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5 Nov

The Lone Star Film Festival Gala is the Most Star-Studded Event in Fort Worth

Lone Star Film Festival and Gala Comes to Fort Worth

The Lone Star Film Festival Gala, via the road to Fort Worth, is about the closest way to Hollywood you can get, and boy is this star-studded event something you don’t want to miss! Last year, Jason and I, along with my parents, were guests of Angelique De Luca and Hollywood producer Mike De Luca. It was certainly a night to remember with great moments that reminded me of the time we attended the Academy Awards.

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Familiar Faces Among the Crowds

Last year’s crowd was filled with local notables, familiar faces, and out of town VIPs and celebrities, which made for lots of rubbernecking and memorable conversation. I bumped into tons of friends, hob-knobbed with Nancy Lamb and caught up with one of my favorite creatives, Michelle Kirk. Oh, and not to forget, I hugged on Pat Green too. 

Chad Mathews, Mike De Luca, Pat Green and Jeff Nichols
Lane Garrison and Camille Chambers
Amanda Chromaster and Josh Mills
Camille Brown, Angelique De Luca and Courtney Prescott
Jason & Christy Smith and Carol & Jim Dunaway
Victor Medina, Angelique De Luca, and Susan Medina
Victor Medina, Angelique De Luca, and Susan Medina
Holland Sanders and Karolam Ramirez
Atlee Phillips and Michelle Kirk
Christopher Langdon and Nancy Lamb
Steve Murrin and Pat Green
Steve Murrin and Pat Green
Pat Green, Christy Smith and Jason Smith
Pat Green, Christy Smith and Jason Smith
Angelique De Luca, Jim Dunaway and Steve Murrin
Angelique De Luca, Jim Dunaway and Steve Murrin
Christy Smith, Angelique De Luca and Courtney Prescott
Christy Smith, Angelique De Luca and Courtney Prescott

Award-Winning Philanthropy 

The night was filled with great food and libations, award presentations and headliner entertainment, all to raise money for Lone Star Film Society’s Johnny Langdon Film Education Initiative, which funds youth film camps and programs through the Boys & Girls Clubs across Tarrant County.

Mike De Luca and Jeff Nichols
Tommy Burt, Brad Ewert, Ro Rynd, Pat Green, Jason Rynd, Kori Green, Ginger Walker, Paige Ewert and Suzanne Burt
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Raising money for the Lone Star Film Society

Grammy Nominated Entertainment 

Speaking of headliner entertainment, Pat Green took to the stage with his witty humor and adoring eyes for his wife Kori, as he told stories of the 1st years of dating and marriage. It was a treat to witness their energy and chemistry in a ballroom filled with fans and friends. 

Movies, Celebrities and So Much More

Although the Gala was one for the books, the best part about the Lone Star Film Festival are the 5 days of movies, celebrity panel discussions and exclusive cocktail events in the heart of Sundance Square downtown. It’s a real treat for all the film buffs who live in and around our great city.

Sadly, due to scheduling conflicts last year, I missed the Q&A celebrity panel discussion with Mike and other filmmakers who dove into the details of production and what that world looks like. But have no fear, I have cleared some of my schedule for this year’s festival. Hopefully I will run into you!

Lane Garrison at AMC with movie patrons.
Celebrity panel discussion, a conversation with a Hollywood movie producer, Mike De Luca.
Celebrity panel discussion, a conversation with a Hollywood movie writer and director, Jeff Nichols.

Purchase Your Tickets Here

As the self-appointed party director of fabulousness, our entire host committee is ready to greet you on Thursday, November 14th. You can schmooze with celebrities at this glamorous event until your heart is content! Tables are still available as of this publication.

Check out these famous details below, and purchase your tickets HERE! (If online ticket sales close, you can call and purchase until the day before, based on availability.)

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Tips and Tricks on HOW TO FEST:

The Top 7 Things You Need to Know to Make the Best of the Fest 

  1.  All-Access Badges get you the biggest bang for your buck! This VIP-access ticket gets you into EVERYTHING, all five days, including 140+ films (with priority seating), film talks with industry pros, daily happy hours (badge = free drinks), post-film Q&A’s, coffee with the filmmakers, and so much more! 

