Topping It Off for 2018!

Making my New Year’s Eve outfit extra-special with some magnificent millinery AND trying to breath new life into my usual “Auld Lang Syne” traditions.


That’s how I’d describe my typical New Year’s Eve. At least over the past decade, but it’s probably not what you’re thinking. Especially if you’re taking GANGBUSTERS positively. Sure, yes, it’s a success, but barely.

My night usually goes something like this…

After hosting Deco Drive, I jump OFF the set and INTO a Channel 7 live truck, where I’m whisked away to the biggest party in Miami. I know, I know, it sounds kind of glamorous, but it’s sooooo NOT. At some point during our hurried drive, we hit cra-cra traffic and that’s when the nail-biting nightmare begins.

My heart races, my palms sweat and my mind goes through a million trouble-shooting scenarios. Not because I’m nervous to be on TV; it’s about what goes along with it…

Getting timely interviews, writing a comprehensive story about the night’s revelries and dealing with the boozers — who love giving mom a shout-out or yelling obscenities at me — while I’m on live TV (don’t be THAT person 😂).

Even worse, the journalism part has to happen BEFORE 10 o’clock.

Okay, okay, so I know what you’re thinking: if I get off the set at 8pm (when Deco’s over) and head to the party, it seems do-able. Challenging, but do-able.

The problem? Traffic, crowd congestion, DUI checks, finding the other crew who are set up and waiting for me. Tick tock, tick tock…

One year, I landed in front of the camera ONE minute before I was supposed to be on. My story wasn’t done and I was panting from running a few blocks to get to my crew (obviously before my bad knee situation. Although, honestly, when it comes to live TV, you run despite a bad knee).

It was a disaster, but it’s live television and the show must go on. In fact, it always goes on, with or without you. I had some props (squeaky toys and some confetti) so I made due and for my next live-shot was able to string together something resembling a story.


Around 11:30 p.m., the news ENDS and the crew packs up (we call it break down) and we’re left deciding exactly “what” to do.

If I’m working with a photographer who has a family or significant other, usually he or she is motivated to make it home before the New Year countdown, but more often than not, we find ourselves stuck in traffic or just not physically able to wiggle our way out of the situation we’re already in.

And just like that, sitting in a nondescript news vehicle somewhere alongside I-95 or Biscayne Boulevard, the clock unceremoniously turns midnight. Uh, Happy New Year?

Listen, I’m not belly-aching (okay, maybe I am just a little,) it’s what I signed up for. You know, the whole journalist thing. You move away from home, work on holiday’s, early in the morning, late at night, on weekends, you travel more than a 747 and sometimes, you spend New Years Eve at the last place in the world you wanna be. I’ve made my peace with it so don’t feel sorry for me.

The good news is…

As I get older and have more seniority, I get SOME holidays off, but man, I always have wicked bad luck with New Years Eve. Last year, I actually spent it on a plane. Don’t ask. I tried doing a silent NYE countdown in my head, but the guy next to me was so busy telling me about his new rap video and how I should put it on Deco Drive, I couldn’t concentrate. Uh, Happy New Year?

This year, though…

The holiday falls on the weekend AND I happen to be OFF or at least my bosses haven’t told me I’m working (yet) and I’m not about to ask (don’t worry, they don’t read my blog. Hi, Tom! Hi, Geoff!)

In celebration, I’ve been planning like a mad “hatter.”

Caviar for everyone! Send a case of champagne to the station and don’t forget that all-important outfit so you can “Party Like It’s 1999” or in this case, 2018.

Am I over-doing it? Well, maybe the Caviar and champagne part, but as far as what I’m wearing? I’ll be “Topping It Off for 2018” because…

I want more than just a dress, more than just sparkly earrings, I want pizzaz, originality and of course, a special night off! That’s why I enlisted the help of Featherheart Designs by Dannielle Kukar; a skilled milliner, who knows how to take fashion to the next level with her fancy fascinators and sophisticated hats.

When I ask her why a woman should “Top It Off for 2018,” she coyly says: “It gives an outfit that special oomph; besides, you never forget a person in a hat.” And, I totally agree and believe you me, I don’t like fuss. I like ease and elegance and that’s exactly what her creations are. They slip on just as easy as they slip off. (BTW, You place a fascinator and you wear a hat.)

Dannielle, who’s a trained graphic artist, understands shapes, lines and composition. She started making fascinators as an outlet to get away from her computer. Now, if you dream it, she custom makes it. “I just follow the muse,” she says and she does so with the highest quality silks and materials. She also has pieces “ready to wear.”

This New Year’s Eve, I’m also dreaming of a sultry atmosphere with an Art Deco flair like the National Hotel (pictured in the blog.) I’m reminiscing, laughing and singing a new kind of “Auld Lang Syne” — one that’s far away from the time crunch of live television.

Even, if, for just one night…

Don’t miss Deco Drive at 7:30 & 11:30 p.m. as we “Top It Off for 2018” with Featherheart Designs by Dannielle. From how to wear a fascinator to fabulous hat trends, we’re showing off gorgeously glamorous headgear, because a fashionable and Happy New Year is one of my Favorite Things. Cheers!

For more fashion photos visit

Shop Dannielle’s creations at

Be Social:
FB: @featherheartmillinery
IG: @featherheartdesigns

Shot on location at the uber glamorous …
National Hotel
1677 Collins Avenue
Miami Beach, Florida 33139

Wanna spend News Years Eve at the National?
click here for info:

National Hotel Reservations: 305-532-2311

FB: @NationalHotel
IG: @nationalhotelmiami
Twitter: @NationalMiami

“Hats are about emotion. It’s all about how it makes you feel. I like hats that make the heart beat faster.”
— Philip Treacy

James Woodley Photography
All fascinators by Featherheart Designs by Dannielle
shot on location at National Hotel
Styled by Jackie Kay
Hair & Make-up: Odett Hernandez
Digital Editor: Jessie Neft-Swinger
Editor: Matthew “Hat’s All, Folks” Auerbach

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