Monday, December 24, 2012

Dating During The Holidays

(Originally appeared in the Huffington Post on December 24, 2012.)

The holiday season is a busy time for everyone whether you are single, married or in a relationship. Sometimes it's difficult to know the right and wrong things to do when it comes to dating during the holidays. If you are concerned that you might make a faux pas or two, have no fear, here are some rules to help you make it through the season.
Are you exchanging gifts with your beau?
1. Establish if you are giving gifts or not. If you have been together for awhile, chances are, you should be giving your beau a gift. However, if it's a new relationship, the two of you need to decide if you are doing gifts.
2. Make sure you have an appropriate party dress to wear to his work Holiday party and/or to his family's home. The right outfit is something festive yet conservative. Do not go with your new uber trendy outfit. And, if you are concerned that it might be too sexy, it is.
3. Don't misinterpret what an invitation to his holiday party means. Sometimes work holiday parties are dated functions and if his has one, chances are he will invite you because he needs to come with a date. Other company's do not allow guests. Don't make assumptions; before you get upset that he hasn't invited you, hint around about whether guests were allowed.
4. Only invite a new love interest to a holiday party with you if you can pay her appropriate attention. You don't want to invite someone to go to an event with you and then leave her alone in the corner. And you don't want to be so busy that your date will feel ignored such that he or she will look for attention elsewhere.
5. If he invites you to his home for the holidays, make sure you bring his mother flowers or a bottle of wine. And then the next day, either call to say what a lovely time you had or send a short note. His mother will notice this and comment positively or negatively accordingly.
6. Make sure to save time for your honey during the holiday party madness. We all get invited to tons of holiday gatherings but

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Samantha Says: Make A Change In Your Life

If you find yourself in a single girl rut, and you feel like you are never going to meet someone great – why not make a change in your life? As soon as you change one thing, quite often, you will find that everything else shifts around you. Even a change as small as a new hairstyle can make you feel younger and more confident. And when you feel especially pretty and secure, men will notice!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Samantha Says: Wear Color On A Date

Many women think black is their safe color, especially in colder months. However, men really do prefer women who wear color. It makes them seem more light, more feminine, and more fun. So when you are getting ready for a big date, try adding a little color into your wardrobe, even if it is just as an accessory or a jacket.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Samantha's Movie Pick: Silver Linings Playbook

Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper star. 

While Silver Linings Playbook may be a romantic comedy, it is anything but typical of the genre. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, and Robert De Niro, it is easily one of the best and most enjoyable films of the year. The movie deals with serious themes: Cooper suffers from a bipolar disorder and has a difficult time dealing with his wife's infidelity, and Lawrence is a recovering sex-addict. Despite their issues (and their age difference), Cooper and Lawrence have a definite spark. The evolution of their relationship will warm your heart, and will also have you laughing out loud. De Niro is also absolutely hilarious is Cooper's father, who is an obsessive-compulsive fan of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Silver Linings is already getting Oscar buzz; be sure to check it out soon.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Samantha's Dating Tip: Romance in a Blackout

Are you stuck in your New York apartment without power thanks to Hurricane Sandy? Don't despair. It may be dark and cold, and your iPad may have run out of juice, but, nonetheless, a blackout can be really fun and romantic if you have the right outlook about it. 

Lower Manhattan is dark. 
First of all, have you noticed how everyone looks especially good in candlelight? It's true, and that can boost your confidence (and your physical attraction to your partner). Also, without the distraction of electronic devices, you're going to have to make your own fun. Play a board game or a card game with your beau (strip poker, anyone?) and you'll revel in a new way to enjoy each others' company. Furthermore, when it's dark and freezing, sometimes the only thing to do is the cuddle up under a blanket and open a bottle of wine. Now that's romantic. 

