Saturday, December 30, 2006

I may be mad/sad/tired, but you'll never know.

Zoey from Shop DC has done a pretty extensive writeup on her recent IPL (laser) treatment. For a much less detailed review, you can read mine in the fine print here.

So on to the next procedure. And that, my friends, would be Botox.

But first, a brief history.

About a year ago, I was planning two huge events during every waking hour that I wasn't slaving away at my day job, the combination of which brought about a month-long bout of insomnia combined with a few unbearable migranes. I felt like crap, and looked even worse.

While at my dermatologist (getting the aforementioned IPL), I sat up post-treatment in what could be the most brightly lit whitest dermatologist's office ever, and found myself face to face with a mirror. It was a scary sight (esp. after just going through a pretty intensive round with the laser).

"What can you do about THESE?" I asked the nurse, pointing to the four huge creases running across my forehead. Figured there wasn't much she could do about the greyish-greenish hue I had acquired from the insomnia. And before I could say "Creme de la Mer," out came the Botox needle.

So flash forward, it's a year later, I'm in a fairly stressful place again, and looking pretty haggard. Asked for, and got, a gift certificate for my derm for a Botox treatment. I headed in this week.

Dr. Adrian offers walk-in Botox (you just need to call ahead to make sure the Doc is in). I went in on my way to work, which is a good thing, as you can't lie down for at least four hours post.

I was brought back from the waiting room about 5 minutes after arriving, and after some small talk, out came the needle. They have you furrow your brow to figure out where to inject it; it takes about 3 seconds per shot. It hurt a bit worse than I remembered, but then again, the last time I had it done I had been on 30 minutes of sleep total from the night before. It isn't that painful, just your standard pin prick. With botchulism.

You can get Botox in several areas, but they typically don't recommend doing the top of the forehead without doing the crease in between your eyes as well, as this apparently minimizes the eye-droop risk (have you seen it? Not so pretty. If this should happen, you can always go with the incredibly karma-tempting yet fairly plausible "Bell's Palsy" excuse).

Some slight swelling usually occurs, but it goes down in about 10 minutes. Definitely go for the ice pack as that will speed it up as well.

For the next few hours, you'll need to furrow your brow and raise your eyebrows as much as you can to work the magic (okay, poison) in. Enjoy it, because you won't be doing that for a while.

About 8 hours later, you'll still be able to move just as you did, although it will feel a bit numb. About 8 hours after that, you'll have a slight loss of mobility, but your forehead lines will be just about gone. You will look fabulous. You will be thrilled. This perfection will not last. So don't get cocky about it.

The next day, you'll be able to move your eyebrows about 1/4 as much as the day prior. And you may start to take on the Dr. Brandt/Nicole Kidman freakish forehead/eyebrows that point a bit weird look. Or, as I like to call it, the "DAMMITDAMMITDAMMITWHATINTHEHOLYFUCKWASITHINKING????" stage. Just another reminder that no matter how good the science, there is just no replacement for sunscreen, sleep, and the magic potion that is youth.

And the next day--yup. Frozen. Frozen as a slurpee in January in Novgorod.

Not sure if the freakish look goes away or if you just get used to it.

This is when the fun starts. If you're my husband.

He likes to pick fights and then, end it with "What--what--are you MAD? Sorry--can't tell. Let me take a closer look...yeah, um...nothing."

The results last for about 3-4 months--you'll go back to the fabulous slight movement/not completely scary look in about 1-1/2 to 2.

And my husband will stop taunting me in, well, never.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

And...I'm back.

Sorry, a rather wide detour from vapidity, that. Happens.

So.

Headed over to Hair Lounge on Wisconsin today (rather pathetic that I couldn't figure out where it was until they explained "Um, it's right near Good Guys?" and then I totally got it). Anyway, beautiful space, nice guys, and their catch is that their team is incredibly well versed on color. Like phenomenally so.

"Launch" party on January 11, worth at least popping in to get a peek. (Quotes because they've been open for a few months, but are just starting to get out there).

Speaking of hair, whilst trying to get a bit organized for a few big moves coming up in the next few weeks (including a total renovation and add-on to our house that we're completely unprepared for--YIKES!), I came across a stash of beauty products that I forgot about. And that totally rock.

First and foremost, Graham Webb Vivid Color conditioner. I've never found anything in any price range that works better than Pantene (especially since getting the Japanese straightening earlier this year) until now. Every day since I started using it I've gotten a hair compliment. Every single day.

Also discovered my stash of Pat Wexler products--promptly threw out everything but her Microdermabrasion scrub and her Face Wash. Never want to endure the PW Pox again; these two, however, are definitely the stars in the lineup.

Then--AND THEN--I found a whole bag of Laura Mercier bath products, bought while a weeee bit buzzed at Wild About Beauty this fall (I think I was hiding them so my husband wouldn't see the huge trove I bought). Score! So if you are in a crowd and someone just absolutely stinks like yellow cake batter, that would be me and my 18 layers of Creme Brulee. Just an FYI.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Seriously, is it really only Tuesday?

Sunday night: the Zinzi Christmas Party (aka The Bartender's Ball) at the Grand Hyatt. About a thousand people, the place was PACKED. And smoky. Ensembles were Over. The. Top. I have never seen so many dresses cut to the navel in Washington. Or maybe ever. Music was surprising--80's dance music--I would have expected it to be a bit more cutting edge. I had no idea that there were that many bartenders in Washington (just when I think this city is really small...).

Monday, freshly hungover: dinner at Mendocino Grille. My first time there--and it was fabulous. Great food, good wine list (although service was mediocre)--it just seems like there aren't that many decent restaurants in Georgetown, at least proportional to the seemingly hundreds of restaurants that are packed in there. Up for discussion: the DSS. Details to follow...

Today: lunch at Milano. Spotted: Bill Frist, big ol' Tiffany Box in tow, Henry Kissinger, milling about.

Tonight: holiday party for the Smithsonian Channel at the Castle. I'm sure I've been called "highly inappropriate" before, but never have been told it to my face. So that was interesting.*

So what have we learned?
-Tina Alster's incredible new skincare store, Skin Couture, will be opening near 14th and K within the next few months (her practice will also be located in the building).
-Nora O'Donnell: pregnant. With twins.
-Phillipe Cousteau: dating one of Washington's most beautiful women--for the past year. Who knew? (Perhaps everyone).
-Me: highly inappropriate (at least according to Smithsonian staffers for attempting to take the above picture).

Friday, December 15, 2006

Things to remember

-If you find the career that you'd do for free, if not for your mortgage and your car and your need to provide square meals for dependents*, then you should figure out a way to do it. Even if you can't do it, say, by 5 p.m. today.
-There will always be an eager beaver 26-year old out nipping at your heels looking to do your job on the cheap.
-Eventually they'll be 36 and figure it out for themselves. Karma from when they (okay, you) were 26.
-Not everyone will understand the value of "not cheap." It's your job to explain your value, but don't be pissed when they still don't understand. Cheap is pretty tempting.
-In the end, rejection, especially if provided with feedback, can be incredibly helpful.
-You may even find yourself consoling yourself over a big fat bottle of Chianti at a remote Italian restaurant reconnecting with the husband you've basically ignored in the midst of all of your hard work. Hypothetically.

*and Botox and LaMer and the occasional B Bag for yourself--but hell, those are even worth giving up for a short while in pursuit of a long term goal. Wow. I just typed that--and meant it. Yikes.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

There's nothing more I hate than losing.

Well, except for mayonnaise.

Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap.

For those of you who know of my Friday deadline, well, kids, it ain't gonna happen. I just got my first no, and it doesn't like I'll know of the other two until, well, who knows when.

Crap.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More sources...

1.) Those absolutely blinding lights and sirens at the Naval Observatory Entrance last night: The first of several Cheney Holiday parties. Two word description from multiple sources: Powerful (for the moment) and Stuffy. Food: mediocre. Drinks: aplenty--though everyone seemed remarkably sober right up to the bitter end--with staffers trying to act as self-important as their actually important bosses.
2.) Top-secret celebrity dinner: moved to Thursday.
3.) Billionaire alert: the younger brother of Brooks Brothers CEO Claudio Del Vecchio (also heirs to the Luxottica fortune) will be coming stateside in January to get his MBA at Columbia. He has great friends here in town, so is expected to be a frequent visitor.

Monday, December 11, 2006

My sources tell me...

