Celebrity Spottings at Blogher ‘10

Ok, so I knew there would be a couple of celebrities in advance of the Blogher conference, but there were a few surprises.

After I hit the registration table at Blogher, I went upstairs and a woman told me that Bruce Jenner was pouring OJ over at the Tropicana stations. I had to see.

Bruce Jenner & I

He was so nice. I told him how I’m a big fan of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians” and he chuckled and said “those girls sure give me a hard time don’t they”, I chuckled back.

A couple short hours into the conference, I met up with Rebecca Weinberg, Emmy award winning stylist from “Sex & The City” at the eBay Fashion Lounge. You may read my interview with Rebecca here.

Tamra Barney & I

So I heard that Tamra Barney from “The Real Housewives of Orange County” was going to be at the Quickie booth, so I had to take a look. She wasn’t there. As I was walking away, guess who was walking right towards me? In the same color dress no less. Yup! It was Tamra! She looked beautiful. I asked if I could get a quick photo with her and she said absolutely. Then she noticed my orange Linea Pelle bag and said “I have the same bag in tan”, I replied “No way, Linea Pelle?” She said “yup, I love their bags”. “Me too” I said and told her how I went to their first ever sample sale in NY recently and had a blast. Not only were we wearing the same color dress, we have the same bag. Ahhh kindred spirits! (Click here to read my Linea Pelle blog post.)

Padma Lakshmi & I

So the last celebrity of Day 1 was none other than Padma Lakshmi. The hubs loves her and I mean loves her. I knew in advance she was going to be there and joked with him about me being in the same room with her. So I made a sign. It read “We love Nick DeVito” and was hoping I could take a photo with it. I knew the hubs would love it. Padma was at the Hillshire Farms booth as part of their sandwich showdown. The staff loved that I made a sign to hold up with her. We took the picture and Padma gave me 2 autographed photos of her, one for me and one for the hubs.

Day 2 I ran into Tamra again. I wanted to see if she was wearing a navy dress like me. No such luck.

Veronica Webb & I

Then guess who was at the Eucerin booth? Super model Veronica Webb! First of all she is stunning and had the cutest dress on and beautiful jewelry from her own jewelry line. Second, she was super nice. I mean ok, all the celebrities were nice, but Veronica was so genuine. Her hair stylist was there with her too and just as sweet. I told her about my NJ Unemployed group I founded and she wanted to hear more. No sooner did we take a few photos, but she had already talked me up on Twitter. How cool! Eucerin has a great spokesperson in Veronica. She was super sweet.

*Veronica Webb’s jewelry line will be available in September. She promised her Blogher girls will be amongst the first to hear about it. Stay tuned!

Who would’ve thought all these celebrities would have been supporting their brands at Blogher? Certainly not me, but I loved every minute of it.

The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill – The New Celebrity Hot Spot

Recently the hubs and I were invited to the Grand Opening and VIP party at The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill. We were thrilled to be invited and be one of the first to check out a new pub in one of our favorite towns, Princeton, NJ.

Many of you may remember The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill as Sotto Ristorante or even The Annex. Boy has it changed. Owner John Procaccini added 15 hi-def flat screen TV’s around the bar, so you will never miss a game. Finally there’s a sports bar in town! It’s the perfect place to grab a drink after work, watch a game and for of-age college students to hang out.

Energy filled the room at the VIP party. Outstanding appetizers were passed around. I especially liked the buffalo shrimp. We also tested out the crab fries with cheese which were delish as well.

Dan the bartender - "The Best Bartender in Mercer County"

While there, I dubbed Dan the bartender as “The Best Bartender in Mercer County”. First of all I must say that Dan makes a mean dirty martini, but what we loved most about him was his personality. Dan was so full of life, what you want your bartender to be. He was personable, fun and mingled with the customers. So often we go out on the town and the bartenders are just miserable and lack a personality. Not Dan! Dan really is the man at The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill.

Besides finding “The Best Bartender in Mercer County”, our night was filled with a few other surprises. We ran into Doug Palmer, former Mayor of Trenton.

Doug Palmer, Former Mayor of Trenton

Ed Tseng was also there in high spirits signing his book “Game. Set. Life.”

Ed Tseng

To top the evening off, we chatted it up a bit with famed Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West.

Dr. Cornel West

Talk about a party! We had some night out!

