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May 13, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Gilt City LA Spring Warehouse Sale is Here

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 11:51 am

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We have been prepping for the Gilt City LA Warehouse sale for months and are so excited it’s finally here!  It’s one of the most anticipated sales of the year.  It’s the only time of year consumers get to shop the most coveted brands, including both up-and-coming designers and the most venerable fashion houses like Zac Posen, Helmut Lang, Missoni, Vera Wang, Oscar de la Renta, Badgley Mischka, Carolina Herrera and more. For the guys, think Paul Smith, John Varvatos, and GANT, just to name a few.

In addition to shopping, celebrity makeup artist Jamie Greenberg will be on site doing makeovers and Gilt Lifestyle Editor Chassie Post will be dishing out styling tips.  Tune into KTLA on Friday to catch a segemtn with Chassie and four models, as they highlight some of this season’s trends and what to look for at the sale.

Get your tickets now on Gilt City LA’s webpage, and we hope to see you there!

– Katie Foley

May 12, 2015

Client Happenings: All Aboard for Memorial Day!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 10:30 am

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What better way to kick off the beginning of summer than on a weekend long excursion on Lake Michigan? Forget making burgers on the grill and lounging on the patio, celebrate this Memorial Day weekend aboard the Odyssey! Taste Odyssey’s new menu, dance away to amazing music from the interactive DJ and take in the incredible views of the Chicago skyline! This is perfect for family and friends looking to celebrate the holiday for either a day or for all weekend long while enjoying the gorgeous weather. Details of the cruises are below:

Friday, May 22nd

Saturday, May 23rd:

Sunday, May 24th:

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend!

– Huong Spais, Assistant Publicist

May 7, 2015

ZAP Decor: A Colorful Home Refresh

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 11:28 am

As the seasons change it’s always fun to rejuvenate your home décor. An easy way to do this without breaking the bank on expensive furniture is a simple accessory refresh. One of our clients, Room & Board, offers a variety of colorful options from pillows and throws to vases and wall art will have your space looking brand new!

 

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Shimmer Pillow ($99)

This pillow makes a perfect addition to your couch or bed, offering a subtle shine to the overall look.

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Destination Tag Chicago ($399)

Wall art is a great update for any room in your apartment and I love this bright blue hue. This would also add a fun pop of color to your gallery wall.

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Horizon Plaid Throw ($169)

This throw really warms up a space. Simply fold at the end of your bed or on your couch for an easy and bright update.

– Stephanie Reay, Senior Publicist

 

 

 

 

May 3, 2015

ZAP Refresh: Newest Fitness Trend? Mixing It Up!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 11:10 am

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How do you know its springtime in Chicago?

  1. It’s light out when you come in to the office and when you leave at night
  2. Lake Shore Path is suddenly filled with the foot traffic equivalent of I-90 at rush hour
  3. Even the smallest patches of concrete in the city are set up for al fresco dining
  4. All of the above

That’s right…it’s springtime in Chicago and everyone (I mean everyone) is excited about it. It was a long and brutal winter not for the faint of heart.

So what does that mean? That’s right kids…it’s time to put away those winter sweaters you’ve been hiding under and kick it into high gear. Bikini season is just around the corner.

Now, if you’re like me, this winter has been hard. I consider myself a pretty big health freak and I’ve definitely fallen into a bit of a slump lately. Call me crazy but with subzero temps and buckets of snow on the ground, just getting to the gym feels like a workout.

Luckily, Chicago recently launched ClassPass, a mix-and-match class membership program addressing a growing preference for on-demand style variety in workouts. For just $99 a month, users can access unlimited classes at more than 100 studios around the city ranging from cycling, yoga, Pilates, barre, strength training, bootcamp, dance, and so much more.

I’m a sucker for anything new and fitness related so, a few weeks ago, I signed up. I’m so excited to try out all the different options available. Hopefully, it will be enough to bust me out of hibernation mode. Spring training season is in full effect!

– Morgan Bellock, Account Director

April 29, 2015

Client Happenings: Virgin Hotels Celebrates First-Ever Grand Opening in Chicago

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 9:53 pm

This year marked a milestone for Chicago and the history of the Virgin brand with the opening of Virgin Hotels first-ever hotel property. Virgin Hotels Chicago officially marked its grand opening on April 16, with a spectacle fitting of Sir Richard Branson and the Virgin brand

Crowds stormed the Chicago streets outside of the hotel to watch Sir Richard Branson inaugurate his first hotel while recreating the iconic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off parade scene, complete with a replica of the original float and singing renditions of Twist & Shout and Danke Schoen. It truly was one for the books!

