Napa Valley Is the Perfect Venue for a Smooth Jazz Getaway

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 IN: Lifestyle

Napa Valley Jazz GetawayNapa Valley Jazz Getaway; Kate Spade Long Gingham DressNapa Valley Jazz Getaway; Kate Spade Long Broome Gingham Dress

The claim to fame for Napa Valley is exploring its nearly 400 wineries. And I can see why. Napa Valley’s climate creates the ideal location to grow wine grapes. But the rolling hills and clear skies set the stage for a worthwhile visit to Northern Cali.  Specifically, Napa Valley, the perfect venue for a smooth jazz getaway.

Napa Valley Jazz Getaway; Long Gingham Kate Spade Dress

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Harrisburg National Civil War Museum. Wearing: Kate Spade Broom Collection gingham long dress similar sleeveless version here at Talbot’s, J. Crew White Martie Pant, Kate Spade “Licorice” Camel Suede Heel similar here in light camel with Handmade Oval Rattan Handbag purchased in Hawaii at least nine years ago, similar here.

 

About a year ago, the hubs and I decided we wanted to venture back to Napa Valley.  During our initial visit on August 24, 2014, we experienced our first earthquake the first night in Napa. The devastation of downtown Napa was tremendous. However, this didn’t stop us from keeping our planned itinerary of winery visits, a day trip to Bodega Bay and St. Helena’s.

Napa Valley is the second vacation hubby, and I took just to focus on our love of smooth jazz music.  In 2008, we sailed to Aruba for the ultimate Smooth Jazz Cruise.

2014 Napa Earthquake

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. 2014 photo Carpe Diem Wine Bar in Downtown Napa.

I learned about the Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway on social media. I Googled the “Brian Culbertson’s Napa Jazz Getaway 2017” event and found the option to purchase packages to all the events. 

2018 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. 2018 Brian Culbertson’s Jazz Getaway ticket packages.

The ticket costs did not include either hotel accommodation or flights to California. We were fortunate that my husband’s youngest brother lives near Napa.  Harry provided our shuttle to and from the airport as well as excellent hospitality and lodging at his beautiful home in Fairfield.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Welcome Dinner Menu, Gold Access Card and Program for Schedule of Events.

The exclusive packages provided a few intimate settings with less than 200 people.  The digital notifications kept you in the know if you left or misplaced the event program. The FAQ on JazzGetaway.com  gave insight into the weather, the artist lineup and any changes to the program.
Weekend and single day passes are available.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valle is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Westin Verasa Napa.  Wearing: J. Crew peplum top similar here, Laura Tanzer Custom Design Palazzo pants with Dolce Vita Sandal similar perforated leather here and Handwoven Oval Rattan Summer Bag.

Day ↑One:  Wednesday, June 7:
For our first evening, the Westin’s chef, Ken Frank hosted a home-style welcome dinner in the courtyard outside.

Brian Culbertson greeted the Platinum, Silver, and Gold Access card holders, kicking off all day, every day smooth jazz for five days.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location:  Westin Verasa Napa.  Day One: Afternoon Wine Down. Wearing: J. Crew Sweatshirt, similar here with J. Crew Sailor Pant, similar here and Fashionphile Chanel mini satin flap bag.

Day Two↑:  Thursday, June 8
The first full day included a not too early “Wine Down” at the Westin Solera Courtyard from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. featuring complimentary wine tastings and performances. We had time before evening event to enjoy dinner at a local upscale Napa restaurant, Mustard Grill.

We drove a short distance from the Westin VersaHotel to the Lincoln Theater for an effective presentation by legendary bassist, composer, producer Marcus Miller and solo piano showing by Brian Culbertson, who played his new romantic songs.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Mustard Grill, Napa. Wearing: Catherine Catherine Malandrino white cold-shoulder A-line dress on sale here with Fashionphile Chanel satin mini flap bag, 2014 Kate Spade Limited-edition Rwandan Handwoven Raffia Bag similar here with Dolce Vita Suede Sandals similar here.  The hottest day, Friday, June 9th at Napa, allowed me to wear my cold-shoulder dress.

Day Three ↑:  Friday, June 9
Day two of the Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway brought another “Wine Down” at the Westin from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  As well as Friday Night Funk at the Lincoln Theater with performances by saxophonist Candy Dulfer.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway; Euge Groove

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Oxbow Commons. I met jazz saxophonist, Euge Groove. Wearing: J. Crew Jumpsuit (that looks like a dress)  red stripe sleeveless similar here, Fashionphile Chanel satin mini flap bag with 2011 Kate Spade Limited-edition Rwandan Raffia Bag similar here.

