Friday, August 28, 2009

Tibi Trunk Show

Looking forward to fall? Stop in Urban Chic at Bethesda Lane Aug.28 from 11-8 for a Tibi trunk show, bubbly, a discount and a free gift with purchase.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bloomie's Annual Fashionable Fundraiser

If you're looking for a good excuse to go shopping, you just might have one. From Aug. 27 till Aug. 30, Bloomingdale's has pledged to raise $75,000 for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS research, dedicated to helping stop the AIDS epidemic. And you can help by shopping in any Bloomingdale's store during the Fashionable Fundraiser in Black and White. Check out the deals under the black and white spotlights, watch classic black & white films in the movie lounge, win gifts and more. Designer Kenneth Cole, amfAR board chairman, designed the Fashionable Fundraiser t-shirt. 75% of the $35 price goes directly to amfAR.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Simply Santa Fe

I frequently go to New Mexico so today we're doing a little Shop Talk Santa Fe. There are so many wonderful stores for unique clothing, art and furniture, but I'll start with a Plaza staple. Simply Santa Fe was a must-stop on the Plaza long before all the other stores sprouted up and Santa Fe became SANTA FE. (Believe it or not, the famed downtown Plaza was once just a square with a Woolworth's and stores selling beaded belts and souvenirs.) Simply Santa Fe sells unique women's clothing on the main floor, some funky but all fashion forward. I spotted a fabulous white brocade coat and an embellished dress, two of the many things I'm unlikely to find in Bethesda. The top two floors are devoted to whimsical furnishings, dishes and accessories. The Italian porcelain plates I bought here years ago are my entertaining staples. My house-bored husband even gets excited about their furniture; I had to drag him out of a leather rocker, now on the list for our Southwestern someday dream house. This bed makes sleeping under the stars an everyday reality.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

My MoCo Tomato

Drumroll please! My first Black Krim (or Crim) tomato of the season, grown just on the edge of a landscaped bed. And, from a plant I grew from a baby given to me from my good friends' wondrous garden in Gaithersburg ... (which you WILL read about one day soon, promise). Anyway, it's perfect. The color and deep green top are all part of its natural beauty. Now, the point of this tomato is to harvest the seeds to plant for NEXT year - NOT to go buy plants, but to make my own by harvesting the seeds and planting them in little peat pots next year. Why am I writing about tomatoes on MoCo Scene you might ask? This tomato's roots are entirely MoCo. It came from a seed harvested from a plant grown locally last year. This tomato was grown sans chemicals, sprays or anything more than benign neglect and some water. That's how we roll around here. And, I've been super busy with travels and work and what not. Now, I've got to go get a knife and some salt.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Is 'Combat Ready' Camp Out Ready?

My daughter and her boyfriend, a newly commissioned Army officer, are going camping next weekend. My daughter suffers from bug bite overload (huge, painful welts). She's anticipating that this week's camping trip (in muggy August) will be challenging. They're packing Combat Ready Balm by Skincando to see if it's up to task. It's a wonderfully rich and creamy skin balm I found around the corner from my house at Village Green Apothecary. (Check the website for more locations.) The bonus is the cream's soothing but aggressive bug bite relief.  So much so that Skincando owner Sara Damelio ships the stuff by the crateful to our soldiers fighting in Iraq to ease their flea-bitten, sunburned skin. She's running a campaign called Operation Sand Flea--for a $12 donation she'll send a jar to a soldier with a gift card and thank you note. I'm sending a jar with my daughter and newly commissioned officer for camp combat. We'll debrief next week. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Street Glam

In addition to runner-up Korto Momolu (video here) from television's "Project Runway," Saturday's Street Glam Fashion Event in downtown Silver Spring will feature Miss Maryland Teen 2008, Ana Maria Lawson,  and Miss Ghana USA 2009, Krystle Simpson, in an outdoor fashion spectacular sponsored by the city, Kustom Looks Clothier and Evolutionary Man. The fashion expo, including fashion workshops and other events, starts at 4 pm; two fashion shows, "Street" and "Glam" start at 6, and the VIP bash starts at 9. Meet the designers, models and more. For a complete schedule of events click here. Standing room is free. Tickets are $75 and $125 VIP.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Harriet today, gone tomorrow?

Run--don't walk--to Harriet Kassman in Mazza Gallerie to get 50%-80% off everything in the store, including bridal and fabulous names like MaxMara, Armani, Valentino. Details below.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Gaga over Giggle

What a perfect name for a baby store: Giggle. When I dropped by the store in Chevy Chase, I was immediately drawn in by the whimsical window displays and bright, cheerful interior. I was impressed by the store's selection of streamlined strollers, clothes, organic linens and toys, organized and labeled on clean white wooden shelves. Standouts were a bright tea set from recycled plastic and a baby rocker made from sleek dark wood fit for the living room. Giggle also offers story time for the little tykes. But be careful, once they get inside this fun store, they may not want to come out. Nor may you. Click here to find 20%-70% savings during Giggle's summer sale.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Excited about Tights

They're back. Fall must-have? Tights. I absolutely love this August Vogue spread on the subject done only as Vogue can do it. Also for more tight-legged fun, check out the many pairs on this local blogger from  the fashion void that is DC. She's nailed the trend like nobody's bizness. (Great haircut too.) Here's a pair to get you started by Free People at Bloomingdale's.  And please, don't be afraid to tell us where to find more. 

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Arty Saturday

Today should be good: I'm planning a trip to downtown Silver Spring to check out the reopening of ArtSpring, a center started last year when five local artists got together to display their works in a neighborhood art show, which also included a wine-tasting, cupcakes and live music, provided by an artist's spouse. Proceeds went to a nonprofit. Sounds like a fun group right? They'll be at their new space on Georgia till 10 pm. 

