Wooderice Holiday Soirée

Thank you to Wooderice for inviting me to your holiday soirée. The theme was ugly sweater or holiday pajamas! You know if you follow me I love a themed party. Any excuse to alter my wardrobe is a plus for me. So you know I got into the holiday spirit!

The soirée was at none other than Photo Pop Philly, one of Philadelphia’s premiere photo experience! I have been to all of the installations and so it was befitting to attend and get my holiday shine on! Now if you’re looking for me to release a bunch of my holiday shots you will have to wait as I use the shots to count down to Christmas. Little blogger fact, I wasn’t allowed to watch the Simpsons growing up. My parents weren’t having it. I saw this sweater online and that inner child said hit the button! Oh and if you’re wondering where you can grab it; go to my favorite store-Target! It’s on sale this week! I was able to grab it and pull up to the Drive Up and leave in a matter of minutes!

Wooderice is an online Blogizine. A mix of a magazine and a blog wrapped in one. They are to me much more. They are Philly’s need to know for any and everything. They have their ears to the ground from podcasts, hosting shows, and everything in between. Wooderice has a team of super dope individuals who collectively run the city and do a great job showcasing what the city has to offer!

Hometown Flare

Hector who is the Founder of Wooderice and I go back to Elementary school. Yup you heard it right! We are long time friends. Before I became an adult and we attended rival schools we were simply kids. Kids who didn’t have a full plan! We knew we were going to go to school and figure it out from there. With that in mind when I moved to Philadelphia I don’t think I realized he was here. We reconnected on Facebook and then I would see all of the Wooderice coming on my page. I immediately followed and whenever they would post I would repost. As I became a blogger and became more consistent our paths crossed. We wound up in the same arenas! Who would have thought it would even happen like it did!

Hector in 7th or 8th grade on his way to a class trip-sorry Hector I had to do it!

Hector is dedicated, particular, and a visionary. He sees what he wants and goes after it. His team is dope and they all work well. There has never been a time when I would see any of them representing the brand in an off putting way. Since I liked to observe and hang back at times often they had no clue who I was or my connection with Hector. They all have genuinely been super gracious.

Candid picture of the team as they get the shot

Hector and Wooderice continue to smash glass ceilings and are respected in and out of the city. They have had major projects such as working with Roc Nation and other major projects. When I say 2020 is going to be a movie for their team I mean it. Wooderice has everything to be proud of! I can’t wait to see what else they do!

Last night was amazing from getting amazing pictures, great vibes, great food-someone tell Wooderice to get me more banana pudding ASAP, to just celebrating; I left tipsy and grateful! Grateful to not just know of Hector and what he is doing but know him well. To see him grow up and accomplish big things and remain humble is absolutely beautiful! To the whole team: keep grinding! Y’all killing it and thank you for letting me see you shine!

I always post Wooderice on my page. So if you have been wondering why now you know! I always support the home team! You need to follow Wooderice and sign up for their emails! If you live in Philadelphia and you seem to feel you always miss the dope events-your follow game isn’t as strong as you think. Follow Wooderice for all things Philly and beyond!

Pictured is Hector and I

And if you want amazing photos especially holiday shots run and grab them at Photo Pop Philly! You should know by now they have more than 30 Instagram installations and for their holiday themes it features more than just Christmas. They have Kwanzaa and Hanukkah as well.

Santa’s Speakeasy: Philadelphia Neighborhood Christmas Trolley Tour

Oh what fun can be had when you mix “holiday cheer” in the form of adult drinks, an amazing artist like Jeremy Adam, a guitar, fun adults, and a rockin’ trolley into one fun night! You get a boozy Christmas caroling night of fun and memories! The tour is given be Founding Footsteps! They are a premiere trolley tour that specializes in historic tours that also feature beer, music, and lots of fun! I was impressed by the owner, Tim McAleer who not only has a passion for his tours but in addition has given back to our own communities.

I can’t tell you the last time I took a boozy holiday tour on a trolley! I think this was my first time. I loved it! I never even knew that Santa had a speakeasy but I’m sure glad I know now! Santa’s Speakeasy is located above Philly Gourmet Steaks on 114 Market Street! Oh it’s beautifully decorated for the season. The drinks are amazing!! Shout out to Ploughman Cider! Their ciders are so tasty. I enjoyed it and you know I’m a beer and cider girl! Also their Bluebird is refreshing with hints or peach! I also enjoyed and had pleasure of tasting the Bird Gang by The Larimer!

