Parx Casino: You and Me Christmas Tour LeAnn Rimes

So I love LeAnn Rimes. I think her voice is amazing and just watching her evolve as an artist has been really amazing to see. Last night I got the opportunity to see her at her Christmas concert and I just loved it.

First let me thank Parx Casino for inviting me and allowing me the hospitality. Some of the best attentive staff. They take great care with their patrons.

Oliveto

This is an Italian restaurant located inside Parx Casino! I’m talking about fresh breads, Italian sausages, fresh pasta-the works. I enjoyed my time and I must say that Oliveto does an amazing job of making each patron feel special!

Also I love sparkling wine and they made sure my cup was full!!

Kalie Shorr

Kalie is an American country singer who started doing covers at the age of 13 years old on YouTube. Listen don’t knock any opportunity to do YouTube covers. Some of the most successful have used YouTube as an amazing platform! She bursted on the scenes in 2016 with her hit “Fight like a Girl!” She’s been names one to watch amongst other awards by country’s best.

What I loved most beyond what she’s accomplishing is that she’s humble. I listened to her tell her story about her single mom and how she didn’t have much but they had love. You can hear her sincerity when she talks about her humble beginnings. It resonated with me being a product of a single mom myself. I was able to meet her last night and talk to her. She’s beautiful, down to Earth, and I just love her vibe! Oh and she can sang! I spelled or correctly. It’s one thing to be able to sing and another to sang! She sang!

LeAnn Rimes

Thank you LeAnn for putting on one amazing show! She let it be known that she had gotten sick and even that morning she has no voice. Growing up in church it was common for singers to say they were sick. It’s like a prerequisite in case your voice isn’t as strong. Now her sick voice is amazing. My mom is a choir director and I and my family sings-her sick voice is really good.

The concert was changed a bit to accommodate. It was peaceful, beautiful, and brilliant. LeAnn please incorporate more of the set like Philadelphia received in the future shows! Oh and I know it was a Christmas tour but the whole time I’m sitting there like please sing “How do I Live.” And guess what? She sang it! Oh I was over the moon. She also sang “Can’t Fight the Moonlight!” So yes I was over the top happy. Let me say LeAnn is stunning!! That white she wore was amazing!! LeAnn’s musical reach is to all types of crowds. I sat in front of some older ladies who kept me laughing. They were on their feet the entire time. We had the best conversation. I love speaking to seasoned women because they have the best stories to tell. If you ever have a question on life talk to a seasoned woman she will tell you real and won’t sugar coat it like a girlfriend might!

Thank you Parx Casino and Aversa PR for the invite. Thank you Kalie and absolutely thank you LeAnn for a magical Christmas night. Thank you for reminding us to look at our blessings, love ourselves more, and extend love to others!!!!

Also for a snippets of the concert, go to my Instagram stories! I am not one for posting full concerts but you can hear the amazing voices of the evening!

Remember if you love to gamble and want to go to a state of the arts location, Parx Casino is the place to be. They have the best full size restaurants as well as the amazing Sportsbook lounge!

Christmas at Craft Hall

Sooooo it’s not often that my own kids have been to a location that I haven’t but last night at Craft Hall they showed me up. If you never been there let me tell you it’s a cozy spot for a great night out with a boo, friends, or a great play date spot for friends with kids. Craft Hall pulled out all the stops for the holidays!

Massive Seating Areas

This is a very open space restaurant and beer distillery. I was really shocked. It didn’t looked as if it would be as big as it is but I was wrong.

You don’t have to feel like you’re walking on others to get around. A great space to hold a corporate party of some sorts. This is like an old school feel especially in the play area of which my kids love the most.

This is me looking back from the lobby. Again the spacing here is amazing. With open spaces they decorated nicely and didn’t feel the need to go overboard with each spot keeping the cozy feel to it!

It’s Santa

Who doesn’t love Santa? I know I do and I’m grown! We were greeted last night by Santa and my kids eyes just beamed! That’s what it’s really about the Christmas spirit!

And you know I love taking pictures with all so I asked Santa if I was on the nice list-he let me know I am so with that I’m going to 2 step it all the way through the season! I even got a candy cane too! Hey adult kids need love too!!

