Beauty Post: How to Look Like You Didn’t Go Out Last Night

Lollapalooza Sunday I showed up to brunch and my friend’s husband looked at me and said; “Wow, you look so ….refreshed?”.

A couple more friends arrive and another said; “I’m not sure what you’re doing…but it’s working!”.

Mind you- I was on day 4 of music festival weekend and felt like donkey. No, I didn’t get fresh botox, come from the spa or use some expensive toning device.

I spent $5.99 at Marshall’s and bought these:

photo-6

Apparently these masks have been HUGE in the Asian beauty market for years, and not only are they in the States- but you can find them on the cheap.

Sephora also has the upscale brands like SKII – they will run you up to $135.

If you want to go big and order those on-line…more power to ya, but I’m obsessed with a bargain. Marshall’s had several brands in their beauty aisle, and I grabbed these Bio Miracle Aloe Collagen masks along with another brand which I already used and threw away so sorry- no info. BAD BLOGGER!

They couldn’t be more simple to use:

Step 1- Take out of packet

Step 2- Unfold and line up the eye, nose and mouth sections with your face. 

Step 3- Wait 20 mins. Optional- scare your boyfriend/husband/dogs

so zexy

so zexy

It’s not a pretty sight, but the results are AMAZING.

 

RPM Steak

I hate going out on Saturday nights. It’s crowded, lines are long, people are drunk and I am cranky.

BUT when the Melman family has a restaurant opening- you go or prepare to suffer mad FOMO. I don’t care if it’s Sunday at midnight, I’d be there.

So last night Alex and I got dressed up* for the RPM Steak opening and had our friends Juliet and Gregor Angus over before for some rooftop rose and “Juliet Spritzers”.

*I wore a dress, Alex wore a nicer v neck tee than usual- aka- his version of dressing up

Our poor husbands/photogs had to deal with us.  my dress: For Love & Lemons, Revolve.com

Our poor husbands/photogs had to deal with us.
my dress: For Love & Lemons, Revolve.com

Juliette and I first met in NYC back in 2001 when we were auditioning for an ESPN Reality Show called Beg, Borrow and Deal. I remember thinking she was nuts, and praying that if I made the show, she wasn’t one of the other three teammates that I’d be traveling with from Times Square to Alcatraz Island.

Well, she was. And we won. And I loved her from the morning we stood in Times Square and began filming, and still love her all these years later.

Bubba, me, Juliette and Josh on the roof of Alcatraz with host Rich Eisen after winning BBD

Bubba, me, Juliette and Josh on the roof of Alcatraz with host Rich Eisen after winning BBD

Clearly that show didn’t turn us into A listers (or any listers) but now Juliet is on Bravo’s Ladies of London and she’s a legit reality star. She literally got stopped for photos on the street- obsessed.

She grew up in Chicago and has family here still, which means we were able to catch up and I FINALLY got to meet her husband.

Juliet and Giuliana are old friends as well, so the opening was the perfect excuse for a night out.

The restaurant was packed with Chicago athletes, news anchors and pretty much everyone you’d want to see. It felt massive, and had multiple levels including an upstairs that’s perfect for private parties.

Both the Melmans and their PR team thought of every detail, per usual- the bars were everywhere and the food stations were ridiculous.

I’m glad I got to see it, cause I know getting a reservation will be pretty much impossible for the next…year or five.

Gregor, Juliette, Giuliana , Bill , me and Alex

Gregor, Juliette, Giuliana , Bill , me and Alex

Cheers *clinks spritzers*

 

 

 

How To: Act Like You’ve Been Here Before

This post is dedicated to CelebTV’s newest rockstar: 20 year-old Jordan Chollette.

JC and me post interview.  *BTW- hey OITNB...you all casting crazy eyes part two? this is my audition pic

JC and me post interview.
*BTW- hey OITNB…you all casting crazy eyes part two? this is my audition pic

What makes this intern so fab you ask? Well, let’s just rewind to last night.

