Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jose Andres packs the house at Jaleo

Last night's event at Bethesda's  Jaleo starring Chef Jose Andres of the PBS show, Made in Spain, was packed from start to way past finish. Fans thronged in to join a line that snaked the length of the restaurant for a chance to meet the ebullient Andres and get a signed copy of his cookbook, Made in Spain. The tapas at $4 were magnifico--we enjoyed garlic chicken, endive stuffed with cheese and almonds and exquisite figs with bacon. Even better than the food and half-price drink specials was the presence of the very personable chef, who took time to speak with every single fan until the night was over. Viva Espana!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Calling all foodies to Jaleo

... to meet the great Spanish chef Jose Andres of Jaleo, enjoy complimentary tapas and drink specials, and snag a signed copy of his cookbook, Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen, for $25. 6-7:30

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Eight days and a gazillion pieces of Lego

Tired of spinning the dreidel? Or perhaps sick of those same old reindeer games? Ok, so why don't you build a giant menorah out of Legos? Think I'm kidding? I'm not. There's a whole new spin on holiday fun on Sunday in Bethesda Lane for those of you with lots of chanukah spirit-- and fine motor skills. The event also includes hot latkes, gelt, a magic show and music.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I want you so bad it's driving me mad

I Want You! 
I want you so baad
I want you
I want you so bad it's driving me mad
It's driving me mad.

_I Want You (She's so heavy)
John Lennon/Paul McCartney

A little birthday madness for MoCo today. 
THE holiday shoe. 
Badgley Mischka $215

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tom Binns, Tim Burton, Red Queen--Oh My!

As if the March 2010 premiere of Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland" weren't enough to generate some visual excitement, innovative jewelry designer Tom Binns has created two Alice-inspired jewelry lines to debut in the spring. The Signature line is comprised of six pieces based on the five main characters--notably the fashion-forward Red Queen--and will retail for $1,000 - $3,000 in fine boutiques and jewelry stores. The Couture line features 35 pieces incorporating photo inlay and Swarovski crystals and will go for $50 - $250. I. Can't. Wait. Binns says in the NYT Magazine that "With 'Alice,' I could be my mad self, but in the context of Tim Burton's 'Alice,' my madness actually seemed rather tame." To get the full effect, watch the movie trailer here. We're predicting 2010 as the year of Burton-inspired fashion fantasy. By then, we may be all too happy to slip down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Note: A retrospective of Burton's work is on display at MOMA till April 26.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Extra-special holiday surprise

Know a special girl who deserves some top-of-the-line pampering this year?? Cyla Weiner and her sister, Helen Kestler, the lingerie experts of Sylene in Chevy Chase, are offering an exquisite holiday gift to two lucky women this year. The sisters' shop is best known as the "go-to" place for lovely lingerie, post-surgery bra fittings and expert advice. Now they're willing to come to the recipient's home, sort through her intimates, tell her what works and what doesn't, and what she should toss or keep. After a glass of bubbly she'll be whisked away to Sylene for a private fitting and shopping spree, where she'll enjoy champagne and hors d'ouevres as she browses through luxurious lingerie from La Perla, Eres, Simone Perele, Hanky Panky, Cosabella and many more. The lucky lady will receive all the store's trademark "S Factor" bras: seamless, sexy, strapless, sport, spa, specialty, three undies, two shapewear pieces, one sleepwear ensemble ....and a swimsuit! After the shopping spree, a driver whisks this lucky shopper back home to revel in her new lingerie. Have just the right person in mind? Perhaps yourself?? Contact Cyla Weiner at Sylene for all the details: 301-654-4200.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Whole Lotta Things Going On

It's shopping, special events and even Walter Johnson H.S. Madrigals.

Start today with amazing discounts at Bethesda Row during today's Fashion The Perfect Holiday Event. Find deals everywhere from bluemercury to Lou Lou to Redwood for drinks.  See deals here:

Next head up to Stretchalicious at Cabin John Mall to preview chic styles from My Best Friend's Closet, a new biz featuring deeply discounted gently used clothing for teens & "the young at heart."