Let’s Play

My kids said hi to everyone they saw and kindly let me know I didn’t need to escort them to the play area because they knew where they were headed. Don’t worry I hovered right over the looking area to be sure. I was shook at the fact that there’s a video game area, a playing area, a bar for the adults located in the play area (on behalf of all parents thank you Craft Hall) and an area for sitting. Do you know how many times kids just want to take bites and run? Well now they can!!

Craft Hall that right there pushes you to the top of my must go list! It’s everything I need in one place. Tire the kids out and let them release all that energy. FYI my kids were out in 10 minutes at bedtime for the win!! I think the combination of food and play did them in!!

While the children played

It was time for the adults to have a little tour of where the magic happens to give us the amazing beers they had on tap. Let me also mention they have great selections of wines and cocktails too!! While touring we could see live action of the beer being made!

Christmas Tree Lighting

Well what’s Christmas without a tree? They had one of the biggest trees I’ve seen all season. You know I’ve been to quite few events just this week! I was blown away. Even with me standing on the top of the steps the tree still towered me. Let me also mention they have several trees located throughout the restaurant!

Holiday without Food what’s that?

Craft Hall made sure they covered everyone’s taste points with amazing food!

Deviled eggs

Chicken Wings

Cheese Boards

There were also tuna melts, hush puppies with a spicy sauce, pizza, cheeseburgers, panini sandwiches, etc. Enough food to feed everyone and than some.

Desserts

Yesterday was national cookie day and all day I wanted just one cookie to celebrate and I got my chance!

They also had an assortment of the pretzels cookie that wowed me from first bite!

The only regret I have is that I’ve left the house and forgot to grab one for my run around today! They are THAT good!

Other Craft Hall News:

They will have Santa in Sundays for you to take selfies with during 10-2pm. Santa will also pass our candy canes as we walks around! There are opportunities to make an ornament as well as story times etc. Be on the lookout for Crafty the Craft Hall Elf!! And for the adults happy hour just got better with holiday themed drinks, $5 bites, and $10 mainstay pitchers!

Let’s Brunch

Did you know they have brunch? Yess! I did but I didn’t realize how nice it is. With a brunch item you can get bottomless mimosas for $20!!! So not if but when you see me just smile and wave because I will be all into my mimosa while I eat. They have food from their menus that include vegan and vegetarian options as well as gluten free for the win!!

Last night I had the beat time. Even on events where I can bring my kids I usually opt out. This was a great event for the whole family and it allowed me to relax. I was the most relaxed at an event with my kids and I loved it!

Sooo yes everything about Craft Hall is a yes for me and my entire family yes! I will definitely be back!!! This is an entire 2 thumbs up!!

Evil Genius: “Santa I know him” A Christmas Dream

I had the opportunity to attend the Evil Genius Christmas trimming and premiere of their new brew; “Santa I know him!” It was a magical night.

“Santa I know him!”

First everyone I know for a fact at this point should know that outside of the Grinch who Stole Christmas the original, Elf is my favorite Christmas movie. I could watch this movie about several times a day as if I never seen it. Evil Genius is one of my favorite bars to attend as it’s just one of those spots that has amazing beers and the staff is hands down wonderful. That says a lot as I attend many events in the city and it’s rare to be able to go to a location for events and for personal reasons and have the same flow. Evil Genius is my go to for a good turn up to an evening of decompressing!

Cookie Decorating

When you’re putting a Christmas tree together and decorating one of the best things to do is to make and decorate cookies. It’s like cookies and Christmas go together. I was happy to see that Evil Genius kept the tradition going allowing party goers the same nostalgia. Here is my masterpiece. Call me vain but I had fun!

Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Of course it goes without saying that there’s no Christmas without a Christmas tree. Evil Genius had the most beautiful tree trimming tonight. I love big beautiful trees and the tree is literally located inside of the bar. This is definitely not your Charlie Brown tree. Look at this beauty!

I felt like the biggest adult kid that ever was! Cookies, food, drinks, a Christmas tree, and fun!

You have to love businesses who take the holidays to another level. Everyone had a great time! Not a frown could be found.

