Farm To Fork: Rooftop Dinner & Yoga (presented by Brooklyn Grange + Farm to Yoga)
Join us for a day of leisure and nourishment at the Brooklyn Grange and enjoy the very best the season has to offer. Tour the roof top fields of veggies and learn about the source of your food. Relax in the sunshine, overlooking the city with a yoga class lead by amazing teachers on the roof top deck. Following yoga, enliven your body with a super fresh , organic farm to fork meal grown at the Brooklyn Grange and prepared by our team of holistic chefs.
June 29th – Brooklyn Grange + Farm to Yoga
Farm to Yoga is going city-slickin’. Join us as we merge our goodness with Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm at the Navy Yard. Dynamic chef duo Hannah Gruber and Rusty Zimmerman will be serenading the flavors of the field onto our plates and Abby Paloma takes us on our mats for a rooftop yoga class, celebrating the abundance of the farm and the health of our bodies.
GETTING TO THE FARM:
Brooklyn Grange is an easy adventure into the Brooklyn Navy yard.
GENERAL DAY PLAN:
- 3:00pm Arrive with friends and check-in
- 3:15pm Farm Tour
- 4:15pm Yoga Class
- 6:00pm Dinner from the field, on the rooftop farm
EXCHANGE: $100 (FULL EXPERIENCE: YOGA, FARM TOUR, DINNER)
**All of their events are family friendly. All dinners are vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free friendly.
Please bring your yoga mat.
Space is limited and tickets are non-refundable
City Escape: A Desert Oasis With Plenty Of Sunshine
Spring has certainly taken it’s time to show up in NYC, but at our latest city escape we found glorious sunshine in full force. The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, located in beautiful Arizona, is a perfect destination for those seeking fun, relaxation and outrageous spring temperatures. Located on 62 acres of Sonoran Desert, this expansive resort truly has something for everyone.
The property is gorgeous featuring manicured rose gardens and fountained lagoons, interspersed with natural desert fauna and the majestic McDowell Mountains as a backdrop. Accommodations range from deluxe rooms to private casitas, all boasting a great combination of luxury and comfort. Throughout the resort, the Spanish style architecture brings old world charm, and modern touches give the property a luxurious contemporary edge.
Five sparkling swimming pools await guests ready to cool off or soak in the sun. The South pool offers a trendy vibe with luxurious cabanas and a happening poolside bar, while the expansive East pool is beyond family friendly. The Sonoran Splash pool is a huge hit for kids of all ages, featuring two twisting water slides, as well as a serene zero gravity entry pool for the little or less adventurous ones. No matter where you head, reclined chaise lounges and towering palms await.
Well & Being, the resort’s amazing spa and wellness center, is by far the best feature of this luxury resort. Indulge in signature services like the Hacienda Retreat, a 90 minute escape featuring a unique corn & lime exfoliating scrub followed by a richly hydrating mask of shea butter, lime and soothing lemon. The gentle massage application and “cocooning” that follows will have you falling into a deep relaxing state you won’t want to end. Inevitably it will though, but don’t despair, the spa also offers an amazing array of amenities including an impressive whirlpool, inhalation rooms, an outdoor waterfall “grotto” and a glistening rooftop pool.
Another fabulous part of Well & Being is the unique fitness classes that are offered (which incidentally are also included at no additional cost when purchasing any spa service). Forget regular old yoga or cardio classes, Well & Being takes things to a whole other level with Aerial Yoga, TRX Suspension training and super fun SurfSET Fitness.
Of course good food is essential at any vacation spot, and Fairmont Scottsdale doesn’t disappoint. In fact we were also impressed with the healthy options available. A smoothie and juice bar sit within Well & Being, and their delectable spa menu– offering black bean burgers, quinoa crab cakes, and more– is available throughout the resort. The Fairmont also features an array of acclaimed restaurants. La Hacienda, their latest opening combines incredible ambiance with modern mexican flare. And The Grill, which sits overlooking the impressive Stadium golf course is a step above most “clubhouse” restaurants, with delicious salads and inventive mains.
