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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!

YLang23 Fort Worth
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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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27 Nov

Tape-In Hair Extensions for A Red Carpet Look with Novak Hair Studios

Hairdreams Tape-in Extensions

The 411 in the 817: Hair Edition

Red carpet hair extensions featuring Novak Hair Studios, the latest and greatest solo artist, eco-friendly salon in Fort Worth.

Most of you know Jason and I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Academy Awards this past March alongside our wonderful friends Angelique and Mike De Luca. But before we headed out to La La Land, I needed to kick my beauty routine up a few notches.

So, I stepped out of my comfort zone and tried a few things I hadn’t done before, including Botox and fillers (this post coming soon) and a total hair makeover, which included hair extensions.

SoFortWorthIt Hair Extensions

Anyone who knows me knows I am very particular when it comes to my hair. Through the decades, I have had multiple experiences at different salons and various stylists that ranged from not-so-great to exceptional. Check out the homemade perm job from my grandmother and a run-in with Sun-In at Camp Longhorn. NICE, huh?

My signature-look for the longest time was blonde hair, and it perfectly fit my bubbly personality. After transitioning to a more healthy, brunette color a few years ago, I thought it would be fun to experiment with extensions to keep that full-bodied, voluminous look.

Christy Dunaway Smith Chair for Cancer Care Services 2013

Being the research queen that I am, I reached out to a few experts in the beauty industry in search of the top stylists who specialized in hair extensions. Ben, the co-owner of Novak Hair Studios, and his ultra-talented sidekick Madalyn were recommended with the best of the best reviews.

I knew that Madalyn at Novak would provide the service I was looking for, and would ultimately understand what I needed to take my hair game to the next level.

Ben Novak and Madalyn Porche

I may be biased, but I am here to tell you that Ben’s team is indeed the best in the industry, and that is no exaggeration. In fact, Novak Hair Studios is the official sponsor for Mrs. Texas, Mrs. Oklahoma, Miss America Texas, and Miss Teen Texas. Whoa, that’s kind of a big deal, right?

Not only that, local Trinity Valley student Brenna Flynn of Fort Worth took the crown as reigning Miss Texas Teen USA 2018.

HAIR EXTENSION 101

Highlighting the hair extension process and procedures.

I started this process by booking a complimentary consultation with Madalyn so she could asses my hair and pick the best extensions that matched the color, texture, and length of my current locks.

SoFortWorthIt Hair Extensions Novak Hair Studios

Although Novak Hair Studios uses several different extension brands, Madalyn chose Hairdreams, a tape-in brand that uses real human hair and is known for its natural texture. Human hair just feels better over synthetic, and it is by far the superior way to go.

Tape-in extensions are best for keeping your hair thick, happy, and healthy. Plus, they can be reused up to 4-5 times which will save money and time in the long run.

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The extension process didn’t take nearly as long as I had imagined. For my hair, the installation was around 45-60 minutes, in addition to the standard amount of time it takes to color, wash, cut and style.

I go in every 5-7 weeks to have the extensions taken out, cleaned, rebound, and moved up closer to my scalp, on top of the services mentioned above. A reinstall day is always a little bit longer than the 1st time you have them put in.

Overall, I always plan for 4 – 4 ½ hours in the salon on extension day.

At the moment, I am on my second set of tape-in extensions this year. The 1st set, which were installed in February, lasted all the way through Halloween while taking a Memorial through Labor Day break. Since we are at the lake as much as humanly possible during the summer months, I really wanted to preserve the integrity and longevity of my Hair Dreams extensions by not exposing them to harsh conditions like lake water, sunscreen and chemically treated pool water.

Remember above when I mentioned how tape-in extensions don’t damage your hair? This picture was taken right after I had them removed for summer break. I believe using these particular extensions has actually made my hair healthier.

How Much do Extensions Cost?

So here is the scoop, Novak Hair Studios truly wants to take care of their customers- so much so that they do not mark up their hair extensions when they purchase from a third-party distributor. Instead, they pass their cost directly on to the customer.

When I originally had my first set of extensions put in before the Academy Awards, Madalyn used seven packs of hair for a fuller Red Carpet, glamorous look. Each pack included six pieces, so we used 42 extensions total, which came to $500 for all of the hair.

