CRYSTAL CLARITY

CRYSTAL CLARITY

Helping Hand Home Hosts Annual Crystal Deb Presentation And Gala

By Rose Betty Williams Photography by James French Photography

THE SETTING: The Helping Hand Society recently celebrated the 2019 Crystal Ball Brunch And  Fashion Show and black tie Debutante Presentation Gala at the Palmer Events Center. Thirty-two debutantes, their escorts and junior escorts were presented along with 165 ninth grade Helping Hand Girls and Boys and 41 First Grade Princesses.

 

THE STYLE: The fashion show was presented by Julian Gold and Webber Productions, and the brunch cuisine was provided by Catering by Rosemary, which also catered the Presentation Gala dinner. The debutantes and their fathers enjoyed the first dance followed by the capacity crowd of participants and Helping Hand Society member families, Helping Hand Home supporters, event sponsors, underwriters and friends dancing to the music of the Blind Date.

 

The 2019 Helping Hand Crystal Ball debutantes are: Lily Balagia, Julia Breeden, Ellie Brumley, Ellen Campbell, Abby Chambless, Marilee Cowden, Cate Davis, Abigail Downing, Carlisle Dunnam, Merritt Fish, MaryAlex Frishman, Tucker Garrison, Claire Gill, Grace Gilmour, Elle Hansen, Suzanne Huff, Sophie Johnson, Mary Frances Kocurek, Olivia Late, Olivia Mansour, Susie McCartt, Libby McFarland, Marina Monsivias, Frances Newton, Carter Nokes, Molly Pitts, Anna Louise Sanders, Anna Claire Smith, Ellie Strehli, Cameron Thompson, Josie Turlington and Cate Von Dohlen.

 

THE PURPOSE: This year’s gala was co-chaired by Stacy Turlington Dollar and Susie Meserole with a committee of more than 70 Helping Hand Society member volunteers, including HHH President Julie Metzger. The Crystal Ball is the largest fundraiser for the Helping Hand Home for Children. It raised more than 1.3 million dollars in support of the Helping Hand Home’s mission: to provide a nurturing and therapeutic home for children and to restore each child to a healthy family setting. The goal of the organization is to protect and restore the lives of victimized children so that those without hope may reclaim their futures.

LET’S GO TO LONDON

LET’S GO TO LONDON

We know your inner Brit wants to go out to play. Admit it. We’re pretty sure, too, that inner Brit wants to go shopping while there. So, where can a discerning gentleman do that than in London right now? Our inveterate traveler Jay Batten shares his favorite insider tips you can’t leave home without in this comprehensive gentleman’s guide to our top five shopping recommendations in England’s tony capital.

HEY, IT SUITS YOU

Any client list that includes Churchill, Cruise, and Beckham is in a word, impressive. Savile Row’s client list includes those very icons, and that’s proof enough that every gentleman needs to head on over to this historic street. It is a high-end fashion hub in the heart of London’s Mayfield district. It is home to, among others, Henry Poole & Co., the inventor of the tuxedo, and Gieves and Hawkes, who have been tailoring for royalty, business professionals, and celebrities for years. So, if you want the best suits in the world, chances are Savile Row’s cadre of bespoke tailors can make them for you. At SavileRowBespoke.com

HOW VERY CONNOLLYS

Connolly has certainly come a long way from its 1878 beginnings as a saddle-maker. It eventually became the motor industry’s foremost supplier of the finest-quality leather money can buy. Now, the brand has become synonymous with luxurious tailoring and fine knits. Connolly’s Mayfair store boasts a diverse collection of finely made formalwear, though its specialty remains leatherware—wallets, bags, etc.—made of the highest order and, yes, from the finest quality leather money can buy. At ConnollyEngland.com

On one of the images:

Images courtesy of Connolly’s

MEET ME AT THE GARDEN

Everything you need (and want) is all in one location. That’s the best way to describe Covent Garden, a venue where you can buy clothes, gifts, jewelry, grooming products, sweets, and even arts and crafts. And, in case you ever want to experience full-on that unique London shopping experience that we love most, make sure you include the following in your itinerary: Floral and Monmouth Streets, St. Martin’ Courtyard, Shorts Gardens, Neal’s Yard, and Seven Dials. At CoventGarden.london

