Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Host A Little Black Dress/Little Pink Dress Tea for Women Fighting Breast Cancer ... Tis the Season


     "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door will be opened to you."  Matthew 7:7

    Breast cancer interrupts lives.  It interrupted your mother, your sister, best friend, co-worker, your neighbor next door.  It's not a pretty picture ... the hair loss, vomiting ... radiation burns... the mouth sores and healing from the surgeries.

(The Little Black Dress made famous in the 1920s by Coco Chanel)
Trade Fairs

       You avoid the mirrors ... and feel less of a woman.   Who says you can't enjoy a beautiful hair style that turns heads, a relaxing massage, a rejuvenating facial, a fly dress?  Who says you can't feel beautiful during the biggest fight of your life?

 (David Meister - Neiman Marcus Online)   

     Daughters, granddaughters, sisters, cousins, nieces and sister-friends ... can help women surviving cancer feel beautiful.  How?  By hosting your own Little Black Dress/Little Pink Dress Sisters' Tea for Breast Cancer Survival right in your home.  You can add a mini fashion show with you and your friends modeling your own little black dresses and little pink dresses.  (You can also help your sisters fighting other forms of cancer.) Don't you feel beautiful when you put on your best little black dress with your favorite pearls and pumps?


     Here's how the Little Black Dress/Little Pink Dress Sisters' Tea for Breast Cancer Survival works.  Each guest brings a monetary gift called a "butterfly."  (you decide on the amount ahead of time) Like a butterfly in flight, the gift will help women soar beyond their circumstances.  Or better yet, collect the monetary gifts beforehand.  Twenty dollars from each guest is a great starting point, and you can do as little as $5 if you have 10 or more guests.  The goal is to raise enough money to provide a nice array of beauty gifts and/or services.

      Studies have shown that massage and other alternative therapies are effective in reducing the pain and discomfort of cancer treatments.  Stress can delay the healing process.  Spa services like facials, manicures and pedicures help women undergoing radiation and Chemo feel refreshed and empowered.  

And when you slip into that classic little black dress, you can't help but feel good. Feeling good during the biggest battle of your life could speed up the healing process. 

(Kay Unger New York - Neiman Marcus Online)    

      The butterflies (money) raised from the Tea is then used to provide beauty products, services and fashion such as, a massage, facial, manicure, a wig, a cute little black dress, a gift certificate and/or a "Me Time" gift basket. Your Tea is what you make it to be.  As the hostess, you provide the home, food and decor.

     Okay, let's say you've raised $200 or more before the scheduled tea.  So now you invite your co-worker, Jane, who is nearing the end of her Chemo treatments.  It was her heart-wrenching confession that inspired you to create and host the Little Black Dress/Little Pink Dress Sisters' Tea for Breast Cancer Survival.  She expressed how she hated feeling exhausted and stressed 24-7 ... and that she no longer felt like a woman.  She wanted to feel beautiful again.

 (Shoshanna - Neiman Marcus)   

     So a tea party was born.  Jane was thrilled about the idea of women coming together to support her and help her feel more like herself.  What better way to release stress than through a relaxing massage and facial.  And putting a ladies' tea into the mix, well that's just putting the maraschino cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae.

     Now let's take this scenario to the next level.  You know a friend of a friend who manages a wig store.  She agrees to bring over some wigs and style them on Jane during the Tea.  She brings over a good supply, so your guests can join in on the fun.  

(Melissa by Beverly Johnson)

     That way, Jane won't feel any different because others may purchase a wig or two.  But she has first dibs.  (You know how we do... we love to chat and chew over hair and makeup.)

 (Athena Wig)

     Our wig pro sets up her hair styling station in your bedroom, and brings along her best friend, an esthetician, who works in an organic spa.  She surprises the host and Jane with a free facial and a gift basket of the organic products she used.  You find out later that her sister is a breast cancer survivor.  She also brings a masseuse friend from work who gives Jane a mini massage.  

