Kastles Owner Brings "Sport for Social Change" to D.C.

Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein has not only brought the glitz and glam of World Team Tennis to Washington, D.C. with his celebrity-studded Kastles tennis matches (just last week he brought Ana Kournikova & John McEnroe to play with the team; in previous years it was both Venus and Serena Williams), but he's also helping to bring noble sports enterpises to the Metro area, as well.

This Friday night starting at 5 p.m., Ein, along with Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and Sheila Johnson, owner of the Washington Mystics, will sponsor Street Soccer USA, a not-for-profit soccer tournament played by homeless men and women from around the country.

Tickets to the 3-day event are free, which will be held at Kastles Stadium (located on the corner of 11th and H Streets NW). All they ask is that the public show up and cheer during the charitable game, also known as the "Sport for Social Change."

I caught up with Ein on the courts last week to talk a little tennis and about other ways he's giving back to the community by sponsoring sports clinics for D.C. school kids, which are led by star athletes. (Check out interview below.)

I also caught up with the Kastles doubles champ, Leander Paes, who talked about the amped up atmosphere of the crowd during the summer tennis season -- a mood of excitement that will no doubt be present during this weekend's soccer tournament.


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Buff Body of the Week: the Old Spice Guy

This week's Buff Body puts the "Spice" in Old Spice...

His name is Isaiah Mustafa and can you believe that he was actually tending bar -- making gin & tonics for tips -- before hitting it big with this commercial:

Ha! I laugh every time I see that video; and even though my man doesn't find it funny, there are plenty of others who do. The commercial has garnered more than 15 million views on YouTube (as of July 23, 2010).

But just who is the so-called "Man Your Man Could Smell Like?"

Mustafa is a retired NFL wide receiver who had stints with the Seattle Seahawks and the Tennessee Titans in the early 2000s before getting into acting.

He must have not managed his money right because People magazine reports that Mustafa was working as a bartender before hitting it big when his Old Spice commercial debuted during the Super Bowl.

Since then, he's undoubtedly the most popular guy in the deodorant aisle, making the inexpensive line of men's antiperspirant cool again.



P.S. -- Be sure to log on next week when I highlight Anna Kournikova and her visit with the Washington Kastles. Below: The Kastles Mascot (Photo credit: Tom Manning/www.tommanning.photoshelter.com)


Miss Ghana Finalist and Activist and We All Scream For Ice Cream


It's great to have people in the community like Rebekah Frimpong advocating for such important global issues. Way to go Rebekah!

Rebeka A. Ofori-Frimpong is a current Miss Ghana Africa USA 2010/11 finalist in the Miss Africa USA Pageant, she is also a mentor, teacher, filmaker, and activist. As a Miss Ghana USA finalist she is pushing for a platform of Global Health for Africa and for Africans living in the United States. Check out her Website MaMa Africa.

Her message is clear--Sending Hope to Mothers. Mama Africa sends maternal care packages to at-risk mothers in Africa and in the United States. Many of these mothers do not have the needed resources to care for themselves or their newborn child. At-risk mothers are dealing with mental distress, poverty, and education limitations.MaMa Africa hopes to continue to allow and improve dialogue around improving maternal health care. For ways to see how you can get involved go to their Website and click on GET INVOLVED.

Rebekah will also be hosting a screening of her film "Vanishing Seeds" today at The Tank in Times Square @ 7:30 p.m. in NYC. DC on HEELS looks forward to viewing her film.

Rebekah's five year plan will be to continue her philanthropic work though community projects. In addition, she hopes to have completed a graduate education and start on the path to becoming a professor teaching in the field of public health with a concentrated view on how media can affect the public view of health care policies and influencing healthcare legislature. She hopes to have completed her next film project titled "I Luv Africa" about African people sharing real African stores that depict how they see Africa's future and their role in the continent's development. Outstanding work Rebeka!


Peach-and-Toasted Pecan Ice Cream

These temps have not subsided one bit, and while today the sun may not be slapping us in the face, the humidity is relentless! So cool off with this delicious ice cream recipe.


