Holiday Open House

By persistent request, I'm adding one more open house for 2014!  Stop by on December 11th for the usual refreshments and conversation, but with the addition of a Christmas tree!  Most likely be some of us will be heading out to dinner at a local restaurant around 5pm, and everyone is welcome to join.  Any questions, just drop me an email or text!

I will shortly post all the dates for 2015 Open Houses and Triangles parties. 

What I've been up to

The last couple months I've been running almost non-stop, and for that I am very thankful.  So here's a quick recap to bring you up to date.  I may be adding some pictures later on.

September is the month of SCC.  This year was much the same as other years, except for one teensy announcement; SCC will spend it's 25th anniversary in the greater Fort Lauderdale area instead of in Atlanta.  The move is brought on by many factors, but regardless of the pros and cons for both the organizers and the participants, everyone can agree it will be an interesting change of pace.  I haven't been to Florida since I was a kid, and never to Fort Lauderdale, so I am personally looking forward to the change.  Time will tell whether it is a good move for the conference overall or not.

October was, of course, filled with Halloween everything.  Two parties back to back were well over-booked for me (again, thank you everyone!), so I had the opportunity to introduce two new assistants to this wonderful community.  I look forward to bringing one or both of them with me to First Event and other parties in the future.

Of course, I've maintained my Open House dates.  September's open house was followed by a trip to Foxwoods, October's we stayed in, and November's was followed by a large group of us heading to a local restaurant.  November 6th was the last scheduled open house, but I've had calls to have a holiday open house in December.  I am still thinking on dates, but I will announce soon if I do pick a date.  How would everyone feel about a tree-trimming party followed by dinner out?

Next week I'll be heading to the Lake Erie Gala for the 6th year running.  I love heading out to Erie because there's enough people attending for it to be interesting and for the event to always be a little different year to year, but it's also small enough to feel very intimate.  I always have such a great time at Erie, and I've made some wonderful friends over the years. 

My biggest project I've continued working on is making arrangements for my Maine Event.  We have a group rate at the Meadowmere Resort for September 9-13, 2015!  More info to follow as it becomes available, but I'm so excited to have a definite date!  Feedback and suggestions as I look at activities for the group are definitely welcome.

Big announcement!

I have had the privilege of attending many different transgender events over the years.  I've gone to big conferences, getaway weekends, and events that fall somewhere in-between.  There are events like this all over the US, and in many parts of the world.  If you think there's not something near you, think again (and then get to Google-ing "TG events YourState")!

Of course, some areas have more options than others.  I feel fortunate in New England that not only are there so many options for going out in public and more options opening up every day.  We have several TG conferences including First Event, and fantastic regularly scheduled club nights (I'm looking at Tiffany Leigh and Triangles specifically).   I've taken people to mainstream restaurants and clothing stores and local parks with no incident.  And I'm very thankful that I live in an area that there are all these great options and resources to point people towards.

However!  We have a gap in the getaway-weekend department. 

There is so much to be gained from conference seminars, but after going to several, some people have gleaned as much as they are going to, and want an event where they can really focus on the social aspect of the event.  That is where getaway weekends come in; roughly the same span as a conference, the focus is totally different.  Think of it as a vacation organized with a bunch of friends you haven't quite met yet. 

Over the last two years, I've considered many different locations to host a Thursday through Sunday event, and have finally decided on Ogunquit, Maine.  Activities I'm looking at include a scenic sailboat cruise, a show at the Ogunquit Playhouse, the Museum of American Art, and a trip to the Kittery Outlets.  I haven't quite decided on timing yet (currently Fall 2015 seems the best), but hopefully I will nail down a weekend soon.  When I do, it will be posted here!

Southern Comfort

This time next week I will be frantically throwing everything I can think of into (hopefully) two big suitcases and one carry-on.  Why?  Southern Comfort Conference is upon us once again!  I'll be heading to Atlanta for a few days of catching up with old friends, enjoying warmer weather than Connecticut boasts at the moment, and of course doing makeup!  I've been booking appointments since May and am pleased to see I'll get to spend time with many of the same people as in past years.  There are some new people coming to see me as well, and I'm also very glad for the opportunity to meet them, hear their stories, and form new friendships.

SCC has many positive features.  It attracts a variety of people from many places; it is in fact one of the largest gender conferences in the US.  As such, the programming at SCC is diverse, and there is sure to be something for everyone on the seminar schedule.  For those who want to go out in Atlanta, there's no shortage of friendly restaurants and clubs in and around the city.  There is also a large shopping mall across the street.  I've never met anyone who regretted attending SCC. 

For more information about Southern Comfort, visit their website: www.sccatl.org

Charming Charlie's

As promised, here are some photos from the latest Open House adventure.  After a full day hanging out at the studio, five of the girls decided another outing was due.  We discussed going to Foxwoods (to compare to Mohegan Sun, of course), but the vote showed more interest in shopping and dinner.

Charming Charlie is a huge accessory store; think of it as a classier Claire's that you might find in a mall.  We went to the one in Northborough, though it is a chain and has many stores in other locations.

Before heading out on our adventure.  L to R: Cheri, Chrissie, Jayne, Chardonnay, Katie, and Jill.

Before heading out on our adventure.  L to R: Cheri, Chrissie, Jayne, Chardonnay, Katie, and Jill.

Jill became enamored with hats on this trip.

Jill became enamored with hats on this trip.

