#SoWineDays with Sofitel Luxury Hotels


I stopped by the Lafayette Square Sofitel last week for a private reception to honor the luxury chain’s #SoWineDays campaign.

Their call to action sums it up in a perfectly French way: “Ambassadors of the French “Art de Vivre” all over the world, Sofitel invites you to discover magnifique French wines during unique events in our luxury hotels.”

Through October 31st, share a photo taken during the Wine Days on your social networks using #SoWineDays and you could win a luxury immersion for two persons* in the Alsace wine country in partnership with Air France and Sofitel Luxury Hotels.

Given the bountiful passed Louis Roederer champagne and savory nibbles, guests had no trouble finding snap-worthy moments to tweet, instagram, and post.


• Round trip from the United States to Paris with Air France
• Round trip by train from Paris to Strasbourg
• 5 night stay at the Sofitel Strasbourg Grand Ile, including
continental breakfast
• Exclusive visit of the world-renowned Trimbach vineyards
• VIP welcome gifts

Participating hotels include Sofitel Miami, Sofitel San Francisco Bay, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, Sofitel New York, Sofitel Philadelphia, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square, and Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile.


Momentous Occasion to Include Silent Auction with Merchandise From Bethesda-Area Restaurants and Retailers
***Complimentary Wine and Hors d’oeuvres Reception – Open To Public***
Description: Macintosh HD:Users:matthagan:Dropbox:Urban Country:Greg Powers Photography:Showroom 1 - small.jpeg 
Bethesda, MD – Urban Country loves local! The Bethesda-based home furnishings and design retailer is embracing local businesses during this year’s annual anniversary event. Marking 23 years of providing luxury interior design and fine home furnishings to the national capital region, the locally-owned quintessential boutique for countryside and urban spaces will celebrate local vendors while honoring our wounded military veterans during a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception on Thursday, October 30 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. Urban Country is located in Bethesda Row at 7117 Arlington Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.
The Urban Country Loves Local event will boast a large selection of local merchandise in a silent auction with proceeds benefitting The Combat Soldiers Recovery Fund – a Maryland-based nonprofit organization that provides 100 percent of donations it receives directly to wounded soldiers who are recovering at military hospitals in the Washington, DC area. Urban Country and numerous Bethesda Row merchants and restaurants have donated merchandise and gift cards for the silent auction.
Numerous local and national home furnishings companies are donating a variety of items for the silent auction that include merchandise and gift baskets from Textillery Weavers, Sugarboo, Alexandra Ferguson, Maple Leaf Designs, Rosanna, Mistral, Designers Guild and Diane Markin among many more. Last year, Wesley Hall Furniture kindly donated a luxurious armchair as a featured silent auction item. This year, Wesley Hall will continue their philanthropic tradition with a generous donation of a pair of Nolan chairs, which will be available for silent auction.  Suggested retail price is $2800 for each chair.
 “During this festive season, we want to embrace American patriotism and honor our wounded heroes currently in recovery in DC area military hospitals,” says Rachelle Roth, founder and owner of Urban Country Designs. “We are also passionate about supporting local commerce and encourage our patrons to shop local.”
This year, Urban Country will pay a special tribute to the late Norman Coley, president of Lee Industries, for his contribution to the home furnishings industry and his belief in supporting local commerce. This year’s event theme is dedicated to him.
For more information please visit: www.urbancountrydesigns.com or like Urban Country on Facebook:http://on.fb.me/189a1hN.
WHO: Urban Country Designs
Home Furnishings and Design Services in Bethesda Row
Featured Silent Auction Donors include:
  • Textillery Weavers
  • Sugarboo
  • Alexandra Ferguson
  • Rosanna
  • Mistral
  • Diane Markin
  • Wesley Hall Furniture
  • Ann Gish Bedding
  • Designers Guild
  • J.McLaughlin
  • Lee Industries
  • Sassoon Salon
  • The Salon & Spa at Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Green Home and Office
  • Jellycat
  • Renu Med Spa
  • Outdoor Illumination
  • Lemon Twist
  • Jos. A. Bank
WHAT: *Urban Country Loves Local Special 23nd Anniversary Event
*Silent Auction Fundraiser with Proceeds Benefiting
    The Combat Soldiers Recovery Fund                                                                                                       
WHEN: Thursday, October 30 from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Urban Country
Bethesda Row
7117 Arlington Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
(Corner of Arlington Road & Bethesda Avenue)
About Urban Country
Urban Country is the national capital area’s most exciting, luxury, interior design & fine home furnishings showroom.  Living chic is simple with well-edited new and exclusive selections from todays most in demand designers. From contemporary cool to elegant classic, Urban Country is the definitive source for style inspiration. The home furnishings store is nationally known for having a keen design eye for furniture, gifts, accessories, lighting, bedding, jewelry, fashion accessories, baby gifts, and bath products.  A member of the Sustainable Furniture Council, Urban Country promotes products that are thoughtfully designed for a greener home. Urban Country, founded by Jeffrey and Rachelle Roth in 1991, is “the best kept secret in Interior Design” as quoted by the Washington Post. Location: 7117 Arlington Rd., Bethesda, MD 20814. Phone: 301-654-0500 Fax: 301-654-0501. Store hours:  Monday – Saturday 10:00am to 6:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm – 5:00pm.
About The Combat Soldiers Recovery Fund
The Combat Soldiers Recovery Fund (CSRF) makes it possible for you to 
help our country’s severely wounded soldiers in a personal and meaningful
way. CSRF is unique in that 100% of your donation goes directly to recovering 
soldiers. With your donation, small or large, you can bring sunlight into 
a hospital room and into the life of a war-wounded soldier. By helping with an expense that they otherwise simply would not be able to afford, your 
contribution provides immediate relief and hope. Garland Miller, a business-owner in Chevy Chase, Maryland, founded CSRF 
in 2004. Wanting to help wounded soldiers, she discovered that a charitable
donation to other organizations supports their overhead, rather than 100% 
of the recipient’s needs. Ms. Miller donates her time and the resources of her 
bookkeeping firm, Schoolfield & Associates, Inc., so that every dollar of every
donation to goes to recovering soldiers. Other professionals from the 
community also donate their time and expertise to make CSRF possible.
Mission: Provide financial aid to American soldiers, sailors, and marines 
recovering from severe wounds in service of our nation.
Finances: Collect donations from individuals and corporations interested in 
supporting recovering soldiers at Washington DC area military hospitals. Volunteers 
not charging for their services disperse all donations directly to wounded veterans.
A Not-For-Profit Organization – The Combat Soldiers Recovery Fund has
501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. All contributions are tax deductible.

