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15 Feb

SoFortWorthIt Gets a Sweet Treat with Eleni’s Cookies

Hey friends! You must be shocked to see two posts from me in one week. I know it’s been a little while since I’ve busted out some content on SoFortWorthIt, but I promise you, it was worth the wait.

If you follow me on social media, then you’ve probably heard me mention the words, Academy Awards or Oscars a few times. Well, let me fill you in on the goods! It’s true, Sweet Hubs and I are beyond thrilled to attend the 90th Academy Awards in just a few weeks.

You can check out the nitty gritty of who, what and how in the world we get the opportunity to check this off our bucket-list HERE. In the meantime, I’m kicking off the first of several articles about this once in a lifetime weekend, starting with these sweet treats. We’re not just talking about any sweet treat, we are talking about the uber-famous Eleni’s New York cookies and cupcakes.

Eleni's New York Logo

What I love most about these slightly crisp, not too sweet and intricately hand-decorated confections? They make the perfect dessert to either give or serve for every occasion. Speaking of occasions, every year Eleni’s celebrates the Oscars with her Signature Illustration Hollywood Cookies honoring Best Actor and Actress Nominees.

This year’s Academy Award gift sets pay homage to Meryl Streep, Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Frances McDormand, Sally Hawkins, Timothee Chalarmet, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Kaluuya, Gary Oldman and Denzel Washington.

SoFortWorthIt and Eleni’s New York are Long Time BFF’s

I tasted my very first Eleni’s cookie way back in the late 90’s when my parents gave us one of the coolest Christmas gifts. It was an Advent-like green Christmas tree from the Neiman Marcus Christmas catalog, and Eleni’s Christmas cookies hung from ribbon on these long wooden dowels. It was magnificent, and I’ve been hooked ever since.

And, In the mid-2000’s, I hosted a book signing for the ever fabulous Kimberly Schlegel Whitman with a breathtakingly delicious dessert-themed tablescape. This event was so yummy, the calories were even swinging from the chandeliers. I sourced desserts locally and nationwide. I knew this event wouldn’t be complete without Eleni’s playfully unique cookies and I couldn’t resist adding these fashion staples to the buffet. 

Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Eleni's Cookies at book signing
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Eleni's Cookies at book signing
Kimberly Schlegel Whitman and Eleni's Cookies at book signing

Plus, Eleni’s came to the rescue when we needed the perfect thank you gifts for my husband’s overseas clients. We sent high-res files of each company’s logo. In return, they produced the best gift for Jason to honor their business relationship. A set of cookies with the MSmith Exporting logo were placed next to the client’s logo-cookies in a box tied with a big red bow to signify luck.

Thanks to Eleni, we scored big in gift-giving etiquette with the Chinese. Below is a picture of the MSmith cookie and us in the airport hauling huge boxes of cookie gifts.

Eleni's gift-etiquette perfect for business trip to China

The sky’s the limit with corporate or special occasion cookies from Eleni’s.

ElenisCustom

Below are some of my favorite sets. I’ve ordered these summer cookies to take to the lake, and I’m going to order these ski cookies to take with us on spring break.

Eleni's Lake Cookie Set
Eleni's Ski Cookie Set

Wouldn’t these make the perfect thank you gift for that special friend hosting you in their luxury sports box or to watch the big game in their home?

Eleni's Cowboy Cookie Sets
Eleni's Play Ball Cookie Set

We all know the flu is running rampant. This gift set would get someone well real quick, I’m almost sure of it! You know what they say, a spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.

Eleni's Get Well Cookie Set

Giveaways Galore!

Here’s the yummiest part of it all! Eleni’s New York is giving away their signature Academy Award set which includes Best Actor and Best Actress cookies valued at $100. These will be the hit of any Oscar-themed party.

Eleni’s is also extending a 10% discount to all SoFortWorthIt followers. Enter promo code SFWI10 at check out. Good through February 2019.

Head on over to my Instagram for a chance to win this signature New York, New York Gift Set valued at $46! Drawing a lucky winner on March 2, 2018.