I enjoyed also a mulled cider that was mixed with spiked rum!

The tours do various stops we happened to stop at Smedley Street as well as Miracle on 13th street. Both locations will leave you breathless as you take in the sights. Both are easily Instagrammable as well!

Look at the awe:


We definitely had fun caroling! It was amazing! Nothing gets adults singing like drinks! We started the drinks at the Santa’s Speakeasy and even brought some of our own since the tours are BYOB! This allows for fun times and even more fun if you choose to take a family. They limit drinks to beer and wine but it’s still a good time. No one was drunk but everyone had fun!

If you want to see some singing go to my Instagram and check out my stories as well as the highlights of Santa Trolley Tour!! You will love it!

The Founding Footsteps Tour is sold out for December but you can still get tickets for January. Don’t wait though! Tickets are flying out the door! The experience and fun is worth it!

Shout out to the local artist who came together to put Santa’s Speakeasy in the Christmas spirit: Lauren Lopez, Doug Woods, and Teresa Haag!

We received a Gritty ornament-this is now on my tree blessing with some Philly love

Thank you Founding Footsteps, Santa’s Speakeasy, Ploughman Cider, The Larimer, Brandon Szeker, the local artist featured above, and Philly Influencer Mixer!!

Pictured with Philly food blogger, Pauline of Get the Bread; check her out!

Monday Motivation: Switch it Up

Schedules and consistency is a great thing! Not being able to move unless you are on a schedule isn’t. In this life the ability to adjust is what makes those appear stronger not those who have the best resources. Some people get stuck. They don’t ever change because the fear of change is real! You need change in your life.

I had a situation where I was confronted with change and going with the flow was the only way for me to push through. Had I been stuck in my stays it would have left a bad taste to those around me. It’s one thing to not like a plan. It’s another not being able to adapt because a plan deviates from what you are used to! I love plans. I thrive with plans but I also have to be able to deal with life’s blows one situation at a time! So adjusting is a life skill that many lack!!!

Switch things up! You don’t have to do the same things all the time. Go a different route home. Get up at a different time. Eat something different. Do things differently some times. Don’t be so rigid. You can become super stagnant living in comfort. There’s always something new outside of your comfort level! That’s the one thing or I should say one of the things that I learned in blogging. You have to do what’s best for you but you also have to come out of a comfort zone!! Don’t stay stuck claiming you want something new when the newness can’t come in your comfort zone!

This Monday be about your routine but realize you might have to reinvent yourself. You may have to try something different so you can stop getting stuck with the same results that you’re not happy with! Push but switch it up!

Sonesta Philly: Staycation Goals

I love trips. They are so rewarding, relaxing, and worth the time. We make so many plans to take trips from the city that we forget the gems in our back yard and that’s where Sonesta Philadelphia comes in. There’s something special to stay within your own city but I would advise not just going to any hotel. Go where you are made to feel like you’ve taken a flight but keep the sentiments of your city.

I knew this staycation was off to a good start when I checked in. I love red as it’s my favorite colors. As biased as I am you can’t help but see the stunning

Here are my personal reasons for a staycation:

  • I’ve had a lot of movement at home. My twin has major brain surgery a few months ago and I’ve been her caretaker along with my niece. To say that I’ve been overwhelmed is an understatement.
  • The holidays has me on high alert. Between making memories and shopping for my family has been crazy. Shout out to the stores who have that drive up and keep moving option!
  • Rest has been far and few in-between I just wanted to relax

Sonesta has the perfect staycation spot here in Philadelphia. Located in Center City it’s the perfect location to everything that Philadelphia is made of. If it wasn’t for being so tired I would have explored but instead I decided to keep it inside and take in all that Sonesta has to offer. Let’s go inside and show you the high elements!

Bedroom Goals

Now I have the same size bed at home but it doesn’t sleep the same once you add the cat, 3 and kids who like to climb in and out as a moments notice you don’t get the same sleep. Sonesta’s room has that modern feel that is clean and comfy. Take it from a bust blogger and mom I slept like a queen!! I even woke up at my normal 5am thinking I had overslept! That speaks volumes. It’s something about being cared for that allows your sleep to be that wonderful.

When I checked in I had ZERO issues and as I observed from other patrons Sonesta makes checking in seamless! Not one time did I have to assert myself. Staff on hand was attentive even though it was a crowd upstairs having an event. From the start I was asked how can we make your stay better!! They made me feel like it was true.