Hairstylist Aicha Lahlou of Georgetown Salon

Last week, I experienced the best blowout I’ve ever had.


Aicha Lahlou is a master hair stylist and colorist who has just started as an independent practitioner based out of Georgetown’s Salon Upstairs. The Moroccan native started her career nearly two decades ago in Boston at The James Joseph Salon, a renowned award-winning salon on Newberry Street. Since then, she has continued her education around the world in New York, LA, and Berlin.

I walked into Salon Upstairs during one of last week’s particularly rainy, dreary days–basically the worst environment for a day at the salon to get your hair done. Aicha eyed my borderline-blonde hair cautiously, though I told her I’d only be receiving a treatment and blowout (she did not touch the length or color).

Following a shampoo and deep conditioning application, I sat under a steamer–Aicha calls it “a facial for the head”–which causes the product to be forced into the cuticle in a more effective manner than via the use of dry heat. After about 20 minutes, she began to style.

“I don’t enjoy bridal parties; they’re too frantic,” she said while drying my hair with automatic but graceful technique. “I focus on creating custom colors and cuts for each person, getting to know my clients’ personalities as a guide to their look.”

Aicha is also a certified colorist from the Wella and Goldwell companies, and her cutting education is equally impressive. She has learned from the industry’s premiere establishments, including The Vidal Sassoon Academy of Los Angeles and New York’s famed Bumble & Bumble University. Salon Upstairs is a great place for her to start out, as it’s rated a “top color salon” for the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Aicha believes that the most significant aspect of her experience is listening to the clients and delivering exactly what they want and also what is best for them. She is a voracious reader, as well, and enjoys studying the works of other hair designers. She cites these as reasons her vision is always evolving and at the vanguard of the industry.

The blowout was perfection. Aicha masterfully navigated my complexly layered hair, adding depth with cascading curls and sealing with a water-repelling finisher that helped it keep its shape for days.

To make an appointment with Aicha, call 202-290-5151 or email aicha@aichahairdesign.com. Follow her on Twitter @aichahairdesign, and visit her website at aichahairdesign.com.



Here. Now. For Her: Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Luncheon


I joined nearly a thousand women and men yesterday for the annual Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Luncheon, held at the Grand Hyatt downtown.

Washington’s well-heeled professionals and volunteers joined together to honor the work of WAWF, the only public foundation solely dedicated to transforming the lives of women and girls in the Washington region. Every year at luncheon, the Foundation honors a group of Visionary Award winners—local trailblazers whose efforts to improve the lives of women and girls have made a difference in the lives of thousands. Additionally, the luncheon raises funds to invest in work that improves the economic security of women and girls and eradicates poverty in our region.

Guests heard a moving presentation by WAWF CEO and President Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, who described the plight of her mother, also in attendance. Lockwood-Shabat’s mother became the primary breadwinner when as her husband turned to alcoholism.

Washington Area Women’s Foundation is a DC-based public foundation dedicated to mobilizing our community to ensure that economically vulnerable women and girls in the Washington region have the resources they need to thrive. Award recipients this year included Gina Adams, Artis Hampshire-Cowan, and Barbara Krumsiek.