Oh and how did the actual “Santa I Know Him” taste? Absolutely amazing! A Saison brewed with rose hips, chamomile, black currants and dark Belgian candi syrup. At 7.2%, this one will keep you warm on those cold winter nights! It’s delightful!!! Like buy a 12 pack delightful!! And your friends who love beer this as a gift type good.

Oh and what’s more fun than a night of drinks with friends?

Pictured left to right; Noel, Cherryl, and Elle

So add “Santa I Know him” to the top of the list of holiday drinks to share. It’s a great way to open the door for great conversation as well as the ability to jump into holiday flare in the only way possible-beer first!!

Also join Evil Genius on this Weekend for a tree of your own! It’s never too late to get into the holiday spirit!!

Santa can bring me a cold one any day!!

2019 Christmas Village

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas..everywhere you go and that includes Christmas Village!! Oh the sights you will see, the food you will eat, the drinks, the nostalgia, and most importantly the culture and memories you will make!!

I took a trip to my now 3rd year to Christmas Village and even in the rain and cold I had a blast of a life time!! Let’s recap and get you ready!

Mulled Wine Please

It’s no secret that I love wine! I like to think of it as my super power or even just simply a reward for mulling through my day. However nothing is better than mulled wine on a cold night. Christmas Village not only has mulled wine but they have variety of mulled wine!!! Having options is the name of the game!

Hot Chocolate Please

I don’t discriminate against chocolate so of course I had a warm cup. Keep in mind although mine wasn’t spiked this particular time or if it was the mulled wine didn’t allow me to pay close attention you can have your hot chocolate spiked as well! Nothing is better than hot spiked chocolate. For those who would rather pass on the alcohol you can have it with whipped cream or marshmallows or both!

Here’s Phillyfoodgal with her hot chocolate

So on our first stop of the media tour we stopped at the Present!

One of the first things you notice that’s different than last year is the colors. If it could be possible it’s brighter and more vivid with hints of green when it’s dormant! See my Instagram to see it change colors! The Present is a gift from Philadelphia Parks and Recreation! Just like last year the Present also serves as a reminder to give to others. You can support Philadelphia Parks and Recreation by visiting and donating $10 right inside of the Present. Your donation will go towards either the organization to help with green spacing or to Project Home to help end homelessness!

You will also with that donation be able to control the lighting of the Present for 30 seconds!

You can’t miss the Present!!! Trust me!

You got to love the I Love Philly Display!

Feeling Hungry?

You know there’s nothing better than good food! Christmas Village brings the German culture to life at the Grill!

Options! Look at the options! Bratwurst, Schnitzels, Kartoffelpuffer aka potato pancakes, Spätzle aka egg noodles, etc are at your disposal! Served nice and hot you won’t be disappointed!

Bratwurst and sauerkraut

Potato pancakes and applesauce

Thirsty?

After you eat you may be thirsty. Grab a beer at the Alms! You will be met with variety!

Raclette Cheese

The Christmas Village favorite hasn’t disappeared it’s tucked inside of the Alms next to the Grill! This will help get longer lines through easily. It’s such a favorite part and everyone knows why. Hot gooey cheese on fresh bread is like the grown up grilled cheese. This year you can have it topped with prosciutto or salami.

To see the cheese in action go to my Instagram page and see all of the behind scenes videos under PhilaChristmas highlights!

There is plenty of seating available to take a break from all of your shopping and drinking!

Bacon Jams

I’m going to highlight a few of the shops. Bacon Jams is a favorite at the Christmas Village. Spoonable bacon jam is the gift you didn’t know you needed. It makes an amazing gift to a foodie! As with most things in life it comes in varieties and sizes that not only fits your budget and tastebuds!

John and Kiras Chocolate

These special handmade chocolates are a real beauty to see. They taste even better. You can get them in flavors that you hadn’t even dreamed of! A sea of chocolate awaits you! If you can’t get to the market, you can order online!

Torch Bearer Sauces

So you like it hot? Try your luck at Torch Bearer Sauces. From the small tickle in your throat to the point of asking for water you have your sauces at every level. These sauces make for great dips or even marinades or just a chill day of chips and dip!

