Dallas Symphony Orchestra Gala 2012

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hello Readers!

Last night, I was lucky enough to attend the DSO's annual Gala with guest artist and world renowned soprano, Renee Fleming. I was able to attend last year, and I had so much fun, there was no way I was going to miss it this year. 

When I received the invite, I decided to go with a long black dress since the theme was "Old Masters"

I already had a dress that I have had since my senior prom 11 years ago! I actually had the chest area tailored, but other than that, I loved the way it fit. I have always loved this dress, and purchased it at one of my favorite formal attire stores in Dallas, Terry Costa.

I decided to invite Michelle as my date since Gala's aren't really my husbands thing, and Ashley decided to come at the last minute. They both looked AMAZING!

When we arrived at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, I immediately saw my Young Strings student Diana who looked adorable (and so grown up) in her gown! 

We walked around for a bit and found a photo frame booth where we snapped some fun pictures with these incredible masks

Before we headed to our seats and were able to get some beautiful pictures of the seated dinner area, the Meyerson looked so "old world" chic!

When we finally got to our seats, we were ready for a performance by the DSO and Renee Fleming, which was amazing! The orchestra began with an Overture to a Rossini opera, then Renee sang a couple of classical Italian arias including "O Mio Babbino Caro", my favorite. 

The Second half of the program was more contemporary music, "The Sound of Music" "West Side Story" and "Summertime" of Porgy and Bess, and of course the symphony closed the night with Ravel's Bolero which is the ultimate build-up piece that is long, but worth the wait at the end with the whole orchestra blasting the theme. 

Wonderful performance, but we were ready to party at the After Party hosted by the DSO's conductors daughter Anna Sophia Van Sweden, and I am so glad I went with these fun ladies. There was dancing...

And deserts everywhere!

There was even foot massages for people, right by the dance floor!

Oh, and little Chips and Guacamole never hurt anyone :)

We had the best time dancing and people watching all the best dressed Dallasites, and returned to the masque booth before we headed out for one last picture...

A fabulous night, with amazing music, and friends. 
Can't wait till next years Gala
 Save the Date September, 15 2014!

~Mrs. S

Neiman Marcus Cusp Event

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Hello Readers and welcome to The Simmonds in the Suburbs!

I love to see live music as much as I can and when I heard that Neiman Marcus was hosting an event at Northpark to celebrate the opening of their new and improved Cusp store with a live performance of Wild Belle, I jumped at the chance to RSVP. 

The event was a nice midweek surprise and all of Dallas's fashion elite were in attendance.

The night began with a party at the patio of LaDuni restaurant,
then we were treated to a live performance by Wild Belle, and it was amazing!

Wild Belle mixes so many chic musical styles to make a grungy, reggae, rock sound like no other.
To say I enjoyed every song would be an understatement.

The band is a brother-sister duo so they each got a chance at the mic.

Obligatory Cusp Wall photo (and you can see my Philip Lim for Target bag I snagged a few weeks ago)

The night continued inside at the new Cusp store at Neiman Marcus, it is massive!

I saw my Vivaldi friend Morgan, and of course you can't miss Michelle who was my date for the night.

There was a prize machine where you could win all kinds of items including Kendra Scott jewelry, I was not lucky enough, but Michelle did win a beautiful necklace.

We had to get a shot in the photo booth!

I came home with quite a bit of fun swag including bags of popcorn, Cusp cookies, and an adorable guitar teddy bear (not pictured: Bobbi Brown lip gloss, the new issue of Vogue, and a set of purple headphones)

Neiman Marcus sure knows how to throw a party!

Thanks for stopping by, and be sure to follow me on Instagram @catsimmonds for up to date photos!

Mrs. S

Plano Balloon Festival

Monday, September 23, 2013

 Hello readers!

Yesterday, my sister invited me to tag along to the Plano Balloon Festival.

The weather was beautiful and it was loads of fun.

There were so many pretty balloons

Like, lines and lines of them

Obligatory balloon shot

My sis and her boy waving to the balloons taking off

Fam photo, the sun was shining so bright

There were rides for the kids, and of course Benjamin had to get on the slide

I am glad I went to the festival, thanks sis for inviting me!

~Mrs. S


Friday, September 20, 2013

Hello Lovely Readers!

Yesterday was the North Texas Giving Day 2013 where charities are able to raise money and the amount is doubled by Donor Bridge. It has been going on since 2009 and has raised over 36 Million dollars in the past 4 years. 

ArtOfficial is an annual NTGD fundraiser organized by 3Four1, and this year the event was held at Zouk nightclub featuring 20 local artists and 10 musical artists from Sophomore Music.
My good friend Ashley who is signed with Sophomore invited me to be her guitarist for her act and it was amazing! Her voice is so unique and she can sing in any genre, as you can see from clicking on her page. We covered music from Lana Del Ray, to Bonnie Raitt, and Al Green. My sisters and friends came out and supported, and even though it was pouring rain most of the time, we made the best of it and had a successful first performance!

