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Sanrio/Hello Kitty’s Gudetama, the Lazy Egg, Makes his U.S. Debut

Not since Humpty Dumpty and colorful Easter Eggs, has an egg so captured our hearts. Already a huge hit in Japan, the newest member of the Sanrio/Hello Kitty family, Gudetama – the lazy egg, will charm you with his adorable laziness. Gudetama is the ultimate slacker, he rocks himself to sleep in his shell, curls up in a bacon blanket, takes naps on a bed of rice, and has no motivation to do anything else but lay around.

Brand new to the US as of today, Gudetama makes his debut on Sanrio.com, and in select Sanrio stores. This lazy egg seeks to do nothing more than what he always does, but we do notice we share the same reactions to some things as he does, like Mondays, wanting to be surrounded by bacon, and those days we just don’t want to move. This adorable new Sanrio character makes his debut on a few limited edition products, such as pens, notebooks, mugs, and plates, ranging in price from $2.75 – $19.00, with much more to come. If you love Hello Kitty stuff, you’ll love what’s in store from Gudetama.

We’re personally fawning over the Ceramic Side Plate and 10oz Ceramic Mug, the perfect combination to enjoy a late breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning. Want to know more about Gudetama – the lazy egg, check out more of his adorable laziness on www.sanrio.com, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, but don’t disturb him much, he can’t be bothered.

Toast to National Vodka Day w/ Wyborowa Wódka

We are days away from celebrating National Vodka Day (October 4th) and we’re excited to toast this annual honoring with a new Polish Vodka we were recently introduced to that’s launching in the US. We were lucky enough to celebrate the US launch of  Wyborowa Wodka, pronounced “Vee-bo-rova” or Wybo for short, a smooth, velvety vodka made from 100% pure rye grain that boasts a rich flavor and a natural, light sweet taste and aroma, setting it apart from other vodkas.

Wyborowa, which aptly means “The Finest” in Polish, is the #1 vodka in Poland, is made with the highest quality ingredients, and is produced through a continuous distillation process at 40 small-scale agricultural distilleries in Poland, earning it the acclaimed Polish Vodka Seal. At the event we were treated to three signature Wybo cocktails: Wyborowa Martini, Wyborowa Sour, and Wyborowa Chilled, as well as delicious Polish hors d’oeuvres. The Wybo Sour was deliciously addictive, and the Martini was as expected, smooth, dry, delicious and strong.

Wybo has been pleasing the palettes of vodka lovers since 1927, it is currently sold in more than 80 countries, and has received with more than 20 international awards including winning a Gold Medal in this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition. An impressive way to enter the US market. We had the opportunity to speak with Andrzej Szumowski, President of the Polish Vodka Association (pictured below) Wyborowa Wódka:

“Poland is regarded as the birthplace of vodka, and we are delighted to celebrate the spirit of our culture in the U.S.,” said Andrzej Szumowski, President of the Polish Vodka Association. “Vodka is the pride of Poland and Wybo represents that beautifully with its high quality and purity – something we should all raise our glasses to!”

The wonderful evening ended with a certificate honoring us as Ambassadors of Polish Vodka (ours is being framed)

Wybo Wodka will be distributed in the U.S. by importer and owner of a variety of international spirits, Crillon Importers Ltd, and a 750 ml bottle will retail for $15.99. You definitely need to add this 87-yr old vodka to your drink list.

Vodka from the Land Down Under: VDKA 6100

Forget what you think Australia is known for and get ready to enjoy the latest import from down under. Making it’s US debut is an incredibly pure and smooth premium vodka called VDKA 6100. Inspired by the Australian country code, VDKA 6100’s name pays tribute to its Australian roots but its incredible bottle design, created by leading New York designer Joe Doucet, highlights the quality and purity of this incredibly smooth vodka. VDKA 6100 is distilled from fresh seasonal whey and natural spring water from New Zealand, one of the most pristine spring water locations in the world.