Jordan offered to come work the Glamorama red carpet even though- it was a Friday night and he makes $0 an hour.

Upon arrival he was on time and ready to shoot. It didn’t even dawn on me that this was his FIRST RED CARPET EVER.

But know what’s crazy? When I did finally realize that this was his first rodeo, I felt no panic. None.

Mind you, I still get nervous with photogs who’ve been in the game longer than I have, trust me-  it’s warranted.

But Jordan acted like he knew exactly what was happening, and when he didn’t he watched with a stealth eye. He didn’t try and ask celebs for an autograph, or block another outlet’s shot. And when he made a last second decision to switch lenses, he did it with swift perfection.

On the walk home I got to thinking and realized that this is a rare quality in our industry ESPECIALLY from someone who can’t even legally drink in this country yet.

Ok, I’m done with the lecture, I’m just saying that the new generations are always asking for advice on how to get a gig in media…and this is one key way to make it happen.

As for Derulo…once I showed him a photo from the wedding, something clicked and he realized that he had performed a few weeks earlier. He gave me a gigantic hug, looked at JC’s camera and proceeded to ask if “our viewers” knew what kind of crazy surprise Alex had planned.

Jordan even has a smile on his face while filming!

Jordan even has a smile on his face while filming!

I asked; as far as weddings go, if he thought ours was ok and if he wanted a similar style if/when he gets married someday.

That media savvy kid slyly dodged question 2, and said that he could feel the love at our party and loved that everyone was having such a blast. (and yes,I realized he was a paid performer…BUT trust me- this dude was genuine) (I have video to prove it!) (If JC was actually rolling…i kid)

JD and JC- they just get it.

How to: Host Guests in Chicago (and actually enjoy yourself)

My Dad surprised my Mom with a trip to Chicago for her Birthday and we had FUN.

So I thought I’d share some activities that don’t include; The Bean, Navy Pier, The Ledge, Architectural Tour, Wrigley Field, Blue Man Group or a Segway Tour.

Divvy Bikes. Ever sit in a cab during rush hour in the Chicago heat? Me too- that’s why I avoid doing that at all costs.

Divvy Bikes are everywhere- literally- a station is near almost anything you’d want to do in downtown Chicago and a bike costs $7.00 for 24 hours.

My parents and I decided to Divvy  home from Museum Campus tour back to River North, and while the ride was full of team building obstacles*, at the end when we parked those bikes- we exchanged high-fives.

*carrying heavy bikes up and down lakefront stairs, stations with no/broken bikes, my brutal sense of direction.

Riding up and down the lake front is not only mega efficient, but it also is truly stunning. Even people who hate riding in traffic can enjoy this ride- where the biggest threat is a wanna be Lance Armstrong* who zips past and gives you some kind of signal that translates to “GET OFF MY PATH TOURIST”. But this only happens once or twice, and it’s honestly kinda funny.

*when Lance was real good and using the strong stuff

There are so many bikes lanes in place now that even if you have to hit the streets- riding to and from a destination isn’t as daunting as it used to be.

Once we all recovered from Tour de Wind, we went to River Roast, the newest al fresco spot along the Chicago River.

photo 4

Me and Alex at River Roast- the view really stinks..no?!

Chef Tony Mantuano had just crushed our wedding and Chef John Hogan and I were old co-workers* when he ran Keefer’s.

*we worked in the same building. I was never in the kitchen- fear not- your food was safe.

The menu was…different. But a 2 Chainz kind of different- “good” different.

Think: less B.S. options and more – trust us- we got this- kind of menu.

Don’t be afraid of: creative apps, starters and sides. They are delicious. (Example: whipped parsnips. If you’re not into food….you may think that sounds weird and wrong. In truth – they are unlike anything you’ve ever had and from that moment forward you’ll call mashed potatoes “basic”).

Order: the fish for two or chicken for two. The entree section is small: fish , chicken, meat. And I understand why…that kind of magic takes time to perfect.

