Deloitte Future of Health Panel Videos

Let’s back track to the summer. I was part of a panel for #DeloitteFutureofHealth panel and here are some snippets of the discussion. Here is my Thrive article about it too.

Stress Management

Medical Devices

Health and Wellness

Device Distribution

Empowering Humanity

ELENA:)

 

Thrive Global: Maintaining Momentum

I had the pleasure of visiting Supernova Ballroom back in Jan. so I was sad to hear that it had to close down. Here is a piece I wrote based on an interview with Kelsey Ramage and Ivy Mix about the trials and tribulations of owning a business during this uncertain pandemic time.

ELENA:)

Thrive Global: Food for Thought

Here is a piece for a joint interview with Chef Eduardo Marin and Dr. Johnny Drain on the Slow Food Movement. Read it here.

I’m actually in the process of doing a follow up piece with Chef Douglas McMaster from Silo London and the Zero Waste Cooking School. Should be out very very soon!

ELENA:)

 

BELLA: Advent Calendar and Loungewear

I put together two roundups on BELLA. One on Advent Calendars and another on Loungewear.

I definitely need to start the Advent one earlier next year; I can’t believe that SO many sold out by the time the piece went live.

ELENA:)

 

Deloitte: Future of Health Panel

A few months back, I wrote an article on my thoughts on the pandemic (which is still going on!) and because of that article I was asked to participate on a private group panel for Deloitte about the Future of Health. Incredibly honoured for two reasons. First, when I graduated I actually thought about moving into management consulting and Deloitte was on the list (so working with them has come full circle). The second reason is that being able to use my 16 years of healthcare in a different way is a nice consolidation of my experience to date!

Other panelist include

Jennifer Jolly – an Emmy award winning journalist in the Tech and Health Space (New York Times, USA Today, Today Show)

Robin Raskin – a Health and Tech industry leader

Robin Plotnik – Nutrition and Fitness influencer @WhatRobinEats

Anna DeSouza – Digital and Broadcast journalist in the Tech and Health Space (Yahoo! and Today.com). This is my second time working with Anna – the last time, she was pregnant and now she has two beautiful baby twin girls.

UPDATE: Here is the Thrive Global piece I wrote about this session.

ELENA:)

 

New on Thrive and BELLA

 

It’s midsummer! Can you believe it? I’m just finishing off the last of July with two stories to share. The first is a roundup for BELLA about being able to have those vacation vibes – while staying at home. The second story is about the Charmsters #iSeeMyself campaign for Thrive.

ELENA:)

For Thrive Global: Optimism from Oppression

Here is a piece I wrote about the other pandemic, systemic racism. This time I called upon my friends to help me out. Find it on Thrive.

 

ELENA:)

For Thrive Global: The Pandemic Purgatory

It took me a while, but here is the piece I wrote about the pandemic for Thrive. It’s been a weird few months for everyone – I know everyone is dealing with their own form of purgatory.

I’ve been watching a lot of late night TV (on Youtube) and Seth Meyers always ends with – “Stay Safe, Wash your hands and We love you”.

ELENA:)

Surviving Self-Isolation for BELLA

I don’t think anyone foresaw that we would be spending a lot of time at home (under orders) in 2020. I wrote a roundup for BELLA on some products that have helped the stay be a little more pleasant.

ELENA:)

For Thrive Global: Our Productive Passions

Since my trip to the UK back at the end of Feb, I struggled on how I would write essentially a ‘trade’ piece and have it be relevant. I think I succeed – read it here.

 

ELENA:)

BELLA: Spring Staycation Fashion Finds

 

This piece went live on BELLA in March.When I wrote this piece I was thinking quarantine might be for a month or so. Unfortunately, it’s looking like its longer. No matter – you still need to get outside and get some moments of fresh air (just think – with less cars – the air is actually fresher!). I want to personally thank you to all the essential mail carrier/courier companies out there as they are allowing me to still online shop without much of a delay.

Spring Staycation Fashion Finds

Hope you are staying well and healthy.

