Wednesday, November 26, 2014

John Dal Canton Wants You To Get Your Buzz On This Holiday Season

One of my favorite gifts to give (and to receive - hint hint) is liquor. A bottle of wine, champagne or spirits is always a gift well received and fun to share with others.  John Dal Canton, Sommelier at Hibiscus, recently gave me some tips regarding gifting & serving wine over the holiday season and I thought I would share them with you:

OSC:  What is your favorite sparkling wine under $15?

JDC:  Cremant de Bourgogne Rose from Val de Mer. This is wine is from the acclaimed viticulture area of Burgundy France, and is made from the Pinot Noir Grape. The producer is Patrick Piuze who is arguably the up and coming rock star of Chablis, and he makes this wine under his second label Val de Mer. It really rocks and is a great bubbly for the holidays.

John Dal Canton, Sommelier at Hibiscus
OSC:  What wine would you serve a hard-core beer drinker?

JDC:  Either a really brioche-y Champagne, because it has the carbonation and maltiness a beer drinker would associate with beer, or, if the person is a true beer aficionado, someone who likes sour beers and beers impregnated with brettanomyces than perhaps a Mouvedre from Bandol or even some Cabernet Sauvignon from Saint-Julien Bordeaux.

OSC:  If attending a holiday housewarming party, what wine would you recommend bringing as a gift?

JDC:  Since so many people bring different bottles of wine and spirits to a holiday party, I like to give them something they can hold onto for a while. You can almost never go wrong with Brunello di Montalcino as a gift. This bottle can be something that they can add to their new bottle collection or can save for an upcoming dinner party. It is made from a clone of the Chianti grape called Sangiovese Rosso. Some producers I would recommend that will not devastate your bank would be Tenuta Silvio Nardi, Ciacci Piccolomini and Casanova di Neri. These are great producers and will appease palates from the novice drinker to the most discerning.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Can't Miss Holiday Events for December

Well folks, here we are. Another year has flown by and I can't believe we are staring 2015 in the face. While the holiday season can be chaotic and stressful it's also a time to hunker down, spend time with family, reflect on the year past and make plans and resolutions for the year to come. Here are a few can't miss activities I recommend for December. I hope you experience the magic of the holiday season - Dallas-style!  XO, Cynthia

10th Annual Light Up Lee Park 
December 1

This event will include a lights display on Green Lawn at Lee Park, free hot chocolate, holiday favorites performed by the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble and will end in a spectacular fireworks display from 5:30- 8:00 p.m. Fireworks display begins at 7 p.m. Robert E. Lee Park is located at 3400 Turtle Creek Blvd. Dallas, TX 75219.

Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon
December 4

The Texas Ballet Theater presents Tutu Chic Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Winspear Opera House on Thursday, December 4. Tutu Chic blends the arts of ballet and fashion into an unforgettable experience. Professional dancers glide, twirl, and leap down the runway dressed in the best of Stanley Korshak and premier fashion designer, Naeem Khan. For ticket information, please contact Theresa Ireland-Daubs, Development Manager, at 817.763.0207 x 111. The Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House is located at 2403 Flora St., Dallas, Texas 75201.

Festive Finds For The Holidays

Sponsored Post:
Cheers from the Jonathan Adler store. These pillows allow you to make any kind of festive statement you want!

Even though the holidays are quickly approaching I have been dragging my feet when it comes to making a list and checking it twice because the task is honestly a little daunting. So many people to buy for and so many original, clever and meaningful gifts to find! Ack! Nespresso gave me the kick in the booty I needed when they asked me to partner with them and showcase a few of my festive finds for the holidays. Their request forced me to get online, see what was out there and start bookmarking my favorite must-have items for the season. At the top of my list is the VertuoLine System from Nespresso. It's a total game changer in the coffee world - it relies on patented Centrifusion™ technology for state-of-the-art brewing. Just pop in a Nespresso capsule and the VertuoLine machine scans the capsule's bar code, then automatically custom-brews the ultimate cup of coffee or espresso in under a minute. Tops on my wish list for myself is their Aeroccino Plus which allows you to take milk right from your fridge and make steamed or foamed milk in a hot minute to create your own lattes and cappuccinos right in your own kitchen. Scroll through the lookbook below to see some of the other festive finds I will be buying for others (or maybe just hoping I get in my stocking) this holiday season!

This post was brought to you by Nespresso. To learn more about their products, visit While I did receive compensation for authoring this post; product selections, descriptions, and opinions are 100% my own. Interested in a sponsored post or product review? Contact me for rates and details.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Shop For A Cause: Sukan Jewelry

Pat Smith with Cynthia Smoot (wearing the
Tulsi Bead Horn) in October 2014
Sukan is a Hindi word meaning "good wishes" which reflects Radhika Zaveri's aspirations to provide means to women in rural India to bring forth their art and gain independence through a positive path. Sukan's jewelry pieces are made in India yet represent global purpose of building a conscious society everywhere. Their designs are made thoughtfully and embody sustainability by using recycled glass.