For the first time around, it is about $900 for the average person to walk into Novak for a full extension service, including color/hi-lite, cut and style. Paying for your hair upfront is the priciest part of this gig, but after your initial appointment, your regular maintenance is most likely similar to what you have been paying for a typical hair appointment.

For everyday purposes, Madalyn recommended we go down to six packs at the next install to maintain a more manageable look.

Novak Hair Studios is in a League of Its Own

Now let me highlight this luxury solo artist salon in downtown Fort Worth a bit more for you. There are so many unique characteristics that make up Novak; it’s just too exciting not to share.

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Novak Hair Reception Desk

Novak Hair Studios is partnered with Green Circle Salons, a sustainable salon solution that helps recover and repurpose beauty waste to ensure that 95% of everything is recycled, including the hair trimmings.

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Novak

Their eco-friendly model also goes as far as using water-saving Ecoheads on their European wash bowls (reduces water and energy usage by 65%) and an HVAC system that is continuously cleaning the air from chemicals released throughout the day.

The customer service at this salon is unparalleled. A concierge service will check on guests periodically to make sure they are being taken care of and comfortable, and who can resist a complimentary glass of wine from their digital beverage menu.

While you are waiting for your foils to set, enjoy that glass of Chardonnay in a PRIVATE processing lounge so you can rock your lovely foil-covered head without other guests seeing you.

And I’m head over heels with the organic and cruelty-free Eufora hair product line that is exclusively sold at Novak Hair Studios. This stuff is the BOMB!

Eufora

Last, but not least, the attention to detail that Novak prides itself on is unlike any other. Novak’s fantastic staff members and stylists radiate passion for their work and continuously strive to create a positive pampering experience for all guests. I immediately feel right at home when I walk into Novak.

Photography by Maria Ciszek & Novak Hair Studios

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY

Who is ready for a very exciting giveaway from Novak Hair Studios! After all, what says red carpet more than having red carpet hair?!

Start your night out with an Oscar inspired HotTools Pro 24k Gold 1.1/4 inch curing iron with a pure gold finish, along with an arsenal of the styling products you will need to be ready to make headlines for your academy awards debut. Eufora Retain Spray to help retain curls and provide heat protection, Eufora Tame Spray to help lock out frizz and provide additional memory for curls that will last through the after party, Eufora Full Effect Dry Texturizing Spray to help separate and add fullness to any style, and lastly Eufora Uplift Extra Firm Finishing Spray to finalize and perfect those locks. But that’s not all, Madalyn is throwing in a full blowout and style for your next big night out on the town.

Please read the TERMS & CONDITIONS for full details and disclosures located in the Rafflecopter link below.

17 Oct

10 Fun October Events You Need To Know About In DFW + GIVEAWAYS

Hey SoFortWorthIt fans! Here are my top picks for fun events and activities to do in October with or without your children, plus 2 GIVEAWAYS! Although I’m a little late to the game for this month, the list below offers some of the best in and around our beautiful city.

Hey, SoFortWorthIt fans! Here are my top picks for fun events and activities to do in October to with or without your children, plus 2 GIVEAWAYS!

TOP 10 FOR OCTOBER

Christmas In Cowtown

Christmas in Cowtown Gift Market Oct 12-15

Get your holiday shopping done early this year with a wide range of merchants offering something for everyone, while knowing you’re making a positive impact on the community through the Fort Worth Junior League. Check out the catalog.

TICKETS

Rio Festival

Rio Festival (Fort Worth River District) Oct 14

Celebrate Fort Worth’s revitalizing growth into the River District with this family friendly event offering live music from home-grown artist, including Isabella Breedlove (Heiress of Joe T. Garcia) and Peter More (grandson of the late Martha Hyder), local shop owners and delicious food and drink vendors. Rio Festival will also have a fun kid zone full of seasonal crafts and games. (12 and under FREE)

TICKETS

Arts Goggle

Arts Goggle Oct 21

Celebrating its 15th year, this popular family-friendly October event attracts a crowd as diverse as the neighborhood itself with live music, artistic displays of every kind, food, drink, and fun for everyone. More than 800 artists, 30 bands and 3 main stages will be spread across 15 blocks of the Near Southside.

FREE

Boo At The Zoo

Boo at the Zoo Oct 27-29

Enjoy treat stations, carnival games, animal shows and more. This entertaining daytime event is free with Zoo admission and packed with fun for the whole family.

