Harrietts Book Store

 People say that book stores are no longer necessary due to eBooks, E-readers, etc. Content a lot of it anyway can be found online. I beg to differ. I was told the same thing when I started blogging. I was told it was a completely saturated field and people only wanted to influence aka be online and take pictures. Thank goodness Jeannine didn’t listen the naysayers.

Comfort place

Bookstores are my number one place that I personally go to get centered, get some quiet, have peace, sometimes create, and to unwind from stress. Its always been my number one go to growing up. If I said I needed to go to my retreat a lot of close family and friends knew I was headed to the bookstore where I would spend literally hours just escaping and having the time of my life. I have always been an avid reader. I was in my car and I saw a post about Harriett’s Bookstore. I was shocked. There was a new and even Black woman owned bookstore in Philadelphia and I wasn’t aware of it? The sheer excitement came over me. I immediately contacted Jeannine so I could come and interview her and check out the space.

My firsts impression was that it’s a beautifully aesthetic. The vibe is absolutely perfect. Jeannine greeted me with a smile, incense burning, quiet, and breathtaking. I felt at home, loved, and honored just to walk into the store. When I tell you how much peace is felt I can’t describe it. Its like being at a family member’s home who you trust who also makes the best comfort food. What I love about it is you are surrounded by books and artist who are women. Women who may or may not have a large following but are dedicated to their craft. Jeannine wanted to give space to the underdogs. One of the best ways you can support women is by giving them space to be the artist that they are. Support by buying their pieces.  Support by rallying behind them and that is exactly what Jeannine is doing.

Why Harrietts?!

I asked her why the name Harriett. She let me know that she spells the traditional Harriet with two T’s. It is to honor Harriet Tubman. As a child she felt drawn to her spirit.  When she was younger her and her sisters did a resurrection of the ancestors as a piece and she choose Harriet Tubman. Jeannine is an educator as well as a writer and a creative. She wrote a piece from the perspective of what Harriet Tubman would be saying if she was whispering in her ear, “It’s me they follow, it’s me they follow.” This piece also was taken, and an artist made it into an interpretive dance almost 10 years ago. Harriet Tubman took Courage in stepping out and helping to free slaves and Jeannine is using the same courage to step out and do what others said she couldn’t, open a book store and make it a community hub.

She recalls writing an email to her sister complaining about this idea of a book store and her sister resent her an email that she had sent with the same complaint. It was like a gut punch to the chest. Here she was in the same space with this burning idea and she had not brought it to fruition. Ideas never die. They simply wait for you to breath life into them. Jeannine knew what she had to do but how could she remain fiscally responsible being a single mother and leap into her dream? “Once you commit to a dream nothing can stop it” and that’s what Jeannine did.

Local artist Ivy the Vine

Courage

We see the things that Harriet Tubman did. Did that mean she did them without fear? No. Courage is walking in the face of fear knowing that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to see something through. Interesting enough Jeannine mother is blind. She grew up in times where her mother would either have limited sight or no sight at all yet in still, she traveled the world and took care of others. Do you not see the strength that Jeannine comes from? Oh, and if that isn’t enough to just channel the spirit of Harriet, Jeannine’s mother parent name was Courage. It all ties into who she is and what she is becoming. That sent chills up my spine and let me tell you why. When you walk in your purpose, things will align just like that even if a hurdle or two comes up. The ancestors are walking with Jeannine. There is no bigger figure in history that exudes courage like Harriet. She could have saved a few and no one would have judged her, but she took this courage knowing it could cost her life and she trekked on. 

One of the most important things that has carried Jeannine is discernment. She has it and it helped her along the way. Its been principle when people even in love told her that this was a silly idea. Silly in theory to go against practicability vs responsibility. To start something that others deemed would be a lost in profit along the way, yet she sold out of books just from opening her doors and hasn’t even had the Grand Opening which is scheduled for February 1st. Her goals are to not only have a book store but to be a community hub. She has made sure she puts a dog treat bowl out. Makes sure its always warm and welcoming. She’s even working with Swarthmore to have teachers come and set up a children’s room so that young kids can experience an open the conversation about activism and community involvement early on.  

