sugar and spice and everything nice: it’s all about you, ladies.

I felt pampered before I even got through the door, and it only got better from there.

The lovely Sherrie Gordon (owner of Shenandoah Concierge), who greeted us at the door, informed us that once inside this year’s second It’s All About You, Ladies! event, we’d be treated to such niceties as a massage, a hair and skin consultation, food, wine, a gift bag, and raffle prizes! I was glad I decided to be stressed out, tangled, blemished, hungry, thirsty, and lucky that day.

Hosted by Wine on Water and All Things Virginia (the two shops are adjacent to each other on Water Street, downtown), the event was also sponsored by women-owned or -operated businesses like Merle Norman, Scrumptious Suppers,  A-C Chiropractic, Vivian’s Designer Consignor, You’ve Got It Made, Polished, Inc., The Lady Jane, Miche Bags, Stella & Dot, and Shenandoah Concierge. The event allows local business women to get together about four times a year to mingle, socialize, network, and just keep in touch in general. It’s easy to lose touch with your peers when you’re managing the shop all day, after all. They keep the event intimate by only selling fifty tickets, so that all the women have a chance to talk to each other during the short three hours they’re together.

In we went. At the bar, I picked up a complimentary glass of Cave Ridge Traminette, recommended by Katrina. The next order of business was food. Brandy and I nibbled on Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce, olives, cheese, Sundried Tomato Pesto served on cute little toasts, Artichoke and Spinach Dip with chips, and these really yummy Turkey Pinwheels with Avocado and Cranberry Cream Cheese. I think I ate about twelve of those.

And look how cute dessert was!

Swedish Cream with Raspberry Sauce.

I signed up for a massage (there were two massage therapists from Dr. Cason’s office, set up in the front window of All Things Virginia), and while I waited my turn, Brandy and I perused the shop. They have a lot of nice items in there I never would have guessed–like walking sticks and hand made cards, and peanuts and condiments. They also sell Miche bags and local artwork, and they have an in-house framer if you need him. They also sell hand made jewelry, which I browsed for quite some time… and I somehow lost my plate of food, too. But that’s okay because they had more. Anyhow, between the selection at All Things Virginia and the wines at Wine on Water, it’s possible you could do all your Christmas shopping under one roof.

And then my turn came for a massage. My belly was full and the wine was speaking to me and now Betty was tenderizing my stone shoulders.

Stress was pouring out in all directions. It was coming out in laughter that echoed through the place, it was flowing in the wine, it was steaming off the food, it was evaporating through Betty’s hands, it was escaping through tiny refined pores and hair follicles. And when I emerged from the massage (with my “halo face” from having smushed my face into the cushion of the chair), everyone seemed relaxed and content.

And then I got it–this is exactly what ladies need at the end of their hectic weeks. Not a lot, not a two-week vacation in another country (although, that WOULD be nice…), but just a kind word, a soothing touch, some laughter, some time with friends, and don’t forget the wine. So, thanks to the lovely sponsors for making this evening possible, and thanks also to all the guys who stayed home with the kids and heated up frozen corn dogs. Yes, ketchup is a fruit. Oh, come on…. just kidding!

pictured here, the sponsors: Sara Christensen, Sherrie Gordon, Kristen Lucas, Katrina Hudy, Linda Denton, Shelley Boyers, Jennifer Matthai Cottrell, Vivian Myers, and Vicki Ruckman.

Copyright © 2012 · All Rights Reserved · Photos by Brandy Somers. Written content by Katie Mitchell. This material may not be copied, downloaded, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting our intellectual property.

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