So head on over to The Princeton Sports Bar & Grill, tell Dan I sent you. Dress your best, because you never know who you might run into.

Trattoria Dopo Teatro

Recently the hubs and I were visiting the city (New York City that is) and planned to have lunch at Trattoria Dopo Teatro. We did a little research online and this spot was near where we were going to be, the menu looked scrumptious and priced just right.

For an appetizer we ordered the Eggplant Campanada which consisted of eggplant, olives, capers, pine nuts. It was a great mix of sweet and tangy.

For our main course, we shared the Dopo Teatro pizza which is mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto and truffle oil. It was out of this world! My husband and I debated as to whether it was the best pizza we ever had or not. I’ve realized recently that I’m a huge fan of truffle oil.

For dessert we shared the profiteroles, which are similar to a cream puff but instead of cream inside it’s vanilla ice cream with tons of chocolate sauce. They came as a pair, so it was perfect for sharing.

We will definitely go back there again if we are in the area.  I’m dying to go back to try their Gorgonzola e Pere pizza. The ambiance was super cute and you felt like you were in a quaint Italian restaurant in Italy. The servers, the owner and even some customers spoke Italian. It wasn’t over priced and the food was truly spectacular. It’s always fun when you find a hidden gem.

See Shells in the Sea Food at Legal Sea Foods

The hubs and I decided to try out Legal Sea Foods in the Short Hills Mall for a quick bite.

We were greeted by about 8 employees who were all gathered at the front desk. We were ushered all the way to the back room, where no one else was, far away from anyone.

The food was nothing to write about, but I will.

I ordered the Lobster Bisque soup and Nick got the Clam Chowder. We both found shells in our soups and spit them out. Mine was pretty bland, I was a bit surprised. Nick also ordered the crab cake appetizer which he enjoyed. It was fairly good. I ordered half a Caesar salad, and it was bland. I was definitely not impressed at this joint. I hate feeling like I threw $50 out the window. But we did that night. The service was also very poor. Our server never came to check on us and ask how everything was. Nick had to get up and literally flag someone down with his napkin to get someone’s attention to ask for more Caesar dressing. My salad was very dry, only a drop of dressing.

Nick’s Guinness and my peach bellini were both good though. I guess the more you drink the better the food gets there.

Fried Pickles in LBI

Recently the hubs and I headed over to Daddy O, a restaurant in Long Beach Island. I heard they had fried pickles and needed to test them out.  My husband ordered a beer and I ordered the “O” Cocktail, which tasted more like “Oh bad decision”. It tasted like cough syrup. I sent it back and asked for a Pinot Grigio. We then ordered their beef sliders, truffle French fries and of course the fried pickles which I came for. The sliders were nothing special and they were way too large. Not bite size at all. The truffle fries were out of this world and the fried pickles were a little disappointing. They basically cut a whole pickle in half, and fried it. The pickle was too big and the breading came right off. I would have preferred them to use sliced pickles (like for a sandwich) and then fry them. They would have been bite size and similar to the delicious ones I once had in Florida. We received the bill and I was a little shocked that we were charged for the first drink I ordered but had sent back, but not the glass of wine (which was cheaper). Not that we’re cheap, but the server did take it back no problem but charged us for the more expensive of the two. It’s not a place we need to visit again, but at least I won’t go without saying I should have tried those fried pickles.

LBI “I Do” Wedding Road Show

Welcome to LBI!

My husband and I were invited to attend the LBI “I Do” Wedding Road Show on Sunday, April 18, 2010 by Erik Kent of NJWedding.com which was organized by the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.  If you don’t already know, NJWedding.com is a Jersey girl’s go-to website for everything wedding related in New Jersey.

We met up with Erik at the chamber and met some of the event’s sponsors and chamber staff. The event was designed as a way to showcase Long Beach Island (LBI) and show why it’s one of the growing hot spots in New Jersey for weddings. Couples would have the opportunity to travel at their own pace in their cars to each venue, which would have a variety of exhibitors featuring their wedding services.  Couples could get a special book stamped by each vendor they visited, return it to the chamber office, in hopes of becoming the big winner to win an all expense paid wedding. Wow!

While we waited to start our tour, I began chatting with Annie Esposito, a Bridal Show Coordinator for WedAlert.com. WedAlert.com is a great website that is nationwide and with just a click of a mouse couples can search their Vendor Search Directory, Reception Site Locator, Wedding Song Directory and check out some great planning tools.