After over two hours of wandering the store, we all had narrowed down our final purchases.  It was definitely not easy to decide what came home with each of us and what should stay on the shelf.  The store is huge, and has options for every person's taste.

We had to practically drag Chrissie out of the store.  Even after we had, she went back in for a final purchase!

We had to practically drag Chrissie out of the store.  Even after we had, she went back in for a final purchase!

Finally done shopping!  Whew!

Finally done shopping!  Whew!

Delicious!

Delicious!

As everyone knows, shopping works up an appetite.  Purchases in hand, we headed to a 99 Restaurant nearby for a late dinner. 

Thanks for another great Open House girls!

Open House date change

I have had to move the September Open House from Thursday September 18th back one day; the new date is Wednesday September 19th.  I hate to move Open House dates once they are set, but unfortunately there's no getting around this change.  

Completely unrelated, but I will be unavailable by phone until August 18th.  I am taking a real vacation with my spouse for the first time ever!  While I'm away I may check emails once a day, so just be patient with me.  I know Southern Comfort is fast approaching, but I promise I always schedule appointments on a first-contact, first-served basis. 

I will be posting pictures from the August Open House after I return.  A group of six of us had a fun shopping trip to Charming Charlie and then enjoyed dinner at the 99 Restaurant.  Stay tuned!

 

 

Mohegan Sun

When I say that casinos are incredibly safe places to go while dressed, people are generally surprised.  But really think about it.  The staff and security has seen just about everything, so they don't care what you're wearing.  People usually have a specific reason for being in a casino, which does not generally include a trans witch-hunt.  Ultimately casinos are based around people being focused on gambling and having a good time, and anyone that interrupts happy, money-spending customers is thrown out.  End result: if some idiot approaches you at a casino to try ruining your night, and security sees it (and of course they see everything), then said idiot gets removed before you can even think of a retort!   

With all this in mind, a group of us went down to Mohegan Sun for the evening after the Open House last week.  We had some dinner, explored the shops, and of course, did a little gambling.  We also took many pictures with Mohegan Sun as our ornate backdrop.

L to R: Kathy, Katie, Scarlett, Jayne, Cindy, Dea, Chrissie

L to R: Kathy, Katie, Scarlett, Jayne, Cindy, Dea, Chrissie

Totally reasonable reaction for doubling our money....turning $3 into $6!  Yippee!

Totally reasonable reaction for doubling our money....turning $3 into $6!  Yippee!

None of us won it big in money, but we all deposited a great night into our memory banks!

Synchronized Gambling

Synchronized Gambling

Kathy

Kathy

Chrissie

Chrissie

Katie

Katie

Ice cream and coffee break!

Ice cream and coffee break!

Queen Krispy Kreme

Queen Krispy Kreme

Overall a fantastic night with great people!  I hope to do more excursions after Open House days, so if you have suggestions please send them my way!

A round of drinks to end the evening

A round of drinks to end the evening

Some bad news, then some good news

First, the bad news: I will be raising my prices.

Good news: You have the opportunity to keep my current pricing for an extra NINE months!

I've been doing makeup professionally in the trans community for almost five years now, and always at a very low, reasonable price.  Unfortunately, it's just not sustainable for me to keep the same pricing forever.  As of April 1st, I will be increasing the cost of makeovers and my hourly services (coaching, photo, and instructional sessions).

The good news is that if you pay for any of these services before I change the pricing, I will honor it until the end of 2014.  After that point, I will still accept the face value, but ask that you pay the difference as well.

The pricing will change on April 1st, so don't hesitate on taking advantage of my current pricing!

First Event Recap

This year was one of the nicest, but quietest First Events I remember.  I say quiet because it seemed that more people ventured out of the hotel this year than in past years.  Maybe it was the planned offsite activities (to my knowledge, a new addition to the 2014 programming),  maybe it was the lack of snow this year, maybe there were so many seasoned veterans that no one was afraid to explore outside of the hotel.  Probably a combination of these factors.

Katy and I stayed busy during the day, and I have to thank everyone who helped make Katy's first time at a gender conference a positive experience.  She had a great time making new friends, and looks forward to attending future events!  And I of course had a great time seeing everyone as well.  I always say First Event is my favorite conference, and so it stays!

First Event

First Event is coming up in a little over two weeks.  For those of you who have attended before, you know that this is a huge conference with well over 500 people attending most years.  I've looked at the schedule of speakers, and it does seem to be a very balanced mix of topics.  There are, of course, the doctors talking about hormone and surgery options (of which there are many!).  There are presentation about how to present more passably.  Information sessions on the technical issues of transition, such as legal issues from name changes to employment, can be incredibly helpful for those navigating those confusing waters.  There truly is something for everyone.  

I've also noticed there is a newcomer's session and social lounge this year.  I don't recall those at past First Events, and that very well could be just me not remembering, but at other conferences it's always worked out to the advantage of attendees to have a social lounge to relax and meet up with friends.  

My schedule for First Event is half full at this time, but I always book up completely during the course of First Event.  I am offering discounted makeovers to Fashion Show participants, and free touch-ups just before the Fashion Show begins.  I am also bringing reinforcements with me this year, and my young friend Katy will be both helping provide makeovers to people and offering half-hour photo sessions.  If you are interested in a makeover and/or photo session, just click the button below to email me!

And on a final note, I have an open house coming up this Wednesday, 1/8, and will be at Triangles this Saturday, 1/11.  Hope to see some of you at one of these events!