Thursday, September 18, 2014

Giveaway: Taste Trekkers Tickets

Ever thought about planning a vacation around food destinations? If the answer to that question is "yes," how would you like to spend a weekend exploring culinary paradise with fellow foodies?

Friday October 3rd - Sunday October 5th the Taste Trekkers 2014 Food & Travel Expo arrives in Providence, RI. Taste Trekkers was founded by Seth Resler, the man behind the beloved social dining group Mystery Meet. He brought Taste Trekkers to life in 2013 with a website that has become the nation's leading food tourism authority and this Food & Travel Expo that debuted last September (also in Providence).

Taste Trekkers is committed to, "showing passionate foodies how to explore the world through cuisine. It brings together chefs, farmers, wineries, brewers, food tour operators, and other artisanal food producers from different regions." As if that wasn't reason enough to attend, the team also encourages attendees to, "Sample foods from different places, learn the culinary history of different regions and gain practical tips for planing your own foodie vacation."

I'm hungry just thinking about the phrase, "foodie vacation."

Here's a taste of the inaugural Food & Travel Expo:

Intrigued? Watch this video to see the mega watt star power of last year's Taste Trekkers line up:

This year, the Expo is going to be three full days of delicious presentations, panels and of course - food! There's even going to be a movie premiere!

Now here's the fun part, the Taste Trekkers team has generously offered to gift a pair of tickets to Saturday and Sunday's festivities to one lucky Pop.Bop.Shop. reader! These tickets will give you and a guest full access to the Expo on Saturday and the Scavenger Hunt on Sunday. Learn all about Saturday's speakers, edible sessions and exhibitors here.

To enter to win: 

1. You must be a current resident of the United States and you must be at least 18 years of age.
2. Leave a comment below telling me your ultimate food vacation destination.

This giveaway will be open until 11:59pm ET on Monday 9/22. A winner will be announced on Tuesday 9/23.

Good luck foodie friends!

*Images and video courtesy of Taste Trekkers. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Mindy Project: Whoa Nelly

Guys. Mindy Kaling is my spirit animal.

Ever since reading her book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)" I've felt a sincere kinship with her. This bond of sisterhood has also translated into unconditional support for her primetime comedy "The Mindy Project."

Tonight, "The Mindy Project" returned with its premiere episode of season three. In this new season, we finally get to see Mindy and Dr. Danny Castellano together.

In the opening scene of the episode, Mindy shares that Danny gets turned on by Boston's "More Than A Feeling" (cut to Danny dancing in his underwear).

Back at the office, Danny pulls Mindy into the janitor's closet to tell her she has to stop gossiping about their sex life, to which she responds, "Sure, I can do that. I can change the very core of me." Ha!

As the episode continues there are a few lackluster scenes with Peter and Morgan, but the true super star moments are all Danny. First when he plays "Let It Go" on the piano and then in the final scene of the episode of when he does a stripper dance to Lenny Kravitz's "American Woman." Can Danny be my boyfriend? Good lord.

In addition to the laughs, I was also swooning over two of Mindy's wardrobe pieces: the black, beaded dress she wore to the fundraiser and her burgundy Comme des Garcons cardigan. If you follow Mindy on Instagram, you know her style is on point both on camera and off.

Did you watch tonight? Did you flip for Danny's dance performance?

*Image courtesy of The Mindy Project Facebook page

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Shop: L.L. Bean Red Sox Tote

There I was doing my morning Facebook stalking when I came across a link from in my newsfeed. The article title read, "L.L. Bean Tote Bags Made From 2013 Fenway Park Tarp To Go On Sale Sept. 20." Of course I had to read on.

As it turns out, L.L. Bean acquired the tarp that protected the Fenway Park infield during the 2013 baseball season (you remember all those rain delays) and that exact tarp was used to create 3,000 limited edition tote bags.

Steve Fuller, L.L. Bean's Chief Marketing Officer told, "The tarp comes back from Fenway so dirty that we actually rent an airplane hanger and hire a tent cleaning company to come in and clean the tarp, then we bring it into the factory to be stitched into bags."

In addition to being made from the tarp (which is cool enough on its own), the bag also features the official Red Sox "B." In this video interview, Fuller explains that this was the first time the company has partnered with Major League Baseball on a Red Sox bag design.

The best detail on the bag, in my opinion, is the handles. The handles are that famous Red Sox red and along each handle are all the years the Red Sox have won the World Series. How awesome is that?

