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.