King Cake

'Make It Right Foundation' Gala

May 19, 2014

Saturday night was a night filled with stars… thanks to Brad Pitt and the Make It Right Foundation, which held its second gala (the first was in 2012) at the Sugar Mill in New Orleans.

The Make it Right Foundation has created over 100 homes in New Orleans, and 200 nationwide. The evening celebrated the mission, while recognizing that there is much more work to be done.

Chris Rock (Photo by: Ada Polla) Chris Rock

Chris Rock emceed the evening, and opened the program, introducing himself as “the very famous, the one and only Chris Rock.” The audience never stopped laughing at his un-PC comments such as:

"I came to see Brad and Angie and to get back my son - they stole my son!" 

"Brad Pitt has put more black men in houses than Kim Kardashian."

"Marriage. The only license they don't check."

Brad Pitt spoke about the Foundation’s message, and introduced New Orleans’ very own Irma Thomas. "Thank you Mr. Brad Pitt" she sais, and "yes, I live in the 9th ward. "

The dinner was delicious, prepared by the famous Susan Spicer.

Notable New Orleanians were present in spades, including the mayor Mitch Landrieu, Saints coach Sean Payton and his wife, Steve Gleason and his family, architect Johnny Williams and his wife and daughter, Field Ogden and his wife Michelle, and more. 

Sandra Bullock (Photo by: Ada Polla) Sandra Bullock

The fun really started when Sandra Bullock presented a BMW for a member of the audience to go home with. She even enlisted the help of Sofia Vergara and they both got in to better describe the leather.

Finally, before the music started, Jim Gaffigan took the stage and made fun of New Orleans in the funniest of ways, including:

"Even of you are not an alcoholic it is a great city."

"I have only been here for about 8 pounds" that's how you measure your time in NOLA.” 

"There is no fish in crawfish." 

As happened at the gala in 2012, this really was an intimate concert. Kings of Leon performed, starting with Sex on Fire, followed by Trombone Shorty, who led the crowd to the music tent, where Bruno Mars put on the most amazing show, even getting Brad Pitt to come on stage, dance, and play the tambourine.

All in all, just another amazing Saturday night in the Big Easy!


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Spring Has Sprung

April 7, 2014

The official arrival of spring this week threw me into a closet cleaning craze that finally ended this morning. There is nothing that I love more than an organized closet, and purging and sorting clothes is a means to that end. Here is how I like to do it.

1.  I tackle sections of my closet at a time, instead of all of it together: shoes; workout clothes; dresses; jeans; tops. That means I can do a little bit every evening (usually with a glass of wine) and make the pleasure last!

2.  I edit based on fit, style, permanent stains, and always think about when the last time is I wore a specific item. If more than a year ago, it goes (except for evening gowns and cocktail dresses).

3.  I move those pieces that I know I should get rid of, but can’t really bring myself to, to the back of my coat closet – where I will not see them or wear them. After six months, I go back there and look again; I will usually have forgotten what is there, which means I am now emotionally ready to get rid of those items of clothing.

4.  A couple girlfriends of mine and I have started a mail clothing swap. We randomly send each other boxes of clothes that we each no longer want or that no longer fit – and from there, we take what we want and ship the rest to another girlfriend. It’s a virtuous circle of recycling. Luckily for me, most of my girlfriends are the same size and have excellent taste! This makes it easier for me to be ruthless when sorting my closet – I know it will make someone I love happy!

5.  An excellent seamstress and shoe repair angel are two must-have best friends. Closet cleaning always means there is a pile of items I need to bring to both, that will come back looking brand new and ready to be once again used.

Once I have gone through every item in my closet, it’s time to make sure everything looks and smells perfect:

1.  No wire hangers! Nothing makes a closet look more chic than matching hangers. My favorites are from The Container Store

2. Bad closet lighting does not make for fun dressing. I live in an old Georgetown row-house and wasn’t ready to spend thousands on new elecrtrical in the closets. Instead, I opted for this very easy and affordable option.

3.  I am forever fighting moths, who go after all of my cashmere sweaters. The most effective and nice-smelling solution I have found is from apothecary brand Santa Maria Novella.

Finally, it is always good to listen to fashion experts… Specifically this past week, I listened to the advice of my most stylish friend Erin and did two things based on her recommendations:

1.  Got rid of my platform heels …

2. Purchased a great new iPhone cover.

For me, the reward for closet cleaning is to purchase a few new items of clothing or shoes … and now the fun really begins!


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Snow Day in Georgetown

March 24, 2014

Despite the fact that it is officially spring, it looks like more snow is coming our way on Tuesday. While this thought is somewhat depressing given my longing for sunshine, warmth, and cherry blossoms, I am trying to prepare myself for the possibility of a snow day by thinking about what I will do Tuesday if all of my meetings are cancelled and my office officially closed. Here goes:

Georgetown in the snow, March 2014 (Photo by: Constance Chatfield-Taylor) Georgetown in the snow, March 2014

1.      Clean out a closet that I have been meaning to clean out for months. And maybe also my junk drawer.

2.      Work on getting all of my tax paperwork together.

3.      Write 5 notes or cards to people I love, just because.

4.      Make some sales calls to customers not located on the East Coast.

5.      Go for a quiet walk in snowy Georgetown, in my ski clothes.

6.      Do laundry.

7.      Have an at-home spa hour: at-home mani/pedi, and facial scrub and mask.

8.      Review the accomplishments of this first quarter and figure out what I am going to focus on during Q2.

9.      Watch The Day After Tomorrow (which I feel like I am living in!).  

10.  Start planning my next beach vacation.


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