Friday, January 30, 2009

We Are One Concert

Because I missed the initial airing of the “We are One Concert” for the inauguration, I was happy to find it on HBO On Demand last night. While the performances were amazing there were two parts that really struck me.

The first was a reading of JFK’s speech he made to Amherst College about the importance of the arts. The second was the performance of Marion Davies.

If you missed the original airing of the concert, check it out On Demand. It’s definitely not one to miss!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Amazing Cocoa Bean

While out to dinner with a good friend this past weekend, I learned something new about a food I am very familiar with; the cocoa bean. Turns out, the quality and taste of chocolate has everything to do with where the bean was grown. Just as grapes become Cabernets or Pinot Noirs depending on the conditions of the exact hillside on which they grow, the origin of a specific cocoa bean determines the type of chocolate it will become. I found all of this so interesting I thought it would be great to share it with my readers!

Both grapes and cocoa beans are greatly impacted by factors like climate and soil, as well as quantities of sunlight and rain. Cocoa beans are generally catagorized into three types: Forastero (accounting for 85% of the world's cocoa), Trinitario (about 10%), and Criollo (less than 5%). As with most things, the rarer the better, and Criollo beans are considered to make the finest, most expensive chocolate in the world.

Like wine connoisseurs, chocolate aficionados pay attention to aroma, taste and look. The flavor of Criollo is described as delicate yet complex, low in classic chocolate flavor, but rich in "secondary" notes of long duration, with a reddish coloring.

The largest areas of cocoa bean growth

Next time you bite into a piece of chocolate, take a moment to reflect on one of nature's great marvels: the amazing cocoa bean!

What is your favorite place to get chocolate? Please leave a comment.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Good Investment

This past weekend I was able to attend the Antique shows and I was inspired and reminded about how wonderful the art of collecting antiques can be. This economy provides an great buyers market. If you have a little money to spend I would definitely suggest investing in antiques. Instead of buying furniture pieces that will fall apart within a year why not invest in a piece that has been proven to last a lifetime. As a friend once said to me "if you can't afford good art, start with good furniture."

The 55th Annual Winter Antiques Show
Jan. 23 - Feb. 1, 2009
Park Avenue Armory
Park Avenue at 67th Street
New York City
Open Daily12 noon - 8 p.m.
Except: Sundays & Thursday12 noon - 6 p.m.
$20 Admission

What is your favorite antique you own? Please leave a comment!

Keeping Your Pet Safe on Cold Winter Days

While it is important for us to bundle up in the winter, it is even more important that we keep our pets safe during the cold winter months. Here are a few suggestions that will help make sure your pet has a healthy and safe winter.

- No matter what the temperature is, windchill can always harm a pet and it is best to keep them indoors as much as possible.

- However, if you have a pet that does spend most of its time outdoors they need much more food and water because keeping warm depletes their energy faster.

- Many pets require a little bit more food to maintain a healthy weight and stay warm. Be sure to keep a close eye on your pets weight, making sure that it maintains healthy and does not go too high or low.

- Older pets are more susceptible to being harmed by the cold. So if you have a senior dog or cat keep a closer eye on their weight and food intake.

- Be careful of the salt and other chemicals that are used to melt snow which can irritate the pads of your pets feet. When they come in from a walk be sure to wash their feet immediately, before they are able to lick their feet and ingest the chemicals.

- Also watch your pets around Anti-freeze it has a sweet taste to pets but is a deadly poison. Be sure to store anti-freeze in a cabinet that is out of reach of children and pets.

How do you protect your pet in the winter? Please leave a comment.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Fast Track to Healthy Eating

Today's blog is not about food per say, but rather the lack of food I've had this week! My best friends and I are doing a five day cleanse together and... today is day three. I agreed to take part to wean myself off the large amount of sweets I consume.

The cleanse we chose is the Organic Avenue Five Day LOVEdeep fast. Instead of eating solid foods, every day we drink a series of seven "elixirs," each providing a different nutrient. The fast is designed to drench your body with vital nutrients while giving it a break from digestion. The best part? Each day, Organic Avenue delivers your drinks in this chic burlap bag, and takes the previous day's bottles to be recycled!

I have to say it has been extremely hard giving up coffee but I am feeling energized and healthy! Only time will tell if it ends up helping curb my sugar habit. I'll let you know...

Have you ever done a fast? Please share your stories!

Monday, January 19, 2009

My Trip to the Met

To escape the cold this weekend I headed to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and spent about 5 hours wandering through their amazing new exhibits. The exhibit that was the most inspiring to me was The Philippe de Montebello: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions. The exhibition is considered a parting gift to the director that helped acquire 84,000 works while he was with the museum.

There were two furniture pieces that stood out to me above everything else. The first was a Bureau Brise writing desk that is one of the only surviving pieces commissioned for the personal use of Louis XIV. It is part of a pair and the other is at the Louver in Paris. It is so amazing to see something and think that Louis XIV once used this desk.