OUTLET FOR SUCCESS

Gentlemen should always be on the lookout for bargains–there’s nothing wrong scoring a luxurious belt or shoes on the cheap. Make your way to the London Designer Outlet (LDO), home of discounted designer and high-street brands. It has a wide selection of shops, from high fashion to sports apparel and there’s likely something for any discerning gentleman. Additionally, LDO is a stone throw away from the iconic Wembley stadium. Just across the street, in fact, the soccer club, Tottenham Hotspur, is currently its temporary residence. This is the perfect gentleman’s getaway as Wembley plays host to various matches and events that a shopped-out gentleman can experience after a full day’s worth of shopping at the LDO. At LondonDesignerOutlet.com

IT’S BROWN’S TOWN

For your casualwear needs, pay a visit to Browns at South Moulton Street.  It is a multi-brand retailer that offers a range of choices so you can update your wardrobe in style. Statement pieces from international designers can be had here, including hard-to-find trainers by JW Anderson For Versus and Adidas x Raf Simons. It is a compact boutique with a precisely laid out collection of must-haves, which means finding what you’re looking for is a breeze. At BrownsFashion.com

THE BIG DAY

THE BIG DAY

Wedding season is in full swing, which means it’s the perfect time to shower newlyweds with gifts they won’t forget. From home decor to wedding weekend style, it’s no secret that timeless pieces are the answer. Our glam nuptial guru, Tori Johnson, of ThesTORIbook.com, is sharing her curated collection of wedding must-haves.

SOMETHING BLUE

When combining households, it’s often better to start anew. Help turn a house into a home with a roomful of furniture as a gift. Photo and availability courtesy of Stowers Furniture.

FROM DAY TO NIGHT

From engagement teas and luncheons, to parties galore, give them a hint of what’s to come with this darling White Pilar ensemble created by Tish Cox,  featuring an oversized bow that cascades down the back. $895. Photo and exclusive availability at TheSIL.com

THE PERFECT POUR

No table is complete without a statement centerpiece. Every hostess with the mostest will adore this crystal beauty by Lily. $400. At The Menagerie, Austin.

SAUTE IN STYLE

Step aside stainless steel, copper is the new “it” metal taking over the household. This Duparquet copper set is the same cookware used in Neiman Marcus restaurants. $3,875. Photo and availability courtesy of Neiman Marcus

BIG DAY BLING

These Aquazzura heels will make every bride feel like a star as she walks the aisle in style. $1,350. Photo and availability courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue.

BRILLAINT BARWARE

Want to get the party started? Delight the lucky duo with handmade cocktail napkins that contain uniquely festive messages. $40 for a set of 4. At AugustMorgan.com and The Menagerie, Austin.

LIGHT A FIRE

This set of two candle holders by Michael Aram is perfect for the bridal couple’s new home. The collection was inspired by anemone flowers, which are said to bring good luck and offer protection. $350. Photo and availability courtesy of Neiman Marcus

IN FULL BLOOM

For the bride who adores her floral, gift this Jay Strongwater handcrafted glass vase with hand-set Swarovski crystals. $450. Photo and availability courtesy of Neiman Marcus.

CLASSICALLY CRYSTAL

This Ben-Amun crystal and pearl hair piece will transform any ‘do into a Pinterest-worthy creation. From $240. Photo and availability courtesy of Ben-Amun.

HAPPIEST HOURS AHEAD

Take cocktail hour up a notch with a new statement piece for their chic home like this brass and acrylic bar cart. $1450. At Jonathan Adler.

LA DOLCE VITA

We’re positive we’ve found the perfect place to honeymoon. Positano, Italy is a trifecta of good food, great people and breathtaking views. Photo courtesy of Italy Magazine.

 

FEELING FRESH

Nothing makes a home seem as entertaining-ready as fresh flowers. The Bouqs Company makes life easier with multiple subscription options for a constant rotation of blooms. Photo and availability courtesy of The Bouqs Company.