Crossing the list

Jeannine was super nervous about crossing this milestone that was year in the making. From taking this idea from inception, complaint and sitting it down to picking it back up and turning it into what is Harrietts. 

If we could learn something from Jeannine is that not all ideas are safe. Stepping out in courage like Harriet Tubman doesevoke the love of courage-while supporting women activist and authors as they continue their own journey of success is going to keep Harrietts here for quite some time.

Harrietts is open daily from 10-6:00pm. How we can support is come in and purchase a new book from amazing authors. Support by taking space here and coming in droves to bring others in.

Thank you Jeannine and I appreciate your extensive collection-I also made my own purchase Toni Morrison’s Home! I plan to finish this as I travel at the end of the month.

Feel free to also come and be at the Grand Opening on February 1, 2020!

Follow Harrietts on Instagram!

Mayor Kenney Thank You Concert

I had the honor of attending the Thank You Concert. I walked in with no expectations and left knowing I had a good time. I posted on my personal Facebook page how I needed more friends who were 50 plus because they know how to party. I went with friends were well below that marker but at the event my lovely 50 plus crowd put it down.

Now I know it would come off as if I am singling the 50 plus crowd, but I am not. If you ever want to get your life go to a party, wedding, event with some 50-year-old and older and if the DJ is worth anything you will not be seated.  That is the experience I had last night. The dancing was nonstop, and I mean it. The party for a Monday felt like it was the weekend all wrapped into one. I got the best sleep of my life once I got home.

Hate him or love him, Mayor Kenney is here for his second term. Let me hit you with the stats of what Mayor Kenney has done so far.  I will give you the stats of what means the most to me for sure.

Soda Tax- although extremely critical it has provided families the opportunity to have Pre-K free for many of Philadelphia’s kids. I know it helped my family when we signed our youngest child knowing it was free was an unsuspecting win for us.  My face when I got that zero-balance bill since we had been paying for her first year was a true blessing.

He also worked on rebuilding city facilities and created community schools. With, there is a LOT of work to be done. Like the increased gun violence that plagues the city, the schools getting cleaned up from all the asbestos that is being discovered and making it affordable for lower income to not only find housing but also being able to maintain them as well.

So, this even wasn’t a do I like Mayor Kenney or not event. It wasn’t a political play for me.  I am not endorsing him one way or another and especially not on the blog.  We all say a lot of things about politicians and some are right, and some are wrong.  I always feel we should be in the place to let our voices be heard and to hold any of our elected officials to a standard of ethics. You can’t do that at home gripping on social media. One thing I will say is that Mayor Kenney is about people. He won his newest term without really campaigning. That speaks volumes. He could have kept the celebrations for the higher ups,but he made sure that the citizens who voted him in were front and center at all the day’s events. Not many others would have done the same. 

Photo by Phillyfoodgal

The concert brought out some of the best of the best. I want to say how much I love seeing Ms. Patty Jackson from WDAS.  She has one of the sweetest spirits ever.  She also is the same no matter when you encounter her. She was the MC along with Jerry Blavat. I am not from Philly, so I wasn’t fully knowledgeable about Jerry but after one encounter of him I just love everything about his love of music. He is a show stopper. He reminds me of my grandfather who is over 80 that still sings and dances. I like to think that keeps both so young. I grew up around music my whole life and I love watching others who have the same passion for it! 

