Train Like An Olympian With These Winter Games-Inspired Moves

By  February 19, 2014


As Team USA sweeps up Olympic medals in Sochi, it seems like all we can do over here is cheer them on and watch in awe. But as much as we admire their extreme athleticism, we can’t help but want to get in on some of the action ourselves. To get our own bodies into gold-medal shape, two expert trainers from David Barton Gym, Lamar Gordon-Holmes and Meka Gibson, designed moves inspired by our favorite events. Try these four exercises to get a burn that rivals the intensity of the Olympic flame itself.

Skiing: Slalom Kickback

Designed by: Lamar Gordon-Holmes, Plus Trainer

Muscles Involved: Gluteus, quadriceps, rhomboids and triceps

1. Securely hook a resistance band onto a door or the back of a sturdy chair.

2. Squat down to 90 degrees and hold the squat position.

3. Grab the band with both hands and pull towards the body. Bring the elbows back behind you, engaging your back and keeping the arms on the side of your chest.

4. Quickly extend the arms behind you, feeling tension in the back of the arms then return them to the bent position in a slow, controlled manner. Perform 12-15 repetitions.

Figure Skating: Salchow Leg Lift

Designed by: Meka Gibson, Personal Training Manager

Muscles Involved: Gluteus, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves

1. Start in a quarter squat position with legs shoulder width apart, knees bent and hands in front of your chest.

2. Perform one quick jump and land lightly on both feet. Stabilize, then perform another quick jump and land on your left foot with knee slightly bent; balance and extend the right leg behind you, keeping the leg closer to the floor.

3. Hold this position and extend your right arm out in front of you (to 12 o’clock) and the left arm out to 9 o’clock.

4. Lower the right leg and the arms, and bring the body back to the quarter squat position. Perform 10 repetitions on one side, then switch.

Curling: Sweeping Deadlift

Designed by: Meka Gibson, Personal Training Manager

Muscles Involved: Erector spinae, hamstrings, gluteus, quadriceps, adductors and obliques

1. Hold a 5-pound dumbbell in both hands and place feet hip width apart. Position dumbbell slightly above your right hip with elbows bent and balance on your left leg.

2. Slowly bend the left knee and reach slightly across the body toward the floor with the dumbbell, extending the arms and keeping the right foot off the ground. Perform the movement in a slow, even tempo and stabilize the spine by keeping the back flat and not “rounding” in the upper back.

3. Reverse the movement and come back to the standing position. Perform 10-12 repetitions on one side.  Switch sides and repeat.

Luge: Sliding Lat Pulldown

Designed by: Lamar Gordon-Holmes, Plus Trainer

Muscles Involved: Latissimus dorsi, triceps and gluteus

1. Hook a resistance band onto a chair, table or other sturdy piece of furniture.

2. Kneel on the ground with enough distance to create tension in the band when holding it between you and the furniture.

3. Keep your hips tight and arms long while holding the band out in front of you.

4. With the arms wide and long, pull the band towards the floor (almost down to the outside of your thighs), pause and then slowly reverse the movement, controlling the tension on the way back up. Perform 12-15 repetitions.

Target’s Throwing A Party With The Help of its Favorite Pinners

By  February 18, 2014

OhJoyWhen the polar vortex finally subsides and spring officially arrives, we’re throwing a party. And we’re totally decorating with Target’s newest collection of party goods, designed by Pinterest’s most influential pinner, Joy Cho. Her Pinterest-inspired goods are the first of a series of Pinner-designed party planning collection. Oh Joy! includes everything from paper plates to plastic pitchers and cake toppers to confetti. Cho brought her Pinterest A-game with these bright and colorful party goodies, and we can’t wait to get our hands on them. The Oh Joy! collection hits Target shelves and Target.com on March 16th. Until then, we’re keeping our fingers crossed for a little bit of sunshine.

Seasonal Style: Create A Valentine’s Day Tablescape This February

By  February 14, 2014

Whether you’re planning a date-night dinner for two or throwing a festive party that celebrates love for both friends and family, a chic tablescape is a great way to lend your home a Valentine’s Day vibe. With festively fragrant candles, touches of red, and a few hearts thrown in, this decorative DIY is sure to inspire. Create your Valentine’s Day tablescape without heart overload by sticking to a red-and-white palette with decorative details you’ll be able to reuse for future holiday and summer gatherings.

