PLUS EMPIRE'S PREMIERE PARTY; ART AND JESUS' NEW HOME AWAY FROM HOME; LIGHT THE NIGHT WHITE PARTY; SIR ELTON'S ART FOR CHARITY; BILL'S BOOKS; CINECARES' GALAWEEN 2015; FASHION GROUP'S NIGHT OF STARS; LITTLE CITY'S NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM; LABOR DAY MUSINGS; DREESEN TOASTS SINATRA'S 100TH; ICING SMILE'S BUTTERCREAM BALL; JOFFREY'S SYLVIA LUNCHEON; ST. BASIL HONORS JOHN; DOROTHY'S SWEET GIG; BOB THE RETRIEVER; ELENA LOVES PETER; 51ST CHICAGO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL; CUTE VIDEOS AND SO MUCH MORE!
More than 120 guests joined beloved Chicago Bear all-pro, all-heart, running back Matt Forte and wife Danielle for a fundraiser on September 9 to benefit Matt's What's Your Forte Foundation and World Sport Chicago. At an undisclosed location (I was asked not to
share the venue), guests enjoyed a unique art auction titled Chicago Paints The World. After check-in downstairs, we took an elevator to the 5th floor of this chic private club to view the artwork and congratulate Matt, whose foundation empowers at-risk Chicago area high school students striving to
achieve their dreams of higher education by providing much needed resources. The auction showcased one-of- a-kind artwork created by Chicago celebrities and others who included host Matt Forte, Martellus Bennett, Aja Evans, Israel Idonije, Jerry Azumah, Kelvin Hayden, Jason Davis LaRoyce Hawkins, Bill and Giuliana
Rancic, Ashton Kutcher and more. Elliot From of Artbeat Live was on hand creating "live" paintings (three) that were then auctioned off. CBS 2 sports anchor Ryan Baker served as the evening's emcee while Martellus Bennett took over the mic and served as the event's auctioneer! Some of the artwork
included a vintage microphone in a shadow box titled "Amplify Love, Amplify Truth" by LaRoyce Hawkins. Giuliana and Bill (Rancic) got creative with a collage of all their platinum level boarding passes (sold for $740) and actor Ashton
Kutcher's contribution was a crystal fishbowl with two paper fish hanging inside titled "Fame"....(hmmm, me thinks he doesn't enjoy it?). Izzy created an over-sized canvas with the word "love" written in red paint titled "Listen." This piece sold for
$1900. Martellus Bennett appeared to be a true artist with two terrific pieces that sold for over $3000. At first I thought they were by Hebru Brantley, so good goin' Martellus! A piece titled "Cut from a
Different Cloth" by Jerry Azumah sold for $2000 and Matt Forte's artwork fetched $2300. "So often Chicago is painted as a place where our children have no hope. Chicago Paints the World was an idea that sprouted from the want and need to paint a better picture of our city and our children’s futures. The funds raised through
this effort will give a number of kids in Chicago’s most at-risk communities an opportunity to succeed and survive,” said Kam Buckner, executive director of World
Sport Chicago. The other beneficiary of the event, About World Sport Chicago is a non-profit that teaches positive values and leadership through sports. Guests seen on the scene included Catie Keogh and her sis Colleen Kelly, City Treasurer
Kurt Summers, Catrice Armstrong, Chicago Defender's Mary Datcher, Jameelah Houston, Fred Evans, Mike Adamle, "Chicago PD's" Marina Squerciati and Brian Gergahty, Chuck Jordan, Nazeer Mohammed, NBC's Marley Kayden, CBS' Ryan Baker, Comcast Sports'
Kip Lewis, Fox's Lou Cannelis, George Daniels, Dan Uslan, Garrett Wolfe and Katie Cahnmann. The event raised more than $30,000 to benefit the work that the two organizations are doing to build stronger, safer communities and provide opportunities and support for at-risk youth in Chicago’s most under resourced neighborhoods.
