Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden in NYC, through the lens of my new #LGG3

Billy Joel Concert in NYC

It was an incredible opportunity to see Billy Joel, New York’s infamous Piano Man, perform live at MSG.

My mom and I attended together, rekindling our Billy Joel fandom after a 15 year gap since our last Billy concert together. I own all of his Greatest Hit, can recite every single line of We Didn’t Start the Fire, and  in my 20’s, I treated myself to a ticket to the Movin’ Out musical that he and Twyla Tharp produced. I. Love. Billy.

Shannon Truax and her mom at Billy Joel

 An elaborate playlist

You might have to pay up to get in to a Billy Joel concert, but he’ll make it worth your while. He really is The Entertainer. The set list included many of the classics that I love, Movin Out, The Stranger, It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me, We Didn’t Start the Fire (yes, I sang along); some multiple choice options, where he crowd sourced which more obscure tunes he’d play; interstitial ditties like Oh Susannah and Pop Goes the Weasel; and a solid encore ending in Uptown Girl and Only the Good Die Young. And, Christie Brinkley was in attendance!

Experiencing the show with my new #LGG3

Obviously it is very important to me to be able to capture moments like this, and I was excited to be armed with my fancy new device. This would be my G3’s maiden voyage! I can’t even begin to describe how pleased I am with how easily and accurately I was able to capture the show, as well as share my footage right from my seat.

I loved the laser focus camera and was blown away with the incredible zoom. Here is Billy zoomed in as much as possible.

Billy Joel Zoom

Here is where I was sitting without any zoom.

Billy Joel at MSG

Loving the selfies

It also has to be mentioned that my selfies will never be the same. My mom and I had a blast doing concert selfies. The #LGG3 has a bright front facing camera. And in voice mode, all you have to do is say “Smile” or “Cheese,” (among other options too) and the picture will take itself!

Shannon and Mom Selfie

Colorful stage shots

Billy Joel Concert


Billy Joel at MSG 

Billy Joel concert

Better than what I captured at Katy Perry

Last month, I attended Katy Perry with my sister and my Windows 8 Phone, and to be honest, nearly all of my Katy pictures came out very blurry and blown out with all of the stage lights. The video was static-sounding. And, for some reason, my phone couldn’t pick up any signal from inside the show. My sister was #Instaglam-ing away, and I was Insta-Left-Behind. There was such disparity between attending a concert with a Windows Phone and attending with LG’s new G3.

I gave my mom my old Windows Phone, and while she seemed to drool over my new LG G3 (her whole kitchen and television collection are all LG products), she was very excited to upgrade her phone for free and take my old device. Well, within a week, she dropped it in the toilet. I couldn’t be more amused. It’s totally a sign.

A reveal and a meal: Range Rover Autobiography Black reveal and Baco Mercat

Land Rover reveals Range Rover Autobiography Black

Lucky Duck views the Range Rover Autobiography Black unveiling in Beverly Hills.

The news is out – Land Rover revealed a vehicle that defines the pinnacle of luxury: The Range Rover Autobiography Black. The first look at this very fine machine happened last week at a private viewing in Beverly Hills. CNBC’s Phil LeBeau covered the story in person, and the Land Rover USA Twitter and Instagram accounts got fans in behind the scenes — including behind the wheel with a Bond Girl and Jon Lovitz.

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It was personally exciting for me to be able to participate in the extraordinary reveal. As the headlights popped on from over the hill and Led Zeppelin blared from the speakers, I knew that this was going to be special. The Range Rover Autobiography Black made its way down to the party, in perfect step with the music, and the crowd was in awe. Goran Visnjic, our favorite ER Dr., and I were in awe.

Shannon Truax and Goran Visnjic

Chef Josef Centeno creates a delicious tasting menu

While we enjoyed the vehicle’s entrance, Chef dazzled everyone with his exceptional menu.

Chef Josef Centeno, Mike Hoagland, and Shannon Truax

Executive Chef of LA’s Baco Mercat, Bar Ama, and Orsa & Winston is arguably one of the best chefs in the entire country, and it was such an honor to meet Josef and his manager Mike.

As was dining at Baco Mercat

Before flying home, Mike helped me to get a reservation at the famous and delicious Baco Mercat.

Baco Mercat in LA

I ordered a chocolate root beer soda, made from Chef’s special recipe and package up in a nifty bottle. It was yummy, but I have to admit that the wine Mike picked out for me was unreal.

