2012 New York Junior League Winter Ball + An Exhale Spa Giveaway!

I’m just going to recycle my own corny jokes here–I had a ball last night at my Junior League Winter Ball! (2011 post, 2010 post)

The primping was a little more low-key than last year–no make-up done, but I did get nails and hair done.

I was supposed to meet up for the Junior League running group in the morning, but I took one look at the fog and rain in the morning and decided to pass and spend the morning cleaning and organizing my apartment for my upcoming move.

I kept telling myself I’d run on the treadmill instead, but around noon, I realized I had to meet Melissa and Ashley at 1. I went to the little gym in my building, decided to hop on and do intervals, and lasted for all of five minutes, because I was not feeling it in the least. Old Theodora used to lie to herself and still call that a workout, but This Theodora is just laughing at herself and a little bummed she couldn’t get it together yesterday.

I met Melissa and Ashley at my favorite nail place near my apartment for some mani-pedis.


Sexy Divide by Essie. I don’t see the divide. I think it’s just straight-out sexy.

Lacey came over afterwards, and we ran some errands together before our hair appointments.

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We went to Dry Bar, which is happiness and sunshine in a hair salon. The interior is light, cheery and gorgeously decorated. This place made me so happy.

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So Dry Bar only does blowouts and updos. They give you a little lookbook for you to pick your blowout from. Since my dress was flowy (and I can’t do anything to my hair myself other than straighten it), I wanted something relaxed and sexy, so I went for the “Mai Tai,” which is described as wavy and beachy.

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I was nervous after the Miss Piggy incident on my birthday, so it took me a while to relax, despite the massive glass of wine they gave me. The other awesome thing about Dry Bar? iPhone charging stations at each station. I’d actually never gotten a blowout before my birthday, but if I do ever go for a blowout again, I am totally coming back here.

I LOVED my hair. She dried it and did loose curls with a round brush and then did more loose curls with a curling iron, keeping the ends out so that they were more wavy than curly.


I hightailed it back to my apartment, speed-applied makeup, walked Bailey and turned around to hightail it up to The Pierre. Since my committee does PR for the league, we had to get there early to greet any press that arrived. Tumblrs, do you recognize Lauren? We’ve been internet friends for years, but finally met recently when our paths crossed through the NYJL.

I’m not going to lie–I’m in love with my dress. I was contemplating just doing Rent the Runway, which is what most of my friends did, but I ended up stopping in the Rent the Runway sample sale the other day and getting this Nicole Miller beauty. Full price: $695. What I paid? $100. Major score.

I spent the next few hours shadowing our president and shuttling her to talk to any members of the press who wanted to talk to her and making sure the photographers got photos of her and our Mistress of Ceremonies, Sade Baderinwa from ABC News.

I’d actually joined my committee a few years ago when I was contemplating a career switch to PR. I have lots of respect for those who do PR well (and, um, less respect for those who don’t), but I learned through this committee it wasn’t something I was interested in full-time. (I do work for a PR firm, but 90% of my job is social media strategy; I only do a little bit of pitching.)


Shannon, my Junior League other half.


Lacey, Shannon, Jen and me. (Same crew from 4th of July last year, and some of my BFFs in the city.)

While the Winter Ball is a great party, it’s also one of our biggest fundraisers–usually raising around $500,000 in one night, which goes to fund our community programs. This year’s theme was Moonlight in Marrakesh, and The Pierre was decked out in lush, exotic Moroccan tapestries and lots of bright jewel tones.


This is about all you get for the inside and decor, sorry. I went from working the event to enjoying it pretty quickly and didn’t take many photos.


Oh, wait. There’s the program? And some bubbly.





Apparently I’m all mature or something, because I managed to wake up without a hangover today, despite the open bar. I knew I wanted to get the run in I missed yesterday, so I tried to refrain from being overserved. Oh, and I guess that late-night pizza must have helped.

I got in a 6-7 mile run (not sure because I accidentally stopped my Garmin at one point) with Laura and then went to a blogger meetup at 16 Handles afterwards, and it was nice to not feel like I was dying from too much champagne.

At the ball, we got swag bags with a bunch of free passes to fitness studios and discounts to other places…

Which brings me to you!

There’s an Exhale pass in there I can’t use–it’s for first-time visitors or those who haven’t visited in the last six months. Well, I went in December (no post about that one, but here’s my review of my first time at Core Fusion), so I can’t use it–and I know I’d stick it in a folder and forget about it a few months from now. So! I have one pass for Exhale that includes:

  • unlimited Core Fusion + yoga classes
  • a $25 gift towards a select spa therapy + 20 percent off any other spa therapies
  • 20 percent off personal training
  • 10 percent off “wellbeing boutique purchases”

Exhale has locations in Atlanta, Boston, Bridgehampton, Chicago, Dallas, L.A., Miami, NYC, Palm Beach and Turks + Caicos–but if you think you might be traveling to one of those places (or if you want to take me to Turks + Caicos), feel free to enter, anyway!