1.) ...that Richard Dreyfuss' Martha's Vineyard political foray last week went off almost without a hitch. Not long before he was to begin the town hall meeting he organized and hosted, there was a little tooth issue resulting in severe exposed nerves. Thanks to the heroism of a small town, off-season dentist in residence, he was fixed up in a flash and started the discussion on his recent passion, introducing civics back into American public schools (remember when there was such a thing as calm discourse?). He's in town often as his documentary production team is located here, and James Madison University is somewhat nearby (he is active with their faculty and was married there earlier this year).
2.) ...that a certain very-uber-super-duper A-list VIP will be flying into town tomorrow, hosting a top-secret dinner for 30 at a private residence, then *poof!* he'll be gone. I've heard he uses Signature, so if you see a few darkened SUVs near the tarmac, try to snag a peek...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Agenda

Tonight: Tiny Jewel Box and Capitol File fete. It seems like Tiny Jewel Box is having a billion of these, but hey, it's holiday cocktails and some interesting designers (Temple St. Clair, Leslie Greene) will be personally showing their collections.

Tomorrow: Jolly Holiday for the Smithsonian Young Benefactors. Sponsored by Washington Life; this year they're breaking from their wine & beer format and will be featuring Snow Queen vodka cocktails. Castle at the Smithsonian.

Saturday: Fundraiser for Horton's Kids, an amazing charity which provides mentoring and assistance to impoverished children right here in DC. Grand prize is a reception for 40 at Cafe Milano; featured guest is Eric Felten, What's Your Drink columnist from WSJ. Private residence.

Sunday: ...and rest.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Love House

So today, I went to a few houses. The first belonged to a pretty renowned architect, and it was a SWEET house. It had a moat (well, kind of--it ran along the whole front of the house). And amazing woodwork. And the basement--it was dug out about 15 feet beyond the main floor, and it had a glass ceiling. Stop for a minute and picture that. It was rather sick. The furniture looked like it would be straight from Vallency, but no--it was all custom. The parties you could have there would be unbelievable. The cars in the garage were worth around $400k. And there were only two of them.

Then we went to another house. Wasn't nearly as big, or as grand, or as obvious. Then you stepped inside and looked out the glass doors that ran the length of the living room. Directly outside were state-protected undeveloped cliffs leading to the ocean, beautiful desert cliffs with hawks circling* with the sun making beautiful shadows on the terrain.

The woodwork inside--cedar curved walls that were so pristinely assembled and finished and mitred that I was witness to a group of about 10 architects trying to figure out how they were crafted. Cement countertops in the kitchen were cast in glass, which makes them shiny and smooth beyond material recognition. The back yard was landscaped with Korean grass, which looks almost otherworldly, but oh so very cool.

Every wall was covered in beautiful art--upon further exploration, I realized that the majority of it was created by the lady of the house. Pictures of and notes from kids and grandkids were everywhere. The house just resonated with love and care.

Across the cliffs was a huge, Mediterranean monstrosity that we learned was where Michael Jackson sequestered himself when he was first found to have a liking for the kiddies.

I looked across, and I just felt cold. Then I thought of the other house we had seen, and felt the same.

I learned later that the Love House belongs to a man rated by Forbes as being one of the 40 richest men in the country. But to me, he just looked like he lives a happy, happy life. So yes, pretty damn rich, indeed.

*Okay, so the circling hawks: beautiful to me; probably not so much to the rabbit or squirrel or whatever little fluffy thing they were actually circling. But still.

The Perfect...

1. Birthday party: mine. I love my friends. Loved the night. Loved DC Celine's fantabulous boots. Loved the Botox gift cert my husband got me, even though he hates the thought of it. Loved seeing all of my disperate groups of friends getting together and making new friends. Loved my Johnny Cash auction book from Sotheby's (thanks B2!) and all of the other so very thoughtful things I rec'd despite ze no gifting policy (notes en route!).

2. Day: this one. Because RIGHT NOW, I'm sitting on a bench. On a beach. In La Jolla. It's 80 degrees, and I just finished a private tour of a famed architect's sicksicksick home. Oh, and I'm eating a chocolate chip cookie the size of my head.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Next...

Thursday, after not quite recovering from Wednesday (head hangover, mental exhaustion plus feet hangover from wearing the most fabulous-looking but heinous-wearing 5" patent platforms), it was time to head out for another night.

M2 came over, looking fabulous as ever in her vintage flapper dress* she bought from the Alex event the night before. Me: oh, I thought I'd be fine by wearing the World's Most Uncomfortable Heels again for another night. IDIOT.

First, off to the OnLokation event at T Street Flats. It wasn't bad, better than I expected, although I think her business model needs to be tweaked a bit. Either it should be a free, invite-only event with focus on sponsors and exhibitors, or a ticketed event that is more of a scene. It's hard to do both--very hard. But I think this was their second event, and attendance was not bad, although the bar could have been much better. The space: much better than it looks from the outside, strange smells and bad front entrance aside. It could really be transformed into a great space for the right event.

Speaking to T Street Flats developer Chip Ellis at the event, he told of their ambitious plans--beautiful condo spaces, lots of bottom floor retail, terraces above with views of Washington from every angle--and dear god, the location could not be better. Renovations start this spring.

Next, off to the CapFile anniversary party. Packed to the gills with a few celebs (Fran Drescher, Iman) thrown in for effect. Could have made HUGE points with the fam by scoring a picture with The Nanny, but no luck. It was a beautiful space, albeit acoustically challenged. Food: excellent. Bar: stocked. Scene: the usual suspects, but everyone looked fabulous. A solid event all around.

About 10:00, my feet Could. Not. Take. It. Anymore. So I left M2 to head to the afterparty at Posh, and headed home to catch a bit of rest before my big day.

*Note: all of the remaining vintage from the event is still at Alex, through the end of this week. Get in there and check it out while you can!

So First Things First...

Haute for the Holidays: What a great night. Attendance was smashing, everyone had fun, lots of new faces at Alex (all of which hopefully found their perfect holiday frocks!). Fabulous goodie bags including bottles of Snow Queen vodka, R. Nichols notecards, Graham Webb Halo shampoo & conditioner, Altoids, and the first edition of the Alex Stylette (you may be able to get one if you stop in and ask nicely!).

The vintage couture brought in for the event was truly phenomenal. It was worth it just to come and walk through the fashion history stored on those racks. Amazing.

The Vogue book and Jaanu diamond pendant were both raffled off to incredibly happy winners--and all proceeds went to Labels for Love and Suited for Change, which was just the icing on the cake.

So for all of you who came out, thanks!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Vewy Vewy Sweepy

You know you're tired when your friend emails you and says "Loved your outfit last night!" and you stop, and think, and stop, and think, and--blank. You have no idea what you were wearing. Very tired indeed.

But it was a great time--so many fun people, so many martinis. And vintage couture to die for. My friends won the Vogue book in the LFL/SFC raffle--trying very hard not to be jealous. Very hard.

Stopping by the OnLokation event tonight en route to the Cap File Anniversary party--see you there!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ponds of All Sizes

On yet another beautiful day (does the god of weather not realize that it's basically December?), I found myself sitting outside at a Starbucks with Alison Lukes, up from her new homestead down south for our event tomorrow. Since this is a site that toils in vapidity, the following phrase will not seem completely out of place: should you ever have need for a stylist, she should be your very first call, darling (okay, the darling for emphasis may be a bit much). She singularly made the term "stylist" a bona fide Washington occupation--and she's still the best there is.

My husband bought me a few hours of her styling services two Christmases ago, and I swear to you she changed my closet forever. Got me over my fear of Intermix (maybe it's just me, but that place, with its completely packed, unmerchandised racks and plethora of tiny gorgeous 20-year old salespeeps in dresses doooowwwntothere has always been just a wee bit intimidating, even when I had my now expired 20% discount card), pulled together three outfits from my closet that I never even realized I had that are still wardrobe mainstays, and it was a fabulous time to boot. She still comes up here often, so call her.

Anyway, sipping our coffees, enjoying the day, we got to talking about ponds: she's now in a small one, and she's more of a small fish/big pond kind of gal (and she worked for Michael Kors and Celine in both NYC and Paris, so she knows from big ponds); I always found myself to be a big fish/really small ponder (as opposed to my sister, who is the rare big fish/big pond. More on her...someday). But the more I work in Washington, and I guess the more comfortable I get in my surroundings, the more I realize how manageable a city it really is. I'm convinced the total population of Washington rests somewhere around 400, of which I know 100 (okay, 50), and recognize another 100. So I'm not sure if my pond preference is changing or Washington is just a really, really small town--or maybe it's somewhere in the middle. Either way, it's cool.

Update on tomorrow: when you buy a raffle ticket--prizes are a Jaanu diamond pendant and a copy of the humongo coffee table book In Vogue, signed by the author (thanks Vogue!)--you'll also receive a coupon for 20% off of any one Alex item, which you can use right on the spot. See you there--I'll be there with "Pam" as I've named her, the bigger-than-a-Vogue-coffeetable-book zit that decided to celebrate the day with me by making an appearance right between my eyes. Yes, I'm a cyclops. Good times. Good times, indeed.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

End of an Era (or at least of Thanksgiving Weekend)

Went to the christening of my friend's son in Georgetown today--what a perfect day to be out and about. It was held at Holy Trinity, and, due to the fact that I'm a directional idiot, I thought it was at the wrong church (Christ Church) on the other side of Wisconsin. We figured out the error of our ways, booked down O Street, and flew into the church just as our little baby was being christened, and it was the tears-in-the-eyes-lump-in-the-throat kind of moving that only happens when you go to church like once a year.

