Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BubblyQ 2014. Because #CancerSucks

YTAC Board Members

BubblyQ 2014. Because #CancerSucks
by Ashley Powell

Ashley and her healthy cupcake from Unrefined Bakery
What could be better than being surrounded by all the beautiful people in Dallas while sipping champagne and enjoying delicious nibbles from some of the best DFW dining? The fact that it was all to benefit charity!

The seventh annual BubblyQ hosted by the Young Texans Against Cancer was hosted on Thursday, October 16th at the amazing Fearings at the Ritz Carlton. The who’s who of the 35 and under crowd showed up for this event donning their best cocktail attire and very colorful menswear. Is that a thing now? I think I saw maroon, yellow, blue, black and tweed slacks.

As a newish Dallasite who has only been in town for about 6 months I thought the event was fantastic! It was such a great way to try out so many of the restaurants I’ve been hearing about since moving here but just simply haven’t had the time.

There was a wide variety of bites to sample but since the event organizers did their job well and packed the house, it was a bit hard to stand up while eating. So, I tried things that were “standing foods,” as I so aptly named them. Like Sissy’s Southern Kitchen’s shrimp & grits, which was served with a fork! So delicious. I’ll be going to try out a full meal there soon. There was no shortage of sweet treat options and a health-conscious girl like myself was very happy to see a “healthy” chocolate cupcake made by the Unrefined Bakery. These cupcakes are gluten free, soy free and dairy free! The ambiance was chic, young and fashionable. With 4 different rooms to walk through, 3 bars and 18 sample stations of food and sweets there was never a lack of things to do or peruse. There was also a live auction with all of the items to bid on laid out in one of the rooms. Kudos to this amazing group of people who raised $175,000 from the event for the fight against cancer. I’m happy to have been able to attend this event and look forward to attending again next year! To learn more about BubblyQ and Young Texans Against Cancer, visit

Here are some images from the event courtesy of BubblyQ:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Verdict on Cattle Baron's Ball 2014

Kenny Chesney was the featured performer for CBB 2014
For the past several decades Cattle Baron's Ball had socialites tromping the fields of Southfork Ranch in support of the American Cancer Society. Earlier this year, 2014 Co-Chairs Cindy Stager and Jill Tananbaum shocked the social scene with their announcement that one of our city's most iconic fundraisers would be moving to Gilley's. This bold move had tongues wagging, wondering how the change of venue will affect the vibe of the event.

My guess, is that after several consecutive years of torrential rain the night of this annual outdoor shindig, people were tiring of spending boatloads of money only to have their hair frizz, boots muddied and VIP seating disappear as organizers scrambled at the last minute to shove the event under a tent and throw hay on the ground (which FYI, does not help much). Some called it social career suicide, but Jill and Cindy held firm in there belief that a change was needed.

Their gamble paid off in spades.

My date was TV personality and
blogger, Jane McGarry 
The theme was Country Rocks, so I went with more of a rocker vibe. I fell in love with this gold fringe leather mini-skirt from CUSP at Neiman Marcus and have to give Catharine Flagg from Neiman Marcus at Willow Bend a huge shoot out. Not only did she track down my size, she even brought it to my house the day of the event on her day off. With her parents in the car. On the way to brunch. Now, that is customer service and one of the many reasons I love the team at Neiman Marcus.

First off, parking was a dream. After years of road-tripping it out to Southfork Ranch, the 10-minute drive to Gilley's was awesome. I had Baron VIP parking which was across I-30 at Reunion Arena. Uber dropped me off, I stepped onto a charter bus and was walking into Gilley's in a matter of minutes.

The first question I get when I mention I attended this event has been, "How did they fit all of those people in Gilley's?" The answer, is a well thought out floorplan. They used every inch of Gilley's, inside and out. The best news? I never waited more than 2-3 minutes for a drink. THAT'S the sign of a good party right there. Period.

The energy was amazing, the music was fantastic, the outfits were to die for and I hear the Brisket Frito Pie rocked many a world. It will be a few days before we know how much was raised and the official stats on the event. I am forecasting a record fundraising effort and vote that they keep it at Gilley's every year. Kudos to Jill and Cindy for a spectacular event benefitting the American Cancer Society.

