April 13, 2014

A Soul Soothing Girls Night In

The best Rx when you’re feeling under the weather is a girls night in. That’s exactly what I enjoyed last night with my good friend Crystal.

Crystal greeted me with a beautiful flower arrangement that, along with her effervescent smile, immediately cheered me up.

This beautiful bouquet feels like a touch of spring

This beautiful bouquet feels like a touch of spring

We snacked on prosciutto and melon as Crystal whipped up a delicious meal – poached salmon in butter and her yummy answer to potato pancakes: grated butternut squash with Italian cheese. Heavenly. A refreshing spinach salad with toasted squash seeds and grated cheese rounded out the perfect dinner.

Dinner a la Crystal: delish!

Dinner a la Crystal: delish!

As we enjoyed the meal, Crystal and I talked about getting older, learning from past mistakes and the miscommunication that happens all too often in texting conversations more appropriate for talking. How I miss the days of hashing out differences using your voice instead of your smartphone keypad…

After dinner, we settled in for a movie, About Time. The recent rom com had all the wit and poignant charm you’d expect from writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill, etc). And it was a powerful reminder that every day is a gift. Especially when you’re sharing it with a dear friend.

Comment » | girls night in, home cooking, romantic comedies

April 7, 2014

Book Rave: Otherhood

Otherhood If you’re a single woman over the age of 35, it’s the question you’re asked more than any other—why are you still single?

In her poignant new memoir Otherhood, Melanie Notkin writes about those of us on the receiving end of that question. And how, despite the fact that nearly half of all American women of childbearing age (married or not) do not have children of their own, we are often treated as an anomaly.

“The independent, childless woman does not feel like a qualified member of the social order,” Notkin writes, “But rather is made to feel hopeless, hapless and just plain old less than everyone else.”

As the fortysomething Savvy Auntie Founder powerfully articulates, women of the Otherhood are scrutinized for their choices — and continually a target for unsolicited (albeit well-intentioned) advice. In sharing her experiences and those of other women at this crossroads, Notkin provides a long overdue voice to this growing demographic.  Along the way, she reveals a persistent gender-based double standard when it comes to expectations of settling down.

How much has been written over the years about Jennifer Aniston (pre-Justin) painting her as lonely and one step away from spinsterhood? Interestingly, no media outlet has portrayed the also unmarried George Clooney as worthy of sympathy or, for that matter, needing to change his dating style.

But when you’re a woman of a certain age, it seems like just about everyone  has an opinion about why you are ‘still’ single and childless — and what you should do about it.

This unsolicited advice comes from both loved ones and strangers alike. Notkin encounters a potential business partner who doesn’t hesitate to tell her within minutes of meeting him what she needs to do if she wants to become a mother. I had a similar experience when my boss’s boss overheard me mentioning a recent date.

“You better hurry up and meet someone before your eggs dry up,” he said bluntly.

As if I needed reminding of that. There’s no shortage of media and pop culture warnings for women that our fertility has an expiration date. Or, for that matter, assumptions about why you’re childless.

“If you wanted to have children,” a friend’s wife insisted, “You would have by now.”

In Otherhood, Notkin talks about this tendency to blame single, childless women for being too picky, too career focused, etc. We are often lumped into one of two categories: single by choice, living a Sex And The City lifestyle, or miserable and desperate to find a mate.

As Notkin observes, the reality for most of us isn’t so black and white. We are living full, productive lives. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want someone to share it all with, or that we haven’t tried to find a mate.

Otherhood beautifully articulates this often misunderstood journey. It gives the single, childless women hope and encouragement by reminding us – we’re in very good company.

Comment » | being single in your thirties, biological clock, book reviews, Sex and The City

March 31, 2014

SGITC Rave: Baire Salon

One of the best parts of blogging is being invited to try NYC venues I may not otherwise know about. So I was excited to venture over to Baire, a hair removal salon tucked away in Hell’s Kitchen.

Every woman knows waxing isn’t much fun. But the attentive team at Baire manages to make it minimally uncomfortable – and even leave you feeling pampered. My salon specialist Liesl took good care of me,explaining that the Lycon wax that Baire uses is better for the skin than what many salons use.

Liesl made my Baire experience absolutely fabulous

Liesl made my Baire experience absolutely fabulous

She followed the treatment with a soothing aloe and rosehips moisturizer and post-treatment gel packed with green tea and tea tree oils, vitamin E and aloe. All Baire products are natural, made in the U.S. and not tested on animals. How great is that?

