Earl Grey tea
1 oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Fresh raspberries

Muddle the raspberries with Gomme and then add the rest of the ingredients. Chill by stirring on ice and garnish with mint and citrus wheels.

The Rehydrator

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1 oz. Ole Smoky Watermelon Moonshine
Watermelon Wedge

Build over a tumbler filled with ice and garnish with a watermelon wedge.

Peppered Peach Tea Collins

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1 ½ oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
¾ oz. Fresh Lemon Juice
½ oz. Simple Syrup
1 ½ oz. Peach Iced Tea
Pinch of Black Pepper
Club Soda

Build with ice in a Collins glass. Top with club soda, and garnish with a peach slide and lemon twist

Birds & The Bees

Birds-+-Bees
2 oz. Solbeso
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. honey syrup

Combine ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake, strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with a lemon peel twist.

Kahlúa Root Beer Float

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2 oz. Kahlúa
3 oz. premium root beer
Vanilla ice cream optional

Build over ice. Stir and serve.

Sunshine Sipper

Sunshine-Sipper

5 oz.  Skinnygirl Pinot Grigio
2 oz. frozen lemonade
1 oz. soda water
Lemon twist for garnish

Blend ingredients with crushed ice and pour into a flute glass. Finish with soda water and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Boulevardier Swizzle by Naren Young

Boulevardier-Swizzle
1 oz. Wild Turkey 101 Bourbon
1 oz. Cinzano Rosso
1 oz. Campari
3 dashes orange bitters

Build over crushed ice. Swizzle and add more crushed ice. Garnish with orange twist.

South of the Border by Lynnette Marrero

South-of-the-Border
1 oz. Zacapa Rum 23
1/3 oz. Myers Dark Rum
1/3 oz. Orange Curaçao
2/3 oz. Perfect Puree Passion Fruit
1/3 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
1/3 oz. Orgeat Syrup
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
Mint Sprig & Orange Slice for Garnish

Combine Zacapa Rum 23, Myers Dark Rum, orange curaçao, perfect puree passion fruit, fresh lime juice, orgeat syrup and aromatic bitters into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Strain contents into a rocks glass over crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig and orange slice.

Negroni

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2 oz. 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. Campari liqueur

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir, then strain into a low-ball or rocks glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

Easy 5-Minute Snack Hacks for Dessert Lovers

By  August 28, 2014

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Making it through the time between meals without your stomach starting to growl is a rare occasion. Sometimes you need a little something to hold you over. Isn’t that why snacks were invented? When you’re unprepared for a craving to hit, though, it’s easy to grab a cookie or pastry, especially if you have a sweet tooth.

But what if you could swipe a quick snack that was fast and fulfilling without the high sugar and calories of your usual go-to treats. It’s possible, and we’ve rounded up five of our new favorite craving-killers that are better choices than the usual go-tos. Each with preparation time under five minutes, these confections all use Fiber One bars as their chief ingredient for a fiber-packed, delicious snack to help keep dessert lovers going throughout the day. We promise, you’ll have the time for these quick hacks.

Feeling the deadly good combination of peanut butter, chocolate, and banana? Try the Peanut Butter and Brownie Elvis Sandwich.

Feeling sweet and salty? Try the Chocolate Sea Salt Cookie Bar.

Feeling fruity? Try the Blueberry Streusel Frozen Yogurt Parfait.

Feeling the classics? Try the Rocky Road Brownie.

Feeling something toasty? Try the Cinnamon Coffee Cake Rice Pudding Parfait.

See more speedy snacks for your sweet tooth at Dessertify.com!

Editor's Pick: Moleskine Voyageur Traveller's Notebook

By  August 25, 2014

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.

Carolyn Editors Pick 8.21

One of the best parts of living in New York is how easy it is to leave. Spending a weekend in Miami is as easy as a sojourn to Montauk, and you can be in Europe in roughly the same time it takes to get to California. With so many options just an easy airplane ride away, it’s no wonder that I have a permanent case of wanderlust, and this is the year, I’ve decided, that I’m going on all the adventures.

Whether I’m heading just to the neighboring city or a few countries over, the one thing I’m packing is Moleskine’s new Voyageur – Traveller’s Notebook. I’ve turned the pages into a personalized guidebook for each upcoming trip, filling them with magazine clips, maps, and Instagram prints of cafes and bars to visit. And when it’s time to go, I simply detach the “to-do” pages from the back of the notebook to serve itinerary for the day. With three types of pages–ruled, dotted, and plain–you can jot down notes, sketch, or doodle to your heart’s content. Neat freaks will especially appreciate the digital tie-in, where you can create your content online, and then print it to exact page specifications. At the end of the year, I’m hoping to have my notebook filled up with memories of all the places I’ve been. Until then, there’s the “Places to Go” page to keep me on track.

- Moleskine.com, $24.95

8 Easy Dessert Ideas for Dieters

By  August 21, 2014

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Watching your weight or cleaning up your diet doesn’t automatically mean having to deny yourself the desserts you love. Satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping yourself on track with these lower calorie versions of your favorite confections.

1. Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich
Calories per serving: 190
What we like about it: With the Fiber One ™ Oatmeal Raisin Cookie on the outside and sugar-free vanilla frozen yogurt on the inside, this after-dinner dessert will satisfy your sweet tooth without ruining your diet.

2. No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake
Calories per serving: 348
What we like about it: With Greek yogurt and reduced-fat cream cheese filling making up the bulk of this guilt-free treat, you’ll be cutting back on the fat. Plus, no baking necessary!

3. Frozen Yogurt Cookie Pops
Calories per serving: 180
What we like about it: Can these get any easier? Pick up a pack of Fiber One ™ Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, a container of Greek strawberry cheesecake yogurt, and these cake pops are ready to be made.

4. Turtle Topped Brownie
Calories per serving: 130
For all you chocolate lovers on a diet, this one’s for you. These treats offer a familiar flavor combination of fudge (thanks to the Fiber One ™ 90 calorie Chocolate Fudge Brownie), caramel, and pecans for a light but rewarding sweet.

5. Gingersnap Cookies
Calories per serving: 54.3
What we like about it: With whole-wheat flour and natural sweeteners like honey and cinnamon, these cookies are tasty and low-cal as well.

6. Double Chocolate Cookie S’Mores
Calories per serving: 200
What we like about it: This childhood treat is all grown up. Low-fat graham crackers hold together a marshmallow meshed with a Fiber One™120 Calorie Double Chocolate Soft-Baked Cookie for gooey goodness.

7. Apple-Fig Compote
Calories per serving: 65
What we like about it: For the fruit lover who needs a fix for her sweet tooth, we’ve found the perfect dessert.  Add nonfat Greek yogurt to make it a parfait.

8. Lemon Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
Calories per serving: 200
What we like about it: This light dessert not only tastes good, it looks lovely too. Layers of pudding, Greek nonfat yogurt, strawberries, and Fiber One™ Lemon Bar in a mason jar make for a colorful confection.

Check out more sweet treats that fit your diet at Dessertify.com!

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 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.