McDonald’s is making strides in a more healthy direction by launching their new Premium McWraps — a tortilla-wrapped entrée with fresh vegetables, grilled or crispy chicken breast sprinkled with one of their signature sauces: rice vinegar, sweet chili, or creamy garlic. The company recruitedNew York Knicks’ Steve Novak to partner up with them for the launch. I was invited to take a look and talk to Novak about the partnership, and of course, basketball.
Me with NY Knicks' Steve Novak
Beauty and the Feast: I first wanted to ask how you got involved with McDonald’s. When you think of an athlete, you don’t normally associate that with fast food! Steve Novak: I think that’s what’s so great about the Premium McWrap because it’s a healthy option and it’s not just a small portion — it’s an entrée. For someone like me, you go through the drive-thru and you want something that’s going to give you energy something that’s healthy: chicken, vegetables. I think that’s what McDonald’s is becoming more and more known for. That’s why they asked me to be part of this launch and I’m obviously I’m excited to be working with McDonald’s. More and more people want healthy and something more substantial, and that’s exactly what this is. BATF: What’s your earliest memory associated with McDonald’s? Novak: I remember where I grew up in Milwaukee, there was this brand new McDonald’s and they were building this huge Play Place — I felt like Great America was moving down the street! I had to be 5 or 6 years old. BATF: Were you still the tallest kid in the playpen? Novak: Absolutely. Didn’t fit in any of the tubes or anything. [laughs]
McDonald's new Premium McWraps
Novak attempting to make a McWrap himself: 'I hope my wrapping skills are as good as my 3-point skills,' he joked
BATF: If you had to split a McWrap with one of your teammates, who would you pick? Novak: I would definitely split it with J.R. [Smith]! Everyone thinks ‘How can they be friends?! They’re so different from each other!’ But really, basketball brings worlds together. Maybe we’d get a McWrap but wouldn’t agree on which one to get…but you know…I’d definitely split it with J.R. BATF: As one of the best shooters in the NBA, what are some of your tips for aspiring athletes? Novak: MY M.O., what I truly believe is out-working everybody else. When I was in 8th grade, I realized how many basketball players there were in the country and the world…I started going to tournaments and seeing how many people were playing basketball. So I set a goal for myself to make 300 jump shots every single day after school. I’m just a big believer in, no matter what anyone tells you — You’re not strong enough, You’re not tall enough, You’re not athletic enough– you can out-work all those people who are more gifted than you. I think that I’ve been able to be successful because of my work ethic.
BATF: Wow, so you did that every single day? Novak: I would make 300 everyday until high school. I did it consistently for 8th grade and freshman year and as the years went on, the practices became more intense and the routine changed a little bit, but that’s what started me on a goal and routine mentality. BATF: I guess that shows hard work pays off! Novak: No question. It has a lot to do with what I am.
Novak posing with the McD's employees on 14th Street to celebrate their new Premium McWraps
BATF: I have to ask: where did the belt move [aka discount double check] come about? Novak: Well I’m from Wisconsin and I’m a huge, huge Packers fan. I have been since Don Majkowski was the quarterback, and then Brett Favre took over, and now Aaron Rodgers is the quarterback. And Aaron Rodgers does the belt. I’ve been such a huge fan of his that in one game last year, when we were playing against the Dallas Mavericks…it literally just came out! I don’t know where it came from, but it comes from my love for the Packers. Every time I do it, it’s kind of like a shout out to all my Milwaukee, Wisconsin people. BATF: Whose career would you most like to emulate if any? Novak: Your career really is your own footprint. But there’s so many guys you look up to and want to be like growing up, like Ray Allen who’s still in the league. The way he carried himself when he was in Milwaukee, the way he played, and just the man that he is I think is someone that I really looked up to. BATF: What’s the best part about being a Knick? Novak: There are so many! I think the best part is when I was little, to think that one day I’d be playing for the Knicks in New York – truly the best basketball city, the best arena, the best team in the world in I think all basketball people’s minds – it’s such an honor. To be part of that legacy, that tradition…it’s something I’ll forever be proud of.
Thanks so much to Steve Novak for his time and McDonald’s for inviting me to the launch! The Premium McWraps are available nationwide at McDonald’s for $4 (each range from 300-600 calories depending on what options you get with it!).
