Category: celebrating with friends


An Eventful, Festive Week

December 16th, 2012 — 5:42pm

I’ve been a little quiet this week and with good reason – three holiday parties and one big presentation at work have kept me on the go. And all of it has reminded me how truly blessed I am to have so much to celebrate this holiday season.

Friday’s presentation was the first in which I presented my work at the Westin New York Grand Central to hotel ownership. Thanks to plenty of preparation and a lot of support from my amazing colleagues, it went off without a hitch. Afterward, I basked in kudos from my boss, our General Manager and his boss – then found myself feeling a sharp twinge of sadness as I thought about my dear, departed parents. How I would have loved to share this moment with them. But, in the spirit of honoring them by being thankful for what I do have, I refocused on that.

Work BFF Anna and me at the Westin NY Grand Central’s holiday soiree

The high of Friday’s presentation carried over to our holiday party in the Westin’s spacious Grand Central Ballroom. We know how to do it up right and this was no exception – festive seasonal decorations, open bar, a big buffet and DJ entertainment. I danced up a storm with my colleagues, shared some laughs with my plus one and good friend Crystal and felt all over again like I’ve finally found my true professional home.

Last night, I welcomed about 15 friends old and new for my annual holiday soiree. As we enjoyed drinks, food (including pasta and meatballs prepared by yours truly) and laughs, I couldn’t help thinking about how you never know when or where life is going to connect you with great people.

Celebrating with good friends: Jared, me and Jenny

Among the guests: Jared, the son of my mother’s best friend whom I’ve known since childhood, and his lovely wife Jenny; Stacy, my foodie buddy and fellow Ricky Martin fan who I got to know through Twitter earlier this year; my former personal trainer and now dear friend Crystal; Natalie, whom I met at a singles event a few summers back; and my longtime galpal since college Sara.

Spending time with my friends, and talking about upcoming plans together, has me very excited for 2013. If the end of 2012 is any indication, it’s going to be a great year!

2 comments » | celebrating with friends, holiday parties, Westin New York Grand Central

Celebrating My 38th Birthday

January 22nd, 2012 — 8:45pm

When it comes to celebrating your birthday, there’s no greater gift than being able to spend it with the people you love. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of doing exactly that with a supersized girls night out.

Girls Night Out: (from left) Faith, Crystal, Alexandra, Julie, me, Lisa and Sara

After a relaxing afternoon – homecooked brunch with a mimosa followed by a massage – I kicked off the evening’s festivities with my cousin and best friend Alexandra, who greeted me with flowers and a beautiful card. A makeup goddess, Alexa worked her magic on my face before we headed down to Café Iguana in Midtown West.

Joining in the festivities – my good friends Sara, Lisa, Julie, Faith and Crystal, five additional reminders of how blessed I am in the girlfriends department.

Mariachi Fun: Me and Lisa enjoying Cafe Iguana's serenade

In between serenades from Iguana’s lively mariachi band, the sangria and conversation flowed. Among other things, we talked about Faith’s engagement, Crystal’s passion for belly dancing and, of course, my upcoming dating adventure. It has to be said, being bold is much easier when you have a posse of fabulous women cheering you on.

The night was still young, so we continued the celebration 80’s style at Culture Club. With its neon-tinged walls covered with music and pop culture icons (MJ, Molly Ringwald, Pacman, etc.), the recently-reopened venue  provided a perfect backdrop for getting our old school groove on.

If my birthday is any indication, 38 is going to be a fabulous year!

Comment » | celebrating with friends, Girls Night Out, Midtown NYC

A Birthday Celebration At Uva

June 2nd, 2010 — 6:40pm

Saturday night, I headed over to Uva wine bar on NYC’s Upper East Side for my good friend and trainer Crystal’s birthday celebration.

Happy Birthday: Crystal and me at Uva

Over a festive dinner (the grilled calamari salad is delish) with a group of about fifteen people, I had the pleasure of chatting with Crystal’s friends and fellow trainers, Alex, Ricky and Brandon — all charming, fun and curious about my recent Great Dating Blitz.

In talking about what I learned from my travels, including that singles outside of New York tend to be more minded toward settling down, we also reflected on the challenges of dating in the Big Apple.

Alex, like many other NYC men I’ve encountered, said he thinks money and status play too big a part in the singles scene here, a sentiment that Ricky echoed. Ricky prefers to not reveal what he does for a living right away.

I couldn’t help thinking that, for better or worse, one of the common price tags of thirtysomething singlehood is the expectation that whomever you date will bring a certain level of financial independence to the table. And it seems like, sometimes, that expectation gets in the way of romance before it even has a chance to start.

1 comment » | being single in New York, being single in your thirties, celebrating with friends, The Great Dating Blitz, Upper East Side, Uva wine bar

A Parisian-style Birthday Celebration

May 13th, 2010 — 8:53pm

Tuesday, I joined my dear friend and author Gwen Davis for a celebration of her birthday at Benoit in Midtown.

Benoit: A slice of Paris in Midtown NYC (photo courtesy: Zagat.com)

Benoit serves up delicious French fare in an authentically Parisian bistro setting. While savoring a goat cheese and spinach quiche, I had the pleasure of getting to know some of Gwen’s fabulous friends.