Don’t take my word for it, though, give Baire a try. On Saturday April 12th from 3-8pm, the salon is hosting a peel party with Claudio Pinto. Along with special prices for peels and products, you can enjoy a mini happy hour and get your questions answered about cosmetic treatments.

For more information, visit Baire’s website.

Comment » | Hell's Kitchen, Uncategorized

March 23, 2014

Girls Night Out: Arlington Club

I recently enjoyed a wonderful girls night out with my good friend Lauren.

We headed over to the Arlington Club, a swanky UES steakhouse with an interesting bar scene — a 40+ crowd, many of whom are very obviously on the prowl.

Arlington Club's swanky bar area

Arlington Club’s swanky bar area

As we watched the flirting unfold, Lauren and I fell into the easy conversation that comes when you’re kindred spirits and you’ve known each other for a decade. We talked about our recent travels, the fun of vacation romance and how a change of scenery can make all the difference when it comes to meeting new people.

Speaking of the latter, this was my first visit to Arlington Club. And it presented the opportunity for us to meet two charming musicians who livened things up with their talents.

Wes shared tales of life on tour with the likes of Norah Jones, mentioning that he savors quiet nights in watching NetFlix when he’s back home in Brooklyn.

It occurred to me as he spoke that he had an openness and down to earth quality that’s frustratingly elusive among New York men. Sure enough, Wes revealed he’s from Charleston.

Though i adore my hometown, NYC seems to breed an aloof sensibility that often permeates the singles scene here. I notice it even more whenever I venture out of Manhattan — that there’s a warmth and friendliness elsewhere which is so difficult to find when you’re trying to mix and mingle in the Big Apple.

I can’t help thinking that most of the epic romances I’ve experienced have been with men from other places—California, Illinois, England and Australia to name a few. And, on this 20th anniversary of my very first epic love, I also find myself wondering if it’s time for me to try out a new zip code.

 

2 comments » | dating in New York, Girls Night Out, Upper East Side, Upper East Side restaurants

March 12, 2014

Finding Inspiration From Fabulous Women

When you write about dating and relationships, you feel a special kinship with others who are doing the same – and adding something valuable to the conversation.

As I currently enjoy Melanie Notkin’s fantastic new book Otherhood (full review to come), I have also connected with two other women whose stories are worth sharing.

Michelle Ortega moved to NYC following the end of her 13-year marriage, finding herself single at 40. She found the best tonic for it in talking to other single women. Michelle shares that experience in here new documentary, The Single Ladies of NY, which follows women of different ages looking for love in the Big Apple.

“The greatest comfort I got was through talking to other single women,” she says. “Gaining their wisdom, experiences, being able to laugh off bad dates, lack of dates, and embarrassing situations. I thought younger women would have it easier, but they have their own set of challenges!“

You can see a trailer and help support the film’s fundraising campaign by visiting the film’s Kickstarter page.

New Jersey-based matchmaker and singles event host Risa Glaser is an inspiring example that there’s no expiration date for finding love.

For the past 7 years, Risa has helped single people meet by offering personalized matchmaking services in addition to hosting 8MinuteDating speed dating and “Dating for a Cause” events.

Four years ago, Risa was hosting an evening of 8 Minute Dating when one of the bachelors in attendance asked her–

“Are you just running this event, or are you single too?”

Upon learning she was indeed single, he asked her out. They’re getting married this month. It’s Risa’s first time walking down the aisle – at the age of 50.

“I’m proof that it’s never too late to find love – and that gives single people of all ages a reason for hope,” she says.

With spring slowly but surely approaching, it’s the perfect time of year for renewed hope when it comes to love and romance. And I’m thankful to the women above for helping all of us single gals out there rediscover that.

Comment » | being single in New York, being single in your thirties, finding Mr. Right

March 4, 2014

An Exhilarating Return To San Diego

When you’ve lived through the winter that we’ve had here in NYC, any break from it is a welcome one. Last week, I had the pleasure of escaping to the warmer environs of San Diego for a work-related conference.

The view from my room at The Westin San Diego

The view from my room at The Westin San Diego

It had been 19 years since my last visit to SD. That trip was on the tail end of my relationship with Sparky when I told him it was over. Needless to say, I was eager to re-experience this great city and it didn’t disappoint.

