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Celebrities in Philly

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Out and About in Philly; Sandler Spotted, Urkel is in Hustle… Brides, Babies and sales

Official fall is a week away, but you wouldn’t know it with this weeks weather. So get out and enjoy these last few weeks of warm weather, as the Old Farmer’s Almanac says we are in for a cold, snowy winter. I shot this at the Waterworks last week, definitely one of the best spots to catch a sunset in Philly. Bring a blanket, lay on the lawn and enjoy.

I caught up with Jaleel White, aka Urkel from Family Matters who’s in town to film scenes in Adam Sandler’s Netflik movie Hustle this week. He told me he plays an assistant gm to the basketball team. He was here last fall filming as well before it was interrupted by the pandemic and was able to take in the sites of Philadelphia. He loves our robust foodie scene in the City and as soon as he returned to film final scenes of the series, he hit up some of our best eateries. Friday night he dined with friends at Vernick Fish. Saturday night he went to Philly’s newest sushi restaurant Izakaya by Yanaga (1832 Frankford Ave with chef Kevin Yanaga aka The Sushi Whisperer in Fishtown. He headed to the kitchen to say hi to the chef, and staff. Then he watched them prepare the dumplings he was about to eat. He also enjoyed Oishi Shrimp Taco, the Toro Roll, Duck Onigiri, while enjoying cocktails “Dance of the Celestial Maiden” Sake Cape May “The Purp” “Tea Time” Cocktail. Hustle is slated to film through the end of September. Hustle stars Adam Sandler, Queen Latifah and LeBron James.

Speaking of good food, I think everyone knows I really want to learn to cook. I have been watching lots of cooking shows. I’ve partnered with The Blok folks. I can’t wait to get this cutting board, which also has a screen to watch cooking lessons, as well as a way to chitchat with family and friends to cook alongside. Are you interested, CLICK HERE

The Best Dish I had this week, was actually the Shrimp & Grits, and the Kielbasa at the new Sandpiper Coastal Bar & Grill at Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City. Absolutely worth the trip for these dishes. I’m going to call them #destinationdishes. Mike enjoyed the Mahi Mahi Tacos, Blackened Mahi-Mahi Tacos, the Diver Scallops and especially the Monkey Bread for dessert. Atlantic City isn’t as far as it seems to enjoy good food, and a night out.

Speaking of the shore, congratulations to Derek Abes and his beautiful bride Kimberly, who were married Sunday at the Cathedral of Sts. Peter & Paul. Derek spends the summers at the shore mixing cocktails at Memories, as Jerry Blavat spins for the adoring crowd. In the off months, you can find Derek behind the bar at the Ritz-Carlton. Congrats!!

Congratulations are also in order for Mr. and Mrs Jones as the former Brittini Crabtree married the love of her life, Charles Jones on Sunday at The Farm at Eagles Ridge in Lancaster. Brittni and CJ met at Penn State University senior year and graduated in 2015. He popped the question last summer at their favorite shore spot Cape May. Brittini and Charles Jones reside in Philadelphia near her sister Tiffani Solomon – Matron of Honor. Go Eagles!!

David’s Bridal is having their annual sale on wedding dresses. Gowns for $99
First comes marriage, then comes, well not all the time.

Congratulations to Chris Sower and his wife Lori on their upcoming baby girl due in November; and baby makes 4 as she joins brother Murphy.

Celebrities in Philly

Bieber Fever. Sandler Spotted. Wedding Crashers in AC

Pandemic or not, this summer flew by. I had a great time. I’m trying to learn to slow down, I took all of August to work on that project. I saw a lot of friends. I cooked at home. I went bird watching. Then Mike and I went to the Smoky Mountains, and stopped by Charlotte to visit family. I enjoyed visiting my mom in Charlotte the last few days. She really enjoys life, at a very nice pace. I love how she will sit on her porch and read a book everyday for several hours. Then have dinner with friends, or family, or alone. Watch TV for a few hours, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour, wake up and walk for a few miles before starting her day. I couldn’t wait to get back to Philly to get out, see my friends and return to the only pace I know, frenetic.

