Piazaa Pod Park: Summer Oasis

Unless you’re a boring person you are going to absolutely love the new Piazza Pod Park. Between the more than 12 food and drink vendors, workout ventures, and regular entertainment; what’s not to love?

Also you have to come and meet BeBot a new 33 feet tall standing robot designed by Andrea Greenlees. BeBot is super amazing to behold by adults and kids alike.

Keep in mind the Piazza Pod Park is fenced in and my mommy brain loved that. I still wouldn’t let the kids roam too far from me but that gave me an extra confidence knowing that outside of time with friends, I would have them! Also for my nursing moms you don’t have to be uncomfortable either. There are nursing pods available! That’s a double win!! Nursing moms can now get out and enjoy some fresh air and fun too!

For the kids there is Tildies Toy Box. Tildies is a toy store located right inside so if you can’t load the kids on fun foods or water ice, you can grab them something to help calm them so you can continue your Summer fun!

As far as foods and drinks are concerned there should be no concern. There is something for everyone and I truly mean it! All of the Summer feels are included. I had some amazing vegan French toast bites by none other than Lokal Artisan Foods. You should already know they are hands down the only French toast bites I will eat. I smile every time I see them. They have vegan, regular, and they even serve them with bacon for those who want it. Oh and their lemonade is A1! Make sure you grab some!

So let me break down a few other vendors for you:

Empanada Box

Who doesn’t love an amazing empanada? You can now add them to your list of go tos while you’re at the Piazza Pod Park!

Check out the menu:

For your water ice needs and it will come from all of the heat, look no further than Mama Maria’s Italian Ice which serves some of your well known staples like cherry but pushed it up with the Philly Special!

For my island inspired eaters there is Tiki Tako! They have some of the most amazing drinks including their pineapple drinks straight from fresh pineapples! Their tacos, take a look for yourself:

My sister enjoyed this chicken taco

For bagels and sandwiches there is Spread Bagelry. Amazing selections and the hummus du jour definitely stood out to me! Since Piazza is open at 7am daily this could be your new breakfast or anytime spot!

And then there was a Lil Sum Sum where you can enjoy a matcha smoothie or chicken Siu Mai! They have an assortment of Dim Sum even some for the vegetarians!

So wait no drinks? Come on now!! I tried to give you the food options so you could then walk like a boss to some amazing drink specials!!

Let’s start with Craft Cocktail and Craft Beer Concepts by Blume. Blume is the new spot that I attended with the Butterfly on the windows! They have expanded and now have two spots at the Piazza Pod Park! So the Craft Cocktails is where you can get your soon to be new favorites like the Slushey Jawn or the new infamous adult sippy bags!

Convenient to hold, walk, and sip but takes you back to being a kid with a much better upgrade

I love wine! I also love an amazing frosé. What’s better than both options on tap to walk around and have in the Summer?! Thanks to Urban Village Brewing they have a friend in me. I stopped by them twice! The frosé was purely good and the customer service was over amazing! When you see people enjoying what they love it shows. Do not just stop by, go twice!

Now for those who have friends or family who are like my husband in the sense that he dislikes sitting outside eating and drinking there is an air conditioning pod that allows you to sit and drink and be comfortable! So not even he can make an excuse not to go. Oh and there is complimentary parking too. So what’s the excuse?! There is none and can’t be none!!

Round out your time and be sure to stop at Essen Bakery! Between sweet treats and an amazing cold brew you will not be disappointed!!

I know what you’re thinking? This sounds too good to be true?! However it is real and it opens this Saturday in Northern Liberties!

Here are the offerings for the public opening this Saturday:

It opens at 7am their normal hours but the grand opening activities won’t start until 10am! Fit Academy will have work out demos from 11am-2pm! 11am-4pm will be a bounce house for the kids-prime time to tire the little ones out. City Rhythm will provide live entertainment from noon-4pm! There will be local DJs from 4-8! Let me take the moment to shout out DJ Jason Weiss who played every song I had not heard in some time! It helped me move between eateries and I had an amazing time!

Also for those who want to bring their pups, there is an adjacent dog park and plenty of cool water for them as well! Just make sure they have leashes and be courteous to other dogs and dog parents alike!