Also, who doesn’t love DJ Diamond Kutz. I have seen her do her thing in person many times and one thig is for sure-every single time she kills it. She had a great mix for the young and old. I don’t know the young ladies who were her dancers, nor do I know the young woman who lit that stage up on the line dancing, but anywhere either of them is, make sure I am with them.  Y’all did your thing! Also, the young group, WanMor was a treat. I had been following them on social media and I just love their melodies. Again, I must go back to my musically inclined family-they can sing and to see young men doing it like Boys II Men is always so refreshing.  It helps that they are also from their own musical family as their dad, Wanya Morris from Boys II Men has already led the way. I will say that although they have similar sound, they do come with their own drive and determination. I expect to see and hear more of them in the near future.

Again, let me preface that I am not from Philly and I can’t even begin to claim Philly as my husband who was born and raised from South Philly until I hit my 10-year mark. I hit that mark in one more year!! I enjoyed hearing Urban Guerilla Orchestra. They have an amazing old school sound with REAL music and REAL SANGING. I spelled sanging right! That is when you aren’t simply holding a tune, you are signing with some authority. I was blown away with their artistry.  

Last night was another opportunity for the residents of Philadelphia to come out have a great time and acknowledge what needs to be done and hopefully hold Mayor Kenney to doing just that. I wish Mayor Kenney many blessings as Philadelphia has an uphill battle. From the pot holes that need fixed, street cleaning, and of course the violence in the city his plate is full, and I hope to see the change we need to make Philadelphia safe and a place to call home for all of us!

As always thanks to Phillyfoodgal for the invite. Thanks to Siponwhat for the amazing laughs. Thanks to Mayor Kenney and all who helped put on a wonderful concert and full day of events as you start your second term. Thanks to all the performers; DJ Diamond Kutz, Jerry Blavat, Ms. Patty Jackson, WanMor, and Urban Guerilla Orchestra.  Thank you to staff and security at The Met. It was my first time and it was such a smooth entrance and exit. The staff made sure that I had a great time. Also, I was having one of my off nights (see my stories as I can explain it) and the staff came and made sure I didn’t miss a beat. Thank you again! I look forward to coming to more events soon!

Monday Motivation: Inner Stock

Sick of the New Year

I get it some folks hate hearing the whole Happy New Year. I get it. However, what’s more irritating is hearing people who put others down if they are known not to keep their “resolutions.” We know that stats show that by February 1st a lot of people have stopped going hard in their new goals. That is why February 1stis usually recommitment day to help you stay on task.

How you can help and not hinder?

This world is full of negativity. You have those who constantly put others down just because they feel they can. If you know of a few folks who start out strong for the New Year and fall off pointing out their failures surely isn’t going to help. Do you know that you making sure that others know about it says more about you than them?  What type of miserable person is doing so well that they have time to dwell on other failures? Think about it. If you are drinking your water in weight FYI, working out, meal planning, getting your body and mind right, loving yourself and others, getting your money, etc. when exactly do you have time to sit on a phone, in a group and put someone down? Who cares if someone is known to fall off the wagon when every person has had a setback or two in life including you?!

Do you not know that the person you put down because they seem to “always” start and stop a project will one day walk and follow it through? How do you know what is going on in a person’s life? As much as I share with my closest friends, they don’t know it all. You have zero clue in what a person is accomplishing. Even if that person falls a thousand and one times extend a level of grace you would to cover them secret spots that you trip on in style. I say trip in style because ofteneven the most successful have issues that they have grace to cover the areas most others can’t see. So, while you comment on what they could a, or would a, done; what are you doing? Where do you need grace?

Grace much

Let folks take the energy of the New Year and allow them to make something of it. A month of goal chasing is better than no goal chasing. A month of enlighten may lead to a habit being formed that will walk them out of the darkness you have time to shine the light on. I have been one of those ones who said this is my year who failed. However, one jewel of light shined on me and I was able to walk into greatness. I stopped the whole this is going to be my year and made it my year.

