Holiday Gifting with Babbleboxx


Happy Tuesday, guys! I hope you're all getting well prepped for Thanksgiving Day! With all the to-do lists, last minute running around and even traveling (for those that are), we all can relate to how crazy this week can get. So, let's take a breather and catch up with one amazing event I went to last week. I had the pleasure of attending Babbleboxx's "Holiday Preview" Event where multiple brands came together at the luxurious 404 NYC event space hosting pop-up shops filled with holiday inspiration and gift-giving ideas for the upcoming season. It was a lovely evening with tasty bites and bubbly, along with running into old friends and networking with new ones and in today's post, I'm sharing my top five favorites brands that I think would make for the coolest and trendiest gifts this year. Ranging from beauty products to tea and even DNA kits, and with Black Friday right around the corner, this list will certainly come in handy. Don't miss out, come check out these awesome gift ideas for everyone you know, and/or even for yourself!

What better gift you can give (or get!) than the chance to understand what makes someone who they are? With 23andMe, you can share your genetic information with your family members to get an even clearer picture of who you are and where you come from. How cool is that? They offer two Personal Genetic Services: 1) their Ancestry Service and 2) their Health + Ancestry Service. How do they work? Provide your saliva sample from home. Mail it back to their lab in the same kit it came in- the postage is even prepaid. In 6-8 weeks, they will send you an email to let you know your reports are ready in your online account. I'm even considering doing an entire blog post on this, as there is a huge debate that I may be part Ukrainian. I'm half-Korean and half-Polish, but from further travels and studies, it is possible this may be the case. I can't wait to share my results - so stay tuned! 

Algenist, the first ever vegan, plant-based collagen formulation with the highest concentration of active collagen helps condition the skin to visibility improve resiliency and bounce. With 13,000 beads of Microalgae Oil in every bottle hydrates, nourishes and restores skin's radiance. Plant collagen is a new innovative technology created by binding together corn, soy and wheat protein fibers resulting in vegan amino acids that structurally mimic collagen that allows for a functional equivalent to animal-derived collagen. Even just sampling this collagen serum at the event showed significantly smoother and cleaner skin after one try! I'm so happy I was introduced to this skincare brand; I'll definitely be trying more of their products! If shopping at Algenist use promo code: LOVECOLLAGEN to receive a FREE Sample of GENIUS Liquid Collagen ($16 value) with orders $75+. Enter code at check out. Excludes gift cards. Valid 11/4-12/31/17.

Okay, one gift that can never go wrong if done the right way, and yes this isn't exactly some ground-breaking, creative present idea, but for both men and women, or a gift to yourself, perfume is always a win in my book! At the event, I went with La Vie est Belle by Lancôme, its floral accents of iris, orange blossom, and vanilla bean put me in such a delightful mood. To me, fragrance makes and is part of an entire look and represents you. And at Perfumania, they will help find your next fragrance obsession among the hundreds of designer brands! Indulge in a fragrant experience curated by fragrance experts at any of their 150+ retail locations. Or visit them online where you can get your fragrance fix at any time, day or night. Perfumania, it’s your one-stop shop for all of your fragrance essentials.

For many women, obtaining thicker-looking eyelashes and fuller, bolder-looking brows are definitely on their wish lists this holiday season. Let me introduce you to Grande Cosmetics: their GrandeLASH-MD Serum and GrandeBROW Serum are revolutionary lash and brow enhancing serums that promote these desired features. These are perfect stocking stuffers for any holiday beauty lover. 

Tea Forte 2017 Limited Edition Holiday Collection – Warming Joy is a collection of festive teas beautifully presented and exciting to receive. Comforting holiday tea blends are festively donned to celebrate the spirit and joy of the season and are a great collection for the tea connoisseurs we know of. Holiday tea blends include Raspberry Ganache, Rum Raisin Biscotti, Spiced Ginger Plum, Winter Chai, and Ginger Snap (not available in the Petite Tea Tree.) The perfect holiday gift for any tea fanatic! And how adorable is the packaging?!






