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Plan The Best Party Ever! Meet Special Events Master Robert Fountain!

Holi Festival

Girls, I’ve recently been to so many fabulous parties!  It must be in the water!  All my “Harvey” parties are orchestrated by the yummy socialite Kathi Lutton and event planner Kaydee Castricone! This dynamic duo knows how to throw a beauty bash! The girls always have a blast.  Dinner last Friday was beyond delicious with food by Henry[link here], girlicious cocktails,  and for fashion fun, I had all the girls bring clothes to do a fab “Keep or Swap” event!  You can do it too!  Throw a girl party and have everyone bring clothes that  they haven’t  worn or  don’t know what to wear it with! Does it look good on them?  Should they keep or swap to a BFF!  Most fun ever!{Party pics here]  Now I’ve also attended some parties recently that were…..well, let’s just say it was like “Here’s a glass of champagne”, followed by some boring cocktail chatter, and a quick exit.  Been to a party like that? People standing around just looking at each other?  My pretties there is no need to ever host a party like this!  In a recent column I wrote about the best special event I’ve ever attended.  Jillian Manus and Alan Salzman’s Valentine’s Ball “Channeling Love”, with all proceeds going to the Stanford Cancer Center.  If you missed it here’s the link:

http://www.bettyconfidential.com/ar/ld/a/my-night-at-the-best-valentines-ball-ever.html

This unbelievable event was dreamed up by Jillian Manus and special event guru Robert Fountain.  Now girls you know I always go the world’s best experts to share advice and options to make your life fabulous so I had lunch with the handsome Robert to get the skinny on how to be the hostess with the mostest!  I met Robert at his gorgeous design studio in the heart of San Francisco’s Potrero Hill design district.  As I shook his hand I immediately  loved his urban confidence, but the moment he flashed his million dollar smile and began speaking with his charming Thomason, Georgia accent I melted.  Add incredibly handsome to this and you have dynamite!  Love at first sight.  Being southern myself I felt like we were kindred spirits.  We walked up the hill to the chic bistro Chez Papa for a delightful lunch.  Forever the gentleman, he pulled my chair out for me.  Before I go any further, he has a wonderful partner named Lino.  Girls-Why are the good ones always taken?  How did he become Robert Fountain?  Great story!  He started designing and selling handbags to his Mother’s friends at 6 years old.  Fast forward to General Manager of Podesta Baldocchi, the nation’s oldest floral design studio and you have the creative experience of a true genius.  As fate would have it, he produced his first large special event for the  1998 San Francisco Ballet Opening Gala and the rest is history, producing 150 special events a year with a celebrity client list a mile long. He gets his inspiration everywhere including editorial photography and such fashion greats as Tom Ford and Vivienne Westwood.  Robert has very high standards. I asked him which event was his favorite?  He replied “The last one I did!” True creative.  He said “It’s theater! Robert’s biggest gift is his intuition about people and environments.  Ask any of his clients and nothing but love and admiration  pour from their mouths! Robert also gives back to the community through the Trevor Project that supports a national toll free 24 hour hot line for gay youth. If you’d like to get involved:

http://www.thetrevorproject.org/

I asked Robert for some advice to help us throw fabulous parties.  He simply said “Throw the best party you can afford!  If you’re on a limited budget don’t do a big dinner! Delicious cocktails and lots of appetizers always make people happy.  Add a WOW factor! It’s always about the food, site and entertainment. Add something interactive like games or “Theater’ to have your guests interact.  Use your imagination.  If it’s a larger party, have a surprise around every turn! Here’s the link for more info:

http://www.robertfountain.com/

Thanks Robert! So Gorgeous no more parties with people just standing around looking at each other! Want to play Twister?  Right foot green, Left hand red?

xo

Harvey

Meet Ken Caldeira! Come on girls! Let’s help him save the planet!