On September 12, the Empire Season Premiere Party was held at Carnegie Hall and all of NY was in on the fun. Even the windows and interior of Saks Fifth Avenue announced the news via fashion. My boots-
on-the-ground friend/contributor Aisha Murff was there and this is what she saw: The entire cast and director Lee Daniels were in attendance. After the screening of the exciting premiere, cast members Bryshere "Yazz" Gray (who plays Hakeem Lyon) and Jussie
Smollett (who plays Jamal Lyon) performed their hit "You're so Beautiful." At the VIP reception, Taraji P. Henson (who plays Cookie Lyon) was feted with a giant birthday cake. The gorgeous Naomi Campbell and Gayle King were also in attendance. At the reception, the "Empire" drink was St. Germaine champagne and grapefruit juice. BBQ brisket, mac & cheese and a spring mixed salad were served with s'mores and parfait offered for dessert. Director Daniels said he is "glad the Fox Network picked up a show with a diverse cast that has characters who are black, gay, suffering from mental illness and more." The premiere will air on Wednesday, September 23. Thanks for this cool news Aisha!
A huge congrats is in order for Chef Art Smith and husband Jesus Salgueiro who recently purchased an 1860 historic Florida landmark in Madison, Florida. The Smith Mansion will soon become the new home of Reunion and Chef Art's Welcome Kitchen and Bakery. Joining him as founding directors of Reunion, a 501 C3 charity, will
be Art's childhood friend from Jasper, Florida and "Food Glorious Food" founder Susan Levin as well as Jesus. This elegant, unique space will offer cooking seminars hosted by renowned chefs who will teach classes on everything from cooking the perfect biscuit to creating Art's
famous 12-layer Hummingbird cake. Trips to Chef's 100-year old family home will include visits with his on-site sheep herder/expert Craig Rogers, horseback riding and a dip in the crystal clear Blue Springs. Visitors will also have a chance to listen to lectures from acclaimed Southern poets and writers as well as seminars conducted by a Pulitzer Prize winning author. As if this isn't enough, there will also be music classes featuring everything from folk to Southern rock! "Reunion: A time to come together to renew, restore, rebuild and rebirth." Me thinks Art and Jesus will have a verrrrrrry long waiting list. Watch Chef Art's Facebook page for more info!
And speaking of Common Threads, don't miss its Associates Board's Annual Cook-Off on Thursday, October 1, at Revel
Downtown, 440 W. Randolph. Tickets are $85 in advance and $95 at the door.
The Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS/Chicago (DIFFA/Chicago) Auxiliary Board hosted its inaugural Light The Night White Party on September 9 at Sterling Bay, 111 N. Canal St., with nearly 200 in
attendance. This first-of its-kind event attracted design and business professionals who came dressed in their finest white attire to enjoy cocktails and fundraising on the dramatic rooftop setting and to spotlight the organization’s goal of eradicating
HIV/AIDS. The evening included a live performance by Simple Remedy, a raffle featuring lighting fixtures (as a nod to the event theme) as well as all white décor. A live auction featured lanterns designed by local designers. All proceeds, more than $15,000, benefited Chicago-area service agencies that provide assistance, education and outreach to those living with HIV/AIDS.
The 5th annual "Fabulous 5" Cocktail Party to benefit Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children's will be held on Thursday, September 24, at Hubbard Inn, 110 W. Hubbard. Guests will enjoy an open bar, hors d'oeuvres and live entertainment! Tickets and more info here!
Sir Elton John is collaborating with Lalique to create beautiful, limited
edition crystal pieces to benefit his Elton John Aids Foundation. Three pieces from his 'Music Is Love' collection are available for sale now at boutiques nationwide. They include the crystal angel, limited to 999
worldwide ($1,800), the red crystal heart, limited to 499 worldwide ($1,800) and the clear crystal heart, limited to 999 worldwide ($1,200). The masterpiece of the collection is a one-of-a-kind Cire Perdue Angel that will be auctioned off along with four other
unique pieces by online auction house, Paddle8 and Alexander Gilkes at Elton's Academy Awards Party in Los Angeles on February 28, 2016. All proceeds from the auction will benefit EJAF and 10% of boutique sales of his pieces will go to the Foundation. If you collect crystal
and have a few bucks laying around, I think one of these pieces would be so cool to own! (Photos by Gilles Pernet).
