Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Red Ball 2014 - Picture and Coverage Update

I've covered many events over the years on The Housewife Diaries but, there's something *extra* special about the Red Ball presented by Independence Blue Cross.  Maybe it's the amazing staff, the incredibly friendly guests, the gowns, the red-tie tuxedos, the food...I could go on.

The themes of the evening?  Red dresses, beauty queens and "selfies."

Let's start with the red dresses.  There are always women in red dresses at the Red Ball.  But I noticed an abundance of them this year.  If you're a woman and you've attempted to shop for a red gown (not black, not blue, not any-other-color), you know it ain't easy.  Nice job this year, ladies.  Wow.

Next, the beauty queens.  There were gorgeous women in tiaras brushing shoulders with the guests at every turn - I had the pleasure of meeting a few of them.  Part of me wanted to steal their tiaras for myself (oh, look, what's that over there? Rip!) but, truly, they all were very gracious, kind and lovely.  They obviously earned and deserve their titles and crowns.  And I promise not to steal any tiaras in the future...

And finally, the selfies.  It was a night of the Red Ball selfie.  I almost want to start a Twitter hashtag #redballselfie, because everyone was taking them (including me).

 Sooo, with all that said, let's get on with it, shall we?

One of my most favorite things about the Red Ball?  The building (the Please Touch Museum) is so GRAND.  Let's DO this!

The red carpet was a little different this year, but I liked the change.

Men, diamonds are a girl's best friend.  No, really, they are.  Trust me.  I bid on this necklace to go with the tiara I planned to steal but, unfortunately, I was outbid.

Sing it, girl!  Thanks to the CTO Band for giving it their all, as always, and for singing my new favorite song "Happy."  I took more pictures of them, but they turned out blurry because I was too busy dancing while snapping them.

Remember that word grand I was talking about?  Does a party get any more grand than this?  Nope.

Did I mention beauty queens?  Here is the lovely Miss Philadelphia and her gal pal date.

An adorable couple proudly posing with their photo booth pictures...

If you've read my past Red Ball blogs, you know I have to get a "piano by heels" picture every year.  So fun.

My heartfelt thanks to Dave Schrader, Chief Communications Officer for the American Red Cross, Southeastern PA (AKA Super Dave), for continuing to invite my snarky ass to cover this event.  I pulled him aside and asked for a selfie for the blog - a guest noticed us clumsily fumbling with the cell phone and offered to take the pic for us.  Thank you!

Dueling pianos in the VIP room.  Hysterical.  They didn't even flinch when I walked right up to them to snap their picture.  I had the sudden urge to jump on one of the pianos and do my best Michelle Pfieffer impression from The Fabulous Baker Boys.  Luckily for the guests (and the piano players), I refrained.

Love her kicky foot!  I bet her feet hurt by the end of the evening - I know mine did.

Red Ball kisses.  I actually took two pictures of these two - one with them facing me, but I chose the smoochie shot.  So sweet.

The Honorable Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, CEO of the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Philadelphia NBC news anchor Keith Jones (on a side note, they took a selfie immediately after this - you can see it here).  

You know you have some mad people skills when you can convince a man in a tux to get down and pretend to play a fake harp.  He and his date are in the picture above.  The funniest part?  After I took this, he asked me, "where can I find those pictures?"  Little does he know, teehee!  Hopefully he sees this...

So back to the beauty queen theme, I saw the gorgeous Miss New Jersey 2013 and made a beeline for her.  She was so sweet and hospitable - she even retweeted this picture.  Thank you, Cara!  You're my pageant hero.  You can see the retweet and follow her on Twitter here.    

I love this picture.  Do you see her finger?  I want THAT.  (Samples from Eatible Delights)

Red roses and candles on all the tables again this year.  Such a nice touch.  I was tempted to grab one, hold it between my teeth and start a conga line but, again, I refrained (damn those dueling pianos and red roses!).  

The very courteous chefs from Bank and Bourbon.  Trust me people, this upcoming restaurant is not one to miss.  They were serving tomato remoulade sauce on a corn pancake.  OMG.  I know that may sound a little "out there," but I came back twice for a second (and third) helping.  Amazing.  Good luck, boys.  It's not every day that you get to see renowned chefs cooking in front of a glass case filled with rubber duckies.  I will definitely be planning a date night at your place once you open...