All in all, the Fairmont is a desert oasis offering beautiful surroundings and amazing amenities. The first class spa and wellness offerings make having a HealthyStyle vacation easy. Relaxation is easy there, and of course, they also have one thing we all have been missing– plenty of sunshine!
To find out more about the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess or to make reservations and receive $100 Resort Credit Click HERE.
City Escape: A “HealthyStyle” Vacation at PGA National In Palm Gardens
With snow and ice being the leading story here in NYC, what better time to escape to warmth and relaxation. The Sunshine State is a top pick this time of year, with perfect temperatures and plenty of direct flights. Palm Beach Gardens has a wealth to offer– from top tier golf courses to golden beaches, not to mention some unexpected treasures along the way.
Our latest trip took us to PGA National, a luxury resort and spa in the heart of Palm Beach Gardens. Famous for it’s championship golf courses, this hotel delivers for those looking to tee it up and play where the pros do. However, we found out that this hotel holds much more than just great golf. A gorgeous pool and spa complex, a variety of dining options and a wealth of activities await– all within an expansive resort that (pleasantly) has more of a country club feel.
One unique feature of PGA National is the enormous Health & Racquet Center that makes having a “HealthyStyle” vacation easy. Guests have unlimited access to the fitness center which includes state of the art equipment and a full schedule of group fitness classes. We took a challenging vinyasa class and on the way passed by a active spin studio. The center also offers up 19 Har Tru tennis courts, racquetball courts and an outdoor lap pool. Fitness is easy here, and unlimited access is included in the price of your stay.
Of course vacation is often about relaxation and The Spa At PGA National definitely delivers that. Newly renovated, this full service spa and salon offers over 100 treatment including unique water therapies and exclusive signature services. My treatment of choice was the Plush Papaya, an invigorating pineapple scrub that is topped off with deliciously decadent swedish massage. No matter what you choose, make sure to leave time to enjoy the spa’s Waters of the World mineral pools, each containing healing salts that have been imported from around the world. Relax in the Slies De Biern or let tension and stress float away in the Dead Sea.
If you’re looking for a different kind of water therapy, the resort’s main pool complex is another sparkling option. The enormous zero-entry main pool perfect for all, and plush lounge chairs and towering palms allow vacation to be what it should be. The poolside Wave restaurant offers creative dishes (try the island explosion salad) and live music on weekends.
Endless great options await within PGA National Resort, and even more just outside it’s borders. Some of Florida’s best beaches are within a few short miles. Our favorite by far was Blowing Rock Nature Preserve– a peaceful barrier island sanctuary in neighboring Jupiter Beach. Walk windy trails through the mangroves and along the dunes and sit on magnificent unspoiled beaches. Keep your eyes open and you’re likely to see all sorts of species- from gulls and blue crabs to loggerhead turtles. Surf, sand and sunshine…I’ll take them any day over snow.
Silent Retreats: One New Yorkers Quiet Reflection
While I used to live for the busy streets of New York, after-work industry parties and large street fairs or events, these days I crave silence. I never thought it could happen, and hope my need for slowing down has nothing to do with fact that I’m approaching the big 4-0…um, in a few years. It does help that I moved out to the river town of Hastings on Hudson. And while I can see the beautiful NewYork skyline from the edge of our town, I welcome the distance.
All this quiet got me interested in signing up for a three silent retreat at the Ananda ashram, an pretty yoga retreat and spiritual center founded by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, only 40 minutes from where I live. Most people think they would go mad not talking for days long. Speaking is everything to many people, and if you notice most people have a lot to say about very little. But no judgement there! I’m guilty.
So I drove up to the ashram and silent retreat lead by this guru lady Joan Suval. Joan looked like a nun to me, wearing an all white robe and with white hair pinned back. But instead, she turned out to be an old Jewish woman who studied with the guru Sarasvati since the age of 30. She was wise, spiritual, open minded and funny at the same time. Not your average Jewish grandmother! I was drawn to her instantly and called the “Mother of the Ashram” I could tell everyone felt the same way.