My friend L, perhaps the nicest person I have ever met, adopted two sweet as a button babes from Korea. Just as the second one (he of the christening) was arriving, she found out she was pregnant. With twins. So whenever I'm really stressed, my mind goes to her and all of a sudden my life doesn't seem hectic at all. She's due in March (well, April, but it is twins) and she looks just beautiful.

Afterward, my BFF and I headed down the Exorcist stairs (never been!), up M and over to Kafe Leopold's for a drink--same great food, same crapola service. I just don't quite get that. But it was lovely sitting at our little table, devising our next career moves, our next life moves, and better still, my birthday dinner. Cannot wait for that.

Then we headed back for the post-christening party, where my 2 year old managed to scope out the beautiful 16-year old girl in the crowd and proceeded to flirt with her for the rest of the evening. His pops was rather proud. I just saw the future--my son at sixteen himself, maybe getting his heart broken, definitely not needing his mommy, and well, certainly not showing his adoration for the women in the room by singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, only to interrupt himself by announcing loudly "I'm PEEEEEING."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Most Fantabulous Event of the Year...

First and foremost, Happy Thanksgiving!

And now that the traffic has died down...

So, here's the deal:
The event features an incredible high-end vintage dealer (on top of Alex's fabulous wares), as well as stylists and ateliers--all of which will help you sort through the collections, piece both the new and the vintage together to create your incredible holiday outfit, and then customize it if you wish.

The raffle is for both a Jaanu diamond pendant, and a signed copy of In Vogue, The Illustrated History of the World's Most Famous Fashion Magazine, with proceeds benefiting Labels for Love and Suited for Change. There will also be select vintage items where 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Suited for Change. I picked them out myself so I know they're fabulous!

And then, if you spend $400 or more, you'll receive a fashion sketch of you in your new frocks, created by an incredible local designer.

The event is invitation only, but email me and if there's room, I'll be happy to put you on the list (I'll email you to confirm).

xoxo

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Donovan's Last Name

Today was one of those days that other people have. Definitely not me. Well, except for today.

Met my friend M2 at T Street Flats to scout for a potential celebrity event that I have on the docket for two weeks from now. SO not ready to host a celebrity event. I'm not sure it's ready to hold much of anything. So that plan scratched. Bummer. Then headed off to lunch at 2 Amys, where I was introducing M2, who is the granddaughter of a rather legendary celebrity, to my BFF, a seriously brilliant film producer. They hit it off smashingly and started fleshing out a pretty huge project. So I was a dealmakah. Oh, and a wino, as we polished off a quick bottle before the clock hit 1.

I was driving down Massachusetts soon thereafter and I looked to my left to see a cop completely stopping all traffic. Then another cop, on a motorcycle. Then another. I was right near the Naval Observatory and realized that it was probably Dick Cheney. So, feeling emboldened by both my genius dealmaking skills and the wine, I rolled down the window, stuck out my head, and did the ol' rub the eye with the middle finger just as the limo crossed my path. Yes, wimpy compared to the alternative of sticking my whole arm out and yelling obscenities. But then again, I've lived to tell the tale.

Next, off to Milano for another meeting. M2 called and was stuck in traffic, so we decided to meet there for a drink prior. I walk in and she's already there, at a table with Chris Murray of Govinda Gallery, Nina, her trainer, and Donovan. When he introduced himself as Donovan, she said, "I'm sorry, what is your last name?". But he was polite as can be, just lovely. Chris was telling us about his new Elvis photography book, which sounds just amazing.

Meeting afterward also went well, also took place over wine, and we scripted out a gimongous DC event for next year, planning to begin in earnest.

I've been blessed with many things over my life: my incredible husband, my beautiful son, a great family, really, a perfectly fabulous life. But there's something abrewin'--where friends, ideas, and connections are all starting to come together. So for this Thanksgiving, I'm so very thankful for what I have, and so excited for what is to come.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Okay, so in my head it rhymed.


..or maybe it didn't. In fact, there's no way it possibly could, but it started out that way. So anyway, too bad, here goes.

On my Thirty-Somethingth Birthday
Good luck gave to me:

Three College Roommates
Two Fellow Deadheads
Three former employees
(One with a secret boyfriend!)
One WP Date Lab Victim
Two friends from Newton
Three gorgeous preggers
One Eventual Business Partner
My BFF Creative Director
One Fantastic Writer
Two Best Dressed DC Women
Two Event Geniuses
Two Annapolisians
One Newlywed
And a publisher who will NEVER leave DC
(leave Dee Ceeeee).

Anyway, to those above: sorry this has been such a hectic year. So hectic, in fact, that God only knows when invites will go out. And so hectic that it's been a while since I've seen a bunch of you. And I miss you. So to celebrate my birthday, I'm cooking you all dinner, next Friday, at Erin's, in Bethesda (sorry, aforementioned publisher). Details to follow, hopefully tomorrow, via mail.

xoxo

This is not the public event I was going to post tonight--still waiting on the graphic for that one.

Behold the Power that is Wonkette

Nothing even remotely insightful to say about it, so we'll just go with this:

Holy Crap (and thank you).

Recap, Upcoming and a Sighting

The Gore party: no Al, no Tipper, not a Schiff to be found. But our source did end up fleshing out a film concept with Mr. Vidal himself for a good part of the night...

...party at Muleh: much like Artefacto, Christopher at Muleh has done a great job of marketing his store as a scene first, then a retail space second (which drives people in greater droves to the cash register). Everything was cleared from the space for the event, and everyone who is everyone was there...

...Saturday, Lucy Liu was over at Kafe Leopold's for lunch. She is dating East Banc heir Phillip, and is in town for a project she's doing for her production company.

Upcoming: big event news to be posted today. Invites have already mailed. So for those of you (and you know who you are) on the list, I'll just sit here and wait for the accolades to pour in--they are FABULOUS, yes?

Friday, November 17, 2006

And tonight, for the Uber-Connected...

...is the super-duper-double-secret-probation-extra-high-security private party for fifty celebrating Gore Vidal and his new memoir, Point to Point Navigation. It is said that Gores are coming from near and far, and that a Clinton, maybe two, will be making an appearance...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Agenda and a Tip...

Today: The Pearl Lady and her last DC event of the year. The official Mistress of Mayhem, the Pearl Lady flies over twice a year from China with her chests of baubles in tow. If you're on the list, you get fabulous pearls at super cutrate prices. It's a cuthroat Capitol Hill Cluster--this according to the fabulous M.

Tomorrow: Intermix. Do you have your donatable warm clothes ready? The gift bags are DIVINE, the causes (Labels for Love to benefit Bethany House) so very worthy, the discount (15%) fabulous. My VIP card expired in September and life hasn't been the same since (What do you MEAN people pay retail for Kooba???)--this is almost as good (and after a few Snow Queen cocktails, it will seem even better...).

Also, the uber-vip premiere of Bobby at the Goethe-Institut, hosted by Juleanna Glover Weiss. Reviews have been tepid, but I'm sure the crowd will be top-notch.

This weekend: Anniversary party for T.H.E. at Muleh. By far the only real modeling agency in town (and even still, I've hired a few of their models for events that claimed to be 6'2" on their sheets, only to be 5'8" in person. On tippytoes.). T.H.E. is 20, which means that it's all downhill for them. The invitation is a T.H.E. t-shirt, which you have to wear to get in. So you can start calling in your favors now.

And then...the first of two events that I've been dying to drop: the most fabulous boutique event of the year takes place on 11/29. Invite only, but it's going to leak here first...

xoxo

Photo by Francis Koh, Saks Wild About Beauty Event 2006.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Just a friendly reminder...

About Thursday's fabulousness!

See you there!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Goodbye, DC Style!

I had heard from an inner source last week that some big changes were happening at DC Style--but I didn't think they would be shuttering altogether, at least not yet. It was only a matter of time before one of the three new pubs folded, but it doesn't make it any less of a bummer.

All three pubs serve three different constituencies, in my opinion, but unfortunately, they're all pulling from the same advertising pool--and there are only so many of those dollars to go around.

DC Style's editorial had gotten better and better with each passing month, and their team was awesome. Young and enthusiastic all, with some really talented writers on staff. I wish them all the absolute best.