Champagne topped with water ice (or as the Philly locals call it, "wudder" ice).  Yummmm.  Courtesy of Mr. D's.

And, if you're not into the champagne, they also offered plain water ice.

The lovely servers from Cakes and Candies by MaryEllen.  The guests were raving over her cake pop displays on Twitter and in person.  She outdoes herself at the Red Ball every year - which is why, for the second time in three years, she won the restaurant competition again.

Maytag bleu cheese crostini courtesy of Victory Brewing Company.  If you can just imagine the crunch of the crostini with the softness of the cheese...I need to learn this recipe so I can take it to my next Stepford Wife party.  Delish.

Loved Chima Brazilian Steakhouse's slogan...and they're absolutely right.

Want to know what little gems are in those cups?  Banana foster bread pudding with bourbon creme anglaise, courtesy of Bourbon Blue.  Yeah, I know you want one.  I had one...OK two.

Ahi tuna with pickled cucumber from Devon Seafood.  I love ahi, and I've decided that my new favorite ingredient is pickled vegetables.  The sweet with the sour, mmmm.  Bring on the pickled veggies!  Devon Seafood, I'm a regular stalker and will continue to be.

Speaking of pickled veggies, The JNA Institute of Culinary Arts by FAR won my vote for the best dish of the night.  Thumbs up - y'all are going to be amazing chefs with a dish like this.  Smoked pork belly with baby radishes and pickled (pickled, yesss!) red onion salad.  Again, it might sound a little "out there" but, seriously, take a bite and it's like Disneyland in your mouth.

Slices by Peace a Pizza.  Brilliant name.

Tuna tartar with pickled cucumbers (pickled veggies again, be still my heart) by Pennsylvania 6.  Another wow, this was delish.  I'm adding this restaurant to my date-night-stalking list.  Can't wait to see their whole menu - I might have to order one of everything.

Annnnd....my favorite picture of the whole night goes to this gentleman.  I was casually strolling through the VIP room, passed by him and noticed he was alone and holding a pair of lady's shoes.  Um OK, how can I possibly walk by this man without asking for a picture?!  I took a similar pic at the Red Ball 2012, except that guy was stuck with shoes AND a purse.  "Here honey, hold my shoes!  I'll be right back!"  God bless our man dates!

He kindly posed for me and we had a giggle about the shoes.  Even holding them, doesn't he look great?

Red Ball 2014 raised more than $310,000 for Red Cross disaster relief and Red Cross House – The Center for Disaster Recovery, the one-of-a-kind short-term housing facility in University City where hundreds of local families every year begin their recovery from fires, floods, and other disasters.

“Once again, the Philadelphia region showed its overwhelming generosity and made the Red Ball a huge success,” said Judge Renee Cardwell Hughes, American Red Cross SEPA CEO. “Red Ball is the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of dedicated people, so it is very gratifying to see everyone have a great time and raise vital funds for our work at the same time.”

The public is invited to regularly check out redcrossphilly.org or facebook.com/redcrossphilly for the link to photos and for articles about the event.

 I hope you enjoyed the ride.  I know I did - this is my most favorite evening of the the whole year.  And that's right, bitches, I'm the media!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Red Ball 2014 - Picture Preview!

As always, The Hubs and I had a great time at last night's Red Ball 2014.  My feet hurt, I'm sleepy, and feel like I've gained five pounds in the last 24 hours.

But, ohhhhhh man, it was SO worth it.

So while I recover (salads only, foot rubs and lots of naps), here's just a small picture preview of what's to come.  Click here for my complete coverage of the 2014 Red Ball!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Red Ball 2014

Click here for all the fashion, the food and fun from The Red Ball 2014!

As I have said before, this is such an incredible event that I look forward to it all year long.  Great music, beautiful people dressed in their Saturday-night best and some of the yummiest food in Philadelphia - be still my beating heart.