Next up might be a trip to Ibhana boutique on Cindy Lane in Bethesda for a clearance sale and chance to pick up a free scarf. Founder Meena Tharmaratnam showcases unique clothing, hats, jewelry and accessories from around the world. 

Because I've never been to either place, it should be a great day! I'll report back with all the details later.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Friday quick bites from Lifetime to dining to shopping

Anticipate: Look for DC writer Cathy Alter's Up For Renewal on Lifetime in the near future. Yes, our local girl made good and just found out her book has been optioned for Lifetime Television. She's wondering who should play her? She suggests Tori Spelling. I say No Way. How about the lovely Sarah Jessica Parker or a more earthbound Cameron Diaz? Much more Cathy-esque.

Dine and Relax: Don't know where to eat? Try redDog Cafe on Grubb Road in Rock Creek Shopping Center, Silver Spring (very close to Chevy Chase). Chef Michael Chretien, formerly of Rock Creek in Mazza Gallerie, whips up a mean gazpacho served in a martini glass. That, the tender scallops served with cauliflower gratin and a glass of crisp white wine on the patio starts the weekend off right.

Shop: Have you visited the new stores on Wisconsin Place yet? Baby store Giggle is well-organized. Its bright white shelves are stocked with everything from organic baby clothes to all-natural baby skincare to a cute, unique selection of toys. Also in the shopping center are a spanking new BCBG Max Azria and White House Black Market, which just opened yesterday. 

Bon Weekend!

Bethesda is a Snoburb?

Tell me it ain't so. When I checked out Lydia Sullivan's for my magazine column, I was laughing my head off reading the community satire on her blog. She takes the overachieving lifestyle of the Bethesda environs and turns it on its head, providing a good dose of self-deprecating humor and giving us all a chance to look at ourselves (or for sure our neighbors) and stop overachieving long enough for a good laugh.  She's taken it one step further with T-shirts, including one with a MoCo logo new in July. For you yahoos out there, MoCo stands for the well-heeled DC 'burbs known as Montgomery County where several public schools regularly make Newsweek's Top 100 list and where everyone, well, is just better than everyone else. Lydia is a longtime area resident and loves the city and its people. But she just can't help herself from having a little tongue-in-cheek fun. Soft cotton tees come in sizes for all ages and in a slim cut. Graphics include "hobbies" like Thinker (my son Will, above) and Writer. There's a succinct I Got In with an Ivy leaf emblazoned on the front as well as one that boasts My internship is more impressive. Well, National Institutes of Health is in my backyard: doesn't that go without saying? My own dear MoCo-raised and W-school wunderkind son and his friend Rafi were kind enough to pose in the shirts. Rafi's fave: MD > VA. Lydia is also making some shirts going the other direction. But I won't mention those here.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Joyful Bath cleans up in Hollywood

Not even a year ago, bath-lover Rochel Roland created  Joyful Bath Co. out of a need for good bath salts to soothe her aching muscles (she's a speed skater too). Now the Kensington resident is getting ready for a September trip to Hollywood for Emmy week.  Her all-natural concoctions have not only helped her aching muscles, they've soothed the psyches of celebs like Brooke Shields, Reese Witherspoon, Halle Barry and others as part of Hollywood Moms Swag Bags. (I was the lucky Twitter winner of Ginger Snap, which I love post-workout.) The Citrus Buzz salts were inside The Buzz Girls swag bag at the "Confessions of a Shopaholic" DVD premiere bash. The Bath Mixologist has a background in earth sciences and mixes eco- and skin-friendly ingredients like oatmeal, vanilla and lavender with natural sea and Epsom salts that other eco-minded souls are snapping up by the bucket. What's next? Oprah? Well, yes. The talk show host is one of many high-profile celebs that will get a gift box containing Joyful Bath salts among the swag presented by Grammy-givers Distinctive Assets. Visit the Bethesda showroom on Wednesdays; see the bath salts 24/7 here.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance?

My husband, friends and I stood at the edges of the dance floor Friday night at the Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo Park with tentative, somewhat queasy smiles on our faces. Forcing bravado, I said, "Let's do it. Let's get on the floor." A friend replied, "Well we are. Once we figure out what to do out there." Oh, that's easy, I thought, in my newfound brazen dancer mode. Because I could cut a mean country-western swing in my Tucson college days, I assumed conquering the group contra would be as easy as a promenade and a dosey do. Wrong.  "No your other left," one man said as he tried to get my arm into the square-circle configuration as I marched to the right. "Now spin!" Right, spin. Struggling to keep moving, keeping left from right, spinning the woman in the middle, now the other guy, now my husband, now line up, stomp stomp stomp, I felt rivulets of sweat trickling down my back, which were quickly flowing into a river. My friends were lost in the crowd. I was dizzy and short of breath. Ecstatic, red-faced and dripping, we twirled to meet the next couple. My husband and I had gone from two spastic stiffs on the sidelines to two dancers among many merged in the graceful kaleidoscope that was contra dance at the (un-air-conditioned) Spanish Ballroom. Our group, first-timers there for a birthday, loved it and is going back--early, 7:30 sharp, for the lesson. For $9 we get to leave our dancing insecurities behind, burn a couple hundred calories and "dance like the dickens" as Joe Ely would say. (Click here to see full lyrics and play the song. Though they didn't play it on contra night, which isn't country swing, Ely's "West Texas Waltz" is one of my all-time dance faves and perfectly captures the spirit of the night.)

Dancing in the Spanish Ballroom, photo courtesy of Bruce Douglas
(from the website)