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Prior to opening its doors, Zapwater had the unique opportunity to work with the brand and engage potential local consumers through some one-of-a-kind activations. From CHema Skndl! painting rumors surrounding the hotel and mini-Richard Branson’s on the construction site, to dropping welcome mats in front of other hotels to announce the arrival, to hooking up W City Center and JW Marriot hotel guests with free Wi-Fi from a branded truck, to finally an intimate rooftop dinner across from the hotel serving as a Peep Show of the upcoming menu. Locals were certainly buzzing about the hotel and couldn’t wait for the iconic brand to open.

Watch all the pre-opening fun unfold at: Shake Things Up with Virgin Hotels Chicago

The hotel itself is located in heart of Chicago’s Loop district in the historic Old Dearborn Bank Building at 203 N. Wabash Ave. The 26-story Art Deco building, a Chicago landmark, offers 250 guest rooms, including 40 one-bedroom suites and two Penthouse Suites.

Since the Virgin Hotels brand inception, eliminating fees and surcharges has been top priority, along with creating an experience that allows guests to feel that Virgin Hotels is their place in the city. A champion of the customer, the hotel brand offers free Wi-Fi (at unlimited bandwidth) and has eliminated early check-in fees, late check-out fees, room service delivery charges, business center transactions, and other services that have caused frustration for travelers.

Several of the building’s original features remain intact and are showcased throughout, like a beautiful 1920’s oak Cigar Bar that serves as the hotel’s front desk, ornate brass elevator doors, and the original mail slot and chute serving all floors.

At the heart of Virgin Hotels Chicago is The Commons Club, a dynamic space where guests can dine, drink, work and mingle, as well as attend the nightly hosted Social Hour. The vibe is one of a private members club, without the fees, where guests and locals alike are welcome. The two-story space it occupies was the original bank floor with its beautiful coffered plaster ceiling.

The Commons Club menu, created by Chef Rick Gresh, features a variety of internationally influenced small plates, from Stuffed Potato Tots to a Cauliflower Caesar to Cider Mussels to a Lobster Flatbread and the Eye of the Ribeye, Chef Gresh’s one-of-a-kind black truffle tattoo technique adorned on a Ribeye served with bone marrow mac n cheese.

The hotel offers four additional dining options, including Miss Ricky’s, a late-night All-American diner on the ground floor of the hotel. The restaurant is an indulgent dream and features amazing modern takes on diner fair.

To kick-off the opening of Miss Ricky’s, Zapwater and the hotel engaged with local foodies, bloggers and influencers for an all-day Instagram party. Guests were invited in to try out the delicious breakfast, lunch and dinner options and snap a picture using the hashtag #QuickyWithRicky to track the conversation. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the photos were just as tasty as the food itself.

Watch a recap of the activation at: Get Behind the Scenes at Miss Ricky’s & Dig In

Two Zero Three, named for the hotels address, serves as a coffee house by day, wine bar by night, featuring locally brewed coffee by Bow Truss and a selection of rare and unique wines. A variety of house-baked pastries, regional cheeses and locally produced charcuterie are also served.

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Cerise, a rooftop bar and lounge located on the hotel’s 26th floor is a collaboration with Italian designer, Paola Navone. The space embodies a whimsical and playful aesthetic, giving guests a peek inside her wild imagination. From the moment guests depart the elevators, they are immersed in bold hues of blue with touches of red and green, unexpected trinkets from Navone’s global travels and expansive views of Chicago’s historic architectural skyline, including the Jewelers’ Building. Cerise expands the entire width of the hotel, including a terrace that wraps around three sides. Two bars are situated at the far ends of the rooftop, with an assortment of large, plush couches both indoors and out. The menu features Izakaya-inspired fare and an incredible cocktail program. Cerise officially opened it’s doors on April 29, but not before having a killer kick-off party with Questlove.

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The best part are the chambers! Featuring a two-chamber room layout, with small touches that make traveling for business or leisure an easier experience, Virgin’s guest rooms are truly one-of-a-kind. All rooms are divided into two spaces by sliding doors, complete with a peephole. The dressing room includes a full vanity, make-up desk and mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench, and his and hers closets. Virgin has also taken the bed to another level with its ergonomic design and plush bedding.

The hotel is truly an urban paradise and incorporates all of the things a modern day traveler is looking for in one smart space.

– Annie Block, Vice President

April 28, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Blohaute

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 7:12 pm

With summer and festival season right around the corner (although our Chicago weather is deceiving at times), I’m needing all the help I can get with styling my curly hair. Amazingly, with the new app, Blohaute, I can have all of this done in the comfort of my own home!