Our fish was, well, this isn’t an NSFW blog so I’ll just say it was delish, as were the potatoes it came with.

The chicken looked like it was trying to steal my beer can chicken thunder* , and the boys loved..and I mean…LOVED it.

*I made beer can chicken that was so good, Alex actually married me. And no, I still don’t eat chicken.

Let’s talk about the Chicago River..yes it’s dirty, you’ve seen the buildings on a boat*, and you are over it….but I’m here to change your mind.

Yacht* life with the birthday girl.  *pontoon boat on the river...Diddy did not show up.

Yacht* life with the birthday girl.
*pontoon boat on the river…Diddy did not show up.

*arch tour with an annoying Vince Vaughn wanna be guide and tourists with fanny packs (which are cool BTW).

Props to Living Social or Groupon (forgive me for forgetting) for offering a boat rental for a great deal.   We cruised the river on our time, in a pontoon boat (driven by my dad) for two hours and it was really really fun. And for the record- we brought only waters and Vita Coco on the boat- imagine if Fireball was in play!!!

The Captain pointing at his next location

The Captain pointing at his next location

How cute are my parents?!

How cute are my parents?!

Afterwards we stopped by Snarf’s Sandwiches before my parents hopped on the train back to Ann Arbor and they agreed those sandwiches were the best they’d ever had. I have to also give honorable mention to Taco Joint, a River North spot that my parents said they wouldn’t have stopped in on their own- but I vouched for the food and after eating there they said:

“And that’s why you trust a local”. 

My point? Those deals on-line sites are actually pretty cool and fun…you may not want to go on a date or with a posse*, but with family it’s perfection.

*I actually begged Alex to organize a river cruise night soon after today

Ahoy people and please, don’t hate on the coupons.

Lollapalooza 2014 in Photos

This is Brad- aka- Opie. We've been friends since '07 & every year he helps us score amazing passes

This is Brad- aka- Opie. We’ve been friends since ’07 & every year he helps us score amazing passes and he is one of the best humans you will ever meet. Also, he has that hat in pretty much every color. Pics from- ’14, ’13, ’12 and ’11

Thursday is "Day Zero" & I joined the annual boat trip for my first voyage

Thursday is “Day Zero” & I joined the annual boat trip for my first voyage

 

A couple years ago, a friend of mine was dating a music dude. This year he performed at the fest and I went to check out Cash Cash and say hello. Take me hooooommme

A couple years ago, a friend of mine was dating a music dude. This year he performed at the fest and I went to check out Cash Cash and say hello. Take me hooooommme

Another Day Zero photo with the legendary Pride Grinn

Another Day Zero photo with the legendary Pride Grinn

Saluting Opie

Saluting Opie. Day One Outfit: vintage Pucci dress, vintage Carlos Falchi fanny pack, Pink Nike Sky Highs

The view for Outkast

The view for Outkast from some secret platform that we sit at each year

The Mad Merch guys - these men are the BEST and were so nice to Alex

The Mad Merch guys – these men are the BEST and were so nice to Alex

Saturday we went to the Gilt party at EnV- it was a blast per usual. Lots of good eats & drinks & media friends

Saturday we went to the Gilt party at EnV- it was a blast per usual. Lots of good eats & drinks & media friends. Day 2 Outfit: vintage Gucci bathing suit, vintage skirt, tons of Flash Tats and Rose Gold Nike Sky High Dunks

Al is obsessed with "I got You" by Duke Dumont. We got to watch him DJ side stage on Saturday at Perry's. I learned that kids like inflatable animals by watching the crowd

Al is obsessed with “I got You” by Duke Dumont. We got to watch him DJ side stage on Saturday at Perry’s. I learned that kids like inflatable animals by watching the crowd

Sunday it rained but Erin and I didn't care and Lexi took photos of us dancing and posing in the rain

Sunday it rained but Erin and I didn’t care and Lexi took photos of us dancing and posing in the rain. Day 3 Outfit: my Mom’s top from the 60’s that I wore as a dress, white bodysuit from American Apparel, Blue Ray Bans

My favorite show of the weekend was Foster The People- we danced like crazy

My favorite show of the weekend was Foster The People- we danced like crazy

Pink Sand & Island Love

Lenny Kravitz, George Clooney, Justin Bieber and now The Levys- have all fallen in love with Eleuthera Island.

