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?

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