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9 Feb

Bring on the Bling with YLANG23 for Valentine’s Day

Enjoy Accessorizing Any Outfit During the Month of Love with Fort Worth’s Latest Designer Jewelry Boutique at The Shops at Clearfork. 

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of the bling, and when Fort Worth’s newest jewelry store, Ylang 23, asked me to collaborate with them on a VIP party experience, I was tickled pink  — as in, pink diamonds, pink sapphires and pink tourmalines, oh my!

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Ylang 23 opened in The Shops at Clearfork late last year, but it’s been open in Dallas since 1985 when owners Joanne & Charles Teichman got this crazy brilliant idea to feature fine jewelry made by independent designers. They pretty much started the designer jewelry trend. Remember the iconic Ylang Ylang store in the Dallas Galleria back in the day? Yeah, that’s them. How cool is that?

Charles and Joanne Teichman, the owners of Ylang 23, at home in Preston Hollow with the family dogs, Tuey (white) and Eddie (black).  The Teichmans bought Neil Raitt's painting, "Cabinectomy",  from The Goss-Michael Foundation.  Photography by Mei-Chun Jau for FD Magazine.

Many of the biggest names in jewelry have been with Ylang 23 since the beginning, like Cathy Waterman and Irene Neuwirth. Because of the many incredible relationships they have fostered in this industry, you can work one-on-one with a designer to craft your own precious couture piece, or just go pret-a-porter and choose from the boutique’s amazing selection with prices starting at $110!

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Marla Aaron

Will the REAL Super Bowl Party please stand up!

Forget the Superbowl – last Sunday was SuperBLING Sunday. Together with the Teichman’s daughter, Alysa, Fort Worth store manager, Bhavini, and my sweet friend April, we threw the shiniest, most sparkly-ist jewelry party ever. Actually, it was two parties: a super-exclusive VIP breakfast followed by an afternoon reception.

And every time I think about the spectacular Retrouvai Compass necklace I wore at the party – before my mom LITERALLY BOUGHT IT RIGHT OFF MY NECK, I get butterflies. Especially since she has promised to let me borrow it, I will definitely be planning that request sooner than later.

Speaking of planning…now that I’m vegan, the fruit kabobs helped detoured my appetite when I encounter the miniature chicken and waffles. Those were just some of the posh noshes that Clearfork’s B&B Butchers & Restaurant created for brunch. I still can’t get over how adorable they were.

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All the pretty ladies, all the pretty ladies!

The whole morning was a crazy whirlwind, and before I knew it, the DJ turned it up! Party #2 – the big 300-people-on-the-guest-list main event – had begun! It was, as they say in the jewelry business, OFF THA’ CHAIN! (Sorry, I can’t help it!)

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Among the most delicious details were the sweets and treats.

There was a Valentine’s Day dessert bar! An all-pink bag-your-own candy bar! Champagne and mimosas! Door prizes from B&B Butchers & Restaurant, Pinstripes, Fixe Southern House and The Bar Method, all located in Clearfork (to see who won, click here).

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Even the party favors were divine. Little books with jewelry styling tips and adorable Ring Pops in clear boxes all wrapped up with Ylang 23 signature ribbon.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!

I’ll admit, I arrived at Ylang 23 about 20 minutes early that day for the sales associates to “dress” me. Not only did they hook me up with a “neckmess” of amazing pieces, all coordinated to achieve their signature layered look, but I also got in some “me time” to browse.

As they say in the jewelry business, it rocked! Seriously, I’m still on cloud nine from the thrill of getting to wear THAT MUCH fabulous jewelry at once.

I knew with all the swooning and the chit-chatting ahead of me, I wouldn’t have a chance to help my husband. What did I do for him? I compiled a shopping list of my favorite pieces to make Valentine’s Day gifting a cake walk. Jason if you’re reading this, You’re welcome!

SYDNEY EVAN: Large Diamond Love Script Necklace $1610 | Small Ruby Lips Necklace $1585

Christy’s Top Favorite Ylang 23 Gifts for Valentine’s Day!

Ok, don’t get me wrong. If I had a money tree planted in my back yard, I would buy half the jewelry sold at Ylang 23. But since I don’t, I’ve listed a small sampling of baubles, at various price points, that I think you will like.

1.

JORDAN ASKILL: Red Heart Necklace $325 | Pink or Black Heart Necklace $475 | Heart Rings $225 | Heart Bracelets $285

2.