I attempted to not post on Social Media as much, but then Ida happened. I feel an obligation to keep my readers informed. Since I wasn’t in the area I shared so many posts from the news, and drone photographers. It’s amazing how many people do drone videos, and so talented. Thanks to the readers who sent me photos as well. So sad for all the devastation. Readers have asked me how they can help with IDA’s impact. The Schuylkill Banks is looking for volunteers to help with clean up. Plus more info HERE.

Sunday afternoon Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber dined at JG Sky High at the Four Seasons. 
Photo of Bieber at Four Seasons credit; Brooke Thompson 
Justin in the green hat, ate 2 breakfast burritos and drank coffee. On his way out fan Brooke Thompson said I love your new CD,  both Justin and Hailey thanked her.  I love the dining area at Four Seasons, I always knew it’d be a great paparazzo spot. I’ve gotten the Pistons there, and in the 2020 someone sent me a Bieber shot while he was dining there.

A few fan photos of Justin Bieber on MIA Festival stage Sunday Night. I was excited to make it back from Charlotte in time to catch the last hour of his show from my friend Phyllis Halpern’s balcony.

Adam Sandler stopped by Pietro’s Radnor (we have two in Center City – South Street and Walnut St) for dinner Friday night, and posed with the staff. He was also spotted at Steak 48 on Saturday night, not too far from where the Bieber’s ate, but no one could tell me if they interacted. Thanks to Pietro’s for sending me this photo, which also appeared on Fox 29.

Thanks to my readers, for sending me tips and photos this week including this nugget where a few celebrity performers entertained at Rob & Rayna’s wedding. Thanks to wedding planning All About Events Philly for sending me this fun story, which I was also able to get on Fox 29 this morning. Thanks so much to you all for stopping by today.

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Tobias Harris with Adam Sandler on Set of Rebounds. It’s Always Sunny Films on Location; Geno’s Re Opens

Justin Moore, general manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia, Geno Vento and Whizzy cut the ribbon at the re opening of Geno’s Steaks at Rivers Casino

Congratulations to my buddy Geno Vento on the reopening of his Geno’s Steaks eatery at Rivers Casino, which had closed during the pandemic.

Guests started lining up early for the reopening as the first 100 folks received a free cheese steak and Geno swag.

Adam Sandler and LeBron James Hustle has hustled back into town to film the remaining scenes which weren’t completed last fall because of Covid19. Thanks to Diego Ramos for sending me two videos of the film set with Adam Sandler and Queen Latifah, who plays his wife. Filming took place on Thursday in South Philly on a very hot basketball court.

Tobias Harris was spotted in this scene, that’s Adam Sandler in the yellow shirt patting him on the back. Head to Reddit for more on the scenes filmed in South Philly.

According to IMDB the Netflik series is still titled Hustle, but sources tell me it might be renamed Rebounds. I kinda like that name better too. The show is about a sports agent looking to re start his career, or rebound back into business, get it. Plus you know it’s a basketball movie.

Friday Hustle/Rebound took over Ray’s Happy Birthday bar for a scene at the iconic South Philly spot. Also Sandler shoot a scene at the basketball court at 9th and Federal. Thanks to all my tipsters for tips, and videos. The 9th Street scene can be scene on my instagram. More chitchat on which sixers are appearing in the movie HERE

Wait It’s Always Sunny hasn’t filmed in Philly for 5 years, but it’s filmed in Ireland twice since it was last here in 2016?

More surprising news Creed III is not filming in Philly, it’s filming in Atlanta. Good news for Michael B Jordan, he’s staring and will be directing the Rocky franchise movie, but Sly doesn’t appear in this sequel, although Tessa Thompson is back as his wife. READ all About it. We’ll miss you buddy. You were fun to photograph. I am away for a week, but keep sending me those tips I really appreciate it, we all appreciate it being in the know. Stay Safe, Stay Healthy follow me on Social Media as I will be sharing my trip there. I will have two more posts this week which I prepared.

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Sunday News: Mother’s Day, Adam Sandler, New Restaurants, Faces in The News

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms in the world, especially mine!! Ready for some News, Views, Schmooze…

Looks like PhillyChitChat will be heading to Camdenwood in August and September as LeBron James / Adam SandlerHustle” Netflik series returns to our area to wrap up scenes. Last year Adam Sandler and Queen Latifah filmed in Philly, until October when they halted production promising to continue in 2021, well now I know it’s late summer according to various sources. Lights, Camera, Action β€” Cue Camden! Robert Duvall is also in the cast.

