There are a few advantages of very, very chilly nights like last night. First, I parked on the street in front of the BelMar Center and didn’t pay the parking fee (I tried; the machine wasn’t working) and didn’t get a ticket. For once. I have terrible parking karma during warmer weather, but even the meter readers stay home when it’s 5 degrees outside. Second, the crowds were a bit thin at the Crave Party yesterday but everyone seemed to stick around for quite a while, and they all seemed to be in a festive and chatty mood. Then again, sticking around a holiday shopping trunk show for a longer period of time can easily leave you with more packages — and less money — then you may have intended. I spent the entire evening at BelMar, sitting at a booth with my book publisher peddling my book and other recently published offerings. After zipping downstairs for oversized takeout burritos from Chama (mine was smothered in delicious green chili and white cheddar, and stuffed to bursting with zesty grilled chicken), we took turns looking aroud at the many different booths. I had a quickie manicure from the Vito Pini salon, which at $6 — half off the $12 martini-and-a-manicure promotional special as my growing baby bump made it obvious that I should skip the martini — was an incredible deal. I bought a totally adorable onesie for baby-to-be; instead of “Been There, Done That,” the phrase this teensy tee sports is “Been Nowhere, Done Nothin’.” (Cute, no?) I bought “Drama Queen” soap and “Sugar Vanilla” and “Taboo” scented candles from a Vail company called UnVail, mint-chocolate malt balls from a small chocolatier (hey, I’m hormonal, I need my chocolate), and I found the coolest vintage beaded earrings from local jewelry designer Sam Hayes. I dropped by the booth for She She Boutique and perused her wares; designer Crystal Sharp was on hand and we made plans for me to bring by my fab red velvet scarf — bought from her store three seasons ago and still a holiday fave — for a seam repair. She offered the free repair along with a cup of hot tea and a girlie gossip session. That’s my kind of customer service. And though I didn’t buy one yet, I did pick out my perfect baby/diaper bag from Amy Michelle. In the end, I spent more money than I made, for sure. But I now have a small start on my holiday shopping, a few fun trinkets for myself, a slew of good ideas and a handful of new friends and contacts. Not a bad way to spend a frigid night.