Sunday, November 19, 2017

Slay Magazine features Cynthia Smoot

What a honor to be included in the inaugural issue of Slay Magazine along with interviews from K104's Lady Jade, former NBA player Marquis Daniels, and Captain Kayla from Bring It reality TV! Purchase your digital copy online at

Rebel Wilson Brings Her Plus-Size Fashion Line To Dillard's

Rebel Wilson is best known for her comedic roles in Bridesmaids and as Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect franchise. She can now add fashion designer to her resume with the launch of a plus-sized clothing line called Rebel Wilson X Angels . The inaugural collection consists of a range denim pieces, graphic tees, bomber and varsity jackets and form-hugging dresses in price points ranging from $49-$298. Yesterday, hundreds of fans greeted Wilson at Dillard's in NorthPark Center to meet this Australian powerhouse and snatch up pieces from her line. Wilson wanted to bring something to the marketplace that is not readily available to women whose sizes range from 14 to 24. "The average American woman is a size 16-18 but when you walk into a department store you don't see like, a whole floor dedicated to plus-size because there just aren't that many brands, so I felt like this was an opportunity to create a new collection that would give back some of what I've learned in Hollywood from designers." This socially savvy entrepreneur knows how to market herself and you'll see her wear pieces from Rebel Wilson x Angels in Pitch Perfect 3 (out Dec. 22) as a way to bolster the brand’s recognition even further. New projects have her starring in and producing two new films: Isn’t it Romantic and Nasty Women, a remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels with Anne Hathaway. I left Wilson with a hug and a recommendation to visit Mi Cocina before she left town. She gave me that famous Fat Amy wink as she walked out to sign autographs to the delight of hundreds of screaming fans.

Photos c/o Thomas Garza Photography

Friday, November 17, 2017

Unlikely Heroes Enlists Star Power To Help End Child Trafficking

Recognizing Heroes Gala 2017Photos c/o Rex Curry/AP Images for Unlikely Heroes

On Saturday, November 4, 2017 Unlikely Heroes, a non-profit organization that rescues and restores child victims of slavery worldwide, hosted their 5th Annual Recognizing Heroes Charity Benefit presented by RE:defined Coffee House and sponsored by COOLA Suncare at the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas. Local star power included Chef Tiffany Derry, Kellie Rasberry and Allen Evans, Melissa Rycroft Strickland and Real Housewives LeeAnne Locken and D'Andra Simmons. Critically acclaimed comedian Anjelah Johnson and Savannah Chrisley from “Chrisley Knows Best” kicked off the night with a fun rendition of “finish that tune” with singer-songwriter, Shane Stevens. Guests were randomly selected to complete the song lyrics, winning exclusive prizes. Actress Francia Raisa played along, cheering on the crowd singing and dancing with pal and second mother, Mandy Teefey, to Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time.” Hosts Savannah and Anjelah introduced event chairs, Kenyon and Katie Coleman. “Welcome to the Family” said Kenyon and Katie Coleman as they described the established bond the family has created with the girls, Unlikely Heroes and its founder and CEO Erica Greve. “Erica, thank you for the sacrifice you have made and putting others before yourself, you’re making a difference in the world.” As she was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation, Greve thanked the crowd for their hospitable support toward the charity benefit and being home for Goldie’s house, their U.S restoration home.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Chef Bruno Davaillon Opens Bullion

Chef Bruno Davaillon Opens Bullion
Images courtesy of Bullion; Photos by Eighty Three Creative

Elevated above the ground floor of 400 Record, Bullion is the latest culinary excursion of Michelin Star-awarded Chef Bruno Davaillon. Boasting a range of classic and contemporary French dishes, it is French cuisine realized through Chef Bruno’s eyes. He may revisit the classics but he does them lighter. He wants his ingredients to stand out and have guests enjoy French food the way he would eat it. Chef Bruno feels this is a culinary style missing from the Dallas restaurant scene. “French food doesn’t have to be stuffy. I wanted to create an elevated yet approachable atmosphere where I could share my passion for French cuisine. The menu at Bullion features simple ingredients prepared using French techniques that highlight and enhance the natural flavors. Opening a restaurant such as Bullion has been a lifelong dream,” said Chef Bruno Davaillon, Executive Chef and Partner. The restaurant's namesake is twofold: the gold bullion issued under the French Minister of Finance Claude de Bullion under Louis XIII and the Latin definition of the verb “to boil” (bullÄ«re).

