Things to do on a Quick Trip to New York

Streets of New York // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comI love New York!  I was beyond excited that we got to stay in the city for #PuffDay14.  Tori and I discussed the trip before hand and we both knew that we wanted to pack in as much stuff as possible no matter how tired we were.  Mostly this meant we wanted to eat a lot.  I figured out that we had about 15 hours of awake time in the city that was all ours.  And I really think we did make the most of it.  There are a lot of things to do on a quick trip to New York and I’m sharing a few of my favorites. 

The St. Giles Tuscany Hotel in New York has super comfy rooms and beds // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAlthough I didn’t have anything to do with choosing the hotel (this was set up by the PR company handling the Puff Pastry event) it was awesome!  I highly recommend the St. Giles Tuscany Hotel in the Murray Hill area.  The neighborhood was pretty quiet but still had tons of stuff to do.  It was a close walk to Grand Central Station and a short taxi ride to La Guardia airport that I flew in and out of.  The rooms were spacious and comfortable and way larger than I was expecting for a hotel in New York.  

Gorgeous bathroom at the St. Giles Tuscany Hotel in New York // www.cupcakesandcutlery.comAnd the bathrooms were GORG!  Mine was very large and it was so well designed.  It had Molton Brown amenities and excellent lighting. [Read more…]


Martha Stewart’s Dreamers In To Doers Day 2

If you missed it, you should go read my Day 1 post here.  Day 2 was a late start day.  Since we got to see the Martha Stewart show taping the day before, today we went directly to the offices for breakfast and few speakers.

Breakfast was adorable.  You can’t really tell but the oatmeal was served in mini bowls.  Cuteness is always in direct proportion to its miniature size.  The speaker the first day was Darcy Miller!!! (I would have traded my most prized possessions for a chance to hear what she had to say!- Of course, that is an exaggeration but she is an inspiration for sure!).  Our group heard from Emily of Whole Living about her career at the Martha Stewart Company.  Next up we heard from a few staffers about how the various magazines handled the huge task of creating digital versions to be accessed by all different kinds of smart phones, ipads, etc.  Often we don’t event think about all that, we just read the issues.  But there is a ton of work that goes in to it, behind the scenes, to make it all happen.  And Martha and her team were on the forefront, setting precedents.  As usual, duh.

Lunch was a sandwich buffet accompanied by several salads and again tiered servers of mini desserts.  I had to fight the urge to carry one back to my table.  And you know you were all curious about what lunch would look like at Martha Stewart’s offices.  To me, the food and its presentation was just as important as the speakers.  Crazy?  Maybe.

Super surprise guest star!!!  Sarah Carey!  of Everyday Food!  Obviously, if I’ve posted this many photos of food in my wrap up, I might also enjoy a food personality.  And I do.  She was sharing her new video series which is really cool.  Each video is 4 minutes long and takes you through a recipe that is simple and delicious.  She walks you through the steps in a very casual manner, as if you were in the kitchen with her.  And hands out tips to make recreating the recipe a breeze.  The video we watched was for mac and cheese and I immediately wanted to run over to the test kitchen to make it.  You can sign up to get them right in your inbox here.

And then.  We got.  To hear.  Jodi Levine.  Of the CRAFTS DEPARTMENT!!!! What?!  Can you tell how excited I was?!?  She demonstrated how to use use freezer paper as a stencil.  She realized that using the Martha Stewarts Crafts punches on freezer paper could make some extra special designs.

Here is Abigail pretending to start the demonstration for me.  Abigail was the best.  She was always up for a silly picture or chit chatting with in between sessions.  I’m so glad I got to experience this with her.

And after we got our photo taken with Jodi.  She was simply delightful.  She answered MANY questions about how to get things submitted to the magazine and was charming and gracious.  The crafting segment was a definite highlight of the Dreamers In To Doers event.

After the craft demo we got a quick tour of some of the Martha Stewart for Avery labels and products.  And the Dreamers In To Doers event was done. :(

We took a few more minutes to take photos and say our goodbyes.  Here I am trying to jump on Michele of Cakewalk Baking so she wouldn’t go and catch her plane.

Then we were off to explore the city a bit.  We may or may not have gone back to get another Crack Pie.  And after being in the low 40’s the whole time we were there, this day decided to warm up to just about 70!  It was glorious.  We walked around mid town, once again pretending we were really staying at The Peninsula since it was on the same street as our hotel and just enjoyed the city.