LET THEM EAT CAKE

From bridal teas to luncheons to the ceremony, the right cake always makes a statement. As individual as each bride, it’s sweetness endures. Prices vary. Photo and availability courtesy of Paiges Bakehouse

MODERN CHECKMATE

Ace game night with this luxe version of a backgammon set that’s perfect for any coffee table. $2,500. Photo and availability courtesy of Michael Aram.

THE FINISHING TOUCH

Top off your bridal look with this stunning veil in delicate Chantilly lace that offers a breath of fresh air for the blushing bride. $750. Photo and availability courtesy of BHLDN.

HOT TIMES IN THE CITY

HOT TIMES IN THE CITY

Always looking for the next best thing, our editors Lesa Rossick in Austin, Cynthia Smoot in Dallas, Jennifer Roosth in Houston, and Eleanora Morrison in San Antonio share their stellar statewide recommendations that are must-dines during the warm weather months.

AUSTIN

NOW THAT’S ITALIAN

Like a familiar lifetime friend where you are always welcome, to many La Traviata is exactly that and still serves the best Italian food west of Rome. Run by owner-chef Marion Gillcrist, this fan favorite has served seasonally fresh cuisine in the heart of downtown for nearly two decades. The must-haves are the Chicken Parmesan, homemade ravioli, and salmon dishes, which all reign supreme as classic Italian dishes.

At LaTraviataATX.com

ALWAYS ALMA

Menu favorites include crema de elote, roasted duck relleno and specialty margaritas keep El Alma firmly planted in the spotlight of the best Mexican fare in Texas. Featuring a multi-level design, including a rooftop deck with dramatic skyline views, El Alma offers lunch and dinner seven days a week along with a daily happy hour and weekend brunch.

At ElAlmaCafe.com

COMFORT DELUXE

The former union hall on the edge of Zilker Park recently had new life breathed into it as a boutique hotel and chic eatery. The place-to-be is Carpenter’s Hall restaurant that serves up Texas comfort food like no other. Schnitzel, pastas and burgers round out the fare in the large open interior space, as well as private dining outside, too.

At CarpenterHotel.com

DALLAS / FORT WORTH

A HERO’S WELCOME

HERO by HG SPLY CO has recently opened an impressive 25,000 square foot open-air restaurant just steps away from American Airlines Center. The main dining room offers two full-service bars with an open-air facade. At the opposite end of the building is a massive indoor/outdoor bar area dubbed, The Meantime, with impressive 24-foot screen for game watching, concerts, private events and presentations. HERO also houses its 800 square-foot Arcade with classic gaming that can be tailored for events, a pool table and more.

At HeroByHG.com

 Photography courtesy of Shannon Faulk

HOUSE SPECIALTY

Merchant House offers a new American and globally inspired menu taking on a combination of shared items and entrees to create a fully social dining experience. You can expect an array of delicious, scratch cocktails and a full complement of locally brewed beers and cocktails on tap. Merchant House also offers weekend brunch with a focus on fun, social food and drinks for the whole table. The upstairs bar offers stunning views of downtown with a sexy, intimate lounge atmosphere.

At MerchantHouse.ArgoConcepts.com

SUMMER SENSATIONS

Truluck’s has added 10 new cocktails to celebrate the summer season. From fruity concoctions to mellow libations, there’s something to tantalize the taste buds of everyone. Available in the Stone Crab Lounge and on the dinner menu served in the upstairs dining room, Truluck’s uses the best possible ingredients and techniques to ensure that every drink served is an experience. Plus, Truluck’s has one of the best happy hours in town, offering half-price cocktails, featured wines, and selected appetizers in the Stone Crab Lounge.

At Trulucks.com

HOUSTON

MARVELOUSLY MENDOCINO FARMS

Named for the California county known for its support of the slow food movement and sustainable farming, Mendocino Farms has selected its first location outside of California in Rice Village. The restaurant will feature a unique gathering place where foodies and families alike can come together over chef-driven sandwiches and soulful salads served with white tablecloth hospitality. The seasonally rotating menu features fine dining quality ingredients at an approachable price point and champions deserving local farms and food artisans. Opening late summer 2019 and additional locations on the horizon are: Uptown Park, Heights, and Downtown.