If you don't already have someone with whom to snuggle up, why not find a local bar or restaurant that is still open and operating with gas stoves and candles? It seems that the hurricane has instilled a sense of camaraderie amongst New Yorkers so you'll have a common bond with anyone you meet. It's never been this easy to strike up a conversation with someone new!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Samantha Says: Set Up An Online Profile

If you are single and you want to meet somebody, you have to put yourself out there as much as possible. To meet as many different people as you can, you should make an online dating profile. It will will introduce you to thousands of new guys. You never know where you will meet Mr. Right, so it’s worth exploring all the options out there!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Can You Tell Your Boyfriend How To Dress?

Women are often more fashion conscious than their partners, and often try to make their man dress their best. This is because women want to see their man looking as handsome and sexy as possible. Sometimes a certain fit of t-shirt or jeans can make him look this way, so they want him to wear it.
Miley likes Liam's outfit here.

Popstar Miley Cyrus tells Liam Hemsworth that he is not allowed to wear polo shirts because she doesn’t like the way they look on him. Is this acceptable? After all, she just wants him to look his best.

However, if your boyfriend started telling you what you can and cannot wear it would most probably cause an argument.

So if your boyfriend doesn’t dress in a style you find appealing, or worse than that has not real style at all in his wardrobe, is it acceptable for you to decide what he will and will not wear? Do you think your boyfriend would mind you dressing him up like your own man-barbie?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Samantha Says: When You're Out With The Girls...

One of the great things about being single is you can go on as many girls nights out as you want. Talking about your outfits, sharing funny stories, and bitching about men over drinks is always a great time.

However, if you are going out with your fellow single girls to meet men, you have to make sure that you are available for men to approach. If you are out in a group with all single girls, consider splitting up for a part of the night to speak to men in smaller groups. A big group of women are scary to a man – no matter how good looking or rich he is! 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Samantha's Sizzling Couple: Secret Wedding

Blake and Ryan tied the knot!
Did you hear the news? After a super secret wedding this past weekend in South Carolina, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds are officially hitched. It was clear that this gorgeous couple was getting serious after they purchased a home together last spring in Bedford, New York. However, the wedding caught everyone off-guard! How they managed to keep it such a tight secret is a mystery to me.

It's been nearly a year since they started dating... Do you think this marriage will last?

Monday, August 27, 2012

How To Tell If Your Summer Fling Is The Real Thing

Summer is a prime time to fall in love. The days are long and the nights are warm. Your bronzed skin and beachy hair make you feel especially sexy. And, wearing skimpy clothing is perfectly dignified and socially acceptable. It’s no wonder that romance seems to particularly spark in this season. 

Is your summer fling meant to last?
However, not all summer loves are meant to last. Here are some tips to help you decipher if your relationship is built to endure through the fall and beyond, or if you should fling your beau to the curb on Labor Day.

It might be just a fling if: 
  • You find yourself looking forward to your return to “real-life”
  • You don't know his middle name, or other basic information about him
  •  You can’t picture him without his tan and surfboard
It might be the real thing if:
  • You have met his buddies, or better yet, his family
  • You spend time together doing normal things, like cooking dinner or watching a movie on the couch
  • You are already planning a couples Halloween costume 
So what are you going to do with your summer love?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Samantha's August Movie Pick: Savages

A great looking case
Savages tell the story of pot growing best buddies who fight against the Mexican drug rulers to save the gorgeous O, played by Blake Lively. The Gossip Girl princess is in a three-way relationship with the best buddies, Ben and Chon: played by Aaron Johnson and Taylor Kitsch. After Ben and Chon refuse to sign a deal that would give the Mexican drug rulers huge percentage of their profits, the rulers kidnap O, and tell her protectors that they are going to abuse her until they can come up with enough money to buy her back. Trying to kill people for revenge, and raise $13 million comes as a challenge to the friends, and they go through various hardships to eventually save their treasured girlfriend.

This movie was a big deal for Lively as an actress, as it includes two lengthy sex scenes and shows her playing a totally different character to what people are used to seeing.

The ending of the movie faced criticism because of its easy way out approach. With a dark storyline, some bloody scenes and a beautiful cast, Savages is interesting and believable, and worth a visit to go see at your nearest movie theatre. Check out the times and places in New York.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Is Your Relationship Normal?

