Showing posts with label holiday shopping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label holiday shopping. Show all posts


Who Needs Cadbury Anyway?

I never turn down chocolate, but as I've gotten older, quality is something that has become more important to me. That way I can really appreciate the craftmanship that went into my sweet treat. La Maison du Chocolat has the quality thing down pat.

The recently released images of their 2015 Easter collection and my jaw kind of hit the floor when I saw how flawlessly the master chocolatiers where able to create the cutest little traveling ducks--suitcases and all!--all out of different chocolates. Recommended prices in this collection range from $45 for the Aviator Egg (not pictured) to $160 for Easter Flight (the duck on the right in the photo above). They are only available for purchase at the UES location of the store (1018 Madison Avenue).

Here's an awesome video featuring these works of art:

However, if you had something a little cheaper in mind for a hostess or just because gift, they've got you covered as well. I sampled the tube of 7 Maison praliné eggs and loved the variety of different egg fillings, including crunchy, smooth hazelnut, dentelle, and almond slivers ($10).

Receive complimentary shipping on all orders placed through tomorrow 3/31 at La Maison du Chocolat's online boutique.

La Maison Du Chocolat on Urbanspoon 

Note: I received the tube of praliné eggs complimentary from La Maison du Chocolat but all opinions are my own.


Wrap Up Some Awesome: The 2014 Holiday Gift Guide

Listen up awesome peeps. Chanukah starts this week. Christmas is next week. And your friends and family don't want lame gifts. If you're stuck on what to buy the awesome people in your life, I now present to you the 2014 Awesome in New York Gift Guide!

Photo credit: Ninja
This first one is a bit of a splurge. Blenders have become the new luxe item to complete your kitchen and I'm here to tell you that not all blenders are created equal. The Nutri Ninja Blender 13-Piece System With Auto-iQ is my new favorite gadget/toy/workhorse, you name it. What I love so much about it is the versatility in that it comes with not only the 72 oz blender pitcher, but also a food processing bowl and 3 sizes of cups (18, 24 and 32 oz) that you can blend your smoothies in and take to go. I can't tell you how handy this is for those crazy mornings when you are running for the subway. Another feature I love about this system is that it's pre-programmed to know exactly how long and at what speed your smoothie/dough/dressing/sauce should be blended.  (Price: $249.99 - which is quite the deal when you compare it to that other coveted blender brand).

Next, we have something for the sweet-tooth in your life. Lindt Chocolates has been one of my favorite chocolatiers since I first had one of their white chocolate truffles left on my hotel pillow when I was a pre-teen. We go WAY back. This year, both of their Manhattan locations (692 5th Avenue and 665 5th Avenue) are selling 4 different Big Apple-themed gifts so that you can share your love of everything chocolate and NYC. The options include: your choice of 75 different Lindor truffles in an elegant paper gift bag, designed with the New York skyline and a snap top ($25), NYC gift box filled with assorted Milk, White and Dark Lindor truffles ($12), customizeable NYC gift box filled with 30 LINDOR truffles in assorted flavors ($22), and the New York Swiss Luxury Selection of elegant European-style pralines ($18).

Photo credit: Sparkly Soul
For the fitness fiend in your life, Sparkly Soul will make the perfect addition to her workout wardrobe. I have been using these no-slip grip headbands for years and recommend them to everyone as they are great for everything from yoga to spin and bootcamp to running. They come in endless fun sparkly colors and two sizes, thick or thin. Today only (12/15), use the code HOLIDAY for free shipping off orders over $25 and to get 15% off your entire order. At that deal, you might as well get one for yourself! (Price: $15-$17)

Photo credit:
They say experiences are better than gifts anyhow right? For someone who has everything, but loves the Broadway lights, I'd recommend you pick up a pair of tickets to see Cabaret. Emma Stone recently joined the beautiful cast including the amazing Alan Cumming, Danny Burstein, Linda Emond, and Bill Heck. Boy can that girl sing. In fact, the chemistry of the entire cast is one I witness rarely. Orchestra tickets will have you seated not in traditional theater seats but cabaret tables (with waiter service!), but balcony seats will still provide you with a great view. (Price: $25 with HipTix to $182)