If they're serious about going to an all-online format, which is a real need here in DC, they need to get their act together a bit. My recommendations:
-Blog: keep it the same, just make it a bit easier to pitch stories. They can kind of fall into a black hole.
-Party pictures: follow the Patrick McMullen model, and get them up that day, or the day after, tops. With names and an event write up. Traffic will go through the roof. Alter the format of that section so that it takes less time to load.
-Gossip: get some--now. Steal the fabulous Yays and Nays guys (if they're serious about making this site truly relevant, they're going to have to invest), or get their own writers, but have a great daily gossip column.
-Area listings (restaurants, spas, et al): make them comprehensive, with a great search engine, then make the featured listings the paid model. With increased traffic, this would work.
-Be aggressive. Don't pull out of the events forum completely--stay out there. Host a killer launch party. Do monthly in-depth features, and still go after the big stories.
-Steal the Washington Life calendar concept, where it's easy to list your own event--go for a comprehensive calendar to increase your traffic and advertising dollars.
-Invest in database marketing: figure out who in the hell is coming to the site, why, what's relevant to them, and then steer your advertising dollars that way. For the love, I can't believe that this isn't done.

Do that and you'll have the entire city clicking on every day, guaranteed.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Talent


...true, pure, talent. That's Abby Greenawalt and her amazing photographic skills. Her show opens tonight.


Homebody
6-9 pm
705 Eighth Street, SE
202.544.8445

Friday, November 10, 2006

Coquettish Fetish

I'm feeling a wee bit French today.

First of all, and granted, I'm stealing this right from DC Celine, but I clicked onto La Coquette a few weeks ago, and I'm hooked. She's an American who lives in the Latin Quarter, and she's a great writer. And I'm jealous.

Second, I'm usually not a fan of businesses throwing launches without leaving it to the professionals, but I have to say, the launch at Salon One80 tonight was very well done. Good food, good flow for a small salon, right down to the suave Frenchman pouring my champagne. They're great with the hair, too. They probably could have done more attendance outreach, but besides that, well done.

And crap, I just realized that I forgot to snag a Phyto goodie bag.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bag Shopping

If you didn't make it to the Socoley Trunk Show at Alex last night, you may want to stop by to see what selection they have left--their bags are perfection (see this bag as Exhibit A).

And you're looking for a bargain, hit The Purse Store online between now and Monday and use code Sale30 to receive 30% off of their non-sale items, including Barbara Bui, Carlos Falchi and lots more.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Couture Shopping!

I have a friend who is just WAY cooler than me (than I? See, I'm so uncool, I don't even know that). I saw her while shopping at Barneys this fall--I was all excited about my fairly cheap Zachary's Smile dress that is sososo very cool, but quite frankly, looks like complete crap on me because I'm not 5'8" without heels and boobieless, which is just what his line is made for. Anyway, she--and she's not a braggart at all, by the way--in conversation mentioned that she had just bought a coat at MaxMara in Paris, but it was cheaper here, if only she had known, but she loves it and...(this is where I tuned her out a bit because I just felt. so. uncool). Because of course she was just in Paris. She was there for the shows, no less. Because she's that much cooler than me/I.

The point of this blather is that this weekend, from Thursday to Sunday, you, too, can be more fabulous that me/I AND help one of DC's best charities to boot, Suited for Change. Bring in any gently used, interview-worthy suit* to MaxMara at either the CC Collections or Tysons' Galleria and you'll receive 25% off of any MaxMara coat. This is the only in-season discount they're offering this year, so go, shop, be fabulous.

*Of note: about 85% of clients that come in to Suited for Change are size 16 and larger, about 10% are size 2 or smaller, and 5% encompass all other sizes. So, two things: 1.) it only costs $49 for SFC to order a custom-made plus-sized suit, thanks to a brilliant arrangment they've struck up with some NY manufacturers, so if you're ever feeling generous, donate what you can. 2.) if you have any size 16 or above, or size 2 or below suits, or can get a hold of any, they will be put to incredible use, helping a DC-area woman move from poverty to the workforce!

Baby Shopping!

Dawn Price Baby is having a Mom's Night Out Holiday Shopping Spree offering 15% off of all purchases:

Wednesday, November 15, 6-9 pm
Dawn Price Baby
325 Seventh Street, SE
Rsvp: 202.543.2920, info@dawnpricebaby.com

I have three close friends all due this winter--plus one due with twins(!), so I'm thinking that this one night out will save me, oh, a kajillion dollars, give or take a few.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What the Dems Giveth, the Dems Taketh Away

So Friday, babysitter secured, we headed off to the DC premiere of Fast Food Nation. Special guests were the author of the book, Eric Schlosser, the director, Richard Linklater, plus Wilmer Valderrama and, crap, another actor whose name escapes me.

On my way back from Chicago the night before, I passed a McDonalds in the airport and succumbed to a little McNugget and fry action. Good thing, because I'll probably never eat fast food again. So there's that.

The movie: all star cast. It also features Bruce Willis, Greg Kinnear, Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Kris Kristofferson (perhaps the coolest man alive now that Hunter Thompson and Johnny Cash are gone). The theme: I get it. We all got it. Fast food = bad. The writing: I guess "obvious" would be the best word. They seemed to be too driven by the cause to focus on crafting and editing a good story--which, ironically, would probably have gotten their point across much better.

The afterparty, however, restored my faith in one thing: the eye job. Nancy Pelosi's eye job, to be exact. It is SO MUCH better in person than it has ever appeared on camera. And since that's the case, and since she is so often pegged as shrill, then why does she not invest in a good media coach to learn how to deshrillify and not look like she's incredibly surprised at all times? Seriously. I'm glad I got to see her work up close and personal. But there are millions of voters out there who won't ever get that chance. Help them help you, Ms. Pelosi.*

Other moments of note: Agraria: top notch. The crowd: it was another Fox party, so it was their group, plus a lot of staff from the GW H&HS Department (their dean led the Q&A post-film), so it was a bit odd. Wilmer Valderrama beelined to his VIP table with two humongous bouncers in tow, so nothing to report, save for his speech at the movie was charming. Oh yeah, and me, ol' drunkeepants. Too much wine, too little food: never ever a good combo.

*And speaking of press for the Dems, wtf Kerry? Who does his press? Why have they not been flogged, tarred, feathered, and left on the side of a potholed section of the PA Turnpike? How could he not have learned a damn thing since his last go round? "Botched joke"?? What press person in their right mind allows their client to utter those two words when talking about troops?? Offense, people, offense. He could have actually taken the bull by the horns, and used the moment to clarify his position. But noooo, because that would require some strategic thought, which for some reason, the Democrats are simply incapable of. And then Harold Ford turns into Barney Fife, "well, dumdedoh, I think he should apologize." Again, another chance for the Dems to step up, get their argument together, stand together, and go in for the kill. Idiots. I won't say that Rove is right--he's probably just lowering the bar so that they can claim some small victory a la Bush debates, but after this late performance the Dems don't deserve a clear win.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Labels for Love Shops Intermix!

From the women that brought you the District Sample Sale comes the 2006 Intermix Shopping Event to benefit Bethany House!

See and be seen while you receive 15% off your purchases all night long, enjoy Snow Queen Vodka cocktails and fabulous hors d'oeuvres by Cafe Bonaparte (and don't forget your fabulous goodie bag!).

Your price of admission: your rsvp, plus one piece of new or gently used warm winter women's clothing for the women of Bethany House, a shelter which provides temporary housing for abused spouses and their children.

Date: Thursday, November 16, from 6-8 p.m.
Location: Intermix, 3222 M Street NW, Georgetown
Attire: Fabulous
Ticket Price: Free (plus your clothing donation. Make it a good one!). However, you must rsvp in advance to info@labelsforlove.com.

See you there!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I'm Not A Knockout

So about tomorrow:
DC Mag and Tiny Little Jewel Box are staging an event.
Muleh is hosting a shopping event offering 25% off of their wares.
The NMWA benefit is tomorrow, too.

But--People. This simply will not work. It's KOA, kids, and you've got no shot.

Event Planning Rule #2 (I give it secondary status only because I'm pretty sure I've decreed an EP Rule #1 somewhere on this blog at some point): Don't go up against a giant, especially one on the upswing.

KOA is the Black & White Ball*. It's the pissing match to end all pissing matches--Urineapulooza, but instead of a mosh pit, it's 700 women in upscale ready-to-wear (and not a small amount of couture) fighting to the death for a drink at the bar and the ability to claim highest bidder status (although I've heard the goodie bags have seen better days). One cannot eschew the KOA and go elsewhere--one must be out of town and out of sight.

And that is why, my friends, I'm glad to be freezing my tail off once again in downtown Chicago this week.

But I'll be back in time to head to the Fast Food Nation premiere on Friday, and will do my best to have a Wilmer Valderrama sighting and report for the weekend.

*And not the one at Palomar on Saturday: the actual, Kay Graham with hair by Kenneth, "No, I had to go overseas," yapping crazy Capote, Black & White Ball.

Monday, October 30, 2006

BabsieD: Big Talker

So in response to DCCeline's "so where did you go?" question, and in response to my own "so many events for fabulous me to go to because I'm just such a busybusy girl blahblahblah..."

Here's where I went last week:

Nowhere.

And I had the best damn time doing it.