Who knew that Emmy Award-winning producer/director and executive director of Illinois Center for Broadcasting, Bill Natale, was also an AUTHOR! He's written two books! "1968--A Story As Relevant Today As It Was Then" is Bill's first
attempt at writing a novel. It describes the aftermath of the killing of Dr. Martin Luther King and how the world was "forever transformed." It was edited by NY Times best selling author Jim Riordan and is a spellbinder! His first book, written in 2000,
"Woolly Wurm", teaches children the importance of being helpful. Fifteen thousand copies of the book were distributed to youth literacy programs on behalf of the Infant Welfare Society of Chicago. Bill says, "Buy both!" LOL!
Congrats to my fabulous advertiser, Spex Optical! They will open their 26th location in November at 2843 Pfingsten Road in Glenview! Their latest store is now open in Elmhurst at 138 N. York Road. Spex CEO Robert Rich appears in CS Modern Luxury's Source Magazine this month, too! Congrats to all!
Mark your calendars now for "Night at the Museum" on Saturday, September 26, at the Field Museum. This 56th annual dinner gala will benefit Little City Foundation and feature exclusive private access to the Vikings exhibition, cocktails, dinner and entertainment. For tix and more info, click here!
Drink up! On Thursday, September 24 (beginning at 1 pm), join beloved comedian Tom Dreesen for the celebration of Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday at his "home away from home", the Pump Room, 1301 N. State. Dreesen will toast Ol' Blue Eye's in his own words--he was his opening act for many years and spent many an evening till early dawn in
the Pump Room with Mr. Sinatra enjoying dinner and his drink of choice, Jack Daniels on the rocks. Come one, come all!
St. Basil Greek Orthodox Church will host a fundraiser, "Rising From the Ashes", to honor its friend/advocate designer John Regas and to thank him for his support following a fire two years ago. The event, emceed by WGN's Dean Richards, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 27, at The Drake Hotel in the Gold
Coast Room beginning at 5 pm. For tickets and more info, call 312.243.3738. Congrats John!
The Buttercream Ball, the sweetest treat in town presented by Nielsen-Massey Fine Vanillas & Flavors, will be held at the Chicago Yacht Club (Belmont Harbor) on November 13 to benefit Icing Smiles. Enjoy Chicago's favorite sweets and treats by Jill Dedinsky, Food Network champ and Chicago Yacht Club chef. Other treats will be provided by The Popcorn Factory, Whimsical Candy and more. Event will also include entertainment by the Daniela Bisenius Trio. Icing Smiles is a non-profit that provides custom celebration cakes and other treats to families impacted by the critical illness of a child. Click here for more info!
The Chicago Fashion Group International will host its "Night of Stars" event on Thursday, November 12, at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago. Chaired by Carrie Lannon, the event will feature luminaries from the fashion and design world who will take the stage to accept FGI Stargazer Awards to benefit the Fashion Group of Chicago Educational Scholarship Fund whose mission is to make a difference in the careers of dedicated fashion and design
students. Honorees include: Neiman Marcus (Stargazer Retail Award); Ken Downing (Stargazer Fashion Oracle Award); Badgley Mischka (Stargazer Platinum Award); Nina Mariano (Stargazer Philanthropy Award); Nate Berkus (Stargazer Interior Design Award); Cle de Peau (Stargazer Beauty Award) and Ippolita (Stargazer Jewelry Award). Congrats to all! (For tix and more info, click here.)
The Joffrey Ballet's Women's Board will celebrate its 60th anniversary and the U.S. premiere of John Neumeier's "Sylvia" with an elegant luncheon on Tuesday, October 6, at the new Chicago Athletic Association Hotel. The afternoon will include an intimate conversation with choreographer Neumeier, Joffrey's artistic director Ashley Wheater and Hedy Weiss, theater and dance critic. The event will be co-chaired by Ellie Forman and Kathleen Henson. (For tickets and more info, click here).
The Union League Boys & Girls Clubs will host its 38th annual black-tie gala, "Serving Neighborhoods, Changing Landscapes", on Saturday, November 7, at the Union League Club of Chicago. Proceeds from the event will benefit the nearly 13,000 youth the organization serves annually with after-school programming. (For tickets and more info, click here).
Bootiful! The Cinecares Foundation Galaween 2015 will be held on October 31 (duh!?), at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, 2621 W. 15th Place, from 7 pm to midnight. The Foundation provides resources for children and their families susceptible to and/or impacted by violence in their communities through education initiatives, scholarships and program innovations. For tickets (beginning at $250) and more info, click here.
