As the World Turns

November 12, 2008 at 8:17 pm (better tv) (, , , , , )

A few weeks ago, bright and early my photographer and I hopped into a car service (since no taxi driver in his right mind would take us) and headed deep into the bowels of Brooklyn to film a segment on the CBS soap opera AS THE WORLD TURNS.

We met up with Terri Colombino who plays Katie Peretti on the show and had her give us a backstage tour. They have two stages they film on – each filled sets of different rooms, restaurants, and shops. Each had three walls that looked just like a living room or kitchen or coffee shop – with a fourth open wall to film through. It was kind of like walking through a furniture store. I don’t know why–I’m usually pretty jaded!–but it struck me as immensely cool. Like a little world existing on a soundstage. They had a huge wardrobe room, filled with outfits – including wedding dresses, of course! (Terri’s character has been married six times during her ten years on the show – though only to five guys, she pointed out, since one lucky man got to walk down the aisle with her twice.) I especially loved the prop room – where each character had a basket filled with personal items. Terri rummaged through hers and found her alter-ego’s fertility pills from when she’d been trying to get pregnant.

As the World Turns

As the World Turns

As the World Turns

As the World Turns

It was especially cool to tour As the World Turns in particular because my step-grandmother has worked on the show for the last thirty something years. She plays Kim Hughes, a member of one of the original families on the show. Unfortunately she wasn’t filming the day we were there – it would have been so thrilling to see her at work! But I’m glad at least I had a chance to check out where she spends her days.

All in all, I found it a fascinating experience – to see how a soap opera works behind the scenes. I’d love to someday write for one. I think that would be the best job ever.

Here’s the segment, as it aired on Better TV.

Marianne

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Homemade Tomato Sauce

October 29, 2008 at 4:47 pm (better tv) (, , , , , )

Here’s an oldie but a goodie. Making homemade tomato sauce with Italian restauranter Donatella Arpaia. She owns some fab NYC based restaurants including Mia Dona, Anthos, and David Burke and Donatella. She learned to make tomato sauce from her own Italian family and is now passing along the secrets to Better TV.

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Celebrity Jewelry Maker Rosena Sammi

October 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm (better tv) (, , , )

Another segment I did for Better TV. This one is a profile of jewelry maker Rosena Sammi, a former lawyer, who takes the ornate styles of ancient India and creates modern, wearable pieces for present day. Her jewelry is favored by stars like Naomi Watts, Lindsay Lohan, Kristin Bell and Jesicca Alba.

It’s really beautiful – even more beautiful in real life than what you can see on this clip below. I’d love to own a piece myself. But, of course, all my jewelry, for now at least, is strictly the costume kind! πŸ™‚

Take a look!


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Leighton Meester – Gossip Girl Being Chartiable

October 3, 2008 at 6:46 pm (better tv) (, , , , , , )

Yesterday I attended a charity event in Union Square sponsored by Marshalls. The campaign, Shop ‘Til it Stops, aims to stop Domestic Violence. Anyone who brought in a pair of shoes could get a new pair free. The shoes were used to create a shoe tree sculpture, commemorating the cause.

If you missed the event, you can still help out. For every pair of shoes purchased at Marshalls from now until October 16th, Marshalls will donate $1 to support Safe Horizon. Details here.

Anyways, the coolest thing about the event was that Leighton Meester, who plays Blair Waldorf on Gossip girl, was there. She spoke to the audience, walked a runway, and donated a pair of her own shoes to the tree. I interviewed her afterwards. She was much nicer in person than her character, let me tell you! She was also thinner than she appears on television. (Though in a small bones way, not an anorexic one.) Which makes me only imagine what the 90210 girls look like in real life!

Anyway, here are some pics.

On the Red Carpet…

Leighton Meester 014

Leighton Meester 016

Donating shoes.

Leighton Meester 002

Me interviewing! And squinting…

Leighton Meester 003

Here’s the finished piece, as aired on Better TV.

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Better TV: New Mom Uniform segment

September 15, 2008 at 8:42 pm (better tv) (, , , , )

Another segment I did for Better TV. This one’s on creating a new mom wardrobe. Moms can look stylish and skip the sweats – even with the busy baby schedule.

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My Day at Fashion Week

September 12, 2008 at 11:17 am (better tv) (, , , , , , )

Yesterday was quite an amazing day. I got to experience NYC’s legendary Fashion Week through the eyes of an insider. Someone who gets invited to all the shows, is given front row seats, throws parties for the designers, etc. Now you’d think that type of person would be snobby beyond belief, but Mina Jacqueline Au is a doll. She is so sweet and treated me and my cameraman like we were her friends instead just some annoying TV crew. You don’t often get that level of genuineness from this world – she’s a rare breed.