Throughout the day Frank Dicopoulos (Guiding Light) hosted for NJ Discover as they live-streamed the day’s events.

Ronald Faillace, President of Trolley Tours, Inc. greeted us as we boarded the trolley. The trolley would be taking the media/press and a few others around to each wedding venue for the day. It was such a fun way to tour the great island of LBI. The trolley’s are available to wedding parties in addition to a wedding motor coach (bus) also available to wedding parties or guests so that everyone can have a good time at the wedding and arrive to their destinations safely. The back of the trolley says “Just Married” so you can tell the world that it’s your big day. This is such a cute way to add some creativity to your wedding day.

The first stop on our trolley tour was to the Holiday Inn Manahawkin, where I was greeted by a mimosa. What a welcome! I walked into the room and immediately spotted Kevin Moninghoff from the Alliance for Wellness and was treated to an amazing massage. While I was being massaged, NJ Discover came over with Frank and interviewed Kevin on his holistic center and myself on the massage. I didn’t say much, I was way too relaxed. Kevin is not only open for business at his spa in Manahawkin but he travels and will be more than welcome to go to any location with his tables and give massages. Wouldn’t that be a nice way to relax before the big day? Getting a massage in your hotel room or bridal suite? Or even a nice treat for a bridal party? I’m sold. They also offer Site Corporate Massages and Pilates and Yoga classes.

Katie getting a massage by Kevin while Frank interviews from NJ Discover

The Stateroom was our next stop which offers a variety of ceremony sites including beach, bay front or a garden ceremony. What girl doesn’t love options?   The Stateroom is where I found the best cupcakes I have ever had. A Sweet Memory is a cookie & cupcakery owned by Annmarie Cooney which is out of this world! Not only are her cupcakes a feast for the eyes, but the margarita cupcake I tried was a feast for my tummy. It was the best cupcake I have EVER had! I also met Marie Addonizio of La Di Da which is a makeup and lash studio. I was so excited to hear they do threading. That is a service that is very hard to come by. Marie is an esthetician, makeup artist and massage therapist. Katie Reynolds Hood decorated the tables of this venue with beautiful tablescapes from the Reynolds Garden Shop. I grabbed a pretzel dipped in chocolate from the Philly Pretzel Factory located in Lakeside Village in Manahawkin, NJ. Shear Heaven Salon & Day Spa was there and offers some great packages in addition to their spa parties.

Yummy treats!

Next stop was the Surf City Yacht Club.  Moester’s Bakery had a large display of cakes available to sample. I opted to test the cannoli cake, which was delish. I chatted it up with the owners of Small Potatoes which is a catering company and after viewing their menu, I was drooling. They have plans to open a restaurant in the near future. Red Sails Salon was well represented at this event offering reasonably priced services for men, women and children.

The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club is “the only premier ocean front wedding venue on Long Beach Island” and is a full service catering facility with the option of customizing anything to the extent of their ability. At the Sea Shell Resort couples can have a poolside cocktail hour and hang out in their tiki huts and enjoy a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean. We entered this venue and were greeted by Barbara Crowley the harpist from our wedding. We were so excited. We headed off to the bar and grabbed a glass of champagne and took a stroll outside, taking in the beautiful scenery.

Barbara Crowley, harpist

Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club

Brant Beach Yacht Club was another stop in our travels.  They pride themselves on being “one of Long Beach Island’s most spectacular waterfront wedding reception venues” and they assure you that “your day will be everything you’ve ever dreamed”! After checking it out, I couldn’t agree more.  I grabbed a piece of salt water taffy from the Parties by Design NJ candy buffets. After all, salt water taffy is a Jersey shore staple. Tammy’s Cake Walk had some beautifully displayed cakes which showcased her beach themed designs. Perfect for a beach wedding! Roberto’s Dolce Vita a Northern Italian/Continental Cuisine restaurant has a menu that sounds divine and we were thrilled to receive a 15% off coupon, another place we will have to visit.  Bistro 14 in Bay Village was passing around a medley of samplings that were out of this world. I particularly loved their crab cakes and chocolate mousse. I can’t wait till they open for the season; we will have to check it out for the full experience.

