Category Archives: Charity Event

Heroes And Handbags Kickoff Event

Ashley Seals, Hannah Thibodeaux, and myself enjoying the event!
Ashley Seals, Hannah Thibodeaux, and myself enjoying the event!

A sassy crowd on Thursday, September 26th at the 29 North boutique located in the Post Oak Hotel in Houston for the kickoff to Heroes And Handbags event benefiting Heroes For Children.  Heroes For Children South Texas Manager Meredith Segal and this year’s Heroes And Handbags Event Chair Ashley Seippel welcomed guests as they sipped, shopped, and were entertained with a mini fashion show and lesson by a local style expert on “color blocking” which is the current trend.  Think paring bold colors like green and yellow or pink and orange.  Have fun with the color wheel she tells our colorful crowd!

Continue reading Heroes And Handbags Kickoff Event

19th Annual Thanks for Giving Charity Gala

Cookie Michael, Jennifer Jordan, Kristin Massey, Nicole Brende, Lori Bergeron, & Lori Blackmon-Schroeder
Cookie Michael, Jennifer Jordan, Kristin Massey, Nicole Brende, Lori Bergeron, & Lori Blackmon-Schroeder

Some like it HOT and others kept it COOL for the 19th Annual Thanks for Giving Charity Gala benefiting the Kym Coleman Education Foundation.  Saturday, October 14th my husband and I dressed up and joined our wonderful group of friends for the Fire & Ice gala for an evening of philanthropy and fun at the Bayou Events Center in Houston.

From the masquerade decor, to the music, dance floor and theatrical entertainment, to the silent and live auctions, there was something for everyone that evening.  In fact, I won two auction items and also participated in the live auction which was a lot of fun!

"The JaNic"
“The JaNic”

The Kym Coleman Education Foundation was founded by Cookie Michael in loving memory of her daughter, Kym Coleman, who perished in a plane crash in 1993. Kym had a mission to assist school children that were not as fortunate as others were and to help improve their quality of education.  This gala raises thousands of dollars  to support incentive programs to low income elementary schools, like the Honor Roll Bicycle Program. For more information on KCEF visit their site www.kceffoundation.com.

Bags & Brunch Go Hand In Hand!

Laura Flaaten & I taking it all in stride!
Laura Flaaten & I taking it all in stride!

Spring, champagne, and handbags…you can’t get much more girly than that! Each year I look forward to the Heroes & Handbags charity event benefiting Heroes For Children.  On April 27th at 10 a.m. hundreds of women gathered at the River Oaks Country Club to place their bids on designer duds like Saint Laurent, Prada, Chanel, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Tory Burch, Elaine Turner, Kate Spade….oh the list is extensive!

Larissa Burns Linton co-founded the charity after her own child battled with cancer.  The organization has raised over $2 million in the past decade to help those families with children fighting the deadly disease.  Money helps pay power bills, put

Larisa Linton, Myself, and an assortment of lovely handbags!
Larissa Linton, Myself, and an assortment of lovely handbags!

food on the table, pay for gas, parking fees, etc.  Guest speaker and local Fox 26 News Anchor/Reporter Melissa Wilson spoke candidly about her experience as she too has a child who fought cancer.  She said their parking bills at the hospital exceeded $6000!!!

Back to the event, my friend Laura and I had so much fun scouting the inventory from table to table, bidding, and silly times at the flower wall photo booth! Bidding was open until 12:30 and I was in a bidding war until the bitter end! It’s such an adrenaline kick I tell you!  I eyed a few bags and scored BIG winning this patent leather Louis Vuitton and this glittery rainbow Anya Hindmarch clutch!! Seriously, I am in LOVE with this rainbow one! It’s such a happy handbag and I probably overpaid for it.  But, it’s all for charity, right?

Continue reading Bags & Brunch Go Hand In Hand!

A Sky High Bruncheon Raises Funds For Cancer

Jill Bollich & Nicole Brende
Jill Bollich & Nicole Brende

Attending  a “ladies who brunch” function on a Sunday does not always come without a big purpose.  April 2nd at Hughes Manor in Houston there was a full house filled with ladies dressed in their spring fashion best coming together to raise their glass to help fight and end childhood cancer.  Hosted by Sky High benefiting St Jude Children’s Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, and the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis, you could not help share the love and enthusiasm this group brings to the table.  I applaud Brittany Hebert (Founder & CEO), Jessy Deardurff (Operations Director), and Kristina sky high fashionGutierrez (Event Coordinator) for a job well done.  Event Chairs include Helen Winchell, Ashley Butler, and Jordan Simpson.