I could so easily see this as a bag you carry on your daily commute or the bag you toss your stuff into for a weekend away or even as your beach bag for next summer.

So how do you get one?

Well, the bags go on sale on Saturday September 20th (next weekend) at 9:00am ET in seven locations. Six L.L. Bean stores: Freeport, ME, South Windsor, CT, Burlington, MA, Dedham, MA, Mansfield, MA and Natick, MA. The seventh location, lucky number seven, is at the Yawkey Way Store, right across the street from Fenway Park.

The bag retails for $59.95 and 20% of the net proceeds are being donated to The Jimmy Fund.

Will you wake up to get your hands on one?

*All images courtesy of the L.L. Bean blog.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Shop: Jonathan Adler I-Scream Vase

Last night I had dinner with a friend and came home just in time to watch "Top Chef Duels." During commercials I was perusing Pinterest when I discovered a new home decor item.

Have you ever stumbled upon something in a store or online and thought, "There couldn't be anything more me than this [insert item here]." Well, that happened to me with this Jonathan Alder I-Scream Vase.

When I saw the above photo, I already knew I needed this vase. Then when I clicked through to the Jonathan Adler site and saw the vase styled in a set of four, I flipped. It is even more beautiful in multiples!

Now I need to plan an ice cream social. Clearly.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for this vase! Am I right?

*Images courtesy of Jonathan Adler

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stay: Hudson Hotel

I've just returned from four days in New York City for Fashion Week. I have been extremely lucky, both this year and last year, that I've been able to experience this convergence of the stars in the style galaxy.

For this year's trip, my team and I stayed at the Hudson Hotel on West 58th Street. It's about a five minute walk from Lincoln Center, which is where all the runway shows take place.

I had been to the Hudson last year for a team dinner, but we only ate in the outdoor bar, I never set foot into one of the rooms.

When you open the doors to the Hudson from the street, you take an escalator up to the lobby. When you emerge, you are transported to a magical, urban forest. The exposed brick walls and industrial pipes are covered in hunter green ivy.

Above the check-in desk is a stunning crystal chandelier.

The desk is decorated to look like a tree.

From the desk you can see through a window to the hotel's outdoor bar, Tequila Park.

As I mentioned, I was there last year at this same time. Here's a picture I snapped on Instagram at that dinner:

At reception we checked in and the woman helping us gave each person a wi-fi code (hallelujah), drinks tickets and breakfast tickets. It's so nice when those things are included in a reservation. We were also handed a bottle of ice cold Vasso water (Norway's finest).

We headed towards the elevators and discovered the biggest flaw of this hotel. Because the Hudson is a major location for Fashion Week presentations and parties, there are always tons of people coming in and out. As a result, you usually wait 8-10 minutes for an elevator in the lobby or on your floor as you try to head back down.

I was staying on the 12th floor and when I stepped off the elevator, was greeted by this sign. This looks identical to the signs on each floor at the Ace Hotel.

By the elevators there is an area with vending machines which they cover up with these sleek looking double doors. There's also a marble island with chrome chairs for lounging if you want to share a late night snack.

Down each hallway is row after row of electric green doors.

My room was on the corner of a hallway, so I only had noise coming from one side, which was quite lovely.

Inside, the rooms are teeny. There was enough space for this double bed (not even a queen) and then about 10 inches of walking space on either side.

The bed was accessorized with a dark gray and electric green throw, to match the door, of course.

I loved the white, studded headboard! I have a white tufted headboard in my bedroom, so I felt right at home.

On either side of the bed were these cool lights. You pulled on a chord beneath the rectangular fixture to turn the bulb on or off.

The room did a get of light and if you had any time to sit at the desk, it was positioned perfectly to look out onto the streets of New York.

As you headed from the bedroom space toward the bathroom there was a cubby hole with a mini fridge (it's empty, but you can put stuff in there) and a shelf that I used to keep my laptop each night.

The bathroom, like the bedroom, was also tiny. Ahhh, New York.

The sink in the bathroom was a beautiful, round, modern design, but it left me with next to no counter space. I was trying to balance a few things around the sink and wound up dropping and shattering my favorite Laura Mercier blush.

On the wall are three shelves of toiletries.

These are branded paper cups. They say "Hudson" on the front and "Use me" on the back.

