It’s been an amazing year and while I’ll take every wish I can get, this birthday was so special that I wanted to take a minute and thank every wonderful person in my life for being their for me. This includes all of you out there that read my site, tweets me, likes my posts on Instagram and Facebook… you make my day regularly!
While today is my big day, I’ve been celebrating all week. On Wednesday night I had my annual birthday party at SPiN New York (thank you Franck, Jonathan and Briana!). Having 13,000 sq feet of space so I can actually see and enjoy all my guests (I like to invite the world to my party) coupled with the great combination and ping pong and booze makes this the greatest venue — and why I’ve been hosting it there since 2009.
I don’t play often, but I do play ping pong. So if you think 6 inch heels changed any of that… you’re wrong. It was game on all night!
As most of you know I’m a big ping-pong fan. In addition to the great exercise it offers, it’s possibly one of the most enjoyable social sports to do while having a beer and catching up with a friend. I usually go to SPiN New York for all of my booze-and-playing whims, however last week, my best friend Mike introduced me to new ping-pong/art gallery space in Williamsburg, when having his birthday party at Pips. It’s a very non-intimidating, down-to-earth table tennis club that houses 3 tables and offers a very chill environment to hang out in and play. Plus they have beer…
It was there that I was introduced to theEgg-Bot ($195)! Mike bought it to create the ultimate birthday party favor… custom ping-pong balls! Naturally, I wanted two–one that said my name, “Lara” and the other my blog, “Pretty Connected”. The machine hooks up to your computer to and works to decorates any spherical or egg-shaped object ranging from the size of a ping-pong ball to that of a small grapefruit. We’re talking golf balls, ornaments, eggs, light bulbs, mini-pumpkins… So for all you DIY make-your-own eggs at Easter or Christmas ornaments the Egg-bot could be an investment. In fact if I was a elementary art school teacher, I’d probably be regularly breaking this out for kids crafts. Lets face it, the Egg-bot is the coolest!!!
I for one am in love with my balls… now all I want to do is play with them!
I have a rather humorous story to tell that sums up to MAKE UP FOR EVER new Fluo Night is a must-have for Halloween or in your makeup collection for any occasion that deems you in Ultraviolet light.
My story begins at 10am in the bathroom of my office smothering this translucent loose powder all over my lips and eyes, turning off the lights and waiting to glow in the dark. I didn’t. I put more on, turned the lights off…nothing. I missed the part about only glowing in the dark under black-lights. Naturally, I put makeup on over the light-weight powder and chalked it up to a failed product. A whole day of work, and several events later; 12 hours to be exact, I stopped by SPiN New York to finalize my birthday reservations only to get a lot of stares. NO ONE SAID ANYTHING! Finally some overly drunk table-tennis player nearly screamed while almost tripping over me to pick up a ping-pong ball asking, “what’s the matter with your face?”
Confused for a moment, I realized it was black-light ping-pong night at the club (what are the odds?), and my MAKE UP FOR EVER product doesn’t glow in darkness, it glows under UV lights! I ran back to my date and asked what was the matter with my face? He replied, ‘nothing, why?’, I grabbed his arm and moved us under the black-light lantern –‘What about now?’. When he was finally able to compose himself from the horrific laughter we snapped a few shots, and I left mortified. Really, what got me is the amount of staff and friends I ran into there and none of them told me. Although in all fairness, knowing that I’m an beauty blogger, they probably all assumed it was
Hamptons season is in full force! And I received a slew of invitations this week to parties out there. And here’s my agenda! If you’re free, join me!
August 5th – Grey Goose and my SPiN family are hosting a party! Don’t forget to RSVP at [email protected] for complimentary admission.
August 13th – I’m on the host committee for Harboring Hearts and we’re throwing a Summer Fete to benefit cardiac patients and their families in their time of need. We are also offering a bus service for attendees coming from the city for the evening. For more information and tickets visit www.hhsummerfete.charityhappenings.org.
All summer long, Gilt City has a Hamptons summer house and is offering exclusive food, fashion, and wellness programming for their members. From private
So I finally got around to visiting the newishConverse store on Broadway and Spring Street to spend the gift card I received in my Lucky Magazine’s FABB conferencegift bag. Since retiring two pairs of chucks last summer (my beloved black and turquoise pair), I was overdue to replace them. I committed to low-top reds ($45) but wanted to visit their NYC Flagship store to spend the remaining balance on getting them customized.