2.  Oscar-contending films. The festival is best known for their independent and Texas filmmaker competitions, but what a lot of people don’t know is that LSFF features a select number of showcase films! These are the movies that are going to be the biggest in the nation and you can see them at Lone Star before anyone else in North Texas. This year, you have to mark A Hidden Life and Just Mercy on your must-see list. 

3.  Happy Hours aren’t just for drinking. LSFF hosts a nightly happy hour (at The Aloft Hotel) where you can go to get great (sometimes free) drinks, but more importantly you get the chance to mix and mingle with all of the directors, producers, and stars of the films! The happy hours are a great time to get the inside scoop on exciting new projects in the works and sharpen your film knowledge. 

4.  Pre-plan your entire festival before the celebration begins because there is an app for that! The Lone Star Film Festival app is available on Apple and Android and allows you to check out every film and event that will at the 2019 LSFF event. You can ‘star’ the events and films you want to make sure and attend to create your own schedule on the app. It also provides live updates of added films and an insiders look at this year’s award-winning lineup. 

5.  The 13th Annual Fest’s Opening Night Party is going to be one for the records. EVERYONE is invited to celebrate the first day of the festival on November 13, 2019 from 9pm-12am on the rooftop of Fort Worth’s newly reimagined, 1930s hotel: The Sinclair, Autograph Collection. The event is free and will feature specialty cocktails with filmmakers, locals, and movie enthusiast during one incredible night. All-Access Badge Holder’s first cocktails is free*! *limit 100 cocktails available for AA Badgeholders. 

6.  The most star-studded gala in Fort Worth. Experience the 13th Annual Lone Star Film Fest Gala on November 14, 2019 at The Worthington Renaissance Hotel. This exclusive evening will highlight chef-driven menus, specialty cocktails and celebrity meet-and-greets. The event will celebrate and honor the GRAMMY award-winning actor and filmmaker Tim Blake Nelson with the Bill Paxton Achievement in Film Award, as well as country music idol and actor Waylon Payne with the Stephen Bruton Award.  Guests will experience a special performance by Payne and be greeted by the event’s presenters — multi-award-winning musician and singer of ‘I Hope You Dance’ Lee Ann Womack and talented filmmaker and co-founder of the band Folk Uke Amy Nelson. 

7. Ever wonder what happened to Blockbuster? Or how Netflix claimed fame? The Story Behind Netflix’s Early Days of Marketing Film Talk at #LSFF2019 will feature Netflix Co-founder & Vice President of Merchandising Christina Kish, Blockbuster’s Former Chief Operating Officer Nick Sheperd, and more. O Brother, Where Art Thou and Just Mercy star Tim Blake Nelson will also be featured during a conversation moderated by Tom Provost. With multiple film talks to choose from every day, you’re sure to find something that intrigues you!

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY!

Who is ready to mix, mingle and dance with the stars? One lucky winner will receive TWO tickets to The Lone Star Film Festival Gala at a value of $1200! Drawing the winner @ NOON on Monday, November 11th!

PLUS!!!! BONUS GIVEAWAY! Head over to my INSTAGRAM for a chance to win 2 ALL ACCESS BADGES for the entire 5 day festival! VALUE $700

*** Must read the Terms & Conditions in the Rafflecopter link below for the official rules and disclaimers for this giveaway. I would hate for you to miss follow all of the steps and your entries not qualify.***

26 Mar

Knives Up, Wallets Out! How My Cooking Raises Money for Kids

My Cooking Raises Money for Kids! (For Real!)

If you had told me this time last year that I would be using my cooking skills to raise money for kids, I would have told you to put your crack pipe down. In all seriousness, I actually did raise a LOT of money for kids, had a great time, and scored a sweet auction deal that brought a celebrity chef to my home kitchen for an epic party. And in less than one week, this event will happen all over again!

It is called Cookin’ for Kids, and it’s a delicious dinner party wrapped around a high-energy, fast-paced Iron Chef-style cooking competition. It all goes down Sunday, March 31 from 6-9 pm at the Cendera Center in Fort Worth. Tickets are $150 each, and you can win a pair of them with a few other incredible goodies just by reading my full post and clicking the link at the end — how’s that for incentive!

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But first, I am sure Enquiring Minds want to know:
• What crazy nonprofit was willing to risk poisoning its supporters by asking me to cook at its benefit?
• How in the holy Texas hail balls did I cook something that raised gobs of cash?
• Who was the celebrity chef who came to mi casa, and
• What’s the deal this year?