ELENA:)

 

Live on the Tamron Hall Show

I had the incredible opportunity to talk about my book live on national daytime TV on the Tamron Hall Show in NYC. It was so much fun, but I don’t think I had much time to process everything that was going on. It was nice to visit my friends though, I haven’t been back to NY since Jan of 2018.

Being on TV is not something new to me, I was re-occuring on a TV show for a bit and in 2018 I did three taped segments including Good Morning Washington, The TODAY show in Sydney Australia and NBC News BETTER for my book.

Yet, this was the first time there was a live audience. I can’t wait to do it again as I had a lot of fun.

TAMRON HALL: Tamron Hall

TAMRON HALL: Tamron Hall

TAMRON HALL: Tamron Hall

TAMRON HALL: Tamron Hall

ELENA:)

 

 

 

BELLA: Optimizing Ourselves and Top 5 Local Must-Do’s in 5 Iconic Cities

Just catching up from some busy weeks. I was in NYC (which I will tell you about in my next post) and then I went to the UK as well. Here are two pieces for BELLA.

Optimizing Ourselves – It was my research about supplements and vitamin regimes on the market today.

Top 5 Local Must-Do’s in 5 Iconic Cities – Looks at a survey of 5 cities around the world and their Must Do lists as noted by locals.

ELENA:)

 

For BELLA: Happy ReNEWal Year!

Because every New Year (New Decade) we should regroup and see how we can be just a tad bit better. I rounded up on a few products to help us hit the ground running on BELLA. Here is the piece.

ELENA:)

For BELLA: Marvellous Mexico

I can’t believe that I forgot to post this! Such a great trip with Jose Cuervo. I definitely did not get my fill of street tacos though, or enough time at the Anthropology museum.

Here is my piece for BELLA.

ELENA:)

For Thrive Global: Mane Mindset

Here is a spotlight on THRIVE, I did on the philanthropic work of celebrity hairstylist, Martino Cartier and FOLLEA founder, Daniel Alain Hafid. They recently had their hair drive at The Gregory Hotel with Caravan Stylist Studio.

 

ELENA:)

Collection of 3 BELLA articles

I’ve been slacking on sharing my pieces on my site. Here are 3 BELLA pieces that I contributed this fall.

Full STEAM ahead – A roundup of STEAM toys and one to look out for in the future.

How to win those Winter Woes – Skincare during the winter months can be challenging. Here is some products that can help.

Forever Fashion – Two OOTD looks, one for work and one for play. Entirely created with sustainable fashion pieces.

ELENA:)

 

Open Operations

I attended Glimpse 2019 (A HydraFacial and FastCompany event) in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and I wrote this piece on a few of the speakers that shared their wisdom with the crowd. I love when I can tie in my business knowledge into real life scenarios. This is Open Operations for Thrive.

ELENA:)

Skin Supplements roundup for RESIDENT

So I decided one day that I would try out facial oils. I ended up going down a rabbit hole and realizing that there are so many options out there it only made sense to do a round up. Here it is for RESIDENT.

ELENA:)

AZN Labs Afterglow Ampoule

I don’t consider myself a beauty blogger by any stretch, but I do appreciate the look of a healthy glow. With so many products available, it’s hard to know what works for your skin type without trying a few.  I have pretty sensitive skin, which is usually quite dry due to eczema – so I layer on the moisturizer like no other, especially when travelling. 

Because of my dry skin, I recently got on board with serums and oils (yes, a little late) and when I was approached to try out AZN Labs first product, the Afterglow Ampoule, I was excited to see the result (especially after I opened this beautiful package!)

Such pretty packaging!

AZN Labs uses a formula that combines the best of Japanese and Korean beauty ingredients/techniques. This includes Astaxanthin, created in rainwater microalgae. It’s 6,000 times the potency of vitamin C. I did a quick Google search about Astaxanthin and found it is the pigment that gives Salmon its pink colour.

For the past week, I’ve been using the serum twice a day (anytime I’m putting on moisturizer) avoiding my eye area, but including my neck. I feel it definitely gives me an instant glow and brightens my skin. It is thin in viscosity, so I might be using too much during each application, but my skin absorbs it without residue. In terms of the other claims, of repairing lines and wrinkles – I think its too early to tell but looking forward to seeing what my skin looks like after a month of use.  