Thursday: made it as far as Peacock for cocktails with my friend B2. Laughed my ass off. Caught up by actually making eye contact and speaking in full sentences--you know, like normal people do with their friends (which I just haven't made enough time for as of late, save for text messages and 30-second phone convos). Such a good catch up. And Peacock nachos rock.

Friday: Lunch with my friend M. at Rasika. (But wait--before you click that link, be warned--it could possibly be the most annoying website EVER). Fried spinach (Palak Choat) to die for, and company to match--the perfect antidote to a dreary rainy day. I was feeling rather schlumpy that morning, and threw on my Casual Friday finest--J. Crew camouflage pants, black cashmere crewneck, ballet flats (at least they were Chanel, so it was only 80% schlumpy). I looked up from my hot tea out the window and saw M. crossing the street-black cape, incredible bag, hair perfect--a vision even in the rain. She's just one of those people who always looks fabulous.

Saturday: soapmaking class. Yes, laugh if you will, but it's always been a goal of mine. What did I learn? 1.) I'm not making soap until my child is about 18, because lye (1/2 of soap), can kill you. The teacher started off with a horror story about a 2-year old. So that ended that fantasy. 2.) "Triple-milled" soap is a process by which they squeeze all the glycerin out of the soap (thrice, in case you haven't figured out that piece of rocket science). So that actually makes the soap more drying. Verdict: apparently my $50 box of Jo Malone Sandalwood soap is bad for me. Oh well, it still smells better than anything on the planet (save for Laura Mercier creme brulee). 3.) Actually there is no #3--that's pretty much all I learned.

Also, lap at Storehouse. They keep lowering their prices, their selection keeps getting worse. I was hoping to find my dream living room couch right at the intersection of Dirt Cheap and Perfect Shade of Golden Tan, but I don't think it's going to happen. I did score a copy of Chanel and Her World (normally $60, got it for $30) and a few copies of Nasty by Simon Doonan (fabulous man and his book is a hilarious read--will make a great stocking stuffer).

Sunday: neighborhood Halloween parade. Yes, take a moment to revel in the astounding cuteness that is my boy and his cohorts:

My son tried to out-stubborn me, but he keeps forgetting that I'm actually the one that taught him stubborn. So the fish costume was going on, dammit. He's looking down in the picture out of protest (since he's wearing a full-on fish, but his one best friend's Thomas the Tank costume was too long so he got a pass after a few minutes, and his other BFF did full-on stubborn and won. So my boy was just a little pissed.

Monday: Well, worked my tail off for starters. Then put a few touches on my upcoming event (SOOOO excited to blab about it, just can't quite yet), then off for cocktails at Firefly with The Liquid Muse, in from her new home out west for a few days. Tried to be cool and order the house drink (when you're out with TLM, you can't just order wine!), had exactly one sip of the Firefly Punch. WAY too rummy. But Michael, the new G.M., brought us over some INCREDIBLE yummies (holy truffle fries--those things are crack), and some sort of Apple Brandy concoction, which was quite deliciouso.

All in all, a perfect stretch spent with people I love.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

And then...

..tomorrow, before heading out to the CF party with Lorraine Bracco @ Posh, be sure to visit The Purse Store online for 25% off non sale items (use code Shoe25) and an extra 20% off sale items (use code ShoeSale). They carry Loeffler Randall, Lambertson Truex, Bettye Muller and about 20 other designers, so it's worth checking out (note: it's a 2-day sale which ends Saturday).

It's gettin' kinda hectic...

As if my life could be any busier (met with builder at 7:30 this a.m., work is crazy busy today and everyday, getting ready to head out again next week on travel...) there's just a plethora of things to do tonight!
1.) Premiere of Corteo (Cirque de Soleil) at the Convention Center. Babysitter just bailed, so we had to bag it. My husband: not all that disappointed, but I was looking forward to checking it out.
2.) InStyle/Bulgari party at Bulgari in Chevy Chase (6-8 pm, rsvp to 888.266.1686 x7) . Think I may stop by after meeting my fave girl B2 for a drinkie poo at Peacock...
3.) Avant-Ski Party at Saks @ the Galleria (Tysons). Featuring winter fashions of Moncler, Postcard and Authier. Benefits Suited for Change. (6-8 pm, rsvp to rsvp@suitedforchange.org).
4.) Knock Out Abuse Shopping Event @ Ralph Lauren in Chevy Chase (also 6-8). Shop. See. Be Seen.

...I think that's it for tonight (but isn't that enough?).

It almost makes me not want to tell you about my next two INCREDIBLE events coming up...actually, I can't. Not yet. But tentatively hold Wednesday, 11/29 and Tuesday, 12/12 open. Besides that, I'm mum (though bursting at the seams to blab!).

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

There is something to be said

I sometimes see my single friends and get a little pang. Not of regret, not at all, just of the thought of what a different life it would be. A life with no check-ins, no 7 a.m. weekend wakeups, no mortgage. It's a life different than mine, no better. Maybe sometimes.

But there is something to be said...
For having someone who roots for you no matter what--because deep in their hearts they want nothing--nothing--more than for you to be happy.

For having someone who can tell you the absolute truth--but knows exactly how to deliver it and that it varies depending on subject, mood, hunger level, or whether it's partly cloudy with a slight eastern wind.

Someone who, even when they're MADMADMAD, still can stop and say I love you--and mean it.

Who gets Tory and Habitual logos confused--yes, who studies your closet enough to notice these things.

Who calls your friend with incredible style to help him pick out three things you can't live without--and be dead on.

Who, when you come home with something utterly ridiculous--like, for example, a Balenciaga B Bag, rolls his eyes, half asks whether you're really keeping it, but knows the answer and doesn't really complain.

Who lets you watch Love, Actually whenever it comes on, no matter where it is in the story line (with the exception of during Steelers games).

Who when you've gotten in way over your head, stops what he's doing and pitches in--from handpainting your wedding programs eleven years ago to licking envelopes for charity.

Whose love for your child is so great, and parenting skills so amazing, that you can't imagine a more powerful bond between father and son.

Lucky, lucky, lucky me.

Happy anniversary, love. Thank you for a wonderful life.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Happy Holiday Hoorah!

Today is one of my favorite shopping days of the year--it's the premiere of the God's Love We Deliver Holiday Catalog!

While this year's catalog doesn't have as many beauty items as years past, there are some great finds, like: the above-pictured Michael Kors Metallic Clutch; fun cards from Jonathan Adler, Ruben Toledo and William Ivey Long; interesting books (including Classic Greenwich Style, a great coffee table tome); and lots more including an auction featuring Blahnik, Ferragamo and lunch with Mario Buatta*! Best of all, all proceeds go directly to getting people suffering from HIV/AIDS the meals and medicine they desperately need.

Tip: if you click on the "shop all items" icon, you'll see a somewhat different selection of items than if you click on each of the individual categories, including sale items from last year's catalog (last year I gave the Burberry garden apron--a steal now for $39.99--and it was a HUGE hit, and the Lilly Pulitzer placemats and napkins for just 24 smackers for a set of four are perfect for the Lilly lover in your life!).

Happy shopping!

*Do note, however, that the auction items ALWAYS go for lots more than their estimated values. But it's always fun to feel like an upper east side doyenne by bidding on a few anyway!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Okay, so less deep

In case you missed tonight's event with my FAVE boutique, Alex. (aside: don't know if you've seen the lastest issue of DC magazine, but the editorial and an article are all about Alex and its owner, Liberty. And every word of it is true. She's as nice as she is fashionable. And she has one of the best eyes for fashion I've ever seen), and in case you didn't make it over to the Splurgetini fest, there's still more on the docket...

Thursday, October 19: The second of the Thursday Four Seasons parties, this one featuring Valise. Capitol File is now behind it, so the crowd should be much better. And any event serving up the bubbly can't be bad!

Me: I'll be in Chicago freezing my tail off and thinking of you all.

xoxo

Crossroads

...tis more than a heinous religious elementary school whose hypocritical teachings could scar one for life.
...and it's also apparently more than a bad Britney movie.*

because I happen to find myself right in the midst of one.

And here I sit. Not knowing what to do.

You see, my friends, I've just had the busiest week of just about my whole life. Day job is getting to be a real pressure cooker, and the workload, if I'm to make a real go of it, is all-encompassing. And that's before you add in the heinous travel schedule.

My night job: a smashing press lunch last week for my current client. I'm my worst critic when it comes to these things, but I'm incredibly proud of the work I've done. And I loved everyeveryevery second of it. Loved it.

And I had a pitch meeting last week that could be the start of something big--and I think could be mine if I want it.

But the new client could, no, probably will be all-encompassing. Very, very demanding. Not enough pay to leave the day job, but a huge head start. But potentially an explosive situation (I'd be working with someone from said client who, from what I've heard, is volatile AT BEST). So it could jeopardize my day job. And it could make me quite miserable. But it could also be one more step in the dream I've been killing myself for, well, for two years perpetually, for about 10 years fairly seriously.