Need the sound of angelic voices? Go hear the Walter Johnson High School Madrigals tonight at Rockville Town Square Holiday Open House. Hark the Herald Angels Sing. No, not the song, I'm talking about the Madrigals, a truly talented bunch of kids.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Belina Boutique 70% off sale

Need a turkey break? Shop! Save up to 70% on Velvet, Trina Turk, Vince and more at Belina Boutique at Wildwood Shopping Center in Bethesda. The sale runs through the end of December.

Belina Boutique
10215 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814

Don't miss Black Friday specials at Daisy Too and Zelaya Shoes in downtown Bethesda.
4940 St. Elmo Ave
Bethesda MD 20814

Bethesda Row does Black Friday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Adderally Inspired

When I went to Teaism in Penn Quarter last Friday to hear Stephen Elliott read from his book The Adderall Diaries, I really didn't know what to expect. I wasn't familiar with Adderall. I'd read about the book (albeit too quickly) and it seemed to be a murder mystery/memoir. Then I read (very quickly) about other things the author had written, including one about Democrats and elections, and so I brought my husband along. I expected to have a glass of wine, listen to the reading, leave and go out to dinner. What I DIDN'T expect was to be glued to my seat, mesmerized, through about three readings (his Q&A usually segued into his reading from another chapter) and wanting more. Carried away, I even asked a question about honesty and self-censoring in memoir. He gave me a lengthy answer. Other people asked questions. I was riveted by the answers. I was not particularly comfortable in the jammed space, twisted sideways to see him. But I didn't want to move. My husband liked his humor and intelligence. I liked the way he looked us in the eye when he spoke. When it was over, I continued to sit. Give. Me. More. I bought the book, had him sign it and went home to read everything I could about this writer. What a story. Not only is his talent unbelievable, so is his life. I stayed up half the night reading the book, and when I finally fell asleep, I was jolted awake as the words from the book wove through my dreams. So much of it is like poetry, which he says he always wrote on snippets of paper growing up. I am grateful for that hour or so at Teaism, and being completely transported from words read out loud from a book. Here's a Vanity Fair quote poached from Elliott's website: "Elliott may be writing under the influence, but it's the influence of genius." Don't know about the "influence" but I can attest to the genius.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New store Bellissima at 7 Wisconsin Circle in Chevy Chase is a European-style "one-stop shop" store says manager, Luise Estelle, a native German. Inside are gifts, cosmetics, an endermologie treatment room, a complete line of Swarovski crystal and jewelry by local designer Mindy Lam. Estelle also sells her own eponymous skincare line in the store. Bellissima is a monthly Friday-night gathering spot for women to hear guest speakers and enjoy a drink. Coming up Dec. 4 are plastic surgeons Dr. Drew Varano and Dr. Ravi Dahiya; January 8 features women's networking guru Cynthia de Lorenzi, founder of Success in the City. Visit or call (301-215-7525) the store for a complete schedule and get a free Estee Lauder compact and bronzer while supplies last. Those of you familiar with the former Uptown Gifts in Tenleytown may remember Bellissima owner Shelley Zhang, whose husband owns Asian eatery, Uptown Cathay.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Can't Judge a Boutique by its Cover

Drop inside Ginger, the upscale women's boutique on Bethesda Row, and you'll often find more going on inside than beautiful clothes. The store's Veterans Day event in support of the Wounded Warrior Project had locals pouring in to help launch Suzanne Somersall Allis' in-store jewelry boutique and support our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. The emotion was evident on the designer's face as she described how happy she was to be able to see her husband Brian, a Marine stationed in Afghanistan, when he arrives home soon for a two-week break. Not only did we love Suzanne's ethereal pieces--delicate starfish, coral, and sparkly flowers--we sipped bubbly and enjoyed appetizers from Redwood and sweets from Georgetown Cupcake. Providing great conversation was a slew of fashion-conscious writers--friends of Ginger owner Gretchen Hitchner, a former Capitol Hill press secretary who received her master's degree from Johns Hopkins. My daughter even popped in for a surprise visit with her friends. The highlight for her was meeting Cathy Alter, the heroine of memoir Up for Renewal.

Above, Suzanne shows off her Lemon pendant necklace, inspired by Pablo Neruda's poem, A Lemon.