There's still time to get tickets!  Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity, whether it be date night, girls' night out, or to spend an evening with your foodie friends.  Believe me, there's a little something here for everyone.

A little birdie told me that the Food Network’s Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli, singer Jade Starling, and Miss New Jersey Cara McCollum will also be in attendance.

The best part?  All proceeds go to support the Red Cross House – the Center for Disaster Recovery and local disaster relief.

There are a few exciting changes happening this year...beer garden and dueling pianos you say? Count me IN.

Catelli Duo of Voorhees, NJ will be the exclusive caterer for the VIP room. For the first time, the Carousel House on the Main Event floor will feature a beer garden, including some of the region’s finest microbreweries. More than 1,100 of Philadelphia’s social, civic, and business leaders are expected to attend this “red-tie” event featuring cuisine from 30 of the finest restaurants in our area, dancing to live music, and an unrivaled silent auction and raffle. For the second straight year, the VIP Lounge will be the entire lower level and will have its own entrance. For the first time, dueling pianos will provide the musical entertainment in the VIP room. VIP guests will also enjoy private top-shelf open bar and a cigar bar. Main Event guests will sample cuisine from nearly 30 of the region’s finest restaurants, dance the night away to CTO Band in the ballroom or listen to jazz played by Gerald Veasley in the beautiful Carousel House.

The 2014 Red Ball will once again include the 4th annual Red Ball Restaurant Competition, allowing guests to vote for their favorite food for an award at the end of the night. Guests will have an opportunity to bid on fantastic auction items and will also have access to the museum’s exhibits. All proceeds from The Red Ball benefit disaster relief and Red Cross House – The Center for Disaster Recovery, a one-of-a-kind short-term housing facility in University City. Every year, hundreds of local families find refuge at this facility and begin their recovery from fires, floods, and other disasters. Red Cross House is a model for disaster recovery nationwide. It offers families a stable and supportive environment while they work to rebuild their lives. Since opening its doors in April 2003, Red Cross House has been called “home” by more than 10,000 people who had no place else to turn in their greatest time of need.

Visit theredball.org and follow #RedBall for tickets, sponsorship details, and more information.

Want a little preview of just how spectacular this party is?  Click on my "foodie events" link on the left sidebar to see past year's Red Balls (and try not to slobber on your keyboard).  Stay tuned to The Housewife Diaries for full coverage of the glitz, the glam and, most of all, the FOOD.  Bring it!

Sunday, February 23, 2014


OK men, if you are reading this right now, I encourage you to stop.  Just stop.  Believe me, you won't want to read this post.  It might create anxiety and the temptation to throw up in your mouth.  The blog title should give you a clue.

Now ladies...

Have you ever had to go to the store just to buy...tampons?  Nothing else.  You don't need milk, you don't need fruit.

Just tampons.

And, if you're lucky enough, there isn't a self-checkout available (where you can discretely beep your own shit and leave without anyone seeing what you're buying).  And gee, the only checker is some young guy who could be your son or nephew?

Yeah.  That was me today.

So I'm strolling through the store, pretending like I have a list and lots of things to buy.  Do tee do...I have a long list people!  Get out of my way!  I'm on a mission!  I feed a family of four!

I browse the deli with my little basket, I browse the dairy section, I browse the rice and cereal.  Somehow I have to come up with SOMETHING else to buy...besides tampons.  I can't possibly go up to the checkout with nothing but tampons.  And, not only that but the super-duper, extra plus, those-plugs-will-suck-up-superwoman-period-shit tampons.  Yep, I need those.  I can thank childbirth for that.

Men, if you're still reading.  See, I told you you'd want to throw up.  Don't say I didn't warn you.

Anyway, so yes, I'm strolling along....hey look, bananas!  I need bananas!  I can get those, too!  Then I won't have to check out with just...well, you already know what.

Bananas it was.  I bought bananas.  And super-duper-absorbency tampons.  And that's it.  And the young college boy checked me out.  I'm sure he'll have nightmares tonight about the issues he has with his mother.  He might even need therapy ten years from now from checking out a bunch of old ladies who only come to the the store for tampons.

So, dear checker-out boy, I'm apologizing now for any trauma I may have caused you for making you beep and bag my superwoman tampons.  And bananas.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Gotta Love OK!