The Piazza Pod Park is located at 1075 Germantown Avenue!

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Monday Motivation: It’s Not That Easy

Nothing in life will be. Everything comes from a place of working hard. I’m amazed at the two extremes that people use the term “it’s not that easy.”

People use it’s not that easy when they want to highlight their accomplishments. It’s true when you work your behind off the last thing you need is someone coming with the discredit. It’s humiliating to be honest to put energy and backing into something only to have someone who by the way doesn’t like you to discredit your efforts. I would say often times it’s the ones that closest to you or those you let your guard down the most with. The ones you might have shared a dream or conversation about a dream with. They know that you’re not qualified but they don’t see your passions working behind the scene. None of which, can stop you unless your fuel needs to come from pats on your back! If that is the case you’re going to burn out fast. People’s attention span aren’t strong enough to hold all of your accolades in their forefront until your winning season pushes through. When winning season comes people become like magnets and want to meet up, link up, and talk. Always remember the times you couldn’t even get them to answer an email, a call, or smoke screen. That doesn’t mean be brand new it just means don’t rush to meet them so they can drink off of your success!

The other time people use it’s not easy is when they want to discredit their own ability to push through a difficult situation and usually about trauma or hardship. Example, “it’s not that easy to walk away.” When in reality it may not be but the consequences of staying is greater than the stagnant of staying. This could be staying in a relationship, bad job, not attending or finishing school, starting a dream job or passion. It applies to you when you are pulling at available and readily available excuses. You can make more excuses than a little bit! End it today. You can have zero knowledge about a dream but wake up and feel that dream on your mind. You know you have to walk in it but don’t let fear of rejection, intimidation, or acceptance stop you!

Nothing in life will just fall into line without proper backing of energy that has to come from inside of you. Whatever you are after this week go and grab it. Work hard for it! Push through! Be consistent! Manage your emotions and those around you! Say no a few times. No is a small but powerful word that successful people learn to use! Put a wedge in-between those who sit and listen to your dreams in hopes to deter you from working hard. If the people you speak to don’t encourage and in addition have zero resources to assist, why are you speaking to them? What can they do?

You got this! You can crush it! You can win! Work smarter not harder! Push through even when it’s difficult, hard, or makes you feel like you’re not going to win-you will!!

Monday Motivation: Light a Fire

Light a fire today. Never let others control your outcome. We do too much complaining about things that aren’t right and not enough making moves. You don’t like your job? Light a fire……under you. Not the job! Get a new one. Have a plan. When you tired it shows in your actions. You light a fire and make things happen.

heart shaped candle

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

You don’t like your weight? Light a fire. Don’t sit around talking bad to yourself. Get up and use that idle time to work out. I used to work out to Khloe Kardashian’s “Revenge Body.”  This was after dropping weight. Sometimes I would listen with my ear phones on but it motivated me to move more. It motivated to see the reasons why I gained the weight and work on the inside out. I no longer sit talking about my arms is getting big, I light the fire and work on them. If my thigh or any other part of my body is bothering me I get to work on them.

You don’t like your relationship? Work on you actively and in addition suggest couples counseling while you get personal counseling. He/she unwilling to attend, you have your answer. Faith without works is dead you can’t simply pray good behavior into another individual. Either love is worth fighting for the right way or it has to be set aside. I fail to believe that all this living to be done is meant to be spent arguing and being miserable with an individual who doesn’t mean you well.

firetwo8

I know the number one issue with lighting a fire is depression. That is why things like bad jobs, weight, relationships, and goals seem hard to achieve because you have allowed your mindset to take over. Your mind has made a nest of negativity and you don’t have the mental strength to move. Well your first light of fire needs to be a certified counselor or therapist. It will be hard. I hate when people paint happy pictures of people attending therapy. But all that bad has to come out. Often times you leave hurt. You leave empty. Its a process, but one that is worth the journey. What do you have to lose? Everything-like a fire!

