A La Carte

Dear Casey, thank you for our new trees

November 16, 2011

Last Saturday morning you donated and planted 15 trees in Georgetown. 

new Casey Tree planted in Rose Park (Photo by: David Dunning) new Casey Tree planted in Rose Park

Your staff, along with volunteers and citizen foresters planted eight trees in and around Rose Park and the remaining seven along Dumbarton and P Streets. While you were here, you removed dead trees, and spruced up our tree boxes.

Since 2005, your flagship Community Tree Planting Program has been planting trees in neighborhoods across the city, for free. Your support of Trees for Georgetown has been especially generous.

We attached a laminated personal note to each tree you planted, explaining your wonderful program with instructions on caring for our new trees.

Friends of Rose Park thank you!

Team Casey planting trees in Rose Park (Photo by: David Dunning) Team Casey planting trees in Rose Park

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Hats on, pinkies up for Fairmont’s tea party

November 13, 2011

In a tribute to all things tea, The Fairmont hotels and resorts around the world celebrated National Tea Day, November 12, 2011.

Mary Bird, food and beverage director, Hubert Billod-Morel and Pat Skantz (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mary Bird, food and beverage director, Hubert Billod-Morel and Pat Skantz

A most delightful setting for any celebration, the lobby in The Fairmont Washington, D.C. was transformed into a sun-drenched English garden party, complete with scones, clotted cream and raspberry jam.  

Executive sous chef Ian Bens and executive pastry chef Aron Weber created the lovely tea fare, in honor of Washington Protocol Expert Carole Randolph.

Pat Skantz toasts to tea (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Pat Skantz toasts to tea

Arranged by Fairmont public relations director, Diana Bulger, guests included Barbara Ayers, Julie Taboh, Pauline Vahati, Mary Bird, Pat Skantz, Peggy Conley, Barbara McConaghy and Sharon Oakley.

Enjoying mini-sandwiches and pastries as the tea steeped, guests toasted the most cherished of British traditions with a bit of the bubbly, wine and cocktails.

Fairmont’s new regional vice president and general manager, Mark Andrew stopped by to visit with the guests.


Sharon Oakley, Carole Randolph, Peggy Conley, Diana Bulger, Julie Taboh and Barbara Ayers (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Sharon Oakley, Carole Randolph, Peggy Conley, Diana Bulger, Julie Taboh and Barbara Ayers

Mark Andrew chats with Carole and Diana (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mark Andrew chats with Carole and Diana

Pat Skantz and Carole Randolph (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Pat Skantz and Carole Randolph

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Departing for the Mandarin Oriental

November 8, 2011

Prepare to land in a tranquil oasis where your arrival is met with orchids and cranberry hibiscus tea, a most welcome sign that anything herein that buzzes or vibrates will be invigorating, not an interruption from the office.

This first visit was about starting to turn back the clock …. naturally. Nothing invasive or aggressive. No chemicals, no injectables, no down time.

Mission: to infuse my skin with vitamins while re-educating the muscles beneath the surface to regenerate cells.  

As Mandarin Oriental Spa director, Penny Kriel  explains, “The Mandarin has always had a reputation for being very holistic and committed to 100% natural and paraben-free products. With a desire for more results-driven treatments, we researched CACI, which has been quite popular in the U.K., and discovered this incredible non-invasive treatment.”

The Spa has partnered with the Somme Institute, which uses “Molecular Dispersion Technology 5 (MDT5) a revolutionary vitamin/protein delivery system that allows highly engineered vitamins (A, B3, B5, C and E) to go deep within the skin, repairing years of sun damage …” 

Mary Kong, my friendly aesthetician with flawless skin, invited me into her treatment room as she described the treatment. "CACI (Computer Aided Cosmetology Instrument pronounced Casey) brings your face back to what it once was. Like workout for the body, it’s a workout for the face. It lifts, tones, tightens, smoothes and resurfaces, It treats light scars and pigmentation, peels and exfoliates.” To be precise, the Mandarin uses the CACI ULTRA model which combines facial toning with skin regeneration technologies.

Mary Kong prepares guest for CACI facial (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Mary Kong prepares guest for CACI facial

Before she started, Mary said the texture of my skin was good and well hydrated. Diplomatically she asked if I was getting enough sleep and whether I was under stress. No and yes. Dark circles, wrinkling around the eyes, all areas she wanted to focus on.  She was candid. “I could sell you a new eye cream but there’s no substitute for rest, managing stress and a good diet.” So the good news, my moisturizers were working. But my hair was dry so a Moroccan Oil mask was in order, left in during the 80 minute CACI facial.

With the Mandarin since it opened in 2004, Mary was as enthusiastic as if she had just started with the five-star luxury hotel group. “It’s a wonderful spa, a mix of the holistic and results-driven, where aestheticians have the creative freedom to customize treatments for all our guests.”

As I reclined on a firm bed covered in fluffy white towels, Mary applied the ultrasonic handset “vibrating at 27,000 vibrations per second.” Soundlessly applying pressure, the wand exfoliated while it power cleaned.  

This time, A-Bomb, a Somme Institute moisturizer, was applied. Using the same micro-currents, my face was left super-hydrated after the cream was infused deep into my skin.

La Bella Donna make-up room (Photo by: Judith Beermann) La Bella Donna make-up room

Next, LED light therapy to soften lines. With a “wrinkle comb” resembling a metal spatula, Mary painlessly plumped out and softened deep lines, especially around the eyes.

Immediate result:  Skin refreshed, firm and no signs of redness. For maximum benefits which are expected to last over a year, a series of at least six facials within two months is advised. Basically the muscles are retrained to generate new cell growth after repeated treatments.

The most appealing part is that results are entirely based on my face. No artificial plumping, no changing the original facial proportions with fillers or Botox to mimic a younger version of me. Love the principle of restoring youthful firmness using my own muscles.

Meet me back here in January for a full report.

The Mandarin Oriental Spa offers customizable treatments for the face and body and carries (exclusively to Washington, D.C.) La Bella Donna, a line of anti-aging mineral make-up.

Penny Kriel, Spa Director (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Penny Kriel, Spa Director

The Mandarin Oriental Hotel is located at 1330 Maryland Avenue, S.W. Tel: 202.787.6101


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