Progress Bar Uninstalling with the text: Global Warming                                                The other day while I was inventorying my beauty warehouse, otherwise known as my bathroom, I started looking at ingredient listings on the back of some skin care boxes.  Please make sure you always check those out before you buy any product!  It lets you know what you’re getting.  Today there is a huge trend in the beauty industry toward more natural and organic ingredients.  Not just your chicken breast for lunch girls, but your night cream too!  Lavender?  Soothing.  Ginseng?  Energizing.  Kaolin?  Purifying. There’s a gazillion!  All from good ole Mother Earth. As I was applying a delicious chamomile body cream, I had a big, gay, horrific beauty vision.  Could Global Warming hurt our skin care products?   OMG!!!!!  I ran to my iPhone and googled Al Gore, who was awarded the triple crown for his global warming book “An Inconvenient Truth– Oscar, Nobel and Grammy!

Up came this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxi-OlkmxZ4  Danger Gay Robinson!  I better get to the bottom of this!  As your Cyber Main Gay, I went straight to the top!  Ladies-Meet Ken Caldera! Climate Scientist, Geoengineer and Director of the Department of Global Ecology at the famed Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University.

 

I was a little nervous meeting Ken because science was NOT my best subject in school.  Okay girls it was the worst.  Was Ken thinking, “What am I doing at lunch with this beauty queen?  No!  It was the total opposite!  His charm and down to earth personality put me right at ease.  He has a great sense of humor and life philosophy.  He said, “Happiness is feeling appreciated by friends and doing work that is meaningful. ”  You should also know that Ken walks the global warming talk!  He personally lives the green life! Ken believes that great design is an important in lowering greenhouse gas emissions.  I found this out when we went to lunch on his Vespa LX 150.  He gave me a really fabulous helmet so I wouldn’t have any hair drama!  His Stanford office is cooled by a misty water chamber rather than air conditioning.  Impressive.  In his mind he wears two hats.  The Citizen who asks, “What should I do?”  And the Scientist that asks, “How does it work?”  As I was sipping my Diet Coke pondering what my first question would be, Ken said “Harvey, like it or not, a climate emergency is a possibility.  Climate change triggered by the accumulation of greenhouse gasses [carbon dioxide or CO2] emitted into the atmosphere has the potential of causing serious and lasting damage to human and natural systems.  Carbon Dioxide is a villain insofar as an inanimate object can be a villain.”  Yes girls- I flash back to science class!  HELP! Ken said, “Don’t worry Harvey! Here’s global warming 101: Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of Earth’s surface, air, and oceans.  Green House gasses are gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere that collect heat and light from the sun.  With too many GHG’s in the air, the Earth’s atmosphere will trap too much heat and the Earth will get too hot.  This increase in global temperature could cause sea levels to rise and change the amount and patterns of precipitation.  Other likely effects could include extreme weather conditions, species extinction and changes in agriculture.”  I was speechless!  What can we do to help Ken?

 

Ken looked at me and smiled. ” As a Citizen and Scientist I think it’s about social responsibility.  Not through self-denial but through better design.  While scientists and geoengineers are working on better designs for solar , wind energy and planetary management , our citizens can help by simply recycling and perhaps driving less.  Change a light bulb.  Plant a tree.  Harvey you do need agriculture for beauty!”  Ken’s right!  Well that sounds easy enough.  I guess if each person cared we could make a difference one person at a time.  Here’s a link to Ken to find out more :

http://dge.stanford.edu/labs/caldeiralab/

With the devastating earthquake and tsunami  in Japan I think that the most important thing on the earth, other than the actual planet,  are the global citizens that inhabit it.  In an instant their  lives were changed forever.  Here are two links to find out other ways  to assist those in need:

http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/articles/pray_for_japan/  and

http://www.disasterfunding.org/DisasterFunding.org.html

 

Also if you’re a person who prays, a little bit of love goes a long way.

xo

Harvey

 

 

Your Genes Are Not Your Fate! Skip YoYo Dieting and Listen To Dr Dean Ornish!