With whey that is sourced from grass-fed cows’ milk, then is 3x distilled and filtered through a bed of carbon, the result is a silky, ultra-smooth liquid that is a cleaner, purer vodka which is also gluten free, sugar free, and lactose free. VDKA 6100 will be a real delight to vodka lovers, fans of the spirit will love its light and crisp taste. It’s wonderful on the rocks with twist of lemon and makes a mojito so incredibly delicious, it can only be described as velvety. Adding to this vodka’s greatness is the involvement of Actor Robert De Niro, ­described as the “co-creator” of VDKA 6100, who will be the face of the brand.

“I’m very proud to be associated with the creative team behind the launch of VDKA 6100. It will be personally rewarding to be a part of its growth,” said Robert De Niro. We think that Paul Gardner, President of VDKA 6100, has an incredible product on his hands, and we’re not just saying this because we’re primarily vodka drinkers. Two other cocktails we recommend trying with this satiny vodka are featured below…of course feel free to experiment.

Strawberry Sky

2 Parts VDKA 6100
¾ Part Lemon Juice
¾ Part Simple Syrup
Soda Water
3 Strawberries
2 Cucumber Slices
Muddle strawberries and cucumbers with simple syrup. combine lemon juice and VDKA 6100 in a shaker with ice and shake until extremely cold. Strain into a collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda water, stir and garnish with a fresh strawberry and cucumber.

Greener Pastures

2 Parts VDKA 6100
¾ Part Lime Juice
½ Part Simple Syrup
½ Part Sweetened Kiwi Puree*
3 Fresh Basil Leaves
*One part simple syrup to four parts fresh kiwi puree.
Gently rub basil in a shaker with a muddler. Combine all remaining ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and shake until extremely cold. Strain into a sour glass over crushed ice. Garnish with kiwi slices and fresh basil.

VKDA 6100 is available in two sizes, 750ml, retailing for $34.99, and a 1-liter bottle for $44.99. For more information, visit http://www.VDKA6100.com.

New, Next – Broken Shed Vodka Launches in the US

In my experience, the best things are always found or got their start in the tiny, hole-in-the-wall types of places and premium vodka, Broken Shed is a great example of that. This refreshing, four times distilled vodka was started by founders, Mark Simmonds, Steve Turner, and Mark O’Brien in an “old and bruised-up shed” in New Zealand in 2009, and while it’s moved on to a newer, grander location, the old shed still exists and acts as a “tasting room”.

Unlike most vodkas, Broken Shed Vodka is distilled from whey (they call it milk honey), which gives it a bit of a unique taste, nothing that will put off vodka fans of course, this actually made it smoother than many other brands I’ve encountered. “While the U.S. vodka market is huge, it’s also over-crowded. Brands are struggling to differentiate themselves,” said Mr. Simmonds. “But our quality speaks for itself, and we have unique features with our water sources, distillation from whey, and 100% New Zealand origins. We’re confident we can get our vodka in front of some smart vodka drinkers. And once they taste, we know they’ll love Broken Shed.”

Broken Shed is made up of 60% water from the Southern Swiss Alps and 40% spirit from the New Zealand whey. I find myself more apt to liking any alcohol that’s a bit on the sweet side and Broken Shed has a subtle, natural, muted sweetness to it but it is gluten-free, as well as free of additives and sugars. Overall, Broken Shed is a fine, crisp vodka that perfect on the rocks, delicious with cranberry juice alone or with a splash of orange juice. There are actually quite a few cocktails that are a must try:

Broken Flower
1 part Broken Shed Vodka
Generous drop of Elderflower cordial
1 part Soda water
Pour over ice and serve with slice of cucumber

Broken Basil
2 parts Broken Shed Vodka
Crushed basil leaves
1 part Passion-fruit juice
1 part Apple juice.
Serve over crushed ice

Broken Sunrise
2 parts Broken Shed Vodka
1 part Fresh orange juice
1 part Cranberry juice
1 part Soda water.
Stir over ice in a tall glass.