Denim for All Humanity

Bring your used-up denim jeans to National Jean Company in Bethesda tonight from 6-9 and buy a new pair at 20% off. Plus you get the benefit of having the expert eye of J Brand's chief stylist available to help you choose the right pair. All used jeans go to Habitat for Humanity to help provide insulation. Local company Green-A-Porter will be there selling their environmentally friendly tote bags, entitling shoppers to discounts at participating shops and access to monthly events.

7301 Woodmont Ave., Bethesda, 301-907-9295

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Celebrating Shoes, Friendship and Books

Before there was Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin, there was Beth Levine, a visionary whose fashion-forward shoes were worn by '60s icons Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Barbara Streisand. Author Helene Verin, a professor at FIT, tells Levine's story in Beth Levine Shoes, she also gives those of us who love shoes a revelatory glimpse into 20th century shoe design. Luckily for us she will be in town to talk about her book Friday at noon at the JCC of Greater Washington as part of their 40th annual Book Festival, which kicks off Nov. 5. Another don't-miss is author Jeffrey Zaslow on Monday night at 7 pm to discuss The Girls from Ames, his book about 11 women who remained best friends for over 40 years. Can't wait to hear his "man-thoughts" on what seems to mystify men even more than women's obsession with footwear: our ties to our girlfriends.

The festival runs through Nov. 15 and features 25 different authors and events. Tickets are available online or at the Festival box office.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Flower Power

Need flowers? Log onto Petals for the People, an online flower subscription service that hit MoCo this summer. Owner Sarah von Pollaro of DC's Urban Petals creates unique flower arrangements for weddings and events, and is willing to share her expertise and fresh flowers with us, the people - those people struggling to make generic grocery store flowers (spray-painted carnations sound familiar?) look "new." Sarah says that many of her friends and clients ask her where to get fresh flowers. She didn't have a good answer until she decided to bring her own fresh petals to the people. She orders stems in bulk, delivers a big bundle to you weekly or biweekly to your home or a central pickup point, and provides a video and tips on her website so you too can be a flower arranger extraordinaire. (Click here and watch Sarah composing a fall arrangement on Channel 8.) The people spoke. The people got flowers.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Honey I'm Gonna Fix the Kids!

Take a break and listen to psychotherapist and author of Honey I Wrecked the Kids! Alyson Shafer tonight at Daisy Baby in Bethesda. Local environmental company Green A-Porter are hosting with Daisy Baby to benefit BabyLove DC. Purchase a Green A-Porter tote, have a drink, get parenting advice, enter a raffle and relax in the beautiful, tranquil store full of lovely baby furniture, lush upscale bedding, toys and more.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Unitee Rocks It at Madison Square Garden

Congrats to Tami Kole Mensh of Unitee for getting herself and her fabulous new line of yoga/music fusion apparel and jewelry backstage at the official Gift Lounge of the 25th Anniversary of the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Concert at Madison Square Garden Oct. 29 & 30 to rock it with The Boss, Bono, Eric Clapton, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin. How amazing is that??!! Tami is a Gaithersburg entrepreneur who has been selling her supersoft yoga wear online and at local shows and fairs. Most recently you might have seen her at Temple Beth Ami and The Potomac Community Center. Now she's jumping straight to the heart of NYC to rock and roll and show off her new line, featuring the retro 45 RPM LP adapter. We're just hoping she'll come back with lots of pictures to share with us and more than a few autographed items for herself!

"Peace, Love, Rock 'n Roll!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CityShopGirl's Birthday Party

First off, I must apologize for a very tardy post and then also for not posting much of anything at all. It is awful when things like travel, work and family get in the way of blogging.