A spiral-bound book with the words Diet Fad - It's the Latest Craze to illustrate a new dieting sensation inside a best-selling manual or guide to help you lose weight

Okay!  I want to be thin and not just for cosmetic reasons.  I want to feel better, healthier.  Well, I do want to look better in my clothes and especially in photographs.  Some days I look at pics of myself and think “Who is that fat boy?  So many of my girlfriends say the same thing!  Every day those photo’s on Facebook stare right back at us saying “Yes this is what you look like. Horrifying! I want to wake up in the morning full of energy instead of pushing the snooze button for 5 more minutes! I know it’s about food and exercise but I’m starting to think as I get older that the food thing is becoming critical!  Now you might be saying “Well then Harvey, go on a diet1  Listen sisters, I feel like I’ve been on a diet since I came out of my Mother’s womb.  I’ve tried them all!  Low carb, no carb, calorie counting, fasting, juicing and I even think I tried a pizza diet once that if you ate it standing up you got half the fat!  I lost weight but it always comes back.  Is it my genes?  My fate?  My heritage?  Luckily for us I met the most amazing man ever who looked me straight in the face and said “Harvey, your genes are not your fate! Instead of diet think lifestyle and learn how to live your best life ever!” Ladies meet Dr Dean Ornish! Author of the book “The Spectrum- A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health. Here’s the link to check it out!

http://www.amazon.com/dp/0345496310/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=3585405801&ref=pd_sl_85fo1op52a_e

 

Dr Dean Ornish, M.D>. is the Founder and President of the non-profit Preventative Medicine Research Institute where he holds the Safeway Chair.  He received his medical training in internal medicine from Baylor College of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. For over 32 years Dr. Ornish has directed clinical research demonstrating for the first time that comprehensive lifestyle change may begin to reverse even sever coronary disease without drugs or surgery! Okay I’m in!  I know that I need consistency. I don’t want heart disease and neither do you girls!  Heart disease has become the #1 killer of women today!   Unlike all the other diet books that are full of science BLAH BLAH BLAH, Dean’s explanations are simple and well supported. His main point is that eating a high fiber low fat vegetarian diet will not only make you healthier but will also help you lose weight!  And yes you need to combine it with MODERATE exercise- 30 minutes a day or 3 hours 3 times a week. These together allow the body’s fat mechanism to work most effectively.  No meat?  That would definitely be a change for me but nothing I’ve tried has had long term results. Dean wasn’t surprised.  He told me “Harvey restricting calories will not lead to success.  You’ve tried that.  It’ about watching the ones we do eat!  You can eat more and weigh less!  Okay at this point I’m falling in love with Dr Ornish because he’s the only man who’s ever  told me I could eat more and weigh less!  Dr. Ornish breaks down food into three categories: Foods you can eat all the time like beans, legumes, fruit, grains and vegetables.  Foods you can eat some of the time like nonfat dairy -skim milk, nonfat yogurt and cheese.  To foods none of the time like meat fish nuts avocado etc.  I’m giving you the reader’s Digest version so get the book for full info. You can also check out this video for a further look into heart disease

 

Now girls I know this could be a big change for a lot of us. If you have a lifestyle that works for you keep on it!  If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!  If you’re on the diet roulette wheel like me this may be worth trying!  Dean looked at me and said  “This lifestyle change requires planning, really learning new eating habits. But after a week or two the plan becomes self-rewarding because the weight loss is automatic.  You’ll also feel better.  On a personal note Dr Ornish told me that our #1 problem is loneliness and depression.  Be good to yourself and your body!   So I told myself “Harvey! No more diets for you!  Let’s start with small steps and create healthy changes so that I feel better and live longer! Thank you Dr Ornish for changing my life!

 

xo

Harvey

 

Road Less Traveled Travel Tips To Keep Your Relationship In Tact!

Maybe it’s just summer or the fact that more people are taking vacations right now, but I’m receiving lots of disgruntled texts from some of my girls who are on holiday with their current Mr. Right. And yes, many are married. “He’s a bully! We only do what he wants!” or my favorite text “We flew 8000 miles so he could watch sports and drink beer. We could have saved the money because that’s what he does at home!” I feel for you sister. With gays it’s different. We go on cruises or to Palm Springs. If there’s Neiman Marcus or a fabulous designer outlet mall connected to a martini bar, you’ll get no complaints from us.  In search of miraculous advice, I contacted a beautiful couple, who blog about their travels to faraway lands, exotic venues or in relationship terms “A lot of we time, very little me time!” How can couples in love travel well without wanting to kill each other? Well my pretties! Meet Asaf and Ansley Braverman. Their blog “Road less Traveled” is a true gem! Full of info on all things travel. Thinking about planning a fabulous trip? Need ideas about where to go and what to see while you’re there? Check out their blog! They want to know the places you want to see! They actually answer their own e mail and social media!

http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=ed9509770a90215cf4f5d4c11&id=2770879a4f&e=471812b018

 

I met them for an espresso and cut right to the chase!” How do you two travel so well together? They looked at each other and smiled. “Harvey, we love each other and know that the best relationships take work and effort. We’ve discovered 3 rules to keep the road more traveled a happy place.