Warning: by now you are probably sick and tired of hearing me rave about ClassPass--the online service that let's you book unlimited premium fitness classes all around the city--but it's just that awesome. Gift a membership to your best friend who's short on time but loves versatility in her workout. Added bonus, you can join together and be on the same team at Swerve and have a post-workout juice date. (Price: $99/month)

Photo credit: World Vision
For the do-gooders on your list, treat them to something while also giving back. Proceeds from all products featured on the World Vision gift catalog will help children and families in need all over the world. Our favorites include the Royal Silk Scarf ($95) woven by villagers in Vietnam and the Silver Vines Cuff ($85) designed by artisans in India. Bonus, some of the money you spend on these gifts is tax deductible. (Price: varies)

Disclaimer: Ninja and Lindt provided me with product samples in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own.


Getting My Shop On at the Carlton Hotel

Remember that Made in the USA trunk show I told you about a while back. Well, it was the other night, and I went! It was honestly one of the better shopping events I've been to in a long time. To start, there's nothing better than a holiday event when it's [pretty] snowing outside and you get to gawk at a beautifully decorated tree in the lobby of a classy NYC hotel.

The entrance of The Carlton from the front door
Their tree

The event featured shops and designers hawking beautifully made goods, all crafted in the good ole' US of A. I fell in love with all of the bags at catrinka (ALL OF THE BAGS), which works with women all over the world to design totes, clutches, and satchels with textiles native to their region. What a great mission. I also checked out papabubble who were sampling their holiday assortments of custom candy. Check out the watermelon, salt, chili if you get the chance!

catrinka's table (sorry for the blurry photo!)

But by far my favorite table was the Pennsylvania-based shop basin and main, who had a long table of knit and crochet wear (socks, hats, sweaters, hand warmers, etc), handmade ornaments, vintage candle holders, and jewelry. To say that I was obsessed with everything at this table is an understatement. If I hadn't already done most of my holiday shopping, I could have bought items for almost everyone on my list there. But that didn't stop me from buying a super cute crocheted hat by mimi's hooks ($25) for myself :)

basin and main had the table with the lights
My new hat!
While we were shopping, singer Lisa Puccio Kobin and keyboardist Clare Cooper serenaded us with holiday music.

This even was a brand marketers dream. There were endless sponsors, which I of course loved because...freebies! The holiday flavored tic tacs were a big hit, as was the Elderflower Lemonade by Belvoir. I was also a big fan of the peppermint SO Delicious bar.

Before I left, I had to go upstairs and check out the Caravan Stylist Studio as I have an appointment to go back next week for "glam services" including hair, make-up and nail art. Will keep you posted!

While there I also got an amazing gift bag filled with samples from Simple Skincare, Tic Tacs, Cottonelle, Bullet, Zoya, bigsexyhair, and nextissue.

All of the shops I mentioned have online stores so be sure to check them out if you are still on the look out for gifts. Happy shopping!


Join Argo for a ChariTEA event in Flatiron

Nothing beats a warm cup of tea on a cold day and our friends at Argo Tea want to make sure you have your fill! All company-owned cafes will be hosting host special holiday fundraising events benefiting Habitat for Humanity with live music, passed drinks and treats on Wednesday 12/17 from 7 - 9pm. The Flatiron location (949 Broadway) will be hosting a flagship event featuring tea cocktails and exclusive giveaways. Tickets are $20 and all proceeds go to a good cause!

In addition, Argo will donate a portion of net proceeds from its seasonal signature drink (White FrosTea Chocolate -- rich white chocolate, mint and white tea and steamed milk) to Habitat for Humanity. Other winter specials include: 
  • Snowflake White Tea – heavenly blend of white tea, apple, sweet pink pepper, and seasonal spices
  • Winter Spice – featuring orange flowers, cassia, cocoa shells, orange peel and almonds  

Argo is offering special gift sets for all the tea lovers in your life.


Because Everyone Needs A Light-Up DIY Ornament...