You can meet Zaveri and shop the Sukan collection at a holiday trunk show at The Lotus Shop inside the Crow Collection of Asian Art Museum on Friday, December 5 and Saturday, December 6 (11am-5pm)

Zaveri believes that personal consciousness is a way of life and at Sukan, they are dedicated to deliver sustainable ways of creating high quality, caringly crafted jewelry. To Zaveri, sustainability is a way of thinking and living that embodies not only ways to care about the planet but also helps communities and their generations and finally our own individual choices.

The genesis of Sukan collections is a dynamic mix of themes, colors and materials that reflect everyday elegance with substance and panache. "The idea is that we empower ourselves and those around to define the type of world we want to live in." Sukan literally mean good wishes and is my mother's name. The inspiration comes from iconic styles that have been transformed to casual modern luxury.

Oh So Tasty: Henry's Majestic

One of the perks of working in PR and marketing is that I have amazing clients who feed me well. I have had the privilege of working with Bread Winners for 16 of their 20 years and I couldn't be more excited to introduce you to their latest creation: Henry’s Majestic. Normally I don't copy and paste a press release - but I wrote the damn thing so I am using it. Why try to recreate perfection?!

Roe Dileo
Their motto is "Good Food. Strong Drinks." Henry's Majestic will quench your thirst and satiate your appetite in a comfortable setting where great ideas will be forged, enemies will become friends, bonds will be strengthened and memories will be made. Pretty good, huh. Actually I can't take credit for that, my partner wrote it. 

Two large bars provide patrons with a comfortable place to enjoy an array of elixirs, an eclectic wine list or beers from near and far served from 24 taps in an approachable environment. The 4860 sq. foot site features an industrial contemporary design style speckled with unique “found” items. Most impressive are the spacious dog-friendly patio where diners can enjoy an outdoor fireplace, pool table, TVs and al fresco dining in a relaxed atmosphere. We all need a place to imbibe and feast, to relax and reflect, a place that offers the riches of cultured community setting and genuine southern charm. That place, is Henry’s Majestic. 

Part of the genius behind Henry's Majestic is the executive team they put in place. Rosanne “Roe” Dileo leads the team as General Manager and takes an active role in all aspects of the concept; from the menu to the bar to the front of the house. This New Jersey native created a name for herself locally as the chef at The Libertine Bar and was most recently at Boulevardier in Bishop Arts. She is currently appearing on Hell’s Kitchen as a contestant in Season 13 of the FOX cooking competition series starring Gordon Ramsey. Adam Kovac is the Executive R+D Chef for Bread Winners, Inc. Kovac has been with Bread Winners for 9 years. He has turned his passion for charcuterie and meat curing into a new company called Meat Parlour which will be providing Henry’s with its cured meats. Alex Fletcher rounds out the team at the helm of their beverage program. Fletcher is a recognizable name on the bar scene and his work at Victor Tango’s earned him the reputation as one of the best bartenders in Dallas. Fletcher also crafted his skills at The People’s Last Stand and with Bread Winner's team at The Quarter.

Here's some food porn for you:

Friday, November 21, 2014

What President George W. Bush Eats on Thanksgiving

I bet this is what George W. Bush will be eating on Thanksgiving

I've always said that details can make or break a party. Unless you stuff your guests full of great food and drink. Then they are so happy they won't remember any other little snafu that might occur. So, this Thanksgiving, consider making this amazing looking dessert courtesy of former First Lady Laura Bush. It's a Texas Buttermilk Coconut Pie with Whipped Cream and I have a feeling that even if you overcook the turkey or run out of cranberry sauce - this pie could save the day. I found the recipe on Lea Berman's blog, America's Table. Berman is the former White House Social Secretary from the George W. Bush administration and spent her entire adult career as an event planner. She claims to have learned a lot about hospitality from former First Lady Laura Bush. "She thought carefully about every event she hosted: how it could be exceptional, how the food and flowers could in some way reflect the occasion, how the calligraphy honored the attendees – it was a package of small but important details that led to a great party." So, this Thanksgiving, follow her lead and put a little extra effort into your table setting. Pull out the fancy hand towels. Use the good china. And if all else fails... serve this pie.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party Goes Bollywood for 2015

2015 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Honorary Co-Chairs Sterling and Jody O’Donnell and Co-Chairs David Nelson and Dennis Kershner. Photo credit: Sergio Delgado