You cant be a person of positivity finding ways to put those around you down. The “he/she ain’t never gonna do” conversations must stop. That person is more than equipped to do what they need to do. You can identify someone by not counting them out. Also, what do you mirror that could be of help to them? What are you known for?  I started a few years ago to tune others out and work on the things I was known for. If it was bad or negative, I stopped being so upset at the identifier and started working on changing how I was seen. That doesn’t mean people who don’t have access to you wont lie, but if they truly have no access how are you entertaining it? I laugh sometimes when we say someone doesn’t have access to us and we know every drip of tea that happens in their lives. If you hear about it and tell others means that they don’t have access to you,but you don’t mind keeping your access to them open.

Listen to when people speak, they usually tell on themselves if you listen. There is no way someone you “ain’t worried about” keeps coming up. Live and let live. You know that is a policy you can speak and live by. It works try it! Be a blessing and not a stumbling block. If you don’t like a person say that and have an honest conversation with yourself instead of thinking you don’t and find ways to not allow people to stumble because they don’t stumble as gracefully as you secretly do. Everything that glitters isn’t gold and that applies to more than romantic relationships. While you trying to shine one side of your life’s coin make sure you dip that rusty side you neglect. 

Therefore, making your life about more personable is so necessary. This Monday lets talk stock in what we are doing and stop counting those riding on the energy of the New Year. They are going to catch it one day and flourish and you nor I will have any much to say about them.  We will be left to deal where we aren’t shinning. Let’s end this back and forth and really live our best lives!

I talked to a friend about this very thing over the weekend. People have choices and when it doesn’t affect us we shouldn’t dwell on them but offer ways to be there for them as they struggle their way out of it or even not offer any assistance when they don’t want it.

Join me as we all take stock of ourselves in how we carry ourselves, what we say and what we do!! Self journey is a complicated and necessary journey!

No short cuts in this Blogging Life

So, Hey Friday! It’s already Friday whew! Thank God! I mean I can’t complain about that. However, trying to continue moving in this week has been interesting. I was sick on New Year Eve night and it came on super sudden. I was planning on going to a friend’s party with the kids. However, a sinus infection took over my life. I looked like Rudolph and I barely made it to midnight. I had fallen asleep and had to be awaken by my family. Since we had no plans of being home shout out to my husband who knows how I love for my family to have New Year gear he stepped up to the plate. Not many options at 8pm New Year Eve night but there’s always a man on the corner hustling so he got the items from him. No shade to the hustler and my kids had a great time jumping around me as I sat miserable looking like I had a hangover when we toasted the New Year to sparking cider. 

Grind don’t stop

So now that we have been for some I would say “back to the grind” for the 2 days since I have made sure that my first quarter goals are set. I am working ahead on a few projects in the works and attempting to still get these sinuses together. If you ever had a sinus infection you already know my already big head feels like it’s going to fall over. SO, what are you working on?  What have you done so far in the 3 days? I know its like wait a minute its only been 3 days, but you must understand that most folks who are ambitious are already securing the bags and moving forward. So, don’t leave an opportunity behind or not go towards a goal. I am working on one that is taking everything in me to finish. Its one thing for someone to ask what’s your passion project and know they can help fund it and make it happen. Its overwhelming process. They say dream big and the dream scares you to put it onto paper and act on it. This is where I am and, in a week, or so I must complete. It sounds easy until you must take these plans from dreamworld to reality. 

What’s my biggest struggle?

Trying to formulate my words into an action plan. To say here is what I see my future life to be. This is my career and here’s the blueprint to make that happen. Its scary. To be honest it felt like the sinus infection came the second I started to put pen to paper and write. That is how I felt and that is what is happening. The pressure within only myself to see myself in the future tense feels debilitating. I don’t want to fail and to be honest it’s not fully focused on failure as much as it feels scary to ask. To say hey can you help me make this happen. It’s a leap of faith that even if I must tweak the plan is crazy to be in this position to ask. When I was that stay at home mom after being laid off, I was scared. I had the stability of my fiancé at the time who is my now husband. It felt great but I wanted more. I worked my whole life and being comfortable by just existing isn’t enough. Since than and 2 more kids later the dream inside of me to show my daughters that you can go after whatever you want is important to me. I want them to be proud of the moves I made instead of resenting them.  