RadioShack is getting into the holiday spirit and wants to invite you to a workshop experience at at their 1565 Broadway on Saturday 12/13 from 10am - 10pm. In conjunction with littleBits--an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets and make music and light (for kids of all ages!)--they will be offering complimentary drinks and holiday treats, while also giving you a hands-on tutorial on how to build your very own littleBits holiday ornaments!

The first 100 attendees will walk away with a special RadioShack stocking stuffer, as well as be entered into a raffle to win a variety of holiday items.

  • What: ​RadioShack + littleBits Customer Holiday Workshop
  • When: Saturday 12/13, 10 am - 10pm
  • Where: RadioShack 1565 Broadway (7th Avenue @ 47th Street)


Bust Our Your Wallet for this Holiday Craftacular

Holiday shopping season is in full swing and we're here to remind you that nobody wants that awful smelling pine candle you've been storing in your coat closet with re-gifting plans in 2014. Instead, why don't you head on over to the BUST Magazine Holiday Craftacular happening this Saturday and Sunday at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint.

BUST, the magazine "for women with something to get off their chests," designed the event to include over 200 vendors selling handmade crafts, delicious foods, gorgeous vintage finds and more. There will be a DJ and free goodie bags for the first 300 attendees. Make-and-take craft workshops and artist demonstrations will spark your creativity and give you the chance to make a gift for yourself or someone else. Wrap your gifts in style at the wrapping paper station, handcraft a card for someone special, and don't miss the Ugly Sweater Selfie Booth.

Last, but certainly not least, there will be a cat cafe. A CAT CAFE! Take a little break from shopping with adorable, adoptable cats and a nice cup of tea all while benefiting a number of great animal rescue organizations.

Tickets are $3 and available at the door.


  • When: Saturday, December 6 + Sunday December 7 (11am - 7pm)
  • Where: Brooklyn Expo Center (79 Franklin St, Brooklyn, NY 11222)
  • How much?: $3


See Stars at the Bryant Park Tree Lighting

Bryant Park never does anything small, so why would they just light a tree at their tree lighting ceremony tonight? (The tree is a 50-foot Norway Spruce decorated in over 30,000 white and red LED lights and 3,500 starbursts, balls, snowflakes, and icicle ornaments, by the way).

Starting at 6pm, check out the festivities including performances and appearances by AINY favorite Ingrid Michaelson, indie Singer-Songwriter Catey Shaw, and 2010 Olympic Gold Medalist Evan Lysacek. You can also watch professional synchronized skating routines from The Haydenettes on the rink. All of it will be hosted by New York Live and LX TV’s Open House front woman, Sara Gore.

The entire event is supporting the humanitarian aid charity, (RED), and raising awareness and support for the fight towards an AIDS-free generation.

Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park’s Tree Lighting Ceremony is open to the public, free of admission. Skate rental fees are $19 for children and adults during public skate windows during the event. Locker usage is free with locks available to purchase for $9.


Stuff Their Stockings at a Made in the USA Designer Trunk Show

So say you didn't get all your holiday shopping done on Black Friday. That's cool. In fact, we prefer online shopping and specially-curated holiday markets instead of braving the Bloomingdale's masses at 7am.

Speaking of holiday markets, the Carlton Hotel (88 Madison Avenue, between 28th and 29th Streets) is hosting one full of Made in the USA designers next Wednesday 12/10 from 5:30-7:30 pm.

The hotel is partnering with Caravan Stylist Studio to celebrate the holidays with a festive event and trunk show. Guests will enjoy LaMarca Prosecco, holiday bites by SO DELICIOUS, and a vocal performance by Lisa Puccio Kobin with keyboard accompanist Clare Cooper. Featured designers include: Beau & Ro, Samuelle Green's Basin & Main, and Catrinka. RSVP here.


Free Coffee To Keep You Shopping on Black Friday

With all the shopping you plan on doing this Black Friday, sleeping in is not an option. Lavazza wants to make sure you stay awake and wants to help you fight the effect of the copious amount of tryptophan you are bound to consume alongside your cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie the night before.

