Friday Edition - TONS of new stories pending!
Today is a rather globally themed day. Mega Mazel Tov to my BFF’s Bryce’s hubby, Yossef, who was sworn in as a U.S. citizen today. It’s rather cosmically timed, because one of my closest friends of 20+ years is actually moving OUT of the country this weekend, so I feel like some weird sort of equilibrium is at play today!
I’ll post more about my friend who is moving later this weekend (because I want to post about the present I made her WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS but I don’t want to ruin the surprise before her goodbye dinner tonight.) So, will post that soon!
Also a special shout-out to my friends at Brooklyn Roasting Company (the best coffee, and right in my backyard!) who saw all I was working on this week and just sent me a CASE of my favorite coffee! Here’s a selfie I just took but seriously - it’s only one can of a giant box that arrived. This is just the fuel I need to get through the next month or so…
OH, PS. Ignore the hair situation. A year and a half into this “new normal” we’re in and I’m still not a master of the self blow.
Here’s what I'm working on. Other than my sad attempts at blowouts and my copious caffeination. (You may want to pour some more coffee, because, well, it’s a lot.)
First, an alert - please encourage your coworkers and colleagues to subscribe to this newsletter as it’s where they will see all gift guide and other story leads first throughout the season. It’s also where I will post status updates as to what is complete, and what has published, and do so in real time. So, it’ll make everyone’s lives easier. All are welcome!
Gift guide season, or at least the peak of it, is different from normal times in that I'm working on a few things that I DO have some time to play with - so you'll probably see a few things repeatedly over the next week or two. My usual stories I tend to have hours or maybe a day or two to play with.
As a rule of thumb with gift guides, I'm still working on it until you no longer see it on this list! (Also I'll let you know when things are wrapped up and submitted). Here we go!
For Forbes, I'm working on the following holiday gift guides...these will all be published on or after November 1, but I'll be wrapping them up in the weeks before.
The Best High-End Kitchen Pieces For The Beginner Chef
The Best Globally-Inspired Gifts For The Jet-Set Foodie
The Best Mail-Order Dishes For A Gourmet Dinner At Home
The Best Barware To Upgrade Their Home Bar
The Coolest Cleaning Gear To Keep Their Kitchen Looking Top-Notch
** Also for Forbes (not a gift guide) I’m doing a story on how you can make your life easier and get all your Thanksgiving ingredients (prepared or otherwise) online and shipped to your door. I’d love experts to weigh in on this but am also open to product pitches. I think even tho this year people are gathering again, many still rather do it in smaller, scaled-back ways, so very open to to pitches for say, turkey breast dinners or chicken dinners. This is not takeout or delivery from a local restaurant but rather, if, say, you want to ship a box to an older relative to help them avoid the store or as much of the prep work.
*** Also ALSO for Forbes, are any restaurants/bars doing any special drinks or dishes or desserts for Day of the Dead (Día de Muertos) this year? If you are, please email me what the dish/drink is, a description, and where you are located - if it’s a fit, I’ll ask you for a high-res image. By Wednesday please.
To pitch me for the Forbes gift guides, please do NOT just send me a stack of URLs. Include the name of the product, description, URL and price, along with a dropbox link to image for anything you are pitching me.
For Spy.com, I'm working on the following stories for THIS WEEK (so get your pitches in asap for these).
Best cloth napkins
Best table cloths (note, not including table runners in this one)
Best places to buy wrapping paper
Best eco-friendly laundry detergents
For HerMoney, working on the following:
1 - How to set a budget for holiday food: Many people may entertain more, or buy more expensive ingredients during the holiday season. For example, that giant turkey on Thanksgiving. A bunch of different types of seafood at Christmas. So, I'd love to talk to a personal finance expert or maybe a similar type of credible expert related to entertaining/household entertaining about setting a budget for holiday food. It's similar in concept to our weekly grocery budget, but shaped to the holiday season - we may look at what we buy, how many guests we intend to have - and how much it cost us in previous years and try to work back from there. And some tips on how to keep the holiday dinner on that budget - maybe by planning the menu ahead, grocery shopping with a list made out of that pre-planned menu, shopping sales, discounts, coupons, and cooking ahead to save time/money.
Holiday leftovers - how this is the key to getting more bang for your holiday food budget buck: It's a kind of simple concept, but one that a lot of people ignore. There's a lot of waste during the holidays. Big holiday dinners with tons of food, and lots of leftovers at the end. The way to get the most value out of those leftovers is to repurpose them. I would love some chefs to weigh in with ideas for repurposing Thanksgiving leftovers easily, without having to buy or add additional ingredients, and also share some food safety tips on how long those leftovers can safely last, and how best to store them.
I'm working on a story on holiday spending and how it's changed so much these last couple of years. What will we be spending our money on THIS year? (Travel, food, gift cards, etc.) Will this look more like a "normal" holiday season, like 2019, or will there still be spending oddities/irregularities brought on by COVID? What do we need to know to keep our budgets in line for the 2021 holiday season? Would love sources to weigh in on this one!
The HerMoney stories I have about a week to play with but I'd love to have expert sources nailed down that I can email with sooner rather than later.
For Next Century Spirits, I'm working on a story on The (Spiked) Tea on Cask Strength Whiskey - I'd love an expert to weigh in on what cask strength whisky is, how it performs/sells with consumers, current trends around cask strength whisky, what brands should know if they're interested in creating one. This one I need to turn around for MONDAY.
FINALLY - for TODAY.com - final reminder to send me any deals/discounts/freebies that your restaurant chain client is doing in honor of Halloween. This is being wrapped up this weekend and will publish by early next week. There’ll also be no updates. So please don’t do that thing that people love to do where after a story is published, they ask me to squeeze their restaurant’s deal in. If you want it considered, please email me now. Before the story is published. <3
OK. I know there's a lot here - but for all of these - please start a new email thread and send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, letting me know in the header which you are pitching me for. That is VERY helpful!
If you have several clients that fit for one specific gift guide or topic, it's OK to put them in the same email. Please NO pitches or follow-ups via texts/DM. I beg you to listen to me on this one.
Ok, that’s it for now! Now onto the other stuff.
Here's what has published since yesterday:
Have a great weekend!