In addition to beautiful weather, friendly locals and uncrowded streets, San Diego offered something else I hadn’t experienced in a while – unexpected romance.

On my one free night in town, I decided to venture out on my own to the Gaslamp Quarter, SD’s buzzy bar and restaurant district. I strolled for several minutes before settling on Greystone Steakhouse. What drew me in? A welcoming hostess…and the sight of three men flying solo at the bar. Of course, they were all poring over their SmartPhones, so my expectations were low. At the very least, though, I figured it was a far better ratio than what’s typical in NYC.

No sooner had I ordered a glass of wine than M, the adorable guy to my left, looked over and asked me with a smile if I was a local. I soon learned that M was a recent transplant to San Diego, having grown up in Iowa and graduated from West Point.

We clicked immediately, sharing stories about career (M has his own consulting business), travel and the allure of picking up and relocating somewhere completely different.

Even though I’m blinking, I think you can see how much I was having :)

Even though I’m blinking, I think you can see how much I was having :)

After closing down Greystone, we headed over to SD’s version of Little Italy for drinks at Craft and Commerce—one of the best bars I’ve been to in ages. Staff are invited to create and submit cocktails for menu inclusion. I sampled one with grenadine that was a fond throwback to my Shirley Temple days as a child.

M and I talked and smooched until dawn. A few days later, he sweetly followed up with a text message wishing me a safe flight back home.

Meeting him, and my entire trip to San Diego, were much needed reminders that you never know when something great is right around the corner. And that it’s time to have a little more of that adventurous traveler mindset here at home too.

Comment » | San Diego, travel

February 25, 2014

Catching Up With My Two BFFs

Last week, I had the pleasure of catching up with my two BFFs, Sara and London-based Steve.

Sara, Steve and me

Sara, Steve and me

We met up for dinner at Serafina, one of my favorite NYC Italian bistro chains–a perfect blend of delicious food and lively yet laidback atmosphere. Our waitress was attentive while giving us plenty of time to linger and enjoy our meal. The mouth watering burrata and spaghetti squash with vegetables are must haves.

Over dinner, Sara, Steve and I reminisced about our time together in England’s capital (both Sara and I did our junior year in London). We laughed about the volume of people we managed to squeeze in tiny dorm rooms for epic movie nights, also recalling romantic dramas that are a source of amusement rather than heartbreak now. Thank goodness for the perspective that comes with time.

Speaking of time, the three of us marveled at how swiftly it seems to be going by. And how some things remain the same — the dearth of smart romantic comedies and the fun of a good celebrity crush. And, of course, the joys of enduring friendship that only deepen with the passing years.

Old friends really are the best.

Comment » | Uncategorized

February 16, 2014

A Fun-Filled Valentine’s Day

I’m a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Contrary to the media, greeting cards and jewelry companies, it is not an occasion exclusively for couples. It’s a day to celebrate all kinds of love – and I was reminded of that several times this past Friday.

My morning began at The Westin New York Grand Central, which welcomed staffers with hot chocolate, donuts and brightly colored balloons. Awaiting me inside my inbox – emails from colleagues and business associates wishing me a happy Valentine’s Day.

Friday was a dual hotel day on the job for me, so I headed over to the Sheraton New York Times Square.

In the Valentine’s Day spirit: my colleague (and awesome former boss) Kristin and me

In the Valentine’s Day spirit: my colleague (and awesome former boss) Kristin and me

All of us in sales and marketing were treated to a fun lunch (empanadas, cake pops) in our festively decorated conference room.

It is one of my wise coworkers whom I can credit with encouraging me to reach out to someone special who has been on my mind lately. I took the leap and he responded lovingly – reminding me exactly why he has restored my faith in the existence of good guys. And what better day to have that lesson resurface?

After work, I headed home to spruce myself up for a night on the town with good friend and fellow bachelorette Lauren. We ventured out of our neighborhood and down to the Financial District. First stop, watering hole Ulysses on Stone Street, where we enjoyed complimentary Champagne and hearty entrees (red snapper and seafood paella for me, Shepherd’s Pie for Lauren). Then, it was off to Bar 7even 5ive at the Andaz Wall Street.

As bartenders dressed like Cupid and wearing big feather wings roamed the room, Lauren and I talked about online dating disasters, turning 40 and taking steps toward new beginnings.

