Saturday, April 27, 2013

Raise a Hat to "High Society"!

On Wednesday, April 3, Veranda Magazine co-hosted the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House annual Spring Gala themed "High Society" at Cipriani, New York City.  Thirty tables, each decorated by a different renowned New York designer were featured at the event...and this year, I was one of them!

I themed my table "Meet the Strutters" in honor of our lovely table hosts for the evening, Penelope and Pierre Strutter.  These two peacocks were artfully designed from orchids and feathers.  We even found a tiny top hat at the toy store for Pierre and a beautiful silver necklace for Penelope.

Prior to the event, I spent some time hunting at one of my favorite fabric stores, Mood, and found this fabulous vintage tablecloth.  I cut "pocket squares" of the same fabric to tuck inside the napkins.

Since the table vibe was "High Society" with a muted color palette - I wanted to add a little 'pop' with  mini champagne bottles that doubled as place cards.  My friends at Christofle donated beautiful champagne cork holders as party favors for guests.

I found these great feather wraps online to hang on the ladies chair backs.  We added a bit of flair to a simple black top hat with art-deco vintage buttons (also found at MOOD!) and placed those on the men's chair backs.

So many of the tables that evening left me awe-struck and inspired. Oh my Vreeland!  A tribute to Diana Vreeland by Andrea Stark and Lewis Miller Design.  Seriously, ah-maze.

 David Duncan Antiques table "Up, Up & Away" left me elated.

A wonderful tribute to the movie "High Society" was featured right next to our table.

I'm so in love with this one, I'm seeing double.

Some more of the beautiful designs from the evening, I wish I could have captured them all, but cocktails, dinner, dancing and a silent auction kept us busy!

Me with my dream team pictured below--except James Francois-Pijuan (not pictured), who worked his magic on the florals.  Also, my dream necklace from the silent auction...I wonder who the lucky winner was?

To be in company with such esteemed designers was a a thrill--and, to help such a wonderful cause was an honor.  The Lenox Hill Neighborhood House began as the Community's First Free Kindergarten and it continues to serve those in need who live, work or attend school on the East Side of Manhattan. The gala raised  over $1.3 million dollars and received wonderful press and awareness.

Hats off (until next year...).

Check out some of the great press here:

My fun interview with Refinery 29:

Saturday, April 13, 2013

West Side GreenFlea Market

I love a good Flea Market.  One of my favorites happens most every weekend on the Upper West Side of NYC.  I have found inspiration, hand-crafted pieces and antique collectibles. If you are up for a fun afternoon or just feel that your space is missing something...I am sure you will find it here!

A few Flea Market finds from my recent visit.  Kick off your shoes, have a seat and stay a while...

I cannot get enough of peacocks lately--what a chic chair! I also love the heather grey and yellow color story on this grommeted chair--it could look so cute in front of a vanity or as a "one-off" in a sitting vignette.

Chandeliers, vintage lockets, glass bottles, and the perfect "apartment doggie".  Just a few of the things I saw and loved from out in the open air market. For a full list of outdoor vendors, follow this link:

And then I went inside!  My friend Stefi found this great vintage jacket and squash blossom-style necklace.  An old-school sewing machine table could add a lot of charm to a room.  And, as corny as they may be, I used to have a pig collection as a kid, when I saw these, I remembered them well! I wonder where they landed?  Maybe here?! 

How sweet is this silver tray and brass monkey?  This gold plated necklace could finally convince me to wear a watch.

Want to see more from inside vendors? Follow this link to see a full list of vendors for the indoor portion of the market:

You just never know who you might meet at the Flea!

A great weekend outing could be waiting for you.  Also a unique place to bring visitors from out of town. No admission charges, the market is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 5:45pm.

Happy Hunting!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tickled Pink in Boston.

Pink runways, Cartier, and Prada--oh my!

On March 21st, Saks Fifth Avenue at the Prudential Center in Boston hosted a 'hot pink party' to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.  I was lucky enough to fly up to the event with the Estee Lauder team and share in some of the love.

Pretty in Pink: Models welcoming guests at entrance to the event.

We started our day with a meeting at Winston Flowers ( followed by a traditional Boston stop at Legal Seafood with board members and BCRF leaders Lucretia Gilbert, Elisha Daniels, Kelley Doyle and Katherine Minster.  After a late lunch and great conversation, it was time to put the finishing touches to Saks second floor of high fashion!  Over 200 guests came out to support the cause and raise money for breast cancer research. BCRF president Myra Biblowit, fashionista Tonya Mezrich, Tiffany Ortiz, Elisha Daniels and my friend Erica Corsano of the RealReal were some of the noteworthy names in attendance that night.

And, oh what night it was! A tinted pink runway, sun-kissed makeovers, delicious pink hued cocktails, and an array of hors d'oeuvres that included oysters resting atop mini beds of ice and duck confit cakes. A Dee Jay, a photo booth and multiple personal shoppers added to the party atmosphere to help guests with their purchases.

