Cue Squees in 3..2…1…NYC Day 3

In case you’re one of those people that need the full story, day one is hereday two is here.

Real life time and vacation time are two different worlds. If you asked me to be somewhere at 11am here at home? I’d be wide awake, well fed and prepared for the day. Ask me to be somewhere at 11am on vacation? I’ll forgo breakfast to get an extra 15 minutes of sleep and end up twitching half the day from hunger.

We all met in the crazy sex vibe living room (the W calls its lobby the living room, I now call my living room a lobby. Get in, get out and for the love don’t mess it up.) with plans to spend the early afternoon back at Vivienne’s Boutique for a private function. Private function in my head translated into food so I ignored my stomach which apparently had also learned to swear at me in several different languages from Chinatown the day before .

I asked one of the other girls what we were in for and she said “It’s a surprise.”

We arrived at the boutique and instantly we all fanned out taking pictures, touching, coveting and mentally blogging the entire scene, it had changed so much from the night before. First of all, there was natural light (swoon.) Second of all her entire spring collection (you know, the one that matches the laptop?) was out.
Vivienne Tam Boutique. Vivienne Tam Boutique. Vivienne Tam Boutique. Vivienne Tam Boutique. Vivienne Tam Boutique. Vivienne Tam Boutique. Vivienne Tam Boutique. Vivienne Tam Boutique. Vivienne Tam Boutique.
“Excuse me ladies, if I could all have you come over here.” said Alan Wang, the boutique manager. Not sure what I was expecting but it wasn’t what came out, that’s for sure.

Specifics escape me…but it when something like “Thank you so much for being a part of this campaign…blah blah…very excited…blah blah…honored to have you….blah diddy blah…Vivienne thanks you….blah blah…PICK ANY DRESS TO KEEP.”

oh. my. gosh.

Immediate reactions from the group?

  • tears
  • “CAN I HUG YOU?”
  • clapping
  • “THANK YOU!”
  • Oprah-esque squeals of joy
  • “What the hell am I going to fit into here?”
  • and my reaction…blank stare.

Of course another one of my first thoughts was “MODESTY!” seeing as I’m a modest girl. I silently walked around scoping for something that would keep me covered, and Vivienne? You totally delivered.

A lot of girls picked buttery lambskin handbags.

A lot of other girls picked classic LBD’s.

Everyone was on cloud nine and everyone looked amazing in everything they tried on. (I also learned that designers make stuff for normal sized people! Huzzah!)

On the way back to the hotel we were informed that the launch party for the actual HP Mini Notebook Clutch later in the evening was optional by the man boss. Little did he know that us ladies had just been given designer dresses and like hell if we weren’t going back that night to be fancy and thank Vivienne for her generosity.

By now my stomach had gone into cahoots with other body parts and demanded some sort of sustenance besides Tic-Tacs. I asked the concierge about Thai.


“UH HUH!” I answered even though I hadn’t understood a word he said, I just knew it ended in Thai.

“So which is it?”

“HUH? I just figured you were giving a restaurant selection and I was going along with it, did I mention I’m hungry?”

“Did you want casual?”

“OH! YES. Casual. But more importantly FOOD.”

He gave me the suggestion of a place a few blocks up called YUM YUM BANGKOK.

Sorry, but you put “YUM YUM” in the name? I’m so there.

A whole gaggle of us headed over and stuffed ourselves full of some of the best Thai I have ever had (not sure if it was so good because I was so hungry…but whatever. I ate myself bonkers.)

We headed back to the hotel to gussy up for the evening.

I didn’t realize that when you’re wearing a dress that matches the star laptop of the evening a lot of attention is drawn your way and most people think you work there.

At least I'm not, uh, gray? And hairless? And asleep?

“Excuse me, can I get some more champagne?”

“Excuse me, can I try this is a size 6?”

“Excuse me, do you know so and so?”

“Excuse me, but when does Ms. Tam arrive?”

“Excuse me, where are the restrooms?”

Finally “I don’t work here, I just wear the clothes” became my mantra.

A whole mess of people showed up, including a pig.

And the pig smelled really, REALLY bad.

