Monday, March 22, 2010

Upcoming Events with New York Women in Communications

When I first moved to New York in hopes of becoming involved in the communications field, I didn't really know anyone who could help me out. During my freshman year I saw an ad for an event run by New York Women in Communications, and I decided to check it out. The event featured speakers from different areas of communications talking about how they got to where they are now, and the best part was that they were willing to hand out their business cards and answer your questions.

I ended up joining NYWICI, and I can't even begin to express how much the organization has helped me over the past few years. Not only have I met a lot of really amazing people who are so eager to help me, but I also received an incredible scholarship and internship experience from them last year.

I'm looking forward to the next few weeks, because there are some really cool events coming up! This Wednesday, there is a Round Table event where I'll be listening to the advice of professionals in two of my areas of interest: travel writing and online publishing!

In early April, NYWICI is holding a Night Out with Kate White, the Editor-in-Chief of Cosmopolitan. Last year this event was with Candance Bushnell, author of Sex and the City. The event takes place at the Diane von Furstenberg store in the Meatpacking District -- really cool space! In addition to hearing Kate speak, I'll get to catch up with some of my friends from the organization over cocktails!

Finally, in late April are the illustrious Matrix Awards! Last year, I got to attend Matrix as a scholarship recipient which was amazing! The awards are given to communications professionals in different categories -- this year NYWICI is honoring women like Tina Fey, Sheryl Crowe, Ina Garten, Marissa Mayer, and Gayle King. And yes, Oprah is presenting the award to Gayle. I'm so excited to see what all of the recipients have to say this year!

I'd strongly suggest joining NYWICI if you want some great connections in the communications industry. I've gained so many mentors and friends through them, and the events are always a really good time! They can be a little pricey if you aren't a member, but student members especially get great discounts to them!

The Smoke Joint

This weekend, I visited my boyfriend in Boston. We went to a BBQ restaurant for dinner in celebration of the beautiful, warm weather. Our meal was great, and it made me really look forward to going back to one of my favorite BBQ restaurants in New York: The Smoke Joint.

The Smoke Joint is in the Fort Greene area of Brooklyn, and I've never been disappointed. The ribs are great, but I love the pulled pork sandwiches too. Side dishes are completely necessary -- the cornbread has a deliciously sweet, crispy top. The one thing that we never go without is the corn on the cob! They drizzle them in an amazing house sauce that is tangy and addicting, and for only $2.50 you can't skip it!

If you head over to the restaurant this week, you'll be able to take advantage of the Brooklyn Restaurant Week menu, which will get you a ton of food for two people for $20. When I went last year, we got ribs, rotisserie chicken, cornbread, pickles and corn on the cob -- more than enough food for two people!

The Smoke Joint
87 South Elliott Place
Between Lafayette Ave and Hanson Pl
C to Lafayette Ave 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Dreaming of Central Park

For the past two years, I've lived at Fordham's Lincoln Center campus over the summer. In addition to being close to awesome restaurants and shopping, I always loved that it was just a short walk away from Central Park. Unfortunately, graduating seniors can't apply for summer housing again this year, so it looks like I'll be apartment hunting before graduation.

I doubt that I can afford anything too close to the park, but it would be nice to be within walking distance again! I love going in for the afternoon, finding a nice sunny patch of grass and settling down with a book. I'm already thinking about my summer reading list... here's what I'm looking forward to reading this summer!
  • What the Dog Saw by Malcom Gladwell
  • The Travel Writer's Handbook by Louise Purwin Zobel
  • Beowulf on the Beach by Jack Murninghan
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Liberty of London for Target

I was really disappointed with the Jean Paul Gaultier for Target collection. The thing about Target collections is that the cheap construction constraints that they have can make some of the pieces look really tacky. Everything in the JPG collection was polyester, making things stiff and shapeless, but Target made up for it with the Liberty of London collection that was released last weekend!
The pop-up shop that they opened in Manhattan sold out and closed two days early. The collection also sold out online immediately, but luckily I was at home in New Hampshire where people don't care as much about Designer for Target. Our stores were completely stocked with everything Liberty.
 I focused mainly on some cute housewares for the apartment that I don't have yet (but I will!). I picked up some adorable pillows for my couch, fabric covered storage boxes, and peacock feather coffee mugs and ceramic bowls for the kitchen!
 As usual, I had to be a little more discerning with the clothes, but I ended up walking out with some really cute pajamas, a blouse, and a printed cotton dress. I'd stay away from the polyester dresses in this collection -- the maxi dress was so cute, but I think the material would make you die of heat wearing it in the summer!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Barrio Chino's Grapefruit Margarita

My birthday was last week, so my boyfriend came down this past weekend to celebrate! We both really love trying new restaurants, and so we decided to check out Barrio Chino on the Lower East Side for dinner one night. I had wanted to try it for a while, and I was under the impression that the menu was Mexican-Chinese fusion. Turns out that it's really just Mexican with Asian-inspired decor, but that's OK because we had a solid meal anyway!