Anyway, we started the day at around 11:30, heading up to Vallery Joseph Salon on the Upper East Side (79 and Madison) to meet up with Mina, who was getting hair and makeup done.

Mina Jacqueline Au getting ready for the day

Then we hopped in a car service and headed down to Bryant Park for the Rebecca Taylor show. Mina’s good friends with Rebecca so we were able to slip in backstage, where there was much media madness.

Photogs backstage at Rebecca Taylor Show

Mina Jacqueline Au doing step and repeat

Rebecca Taylor

Then we went to be seated. They let me have front row. I felt like a celeb. AND I got a great view of the show.

Me at Rebecca Taylor Show

The pre-show crowd was madness, too! Everyone searching for a seat and trying to pinpoint the celebs.

Pre-Rebecca Taylor Show Madness

Here’s a random celeb spotting. Anyone know who this is?

Celeb

Everyone took a seat and the show started. I love Rebecca Taylor’s stuff. The dresses are so gorgeous. Pretty colors and fabrics. I wanted them ALL. πŸ™‚ When I interviewed her later, she said she found her inspiration from the Out of Africa author.

Rebecca Taylor Show

Rebecca Taylor Show

Rebecca Taylor Show

Booties are IN this fall, people. And all the models in the show were wearing them.

Rebecca Taylor Show

This was my favorite dress of the collection. I love the color and the sparkles. I really would love to own it.

Rebecca Taylor Show

By the way, models in real life? Almost freakish. They’re not only skinny, but they’re Amazonian tall. I guess I already knew this, but it was a little different seeing it in person on a runway. After the show I saw some of them walking off to smoke cigaretes. Of course.

Outside the show we saw this guy. I think he was also a celeb or designer. Anyone know? He said his kilt was Gaultier. Of course it was!

After the show we went over to this delicious restaurant called Artisinal at Park and Madison. They specialize in cheeses. After seeing those skinny models, I decided to eat some mac and cheese in their honor!!

Mina threw a post-show cocktail party for Rebecca Taylor there. Anisha Lahkani, author of the book Schooled and Jill Fairchild, “What to Wear” publisher (and daughter of W Magazine founder and fashion world legend John Fairchild) were co-hosts. Wine, cheese and fondue. Delicious! Rashida Jones from The Office was there, as was Ramona, one of the “Real Housewives of New York.”

Rebecca Taylor and Mina Jacqueline Au

After the cocktail party, Mina and I got changed for the nighttime show and party.

Marianne Mancusi and Mina Jacqueline Au

She had a room at the Shoreham hotel in the Penthouse. It was an amazing hotel room with a glowy sink! I want!

Glowy sink at the Shoreham

I wore my Betsy Johnson dress, which I must admit I bought at Buffalo Exchange in Williamsburg. I’m poor! But I LOVE this dress all the same.

Me in Betsy Johnson

Then we headed back to the tents to the Custo Barcelona show. I saw socialite Tinsley Mortimer – who recently guest starred on Gossip Girl – in the front row – and stole a pic.

Tinsley Mortimer at Custo Barcelona

Unfortunately this show was packed to capacity so I was stuck back in standing room only. So my pics aren’t as good.

Custo Barcelona Show

Custo Barcelona Show

Custo Barcelona Show

Custo Barcelona Show

After the show we headed to Marquee to a private party thrown by Kerry Cassidy. She’s currently filming a reality show for Bravo along with Devorah Rose so you’ll probably see more of her soon. Jacob joined me for the party and we got drinks (as worktime was over!) and people watched.

Then we went back to real life and ate Gray’s Papaya hotdogs and went to bed. It was a dream day, though exhausting. I don’t know how socialites do it. Honestly it’s more work than a 9-5 job! πŸ™‚

Here’s the final segment, as aired on Better TV.

Marianne

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Cabbage Patch Kids 25th Anniversary

September 9, 2008 at 7:26 pm (better tv) (, , , , , )

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Today I went to Toys R Us in Times Square to do a story on the Cabbage Patch Kids 25th Anniversary. There was a big birthday party with cake and ice cream and a lot of excited moms and kids. Xavier Roberts, otherwise known as the creator and the guy whose signature was on all the kids’ butts

Look in the background of the picture and you’ll see what looks like a cabbage patch kid statue. It’s actually a cake! Made by a Food Network chef (whose name escapes me at the moment.) It was pretty amazing. I’ll post a better visual once my segment is done and uploaded to Better TV.

For the birthday celebration the company re-created all the original Cabbage Patch Kids from that first year. I couldn’t find the one that looked identical to mine unfortunately, though I saw one that was close. It’s okay though – cause I still have my original cabbage patch kid. Her name is Constance Georgia. She escaped the fire cause she was still at my mom’s house.