That’s New York for you though.

The highlight?

Having the designer of the dress you’re wearing tell you that you look beautiful, and that you only make the dress even more lovely than what she intended.
all the VT HP ladies.

Vivienne Tam and Me

I was honored to be in such great company. I miss you girls madly.

Ponzi – Geeks!
Amisha –
Andru – Gear Live
Dana – The Art of Accessories
Tierra – Tech Starlet
Tammy – A Mom in Red High Heels
Caroline – Morningside Mom
Beth – Techmamas
Gina – Techie Diva
Judie – Gear Diary
Julie – OSNN
Terri – Mobile PC World
Jennine – The Coveted
Maegan – VivirLatino
Helena – ChipChick
Sierra – GottaBeMobile
Kelcey – MamaBirdDiaries
Marinka – NY City Moms & More

One day left in New York, and it involved a hobo named Hollywood and way too many pictures.

To be continued…

Prada/Prado-NYC Day 2

Didn’t hear about day one? Well, it was thrilling, check it out here.

Cody and I weren’t ever sure if the beds at the W were comfortable. We were so tired we didn’t have time to notice, meaning New York hotels could make you sleep on box springs and you wouldn’t even notice because you’re so busy trying to remember what it’s like to be bored.

We set out on a private tour of the city in the morning with the other bloggers involved with the Vivienne Tam HP campaign, to say it wasn’t awkward at first would be a lie, we were all from different parts of the nation and we all had such different areas of focus in our blogs it was hard to do the “pick of where you left off on your blog blogger meet and greet.” Thankfully lunch came and one thing we could all agree on besides how lucky we were to be there was that bacon is awesome.

Somehow the topic of bacon vodka came up. Sierra, a tech blogger from Oregon, said she had found the recipe online and given that she hosted Baconfest in her home town and knew an apple wood smoked piece of fried pork from a hickory smoked slice, I dare say she was the perfect candidate for bacon vodka. She even labeled it “Styy Vodka” and gave it out to her friends. Apparently it’s lovely if you lick mayo off your hand, shoot the vodka and follow it with a tomato.

Retch or salivate at will, there was mixed emotions at lunch too.

Speaking of retching. It is New York law that calorie contents be included in menus.

Maybe it’s just me but when I go out to eat I enjoy staying blissfully ignorant to what I’m stuffing my face full of. However when you’re in the mood for a cheeseburger and it’s in giant black type that said cheeseburger with fries contains over 1,800 calories? French onion soup with no cheese begins looking really tasty.

There should be no fat people in New York with this law. But don’t do it in Indiana, I like being ignorant out here.

On our tour we stopped of in Chinatown (Canal Street) which borders Little Italy.

Little Italy smells really, really good. As if the streets were paved with garlic. Outside handsome men with Italian accents beg you to dine on their pomodoro, nosh on their lasagna, I could get used to Little Italy (as long as there’s no calorie counts on the menus.)

Chinatown/Little Italy Chinatown/Little Italy Chinatown/Little Italy

We stopped at a place promising us the “PLANET EARTH’S BEST CANNOLI” when truly all we were in search of was a clean potty. I have never had a cannoli by which to judge planet Earth’s best cannoli, but if it truly was the best cannoli on the planet?

I do not like cannoli.

One block away we started the trek down Canal (Chinatown) back to our tour bus.

Chinatown does not smell as good as Little Italy.

Chinatown/Little Italy Chinatown/Little Italy Chinatown/Little Italy Chinatown/Little Italy Chinatown/Little Italy

Our tour guide had told us about the “underground handbag business” on Canal Street and promised us that while we wouldn’t get hurt, we would definitely come home with a unique experience. A young Chinese girl on a street corner whispered “Coach? Handbag? Miss?” to me as I walked by, I smiled and told her “No thank you.”

Cody had different ideas.