And meanwhile, on the home front, waits the best husband in the universe. Literally. Who desperately wants another playmate for our son. And while I'm ambivalent about it at times, I realize that the window isn't all that wide. And my son rocks. And I don't want him to be alone. And I've been getting the pangs lately, I will admit.

And that last choice means a vote for security, and 401ks and health insurance and maternity leave and paid sick days and all the bigpeopleresponsible things that come with it. Not a vote for the dream. But perhaps for something bigger. But then perhaps I'm not cut out to be a "mom" mom, which, I think once you're in charge of a brood, is what's needed. I think they--kids, husband, all, would deserve it.

So here I sit. Not knowing what to do.

*It is, also, a kickass Clapton song, box set and benefit concert. So there's that.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Behold the B

Last night:
...was kind of a blur because I had about 16 cosmos too many.
...was the premiere of the B bag, which I pulled out of its fabulous felt satchel, only to put a huge scratch across it, oh, about 30 seconds after putting it on my wrist.
...was an amazing group of about 200 women who I think had a pretty smashing time.
...that collection of fabulous women raised some serious dough for Suited for Change, which was the point of it all.
...I spent WAY too much money at Laura Mercier.
...I had a few random six degrees moments, including realizing that the new Saks p.r. person is my childhood best friend's really really great friend from college (got that?).
...I saw that Norah O'Donnell is as beautiful off camera as on. I hate when that happens.
...DC Celine made me believe in Estee once again. Because man, the woman at the Estee counter made her look COMPLETELY smokin'.
...got me thinking about the very first Make Up Day I ever hosted, before fundraisers and everyone's lives got all kinds of crazy. I think (not 100%, but fairly certain, I may be missing someone) it was my friends Nicole, Aundrea, Kristen, Cindy and Rachel. All sitting around a table at Daily Grill after we were all made up to the hilt, digging through our NM Goodie Bags, having the most hilarious sex talk ever. And it was fabulous.*
...got me thinking about how lucky I am to have found so many wonderful friends over the years. Love to all (sorry E:), plagarized that directly from you).

*That was also where I developed my obsession of using Kiehl's lip balm as table favors. Always a smash hit.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Quote Du Jour

If a girl wears an outfit to a party but no one photographs it, was it ever really worn?* **
* Answer = no.
**Justification for wearing the exact same outfit I wore to the Diddy party. Well, outfit plus my B Bag, of course!

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Calling

We went to Crafty Bastards on Sunday. 'Twas a beautiful day, and was great to be out, running around with our boy at the playground, checking out some neat crafts.* **

In the music pit, there was an act with which my son was ENTHRALLED: Trixie Little and the Evil Hate Monkey. It consisted of a female/male duo, the man in monkey ears/hairpiece, both in full-on blue bodytights, hula hooping.

How exactly does one figure out that one's life calling is hula hooping?

It was a thought that stuck with me all day today, while I was working on a press release on my lunch hour, running from my office to go to a pitch meeting (which I won!), and rushing home to put together the rsvp list for Wednesday's event.

And then I realized that if my life's calling isn't working in p.r., which is what I'm doing in every waking hour that I'm not being a wife/mother/worker bee at my day job, and doing it just because I lovelovelove it...well then, I guess my life's calling is juggling.

*Although, seriously, people, how many artsy t-shirt vendors does there need to be at any one event? "Juried" usually means not only are the crafters of a certain caliber, but it usually also means that someone is minding the store when it comes to category counts, too. I'm a crafter myself, so I'm not knocking those who put themselves out there like that, I'm just saying that about 20 fewer would have been probably better for everyone, vendors included).

**Speaking of crafts, I'm taking a soap-making class at First Class the end of this month. Am convinced that I can maybe just give it ALL up and become the next Jo Malone. A little delusion with that coffee, madame?

Friday, September 29, 2006

Clumpy, Dried Out Mascara (and a Shoehorn)

Yes, that's the mascara I've got. The kind that you have to stir the wand around in lots to get anything out, and then once you do, it's all clumpy and goppy and you can feel your eyelashes nearly getting pulled out of their little eyelash sockets when you're putting it on.

Why am I subjecting myself to such torture?

Because next Wednesday is my favorite day of the year, the Suited for Change In the Mood for Beauty Event! Staging at Saks Chevy Chase from 6-9, the night features male models who walk around glossing everyone's lips, a DJ, cocktails, fabulous hors d'oeuvres, makeovers galore and gifts with purchase at just about every counter (plus a Saks GWP if you spend $100 or more).

The price of admission: a $25 raffle ticket, with all proceeds benefiting SFC. If you purchase your ticket online by October 3, you'll save $3, and you will be registered to win a Manolo Blahnik shoehorn (pictured above). I had this shipped in from the UK (which is where you could get it, if you could get it because it sold out immediately). Anyway, it was no easy feat, due to both its sold-outedness and its across-the-pondedness.

DC Style is the sponsor, so their photogs will be there and pictures will be featured in the winter issue.

These events are near and dear to me: my very first fundraising event was an event like this in conjunction with Neiman Marcus. NM closed down the store, gave about 85 of us a champagne reception, and then we had a dinner and silent auction at the Daily Grill (it sounds so easy, but it was a team of four of us working day and night for MONTHS). We raised almost $10k that night, and divvied up the proceeds between 5 women's charities (of which Suited for Change was one, which is how I got involved with them).

So anyway, come. I promise, it will be fabulous. I'll be the one with the brand new B Bag that is not being returned (due to some SERIOUS begging and dealmaking on my part!).

Details here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Chicago Stroll

I keep hearing how it's going to take me a year to get used to this job, how the first year here is beyond hell, how it's like this for everyone...and yet, I just can't quite believe that it's not just me. My job is harder than I ever though it would be. And the travel is, well, a lot. I feel like I can't catch up, and that I should be better at this by now, no matter what anyone says.

Bright side: Chicago is a rocking town. And we always stay at sweet hotels. And go to amazing dinners.

Last night: Spiaggia on Michigan Avenue (across from Chanel). Truly inventive, tres expensive Italian. Incredible, really. Kind of bizarre on the portions, though--appetizers consist of like ONE scallop (one really, really good scallop, but one $23 scallop). Dinners are fairly small (at least smaller than you're used to, but actually, the portions are just about right--one of the reasons I like Rock Creek at home so much).

But then there's dessert.

We ordered 5 desserts for 6 of us. And none were small (none huge, but none small. Every last one except a weird lemon custard were impeccable). And then the chef came over with complimentary pastry cups of every type of gelato they make (there were 12, including canteloupe, grape, chocolate, cappuchino, mint...). And then they dropped off a box of 6 additional truffles, also gratis. So kind of bizarre on the whole end-of-meal generousity.

By the end of today, I felt a fairly massive headache coming in (MUST get a Botox refresher. Must. And I heard that Vida (sp?) downtown is great AND has 1/2 price Botox days. But I digress.). Anyway, fresh air was in order, so I bailed out of tonight's dinner (we didn't decide until late, and Frontera takes reservations now and was completely booked by 8:30 a.m., the one restaurant worth braving a migrane for).

It's a beautiful night, so I headed out of the hotel and down Rush. First, to Barneys (not even a Co-Op, an ACTUAL Barneys!), eyeing a seriously gorgeous blue velvet Jojovich-Hawk babydoll top, then over to a Henry cuir that could actually make me forget about me beloved and permanently attached Kooba, but then remembering that I got the call on Friday that I made it off the Balenciaga waitlist, so out of Barneys empty-handed, conniving all the while re: how to convince my husband that the little bag with the little B must remain in my possession. Did a lap at Jake (eh, Philip Lim 3.1 etc, nothing you can't find in DC), then left onto Michigan just as dusk started to fall.

Ah, Michigan Ave. Beautiful New York-caliber store windows juxtaposed with sharp Chicago accents. Anxious Loyola students milling about, awkwardly checking each other out (not unlike how I feel at work a bit), tourists jostling with women carting their dry cleaning and men carrying groceries. Beautiful couples sitting at outdoor tables observing the same scene from their perches.

And then I crossed the street, nearing my hotel, and a looked down and saw a handwritten sign:

"I'm Just Hungry."

He was sitting on the corner, covering his face with the sign. I felt ashamed to be so self-consumed.

I tucked my money into his dirty paper cup, and he lowered the sign, looked up and directly into my eyes.

They were beautiful. And tired. And sad.

I gave him the nod to say "it's cool and good luck."

He gave me one back that I think said "thanks."

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tagged! (in Dutch)

By the looks of it, my old job just found my blog. So--hi. The pages you are looking for are here and here. Enjoy.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Random Celebrity Spotting

I went to the Muleh/Moet event tonight at the Four Seasons. Not a bad concept, really. A strange crowd--I'd say only 5% were the usual suspects that you see everywhere, although as the night wore on, more began appearing.