Speaking of local film makers, congrats to Breaking Glass who with Blue Fox Jointly Acquire the SXSW Award-Winning Doc β€˜We Are The Thousand’ via @Deadline You might remember Breaking Glass CEO Rich Wolff from the early days of TLA, and the Philadelphia FIlm Festivals. Founded in 2009 by industry veterans Rich Wolff and Richard Ross, along with Susan Helfrich (mother of Andrea Helfrich Host of NHL @philadelphiaflyers), Breaking Glass Pictures is a film distribution and media company that focuses on releasing independent films, inclusive of all genres, from around the world. I’ve known them for nearly my entire career as PhillyChitChat!! So happy for their success!!

6ABC and Gray Hall welcomes their newest meteorologist Brittany Boyer to weekends and back home to Philly where she grew up. Hello there! I’m Brittany Boyer and I’m a meteorologist in Pennsylvania. I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs and am living out my dream everyday! I hold a degree in Meteorology from Mississippi State University. I also hold a degree in Journalism from Penn State University. She replaces Melissa Magee, she left the station last September to return to her family in Los Angeles. She now does the weather in LA at NBC4 News.

Speaking of Gray Hall, he cracks me up. You have to follow his FB page, besides informing us about what is happening in his life, he shares funny antidotes like above, which always puts a smile on my face.

Two local eateries have changed hands both on 11th Street in Center City: Lee’s Hoagies at 246 S 11th St is now going to be Huff & Puff BBQ. Smokin Betty’s is no more, it’s now going to be Top Tomato Bar & Pizza 116 S 11th St. Currently Top Tomato is located at 1107 Walnut St,, no word on if they’re keeping both locations. Thanks to Mike Saks for sending me these tips, they must be on his morning run as they came in two different days and he’s an avid runner. Plus he’s a fan of Primo Hoagies, so when you know you know.

We have a new Miss Philadelphia – Congrats to Elaine Ficcara. Head to Q102 and get to know her. Hopefully when more events return I will get to know her behind the lens.

What a miserable day today is , except spending it with our loved ones either in person or spirit, but the good news is as Adam Joseph posted, more daylight after 8PM until August 13!!! Check back with us here at PhillyChitChat as I have so many events to share with you. Business is starting to get back to normal, and that makes me super happy. Vaxed and Relaxed seems to be the theme…..

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#TBT Favorite One Shot Photos – Phillies Gala’s and Harrison Ford in Philly

When I first started out with Philly Mag, almost a decade ago, besides the party photo columns I had another column called One Shot. One shot was a standalone shot of an event, celebrity or something of interest sorta like Instagram before Instagram was a thing. I thought I would post a few of my favorite from the last decade.

The Hamels Foundation Diamonds and Denim Gala was held every year to raise money for the Hamels Foundation mission which is dedicated to enriching the lives of children through the power of education by giving them the tools they need to achieve their goals.
Cole and Heidi Hamels, with Johari Smith Rollins and Jimmy Rollins are pictured here at 2013 gala held at the Crystal Tea Room. It was always a laid back event with everyone wearing their denim. There was a cocktail party, a sit down dinner and live entertainment including LeeAnne Rimes and Tony Orlando for the first annual event, and John legend at the third annual event. Not only were Cole Hamels and Jimmy Rollins on the 2008 Phillies Dream Team, but they were both philanthropic with their time and money each hosted annual galas to raise money which would help disadvantaged youth in our area. Along with their teammates Ryan Howard,
Carlos Ruiz, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley. It was a great time for me as a new social photographer to get to know them, and earn their respect and trust to get the shots I needed for my outlets. These types of charity events don’t really happen with the players these days.