Some of my favorite hair trends for summer always include braids or an up-do to keep my mane in check when the weather turns humid. I’m a huge Instagram user, so browsing through the Blohaute page is one of the first places I check for a new how-to style. The best part is, if I can’t do one of the unique and intricate braids that Amanda showcases on her page, all I have to do is simply log in to the Blohaute app or visit the website online and book one of the stylists to come to my door step – as little as an hour before!

How amazing are these hairstyles below? All five are on my hair to-do list, especially this summer. I can already imagine all the great events these hair styles will be joining me on! To get one of these styles created in your hair, make sure to check out Blohaute for all kinds of awesome information and inspiration.

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– Katie Neimiec, Assistant Publicist

April 24, 2015

PR Buzz: Zapwater Shortlisted for the SABRE Awards 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 9:58 pm

I’m thrilled to share with you some exciting news. Once again, Zapwater’s work has been honored with one of the public relations industry’s highest honors. Two of our client campaigns have been shortlisted in the prestigious Gold SABRE Awards.

The world’s largest awards competition for the public relations industry, the SABRE Awards celebrate PR campaigns that demonstrate the highest levels of creativity, integrity and effectiveness.

This is the fourth year in a row that we have been shortlisted in the SABREs, and the third in four years that multiple campaigns have made the list. This is an honor usually reserved for large global agencies.

This year, Zapwater received the honors for our work on behalf of Cufflinks.com and Block 37.

This year’s nominations confirm Zapwater’s ability to deliver creative thinking, effective communications counsel and return on investment at an award-winning level. We’re truly honored by all these awards. It’s a testament to our amazing team and clients. The team at Zapwater thanks you for your continued support.

– David Zapata, President

March 26, 2015

ZAP Bites: Livin’ the Ice Cream Dream

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 10:11 pm

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One of the many benefits of living in Los Angeles is that it’s always a great time for ice cream. Ice cream happens to be my Achilles heel when it comes to sweet treats, so I’ve definitely made it my mission to have as many scoops as possible.

I’ve been incredibly impressed by the artisan quality of the ice cream in Los Angeles. Ingredients you can pronounce, unique flavors and fresh ingredients are status quo. So far, these are some of my recommended “hot” spots:

  • Beachy Cream (Santa Monica): Located on Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica, you can rely on Beachy Cream for 100 percent organic ice cream, pretzel cones and their friendly Beachy Cream Girls (the staff is dressed in retro attire). They have seasonal flavors along with their classics like Strawberry Surfer Girl and Mint Brownie. The ice cream on the cake is that Beachy Cream is dog friendly! Purchase a cone or sandwich and your pup gets a free doggy ice cream. *Photo credit: Beachy Cream
  • Ice Cream Lab (Beverly Hills): Ice Cream Lab coins itself a delish experiment and that is indeed the case. At Ice Cream Lab, your ice cream is made to order using all-natural and organic ingredients….frozen with liquid nitrogen! I loved the Blue Velvet (vanilla bean ice cream with blue velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting) while my friend indulged in the Salt Lick Crunch (vanilla bean ice cream with crushed salted pretzels, homemade caramel sauce and sea salt). Go during an off time, watch your ice cream magically come to life and take a stroll down rodeo drive. Photo credit: Ice Cream Lab
  • Milk (Beverly Bld, Los Angeles): Louis Vuitton said it best; “Milk is the epitome of ‘good things,’ featuring every dessert you craved when you were seven years old…” Milk offers everything you could ever imagine in an ice cream shop including ice cream macaroons, ice cream Sandwiches with homemade cookies, malts, sundaes and more. Since tres leches cake is one of my favorite deserts, I had to try the banana tres leches ice cream. We also had a chocolate hazelnut, chocolate chip cookie sandwich. The portions are large, but be prepared to finish every bite.
  • Sweet Rose Creamery (Brentwood): Sweet Rose Creamery has a few locations in Los Angeles. They’re known for their fresh, seasonal ice cream flavors. Their flavors change monthly though they do have a few regulars like their mint chocolate chip with fresh mint, and caramel sea salt. The unique part about Sweet Rose is that you can choose between sweet or more savory flavors like Earl Grey. Their ice cream is made on-site and like the other places mentioned, the ingredients are 100 percent organic.

The other phenomenal part about Los Angeles is that most of the grocery stores carry local brands allowing me to get my fix any time of day.

There you have it- my top spots for ice cream. I still have a few other places on my list to check out like Carmella and Cool Haus. What are your favorite places?

– Nora Sarrawi, Vice President

Photo Credit: Huffington Post

February 26, 2015

ZAP Bites: Are You #HotforBreakfast?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — Zapwater Communications @ 11:12 pm

Did you know February is National Hot Breakfast Month? Chicagoans can certainly use some hot breakfast ideas right now to keep us warm during the extreme cold we’re experiencing!