Whatever you need today, light a fire. Get up off of your do nothing and take a few steps. Make a few calls. Send out a few hundred resumes but get the fire started. Every day you should be doing something to ignite fire in your life and in your soul. So light up the gifts inside of you, work on you, and make life happen. The only excuse you have is you. So stop making them. Get back into life and light a fire in your soul to make life beautiful!

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” by Kate Tarker; Directed by Dominique Serrand

This is a story about family dysfunction and personal trauma. With that being said let me go ahead and give a small disclaimer that some may find some of the scenes to be off base and hurtful. The play although it discusses serious topics does it in a way using humor as a way to help with self- reflection. The “same muscle used to cry is the same to help you laugh.”  It’s about a family of shepherds who live in the suburbs of Corinth learns that their adopted son Oedipus has become the King of Thebes.  The winds and turns that the story takes the audience  is definitely one for all to see.

Taking one part Greek mythology and snatching stories from current events, this production is definite at the top of must see. I laughed so hard. I know there were parts that were serious and I caught it but I laughed. It wasn’t about making light of personal trauma but seeing the audience get uncomfortable was a good thing. Sometimes we need to get uncomfortable about the events in our past that we shove under a rug, disregard, or even dismiss. From the did it happen to was it my fault are all real emotions that are explored in this play. I loved that instead of being direct it was overt in a way that you couldn’t miss the theme but you had to ask questions and pay attention.  It is also about dealing with your personal demons. The ones we want to blame others (gods). The things that we take part in, allow, are OUR fault. Self-reflection is a personal job. You can damage those around you by reckless behavior.  Be willing not only to accept but change it.

play bill

One of the best part of the night was listening to others talk about what they were seeing during intermission. I love to hear other people’s perception. Most people got it. I also loved how towards the end they had a chat with the actual actors. It was refreshing to hear their take on what they performed. I think a lot of plays should include these types of talks. This production was heavy at points but light enough not to feel burdened when you leave. The actors answered all the questions that we had. I also loved how they didn’t sugar coat the difficult parts even when one patron was so moved to leave. It’s okay to disagree. Everyone’s take isn’t going to mesh with another all the time. However the vibe was completely respectful and we can take a cue in our lives especially on social media in that regard.

bar

So my overall take is please go and see this. It will make for a wonderful evening. Be ready to think, reflect, and laugh. This was my first time at Wilma Theatre and its visually stunning. It has all that you need. A full café, bar, and ample seating on the inside as well as seating on the outside. No need to stand around you can come get comfortable and enjoy the show. Staff was amazing from will call to the ushers. I had a pleasant time and I can’t wait to go back.

“Dionysus was Such a Nice Man” will be showing until May 12. Kudos to the Director, Dominique Serrand as well as the Writer, Kate Tarker. All of the actors outdid themselves. They definitely brought the vision to light. Thank you for the chat at the end as well as the pics. I wish not only this production but your future projects continued blessings!!!

play cast.jpg

To see the show for yourself, please use this link to do so.

For more information on future shows or any other information for Wilma Theatre

 

Still Vegan: An Update

So I am a little over a month as 100% vegan. I am still here. I am still kicking. I went and took dairy out of my diet for more than a year learning how to substitute products and finding some amazing finds. So when I decided to go 100% vegan it wasn’t a full shocked. I told my husband as soon as I could find some alternatives that didn’t allow me to be hungry and I felt like I could dedicate myself to it I would and I did. I went cold turkey.  So how as the adjustment been? Let me tell you:

Push Back

In my immediate family I get zero push back. For 2 years I have always altered my food so it wasn’t anything noticeable until I took the meat out. My son was happy that meant he felt the need to eat my portion until I stopped that. They have been supportive. They love to tell their friends that I don’t eat meat like I am some type of alien. I had a playdate for my youngest and the child was vegan. They was able to see someone their age doing it and not feeling as if she has lost anything. She talked to them about cakes and cookies and how her dad alters it so she can still enjoy those things. I showed them vegan approved candy and how at the end of the day being vegan isn’t a life sentence. From outsiders I always get the stare like why?  My why is simple people don’t realize that I have had my gall bladder removed and was supposed to watch what I eat. I didn’t.  This was over 10 years ago and not once did I change my diet. I ate fatty foods and didn’t care. When I first lost weight all I did was watch the portions which helped I am sure but my liver wasn’t able to process the fat  in most of the foods I still ate. I was in constant pain but I looked great. I wanted my insides to match my outsides so after talking to my doctor I went vegan.  Since then my body functions like it has never done in all aspects. My belly feels amazing.