Below are some fun images from the night courtesy of the amazing Shana Anderson:

Western apparel and cold beers were everywhere..
Every year I say I am going to ride that Ferris Wheel, but I never do...
God Bless Texas 
Aw, I love that they are holding hands. Best date night ever!
Yes, the night was that much fun.
Is she asking for a drink or biding on an auction item? Not sure, but she is intent on getting whatever she's flagging down! 
My posse: LeeAnne Locken, D'Andra Simmons, Tiffany Hendra and Cheryl Rios
Robert Weatherly and Hilary Luter

Mad Hatter's Tea Announces Theme and Leadership for 2015

(top left) Lissa Wagner with Honorary Chair Sherwood Wagner (top right) Sue Ringle with Nell Broughton
(bottom) Allison Brodnax, Mad Hatter’s Tea Chair Sharon Popham, Dixey Arterburn,
Women’s Council President Marena Gault, and Ginger Sager. Photos by Chuck Clark

Plans are underway to make the 2015 Mad Hatter’s Tea one most grandiose events in recent history. With an “April in Paris” theme, it will be chaired by veteran event organizer Sharon Popham and is scheduled for Thursday, April 9, 2015 at the Dallas Arboretum. How many Eiffel Tower chapeaus and Chanel-themed looks do you think we will see?! The Announcement Party was hosted by the Women’s Council of the Dallas Arboretum at the Brook Hollow Golf Club on October 16 to introduce Honorary Chair Sherwood Wagner. Sherwood wore jewels by jewelry designers David Lee Holland and Yanni Kyriazis who flew in from New York City for the evening. David Lee Holland Fine Jewelry is the brainchild of the two designers who create botanically-themed jewelry. They will be custom-designing a piece of jewelry to be auctioned at the Mad Hatter’s Tea. Dallas’ premiere fashion event producer Jan Strimple will orchestrate the style show for the Mad Hatter’s Tea featuring the collections of fashion sponsors Betty Reiter, Canary, Nardos Imam, and V.O.D. Celebrating its 27th year, this fabulous and fun party has been an ongoing fundraising event raising monies to grow and maintain A Woman’s Garden, a major garden at the Dallas Arboretum. It's no secret to readers of this site that I think Mad Hatter's is one of the best events of the year. I already have Shane Walker working on my hat for 2015!!

For more information visit

Carnival Cruise Lines celebrates partnership with Dallas Cowboys

Cynthia Smoot and LeeAnne Locken poses with Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney of Rascal Flatts during Carnival's "Tailgate Takeover" before the Dallas Cowboys game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, Oct. 19, 2014

After a long night of boot scooting' at Cattle Baron's Ball, I rolled out of bed and headed over to AT&T Stadium this past Sunday to spend the day with Chef, restaurateur and best-selling cookbook author, Guy Fieri and country music's Rascal Flatts. as a guest of Carnival Cruise Lines. "I spent last night with Kenny Chesney and here I am today with you!" I said to Rascal Flatts. "What's Kenny doing in town?" asked Gary LeVox. When I mentioned that LeeAnne Locken and I had been at Cattle Baron's Ball the night before they all laughed and said they had great memories of that rainy appearance 2 years ago. Carnival is Texas’ largest cruise operator and this shindig was to celebrate their new partnership as the Official Cruise Line of the Dallas Cowboys. Fieri, whose Guy's Burger Joint dining venues are featured on select Carnival ships, hosted a Burger Battle as part of the cruise line’s pre-game activities in which local contestants, working with chefs from Legends Hospitality, created their best tailgate burger. “There's nothing like cookin' it up with family and friends at a big time tailgate party, so I'm stoked to be part of Carnival's gameday experience,” said Fieri. Katy Grantges of Cleburne, Texas was crowned the winner of Carnival Cruise Lines’ Gameday Burger Battle.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fire and Ice Tres Makes a Fashionable Statement Against Domestic Violence


Jennifer Hobson went from victim to survivor and is helping other women do the same.