  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste*
  • 1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped peaches
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


1. Whisk together first 3 ingredients in a large heavy saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk and whipping cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, 10 to 12 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

2. Whisk egg yolk until slightly thickened. Gradually whisk about 1 cup hot cream mixture into yolk. Add yolk mixture to remaining cream mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in vanilla bean paste. Cool 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, cook peaches and corn syrup in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes. Coarsely mash, and let cool 30 minutes. Stir peach mixture into cooled cream mixture.

4. Place plastic wrap directly on cream mixture, and chill 8 to 24 hours.

5. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat; add pecans, and cook, stirring constantly, 8 to 9 minutes or until toasted and fragrant. Remove from heat, and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Cool completely (about 30 minutes).

6. Pour chilled cream mixture into freezer container of a 1 1/2-qt. electric ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. (Instructions and time may vary.) Before transferring ice cream to an airtight container for further freezing, stir in pecan mixture.

*Vanilla extract may be substituted

Vanessa xoxoxo

Hot Jeggings and Celebrity Doppelganger


Every woman is constantly searching for that perfect jean that hugs you in all the right places, makes the behind look firm and perky, and is comfortable enough to run around in. Well thanks to Beija-Flor jeggings I don't have to look any further! What's a jegging? Jeggings are leggings which are styled to look like tight denim jeans. These Brazilian designer jeggings are made to fit the natural curves of a woman's body for a modern yet feminine appeal. Just like the music and culture of Brazil, Beija-Flor means quality, personality, individuality, soul, energy, motion and taste of the modern world. It also literally means "kiss the flower" Portugese for hummingbird. These jeggings are perfect for the day to run around town in, or dress them up by night with a cute pair of stilettos. So hot! Check out the curve friendly pattern, strategic pocket placement, and stitching detail. No matter your body shape or problem areas, these jeans are sure to flatter your figure. And the best part is that they are comfortable and stretchy and available in a variety of washes and colors.

Skinny jeans are NOT just for skinny people!

I love the Stacey Black Skinny jean and the Stephanie Blue Jeggings.


Let's watch Alex morph into her number one look alike Adriana Karembeu a Slovak actress and fashion model. Karembeu modeled for Victoria's Secret here in the States.

Vanessa xoxoxoxo

Kitchen Confessionals and Heel of the Week

Cooking doesn't always come easy to everyone.. We've all at one point in our life had a kitchen disaster story. I'm sure even my hero Paula Deen has been there once or twice.

So Lauren DeSantis (of Capital Cooking), Markette, and myself decided to share our worst experience in the cocina with you--Spatula gone wild, chicken pot pie gone wrong, and pumpkin pie forgotten... What's your kitchen confessional? Leave us a comment below and share with us your kitchen story! But if the saying is true that you have to go through the bad to get to the good then it's all gravy baby!

Sometimes us girls need a lift, but we're not always in the mood to wear a heel. That's why a wedge is the perfect balance of height and comfort. I love this weeks heel of the week by Nina Cortney. This woven wedge has a 4" heel lined with leather and is the perfect fit to any summer day.

Vanessa's Pick:

Cortney by Nina at <span class=Zappos.com">

Cortney by
<span class=
And for only $100 and free shipping from Zappos it's a win win situation. That will put a smile on any girls face. So get to ZAPPING.

I don't want to leave the boys out as finding that perfect summer sandal can be a real challenge. So my advice and personal preference is for guys to keep it simple stupid--and opt for the classic Havainas Brasil. These flip flops are available in every color you could ever want, are super comfortable and casual and look great on anyone. Oh and for $21 buy a few pairs. Get your basic colors like black and brown and then throw in a fun color like the blue shown below! So there you have it guys. Now get to ZAPPING.

Ciao for now

Vanessa xoxoxoxo

Hairless Beauty Queen Gives Sick Kids Boost of Inspiration

When it comes to women and our obsession with hair, I believe Spike Lee said it best when he wrote the prolific lyrics: "Go anywhere. See if I care. Look at my Hair!" (from his 1988 musical comedy School Daze).