Baco Mercat in LA homemade soda

As I perused the menu, my server was incredibly helpful and charming, wearing an apron that I could tell inspired one of the gifts in the Land Rover gift bag. I would have gotten a sandwich (baco), but because it was dinnertime, I went with some of my favorite dishes: Beet salad, Brussels sprouts,  and the mussels. All three were absolutely incredible, and I have actually had dreams about this menu since leaving LA a week ago. Mike told me that the flavor pop in the mussels was cheese – didn’t see that coming!

Beet salad at Baco Mercat in LA Bussels Sprouts at Baco Mercat in LA Mussels at Baco Mercat in LA

My new bucket list

I actually made a personal goal to get back to LA asap and try Bar Ama and Orsa & Winston, too. I have to admit that the open kitchen at Chef’s newest restaurant Orsa & Winston is awesome. As I walked by, I actually saw Chef Josef cooking in the open kitchen! THAT was awesome.

Orsa & Winston in LA

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Jaguar unveils the F Type Coupe at LA Auto Show in pure Hollywood style

Jaguar F Type Coupe Unveiling Party

Lucky Duck attends the party of Tinseltown, thrown by Jaguar, in honor of the F Type Coupe.

On second thought, it was the party of the year. No, wait. It was the party of my life. Yep, that’s about right. In fact, that’s what I told Joe Manganiello in so many words to make him laugh on the red carpet.

Thank you! You just made my life. I was going to say that you made my day, but that just feels inadequate. – Shannon Truax to Joe Manganiello

Shannon Truax and Joe Manganiello at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

Hollywood theatrics do this very fine machine justice

Gotta hand it to Jaguar – the unveiling of the F Type Coupe was absurd. Raleigh Studios Playa Vista was the perfect venue to pull off the exceptional, jaw-dropping unveiling. Unveiling is definitely a bit trite to use, as this was actually much more along the lines of a movie. In the middle of the presentation, the lights went out, and a helicopter overhead stopped the ceremonies. I knew it was part of the act, but I didn’t know where it was going…. and I certainly NEVER could have predicted what was to come.

Before my eyes, the backdrop lifts to reveal a track the length of not one, but three football fields! The lights come up, and suddenly the new Jag appears at the end. Then, at 88 MPH (how fast the Delorean had to travel to go “Back to the Future”), the vehicle speeds towards the audience. My heart was racing. It was insane.

The celebs are impressed

Simon Cowell tweeted, “I had a great night at the launch of the new jaguar tonight. The car is stunning. You have to see it in real life.” I personally feel honored to have seen it! And honored to see Simon, too.

Simon Cowell at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

And Joe Manganiello, Alcide from True Blood! I had the chance to walk the carpet with him.

Shannon Truax and Joe Manganiello at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

David Gandy looked great.

David Gandy at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

Jag plays a fantastic host

Not only was the vehicle presentation fit for a scene in a movie, but the event itself was run very well. When you walked in, you twisted around the hedges on the red carpet, Alice in Wonderland style, and made your way past the step and repeat. Immediately, guests were greeted with passed hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.

Food at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling Food at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling Food at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

Champagne at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

My friends and I really enjoyed the event

Before making a beeline to the presentation area, our group grabbed a photo. Tommy Kendall was in attendance; read about his Chicken Car, El Gallo.

Our group

I was one of the first out of the presentation, so I was able to snap this photo of the party floor.

Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

Instabear captures the pulse

It was awesome to participate in #FTYPECOUPE and play in the phone booth. Instabear is an amazing resource to leverage at your event. As a customer/guest, I really enjoyed their services and am excited to display my photos at home on my fridge. For more info about Instabear, read my latest blog post.

Instabear at Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

Jaguar vehicles are beautiful

Jag is sexy, and the new F Type Coupe does not disappoint anybody. Hey, Simon Cowell is impressed… coming from a man who has it all, and is known for speaking his mind, that’s saying something.

Simon Cowell on Jag F Type Coupe Unveiling

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It’s time to Insta: Instabear kills it at LAAS and Windows Phone (finally) gets Instagram

My first Instagram photo is printed via InstabearLucky Duck proudly admires my first Instagram picture, and it’s printed by Instabear at the LA Auto Show.