Later that night we met up with some friends of Abigail’s and I got to eat at Spice Market!  INSANE!  (I’m a total wannabe foodie so the fact that I got to eat at a Jean-Georges restaruant blew my mind)  She touted a chicken dish as tear inducing.  She wasn’t wrong (it was Chargrilled Chicken with a Kumquat Lemongrass Dressing).  We also shared some other items on the menu, each even more palette pleasing than the last.  And the passion fruit sangria didn’t suck either.  Then we walked around the Meatpacking District with our tour guides sharing interesting facts.  We passed the AllSaints store where I wished I still had my 24 year old legs so I could wear their sequined mini skirts.  And then they put us in a cab and we returned to the hotel.  I had SO much fun on this trip.  Met some great people.  Learned some helpful business advice.  And just got to be in a really fun city.  And then I pretty much got up in the middle of the night to go catch my plane home.  I missed my boys but I really could have extended that trip.  By like, weeks.














Dreamers In To Doers Take Over New York

In early March I got to take a fantastic trip to NYC to attend the Dreamers In To Doers event at Martha Stewart’s offices.  INSANE!  Being in New York makes me absolutely giddy.  So I was super excited to extend my trip by a day to explore the city with my friend, Leigh (really she is family, my husband’s cousin’s wife, if you please) who lives in New Jersey and works in Manhattan.

Leigh had texted me on a food tour of Chelsea Market about a year ago and told me I would love it.  So when I knew I was headed her way I told her to take the day off so we could play.  She got me in to the city on a train and we jumped in to a cab to deposit my suitcase at the hotel.  And then we wandered.  We walked through the Market and sampled some tasty treats.  Then we headed over to Mario Batali’s Eataly to check it out.  We found out he has a rooftop restaurant and brewery so we decided on a late lunch there.  It was a beautiful sunny and clear day (but fricking cold, about 40 – which could have easily been below 20 since I have lived in Southern California my whole life) and the restaurant has a clear paneled roof that makes it feel like you are sitting outside.  It was amazing.  But the most important thing on my “to do” list was tracking down Milkbar.  Turned out it was around the corner from my hotel.  We walked toward the address that I had found for it and we couldn’t find it!  Panic set in!  What if we were wrong?  What if it was across town?  And then a car pulled away and we saw the above sign on the street!  Angels sang.  And if you haven’t read my post from yesterday about Crack Pie, definitely check it out!  But our gallivanting was done and it was time for me to get ready to attend a mix and mingle of some gals that would be at the Dreamers event.  I was super excited to meet Melissa of Truly Chic Inspirations!  Love that girl!  And somehow I didn’t end up with any photos of Michele of Cakewalk Baking from that night but she and I became fast friends and I couldn’t wait to spend more time with her at the event.  I walked back to the hotel.  9 blocks.  In the dark.  By myself.  Boom.  Just like a big girl.  FINALLY, Abigail, of Paper and Cake and my roomie for the event, arrived.  We chit chatted and went to bed.  The next day would be a long one.

First thing in the morning we headed to Chelsea (totally used the subway) to be in the audience for a taping of the Martha Stewart Show.  Abigail and I were seated really far to one side.  Lame.  I was super excited because it looked like the craft demonstration was going to be close to us in the garden area of the set.  Nope.  Total fake out.  They moved that table over to smack dab in front of us which meant we couldn’t see anything because of all the cameras.  We were allowed to take photos before and after the show and you should have seen all the cameras out the moment they told us they could be used again!  A cool grip (I don’t really know if he was a grip, but I’ve always thought it would be cool to be a grip on a tv show) came over and grabbed my camera and snuck up to take good pictures of Martha for me.  Awesome!

That huge crane thingy was so cool.  And check it out.  It is the camera mans “desk.”  There is a few schedules and instructions binder clipped up, but there are also pens, pencils, you can’t really see it well but there was a photo of his daughter and his cell phone is even charging right there!  Not sure why I liked that so much.  I just do.  Well, maybe it was because I saw more of this than Martha.

After the taping we were whisked over to Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.  OHMAGAWD.  There would absolutely be NO photos in the offices.  Only in the designated spaces where our sessions and lunch would be held.  They wouldn’t even let me take a photo of the front desk.  Beyond the large glass doors sits a humongous reception desk with shelves of perfectly aligned magazines, from Weddings to Everyday Food.  Beyond the desk are enormous picture windows showing the most magnificent views of, well, I don’t really know but it was magnificent.  It was just what you would want the reception are of Martha Stewart’s offices to look like.  We were ushered in to a large showroom that was turned in to our luncheon area.  We mingled a bit and after lunch was over we were treated to a message by Terri Shapiro, Executive Director of Brand and Media Relations for Deluxe Corporation, the event sponsor.  She gave us fantastic information about correctly marketing to our customers as well as finding new ones.  She shared ways to get our businesses in front of media outlets and then how to best handle the media once we’ve gotten them interested.  She was inspiring, funny and smart and the perfect speaker to kick off the Dreamers In To Doers event.  And yes, lunch was delicious and the desserts were absolutely what you would expect from Martha Stewart and her peeps.