Taste Guide Event with San Pellegrino

This post is sponsored by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water is a premium sparkling mineral water that flows naturally from a thermal spring in San Pellegrino Terme, near Bergamo (Lombard), Italy. The unique balance of effervescence and rich minerality cleanse the palate and amplify subtle flavors, making it the perfect complement to fine food and wines.  Its clean, refreshing taste has distinguished S.Pellegrino as a preferred sparkling water by leaders of the global culinary community. S.Pellegrino is also a proud supporter of premier culinary events, such as Aspen Food and Wine Classic, Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation, Identità Golose, The James Beard Foundation Awards and Taste Guide. I had the pleasure of attending S.Pellegrino's Taste Guide yesterday, an online destination to explore U.S. cities, like here in New York City, through the eyes of award-winning chefs. 

In the spirit of culinary exploration, S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water looked to the social media feeds of everyday food enthusiasts in NYC and Los Angeles to identify the trends and tastes taking over the summer spotlight. Acclaimed Chefs April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig and The Breslin) and Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec and Petit Trois) have created original dishes inspired by these findings, offering a very tempting selection of "trending tastes"! Let me give you a tour of all the tasting points, which was cleverly built as an S.Pellegrino star on Pier 46 here in New York, plus a few NYC restaurant recommendations that are in trend with these dishes! 


A combination of flour, cornmeal, annatto seed, spring onion, calamansi (citrus), mayo, red holland chilis, rice wine vinegar, cilantro stems, eggs, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, I really enjoyed the citrus punch in flavor of this fried dish. Derived from calamondin, an intergenetic hybrid between a member of the genus Citrus (in this case lime) and the kumquat, definitely helped balance the fattiness from the quail egg and flours. Scrumptiously delish!


With mahi-mahi, lime juice, fermented pineapple, brown sugar, milk starter, pina juice, chilies, olive oil and micro cilantro, this dish was extremely fresh and light. I've never tried fermented pineapple before and the tanginess was terrific with the lime juice and sweetness from the brown sugar. I have to say this dish surprised me the most because it wasn't anything that I expected after tasting it! It was an explosion in my mouth (in a good way haha) and I wanted to go back for more!


The ultimate vegetarian tostada was complete with finely chopped beets, red wine vinegar, mayo, Tabasco sauce, chili, limes, salt, cornichon, avocado, milk, cilantro, and serrano. This dish was finessed with a fava bean on top of each tostada, giving added texture to the already deep-infused flavors in the beets mix. One of the prettiest dishes visually, the taste was on par with it. And the crunch on the tostada was mind-blowing!


I love the tuna marinade in this dish. With eggs, grapeseed oil, lemons, salt, capers, shallots, cornichons, and parsley, the tartare was wedged in between two homemade potato chips, which were thinly sliced to perfection. I love how they also left the skin on each chip, the trim bringing a rustic feel to a standard dish.   

I found the food tasting to be innovative and in tune with the summer season. And S.Pellegrino was the perfect beverage to refresh your palette after each tasting! Here are a few of my favorite New York City restaurants that prominently feature these trends! For seafood, some of my go-to places are the Blue Water Grill, Catch & Seamore's. Some a bit more classic than others, you will still find the latest trends in seafood when dining in these great restaurants. Looking for a great place for fried quail egg? One if by Land, Two if by Sea, is extremely romantic and expensive, but their fried quail egg will have you dancing in your seat! If you're looking more for fusion-type places, Boqueria is a great Spanish tapas bar with even a semi-private tasting table (they also have excellent quail eggs), Empellón Taqueria is a trendy Mexican hot spot serving up innovative tacos & creative drinks in an upscale setting. And my all-time favorite, Indochine, French-Vietnamese fare is served amid exotic decor of palm fronds & low light at this 80s-era hot spot... just order the bánh cuốn. You can thank me later. ;)





Cosmopolitan: Let's Talk About It Event





Yesterday's 'Let's Talk About It' event with Cosmopolitan helped others find their voice on topics that some (wrong) people consider taboo for women to talk about and more. Busting taboos around money & power, sex & romance, beauty & image, happiness and more, it was an inspiring, and empowering way to spend a Saturday. Kicking off the morning with 'humming in' with sound therapy practitioner, Sara Auster, and CEO of MNDFL, Ellie Burrows, the entire room suddenly felt like I was surrounded by hundreds of bees near its main nest. It was strange yet communal... zen. Practicing meditation helps one focus on themselves and who they really are. It was a unique opener and a wonderful way to bring us together.