Also, I want to thank my friend Jill Bollich who introduced me to this organization.  She is one of the Host committee members who did a phenomenal job planning this SOLD OUT event!  During the brunch the ladies were entertained with a dress up photo booth, silent auction, a live auction, as well as an open mimosa bar, tunes from my friend DJ Senega, and a runway

Continue reading A Sky High Bruncheon Raises Funds For Cancer

Saks & Spring Haute Couture

Laura Flaaten & Trende Brende
Laura Flaaten & Trende Brende

Spring is in the air in Houston.  In fact, winter never really happened thanks to Mother Nature.   But that is quite alright because I am about to get you fully energized and ready to sprint to Saks Fifth Avenue after I show you what is in store for this season!

Friday evening I attended the “Houston Haute Couture” fashion presentation featuring designer Lafayette 148 at Saks Fifth Avenue in the Houston Galleria .  Each year the Women’s Council of Realtors Houston chapter get together for fun and fashion benefiting a local charity.  This year they partnered with the Nancy Owens Memorial Foundation which raises money for breast cancer research.  I am the Founder of this yearly fashion event circa 2014 so of course I would not miss it for the world!!

"The Shoulder Show"
“The Shoulder Show”

In conjunction with cool vibrations from the DJ, flowing champagne, and passed lite bites by 51Fifteen, this fashion presentation was spot on FUN! Sitting front row allowed me the opportunity to attempt to photograph some of my favorite outfits and take notes as the Lafayette 148 ambassadors painted the perfect Spring picture!

“It’s not what is new, it’s what is next!” said the Lafayette 148 ladies from NYC.  Think the shoulder show.  Shoulders are in!  Pair with some wide leg trousers or skinny pants and you’re good to go!

Dusters, Lasers, and Leather oh WOW!
“Dusters, Lasers, and Leather oh WOW!”

Next, mono style….all one color.  So fresh and clean, don’t you think?

Trench dressing.  It’s not just for Sherlock Holmes and Inspector Gadget, OK? Crop the sleeve. Pair with a dress, and off you go looking fabulous!

Light leather jacket, gotta have! Loving the pop of color too.

And stripes are “so in”.  My nautical friends will  be happy.

Long flowing cardigans they call “dusters” are HOT. Think linen, light weight.  Button them up, wear them open.  Wear with a dress or trousers.

Ultra light suede is making a comeback. I know Houston gets steamy hot but you’d be surprised how well this breaths and it’s super light in weight.

And, your Spring look is not complete without laser cut embroidery.  Looks like lace!  Super feminine with an edge.

"Pocket Play"
“Pocket Play”

Pockets are the “in thing” too!  Check out these dresses with pockets.  I love the effortless look, plus not to mention “functional” and “comfortable”. Side note, I am a Realtor and I need my pockets when I am out showing property!  I am loving this trend so so much and I hope it stays because I can fill my wardrobe with this style.  Notice the length too.  I can appreciate just below the knee.

Last but certainly not least…..drum roll please…….The outfit turning heads, creating the only standing ovation of the evening , with by far the biggest applause  goes to this black jumpsuit!  I know we’ve seen them on trend already but this outfit

"Jumping for jumpers"
“Jumping for jumpers”

in particular really got our crowd excited. The edgy yet sophisticated and slip-on-and-go look really works. Dress it up, dress it down.  Winner Winner!!!

Thanks again to Saks and Lafayette 148 for putting this amazing event together.  It’s always nice to give back to local charities, combine it with a group of business professionals like the Women’s Council of Realtors, and refresh our minds with Spring fashion.  Bravo!  This is one of our favorite events of the year.

Now, it’s time for me to clear out my closet, donate things I have not worn in ages, and make room for new fabulous stuff!

"The Crew" of WCR Houston
“The Crew” of WCR Houston

Here are some links to keep in mind from this article:

www.Lafayette148ny.com , www.51fifteen.com , www.wcr.org , www.nancyowens.org

 

 

Sunnies + Stilettos @ Jimmy Choo

jimmy choo event 4.12.16The 2016 Heroes And Handbags event is just around the corner. Last year I served as the Handbag Co-Chair with my dear friend Anna Kaplan.  In order to help raise additional funds for the Heroes For Children organization this year my bestie and 2015 Event Chair Lori Lemon-Geshay hosted a private shopping event at the Jimmy Choo boutique in the Houston Galleria on April 12th.

