Getting Crafty: Sweet Love Notes in a Jar

Got somebody who makes your heart leap and dance and twirl about like everything’s going to be perfect forever? Instead of just telling them, use your pretty hands and selfless mind to craft something meaningful for your sweetie. Writing out short, thoughtful love notes in a self-decorated jar is a lovely, personalized gift sure to make both hearts flutter.

That’s my idea for V-Day anyway. I’m big on hand-crafting shared, cherished memories whenever I get the chance. I spent my yesterday in the craft store, Michael’s, browsing the aisles, coming up with too many ideas than my brain could handle. One idea I’ve been wanting to breathe life into for a while now was having a jar or bottle and filling it up with words of adoration. Luckily I have myself a gem of a man, so I got to work on my project for our fourth Valentine’s Day together. Read More

Healthy, Crunchy Kale Chips

Kale Chips Ingredients

Tasty, crispy kale chips are quick and easy to make. If you’re craving a snack, forget that bag of flavored potato chips that’s been sitting on the grocery store shelf for weeks, and go to your local market and pick yourself some kale. Packed with nutrition, one cup of this leafy green includes loads of vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and even some protein.

Kale Rib

To get started, gather a little bit of olive oil, a pinch of salt, and, of course, some fresh, washed kale. Once dry, peel pieces of the kale from the rib of the plant and spread them out in a cooking tray or cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Kale Chips in Tray

Next, drizzle on two teaspoons of olive oil (make sure the majority of the oil doesn’t go to some chips and not others, as too much oil can make them soggy) and sprinkle with salt. Read More

Las Vegas Highlights

Vegas Night Life

Las Vegas. Disney World for adults. Sin City. An addict’s dream land. I was fortunate enough to spend a few days in this flashy place, right on the Strip up in Caesars Palace. My purpose there was to attend the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on behalf of the magazine and website I work for, electronicproducts.com. I enjoyed CES, which was at the Las Vegas Convention Center and scattered about the Strip. I spent the majority of my mornings and afternoons at the show, mingling, snapping pictures, riding the monorail, and pretending I knew where I was going (somehow, I kind of did!). But when the sun went down and the moon came out, after my articles were written and I spammed my Twitter followers with pictures of dancing robots, huge TVs, and self-driving cars, I joined the buzzing crowds outside to explore my new surroundings.

Bellagio Water Show

I was very excited to see the Bellagio water show, which was fantabulous. Absolutely beautifully done. I was amazed how the shooting and swaying water was so in sync with the music. Read More

San Francisco Highlights

The Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco: the city of the diverse. Somewhere I belong. One of my dream spots. Last September when I was itching for an adventure and needed some change, I piled up enough dough to plop myself on a plane headed to the west coast. Sick of the fast-paced, I’m-better-than-you ways of the east coast (at least in New York), one of my brothers moved out there and landed himself quite the fantastical job (in San Fran, you’ll need that). So I figured, “Hey, I have a place to stay, now’s a great time to visit!” I stuffed some clothes in a bag, grabbed my boyfriend, flew through the air, and in a matter of hours, we were on the other side of the country. Our first vacation together.

Matanzas_Creek_Winery

We drenched ourselves in rosé, Pinot noir, chardonnay and the like in Sonoma in the mountains while playing Bocce, surrounded by breath-taking scenery; we went to a San Francisco Giants game (where a sea gull pooped on my head during the seventh inning); we took a ferry out to Angel Island and Alcatraz Read More

My experience with the Samsung Gear S smartwatch

A personal review

It’s been three weeks since I’ve gotten my hands on a Samsung Gear S smartwatch, and overall I’m pleased with it. I was honestly expecting it to be a high-tech smartphone accessory, since that seems to be what most smartwatches are, but there’s much more to it, which was impressive. First off, the Gear S has its own SIM-card slot, gets its own cell service and data, and comes with an additional battery pack. Pretty much, it’s a watch that’s also a phone.

Gear_S_Smartwatch

What caught my attention right off the bat was the modern, attractive look to the Gear S. It has a big, bright, curved 2-inch 480 x 360-pixel AMOLED display, which leaves plenty of room for swiping and pinching on the screen. To top it off, the watch comes with customizable screen clock faces to express your own style, and a snap-on adjustable wristband for a comfortable fit.

As for receiving notifications, there weren’t any issues (and it was quite exciting the first few times I received a text or an email and saw it come up on my watch), as long as I had my Samsung phone nearby. Even though the Gear S is seen as an independent smartwatch, it needs to be paired with your Samsung smartphone for most of its features to work, and it requires a connected data plan to use it as a cellular device. Read More

Wine by the Glass: Because Giuliana Rancic Doesn’t Believe in Wasting Wine

Style-star and E! news anchor Giuliana Rancic plunged into the competitive wine industry with her latest project, Xo, G this past November, and it’s making quite the splash. The stackable single-serving wine is the perfect portion for when you need that one drink, without worrying about spoiling the rest of the bottle.

While a regular bottle of wine has its place and time, there are many situations where it just doesn’t cut it. Inside the four tear-apart individual packages of Xo, G, which add up to a 750ml bottle, you’ll be able to sip on French Pinot Noir, Italian Pinot Grigio, and a Rosé from the South of France. It’s an easy way to avoid the hassle of a corkscrew and glassware, and you’ll be set with different portable glasses of wine. Simply zip loose the sleeve, snap apart the glasses, and peel back a foil to enjoy.

XoG_Wine

So where did this brilliant idea come from? According to Rancic, it was after discovering StackTek, a single-serving packaging company, that she began thinking outside of the bottle. “Being Italian I have always wanted my own wine, and once I saw this packaging I reached out to the StackTek team and Xo, G was born,” she said.

Read More

Exploring the Secrets of Keens Steakhouse (and the bar)

Known as New York City’s legendary steakhouse, Keens Steakhouse is smothered in juicy secrets. From the ceiling lined with clay pipes to the mysterious painting of the nude woman over the Scotch bar, it’s certainly worth checking out. First opening its doors in 1885, it stood the test of time for over 130 years. Once described as “world renowned,” the restaurant grew to become legendary with the new Millennium.

The bar at Keens Steakhouse.

The bar at Keens Steakhouse.

Comfortable and classy, the environment of Keens is rich with history. Every room in the steakhouse displays some kind of record of America’s or New York’s younger days, and there are hundreds of pieces visitors can spend hours looking at, sometimes discovering something new that they missed the last time. As for the types of guests the steakhouse attracts, they’re a very diverse and fun crowd. Read More

Candy Cocktails: Flirty Drinks with a Sugar-Kissed Twist

Spontaneous and imaginative, mixologists Flannery and Katherine Good have always been inspired by anything colorful and sweet. As girls, the fascination started off with candy, and the Shirley Temples with extra cherries they made eventually graduated into mojitos and margaritas. When they combined the best of both worlds, it really shook up their true passion.

The sisters began experimenting with candy liquor infusions when they started their cocktail blog, Fashionably Bombed. One of their first creations was a bubblegum martini made with homemade bubblegum infused vodka and garnished with gumballs.  Not only was it crazy festive, it was also irresistibly delicious.  After that sweet success, they began infusing everything they could get their candy-coated hands on, and the result was Candy Cocktails, a book full of the tastiest candy cocktail concoctions imaginable.

Candy_Cocktails

“My favorite thing about the book is that almost all of the cocktails have a candy liquor infusion base,” said Flannery Good. “Bubblegum rum for our Bubblegum Mojito, Cherry Jolly Rancher vodka for our Chocolate Covered Cherry Martini, and Banana Runts tequila for our Circus Peanut Margarita are just a few of my favorites.” Read More