 

  1. If we find ourselves homesick or worn out, no matter where we are in the world, we find a 5 star hotel and order a pancake breakfast. Even some places where there aren’t 5 stars, we still find pancakes! We automatically feel better!

 

  1. Every day, start with a familiar breakfast. Our bodies are less flexible with change in the morning. This can make you cranky. Asaf loves coffee and he makes sure that when he travels he has his favorite with him!

 

  1. Having the aim to find what is unique in each place. The Braverman’s have a fab philosophy around shopping! “Shop and finance your shopping!” “In some of these exotic places we buy trinkets, two at a time. One to keep and one to sell back home. You become a great negotiator by haggling in bazaars across the world!” So smart!

I love it! Pancakes, coffee and shopping!  It’s so simple yet so brilliant! We can do this girls! Before our next trips let’s check in with Asaf and Ansley!  Finally though I did ask Kaydee and Andy Castricone how they handle traveling with 4 children. These two will throw their kids in that minivan for an 8-hour drive to Disneyland 6 times a year! I said “The crying, screaming, pooping, yelling, and fighting. How do you do it?” These two looked at me, and said in unison, “You just go with it.” God Bless them!

So there you go darlings!

Happy Vacationing!

Harvey

 

 

 

It was an Itsy Bitsy, Teeny Weeny…. OMG!!!?

Okay ladies.  I know.  I know it’s cold outside and you ate more chocolate than you intended during the holidays.  Your merriment probably  included martinis, pumpkin pie and every other decadence that the holidays serve up.  Damn that delicious Hickory Farms cheese and sausage box!  It’s the work of the devil.  Now, I’m not getting on you.  I just know what I go through with my clients around the beginning of April:  the “Dreaded Bathing Suit Try-on.”  Why am I bringing this up while you’ve just had visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads,  laying on the sofa, wrapped up in your Christmas Snuggie (you know, the one that you thought was absolutely ridiculous until you used it one night while watching your latest Netflix selection and now don’t want to take it off)?  Don’t worry.  I’ll keep your Snuggie-addiction a secret, but I’m bringing this topic up because with a little planning in January, those April bathing suit try-on’s will be a little less traumatic.   I’m not telling you flat-out that you need to lose weight.  But I do know what I go through with my clients in dressing rooms across the country when choosing summer swimwear.  The crying.  The complaining.  The self-deprecation.  The “I’m never going to wear a bathing suit again” ranting and raving.  I know it’s painful to think about.  I know that in most places it’s still cold outside and you can hide a multitude of sins with Yummy Tummy and a loose fitting sweater or blazer.  But I also  know that swimwear doesn’t lie and you can’t lose 20 pounds in only a week!  The funny thing is that we know we are going to go through this every year . . . but this year we’re going to beat it!  So here’s the deal.  Don’t be afraid!  Put down that cookie!  Here’s the quickest way to get swim suit ready:

 

  1. Pull out your swimwear from last year and try it on in a full length mirror. If you don’t have a full length mirror, buy one immediately.  You should look at the front and back before you leave the house every day.  It could save you the embarrassment of the smashed bed head in the back or the dreaded toilet tissue stuck in your panty hose trailing behind you when you walk.  Then step on the scale.  The number is the number.

 

  1. Try on all your swim suits from last season. Face yourself confidently in the mirror and own what’s going on.  Don’t suck your stomach in.  Let all that holiday indulgence hang out!  If you just had a baby, see what junior has left behind.  You have to know what your dealing with. Knowledge is power.

 

  1. Love yourself. Even though you see fat, it’s your fat.  Be a Goddess and know that fate probably doesn’t intend for you to spend the next 20 years being a size zero.  Look at your Mother’s history in photos and enjoy the life of being a woman.  It doesn’t get better than being part of the global sisterhood.

