Three Deal Divas met this morning at 6:15 a.m. on the Vinoy front porch in the name of journalism. Somebody had to cover the 43rd annual Sunrise Sale so it might as well be us. Yes, journalism is an ugly job sometimes. We had to sip free mimosas, nibble on doughnuts and actually BUY stuff at deep discounts. But our bosses want the paper to keep up our streak of winning Pulitzers, so you gotta do what you gotta do....
I spent a great week recently on Nantucket, two hours by ferry from the real world. Much of this island is simple. Like the fact that you can walk most everywhere, there are no bilboards or neon anywhere, the beaches look the same as they did 200 years ago when whalers ruled the island and most streets are either stone or sand.
But shopping is far from simple. The stores are filled with the latest fashions from New York and California and priced as though they were brought over one piece at a time by a messenger whale. Mannequins and real life women who "weekend" or "summer" on Nantucket who have the bodies of mannequins were decked out mostly in boho chic looks. Off the shoulder peasant blouses with long and short sleeves were everywhere. I even saw an off the shoulder bikini. And I saw a ton of dresses, shoes, tops, skirts and bags with Mexican embroidery. ...
07/14/16 Human Interest
After years of working in restaurants, Suzy Johnson has proved she can stand the heat. But she still decided to get out of the kitchen, in fact, she has left dry land altogether.
The chef is living and cooking on a houseboat at Demens Landing.
Many know her from Apropos, a go-to downtown lunch spot in the 1980s and again in 2011 and 2012. But Johnson sold her restaurant to move to a 36-foot houseboat. She works as a personal chef preparing food at people's homes for as few as two or as many as 100....
07/12/16 Human Interest
At the advice of former social columnist Lennie Bennett, I am making a request for the upcoming social calendar at the top of my column instead of the end.
"Because not everybody reads to the end," Bennett reminded me. Alas, journalists know that all to well, but sometimes forget.
So please submit information about any fundraising event your charitable organization is hosting from September through summer 2017. Even if you don't have all the details nailed down, just send the date electronically or via good old-fashioned pen, paper and stamp by July 29....
Barely two hours after beating the Red Socks, Rays players, coaches, wifes and girlfriends thrilled a sold out crowd and some strong kids at the Rays on the Runway Show to benefit the Children's Dream Fund. Thousands of dollars were raised through ticket sales and auction items to fund the group that creates amazing experiences for seriously ill children.
The planning and anticipation of a dream day helps makes the time in hospital beds go by a little easier. The time away at Disney World, on a cruise, swimming with dolphins, skiing or at a ranch out West, allows the children and their families to focus on something besides white blood cell counts and medical costs. The average dream costs $3,500. The memories are priceless. There are 65 kids on the waiting list for dreams....
I love that Palazzo pants are so in these days because it's like getting permission to wear your pajamas to work. I bought this pair in Raleigh last summer at Belk's. (Belks, as I've told you before, is much better in NC than in Fla). The print is a little out there even for me. But usually receive at least five compliments each time I wear them. I think at least three of those are sincere, while two are probably someone trying to stifle their laughter, so the odds are still in my favor....
06/23/16 Human Interest
More than 200 people attended the 12th Annual Fischer-Carr Memorial Birthday Bash at Isla del Sol Yacht & Country Club. Guests enjoyed food, drink and auction items including an adorable puppy donated by Craig and Cheryl Patterson.
Jah'asia Whitehead, rising sixth grader at Academy Prep spoke to the crowd. She is one of more than 260 students who have received scholarships from the St. Petersburg Kiwanis Club's Fischer-Carr Scholarship Fund created in memory of community leaders Jim Fischer and Skip Carr....
I'm heading out to see Keith Urban tonight and will wear the requisite cowboy hat and studded belt buckle, of course. But since I can't support the LGBT community and precious lives lost in Orlando at the Rays tribute game, I wanted to still make a shout out at the Midflorida Amphitheater.
So I ran out during my lunch hour and found it easy to add some Pride to my outfit. First I stopped by Revolve Clothing Exchange at 2000 4th St N and found a great rainbow striped crocheted purse by The Sak for $15. Then I stopped into the Metro Thrift Shop at 2235 Central Ave and bought a stretchy headband for $3 and made it a hatband. I also bought a Celebrate Diversity pin to add to my little bag,...
06/14/16 Human Interest
The 2016 St. Anthony's Hospital Speakeasy Gala celebrated the Roaring '20s. An estimated 300 people attended the event, which raised with more than $100,000 for the hospital's cardiology programs.
Physicians and other community members joined in the fun including, Dan Masi, of Bright House Networks who serves as chairman of the St. Anthony's Hospital Foundation board, and his wife, Mary Kay. Other St. Anthony's staff donned long pearls, long gloves and tuxedos including James McClintic, Claudia Bundschu who was escorted by her 14-year-old son Ian, Mohan Reddy and his wife, Shalini, John Ofenloch and Joshua Rovin....
My daughter and I were recently speakers at the annual Go Red for Women luncheon in Tampa, which raised close to $700,000 for the American Heart Association. The purpose is important because the AHA is the second largest funder of medical research in the U.S. after the federal government.
But the fashion was fun. Everyone wears red. I had no idea how many variations of a red dress there are these days. ...
06/09/16 Human Interest
ST. PETERSBURG — Multiple generations of friends and family of Patrick Brett celebrated his 30th birthday at a kickoff for the Patrick Brett Foundation at 3 Daughters Brewing.
Brett died in a car accident 10 years ago at the age of 20.
Close to 300 people came out to share memories, enjoy birthday cake, play games and dine on food donated by the Chick-fil-A. ...
05/31/16 Human Interest
I watched from the second-to-last basement stair, which was covered in the original short-pile marigold carpet from 1959.
My mother ironed my sister Melinda's tea-length dress. It was the color of orange sherbet, the lace overlaying flowy silk.
Melinda had worn it to our cousin's wedding several years earlier. It would be the last dress she would wear. She was to be buried in it the next day....
Participants, parents, coaches and supporters speaking at First Tee's Developing Champions Breakfast repeated the same sentiment about the golfing program: "It's more than a game."
Kids ages 6 to 18 regularly play golf and gain athletic skills but more importantly, learn lessons for life and get support from mentors. Basic things like eye contact and a friendly handshake start early but lead to academic success, public speaking and college planning and placement....
I wanted to add a little finishing touch to my outfit the other day and thought my double chain necklace didn't quite do the trick. I decided to go old school and pinned on a fun bumble bee broach I bought at an estate sale for $10.
Then I remembered when British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, a broach devotee, died in 2013 fellow Deal Diva Lisa Gartner told me I reminded her of of the Iron Lady. Thanks Lisa. That's just what every mid 40-year-old woman in her prime wants to hear. "You remind me of an 87-year-old lady with circa 1952 hair, sensible shoes, pearls and broaches."...
05/19/16 Human Interest
Opera enthusiasts took a quick trip around the world at the St. Petersburg Opera Company's fundraiser titled Bella Voce. The party's decor and food was based on Spain, Turkey, Paris and Bali Ha'i, the sites of four Season 10 operas, Carmen, Abduction From the Seraglio, La bohème and South Pacific.
Guests dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns as well as in salute to favorite opera characters, donning peasant tops for Carmen and sailor shirts and captain's caps for South Pacific. Michelle Gilbert suggested her husband Gordon Gilbert wear a top hat he had left over from a past New Year's Eve. "I think it suits the occasion," he laughed. ...