Surprise Cassatt Room

So as a blogger I literally work from anywhere. I’ve always stated that I can be super creative in great spaces. Even when I’m home I make sure my creative space is super clean and organized. It’s very seldom I can do any work in clutter! I was pleasantly surprised when I realized my room was cojurned to Cassatt Room. It’s stunning and talk about having space to be creative!!!

This is a great meeting space. It’s open, artistic, and modern. Who couldn’t get through a to do list in this much style? I wasn’t expecting it but it was a great addition to my stay. The Cassatt room makes for a great space to have a small meeting among coworkers if you’re traveling and staying at the Sonesta together. Having the ability to separate privacy of a room with a convenience of this room makes for an upgraded business trip.

One thing I love about a staycation is the ability to decompress. If you follow me you know I am like a wine connoisseur. I love wine of all kinds. No better place to have wine dreams than the Art Bar. I know the name comes from the fact that they have amazing local artist works that is not only stationed there but in the lobby as well. They rotate the art so you can catch the essence of the city from the view of local artist. You know I’m all about supporting local artist!

Art Bar

Travelers and locals fill the Art Bar alike. It’s a great place to unwind as well as have a classy turn up. All walks of life sit in the Art Bar and enjoy their favorite beverage. The staff doesn’t disappoint. They made sure my request were fulfilled and even even I had dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse they allowed me to take it over with me. Oh and they have a great selection of wines that’s for sure!

I elected to keep it simple with an amazing Chardonnay.

The Art Bar is known for their “food is art” mantra so if you are not as hungry you can elect for quick bites along with your beverages! They also have a great to go menu perfect for early morning coffees and sandwiches!

Bathroom Goals

Growing up I was taught that a kitchen and bathrooms the the first places you check when you visit someone. When at a hotel the bathroom can make or break an experience. I check behind toilets etc to see how attentive the staff are. If they check and clean the hidden areas you’re in good hands-Sonesta passed my test! The bathroom is completely sleek and modern! I loved how the shampoo, conditioner, and shower gel is in the shower inside of a dispensary. It takes the ability to have just those little sample sizes so you can actually get a good amount to use. Go to my Instagram to see my live tour in the highlight labeled as Sonesta!

Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse

This was my first time eating here. I’ve seen it, passed by it, but never stopped. Not sure why to be honest but they are joined to the hotel and I was glad I could cross it off of my to eat list! Let me tell you that they would have gotten a lower review but they turned it around for me and let me tell you why! Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse y’all made my night!

Wine goals for sure

Every restaurant has busy nights. Sometimes restaurants are so busy that they forget about the customer! I was almost a bit irritated because we put in our order and it seemed to be distance in between the courses. However the same care they took in getting us seated, was the same care they took in recognizing and being proactive in their slowness. Before I could even say anything our waiter made sure to acknowledge that the kitchen was behind and complimented me and my husband with a glass of wine. Let me say I hadn’t even finished the first glass!

The food was worthy of the high accolades I’ve heard. The food was hot my entire time eating and I wasn’t eating fast. Each bite was good. I was impressed!

My husbands portion:

Lobster Mac and cheese

Shrimp and steak

Here was my portion

Barbecued Shrimp and mashed potatoes

Sweet potato casserole


Praline bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream

I needed rest after eating but not before I stopped by at the Art Bar for more wine!

Workout Anyone?

Now I didn’t work out my Husband did but look at the workout facility! 24 hour access and space enough to get the job done!

Look at this artwork:

The Holiday Spirit

Sonesta didn’t just decorate the lobby;

On the floor I stayed on they had beautifully placed trees!

I took a trip on the 2nd floor where they host events! Beautiful trees as well.

I think I counted 10 trees and I know I missed a few!

Oh how sad it was for me to check out! I really felt like I had escaped! It wasn’t until I got back to the lobby that I remembered where I was! All good things had to come to an end. You need to have this experience! You need to not think it selfish to feed your soul with the things that matter.

To me it was Sonesta taking care of my quiet time. It was Art Bar making sure my favorite wines filled my cup! It was a great meal at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. It was shutting the world out and realigning myself. A break is only as good as the location you take and Sonesta has my highest stamp of approval!

Back home I have more energy to do what I do! I can push through the holidays with grace! I’m less frazzled and less stressed. This experience meant the world to me! Thank you Sonesta for making my downtime the gift that keeps on giving!

Book your stay at Sonesta now! Trust me you won’t be disappointed! You can save 15% if you book 2 nights! A save is a save and the amount you put out won’t be enough for how you feel after your stay!

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.


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.


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!!

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


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!