They provide soap, shampoo, conditioner and body wash. If you happen to use one, when you get back to your room after they've cleaned it, a new one will appear in its place.

The shower has a peekaboo window that looks out onto the bedroom. If you're feeling racy, you can pull back the curtain and give your room (and the people out the window) a show.

Whenever I travel I always laugh at the clever way hotels phrase their door signs. At the Hudson they say "Clean me" or "Take a hike."

The location of the Hudson Hotel is ideal if you are spending time at Lincoln Center or Columbus Circle. The lobby and the bars (there are several) are beautiful and have a definite New York scene. However, it was a bummer that the rooms were so small and that the elevators took a painfully long time to arrive.

The Hudson Hotel is part of the Morgans Group, so if you're a fan of their properties, you should definitely check it out.

Have you ever been to the Hudson?

Friday, September 5, 2014

Birthday Wish List: Bling Bling

Guys, there's less than 30 days until my 30th birthday. What? How did that happen? So not ready.

To distract me from this crazy reality, let's talk about my favorite subject: bling.

Today, in the 9th installment of the Birthday Wish List series, we're talking about jewelry that adds that extra sparkle and pizazz to any birthday girl's party outfit.

Remember in "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days" they described wearing diamonds as "frosting yourself"? Let's go ahead and frost.

Three years ago I bought myself a Michael Kors watch for my birthday. Without a man, a lady has to treat herself, you know? Well, this week a new Micahel Kors catalog arrived at my front door and I nearly fell over at the sight of this Kinley watch.

I am drooling over that black, glittering face.

Speaking of glitter, I swooned for this Pave Links bracelet from Bauble Bar. I've written about Bauble Bar several times. You really can't beat their pieces - maximum glamour for an affordable price.

Moving onto larger pieces, this Coral Candy Bib necklace from Capwell + Co. adds sophistication to any outfit, with just the right amount of glitz. You could set this against white, black or even denim.

I have saved the best find for last. In this month's J. Crew catalog I discovered their new Star Cluster necklace. I can't get this to my doorstep fast enough!

I am seriously going to plan my entire birthday outfit around this necklace. And that watch. Must have that watch.

Have you splurged on a piece of birthday bling before?

Catch up on the full Birthday Wish List below:

  • Birthday Wish List: Emma McKinstry Necklace
  • Birthday Wish List: C. Wonder Jewelry Box
  • Birthday Wish List: Tote Bags as Gift Bags
  • Birthday Wish List: Origami Owl Locket
  • Birthday Wish List: Printstagram Gifts
  • Birthday Wish List: Cowgirl Creamery & Uncommon Goods
  • Birthday Wish List: Cupcakes & Couture Glitter Glasses
  • Birthday Wish List: J. Crew Cards
  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014

    Movie Musings: Fall Movie Preview

    Over the long weekend I devoured the Entertainment Weekly Fall Movie Preview issue. I read about over 100 movies premiering between now and December 31st and today I'm sharing with you my recommendations for the must-see films.

    Below, in order of release date, are my top picks. There are 13 movies, a perfect baker's dozen!

    This Is Where I Leave You (Sept. 19th) 
    In June I read Jonathan Tropper's amazing book "This is Where I Leave You" (that review is here) and since completing the book, I have been anxiously awaiting the movie premiere. Though no movie is ever as good as the book, this film adaptation has a killer cast including: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Connie Britton and Jane Fonda.

    Tracks (Sept. 19th) 
    Mia Wasikowska, best known for "Alice in Wonderland" and "The Kids Are Alright." stars in this film based on a memoir of the same title. "Tracks" is the story of a young Australian woman, Robyn Davidson, who packed up her life and trekked 1,700 miles across the desert of Australia. Adam Driver (whose star is rising with incredible speed) appears as a National Geographic reporter sent out to cover Robyn's journey.

    Jimi: All Is By My Side (Sept. 26th) 
    It's not even that I am a huge Jimi Hendrix fan, but once I heard Andre Benjamin of Outkast would be playing Jimi in this biopic, I immediately wanted to see it. The films focuses on the year leading up to Hendrix's game-changing performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. The movie is directed by John Ridley, who won an Oscar for his "12 Years A Slave" script.

