September Raves

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

It’s fall ya’ll, and as much I try to protest the end of every summer, I always surprise myself with how much I really do enjoy this season. There are some wonderful smells, foods, events, and fashions that just don’t feel right any other time of year. On that note, here’s what I’m raving about this month.

Harry & David Pumpkin Macaroon Candle

Harry & David Pumpkin Macaroon Candle

Nothing is more fragrantly fall than anything pumpkin. It’s mandatory to burn pumpkin scented candles in my home each night from mid September to Thanksgiving. This year my pick is this pumpkin macaroon (yes macaroon, not macaron) scented candle from Harry & David. Even better was the price. I picked it up from Home Goods for $5.99. It has kept my home smelling perfectly pumpkin. I may have to go pick up a second one, just because.

Rare find on Facebook!

Rare find on Facebook!

Speaking of Home Goods I’d like to give a special shout out to them and Pier 1 Imports. I recently moved and both stores have been my go to for decorating my new space, without overdoing on decor and dollars. If there’s anything I’m raving about this month it’s minimalism. I’ve always been a minimalist, but moving gave me the best excuse to purge. I got rid of so much stuff that I didn’t use via Goodwill and Facebook sale groups. I’m totally raving about Facebook sale pages. Not only was I able to get money for and recycle things I no longer needed, but I also found some great furniture that I did need. I picked up a fabulous sleigh bed for my son and an amazing (possibly one of a kind) entry table with mirror set. Check out your local Facebook buy/sell/barter pages. You never know what you might earn…or find!

Eve's Tree hoodies clockwise from top: The Sophie in Evergreen, The Ashley in Sienna, The Lisa Golden

Evy’s Tree hoodies clockwise from top:
The Sophie in Evergreen, The Ashley in Sienna, The Lisa Golden

Finding things is awesome and my favorite recent find is a small company (that’s growing larger by the minute) called Evy’sTree (evystree.com)After I purged I made a vow to never again buy ANYTHING unless I absolutely NEEDED or LOVED it. I just can’t take having unnecessary stuff (or spending) in my life. Well, I may not need everything from Evy’s Tree (though I have convinced myself that I do), but I LOVE everything they make, and when I love something (as evidenced by the throw blanket on my couch that I bought in college) I’ll hold onto it forever, getting more than my money’s worth. I found Evy’s Tree on Instagram while I was doing work for a social media client. They make fashionably addictive and comfortable hoodies with feminine touches like ruffles and patterned lining. I purchased one and commented about it on Twitter. After that they asked me to test run two of their products. Brilliant of them, because I’ve bought two more since. They release new hoodies each month and offer them at pre-sale prices. I can’t wait for my next two to get here. I finally can feel like I’m wearing sweats all the time, but look polished and pulled together. Prices range from $79(intro) to $119 (full). Follow them on Instagram @evystreeofficialTwitter @EvysTree and find them on Facebook. Tell them I sent you, and then thank me when you are luxuriating in the highest quality, most comfortable hoodie you’ve ever owned.

Dare Maple Leaf Creme Cookies

Dare Maple Creme Cookies

Fall flavors are fantastic. Say that one ten times fast. Costco makes a pumpkin muffin to die for. It’s one of my weekend cheats, as you all know I eat clean Monday-Friday (I need to write about that again as it’s really working, people keep asking me how I’ve gotten so slim). Another fall treat in my home are Maple Creme Cookies by Dare cookie company. I dare you to try these and not get addicted. I first had these maple leaf shaped treats on a trip to Vermont many years ago. They are extremely popular there. They look beautiful in a glass cookie jar. Tasty, and fall functional.

The Skinnygirls await my housewarming party.

The Skinnygirls await my housewarming party.

For those of us that can’t let summer go, you can enjoy the perfectly peach taste of summer year round with White Peach Margarita from Skinnygirl Cocktails. My awesome friends over at SG sent me some samples of their line to taste test on a few friends (a Skinnygirl “sponsored” housewarming party is in the works). I held a small unpacking party and this flavor went very quickly. It’s got just the right amount of sweet, which I think compliments any dessert, no matter the season!

So those are my current obsessions. Let me know what you think of them and tell me, what are YOU obsessed with? If there’s something you think I need to try for my next Rave Page give it a shout out in the comments!

Regards and hugs,

TBB

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Hundred Thousand Dollar Listing and Guess Who’s (Maybe) Moving To Beverly Hills

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Taylor and John back on TV?                                          Photo: E!Online

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

Here’s a recipe for you:

Take Ryan Serhant , transgender him, place him in the suburbs and knock down the price of sale to what typically is chump change on Million Dollar Listing New York.

Welcome to my life. For the past year I have dealt with strangers, many inconsiderate, traipsing their dirty shoes through my house at all inconvenient hours only to tear it (and my hope and pride) apart. Until finally somebody saw what I see (at a much reduced price from what I paid) and gave me the opportunity to be an inconsiderate stranger dragging my dirty shoes through somebody else’s price inflated house.

Welcome to the reality of the real estate game. It’s not glamorous. It’s tedious, disheartening, emotional, expensive and very messy. Luckily, I have crossed many hurdles and can see the light (or the wires hanging from the spot where my chandelier once hung that I will have to replace) at the end of the tunnel.

It’s been a long road, but hopefully the bank will see that I am trustworthy, honest, and not laundering drug money (yeah they really suspect everybody of that these days) and soon I will have my upsized new home (and the bills that come with it).