For me, one of those steps will involve a new direction for my little corner of the blogosphere.  Looking forward to sharing it with all of you soon!

Comment » | being happy at work, Girls Night Out, Sheraton New York Times Square, Valentine's Day, Westin New York Grand Central

February 9, 2014

Singles Events Picks: Valentine’s Day Fun

Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the coupled up set. It’s an occasion for celebrating all the love in your life – and, if you’re single of course, getting out there and having some fun. Two NYC events are offering the chance to mingle on February 14th.

Singles Parties NYC is hosting what it’s calling “The Largest Valentine’s Singles Party.” Get your flirt on from 10pm-2am on Friday at popular 80’s nightclub Culture Club.

Get your flirt on 80s hotspot Culture Club (photo courtesy: CultureClub.com)

Get your flirt on 80s hotspot Culture Club (photo courtesy: CultureClub.com)

The venue has been reserved exclusively for the party, so everyone there will be unattached. Drink specials include $5 beer, wine and well drinks til midnight. Ladies, use promo code VDAYLADIES to pay only $10 for your ticket. Gents, use promo code VDAYGENTS to pay only $20 for your ticket. For more info and tickets, click here.

Looking for something more intimate and chic? Head on down to Bar 7even 5ive at Andaz Wall Street.

Bar 7even 5ive at Andaz Wall Street is playing Cupid

Bar 7even 5ive at Andaz Wall Street is playing Cupid

From 8 pm – midnight, the bar will have its very own “Cocktail Cupid” serving the night’s signature drink, The Wrecking Ball – comprised of strawberry simple syrup, Ketel One, fresh lime juice and champagne.

Guests that spot someone they like, can purchase The Wrecking Ball drink from the Cocktail Cupid, who will personally deliver it while discreetly pointing out who the admiring sender is. Connection Caddies will also be placed throughout the bar, filled with vintage valentines to fill out that the Cocktail Cupid can send with the drink.

To cap the night off, anyone who sends The Wrecking Ball to a crush will be automatically entered to win great prizes including a one-night stay at Andaz Wall Street with breakfast in bed, bar tab for the night to be on the house (up to $100) and a cooking lesson for two with the hotel’s Executive Chef, Victor Cruz.

How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day? At the top of my February 14th to do list—making sure the people I love know how fortunate I feel to have them in my life.

Comment » | 80's music, singles events, singles parties, Valentine's Day

February 5, 2014

Return To Toronto: Part Two

My wonderful weekend in Toronto continued with a girls day out with dear friend Jackie.

Jackie and me

Jackie and me

As always, we picked up right where we left off, confiding in each other about career transitions, dating dramas and the heavy contemplation that accompanies turning 40.

Along the way, we enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon at Yorkdale Shopping Centre on the outskirts of T.O. First, a yummy lunch at Glow Press, which serves a mouth-watering variety of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches. Then, we hit various stores before heading out to pick up Jackie’s little boy Ryan.

Back at their place, Jackie whipped up spaghetti and meatballs, and surprised me with chocolate birthday cake.

The decadence continued back at my hotel, where a carrot cake amenity from my Westin Grand Central colleagues was waiting for me. I must say I love extending the big 4-0 festivities (waistline considerations notwithstanding).

Saturday, snowy conditions didn’t get in the way of my next reunion — with high school buddy Emma.

Emma and me

Emma and me

Over a delightful brunch at Fran’s, one of T.O.’s venerable old-school diners, we reminisced about old times and reflected on motherhood (Emma has a young son), getting older and the ties that bind. Emma spoke fondly of my late, beloved parents, sharing with me that she told her partner—

“They had an intimacy not just as a couple, but as friends.”

It meant so much to hear Emma say this, to be reminded of the impact that Mom and Dad had on everyone fortunate enough to know them. My friends in Toronto got to know them very well indeed during epic slumber parties, prom night and the like.

These and so many other happy memories of our years living up north crossed my mind over the course of the weekend. As I walked along familiar streets, many now replaced with new stores and attractions, I couldn’t help thinking of what time hasn’t changed—my gratitude for old friends and my late, beloved parents’ enduring legacy of love.

This week, they would have celebrated 41 years together. I have no doubt that somewhere, they’re enjoying one hell of a party. Cheers to you, Mom and Dad, still my all-time favorite couple.

 

Comment » | catching up with old friends, travel, turning 40, weekend getaways

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