The second piece was a Tula table made almost completely of steel. What is so interesting about this table is that Tula was a gun manufacturing company until Katherine the Great summoned them to make furniture instead of guns. This table specifically is made of mostly steel but looks as though it is made of diamonds. The craftsmanship and design of this table is so breathtaking to me!

If you get a chance you should go see this exhibit and be inspired! If you do not live in New York City but you still want to experience the exhibit click here to look at the website.

What inspires you? Please leave a comment.

Friday, January 16, 2009

One Man's Trash...

As I am cleaning out my warehouse I have been finding tons of supplies and decor elements (like boxes and boxes of pine cones!) left over from past events. Instead of leaving these things collecting dust in my warehouse we have decided to donate them to a wonderful organization called Materials for the Arts, a program of the NYC Dept. of Cultural Affairs. Since 1978 this amazing organization has been donating materials to struggling artists and public schools throughout the New York City area. For those of you who know about my charity, ArtFunD, you know that I am extremely passionate about getting art programs back into public schools. Material for the Arts is helping increase the accessibility of art education one paint can at a time!
So, the next time you clean out your closets or garage keep an eye out for things you can donate to Materials for the Arts!

The paint room in the Material for the Arts warehouse

The Material for the Arts Warehouse

Check out their website to find out how you can donate or volunteer!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Travel Fast, Eat Light

Last week, while on a business trip, I realized something about our airports: ALL of the food is carbohydrates or sugar! While waiting for yet another delayed plane I was looking for something healthy to eat. Hidden behind the Cinnabons and Sabarro pizza all I was able to find was a soggy sandwich and a browning salad! I love sweets just as much as anyone else (maybe a bit more) but the last thing I want before boarding a plane is to be loaded with sugar and bloated from carbohydrates!

My suggestion for staying away from the unhealty food that controls the airport... eat a full meal before you leave home. And, if you know you have a layover or there is a possibility for a delay throw a few heatly snacks in your bag! As much as the smells permiate the air try to aviod that cinnabon and pizza because eventhough they may seem like a good idea at the time, you will regret it once you get on the plane!

What are your suggestions for getting around the tempting unhealthy airport food? Please leave a comment!

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Look Back at 2008

Now that we are on to 2009, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at all of the amazing things we accomplished here at David Monn, LLC in 2008. With over 100 events it is hard to show pictures of each, so here are a few of the highlights!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hug a Mug

One of my favorite ways to warm up during the dreary winter months is a warm cup of hot chocolate. Something about the smell and taste is so comforting and instantly warming.

Max Brenner, a man who shares my love for sweets, is the owner of an ingenious chain of restaurants with a menu comprised of nothing but chocolate. With two locations in New York City I am lucky to be able to stop in on a cold winter day and get my fix of hot chocolate, plus anything else I can think of made of chocolate. Not only does his hot chocolate cure my craving but he has developed the “hug mug”, a mug that is the perfect shape for cupping both of your hands around it. He even has the mug for sale in his “chocolate shop” located in his restaurant and online.

If you are in New York you must check out this fun spot; if not, don't worry you can find a lot of his products at his online store, just click here.

Hug Mug - $8.90

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pucker Up and Moisturize

One of the harshest effects of the winter season is not always on our cars or the roads but on our skin, more specifically our lips!

Lips are an extremely sensitive area on our bodies and, because they are used constantly, they become irritated quickly. Most people that I know say that they simply use chap-stick or lip stick to fix their dry lips. This plan is probably the easiest routine for helping moisturize your lips, however, this only covers up the problem.

In order to really help your lips, exfoliate your lips before applying a lip gloss. After exfoliation, the next step is finding a great gloss for protection. Sally Hershberger has come up with both a refinisher and repair cream for helping ones lips. Another product that is great at fighting off the painfully dried lips is Rosebud Salve.

Don’t leave your lips out to dry this winter!

Sally Hershberger Products
425 West 14th Street
3rd Floor
New York, NY 10014
Lip Refinisher-$12
Lip Repair-$12

Rosebud Salve
Sephora - $6
What is your favorite lip product? Please leave a comment!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Help of Heifer

If you are interested in giving a gift that can effect lives around the globe this New Year you may want to consider Heifer International giving.  Introduced to Heifer by a member of my staff, I’ve become extremely interested in Heifer’s initiatives around the world.

Heifer has created a program where you may provide struggling families with “gift animals” such as sheep, cow, llama, water buffalo, and goat.  By giving the gift of a water buffalo, for example, families are provided with milk for food, help plowing fields, they are able to rent the buffalo to neighbors to earn money, and carry heavy loads to the market.

Another great children’s gift idea that has been provided by the help of Heifer International is a book called Beatrice’s Goat, written by Beatrice Biira.  Heifer International gave the Biira family a goat when Beatrice was young.  Growing up in a small village in Uganda, the Biira’s were able to earn enough money from the goat to give Beatrice the opportunity to come to America to attend college.

What better way to give life to a family than through Heifer International, and while you give a gift you can teach your children about making a difference in someone’s life through Beatrice’s Goat.

Heifer International

Beatrice's Goat

Barnes and Noble  - $17.99