German Strudel

I love a good strudel! Not like the commercial grocery store that comes frozen with a frozen sauce, German Strudel is fresh and packed with flavor!

Tranquility Please

Park and Madison makes their debut in the market this year! Candles and scents is what we stopped at next. As soon as you walk in the hut the aromatherapy fills you. It was almost as if it wasn’t cold and raining. These candles are made of soy and so they last longer. They also have diffusers, room sprays, and essential oils!

Mikes Hot Honey

I love visiting. First last year when I did the media tour my throat had a slight tickle. One taste of the hot honey and I was literally cured. The sweet honey mixed with the hot sauce is really something you have to try. This sauce can be put on just about anything! If you’re unable to attend the Christmas market don’t worry you can get your honey in a lot of sizing from packers to jugs! Order online here!

Eagles Pro Shop

I know it may be too soon especially after that devastating lost to Miami this past Sunday but making its debut to the Christmas Market is the Pro Shop. You can get your official Eagles gear and holiday flare. From ornaments to socks to stockings to jerseys you are covered. As a die hard fan you are going to want to be prepared for all things Eagles why not get it here?

So from some great walking, shopping, drinks, and eating Christmas Village will help you take a little break and help you create memories! In the meantime enjoy this snippet but take your family out and enjoy it yourself. Make it a day and enjoy some ice skating near by or the new Ferris wheel that I will be experiencing next week! Until then thank you Philadelphia Christmas Market for such an amazing time and experience! Thank you Aversa PR!

Pictured are me friends Elle and Cherryl

Also don’t forget about Santa and other special appearances. Log into the website to follow the schedule. Don’t wait until the last minute Christmas Village will be here until Christmas Eve located at 1501 John F. Kennedy Blvd!

Monday Motivation: Let’s Clean House

I really can’t believe it! We literally are in the last few weeks of the whole year left. As many are preparing for Christmas the reality is above that is the New Year!!! What?!

I know I get that just the mere acknowledgment of the end of the year sounds crazy. However it doesn’t change its reality. My oldest was in my room where I have my vision board and she reminded me how most of my items listed I had actually accomplished. That not only made me feel good but it made me feel even more amazing that my daughter was the one who pointed it out to me. Now with the last few weeks to go I don’t plan to just celebrate the holidays, I want to start shifting into my what’s next! What do I want to do now? Where do I want to go and what will it take to get there?

You don’t have to wait for 2020 to start shifting towards new set of goals. And….there is zero shame in saying that there are some goals that haven’t come to fruition. You can pick them up and add them back onto your radar!! Everyday is a day of new beginnings. So I take each day and attempt to make it better than my next!!

Time is going super fast. It’s not waiting for anyone! So it’s time to position ourselves around the right crowds and have the right folks on the team!

Let’s clean house!

Here’s a listing of a few people you don’t need in your life as you clean house and you absolutely should always be about cleaning your house at all times:

Contentious Folks

Please for the sake of mental and emotional peace cut out contentious folks out of your life. They are super draining! They are life suckers and they don’t mean you well. It’s something about someone who argues just to argue. A spirit of disagreement is just unnecessary. If you’re not an attorney and you’re not being paid to argue it’s not necessary to literally be combative with your word choices daily for no reason! I have a few friends who are like this who I must say I’ve withdrawn from because there is no space in my life to hold them! I can’t entertain people who argue about the smallest of things.

Doubting Dawn

No disrespect to any Dawns but it’s irritating to dream and work towards that dream to only have a few folks that always have the notion to doubt your existence. “Why you?” “You ain’t nobody!” These type of folks are super motivating for sure but to have them on your team day in and day out just for the sake of having them in your life is really not where you thrive! Stop telling these folks your move. To be honest they really don’t have your best interest in mind they are waiting to see you fall. So let they need to either be eliminated or kept at bay. Change the seating of your life. Front row seating need to be reserved! They aren’t the ones who pay top dollar. They are the ones who got in because they know someone and don’t plan on helping to promote you. Leave them in the dust!

Why not Me Whitley

It’s one thing to believe that someone is living your dream AND you are working and putting in the work to get there but when you have that someone who just wants to reap the rewards; leave them behind. These types of folks are actually hard to spot. They usually play their position of support for years. They are the ones that shoot in the gym with you but after you get called and their names are simply in the background the real them peaks. They are cool with your success AS LONG as they can either tag along or use your name to build their own agendas!!