Starting on Friday, November 28 from 5:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday, November 29 from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, the Lavazza mobile café will be posted in the Meatpacking District and hand delivering their coffee from Lavazza branded Fiat 500’s to everyone in need of a pick me up. Tired shoppers in NYC will also be able to receive a complimentary coffee delivered right to their doorstep by tweeting @LavazzaUSA using the hashtag, #LavazzaDelivery.

For additional delivery details and product discount codes, follow @lavazzaUSA on Twitter.


Calling All Holiday Shoppers! (And Free Cocktail Lovers!)

Headed to the Renegade Craft Fair this weekend? More than 200 indie vendors will be hawking their handmade wares at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 W 18th St) on November 15 and 16 and it's never too early to begin holiday shopping!

Even better, when your feet get tired and you begin craving a complimentary cocktail, head on over to the Ace Hotel on Saturday 11/15 from 6:30-8:30 pm for the official afterparty sponsored by Flavorpill and Sprout by HP.


AWESOME DEAL: 20% Off Crocs Today in Herald Square

Have your little ones not had enough of their princess and superhero costumes yet? Good news! From 3-8pm today, bring them to Crocs Herald Square (152 W 34th St) as they prepare to launch their new line of Disney Frozen Crocs' Clog along with an array of Crocs' character shoes!

In addition to showcasing Crocs' newest character shoes, the event will offer complimentary princess manicures and hairstyles, super hero face painting, and gifting for all families. You can also snag 20% off your entire purchase! Now that sounds like something Elsa would approve of.


Uncommonly Great Gifts

Searching for the perfect gift is never easy. You may think you know the perfect item to bequeath to your BFF for her promotion or your father-in-law for his birthday, but how do you decide where to purchase from? Enter Brooklyn-based Uncommon Goods.

The 15-year-old retailer is the perfect place to shop for everyone from your mom, your dog, your boss, and (because why not?) yourself. We're a big fan of their selection of NYC-centric items and eco-friendly packaging, not to mention their commitment to supporting individual artisans and designers. To test out their service, Uncommon Goods recently sent me a pair of their Fern Frond Earrings ($68).

How unique, right? I can't tell you how many compliments I've received on a simple pair of earrings! What I loved most was how they came packaged in a sock-like pouch made of recycled t-shirt material. Score one for the planet!

Among the aforementioned NYC-themed items, our favorites are the following:

Manhattan Rooftop Honey Flight ($45)

Elements of Nyc Pillows ($35-$55)

Hand Embroidered City Pillows ($158)

DIY Embroidery Poster - Brooklyn Bridge ($20)

Comment below with what strikes your fancy. Happy shopping!


Holiday Markets and Beyond!

It's the time of the year where everyone is scrambling to check off names on their gift lists (or if they're anything like me, embody the one for you, one for me ethos we all know and love). Thankfully NYC will never leave you hanging as there is a plethora of different holiday markets you can choose from. Here are some suggestions for this weekend. Happy shopping!

Union Square Holiday Market

The tried and true Union Square Holiday Market is one of my NYC traditions--a December is not complete without at least one visit (and a slice of crack pie from the Milk Bar booth). I did a walk through last weekend and bought my first real piece of art from The Raw Art, and would highly recommend you check them out. (Through December 24. Monday – Friday, 11:00am to 8:00pm; Saturday, 10:00am to 8:00pm
Sunday, 11:00am to 7:00pm; Monday, December 24th closes at 4:00pm)

Refinery 29's Magical Pop-Up Holiday Shop

Refinery29 is one of my favorite websites with fabulous style advice, so why wouldn't they have a rad holiday pop-up shop? Featuring designers like Glossybox, Rebecca Minkoff, and White + Warren, this market is definitely where you want to go to find duds for your more fashionable friends. (201 Mulberry Street. December 14-16 noon to 6 pm, 7 on Saturday)

Sweet Afton Holiday Mini-Market

As a new Astorian, I'm super excited to check out my new neighborhood and I'm definitely starting this Sunday at Sweet Afton's Holiday Mini-Market. There's nothing like discovering local designers while drinking alcoholic beverages indoors, with indoors being the key word. I've heard so many great things about this bar, and I'm sure they will put on an excellent event. (30-09 34th Street, Astoria. December 16. 12-5)


Nothing Like A Good Holiday Party

Looking for something to fill your schedule this week and still need to wrap up your holiday gift buying? Head over to Gap 5th Avenue (at 54th Street) for cocktails, live music and outrageous discounts tomorrow from 6-8 pm where you'll also get to mingle with Gap and Fabsugar editors Chi Chau and Hannah Weil.