It took three store visits before having the patience to go through with the process –that store is either always busy and/or severely understaffed. After finally coming to terms with there being no busy-free time to go, I sucked up the wait, got my shoes (I was a whole size smaller then I usually am), and headed over to the customize station. There was a table with several iPad’s that allow you to scroll through various fonts, patterns and images to decide what you want put on your shoes and where (price varies depending on which areas you want covered). I opted for the outsides of my shoes, and put a mustache and my name on one side, and had one of my favorite quotes put on the other, “What would you attempt to do it you knew you could not fail”. I filled out
While generally my Sunday nights consists of sweats, my laptop and takeout (it’s a joyous ritual), I had a more exciting night planned for the evening. Susan Sarandon and Mary-Louise Parker we’re hosting a benefit for Hope North, a boarding school in Uganda for escaped child soldiers, orphans, and other victims of the country’s civil war. I posted the invite so hopefully some of you made it and bought tickets in advance since the event sold out! That’s quite a feat considering it was hosted at 13,000sq ft table tennis social club, SPiN New York.
And apparently the line (even for ticket holders) was out the door and around the corner—I somewhat anticipated this type of reaction considering besides our lovely celebrity hosts, Rufus Wainwright, Josh Ritter, Jesse Malin, Joseph Arther and Martha Wainwright were all playing. I devised a not-so-solid plan for my date and I to crash the VIP cocktail party to avoid any unnecessary crowd shenanigans –I am the club’s #1 member. My club card should come with some perks… although even then I needed text message verification from one of the owners and contemplated an attempt to sneak in through the back (always a solid fall back plan). But for the record, I did buy my tickets and donate to the raffle.
I had a great time and played a lot of ping pong (Charlie Mars walked by my match and heckled me with a Steffi Graf comment). I appreciated it. And seriously what better way to hit then with great live performances in the background. The last time I saw Rufus Wainwright live was 2005 at Sundance and I LOVE HIM. I was hoping he’d sing Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk, but it wasn’t in the line up.
The Benefit also had an awesome silent auction –I wanted the autographed Soup Nazi picture, but a friend, Roxy won it so I compromised with getting a picture of the picture of the Soup Nazi.
He’s only one of the most amazing Badminton players of all time and former World Badminton Champion! Pretty random, huh? Which of course only made me want them more (I love the random sports—ping pong is my only exercise of choice). That and I retired my Chuck Taylor’s last summer and was in need of a low, canvas sneaker for spring. And wouldn’t you know it, they brought the spring weather with them!
It was so warm and amazing out I wore them out all weekend (except Sunday night when it rained!). I even got to break them in on Friday night when I went to ping pong social club, SPiN New York for my good friend (and infamous table tennis player) Kaz’ birthday! Not to be all matchy-matchy, but I rocked my Jack Purcell’s with the Converse Scoreboard watch ($70), which I got last month at the conference! It not only keeps time, but also has an alarm, date, stopwatch feature and comes in a variety of fun colors. It’s also water resistant and very sporty with it’s silicone strap. Plus, how great does it look with my Jack Purcell’s? It definitely completed my look! Also you may want to take a minute to reflect on my silver metallic Ginger + Liz manicure (in shade “Tuck Me In“) thanks to TJ at Ryan Darious Salon. My nails look like they’re from outer space…love, love, love!
I’m not a very big birthday person. I used to be when I was younger; my mom would stress out over what to do for me ‘since nothing was ever good enough’. I supposed I just wanted to feel special on my big day, although looking back that’s pretty funny. Then again it did make for some very memorable birthdays.
This year I had mixed feelings about even celebrating; however after traveling most of the summer I realized it was the perfect excuse to just invite everyone I haven’t seen in months and whoever showed showed, whoever didn’t, no big deal. It fell on a Tuesday so I wasn’t expecting a crazy turnout anyways.
Considering it was my day and I get to do whatever I wanted, it came as no surprise to most that I decided to have it the ping pong social club/bar, SPiN. I wanted to do something fun and low key that didn’t require a lot of planning, had a bar and served food. And the best part about SPiN is how spacious it is (and I never have to worry about feeling too crowded whether I have 10 or 100 guests). Plus the owners Franck and Jon are practically my brothers, so it
By now some of my avid readers have probably noticed I have thing for ping pong. Unlike most table tennis players, the obsession doesn’t come from a table in my basement or game room in my college dorm, but from a few friends.
Once upon a time these friends, filmmakers Jonathan Bricklin, Franck Raharinosy and Bill Mack all lived together in fabulous loft in TriBeCa and bought a ping pong table. They started playing, didn’t stop, friends would come over, more tables we’re bought, more friends would come over and eventually they started throwing a weekly party/tournaments named Naked Ping Pong. While no one was actually naked, the parties attracted everyone and anyone from jocks to hipsters to nerds, artists to celebrities and everything in between; creating a diverse environment that was effortlessly fun. In those days I didn’t play, but I wasn’t the only one, and it didn’t matter. The mix of great people and music in such a social atmosphere made it still one rockin’ party.
With all the press they we’re receiving and popularity of the parties they decided to take their idea to the next level. Together with investors Susan Sarandon and Andrew Gordon they opened SPiN New York; a 13,000 square foot table-tennis social club complete with a gourmet restaurant, Ducks Eatery and bar.