“I want to see one of these places!” so being the dumb tourists, we continued down the street hoping for any whispers of “Handbag?” Sure enough we were approached, and let me tell you, just like in a Borne movie, you realize EVERY SINGLE PERSON AROUND YOU is in on the scheme, all sorts of handbag schleppers came from no where. We walked back down the street ten feet behind until we were ushered into a secret store and taken behind a fake sliding wall to a room full of fake fake fake. A Prado (have you seen Serendipity?) caught my eye and the girl said “Thirty.” Cody quickly came back with “TEN!” and was laughed at. We made it out without a handbag but with a whole new respect for Chinatown and those willing to go to such lengths to have a fake bag.

Our tour then stopped at the 9/11 memorial. I dedicated an entire post to that here…nothing more needs to be said.

When we got back to our hotel I had a couple of hours to get ready for our first event at the Vivienne Tam boutique. Now this is where I tell you about the major freak out I had before leaving over WHAT TO WEAR TO A FASHION EVENT DURING FASHION WEEK IN NEW YORK. I played it safe and went LBD (little black dress.) with a kicky clutch (Metalia informed me that BIG BAGS at evening events are what make the out of towners really obvious. Aside from the look of fear on their face of course.)

"Prada" *giggle*

Photo by Beth

The night was filled with champagne (water for me), milling about Vivienne’s Fall ’09 collection and people watching.
Vivienne Tam Fall '09 Show Vivienne Tam Fall '09 Show Vivienne Tam Fall '09 Show Vivienne Tam Fall '09 Show

Vivienne Tam Fall '09 Show

Is that Prada?” asked a gay man wearing a cape.

Vivienne Tam Fall '09 Show


“Honey, I’m from the Midwest, this is Ann Taylor summer of ’07 clearance rack for $24.”

He leaned in close and said “I’m from Michigan, my pants were $20 and my shoes were $500. Just say it’s Prada, they totally did this whole lace thing last season, no one will know.”

After the party we were whisked away to dinner at a Brazilian Steakhouse. Or as I like to call it “BaconLove Part II.” A man with a deep southern accent seated to the right of me proclaimed “BAC’N! Y’all wrap yuh Teh-kee in BAYCUN? I could git used to ‘dis.”

Vivienne Tam Fall '09 Show

I really think I disappointed the waiter when I insisted on only water.

“You like red wine better?”

“No, thank you, water’s fine.”

“We have a full bar! Maybe a cocktail?”

“No, really, water’s fine.”

“You’re sure no white wine? I’m taking your wine glass if you don’t want wine.” (Said like a threat.)

“Go ahead, really, I’m fine with water.”

I’ll spare you the details of when I politely refused coffee and a dessert wine after dinner.

We walked back to the hotel after dinner, my feet swearing at me in seven different languages they had learned on Canal Street earlier that day. Little did they know what they were in for the next day.

To be continued…

big cupcakes/big apple-day 1.

I get motion sick easily.

Even more so on a plane.

However when I take Dramamine I tend to smash into glass walls at hotels and leave face smudges.

Now I’ve never been on one of those express planes before, BEFORE TUESDAY THAT IS.

Wow. It’s like being loaded into a paper towel tube with wings and hurtled across the country by a five year old. Thankfully I slept most of the time but there were still a few moments where my stomach came up to have vomit cocktails with my uvula.

My driver picked me up in a Lincoln Towncar that smelled slightly of Padang Curry and had six back issues of Women’s Golf Digest in the seat pocket  And OH! His accent! It was thick and luscious like a good mashed potato.

“Heh, y’ see dat riveh o’er deh? We ju’ wen’ undeh it, in deh Holland Tunne’, dat ove’ deh is Joizee an’ dis oveh hee’z New Yohk.”


He dropped me off at the W Hotel in Times Square which I’ve already proclaimed to have more hipness in it’s elevator than I’ve ever had in my entire life. They put me up on the 49th floor and you’d better believe the first thing I did was stand in the windowsill and smash my forehead against the window looking down into Times Square, sorry about the smudge, Style. (Oh, did you not know that the W doesn’t call their housekeeping “housekeeping?” They call it “styling.”

If you need me I’ll be styling my house this week.

Towels may end up in the hamper for extra feng shui effect.

Given that I hadn’t eaten all day from excitement I set out to find something “New York.” (P.S. I’m writing this during a delay at the Newark airport. Dear Newark Airport, you need new seats. Anytime someone farts in these things it trembles  the entire row. xo-Casey)

I found this sandwich.

what I had for lunch.