Alongside Chef Bruno is General Manager Victor E. Rojas, who has been associated with some of Dallas’ best restaurants, and procured partnerships for Bullion with the finest companies for service and tableware such as Christofle, Bernardaud, Garnier-Thiebaut, and The Citizenry. Nightly, Victor and his team orchestrate the guest experience from beginning to end. Chef Davaillon states, "I'm so excited to have the opportunity to create a new restaurant for Dallas. The building, and the downtown location, makes this project very special. I'm ready to write this next culinary adventure.” Bullion officially opens to the public on Friday, November 17, serving dinner Monday through Saturday. Lunch, Monday through Friday, will be offered in the coming weeks.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Sambuca To Shutter Uptown Location And Turn Focus To Las Colinas

When Sambuca opened its doors in Deep Ellum in 1991, Bryan Adams was topping the charts and gasoline was $1.14 a gallon. Sambuca quickly expanded into other hot markets over the years including Addison, Atlanta, Denver, West Plano, Houston, Nashville and in 2004 to Uptown, Dallas. Now after 26 years in Dallas, Sambuca’s management company, Restaurant Expert Management has decided it’s time to celebrate the end of an era in Dallas. “We’re going to be closing our Uptown location end of February and we plan to go out with a huge New Years’ Eve and very special Valentine’s Day celebration,” explains Kim Forsythe REM owner. “We’ll be thanking our customers by celebrating each weekend of the holiday season with rockin’ dance bands and rolling back some of our signature dishes to 1991 prices.” To adapt to the ever-changing entertainment environment in DFW, Forsythe will be shifting his focus to opening several new concepts in the The Music Factory in Las Colinas. “We brought our staff in on a surprise celebratory party on Sunday to view the newest development and toast 26 years of service and the next 30,” says Forsythe. “ Our company is our family and many have been here since the start.”

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Cirque du Soleil: Varekai Erupts in Ft. Worth and Plano This December

Photo by Cirque du Soleil 2014, Costumes by Eiko Ishioka

The Holiday Season is the most enchanting time of the year and Cirque du Soleil: Varekai fits the bill perfectly with its captivating storyline of an extraordinary world deep within a forest where anything is possible… the world of Varekai. Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world - a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai. The sky lets go a solitary young man, and the story of Varekaibegins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world imbued with fantastical creatures, a young man takes flight in an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of pure and undiluted possibility, begins an inspired incantation to a life rediscovered and to a newly found wonder in the mysteries of the world and the mind. The word Varekai (pronounced ver·ay·’kie) means “wherever” in the Romany language of the gypsies - the universal wanderers. Varekai enchants the crowd with its high-level acrobatics including Contortionists, Russian Swings, Aerial Straps and Skating Illusions. The Cirque performers give it their all with their perfectly-skilled and gravity-defying feats.

Varekai will be in Fort Worth from December 13 to December 17 presenting seven shows at the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena and will then move to the Frisco area from December 20 to December 23 presenting six performance at the Dr Pepper Arena for its final show and retirement after a 15-year run.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Blaine Bowen Hosts Brunch To Celebrate Unlikely Heroes

Blaine Bowen brunch
Photos c/o Angela P. Catullo for Blaine Bowen

Philanthropy is one of the core values that Blaine Bowen Jewelry was founded upon. Everyone in the BB "family" (as Blaine calls her employees) shares her call to action and change. She doesn't believe in just talking, she believes in doing and her employees happily follow suit. Blaine was first introduced to Unlikely Heroes a year ago and knew instantly it was an organization she wanted to contribute to. Blaine was moved by the work Erica Greve was leading through Unlikely Heroes and found herself compelled to aid their mission to end child trafficking. On Friday, November 3, Bowen hosted the Unlikely Heroes Welcome Brunch for the hosts and special guests who had come into town for the Recognizing Heroes Gala the next evening. Everyone knows we do things bigger and better in Texas and Bowen showed these Hollywood stars how Dallas likes to party for a cause. The intimate soiree took place poolside at The Ritz Residences with bites prepared by Tillmans Roadhouse and a fabulous floral wall created by Todd Events. Bowen had her new holiday collection on display and guests were able to select their favorite apparel and jewelry designs as an early holiday gift. Notable attendees included Savannah Chrisley from the USA Network show “Chrisley Knows Best”, Mandy Teefey, Executive Producer of “13 Reasons Why” (and Mother to Selena Gomez), comedian Anjelah Johnson (better known as Bon Qui Qui), Catherine Lowe, Amy Havins and Courtney Kerr. It was a great way to start the weekend celebrating the work of Unlikely Heroes. Stay tuned for my recap on the red carpet gla that followed the next night. It was SPECTACULAR!