Broken Shed Vodka launched in the US this past summer and it retails for $32.00-35.00. “We are very excited to be selling our vodka in the U.S.,” said Mark O’Brien, co-founder of Broken Shed. “We make and sell Broken Shed in a comparatively remote area, so we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to launch on the world’s largest stage.”

Samsung Launches Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung has captivated the world with it’s release of the Galaxy SIII and it’s about to blow you away with its newest launch, the Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet, which contains several of the features already available on the Galaxy SIII (Smart Stay, All Share Play , Share Shot) but offers so much more. Combining content consuption and content creation, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 will redefine mobile computing. Launching today in the US, the Galaxy Note 10.1 has already sold 10 million units worldwide.

What are some of the amazing features?

  • The S Pen allows for precise handwriting and drawing with over 1000 levels of pressure sensitivity. It looks and feels like a real pen and you don’t have to worry about accidental smudges. It also features handwriting to text conversion, formula match, shape match and knowledge search – all available with S Note.
  • Truly multitask with the Galaxy Note 10.1’s side-by-side Multi-screen option. Open two apps at once on the same screen. Look up your favorite actor while you watch them in a movie, cut and paste easily, dragging content from one window to another without toggling back and forth between two windows.
  • Video Pop-up Play – watch your favorite videos/movies anywhere on the device while performing other tasks. You don’t have to stop to answer emails, surf the web, or get work done.
  • Adobe Photoshop Touch – Edit photos like never before. Create fluid, natural strokes when you use the S Pen with Adobe Photoshop Touch. Changes in pressure make lines lighter, thinner, thicker, etc allowing you to design beautiful illustrations with various brush weights and sizes. You can even sync with Adobe Creative Cloud to move whatever image you’re working on to your home computer to continue editing there.
  • Thanks to e-learning pioneer, Kno, students have access to 150,000 e-textbooks, allowing them the ability to highlight and write directly on them and leave their backpacks at home.
  • Smart Remote – the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 can also be used as a universal remote for your TV.


See below for Movie Director Baz Luhrmann discussing how he uses the Galaxy Note 10.1 with Tim Baxter, President of Samsung Electronics America.


Director Baz Luhrmann on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – G.Skinne from Glasgow Skinner on Vimeo.
Movie Direct/Producer, Baz Luhrmann discussing the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 with Tim Baxter, President of Samsung Electronics America.

See below for Designer Zac Posen discussing how he uses the Galaxy Note 10.1 in his daily creative life at the launch event with MC, Liz McGraw


Designer Zac Posen Discusses Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – Glasgow Skinner from Glasgow Skinner on Vimeo.
Designer Zac Posen discusses how he utilizes the new Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 as a designer

Performance features include: 1.4 GHZ Quad Core, 2 GB Ram, Ice Cream Sandwich, Galaxy SIII features (Smart Stay, All Share Play, Share Shot), Dual Front Speakers, Sound Alive Technology, with Jellybean upgrade coming soon. As stated above, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is available in stores today (though the Union Square Best Buy had it available yesterday), check out Best Buy, Amazon.com, CDW, Tiger Direct, etc for purchase. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is available in White and Deep Grey. The 16GB/Wifi retails for $499.00 while the 32GB/Wifi goes for $549.00.

Check out some photos from the launch event below:

Lee Stafford Brings His Hair Care Line to the US

British Hair care Expert and Celebrity Hairstylist, Lee Stafford, brings his award winning line of shampoos and conditioners, styling products and hair growth treatments to the US market. Previously only available in the UK, the range of products will be available at Duane Reade locations in NYC and Ulta stores nationwide. Developing and crafting the high quality line referred to as, The Pink Range, each product is an example of Stafford’s signature edgy style. Priced from $7.99-$14.99, the line offers something for every hair type. From bleach blonde to dark, beachy waves to poker straight, women can find their exact unique hair needs from The Pink Range. A few products from the collection are highlighted below