Don't try to slow us down tonight, we are on Cartier time.

Guests shopping, drinking, dining and in a very pink mood.

It was so good to reconnect with my friend and style guru Erica Corsano of the RealReal!  And, other fashionista 'guests' such as Alexander McQueen, Prada and many more!

The beautiful Elisha Daniels, author of "You Can Do This! Surviving Breast Cancer Without Losing Your Sanity or Your Style",  Fashion Director at Nieman Marcus and all-around amazing lady!

A pink runway led the way to a memorable night...

I am so looking forward to hopping back over from NYC to Boston in a few weeks for the May 8th Hot Pink Party!

Details here: please come join us!


Monday, April 8, 2013

Happy Birthday, UPLIFT!

When my inspiring (and uber fit!) friend Leanne Shear told me she was going to live her dream a couple of years ago, I couldn't wait to see this amazing dream she was weaving! A place in New York City that helps women reach their goals to not just a healthier lifestyle, but a happier one, too?

Could the name be more perfecto?

I'd like to think I don't have a ton of 'issues' around self esteem and confidence in general--but holy moly, when it comes to the gym, you would think I was the Mayor of Slump City!  So, the idea of a women-only studio uplifted ME immediately!  A boutique fitness studio that offers group classes, personal training, and even private events. Yes, finally a place where women can go to work out without the pressures of a traditional gym.

Uplift co-founders Helena Wolin and Katie Currie hosting a signature Workout & Wine class

Straight from the mouths of babes (hot, Uplifting babes at that!): "Uplift is not just a place to work out – it is a place where women come to do something great for themselves in a fun, friendly and, yes, Uplift-ing atmosphere. We were founded on the philosophy that working out and having an active social life are two of the key components to creating happy, successful lives for women in New York City. Uplift is committed to the empowerment, support and camaraderie of and among our clients." 

Sounds pretty amazing, right? It gets better. So, they offer a signature class called Workout & Wine.  Leanne asked if I wanted to partake in one...Duh.  I immediately thought of the perfect co-host, Karla Lightfoot, to help get this party worked out.

Uplift co-founder Leanne Shear with Karla Lightfoot, Hypnotherapist

Post Workout & Wine talk with Karla Lightfoot on mind over matter

A family that practices yoga and pours wine together, stays together...
Sister Yoginis Ashley & Brittany Costa (also, my cousins!)

 Guests at Workout & Wine class enjoying wine, healthy snacks
 and a copy of my book

Happy Birthday Upflift!  I'm so proud of you, Leanne, Helena and Katie.

Get Uplifted ladies, you won't regret it! Come join us at a class:


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mermaids, Martinis & MAC!

On a dark and snowy evening in March, there was a bright spot shining on Fifth Avenue! When the talented public relations Vice President at MAC Cosmetics called me about hosting a party at their new flagship on Fifth, I was pretty excited!  I have loved the brand for many years and was really jazzed about celebrating their new line "Archie's Girls", hot off the shelves. We thought it was the perfect moment to host a night of makeovers, martinis, and entertaining styles to welcome Spring.

Over 100 guests braved the weather for our Spring soiree. And, reviews have shown they were not disappointed!  At the party, each guest received a custom bookmark along with a copy of my book, "Mermaids & Martinis" that featured my favorite entertaining rules, top MAC makeover tips, and cocktail recipes  based on the drinks served that evening.  The best part?  Guests were invited to mix their very own cocktails (with the help of the bartenders) all of which were inspired by Spring: A Plum Basil Gimlet, Strawberry Coriander, Blood Orange and of course, a classic Dirty Martini with stuffed olives.

The event was catered by renowned Chef, Olivier Cheng and the menu selections were inspired by my 'Rule of Fin' to always serve something savory, something sweet and something vegetarian at an event.

Guests dined on truffled shrimp tacos, mini chicken Caesar salad Napoleons, wild mushroom arancinis with fontina, lobster mango skewers and a dessert tray that included espresso cream puffs, pear tartlets and flourless chocolate cake with bacon caramel.

Of course, the stars of the show were the makeovers given by the incredibly talented team of MAC artists!  Everyone walked in ready for a party - and walked out ready for the runway. Or, at least a hot date!

I worked with my favorite tabletop brand, Christofle, to set a table at the event.  I thought it would be fun to mock up a dinner party for my "favorite Mermaids" as if I were having them over to my apartment.  I used MAC lipsticks as "candles" and pulled a few different pairs of lashes from MAC's awesome lash bar to create place cards where guests names were written in "lipstick" on the back.

A huge thank-you to Catherine Bomboy Dougherty, Petrina Goldman, Laethe Coleman, Katherine Gallagher, Olivier Cheng, Art by Bradley, Bott & Co. and the entire team at MAC.  I didn't think it was possible, but Fifth Avenue just became even more fantastic thanks to the addition of this beautiful spot.

Goodnight Winter, hello Spring!