Although we weren’t allowed to talk, we took yoga classes, meditated, watched a movie, walked through the woods and around a lake, saw a traditional Indian concert at night, chanted and had big vegetarian buffets for meals. (which was one of my fav parts. I wondered how staying silent could make someone so ravenous!)
Joan also gave us talks about life and philosophical teachings from the guru that eased our worries and lifted our spirit. Here were some of the points I remembered jotted down in my note book:
- Our ego is like a drunken monkey with a loaded gun — don’t give into it.
- The more people disturb us, the more you advance. — meaning every person or situation that upsets us is only there to be our teacher and bring new knowledge. Welcome the challenges, they are our biggest teacher. You can be happy with every problem if you know it will advance you in self realization.
- It’s only through the quiet and calm that we make the most progress. When our mind is busy, we have no clarity and no wisdom. Quiet is the gateway to clarity and progress…
I was feeling pretty calm during the weekend…and happy. From a distance, my life seemed perfect and exactly in line.
Though when I first got home, I told myself a different story. All of a sudden, I started to feel stress creeping into my senses, and things and people were weighing to me. Joan’s teachings weren’t helping me in my new moments and the transition from silence to life felt a little drastic. How could I feel so great and then feel so bad? (And it wasn’t even that time of the month!)
But after a couple of days and some patience, I got it together and found my silent center again. Life is funny that way. Things always work out on their own, with time and without much effort. These days I know the ashram is always only 40 minutes if I need to get quiet and create that peaceful state again — a vacation from the mind. Then again, I can always put that “In Silence” button on and wear at around my home and work. I’m sure no one would mind. They might even welcome it!
This Weekend: Experience Fall Five Different Ways
Five Fun Fall Activities This October Has In Store:
Apples & Pumpkins
What better way to spend a Saturday or Sunday with the fam, your man or even a good group of girlfriends (apple pie baking fest, anyone?) than to hop in the car and head outside the city for a few hours and stock up on all of fall’s most natural and favorite treats? For you Long Islanders, be sure to check out Fink’s Farm for a bevy of fall related activities, like going through the 7 acre maze or having a bite of some delicious roasted corn. Or there’s Wilklow Orchards in Highland NY, complete with its own little roadside stand filled with all the fresh fall baked goods your heart desires. For those headed to New Jersey, there’s also Riamede Farms which offers 34 varieties of apples from the classics to even a few specialties. All in all, New York and beyond is in no way short on delivering in the pumpkin and apple department this fall!
With the weather changing, although it’s fun to get outside for a few hours and enjoy the crisp temperatures, sometimes it’s just as fun to head inside and curl up with a good movie. The 49th New York Film Festival is the perfect excuse to get inside on one of these upcoming rainy days (they’re inevitable, let’s face it), have some popcorn and enjoy a cinematic masterpiece. With classics playing like Ben Hur to some of the most buzzed about films of the season like The Descendants (George Clooney? Sign me up!) and My Week with Marilyn, it’s sure to be every movie lovers dream come true!
One of my favorite fall activities is hitting the stores looking for the perfect sweater. Sure, summer has its perks with all the fun skirts and tank tops to choose from, but a true New Yorker should know the art of stocking your closet filled with a unique sweater for every occasion. With fashion heavy weight DVF going modern with an exaggerated (and ultra forgiving) turtleneck that’s perfect for a fun night out, to truly affordable everyday fashion with The Gap’s striped cable-knit, there is certainly a lot to look at and try on before you make up your mind on which sweater suits you best!
Scare Me Please
Come October, not only are the stores chock full of candy and treats galore, but there’s also an endless amount of Halloween related activities around the city to choose from.
Something fun for the whole family is the Halloween Pumpkin Parade and Sail in Central Park. Be sure to wear your costume and bring your most prized carved Jack O’Lantern to take part in NYC’s largest pumpkin flotilla at twilight.
New York Botanical Garden plays host to the Haunted Pumpkin Garden October 1st – 30th. Although this is another great activity to check out with the kids, it’s not lacking in the scare department. With spooky scarecrows, spiders and snakes at every turn and an after dark nighttime adventure in the garden, remember to bring your flashlight and best creepy costume to really get in the Halloween spirit!
