Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from Fort Myers!

It's Christmas Eve and my presents are all wrapped so I hope yours are too if you celebrate! I did a segment last weekend on Fox & Friends for SheKnows about great gifts for women in case any of you are super last-minute procrastinators and need some inspiration. You can view the whole segment here.
Thank you to Banana Republic, who dressed me in this red number from their limited edition L'Wren Scott Collection. It's much easier looking put together early in the morning when you have something great waiting for you to wear! I loved how festive and flattering this dress was...it's perfect for a party (or morning TV show).

Although I was born and raised in New Jersey, this year, we're celebrating Christmas in Florida, where my parents have a place and spend most of their time since retiring. Although it's definitely different doing Christmas among the palm trees, there are some perks, like getting to go boating in December. We went to Marco Island Monday and found Flipper and his friends.
I even got to captain the boat myself on our way home, which I've never done. I love holiday traditions but it's also fun to make new ones. For Christmas dinner, we're having stone crabs just to go with the FL theme.
Merry Christmas to you and your families and best wishes for a wonderful, blessed and prosperous New Year! May you spend it with your loved ones and get lots of rest and relaxation before 2014 arrives. Cheers!
Follow me on Twitter @cristinagibson and Instagram @cristinablairgibson

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Just For the Heli of It: My First Time in A Chopper

I got an interesting email this week from a producer at Keep in News, an international news wire service I've worked with before. Their segments air on the French network TF1 and usually consist of them interviewing you about whatever entertainment story they're working on at a normal location, but this one was way more unusual. They were doing a report about the rumor that Angelina Jolie was buying Brad Pitt a heart-shaped private island with a house designed by his favorite architect Frank Lloyd Wright for his 50th birthday, which is on Dec. 18, and wanted to interview me during on a helicopter tour over the island.
(FYI, I told them this story was never confirmed and there's been conflicting reports about its validity, but they wanted to proceed anyway so I agreed to discuss it from a rumor perspective.) The idea made me excited but also apprehensive. Anyone who's traveled with me knows that although I fly often, I'm a slightly nervous flyer. I've taken small "puddlejumper" type planes before and really dislike them. And while I was a little hesistant to do a taped interview while flying on a helicopter for the first time where I could quite possibly freak out, I felt like it was a cool opportunity so I agreed. We met at the heliport by Wall Street on a clear and very cold afternoon.


Helicopters are pretty noisy so everyone has to wear big headphones with microphones so you can hear and talk to each other, which was actually kind of fun. We did our charter through Zip Aviation and our pilot, James, was super nice and totally calmed my nerves before takeoff. I had no idea what to expect, but flying in a chopper feels way different than a plane. It's almost like you're floating when you takeoff.

We flew up the Hudson river and around Manhattan, which gave us amazing views of the famous skyline and landmarks like the Empire State building. Because helicopters fly lower than planes, you get insane views of all the skyscrapers and you also have cell service the whole time.

I was originally worried about turbulence since you feel it much more on a small aircraft, but the ride was fairly smooth and the sights were so impressive, I quickly forgot about my fears and started enjoying the experience.
After about 25 minutes, we got our first glimpse of heart-shaped Petra Island, which is in the middle of Lake Mahopac and accessible only by boat or helicopter. In the winter when the lake is frozen, a helicopter is the only way to get there. It's a completely private island with only two houses on it. The first, a small cottage, was built by Frank Lloyd Wright himself in 1950 and second was built in 2008 from his original plans.
The main house is 5,000 square feet with 2,000 square feet of outdoor decks with wraparound panoramic views. There's rock and wood elements throughout the entire house in typical Wright style.
The famed architect has factored into past birthday presents for Brangelina. For Brad's 43rd birthday, Angelina arranged a private tour of his Fallingwater estate, where they celebrated with champagne and caviar in the living room. It was so incredible to see Petra Island and the Massaro house from above. We circled it a few times before heading back down the Hudson to Manhattan, where we were treated to more amazing views of the Freedom Tower.
When we touched down on the helipad, I was almost sad to be back on the ground.
video
I'm so glad I didn't let my fear hold me back from missing out on such a wonderful and unique experience. It's important to challenge yourself and keep pushing your limits whenever the opportunity presents itself. You can watch the entire segment here. I'd definitely recommend a helicopter tour to anyone after the great time I had. And speaking of great times, I haven't written about Art Basel yet because this week was so busy. We had nearly perfect weather and one of the best parts was cruising around South Beach on the free bikes from the Mondrian, where we stayed.
It's hard to believe that picture was just one week ago, as it's blizzarding outside at the moment in NYC. 
Stay warm this weekend!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Miami Me! Art Basel, Here We Come...Again

It's already December and tonight feels a little like Christmas Eve to me because I'm so excited to be going back to Art Basel again tomorrow! But instead of making a list and checking it twice like I did in my younger years, it's more like checking the weather forecast in Miami obsessively and making sure you're confirmed for all the fun parties.