NOW® Foods partnered with a variety of natural living/food bloggers to participate in the #HotforBreakfast Month program, where the bloggers incorporated a variety of NOW’s Raw Nuts in original hot breakfast recipes. The result = great new “nutrish and delish” ways to warm up your morning routine…Enjoy!

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Candied Apple Hot Breakfast Cereal

Breakfast in a Hurry (Lemon Berry Scones)

Breakfast Muffins: Maple Walnut Muffins with Goji Berries

Make Ahead 10 Grain Berry and Nut Freezer Muffins

Breakfast Cookies

Super Berry 10 Grain Muffins

Sugar Free Cookies for Breakfast

Quick and Hearty Healthy Cereal Recipe

– Alana Horinko, Vice President

February 23, 2015

ZAP Style Notes: Oscars Best Dressed + Giveaway

Filed under: Uncategorized — Zapwater Communications @ 11:07 pm

 

Oscars Blog ImageWhether you love or hate the Oscars, they’re one of the most watched entertainment programs on television each year. While most of that has to do with devoted movie lovers tuning in to see their favorites win a coveted statue, another huge part of it has to do with fashion lovers checking out the red carpet. From nominees to presenters, everyone is in their best and each year brings innovation and something fresh to the stage. Below, the Zapwater team has pulled together our list of favorite looks and favorite moments from last night’s big show. Make sure you share yours with us!

Just a reminder, no look would be complete without the perfect hair and makeup to match. Block 37 is giving you a chance to recreate your favorite red carpet looks with a $237 gift card to use at any of the shopping center’s beauty retailers — Ladies & Gentleman, Sephora, Sabon NYC or L’OCCITANE. Simply follow Block 37 on Instagram (@blockthirtyseven), share your favorite look with the hashtag #photo37 and you’ll be entered to win. Hurry! Entries must be submitted by February 27.

Zapwater’s Favorite Oscar 2015 Looks + Moments:

David Zapata: Marion Cotillard in Dior Couture

Also, have to give a shout out to Jared Leto! My favorite moment was the opening number, which Neil Patrick Harris did while wearing Zapwater client, Cufflinks.com

Morgan Bellock: Emma Stone in Eli Saab Haute Couture

My pic for best dressed would have to be Emma Stone! As for the best moment, I would have to say when NPK did the Birdman spoof and came out on the stage in his underwear.

Annie Block: Margot Robbie in Saint Laurent

My favorite look was Margot Robbie. That necklace and those lips were incredible. It’s how I want to look every day. Favorite moment was when Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar. I love when first timers win! Everyone expected Michael Keaton to win. Eddie seemed so genuinely surprised and excited.

Sophia Bly: Scarlett Johansson in Atelier Versace

Scar Jo for the win!

Katie Foley: Reese Witherspoon in Tom Ford

Timeless, classic and elegant in Tom Ford. Reese always knows how to bring it!

Alana Horinko: Emma Stone in Eli Saab Haute Couture

I thought Emma Stone looked stunning last night. Aside from the Glory performance and Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound of Music, I’d say my favorite moments were a tie between the acceptance speeches of Graham Moore and Patricia Arquette.

Jenn Lake: Neil Patrick Harris in custom Brunello Cucinelli and Ox and Bull cufflinks

My favorite look was Neil Patrick Harris, of course – wearing Ox & Bull tuxedo and stud set on the red carpet and the opening number. His opener was one of my favorite moments – he’s so talented!

Brigid Parr: Rosamund Pike in Givenchy Haute Couture

I had a few favorites, but one of my best dressed of the evening was Rosamund Pike. She’s been lackluster on the red carpet thus far during award season, but she really brought it on Oscar night. I’m completely obsessed with the scalloped cut of the neckline, and the color and fit was spot on. My favorite moment was Patricia Arquette’s speech and Meryl Streep’s reaction.

Stephanie Poquette: Naomi Watts in Armani Prive

Naomi, Naomi, can you do any wrong? That dress, the perfect hair and dark lip = love and serious red carpet moment. While I tuned in for the movies – of course! – Lady Gaga SLAYING for The Sound of Music tribute was by far the biggest highlight. Call me a Fair Weather Monster, but that performance has restored my faith!

Huong Luu-Spais: J.Lo in Elie Saab Couture

J.Lo in Elie Saab!

Stephanie Reay: Sienna Miller in Oscar de la Renta

I love The Sound of Music, so Lady Gaga’s tribute to its 50th anniversary was amazing.

PHOTO CREDITS:

Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone and Rosamund Pike images from People Stylewatch

Scarlett Johannson, Margot Robbie, Sienna Miller, Marion Cotillard and Naomi Watts images from Hollywood Life

J.Lo image from E! Online

Neil Patrick Harris from Metro UK

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