1. A Solid Base
Threshold Stain-Resistant Tablecloth, available at Target for $20
Keep the base of your tablecloth simple with white linen, then add some “love”-ly touches.

2. A Red Table Runner
Marit Table Runner in Red, available at Ikea for $7
Add a colorful runner as the foundation for fun accents to the table.

3. Striped Napkins
Workshop Collection Dinner Napkins, available at Etsy for $32
We love these cute napkins from Etsy—the trendy pinstripe pattern makes them easily reusable for parties too.

4. Festive Fragrance
Glade® Candle, available at Soap.com for $4.45 or in Target stores
Scent the scene with Glade® Candles. Our two favorites for the 14th are Apple Cinnamon and Pure Vanilla Joy. Both colors will look fantastic on your tablescape and make the whole room smell delicious.

5. A Touch of Texture
Pearl Cluster Napkin Rings, available at Pier 1 Imports for $3.68 each
Add some texture and a bit of romance to the table with pearl napkin rings.

6. Gorgeous Goblets
Waterford I Love Lismore Red Flutes, available at Bed Bath and Beyond for $185 for two
Pour your bubbly into a chic pair of Waterford Crystal flutes for an extra-dressed-up feel.

7. Festive Flowers
Image via buyflowersme.com
Make a visit to your local florist to pick up a bouquet of red tulips—they’ll look chic and simple in a cube vase.

8. Hearts on Fire
Alabaster Heart, available at Z Gallerie for $15
A few hearts on top of your red tablescape will make for a sophisticated flourish at your V-Day celebration.

8 Great Valentine’s Day Cocktails to Sip with Your Sweetie

By  February 13, 2014

L’amour and snow are in the air! With Valentine’s Day around the corner and loads of the chilly stuff in our weather forecast, it’s the perfect time to snuggle up with someone close, regardless of your relationship status. Even if the snowstorm puts a damper on you V-Day plans, you can share one of these sumptuous sippers amongst friends, family, and sweethearts alike. Here’s to love!

Rose Kiss


2 oz. Cruzan Aged Light Rum
½ oz. Hibiscus Liqueur
1 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
3 Drops Rose Water

Combine all ingredients in a shaker, shake for 15 seconds. Pour over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Top with soda water.

Dark Desire


1 ½ oz. GODIVA Dark Chocolate Liqueur
¾ oz. Ciroc Amaretto
¾ oz. Orange Juice
Sea Salt for Garnish

Combine GODIVA Dark Chocolate Liqueur, Ciroc Amaretoo and orange juice into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake Well. Strain contents into a cocktail glass rimmed with sea salt.

The Blush by the Whiskey Blue


1 strawberry
1 oz. Bacardi rum
½ oz. Dolin Blanc vermouth
¾ oz. lime juice
¾ oz. honey

Muddle one strawberry in a cocktails shaker before adding the rest of the ingredients over ice. Shake and strain into a flute. Top with sparkling wine and garnish with a strawberry half.

Chocolate Pu-erh Russian by Allison Evanow


6 Numi Chocolate Pu-erh tea bags
750 ml bottle vodka

MarTEAni Ingredients:
2 oz. vodka/tea infusion
1 oz. triple sec
½ – 1 oz. vanilla soymilk
Splash of agave nectar

Place 6 tea bags in 750 ml bottle of vodka and infuse for at least 4 – 6 hours, removing the bags before use. Mix all ingredients in a cocktail shaker over ice and shake for 15 seconds. Finally, strain into martini glass.

Cherry Kiss


6 parts Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
2 parts JDK & Sons O3 Premium Orange Liqueur
40 bing cherries, pitted and stemmed
3 tbsp. agave nectar
4 parts fresh lime juice
8 parts club soda
*Serves 6

Muddle together cherries, lime juice and agave nectar. Strain into shaker and reserve the pulp in the bowl. Add the Sauza Blue Silver, JDK & Sons O3 Premium Orange Liqueur, and ice and shake to chill. Spoon 1 tablespoon of reserved cherry pulp into each glasses and fill ¾ of the way full with cocktail mixture. Finally, top with club soda and garnish with a cherry.

Love, Laphroaig


2 oz. Laphroaig Quarter Cask
½ oz. Cynar
½ oz. Apricot Brandy
2-3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Place all ingredients in a mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain into a tall highball glass, and garnish with a brandied cherry.

