Sunday, March 7, 2010

Go to!

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

How I Became an NY Times Olympian

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 Above: The "NY Times Olympian" Foursquare Badge

Above: The New York Times' Foursquare Page (

Last weekend, I took a long weekend trip to Vancouver, Canada to visit my friend, Dario. A week prior to the trip, I had no firm plans to go, but an interest in checking out the city during the 2010 Olympics. Not only that, I had just recently led The New York Times in creating a Foursquare page. Phase 1 of the NY Times presence on Foursquare was sharing a list of Vancouver tips during the Olympics. Vancouver Foursquare players following The New York Times had the opportunity to unlock the "NY Times Olympian" badge by checking into NY Times-recommended venues. As somewhat of a Foursquare fanatic, I was 95% sure that I NEEDED to go to Vancouver to get the first badge that I helped create. (Note: Kudos to Paul Lau, the incredible NYTimes designer who designed the Olympian badge!)

Dario and I were chatting and he asked if I'd be in Vancouver for the Olympics. That was the last straw - I had to say "yes". How could I miss out on such an opportunity? It was on like Donkey Kong. Within a few days, I booked my flight and had a place to stay (Dario and his biz partner, Ryan, were kind to let me stay with them!).

On my second day in Vancouver, I unlocked the official NY Times Olympian badge by checking into the Granville Island Public Market, where a few new friends and I ate lunch and waited in the Altantic Canada House line, before giving up and taking the AquaBus back to downtown Vancouver. Great times, though.

While in Vancouver, I had the opportunity to stop by a few NY Times-recommended venues including the Vancouver Art Gallery and Salt Tasting Room. I was hoping to make it around to Vij's Rangoli. That will have to wait for another time!

That, my friends, is the story of how I became an NY Times Olympian. See more photos of my time in Vancouver on Flickr now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Vote Now in the Fashion 2.0 Social Media Awards

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My favorite online sample sale website, ideeli, has partnered with Style Coalition to create the Fashion 2.0 Social Media Awards. The goal is to measure the best of style influence online. They need your help determining which brands engaged you, moved you, and inspired you to shop, dress, and think in 2009. There are 7 fabulous categories to vote on- so check out the poll here!

Vote now for The Innovator Award, Fashion 2.0!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

President and First Lady Caught in Advertising Turmoil

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(Above: Michelle and Barack Obama pictured in unauthorized ads.)

What's up with publishing unauthorized images of U.S. politicians as brand endorsements? Well, it seems like a new trend. Within the past few days, the White House has issued statements about ads Michelle and Barack Obama have appeared in without consent.

Above, Michelle Obama is pictured in a recent anti-fur PETA ad. "We did not consent to it," said Semonti Stephens, spokeswoman for the wife of US President Barack Obama.Oh, PETA, when does the madness stop? We understand that you are trying to save animals, but that doesn't justify publishing unauthorized photos! To all the readers out there, though, serious question: do you wear fur? Vote here!

Meanwhile, Barack Obama was featured in a Times Square billboard, wearing a Weatherproof jacket with the copy, "Weatherproof Since 1948." It has come to light that the White House did not give permission for the use of Barack Obama's image for the ad. The New York Times reported yesterday on the matter, in which a White House aide said, "This ad is clearly misleading because the company suggests the approval or endorsement of the president or the White House that it does not have." The article points out that the photo was taken on Obama's trip to China, in which he was wearing what seemed to be a Weatherproof jacket. It appears that Weatherproof had paid the appropriate licensing fee to AP for the billboard image but failed to obtain necessary clearances from the White House.

Oy vey, it's startilng what a company will do for a little press and sales. Do you think that either of these ads are justified?

Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 25, 2009 1
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009 Gets Into the Holiday Spirit

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 0

Visiting today, I noticed that th fish icon is now accompanied by a dreidel. That's cool of them to celebrate Chanukah with an icon change! Cheers!

Update: also broke out the stockings for Christmas! Holiday spirits all around!