Parade Me Around
Fall is definitely the season of parades, and quite frankly, we’ll take ‘em! With the annual Columbus Day parade bringing 35,000 marchers, bands and floats all making their way down Fifth Avenue, this is one spectacle not to be missed!
For some parade fun you can take part in yourself, NYC’s Village Halloween Parade is definitely one to check out. All those in costume are invited to join hundreds of puppets, 53 bands, dancers and artists on the trek down Sixth Avenue on the night of the 31st.
All in all ladies, let’s make this the season of the 3 F’s: Fall Festive Fun!
City Escape: Farm Time In Gansevoort, NY
Until recently when I heard the name Gansevoort my only association was the trendy NYC hotel chain where I would sip cocktails rooftop or work them off at Exhale. I came to find out, Gansevoort is also a town about 3 hours north of the city (near Saratoga Springs) which would become the destination of our very first road trip with little Miss A.
I had found a sweet little cabin on a farm on airbnb and since Aria is obsessed with animals I thought it would be an adventure. And, adventure it was since the cabin was without electricity or running water (I totally knew this going in), and although a very slight inconvenience at times, it totally added to the experience.
The cabin itself was gorgeous (beautiful wood interior from floor to ceiling and tons of windows) and the location was perfect for unwinding. We would wake in the mornings to total silence, except for the occasional distant whinny of one of the horses (Aria’s first word in the morning was always an exuberant “Horsey!”). Each day we would go for walks and wander down and see the animals. Evenings consisted of watching the sun go down, cooking out ( on the fire pit/dutch oven, propane burners or charcoal grill) and sitting on the front stoop star gazing and using lanterns to light our way inside. We throughly enjoyed “roughing it” and the beauty, serenity and fun we found there.
Although we could have easily stayed put and enjoyed the weekend without ever leaving the property, we ventured off and found some great local spots. On Saturday I dropped Aria’s dad to golf, and she and I hit Lake George State Park, a lovely spot with several little beaches, a very touristy beach main street and trails and campsite (we snuck in a hot shower there). On Sunday we all hit Saratoga Springs, which, much to my surprise, I loved. It has a great main street, cosmopolitan restaurants and a whole lot of charm. Of course, Saratoga is known for the horse race track so on the way back we checked out the ponies and placed a few bets which was good fun.
All around it was a winning weekend, and one I’d totally recommend for any urbanite looking to shake off the city and get back to the basics.
Check out more of my musings on motherhood and more on MommyhoodTake1.com
V’s Corner: Yoga Teacher Training Week One (hola from Mexico!)
One week through my Yoga Teacher Training here at the beautiful Present Moment Retreat in Troncones Mexico. Our first week was filled with fun, introspection, surf, sand, practice, poses, meditation, and lots of OMs!
This first week there were plenty of asanas (poses) but the real focus was on the spiritual aspect of yoga. Yoga after all means connection– connection to breath, connection to others, and connection to what lies within us. For many the physical practice is what allows us then to really relax–to quiet the business in their head and just “be”. I know for me this is why I fell in love with yoga. It was one of the few things were I could quiet my chatty mind and let go of all that was going on there, and really connect in to what I know is true and important. Sometimes in the craziness of life (especially in a frantic city like NY) we get caught up in our thoughts, our issues, and in all the incidentals in our life, and lose focus on what’s truly important.
Cleansing also came into play this week— physically, mentally and emotionally. We discussed things like letting go and giving up the things that don’t serve us, for these cover our truth and only through shedding layers can it truly and fully experienced. School Yoga Institute uses the Sadhana Yoga tradition which focuses on spiritual practice and was what attracted me to this training program. We’ve delved into a variety of meditation practices, chanted and talked all about methods that can help us further turn inward.
A physical cleanse also went along with it all, and I experienced my first “raw” cleanse (only taking in foods that are uncooked and pure–no preservatives, etc). Luckily for this crunchy, salad eating, hummus loving yogi, it wasn’t at all jilting. Sure I gave up my coffee with cream and brown rice and cooked veggies, but there were SO many delicious, creative dishes here at Present Moment that I never felt like I was missing out. Big tropical fruit plates, coconut salads, sprouted quinoa and a plethora of made-to-order smoothies and healthy juices. I certainly never felt deprived, and I was amazed at how light and bright and energetic I was. GO raw! Aside from the clay drink we also took down twice daily, I would do it again in a heartbeat.