The 3rd Annual Fire & Ice Tres: Fashion Show, Concert and Symposium was held on October 9-11, 2014. Over three days, there was a speakers’ symposium, three fashion shows where featured designers showed their 2015 spring/summer collections and three concerts. This show was the epitome of couture presentations and an annual event of marrying beautiful high fashion runway designs and music concerts, produced by the very best professionals in fashion and music. Event organizer Jennifer Hobson, CEO of Jennifer Hobson Productions says, “The concept of this show was to fuse fashion with music, dance, and visual arts. My goal was to create a show, with excellence in execution, for fashionistas to enjoy a top-of-the-line runway show and have the opportunity to place orders, and interact with the designers.” Fire &Ice Tres culminated with a grand couture finale featuring Texas premier swimwear and cover-up line, PoeM by Melissa Poe, sophisticated business attire from Ann Bridgette Boutique, accessories by premier statement jewelry designer Sarah Bemrich and ending with a show-stopping presentation from premier evening and wedding gown designer, Binzario Couture. The show also gave three women who have survived domestic abuse a chance to walk the runway. A musical performance was provided by national R&B sensation Shavonna of Memphis, Tennessee. See photos below:

Friday, October 17, 2014

Historic Arlington Hall Celebrates 75th Anniversary

The historic Dallas landmark Arlington Hall will turn 75 this month and Lee Park & Arlington Hall Conservancy (“the Conservancy”) will host several public and private events to honor the iconic Hall in the community. Formally dedicated in 1939, Arlington Hall has been a magnet for cultural and social events over the years. The grounds’ historical and architectural charms have provided friends, families, residents and visitors with countless memories and a space that recognizes the city’s growth and prosperous future but is also reminiscent of one of the most pivotal periods in our nation’s history. Arlington Hall was designed by Dallas architect, Mark Lemmon as a two-thirds scale replica of the Arlington House (formerly Custis-Lee Mansion), Robert E. Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia, and took more than a year to complete. Through a public-private effort between the City of Dallas and the Conservancy, Arlington Hall underwent a complete rehabilitation and expansion, which was completed in December 2002. One of the most recognizable renovations included the new porte-cochere that Dallas’ own Margaret Hunt Hill donated in 2002.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Oh So Fashionable: Fashion X is coming to Dallas November 6-8

We’re only a few weeks away from #FXD2014. As part of the Host Committee I’m very honored to be a part of the most exciting fashion event to hit Dallas this Fall. Be sure to buy your tickets before they sell out, so you don’t miss out! If you buy your tickets before the 16th, you’ll also be instantly entered to win an upgraded VIP experience! For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

How to Host the Perfect Girls Night Out

Lisa Petty and Arlene Goldstein discuss Fall Trends for Belk

There's nothing better than a girl's night out. A little shopping, a few drinks, some great food... these are all elements that I require for a successful GNO outing and last Thursday, October 9 Belk delivered them all in spades when they hosted Girls' Night Out at their Galleria Dallas store. Lisa Petty, editor-in-chief of DFW Style Daily, hosted the evening festivities. The night kicked off with a fall fashion show moderated by Petty and Arlene Goldstein, vice president of trend merchandising and fashion direction for Belk. The runway show featured three “scenes” to showcase looks around Belk’s fall style statements: Rebel Rebel, His is Hers and Complex Simplicity. Among the stylish in attendance were Yvonne Crum, stylist and OSC Contributor Dawn Mellon, Sara Madsen Miller, LeeAnne Locken, Britt Harless, Small 4 Style blogger Alex Small, Holly Quartaro of Galleria Dallas, Yasmeen Tadia (CEO of Fluff Pops and Hot Poppin), The Fashion Hour blogger Natalie Keinan, Nicholas J. Carbone, Taylor N. Pierce, JoAnn Imosi Emale (Miss Earth Dallas) and Alyssa Alvarado (Miss Teen Earth Dallas). Guests signed up for a chance to win fun raffle prizes from designers such as Michael Kors, French Connection and Jessica Simpson. I shared my philosophy with Petty about how to win a raffle and she laughed at me - until I WON! I can't share it with you because if everyone used my theory, it wouldn't work for me anymore. Sorry! While I was pretty stoked that I won a fun statement necklace, I was really shooting to win the grand prize - a year's worth of free shoes! Since they said the winner would "be notified" there is no word on who the lucky winner was. Here is a glimpse at the scene:

Oh So Tasty: Snap Kitchen

Austin-based Snap Kitchen is new to Dallas and they asked me to help spread the word that they provide "all the flavors of a fully stocked kitchen with the convenience of a perfectly portioned, nutritionally balanced, grab and go meal." That's a motto I can appreciate. "And if you are on a special diet," their website states, "we offer everything you need - gluten free, plant powered, paleo and more." Let me preface this post by admitting right up front that I am the least healthy person I know. I eat Taco Bell at least once a week and I am on a first name basis with all of Pizza Hut's drivers. I haven't been to the gym since before I got married and I am addicted to Coca Cola. It's not that I don't want to eat healthier. I really do... but I also like food that tastes good (i.e., loaded with fat, butter and salt). I'm a Southern girl and you cannot make me give up my casseroles and cobblers. No way. Not happening.