Here I am.

I have so much to share I don't even know where to start.  Sooooo, as promised, I want to tell you about the fam's super duper vacation in Oklahoma.  The whole week was pretty awesome.  Not having any family in Philly, I sometimes forget how nice it is to spend time with my people.  I am so lucky to have married into a big family.  Good times, good food and free childcare...yeah, me likey.

So The Hub's 25-year high school reunion was interesting.  While we were there, I kept having flashes of the movie Romy and Michelle.  It wasn't a huge crowd, and The Hubs didn't recognize most of the people there.  The ones he did mention, I demanded their entire background.  After all, I need a conversation starter, right?  I kept reminding myself that a lot of these people were conservative, church-going people.  Note to self: don't swear and, especially, don't say fuck.

He brought up a few women's names and, naturally, my first question to him was "did you fuck her?"

So it went something like this:

The Hubs: Oh that's Sheila so-and-so...

Me: Did you fuck her?

The Hubs: No.  And that's Beth so-and-so...

Me: Did you fuck her?

The Hubs: No.

Oops, I just broke my swearing law, didn't I?

Me: Honey!  I'm so disappointed in you!  She's hot!

Apparently my husband wasn't the lady's man until college.  Hopefully he doesn't ask me that question when we go to my 25th...

Did you fuck him?


Anyway, so let's move on to the drive home after the reunion when we came across the body laying in the street at 12am, because that's what y'all want to hear about, right?  Yeah, I know it.

Let me set the scene for you:

The Hubs and I were relatively bored with the reunion so we left early, planning to hit a bar that his college friend managed before going home.  It was dark, The Hubs didn't exactly know where the bar was or how to get there.  We made a wrong turn, flipped a U turn.  (I will never forget this image) once we turned, the headlights panned over the street and there was a man, head on the curb, feet laying straight out into the street in front of us.

The first thing I remember is thinking "is this really happening?"  And then hearing The Hubs saying "HOLY SHIT."

Ehhh, is he dead?  Did he get hit by a car?  Am I going to see blood and guts tonight?  As a criminal justice major, I know that cops see this shit all the time.  But for us civilian folk, not so much.  Let's see, interesting reunion, on our way to a bar, uh oh, dead body pit stop!

I was relieved that The Hubs had the same thought I did...we needed to stop.  In retrospect, it was a dangerous thing to do.  But how could we not?

If you're still with me, hang in there.  This is where it gets good.

The Hubs pulled over and we looked at each other and nodded.  We had to get out and investigate.  We slowly walked up to him and, thankfully, his eyes were open.

And, not only were they open, they were cracked out open.  Not only that, he had his cell phone in one hand and his ID in the other.

Oh great.

Am I really standing here in my flashy reunion dress and heels, at midnight, standing on some dark road in OK with a cracked out guy laying in the street?


So I start talking to him, asking him questions, mostly just to keep him busy and still.  Did you get hit by a car?  Are you hurt?  What's your name?  Give me your ID.  I'm calling the cops to come and take you to the hospital....

It became apparent that this guy was gay (not that there's anything wrong with that!).  He wanted nothing to do with me, but was very happy to have The Hubs sit next to him on the curb while we waited for the police hehe.  Since we didn't know where we were, it took three phone calls with dispatch for the cops to find us.  In the meantime, the dude was obviously freaked out and asked for lots of hugs from The Hubs...and now that I knew he was OK, I silently giggled at this because The Hubs, bless his concerned heart, actually offered him hugs (while he was still laying in the street).  On the third call to dispatch, this guy realized he might be going to jail and completely turned on me.  I watched his cracked out eyes watch me talk to dispatch, and he flipped.  He screamed at me "I'm older than you!  I have a college degree!  You only care about your looks!"

Ummmm, what the fuck, dude?  Because I have a dress on?  Might I remind you that you're hugging on my husband?

Maybe we should have stayed in the car and called the cops.