Nothing like a fancy sandwich with arugula, bacon and roast turkey on ciabatta made by someone who doesn’t speak a lick of English.

Crap, I love New York.

After horking down the sandwich in a matter of moments I set off to meet the legendary Metalia. If you were to ever ask me my favorite blog to read I will always answer her in the top 3. If not #1.

metalia et moosh

We stalked outside the tent at Fashion Week hoping for a celebrity sighting but all we saw was this guy in girl clothes with a mohawk and a teeny tiny sequined top hat. Metalia’s not really talking to anyone, we’re just doing the fake set up in order to get a picture of the really ridiculous person behind them without looking too obvious.

the fake out.

You know you’ve done it too.

We then headed over to Crumbs to obtain cupcakes bigger than an infants head. I chose Devil Dog. I horked it down just like I had horked my sandwich down. Stomach? Full.

oversized crumbs.

photo by Metalia

We then headed out for the M&M’s store. the moosh is getting M&M panties as a souvenir. ‘Nuff said.

so he looks like he's pooping right?

Metalia was gracious and answered my questions about Jews, told me funny stories about pasties and didn’t even mind when I interrupted her and pointed to two men in full traditional Jewish regalia and said “EXPLAIN THEM TO ME.”

metalia, moosh, mimes mquare.

By the time I got back to my room Cody had arrived. First thing he asked me was “Want to go to Chicago?” I know I made the “What the? But we’re in New York” face when I realized he meant the musical.

My husband asked me if I wanted to go with him to a Broadway musical that involved singing and dancing. Lots of it.


It was everything I ever dreamed of. Amazing. Bah. Speechless.

By the time we got back to the room it was pretty late, we were also challenged with the whole frosted see through glass walls in the bathroom thing.

We peed in the dark for four days while the other person plugged their ears and hummed. (We never have, nor never will potty in front of each other. Ever.  Eww.)

We were asleep before we had time to make butt prints in the bed.

To be continued…

beginning at the end.

This is me with Vivienne Tam. Gracious, gentle, kind, radiant Vivienne Tam. World renowned fashion designer Vivienne Tam. Not only am I in the same picture as her in her Boutique on Mercer in New York City, I am wearing a dress of her very own design from her spring collection that she gave me. I’m also holding a Limited Edition Vivienne Tam HP Mini Clutch. (Can you see it? It’s totally blends. I know, CAPTAIN OBVIOUS HERE.)

Vivienne Tam and Me 

How did this happen? I’m still not sure. But I’ll go back and try to start at the beginning. However it’s the middle that is the most fun. It will include a recipe for Bacon Vodka, deadly spider bites, newlyweds, Chicago, a smelly pig, a gay man wearing a cape, a shuttle driver named Omar, endless amounts of meat, a mirrored headboard, mistaken identity, David Letterman and pregnant sex.

As I was walking back from one of the best Thai meals in recent memory I told Caroline “So much good has happened in the last few days I feel as though I need to bottle up this joy and save it for a rainy day. It’s too much wonderful for one day. It’s not fair to all the rest.”

I know there’s jealousy, I’ve said it before. I’m jealous of myself. 

But you’d better believe I’ll be paying forward this goodness for a long time to come, and I will hold it in my heart forever.

Why did I do it this way? Because my favorite movie is “When Harry Met Sally.”

Harry likes to read the last page of a book first so just in case he dies he’ll know how it ends.

Not saying I want to die or anything,  I just want to remember what has happened to me over the last couple of years. I set out with a lazy way of keeping connected with my family back home and ended up in a designer dress with the designer in her boutique in NYC during fashion week.

Now, how many of you are still hung up on the Bacon Vodka thing?

nine eleven memorial.

It’s a lot of pictures I know. Bear with me.

All taken at St. Paul’s Chapel, directly across from where the twin towers fell seven years ago.

World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center MemorialWorld Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center MemorialWorld Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial World Trade Center Memorial

The feeling of reverence was astounding.

the shiniest hotel room. ever.

Let’s just take a minute and talk about the hotel I’m in.

