First Day in Peru – Lima

Passing by the beautiful parks of Miraflores, the century old olive trees, and the  Pacific Ocean’s waves crashing down below a steep embankment just off the highway, we turn a corner and in the distance see the 120 foot tall statue of Jesus, the “Christ of the Pacific”. After a day of travel, we have arrived in Lima, the capital and largest city in Peru.

We spend the next morning being driven through the many districts, learning the history of the Amerindians, the beautiful houses that hold the embassies from Canada, Algeria, Austria, and seeing the pre-Incan pyramids. Our first official stop is the Church and Monastery of St. Francis, built it 1673. It had all the spectacular paintings and statues as an old church does, but below was far more interesting. Before the modern-day cemetery was formed, the two levels underneath the church’s floor held the bodies of nearly 70,000 people. Only discovered in 1943, a small section of the catacombs has been unearthed, organized by bone type and put on display for visitors.

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Our next stop was the Basilica Cathedral of Lima, the burial place of Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Inca Empire. There was also a statue of Saint Anthony, Patron of Lost Things. You can come hear to pray or leave a note about a specific lost item, but many local women use it to pray for the soulmate they have yet to find. They leave lengthy notes with intimate details of their life, school and address – and then the men come along, snatch the notes up and give them a call. “My amigo Anthony gave me your number, chica.”

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After a quick break to rest of minds, we headed to the National Museum of Archaeology, Anthropology and History and the Larco Museum. While the archaeology museum holds a good amount of pre-Incan artifacts, the Larco Museum held my attention much longer. It showcases Peruvian pre-Columbian artifacts including ceramic burial pieces and a huge gold and silver collection.

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Gold and silver had no monetary value to the people, it was only symbolical of their status. So when a ruler died, they buried his/her crowns, necklaces and other ornaments with them, believing that they would need them in their afterlife.IMG_1460

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With barely enough time to settle into out hotel and unpack, we left early the next morning on a flight to Cusco. But I’ll leave that for another day.

xo ZZ

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Weekend in Chicago

My brilliantly hilarious, soon-to-be-famous friend, Rich Alfonso is graduating from Second City Conservatory in Chicago. In the 3.5 years he has been there, and the numerous shows, my Floridian girls and I have never seen him on a stage. We had private performances of his characters and jokes in our living rooms for years, so I couldn’t wait to see him performing where the jokes weren’t at my own expense (though there was a song and dance about crazy cat ladies, so I guess things never change). What better first time than his graduating sketch show that he and his class write, produce and act in.

Sitting in the front row we laughed and we cried (from laughter). This is probably the last time I’ll pay $5 to see him, he’ll probably be on the new Whose Line Is It Anyways? or starring in a Rom-Com soon, and movie tickets are expensive these days!

Second City Chicago

Second City Chicago

Basketball Wives

Basketball Wives

Second City Chicago

Bucket List

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The other three days in Chicago, we spent seeing Book of Mormon, iceskating, eating deep dish pizza and popcorn, going to the Art Institute of Chicago and having a bit of a staycation in the hotel room – doing each others hair, enjoying the free wine hour, and having girl talk (and of course pillow fights in our panties, duh).

It's hard to take a bad picture in front of the Bean.

It’s hard to take a bad picture in front of the Bean.

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…but we managed to get one.

What more do you need for a Staycation?

Staycation essentials.

Cincinnati friends, be jealous, I got to see 'Best Friend'. I know, Kewl Story.

Cincinnati friends, be jealous, I got to see ‘Best Friend’. I know, Kewl Story.

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Yup, I've still got it.

Yup, I’ve still got it.

Miniature rooms at AIC

Miniature rooms at AIC

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Front Row at Book of Mormon.

Front Row at Book of Mormon.

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I miss you all already! Can’t wait to see you on the Big Screen, Rich!

xo ZZ

Everpurse – The Purse That Charges Your Smartphone

That sinking feeling when your phone pops up and tells you you only have 20% battery life left. Your stomach drops, your heart starts beating quickly. Deadphonaphobia. I just made that word up, but the illness is real.

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My phone dies a lot. As a new New Yorker, I use it to find what train to get on. Where the restaurant is. Or what restaurant to go to. To call up to your friend instead of buzzing so as not to alarm the dog. Taking pictures of a girl reading a ‘How to Train Your Pet Mice’ book. These are all very real scenarios to me.

How am I going to get to that store, that I don’t even know the name of? Or entertain myself with a game while on the train. Or check the weather, while I’m standing outside, because I just need to know that it’s as cold as my toes are telling me. Or using Google to win an arguement with my brother. Or figure out what my boss was telling me because I wasn’t listening. Or pretend text while waiting somewhere awkwardly. Or for gods sake know what the exact time is!

And then I found the solution. The Everpurse. It’s a beautiful clutch that has a built-in phone charger.  I am not kidding. You heard me right. You can leave your house in the morning, use your phone all day at work, and then throw it into the clutch to go out for drinks afterward. No worries that when that creepy guy starts talking to you at the bar, your phone might be dead, and how will you take a faux phone call? Practical and chic.

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When you arrive home, just lay the purse on the charging mat overnight to ‘recharge’ your bag. Men the world over are going to be jealous, or really hoping Joey Tribbiani will bring back the man’s bag.

Liz Ormesher Salcedo (with the help of her handy husband) originally created the bag for herself. But when it caught on quickly with friends they decided to start a Kickstarter – the original goal of $100,000 was doubled within a week. Order your bag now, and you’ll have it in time for those long summer nights.  The Everpurse ranges from $189-319, but it’s well worth it.  I spent a week with the Persimmon leather clutch, and got many compliments on my cute bag, as well as always having a charged phone. It comes in many other fabrics and colors as well.