Brioso (Lively) by the Pouring Ribbons


3 oz. Ruffino Prosecco
1 oz. London Dry Gin
¾ oz. lemon juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
3 raspberries
1 dash Angostura Bitters

Pour gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, raspberries and bitters into a shaker with ice and shake. Then strain into a cocktail glass, top with Ruffino Prosecco, and garnish with a raspberry.

Latin Lover


1 oz. Cuca Fresca Prata
3 muddled raspberries
½ oz. lemon juice
¼ oz. simple syrup
3 oz. champagne

In a mixing glass, muddle raspberries, rest of ingredients and ice. Lightly combine with a bar spoon. Julep strain into a champagne flute and garnish with a twist.

10 Hearts and Arrows Inspired Party Ideas

By  February 13, 2014


Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, these Hearts and Arrows Inspired Party Ideas are especially timely, but this is actually a theme that could work all year round, especially for things like love-themed bridal showers and “little sweetheart” birthday parties! And with the recent releases of movies like Hunger Games and Brave, the humble arrow has shot up in popularity as well – just check out this adorable (and super stylish!) Girlie Bow and Arrow Themed Birthday Party.

So, whether you’re on the lookout for a cute edible valentine (see #5) or some clever ways to add some creative love to your party (see #2), this round-up has both. Here are the details on all 10:


1. Cupid’s Arrow Cake Decoration – via Hostess with the Mostess

 I love the sweet simplicity of this “shot through the heart” cake. Pink paper shred makes for a nice decorative touch took. Get DIY tutorial here.

2. Cupid’s Arrow Piñata: – via The House that Lars Built

The creator of this adorable DIY heart and arrow piñata actually originally used it as a creative gift wrap idea, so there’s your excuse to make it too, even if you don’t have a party to host! Although if you are hosting a party, I think this would make for an awfully cute table centerpiece as well.

3. Arrow Mini Drawstring Bag – via Poofy Cheeks Shop

These adorable mini treat bags are ready to be filled with tasty heart-shaped treats, and a guaranteed way to stand out amongst the sea of standard classroom valentines cards. For use as a party favor, I love the creative clothesline display idea shown here. ($10/set of 10)

4. Glittery Be Mine Bannervia Steph Loves Ben

There are lots of Valentine inspired banners around – but this one comes with a big dose of sparkle, the cutest felt and glittered arrow end caps, and is available for purchase, which means absolutely no crafting work required! ($16.50 per banner)

5. Edible Arrow Valentines – via Coterie

When it comes to edible valentines, these are the cuteness. And the fact that the arrow shaft is made from Strawberry Airheads and a little scissor work? LOVE that kind of clever craftiness! I’m sold. Get the DIY tutorial here.

6. Hearts and Arrows Party Invitations – via The HWTM Etsy Shop

Remember how I mentioned that this theme can work beyond Valentine’s Day? Here’s some more proof from my own shop! Our Sweetheart Birthday Party Invitations and Sweetheart Bridal Shower Invitations are both accented with hearts and arrows and celebrate the love theme in general.


7. Cupid’s Arrow Cupcake Toppers – via Chiarabelle

These cute little fabric tissue toppers are made from varying shades of pinks and reds and sold in sets of 12. Such a cut touch for any girlie celebration! ($12/set of 12)

8. Hipster Arrows Photo – via Stocksy

This is actually a stock photo available for purchase, (and would look lovely in a mod white frame!), but it’s also fantastic inspiration for a DIY Cupid’s Arrow project. I love the painted accents on the feathers

9. Valentine’s Krispie Treats – via Cookies & Cups

Here’s another edible valentine with a big dose of cute factor! And my favorite party of the author’s tutorial may be this line: “These honestly couldn’t be easier.:)

10. Ombre Valentine Arrow Garland – via Paper and Planes

This arrow shaft inspired garland is just plain cool, especially if you’re into the mod look (like me!). Machine sewn, approximately 9 feet long, and currently available for just $11. Sweet!

jen sbrantiContributing Editor, Jennifer Sbranti is a graphic designer and founder of Hostess with the Mostess®. HWTM brings stylish entertaining ideas to light through an inspirational “how-to” website, creative online community, and popular daily blog. Sbranti’s ideas have been featured in media outlets such as The Today Show, People, InStyle Weddings, Pregnancy, and Everyday with Rachael Ray. Sbranti resides in San Diego with her husband (& HWTM co-founder) Sonny Sbranti and their two young daughters, Macy & Rylie.