AZN Labs Afterglow Ampoule is available online on Monday Feb 11, 2019. 

ELENA:)

The W Downtown NYC for BELLA NYC Mag

In December, I had the pleasure of staying at the W Downtown. Its been a while since I stayed right outside the WTC. A lot has changed in the area and the Oculus is so beautiful not to check out. Starting at the end of last year, the W Downtown will showcase a local artist each quarter in the lobby. A signature cocktail will be sold at the bar inspired on the artists collection . Fun stuff. Here is my piece for BELLA NYC Magazine.

ELENA:)

Unplugg this Holiday with Club U

Do you ever wish you had a concierge for all your beauty appointments? When I travel, I usually need my nails done, my eyebrows tweezed and certain areas waxed. What if there was a service that could help you make those appointments working with your schedule and your specific needs or preferences?

Say hello to Unplugg’s Club U. Fill out your SmartFit Profile and you receive up to 4 options of spas available for your desired service catering to your location and timing preference. Once you book, all you have to do is show up and the service is then billed to your credit card on file. 

I was recently in NY and needed a specific neutral shade on my nails for a commercial I was shooting the following day. While I was too busy to get it done ahead of time, I easily found a place close to my first meeting location within walking distance. I booked with Club U and voila, all I had to do was show up at the allotted time and complete my service. I was off to my next meeting in no time. 

I liked how there were a few options suggested in my preferred area based on the vibe of the spa (relaxing or no frills) and expertise of the nail techs (nail art or basic). All very important. With the holidays in full swing you can even pick up a gift certificate for a friend to enjoy during this busy time. The best part is that once you are a Club U member you can start to collect points for upgrades, free touch ups and my favourite – rewards! 

ELENA:)

Laying low at The Laylow, Honolulu Hawaii



You know what I love. When you can walk into a hotel lobby after traveling for hours on end wearing a full black ensemble (not appropriate for the weather) and not feel like you’re totally a fish out of water. This was my reality a month ago at the Laylow in Honolulu. 

Riding up the escalator, I was immediately transported to a hotel lounge with a cool island vibe.  The lobby of the Laylow is complete with palms, and wicker egg chairs hanging from the ceiling. There is an assortment of Hula Dancer figurines that serve as decor adding some slight whimsy.

At one end, the secluded pool can be found and at the other, the restaurant/lounge called the Hideout is open early for breakfast until late serving cocktails served by two fire pits.  The live music was a nice touch showcasing Honolulu’s most talented. Big kudos for the Stumptown coffee bar – although born in Portland – I’ve only had it in NY. 


Nothing overly contrived, The Laylow has a beautiful aesthetic.  Vintage Surfer memorabilia and authentic ukuleles can be found in each guest room to heighten the mood. The custom designed monstera leaf wallpaper is a perfect backdrop to an Instagram photo or to set the scene as you decompress for the night.   

ELENA:)

Honolulu City Guide for BELLA NYC Mag

After visiting Honolulu twice this year, it only made sense that I would curate a city guide with all my must do’s. Here is the guide for BELLA NYC.

ELENA:)

 

I went Keto with Intermittent Fasting for 21 days and this is what I learned for Global Thrive

I decided sometime after Hawaii in August that I needed to curb my diet. So I went Keto in conjunction with Intermittent Fasting. Here is my article on Thrive Global.

ELENA:)

 

See Paradise with Paradise Helicopters!

 

The last time I was in a helicopter, I was 10 year old. It was a family trip to the Grand Canyon and like most of our road trips, it was packed with adventurous activities. I remember floating in the middle of the Canyon like birds. It was definitely a unique way to see the rocks.

Because it had been so long, I wanted to revisit the idea of a helicopter tour. This time – it would take place overlooking the popular tropical island of O’ahu.

Although there are many helicopter companies out there, we went with Paradise Helicopters. They operate from all of the islands with 25 different tours offered. There is even a doors-off option and don’t worry – they take safety seriously as they have been operating for over 20 years. I felt like I was in capable hands and was not nervous about our pilots’ navigation skills, after all – he once was a (Presidential) Marine One pilot.