At MendocioFarms.com

POSITIVELY POSTINO

Postino was born in a historic 1940s-era Arizona post office in 2001 and has since been dedicated to giving customers a hyper-localized experience within each community it becomes a part of. The brand is built on Postino’s foundation of revitalizing historically relevant buildings that are integral to the neighborhoods that surround each location. This August, Postino will open its second Houston location in Montrose, formerly home to the Montrose Mining Company, bringing the area a new classic neighborhood outpost.

At PostinoWineCafe.com

Photography by Becca Wright

ONLY OUZO

Recently opened in the heart of the River Oaks District, Ouzo Bay offers contemporary Mediterranean cuisine with a seafood-focused menu. In addition to a wide selection of freshly-caught whole fish and signature dishes of Mediterranean, Greek-inspired favorites that are paired with the acclaimed sommelier’s elevated beverage program available at Ouzo Bay’s full-service bar, lounge, or at one of the many tables in the bright, nautical space. 

At OuzoBay.com

SAN ANTONIO

HALLS OF IVY

On the hunt for a magical venue for your next special event? Look no further than Southtown’s Ivy Hall, a cluster of stylish indoor-outdoor spaces managed by best of San Antonio caterer Tim the Girl. From brand photoshoots, to birthday parties, to weddings and more, Ivy Hall is an urban botanical oasis with a freshly funky old-meets-new feel that is sure to provide a standout backdrop that fits your needs.

At TimTheGirl.com/Ivy-Hall

FLAVORFUL CONCEPT

A dining experience built around America’s favorite food–burgers–infused with Mexico’s interior flare, Burgerteca transforms the experience of casual dining in a creative and fun environment conceptualized by San Antonio chef Johnny Hernandez. With indigenous Mexican ingredients, distinct styles and regional iconic and celebratory dishes, Burgerteca celebrates Mexico’s culture of its sweet and savory colorful day-to-day life.

At ChefJohnnyHernandez.com

LIKE IT’S 1973 AGAIN

Boasting a branding revamp and showcasing exciting summer menu additions, San Antonio’s treasured neighborhood bar since 1973, Bombay Bicycle Club now offers Sunday brunch, craft cocktails, and community events. The place where everybody knows your name, Bombay Bicycle Club is a refreshingly nostalgic feel-good spot to add to your frequent favorites list.

At BombayBicycleClubSA.com

NOW FOR SOMETHING NEW

NOW FOR SOMETHING NEW

Everywhere we look there’s something new to love. Join our inveterate cool hunter Lance Avery Morgan as he scopes the world near and far for the most unique new opportunities you can experience, too.

UP, UP & AWAY

Hotelier extraordinaire Andre Balazs has done it again. The former mid-century masterpiece, the TWA terminal at JFK Airport designed by architect Eero Saarinen is now the TWA luxe hotel just waiting for your Mad Men revival stay.

At TWAHotel.com

COCKTAILS, EVERYONE?

What do Effen Vodka, Larios Gin, Cruzan Rum. Hornitos Tequila, Tres Generations Tequila, and

Knob Creek Bourbon all have in common? They are a part of On The Rocks Cocktails, a chic premium-bottled cocktail brand that uses only the finest all-natural ingredients and is focused  on quality, not price. Plus, no preservatives or artificial ingredients are used and with their rigorous standards for quality, it’s why On the Rocks Cocktails has become a fan favorite of consumers, mixologists, and food and beverage directors alike. At OTRCocktails.com

GAME. SET. MATCH. ATTEND.

The fast-paced US Open tennis tournament is one of the most dynamic spectator sports in the world and the perfect way to end the summer after spending time at the beach or in the city. Starts August 26. At USOpen.org

OH, BABY

Yumi Foods has just launched in Texas and we love that founders Evelyn Rusli and Angela Sutherland felt the market lacked quality pre-made meals for babies. So, they did something about it. They both left successful careers to create Yumi: freshly made, nutrient-dense food for babies, toddlers, and more­–conveniently delivered right to your doorstep. To help immediately improve your baby’s world, visit HelloYumi.com

 

GONE GLAMPING

Want to experience the great outdoors in style? LCRA Parks has introduced five brand-new, luxurious 25’ Flying Cloud Airstreams at the park system’s Lake Bastrop North Shore Park (near Austin)​. One weekend here will have you connected with nature once again.