So, all in all it was a great week. I’ll chat more about what’s happening on the mat next post. I’ve got my first “test” tomorrow, and a 6am daily wake up so this yogi must go to bed. It’s all good though, and I am actually amazed at how much I already know about the different poses, alignments and adjustments. It’s definitely already deepened my practiced and I can’t believe that I’ve learned a whole hatha sequence (class) in less than a week! It’s definitely been a riguourous program, but one that has been so worth the investment.
Until next week…
V’s Corner: I’m Headed To Yoga Teacher Training (and an essential tip for the new yogi)!
So among my latest decisions, was the one to do a yoga teacher training in Mexico this spring. Becoming a yoga instructor was never part of my plan or on the “to-do” list, but, as with most things I’ve experienced, the road of life simply lead me there.
I’ve been enamored with yoga since my first downward dog, and through the years my love affair with it (and extreme appreciation for it) has only grown deeper. I could go on and on about all the benefits– especially those beyond the physical, but I’ll save that for another post.
What I do tell everyone who thinks about getting on the mat for the first time, or giving it a second or third shot, is to find a style and a teacher who you connect with. This is essential. There are SO many different types of yoga, from a more athletic ashtanga to a more gentle restorative practice, and even within each style, every instructor has their own twist (pun intended). To connect with the instructor and find one that “speaks your language” both physically and spiritually, is essential– especially for those just starting out.
The same goes for yoga teacher trainings. There are a plethora out there, each with it’s own unique style, location, and duration. All 200 hr courses require just that, but the allocation of those hours varies drastically.The programs also vary on how the execute the Yoga Alliance requirements. I investigated local trainings in NYC, many spreading the course over 4-6 months and taking place mainly on weekends or after weekday evenings. But for me, a more intensive program– one where I was immersed completely for 3 weeks straight– eating, breathing and living the yogic lifestyle 24/7, was more my style. Of course, it also didn’t hurt that that the School Yoga Institute training that I choose took place at Present Moment Retreat — a boutique hotel and yoga spa on the Pacific Riviera complete with bungalows and spiritual gardens.
So, indeed, come early summer I will be certified to teach the art of yoga. I’ve yet to decide in what capacity that will be, but I know this experience will be one of my best yet, even if I decide never to teach. For, like many things in yoga and life alike, the journey is just as important (if not more) than the destination. I know that this program will bring a wealth of knowledge and benefits, new strength and wisdom, and, as with all the great adventures in life, bring about change for the better by broadening my perspective and appreciation.
I look forward to sharing the experience with you and will be sure to post updates from time to time as I go through 3 week program. It’s an intensive 200 hour program, but I know it will be blissful and life-changing. If anyone wants to join me for enlightenment south of the border, there is still room (and a special HSNY discount to boot– see below!)
See you in Mexico!
City Escape: Islamorada’s Cheeca Lodge
Luxury might not be the first word that comes to mind when you think of the Florida Keys. In fact, the string of islands that extends from Key Largo to Key West is known for having a no-pretense, laid-back attitude where sand between the toes and good times take precedence. Kitschy motels and beach front dives are around every turn, offering no-frills accommodations and little more.
Yet, we found a place that holds onto the essence of the keys, while offering first class accommodations, five star service, and an amazing array of amenities. Yes, luxury is not lost in Islamorada. Cheeca Lodge has been serving it up for decades, attracting everyone from former presidents to celebrities, and after a 30 million dollar renovation, is better than ever.
Located on 27 lush acres, the grandeur of this resort can be felt within the first steps. The beautiful entrance courtyard and open air lobby instantly welcome guests, and the 214 guest rooms, bungalows and suites impress with west indian style decor that exudes tropical luxury. Premiere suites go beyond, with expansive ocean front balconies complete with whirlpool tubs, and glassed in rain showers that allow bather’s to gaze out over the sea. Cheeca’s 1100 feet of private beachfront (enormous considering many key’s resorts can barely claim a beach) offers guests the perfect place to soak in the sun or stroll under towering palm trees. Unique features like the resort’s private lagoon and impressive 525 wooden fishing pier get guests face to face with tropical fish, and paddleboards and kayaks are on standby for those seeking a closer encounter.