NYNYEleni's

14 Feb

SoFortWorthIt Takes on Hollywood

It’s not often a heavy-hitter Hollywood producer and his beautiful wife move to town and make Fort Worth the perfect city to raise their children. And it’s not often a Hollywood producer’s wife reaches out to you the second their plane hits the tarmac. Ok, let me back up a couple of decades and share the bigger picture.

Angelique & Mike De Luca

This wasn’t Angelique’s first rodeo to Texas. She was actually born in Fort Worth and attended Southwest High School with my cousins Clif and Cami, but for her junior year she hopped over to Arlington Heights High School, and that’s where the mutual friend thing comes into play.

Several years ago, Jason and I hosted an event at Del Frisco’s with Neiman Marcus in collaboration with Riedel Wine. We had a great turnout and everyone enjoyed the educational wine-tasting experience and gifts. Afterwards, Jason and I entertained our close friends in the basement wine cellar. That’s when Kristi Wilson introduced me to Angelique, and the rest was history!

Fast forward to the present, when Angelique and Mike De Luca made Fort Worth their new hometown, they both mentioned wanting to get involved with a few local non-profits and charities. Many institutions have been clambering for their attention, I mean who wouldn’t, but eventually, the De Luca’s hearts settled on founding member, Jean Roach’s beloved KinderFrogs, a family-focused, early intervention program that provides a developmentally appropriate educational environment for children with Down Syndrome and other developmental delays.

You know what that means! A very special party would soon be in the works. Last October the appropriately themed fundraiser, Hollywood Celebrates KinderFrogs, became the center of attention in the Who’s Who of Fort Worth’s upper echelon. Scoring an invite to this event would not be easy, and of course, it sold out almost immediately. If you weren’t quick to reply, then you weren’t going.

Months before, Angelique mentioned she and Mike were donating two tickets to the Academy Awards for the Leap Frog 2017 live auction. I told her attending the Oscars would be a dream come true, it was a bucket list item of mine and I was determined to check it off the list. She said it would be so fun if we went with them. The mission to win those tickets was on like Donkey Kong.

We laughed at the concoction of excuses I came up with on how to get away with winning this auction item. It was like a scene straight out of, “How To Get Away With Murder”. I was afraid to tell Jason for fear he would shut that fun down real quick, and I definitely didn’t want to tell my Dad because I knew he would knock some sense into my head. No time for that either! So, I called up our accountant to figure out what it would take to get me to the Oscars. After hanging up the phone, my mind was at ease. Now, all I needed was to let Jason know of my plan.

The night of Leap Frog 2017 finally came, and I was so excited I could hardly stand it. When we pulled up, the paparazzi were waiting at the red carpet flashing their camera lights to take everyone’s picture as they arrived. We checked-in and walked down the driveway to the De Luca’s backyard, which was transformed into a majestic scene of purple wonder.

The De Luca Family
The De Luca Family
Jean & John Roach
Jean & John Roach, Founding Members of KinderFrogs
Lauren & Mark Yamagata
Lauren & Mark Yamagata, Honorary Chairs of Leap Frog 2017

I immediately knew this event had its A-game on when I spotted Daylan Sharpe and his very sharp team of service staff. They always set the tone of sophistication and perfection for any event. This outdoor soiree was lit, and in purple too. The floral and place settings complimented the Hollywood and TCU theme of the evening.

After a cocktail and mingling with friends, the dinner bells chimed and we all headed to the table. We worked our way over to the Dunaway Associates/Foundation table with our guests and the guests of President/CEO of Dunaway Assco. Tom Galbreath. 

As we were enjoying a delicious catered meal from Jon Bonnell’s restaurant Bonnell’s, the presentation for the evening got underway.