A lot of friends got a bounceback email when they tried to rsvp saying that the guest list was full (one of my cohorts made a few phone calls to get us in)--but here's a few pointers: 1.) they didn't have a list at the door. Or at least not at the door that I entered (it was in the courtyard, I think we entered through the back side of the event). 2.) it wasn't crowded at all. 3.) their plan is to do six more of these.

Each week they're getting a different store or boutique (for a fee), to be the feature--with models roaming in the store's clothes, etc. That part didn't work at all--nor does it at any party ever. Models have to be elevated or separated for that to work. But the champagne was flowing and I was with two friends that I love dearly, so all was well and good.

Around 8, it was time to head home. I bid my farewells and headed out. I was looking down at my fabulous shoes, which were starting to hurt like all hell (Viktor + Rolf pumps with gold chain toes--which means that the toes don't give AT ALL, which means that ze big toes start feeling like bigger toes after a few hours). Anyway, I look up whilst concentrating on trying not to limp through The Four Seasons because that just wouldn't be cool at all, and there's Andre Agassi, just walking through the foyer. Just him and another guy, and it was pretty empty save for him and him and me and my two big big toes.

I gave him the "nod"--like "you're frigging famous, but I'm cool enough not to acost you." He looked back like "Um, yeah, whatever, you're the 5 millionth person to give me the 'nod' today."

So dork status confirmed, I said the hell with it and broke into full gingerly-stepping limp down the remainder of the foyer, out past the limos, and across the traffic on M. Viktor + Rolf make some funky shoes, but not shoes destined to walk down cobblestone streets before and after partying/standing up for two hours. And no amount of champagne or heroic tennis players in the world can fix that.

Another Hypothetical.

So imagine you used to work with someone for, oh, say, eight years give or take. And they were cool out of the office (not that you had that much interaction, but all of those that you had were surprisingly cool), but REALLY UPTIGHT within. To the point where she would drive her employees kinda (okay, very) nuts because she was SO uptight.

You knew her husband, too, who was also really cool.

And then you stumbled across this.

Hypothetically speaking, of course.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

My Random Life

My husband hit the Black Crowes at 9:30 on Sunday (one of us had to stay home on babysitting detail). However, his ensuing guilt did buy me some leverage. So when I received an invite from my friend Christie who is just very, very cool, I took it, and headed off to the Diddy party last night.

I had an event that morning, followed by work all afternoon, pitch meeting straight thereafter, then home to play with/bathe/feed/brush teeth of my child who just gets more animated and hilarious with each passing day. Then a few hours labeling DSS photos for the press (sounds so easy, in reality is quite complicated), another hour answering emails, then off to get ready. Skinny Superfines and my new fantastic Black Halo cowl neck (but in a good way) top from Alex, fast becoming my favorite boutique in DC (especially since my Intermix discount card expires at the end of this month! Even still, Alex's clothes prevail.).

Time check: 11pm. Have been on the go since 6:45am. So there's that.

Drive down, walk up, finagle through the lines, past every NBA player I've ever seen but cannot identify, past Rock Newman (who, though he has no idea, I used to wait on all the time in college when he represented the WORST tipper of all time, Riddick Bowe), past hordes from a B+T crowd I didn't know existed outside of Weehawken. But they do. And they smoke. All of them. And wear cologne. And like to stare directly at your breasts as you approach. Yeah, that couldn't be any more uncomfortable.

Hung with friends, met KAC **finally**, after emailing for forever (for her fabulous and continual support of my charity events, I am forever in her debt), headed up to the VIP area, and right to the free drinks table. Only they weren't free. They were $10 for a crappy V+T in a plastic cup. Crowds upstairs: as thick as the B+T smoke two floors below. Had to get. out. now.

Back down the stairs, guzzle the last of the champagne, say my goodbyes, and head out the door. To air. Ah, sweet, sweet air.

Down I Street to my car, past the homeless men wrapped in their grey issued blankets, one by one down the row of park benches.

Start the car, then left on what is now a quiet K, the opposite of my commute home down the same path every day. Up the Canal, trees whisking by, keeping an eye out for deer, potholes or the random axe murderer (it is quite creepy at night, I'm just saying). Through the stop sign, up my street, into my door, and out to my porch to leave my stinky, stinky smoke clothes.

Tiptoe into my son's room, where he's snuggled like a buggle in his green giraffe blanky. "I love you Jack" is met with the sigh of a contented boy who has just recently started to dream (and in turn, talk in his sleep).

Up the stairs, splash on the face, crawl into bed, and a groggy greeting from my husband:

"Bet the Black Crowes were a million times better."

So uncool to say. But true.

But even a million times better than that: my bed, my pillow, my husband, and my son (dreaming about ducks by this time, apparently).

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Recipe for 2 Totally Worth It Zits

Ingest all of the following:
Course 1:
Duck sliced over potato crisp with carmelized onion
Brie and mango in phyllo dough
Coconut shrimp

Course 2:
Lemoned Avocado and Spicy Crabmeat tower with a Balsamic Glaze
Layered grilled vegetable sandwich with phyllo "bread"

Course 3:
Boston bibb salad with bibb flan
Argula bowtie salad with reduced balsamic dressing

Course 4:
Lamb with lamb shank
Filet with potato cake and shrimp

Course 5:
Mango cheesecake
Homemade chocolate brownie
Raspberry Tart
Triple-chocolate layer cake
Creme brulee

Pour wine over all.

A pre-event tasting at the Ritz: the definite upside of my day job.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

The DSS Review

There are other, non-invested parties who have done a great job of summing it all up here and here.

But here's my tale from the inside. Blogger still won't upload my photos.

Got there around 2:00. Some boutiques had started to move their wares in; music was thumping from the iPod, the caterer was buzzing around getting things prepared. The vodka, beer and wine were all MIA, but really, that's what event planning is all about: it's not about doing all the stuff to get an event ready, it's about solving the problems that arise from doing all of the stuff to get an event ready.

4:00: Vodka: found. It's kind of illegal to send it through the mail, but our sponsor's vodka isn't distributed here yet. So some bottles got broken in transit. UPS: not very happy. That problem goes on the backburner for another day. Beer: still MIA. Wine: um...arriving on OCTOBER 12. Not really going to help. So quick panic call to the caterer--BRING WINE!! LOTS!!! Problem solved.

5:00: A line begins forming. First 10 women, then 50, then 100, then--holy crap, it's all the way down the block!! It was incredible. I'm browsing the racks a bit as they're rolling in--shorts marked down from $188 to $20. Shoes from $300 to $99. Racks of brand-new fall stuff for 25% off. It's looking great. Beer arrives. So the 15/400 men in line will be happy, as there's enough to satiate an entire army. I wave at a woman I know. She looks at me like I'm a bit crazy. Oh, because that's George Stephanopolous' wife--I've just seen her on TV (she was there to help her sister, jewelry designer Sissy Yates). I'm such a dork.

6:00: One final lap to let everyone know that doors are about to open. Cue the doors.

6:02: Absolute pandemonium. Women ripping racks apart. Great music (iPod traded in for full-fledged DJ around 5:30) getting everyone in the mood to shop. Bar flowing. Life: good. Such a high.

7:02: 5" black patent platforms have got. to. come. off. right. now. My flats are in my car, and I can't even walk the 20 yards to get them--I hobble over in flipflops (tights wedged between my big & 2nd toes--it was a good look).

8:02: all is well. Attendees: happy. And fabulous. Friends I didn't even know were coming showed up--such the perfect surprise. Vendors: thrilled. Committee: proud as can be. Bar: ah, yes, that's right, I can walk right up and pour me a martini!

9:00: Crowd slows. Am getting loopy. Sherr, I'll dethinitely haf anuuthr marteeene.

10:30: Pack it up, stop by the WL party down the street, then head over to Blue Gin for a drink with my girlies before heading home for a night of adrenolin-packed non-sleeplessness.

We raised lots of money for Suited for Change, my favorite DC charity as it really plays a huge role with helping to break the cycle of poverty for women in need and their families--and does their work on an incredibly small--I mean SHOESTRING--budget. So that was the best part of all.

So thank you to everyone for your support: attendees, boutiques, our army of volunteers, friends who helped to get the word out, those who couldn't make it this time but asked us to do it again. See you in the spring!!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The DSS.

Recap later. Maybe tomorrow. I'm so tired I can barely type.

But to the 600 of you, most of which started waiting in line at, oh, around 4:30: thank you. You were fabulous.

Photo by Abby Greenawalt.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Live From Las Vegas: The Budgets From Hell Edition

I'm in Vegas for the day for work.

Of note:
Mark Warner was on my plane. And he's looking a bit manorexic if you ask me. He's got the good governing/bridging the two sides thing going, but if he's going to really hit the big time (and ever get over that heinous NYT mag cover), some free weights, a few oxygen facials and some practice smiling comfortably would do him a world of good.

