Homes for the holidays… Construction for drainage projects along Kirby and Sunset Boulevard seems like a never-ending headache for residents. While the underground flood control is much appreciated, Sunset’s esplanade took a huge hit, with landscaping destroyed. Friends of Southampton Esplanades stepped up to bring back the beauty in the neighborhood by hosting the first-ever Home for the Holidays Tour of Sunset, spearheaded by event chair Cathy Blum. Homes on the tour, most of which had never been featured in neighborhood architectural tours, included the residences of David and Sam Boggess, Nonya and Jonathan Grenader, Mark and Debra Gregg, and Tom Young. Beautiful, sunny skies no doubt contributed to the great attendance, with 70 volunteers and 400 visitors making this event a huge success. Plans are already in the works for a possible spring tour of Southampton homes and gardens.
Purrrrses and pets… Handbags and shoes were not the only fabulous accessories on display during the holidays at Elaine Turner’s Rice Village Boutique when it hosted a fundraiser for Houston PetSet, a non-profit that provides animal-friendly events and activities. Pets were welcome at the holiday party, and a dog-gone good time was enjoyed by Kelly Kimberly, Ashley Rachner and Lindsay McMakin. Guests could choose the puuuuurrr-fect gift from Elaine’s acclaimed collection of luxury goodies while sipping cocktails as their furry friends munched on pet treats.
A Capitol affair… The rotunda of the Texas State Capitol building in Austin was filled with voices from West U when Bel Canto, the touring children’s choir from First Presbyterian Church, performed during the holiday season. Sarah Adams, Tim Craig, Gabrielle Engel, Ava Flatt, Sarah Moore, Olivia Shanks, Grace Wolfe, Daphne Stubblefield and Ben and Ruth Varner peppered their holiday tunes with patriotic selections such as The Star Spangled Banner to honor the occasion. The group bunked at the historic Driskill Hotel and found time to see the Radio City Rockettes perform in the famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular concert while in Austin. “Singing at the Capitol is cool,” said Olivia Shanks after the event. “But being a Rockette would be pretty awesome.”
Fifty years and counting… 2011 marked the 50th time that Babs and Ed Smith have welcomed guests to ring in the New Year at their annual black tie soiree. “Our first party was in 1959, so this should be 51st,” said Ed. “But our son Scooter broke his leg one year the day before our party, and we had to cancel, making this our 50th.” Guests Frank and Betty Williams, Jim and Everlyn Giles, and Dick and Marge Nelson celebrated in style as Ed treated guests to his famous escargot and a showing of the movie Letters from Juliet in their party room, which was decorated with photos of past events through the years. As the clock struck midnight, a delicious dinner was served, including Babs’ homemade monkey bread, a big crowd-pleaser.
Twin deliveries on the way…Under Construction was the theme of the baby shower honoring architect/designer Lisa Roth, whose twins, a boy and a girl, are due to arrive in March. Invitations resembling a set of blueprints invited guests to the newly renovated home of David and Tricia Dewhurst. Tricia acknowledged it was a bit of a challenge to pull off hosting the shower as the home was filled with moving boxes from their move just 10 days before. The 50-plus guests never would have guessed, as the space (which was designed by Lisa) looked stunning. Guests Emily Armenta, Kim Bartee, Wendy Hall, and Ingrid Ritchmond toasted the mother-to-be and offered best wishes for the upcoming twinfants’ arrival.
Holiday café… Poe Elementary celebrated the last day of school before winter break with a student council-sponsored Holiday Café. Students enjoyed wintertime treats such as hot chocolate, cider and cookies. The annual event raises money for field trips and was staffed by students including Hannah Barnes, Nicholas Gonzales, Marisa Tiscanero, Sophia Synek, Grace Brudner and Nicole and Michelle Mut.
A giving gesture… In the spirit of ‘tis better to give than receive, Muse Boutique spread holiday cheer by inviting customers to donate clothing, accessories and stockings filled with bath products to give to residents of The Women’s Home, a non-profit serving women who find themselves in crisis. Billy, the store’s resident goldendoodle, stood guard over the December Wish Drive Party, which was a big hit with customers, including Marcia Tapp, Valerie Dittner, Lauren Luedtke and Morgan Goen, who gathered to nosh, shop and help women in need.
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