To enter, just leave a comment telling me your favorite nail color or favorite way to wear your hair for special events. (Going for real deep here.) This giveaway will be open until 11:59pm EST on March 6.


116 comments on “2012 New York Junior League Winter Ball + An Exhale Spa Giveaway!

  1. Michelle C.

    I always wear my hair down for special events. It’s chin length, so I don’t have many options.

  2. Megan

    I love chinchilla gray essie in winter and bright corals in summer.

    and mademoiselle when i’m feeling super professional.

  3. Kathleen

    I love dramatic, super dark colors for special events. Like, a red or purple so dark that it almost looks black. So fun! As for my hair, down with big, loose curls.

  4. Balebusta

    I would love to win the Exhale pass since my exercise routine has been on an extended hiatus after recovering from a stress fracture 🙁

    My favorite nail polish color of the moment is Devil’s Advocate by Essie

    For special events I always wear my hair down, usually with some kind of loose waves…I definitely want to check out DryBar now your hair came out great!

  5. Aditi

    I have really liked Essie’s Cocktail Bling (its like a muted grey) for my fingers and toes!

    For my hair – I normally pin it up (its on the shorter side) but have been thinking about Dry Bar for a couple of big events I have coming up!

  6. yvonne

    I usually do a slick pony tail since my hair is pretty long. My fave color is clambake from Essie, but they have so many good ones!

  7. Ali

    Yay, love the pretty hair! So glad you girls had an awesome night, as always.

    As for the giveaway, which I obviously want to win: I don’t get manicures because they always chip within 8 seconds. I’m a mess. And my hair? Whatever is easiest and most compliant with the weather. Translation: Ponytails & hairspray all summer long!

  8. Jane

    I love the dark greyish/purplish colors, like Chinchilla by Essie – though I pretty much just love all Essie nail polish…

    I always do my hair myself (I know how to put it up) but I want to try a blowout!!!

  9. Sarah Lynn Slager

    My absolute favourite nail colour is is from Nails Inc, London! It’s a colour and a top coat duo called The Wyndham Collection. It’s a Special Effects Overglaze Polish. I picked it up at Sephora. As for fancy events I usually do for a refined pony tail or soft waves done with my Bedhead curling iron!

  10. Beth

    Swing Velvet by Essie is still my favorite color! An oldie but goodie. I typically wear my hair just like yours, but just like you I am a nightmare with a brush and blow dryer. You looked stunning! Glad you had a great run, your blogs and tweets are so motivating and inspiring! I’m running the NYC Half, my first half marathon, in 2 weeks (hopefully 1st of many)!!!

  11. Liza

    I love wearing my hair “victoria’s secret angel style”. Or at least that’s why my amazing hair stylist calls it! It’s wavy and bouncy and full!!

  12. Anne

    You look stunning in these photos! At fancy events, my nails are usually polish-free and my hair is usually straight and down — what can I say? I’m low maintenance to a flaw — but these glamour shots are making me reconsider my life choices.

  13. Sarah S

    I love Boom Boom by Sinful Colors – it’s only $1.99, but looks so good on! I like wavy hair for events, too.

  14. Deb

    I leave my hair curly and down…product makes that easier. Of course, soon I am giving myself a keratin treatment. It is supposed to take away the frizz, and living in Atlanta that is important. Nail color…clear and buffed. I like it simple.

  15. Kirra

    I love your dress! Dry Bar is great and I prefer my hair down and straight, but shiny for events – since my hair is wavy and I can never get it as straight as the professionals. Shellac manicures – the bright red (name?) has been such a timesaver.

  16. Trish

    I love wicked by Essie – it never gets old for me – and i love long and loose curls like you did for the Ball whenever i wear my hair like that i feel like celebrity for a second!!

  17. Nicole

    I love to wear my hair down in big, loose waves for special events, even though it gets all frizzy and big from dancing so much. My favorite nail color is OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark. I wear it ALL the time!

  18. Lauren

    love love love your dress!

    My favorite nail color is Lincoln Park After Dark – currently wearing the gel version.

  19. Lizzy

    In love with your dress. You look great!!!!
    I haven’t had my hair done in so long but next time I do get it done for a special event, I want it to look just like yours! I love the beachy waves!!

  20. Becca

    Lately I’m OBSESSED with OPI “Light My Sapphire”… it’s a super-deep shade of navy, and I love it!

  21. Colleen

    Bubble Bath by OPI is my favorite shade since it’s a nude/pink color that goes great with my fair skin tone.

  22. carolyn

    My nail polish collection just grows and grows, so someone asking my favorite feels like being asked to pick my favorite (nonexistent) child.

    That being said, my favorite child lately is School of Hard Rocks by Essie. It’s a cool blue-green-gray that works well for work days or going out – win!

  23. Laurel C

    I like to do interesting braid creations with my hair when I want to get “fancy”……or I do simple curls and waves. Luckily I have very versatile hair that I can pretty much do anything with. And as for nail polish…..I’m loving the new crackle nail polishes cause they’re so fun and cool!