Chippendales? I still don't get it. Never have. (Saw the billboard on the way from the airport). I think a format that would work better for me would be more of a "zoo" type of concept--where you could drive around a park and see "22 year old mowing lawn" or "24 year old washing car". Anyway, I have no idea how they stay in business here. Oh yeah, because Vegas is a huge bus stop, that's how.

I was too busy today to head over to Scoop, and that, my friends, is a complete bummer. There's just something about that place--yes, a lot of their stuff can be found elsewhere, but I always find a perfectly fabulous unique something or other that I simply must have. It's for the best, however, as I'm planning on shopping till dropping at the DSS.

Heading over to the Wynn for dinner. Being that we've all been up since 5, it's blazing hot, and dinner is at 11:30 EST, I'm thinking that there won't be a whole lot of raging going on after the fact. But you never know.

Wow--Project Runway is almost over on the east coast--can't wait to read Capitol Hill Barbie's synopsis!

Monday, September 04, 2006

District Sample Sale Scoop #4

Roberto Cavalli Vodka cocktails. Yummy hors d'oeuvres from Occasions. Desserts from Kafe Leopold. Shopping like you've never done before within the District line. DC's most fashionable charity, Suited for Change. Do you REALLY need more of an incentive? Okay, okay, here's some more scoop on the DSS:

Last minute addition: Sherman Pickey.

Last minute bonus: a fabulous raffle onsite, including a $300 gift certificate to Relish!!!

Insider track: the stores are bringing KILLER wares, from DVF dresses to Philip Lim 3.1 to my favorite Ts in the world by Splendid and Ella Moss, so get there early to get the best loot!

Tickets are going quickly, so get yours pronto...

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

First Pahtay of the Season


...okay, the second, as KAC's bash was first (and me, home sick, missing it!!).

Tonight was the party at Cafe Milano to launch Fox's My Network TV. Special guest was Bo Derek.

I knew there was no way my husband was going to miss that action--and when we dropped off our son at our friends' house to watch him for the night, the husband was INSANELY jealous. I remember Bo being huge when we were young, but I guess I forgot that he was every 12 year old boy's fantasy.

So flash forward to 2006.

Like every celebrity evereverever**, she's shorter than I pictured. But she looked pretty good. You can tell that she's had a LOT of plastic surgery , but it's the good kind--like CZ-J's eye job. Well, maybe not THAT good, but she still looked hot.

Cafe Milano was like 8 KAZILLON DEGREES, and the crowd was kind of weird (it was like 20% the usual suspects, 80% Fox people, who were pretty random), but all in all, a good night.

Best of all, my husband had his picture taken with Ms. Derek herself--I swear, I thought he was going to faint.

**Ironically enough, the one celebrity who is taller than the rest: Bo Derek's boyfriend, John Corbett. He's like 6'6". I met him, randomly, at Bridgehampton Polo about 4 years ago, at the height of his Aidan fame. I was too shy to approach him at first. Three cocktails later, he was nearby and my friend Kimberly threw her dog at me and yelled, "Quick! Tell him that Winnie is a fan of Pete's!" (if you don't recall, Pete was his dog on SITC). Emboldened by vodka, I did just that.

He was completely kind, gracious, and quite chatty actually. But I was so flustered, he being Aidan and all, that I had NOTHING to say. Another moment with fame squandered.

P.S. Sorry, but I hate every picture of myself ever taken, hence the Photoshoppiness.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

District Sample Sale Scoop #3

In case you didn't receive the DSS email this evening...

If you'd like to be added to the invite list for future Suited for Change events, email rsvp@suitedforchange.org. Such as, for example, the FANTASTIC Saks Beauty Event staging Wednesday, October 4. Just as a hypothetical.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Ain't No Time to Hate, Barely Time to Wait

It's 9 p.m., and here is my to-do list for the night:
-Write and disseminate press release for upcoming event.
-Review mentoree (mentee?)'s resume (yes, I'm a mentor--how fab is that?)
-Write proposal for possible book tour (not for me, for someone else's book)
-Finish rather large glass of wine that's standing between me and computer (Frog's Leap Zin, 2005. Fabulous.)
-Get to sleep at reasonable hour because my new (day) job is Kicking. My. Ass.

So no time to blog. What I want to know-oh, where does the time go?

Okay, quick review of fall ads.
Dior: Thank goodness they're finally featuring actual clothing that I might actually want to wear. Those boots must be mine.
Michael Stars: Kudos. New campaign not only shows their t-shirts, but the lifestyle. Made me actually want to buy.
Donald Pliner: I know the woman who does their ads (or at least did last time I checked). And I totally admire her. But these ads suck. I know he's pretty much a nightmare to work with, and his shoes are pretty heinous, but still.
Chanel: Don't know how much those jeans cost. Don't care. Must own.
Banana Republic: Exactly how do they think that a spread featuring mediocre people wearing boring clothes is going to entice me--or anyone--into their stores?

Bonus: P.R. Ads
Loreal: People. Gotta switch up the scary guy showing how to apply foundation, famous makeup artist or not. And do you actually think that devotees of P.R. don't know how to apply foundation?
I.N.C. Ditto. Booooring 90's sundresses on a runway. Umm...not sure you realize this, but you paid a lot of cash to be a prime sponsor. Get it together. Study the audience, and present them with a product they might actually want.

...that's all I can think of at the moment, and I'm too busy to run upstairs to fetch. Love you. Mean it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Believe in Reincarnation(s).

I've done the U Street Corridor before, but it's always en route to somewhere, or to pop into some specific place (usually after darting into Cakelove for a cupcake), or heading to the Black Cat when the shops are shuttered (and there was that one night in the basement at Cafe Saint-Ex...). But it's up the street from my new job, so I've taken a few lunch hour laps--and now I'm hooked.

My favorite place of them all: Reincarnations Furnishings. Packed to the gills with unique yet not completely off-the-wall pieces including couches, artwork, lighting, sculptures--one of those stores where you could picture at least 50 things you see in your house.

And that's even before you look at the price tags. It's SO reasonable. I saw almost this exact chandelier at Bowhe & Peare in Bethesda for around $700.

At Reincarnations: $225.

I spoke to the owner, Christopher Torres, who gave me a brief rundown about the place. They started out selling chiefly estate and consignment (hence the name) that they refurbished, but over the years, they've evolved into selling new pieces. Their business model is to rely on turnover, constantly getting new pieces in and selling as cheaply as they can. Best of all, it means that every time you go in there, you'll find something new.

Tip: the back wall in the basement is full of great bargain items!

Reincarnations Furnishings, 1401 14th Street NW, 202.319.1606; Open Tuesday-Sunday 11-8.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

District Sample Sale Scoop #2

I've been trying to post a blog (with requisite photos) for a few days now, but damn you, finicky Blogger, damn you to hell. So in the meantime, the District Sample Sale site is live, and you can now buy your tickets, so do so now--before it's sold out.

You've been warned.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

He Made It Work.

I try to stay away from blogging about Project Runway--better left to the experts, like DC Celine and Capitol Hill Barbie.

But Jeffrey was robbed. There, I said it. Yes, Michael kicks ass, and is going to win in the end. But a trump l'oiel belt? Genius. The color scheme? Never would have thought of it; in fact, thought it was heinous going in, but it completely worked. Construction: flawless. Fit: perfection. Something about it reminded me of Miguel Adrover's first runway show when he reconstructed Burberry.

Fine, he's a pain in the ass--not high-maintenance pain in the ass, but like the IT guy in your office that thinks, even though he wears a parka in the summer and has posters of computer codes all over his office, that he's cooler than everyone. And when you ask him for any help at all with anything, he bitches and moans and whines and complains. About doing. his. job. So like that.

But still. He was robbed.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Kindasorta Fashion Retraction

I was all geeked about Shop It To Me, as it is a genius concept. And I stand by that statement. But after the first email they sent, showing about 50 items from designers I chose in my size from a bunch of different online stores, it dried up. And fast. Because once they show you everything out there from their six participating stores that are on sale, the sequential emails are then pretty scarce. It may get better if they can get more stores on board, but for now, it's kind of a snore.

Then there comes the problem of shopping online without seeing your beloved product in person. Take, for example, the Prada shoes I bought via SITM from Great Bargains. Online, they looked a little bit platformy, and pretty cool. In person, notsoverymuch. The world's most weirdly pointed/square toe. A totally bizarre sole. Not so good at all. And I'm not too big to admit it: the NINE Loehmann's price tags (reducereducereduce) on them didn't give me much confidence before I even opened the box.

However, there is an upside: I discovered a GREAT site that lists their stuff on SITM: Yoox. Finally, some innovation online. They have limited-edition items, vintage, high-end exclusives, and great sales.

I fell in love with these Viktor & Rolfs with gold chain decorated toes, and knew they had to be mine. And they did not disappoint. Not at all. They're not quite my Henry Beguelins, but they were half the price and all the sexy.