Saturday night started off with a lively cocktail party for those of us who ventured out to Lotus Lounge to celebrate Kelly Collis Fredrick's first year as publisher of CityShopGirl and the culmination of her enterprising citywide Scavenger Hunt in which subscribers gathered items from local businesses from clues on CityShopGirl emails, Facebook and Twitter. Sara Damelio of Skincando, who partnered with Kelly for the Scavenger Hunt, was there with a supply of Combat Ready Balm. We gave a $5 donation to help supply our troops with the soothing balm and also got a raffle ticket. Though I was in Japan for most of the Hunt, I did enter the raffle--and WON A PRIZE! YAY! Two free deep conditioning treatments at de la ines salon worth $50 each. Micha Weinblatt of Crooked Monkey (who recently had his own fab party) came with his roommate to wish Kelly well. Stylists from Bella Bethesda
Salon did makeovers and hair. I mostly sat at the bar and gossiped with my friend, Zena; Kelly worked the gig all night in stunning skin-tight leather pants. As she walked by, someone whispered, "She's a mom with two kids, you know." Ya know--so am I. But I looked as though I was separated at birth from my pal Zena Polin, who also chose to wear a print jersey dress and black boots. Great minds! The grand prize winner of the scavenger hunt was VERY happy to receive over a gift basket with over $2,500 worth of prizes. Wow! Congrats Kelly! Congrats Sara! You pulled off a massive undertaking supporting our local businesses as well as our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. And we loved the party too!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bethesda Artist Market

Look for fine jewelry, pottery, paintings and craft at the Bethesda Artist Market Saturday at Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenue. The works of 25 local artists will be represented including jewelry makers and artists from Bethesda, Cabin John, Chevy Chase and Silver Spring. Find a unique piece of jewelry or art and support your local artists--including those supplying the live music throughout the day: the Potomac Jazz Trio, indie band Naked Blue and acoustic guitar player, Lea.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Local artist rocks Lady Gaga!

How cool is this?? Two of my very favorites: Artist Anna Rose Soevik and pop singer Lady Gaga!  Anna painted Lady Gaga for a fundraiser to benefit YouthAids. Anna's done her share of celebrities including President Obama, Robert Kennedy, musicians including Bono, sports figures like Washington Capital Alexander Ovechkin and now the incredibly cool Gaga, whose manager came across Anna's website and was impressed enough to get in touch. Now Lady Gaga wants to use the portrait on her website. Anna hopes that it will encourage more celebrities to have their portraits done for good causes.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Fierce Style Comes to Bethesda

Project Runway designer Christian Siriano brings his fierce style to Westfield Montgomery Mall at 1 pm Saturday, Oct. 3 as part of the Westfield Style Tour. The tour starts Friday at noon with fashion shows, events and activities that go on all weekend. The highlight is Modelinia Style Sessions, during which shoppers can consult with a celebrity stylist to get a personalized look and a "fashion recipe," which details outfit suggestions and discounts. Participating retailers include Nordstrom, Ann Taylor (I LOVE the new looks at Ann Taylor), Banana Republic, Eileen Fisher and Zara. So go, get some amazing free advice, discover your style, pull your look together, and enter to win a trip to NYC Fashion Week in 2010. For more info, check westfield.com.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Taste of Bethesda celebrates 20 years!

What is this?? It's a gigantic pan of paella cooked up by Jaleo chefs for the annual Taste of Bethesda foodie extravaganza. The festival celebrates 20 years (!!) Oct. 3 at Woodmont Triangle. Over 50 restaurants will serve up representative "tastes" from their menus. Look for sushi from Matuba, shepherd's pie from RiRa, wings from Caddies and more. Admission is free; taste tickets come in bundles of four for $5. Not only is there food, there's live entertainment including swing, Motown and jazz music, and Chinese, Indian, Middle Eastern and Mexican dance. Kids get to decorate cookies and of course, get their little mugs decorated too. For more information click here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Contemporary Art Award Finalists!

Visit Bethesda's Fraser Gallery for a look at the work of eight local artists--all Bethesda Contemporary Art Award finalists. The Carol Trawick prize went to Rene Trevino of Baltimore this year and his work will be showcased alongside seven of his contemporaries, including Laure Dragoul, who did the interactive artwork incorporating light vibration and worms. It's a can't-miss exhibition of eclectic contemporary art. The show runs through Oct. 3. Read the Washington Post review here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fashion Week Education

Just coming off the high of Fashion Week, which actually inspired me to part with a few pennies and shop, I got this timely notice from Amazon.com about some books to further enhance my fashion education. Because I go by my sometimes errant eye and instinct, I'm eager to peruse what the experts have to say. Here are a few Amazon chose to highlight:

Glamour: A History

The Sartorialist

Louis Vuitton

Avedon Fashion: 1944-2000

Glamour: A History

The Sartorialist

Louis Vuitton

Avedon Fashion: 1944-2000

Underneath It All

Model, Incorporated

Bag and Shoe Design: Hester van Eeghen

Cartier I Love You

Underneath It All

Model, Incorporated

Bag and Shoe Design: Hester van Eeghen

Cartier I Love You

Friday, September 25, 2009

CityShopGirl Citywide Scavenger Hunt!