(Originally appeared in The Huffington Post, July 30, 2012.)

Everyone wants to be in a romantic relationship, and everyone has an idea in their head of what the perfect relationship should be. However, most of the time, we end up in relationships that never resemble what we thought we would have, and we start to wonder whether or not this is okay. Usually, the answer surfaces when we compare our relationship to other people's and try to figure out if ours is better, worse or the same. Of course, we can never make this determination because one never knows what goes on behind closed doors and what is actually normal. If you are wondering if your relationship is normal, here are some pointers so you can figure that out...

1. Relationships are difficult, no matter what. If someone tells you otherwise, they are lying, or they aren't in a relationship.

2. Your relationship is normal as long as it works for you and your partner. Talk to your significant other about what "normal" means to him or her. As long as the two of you are on the same page and being true to yourselves and what you really want, it doesn't matter what others think. In today's day and age, there is no normal; our society is all about "anything goes."

3. Don't get caught up in peer pressure. If marriage isn't for you, but a monogamous committed relationship is, go ahead and have that relationship. As long as you and your partner are being honest about what you both really want and you are not pressuring each other, embrace the relationship that you are choosing to have.

4. If you aren't in a relationship but you want to build a family, that is perfectly okay. Single parents are very of the norm today; if it works for you, go for it.

5. Look around you and really notice other people's relationships. Not what you imagine them to be, but what they really are. No one's relationship is perfect, so don't think that you are alone in the fact that you have some issues with yours sometimes.

6. Don't believe "the grass is greener" elsewhere. You might wish

Monday, July 30, 2012

Enjoy Romantic Dates With Cute Summer Items

Perfect for a summer day.
Summer is perhaps the best time to start dating someone new because there is an endless list of amazing things you can do together. Between June and September, you can ditch indoor movie theaters and catch a movie in a park at sunset. You can avoid over-crowded restaurants and instead enjoy outdoor rooftops and terraces. 

Days at the park and barbecues are all part of the fun of summer, and I have the perfect items to take with you to make these outdoor dates the best they can possibly be.

On OpenSky, I have a cute picnic basket, which would be perfect to take to the park, to the beach, or to surprise your beau with somewhere special. 

I also have a very pretty and very practical wine preserver. This will allow you to save some for later if you don’t want to drink the entire bottle at your picnic.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Katy Perry Movie: A Part of Me

A Teenage Dream
Katy Perry has gone from singing in churches, to selling out world tours, to starring in her very own biographical 3D movie. A Part of Me shares behind the scenes footage from Katy's Teenage Dream world tour, including her dazzling performances and candid interviews.

In the movie, we see the popstar at her most exposed. Yet, she is still real and relatable. In one scene, she is caught minutes before she goes on stage, hysterically crying from the pressure of the show and the pending divorce of her marriage to Russell Brand.

Through tears and laughter she reveals her true self to her fans, coming across as a normal, fun girl living in a magical popstar bubble.

Check out when and where you can see the movie.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Samantha’s Summer Read: A Charmed Life

Makes you see the gems in your life
My Charmed Life by Beth Bernstein is a lovely summer read. The book is about the author herself and the loss of her mother who was her best friend, and who taught her how to love, overcome life’s biggest obstacles and... how to accessorize.

As a young girl, Beth watched as every piece of jewelry her mother wore was connected to a sentimental memory, of both life’s triumphs and it's challenges. Beth tells the story of her own romances and the jewelry she received from the many men who could not commit to her. The story takes the reader on a journey of glittering hilarity and hope, showing Beth’s personal highs and lows, until she realizes the best gems in life are the people who have always been there for you.

This novel will be perfect for a summers day or evening by the fireplace, and will leave you feeling positive and warm about your own journey in life.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What Are You Doing On The Fourth?

Happy 4th of July! 
If you are looking to get away with your loved one this Independence Day, why not head to Washington to celebrate the holiday at a huge party. The W Hotel is hosting ‘Boom with aView’, from the roof terrace, with performances from cover band BurntSienna and a spectacular view of the city and the National Fireworks Display. 