For those looking to stay on land the resort also offers up six lighted tennis courts and a Jack Nicklaus designed 9-hole par 3 golf course, with clubs rentals included in your stay. Guests also have access to beach cruisers and young and old alike can be seen biking throughout the gardens and resort beachfront. “Family friendly” is an understatement at Cheeca, and kids 5-12 can experience “Camp Cheeca”, a day camp that reveals the natural wonders of the Florida Keys (and gives mom and dad a chance to truly relax).
Accommodating to all, Cheeca offers a gorgeous adult-only pool complete with plush chaise lounges and butler serviced cabanas. The spa completes the relaxation factor offering services with a tropical flair including sea plant wraps and signature hot lava shell massages. Beachfront sunrise yoga and an array of fitness classes are on the resort’s menu as well.
Speaking of which, three on-site restaurants and a wood-thatched tiki bar cater to all culinary tastes, and make ever having to leave the resort unnecessary. Outdoor and beachfront dining give guests the opportunity to indulge on delicious fare and a stunning backdrop.
From dawn ‘til dusk, Cheeca provides the perfect place to enjoy the fullness of the Florida Keys. A tropical playground and relaxing oasis, it’s a all in one resort with top tier amenities and a laid back, island vibe. It’s luxury at it’s best…no shoes required.
City Escape: La Playa Resort & Spa
Looking out from some of the oceanfront rooms at La Playa Resort, you may mistake the view for one aboard a cruise ship, not a land bound luxury resort. Turquoise waters stretch out as far as the eye can see, rhythmic waves greet you each morning, and sparkling sunsets serenade at night. It’s not until you step out onto the balcony that you actually realize that you are on indeed on land and powdery white sands stretch out below the hotel’s feet.
It’s proximity to the Gulf is just one of the features that make La Playa Beach Resort special. Just 33 steps from the beach, it is one of Florida’s only resorts to provide guests with instant access to surf, sand and miles of beautiful coastline. Located just south of one of Florida’s state parks, it also gives guests the opportunity to enjoy unspoiled beaches and get a glance of the west coast’s natural ecosystem.
La Playa is truly geared towards escaping the hustle and bustle, and focusing on rest and relaxation. Sand between the toes and sun on the skin becomes part of the daily routine, and to-do lists now include scouring the beach for shells or just gazing out trying to find where the water actually meets the horizon.
Each of the 198 guest rooms is beautifully decorated in a classic yet modern island motif. All have a bright airy feel about them, and unique features like four post beds and well-selected art add to the aesthetic appeal. If you’re lucky enough to stay in one of their 9 luxury suites, be prepared to be impressed. Those that face the gulf are blessed with those unprecedented water views and, even while enjoying your shower, you can gaze out over the sea.
The resort also provides guests with a full array of amenities to satisfy every need. There are multiple pools to play in, access to beach and water sports and a great golf course for those looking to hit the greens. Those seeking pure relaxation can head to Spa Terre, the on-site boutique spa, and indulge in signature services like the Tropical Essence Massage and Island Fresh Scrub.
Perhaps the most spectacular time at La Playa is sunset. Guests gather everywhere from balconies to the beach to take it in. La Playa’s restaurant and bar, Baleen, also provides a perfect place to sit outside (there’s even a beach fire pit) and sip a cocktail and enjoy the show. Stick around for dinner though, because Baleen serves deliciously inventive cuisine and is accompanied by impeccable service. The locally caught grouper is a house favorite and the extensive wine list keeps connoisseurs coming back.
La Playa is the perfect place to discover new beauty, indulge the senses and truly relax and rejuvenate. It is saturated in sunshine and southern hospitality and gives guests luxury with a smile, making them want to return before they’ve even left!
For more information on La Playa Resort head to www.laplayaresort.com.