 

  1. Plan your goals. If you decide that you need to lose more than 20 pounds, this is not about swimwear, this is about life and health.  Be honest and think about how you want to attack this.  Nutrition?  Exercise?  Trainer?  Canyon Ranch?  Doctor?  Get opinions from experts about the best way for you to achieve your goals.  Surf the internet to see what’s available.  There are many diet solutions out there.  It doesn’t have to be expensive.  From 5 pounds to 100’s of pounds.  Chances are there is one that will work for you, and many that won’t.  I for one, can’t do two shakes and a sensible dinner.  It doesn’t work for me.  One size fits all doesn’t work here.  Get a support team!  There’s nothing like involving other women who are in the same boat.  Do it together.  Call each other.  Meet for coffee.  I like to watch the TV show the “Biggest Loser” occasionally.  It gives me inspiration to keep going!

 

  1. Don’t judge yourself by the pictures in the fashion magazines. These girls are paid to look like that and they have genetics that are beyond those of any human mortal.  Plus, the girls in magazines aren’t real.  If you’ve never gone to YouTube and typed in “Photoshop Makeover“, you simply must.  I mean, it’s nice to use aspirational images to meet your goals but be don’t ever hold yourself to magazine standards.  The universe made you in a certain way.  There’s not just one vision of beauty no matter what the media says.  I know that this is a hard one and I hate it when people say this to me because I fall prey to it myself.  My imaginary picture of myself is that I’m 6’1”, weigh 160, and have a 30-inch waist.  As you can see from my bio page, that’s not the case.  Oh well.  Let’s just keep trying to be the best version of us we can be.  I know I’m no Brad Pitt, so I just try to concentrate on my Universe-given talents and the latest skin care technologies.

 

  1. Try to buy a swimsuit now that you want to wear during the summer. Many resort collections offer swimwear in the winter.  You can also find some cute suits on the internet.  If not, use your existing suit as the guideline.  Although, I find buying something new always gives me an incentive.  Most of you did this with your wedding  gowns prior to the your big day.  Same principle here.  Try the suit on occasionally to monitor your process.  You’ll know when you’ve reached your goal.  If you don’t reach your goal that’s okay too!  Don’t give up and eat a whole box of Oreo’s.  Instant cookie gratification will make you feel good for about a minute and then the guilt and remorse will set in.  Keep trying!   You have time.  There are 4-5 months to show off your new body during that time of the year.

So there it is.  Get off the sofa and get rid of that Snuggie right now.  Tell Hickory Farms “No Thank You!  I’ve had enough.  I’ve got work to do.”  See you by the pool, lounging in that new Prada swim suit.

Love,

Harvey

Extraordinary Custom Jewelry With A Mission To Break A Cycle of Violence

Yes my pretties! It’s that time of year again. If you’ve been to the mall recently then you’ve already heard “Jingle Jangle Jingle” and it’s not even Thanksgiving yet.  Of course, I’m on the hunt for special gifts for the upcoming holidays. I’m always looking for all kinds of gifts! From great bargains to  one of a kind items to help my clients fill their loved ones stockings! No matter  what holiday you celebrate, gift giving is definitely on all of our minds. My luxury pick this year is Fonderie 47-the most delicious custom jewelry created by Humanitarian and Activist Peter Thum.   Peter is the CEO and cofounder and previously founded and grew the social venture Ethos Water, which funded over $6 million in safe water projects, helping more than 420,000 people around the world gain access to water and sanitation services. Just Incredible! Peter, with his cofounder John Zapolski have now turned their social conscience to combat the devastation caused by illegal assault rifles  in Africa’s war zones.  Fonderie 47 sprung from Peter and John’s personal experiences having seen assault rifles in the hands of children and how these rifles hinder many aspects of development in Africa.   Peter told me “A transformation is needed to break this cycle of violence! To this end, we’re we are turning the power of the AK47 against itself. Not only do we destroy these weapons, but we invert what they stand for by remaking them into wearable art.” Brilliant! Fonderie 47 has already destroyed more than 6000 assault rifles. The sale of each piece of Fonderie 47 jewelry funds the destruction of more assault rifles.

