Friday, November 19, 2010

Diamonds and Drinks

I was grumpy yesterday. I even emailed a friend and asked “ever plan an event and just want it over?” She put me at ease and said she often felt that way.  There were the usual moving pieces, people backing out at the last minute and other neglected work I needed to get to.  I think I had a sneaking feeling things weren’t going to turn out as I wanted them to. Why is it these are always the nights that end up perfect?

A few months ago, I was introduced to a jewelry designer named Marissa Alperin. Marissa came to my office, with her jewels, and though I’m not a serious jewelry person I was blown away by collections inspired by the beach, her love of color and texture and a piece she had made for her mother who had survived breast cancer. I fell in love with 2 creations of Marissa’s that I now wear almost every day and wanted to show others her work.

I'll digress to one of the last conversations I had with my dad. We had talked about the soldiers coming home from Iraq. I was in his hospital room, reading the paper and he spotted a photo and said “we can’t forget about these kids coming home without arms and legs, it’s not a life.” In my glass half full mindset and talking to someone who knew first hand what life was life without a limb I said “but they are alive and get to come home.” Up went his eyebrows and slowly he said “it’s a limited life.” Those words stuck with me and continue to give me chills as I type this.

I had the idea to invite friends to see Marissa’s creations and asked Marissa if she’d consider donating a percentage of her profits to Wounded Warrior Project. I also asked what she thought of the idea of having a charm made in honor of my dad. The charm would be a martini. You see, despite his “limited life", martinis persisted. Marissa loved the idea and we got to work planning “Diamonds and Drinks”.

Last night we gathered in my apartment. Marissa turned my dining room into a jewelry shop. My friend John Marsh was busy at work in the kitchen. John will be opening his first NYC restaurant in a few weeks, his wife told me “he is only here for you and for this cause.”  I had kept the guest list small as I didn’t know how things would go.  Steadily, friends arrived from all different parts of my life. While some shopped others sipped and John’s organic bites were passed around the room. We ate beets and feta atop Mary's Gone Crackers, crab avocado wasabi crisps and small demitasse cups of gazpacho.

Did I mention the elderflower martinis? Yes, these martinis are made with Absolut Boston which is elderflower and black tea flavored. The vodka is combined with lemon juice and simple syrup. After about 2 hours I was told we were out of the lemon juice (from 2 dozen lemons!) and the reserve bottled lemon juice.  The martinis and the evening was a hit.  The night was perfect.

What do you think is the key to a successful party? The guests? The food? The drinks?


  1. This looks like a really fun party! A successful party relies on all of these factors. I try to have a good mix of all factors...and maybe make sure to have tons of liquor. But overall, I put an effort into all of it.

    How can I support Wounded Warriors? It sounds like an awesome group.

  2. This was an amazing evening! Marissa's jewels are to dye for and the food and company were equally wonderful. Oh, how I loved that martini -- and I am not a martini drinker. Thank you for including me and I love our pix above. Everything I wear my treats I will think of you, your dad, and how special they are. Love you!!! PS -- I loved the ginger cookie dessert. Of course that was my favorite.

  3. Oh, I am so sad to have missed this! I love how the evening was infused with such personal meaning for you. The necklaces are gorgeous and the food sounds delicious. I might have to stir up one of those elderflower martinis once March rolls around :) As for the perfect party, I think it really comes down to laughter. It's all about laughter.

  4. Dear Lauren,
    It seems like it all came together! I'm so sorry I missed it and I do hope that you will host another that I (and those who missed this one) can attend.
    Sorry for any aggrevation that you had in the morning hours- but glad that it all worked out!
    It's the final outcome that matters and it sounds like it was a huge success for such a wonderful cause!!

  5. Hi Lauren!
    Last night was amazing! Thank you for hosting such a great evening. The food and martinis were delicious. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to introduce my jewelry to so many wonderful friends of yours...and for such an important cause. It was truly a very special evening. See you very soon! xo-Marissa

  6. Sounds like it was a really great night. Coming from a former events planner, I know how stressful it is to prepare, but it couldn't have been anything but perfect with what you were doing to honor your Dad and support such an important cause that he believed in. He's lucky to have you!

  7. How funny that we both had jewelry parties on the same weekend! Congrats on a beautiful & successful party. Looks like it was delicious & fun!