I still cook regular food for my family. I try to make it healthier but they are not vegan and have no desire to do so. My family still like what they like. I don’t try to stop them. I may portion control them but not eliminate too many options. I do slip in vegan snacks for my kids outside of the normal french fry. They have no clue but they enjoy it.

Choices

Non shameful plug here, but So Delicious is my go to.  I have a dance that I do when I see it in the store. Imagine Beyoncé popping every time I am in the refrigerator or freezer aisle. My kids just say oh lord mommy and her products. I have been happily using them for quite some time.  From their non dairy ice-cream and yogurt to their non dairy milks and non dairy cheese, I do not miss out on having these items and my stomach doesn’t have to do the most to break it down. I love them. I have to do a lot of work to get them. Sometimes I can go to my local Shoprite but often times Whole Foods will have a better selection.  Surprisingly Target can be a great place to go. I am sure Wal-Mart has them I just don’t go there much these days anymore. Also I take weekly trips to Produce Junction where I can get fresh produce.  I do my veggie and fruit hauls and from that as I learn new recipes Produce Junction always has what I need. I also make sure I grab my fresh weekly flower bouquets.

Snacks

I love snacks like the next person. I love humus, pretzels, fruit, non dairy yogurt, acai bowls, and granola and dried fruit. I love that I keep a lot of these options on demand.  This way when its time to snack I can. Portion control is still a major have to. You can still overeat with anything. Being vegans doesn’t take out portion control in the least bit.

Meal Prep

I still meal prep for my family on their items and I do the same for me. I prepare roasted veggies to always have them ready to add to my meal. This week I had some fun learning how to prepare eggplant. Made some amazing eggplant parmesan with non dairy cheese. It was so delicious. I also belong to some amazing vegan groups as they share their recipes I love doing them and having such colorful plates and choices. I never like quinoa but that is something that I love to eat with roasted veggies and some avocado as a great meal on its own.

Beyoncé and Veganism

When Beyoncé put out the call for people for folks to go vegan in hopes for folks to win lifetime concerts folks was lining up. I said to myself if I would go vegan for tickets I could go vegan for myself and be healthier. I am not doing more for someone else that i am not willing to do for my own health and sanity. Beyonce went vegan as many learned and even took sugar and alcohol to prepare for her Beychella event last year. Kudos to her. I am enjoying going vegan but I need a dip of sugar as well as my occasional alcohol.

Vegan and Socializing

I do a lot of restaurant reviews. I have yet to have an issue. Just like when I go out with my family or friends I always check out the menu before I go so I can be prepared. I make sure that I am educated on what they offer and try to know what I want before I go. When I visit my parents I cook my food and take it with me. It hasn’t been an issue. Preparation helps to succumb any potential issues. None of my friends has had an issue with me altering things. I may go out-of-town, I know what I need to do to ensure my dietary needs are met. I am going to a wedding next month, the bride has made sure there are options for me. I am good.

Bacon

Bacon has been the only thing I missed. I made some bacon the other day for the family and the smell alone made me want to backslide but I didn’t.  I am aware that there are some brands that sell non bacon bacon but I have yet to have it.  I may consider giving it a try. However even as strong as bacon is to my heart, I will not consider it.

Vegan and the Holidays

Unless I put in an order from Go Vegan, I plan to go to a restaurant for Easter that I have already scouted out its selections. I can go to other people’s houses and just make my own food to be honest. There are so many recipes for vegan soul food that are delicious. So the holidays do not pose a threat to my eating habits at all.

If there is something you want to do that you feel is going to improve your health and you speak to your doctor to be sure its safe, I say walk in it. Do it! I surround myself with what I need to eat successfully. I make sure that I do what I feel I need to eat what I need. I think my body is finally in a peaceful and healthy eating relationship with food. I am not on a vegan diet. I am living a vegan lifestyle.