This photo of Harrison Ford filming a movie in Philly called Paranoia. It was a great summer. Paranoia is a 2013 American thriller film directed by Robert Luketic. Barry L. Levy and Jason Hall wrote the screenplay, loosely based on the 2004 novel of the same name by Joseph Finder. It stars Liam Hemsworth, (Who brought his then girlfriend Miley Cyrus to the set everyday for the first month until she became too much of a distraction as her legions of fans would follow. She was asked to not show up at the set anymore. This is when she began exploring Philly, especially South Street, Philly Thrift for AIDS and got her famous locks cut off into a pixie cut. The duo had been staying at the aka Rittenhouse, and Miley would walk her dog every day at the park, nearly unnoticed. Then the fans found her at the aka and would wait every day for her to exit. The couple then moved to the St. James where they rented an apartment for the duration of the filming.)
Gary Oldman, Amber Heard, and Harrison Ford. The film was released on August 16, 2013 and bombed at the box office, grossing $16 million against a budget of $35 million. It was described as “clichΓ©d and unoriginal” by review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, where it has a 7% approval rating.[4] (Harrison really has to give up flying, earlier this week he was cited by the FAA for improper crossing an active runway. BTW Harrison Ford is married to actress Calista Flockhart, who grew up in Medford NJ. Flockhart attended Shawnee High School. Following graduation in 1983, Flockhart attended Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) ) appeared in my August 2012 Philly Mag One Shot Column.
It went like this: Food for thought? Was Harrison Ford thinking about what he was going to have for dinner at Rouge last night? Because that’s where he went about an hour after I snapped this shot on the set of Paranoia, which was filming at 12th and Walnut streets…. By the way, I’d like to thank the Starbucks at 12th and Walnut for letting me sit there for seven hours to get the shots I needed yesterday. I think I tried everything on their menu to β€œpay for my seat.” I especially liked their chicken salad sandwich with cranberries. (Yes, I shot this photo through their window.) Head on over to Philly Mag to read the rest of the column and see where the cast were spotted. They were an active bunch Philly Mag One Shot Column

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Justin Bieber in Philly

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Hey guys I’m in philly come say hi

A post shared by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on

Justin Bieber notified his fans he was in Philly on Friday

with a few of his friends including his personal photographer Rory Kramer, Josh Mehl with Nick Demoura show designer and choreographer for his upcoming Changes tour .

Here’s a snippet of the rehearsals for the tour so far.

After noting Bieber was at the Art Museum, on the Rocky Steps, I mentioned on Twitter that I had photographed Justin Bieber on a date in Philly where he and Selena Gomez went to Shops of Liberty Place for a smoothy, and dinner at Vetri’s * if you look at the Inky article it says 2011. Well someone didn’t do well on their reading comprehension.

That evening, Friday night, a friend sent me a text telling me there was a small mob of girls hanging outside Vetri Cucina’s. At first I thought could this be true, would he really take his wife Haley Bieber to a restaurant where he had one of his first Philly dates with Selena? Maybe, I mean it’s delicious there, but …

Ahhh it wasn’t true.

Sorry girl. It wasn’t raining men for you in the Gayborhood Friday night. But I admire your commitment staying an extra half hour after you realized he wasn’t in there, but fret not he did really eat there once.

On the otherhand, he did go exactly where I predicted he’d go to Jean Georges at the Four Seasons as I note in the last line.

Not sure what he did in Philly or why he was here, but I know for sure if you want to see him he’ll be at Lincoln Financial Field on Sat Aug 1 at 7:00pm. performing at his Changes tour, which is now in rehearsal.

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M Night’s Servant Films, She Wore A Red Wedding Dress, Spotted NeNe Leakes & Sheryl Lee Ralph

Congratulations are in order for Walt Moura and Dana Spain who were married at their home Saturday night, in Society Hill. The bride wore red, and she looked stunning. Friendship turned to love, and now marriage. (provided)
Thanks to my anonymous tipster who was also checking in. Stay-cation anyone?

Real Housewife of Atlanta, Nene Leakes was in town Saturday night to host a show at The Met for Punch Line Philly Ladies Night Out Comedy Tour! with special guests Loni Love, Adele Givens, Sherri Shepherd, Kym Whitley & B Simone. She was spotted checking in at the Four Season’s Saturday afternoon, that job must pay well as Saturday night at the Four Season will set you back a few thousand, but the views are worth a million bucks.

Then she headed to The Met for hair and Make-up by local and international Make Up Artist Jacen Bowman, who also does Fox 29’s Alex Holley’s beautiful face.