Side note: we had NO idea these people were connected to our mini moon spot, until the locals shared the info with us.

We flew out bright and early the day after the wedding to Ft Lauderdale , Florida then hopped on Silver Airways (a little commuter plane) to North Eleuthera Airport. (3 hrs from Chicago—> FLA , then 45 mins to ELH)

Eleuthera is a small island in The Bahamas and it only has about 11,000 people living there. From the second we landed it was obvious that the locals not only tolerated tourists, they embraced us with tips, funny stories and hidden gems of their beautiful island.

us at Sunset after a long day of fun

us at Sunset after a long day of fun

photo 1

View from the front porch of our room

We stayed at The Cove- a boutique resort on the central part of the island. Our room opened to the ocean and had minimal clean decor with an amazing outdoor shower. The grounds were filled with hammocks and white villas, with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, and a happy hour bar on the edge of a cliff.

The Cove isn’t some mega resort- there is a small fitness center, no spa and you can walk from your room to any common area pretty quickly. But their service is over the top and a place like this makes you realize that you don’t need all that fluff when the sun and sand are so beautiful.

Alex in our favorite happy hour spot

Alex in our favorite happy hour spot

The Cove provides free ; paddle boards, kayaks, snorkeling gear, rafts and bikes to use to ride into town. We took advantage of all of it, and saw crazy sea life including; starfish, tropical fish and even barracuda!

Before riding into town we asked if we should lock up our bikes and the guy laughed and said “Nah nobody gonna mess with them. Crime? What’s that??”. And he wasn’t joking. No matter how the locals lived, they weren’t interested in messing with our property- unless we were exchanging cash for local spices and other treats we picked up.

In the vows we exchanged- I promised to be more adventurous- so when Al decided he wanted to cliff jump at the resort- and I followed. (Well, I did after standing there making excuses for about 10 mins and acting like a little baby) Between those swims back to the beach and the long bike rides- it felt like we got tons of exercise.

that water behind us? yep- I jumped.

that water behind us? yep- I jumped.

relaxing post swim- those are Flash Tats I'm wearing (temp tattoos that look like jewelry)

relaxing post swim- those are Flash Tats I’m wearing (temp tattoos that look like jewelry)

Can we please talk about the food? We were FLOORED by the meals at the resort. Between the spicy tuna with crispy rice, fresh grouper sandwiches, and fish in a bag- we agreed it was the most delicious food we’d ever eaten at a resort.

We decided to venture out and go local one night and checked out The Rainbow Inn’s pizza night- pizza in the tropics- crazy, right? WRONG. This was the most delicious pizza we’ve ever eaten- and hello- we live in Chicago! I got the lobster and it tasted like it came from heaven. The best part was our cab driver Wallis, who ended up driving us for the rest of the trip.

He gave us the tip to “go to the city” and visit Harbor Island- which you access by a 5 min ferry ride on a small power boat for five bucks. When you arrive, you rent a golf cart from a local for 40 bucks and that’s how you roll around the tiny island.

When I tell you the pink sand beaches will make you whip out your camera to prove you’ve actually seen something this perfect, I’m not joking.

Pink Sand all day every day on HI

Pink Sand all day every day on HI

After exploring the island, which included a stop at Queen Conch for the best conch fritters and grouper sandwiches I’ve ever had, we set up camp along Pink Sands Beach.

pink sand perfection

pink sand perfection

This is the kind of beach with no rocks, and water that’s so clear you can swim without being freaked out over what may be swimming up next to you.