You could also head to ‘Red, White and Boom’, to dance the night away at Kastles Stadium on the Southwest Waterfront Wharf with dancing to DJ Ricky Schramm, Drew Dixon Line, Yacht Rock Revue and the Morrison Brothers Band and an open bar. Great Meadow will be a great family spot where there will be pony rides, face-painting and clowns all day for the kids, and then a fireworks display and live music kicking off at dusk. Tickets to these events and many other events for you and your loved ones to enjoy, can be purchased here.

If you are staying in the city, Pier83 (West 42nd St, 8th Ave) is having a Rooftop Party – with a BBQ, a bar and a perfect viewing platform for the Macy’s Firework Display over the Hudson River. Tickets for this can be bought here. And tickets for the Freedom Fest Party at Pier 81, which also offers food and a cash bar, can be bought here.

The performers at Macy’s holiday show this year are Katy Perry and Kenny Chesney and the fireworks show can be watched for free on 12th Ave, between 24th and 49th street. From New York there are also boat trips, dinner and luxury firework cruises to go on with your honey; check them out here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Relationship Ponder: Do You Like Your Man's Friends?

3's a crowd
The new comedy movie ‘Ted’, starring SethMacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg will be released this Friday, June 29th. The movie tells the story of a man whose best friend is Ted, the Teddy Bear, and about the terrible and silly implications this friendship has on his relationship with gorgeous girlfriend, Mila Kunis.

Although your man’s best friend may not be as extreme as a teddy bear, best friends can still get in the way of your relationship. The best way to handle this situation is to try to be accepting, just as you would expect your man to do if he didn’t love your best friend. Unless your man’s best friend is actually a stuffed toy and then you have permission to say something!  Check out the NYC movie showtimes here

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Comedy Flick Pick: That’s My Boy

That's my Boy
That’s My Boy, starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg and Leighton Meester was released in movie theatres last week. This light-hearted movie that has a few inappropriate jokes and scenes will keep you and your date laughing the whole way through. Gossip Girl’s Meester looks gorgeous, particularly in a Vera Wang wedding gown, and Sandler and Samberg keep the jokes flowing.

Perhaps catch a drink or dinner after the movie and talk through some of the many jokes and controversial twists in the story; this will provide an instant and fun conversation ice breakers for your date. Enjoy!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Get Romantic With An Anywhere Fireplace

When you are trying to create romance under the stars this summer, remember that ambiance is the key to setting the mood. These days, I am recommending a personal fireplace to do this. 

Check out all my great summer offers at Open Sky

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer Nights At The Movies

Enjoy a romantic movie with your loved one
The best and most romantic way to see a movie is under the stars, cuddled up on a blanket, with your date. And lucky for you, between June and August, Bryant Park shows classic films, out on the grass. You can see some of your all time favorite movies, like The Wizard of Oz, and Roman Holiday, here this summer. Also, on Wednesdays in July, the Hudson River Piers hosts Riverflicks 2012  where you can watch a free movie while seeing a lit up view of the river. And don’t forget the Central Park Film Festival runs for a week in August showing movies in Rumsey Playfield. Grab a blanket and enjoy the movies!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Engaged At 19: Is She Too Young?

The newly engaged couple
Miley Cyrus and The Hunger Games star, Liam Hemsworth announced their engagement today. Hemsworth, who is also young at only 22, popped the question on May 31st with a 3.5 carat Neil Lane diamond ring. 

They met on the set of The Last Song three years ago and have been dating on and off since. Cyrus shot to fame at a very young age and she said he was her ‘first serious boyfriend’.
On the set of The Last Song

They follow a long list of couples in Hollywood who have got engaged around this age. Reese WitherspoonJessica Simpson and LeAnn Rimes got married in their early twenties and all found themselves divorced years later.

Do you think the former Disney star is too young to make such a big commitment?