Well, don’t ask us twice.  Did you say shoes, shades, and champagne all in the same sentence???  I do not think I shop that often and I am pretty selective.  However, if it benefits a charity I care about I will support the cause.  In between my meetings what a nice break to mix, mingle, and play dress up with friends and supporters.

jimmy choo sunglassesFrom the moment I walked in the store I was immediately drawn to these ‘Nita’s 53 mm sunnies. These logo-etched temples enhance the Italian-made sunglasses.  And, look at the genuine-snakeskin-covered frames with metal in an oh-so-modern cat-eye-inspired silhouette!  I am in love and they will be perfect for my trip to Mexico!

A little shout out to all who attended.  In just 2-hours we managed to create over $12,000 in sales which proceeds will directly benefit Heroes For Children.  Great job shoppers! Thanks for putting your best and I must say “fabulous” foot forward!  For more info on the organization visit www.heroesforchildren.org .

 

Bienvenue Hermes!

Selfies, shopping, and balancing acts with my girls Lori Geshay and Jennifer Roosth!
Selfies, shopping, and balancing acts with my girls Lori Geshay and Jennifer Roosth!

If you want to see grown women act like giggling girls then you would have had a good laugh last night.  My bestie Lori Lemon-Geshay invited me to the exclusive “Le Petite Marche” grand soiree hosted by Hermes in the new River Oaks District.

Although the boutique does not officially open until October 30th, WOW do they know how to throw a party! Just like Paris the lit courtyard was lined with market-style  vendors such as fine meats, breads, fresh produce, chocolates, wine, and flowers.  The champagne was flowing and we were loving it!  All of us guests were given Hermes tote bags and were encouraged to indulge, sip, and savor.  Ohh la la! The stylish guests were also entertained with hermes3live music, acrobats, and artists.  For a minute I really had to stop and think where I was because Houston has never felt so good!  The weather is also amazing this time of year too I must add.  We walked away feeling very fulfilled, inspired, and with a trip to France on our minds!

For the ultimate luxurious outdoor experience that Houston has to offer The River Oaks District is THE PLACE to be! Alongside Hermes brings Cartier, Dior, Tom Ford, Harry Winston…just to name a few.  A movie theater, restaurants, and the trendy Equinox gym will also call this place home.  Step aside Beverly Hills and New York, Houston is a mega market and our international flavor is H-O-T!!!

hermes2Lori, thank you for being such a good client at Hermes.  All of the bracelets, scarves, and pocket squares I bought in the last year did not add up to getting on the invite list!  Please keep the party invitations coming my good shopping friend with amazing taste.  I am saying YES now to the next event :)  Wink Wink.

2015 Heroes And Handbags

Selfies w/ my friends Lori Lemon-Geshay, Laura Cernock, and Laura Murray
Selfies w/ my friends Lori Lemon-Geshay, Laura Cernock, and Laura Murray

Sipping champagne, shopping, and mingling….all for a great cause! Count me in!  May 7th at the Omni Hotel over $250,000 was raised to benefit Heroes For Children.  A sold out event the 2015 Heroes And Handbags bruncheon is their signature event and the money helps families with children battling cancer.  In it’s 10th year it was very exciting for me to be the Handbag Co-Chair along with my friend Anna Kaplan.  Event Chair and my BFF Lori Lemon-Geshay lead the team and Host Committee and WOW does she deserve a standing ovation! Founder Larissa Linton showed a tear when the final numbers came in! The largest fundraiser for the organization in Houston to date! Way to go!

Winner!
Winner!

If you have never attended this event before please add it to your list for 2016.  Imagine a room full of 150+ new and “gently loved” designer handbags and all are up for bid! Since 100% of the bags are donated, 100% of the sale of the bags go directly to the charity.  From paying a utility bill, to rent, to transportation, and many other needs, Heroes For Children is able to help thousands of families every year with your help. The digital bidding process in itself was super exciting.  Basically you are able to place your bid via your smart phone.  Each time you get out bid they text you a notice.  You can place a new bid and even offer a cap bid amount. Anna Kaplan and I did a television segment on KPRC Channel 2. Here is video link and it will show you some of this year’s handbag collection including Chanel, Dior, Gucci, and other amazing designers! I’m already thinking about next year’s event and what selection that one will bring? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u18bLhIsny0

Congrats Claire Harmon!
Congrats Claire Harmon!

As you can see I won the Versace bag! The Winner sign sure got me jumping out of my chair! My friend Claire really took home the cake scoring 5 handbags!