The jewelry? Breath taking! Created in collaboration with leading designers, including New York City based jeweler Philip Crangi and Swiss designer Roland  Iten, the world’s premiere designer of mechanical luxury for men, Fonerie 47 is creating exceptional handcrafted limited edition jewelry and accessories. I know you’re just dying to see some of this gorgeousness that helps the world so I’ll be showing parts of the collection in my next column! Knowing you the way I do here’s the link to check out their beautiful website! www.fonderie47.com.  Next Wednesday, I’ll give you a mini “Harvey Trunk Show” with Fonderie 47. Can’t wait to see what you think. Oh… By the way girls….If anyone asks you what I’d like for Christmas….Fonderie 47 is at the top of my list! See you Tuesday.

 

xo

Harvey

 

Meet Nathan Myhrvold! The 21st Century High -Tech Julia Child

As your Cyber Main Gay I have to admit something!   I don’t know how to cook.  Well at least girls, act surprised like it’s big news please! LOL! As Joan Rivers once said “The only thing I know how to make is reservations!” I can totally relate.  I do however know good food when I taste it. I’ve always considered Julia Child the “Queen” of all great things cooking, especially after seeing the movie“Julie and Julia“.  Watching Meryl Streep portray Julia Child was like watching the actual Julia Child.  Great performance.  I left the movie realizing that Julia changed the way we cook with her 1961 best seller “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.”  It was a revolution!  Nothing since has rocked the culinary world to it’s core.  Or at least not until now!  Ladies- Meet Nathan Myhrvold-author of “Modern Cuisine- The Art and Science of Cooking.” An exquisite six volume series of pure cooking magic, that combines the ART of cooking with the SCIENCE of cooking.

First things first ladies! Who is Nathan Myhrvold?  Hang on to your Juicy Couture aprons! He’s beyond amazing!  Nathan is a Co-founder  of Intellectual Ventures, which is an invention company.  This company is stocked with an elite assemblage of brainpower, scientists and puzzle solvers of every variety!  They dream up processes and products to make the planet better, then file for patent applications!  The company currently controls over 20,000 patents!  Nathan graduated from high school at 14 years old, and by the time he was 23 had earned, primarily from UCLA and Princeton, a bachelor’s degree [mathematics], two master’s degrees[geophysics/space physics and mathematical economics], and a Ph.D.[mathematical physics].  Take a brainiac breadth!  He then went on to Cambridge university to do quantum cosmology research with Stephen Hawking!

Nathan is also the former chief technology officer at Microsoft, where he was a futurist, strategist, founder of it’s research lab and the “Whisperer” to Bill Gates!  Bill once observed “I don’t know anyone I would say is smarter than Nathan.”  Just to put that in perspective, Bill gates is to the tech world what Anna Wintour , chief editor at Vogue magazine, is to the fashion world!  Enough said. Now girls, imagine me sitting at the Westin hotel waiting to interview Nathan about his revolutionary cookbook!  This shopaholic, beauty junkie was definitely shaking in his Prada shoes!  No worries my pretties!  After 5 minutes with Nathan, I was so charmed and mesmerized that I almost forgot to take notes for this column!    Nathan has always loved food has one more impressive credential-he’s is a master french chef.  At 9 years old he flambe’d a turkey for Thanksgiving! His love of great food and science prompted him on a journey to create this six volume masterpiece.  Volume one covers the history and fundamentals of food.  The next four volumes cover equipment and techniques, animals and plants, gels and emulsions, finishing with volume six-detailing plated dish recipes. All  recipes are spiral bound and printed on waterproof, washable paper.  Of course Nathan would think of that! Love it!  Im definitely accident prone! My two favorite highlights were “Cooking with Liquid Nitrogen” and the map of “Regional Barbecue.”  I’m  a southern belle and I adore barbecue, just like Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind!  This book is the new must have for all people who cook!  If your a novice to cooking like me it’s a great start.  Find out more at moderncuisine.com.  There you have it gorgeous!  We need a man like Nathan! Handsome, smart, charming and can cook too!  Oh !!!!!!I have to go girls!!!!!! My liquid nitrogen is boiling!!!!

 

Bon Appetit!

XO

Harvey