And it's that kind of "Go anywhere. See if I care" attitude that helped 21-year-old Kayla Martell of the Washington Metro area snag the crown of Miss Delaware 2010 -- even though she's completely bald!

Kayla, a senior at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., has been suffering from alopecia areata since the age of 10. The hair-loss condition affects an estimated 4.7 million Americans nationwide.

After competing five times for the crown in her home state of Delaware -- two of those times without a wig - she finally won the competition on June 12, 2010 - proving that bald is the new beautiful... well, at least on the pageant circuit.

"I won with the wig. However, it was great competing the two other times without the wig because it was really representing who I am," Martell told the CBS Early Show.

Halfway through the interview, she took off her blond wig and proudly stated: "I think I can be a better Miss Delaware by taking the wig off," she said.

"I am healthy. I am fine. All we [alopecia sufferers] do is lose our hair."

Not surprisingly, Martell's platform is raising funds and awareness for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation.

She said 5-year-old Liliana Hakim, whom she met through her work with the foundation, was her inspiration for competing for the fifth and final time.

Martell will go on to compete before Donald Trump and the entire nation for the title of Miss America at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas on Januray 15, 2011.

No word yet on whether or not she will wear her wig or go au naturale -- but I wish her luck either way!


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P.S. -- This story was written in collaboration with Skin & Allergy News.

We the Pizza and Capital Cook Book Winner


We the Pizza of the United States in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility....ok I'll stop. The only part you really have to know is WE THE PIZZA--officially opening July 19th.

WTP is DC chef Spike Mendelsohn's newest Capitol Hill restaurant venture. If your in the mood for burgers get the good stuff at his eatery GOOD STUFF, but if not go right next door to We the Pizza and nosh on some great italian fare like homemade spaghetti and meatballs, Italian-style deli sandwiches and homemade gelato and don't forget the sodas infused with fruit purees. (I tried the cherry soda--it was tart, crisp and refreshing) Then I bee-lined it straight for a nice cold Peroni beer after chowing down on the wild mushroom pie--wild forest mushrooms, truffles, mozzarella, and fresh thyme (the crust is crisp, chewy and sweet.) We the Pizza will seat about 90 patrons in a three story, 3,000-square-foot space with black and white tiling and red accents. I loved the wall decor too!

I like how Spike keeps it simple, relaxed, edgy and goes for the comfort foods we all know and love focusing on regional, farm-fresh ingredients. I guess there is something to be said of the adage "KISS." Keep It Simple Stupid--and it works!

The red carpet was rolled out for the soft opening

It's amore


Love love the fedoras

Hey I know him( pictured right) is Greg of www.gregslistdc.com --best site ever!

You can have whateva you like...

Don't stop til' you get enough

Hot Italian Lauren DeSantis of Capital Cooking was on-hand tasting the gelato

And speaking of Lauren ...... The winner of her Capital Cooking cook book is DC on HEELS fan

Tanya Sharma
Congratulations Tanya your name was picked in our random drawing! Let us know which of the 90 recipes from this book you plan on making! Lauren showed us how to make a really great Tzasiki dip (p93).

You can get her cook book @ https://www.createspace.com/3374156

ciao for now
Vanessa xoxoxxo

Behind the scenes with Jimmy Smits at a Capitol Fourth


DC on HEELS is giving YOU a backstage pass and a behind the scenes look of what goes on at a Capitol Fourth Concert the day before one of the biggest events held on the west lawn of the Capitol Building. Check out my interview with Emmy award and Golden Globe winning actor Jimmy Smits.

And stay tuned for my interview with the hottest classic pianist on the planet--chinese classic pianist-- Lang Lang. You may remember Lang Lang from 2008 where he was viewed by 5 billion (yes I said billion) at the 2008 Summer Olympics during Beijing's opening ceremony. Lang Lang was promoted as a symbol of youth and future for China. I also chatted with his mom who was so sweet and proud of her talented son. She was explaining to me in her limited English and my non-existent Chinese what her son's name meant. Stay tuned to find out what his name means!!!