I was one of the lucky ones who got a cabbage patch kid during that crazy year where people were allegedly murdering one another for the dolls in toy stores. I had seen my friend Michelle get one for her birthday in September and told my mom I wanted one. Being the early Christmas shopper she is, she went out and purchased one for me and put it away. Then the craze started. My parents told me later they were very tempted to sell the doll for a significant amount of money – she might have funded their entire Christmas shopping list! But they decided in the end that I should have my doll.

Of course they told me that they hadn’t been able to get one and said I needed to be understanding that it was impossible. I understood, but was immensely disapointed. I wanted one SOOO BADLY! So imagine my excitement when Christmas morning I opened my first gift and there she was!!

She’s a little worse for wear now, but very loved. And I’ll never forget the story about how she came to be under the tree. So even though today I thought it was a little strange to see THAT MANY PEOPLE lined up to share in a new Cabbage Patch celebration, I guess in a way I understand…

Here’s the final clip, as aired on Better TV.

Marianne

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Sherrilyn Kenyon

August 17, 2008 at 3:55 pm (better tv) (, , , , )

On Friday afternoon I headed over to conduct an interview with the lovely Sherrilyn Kenyon, whom I adore. Sherri and Liz and I bonded over the costume controversy at RWA last year and I’ve loved her ever since. (Of course I love her books as well.) I interviewed her on camera for my Better TV feature. She really has an inspirational life story about overcoming ridiculous obstacles to become such a worldwide success!

Sherrilyn Kenyon interview

Mike tried to get a good over-the-shoulder shot, but she said can’t type with someone looking over her shoulder. So we had her pull up the Dark Hunter website instead. She told me that people have met on her bulletin boards and ended up getting married to one another! And she’s always being introduced to babies with her characters’ names. I do think Acheron would make an awesome name. πŸ™‚

Sherrilyn Kenyon interview

And check this out! Acheron’s coat on the bed! Now get your minds out of the gutter!

Acheron Jacket on bed.

Sherrilyn’s been on tour all over the country for weeks now (with her partner-in-crime Dianna Love Snell, who we love as well!), promoting her latest book, Acheron. (Amazing book, btw.) And yet, when we headed to the booksigning later that evening to get video of the fans lining up to meet her, she spent time with every single person and signed and took photos. It was amazing – I don’t know how she has the stamina. I think that’s part of the reason she’s so well loved – in addition to writing such amazing books, she’s just a great person who really cares deeply about her fans.

Here’s the final segment, as aired on Better TV:

Marianne

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Martini Pairing

July 30, 2008 at 2:15 pm (better tv) (, , , , )

We’re used to pairing wine with food, but what if you’re in the mood for martinis instead? Pay special attention as you watch this to the glasses the martinis are poured into. They’re created by a woman named Lolita (she’s the blonde in the segment) and are hand painted in a huge variety of designs. On the bottom of each glass is a recipe for a particular martini. She also does margarita glasses. I have two of those – strawberry and lime – and they always get a great reaction from people when I pull them out to use. You can check out all the different designs here.

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Home Spa Treatments

July 24, 2008 at 4:20 pm (better tv) (, , , , )

Here are two segments I produced that aired this week on Better TV. They’re both with DailyCandy.com editor Dannielle Romano and talk about home spa products you can make at home. Recipes listed below the videos in case you want to try them yourselves. πŸ™‚

And here are the recipes so you can try them at home!

Tropical Honey Facial

1/3 cup honey
1 ripe papaya, peeled and seedless
1 banana
1 tablespoon chamomile tea

1. (Steep a teabag for 5 minutes.)
2. Mix honey, papaya and banana.
3. Add 1 tablespoon of the tea, mix well.
4. Apply to skin in circular motions.
5. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Rinse with lukewarm water, then finish with a cool rinse.

Gold Silk Body Butter

Β½ cup honey
2/3 cup Shea butter (can substitute cocoa butter if Shea is unavailable)
3 tablespoons wheat germ oil
2 teaspoons grapefruit seed extract (optional)
3 drops sandalwood oil (optional)
23-karat gold sheets (available online and in specialty food shops)

1. (If you’re using cocoa butter instead of Shea butter, soften it in a double boiler first.)
2. Blend honey, Shea butter and wheat germ oil until completely mixed.
3. Add grapefruit seed extract and sandalwood oil
4. Crush 2 sheets of gold until it’s almost powderlike. Add to the mixture.
5. Smooth onto dry skin and allow the skin to absorb it!

Golden Honey Body Polish

Β½ cup honey
Β½ cup Epsom salts
2/3 cup grapeseed oil

1. Mix honey, Epsom salts and grapeseed oil.
2. Apply in shower to wet skin, especially rough areas like elbows, knees and the soles of feet.
3. Rinse well.

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