We did NOT want to leave the beach, and will stay on the Island for a day or two when we make our next trip back. We regretted not having enough time to try some of the famous foodie spots to eat or rowdy beach bars. We did make a stop to walk around the marina and swim at a bar on the docks that makes a killer frozen drink before heading back to Eleuthera and The Cove.

at the bar along the water after a swim. we got out when the bartender told us about the lemon shark that liked to also swim there. YOWZA.

at the bar along the water after a swim. we got out when the bartender told us about the lemon shark that liked to also swim there. YOWZA.

Wallis also filled us in on how the hotel’s owner made his $$$- back when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, he was one of the few who stayed to clean it up and his garbage biz made $300 million. (according to Wallis) Pretty cool, right?

This place truly is magical, and while it’s not a direct flight yet from Chicago (or most places)- its totally worth checking out.

Here are some tips:

  • Make friends with a cabbie and use them for any transportation you need- they’ll tell you about the hidden places to snorkel, eat, and visit. We recommend Wallis.
  • Don’t bring anything fancy- I wore flat sandals, flowy dresses and bikinis all day and night. Heels have no place here.
  • Buy the local spices. We only bought one Lady Di’s spice rub and are really regretting it.
  • Be patient- they truly are on “island time” and it takes a hot second to get your food/drinks.
  • Drink the local beer- Kalik and Sands are delish.
  • Eat at the places that look “scary”. That’s where the food is the best, and most reasonable. The prices at the hotel and Rainbow Inn were CRAY High- so expect that. But Harbor Island was more reasonable for some reason.

 

So You Wanna Have A Surprise Wedding…

On July 19th I did something I swore I’d never do; I walked down an aisle in a white dress and got married.

dum dum de dum- j/k walked down the isle to "The Veldt"

dum dum de dum- j/k walked down the isle to “The Veldt”

Weddings just aren’t my thing- I’m not into showers, planning, girlie trips, favors, etc. BUT I am very into my new husband and since marriage was very important to him (and a life with him was UBER important to me)- we found a way to both have the most incredible night of our lives. Here’s how it went down: We decided Alex would throw me a “surprise engagement party”, with a small celebration of family and friends at our home and then a larger party at the Art Institute. The invite would say that this would serve as our “wedding” since we planned to do a “destination family-only event”, so guests were encouraged to attend since this was the “big day”. By early Feb both of our Father’s knew what was really going on- this made it easier to help with family and friends, and deliver the message that attendance was encouraged. Next came; Rachel DeMarte (our AMAZING event planner and her husband James), Justin Jacobson and his team including Erin at Platinum Events, Chef Tony and his team at the Art Institute, DJ Matt Roan and his wife/my make up artist Shannon O’Brien,  Rian from Glamour Girl (spray tan) Captain Ron, my hair stylist Tina Morales and photographer James Atkins. Once the trust tree was planted- we focused on what few details really mattered. I wanted; a pink peony bouquet, simple decor, a kick ass playlist, food that was delicious, yet straight forward, an ombre runner I’d seen on Pintrest, and my close girlfriends to all wear white.

Ladies in white

Ladies in white

If I’m being totally honest, some CelebTV homies were also in the loop (they do sit within 5 ft of me/see my computer/question my June & July lack of doing night events)

Jen & Meggy- got bits and pieces of it all. (Alex didn't know I told them...hee hee)

Jen & Meggy- got bits and pieces of it all. (Alex didn’t know I told them…hee hee)

 

Izzo wasn't into walking, so he carried him down the ombre isle

Izzo wasn’t into walking, so he carried him down the ombre isle

this princess stole the show- natch

this princess stole the show- natch

We both agreed to have some fun and incorporate; our two Frenchies and a nautical theme since- our first date was on a boat, we got engaged on a boat and our boat captain Ron was going to marry us. We also wanted; a photo booth, outside venue, McDonald’s to-go at the end of the night, plus plenty for our guests to eat and drink.