SYDNEY EVAN: Love Necklace $840 | JENNIFER MEYER: Open Heart Necklace $875 | HEATHER B. MOORE: Love Amour Charm $490 | XO Diamond Charm $410 | Quartz Drop $60 | Chain $1230 | MARLA AARON: Red Enamel Heart Lock $1100 | Chain $1606

SYDNEY EVAN: Love Necklace $840 | JENNIFER MEYER: Open Heart Necklace $875 | HEATHER B. MOORE: Love Amour Charm $490 | XO Diamond Charm $410 | Quartz Drop $60 | Chain $1230 | MARLA AARON: Red Enamel Heart Lock $1100 | Chain $1606

3.

IRENE NEUWIRTH: Extra Large Flat Heart Necklace $7370

4.

CATHY WATERMAN: Green Emerald $17990 | Antique Diamond $23950 | Blue Saphire $15710

5.

SHAY: Floating Diamond Heart $3780 | MARLA AARON: Rose Gold Lock $355 | Rose Gold Diamond Chubby Lock $6150 | Rose Gold Diamond Heart Lock $1863 | Rose Gold Chain $343 | Stainless Steel Chain $112

6. 

JANIS SAVITT: Various sized Bracelets and Cuff in Rhodium and Gold Plated $60-190

7.

IRENE NEUWIRTH: Heart Moonstone Necklace $7740 | CATHY WATERMAN: Opal and Chrysoprase Lyrical Wheat Necklace $17600

Photography by Laura McCarthyMaria Ciszek

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY

After all, jewelry is meant to be worn. That’s a belief shared by all the fab women who came to this event, and I bet that’s your belief, too!

Now, who wants to win a $250 gift card from Ylang23? Yeah, me too! Head over to SoFortWorthIt on Instagram and enter this contest where you see the picture of Ylang 23’s storefront.

Good luck and shine on my friends! xoxo

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BONUS GIVEAWAY: $500 VISA Gift Card

It would mean the world to me if you’d take five seconds to vote for SoFortWorthIt as your FAVORITE local blog/influencer. As a thank you for voting, I am giving away a $500 VISA gift card to one lucky winner.

*BONUS: You can enter multiple times daily through February 15th. Each vote is an entry into the giveaway. Just click the “+ Nominate Another” link and repeat up to 10 times.

*BEFORE YOU SUBMIT YOUR VOTE, take a screenshot of your vote(s) and email it to [email protected]

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5 Dec

Brunch, Bubbly, and Balenciaga in Black at The Kimbell Art Museum

A Behind the Seams Look into the World of Art, Fashion and Fort Worth Society

I recently attended a very special brunch held in the Renzo Piano Pavilion at the Kimbell Art Museum, highlighting the museum’s latest exhibit Balenciaga in Black, from the Palais Galliera, Paris’ distinguished Fashion Museum, and the Balenciaga Archives, also in Paris.

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This event not only highlighted the work of one of the most influential fashion designers in history, Cristobal Balenciaga and the museum’s latest exhibit, Balenciaga in Black, but also allowed VIP guests to partake in an exclusive tour led by the exhibition’s organizing curator, Jennifer Casler Price.

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Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga Jennifer Casler Price Robin Arena Anne Paup Linda Christie
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga Jennifer Casler Price

The Kimbell Art Museum in partnership with Neiman Marcus Fort Worth, hosted the event to celebrate the new exhibit. The HeART of Neiman Marcus Foundation supports the Kimbell Kids program through a four year commitment of $100,000.

Watching Ken Downing, the famed Neiman Marcus fashion director and senior vice president, and the Kimbell’s deputy director, George Shackelford, discuss Balenciaga’s impressive career and enduring influence on fashion was pretty awesome to say the least. Fort Worth LOVES Ken and his bigger than life personality.

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Ken Downing Kimbell Niemand Marcus SoFortWorthIt
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At Neiman’s, Ken Downing determines the taste, trends, attitudes and ideas that the luxury department store embraces each season. In fact, Ken advised on every detail of this event from the flowers, stage backdrop and furniture to the table linens and menu, which was a lovely Balenciaga-inspired brunch catered by City Club of Fort Worth.