CityShopGirl is turning 1 in October! And like most birthday parties, fun and games are involved. But this one, a scavenger hunt, involves the entire metro area, a good cause and fantastic prizes. To join the fun, you must 1. Subscribe to CityShopGirl  2. Follow the clues on @cityshopgirl on Twitter and CityShopGirl emails  3. Show up at the cocktail party at Lotus Lounge Oct. 17 when the winners will be announced and the prize, worth over $2,500, awarded. The creative and enterprising team of Bethesda native Kelly Collis Fredrick, publisher of CityShopGirl, and Sarah Damelio of organic skincare company Skincando teamed up to promote local businesses and support Skincando's Operation Sand Flea. MoCo participants include Ginger, Urban Chic, National Jean Company, De La Ines Salon, ILORI, Sweetgreen, Still Point Spa, Red Dog, Crooked Monkey and LA Boxing, plus more from DC. There will be a suggested donation of $5 (and well-deserved) at the party to support Skincando's Operation Sand Flea, which sends burn- and itch-relieving Combat Ready Balm to our troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Subscribers can sign up as individuals or a team (up to 4 members) by emailing rsvp@cityshopgirl.com

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cathy Alter on post-memoir consequences

In case you missed the chapter of Fall for the Book that starred literary nonfiction duo Cathy Alter and David Shields last night at George Mason University, you can catch Cathy tonight at 7 pm when she reads from her hilarious, insightful and painfully honest memoir, Up For Renewal: What Magazines Taught me about Love, Sex, and Starting Over, at Barnes & Noble, 1851 Fountain Drive in Reston. Her book begins at a post-divorce low and ends up, well, you have to read it. In addition to the reading, Cathy will be sharing the consequences of writing a memoir before everyone in it has died--and yes, that includes her mother-in-law and parents. With Cathy's intelligence, straightforward style and warm sense of humor, the event is guaranteed to be a winner.

Joyful Bath Co. cleans up Hollywood

Look who's hanging with Emmy Awards host Neil Patrick Harris! It's Rochel Roland of Bethesda's Joyful Bath Co. who presented her therapeutic bath salts and custom-themed rubber duckies to celebs--including Mad Men's Michael Gladis and Gary Cole of Entourage--at an Emmy week swag event at the Luxe Hotel on Rodeo Drive. From brewing up bath salts in the kitchen to Hollywood! Go Rochel! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Spa Week is almost here!

It's time to pick up the phone and start booking appointments: Spa Week is coming Oct. 12-18. Local spas are offering a huge array of services for just $50. It's like getting a gift certificate for no reason (other than we all need a  little rejuvenating downtime.) I'm booked and ready to enjoy a much-needed "stress melter" and a facial at my neighborhood Red Door. Other local venues include Hela Spa & Ted Gibson Salon, Jolie Day Spa, Veria Wellness Center, Perez Salon, Renu Med Spa, The Salon & Spa at Saks, Dermatology and Skin Care Center, Roxsan, Massage Heights and many more! Please visit www.spaweek.com for a complete list of services and locations (nationwide).  

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Basler debuts at Tysons Galleria

Here are some more shots from Saturday's fashion show at ALL ACCESS: Fashion! The first Basler store in the US opened in Tysons Galleria; CEO Armin Fichtel says Basler offers sophisticated, accomplished women high-quality, well-fitting European clothing at sensible price points. Here are a few highlights from Saturday's Basler show:

Moderator Jennifer Barger of FW

Maurisa Turner Potts and Christine Brooks-Cropper of GWFCC