It has been a long time coming — Windows has *finally* caught up (years late as usual) and launched Instagram on its mobile devices. I am one of the 2% in market with one of these devices who is jumping up and down over the news. Now I can participate with the rest of the world, and I bet my Klout score passes 60, too.

LA Auto Show is the perfect way to kick off my first Instagram account

And there is no better object of my Instagram affection than the Range Rover Autobiography Black, which took center stage at the Land Rover show stand. It was an opportunity of a lifetime to participate in this viewing, being one of the first people in the world to see the vehicle, which runs $195,000.00 and is limited to only 100 in the U.S. It’s the pinnacle of luxury. The ultimate machine. Clearly THIS would be MY FIRST Instagram photo!

And here it is:

My first Instagram photo

Instabear’s printing service marks the momentous occasion

Social media has arguably become the #1 activity during events. We check in, we photograph the food and drinks, we tag our friends, and in a few clicks, all of our social networks scoop our latest selfies.

Instabear Logo

When I was enjoying the LA Auto Show at the Land Rover Jaguar show stand, I met Instabear – and I am thrilled that I did. I learned that if I tagged my photos on Instagram with #LandRoverLA, I would instantaneously get a branded print out from their printing station. You can see how serious I was about taking advantage of this treat. (Note: Work iPhone pictured, not my Windows Phone.)

Tagging my photos #LandRoverLA

You want Instabear at your event

Solomon Akhtar and Tom Frew, the minds behind Instabear, were personally in attendance at the Jaguar Land Rover stage, taking photos, printing photos, and being quite charming all around.

Tom Frew, Shannon Truax, Solomon Akhtar

It is clearly no surprise that Instabear showed up so well at The Pitch 2013 and made the short list. I was very impressed with the Instabear experience, having been given as many thick, high quality images as my little fingers could type #LandRoverLA.

An interview with Soloman and Tom

Hear Soloman and Tom talk about what they do. And I’d like to note that their British accents fit in well with Jag and Land Rover. I appreciated that they played along with me and said, “Shannon” as many times as I asked. Thanks, Guys!

If you’re having an event where you’d like to give your guests the opportunity to take home a branded image, I’d use Instabear. I’ve looked into several different types of services, but I like this one the best. And, from what I learned talking to them on-site, they are building out their offering all of the time, so there is more to be had here.

If you live in the UK

You can print your photos from home, and beautiful images will arrive at your door! I love the names: Microsnaps, Snaps, Hipsters, Jumbo Hipsters – basically, you can get a modern Polaroid in the mail and make your refrigerator or cork board look amazing.

Personally, I can’t wait to put my first Instagram photo on my fridge. And, given how adorable Solly is, I’ll probably put that one on my fridge as well. Seriously.

Shannon Truax and Instabear

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Twitter:      @INSTABEARHQ

Winning the Haier Slogan Contest

Update 10/20 6:15 pm: Well I didn’t waste any time! My wine collection is all built out, and the fridge is full.

The whites The reds The Collection


Shannon Truax wins the Haier Slogan Contest

Lucky Duck cools off in his newest appliance — the Haier 12 bottle capacity Dual Zone Wine Cellar.

Back in June, I came across the Haier Smarter Life Better Planet blog and started reading about a chance to win a trip to China. To enter was easy; all I had to do was write a slogan for the company. I’m a writer! Why not?

My winning submission

It boiled down to four simple words: Reliability built right in.

My Haier submission

The great news

An email was sent to me this summer saying that I had won an honorable mention and could pick any Haier appliance I wanted, valued at $600! Could this really be true? Is it a joke? No, it’s also posted on the wire, on the likes of Yahoo! Finance. I was pretty sure that it was legit.

I thought long and hard, and I elicited the opinions of others. Should I mount a TV in my bedroom? Did I want to rethink my position on microwaves? The aha! moment came to me – a dual temperature wine fridge!! Now THAT is clearly something that I would use in New York City and has been something that I always wanted. I took a tape measure into my Chelsea kitchen and grabbed just the right dimensions that would fit next to my island on wheels and radiator.

My wine cellar arrives

I was in for most of the day yesterday and decided to get out in the evening for a couple of hours to go running at Equinox and pass through Chelsea Market to enjoy the Halloween decorations and get some dinner. When I got home a HUGE box was waiting for me at my front door!

After I pulled it in, I decided to take it back to my room to open it up via Fireside Chat #46.