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Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga
Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga
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Kimbell Ken Downing Niemand Marcus Balenciaga City Club Catering
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These unique, intimate touches sparked a newfound interest in my appreciation for art and fashion. I soaked in the beauty and magnificence of the works on display, on top of the opportunity to ask personalized questions during the event.

Who is Cristobal Balenciaga?

Cristobal Balenciaga (1895-1972) was known as “the couturier’s couturier,” the designer most admired by other fashion designers. He was born in Basque Spain, a fishing village, and learned how to sew from his mother.

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Black you ask? The folklore and traditions of his Spanish childhood were the sources and inspirations for this collection of more than one hundred garments and accessories. And black because it reveals the impressive silhouettes and simple cuts favored by the artist.

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Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt

He trained as a tailor and began his career as the head of ladies tailoring at a department store in Spain. This background helped Balenciaga become an expert in cutting fabric with attention to contour and shape, and meticulous construction.

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Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt

Balenciaga used infinite types of fabric in varying shades of black, each carefully selected to emphasize the shapes, volumes and silhouettes of his unique creations, which were often adorned with lace, embroidery, silk, satin, fringes, beads, sequins and fur.

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Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt
Kimbell Ken Downing Neiman Marcus Balenciaga SoFortWorthIt

Goya in Black and White

I mean, if you’re going to see the Balenciaga exhibit, you might as well take a hot minute and pop over to the Goya in Black and White exhibit just 20 feet away. Francisco de Goya just so happens to be my very favorite Spanish printmaker, an appreciation I formed while studying Art History at SMU.

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In the Goya exhibition you really get to see the folklore and history of Balenciaga’s birthplace graphically illustrated. I even spotted a few garments that may have inspired him, such as the lace dress the seated woman is wearing in this printed title, Pretty Advice.

And this one, ironically titled What a Tailor Can Do, where the ruching in the cape almost looks like the ruching in this dress Balenciaga created in 1956.

The Kimbell Art Museum is one of the cities best treasures.

From Monet and Renoir to Balenciaga and Goya, the Kimbell Art Museum continually debuts unparalleled, special exhibitions with loans from some of the world’s most prestigious collections.

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The museum’s architecture is unrivaled. The original Louis Kahn-designed building is regarded as one of the “outstanding achievements of the modern era.” Even Kanye West can attest to this as he visited the Kimbell on November 3rd! However, what’s most impressive, is what’s on display in their galleries.

With a permanent collection that includes world-famous European masterworks and rare pieces from Africa, Asia, and the Ancient Americas, the Kimbell Art Museum will leave you with a sense of wonder and heightened, if not a newfound sense of cultural appreciation.

Member Perks at the Kimbell

My family and I have participated in the museum’s membership program for many years and reaped the benefits of their unrivaled art experiences. I always look forward to member events at the Kimbell, as I know they are nothing short of fabulous. And I especially enjoy The Red Party, an ultra-trendy event which benefits Kimbell Kids Education Programs.

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If you are not currently taking advantage of the bountiful benefits of a Kimbell Art Museum membership, I would highly consider it for a number of reasons. For starters, a visit to the Kimbell will ignite your senses and transport your mind. SO, get out there and flex your cultural muscle and find some art to appreciate.

Also, it’s always free to view their permanent collection but membership gets you free admission to the special exhibitions all year! And I just heard that Monet’s Waterlilies will be here next summer in their Monet: The Later Year’s exhibit so get your membership now to be among the first to see it.

And with Christmas right around the corner, you can give you friends and family a whole year of experiences for as little as $75. Now that’s what I call the gift that keeps on giving!

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Photography  credit  Laura McCarthy & Kimbell 

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY

Y’all, I am sooo excited about this giveaway, I can hardly stand it! The Kimbell has given me permission to give away as many tickets as I want for the Balenciaga exhibit. Wow! Holy cow, right? (follow me on IG and FB for more chances to win tickets)

So here is the scoop, to celebrate this super cool giveaway, not only am I giving away a 4 pack of tickets, but I am tossing in lunch for 4 at the Kimbell Buffet too. Wahoooooo!

Please read the OFFICIAL TERMS & CONDITIONS located in the Rafflecopter link below.

4 May

B&B Butchers & Restaurant launches Brunch with SoFortWorthIt

When B&B Butchers & Restaurant’s PR team reached out to help launch their new weekend brunch, I couldn’t have been more thrilled to collaborate with the hottest new restaurant in town.