An unusual family of animals is winning hearts on Instagram. The account Bob Golden Retriever has attracted over 200K followers by regularly sharing snapshots from Luiz Higa's pets from São Paulo, an eccentric but "tight-knit" group that consists of one golden
retriever, one hamster and eight birds. There's never too many photos of cute animals on social media! Right?! :-)
I hope you will join Gayle Anthony and me when we co-host a very special event at her Paris Ceramics Showroom (#146) on Tuesday, October 6, at the Merchandise Mart. The event will celebrate fabulous author/interior designer Barbara Westbrook (of
Atlanta based Westbrook Interiors). She will be signing her beautiful coffee-table book, "Gracious Rooms" while we mix and mingle and drink wine! (To rsvp, email email@example.com by October 3).
The 51st Chicago International Film Festival will run from October 15-29 and feature over 150 narrative, documentary, and short films from all over the world at AMC River East 21. The organization has also revealed the winner of its first-ever international poster design competition:
Tsung-Hui (aka "Mavis") Kuo-Crary from Taiwan. Her pop art-inspired design is the official poster for the 51st Film Festival! So cool!
Congrats are in order for beautiful Elena Samokhina who married her soulmate, Peter Kuo, on Thursday, September 10, in
Nice on the French Riviera. A magical reception followed at the Domaine du Mont Leuze. I know her parents, beloved photog Mila Samokhina and Arthur, are very, very proud!
ft. space in Pilsen. It truly is a #VenueOfPossibilities! I also saw a lot of familiar faces in the issue like gorgeous Mary Lasky and Tina Weller, who were featured in its "Women of Style" article!
On a sad note, our hearts go out to dear Kevin Sullivan (Kevin Sullivan Events/AIBI) who lost his beloved mom, Janice F. Sullivan, on September 3. He was a self-described "momma's boy" and from the loving photos we saw at the wake, I could sure see why. Healing and comforting thoughts and prayers for you and your family Kevin.
Congrats are in order for Cece Gonzalez of Cece & Melinda with Raymi Productions! She will marry her best friend, John Kemnitzer, at the Drake Hotel in 2016. Her partner, Melinda Joseph, will serve as her maid of honor and, of course, Shaun Rajah will make it perfect! Congrats to all!
I hope you all enjoyed a great Labor Day Weekend. We jumped at the chance to spend a weekend in Michigan with friends. Here's what happened-- Labor Day definition: A public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September to honor the
American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country. I've always understood the significance of this special day because my dad, a postal worker, drilled it into me. He was proud to be a part of the "labor
movement" and shared the back story with me from a young age. And even though this holiday is a serious one and reflects the pain, disrespect, long hours and hard work our ancestors put in to survive, to me it also represents the last hurrah of summer. Chuck and I celebrated the weekend with friends in Harbor Country. While we were there, I noticed the pale end-of-summer light reflected off the water, the exuberant croaks from hundreds of tree frogs, the smell of the woods
after a downpour and why I love this holiday so much! It serves as both a goodbye to summer and a hello to new adventures in the fall. It's also a great excuse to PARTY with friends and make more memories! At a party in Three Oaks, the grounds and home were astounding. Picture this-- A Japanese side garden,
peacocks with chicks, a lake with swans, an exquisite home that belongs in every design magazine, fresh food out of the gardens, treasured antiques, hanging lanterns, grilling on fire pits, crickets, a full moon....and so much more. The evening was surreal in its beauty. A dear friend
hosted us at his magnificent home on the lake. Again, beauty and serenity everywhere you looked. A sunset to cry over, meals prepared with love, cocktails and laughter shared on the terrace, soothing music, comfy decor with beloved antiques, funny and thoughtful friends......sigh. Labor Day
weekend is a chance to make memories as well as honor those who labored to make this day possible. I acknowledged both and feel very lucky,
as Bruce Springsteen says, to be " born in the U.S.A." Hope you had a good one, too!
And as you all know, I'm a sucker for cute animal videos--heck, I'm a sucker for ANY cute video, so here's a compilation of some of my recent favorites. I hope they make you smile!
Once a nut, always a nut!
Puppy caught eating paper decides killing witness is only way out!
That's all for now! I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoy bringing it to you! And remember, if you would like to subscribe, please click here! (My list is completely spam free and never sold.)
Love, as always,