My sister Veronica came out in her cute blue dress

My other sister Nancy was in attendance as well

Meredith and her husband were so kind to come out, even through the rain!

Playing, and singing our hearts out

Ashley's brother Taylor Michael was also one of the artists, and he sang amazing! Go check out his website, he is sure to be a future country star.

Showing off  my rock star pose with Amy!

I had a great time and can't wait to see what happens in the future with this musical venture.

~Mrs. S

A Housewarming to Remember

Monday, September 16, 2013

Last Saturday my good friend Michelle threw a housewarming at her new apartment.

We had such a fun time breaking in her new place, how cute is her Missoni themed living area?!

Even though she is from St. Louis, Michelle is slowly becoming a proud Texan.

Amy and Ashley being silly

Rachel, Michelle, and Molly

Michelle and Ashley enjoying the Trader Joe's chicken salad bites

As a surprise, Ashley and I gave everyone a preview of our upcoming performance and Michelle loved it! She even asked us to play Lana Del Rey's "Blue Jeans" like 3 times!

Fun night with fun ladies!

~Mrs. S

My Weight Loss Story

Hello my lovely readers!

I am so excited to share my weight loss story, but first let me explain how I decided to start losing weight. This past school year was a completely different experience than two years ago when I was teaching orchestra, guitar, and CHOIR! 

Yes, it is hard enough to run an orchestra program, but throw in guitar and choir and you can easily go crazy trying to balance it all out! 

Because I was less stressed at work and being able to focus on other stuff (hanging with friends/eating out), I completely let go of my diet and exercise routine until around March when I modeled in the Tootsies VPC event the Mr. and I decided to join our local gym. 

I trained with a PT for a couple of sessions but I still wasn't getting the results I wanted. I became really unmotivated and didn't go back for a few months. Finally, summer came around and short season was among us, and none of my shorts (or pants) fit me that I had just bought one summer before!

I was so frustrated, but didn't do anything about it until I decided one Monday morning to do a Yoga for Beginners You Tube video in my living room. I have had back problems for years and I figured I would give it a shot. It made me feel so much better that immediately I started going to the gym and doing yoga almost every day. 

This all began 9 weeks ago, and so far I have lost 18 pounds. Yes, 18 pounds. 

Besides going to the gym almost every day since then, I have also completely cut out all junk food and have been living off of salmon, veggies, pitas, and hummus!

I am not kidding you when I tell you that it was so easy to change my diet. My gym has a cafe that serves gourmet meals, for a great price and I ended up eating there the first 6 weeks until school started. I was kind of worried that I would lose motivation and not be able to eat healthy while at school, but I came up with an easy meal plan for breakfast (a banana and almond soy milk), lunch (carrots or sugar snap peas, a fiber bar, and a yogurt every day), and for dinner I am still able to eat at my gym, or I usually eat a hummus pita with chicken or turkey if I don't get to the gym early enough and there you have it, I lost 18 pounds!

I still have 2 more pounds to go to be back at my wedding weight, but I am noticing a lot more people are needing some motivation to get healthy and lose some weight and I thought I would share my secrets. I am still doing yoga at least 3-4 times a week (for 30 minutes) and at the gym I spend 30 minutes on the elliptical and 10 minutes on the treadmill. 

My before 9 weeks ago...

My after, today

Before, with my J Lo booty

My today!

I always gain weight in my butt and thigh area, so I can see the biggest difference there. 

I really do believe that I can change my lifestyle so that I never gain that much weight again!

If you need a weight loss accountability partner, let me know. I am always here :)

Hope you all had a great weekend!

~Mrs. S

Blaine's Salon Opening Party

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hello Everyone,
I hope you all had a great weekend!

A few weeks ago I was invited to a preview of Blaine's Salon in Uptown where I had a blowout and got my makeup done. It was such a fun and great experience, as you can see I left completely satisfied with my fabulous do!

Last Saturday, my friends and I attended the Blaine's Opening Party where we celebrated with great music with a live DJ, bites from Del Frisco's Grill and fabulous Dallas locals. 

As you can see, I am not the only one who loves Blaine's Color, the whole city of Dallas loves Blaine's!

Amy and I had such a great time seeing friends and meeting new ones. 

Of course Ashley and Michelle had to make an appearance!

Blaine was so kind as to display several publications and blogs all about the salon including 
Amy's blog post about the preview party.

The party was a huge success and we had a great time!

As soon as I saw Manny who did my blowout, I made an appointment with him to do my hair this Saturday, I am beyond excited!

Thanks for stopping by,
~Mrs. S