Angelique & Mike De Luca
Angelique & Mike De Luca
Mary Martin Patton
Mary Martin Patton, Dean of TCU College of Education
Mary Martin Patton, Amy Yudiski & Diane Ayres
Mary Martin Patton with Co-Chairs Amy Yudiski & Diane Ayres

When dessert was brought to the table, I knew it was almost showtime. My hands began to shake in nervous anticipation for the bidding to begin. There were seven live auction items, and “Night at the Oscars” would be the last one on the list. Jason and I had actually instated a “no-bid on live Auctions” rule (several businesses over the years didn’t honor the donations we won at other charity events), but this time was different. The De Luca’s were our close friends, and we knew this was going to be legit!

As Scott Murray finished up the second to last auction item on the list, my heart started to race. The moment I had been waiting for all night was about to unfold. Scott starts in on the bidding. Several people raised their hands, I raised mine shortly after to let the auctioneer know I was in the game. My heart was pounding. I was hoping it wasn’t going to go very high, then one of our friends sitting with us raised his hand just to get a reaction out of me! I gave him the stink eye. He laughed. The bid kept going up. Many people had given up and dropped out. Even though I knew the money was going to a great cause, I still didn’t want to break the bank.

What felt like the longest live auction bid in history, finally came down to me and one other guy in the ring. It went back and forth between the two of us when another friend, sitting at our table, mentioned I was bidding against a billionaire. I mean really?!?! Can it get any worse? But, just as he said this, the bidding slowed. I thought, “I can’t give up now. What’ s an extra $500, just one more $500!”

And then it was over! Although the wallet felt pretty beaten up, in the end, it all went to an incredible cause. We won the Academy Award tickets and Leap Frog 2017 broke many records, raising $394,550, the most money for KinderFrogs in the event’s history.

Scott Murray
Scott Murray

What’s Happening Next

Now, let me share with you the exciting things that are unfolding as we speak. Since January 2nd, I have been on a journey to go from drab to fab by March 4th, 2018. I restarted my super clean diet from indulging over the holidays, and I’ve have lost over 10lbs so far. I’m actually at the lowest I’ve been since I broke my back four years ago. Yay me! Nothing like having something to motivate you, right?

I also tried a few things I’ve never done before, including Botox and fillers. I went to the very best doctor in Dallas/Fort Worth and even live filmed the procedure on Instagram (you are following me there, right?). Before and after photos have been taken and I can’t wait to share the results, plus the incredible giveaway from his practice that you don’t want to miss.

 This Week:

Get your sweet tooth ready, SoFortWorthIt followers! There’s a delicious giveaway hitting the blog this week that you do not want to miss!

 

Next Week:

Total hair makeover and Giveaway!

 

In Two Weeks:

Red-carpet makeover by the best in the industry and of course surprises for you!

 

And then:

Made-to-Measure Oscar dresses- you’ll see the entire process, start to finish, on how this designer for the stars has created a dress just for me.

 

Oscars Weekend:

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram for LIVE, behind the scenes moments throughout our weekend in LA. The excitement is brewing, and I can’t wait to share it all with you.

 

***All professional photography from Leap Frog 2017 courtesy of  Glen Ellman.***

17 Sep

Welcome To SoFortWorthIt

Welcome to SoFortWorthIt

Welcome to SoFortWorthIt! SoFortWorthIt is a Fort Worth based lifestyle blog by Christy Dunaway Smith, featuring the latest in beauty, entertaining, fashion, jet-setting, the local social scene and more.

SoFortWorthIt was originally created in 2012 when our dear friend Hal, owner of Fort Worth Magazine, asked if I would become their social blogger. As a Fort Worth native, I was thrilled because I am so passionate about our city! One evening while my mother and I were enjoying cocktails and brainstorming blog ideas, the name SoFortWorthIt was born.

For more than four years, I was fortunate to share my expertise and experiences with Fort Worth Magazine readers. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to explore many fun topics with the support of the magazine. I developed a new confidence, and now I’m branching out on my own to showcase more content more often! I will still cover entertaining, home and interior design, social events and dining, travel, holidays, health and beauty…and maybe some personal drama too.

What better way to get started than to reacquaint ourselves?