Valentine's Day Treats For Your Sweet

By  February 12, 2014

Everyone knows that come February, it’s all about the chocolate. But maybe this year is an opportunity for you to wow your sweetheart with something different but just as tasty. Sugar, as we know, comes in many different forms–so naturally, Valentine’s Day desserts do, too. From cupcakes to macarons, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooth this V-Day. (And even if you’re late, rest assured that there’s no such thing as designated dessert day!)



Dana’s Bakery Sweetheart Box, available at DanasBakery.com

GeorgetownCupcakeGeorgetown Cupcake’s Charm Dozen, available at all locations for $29

NumiTeaNumi Indulgent Pur-eh Tea Collection, available at NumiTea.com for $7.64-$34.84

vday_jarsJars by Dani, available at JarsbyDani.com (minimum of 4) for $40

NormanLoveNorman Love Valentine’s Day Collection, available at NormanLoveConfections.com for $50

Make Your Sweat Social With BurnThis

By  February 08, 2014


This Fashion Week, you’ll find us everywhere – from Lincoln Center, all the way down the west side and back again – and we’ll probably have our phones in hand for quick access to Twitter, Instagram and the like. After all, Fashion Week is all about engaging socially and sharing stylish love with readers and followers. But there’s a new app that incorporates the city’s chicest workout spots we can’t wait to use to connect with our fashion friends.

Though we might have to wait until the madness subsides to get ourselves to a workout, BurnThis is an app that makes it easy to schedule and attend classes with other people. With BurnThis, you can connect with others to see where they’re working out, book classes on the fly (score!), track your weekly fitness schedule and see who else is attending a certain class. That means pilates at a new studio with your bestie, underwater spin with a new friend from fashion week and kickboxing with colleagues. Use BurnThis in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami to discover new ways to work out based on personal preferences and trusted recommendations from your friends. In a city setting where there’s only so much time in the day, making sweat social kills two birds with one stone – and allows us to look and feel fabulous through fashion week, and beyond.

Dream Destinations: Winter Olympic Cities Past and Future

By  February 06, 2014

This evening marks the beginning of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games, being held in Sochi, Russia and running until February 23rd. In celebration of this global event, we’re taking a look back at some of the most incredible winter Olympic cities of the past, as well as a peek at 2018′s destination to be, with the help of the leaders in experiential travel, AFAR Media! Take a look at their full roundup and reviews here.

1. 1948: St Moritz, Switzerland 
“It’s hard to think of a more romantic view of the Swiss mountains than gazing up at their snow-capped peaks while snuggled up in a horse-drawn sleigh.”
2. 2010: Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada 
“The permanent Olympic torch is the crowning snapshot to a picture-perfect day!”
3. 1972: Sapporo, Japan
“Mt. Okura was one of the venues for the 1972 Olympics and home to ski jumping events.”
4. 2006: Torino, Italia
“Much of the historic center of Torino is pedestrianized and easily explored in a couple of days. ”
5. 1952: Oslo, Norway
“One of Oslo’s most recognizable landmarks is a former sanatorium designed in the “dragon style,” an ornate Norwegian variant on Swiss chalet architecture. ”
6. 1924:  Chamonix, France
“Here’s my favorite half day hike from Chamonix, commonly known as the ‘Traverse Plan de l’Aiguille – Montenvers Train Mer de Glace’.”
7. 1932 and 1980: Lake Placid, New York
“The Olympic Jumping Complex located in Lake Placid New York is the only operating Ski Jump on the east coast of the U.S.”
8. 2002: Salt Lake City, Utah
“Cross country skiing is at once physically demanding, emotionally enlivening and spiritually invigorating, and one of the best ways to explore the Salt Lake City snow country.”
9. 2018: Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea
“Wonderful family fun at Alpensia, an integrated ski resort about 3.5 hours from Seoul.”

4 NYFW Cocktails to Sip in Style

By  February 05, 2014

You’ve laid out every ensemble, organized your New York Fashion Week invites, and packed a backup charger for all of your electronic devices. You and the rest of the chic set are ready to storm the city for a week filled with shows, soirees, and maybe a few celebrity sightings in the mix. To kick off the fashionable festivities, sip in style with cocktails color coordinated with Pantone’s hue of the year, Radiant Orchid. Here’s to an amazing season!