El Capitan doing his thing

El Capitan doing his thing

Back to that nautical thing- choosing someone to marry you is NOT an easy task. We agreed that Ron would be perfect since he’d watched us fall in love and he and his wife both take love and marriage very seriously. Thankfully, he not only agreed to become ordained for the occasion, but he delivered a beautifully thoughtful service. And the engagement? I knew he’d ask me sometime between January and July19th…but when he got down on his knees on a boat in Austin, Texas in early May- I was shocked and floored by the element of surprise.

this tourmaline ring is everything I never knew I wanted and more

this watermelon tourmaline ring is everything and more

Know what’s not fun about a wedding like this? You can’t call your girlfriends with the news! You also can’t wear your ring for months!!! (first world problems I know…) And dress shopping? Enjoy that solo mission.

I LOVED this dress- here I am post ceremony with our "ring bearer" - my brother Kyle

I LOVED this dress- here I am post ceremony with our “ring bearer” – my brother Kyle

To be fair, I wanted to do it stealth and after stalking dresses on Pintrest, I fell for the 3rd dress I tried on at Ultimate Bride- by Israeli designer-  Berta Bridal. *side note- apparently you have to order these things 6 months in advance…lucky for me I just made the cutoff*. I picked out vintage jewelry from Vintage Underground in Wicker Park and wore the sparkly Louboutins my guy got me for Christmas for the walk down the isle and then changed into a pair of Rose Gold Nike Sky Hi Dunks I found 3 days before the wedding.

on the way to the AI we id some city pics- peep the kicks

on the way to the AI we id some city pics- peep the kicks

We rented this bad boy to cruise around in

We rented this bad boy to cruise around in

The weekend of the big event I hid out at the Waldorf Astoria so none of the friends or family in town would bump into me and “I’d wonder what they were doing in Chicago” at random! But of course- some surprises were in store for me as well…

Hi friends and family - sorry we fooled you!

Hi friends and family – sorry we fooled you!

The week before; two of my close friends from college let me know they’d be in town out of the blue and my guy “stole their numbers from my phone” and extended the invite. When I saw them walk in, it meant the world.

You're engaged Zink! Nope- I'm married- this is my wedding!

You’re engaged Zink! Nope- I’m married- this is my wedding!

Kellee, Kathleen and the new Mrs. Levy

Kellee, Kathleen and the new Mrs. Levy

My dad who isn’t a big dancer- not only crushed it on the dance floor with me, but he also gave a fantastic toast.

we danced to "God Only Knows"

we danced “butterfly kisses”. SIKKE! “God Only Knows” was our jam

As did my normally shy bestie Kim, who came in from NYC. Policy with Kim and me- in my reception dress Of course, my girlfriends are no dummies and they tried every trick in the book to get me to spill some detail that would reveal what they “thought” was going on.

friends or CIA agents? having some photo booth fun

friends or CIA agents? having some photo booth fun

And Alex, well along with the help of our friend Jason Erkes- well , he got me the best when he announced that Jason Derulo was in the house for a surprise performance.

my face when he said Derulo was in the house

my face when he said Derulo was in the house

still can't believe it's happening

still can’t believe it’s happening

it did happen. photo evidence.

it did happen. photo evidence.

I know what you’re thinking- did the Mom’s kill us? Nope- they were all so happy to see us married that nothing mattered.

Kyle capturing the look on my Mom's face when the bomb was dropped

Kyle capturing the look on my Mom’s face when the bomb was dropped

Guess what? Thanks to our dream team- this night could’t have been more perfect.  And NO they didn’t do this pro bono- so my praise is 100% pure. I’d trust any of them to do this day over again in a heartbeat. Shout out to Mother Nature for the flawless weather too! So what did we avoid? Aside from showers, bach/ette parties, rehearsal dinners, brunches, etc- we didn’t take input from anyone else, and did what made US happy. Isn’t that what love is really all about? *Oh and cheers to Match.com- without you- NONE of this would have possible*

we may have smooched 1 million times

we may have smooched 1 million times

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