Any Means Necessary

I remember the days when I would cry because it seemed as if I had a kid attached at the hip. When my kids got sick, we played rock, paper, scissors to see who would stay home. We always discussed what made more sense.  He had the stable job, but we needed him to save up for bigger emergencies. Because I had a 3-year break in employment even with a college degree and a strong resume I had to take temporary jobs to supplement. Its not a cake walk. You never know what people are working towards in their lives just because you see smiles in the pictures. I would do it all over again if it meant a stability for my kids. They are always in the forefront of my mind. I felt like such a failure at moments, but I knew it wouldn’t last long. Dreams come with hard work, tears, frustrations, and sometimes a desire to give up but don’t! I would love to say I started from the top and stayed but I really started from the bottom and I seek to stay grounded. I want to reach for the stars and keep my wits about me. I don’t take for granted any opportunities that come my way. I don’t forget the mornings I stayed awake after working a 3rdshift job to prevent paying daycare so the kids were taken care of. I would go from an event, wash my face, put on work clothes and work like I wasn’t just brushing elbows with the tops of the city. I was born from a mother who worked her butt off and a father who did the same. If any glow up is coming it’s not because it was handed to me. I worked hard and will continue to work hard for myself and my family.

How bad do you want it? If you want to it-go work for it and go, get it this year! I’m not going to water down that I get to travel and do what I do. Not with all the work I do and push behind the scenes. Work hard and enjoy it not work hard and be miserable still!

Oh and it’s Women Rock day! Tell a woman you know that they rock! To all my ladies please know you rock. You can take on it all and look like you never touched the fire. You can have whatever you want and balance it all too! Take time for yourself!

Stove and Tap

Stove and Tap has a new location and it’s an added flare to the restaurant industry. Located in Malvern PA with Justin Weathers and Executive Chef Joseph Monnich make magic.  It is set to open its doors officially on Thursday December 19, 2019 for dinner at 4:30pm. The VIP media preview set the tone for an amazing long run ahead. When I dine, I look for a few things.  I look for spacing, accessibility for families since I have one, menu offerings, drink selections, and overall flow of the venue.

Size Matters

Stove and Tap will hold up to 188 patrons in 7500 square feet. The spacing is amazing. You don’t have to feel as if you are sitting right on top of others around you.  For those who would have large parties it’s a great set up as well. I liked the openness in seeing your food being prepared. Stove and Tap have an amazing in-house smoker and wood fired oven. Everything tastes better in a smoker. Stove and Tap offers American classics with upscale comfort food. This weekend with their opening you can expect dinner to be served from 4:30-10:00pm. This is a great time to check it out due to the newness and a great place to decompress after all that holiday shopping.

Cocktails Anyone?

Let’s jump from sitting down to drinks.  I love my drinks. I love innovative drinks and spins on classics. I want them to be strong and not watered down. I want the full experience. I got it at Stove and Tap. Nothing like a margarita than having a pear margarita. This pear margarita was so good and smooth. It wasn’t overly sweet at all.  It was made to absolute perfection. I must also say that the bar staff is ready to mix it up. There were well over 80 people just in the bar area and I must give Stove and Tap an A+ on handling large crowds.

Look at the Blackberry Mojito:

You can never go wrong with the Maple Old Fashioned:

Don’t worry if cocktails aren’t your thing, you can also get amazing selection of wines, beers, and boozy shakes. Yes, you read correctly boozy shakes. Now if ever there was a time to adult, boozy shakes are that time. I personally can’t wait to go back and try one. 