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Excuse me, I have to take this call.

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Outerwear by ‘Volcano Icelandic Design’

xo ZZ

Trina Turk, Rachel Zoe, and Newbark NYFW 2013

I spent a couple days at Trina Turk’s showroom – seeing the stylist work her magic to put together looks, models coming in for castings, and to help pack the whole thing up to move it to Lincoln Center. It was great to be backstage for this show, steaming the clothes, helping dressers, making sure everything was in it’s place. It made it that much more special to see the models during the presentation, knowing that I had a part, though tiny, in getting in there.

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Dancing to Micheal Jackson while waiting

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The lighting, combined with the hats, made my poor iPhone struggle to get a good shot.

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Next up: Rachel Zoe. It’s always a whirlwind there. The paparazzi was extra heavy this day for two of Rachel’s guests – Miley Cyrus and model Erin Wasson. I only managed to grab a few pics.

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Last but not least, Newbark. They chose a gallery underneath the Highline to show off their new line of accessories. I wanted to slip my feet into most of these shoes and wander away.

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Two more days to enter to win the Thairapy365 Flat Iron! Enter here.

xo ZZ

Tanya Taylor Fall 2013 Collection

Tanya Taylor’s Fall Presentation was held at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) this season.  I’m probably a little jaded from being in the Mercedes Benz tents so often, that being at MOMA after-hours was like…well it was exactly like breaking into a museum after they’ve closed.

The production “office” was in an exhibit room that played a piece of classical music all night, hair and makeup was on the 6th floor gallery, and the presentation was on the 1st floor that looked out onto the sculpture garden. It was surreal, and I was pinching myself all night. I was also planning how I could get a piece of art out without anyone noticing.

This was my first time “dressing” a model, and it was seriously hard. At least when you’re dressing a baby, they are laying down, or the piece of clothing is generally made to go on and off easily – and it’s completely acceptable to tickle them and blow on their stomach.

But these models had just had long fake nails put on, so they couldn’t even untie their own boots or take off their stockings. Once undressed, I had to put socks on them (impossible), their pants, a leather collar with buttons, then cover their face with mesh and squeeze their head through a cashmere sweater. The hardest was probably the heels. It’s bad enough jamming your foot into shoes that don’t fit you perfectly, but at least you can feel it and figure out where to push and pull. Suffice to say, it was much easier undressing them, since they could now use their hands and help.

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Make sure to leave a comment here, to enter to win the best flat iron, ends Feb 24, 2013.

xo ZZ

the event of a thread

I don’t always get art. I can walk through a museum totally unaffected, rushing past all the symbolism, historical aspects, and political pieces. How someone could look at Guernica and interpret all that Picasso was expressing is beyond me, but impressive. I like art that makes me stop and look. Stare. 

Like the recent installation at Park Ave Armory, the event of a thread. I stupidly put it off until the last weekend, so the line was wrapped about the block. Literally, wrapped about 4 corners of a city block. We probably only ended up waiting 45 minutes or so to get in, but once you’re in, you can stay until it closes. Which we did.

The installation by Ann Hamilton has a myriad of ideas happening at once, all of which represent the rich history of the Armory’s Drill Hall. Upon entering you find artists reading into a microphone (which are actually radios, and can be heard through the paper bags throughout the room). There are the caged homing pigeons, that are released into the room at the end of the day. At the other end, a women sits below a convex mirror and writes down whatever comes to mind.

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photo by Dan Freshman

But the main draw is the intricate maze of ropes, swings and the large piece of fabric the swingers send billowing, rising and falling. It’s mesmerizing from whichever way you watch it – on a swing, lying below, or from the second floor balcony.

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photo by Dan Freshman

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photo by Dan Freshman

If they hadn’t of shuffled us out after the singer’s performance and the pigeon release, I could stayed there many more hours watching, staring at the fabric in slow motion above me. This was art I could understand without explanation and appreciate, even enjoy.

xo ZZ

Makin’ Sweat Sexy with 305 Fitness

Do you love dancing, but hate strange men grinding on you uninvited? Do you dance while you’re home alone, but once out in public you’re too embarrassed to show off your moves? Do you dread the ringing in your ears at the end of a night out from the terribly loud speakers? Do you wish your favorite hot spot would have a “pajamas and flats night” so that you wouldn’t have to squeeze yourself into that oh-so-short dress and those blister-inducing heels? Are you going to SCREAM if your Zumba instructor plays “Waka Waka” one more time? I love Shakira as much as the next, but pick a new song already!

Introducing, 305 Fitness. It’s everything your night out on the town is, minus the pain-in-the-ass parts, with a super-sassy friend leading the way. Twenty-three year old founder, Sadie Kurzban, brings her Miami roots to the gym, to make sure people are having fun during their workout, and “sweatin’ sexy”.

305 is held in a few different places, the night I went, it was at a swanky loft in Flatiron. Fred, the bartender was there serving just-made smoothies, and DJ Jeff Haze was spinning the 1’s and 2’s while the lights flashed and strobbed around the room. It was definitely a fun, party atmosphere.

The dancing is a mix of Zumba, club and burlesque. No reason to be shy here. Sadie lets her freak flag fly, showing off her cleavage, humping the wall, and booty dancing on the photographer. That was probably my favorite part of the class, Sadie’s interaction with everyone individually. There is no correcting your posture, only coming over to shimmy in your face.  She shows that she’s just another gal pal dancing the night away with you, showing you some new moves.

So go grab your fiercest workout outfit (I wore the strappy Corfu top and my favorite capris) and get to sweatin’ sexy! This is a class you can’t miss!

xo ZZ