     And the blessings keep flowing.  One of our invited guests is a manicurist specializing in non-toxic manicures who gives Jane a manicure.   They use only organic, non-toxic products so Jane doesn't have to worry about any bad reactions.  Not only does Jane enjoy the ginger tea, scones and tea sandwiches -- she gets a wonderful day of beauty.  You get the idea.  

     With the $200 + raised, you can pay for a synthetic wig, a gift certificate at Black Market/White House for that cute little black dress, and a gift certificate for a non-toxic manicure.  Money left over could be used for a beauty gift basket you'll also present at the Tea.  Or you can spend more on a human hair wig and whatever is left can be used for a beauty gift basket and so forth. 

     Here's a great organic gift basket for sensitive skin!
Nurture My Body Organic Skin Care Gift Basket for Sensitive Skin
     It contains Fragrance Free Cleansing Milk, Fragrance Free Regenerating Cream, Fragrance Free Gel Mask, Fragrance Free Eye Cream and a handmade Fair Trade Gift to rejuvenate your soul.   

 Amazing Basic, Natural Face Moisturizer with Organic Honey and Vitamin E

     A standard facial involves cleansing, exfoliation, steam, massage and a treatment mask.   An esthetician analyzes your skin and bases your treatment on your skin type.  The facial moisturizes the skin, detoxifies, stimulates blood circulation, reduces acne, improves a dull complexion, etc.

     Make sure you adhere to certain precautions in providing spa services for women undergoing cancer treatments.

1. Find a spa that uses organic products
2. Avoid harsh treatments such as:  microdermabraisions, chemical peels, extractions for acne and steams for women going through Chemo and Radiation.  
3. Choose hydrating facials for dry and sensitive skin.
4. An esthetician shouldn't poke or prod her skin if she has acne.
5. Inform the selected spa that their future customer is undergoing cancer treatments.  (Some spas may even offer free services to cancer patients.)
     After the tea, your guests can take turns modeling their little pink dresses and little black dresses.  As you saw from the scenario above, you can even arrange for your guest of honor to get a beauty makeover during or right after the tea.  Let a few guests join in on the fun if she's a little shy about being the center of attention. 

 (pink floral tea set)

 (Donna Morgan)

     And what better time to show a family member, co-worker, neighbor, the crossing guard around the corner ... that you care during the biggest fight of their life, than  during the Christmas and Hanukkah season.

 (Diane Von Furstenburg)

     Miracles and Blessings ... Kiki here ... I'm sure you're all excited about celebrating the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We're entering the season of faith and hope, it just makes sense to reach out to others.  We're all in this cancer fight together offering emotional and financial support to our loved ones.  We're also praying, fasting, running, walking and raising consciousness for a cure.   

     But what about our sisters who are in the middle of their treatments?  The side effects are hard on their bodies and spirits. 

     Nevertheless, they are women first with an inner strength that can't compare to anything else.  They have inner beauty that surpasses hair, weight, skin and clothes.  And it's the strength in the inner beauty that gets them up that mountain, one jagged rock at a time.  They scratch and claw ... it's called survival ... never giving up until the victory is won. 

(1940s Black Velvet Tulle Hips - Posh Girl Vintage.com)
     We are women wonderfully made ... and feeling good on the inside is often tied to accepting and feeling good about our physical selves.  Something happens when we put on that candy apple red Rimmel nail polish, or put a flower in a smooth chignon knot, or step into a pair of shimmery stockings (not panty hose), or slip into that designer little black dress ... the badge of femininity.  
   Assorted 100Pc Sally Hansen & Rimmel Nail Polish L Case Pack 100   
Audrey Hepburn gave the classic little black dress notoriety in the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's.  It's often referred to by the over-40- crowd as the Audrey Hepburn little black dress.  It doesn't matter if it's a strapless LBD ... or vintage ... it's a staple in most women's wardrobe.  But the little pink dress is also gaining popularity because it represents our battle cry against breast cancer.
(Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's)
     I love it when my iCafe Woman Moderne Divas get a great idea and run with it.  So here we are hosting our annual Little Black Dress/Little Pink Dress Sisters' Tea and Fashion Show for Breast Cancer Survival for the purpose of giving our guests ideas to host their own home version from food to decorations.  We sent our e-vites with either a pink dress or black dress label.  Each guest is wearing the selected little pink or little black dress on their e-vite.   