Mommy Makeover Magic from Dr. Diane Gibby

Sponsored Post:

Mommy Makeover Magic from Dr. Diane Gibby 
A woman’s perspective, a surgeons skill

One of the problems we face as a society is our difficulty to live in the moment. We are a society of planners and forward thinkers. And as such, even though it’s only November, I find it difficult to think about what I will be cooking for Thanksgiving dinner - I thought about that months ago! Now, I am pondering the New Year that is rapidly approaching. January is named after the Latin word for door (ianua), since January is considered the door to a new year and an opening to new beginnings. So it is only fitting that this is the time of year where we reflect on what isn’t working in our lives and consider ways to improve things in the coming year. As a woman, I am constantly scrutinizing my physical appearance, especially since I turned 50 this year and things are starting to go South. Gravity has kicked in and I am determined to fight it all… the… way. I’m one of those inherently lazy people who would just rather pay to have something cut or sucked out permanently than starve myself and go to the gym for the next hundred years. I’m all about working smarter vs. harder. But, that’s just me… Thankfully, women these days brag about their surgeries and can’t wait to let you see the results of their new boob job or tummy tuck. They aren’t shy about what they’ve had done or who did the work. Which is great, because a word-of-mouth referral is what you want when it comes to work like this! One of the names that I hear often in my circles is Dr. Diane Gibby. She was one of the first female plastic surgeons in Dallas and her practice in focused solely on women and their body contouring needs as well as women's health in general. After all, who knows a women’s body and understands the ‘struggle’ with self-esteem better than a woman? Dr. Gibby even chose to limit her practice size to allow her the time to really connect and understand each patient’s expectations, concerns, and desired outcomes. She is one of the girls, who happens to be an incredible surgeon. Just ask around or read her reviews. Five stars all the way!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. Unveils Whiskey Ranch in Ft. Worth

Part of the vernacular of Park Cities residents is that we rarely go North of Preston Rd. and we definitely, under no circumstances ever cross North of 635. Normally, it would take something as monumental as a Zac Posen visit to Neiman Marcus at Willow Bend to get me to venture outside of The Bubble. However, yesterday, a Christmas miracle happened. I attended a grand opening event in (wait for it) Fort Worth! Gasp! So, what was the earth-shattering occasion that drug me 45-minutes from the security of my domain? It was the lure of a sneak peek of “Whiskey Ranch,” a 112-acre whiskey wonderland owned by Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co. that will serve as the home for the premier artisanal distillery’s second location. My husband LOVES whiskey. I love a road trip on a beautiful day, especially when it's with my husband - so off we went. Whiskey Ranch will be the largest whiskey distillery west of the Mississippi, the only one on a fully functioning 18-hole golf course, and the first with a 45-foot copper column still in full view, along with the world’s first “doubler” designed with site windows for public tours. The site has four deep water wells, which will be used to craft the beloved TX Straight Bourbon. You can enjoy a preview of Whiskey Ranch on Thursdays and Fridays in November and December from noon to 5 p.m. beginning November 10. The Ranch House will be open and guests can walk the historic grounds, relax in any of the indoor or outdoor gathering areas, enjoy the spirits, shop, and more. Daily tours will begin in January 2018 and Whiskey Ranch is now open for private events.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Photos from LeeAnne Locken and Rich Emberlin's Engagement Party

LeeAnne Locken and Rich Emberlin's Engagement Party
Photos c/o Thomas Garza Photography

On February 1, 2017, LeeAnne Locken and Rich Emberlin hosted friends and family for an intimate gathering at the Prashe showroom in the Dallas Design District to celebrate their engagement. This party was filmed for the Season 2 finale of the Real Housewives of Dallas - which is why I am just now showing you scenes fro the event. Bravo doesn't like spoilers! Flip through the gallery to see images from the party. Viewers of the show know that LeeAnne grew up spending summers on the carnival circuit, so it was fitting that the party had an (upscale) carnival theme. In attendance to celebrate the couple were "real" friends Heidi Dillon, Steve Kemble, Ken Weber, Shane Walker, Jane McGarry and me, of course. LeeAnne was radiant in a custom dress designed by Dallas-based designer, Nardos Imam. Since this soiree was part of the season finale, it was an all-cast event, which meant that Stephanie Hollman, Brandi Redmond, Cary Deuber, D'Andra Simmons and Kameron Westcott were also milling about - some happier to be there than others. While there were no games to be played by guests, the cast played many. You can see how the soiree played out on the finale episode of #RHOD on Bravo Monday, October 30 at 9:00 PM/CST.