Day Four ↑: Saturday, June 10

Oxbow Commons was the location for all the remaining major shows.  One can imagine what Woodstock might have looked like with the hundreds of people that attended the last two days.  Two different stages offered performances by Marcus Anderson, Julain Vaughan, Nicholas Cage, plus vocalists Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle.  My faves were guitarist Peter White, saxophonist Euge Groove (whom I met) and Japanese pianist Keiko Matsui.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway; Brian Culbertson

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Napa Oxbow Commons. Wearing: Catherine Catherine Malandrino Black bell-sleeve blouse with Sarah Puccini white wide-leg linen pants and Fashionphile Chanel satin mini flap bag.

Day Five ↑: Sunday, June 11
Still, at Oxbow Commons, this day was cut short because of an afternoon thunderstorm.  We retreated to the Oxbow Commons Farmers Market, so did everyone else, for dinner. However, the highlight of this five-day event was the high energy outstanding performance from a group from my hometown, Philadelphia: Pieces of A Dream.  The rain prevented main stage performances by Eric Darius and the group, the Whispers.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. Wine Down at the Westin

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Westin Verasa Napa. My favorite look the first day of the Jazz Getaway. Kirsten wearing beautiful light blue Zara blouse, black pants and I forgot to ask about her adorable flats.

The attire for both men and women were, for the most part, casual and relaxed.  However, I stopped Kristen to meet and photograph her chic and Instagram-worthy outfit. I do know the beautiful blue shirt is Zara.  I thought I would see Kirsten again to ask her about her flats, but I didn’t see her again.

2017 Napa Valley

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. I met Instagram friends, beautiful Lila from Dallas and fancy Fran from ATL as well as saxophonist Euge Groove and Brian Culbertson.

My brother-in-law Harry couldn’t understand how in the world I could run into people I follow on Instagram.  I did. Two virtual friendship became real at the 2017 Brian Culbertson Napa Valley Jazz Getaway.  I met the lovely Lila and her hubs from Dallas as well as fancy Fran and her hubs from Atlanta. You know that Disney Magic Kingdom song, “It’s A Small World After All.”  

Oh, I was so lazy that I didn’t open my laptop to start or finish a post. I even missed a week.  Also, I ordered new prescription sunnies, so I didn’t need to put in my contacts every day. Now *that’s* a vacation.

Finally, I didn’t overpack because I coordinated colors, so I took one pair of neutral sandals, sneakers, and just a few summer bags. This vacation was so fab we’re already considering attending the 2018 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway.

What are your vacation plans?  Are you a smooth jazz lover like me?  Please do share in the comments section.

Have a fabulous, healthy, and stylish week.

 

The Jon James Agency for Chico’s Fall Campaign Said No!

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, June 5, 2017 IN: Fashion


Anybody remember my buzz and excitement about going to the casting agency in New York City in April?  That occasion conjured up memories of my experience in a 2010 Estroven print advertisement.  It also brought dreams of stylists, makeup artists and what will I wear in the fall campaign to the forefront.  Screech, stop, and hold on, why? The Jon James Agency for Chico’s fall campaign said no. 
Kate Spade Sequin fringe swing dress; Jon James Agency

Let’s rewind to properly set the stage for where this post is going. The goal of the February 19th launch of the Fierce 50 Group, to get the attention of advertisers, retailers and agencies that women over the age of 50 are still vital, beautiful and relevant in the fashion industry.  Mission accomplished!

Kate Spade Sequin Fringe Swing Dress

Chico’s came calling to this group of bloggers over the age of 50 across the United States. Many of the West Coast ladies participated in a Chico’s Girlfriend video while others held styling sessions at their respective Chico’s stores.  I was even invited to team with the magazine, Real Simple, for a styling event at the New York City Chico’s.  Unfortunately, I already had plans to travel with my husband to Pittsburgh.

Kate Spade Sequin Fringe Swing Dress

The Jon James Agency for Chico’s Fall Campaign, Said, No! Wearing: Kate Spade Black Sequin Fringe Swing Dress, Kate Spade “Licorice Too” Patent Leather Coral Heels similar here in coral red, Kate Spade Suede Evening Pouch, and last summer’s J.Crew Gold Tassel earrings similar here.

I must say regarding my participation in the Fierce 50 Campaign; I serve on the Fierce 50 planning committee. I’m thankful for the friendships and associations with other bloggers of a certain age.  Here is where you learn about anyone getting the opportunities: By the time I received my email from Jon James,  I already knew, the answer was… no.  Because of the buzz from the ones selected.

2010 Estroven Ad

I’m not disappointed for not being chosen by Chico’s.  I was incredibly flattered to get the email inviting me to Manhattan.  As you may recall, I had three minutes to answer questions about myself as well as exhibit my personality. The Estroven 2010 selection process was much easier since I used their product and just answered a few questions.  And social media followers didn’t play into the equation.