I was born and raised in Fort Worth. Growing up, I attended Country Day, All Saints and Arlington Heights. During my 8th grade year, I went to school in Dallas, lived in Big D with my grandparents for a few summers in high school, and attended Southern Methodist University for college. While at SMU, I started dating my sweet husband Jason, who I met at a stop light. For a long time I was a dual city girl, attending events and making my society debuts in both Dallas and Fort Worth, but after graduation, I decided to plant my roots in The Fort.

Steeple Chase Ball with my parents in 1996.
Visiting with friends at a debutant ball in Dallas in 1997.
Dancing with my grandfather, Francis Winn.

Jason and I have two boys. Our first born rule follower is twelve, and my mini-me party animal just turned nine. We have a cat named Spooky Boots, and a Lab we call Boo (both pets were adopted in October). We also have a rotating door of critters ranging from parakeets, turtles, snakes, hedgehogs, and whatever other heartbeats my kids collect along the way. Oh, and let’s not forget about the amphibian in our kitchen that my kids won at the rodeo, aka Kitchen Fish. We affectionately refer to our house as The Smith Family Zoo!

Family and faith are important to me. Without getting too wordy, I’d like to emphasize that I am a non-stereotypical Christian – an open-minded, social drinking, occasional F-bomb dropping (but never around my children) kind of Christian. We attend a bible church regularly, I cherish my mom’s group bible study, and I love being a youth leader at VBS in the summer when there isn’t a travel conflict on the calendar. I try my best to put God first, husband second, and kids third – except when it’s not possible to go in that exact order, which is frequently. I mean, who are we really kidding, let’s be honest here.

Besides faith and family, my true love is entertaining. I enjoy doing this because it forms relationships and brings everyone together to celebrate even life’s smallest joys. I owe my love for this “sport” to my parents and grandparents, who hosted magical parties for all occasions with amazing food, breathtaking decorations, and ever-present entertainment.

I believe my passion for entertaining is best seen in the exquisite details of each event, from wildly wonderful tablescapes to unexpected surprises.

Although I love going for the wow factor, I appreciate a simple approach when it comes to entertaining, too.

Design is also top on my passion list! Whether it’s a room in your home or a perfectly decorated table, stellar design sets the tone for everything! Not only will I showcase fabulous interior spaces and beautiful tablescapes from my own home, but we will go behind the scenes for different occasions to explore other people’s homes and the way they entertain and decorate.

Here’s a little taste of what else you’ll experience on SoFortWorthIt:

Beauty: Maintaining the Fountain of Youth, anti-aging secrets, beauty education, current trends, product launches, personal services and more.

Design: Decorating tips, styling tricks, trade secrets, home and garden tours, and antique shopping.

Entertaining: Simple to grand-scale tablescapes, floral design, holiday inspiration and dining, parties and even hostess tips and etiquette.

Jet-Setting: From local staycations to global adventures, city tours and excursions, experience the exciting journey through my eyes.

SFWI-Scene: Everything fun and fab in The Fort, grand openings, restaurant events, and all the places to see and be seen.

Style: Casual to couture apparel, costume to precious jewels, in-store events and fashion shows in and around DFW.

Wellness: Healthy recipes, organic foods, the power of essential oils, holistic lifestyle, and sharing what I’ve learned along the way from my own health journey.

The Calendar: Your go-to spot for social and charity events and so much more.

Subscribe via email to stay up to date with SoFortWorthIt. GIVEAWAYS are the best part of SoFortWorthIt! Almost every post will have a prize for a lucky local. From helicopter rides, rodeo boxes, concerts, restaurants and even tickets to sold out galas, I’ve got you covered! In fact, SoFortWorthIt has given away over $50,000 worth of prizes since 2012!

I know you’ll enjoy reading SoFortWorthIt. I’m excited to continue sharing everything I love with you and hope to inspire you along the way. As always, I LOOOOVE hearing from you and reading your comments. SoFortWorthIt wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for all of your LIKING and SHARING of my posts! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. It means the world to me. xoxo