At LCRA.org

HAPPY HOMEMAKERS RE-DUX

The MidCentury Kitchen: America’s Favorite Room, from Workspace to Dreamscape, 1940s to 1970s by Sarah Archer covers the spectrum of food, design, and social history in this masterfully assembled illustrated pop history of the birth of the modern kitchen covering everything from the popularity of aqua and avocado, gender influence on the marketing of appliances and cooking, the birth of processed foods, and so much more.

At CountrymanPress.com

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE

Since we all attend so many weddings, that means there are numerous social situations that are unique. Join our very own Ms. Modern Manners Sharon Schweitzer, J.D. as she helps us navigate the nuances for this special time in your life when you are in the spotlight.

Dear Ms. Modern Manners,

We’ve decided not to invite kids to the wedding, but my fiancé’s mother really wants us to invite her grandchildren. Can we bend the rule or is that playing favorites?   

         Plays By The Rules

Dear Rule Requester,

Deciding whether to invite children is one of the most difficult guest list questions. Once a decision is made, it’s best to stick with it. Graciously coordinate with both families. Respectfully state that although this is your wedding, you plan to honor what is important to both families during the wedding. Summon up your best diplomacy skills, compromise and remember, you can’t please everyone all of the time. Your fiancé’s mother and her grandchildren will be your new family and you may want to respect their wishes. Consider the following to avoid playing favorites:

Due to space limitations, we are hosting an adults-only wedding. The only children attending are immediate family or our wedding party. If anyone needs help with making arrangements for childcare, please let us know and we will do our best to assist.

 

Dear Ms. Modern Manners,

My family has set our wedding budget based on our initial guest list, but now my future mother-in-law wants to invite 30 more people. What should we do?

Best Guest List

Dear Guest Handler,

Marriage is about bringing two people together to create a new family. Creating and encouraging open communication with both sides of the family early in the engagement and wedding planning will set the stage for excellent communication during your marriage. Discuss the invitation, location, catering and budget; are there certain people from each family that must be invited? What does your fiancé think? If finances are an issue, will your fiancé’s family contribute? Having an awareness of family customs and showing parental respect goes a long way, especially when this family will become your new extended family.

 

Dear Ms. Modern Manners,

Recently, we had a falling out with a friendly couple during our engagement. Can we dis-invite them?

Friend Indeed

 

Dear Friendly Persuasion, 

Etiquette experts agree that this must never occur. However, life happens. Friendships dissolve, crimes are committed, and indiscretions are discovered. Predicaments the bride and groom cannot fathom surface that can cause anguish on both sides. Yes, it’s true that it’s your wedding and you can invite anyone you wish. However, inviting someone and then rescinding that invitation requires contemplation and diplomacy.

 

If you have the fortitude to rescind a wedding invitation, then you have the courage to do so in person or by phone. Sending an informal text, email, or instant message is insensitive. Words on a screen cannot convey the compassion necessary to deliver the message. When it’s an indiscretion or something criminal, it’s difficult and there are two sides to a story. Yes, there are times when a person can be asked not to attend a wedding as the best solution.

 

Dear Ms. Modern Manners,

We don’t want guests to take pictures during the ceremony. How do we stop them from doing it without confiscating their phones?

Social Media-Free

Dear Social Studies,

While there are several steps that can be taken to reduce photos, no one can guarantee that Aunt Gertrude won’t snap a photo for your grandmother. So, consider the following steps to reduce the paparazzi in your circle:

1.     Host an electronics free wedding

2.     Post an announcement on your wedding website

  1. Include a note with the written invitation
  2. Decide against a wedding #hashtag
  3. Print a notice in the program
  4. Post a sign in your style similar to the following:

Welcome to our unplugged wedding. We invite you to be fully present during our ceremony. Please turn off all gadgets and enjoy the ceremony with us.