Kids Who Care Musical Theater is Awesome!

The nonprofit behind Cookin’ for Kids is Kids Who Care. Its mission is to provide musical theater education and experiences to young people, which it’s been doing for more than 30 years. You may have seen one of the incredible original plays it puts on, or you’ve sent your child to its awesome summer camp.

But here’s something you may not know: Kids Who Care serves kids aged kindergarten through college, is inclusive of all kids regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, religion, orientation or ability, and it has never, ever turned away a student because of his or her ability or family’s financial hardship.

In addition to music, Kids Who Care also fosters cross-cultural connections through its international exchange programs and it develops leadership skills through programs to teach creative confidence, entrepreneurship and arts management on stage, at all developmental stages.

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How I Cooked for Cash and SMOKED the Competition!

Last year, Kids Who Care asked me to be a Fort Worth Notable, which is what they call the volunteer competitors who go spatula-to-spatula with an “arch nemesis” in the culinary deathmatch which makes up the main event at Cookin’ for Kids. My arch nemesis was none other than Hal Brown, publisher of Fort Worth Magazine. Hal is actually a dear friend, but that night it was ON like Donkey Kong: Magazine Publisher vs. Internet Blogger!

Of course, I knew I was going to DOM-inate, and here’s why. Every Notable gets paired up with a real, live chef for the competition, and my chef partner was the epicurean idol Blaine Staniford of GRACE restaurant.

Now take a breath cause I wasn’t the one preparing real food that people had to eat, but I did assist. And my hair looked really full and shiny thanks to those extensions I got at Novak Hair Studios before we attended the Academy Awards. I was the chic-est sous whoever did sous!

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Obvi we were the dream team and the CLEAR favorite to win, especially since Hapless Hal’s chef-partner was some no-name part-time burger flipper. (OK, it was really John Piccolino, the meat maestro of B&B Butchers & Restaurant, but this is my blog post, so I get to embellish the story.)

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On your mark, get set… we greased up the pans, cranked up the gas and said, “Wonder Twin Powers ACTIVATE!” For the next 45 minutes, I followed orders and micro-chopped the Buh-Jeez out of everything. Just like on the real Iron Chef TV show, every team had to include a specific “mystery ingredient” in their dish.

Cookin For Kids 2018

In the past, it’s been really rando stuff like boba bubble balls, Dr. Pepper, and pop tarts. Ours was gold leaf – so you know I felt totally at home, even though most of my interaction with gold involves wearing it, not eating it.

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We had a lot to deal with, y’all. Guests were coming right up to our table to check out the action. My arch nemesis was heckling us, and then there was the stress of the countdown clock! Then, it was over: Three, two, one… knives down! With the help of my sidekick, had concocted the most delicious masterpiece known to man.

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A team of people swooped in and whisked our plates off to a secret back room where James Beard winner and Head Judge Jon Bonnell and other local talented chefs critiqued the Holy Night out of our gold-infused gourmet grub.

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Here’s how my dish brought in the benjamins: Each plate of chef-prepared food transformed from a contest entry to an AUCTION ITEM! Guests could literally put their money where their mouth was and bid on whose dish they wanted to devour. Each plate of food also came with a spectacular collection of prizes.

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My sad competition was looking a little smug over there in the corner! They knew what was about to hit them. TOTAL DOMINATION!

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Our prize package consisted of a curated seven-course, wine-paired tasting dinner for four at GRACE, along with a killer collection of sports tickets and a VIP suite for your squad. I even threw in a bottle of DOM (remember, I told you we were going to DOM-inate!). Going once, going twice, and SOLD to Ronda & Walter Stucker!

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On top of auctioning off a dish to some poor unfortunate soul, Jon and his posse of judges were doling out awards to the best Micheline Masterpieces of the night. Oh yeah, you know it! Yours truly WON an award! To be honest, I was kinda expecting it! If you’ve dined at GRACE, you know what I’m talking about! Am I right?