I've been somewhat obsessed with grapefruit lately. I don't really know why, but I suddenly eat it a lot, and recently bought grapefruit-scented hand soap for my bathroom. The second that I saw the Grapefruit Margarita on the Barrio Chino menu, I was totally sold.

While my boyfriend was happy with the random Mexican beer selection, I much prefer wine or a cocktail. The only problem is that I don't really like those cocktails that are so sweet that you forget you are having a drink because they taste like fruit punch. The Grapefruit Margarita was the perfect solution for me -- it was refreshingly tart, but not sweet at all. The only sweetness came from the sugar rim on the glass, which you can choose to forgo if you really don't want any sweetness at all. I got to indulge in a pink, girly drink without feeling like I was drinking Kool-Aid!

The Grapefruit Margarita will run you $10 at Barrio Chino, but I think it's worth it. The food is also pretty good. I had a Tequila Shrimp dish that came with rice and tortillas and avocado, and it was only $10 (yeah, I know, the same price as a cocktail -- but really, it's worth it!). I'd recommend getting to this place early if you can because it gets busy around 7pm, and I wouldn't recommend it for a big group since it's quite a tiny place!

Barrio Chino
253 Broome Street
Between Orchard and Ludlow
F to Delancey Street

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Nordstrom Rack

Sometimes if you need an escape from the city and a fulfilling shopping trip all in one, White Plains can be a great way to spend a weekend afternoon. If you can get an express train from Fordham, it's only a 15 minute ride away. I went this past weekend to get my Target fix (and discovered that the Jean Paul Gaultier for Target collection is so not worth the time), and I also stopped in to do some damage at Nordstrom Rack, which is in the same shopping center.

Nordstrom Rack is the outlet version of Nordstrom department store. They get shipments in from the department stores on a pretty regular basis, and discount the items pretty heavily (usually by at least 50%). Unlike some outlet stores that I've seen, these aren't just the cast-off items that nobody bought through multiple markdowns and clearance sales -- there are actually some really great pieces to be found! The only catch? You'll have to be in for some digging.

Some of the racks are separated out by brand, so that makes it easy if you have brands that you like. Other racks are separated by type of clothing, so you could have a $400 designer dress on the same rack as a cheap $20 dress by an obscure brand you've never heard of (and for good reason -- often lots of polyester!).

This weekend, I was able to get a really cute Marc by Marc Jacobs silk top that was marked down to $80 from $200, and a versatile silk-cotton blend wrap cardigan by BCBG for $70 marked down from $200. Not bad!

This is also a great place for designer jeans, especially 7 for All Mankind and J Brand, since they usually have quite a few styles in stock and they are marked down to around $99. They actually had my favorite pair of 7's this weekend because the wash is being discontinued, but they didn't have it in my size! Luckily I got a new pair for my birthday this week, or else I probably would have tried to justify buying them too big and having githem tailored :)

Nordstrom Rack is opening a location in Union Square on May 11, 2010, so pretty soon I won't have to go quite as far to get my bargain shopping fix! I just hope that it doesn't turn into as big of a mess as Century 21 always is.

Nordstrom Rack
7 City Place
White Plains, NY
Metro North to White Plains

Monday, March 1, 2010

Interview with Poppy King of Lipstick Queen

This post isn't entirely frugal-related, but I wanted to share these links to something that I've been working on recently for my beauty blog, One of the great things about writing is that you sometimes get the opportunity to interview really interesting people. I was at a beauty event for work recently, and I spotted Poppy King, the founder of one of my favorite makeup brands, Lipstick Queen.

I introduced myself and told her that I manage a beauty blog, and she was kind enough to give me her contact info so that we could set up an interview! She's really an accomplished entrepreneur -- she started her first company when she graduated from high school at age 18! Below are the links to my posts -- in Part 1, she discusses building her business and being an entrepreneur, and in Part 2 she gives makeup advice and talks about the general feeling that women have toward wearing lipstick these days.

Interview with the Lipstick Queen, Poppy King [Part 1]
Interview with the Lipstick Queen, Poppy King [Part 2]