Vegan Fests

I look forward to going to at least 3 vegan festivals this Summer. I didn’t even know they existed. I can’t wait to align with more in the community or vegans in Philadelphia and surrounding areas. If you know of any more send them my way!

 

On the Move: Crunchik’n Style

Shout out to #travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch buddies as we take you behind the scenes to local eateries. Again as a lifestyle blogger you are going to want to know the places to either get out, have new places to grab food with bae, your girls or even the fam bam. I enjoy getting around Philadelphia and yesterday’s spot was brought to us to by Crunchik’n.

Tuna bowl served with rice, lettuce, salsa, Japchae noodles and a dumpling

Crunchik’n is a Korean flare restaurant. It’s amazing food at great prices that is made fresh to order and it tastes amazing. From their homemade dumplings to their marinated sauces each bite is special. We caught up with Jen who is part owner with her father, John Choi. She stressed that the goal was to make quality food that was made on the premises and that the sauces made was fermented and marinated to give the meat their fresh, unique taste. I think they hit a slam dunk. The selections are so good that even if you didn’t want to sit and eat you could order their half or whole chicken cut up and make dinner at home special too. Oh and if you’re wondering they are on Caviar for delivery as well.

Kimchi cheese fries

Since I’m vegan let me tell you that they had amazing vegetarian dishes that I was able to veganize. I didn’t leave hungry in the least bit. My suggestion is that this is a causal dining experience, good for all types since although they don’t have a specific kids menu, kids of all ages would love the chicken and other offerings. We even had some kids along and I heard a few to all ask for seconds. This is a great spot to gather friends as well or makes a causal date night or date day location.

Beef and vegetarian taco I personally had the vegetarian and it was amazing to keep it vegan I had mine without the sour cream and it was still full of flavor

Crunchik’n has been open for a little over a month. This means you need to get in and show them a little love. For new guests who go you will also receive a gift! Who doesn’t love gifts?

Beef dumplings on the right and the veggie dumplings on the left was made with kale and spinach. The veggie dumplings were super good!

So if you love Korean style food that is fresh, high quality, and served by awesome accommodating staff, make sure you add Crunchik’n to the top of your lists of go tos. You will not be disappointed!!!

Korean fried chicken can come in 8 house-made marinated sauces

They serve tacos, rice bowls, sandwiches, dumplings, Korean fried chicken and even small bites! What’s not to love?!

Spicy pork melt sandwich

The drinks are good too!! They have arrangements from Bubble Teas to fresh Sparkling Ade…

Strawberry lemonade and grapefruit

Mango and Matcha Green Bubble Tea

One last thing:

Crunch Balls which comes with either rice or potato and either beef or vegetarian

The hours are as follows:

Thank you to Termini Brothers Bakery

I’ve been on a tour of sorts of Philadelphia. As much as I absolutely love hoping on the road or taking a flight out of the city, sometimes you can find the best treasures in your own backyard. Termini Brothers Bakery is in its 98th year. Following the family traditions they still bake the old-fashioned way. I have never heard of them before. Before someone comes for me, I have only been in the city for 8 years this month!  So I am constantly learning daily. With that in mind I was happy to tour the facilities.  I also of course indulged and took some treats home for the kids.

To see the longevity that is the Termini Brothers Bakery that is being passed down the family line and even with technology advancing seeing how they keep the tradition of fresh baking going, you don’t see that too often these days.

Thank you to Mr. Termini himself for giving us an amazing tour into the decorating room that is usually off-limits and the picture as well. Every last member of the team was gracious and gave us that family feel.  You all are amazing. I will definitely will be back!

Their main location is at 1523 S. 8th Street but they have 3 other locations in Philadelphia: Packer Park Shopping Center, Reading Terminal, and Main Shops at the Comcast Center.

If you are looking for a mainstay bakery that is fresh and absolutely delicious try out Termini

Hours:

Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

(Holiday Hours Vary)

OPEN
Thanksgiving 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Memorial Day 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Fourth of July 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Labor Day 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

CLOSED
Christmas Day
New Year’s Day

Also follow them on Instagram Facebook Twitter

 

I love being serenaded upon entry!!