Art Basel is an annual art festival where people from around the world come to enjoy the beautiful beaches, star-studded parties and oh yeah, the art! Last year was my first time going so I thought I'd revisit some highlights from 2012.

Basel is all about the bashes and one of my favorites was the Dom Perignon Luminous Rose party at Wall, which is the club inside the W. The party brought out a bunch of bold-faced names like Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Kourtney Kardashian, Scott Disick, Demi Moore and many more.
Photo credit: BFA
Sure, it's cool to see celebs but I loved the bubbly, which was freely flowing all night. This particular type of Dom is pink and comes in a cool glow in the dark bottle, which were on display everywhere at the party.
But I think my favorite memory is when I went on a random boat ride with a bunch of friends on my last day in Miami. It wasn't a yacht or anything fancy, but we had the best time cruising around the waves and enjoying the sun and sea. There's just something magical to me about being on the water.
We even got to see a dolphin during our boating adventure, which is way cooler than a celeb any day!
This year, I'm staying at the Mondrian South Beach and I hear the pool is amazing so I don't even mind that I'm getting up at 4 a.m. to make my 6 a.m. flight down because that means I'll be working on my tan poolside before noon! Signing off for now so I can get some sleep before the big weekend, but check back for more updates soon from South Beach.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Backstage Buzz From the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

On Wednesday, I had a really tough assignment: covering backstage at the "sexiest show on earth" aka the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. I've had the opportunity to cover this show many times, when it was in LA and Miami, as well as NYC and it's always really fun because it's not your typical red carpet scenario. You get to the interview the Angels backstage in a sea of bright pink and clouds of hairspray as they're getting all glammed up for the big show in their silk robes. It's kind of like a big slumber party on steroids. You can read my coverage on Wonderwall, but here's some of Victoria's secrets:

1. Yes, the Angels are still very pretty without makeup. Since I had an early interview time, most of the girls had no makeup on while I was backstage or were in the process of getting primped, and they're all naturally gorgeous before the glam squad. But they're also human...I saw some dark circles.

2. Spray tans are a must, even for supermodels. Behati Prinsloo, who's engaged to Adam Levine, told me all of the Angels get spray tans the night before the show. They also get slathered in VS Runway Ready Luminous Bronzing Lotion the day of the show before walking the runway. And if you're wondering how they get their hair so perfectly voluminous, the Angels all get extensions put in, which are styled with GHD tools by 22 hairstylists.

3. Some models eat on the show day. Although Adriana Lima once told me she sticks to a liquid diet for 9 days before the show, I saw Hilary Rhoda eating oatmeal and Cara Delevingne Instagrammed a pic of herself eating bacon before the show. Seriously.
4. Karlie Kloss has a nerdy side. She told me her latest hobby is computer coding, as in learning how to program and build websites. Who says models aren't smart?

5. Adriana Lima is ridiculously nice in addition to ridiculously gorgeous. The Brazilian mom of two was gesturing with her hands a lot during our interview and accidentally sent my tape recorder flying when she was answering a question. She apologized so many times...I thought it was funny!

6. Candice Swanepoel got to wear the most expensive bra. Every year, a super pricey blinged out bra gets handmade by a jeweler and one lucky model gets picked to wear it. Heidi Klum and Miranda Kerr have previously had the honors, but the South African stunner got to wear the Royal Fantasy Bra this year, which was worth $10 million dollars and featured rubies, diamonds and yellow sapphires set in 18 karat gold.

See the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, featuring performances by Taylor Swift, Fall Out Boy and Neon Jungle when it airs Dec. 10 on CBS. 
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Monday, November 11, 2013

Win Your Perfect Holiday Party...or Come To Ours!

Holiday party season is right around the corner and if you live in NYC, you're in luck! Splash, a party planning and invitation tool, is giving one lucky winner an amazing holiday party all for free. Starting today, you can enter their Mingle All the Way to win a free fiesta with the following:

v  Appetizers by Tasting Table & Celebrity Chef crafted desserts
v  Custom designed invitations at a premiere rooftop venue in Lower Manhattan
v  Sponsored bar by awesome premiere liquor brands
v  A hot New York City DJ
v  Pro event photographer
v  Photo booth to create ever-lasting memories
v  Gorgeous holiday d├ęcor & furniture


And if you're looking to attend a party instead of throw one, look no further than our annual Movember party. My friends and I host a yearly fundraising party to benefit Movember, a charity that encourages men to grow mustaches in the month of November to raise awareness of prostate cancer, and this year's is extra special because it's also my best friend Katie's 30th birthday. All the info is here if you want to join the
festivities!


