Friday, April 29, 2011

The Container Store-Designed for New York Living

After living in a New York apartment for a few months I have come to realise the importance of maximising every inch of space.   I have to make sure that I keep everything neat and tidy and use all of the storage space carefully in order to fit in our stuff.

I wish I had discovered 'The Container Store' when I first arrived here as it is an entire shop designated to making the most of your living space.  The store offers a massive range of storage options for all budgets. 

I am a bit of a shoe monster, as I'm sure you have noticed, and I was running out of floor space in my wardrobe.  I found these great clear shoe boxes that pile up neatly on top of each other and they were a bargain at $1.75 each.  Now my shoes are neatly stored at the bottom of my wardrobe and I have much more room.  I also bought some storage bags that fit nicely under the bed as well as a desk tidy and some smaller storage boxes.

They have options for almost any space or item you can think of and it's a great place to visit for storage ideas.  They have 2 locations in Manhattan, one on 58th and Lexington and one on 6th Avenue between 18th and 19th.  However, if there isn't a store near you or you don't feel like lugging big boxes home you can shop online and have your products delivered.  They also offer an instore delivery service, so you can pick out your items and have them delivered to your door.

For more information on products and online shopping visit http://www.containerstore.com/welcome.htm.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Celeb Spot-Annette O'Toole!

While I was out and about today enjoying the sunshine I spotted Annette O'Toole walking on 8th Avenue towards Central Park.

Annette O'Toole played Martha Kent, Clark Kent's mother in the hit TV series 'Smallville'.  She has also been in countless TV shows and movies since the 60's. 

Another good NYC celeb spot!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ricky's New York-One Stop Beauty Shop

'Ricky's NYC' are fantastic stores that stock everything you could possibly think of relating to beauty.  They sell hair care, electrical products, make-up, nail polish, skin care, costume jewellery and much more.  They stock fun products too, like wigs and fancy dress items, so it's a good place to go if you are going to a costume party or just want something that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Ricky's also have an adult section in the store, which doesn't need much explaining, but it is very much like 'Ann Summers' in the UK.  If you are a bit shy you can purchase these items, as well as everything else in the store, online.

Since I discovered 'Ricky's' I am always in there buying bits and bobs.  The staff in the locations I visit are really helpful and always friendly.  It's a great place to pop into on a Friday afternoon to get a new nail polish or lipstick for the weekend.  I like to go in there when I plenty of time and have a really good look round at everything.  I rarely leave empty handed!

For more information about store locations, opening hours and online shopping visit http://www.rickysnyc.com/.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Myers of Keswick-British Grocery Store in NYC

I finally made it down to 'Myers of Keswick' in the West Village to have a look and stock up on some British goodies.  The store is small, but sells most of the groceries that I am unable to get in New York. 

They offer a variety of chocolates, sweets, cakes and biscuits as well as a wide range of condiments and canned goods.  You can get your Branston pickle, baked beans and Heinz soups here!  They sell Coleman's packet mixes, Bisto gravy, walkers crisps and English tea bags, all of the things you might be missing.

As Easter is approaching they have a good selection of Easter eggs from Cadbury, Thorntons, Mars and Nestle.  If you want to get any items to commemorate the Royal Wedding they have the traditional tea towels, mugs, plates, etc on sale here.

If you are craving English sausages, bacon and cheese you can get them at the deli counter in store .  They also make their own sausage rolls, pork pies, scotch eggs and other traditional pies. Yummy!

As all of the goods are imported it can be quite expensive to shop here compared to the UK,  but if you are missing some home comforts it is well worth a visit.  I'll be back soon as my chocolate supplies won't last long......

For more information on products and opening times visit http://www.myersofkeswick.com/.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Boot Camp Gym Class

I wasn't really in the mood to go to the gym today so I thought I would try a new class to get me motivated.  I went along to the H30 class and wasn't really sure what to expect as the description was a little vague.  It was only 45 minutes long so I thought I would be able to take part no problem. 

When the instructor walked in I knew I wasn't go to be in for an easy ride, he looked like a cross between Vin Diesel and The Rock!  He told me I needed 2 sets of weights, a weight bar, a mat and a step.  I got everything set up at my station and was ready to go.  Vin Rock then came over waving his finger at me and subsequently made me get heavier weights and put my step up to the highest level. Busted!

The next 45 minutes were some of the toughest I have ever spent in the gym.  We did the exercises you always try to avoid when working out, including squats, push ups, weights, running, sit ups and plenty of other exercises that hurt. A lot.  It was brilliant though!  I felt as if I had worked myself to the max and Vin Rock was a brilliant instructor.  He kept us all motivated, encouraging us to keep going and to push ourselves to the limit.

My legs were like jelly after the class and it took me a while for my face to go back to its normal colour.  It hurt today which means it will hurt a lot more tomorrow, but it was a great class and you should definitely give this class a go at your local gym.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Celeb Spot! Martha Plimpton!

While I was out and about today enjoying the sunshine I saw actress Martha Plimpton sitting outside having lunch with a friend on the Upper West Side. 

'The Goonies' was one of my favourite movies when it came out, and Martha played 'Stef' in the film.  She has been in many other titles including 'Parenthood' and 'I shot Andy Warhole' as well as various well known TV shows such as 'ER' and 'The Good Wife'.

Another good celeb spot on the Upper West Side!