In addition, Paradise Helicopters have become the first helicopter tour company in Hawai’i to be awarded a Sustainable Tourism Certification from the Hawai’i Ecotourism Association while also launching a carbon offset program to support reforestation of trees in the state.

On the plane to Honolulu, I watched a recent Jurassic Park movie that made me excited to see part of the set from the sky. I could just image all the actors running through the Ka‘a‘awa Valley dodging various fallen trees and charging dinosaurs. One afternoon we climbed the Diamond Head Crater, which was fun, but seeing it from the air is majestic and you can appreciate the size.

In fact, seeing the whole island from a bird’s eye point of view was breathtaking. You definitely do not get to see some of the island just by driving.  The surfers look like little ants and the North Shore surf break shine like cellophane in the sun. I had no idea about the tiny islands that are easily accessible by boat or the large Sandbar that you can visit in low tide.

There is so much to see, but don’t worry about what side you are sitting on (the pilot will loop back to make sure both sides see it). Just make sure you have a full battery in you camera or phone to capture everything that Hawai’i has to offer.

Here is a Discount Code you can use when booking with Paradise Helicopters: *IRESNUMBERI* Give them a call at 866 876 7422 with my last name and reservation number to receive a special offer.

ELENA:)

My quotations for two pieces on The INSIDER

I was quoted in 2 pieces for The Insider. The first piece is entitled, 10 Signs your long distance relationship isn’t working. The second piece is entitled, 13 signs you’re emotionally ready for a relationship.

 

ELENA:)

The Most Popular Halloween Candy

Influenster, the worlds largest product discovery and review platform, with over 28 million reviews from their over 4.6 million members dug out the top 15 ranked halloween candy over the last twelve months. 
The best rated? Starburst all pink fruit chews. See below for the complete list:
  1. Starburst All Pink Fruit Chews 4.86 (911 reviews)
  2. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup 4.79 (3,656)
  3. Trolli Sour Brite Crawlers 4.78 (1,051)
  4. Dove Chocolate Promises 4.76 (1,566 reviews)
  5. Sour Patch Watermelon 4.74 (2,014 reviews)
  6. Big Sour Patch Candy 4.72 (1,144 reviews)
  7. Haribo Gold Bears Gummi Candy 4.71 (1,356 reviews)
  8. Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Cream Candy Bar 4.70 (1,884 reviews)
  9. Hersheys’ Kiss 4.69 (1,524 reviews)
  10. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar 4.62 (2,153 reviews)
  11. Skittles 4.62 (1,605 reviews)
  12. Skittles Wild Berry 4.62 1,150 reviews)
  13. Swedish Fish 4.59 (1,982 reviews)
  14. CVS Sour Neon Crawlers 4.58 (1,816 reviews)
  15. Skittles Sour Candy 4.56 (1,150 reviews)

ELENA:)

National Pumpkin Day is Oct 26 2018

Yup. Its a thing. And yes, even though I can’t quite indulge in a great PSL right now (I’m on day 11 of Keto) I wanted to share with you this data from Influenster. Influenster, the worlds largest product discovery and review platform, with over 28 million reviews from over 4.6 million members dug out the top ranked Pumpkin Spice Products from it’s massive database of authentic opinions. I like that not all the things on the list are food related and its interesting to see that my Starbucks PSL only hits at number 10.