I hit it off with thirtysomething filmmaker Julie, who’s in the process of filming a documentary called “Best Laid Plans” about what people do when life throws you a curve ball. Inspired to start the project during a post-divorce volunteer vacation in Africa, Julie asked me if I might share my Great Dating Blitz experience on camera. I can’t wait.

Also participating in the fun — veteran Tony-Award winning Broadway show producer Chase Mishkin. An associate producer of the current smash hit “Memphis,” Chase has been part of the Great White Way for fifty years.
She said she’s seen the show more than a hundred times and discovers something new with each viewing.

“Memphis” is on my to-do list for next week, stay tuned for my full review!

2 comments » | celebrating with friends, Gwen Davis, The Great Dating Blitz

Reflections On The Eve Of My Big Adventure

February 28th, 2010 — 7:46pm

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, there some moments in life when you know that you’re on the verge of a completely new chapter. With less than 24 hours to go until my Great Dating Blitz across the U.S. begins, I can’t help thinking about everything that has led me to this moment — and the people who have made it all possible.

What True Love Looks Like: My beloved mother and father

First and foremost, I think about my beloved parents. Their example of abiding and everlasting love has inspired me to believe in happily ever after. And their shared zest for life has taught me to enjoy every step along the way to finding it.

I think about the winding road of my career. From getting up at 2am to produce the local morning news in Bangor, Maine to traveling to Australia as part of my work in PR, every single job I’ve had has prepared me for the one closest to my heart — writing.

Celebrating With My Fabulous Friends: (from left to right): Sara, Leila, Caroline, me, Heidi, Louise and Andrea

Last, but most definitely not least, I think about my amazing friends, many of whom braved frigid winter weather on Friday to celebrate with me.

“I’m so proud of you,” PR maven and galpal Louise said.

Like I’ve told her and so many others, this journey I’m about to take would be impossible without the support of my friends. Their belief in me has given me the courage to take this leap of faith and follow it wherever it may lead.

My heart is full of gratitude to them, and to Mom and Dad. I love you all.

1 comment » | career changes, celebrating with friends, The Great Dating Blitz

A Holiday Soirée

December 24th, 2008 — 3:05am

One of my favorite things about this time of year is sharing it with good friends. Friday night, I had about 15 of my closest compadres over for a little holiday soirée.

All Decked Out: A bevy of candles added a nice touch to my Christmas decor

While enjoying cocktails (white wine and vodka mixers) and assorted snacks (mini chocolate cupcakes, chips and dip and a cheese platter), I caught up on everyone’s news.

Editor/tango dancer/diva extraordinaire Heidi mentioned her new weekly gig as a vocalist with the Steve Marshall Band at Mr. Biggs Bar & Grill. Fellow PR maven and blogger Lyla introduced me to her delightful husband David, and filled me in on their interfaith holiday festivities (she’s Jewish, he’s Catholic). And travel writer Amanda told me about the progress she’s making with her upcoming book, The Lost Girls, and plans to spend Christmas with her boyfriend in his Kansas hometown.

That’s What Friends Are For: Celebrating the season with Amanda and Jonathan, good buddies since we all went to Barbados on a press trip back in ‘05.

The only downside of the evening — my eternal worry as a hostess that there was enough food and drink. I invariably tend to overcompensate, putting out a bigger spread than necessary (and somehow managing to get a post-party refund from the supermarket when I return liters of soda and bags of chips).

Once again, there was plenty left over. This time though, I didn’t mind. I knew my friends were too busy having fun to overindulge.

As the party winded down around 1am, my dear friend Tiffany stayed behind to help me clean up, and talk about our plans for Christmas Day. Let the seasonal merrymaking continue!

Comment » | celebrating with friends, Christmas Day, holiday parties, hostess anxiety

A Holiday Soirée

December 23rd, 2008 — 10:05pm

One of my favorite things about this time of year is sharing it with good friends. Friday night, I had about 15 of my closest compadres over for a little holiday soirée.

All Decked Out: A bevy of candles added a nice touch to my Christmas decor

While enjoying cocktails (white wine and vodka mixers) and assorted snacks (mini chocolate cupcakes, chips and dip and a cheese platter), I caught up on everyone’s news.

Editor/tango dancer/diva extraordinaire Heidi mentioned her new weekly gig as a vocalist with the Steve Marshall Band at Mr. Biggs Bar & Grill. Fellow PR maven and blogger Lyla introduced me to her delightful husband David, and filled me in on their interfaith holiday festivities (she’s Jewish, he’s Catholic). And travel writer Amanda told me about the progress she’s making with her upcoming book, The Lost Girls, and plans to spend Christmas with her boyfriend in his Kansas hometown.

That’s What Friends Are For: Celebrating the season with Amanda and Jonathan, good buddies since we all went to Barbados on a press trip back in ‘05.

The only downside of the evening — my eternal worry as a hostess that there was enough food and drink. I invariably tend to overcompensate, putting out a bigger spread than necessary (and somehow managing to get a post-party refund from the supermarket when I return liters of soda and bags of chips).

Once again, there was plenty left over. This time though, I didn’t mind. I knew my friends were too busy having fun to overindulge.

As the party winded down around 1am, my dear friend Tiffany stayed behind to help me clean up, and talk about our plans for Christmas Day. Let the seasonal merrymaking continue!

Comment » | celebrating with friends, Christmas Day, holiday parties, hostess anxiety

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