The Jon James Agency did provide me with the list of questions beforehand. So I wasn’t blindsided.  My daughter even prayed with me before I went behind the private curtain for my photo’s and presentation of myself.

Was I clueless or just delirious to think I could be in a national campaign? Was it my participation in the first Fierce 50 campaign that got me attention from Chico’s?  Or perhaps the growing interest in using real women to represent major clothing lines?  

Chico's; Jon James Agency

The Jon James Agency for Chico’s Fall Campaign, Said, No! Me writing down my social media numbers at the Jon James Agency in New York City.

I typically get anxious when asked about my social media numbers. That was the dead giveaway for my non-selection. No significant return on investment when one has less than 2000 followers on any of the social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and your blog.

It’s good to talk about and understand rejection. It’s life.  We don’t always get what we want when we want it.  I do believe other options will come my way. My blog is a great gift, especially readers like you who take interest in my adventures. 

If I’ve never thanked you before, thank you for staying with me on this blogging journey.  I appreciate you.

Have fabulous, stylish, and healthy week.  

P.S. I still @lovechicos!

 

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for an Evening of High Style

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 IN: Fashion Lifestyle

 

Teri Jon Gown' Formal Affair

The Memorial Day weekend marks when our annual Hershey soirée takes place for an evening of high style. This year, Club 21, a private organization for African-American men, celebrates their journey of success in the Harrisburg area for seven decades.

Teri Jon; Evening of High Style; Soirée
Just like we don’t want to overlook the significance of Memorial Day as just a holiday to have a day off from work to go to barbecues, Club Twenty-One’s yearly event also has deep meaning.  It’s not just a party but roots steeped in history and accomplishments. 
Teri Jon; Evening of High Style; White Dinner Jacket; Soirée
The only time club history shared with introductions before the evening events commence. There are formal introductions and a short bio of each of the twenty-one members. As well as entertainment line-up for the night.
High Style; Teri Jon; White Dinner Jacket; SoiréeThe Club, founded as a social club in 1946. Also, it can point with pride to some significant accomplishments that grew out of the earnest desire of the club’s founders to assert themselves and to use their full range of talents for the betterment of the community.

DInner Setting; Tablescape; 2017 Club 21 Dinner Dance

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. The 2017 Club Twenty-One Tablescape with my gift bags for our guests.  The dinner entree included salmon, prime rib, and chicken.

It’s also worth noting that the members of the Club Twenty-One, credited with taking instrumental roles in re-activating the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1947.  In helping to memorialize the name and legacy of the outstanding Harrisburg educator, Dr. William Howard Day, and in breaking down the bars of segregation in places of public accommodations in the Harrisburg area.

Formal Attire; High Style; Teri Jon Dresses; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. The 2017 Club 21 Dinner Dance at the Hershey Lodge, the group photo of some of the Club 21 men in their white tuxedo dinner jackets.

The club’s first formal dinner dance held on the evening of Friday, November 22, 1946.  That event and similar ones in the many intervening years have been black tie dinner dances for members, their wives, family, and friends. 

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for an Evening of High Style. The lovely ladies, our guests at the 2017 Club Twenty-One Dinner Dance.

The Club Twenty-One continues to maintain its original purpose of providing a social outlet for men of color, who, at the time of its inception, were barred from hotels and other places open to the public.

Formal Attire; Fashion Over 50; Teri Jon Dresses; High Style; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. My #BFF and I at the 2017 Club Twenty-One Dinner Dance in Hershey.

Art Sherrod; 2016 Club Twenty-One; Smooth Jazz

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. 2016 Club Twenty-One with an encore performance by Saxophonist, Art Sherrod, Jr.

Line Dancing; The Wobble; Formal Attire; High Style; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. Photo at 2017 Club Twenty-One Dinner Dance at Hershey Lodge.

Formal Attire; Dinner Dancing; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style.  The Harold’s Tony and Edna on the dance floor.

Formal Attire; Black Love; Wedding Anniversary; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. April and Hubby celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary with our group at the 2017 Club Twenty-One Dinner Dance.

Family; Formal Attire; High Style; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. My niece, Kenya Pickles and I and 2017 Club Twenty-One.

This year’s dinner dance special commemoration of seventy years with the club members donning white dinner jackets with tuxedo pants. It seems the white dinner jacket adopted in the 1930s for warm-weather formal in Palm Springs.  We sometimes forget men do have a few options when it comes to black tie attire.