     Our iCafe Woman Moderne Divas Nina, Colette, Portia, Jessica and Brianna are taking the lead.  What was that?  You were on your way to your favorite cyber-mall with your favorite hot beverage, when you spotted our cute little black dresses and little pink dresses.   

     Well, a big welcome to iCafe Woman Moderne!  You're visiting a virtual cafe where inter-generational women renew their mind, body and spirit inside a fictional mid-century home.


The Who, What Where, Why, When and How of hosting your own Little Black Dress/Little Pink Dress Sisters' Tea for 
Breast Cancer Survival  

WHO  - You.
1. Invite your sisters, friends, co-workers, church and synagogue members, neighbors...  You can invite as little as six and as much as you can fit comfortably in your home.  You can also have it in your church or synagogue.

Nina:  "It starts with you.  We are our sisters' keepers.  We've got you!  Every woman knows somebody affected by breast cancer or another form of cancer ... or you're a survivor.  We want you to feel beautiful and wonderful (the best you can) during the biggest fight of your life." 

 (Savory Tea Tower at the Savoy)

Nina:  "I'm hosting mine on December 11.  I have a dining room table that seats eight, but I'm inviting 12.  I'll rent a second table for the living room, so I can have six at each table.  My dining room is open to my living room, so we'll have that tea room feel.  I bought these cute damask overlays and runner for $3.99 and $10.99, one in black and white and the other in pink and white." 

(Savoy Tea Room)

"I'm throwing my version of an "Afternoon Tea at the Savoy."  (The Savoy Tea Room in London)  I'll have the black & white damask overlay over a pink table cloth and the pink & white damask runner will accent a black overlay over a pink tablecloth and ... I'll use vintage tea kettles and dishes I collect.

  (black & white damask overlay)

 (Pink & White Flocking Runner)

WHAT:  The Little Black Dress/Little Pink Dress Sisters' Tea that raises funds to provide beauty products, services and fashion to women undergoing cancer treatments.

Portia:  "You can raise the money beforehand and provide the services as part of the tea, or supply gift certificates and beauty baskets.  You may want to help two women you know, if so ... you'll need to double the monetary blessing to $40 per person.  Whatever way you want to handle it.  You just want to make sure you provide the guest of honor or guest of honors with a wonderful day of beauty, tea and fun.

"You can even hire a chair masseuse to give ten minute massages for everyone at the tea and give your guest of honor a gift certificate for future visit.  Or you can use the monetary butterflies to provide a day at an organic spa."

Services to Provide at the Tea or as Gift Certificates:

a. Manicure and Pedicure
b. Facial
c. Wig and styling
d. Massage
e. Makeup Application

(Oprah's Garden Party - Oprah.com)

Nina:  "Oprah's Garden Party, she had some years back, is my Little Black Dress/Little Pink DressTea's inspiration.  I love the decor and the outfits she and her guests wore."

(Vintage tea cups and tea kettles)

Collette:  "Grab a bunch of vintage ceramic tea kettles and lace table linens from family and friends or buy them at thrift stores for a song."

Nina:  "Get your invited guests to wear dress hats and gloves along with their little black dresses and little pink dresses.  You can do a Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's theme ... the sky's the limit.   Make sure you have plenty of pink and black in the decor."

Ladies Fashion dress Hat Pink and Green Combo
(Granville Millinery Company)

Brianna:  "I'm a student and I love shopping at the Dollar Store for decorating items.  You can decorate with pink, black and white lanterns and fill vases with fresh flowers."