ArganOil™ from Morocco Nourishing Miracle Oil  – Argan Oil is a rich, nourishing oil native to Morocco with a unique blend of ingredients that help in repairing hair and aids in the creation of luxurious healthy hair.
ArganOil™ from Morocco Nourishing Conditioner – Along with Argan Oil, it also contains Keratin Amino Acids to maintains hair’s optimum moisture balance with Panthenol to promote shine. 
Dry Shampoo – Available in three colors, original, medium brown and dark brown, this light powdery texture refreshes, revitalizes and cleans hair with no horrible painty feel like most dry shampoos have (like most coloured dry shampoos).
Hair Growth Treatment with Pro-Growth™ Complex – soothing formulation reduces irritation and moisturises the scalp while giving your hair strength from within by fertilising your follicles, creating a healthy environment on your scalp to help hair grow faster and reach its maximum potential length.

 My Big Fat Healthy Hair Shampoo – Thanks to the Pro‐Volume™ complex of conditioning agents My Big Fat Healthy Hair Shampoo will give you exactly what it says on the tube — bigger, fuller, fatter hair! Banish dulling deposits that make hair go lank and limp, so hair will have enhanced gloss and shine too! 
My Big Fat Healthy Hair Conditioner – Your second step to full on volume, like the shampoo, keep hair healthy, with the Pro‐Volume™ complex feeding your hair with a combination of conditioning agents to give you voluptuous hair.
Poker Straight Dehumidifier – a light and gentle solution with unbeatable hair calming effects to fight frizz. Don’t fear humid air anymore.
Poker Straight Flat Iron Protection Mist – With the help of Green Tea extract, stop the damage from using your flat irons while you still achieve a sexy, sleek, super straight look, protect your hair from environmental and heat damage, reducing free radical formation caused by UV and heat styling.

Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray – Love the look and feel of just stepped out of the sea? This defining spray will bring out the tousled, textured look you’re looking for. With its ProMineral™ complex of Dead Sea salts and 26 minerals your hair will still feel soft to touch but with added bounce, definition and body to die for. Added sunflower extract helps to give moisture and shine to your hair and will also help to protect and repair against free radicals.

Bleach Blondes Shampoo – specifically for bleached or partly bleached highlights or hair, this deep purple shampoo will knock out brassy canary yellow tones, refreshing and restoring your hair back to salon beautiful color. The Pro-Blonde™ complex with Miracle Tree will help keep hair squeaky clean and encourage natural shine, whilst the 21st century color protection helps to stop annoying color fade caused by styling, sunlight and the damage caused by UV.

Bleach Blondes Conditioner – This mega moisturising conditioner will help to refresh and restore blonde hair back to salon beautiful colour. Your blonde barnet will be left smooth and hydrated thanks to the Pro-Blonde™ complex with panthenol, chamomile and moringa seed extract (aka Miracle Tree), which helps keep hair squeaky clean whilst also encouraging your hair’s natural shine!

Sensitive Skin Brand, Simple Skincare, Launches in the US

I had the pleasure of attending an event with Simple Skincare, UK’s #1 facial sensitive skin products (now available in the US and Canada) which contains no dyes, artificial perfumes or harsh irritants, and U.S. Women’s National Soccer Goalkeeper, Hope Solo. Prior to this event, my experience with this brand of skincare was limited to their Cleansing Facial Wipes, a product I’ve come to love but now that I got a chance to sample from from the product range, I’m even more enamored.

Simple Skincare is a new line of products that gently and effectively addresses the needs of 58% of women, like Hope Solo, who have sensitive skin. It can be a struggle for those with this to find good eye balms and other beauty products, and whilst some brands do exist, more choice is always good. Hope Solo has teamed up with Simple Skincare to share her trade secrets for balancing her skin and her very active life.  

“My philosophy is look good, feel good, play good – and I live by this everyday,” said Hope Solo.  “Simple looks at skincare the way that I look at life – the choices I make have an impact on my skin and I am mindful of maintaining a balance.  I’m happy to finally have products I can rely on and share my experiences with other women.”



