Celebrating My 29th Birthday with a #BringTheShimmer Bucket List

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Yay for birthdays!

I just turned 29 on Thursday and I’ve been reflecting a lot as I kick off my last year in my twenties. The old me would have told you that I’m turning 21 again (for the 8th time), but I’m finally embracing my age.

I realize I’m not getting any younger, so I’ve decided to make the rest of my life, the best of my life – starting with my new and improved bucket list for my 29th year! Read on for the deets on how I plan to end my twenties with a bang.

Katie’s 2016 Bucket List:

  • Bring the shimmer to me and my friend’s year with an epic girls trip!
  • Dye my hair a crazy fantasy color
  • Write a novel
  • Spend more time in Central Park
  • Run a marathon
  • Be more adventurous
  • Visit all the restaurants featured in Sex and the City
  • Go on a cruise
  • Donate to charity
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Stress way less
  • Participate in the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
  • Make time to catch up with old friends
  • Be someone’s mentor
  • Create the perfect signature cocktail

As you can tell, I’ve got a lot of living to go do, but first, let me add a checkmark next to “create the perfect signature cocktail.” To celebrate my birthday, I decided to create a cocktail recipe that really portrayed my personality. Behold, the Citrus Mist, featuring my fav shimmery liqueur – Viniq! Just like me, it’s sweet, shimmery, simple and creative.

Citrus Mist

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Viniq Original®
  • 1 oz. New Amsterdam Vodka
  • 2 oz. Barefoot Bubbly Moscato
  • Lime squeeze

Directions:

Build ingredients in a champagne flute.

Ready to join me in bringing the shimmer this year? I know as I continue to check off my bucket list items I’ll be sharing my pics on social using #BringTheShimmer. Check out Viniq.com for more cocktail inspiration to celebrate your goals and checks off your bucket list this year!

Now, let’s all raise a glass to an epic year. Cheers!

[This post was sponsored by Viniq, but all opinions are my own.]

#YouShimmer Your Way into 2016 with the Perfect New Year’s Eve Cocktail

 

Viniq Cocktails

Can you believe it’s almost 2016? It’s that time of year when I usually create a list of resolutions that include all sorts of soul-sucking activities like crash dieting. Not this year! My only resolution for 2016 is to celebrate life. Who’s with me?!

Seriously, life is short. Buy the shoes. Drink the cocktail. Order the dessert. LIVE. Be the shimmery celebration of life that you are! And speaking of shimmery celebrations of life, I have the perfect cocktail to toast to my 2016 attitude.

It’s super simple to put together, but looks and tastes amazing. The best part? The star ingredient is Viniq Ruby, one of my absolute fav new liqueurs. You may remember me gushing about Viniq recently, but let me fill you in if you don’t.

It’s a premium shimmery liqueur that’s a delicious fusion of premium vodka, Moscato, and natural fruit flavors. It contains edible shimmer, which gives it this incredible dazzling effect. Like a chic magic potion that looks as fab as it tastes.

Whip up one of these and expect many double taps on your Instagram posts in the New Year. Read on for the recipe below!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. Viniq Ruby
  • 3 oz. Champagne
  • Splash of Ginger Ale
  • Squeeze of lime

Directions:

Combine ingredients and serve chilled in a Champagne flute. Garnish with a lemon twist. Swirl around, appreciate the shimmer, and enjoy.

 

Cheers to living our shimmeriest, sparkliest, most effervescent lives in 2016! *Clink*

[This post was sponsored by Viniq, but all opinions are my own.]

Clinique’s “Pretty in a New York Minute” Event Kicks Off Friday

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Attention readers in New York!

Join Clinique at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street and experience an iconic event that brings the streets of New York City to life. From Broadway to Central Park, Clinique has your beauty needs covered with quintessential New York looks that can be applied in a New York minute! Clinique makeup artists will be providing tips, tricks and makeup application showcasing the curated Pretty in a New York Minute looks – Hail & Glow, Broadway Bound and Beauty a la Carte – each inspired by iconic locations throughout New York City. See below for a breakdown of each look…

Broadway Bound: A show-stopping look that starts with a rich, red lip.