And if you're not in the NYC area but still want to support, you can donate to our Mo Babes team.

Check back later this week for behind the scenes from the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, which I'll be covering on Wednesday!

Get all the action in real time on Twitter @cristinagibson and Instagram @cristinablairgibson

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fox News & Fitness Classes

I can't believe November is here already! It's been a busy week. While most of my friends were out continuing the Halloween celebrations Friday, I had a bright and early segment for Fox & Friends Saturday morning, which meant a 6 am wakeup call.
This segment was a bit different than previous ones I've done since it was more of a roundtable discussion about a 23-year-old Canadian chick named Erin Wotherspoon who has a blog all about how she goes on first dates with guys she meets online just so they'll buy her expensive dinners. You can watch the whole segment here, but my two cents is that it's really lame and tacky. Hasn't she heard of happy hour or perhaps getting a job? Feigning interest in men you don't want to see again for a free meal is not cool. Also, note to guys: don't take girls to dinner on a first date if you've never actually met them in real life.
Speaking of good dinners, I took myself out The Chester last night, a restaurant that recently opened at the Gansevoort Hotel in the meatpacking district. It's a great spot for groups of friends or dates, so check it out if you're in NYC. My highlights were the Hellfire cocktail, prosciutto flatbread and jumbo shrimp with orzo. Yum.

Last week, I actually spent a fair amount of time uptown, too. The New York Marathon was on Sunday and I also interviewed Kelly Ripa for SheKnows at the opening of AKT InMotion, a cardio dance studio on the Upper East Side last week. Since Kelly's a Jersey girl like myself and has an amazing broadcast career, I've always been a fan of hers and this interview only confirmed her awesomeness. She was super candid and said the best beauty product she's found is Botox and that she likes any free products that come in gift bags. Most celebrities are shorter and smaller in person, but Kelly is extra tiny! You can read our whole interview here.
I also worked on my own fitness Tuesday and tried a new class at Belleon Body, which was taught by Carlos Leon aka Madonna's ex husband. Obviously their marriage didn't work out but he knows how to work out. The class consisted of cardio intervals with repeated drills and pylometrics...I'm feeling it today! I took the class with a bunch of other editors to kick off New Balance's Lace Up for the Cure 365 program, which celebrates their 25 year partnership with the Susan G. Komen foundation. 5% percent of the retail proceeds from the collection will go the foundation and last year, they donated  $1.9 million to the cause. Plus, these hot pink sneakers are so cute it makes me want to work out just to wear them! I'm actually headed to the gym, because next week I'm covering backstage at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. If that isn't gymspiration, I don't know what is!
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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy Halloweekend!

Halloween's not until Thursday but we started celebrating early this weekend at our annual pre-Halloween party. Last year, Hurricane Sandy hit right before Halloween and we didn't really get to dress up so I'm excited to make up for it this year! A group of us went as the "Blurred Lines" music video on Friday and I think we did a pretty good job with the costume. Pics below:

I also have to give a shoutout to my talented friend Laura Lane, who debuted her original sketch comedy show This Is Why You're Single last week to a sold-out crowd! Laura wrote and starred in the show and it was seriously hilarious. The show did so well that it's been extended through November! If you live in NYC, you should check it out. Congrats, LL!

And speaking of great shows, I also got to attend a Google party on Thursday where Capital Cities performed. I've loved their song "Safe and Sound" since I first heard it last year, but didn't know much of their other music. I do now! They played a great set and I've been listening to the album on repeat ever since. They're on tour through January so see them if you can. Thanks to Google for throwing an amazing party, too. Happy Halloween everyone!
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Monday, October 7, 2013