Let’s Eat

Food is the biggest reason you go out to eat besides the experience. Tonight’s preview showcased their brisket, mac and brisket, shrimp cocktails, chicken wings, and crudité. They also had other options such as bacon wrapped shrimp and steak and potato skewers. Everyone I talked to had nothing but high raves. The food was hot and delicious. Its no wonder that Stove and Tap has taken the extra step in giving amazing comfort food. I for one love to indulge in comfort bites. In case you were wondering they do have entrees, small plates, large plates and something on the menu for everyone.

 

 

Bacon wrapped shrimp, Photo taken by Aversa PR

 

Steak and potato skewers, photo by Aversa PR

Brisket Mac and cheese

Chicken wings made the in-house smoker

Brisket so tender and juicy

Staff

People think that when you go to a media preview that the staff just goes out of their way to be extra nice. There is a slice of truth to that sentiment. However, I always go out of my way to interact with staff to see how the flow and temperament goes. Let me say that the staff have “we are a team” flow. For example, when they set the chicken wings out and there was no tong to pick it up one staff member went to retrieve it couldn’t find it and another staff in the middle of getting an order stepped in without attitude. As many people who were there it could have been “I’m too busy” approach. I also asked several questions and asked for accommodations with my food and not once did they take a long time to fix it or give an issue with my request. 

Kids in Tow

There were kids at the media preview. I saw staff attended to their needs as well. As a mom with 3 kids I need to know that staff are used to the unpredictably that having kids in tow brings. They do have a kid’s menu which offers veggies, fruit, French fries and cookies. If you ever been to the Bercy its very reminiscent of their kids’ menu which to this day my kids compare their menu to other kids’ menu at several restaurants and it doesn’t even come close. Kids get to have options that they are used to and filling meals just like the adults. 

You as a patron won’t attend Stove and Tap as media. Its my job to give you the eyes of a patron. I broke it down that you won’t be cramped while you eat. You’re going to eat amazing food while drinking the best drinks alcoholic or nonalcoholic. You are going to have a great time while there and have a full-onexperience whether in conversation, watching their large screen televisions, bringing the kids, or making it an adult only time. 

Speaking of adults only make sure you go to at least one Tappy Hour. Yes, the Tappy Hour is weekdays from 4:30-6:30 and Saturday and Sunday from 3:00-6:00 with great drink and food specials. This way everyone can experience a little Tappy Hour fun!

I can’t wait for the Spring because a beer garden is coming. You know how I feel about a good beer garden. The location is so convenient that I can have family and friends from my hometown meet in the middle and have a great time as I think ahead. So, make sure you take a pic with the Stove and Tap taxidermy beer. I for one gave him a few kisses!!!! 

Thanks to Stove and Tap and Aversa PR or the invite. Trust me I will be in the building. I can’t wait to try some more offerings in the future. It’s a pleasant addition to the Main Line. Stove and Tap is located at 245 Lancaster Avenue! Let me know how you like it when you go. Trust me the cozy feel is going to bring you back! Thanks to my girl Akira for attending with me!! Oh the pure fun we had!!

Next visit is definitely so I can be sure to include a Brookie!

Christmas Debate: What’s Overspending for the Holidays?

When I was growing up I used to make comments about how much someone spent for the holidays.  If I thought it was too much it was a problem.  If I thought it was too little it was an issue. Since having children of my own I have come to this resolution-spend what you want as long as the days after the holidays your bills are still paid, money is in the bank, and you aren’t borrowing. Even if you are it’s your choice to do so. This whole debacle on who sets the limits on the holidays is getting out of hand. People are spending hours online with strangers arguing on who sets the limits. You do realize the one who sets the limits is the one who makes the coin to contribute. I remember having an event a few years and just merely letting the other party know that at the end of the day I make the rules who plans to spend the coin. It’s simple. 

Spend it all?