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

About an hour's drive outside of the city are the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.  We went at the weekend and I got some amazing bargains!

It is the first Premium Outlets that I have come across with so many high end shops such as Gucci, Jimmy Choo, Prada, Dior and Versace.  Examples of savings include 50-65% off of Jimmy Choo shoes and 50% off of Gucci bags.  They also have a great selection of other designers and high street favourites all offering significant discounted goods. 

We stocked up on gym gear in the various sports shops on site and they also have a great 'Lululemon' store where everything is half price.  I now have a decent gym wardrobe so I can keep up with the New York women!

I got some lovely tops from 'Kenneth Cole', one of which was discounted to $6 when I reached the cashier, and my husband got a great coat from 'Coach' which was less than half price.

I was slightly disappointed with the 'Samsonite' luggage shop as everything was still very expensive and there was hardly anything on sale.  Also, don't bother with the Anne Fontaine store, as again nothing was discounted below regular price.

If you haven't got a car or don't fancy driving, you can get a bus to the outlets from the Port Authority (42nd Street and 8th Ave) or the MTA Metro-North Railroad offers a train service at weekends.

The Woodbury Common Premium outlets are definitely worth a visit, especially if you want to buy something really special or high-end as you could save yourself a small fortune.  I will be dragging my husband back there around my birthday that's for sure!

For more information on stores, opening times and directions visit http://www.premiumoutlets.com/outlets/outlet.asp?id=7 and let me know how you get on if you go!

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Celeb Spot! Cynthia Nixon!

Today I was very lucky to spot one of the lovely 'Sex and The City' ladies, Cynthia Nixon, who plays Miranda in the famous TV show and movies.  She was walking towards Central Park on 77th Street on the Upper West Side.

I love 'Sex and the City' and was very excited to see one of the stars of the show walking around New York.   She was walking with a buggy and some friends, and looked just as lovely in the flesh as she does on the show!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Tribeca Film Festival 2011

The Tribeca Film Festival was founded 10 years ago by Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Craig Hatkoff after the September 11 attacks in order to promote economic growth in lower Manhattan and showcase New York as a major film making centre. 

As this will be my first Tribeca Film Festival I don't know that much about it, but I wanted to let you all know when it is on and how to get tickets so you don't miss out!  The festival takes place in downtown Manhattan from April 20th-May 1st and festival passes and ticket packages are on sale now.  Single tickets are available to the general public from Monday 18th April, but if you are an AMEX card holder or a downtown resident (below Canal Street) you can purchase tickets earlier.

The films are showing at a variety of downtown theatres at various times throughout the day.  They are offering cheaper tickets for matinee and late night performances, with single ticket packages starting at $39.

To find out more about the Tribeca Film Festival and to purchase tickets please visit their website at http://www.tribecafilm.com/.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My First Visit To The Opera

This week I was lucky enough to see my first Opera at the Lincoln Centre.  I saw Puccini's 'Tosca' as performed by the Metropolitan Opera and it was amazing!  I was a little apprehensive about going as I wasn't sure if I would enjoy an opera.  To be completely honest I thought I might get bored. However, I could not have been more wrong as it was one of the most powerful performances I have ever seen.

The sets were very elaborate and looked more like movie sets rather than something you would see on stage.  The performers were unbelievable, I have never heard singing like it and their voices are just so powerful.  The arias made my hairs stand on end, it really was an incredible performance. 

The opera was sung in Italian, but the theatre provides subtle translation screens that are in the back of each seat.  You can only see your screen, so they are not distracting but you are able to follow the story. 

If you are still apprehensive about going to the opera because of its reputation of being expensive and a bit old fashioned, don't be!  While tickets can be extremely expensive, there are more reasonably priced seats available in the upper rings of the theatre. We sat in the dress circle, which is 4 levels up, but could still see everything clearly.  The also offer standing tickets, which are available on the day of the performance for $17 or $22, which is great value.  There was a mixture of ages when we went and people wore all sorts of attire from ball gowns to jeans, so don't worry about your wardrobe!

I hope I have convinced you to go to the opera.  I thought it was amazing and will definitely be going back again this season!

For more information on the upcoming performances by the MET Opera, and to book tickets, visit http://www.metoperafamily.org/metopera/

Friday, April 1, 2011

Forever 21 in Times Square

'Forever 21' is a clothing line which has stores all over the US, it reminds me of a cross between H&M and Top Shop.  I recently visited their Times Square location to see if they had any flip flops and ended up in there for over an hour!  Don't be put off by the name, you can definitely shop here if you are over 21 and there were women of all ages shopping when I visited.

It is a giant store, with 4 floors of clothes, shoes and accessories.  They had a great selection of tops with many different styles to suit all shapes and sizes.  Their gym wear was quite good as well, I bought a couple of tops to try out and they fit really well and were comfortable to train in.  I liked their range of jumpers and cardigans, and they also carry a vintage section which housed some great items.

I wasn't too impressed with the shoe selection, they were all pretty much the same style but in different colours.  I didn't find many bottoms I liked either, but it is such a huge store I didn't get a chance to look at everything.  They also have a men's section, so you can drag your man along with you, and a small range for children.

'Forever 21' is very reasonable and the clothes are quite cheap in comparison with other high street shops.  I'm not sure how the clothes will look after a few washes, but for seasonal items and current fashions it is definitely worth a visit.

For more information and to find a store near you visit http://www.forever21.com/.