One lucky person will have the chance to meet the Gold Medalist, experience her health and fitness routine and hear about her time in London competing with the US Women’s National Soccer Team.  A grand-prize winner will receive a 4-day, 3-night all-inclusive trip for two to Los Angeles to meet Hope and experience her balanced routine.  Enjoy one-on-one time with the soccer star, soak in all her skincare secrets, workout like a pro-athlete and dine at one of her favorite restaurants.  Enter for a chance to win at www.EscapeWithHope.com, where you can also see Hope’s sensitive skin story.  Women can take Simple’s Skin Health Consultation to evaluate their own skin sensitivities at www.simpleskincare.com.

“Hope’s Simple Skincare Escape” will run from 02:00 PM ET on May 8, 2012 through 02:00 PM ET on July 17, 2012.  Simple is a proud presenter of MAKERS, a dynamic, interactive video experience developed by AOL featuring exclusive access to compelling stories from trailblazing women like Hope.

The Simple Skincare product range includes Eye Care, Moisturizers, Facial Wipes and Cleansers, all of which feature a perfect blend of Simple’s purest possible skin loving ingredients such as aloe vera, jojoba oil, chamomile, cucumber extract, etc, along with added vitamins, B5 and  E. Skin is thoroughly cleansed without any drying and moisturized without being greasy or oily

EYE CARE
Revitalizing Eye Roll-On: a revitalizing Eye Roll-on that helps reduce puffiness and awakens and revitalizes tired eyes by instantly cooling and gently massaging the delicate eye area.

Soothing Eye Balm: soothes and relaxes tired eyes.

Eye Make-Up Remover: effectively removes makeup, even waterproof mascara.

MOISTURIZERS
Replenishing Rich Moisturizer: this rich moisturizer leaves your skin replenished and nourished all day long

Hydrating Light Moisturizer:  leaves your skin hydrated and nourished all day long

Vital Vitamin Night Cream: helps restore and replenish your skin’s moisture balance throughout the night

Vital Vitamin Day Cream SPF 15: moisturizes skin all day long and helps protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays

FACIAL WIPES
Cleansing Facial Wipes: refresh and nourish your skin plus remove waterproof mascara.

Exfoliating Facial Wipes: gently lifts dead skin cells to leave skin revived and revitalized

CLEANSERS
Moisturizing Facial Wash: leaves your skin thoroughly cleansed and nourished

Refreshing Facial Wash Gel: leaves your skin thoroughly cleansed and revived

Soothing Facial Toner: leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed

Smoothing Facial Scrub: gently lifts dry, dead skin cells to help your skin look brighter and more even textured

 What makes Simple Skincare such a wonderful range of products, you can send a lot of your thanks to the brand’s Consulting Dermatologist, Dr. Jennifer M. Segal, a Duke-trained, board certified dermatologist extensively trained in all areas with a specific interest in sensitive skin.

To get your hands on Simple Skincare’s range of products, visit Duane Reade, Kmart, Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS

T-Mobile and Nokia Launch Lumia 710 Windows Phone

T-Mobile and Nokia recently held an event at Skylight Soho to announce the launch of the Lumia710, their first Windows Phone to be available in the US. The Lumia 710 became available this month (launches January 11th) for a very affordable $49.00 with a 2 year contract.

The launch event was an all around interactive winter wonderland playground. Guests were treated to arcade video games, billiards (pool), air hockey, an interactive photo booth with the abominable snowman and a human snow globe (yes, you read that correctly)

Available in black and crisp white, the lightweight Lumia 710 boasts a 3.7″ touchscreen, ClearBlack display, 5 Mega Pixel Auto Focus Camera, LED Flash and HD Video, 7 hour talk time, 400 hour standby, 38 hour music playback, 5.5 hour video playback, replaceable soft-touch back covers, changeable home screen colors, a curved battery cover with a people hub that includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email, Chat and SMS.

After guests feasted on some delicious hors d’oeuvres and cocktails designed to warm you up – delicious cups of soup and pizza, spiked eggnog, spiked apple cider, etc

To end the night, the crowd was entertained by a live performance by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah who played several songs at the end of which the crowd was showered with “snow”

So if you’re a T-Mobile customer who’s looking to get an affordable windows phone, your prayers have been answered.