  1. Cheerios Pumpkin Spice Cereal1,257 revs / 4.2 rating
  2. Nabisco Oreo Pumpkin Spice Creme Sandwich Cookies 1,007 revs / 4.0 rating
  3. eos Pumpkin Spice & Vanilla Bean Lip Balm Set 407 revs / 4.5 rating
  4. Burt’s Bees Pumpkin Spice Moisturizing Lip Balm 390 revs / 4.3 rating
  5. Kashi® Crunchy Granola Bars Pumpkin Spice Flax 388 revs / 4.45 rating
  6. Coffee-mate® Liquid Pumpkin Spice 379 revs / 4.6 rating
  7. Kahlua Pumpkin Spice 320 revs / 4.2 rating
  8. Nestlé® Toll House® Pumpkin Spice Morsels 302 revs / 4.4 rating
  9. Chobani® Blended® Pumpkin Spice Low-Fat Greek Yogurt 282 revs / 4.3 rating
  10. STARBUCKS® Pumpkin Spice Latte VIA® Instant 280 revs / 4.2 rating
  11. Quaker® Cereal Pumpkin Spice 238 revs / 4.11 rating
  12. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Chilled Espresso 226 revs / 4.2 rating
  13. Baileys Irish Cream Pumpkin Spice Liqueur 225 revs / 4.5 rating
  14. Native Deodorant Pumpkin Spice Latte 213 revs / 4.4 rating
  15. Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee, Pumpkin Spice, Ground 206 revs 4.5 rating
  16. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Caffe Latte K-Cups 174 revs / 4.3 rating
  17. Sugarpill Pumpkin Spice Eyeshadow 168 revs / 4.7 rating
  18. Blue Diamond® Pumpkin Spice Almonds 166 revs / 4.5 rating
  19. Hershey’s Kisses Pumpkin Spice Flavored Candies 147 revs / 4.0 rating
  20. Starbucks® Frappuccino® Pumpkin Spice Chilled Coffee Drink 142 revs / 4.1 rating
  21. Yoplait® Whips!® Pumpkin Spice Low-fat Yogurt 129 revs / 4.2 rating
  22. Kellogg’s® Nutri Grain® Pumpkin Spice Soft Baked Fruit Bar 127 revs / 4.45 rating
  23. Bailey’s Coffee Creamer Pumpkin Spice 119 revs / 4.61 rating
  24. Special K® Kellogg’s Pumpkin Spice Pastry Crisps 113 revs / 4.3 rating
  25. Pepperidge Farm® Milano® Pumpkin Spice Cookies 95 revs / 4.2 rating
*The Influenster rank is a proprietary algorithm which accounts for both a 5-star rating and total number of reviews – happy to share more on this!

ELENA:)

Quarterly Travel Update: Chicago, Punta Cana and Honolulu

I can’t believe its October. Really? Where did the time go? I feel like I just wrote a quarterly travel post (yes late!) not too long ago.  But here I am – writing away.

Just so you know I didn’t go anywhere the month of July and for most of September. My abstract for a national conference was accepted as well as poster presentation but I differed. My wonderful colleague took the reins, and in a quasi warm July in Orlando she presented for the both of us (and did a fab job too!).

That leaves August – a month where one week I was in Chicago, the next I was in the Dominican Republic and the last week, I went to Hawaii (Honolulu).  Phew. Even typing that out makes me sort of tired, either that or my head cold is getting to me.

Chicago (Aug 4-7)

If you haven’t been, it’s like the cousin of New York. Great food, fun people and interesting things to see. I had the opportunity to interview Joel Gamoran, the national Sur la Table chef and host of Scraps. You’ll have to stay posted for my article that will come out soon (long over due – but I’m using this long weekend to finally get it in order). We had breakfast and talked about lots of food related things like, what does whale sperm taste like and why scraps and not bees. I had a lot of fun and my only regret is that we didn’t take a photo or a cute boomerang video to capture our time together. Next time! Note: He also has a new cooking book called, Cooking Scrappy

I managed to re check out the Art Institute while in town and eat the best burger of my life at Au Cheval. It was a great idea to start the day with it and slowly work it off with my friend Kayte Malik (founder of Dresscode – see the article I wrote about the company here). Nothing really beats the egg, thick cut bacon with a double hamburger patty. So great.

I stayed at the Chicago Athletic Association, which was an old school gentleman’s club turned into hotel a few years back. Beautiful restoration job with a roof top bar called Cindy’s and cool speakeasy called the Cherry Circle room (very Madmen). I loved that Shake Shack was connected to the hotel too (although I didn’t have a burger from there or crinkle fries which are my go-to’s).