After chatting with cracked-out guy for awhile, we realized that he didn't get hit by a car.  We guessed he took drugs at a party, his brother (who was his ride) got fed up with him and made him get out of the car on the way home.  Cracked-out-drama-king dude couldn't find his way home so, as a solution, passed out in the street hoping someone would stop for him.

Lucky us.

The cops did finally come (after waiting 30 minutes with the crazy man ugh) and funnily, one of the cops recognized him from picking him up just the week before.  When the cop asked how he was going to get home, his cracked-out eyes looked directly at me, he raised his finger up and pointed at me.

Oh, HELL no.

He ended up getting arrested, and The Hubs and I were able to leave when this was happening.  I probably would've felt bad for the guy if he'd been a little nicer to my poor, well dressed, very straight Stepford Wife ass.

So cracked out dude went to jail, and The Hubs and I found a different bar to have our nightcap at before going home.  Lots of cowboy hats, Metallica music and cheap drinks.  Gotta love Oklahoma.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I'm Back, Bitches...

Soooo, if you hadn't noticed, my blog was offline for a few weeks.  I'm not exactly sure what happened - it's a looooong story - but to sum it up, Google Apps and I had it out for a good two weeks.

The good news is, they gave me what I wanted.


While this shitstorm via email was going on, it made me realize how much I missed blogging.  So no worries, I ain't going anywhere.

Still lots to tell you - including the rest of our trip to OK.  The fam and I took a long vacation to Florida last week, and the kiddos went back to school today.

Happy dance!

But a few sniffles, too.  They're getting so big.  When the hell did this happen?

Anyway, I'm back, phew.  Stay tuned...

Monday, July 15, 2013

Birthday F Bombs

Soooo, as I said in my last post, our trip to Tulsa was hella exciting.

Who knew I could have some much fun in OK?

But, before we get to that, the week before we visited OK The Hubs and I celebrated my birthday.  36.  Gulp.  The Stepfords heard how old I was turning and couldn't help but mention...oh, you're still a baby!  Yeah, tell me that tomorrow morning when I wake up and my neck hurts, my feet hurt, and I think I now need botox on my forehead.  Plus, I'm now dyeing my hair because of the gray, not just because I want to.  However, 36 feels good.  I'm comfortable in my own skin (fucking finally).  For those of you who haven't reached this "point," hang in there, because it only gets better.  Not because your body, hair, and skin will get better...but because you will learn to not give a shit.  It feels extremely empowering, trust me.

Back to my birthday.  The Hubs let me pick our date night, so I decided on a yummy seafood restaurant in the middle of Rittenhouse Square in downtown Philly, followed by laughing our asses off at a comedy club.  Although we did laugh our asses off, the best part of the night was in the club bar before the act.  The hubs and I were sitting there, enjoying our beers, talking smack about the not-so-friendly bartenders (typical Philly), when I heard a very loud man two seats down from me drop the F bomb probably five times in two sentences.  I couldn't help but think "I NEED to meet this dude, whoever he is..." and I voiced this to The Hubs.  He casually replied, "oh yeah, that's Doug Benson."  Who?  This wasn't even the comedian we were there to see.  Oh fuck, who cares, I'm going over to talk to him.

And I did.

I started the conversation in my true, classy housewife form by walking up and telling him that I loved his F bombs -- and he happily repeated the word for me five times in a row again.  Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!  Wow, this night is turning out to be the best night ever. Turns out, his act jokes a lot about smoking pot.  Meh, not my thing (hugs not drugs, kids -- I much prefer martinis and cigarettes), but I was thrilled to meet a loud, friendly comedian who says fuck a lot.  After closely watching my mouth around my kiddos all day, every day, it's nice to be reminded that I actually am an adult, and we can say those nasty, incredibly offensive words.

Fuck yes!

He graciously posed for a picture with me like we were old friends.

It was a good birthday, which will hopefully be followed up by a great year of being 36.  (Did I mention The Hubs is almost 43 hehe?)

Next up, the first half of the trip to Tulsa, part one.  I can't wait to tell you about The Hub's reunion (and his female friends, ahem) and our lovely day bobbing on the lake with our extended family.  This is my cutie patootie nephew and me.

The first half of our trip isn't even the best part -- I will save that for part two.  Stay tuned...

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