A special thank you to the event Sponsors including Elaine Turner, Kendra Scott, Paper City, CultureMap, Momentum Porsche, A Bientot, Tanglewood Flowers & Garden, and What’s The Occassion Creative Cakery. Also a job well done by  the Chairs and Host Committee members, the Donors, and Patrons who bought tables and $250 tickets to the event. The success of this event is an example of the very generous with a big heart of a city of Houston we call home.  If you would like more information on the heroes and handbags signcharity and ways you can help all year long visit www.heroesforchildren.org  or you can find them on Facebook! Event photos coming soon by photographers Herb Hochman, Jaime Lagdameo, and Quy Tran so please check social media, Paper City, and CultureMap.

 

 

 

The Women’s Home YP Happy Hour at Fish & The Knife

Joanna Podsiadlik, Nicole Brende, Laura Cernock, Lori Freese
Joanna Podsiadlik, Nicole Brende, Laura Cernock, Lori Freese

I love to party with a purpose but in this town I could run out of money to donate with so many events!  A charity I have chosen to invest my efforts in is The Women’s Home here in Houston.(www.thewomenshome.org).  I love their organization, the people they support, and they always know how to put on wonderful themed events.  Yesterday I attended their young professionals happy hour showcasing the grand opening of one of Houston’s hottest sushi spots Fish & The Knife.  I knew it was going to be a great night to see cars lined up in valet, people walking the red carpet in their finest fare, being greeted with passed appetizers and cocktails.  This 13,000 square foot space is sprawling, featuring multiple distinct areas to drink, dine, and to lounge.  It is upscale and the design is brilliant with its textures and treatments. Word on the street it cost between $6-8 million to complete this project.

twh-foodonspoonsI will have to make a second trip back to truly indulge into the cuisine.  They say this place is contemporary serving up a combination of New American, sushi, cocktails galore and in a super spacious setting.  The menu is the work of executive chef Bob Iacovone, who works with executive sushi chef David Kim.

On the menu:  chicken and andouille pot pie, Louisiana barbecue shrimp, speckled trout with crabmeat, cream cheese-stuffed crab cakes with pickled tomato green salad,  miso-marinated black cod with cauliflower purée, grilled kobe flank steak with tempura vegetables, grilled lamb T-bone with roasted vegetables and potato hash,  sweet soy-glazed beef short rib with wasabi cream and sugar cane smoked duck breast with duck confit spring roll served with spaghetti squash with a honey mustard glaze.

twh-sushiwaitressBeautiful sushi choices include yellowtail with jalapeño salsa and citrus sauce; albacore tuna carpaccio with garlic chips and ponzu; Japanese snapper with yuzu truffle vinaigrette; and seared tuna sashimi with chili sauce and masago. The Westheimer Roll features shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, masago and tempura flakes; the Houston Roll is made with snow crab, avocado, spicy salmon and mango. There are even nods to Iacovone’s Crescent City in the Jazz Roll (spicy tuna, avocado, eel and wasabi tobiko) and the New Orleans Roll (crawfish, avocado, snow crab, spicy tuna and wasabi tobiko).

Ok I am now hungry just writing this article!  Fish & the Knife is located in the greater Galleria area at 7801 Westheimer, 713-677-0220.  Maybe I will see you there? (Photos provided by the amazing and oh-so talented Quy Tran).

Nicole Brende, Lissa Goldsmith, Joanna Podsiadlik
Nicole Brende, Lissa Goldsmith, Joanna Podsiadlik

 

 

 

Nicole Brende & Chau Nguyen
Nicole Brende & Chau Nguyen
"Trende Brende" & the "High Tech Texan"
“Trende Brende” & the “High Tech Texan”

 

 

 

 

 

“Houston Is Haute” fashion show at Tootsies

wcr fashion show check inGlamour girls, real estate gurus, and industry friends came out for one haute night here in Houston.  April 16th The Women’s Council of Realtors hosted a fashion show at Tootsies in West Ave benefiting The Women’s Home.  Over 250 fashionistas filled the 15,000 square foot fab retail space for a sold out event raising thousands of dollars for the charity.  I was honored to be the event chair of this inaugural fashion event.  A special thanks to our amazing food sponsors Mr Peeples restaurant, Chef Soren Pedersen, and Osaka sushi.  Food was definitely abundant as well as wine and sippings from Dripping Springs Vodka. 

wcr fashion show modelsOur models for the evening strutting their stuff on the Tootsies catwalk include top performing area realtors Peggie Pentecost, Stephanie Finch, Monica McNeill, Tammy Bateman, Barbara Vaughn, and MaiLan Trinh. The lovely Rachel McNeill from KPRC Local 2 was our emcee.  These spring trends are sure to keep us cool this summer. Let’s go shopping!