Does that mean that I need to spend it all up? No I don’t as a rule of thumb. I budget and only spend what is necessary to get the job done. I know that my kids will get from others so I don’t go trying to overspend. For me we get them 5 gifts a piece and stocking stuffers because when they are home for Christmas break we make sure they do fun activities instead of being on tablets or watching television the whole time. It’s a plan that has worked for us. Sometimes in the earlier years we did a gift here or there more but the 5 work for us.  As they get older the number will go down. Why? As they get older their items will cost more. It’s the way it works. A doll in my house with the way I work coupons etc. I could spend at around 100 for each kid and come out balling on certain items. I might have spent like 40 for a toy that they really wanted and I really had to overthink spending that. I have become more of a saver and the thrill of coming under my goal makes me happy. I spent 400 last year for 7 kids for toys including clothes.  Those are the types of numbers I like to work with. 

Humble kids helps

My kids are humble and child-like. I could wrap up a coloring book and they would be happy. I have yet to see them smirk or give an attitude. I am blessed.  Some kids ask for phones and laptops to where my oldest is still asking for doll and doll houses. She’s 10 by the way. I know she wants a phone because all of her friends have one but to be honest, she doesn’t need it right now. We will and soon pull that trigger as she becomes more involved in out of school and in school activities having communication with her will be vital. Our plan is to take that phone like we do her tablet. She can’t have it during the school week unless at an event, and she can’t have it in her room overnight while she sleeps even on the weekend. This way we control it as much as we can. We have asked her why she wants a phone and her answers having been convincing us that she wants it for the right reasons. We are teaching her to move in her way that makes sense for her not for those around her. So for now she wants to play on Snapchat she can use my phone. She can unlock it with her face since we look alike. She always asks for permission etc. I want to teach her how to use it and monitor social media appropriately. Some might not agree with my hands on approach but I can only do what I feel is best and what I feel will have her in the less amount of danger. When she gets to the point that we are paying the bill and she’s still a kid we will be monitoring that phone like a hawk.

How much is too much?

How much a parent spends on their kids is up to them.  If they spend a thousand or a dollar its up to them.  I do not want to get into a debate about what is considered spoiling because we don’t know what the parents do to earn their living. If you have more to spend, spending 500 for each kid may not seem like a big issue compared to someone who all they have is 500 to spread. And yes I hear some saying I don’t care if I did have 500 to spend on each child I wouldn’t do it-its your choice as well. Choices come with no opinion stamp of approval necessary. Even if you take $500 and you look at what you can spend for a child, it isn’t that much money. An electronic takes up a third of that, a few outfits, some new shoes or sneakers and it’s not that hard to spend. I also do things like coupon during the year, taking the savings and using that towards the holidays. Some people do the same. Others shop all year long not just during the expensive holiday time and so even 10 or more gifts could have been extremely cheap. 

Who footing the bill?

My new mindset is as long as the parents who seem to spend more money on their kids aren’t asking me for loans or their lights etc. aren’t being shut off-more power to you. Life is hard enough than having to get others to agree with a decision that didn’t affect their pocketbook. I stand by those sentiments. We have no idea what people do to make things happen for their children. I am more interested in the parent who has the heart to purchase but can’t.  Those are the ones my heart goes for because I know how much it would hurt me if I couldn’t get my kids anything at all. It’s one thing to blame materialistic parents and another thing not to recognize that for a parent no greater joy during the holidays is seeing children open gifts. Even if those gifts aren’t the most expensive the joy comes in the thought behind the gift giving. So to the parents who are doing their best, keep in mind that there are some less fortunate. Do things for others this season. I was blessed to help two families this season, not for clout or recognition but because I want others to experience the joy of seeing their kids smile on Christmas day. If you agree with gift giving (as some do not) than make your budget what you see fit. Do what works for you without going into debt. Some we know will go into debt. They will forget what the season is all about. They will even in their own right overspend but you know what? It’s their choice to do so. So you won’t see me bash a parent for their choices. The debate stops at my bank account. If I am not financing it I have not right to make an opinion that merits much if I am not the one footing the bill.

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!!