The seminar was welcomed by Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan, Michele Promaulayko, and her first panel of boss women, television personality, host, fashion designer, singer, actress and author of There's No F*cking Secret: Letters From a Badass Bitch, Kelly Osbourne, acclaimed TV journalist, woman's empowerment advocate and author of the upcoming book, Be Fierce: Stop Harassment and Take Your Power Back, Gretchen Carlson, and CEO of, The Pink Ceiling, and the woman behind the 'female viagra', Addyi, Cindy Whitehead.

Self-acceptance, struggles in the workforce and yes, sex, was among some of the general topics discussed in the opening panel. I think my favorite moment from that panel was Kelly Osbourne's story about being bullied as a kid. At first, she confided in her mother, Sharon, and told her to go back to school the following day and tell the girls that were picking on her that if they didn't stop, she'd have her father bite their heads off. LMAO. But when that didn't work, she then went to her father, Ozzy. And surprisingly enough, his advice was to basically tattletale on them. He told her to tell the girls they had one last chance to do right and if they didn't stop, she would report them. And sending that kind of message to your daughter, that your voice is the most powerful force within you, is such an important lesson to learn, let alone acquire.

The second segment focused on money, power & work. The panel included Director of Editorial and Business Development of Cosmopolitan & Seventeen, Laura Brounstein, journalist & author of, Feminist Fight Club, Jessica Bennett, and women's leadership expert, Chief Leadership Officer for LEVO & author of, Drop the Ball, Tiffany Dufu. Heavy talks of the balance between your work life and personal life were extremely central to everyone, along with great tips for it. For example, Tiffany Dufu, said people respond to authenticity. “Embrace the imperfection,” she said. “Do what you need to do in order to be the kind of leader that people will resonate with." And I think this applies to everywhere in life, not just on Instagram. 9/10 times I want to work with someone because they're real with me, not because they're putting up a front that they're perfect. Because no one is that.  

When Jessica Bennett was first starting her career, she felt uneasy about self-promotion. Her male co-workers, however, had no trouble shamelessly doing so  — and got all the credit and raises. Then she and her friend came up with a strategy and became each other’s “boast bitches.” “When I did something good, she would send a mass email to all of our editors, being like, ‘Did you see this great thing that Jess did? It was really amazing!’ And I would do the same for her.” No good deed goes unpunished? Not in this case. It's selfless, they're both supporting one another and at the same time feeling good doing it and feeling good about themselves. And they finally got the credit they deserved. 

Another favorite segment was the sex talk with Digital Special Projects Director for Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, & Redbook, Elisa Benson, actor & host of his own hit podcast, The Love Bomb, Nico Tortorella, and founder & host of the Sex with Emily podcast, Dr. Emily Morse. Dr. Morse encouraged women to talk about what they need from their partners in the bedroom but to not talk about it in the bedroom. Rather in a more relaxed setting, like at brunch, or over coffee. "Make it more casual," she said. "You just kind of throw it out there, not like a we need to talk." Another tip? Do it in the car or on the subway. It's a place where you can talk about awkward issues without making eye contact. And reinforce, reinforce, reinforce! It goes a long way, especially before giving some feedback that might not exactly be A+.

After lunch, there was a dance-off with the founder & creator of DanceBody, Katia Pryce, where she had the entire room gyrating together in a full circle. It was yet another great way to bring everyone together and to prepare everybody for what's next, which was the part where we all sat around each other in the same circle and went around telling the room what our current ambitions were. Many wanted love, happiness and more. Better jobs, bigger houses, more time with their loved ones... and I have to admit, when it comes down to it, we really all want the same things in life. To love and be loved in return, to find joy in the bittersweetness of life; to belong to something, to be accepted and appreciated. To have much purpose and to fulfill your dreams. To just be at peace.