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Summer Dating Thought: A Romantic Picnic

Lovely summer picnic
The best dates are those where you  are really connecting with someone when you aren’t really doing anything and just spending time together.  Take a picnic, for example, you can sit in a pretty park with no other distractions and really get to know each other better. The best thing about a picnic is that it is just the two of you on your picnic blanket with food and drinks to share and no pesky waiter to interrupt your tranquility. 
Sunny day in Hudson River Park

If you don’t feel like cooking, Perfect Picnic NYC is a great alternative.. This company offers you the choice of  European and American style picnics, to be delivered to wherever you are having your picnic (a park, apartment or on a rooftop). And for location choices, don’t discount Central Park because you have been there so many times, it is still one of the most romantic places in the city with all it nooks and crannies for private little interludes. Hudson Park along the Hudson River spans for miles and beautiful this time a year. Go ahead and grab a blanket!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Spring Make-Up Pick: MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation

MAC studio fix fluid foundation nourishes and hydrates the skin and offers medium/full coverage, which you may want in Spring, when you're waiting on your summer tan to appear.

It is available in 33 different shades, meaning no matter what skin tone you have, you should be able to find a match. The foundation is also SPF 15, protecting your skin from the sun, meaning you can wear it throughout the summer months, instead of wearing oily sun lotions. Drop into MAC to get your foundation matched perfectly to you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Love On TV: Love In The Wild

If you are looking for a guilty pleasure this summer, go ahead and check out Love in the Wild . It is part Survivor, part Bachelor Pad and part Amazing Race with sexy host, Jenny McCarthy. It's not surprising that romance brews and hormones rage when these sexy singles as out in the Wild (check out the fitness trainer and the yoga instructor.) Good watercooler conversation...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Samantha's Spring Movie Pick: What To Expect When You're Expecting

See how women handle pregnancy
If you are looking for a great movie with a romantic twist to catch this month, check out What to Expect When you are Expecting. This funny and heartwarming movie has a great cast list including, Jennifer LopezCameron DiazMatthew MorrisonChace Crawford and J.Todd Smith. Through this story of five interconnected couples, the movie gives a real but hilarious portrayal of what goes on during the months before a woman gives birth.

And see how men handle it...
The funny and emotional storylines are bound to make you cry, so if you are ready to show your date your sensitive side, this movie is perfect for you.
It is released tomorrow, so pick a time and go check it out…

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to prepare for Summer Dating: Flirty Dresses

Summer is just around the corner, so it's time to get cracking to prepare to get back out there to date. This means go purchase some flirty feminine bright colored dresses, go update those highlights in your hair and dust off those wedges. Even if you are not a dress girl, you can become one during the summertime. And keep in mind that men LOVE color, so grab a purple, green or yellow dress. If you are hung up on wearing black, pick a floral print dress with black and some other colors. Believe me, more men will notice you!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Summer Read: Beautiful Ruins

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter is a perfect summer read to enjoy on the beach or in the park on a warm day. The book opens in 1962, where an Italian innkeeper spots a beautiful, young, woman approaching him, on a boat. Through the introduction of unforgettable characters, and a story that spans fifty years, Walters tells the story of the innkeeper, searching for his long lost love, the beautiful woman he saw years before. 

The book continues to the modern day, and places its characters everywhere from the set of Cleopatra, to an arts festival in Scotland. This story of love and hope will keep you entertained from beginning to end.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Year Anniversary For William And Katherine

William and Kate enjoy their romantic
first  kiss on the balcony of the Palace
On April 29th 2011,  Prince William married his long-term girlfriend, Katherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London. Billions of people, all over the world, stayed up late or got up super early, to watch as the English prince finally kissed his bride, who he had been dating for 8 years.

After a year of representing the Royal family worldwide, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have made it to their one-year anniversary. 

But how will the royal couple celebrate such a special occasion? Hopefully with some pregnancy news! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sizzling Couple: One Year On

The Happy Couple

Jennifer Aniston spent years being unlucky-in-love after the breakdown of her marriage to Brad Pitt, however now, she seems to have found a lasting relationship. The actress and her boyfriend, Justin Theroux have been going strong for over a year now, and there are constant reports that they are looking to move in together, and to get married.