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If you haven’t tried the craze that sort of caught on last year, BB creams are kind of the all-in-one beauty breakthrough: an anti-aging, skin perfecting, sun-blocking daily cream. The problem is not all BB creams are equal, and a lot of the ones I’ve tried have been somewhat chalky and not always flattering with its mattifying properties. This one I came across recently though has stood out to me in more than a few ways: Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase Instant Perfecting B.B. Cream (only $16 at Wal-Mart).
Dr. LeWinn by Kinerase Instant Perfecting BB Cream
It has a built-in primer, moisturizer and SPF improve skin over time. Like all BB creams, it has a light translucent tint to it (just one shade so I’m wondering how it fares on skin tones other than medium), but blends in really well.
It also doesn’t have a chalky, streaky application which is what made this really stand out to me compared to other similar creams. It contains soothing glycerin and antioxidant powerhouse kinetin (which is actually Kinerase’s signature claim to fame), and of course, sun blocking octinoxate and zinc oxide. If you’re shopping around, try this one and let me know what you think!
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No one will blame you if you happen to Aww out loud at this:
Peanut Butter Pup
I recently met with the chocolatier of Gearharts Fine Chocolates (a Virginia-based artisanal chocolate company), and was introduced to these adorable little treats they call Peanut Butter Pups. Their made with premium Valrhona milk chocolate, cream, dark chocolate for the eyes and nose, and local Virgina small-batch peanut butter. Even the floppy ears are edible almond slices!
But what I love most about a gift box like this is 5% of sales go towards Companions for Heroes — an organization that provides companion animals and service dogs from shelters (who might otherwise be euthanized), to veterans and first responders, and free of charge). Turns out Tim Gearhart, the founder and chocolatier, is a veteran himself so the cause is even more personal to him. Plus, the chocolates themselves are divine. All I want to do now is try the rest of their other unique flavors — earl gray, mint julep, maple pecan, Taj (bittersweet chocolate ganache with candied ginger, cardamom and rose, dipped in dark chocolate). What.the.heck. I wants.
I’m often asked about my favorite long-lasting eyeliners, and since I have a rotating arsenal of them, I figured I can at least list my current faves. These couple have come through for me over and over again recently:
These are the newest from Anastasia (the brow guru’s line), not only are they super pigmented, they glide on so beautifully without smudging through the night. And no sharpeners needed. Just twist up as the tip begins to dull. They’re safe enough to use on your waterline as well if you’re going REALLY dark (just the way I like my liner). These come in 5 equally lovely opaque colors (a mossy green, grey matte, and shimmery blue/green), but I tend to believe Noir and Azure are good for any occasion. Laura Geller Inkwell Waterproof Gel Liners, $16.50 each
Laura Geller Inkwell liners
If you’re look for SERIOUS, no-budge, intense colors, you MUST try the Inkwell collection from Laura Geller. I feel like gel pot liners in general are the best for non-smearing, long-lasting liners, but Laura Geller’s has also never irritated my eyes (huge plus), and are so easy to use. The colors are brilliantly highly-pigmented with shades you can actually wear: black, dark brown, burgundy, teal, etc.
Burgundy, metallic, teal, black, brown swatches
When I talk serious lasting-power, I mean, after being all day out in the humid, Miami sun, in the pool, back to the apartment and my liner was still standing. That’s when I knew it was love. Plus the brush it comes with makes applying it fool-proof. The color payoff is stunning, not to mention, they glide on like butter.
What are your favorite long-lasting liners? Share!
I’m always overly concerned with eye products that you apply in the waterline — you always want to make sure they contain safe ingredients. Naturally, I was over the moon to find Daliia’s herbal eye kohl eyeliner. It’s so pigmented, 100% natural (no parabens, no petro chemicals…you can actually read the ingredients list: almond oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, candelilla wax, carnauba wax, camphor oil, glycerine, castor seed oil, capric tri glyceride, black mustard). You have to be mindful of smearing, but the color payoff gives the most intense finish. I wrote a tutorial on how you can use her kohls as liner and shadows for beautifully bold eyes.
Daliia Kohl in Persian Gold, Cleopatra Black, and Starlight Silver