So, when Snap Kitchen asked me to give them a try, I warned them. I said their food would have to be good - like really good - to impress me. I could care less about calorie or fat count.  Trendy buzz words like quinoa and gluten mean nothing to me. I am 100% about TASTE. And packaging. I'm a marketer by profession so I can appreciate good packaging. I recently stopped by Snap Kitchen's Snider Plaza location in Highland Park and they loaded my bag with assorted breakfast entrees, main dishes, snacks and a couple of juices to take home and try. After grazing my way through their offerings, here's my take on the good, the bad and the tasty:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Highland Park Celebrates 100th Birthday October 17-19

Did you know that the land now known as Highland Park was bought by a group of investors from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the late 1800s? Wickipedia tells us that Henry Exall led the project and he intended to develop the land along Turtle Creek as Philadelphia Place, exclusive housing based on parkland areas in Philadelphia. He laid gravel roads, and dammed Turtle Creek, forming Exall Lake, before the Panic of 1893 brought a blow to his fortunes, halting development. In the 1890s, Exall Lake was a common picnic destination for Dallas residents. In 1906, John S. Armstrong (the former partner of Thomas Marsalis, the developer of Oak Cliff), sold his meatpacking business and invested his money in a portion of the former Philadelphia Place land, to develop it under the name of Highland Park. He chose this name as it was located on high land that overlooked downtown Dallas. Wilbur David Cook, the landscape designer who had planned Beverly Hills, California, and George E. Kessler, who had previously planned Fair Park and most of downtown Dallas, were hired to design its layout in 1907 "as a refuge from an increasingly diverse city." Notably, twenty percent of the original land was set aside for parks. Highland Park's 500 residents voted to incorporate on November 29, 1913, and incorporation was granted in 1915, when its population was 1,100.  Seems to me that if Highland Park is celebrating its 100th birthday, they would celebrate in 2015, but they are celebrating now.

To help celebrate Highland Park ISD's Centennial, a group of dedicated parent volunteers designed historical displays on each campus. The displays showcase artifacts and pictures from HPISD's history, including cheerleading and athletic uniforms, diplomas and certificates, trophies and pictures from every decade. The public is invited to view the display cases from 1:30-3:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 17, when each campus will host an open house. Many of the items will also be showcased at the Scots Museum at HPISD's Centennial Block Party, from 2-5 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 19.

After enjoying a tour of campuses during the Oct. 17 open houses, community members are invited to attend the BBQ with the Band dinner in the HPHS cafeteria. This event is the band's annual fundraiser, and will be held from 5-7 p.m., before the home football game. Dinner tickets are $10 each. This event will feature delicious food from Peggy Sue BBQ, live entertainment from The Dixie Scots and fabulous raffle and auction items. A take-out option for dinner is also available from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Click here for more information about the event.

The entire town is invited to join together for a Block Party on October 19 from 2-5pm at Highlander Stadium and the Multi-Purpose Activity Center across the street. Party highlights include: Bounce houses and games for kids, Food trucks, including: Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, Easy Slider, Jo Dawgs, SoCal Tacos, Three Happy Cows, Parrot Ice and The Guava Tree. Attendees will be able to view the Scots Museum, featuring photos, clothing and artifacts from the last 100 years in our schools, all on display at the Multi-Purpose Activities Center across the street from Highlander Stadium.  There will also be live performances from HP students, including choir, Belles, band and orchestra members. Guest speakers at the event will include Bruce and Leeanne Hunt, Leslie Melson, Mary Frances Burleson, Dr. Dawson Orr, Syd Carter and his granddaughter Sydney. Special songs will be performed by former superintendent Dr. Cathy Bryce, MIS student Mark Hancock and 2010 graduate Katie McDaniel. The block party will also feature special videos displayed on Highlander Stadium's new scoreboard.

Happy 100th Anniversary to Highland Park!