Google shot

Thursday director M Night Shyamalan along with actors Lauren Ambrose and Rupert Grint filmed a scene for the 2nd season of Servant in near Rittenhouse Square at 21st and Spruce. At the end of the day they surprised actress Lauren Ambrose with a cake for her birthday and sang Happy Birthday. If that wasn’t sweet enough, the next day, Friday M Night shot scenes in the Bellevue Hotel’s lobby as well as inside Teuscher Chocolates.

Saturday I headed to Kevin Parker and Kerry Scott’s Philly Fashion Week, which has been going on all last week at 801 Market Street. Saturday’s theme was Lov’n My Curves and kicking off the show was legendary, iconic Sheryl Lee Ralph. You know I had to go out and support Sen. Vincent Hughes‘ wife on the Philly launch of her new clothing line “DIVA” Divinely Inspired Victoriously Aware which is also the name of her DIVA foundation where she raises funds for HIV/AIDS as well as other chronical illnesses; the show did not disappoint. The shirts were available yesterday at the show, and will be available on the DIVA foundation shortly. Check back later this week and I’ll have more photos from the Lov’n My Curves at Philly Fashion Week. Have a great day, and get out and enjoy it.

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Sylvester Stallone Films on his Steps; Malcolm Jenkins Gives

Monday, The Malcolm Jenkins Foundation (TMJF) and its team of volunteers packed and distributed dinner baskets and for gifts families in Philadelphia and Camden at its 8th annual Holiday Dinner Basket Surprise event held at the Ford Police Athletic League at 631 Snyder Avenue, Philadelphia PA., before heading out to drop off the baskets to the families.

280 families were pre-identified by 27 (which is Malcolm’s jersey number too) community partner organizations in each city to receive holiday dinner baskets and experience the joy of the holidays.

On my way to Malcolm Jenkins event I passed by the Art Museum, which is conveniently located across the street from where I live. I noticed filming happening on the steps, stopped at the traffic light took the shot on the left, with a bunch of little Rocky’s on the step and trailers in the Oval. After I posted it mentioning I thought it was a commercial filming, the tips started coming in….

Someone directed me to this post by Sylvester Stallone who said he was doing something special at the Art Museum and we’d see it soon. When I finished my errands, about 4pm I saw they were still filming at the Steps so I went to the Oval to see what I could shoot.

It turns out it’s a Super Bowl commercial for Facebook starring Sylvester Stallone and hundreds of Rocky extras.

Actor Comedian Chris Rock will be in this scene

This is Chris Rock’s body double running up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum which was the last scene they filmed for the commercial before wrapping for the day. Stay tuned to see 2020 Super Bowl

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Guess Who’s Back: Kendall Jenner, Ryan Phillipe and Christmas Parties

So many parties so little time, basically just a week before the holidays, and then OMG Kendall Jenner pops into town. She was first spotted Monday night at a game, no photos so I was wondering was it true. Then some of my do or die true tipsters told me it was true and started to send me evidence she was at Ben’s condo.

Kendall did an Instagram Story that set the internet on fire as she was eating cookies off a plate that Ben Simmons uses which was all the proof I needed to declare the duo is back on.

The next day, Monday 12/9 she was spotted at PHL flying back to LA,

as she was scheduled to appear on Late, Late Night with substitute co-host Harry Styles, who is no stranger to dating someone the Philadelphia region.

Before you knew it, she was back in town to see her on again, off again beau Ben Simmons play with the Sixers on Friday night, and my winter just got so much better. (Sent to me by Eye_Ballv on Instagram)

Thanks to my reader friend Will Helm, who first tipped me off to Kendall in town. He sent me photos and a video, which he didn’t even post himself. That was so nice of him, and I really appreciate it. AFTER THE GAME the newly re-coupled couple was spotted headed for a late nite supper at Double Knot in Midtown Village late Friday night. ** Recently it came out that Ben was interested in another beauty, when Kendall realized she just couldn’t bare seeing him with another. Neither one had unfollowed the other on Social Media, which is the death knell of any relationship these days. In fact Ben liked an instagram post Kendall made in June and it made the news as we’re all hopeful for a reunion especially moi in Philly cause it’s the slow social season and I need something to do with my new 650mm lens besides bird watching.