  24. Rosalie

    Oh I will have to look into this Exhale situation, since I live in Boston.

    I always go for dark, brownish red colors when I get my nails done. I don’t do it often, but it’s such a fun treat.

  25. Breanne

    I love any dark purple or navy blue. I just heard about the dry bar in LA today and made an appt to try it out! Your hair looked great!

  26. Miranda @ Biting Life

    That’s so weird… I JUST painted my nails! And cue the smudges because now I’m typing. I used this light pink from Revlon and then put pink sparkly nail polish on top – I’m such a girly girl and I love it!

  27. Liz

    Anything Esse, but usually Sugar Daddy or Waltz.

    And hair, I have curly hair and often do a messy-ish updo that I have perfected and is not at all prom like 🙂

    LOVE the dress!

  28. amy

    My “favorite” way of wearing my hair for formal events is a loose side chignon – mostly because I can do it myself. But in an ideal world, I’d always have a fabulous blow out.

  29. Irina

    Right now, I’m loving silver nails! I’ve been experimenting with nail art lately, so I rocked a silver base coat with some fuchsia animal print last week. A fresh, fun manicure is an easy way to look so pulled-together.

  30. Dori

    Your hair came out amazing. I had a REALLY bad experience at DryBar — with two different people — so I am always jealous about how great everyone else looks when they go there!

  31. Allie

    With large curly hair, I just wear my hair down (except when I’m in a wedding and the bride wants us to get ours in some kind of up-do). When the event involves dancing, I usually pull it back with a ponytail holder (very fancy) 1 song in as it gets in my way. I need to try out Drybar – though my hair might scare them! When my friends have straightened it, it takes several hours. And looks awful.

  32. Claire

    I love wearing light pink nail polish, Essie if I do it myself and then OPI if I get them done. I also like to wear my hair down but it’s pin straight so I wish I could do those waves/curls like yours!

  33. Abi

    Favorite color is a deep purple, and favorite way to wear my hair is curly! I have naturally curly hair, but when i go out, I take a curling iron to it to make the curls more controlled and elegant. Love your site! Also, I live in ATL and trying to lose weight and save money- yoga is a big part of the journey. Would love the Exhale certificate!

  34. Shanna

    I have loved OPI’s “Lincoln Park After Dark” since my senior year of college (way back in 2006!). It’s the perfect amount of sassy during the colder months!

  35. Shannon

    This winter I have been in love with Wicked by Essie.

    Sounds like such a fun night. I love your dress 🙂

  36. lindsay

    generally i’ll either straighten or do a low chignon … i just can’t seem to get it any fancier! i also love well red by essie.

  37. Molly

    I don’t know about specific nail colors b/c I rarely paint my nails, but for my toe nails, I love anything bright red! I don’t know why, but pedicures >> painted fingernails. As for my hair, it pretty much is so thin that nothing will work other than wearing it down… luckily its pretty low maintenance so it stays flat nicely

  38. Tracy

    Favorite Nail Color is Sew Psyched by Essie!

    As for my hair for special events I usually like to go straight as I have naturally curly hair (jew fro-my family would say) if not straight- Side swept lose ponytail.

    Your dress was gorgeous!

  39. Laura

    I’m obsessed with Drybar! My favorite hairstyle there is the Cosmo. My hair looks even better the second day with the Cosmo.

    My favorite nail color is OPI’s Lincoln Park After Dark.

  40. yossy

    I love a nice bright orangey red nail polish on my toes, but not on my fingers. I ruin manicures like it’s my job so I don’t even bother go get them 🙂

  41. Lauren G

    LOVE your dress, great choice!! I always wear my hair down when I go to events but I would like to be more adventurous and wear it up next time!

  42. Nicole

    Love loose curls for an event! Although trying to actually do my hair on a more regular basis haha! Love your dress! Looks like an amazing night out!

  43. Danielle

    I usually wear my hair down and curly since I do it myself and that’s the easiest. I do love getting it done though, either blown out or done curly, as long as someone else will do it for me!

  44. Melissa

    OPI Red, Red, Rhine, and my favorite way to wear my hair out is exactly as you did!! I’ve only had it done once, but I’m hoping I’ll learn one of these days. 🙂

  45. kerry

    Mademoiselle on my finger nails (always) and Apple Red on my toes.

    Pretty rigid with my nail polish choices.

    Love that blow out place!

  46. Amanda

    OPI’s Cajun Shrimp is my favorite nail color lately. It’s the perfect shade of cheery red/coral to brighten cold winter days.

  47. Susan

    WICKED by Essie for the winter months, magenta and corals for the spring/summer. Would love to check out Exhale! and looks like I need to hit up Dry Bar too!

  48. Ariel

    There’s an Exhale by my house I’ve been dying to try! I like to wear my hair down and curled for fancy events.. love how your blow-out turned out!


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