Also taking home some cake that night:

  • Angelique De Luca (Hollywood Actress) & Laura Johnston of Bittersweet
  • Robin Greenhaw (The Balvenie) & Juan Rodriguez of Magdalena’s Hal
  • Hal Brown (Fort Worth Magazine) & John Piccolino of B&B Butchers
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It was a big win for us, for the Stuckers and of course, for Kids Who Care. Jason and I ended up bidding on a package offered by Keith Hicks of Buttons and Disc Jockey Erin Wilde another Notable/Chef team that night, and that’s how I ended up scoring a day on the air at 92.1 HANK FM and my FABULOUS DINNER PARTY …

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All About My Party and Being a DJ for a Day!

Bidding in a charity auction is a fun way to donate to a great cause. But let’s be real here. I do it because j’adore the VIP-ness of it all. I mean, most of what’s on the block are ultra-exclusive experiences that otherwise DO NOT EXIST – they are literally not available anywhere else at any price! Case in point, the Kinderfrogs auction item that allowed us to attend the Oscars.

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Cookin’ for Kids is no exception. When I won my prize package at Cookin’ for Kids, I felt a bandit who had made off with a real treasure. Not only did I get a unique and priceless experience, but the full amount of my purchase price went to Kids Who Care. Not only that, our involvement with the event last year helped raise the most money EVER in the history of Cookin’ For Kids.

Here’s my full winning prize package: Co-DJ-ing with Erin Wilde of 92.1 HANK FM for the day, including production planning and having the ONE, the ONLY, Mogul of Soul Food, Chef Keith “Buttons” Hicks host a turn-key experience in a private home for 12. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water for the specialty organic fried chicken and grass-fed tenderloins he cooked just for us. Check out the photos, y’all:

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This Sunday’s Celebrity Chef/FW Notable Line-up!

As amazing as last year was, I am confident this year will be bigger, better and even more delicious! Hal and I were asked to be Honorary co-chairs this year, and we’ve been working feverishly to line up the very best of everything.

Joining us as Notables, we’ve got famous country singer Pat Green and his lovely wife Kori, jewelry and handbag queen of America! (hoping he’ll bust out with a spontaneous serenade!) And get this, I made a quick call to my two girlfriends, Carter Martin and Hannah Davis, who just so happen to be heiresses to the Amon Carter and the Kimball Art Museums. It’s a full-on Clash of Cultures! Oh, and have you ever wanted to see the GMs of Autobahn and Park Place Mercedes go at it neck to neck? That will definitely drive up the price of their dishes, especially when paired with what can only be unbelievably unique LIVE auction packages. What’s a charity fundraiser without Julie Hayes and Kim Johnson, Fort Worth’s top two decorators to society elites. Don’t be shocked if there’s hair pulling by nights end! Bringing up the tail end are Kristi Mayfield and Tara Wilson, former Merrill Lynch Stockbrokers Gone Wild.

Ok, I bet your mouth is drooling to see who are the top 10 Cuisiniers from the very best restaurants our city has to offer – AKA the folks who will actually be doing the cooking. Did you know that almost no one turned me down when I asked them to participate? We have chefs from the top French, Mediterranean and Steak restaurants! We also have the very best in Southern, Soul, and Mexican.

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Tickets are $150 each or you can grab a bunch of friends and fill a table starting at $2500. (Sorry, $1500 tables have sold out.) And if any of my friends or friends of my parents are reading this, you best PURCHASE HERE to get yours asap, or you might end up on my poop list! $eriously, your $upport would mean the world to u$!

Photography by Laura McCarthy & Zuilma Gonzalez

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY!!!

And, as promised, here’s my contest, and as usual, it’s a good one!

  • TWO tickets to Cookin For Kids, but wait; there’s more. $300 Value
  • Pair that with FOUR tickets to a Kids Who Care performance. $100 Value
  • Plus ONE week of Kids Who Care Summer Camp. $295 Value
  • And you’ll also get dinner with wine for FOUR, personally cooked for you by Keith Hicks’s at his restaurant, Buttons. $300 Value

Good luck everyone and I’ll see you this Sunday – bring your wallet and be sure to wear your eatin’ pants, because you will not want to miss out on one tasty bite!

*** Must read the Terms & Conditions in the Rafflecopter link below for the official rules and disclaimers for this giveaway. I would hate for you to miss follow all of the steps and your entries not qualify.***

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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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.

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

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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

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IRENE NEUWIRTH: Extra Large Flat Heart Necklace $7370

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

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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 christy@sofortworthit.com

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