Update #2: It's no surprise that kept up the festivities with another icon change, this time celebrating the new year! Happy 2010!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Votre Vu Tragic Magic for Keratosis Pilaris

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Above: Votre Vu products on display at Shecky's Beauty Night Out

Keratosis Pilaris (KP) affects about 40% of the adult population (including myself) and about 50-80% of all adolescents. KP is characterized by rough bumps that resemble "goose bumps" or "chicken skin", usually on the upper arms, though it can also be found elsewhere on the body. Caused by the excess production of keratin, KP causes only cosmetic consequences, but there is currently no cure.

Looking on the bright side, there are palliative treatments available, all of which involve a commitment to consistency of use. Creams that contain Tretinoin (the acid form of Vitamin A), Adapalene, alpha hydroxy acids or urea may be used to temporarily improve the appearance and texture of affected skin. However, once these creams are discontinued, the condition reverts back to its orginal state.

At the most recent Shecky's Beauty Night Out, I learned about Votre Vu, a French luxury skin care company that offers national skin care products. Jean Louise Lilly, Director of Product Development and Marketing, recommended that I try Tragic Magic Rescue Creme for my Keratosis Pilaris. The cream's power ingredients include jojoba oil, lime extract, rose hips oil, calophyllum oil and soja insaponifiables (a soybean derivative), vitamin E and avocado insaponfiables. So, how did it work out?

After a few weeks of use, I saw a drastic change in my skin's condition. The bumps were visibly reduced and the redness is gone. Usually, KP is most visible during the winter months, when moisture levels in the air are lower, so this is a big feat for both Votre Vu and me!

Thank you, Jean Louise, for the samples and for helping me find a solution to KP!

Shecky's Beauty Night Out in NYC

Above: Maria Kucinski, Erica Swallow, Jamall Oluokun and Kriti Bhandari

I recently attended my first Shecky's Beauty Night Out with three lovely friends (pictured above). Shecky's is most known for their Girls Night Out, an event that pulls together the best of fashion, cocktails, food and fun! They also have Holiday Night Out and Getaways! Beauty Night Out is all about beauty... makeup, face, hygiene and dietary products. Even more exciting, all of the events include a HUGE Goodie Bag! The giftbag is so well-known that they call it "Shecky's Famous Goodie Bag". haha. The goodie bag was simply wonderful, to say the least. It's definitely the biggest goodie bag I've ever received at an event. Of course, there is a price to enter, but still!

If you're curious about Shecky's, I say go! It was definitely worth it! (Tip: Sign up for the Shecky's Insiders program for discounts before purchasing tickets.)

For more information, check out the Shecky's photo gallery!

Twitter and Facebook Go (RED) for World AIDS Day

Above: Twitter's (RED) look for Dec. 1st, World AIDS Day

Above: Twitter's usual homepage, as of July 29, 2009

In support of World AIDS Day, Twitter and Facebook have gone (RED) for the day.

Facebook is running a campaign at, where you can share the (RED) video, change your profile pic to a (RED) photo to support AIDS awareness, or shop (RED) products.

Twitter's support is much more pervasive across the site, which is respectable. They replaced their usual homepage design with (RED) galore, including a red ribbon of text that implores users to "turn Twitter (RED)". But how do we do that? Well, it says we can "follow @JoinRED to find out"! After visiting @JoinRED, I realized that there are three main ways to "turn Twitter red":

1.) Use the hashtag #red
2.) Use the hashtag #laceupsavelives
3.) Turn tweets the color red

Above: If you use the hastags #red or #laceupsavelives, or tweet the word "red" your tweets turn red

Well, well, well! Get on it tweeters!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Even My Favorite Pizza Parlor is on Twitter

Sunday, October 11, 2009 0

While visiting Artichoke Pizza this week, I noticed that they have really poured on the Twitter advertising since the last time I've been there. There was a beat-up white board outside the pizza shop, advertising their 32 ounce Bud beers (to stay or go - not quite sure if that's actually legal...) along with their Twitter account, @ArtichokePizza. Inside, they had multiple pizza boxes imploring pizza-hungry customers to follow them on Twitter.

Well, I must say that it worked on me! I pulled out my phone, looked them up on Twitter and followed them on the spot! I wonder if they're now taking orders by tweet!