Lit closet rod bar.
lighted closet rod.

Water that appears as if from no where.
water that appears as if from no where.

Snacks in tidy little (albeit expensive) plexiglass jars.
true snack boxes.

A pink flame throw pillow.
pink flame pillow.

A Kaleidoscope.
I couldn't think of one at this moment if you forced me.

The unbearably touchable alarm clock.
touchable alarm clock

AND! Friendly envelopes.
friendly envelope.

Not pictured is the reflective headboard (!!!), the frosted glass bathroom wall (this one could prove tricky) the shower with no door and glass walls and the view of Times Square.

I wish you could be here with me. It’s too much deliciousness for one person to enjoy.
And I haven’t even left my room yet.

Dear man who sleeps in my bed every night,

It’s Valentine’s Day #8 for us, and may I just say it’s nice that we both kind of remembered this year given our long standing tradition of forgetting important moments in our relationship. (See birthday of ’04, Valentine’s of ’05 and Anniversary of ’02, ’03 and maybe ’06 and ’07)

I’m not going to lie, you’re pretty lucky to be married to me. There’s an awful lot of boring broads out there you could have ended up with. Even though you sometimes have to worry about my public behavior I’m so happy that we’ve come to a point where you’re okay with me dancing on bars, in fact, I think you’ve almost come to expect it from me

Moosh Has Moves from ToKissTheCook on Vimeo.

along with my karaoke stylings

Redneck wimminz.

(photo courtesy of Secret Agent Mama.)

going to hotel sex toy parties  (sorry no, pictures, but you know what I’m talking about)

and my love of hanging out with a gaggle of loud wonderful women.
the good hashtag elevator

(photo courtesy of Secret Agent Mama.)
Me dancing on a bar didn’t even surprise you. You just welcomed me home with hugs and stale pizza.

I know you think it’s funny what I do. But I love that you let me do it.

I love that you’re the one I get to be tangled up with every night when the lights go out.

You make my heart flutter.

Happy Forced Romance Day, baby.

OH! My oats they have a first naaaame…

…it’s Q-U-A-K-E-R!
My oats also make this:
Vanilla Raspberry Oatmeal Brulee
Vanilla raspberry oatmeal brulee
In fact here’s me with my main Quaker man first thing in the morning headed down to make some. (Dude, if you have ever tried it, or can even imagine, you’ll know why I’m so stoked in the picture.)
Quaker Rocks My World.

Not everyone has a chefs torch sitting around to make this, but I promise it’s just as good without the burnt caramelized sugar. But what really matters is that not everyone has food in their kitchen to even make breakfast. That’s where Quaker steps it. Just by participating Quaker will donate a case of oatmeal to my local food bank, Gleaners.  Even better? Quaker has given 25 bloggers, including me, the opportunity to win a $5,000 donation to a hunger charity OF MY CHOICE if I can just get you wonderful readers and Facebookies to participate and spread the Quaker word about their Share our Strength: No Kid Hungry Program.

Now here’s what I need you to do to help me get $5,000 donated to some hungry people. (All it will take is a printer, a webcam/camera, a Facebook profile, four minutes and a willing heart.) Official rules here.

1. Click over to Start with Substance to get connected to the Quaker man’s Facebook page and once there, click to become a fan.

2. Once you become a fan at his Facebook page, download the picture of the Quaker Man, print it out, and take a family friendly picture of yourself and/or your family with him, within your four walls. (Don’t mess with the Quaker man, he demands R-E-S-P-E-C-T.)

3. Upload your picture to the fan photo page, come back here and leave a comment here with the link to your picture on Facebook. (I NEEED that comment please to prove our winning Quaker kickbuttedness.)

4. Pictures on Facebook and links in my comments must be posted in the next 24 hours. You have until 9 A.M. CST Saturday the 14th to make moosh in indy. readers THE WINNERS! I am the last blog to post the contest…LET’S GO OUT WITH A BANG!

It’s sooo on.

(Quaker has also provided a coupon for one reader and for myself to get that much closer to oatmeal bliss. But to get it you have to Facebook it up and help the hungry kids!)