Gina Adams is corporate vice president for government affairs at FedEx Corporation. As a native Washingtonian, she has remained committed to the community and to inspiring and supporting its youth. She’s an active member of the board of directors of American University, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Town Hall Education Arts & Recreational Campus (THEARC), Fight For Children, National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Economic Club of Washington and the DC Public Education Fund. She previously served as chair of the DC Chamber of Commerce.

Artis Hampshire-Cowan is senior vice president and secretary at Howard University. As a committed civic philanthropist her work effectively intertwines investing in both economic development and education to build strong communities. In addition to her board role at Venture Philanthropy Partners, she serves on the boards of the DC Chamber of Commerce, the Women’s Advisory Board of the Girl Scout Council of the Nation’s Capital, the Prince George’s County Community Foundation and Girls, Inc.

Barbara Krumsiek is chair, president and CEO of Calvert Investments, Inc. As head of Calvert, she has successfully advocated on issues relating to the advancement of women in business, including efforts to increase the representation of women on corporate boards. Under her leadership, the Calvert Women’s Principles® focusing exclusively on empowering, advancing and investing in women worldwide.


DC’s Dancing Stars Gala


The glitz, glamour and allure of competitive ballroom dancing is coming to the DMV for DC’s Dancing Stars Gala on Saturday, October 25. From 6 p.m. to midnight, the Ritz Carlton in Tyson’s Corner will host the first annual black-tie dancing challenge. Executive Director Susannah Moss and Fred Astaire Fairfax Studio co-owners and Gala co-Chairs Maria Coakley David and Jim David will bring together notable Washingtonian VIPs to help raise thousands of dollars in support of local charities. House of Cards actor Lamont Easter is one of the featured stars set to compete for the coveted 2014 DC’s Dancing Champion Trophy. Tickets for the extravaganza range from $195 for an individual and $395 for VIP, while sponsorship tickets range from $500 as a Benefactor up to $50,000 as a Presenting Sponsor.

Former Washington Redskins players and teammates Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley will reunite off the field to host the debut gala. Dancing with the Stars dancer Jonathan Roberts, The Bachelorette’s Chris Bukowski and former Washington Redskin Gary Clark will join forces to judge the dance competition. The night’s dancing stars vying for the trophy hail amongst Washington’s elite – House of Cards actor Lamont Easter, former NFL player John Booty, Host of The CW’s DC 50 Paul Wharton, WUSA9’s Mike Hydeck and Andrea Roane, America’s Miss DC 2012 Sarah Hillware, America’s Miss DC 2013 Antoinette Cordova, PBS’ Rina Shah, NBA wife Charrisse Jackson-Jorden, VP of DARCARS Automotive Group Tammy Darvish, Ted Britt Automotive Group General Manager Evelyn Smallwood and Senator Paul Strauss.
The event will feature a twist with The Redskins Challenge, sponsored by The Washington Redskins Alumni Foundation. It will allow dance enthusiasts the chance to compete alongside the stars, nominated and voted on by friends and family. Former NFL player and ESPN contributor Rich ‘Doc’ Walker will be on hand to reward the Redskins Challenge winner with their very own Mirrorball Trophy. ‘Doc’ will also serve as an auctioneer for the live auction portion of the evening.

Charitable institutions benefitting from the night’s entertainment include: The Washington Humane Society, Girls Health Ed, T.A.P.S, Hope for Henry Foundation, The Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and The Washington Redskins Alumni.

Saturday, October 25, 2014
6:00 p.m. – midnight
Ritz Carlton, Tyson’s Corner
1700 Tysons Blvd.
Mclean, VA 22102

Individual General Admission Ticket – $195
VIP Ticket – $395
Sponsorship tickets range from $500 to $50,000

Tickets can be purchased at: http://www.DcsDancingStars.com

Event Co-Chairs and Owners of Fred Astaire Dance Studio of Fairfax – Maria Coakley David and Jim David
Executive Director – Susannah Moss


Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Luncheon


The Washington Area Women’s Foundation Leadership Luncheon is going to be an inspirational celebration of the extraordinary power of investing in women and girls in the Washington region.

You’ll learn about the groundbreaking programs The Women’s Foundation is sparking and hear from women in our community for whom these programs are more than just innovative – they’re life-changing.

Please join us as we bring together the resources and voices of our community to create a path to prosperity for all women and girls in our region.

Tickets: A variety of sponsorships are still available. Individual tickets are $200. Tickets are available at www.TheWomensFoundation.org/RSVP or call (202)347-7737.

2014 DCLY Fall Ball



Ticket Information

DCLY Fall Ball: General Admission

**Ticket price includes unlimited beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres.
Oct 23, 2014 $75.00 $2.87 0

DCLY Fall Ball: Student and Non-Profit Rate

**Students and non-profit employees. Ticket price includes unlimited beer, wine, and hors d’oeuvres.
Oct 23, 2014 $35.00 $2.92 0

DCLY Fall Ball: Make a Donation Oct 23, 2014 Enter donation ($)