Do you think Justin and Jennifer make a great couple? Do you think she has finally found her next hubby?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Romantic Countryside Restaurant: Cucina

It’s nice to get out of the city sometimes and explore the countryside, and its even better if you find somewhere nice to stop for lunch. Cucina is in Woodstock, which I know is famous for its hippies, but this restaurant is casually sophisticated and bucks the trend of the town. It serves Italian food in a renovated farmhouse with exposed beams. The sandwiches and appetizers are great if you are just looking for a light bite, and their pizzas are delish if you are having a full meal. 

The restaurant is open every night of the week and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. Check out the rustic and romantic atmosphere at Cucina this spring!
Perfect for dinner in the countryside

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sizzling Couple Pick: Sizzle Or Fizzle?

The hot, new couple
After a very public marriage ending in an even more public divorce in 2011, Kim Kardashian seems to have found love again, with Kanye West. The two, who have been friends for years, were seen holding hands and going to the trendy restaurant Catch in the Meatpacking District, earlier this month. The new couple, have also been spotted going for lunch at various boites in the city.

In West’s popular hit, ‘Way Too Cold’ he raps, ‘I admit I fell in love with Kim…Round time she fell in love with him’, which suggests he has liked the ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians’ starlet for awhile.

Do you think Kim and Kanye will sizzle or fizzle? Do you think they are well suited? Or do you think Kim has rushed into another high profile relationship without taking the time to think if he's really the right match for her?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Would You Like To Get Engaged On TV?

Fifty couples got engaged at the same time, live on TV, on CBS’s The Talk last month. All the couples were brought onto the show to talk about their relationships and how they met. Then all the men, at once, bent down on one knee to surprise their partners with beautiful DeMarco sparklers. Check out the video at

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Romantic Movie Date: Titanic Is Back In 3D

Jack and Rose on the 'Ship of Dreams'
If you are looking for a romantic movie date this Spring, look no further than the re-release of James Cameron's 1997 movie, Titanic. Cuddle up to your date while you watch the love that blossom between Jack and Rose while they voyage on the ‘unsinkable’ Ship of Dreams. Watching Jack fight for Rose, until she admits her own feelings for him, will make you remember watching it for the first time 15 years ago. The 3D movie is being released in April, to mark the unfortunate 100th anniversary of the ship's sinking.

The dramatic and emotional parts of the movie seem even more real in 3D, giving you an excuse to hold onto your dates arm throughout the entire movie.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring Style Pick: Bright Colored Wedges

Stylish Dolce Vita Wedges 
Not only are wedges very comfortable, they are also very stylish and totally in season for spring and summer. They are the perfect shoes for Spring, because they can be worn with jeans, skirts and shorts, so even if the sun isn’t shining, you can still wear them. Also, a peep-toe style, gives you the perfect excuse to start getting ready for the warm weather and get a pedicure. 

Bright colored wedges are fun, and will stand out, whatever you’re wearing. Black and nude styles are perfect for the office, and they will match almost anything. And guys are very attracted to women who seem tall but who are also wearing sexy shoes. Coming into stores in a variety of styles you can guarantee you’ll get a pair to match almost any outfit. Dolce Vita have a great selection of bright, stylish and practical pairs. Go grab a pair of wedges, and walk comfortably into summer!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Interview With I-ELLA

The holiday of love is behind us, and if you didn't have a Valentine's this time around maybe this article will help! Matchmaker Samantha Daniels knows a lot about what it takes to find the perfect person for you (she’s helped 126 couples get married), and fashion has a lot to do with it! Check out what Samantha – also the author ofMatchbook: The Dairy of a Modern-Day Matchmaker and co-creator of the former TV series “Miss Match” – has to say about the secret to looking great and feeling great on your first date. 