Hail & Glow: The quickest way to a New York-natural look. 

Beauty a la Cart: Your look, your way – served up NYC Style.

New York City themed snacks and music will be provided at counter along with raffle prizes from the Food Network that include gift certificates to a Food Network chef’s restaurant and a private tour of Food Network Kitchen and studios.  Customers will receive special treats from Clinique while supplies last with a $50 purchase.

Pretty in a New York Minute kicks off Friday, July 17th with a special event from 1-3 p.m. and will run through Thursday July 23rd. Call 212-705-2879 or stop by for an appointment. Can’t make it? Never fear! I have a batch of amazing new Clinique goodies to give away, no New York residency required. See below to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How to #MakeAPowerMove with COVERGIRL, Olay, Pantene & Levo

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Prepare to be inspired.

Some of my absolute fav beauty brands – COVERGIRL, Olay, and Pantene – recently partnered with Levo, a company dedicated to career advice and mentorship for millennials in the workplace, to launch the Make a Power Move program. #MakeAPowerMove was designed to provide women with the beauty, style and career advice they need to put forward the best version of themselves.  To celebrate this amazing partnership, they are hosting events to mentor women and provide the right tools they need to advance in their careers.

I was fortunate enough to be included among the group of women invited to experience their #MakeAPowerMove event in New York a few weeks ago. My fellow New Voices of Beauty winner Naty and I both attended and we had a ball getting our hair done with Pantene and our makeup done with COVERGIRL. Just like old times! (In related news, I’m obsessed with Pantene’s dry shampoo and its hair plumping magic. See below for evidence of this wizardry on my usually limp locks.)

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The event also featured a panel of powerhouse women I adore including incredible blogger Felicia Walker Benson and adorable TV personality Ali Fedotowsky.

I actually met Felicia right after I made my own latest power move, so I was thrilled to hear what she had to say. (As you may remember, I was invited to judge the Glam Beauty 100 literally the day after I took the big leap of faith and moved to New York. Felicia was a fellow judge and we had a blast together on that trip. Full circle!) 

I was also eager to hear from Ali, who I remember as the badass who left #TheBachelor for her career, kickstarting a series of power moves that lead her to her current gig at E! News.

Ali Fedotowsky

So, in addition to the usual goodies – the complimentary makeovers, passed macaroons and free booze – we walked away with so much more from this event. Ali, Felicia and the gals from Levo dished out some seriously inspiring advice for taking control of your career and living the life you deserve. Read on for some of my favorite takeaways from these inspiring females…

  • Trust in yourself. Ali stressed the importance of staying positive and believing in yourself. “You’ll go through a lot of ups and downs– it’s part of the career journey. When times get tough, don’t beat yourself up — things don’t always go as planned. Keep a positive outlook, learn from your experiences and lean on your support system to continue growing in the workplace.” Excellent advice!
  • Build strong peer relationships. “Traditionally in the workplace, there’s a lot of focus on mentor relationships, but it’s equally important to build peer relationships as well,” Felicia said. “Developing relationships at all levels helps build confidence in your abilities and establishes a level of shared trust to ensure your peers have your back. Both mentor and peer relationships are vital to career success.”
  • Put your best face forward. Ali admits that hectic work schedules paired with an active social calendar can leave skin dull and tired-looking, which means you may not look and feel your best. A good moisturizing and anti-aging facial cream can help revive tired looking skin. “I rely on Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream which helps reveal brighter, younger-looking skin and fights the appearance of skin fatigue,” she said. I second her thoughts on the Olay cream. It’s incredible. And I truly believe that when you look good, you feel good.
  • Go for a classic, bold lip. Felicia feels that a statement lip instantly creates a polished, professional look and I couldn’t agree more. “I like COVERGIRL Outlast Longwear Lipcolor in Red Rouge. It’s a nice pick-me-up if you find you need a little beauty boost right before a meeting. When wearing a bold, red lip, balance the rest of your look with neutral eye colors, soft liner, and a light pinch of color on the cheeks,” said Felicia. She also shared her tip for mixing up the traditional bold red lip – pat on the lip color with your finger rather than saturating your entire lip for a softer finish. Love it! 
  • Embrace the impact of eye contact. Eye contact is important because it sends a message of self-assurance — something that’s key when communicating your ideas! A quick and easy way to frame your peepers for optimal eye contact is with a swipe of volumizing mascara. “When I have a big meeting, the one makeup item I’m never without is mascara. It’s a quick and easy step that makes my eyes stand out in a flattering way,” said Felicia. Both Felicia and Ali shared their love for COVERGIRL The Super Sizer Mascara by LashBlast in particular. “Mascara is super important to me – I love a lash and a power lip!” said Ali. “I’m all about The Super Sizer Mascara by LashBlast.” For the record, I tested it out myself and can vouch for the awesomeness of The Super Sizer.