My favorite part of the this whole event was all the picture taking.  And there was a lot of it!  That’s my girl, Lynlee of Lynlee’s Petite Cakes in the yellow.  So glad I met her.  She was funny and I loved hanging out with her.

After lunch we moved to one of their photo studios where we would be for our sessions.  There was an all white candy bar set up, along with popcorn, in case we needed an afternoon pick me up.  More picture taking and then it was down to business.  Our first speakers were Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint of Big Gay Ice Cream Truck who talked about how social media helped them to launch their business.  They were super fun and it is no wonder that they have been able to grow their business with their social media model.  Next up was Karen Lee, an Eco Etsy Team Leader.  She gave us helpful information on how to green our businesses and in turn save money.

I wish I could sit with all of you and describe just how cool it was to be in Martha Stewart’s offices.  It was exceptionally organized and it was a magical place.  You would see what appeared to be drafts of their newest patterns for the furniture line and samples of chair legs.  There were editors and design directors huddled over light boxes tweaking photos of a plate of delicious looking food.  OMG!  I just walked past the test kitchen!!!  Hey, there is a girl pushing a birch log through the office, no doubt headed for photo shoot or maybe to be used in a craft.  You don’t see that in every office.  SO MUCH FUN.  All of this was ensconced in bright white walls with huge windows overlooking amazing views, like the one above.  Such an inspiring place to work.

After the program ended for the day, Abigail and I headed back up to the hotel for a quick rest and then met up with Leigh for dinner.  We found this charming pizza place a few doors down from our hotel and shared some awesome dishes including but not limited to this friend pizza shown above and a dessert pizza covered in Nutella.  Not bad for day #1!  If I get my act together and get the rest of the photos edited, you may see Day 2 of the event tomorrow…

Totally Addicted to Milkbar’s Crack Pie

Yup.  This slice of pie gets it’s very own blog post.  Tomorrow you will read all about my first day of the trip I took to New York for Martha Stewart’s Dreamers In To Doers event.  A whole day crammed in to one post.  But this!  This, pie of the Gods, gets it’s own post.  Christina Tosi is the woman behind this masterpiece and she is a freaking genius.  She runs the small chain called Milkbar, which is part of the Momofuko family, in and around Manhattan.  I recently bought her new-ish cookbook for my bff, who shares a dessert affinity with me.  Before I wrapped it up and gave it to her, I read every single page.  This is not your average dessert cookbook.  Christina is super inventive (look in to her cereal milk, compost cookie and corn cookie – NOW.  Google her name and make your way through the entries) and knows her stuff.  This was a must do on my list while in New York.  If I were to describe this pie, Crack Pie, I would say it is sort of an oatmeal cookie crust topped with an extra rich and condensed pecan pie filling without the nuts topped with a generous amount of powdered sugar.  Or I might say that you take the first bite and your mouth freaks out and says, “What is this magnificence?” which startles you because didn’t intend to speak.  But you keep on eating, this time in silence, because you have the pie crammed so far down your face, as to not lose a precious morsel, that your mouth is physically incapable of forming words.  You simply must try this when you are in New York.  The recipe is several steps more than I feel comfortable with but I may strongly suggest that my friend give it a go so that I may savor it again.  I had Crack Pie more than once on my trip.  And I would eat it every day if I could.  Thank you, Christina Tosi for your brilliant mind and pastry skills.  My muffin top salutes you!


I heart NY

I’m in New York!!!!!  Came in Sunday to spend a few days with family and then starting Tuesday I’ll be at Martha Stewart’s offices for some workshops, speakers, tv taping, lunch! (don’t know why I am so excited about lunch but it’s Martha freaking Stewart.  It isn’t going to suck).  I’m beyond excited!  For every last part of it.  I can’t wait to meet some of my favorite online party gals!  And I can’t wait to finally get to hang out with Mrs. Paper and Cake who is my roomie!  I’ll definately be posting photos on instagram (Search CupcakesCutlery) and Twitter (@CupcakesCutlery) if you want to keep up with what is going on!


How awesome is that drawing, by the way?!  They are from 4th graders based on trips they took to New York.  See more info here.

Photo credit: Katonah Elementary School
4th grade projects inspired by New York, New York! exhibition
Christine Eckler, art teacher