Portia:  "Buy pink and white polk dot and black and white polka dot gift bags at the dollar store for your guests, and fill them with a homemade organic masque you made from a recipe (include the recipe), a bag of potpourri, tea bags, a scented candle, a vintage or glass tea cup, a orange blossom honey tea spoon and a hankie or a fan."

(Granville Millinery Company)

Jessica:  "Hold the tea at your house, church or synagogue.  If you have it at a church or synagogue, you can expand the guest list and help more women going through cancer treatments.  Make sure you have enough room to accommodate your guests and any games you'll play."

Collette:  "You can plan one during the Advent Season or Hanukkah ... or in February or May which will probably be easier to find little pink dresses, if you don't already have one."

Kiki:  Because women who are going through cancer treatments feel awful ... physically and emotionally.  A relaxing facial, a beautiful wig, a classic little black dress, a mani-pedi and a nice pair of heels can make all the difference in the world.

Here's some quick tips for hosting a tea from Old Fashioned Living.com.  We'll give you more ideas in future text webisodes.

1.Tea Preparation: Fill a tea kettle with purified water and set on stove to boil. Warm up your china teapot by running hot water through it from the faucet. This will keep your tea warmer for a bit longer. Add your teabags or tea-filled infuser to the teapot using 2-3 tea bags for 4 guests. Pour the boiling water carefully into your teapot and wait 5 minutes, then remove teabags. China Teapots are best at keeping tea warm. Surround teapot with a stylish tea cozy for extra insulation. 

2. Provide home-made scones, and mini muffins, but you can purchase petite fours from a local bakery if that's beyond your baking skill set, and offer sugar cookies, mini danishes and of course, chocolate.  

3. Prepare crust-less tea sandwiches called savories close to your start time.  Use your creativity.  Get unique cookie cutters of butterflies, handbags, shoes and dresses to add to the regular triangle-shaped sandwiches.  

You can use wheat, rye, pumpernickel, raisin, white, sour dough... just make sure it's sliced then.  Tea sandwiches are mostly meatless unless chopped or sliced very thin.  Purchase square-topped unsliced loaves of bread and have the bakery slice them thinly -- or do it yourself with a sharp knife or electric carving knife.  A 2-pound loaf of bread yields 40 tea sandwiches.

Try this recipe...

Cheese and Orange Marmalade Sandwiches

1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup orange marmalade

Spread half the slices of buttered bread with the cheese, softened with the cream. Spread the other slices with orange marrmalade. Press the slices together.

Afternoon Tea ... High English Tea ... what's the difference? (Here's a little history from What's Cooking America.com

An afternoon tea is also known as "low tea" because it was served in a sitting room where low tables (like a coffee table) were placed near sofas or chairs.  There are three basic types of Afternoon, or Low Tea:
Cream Tea - Tea, scones, jam and cream
Light Tea - Tea, scones and sweets
Full Tea - Tea, savories (tiny sandwiches and appetizers, scones, sweets and dessert

In England, the traditional time for tea was four or five o'clock and no one stayed after seven o'clock.  Most of today's tea rooms serve tea from 3 to five o'clock.  But for our Little Black Dress/Little Pink Dress Sisters' Tea add more time if you're providing beauty services and if you're having a mini fashion show.   You may want to add quiches and soups if you run longer.

The menu changed from tea, bread, butter and cakes to include three specific courses served in this order:
Savories:  Tiny sandwiches or appetizers
Scones:  Served with jam and Devonshire or clotted cream
Pastries:  Cakes, cookies, shortbread and sweets ...

Kiki:   Here are a few organic spas.  For more listings click on the organic spa directory link. 

Juju Spa and Organics
New York City
Great Jones Spa - www.gjspa.com
(212) 505-3185

San Francisco
Abundant Health Dtox Day Spa
(415) 440-3869

Los Angeles
Skin Haven Spa Studio
(323) 658-7546

Vida Day Spa and Wellness Center
(305) 663-140

To Be Continued...





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