Before you pencil this into your planner, make sure you RSVP to


AWESOME GIVEAWAY: 2 Tickets to the NYBG Holiday Train Show Shopping and Champagne Event

Now that all the leftover turkey is gone, it's prime time to start checking off those holiday shopping lists. The New York Botanical Garden, which is celebrating its 20th Holiday Train Show this year, would like to help you out.Thursday nights (12/1, 12/8, and 12/15) from 6-8 pm, NYBG is putting on a Shopping and Champagne event where attendees can both view the famous train show and find unique gifts for everyone. A free glass of Champagne will be served and all tickets include a $20 voucher off a $100 purchase.

All of my readers are in luck! I'm giving away a pair of tickets to NYBG's Holiday Train Show Shopping and Champagne event! There are 5 easy ways to win, and each comment counts as an entry. Be sure to include your email in each comment so that I can easily contact you if you win.
  1. REQUIRED - Subscribe to Awesome in New York by email using the submission box in the right panel and leave a comment letting me know you did so.
  2. Refer a friend to this contest. You must leave a separate comment letting me know who you referred and the friend must leave a comment letting me know who referred them for both entries to count.
  3. Follow me on Twitter @yaelleah and leave a comment letting me know you did so.
  4. Follow Awesome in New York using Networked Blogs or Google Friend Connect and leave a comment letting me know you did so.
  5. Tweet or blog about this giveaway and leave a comment with a link to your tweet or blog below.
You have until Friday 12/2 at 5 pm EST to enter this contest. The winner will be announced soon after. Best of luck!

A winner has been chosen! Congratulations Jerry! You win 2 tickets to the New York Botanical Garden's Shopping and Champagne event! Thanks to everyone who entered and make sure to check out the Holiday Train Show in December.


AWESOME GIVEAWAY: VIP Tickets to Tribeca Retail Club's Holiday Bonanza!

Do you like fashion? Open bar? What about goody bags? Well duh, if you read this blog you could at least check off one of those three. The Tribeca Retail Club, an self-proclaimed underground fashionista destination, is hosting their Holiday Bonanza event on Friday December 17 as a chance for you to do some holiday shopping, mingle with fellow cool people and sip some cider (Magners to be exact!). The festivities run from 6-10 p.m. at 28 West 27th Street 2nd Floor (Note change in venue)

Admission is free, but to partake in the open bar and the fabulous goodie bags, you need VIP admission ($15 in advance or $20 at the door). To my awesome readers, I'm giving away 2 VIP tickets to this event, because of course I can't send pals to an event without knowing they'll leave with a goodie bag. You have four easy ways to enter and each comment counts as an entry:

1) REQUIRED - Follow this blog by clicking on the button on the right panel and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

2) Leave a comment below letting me know why you want to go to TRC's Holiday Bonanza, who you will bring and how you heard about this contest.

3) Follow me on Twitter @yaelleah and leave a comment below letting me know you did so.

4) Tweet or blog about this event and let me know with a comment below with a link to your tweet or blog.

A winner will be chosen using on Thursday 12/2. You have until Thursday 12/2 at 12 p.m. EST to enter the contest. The winner must be able to attend the event on 12/17 and will need to give the name of his/her guest to me by Friday 12/3. Good luck!

A winner has been chosen! Congrats James! He was the first commenter. I hope you enjoy your VIP tickets and this great event!

12/4 UPDATE! If you still want a VIP ticket, here's a code for $5 off good through tomorrow 12/5: HAPPYSUNDAY. Enjoy!