Over the course of eight weeks, we hammered out all the fun details for me to host an over-the-top influencers event for gals who were in the media, who were social media savvy and of course, I had to sprinkle in a few of my favorite philanthropist and socialites too.

I reached out to some of the best in the industry to make sure this event would wow! I’m a huge fan of floral, and Cityview Florist, aka Flowersnobs, went all out. We coordinated the blooms to match the colors in the SoFortWorthIt and B&B logos.

Big Ass Balloons made quite the statement for the Sunday Funday launch harmonizing the same color palette as the floral and logos.

Besides curating the Bubbles Brunch & Banter event to be a fabulous experience for an exclusive group of digital experts, my favorite part was sitting down with owner Ben Berg, his managing partner and GM, Darren McDonald, and private events coordinator, Angela Kell, to create the perfect tasting menu.

And let me tell you, we were not going to disappoint! In fact, B&B’s Executive Chef John Piccolino and Berg Hospitality Group’s Chief Executive Chef Tommy Elbashary, pulled out all the stops on food offerings.

Photo credit: Felix Sanchez

Have you ever seen so many precious micro versions of breakfast? These passed appetizers were pared down nibbles from actual dishes they serve off their brunch menu. Barbie-sized pancakes? Yes, please!!!

My mom was so impressed by the flavors, portion size and food presentation, she practically accosted Darren to cater their next private event.

Darren serving bite size stacks of pancakes.
Chef Tommy's Bacon
Mini Quiche
Lox & Bagels
Chicken & Waffle Cones

Brunch started out with a viral BANG as guests grabbed an aperitif and made their way over to the social media backdrop to let the world know that B&B’s Bubbles Brunch & Banter had begun and was here to stay.

B&B Butcher Brunch

Squeezebox Bandits played TexMex Zydeco, similar to Cajun Jazz, as we mingled and visited for about an hour.

After grazing on five different appetizers, it was time to sit down and work our way through the next round of food. By this point, I was already regretting not wearing my Spanx.

Thanks to JOY Macarons, each person found their assigned seat with a tasty personalized treat with B&B and SFWI logos on them. A little insider info? Liz, the owner of JOY, was in carpool with me growing up, when we attended All Saints together.

Once everyone took their seats, Darren introduced and thanked me for hosting the launch of B&B’s weekend brunch. In return, I thanked him, the restaurant, all the guests who attended and the local businesses who helped to make this event just perfect.

As the music resumed, more food came out from the kitchen. And more food, and more food. I seriously thought I was going to blow a gasket, but I couldn’t help but try a bite of everything.

Savory bread, sweet pastries and Nutella breakfast pizza with sliced strawberries and bananas! Holy Big Balls of Cowtown, I was about to founder.

I ordered as light as possible for my main entrée, which was the Power Up breakfast consisting of scrambled egg whites, whole wheat avocado toast, and salsa roja. Need I say more.

And then there was dessert. Ripieni Sorbetto’s, the most lovely, frozen citrus fruits filled with sorbet. The only thing missing was the Amalfi Coast. They were absolutely decadent.

And the family recipe, Gramma June’s mini Monkey Bread was pure crack. It was impossible to have just one bite.

As brunch came to an end, guests took home a B&B bag filled with the restaurant’s signature wine glasses, a custom monogrammed bottle opener, a treat from Cityview Florist and an Elaine Turner gift card to the brand’s store in The Shops of Clearfork.

As a bonus, the ever-fabulous Neiman Marcus provided additional gift bags filled with a full-sized beauty product too.

After the event was all said and done, the one thing I’ve been thinking about over and over was the graciousness and hospitality we received during brunch.

I’ve dined at B&B more times than I can count on both hands and EVERY, SINGLE, TIME, service has been above and beyond, like butlers recruited from Daddy Warbucks’s mansion. Berg Hospitality Group does not disappoint.

Hey, when you’re only one of 10 restaurants in the United States who qualifies to serve authentic Kobe beef from purebred Japanese cattle, you can expect the best.

B&B Butchers and Restaurant is a valuable addition to our community. They offer presentation, atmosphere, and good food all in a way that’s fresh to Fort Worth.

Located in the coolest new land development, The Shops at Clearfork. Southern hospitality and impeccable tasting food, what more could you ask?

B&B Butchers & Restaurant GIVEAWAY!!!

*All event photos courtesy of Laura McCarthy of Elusive Images Photography*