Until that day my life is in chaos, which is why I have not been on my A game with this blog. I am good with optimism, I am good with finding the humor in the darkest of situations, but I SUCK at compartmentalizing my feelings. Like many writers I wear my heart on my sleeve, and the feeling that I have the hardest time suppressing is that of anxiety (my friends over at Skinnygirl cocktails sometimes help me with that one). So, alas, I have found it nearly impossible to focus on ANYTHING  but making this move happen (that and helping my friends over at nikscreations.com with their social media campaign). I do plan on being very inspired once all is said and done, however, as my new abode has the perfect spot just for me to sit and write. Oh think of the interior decorating I will do…and write about!

Speaking of new abodes here’s a little niblet just for you all as I don’t believe ANYBODY else in the loop has heard this one yet. A reliable source has told me that Taylor Armstrong and hubby John Bluher (Couples Therapy-Season 4) are in talks to return to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills:

“Taylor is living in Scottsdale (AZ) for now but is moving,” our source says. “(She) is going back to RHOBH. No one knows yet. They’re looking for a home in Beverly Hills.”

Where did our source hear this little nugget? Why from Mr. and Mrs. Bluher themselves. So would you like to see Taylor back as a 90210 Housewife? Tell us your thoughts below!

Until then, happy house-hunting Taylor and John. Welcome to my world.

Secrets and Wives- Bravo Finally Nails Long Island

From Left: Liza Sandler, Amy Miller, Gail Greenberg,Susan Doneson,Cori Goldfarb, and Andi Black of Secrets and Wives Photo: Bravotv.com

From Left: Liza Sandler, Amy Miller, Gail Greenberg,Susan Doneson,Cori Goldfarb, and Andi Black of Secrets and Wives
Photo: Bravotv.com

By Tara Cushing (@TheBravoBlonde)

Cori Goldfarb, Gail Greenberg, Andi Black, Amy Miller, Liza Sandler, and Susan Doneson. It may read like the roster from my childhood summer camp, but this is actually the cast from Bravo’s latest reality venture Secrets and WivesThis is Bravo’s second attempt to bring us catfights and crazy from Long Island, NY, and I think this time they may have gotten it right. Princesses Long Island was just too young, and the drama was too juvenile. Even myself, who is fluent in the language of the Jewish American Princess, couldn’t get into it. However, with SW, the princesses are all wearing their big girl panties, and dropping them for one another’s husbands. Throw in all the talk of blow jobs and it really is like my summer camp.

The cast of Secrets has all the makings of reality star success. The women are unapologetically raw with their language, they think out loud, and they live over the top in magnificent mansions…some floated by ex-husbands. There are lots of ex-husbands and ex-husband drama to boot. Liza Sandler (@TheLizaSandler) is the typical Long Island blonde tanorexic. She lives in a fabulous home that her ex is trying to sell out from under her. Episode one featured her crying in frustration into the steering wheel of her Mercedes after he pushes her buttons via phone.

No need to worry too much about Liza, as she’s never alone. She’s got her BFF Andi Black (@TheAndiBlack) to share her home and fart in her bed…yes this was really a conversation on the show. I’m still not sure exactly what Andi is doing at Liza’s. I often miss some of the details on the show because I’m trying to tell all these bottle blondes apart, hence why it’s taken me two episodes to review.Thank heavens for Susan Doneson.

Susan (@SusanDoneson) is the token brunette, and Italian (or wannabe Italian…is Doneson an Italian name?) on the show. Italians and Jews are like peanut butter and jelly. We all have the same values…food, family, loud talking, and food. Susan lives on the South Shore of Long Island, which means in comparison to her mansion dwelling North Shore counterparts, she’s slumming it a-la Antonia Gorga in a nice sized colonial. She also works, and doesn’t cease to remind the wealthy housewives around her of that fact. Susan is not only the resident Italian, she’s also the resident pot stirrer. She’s got a story and opinion about everybody and has outed Liza as the group slut. Susan’s husband is a Tony Soprano type who hung out with Liza in high school. Note most of these women have known each other since high school. These days Susan’s husband seems better suited to hang out with Dorinda Medley‘s boyfriend on The Real Housewives of New York City

Amy Miller (@amydmillerr) is the hopeless romantic of the group, in an equally hopeless relationship. She’s sweet and vulnerable, and is with a veritable jerk. Well, he’s only a jerk in front of other people and cameras. Like Snuffelupgas was to Big Bird, this is Amy’s boyfriend to everybody else. Nobody, not even her own son, has seen the supposed soft side of this man. The women all talk about Amy in worried whispers. To me she’s the most down to earth and I hope she gets her happy ending.

Gail Greenberg (@Gailygreenberg) is the group outcast. The second (or is it third) wife of the North Shore’s most prominent plastic surgeon, she shuffles around her palatial estate with her little dog and maid in tow. Whether packing for fabulous vacations, or being the star of Soul Cycle class, Gail is forever chasing the fountain of youth in pigtails…yes she wore pigtails in episode two, just ask Susan.

Cori Goldfarb (@Corigoldfarb) may just be my favorite. She’s an entrepreneur who traded in her Hamptons vacation home to open Truth and Beauty, a luxurious spa that appears to be bleeding money as she and her husband struggle to get it off the ground. Cori is no nonsense and blunt, but retains her class at the same time, which is more than I can say for the others. She raises her daughters with the right dose of love and sarcasm, the same sarcasm with which she nurtures her marriage.

If Secrets and Wives can retain its natural flow between the women of the cast this show could be the reality savior Bravo has been looking for. However, if history repeats itself and the women get caught up in faking drama we will end up with Real Housewives Of New Jersey with a side of Challah bread. For now however I give Secrets and Wives two tackily manicured thumbs up.