Daddy O Boutique Hotel and Restaurant was our second to last stop on our tour. The establishment is very hip and chic with a South Beach vibe. My husband and I regularly visit LBI and enjoy the beach atmosphere and charm of the town, but Daddy O reminded me more of a lounge in NY, not very LBI. They were the only stop on our tour that didn’t offer beverages or snacks and there were only 2 vendors at this location. Quite honestly, I wasn’t that impressed. I didn’t feel especially welcome there and it didn’t have that warm, friendly feel of LBI that we all love. However, I did notice they had fried pickles on their menu and haven’t had them since I was vacationing in Florida as a child. I may need to go back to try them out.

Our final destination was Mallard Island Yacht Club which was the pièce de résistance of our whole trip. Unfortunately many of the vendors had already packed up by the time we got there, but it’s no wonder this is such a hot spot for weddings. Everywhere you look, you have an amazing view of the beach, the island or the Barnegat Bay. It’s truly unbelievable. Erik Kent from NJWedding.com recommended we take a look at the enormous bridal suite they have. I don’t need to explain how amazing it is. You can watch a video tour of the bridal suite here…  

This event was spectacular! I wish I had been to a bridal show like this when I was getting married. I was able to check out a variety of venues with exhibitors at each. It wasn’t crowded like most bridal shows tend to be. Lori Pepenella of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce along with Erik Kent of NJWedding.com did a phenomenal job orchestrating the event.  It was very well planned and thought out. My husband and I had a blast!

Participating Venues at the road show included: The Boathouse, Bonnet Island Estate, Brant Beach Yacht Club, Daddy O Restaurant & Boutique Hotel, Holiday Inn Manahawkin, Long Beach Island Foundation of the Arts & Sciences, Mallard Island Yacht Club, Sea Oaks Country Club, The Sea Shell Resort & Beach Club, The Stateroom, Surf City Yacht Club and the Tuckerton Seaport.

Media Sponsors of the event included: New Jersey Bride, NJWedding.com, New Jersey Department of State, travel and Tourism, Brides.com Media, (201)BRIDE and WedAlert.com. Magic 100.1 was the Broadcast Sponsor.

Dublin Square – Bordentown NJ – Where Irish Eyes are Always Smiling

“H-A-double R-I-G-A-N spells Harrigan. Proud of all the Irish blood that’s me…” Ok, so I may be a DeVito now, but Kelly is my blood. And I couldn’t be more happy that Dublin Square opened up in Bordentown, NJ (right near Mastori’s and Chickie N Pete’s). We’ve been to Killarney’s in Hamilton and many other Irish pubs throughout the state, but none compare to that of Dublin Square in Bordentown. Besides the fact that it has the feel of being at an Irish Pub in Ireland, the food is classic Irish fare. The owners imported the bar directly from Ireland (ladies there are hooks to hang your purse at the bar). Their beer selection is vast and menu items bountiful.

We’ve only been there a few times. The first time we went I ordered a Smithwicks (pronounced Smittick’s) and ordered the Whiskey Boxty (as it was recommended to me by our server). It was out of this world! Extremely rich, buttery and flavorful. Even the hubs loved it and he’s a simple man. After a busy day today, and the fact that my chicken never defrosted, we decided to head over there. The place was hopping and we sat at the bar til we got a table. I ordered the Smithwicks again and the hubs a Guinness. You would think he was the Irish one, the way he loves Guinness and his desire to go to Ireland to do a tour of the Guinness brewery. We ordered the chips and curry sauce at the bar and waited to be called to our table. Our server was great. I ordered the fish and chips and the hubs ordered a reuben sandwich. My fish and chips were out of this world. The best fish and chips I have ever had. They fry them in a black ‘n tan batter and it was fried to perfection. I decided to go with the side salad since I already had the fries. They also just might have the best balsamic dressing too. The hubs reuben was good and he ordered the mashed potatoes and the gravy was out of this world.

If you are looking for a place to grab some awesome Irish grub, look no more. Got kids? No problem! They have a playroom, complete with a Wii station. How convenient! Check out their traditional Irish brunch on Sundays. Who else offers that?

They are counting down the days to St. Patty’s Day and so am I. From now until the big day, they are doing $4 Guinness pints on Friday’s with collectible glasses. Collect them all!

Until then…

“May luck be our companion
May friends stand by our side
May history remind us all
Of Ireland’s faith and pride.
May God bless us with happiness
May love and faith abide.”