2004 Club Twenty-One; Hershey Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. 1994 Club Twenty-One photo.

My husband, an attorney, received his invitation to join the social club in 1993.  We attended our first dinner dance in 1994. Can you find me in the photo above?

Over the last twenty-three years, I adopted a more formal/black tie attire. What’s proper to wear? And most importantly, what works best for my body type? 

In that time, I developed an appreciation for the long gown. It fits in with the elegance of the evening.  I like that I now have a wardrobe of fancy dresses to choose from, I do rotate them as we go to many black tie events every year. 

Note, in my short ↑ video above; there are at least two cocktail dresses.  I used to prefer cocktail dresses and suits because I can get more wear out of them.

Teri Jon Gown; 2017 Club Twenty-One

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. The young and thin model wearing the Teri Gown gown I chose to wear.

One thing I noticed is very few retailers cater to women over the age of 50.  Have you ever seen the companies whose primary focus are women over the age of 50 but still utilize young and thin models to show their clothes online?

Teri Jon is my go-to designer for any cocktail attire.  Every piece I’ve purchased is well-made,  usually of natural fibers with incredible details. Teri Jon has great options for mother-of-the-bride, matron of honor, cocktail and daytime dresses and of course, evening gowns. On their website, you can shop by occasion with plus size available too.

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? Do you have any family traditions? Please do share in the comments below. 

Have a fabulous, healthy, and stylish week.

Are Chic and Sustainable Mutually Exclusive?

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, May 8, 2017 IN: Fashion

Are Chic and Sustainable Mutually Exclusive; Laura Tanzer
Are chic and sustainable mutually exclusive?  Recently, award-winning designer Laura Tanzer emailed me to see if I was interested in selecting one item to share on my blog.  Laura is known for her modern and sustainable fashions. This blogger’s dream is to experience custom eco-friendly clothing.  

Are Chic and Sustainable Mutually Exclusive? Laura Tanzer

How did the environmental movement evolve to include sustainable fashion? Well, let’s start the conversation start with Earth Day. It’s an annual event that happens every April 22 since 1970. Next, eight months after the holiday was created, Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

Continue reading

Our VIP Preview at Burberry

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 IN: Fashion

Our Private Preview at Burberry
April turned out to be fantastic.  First, there was another adventure to Washington, D.C. for a second visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This time, the NMAAHC tour included coordinating thirteen family and friends who came from New York, Maryland, and Philadelphia. And I can’t forget my amazing experience at the Chico’s casting call in New York City. But the pièce de résistance this month was our VIP preview at Burberry.

Our Private Preview at Burberry.

Our VIP Preview at Burberry. The Burberry Store at the King of Prussia Mall.

I say “our” because my BFF and I were invited to attend a private showing of Burberry’s Spring 2017 line inside its store at the King of Prussia mall. 

Continue reading

Women of Grace: Meet Anita by Design

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, April 24, 2017 IN: Interviews

Women of Grace: Meet Anita By Design
Please allow me to introduce you to the latest Woman of Grace: Anita Morris, the blogger behind Anita By Design.  I met the lady of the hour via social media, through our involvement in The Fierce 50 Campaign.

Anita fits the Woman of Grace profile. She is a woman of faith, over 50, is aging gracefully, looks fit, healthy and stylish. By the same coin, she reminds me of some of the other Women of Grace I’ve profiled here: my bestie Cynthia, singer and actress FabuLesley, and bluegrass musician Julia Chatwell. They all have that certain je ne sais quoi! You may not be able to describe what they have, but you know it’s definitely something special.

Continue reading

My Chico’s Casting Call in New York City

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Thursday, April 20, 2017 IN: Fashion

My Chico's Casting Call in New York City
As a woman of a certain age, opportunities to highlight who you are and what you look can be hard to come by.  However, (I think) because of my involvement in The Fierce 50 Campaign, I received an invitation to participate in a casting for a possible spot Chico’s 2017 fall campaign. I drove to New York City with my daughter on Monday afternoon to get ready for the casting on Tuesday. 

#lovechicos

My Chico’s Casting Call in New York City.  My Chico’s GirlFriends bracelet I received.

Continue reading

Mindful Eating in Contrast to Mindless Eating

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, April 17, 2017 IN: Health

Mindful Eating in Contrast to Mindless EatingHow conscious are you about what goes into your mouth? Is your quality of life suffering? Have you started to see the makings of the dreaded midriff bulge? If you answered yes to either question, perhaps, mindful eating in contrast to mindless eating is your challenge. 

I know at times I’m guilty of not being proactive with my food choices especially during times of stress, like when my end of the month (quarter, too!) when sales reports are due. I talked last week about upping my daily water intake which helps limit in-between-meals and snacks.

Continue reading