Hungry for more inspiration? Check out this amazing video full of empowering advice nuggets from the event. You might even recognize a few people in the video. 😉

SunFest: Captain Morgan Style

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Time flies when you’re having rum! I might physically be back in New York now, but I’m mentally still on a boat with Captain Morgan.

If you missed my last post (or massive squeals on social), let me catch you up and explain why I feel like I’m cruising around with pirates.

A couple weeks ago, the Captain Morgan team reached out to me with an exclusive invite to join their SunFest VIP influencer program. It was not at all difficult to convince me to participate. As a Florida born rum fan and seasoned SunFest attendee, this partnership was basically concocted just for me!

(True story: My first SunFest concert was Mya back in the Ghetto Supastar days. Been hooked on the ‘Fest ever since.)

Even with multiple SunFests under my belt, there is nothing quite like experiencing it with the Captain himself! Read on for the top five highlights from my SunFest experience with Captain Morgan…

The Cuisine

One of the perks of traveling with the Captain’s crew was kicking off our SunFest experience with a killer meal at Two George’s Waterfront Lounge. Literally everything I consumed that night had rum in it. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking my rum and eating it, too! Everything was delicious, but that rum-soaked coconut pie was hard to beat.

Two Georges

Coconut Rum Pie

The Competition

SunFest Day 2 began with a friendly cocktail competition judged by Kevin Rolston of the KVJ show (aka the soundtrack to my morning commute from 6th grade to 6 months ago when I moved to NYC). Kevin was joined by rum expert and super awesome Captain Morgan Specialist, Alex Marcano to judge with him. To my surprise/delight, my former coworker/mentor/friend Leslie Streeter was in the competition with us as well! (Click here to read Leslie’s recap of the contest.) Her team ended up beating mine, but we all had an absolute blast! My team (which included Christine Najac of South Florida Food and Wine and Alida Hernandez of Nuestro Magazine) whipped up something we called “The Captain’s Sweet and Spicy.” Full deets and recipe coming to a future blog post near you!

Captain Morgan Ingredients

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The Captain's Sweet and Spicy

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The Cruise

We literally set sail with Captain Morgan… and it was awesome. The Captain’s ship docked at SunFest and picked up our group for an hour long adventure around the beautiful Palm Beach Inlet. At least I think that’s where we went. There was a lot of rum on that boat!

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The Concerts

After all, SunFest is a music festival, not just an excuse to consume awesome rum drinks. My Captain Morgan spirit sister Kara Franker and I checked out the 311 concert on our first night at SunFest and that ended up being my favorite concert of the weekend. Also notably amazing live were The Pixies and Hozier. Our group also got to meet and chat with SOJA, AWOLNATION, and Matisyahu backstage, which was equally awesome.

311 at SunFest

 

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The Cocktails

It goes without saying that I drank my face off on this trip. (All in a day’s work, ya know!) I’ve always been a fan of the Captain’s Spiced Rum (Captain + Diet 4E), but I’m now legit obsessed with the three new Captain Morgan flavors: Coconut, Grapefruit, and Pineapple. SO GOOD. (Check out this post for my three favorite recipes featuring the new flavors).  I also have a feeling this is not the last you’ll hear from me about these killer new Captain Morgan rums. Stay tuned! 😉

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