 

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (Aug 15-18)

I went for an interesting press trip, which turned sideways. All I can really say is that the resort was descent and the spa was beautiful (Chic Punta Cana by Royalton) . I’m glad my group was small and we all got along well.

 

Honolulu, Hawaii (Aug 31-Sept 5)

I was pleasantly surprised with Honolulu. I think its because it’s a touch on the more expensive side, it keeps the those looking for ultra cheap vacations away. It was the perfect mix of city and beach.

And the food is great – I totally forgot the huge Japanese influence there is in the city. Some great recommendations included the Koko Head café and the Mai Tai Bar at the Royal Hawaiian (with my favorite Royal Hawaiian Hupia cake).

I will say that going to Honolulu in the summer time was really hot. 35 degrees and doing the Diamond Head hike was less than ideal but having the pineapple smoothie at the bottom was a wonderful refreshing end.

Dole Plantation was ok – again the heat took its toll and while the maze would have been fun, I think we lasted maybe 15 minutes before we decided it was best to head back.  And I didn’t really love Dole Whip. It kind of tasted artificial to me – it needed to have more cream and less powdered confections.

Ko’Hana Rum Distillery was a quick drive outside the city and a great break from the heat. It was interesting to learn about the Agricole technique of using sugar cane juice versus molasses to make the rum. It’s a boutique distillery, they are slowly exporting off the island. I grabbed a bottle that had honey and cocoa mixed with the rum.

On my last day I ended up finding this really great café called Heavenly across from the hotel that we stayed at (the Hyatt Centric Waikiki Beach) with locally sourced food. So yummy.

If you are interested in a City Guide on Honolulu, you will be in luck as I am curating one soon. Until next quarter.

 

ELENA:)

 

 

 

Fall Fashion Edit

So I’m a little bummed that I put together this cool fashion OOTD, OOTN, beauty look for a magazine that was going to be in print but got cut instead. I only found out the first week of Sept so it definitely did not help with pitching to another outlet. In the spirit of NYFW, I wanted to post it here as I really liked the curated outfits. I sourced up-in-coming/small businesses with great price points. My friend Nicky Styles illustrated the pieces in true Project Runway form as well.

__________________________

As the temperature dips and Starbucks reintroduces its traditional pumpkin spice latte, try and resist the temptation to put away the colourful clothing and go into a mild hibernation. Fall is a time for change and the shades of the season are decadent: gold, auburns, burgundy, and navy.  Textures like faux fur, cashmere and jacquard bring depth to any outfit. By day, glow with gold and at night, shine with sequins and rhinestones.

 

OOTD:

For the Outfit of the Day, a decadent oxblood Rallier dress in a timeless silhouette is paired with an APPARIS faux fur coat in a classic cut. The AWAY weekend bag has a built-in laptop sleeve and hidden umbrella that is perfect for the commute to work. The matching dr. Liza heels have a 0.75-inch shock-absorbing EVA platform for walking those lengthy city blocks with ease. A matching CINER set of clip-ons and a ring takes the guesswork out of accessorizing.

APPARIS Chestnut Sophie Coat (@apparis_)

Dr. Liza pump in Navy Blue(@drlizashoes)

CINER Golden Rose Earring and Golden Rose Ring (@cinerny)

Rallier Oxblood Patricia Dress (@ralliernyc)

AWAY The Everywhere Bag in Navy Blue Nylon (@away)

OOTN:

For the Outfit of the Night, think understated glamour. While the Michelle Waugh long cashmere coat paired with the French Sole NY jacquard smoking slippers may give you bedtime vibes, the eye-catching MESTIZA NY cream sequin jumpsuit will make you shimmer in the moonlight. Play off the cream with the majestic pewter chandelier earrings and the conversation starter miniaudiere from CINER.

Michelle Waugh Chloe Coat in Blue (@michellewaughny)

MESTIZA New York Chrissy Sequin Jumpsuit (@mestiza_ny)

CINER Crowned Chandelier Earring and Ivory Chandelier Miniaudiere (@cinerny)

French Sole NY Celeste in Red Jacquard (@french_sole)

Fall Face:

Stay gold with this seasons makeup. Shades ranging from antique (Sheree Cosmetics eye shadow) to gilded honey (Laura Geller DewDreamer illuminating drops for checks and face). A strong lip takes center stage with this all-day wearable velvet liquid lip Bordeaux color from STELLAR*.  Lastly, tame the brows with the Christie Brinkley Authentic Beauty Take a Bow pencil allowing you to color, shape and add density and definition to your brows with a transfer-resistant formula.