    Gone Girl (Oct. 3rd) 
    Last summer I read Gillian Flynn's thriller "Gone Girl" (read that review here) and the entire time I was thinking, "They are so going to turn this into a movie." Well, Hollywood came knocking and Flynn agreed to the adaptation, even serving as the screen writer. Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike have been cast as the two central characters, Nick and Amy. Though I completely disagree with those casting choices (as well as many others in the film), I'm still dying to see how they bring this deranged story to life on the big screen.

    The Judge (Oct. 10th) 
    Went I went to see the James Brown biopic "Get On Up" (read that review here) I saw the preview for "The Judge" which stars Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall. In the movie, Robert Downey Jr. plays a man who is estranged from his family. He returns home for his mother's funeral and learns his father, a judge, has been accused in a hit and run case. You guessed it, the son wants to defend his father and his father doesn't want his help. Though the story line feels predictable, I'm optimistic these two actors will raise the bar (no legal pun intended).

    Whiplash (Oct. 10th) 
    Back in January "Whiplash" premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. Miles Teller, best known for "Footloose" and "That Awkward Moment," plays Andrew Neiman, a drumming prodigy. The film's tension swirls around Andrew and his music conservatory instructor. The EW review reads, "The result - a ferocious blur of sticks, sweat and ruptured blisters - could be a star-making moment."

    Interstellar (Nov. 7th) 
    Alright, alright, alright. Matthew McConaughey's roll continues with the November release of "Interstellar" directed by mad genius Christopher Nolan. EW writes, "Now the director who made Batman soar to arty heights and turned Leonardo DiCaprio into a top-spinning dream thief is launching his own cinematic space odyssey." Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" galaxy is exploding with stars - McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, John Lithgow, Jessica Chastain, Casey Affleck, Michael Caine and Ellen Burstyn. While I'm not normally into sci-fi themed anything, this is a clear Oscar contender, so I'll definitely see it.

    Rosewater (Nov. 7th) 
    "Rosewater" marks the directorial debut of funny man Jon Stewart. The film is based on the 2011 memoir of the same title about the life of journalist Maziar Bahari. In the movie, Maziar is played by Gael Garcia Bernal (who I met at a New Yorker Festival party where he hit on every girl in the room). Though the subject matter of this film is incredibly serious, I'm interested to see how Stewart presents these real life moments of fear and trauma.

    The Theory Of Everything (Nov. 7th) 
    Of all the movies coming out between now and the end of the year, this is the one I am most excited about. I have had a major crush on Eddie Redmayne since his ad campaign for Burberry back in 2008. The film is based on the real life story of physicist Stephen Hawking. I watched the trailer online and cried at my desk. Interestingly, the film is directed by James Marsh who also directed the Oscar winning film "Man on Wire" (read my review of that movie here).

    Foxcatcher (Nov. 14th) 
    Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo in a movie about Olympic dreams? Yes, please. "Foxcatcher" debuted in May at the Cannes Film Festival to rave reviews. The film is directed by Bennett Miller, best known for "Capote" and "Moneyball." Apparently Steve Carrell wears a prosthetic nose for the role. Michael Scott would get a kick out of that.

    The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I (Nov. 21st) 
    If you read the "Hunger Games" trilogy then you, like me, have been anxiously awaiting this movie for a year! The third installment of the film adaptation focuses on the underground revolution's headquarters in District 13. You can read my thoughts on all three books and the first two movies here.

    Wild (Dec. 5th) 
    Memoirs turned movies seems to be the theme of this upcoming season! Southern belle Reese Witherspoon acquired the film rights to Cheryl Strayed's memoir "Wild" and will star in the film. This movie portrays the real life story of Strayed's hike across the Pacific Crest Trail after the death of her mother. Witherspoon opted to produce this film with her production company, not with a major movie studio, so she could keep the grittiest parts of the story intact. Jean-Marc Vallee of "Dallas Buyers Club" directs and Nick Hornby of "High Fidelity" and "About a Boy" penned the screenplay. If this roster represents Reese at the helm, watch out world.

    Into the Woods (Dec. 25th) 
    I saw the musical "Into the Woods" in high school and again in college and it has always been one of my favorites. The music is annoyingly catchy. On Christmas Day, the film version will debut with stars Meryl Streep, Johnny Deep, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine and Anna Kendrick. Talk about star power! As a person who normally spends Christmas Day at the movies and eating Chinese food, I couldn't be more excited.

    There you have it, the list of movies I can't wait to see this fall and winter.

    What did I miss? What movies are you counting down to?
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