Kiss Breast Cancer Goodbye This Month With Ulta

October's already here and it's breast cancer awareness month! I love a good party for a purpose, so I hit ULTA Beauty's Donate With a Kiss event last week with my girl Lindsay. The party was held on the rooftop of the Nomad Hotel and hosted by Spring Breakers star Vanessa Hudgens, who was wearing a black vintage dress she bought that day in Brooklyn and bright pink Alice + Olivia heels to support the theme.
We've been having amazing fall weather here in NYC so it was the perfect night to enjoy the warm temps on their beautiful roof and sip cocktails for a cause. Throughout the entire month, Ulta's covering their stores with kisses, which customers get by making a $1 donation that benefits The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Vanessa unveiled their mobile Kiss Cart in NYC and it'll also be traveling Chicago, Dallas and Seattle. And get this: if you donate $10 in store on Sunday, Oct. 13th, you get a FREE shampoo and haircut or Microzone skin treatment and 100% of your donation will go to the BCRF! Looking good while giving back is a beautiful thing, right?
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Monday, September 30, 2013

CC Creams, Celebrations and Celebrity Sightings

As a busy girl who's often on the go, I'm a fan of anything that saves time and makes my life easier, which is why I'm currently loving CC creams. I'd heard of BB cream before but just got introduced to CCs a few months ago and I'm addicted. The CC in these creams stands for "color correcting" or "complexion correcting" and they're a girl's best friend. They combine a primer, foundation, concealer and sunscreen all in one product and there's also anti-aging benefits to these bad boys...genius!

I'm loving CoverFX's CC Cream because it's oil and fragrance free, has SPF 30 and gives amazing coverage. In this picture, I'm wearing only their CC cream and nothing else.

I always have dark circles under my eyes (they're genetic, thanks Mom!) and hyper pigmentation on my forehead from not applying sunscreen close enough to my hairline and this does a good job covering these issues up. Next time you run out of foundation, get a CC cream instead...you'll thank me later!

This weekend, I went home to see one of my best friends from high school get hitched and it was such a lovely wedding. Alyssa's husband Joe is a musician and actually sang his vows to her while playing guitar! It was so cute. The entire wedding and reception was held at her family's restaurant, Rode's, and the food was beyond delicious. I need to log some gym time this week to make up for Saturday night, but it was so worth it. Congrats, you two!
I ended my weekend back in the city watching football games and guess who I ran into at Ainsworth Park? Liam Hemsworth and James Marsden! The newly single Hunger Games star seemed to be in great spirits post-split from Miley Cyrus as he hung with the X-Men actor. As my friend and coworker Whitney English recently blogged, celebs are almost always shorter and smaller in person but let me tell you: Liam's one tall drink of water in the flesh.
Not a bad way to end the weekend! Now if only my fantasy football team wasn't in last place...does anyone think I should play Jay Cutler over Tony Romo next week? Sound off in comments!
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Wardrobe Staples, Beauty Buzz and Swanky Hotels

Now that fall's officially here, I've been updating my wardrobe accordingly and came across a great staple I thought I'd share. A white collared shirt is a must for every girl's closet because it's so versatile: you can wear it to the office during the day, dress it up a for a night out or pair it with jeans and boots for a casual weekend look.

But finding one that's well-tailored can be a challenge, which is why I'm psyched for this one from InStyle Essentials and TrioFit. Instead of just coming in small, medium or large, you order based on your bra size to ensure it's perfectly fitted and the most flattering silhouette. Genius, right? I got the classic button-front version but they also have a sleeveless one with a bow and a baggier, more casual weekend tunic available.
At $59.99, it's a good price for something I'll definitely wear again and again all fall and winter long. If you're in NYC and want to snag one yourself, they're doing an event this Saturday and Sunday from 11-7 at the Chelsea Triangle Plaza (9th Ave between 14th and 15th St.) where an InStyle editor will be on hand to help you pick your perfect shirt and fit...consider them your own personal stylist for the day! They're also heading to Philadelphia and D.C. next if you want to catch them there. 

As for me, I interviewed Shameless starlet Emmy Rossum for SheKnows this week at the Origins and Charity : Water party held at Jimmy rooftop at the James Hotel, where we caught a spectacular sunset and talked beauty tips (she admits even she gets breakouts). 
I also attended the grand reopening of the Palace New York Hotel, where Gossip Girl was often filmed and Serena van der Woodsen lived on the CW series. Mayor Bloomberg was in attendance and commented, "Serena would approve of this renovation". Indeed! Check out the view of the Empire State Building from the Champagne suite. When can I move in? 


Thanks to my Blair for the night, Christina Mannino, for coming along on our uptown adventure.
I'm spending my Sunday covering the Taste WG food festival in Brooklyn, where I'll be shooting for HealthiNation, trying lots of delicious eats and drinks and interviewing chefs and restaurant owners about fall food trends. I'm already working up an appetite just typing about it!