Pinefish just launched their new Winter Menu, but with this much seafood it reminds me of summer. > New winter menu featuring Oyster Stew, Brazilian Seafood Stew, Beet Salad and more. #WarmUp #WinterMenu #OysterStew #BrazilianSeafoodStew #PhillyFoodies #PhillyEats #Philly Pinefish 1138 Pine Street Phila

Delaware native, actor Ryan Phillippe was in town last week. On Thursday he spoke at the Travis Manion Gala held at the Union League. After the gala he and friends were spotted nearby at Tavern on Broad Street. Saturday he headed to the Army-Navy Football game with family and friends and was snapped celebrating in the Linc Financial Field parking lot. Another great organization Ryan supports is The Innocence Project , PhillyChitChat just photographed the Pa Chapter last month at the Constitution Center.

Friday I attended the annual Vince Fumo Christmas Party, it was fabulous as usual. This year Vince had a carolers singing by the always beautifully decorated tree.

Plus his nephew in law who married Vince’s niece in Jamaica this past year, flew in the wedding singer Vince liked so much to entertain at the party – Grady Brissett . Spotted in the crowd Hacina Saadi, Mike Jerrick, Ann Catania, Bob Brady, Laverne Lee-Tanner, Carol Tamburino and Gino Cortopassi (who played Christmas songs, and sang as well), Larry and Cindy Wanerman and so many more fun people.

Then we headed to Jaimi and Ron Blackburn’s house for their annual holiday gathering. It was nice to let down my hair and chitchat with friends. OK it’s off to the shopping mall for me to get some last minute Christmas gifts. Have happy and calm days leading up to next weeks holiday. What’s everyone doing for the New Years? I’m thinking about dining on the Moshulu and seeing the fireworks from there.

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Tina Fey, Lea Michelle, Will Smith Spotted In Philly

Happy Cyber Monday. What a great weekend, hope it was as terrific for you. I spent some time with family, friends and took in all the fantastic holiday fun in Philly. I saw so many ChitChat readers and really appreciate your support and you saying hi.

A lot of notable Philly area born folk returned home for the holiday last week. The Willow & Erys tour came to the Fillmore on Monday night, according to Nick Vadala at the Inquirer, dad Will Smith, 51, joined son Jaden, 21, onstage for a surprise performance of the 2017 single β€œIcon.” Later that evening the family checked into the Four Seasons hotel where they stayed until Friday. They spent Thanksgiving at his mother Carolyn’s home in Bryn Mawr.

A day after performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in NYC, Lea Michelle posted on her InstaStories she was enjoying family time at Dilworth Park and Christmas Village. (I mentioned it in my Instastories on Saturday as I attended my niece Ella’s skating party.)

On Saturday Lea tweeted out well wishes for folks spending time with their family, but this photo was actually taken on Friday. Here she is with her husband Zandy Reich, who was born in NE Philly and was a star Lacrosse player at Penn, with his mom and dad, Debbie and Richard (thanks to a reader who ID them for me, and a different reader Megan McHugh for the original tip.)

Speaking of celebrities and Philly:
On December 7, 2019
International celebrity makeup artist & photographer Jordan Liberty is coming to Philly for his first master class
Join pro makeup artist and photographer Jordan Liberty for his first-ever masterclass to benefit cancer research!Β 
This live makeup demonstration features tips and tricks directly from Jordan’s International Beauty Tour
Info on the class and tickets HERE

Mean Girls wrapped their run in Philly on Sunday. For nearly the entire run people would ask me did I think Tina Fey would drop in to see the show, and I would tell them I doubt it because that’s why she came in August to promote the show. I was wrong, Tina and her husband Jeff Richmond, caught the show Wednesday night at the Academy of Music. Tina watched the show in the sound booth, while my friend, Abby Wanger told me Jeff watched from the 2nd row. Abby said that Jeff sang every word, and bopped his head back and forth to all the tunes. I again reported this fun fact on my InstaStories last Friday, where my readers informed me that Richmond wasn’t just a supportive husband, but wrote the music for the Broadway stage adaptation of Mean Girls. How cool. This Thanksgiving, and every day I am so thankful for my readers who keep us all in the know.