TICKETS

Partners Card

Partner’s Card Dallas Oct 27 – Nov5

For 25 years, Partners Card has become the largest fundraiser for The Family Place and is one of the most popular shopping events in the Dallas Metroplex, providing over 15,000 nights of shelter to women, men and children. 100% of your Partners Card purchase goes directly to supporting survivors of family violence. Get your Christmas shopping done early and save 20% at more than 750 retailers and restaurants.

PURCHASE CARD

Family Pumpkin Day

Mainstay Farm Through Oct 29

The annual “Family Pumpkin Days” are not to be missed on SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS during the month of October. An extensive list of exciting entertainment including a huge maze, a three story treehouse, zip-lines and even a giant “pillow” to jump on, this farm will keep your family entertained for hours.

Not to be missed Nov 4th: On “Pumpkin Smashing Saturday”, the farm obliterates leftover pumpkins on a high-speed pumpkin zip-line that launches from a 40-foot water tower with a head-on collision into a barrier.

TICKETS

Six Flags

Fright Fest at Six Flags Through Oct 31

It’s a spooky time of year as zombies and ghouls take over the park. Haunted houses and scare zones make for a truly frightening evening after the sun goes down. The stuff of nightmares lurk around every corner as the dark of night washes over the park. The ghouls are set free for their daily hunting rituals. BEWARE! There is no place to hide!

TICKETS

Midnight

The Modern: Misty Keasler: Haunt Through Nov 26th

Thirteen themed haunted houses across America make up the imagery for Misty Keasler’s Haunt, 2015–2017. Approximately 40 photographs featuring American haunted houses, depicting interior rooms and exterior scenes, are included in this exhibition. In addition to the photographs of haunts, this exhibition includes a separate series of 15 portraits of haunted house actors in monster costumes. The Museum is free every Sunday and half price every Wednesday.

Modern ‘til Midnight: Haunt Oct 27

Enjoy a night of live music outside against the Modern’s reflecting pond with unique spotlight tours in the galleries, a DJ and dancing in the Grand Lobby, prize drawings from the Modern Shop, and exceptional cuisine from Café Modern.  Dress up for the Modern Costume Contest this October! Picnic dinners are available with advance reservations.

TICKETS

Skull

Cutting Edge Haunted House Through Nov 4

Cutting Edge Haunted House is located in a 100-year-old abandoned meat-packing factory right here in Fort Worth. This haunted house received two records in Guinness World Records for “World’s Largest Haunted Attraction” and “World’s Largest Walk Through Haunted House” in 2015. Nuff said!

Insider tip: The closer it gets to Halloween, the longer the wait to get in…sometimes up to 4 hours. For an extra $10 over general admission, your wait will be under 30 minutes, and an extra $23 over general admission, there’s no wait.

Regular and VIP TICKETS

Hangmans

Hangman’s House of Horrors Haunted House Through Nov 4

In its 29th season, this charity-benefiting haunted house is the largest of its kind in the world. Unlike many other haunted houses, Hangman’s changes their theme every year. This year, Ft. Worth’s legendary Hezekiah Jones, “The Hangman,” will find himself standing beside some of the creepiest people, places and things Texas has to offer. This chilling take on “Texas Legends” is sure to make you check under your bed before you go to sleep at night.

Insider tip: Just like Cutting Edge, VIP tickets are worth every penny.

Regular and VIP TICKETS

SoFortWorthIt Visits Fright Fest 

A couple of weeks ago, Autumn Reo with Mama Challenge and The Reo Agency reached out to me to join her on a frightful adventure to Six Flags. It was only appropriate that we bring a cinematographer, aka, cool camera guy Joshua Colson, to capture all of our screams on film. You’ll get a kick out of this one minute video. Special thanks to Josh Mills with Desert Wind Films, this wouldn’t have been possible with him.

Over the next few weeks, I have some incredible posts coming your way. Last month I entertained outside of the country and this week I’m traveling to another stellar destination. I can’t wait to share it all with you.

I’m also working on my wildly popular Holiday Events and Activities in DFW. I have tons of giveaway and prizes on the horizon, so hold on to your pants! Speaking of giveaways, I hope you enjoyed the ones above.

Leave a comment below! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on making SFWI the best it can be! xoxo