Vanessa xoxoxoxxo

Interviews with Jimmy Smits and Lang Lang at A Capitol Fourth Concert


DC on HEELS is giving YOU a backstage pass and a behind the scenes look of what goes on at a Capitol Fourth Concert the day before one of the biggest events held on the west lawn of the Capitol Building. Check out my interview with Emmy award and Golden Globe winning actor Jimmy Smits and internationally acclaimed classic pianist Lang Lang.

Up close and personal wiht musical prodigy Lang Lang (and his mother)about his roots, what his name means, performing in front of billions of people, and which Looney Tunes cartoon may have jump-started his career. Watch the full interview!

Markette and Vanessa pictured with Jimmy Smits

Vanessa and Markette with Lang Lang

That was a blast. M and I had so much fun interviewing all of the stars and fans at A Capitol Fourth Concert. I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July! Stay cool because those temps are still rising. We broke a record today at BWI with temperatures being clocked at 104 degrees. Don't worry we have some delicious frozen drink recipes coming up for Friday's post. So don't melt!

Vanessa xoxoxxoxo

David Archuleta, Reba McEntire & more Celebrate July 4th in D.C.

David Archuleta skyrocketed to fame on American Idol when he sang "Stand By Me" to a live audience of screaming teenage girls. And now, on July 4th he'll be at the U.S. Capitol singing the same tune, only this time the song will be dedicated to the American troops, said Archuleta in an interview with DC on HEELS.

We caught up with Archuleta during his rehearsal performance for the star-studded concert, A Capitol Fourth, a PBS special to broadcast live at 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 4.

The queen of country, Reba McEntire, was also at the rehearsal gearing up for her July 4 performance, where she will be honored with the National Artistic Achievement Award in recognition of her contributions to American music.
The concert is hosted by Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor Jimmy Smits.
Smits is not only a talented actor, but a really chill and down-to-earth kind of guy -- as Vanessa and I found out backstage.

Also performing at the rehearsal was classical pianist, Lang Lang. The 28-year-old musical phenom has performed at The Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall (and almost everywhere else in between). He told me it was "Practice, practice, practice!" that got him there.

And as the rehearsal got off to an upbeat start... the crowd started growing.

They were all there to get a glimpse of the patriotic performances.

The couple above -- married for 30 years -- told DC on HEELS they drove all the way down from Rhode Island just to see David Archuleta perform.

Executive Producer Jerry Colbert reflects on producing concerts in Washington D.C. for more than three decades. The concert is a free public event that also raises funds for public TV.

The gates to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol open at 3 p.m. for anyone interested in seeing this "Capitol Concert."

Crowds are expected to be huge, according to The U.S. Park Police, so to get the best seat in the house you may just want to tune in to PBS Sunday at 8 p.m.


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P.S. - Happy 234th birthday America!

Twilight Fever and the Eclipse T-Shirt Winner!

I recently jumped into the "Twi-hard" fan madness and went down to National Harbor for the free public screening of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse this past Saturday:

While there, I caught up with one of the hottest werewolves from the movie Alex Meraz (besides Taylor Lautner). The Native American actor who is originally from Mesa, Ariz. said fans can expect this to be the most thrilling Twilight movie yet.

But, since we're DC on Heels, you know I had to flip the script and ask him about shoes! So, I asked Alex what type of heels he likes to see on the ladies... and that's when things really started to HEAT UP! Watch his trashy response below:

After that, I decided to take it down a notch and ask him about the actual reason he was in DC -- the movie! Click here to watch the full video interview.

Finally, I got Alex to sign a T-shirt for our Facebook fan and fellow blogger Tracy Scott, who submitted a question to him through the DC on HEELS Facebook page.

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Congratulations Tracy!!! This T-Shirt is yours!

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Thanks for being a fan, and thanks to all of our fans we saw out at National Harbor.


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