Happy Friday...hope everyone has a delicious weekend! 
Get all the action in real time on Twitter @cristinagibson and Instagram @cristinablairgibson

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Fashion Week Fun

Another Fashion Week has come and gone in a blur of models, champagne and parties! I did some coverage for SheKnows and although this is my sixth or seventh time covering NYFW, I still learned a few new things, like that celebrities usually get paid big bucks to attend designer's shows. Here I thought they just wanted free clothes and exposure, silly me!

My favorite show was this season was Mara Hoffman. I'm all about color and her Spring 2014 collection was so bright and pretty. It made me want to book a tropical vacation ASAP and pack her entire line for the trip.

Another fun show was Herve Leger. You may know this brand from their ubiquitous bandage dresses that all the stars love to wear. Nicki Minaj sat front row wearing a dress from their Spring 2014 collection, which featured lots of zippers, cut outs and waist-cinching peplums.

I also got to attend Marchesa's runway presentation for the very first time thanks to my girl Laura Lane. This show is special because it's held off site at the New York Public Library and there's only two rows of seats with the runway going around the entire room, so you really get to see the couture close up. Their latest collection showcased ornate, gauzy gowns embellished with lots feathers and beads. I could totally see Taylor Swift wearing one of them.

Fashion Week is all about the parties and DKNY threw a fabulous bash to celebrate their 25th birthday. Supermodel Karlie Kloss, who also walked in their show was on hand, along with Chrissy Teigen, John Legend, Emmy Rossum, Hailee Steinfeld and a huge taxi cab cake. They had an awesome photobooth that makes GIFs of your pictures...check ours out here!

Rita Ora performed at the party, and I jumped on stage with her at the end when she invited people to come up. It reminded me of the last time I was on stage at a show with her boyfriend Calvin Harris at Firefly fest when he performed this summer.

I also want to congratulate two of my entrepreneurial friends, Kiara Horwitz and Christina Mannino, who threw their own Fashion Week soiree to celebrate Kiara's public relations firm's launch and Christina's latest collection for Deivie, her fashion line. Great job, girls!

And speaking of fall fashion, I never used to wear flats when I lived in LA but they're pretty necessary here in NYC, since you walk everywhere. I just got these Carmen Steffens, a Brazilian-based shoe company and I love how they're studded with skulls.
Until next time, wishing everyone a fun and fashionable fall!
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Thursday, September 5, 2013

How I Spent My Summer: One Direction to Montauk and more!

Happy September to everyone and sincere apologies for my lack of updates! Last December 2012, I started freelancing full-time and things got really busy really quickly. Because I was writing and reporting so much for so many other outlets, I totally neglected this blog but I'm back for good...I promise!

Here's some of my highlights from this summer, both professionally and personally.

In May, I traveled to Las Vegas to cover the Billboard music awards for Cambio, where I got to talk to Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Ke$ha and so many more.
It was a super quick trip (one night only) because I had to be back in NYC bright and early Monday to interview Jaden Smith for Cambio as well. You can watch our interview below...we took user questions live from Twitter and Jaden gave some really insightful answers. He was so mature for his age!

I also began working with HealthiNation, hosting video content and covering Madison Square Eats, an NYC pop up food fest, which was lots of fun. So much good food in one place! Check it out next time you're in NYC. At the end of June and early July, I spent 10 days out in Montauk, a beachside town at the very end of the Hamptons. A bunch of us rented a house and celebrated the 4th of July out there. There was lots of beaching, relaxing and lobster eating. 
Being freelance allowed me to stay out there all week and work remotely, which is an amazing perk of being freelance...you can write from anywhere as long as there's wifi. One of my favorite places in Montauk is Surf Lodge, a hotel, restaurant and bar right on the water with gorgeous sunsets and live music. Definitely stop by for a sunset cocktail if you're ever in the area!
St. Lucia playing at Surf Lodge
August was another busy month! I sat down with Kendall and Kylie Jenner for Wonderwall and did a segment for Fox & Friends on behalf of SheKnows. On one particularly crazy Sunday, I sat down with the boys from One Direction in the afternoon and covered the MTV VMAs that night. Our interview is below:

I'd never met these guys before and let me say: their accents are all adorable! Despite all of their success, they were extremely down to earth, very nice and also pretty darn funny. They walked into the room singing out loud and gave me a standing ovation for some reason (do they do that for everyone who interviews them?). Oh and yes, girls: Harry Styles' hair really is that awesome up close. Fact.
All in all, it's been a great summer but now it's already September and you know what that means: Fashion Week is here! Time flies when you're having fun, but I really will update this more frequently. No excuses...after all:
And she updates her blog often! What was your favorite part of summer? Leave it in the comments below!
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