Shannon Truax wins the Haier Slogan Contest Shannon Truax wins the Haier Slogan Contest

And I won the trip to China!

A couple of weeks after being notified of my honorable mention prize, I got another email asking if I would be available the week of July 27th to fly out to China to participate as a Haier Ambassador!! I actually made it to the final round!! Now, during this time, I was in the thick of it at my new job, so I had to decline, but WOW!!

Now it’s time to fill that cellar

I am so excited to go shopping across the street today at my neighborhood wine shop, so that I can fill this baby up. It may surprise some folks to hear that out of the 12 open slots, I could only organically fill two

… quite a shock for the gal who made it into the New York City Liquor Bible!

Some awesome mail lately

I’ve had a great run lately and feel like a loved Lucky Duck.

  1. A secret admirer sent a Keep Calm and Be a Princess mug, to make up for Mike tossing my lamp and Cinderella mug.
  2. Zevia sent 96 cans of soda and a tee shirt to celebrate my selection as their Certified Smart Person.
  3. Haier sent me a 12 bottle dual temp wine fridge.
  4. John Basedow emailed an invitation over to review another movie and attend Jacqueline Laurita’s Lasio event.
  5. David left a note and apples on my table at The Cosmopolitan to welcome me to Las Vegas.
  6. My Maine connection dropped a very thoughtful postcard in my bag on my way out.

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Zevia served at my DRIVEN party

Land Rover Driven

Lucky Duck cheers along Land Rover’s Driven: A Race Without Boundaries.

As a Zevia Certified Smart Person, I drink Zevia Zero Calorie Soda. And when I heard that there was a hot race on Fox Sports 1, featuring the All-New Range Rover Sport, Tommy Kendall, and Rhys Millen, I organized a small soiree in my Chelsea abode, cooked up a zucchini pasta, and served Zevia soda.

My profile on Zevia Watch Driven my abode

Mikey and I review Zevia in my kitchen

Here is one of my very best friends reviewing Zevia with me.

Driven: A Race Without Boundaries

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My first black eye: Can Clarisonic help?

Update 4/22/13: Four days in to the traumatic eye injury, I wanted to show a picture of where I’m at. I can’t prove that the Opal is speeding the recovery, but my face is very yellow, and the bruising is a brighter purple. I hear this means that I’m getting better!

Here’s a picture —

I have media coverage at The NFL Draft Classic tomorrow in New York City and will likely stay behind the camera lens. Although, I will make an effort with makeup and try to stay in the shadows at “the undisclosed location.” Or, I might take my friend’s suggestion and do the football player black strip under each eye. Just kidding… I would never do that, but I will make some jokes to play it off. Got any for me?

Clarisonic brush

Lucky Duck is putting Clarisonic to a new use.

I’m not sure it will help, but at this point, it’s worth a shot. I literally gave myself a black eye two days ago, and the timing couldn’t be worse. It’s birthday week, and I’m following up on some meetings and such that require face time.

Maybe I should buy a steak, but I’ll try this

I had a date at an awesome table last night at STK in Meatpacking, too. The Clarisonic Opal breaks up the pooled blood under your eye that contributes to dark circles – let’s see if it will speed up the healing of a good old fashioned black eye. If this doesn’t work, I’ll go back to STK.

Here’s a new Fireside Chat to tell you about what happened.

A closer look at the products featured in Fireside Chat #14

One thing I will say is that my Lucky Duck dashboard shows time and time again that people are searching on “Clarisonic removing blackheads.” I wrote a blog post about this topic a while ago – it’s one of my favorite posts. I love the Clarisonic brush and believe that everyone should use one. It, in addition to Kate Somerville, is the blackhead fix.

Clariisonic brush

Until now, I haven’t said much about the Clarisonic Opal, but now that I’m treating a black eye, I want to mention this product. I am quite pleased with it. I spend all this money on eye cream (You know how expensive eye cream is!), and the Opal makes it go further:

  1. You can use less eye cream.
  2. It penetrates your eye cream deeper, so that you see a greater result.

Clarisonic Opal

The concealer featured in Fireside Chat #14 is the Georgio Armani High Precision Retouch concealer, and it’s honestly an awesome product. It doesn’t crease on you at all.

Armani concealer

Hoping for a speedy recovery

Send good vibes my way… I want to look my best on my birthday…

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