Press Release - Celebrating a landmark year, the 10th Annual No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party launched its fundraising season with a Kick-Off Party at Scott + Cooner for approximately 150 avid No Tie fans and dessert lovers. Announcing the 2015 theme “Under the Yum Yum Tree,” the Bollywood-style Kick-Off Party captured the magic, vibrant energy and exotic flavors of The East and things to come at the main event to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 7:00 PM at the Frontiers of Flight Museum.  The event also unveiled a new web site and the 2015 chair committee. Stylist, interior designer and all-around Renaissance man David Nelson returns with Dennis Kershner, sales executive at Interior Resources, as Co-Chairs, and Jody and Sterling O’Donnell serve as Honorary Chairs. Another first, No Tie has engaged Kristi Holman, owner of K&L Management, as coordinator of the spectacular tenth anniversary event which has been run by ASD staff and volunteers for the last nine years. Last but certainly not least, the 2015 No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party announced the 2015 presenting sponsor, Purple Foundation, a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that raises funds to improve the lives of people in the Dallas area who are living with or are affected by HIV/AIDS. No Tie Dinner & Dessert Party is the largest fundraiser for AIDS Services of Dallas which provides housing and supportive services for low-income and formerly homeless men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS. The Kick-Off Party revealed exciting news, from the 2015 date and theme to a first-ever VIP ticket that will offer a deluxe lounge area serving premium spirits, luxury auction packages, and exclusive desserts. General admission advance tickets are $60 until February 20th or $75. VIP advance tickets are $130 until February 20th or $150. Tickets are available to purchase online at

Oh So Fashionable: FGI Night of Stars 2014

Lisa Dawson, Todd Fiscus, Linda Gray, Zac Posen, Emma Bell and Nancy C. Rogers were honored at the 65th Annual FGI of Dallas Night of Stars Gala, November 14, 2014

On November 14, Fashion Group International of Dallas (FGI of Dallas) hosted its 65th annual Night of Stars Gala at Fashion Industry Gallery. Every year, FGI brings in a big name designer to honor with a Career Achievement Award and show their Spring collection. Previous honorees have included amazing designers like Lela Rose, Billy Reid and Kay Unger.

Zac Posen and Cynthia Smoot
This year's honoree wasn't just big - he was jaw-droopingly, amazingly, awesomely, fantastically HUGE and everyone there was buzzing to get a moment with Project Runway's Zac Posen.  I was lucky enough to have interviewed him the day before at his penthouse suite at The Joule so when I saw him at the gala I didn't approach him because I wanted others to have their time with him.

But when he saw me he gave me that boyish grin of his and waved me over for a hug. "How's my new Instagram buddy?" he asked as we posed for a photo. His charm is palatable and everyone who met him couldn't stop talking about how approachable and delightful he was.

Highlights of the event included a silent auction, a fashion show featuring designs by Zac Posen, a cocktail reception, dinner, and an awards ceremony. Neiman Marcus' Ken Downing presented Posen with his Career Achievement in Fashion award, model Chandra North presented Lisa Dawson the Career Achievement in Business award, art patron Cindy Rachofsky presented Todd Fiscus with the Career Achievement in Event Design award, Peter Doroshenko presented philanthropist Nancy C. Rogers with the Art Patron of the Year and WFAA's Ron Corning presented DALLAS star Linda Gray with the Lifetime Achievement award. Linda's DALLAS co-star Emma Bell was the host for the evening. All the cool kids were at Table 17... shoutout to Heidi, Bill and Dallas Dillon for having me at their table. Other fashionable attendees included Chuck Steelman (FGI of Dallas Regional Director), Sheree Hartwell (FGI District Director), Nasiba Adilova, Renée Rouleau, Gregg Asher, Brian Bolke, Steve and Lucy Wrubel, Nha Khanh, and Elizabeth Anyaa.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Celebrate The Holidays In Tees From Katydid Collection

There are two things I love with equal abandon: T-shirts and the Christmas holiday. So, when Dallas-based Katydid Collection sent me their new holiday look book I was squealing with excitement. Styles range from boatneck to baseball tees, and come in a range of cute holiday savings like "Eat, Drink and Be Merry", "Ho, Ho, Ho Y'All" and "Jesus Is The Reason For The Season". Cost is $32.95 per tee. Order this week to get FREE SHIPPING!  You can check out all of their fun holiday designs at

Want to win a free Katydid holiday tee of your choosing?
I am giving one away today on Instagram! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Celebrate the Holidays at NorthPark Center

Scattered Light by Jim Campbell
The holiday season is merry and bright at NorthPark Center as they celebrate “A Season of Light.” Setting the stage for a magical holiday experience is beautiful décor of twinkling lights, bountiful plantings, and interactive displays featuring the season’s most notable characters.

A spectacular new installation by renowned artist, Jim Campbell, entitled Scattered Light will draw visitors to the CenterPark Garden with its cascading grid of flickering light. The work, which was recently on view at Madison Square Park in New York City, creates the illusion of figurative images through its 3-D matrix of thousands of hanging light bulbs. It promises to be Dallas’ most photographed light display this holiday season.

Bells are ringing at NorthPark Center to encourage visitors to donate their spare change through The Salvation Army Kettle Campaign, which raises important funds for year-round programs at more than a dozen Salvation Army centers in North Texas. Make the holiday season a memorable one for those in need by giving presents, clothing and necessities through The Salvation Army Angel Tree. Choose an Angel from The Angel Tree, drop off your gift by December 9, and The Salvation Army will make your delivery in time for Christmas.