I-ELLA: Tell us a little about your background and how you got into the matchmaking business:
Samantha:  I was a divorce attorney, and on the side, I was throwing parties for my single friends. Because I wanted to be a good hostess, at the parties, I would always introduce people to each other so that they would know each other and they would have more fun. And so, I found that I had a photographic memory for names and faces and I could remember that she was from Chicago and he was from Chicago and they both liked to play tennis, so I would bring them to meet each other just to be a good hostess. 

I-ELLA: What’s the secret to connecting? What’s the essence of it?
Samantha: What I do is I listen to people. I kind of get a sense of their energy, what they enjoy, what they don’t enjoy, what their life is like, and then I pick people for them that have sort of that same outlook, that same energy, who I really see clicking. It’s about laughing at the same jokes, finding the same things to be annoying, continually having that unspoken language between the two people. 

I-ELLA: How does fashion relate to what you do as a matchmaker?
Samantha: I think that when you’re dating, you really only get one chance to make a good first impression, so it’s really important what you’re wearing and, most importantly, that you feel good in what you’re wearing. Because if you don’t feel good in what you’re wearing, then even though it might be the trendiest, most fashionable thing, you’re there spending so much time wondering, “How do I look? Does it fit me? Do I look good? Does it work for me?” and you’re not really putting your best foot forward. So when I give fashion advice for people when they’re going out on dates, we talk about trends and what’s in and what’s hip, but at the same time we talk about what works for them and what they feel really comfortable and confident in, because that’s going to make them be the most flirtacious and the most beautiful to the guy.

I-ELLA: What kind of fashion advice, if any, do you give to your clients when they go on dates? Are there first-date fashion rules that ladies should follow?
Samantha: First of all,

Monday, February 13, 2012


Valentine's Day Gifts: A Guide To Last-Minute Presents Sure to Impress

by Samantha Daniels
(republished from the Huffington Post)

Tomorrow is the big day, and if you are still scrambling to find a gift for your sweetie, don't despair. I am a professional matchmaker and here are a few last-minute gift ideas that will bring a smile to your partner's face:
Unique Flower vase from Art Style Innovation
- Flowers in a cool vase. It may seem like the obvious choice, but if you put them in a great, unusual and interesting vase, then your gal with think you took that extra step. When you purchase the flowers, do NOT get them at the supermarket or the corner bodega; they always look cheap and she can always tell. Additionally, if you want to go with roses, don't do red roses -- that's too easy -- go with a peach or pink rose or forget the roses altogether and go with her favorite flower if you know it and then put them into an Art Deco Vase like the one at Art Style Innovation.

Amanda Sterett Savannah Choker
- Jewelry. You don't have to break your piggybank to give her a bauble. Go ahead and pick a wonderful costume piece but just make sure, SHE, not your mom, your sister or your ex, will actually like it. If she is a statement gal, go with a necklace like the ones from Snook N Company. (No not the gal from Jersey Shore). If she is more classic with a whimsical side, go for a necklace like from Amanda Sterett.

- A unique Wine. Wine is a great unisex gift if your honey enjoys it. Neither you nor your partner need to be a connoisseur to give wine as a gift. Try a bottle of Prosecco or an Iced Wine. These are both a little fun, different and something you can share together.

Lazy Susan Wine Spinner from Sashi Dekor

- Spending a little extra. If your sweetie does enjoy wine or just interesting home decor, why not get him or her something like a Wine spinner. This is the height of home decor and it acts as Lazy Susan for drinking. You put it on your coffee table and you can put your bottle, your wineglasses, even your coasters on it and it can stay out as a design element in your home to boot.

Toscano Ethanol Indoor Fireplace
- Go uniquely romantic. If you have given candles in the past and you are looking for something that sets the mood, one of a kind and just cool, go with an indoor fireplace. They come in all shapes and sizes, you add some ethanol and poof, you have a fireplace right in your home. Gorg, fun and romantic all at once. Or you can choose a fabulous whimsical serving tray with Q-tips or spoons inside it; it's one of a kind, a conversation piece and it's uniqueness makes it, oh, so romantic.