And the Cosmopolitan conference did just that for me and helped me recognize what really matters and what doesn't. What's your current ambition? To answer mine, I would honestly say that I am striving to be a better wife and mommy to my fur child because, with the crazy amount of work I've been doing in the past year, the amount of time I have with them is really scarce. Sure, I work with my husband constantly, but that doesn't count for quality time. And my pup has been missing me being home and spending time with him. So I'm definitely working on that challenging balance in life as well. This event also reminded me how powerful our voices really can be. I think if we can continue to spread the gift of courage, in that the more we speak up about things we shouldn't necessarily talk about or are subject to taboo, the more we will all see that it can help and inspire others to break free from their silence. Thanks for stopping by and reading about my Cosmopolitan adventures! Don't forget to comment your ambitions down below!  






NYFW AW17 – Events

Last NYFW post! I'm sharing with you guys some highlights from the many events I attended last week. Let's start with one of my favorite annual New York Fashion Week events with ShopStyle, a super fun social event for bloggers and influencers where you can borrow great pieces, we're talking designer-label clothes, shoes, bags, and more accessories, to style as you wish or just to wear around town during fashion week! Check out my picks from H&M and French Connection I chose to style in this post HERE.

On top of this, there was also an illustrator who did sketches of many fashionistas (I opted out as the line was too long for my liking) a Gigi New York pop up where you could get a monogrammed envelope and even a photo session with a photographer out on the terrace with the NYC skyline as a background.

Now, let's discuss the 'REAL' highlight of my time at NYFW last week. You see, I'm normally quite self-conscious when it comes to meeting those I admire. But my new career in the world of blogging has greatly helped me build the courage to always just GO FOR IT. If you truly want to meet someone, my belief is mind over matter. It'll happen if that's what you want, deep down. Call it fate, but I don't think we are all just floating around waiting to bump into each other. I feel you meet people for a reason.  

I met a few famous bloggers, such as Heidi Nazarudin (@theambitionista) and Jiawa Liu (@beigerenegade) pictured above, and both were incredibly kind and down-to-earth! But the one blogger I literally lost my sh*t over, was the one and only, Chriselle Lim. She is my idol and has made such a tremendous impact on my life. I heard about a pop-up she was doing with Thakoon and even though I really wanted to meet her, I was too chicken to go alone. So after filming a YouTube segment at a nearby hotel for a new up-and-coming app, my new friends encouraged me to go, giving me the moral support that I needed, they joined forces with me! I was so nervous and kept trying to remain cool, calm and collected but the moment we met, tears started to come down in buckets! I apologized profusely trying to gain my composure but it was too much for me. Chriselle has helped me through very difficult times in my life most have no idea about, and for that, I'm eternally grateful for her. I could go on and on about how amazing she is, but she is such a true inspiration and just being able to tell her face-to-face what she has done for me will mean more to me than anyone could ever imagine. AND she was SO genuine - nothing about her is fake! It was such a heartfelt moment, I will never forget this meeting! 

The same night I met Chriselle I also attended the photo exhibition party of Luka Sabbat's 'Hot Mess' at Milk Studios, an intimate but POPPIN' event and that basically culminated into a rager that night. It was one of the dopest parties I've been to in a while. The young creatives' endeavor drew A-list guests like Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Pusha T, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, AlunaGeorge, Tyler the Creator, Cardi B, Mickey Boardman, Virgil Abloh, Heron Preston, Larsen Thompson, JunglePussy and Kerwin Frost among others. 

I also attended Stylinity's event at Lulu Frost, which showcases GORGEOUS, decadent jewelry and vintage clothing. Veronica Webb, famous model & actress (who's 50 WHOA & from Detroit like myself) made an appearance to talk about her experiences and advice in the realm of blogging, which was insightful, funny and fresh. I learned a lot from listening to others and she was full of wisdom, humor, and strength. Number one lesson? Always keep it real and remain true to yourself. 

Which brings us to our last event with Lifetime's, 'Women Behind the Seams' at Milk Studios. Photographer, Christelle de Castro's portraits of many women behind the scenes during fashion week, such as Tziporah Salamon, who was one of Bill Cunningham's favorite muse, showcased the faces behind many doers, muses and makers that don't get as much recognition as other may get in the fashion world. And I thought this to be wonderful. I hope you guys enjoyed all my NYFW content! Would love to hear from you and what you'd like to see more of next season! And stay tuned for more upcoming fashion & beauty posts this week! Have a lovely weekend. :)