Sherree Cosmetics Eye Shadow in Drama (@sherreecosmetics)

Laura Geller DewDreamer Illuminating Drops in Gilded Honey (@lauragellerbeauty)

STELLAR Opus Liquid Lip in Mythic Moon 06 in Bordeaux (@stellarbeautyofficial)

Christie Brinkley Authentic Beauty Take a Bow Defining Brow Pencil (@brinkleybeauty)

ELENA:)

Quarterly Travel Update: Cancun, DC and NYC

I know – because I am not writing after every trip I’m starting to slack off and honestly couldn’t remember if I went anywhere in the last quarter. That’s how bad my memory is. But thanks to my IG photos I remembered – Cancun and the more recent trips to DC and NY.

Cancun (May 9 – 12)

For my second organized press trip ever, I headed off to Cancun, Mexico. A fun, easy jaunt to Cancun makes for an easy getaway for those who need a trip away but don’t want the hassle of actually planning anything. Like zero. Except for maybe the dates and what to pack on the trip.

I never do all-inclusive resorts for the simple fact that feeling stuck in one place makes me feel claustrophobic. Yet, I based that feeling on a short prior trip that was an all-inclusive. So I needed to set the record straight.

I arrived dressed all in black in the sweltering heat and was whisked away in a shuttle to the Panama Jack Resort. I was thankfully welcomed with a refreshing drink and a tote full of goodies helpful for the short week ahead. Once I freshened up it was time to meet the crew over some tequila tasting and then a scrumptious surf and turf dinner on the beach. What a great way to start the trip.

The next day, after a quick tour of the hotel and all the amenities we were off to visit a stingless bee farm. I knew there was a bee scarcity issue in the world, but what I didn’t realize was that most bees live in the Southern Hemisphere. At this bee farm they work with the Mayan farmers to spread the hives throughout the area, this helps to sustain the bees while creating work for the locals.

The next day we visited Chichen Itza, a huge Mayan temple. I had no idea that it was one of the wonders of the world (clearly I needed to Google that after visiting). It’s too bad it can no longer be climbed but it was definitely a sight to see. After walking around Chichen Itza, we went to the Ikkil Cenote/Ts’onote (a fresh water filled sink hole). Then it was back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner. After a semi-scandalous last night (no details will be mentioned here – you’ll have to ask me in person) we all had a good laugh the next day over brunch. Read the coverage I did of Panama Jack for RESIDENT Magazine here.

 

Washington DC (June 3-6)

I managed to book Good Morning Washington in DC for my book and since I had never gone (well since I was 7), I thought this would be the perfect time to write a city guide on DC for RESIDENT as well. Watch how the show went (in my opinion – it wasn’t my best interview) but c’est la vie. DC has so many great food spots; Le Diplomate, Iron Gate, Espita Mezcaleria were three of my faves as well as this hidden cocktail bar below a donut shop called Nocturne.  I really enjoyed the Portrait Gallery and walking around the National Mall as well.

 

 

NYC (Jun 6-9)

NYC was a whirlwind as per usual. Between stacking up the meetings and heading to my usual PaintBox appointment and finally checking out old hot spots like Hotel Chantelle (that isn’t actually a hotel) and Jimmy at the James Hotel. No matter how many times of been to NY, I still manage to visit new places and It seemed to be a time of great change: friends were leaving NYC, getting married, having babies, buying apartments. So much change.

 

ELENA:)

 

Who Runs the World? Girls.

I was working on this piece for a bit and got around to finishing it finally before my “No writing in July” deadline came around. Here is my second piece for Thrive Global, Who Runs the World? Girls. This was actually rejected by Huffington Post Canada as being too promotional – but thankfully picked up by Thrive.

 

ELENA:)

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