Haute Couture


2/3 oz. Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 ½  oz. frozen limeade
1/3  oz. cinnamon liqueur
1 ½  oz. raspberry ginger ale soda
Rock candy (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice. Rim your cocktail glass with crushed rock candy. Pour into a martini glass and serve.

The Fashionista


1 ½ oz. Sauza Blue Silver 100% Agave Tequila
1 ½ oz. frozen limeade
3 oz. fruit punch soda
Lime wedge

Combine tequila, limeade, and fruit punch soda in a cocktail shaker. Shake well. Rim your cocktail glass by wetting the edge with a lime wedge. Garnish with a lime.

Fashion House


2 oz. Skinnygirl Tangerine Vodka
1 large muddled strawberry
Splash of orange juice
Splash of club soda
Orchid for garnish

Combine vodka, strawberry and orange juice over ice and stir. Top with club soda. Garnish with an orchid.

The Runway


1 oz. Skinnygirl White Cherry Vodka
1 oz. Skinnygirl Prosecco
4 oz. cranberry juice
1 lemon, sliced (optional)

Add all ingredients into a flute glass. Stir quickly to mix and garnish with a lemon (optional).

Super Bowl in the City: NYC Gets the Best of the Big Game

By  January 31, 2014

After months of anticipation, city-wide soirées, and Polar Vortex preparations, New York and New Jersey residents are finally ready for some football!


Leading up to the coldest Super Bowl in history, the isle of Manhattan and its outer boroughs professed NFL fandom with some of the best parties winter has ever seen. VH1 televised Super Bowl sprees with six days of concerts featuring J. Cole, Cover Girl Janelle Monáe, and Fall Out Boy. Pepsi overtook Bryant Park and dubbed the now-domed space #PEPCity, an outpost that merges the diversity of New York City with the many flavors of PepsiCo through installations, performances, and live art. Time Warner Cable invaded Highline Stages for a week-long buildup that included a tailgate experience catered by chefs from the Food Network’s Chopped. And CÎROC replicated L.A.’s Bootsy Bellows at the Liquid Cellar where Stacy Keibler cozied up to her new beau Jared Pobre.

And there’s more in store for the big game.

For roughly 82,566 fans, that means bundling up to watch the Seahawks and Broncos battle it out at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. For New York City’s remaining millions, that means tailgating in the comfort of your home or friendly neighborhood bar. For the social set—those more interested in being seen at the right Super Bowl party than actually watching the game—this list is for you.

The Place: The Chester
The Deets: For $70, enjoy game time at the Gansevoort Meatpacking’s resident eatery where passed hors d’oeuvres, food platters, and specialty cocktails will abound. Who knows—you might run into Victoria’s Secret model Nina Agdal or New York Ranger Ryan McDonagh, patrons of the bi-level establishment.

The Place:  The Sea Fire Grill
The Deets: This midtown mainstay will offer buffet-style bites and an open bar for guests during the entire game for $150; but if you’ll be en route to Jersey for kickoff, there’s something sweet in store for you, too. Stop by with your game ticket or stub and receive a free slice of New York-style cheesecake! Super Bowl and sweets? Sign us up please!

The Place:  The Windsor
The Deets: If you’re up for double duty, then The Windsor’s West Village and Gansevoort Park parties may be for you. Both venues are starting up on Saturday, February 1st with tailgates that will last until 5:00 p.m.; on Sunday, The Windsor West Village will offer free draft beer with any brunch entrée order. Down for some indulgence? Split a $400 Kahlua ice cream sundae and bottle of Fireball Whisky amongst friends at both shindigs.

The Place: The 40/40 Club
The Deets: For the biggest day in football, why not spend it at the biggest sports bar in the city, namely one run by Jay Z? New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, and Brooklyn Nets player Alan Anderson have already been spotted there this week, and D’USSÉ will undoubtedly be on deck!

The Place: Empire Steak House
The Deets: Where else can you get a succulent Super Steak Bowl to enjoy over the Seahawks-Broncos bout? Chef Jack Sinanaj, the Jack in Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse, will unveil the dish on game day: a 20 oz. filet mignon carved in the shape of a football.