You need to clean house. The type of cleaning where you move and dust off a few things to reveal true cleanliness! You are going to have to clean house and clean it often! People shift life flour and your longevity with someone can’t be the only sustaining power of a relationship. Not only that your growth has to come from growing up. With that maturity comes discernment!

Happy Monday and hopefully happy thinking, cleaning, and clearing!

Breast Cancer Awareness Is Not Just for October

I have since the existence of my blog made sure to talk about the realness of life and not just about pretty pics and filters! Life throws many curve balls. One of those life altering changes hit me a few weeks ago when I found a large lump in my breast. It scared me. Is shook me to my core. I am a woman and a mother-what would happen if my diagnosis came back to speak of the unthinkable?!

Recently I had pain in my right breast. The type of pain that would linger. With breast cancer being extremely prevalent in my family it scared me. Instead of ignoring it I called my doctor. I had found a lump and it wasn’t decreasing in size. The pain and the lump sent me into over drive. Watching my mother’s journey with breast cancer and two friends currently fighting, I knew I had to be my own advocate.

When I went to the doctors they told me to just watch it. Not only did I not listen to them but I got a new doctor. No health care professional that knows your family history, and know you’re in pain should encourage a wait and see. Breast cancer for the most part can be preventable if caught early. Often times mammograms are an easy way to detect an issue and should be done once you hit the age 45 or even as early as 40 if you don’t have a history. My mother and grandmother both had it so there’s no question that I should be screened regularly. The last mammogram I had was 2 years ago and I had to come back because even then I had a lump that they had to monitor closely.

So about a few days before Thanksgiving I went to have a mammogram that blessingly I was able to obtain the results of before I left. I had been cleared. A number of factors I watched and often times I watched my caffeine intact and chocolate which by the way I don’t consume. I knew whatever was going down it wasn’t based on those factors. I’m so happy to report that the lump I had went down and wasn’t detected on the mammogram. The worse wait of my life. As I sat in the radiology department holding onto that locker key I kept saying “whatever happens give me strength.”

As a mom of 3 I have been vigilant to be clear about being transparent to my young kids and mostly my oldest about her feminine health. Would I have to be a walking testament like my mom was?

Ladies it’s your right to know what is happening with your body? Fellas it’s a duty to encourage and support the women in your life to be there for the women in your life so that they can tested and ready for all that life brings them.

Breast cancer awareness is not something you throw a bunch of pink and do a Warrior walk to-you have to also be sure that you live it. You get checked, you see about your health and you encourage the women around you to do the same!!!!!

Thanksgiving Message 2019

You should know I’ll give you a Thanksgiving holiday run down tomorrow after I have a full day with my family. Until then I want to take the time to simply be grateful!

I get that often times we make Thanksgiving too cliche but at the end of the day being about gratefulness is not an issue no matter how the day is titled! I would rather wake up in continued daily gratitude over negativity any day!! I’m grateful for being on this Earth and having the opportunity to be there for my family. A little known fact is that I am the Mom who loves to dote on her family. I love making memories with them. Nothing means more to me more than them.

I’m grateful for the ability to do what I love. Blogging is a passion. Blogging is an outlet. Blogging is about stretching out and being vulnerable. Being a lifestyle blogger, I find for me talking about events only doesn’t cut. I am always making sure I mention the vulnerability of what life brings. Not just the good but the difficult challenges that someone thinks they are alone in when in reality we are all connected. We all have felt rejected, upset, down, and less than our perfect self. These are the moment I include. Life isn’t packaged in a bow it can be messy, awkward, and dissatisfying.

I’m grateful for the loved ones who past on in my family that I even had a few moments with them. I want to send love to my family as this is the first year without our Aunt Teenie!

I’m grateful for all of you who rock with me. It’s not something I take for granted at all!

Spend some time today being clear on your why!!! What are you grateful for? What brings you joy? Who is apart of that smile you wear? What makes you flourish? Be grateful for that and continue the walk of becoming better versions of yourself!