SomoSoPhi

I had a wonderful time yesterday at SOMO South Philly. It’s a beautiful restaurant right in of course, South Philly that is within a short distance of all of the sports complexes. SOMO is a great place to grab some quick bites if you’re about to tailgate, have some amazing drinks with your friends, happy hour with co-workers, or you just want to get out with your family.

SOMO is the perfect spot to sit in a traditional restaurant style seating or sit on the second floor and eat patio style on a nice day and enjoy the scenery.

Somo is located at 3101 South 13th Street, Philadelphia PA 19148

Especially loved the see through kitchen so you can see your food being prepared

SOMO has two locations. The one in South Philly as well as Manayunk. SOMO is an upscale casual that combines elegance in their design with the casuality of their space and great and amazing food selections from their bar food to their sit down menu.  We were there yesterday which was Tuesday and it was “Taco Tuesdays.” Let me tell you that the tacos are something to talk about. I had the vegetarian and they were amazing. One of the things I look for even with being vegan is flavor. These tacos were simply wonderful from the first bite to the last.  I was impressed.

From left to right, vegetarian, mahi-mahi, and brisket tacos

My favorite the vegetarian taco with radishes, spinach, asparagus, and mushroom

Now when I go and preview a restaurant I look for a few things that I know my readers want to know:

  • Price
  • Hospitality
  • Convenience of location
  • Taste of Food

Price

Let’s face it we all want great food without sacrificing all of the coins to achieve it. SOMO prices are not going to break the bank. For instance I had my kids with me and I rarely do when doing these outings. The kids menu was $5.  Let me repeat that $5! So you’re getting premium food for your kids for less than you would spend at a fast food restaurant. As a mom that is right up my alley. Drinks were priced right around what you would expect and they didn’t skip on the alcohol or water it down in any way. The drinks were good and worth the price so don’t skip on it. Plus the happy hour has great prices on their drinks. Keep in mind if you are coming for happy hour make sure you enjoy them in the downstairs bar area for the pricing. Oh and ask for the pretzels!!

Bar Menu

Try the Sling Blade

Hospitality

I like to see how restaurants treat you before you identify who you are and why you are there. SOMO from the waitress/waiter to the manager were more than pleasant.  Everyone had smiles and everyone was welcoming. Since I had my children with me which let me say they were stellar in their behavior, staff was attentive to their needs as well. Devon is hands down an amazing manager who understands people and how they want to be treated. Kudos for SOMO for snagging him! I liked as I watched how they serviced others that they don’t do that weird hover over you as you try to eat. Not one time was my water-glass empty. They weren’t intrusive while I ate. They allowed other patrons to eat and yet they were there to assist in any way.

Convenience of Location

Again its right in the pathways of all of the sports complexes. So for me it’s like seeing Philly for real while you eat. You can’t beat that. If you know anything about Philadelphia you know we care and love our sports team. I was observing the people walking to the game and the Justin Timberlake concert and that energy alone is something that SOMO tapped into with the location. South Philly is the heart of Philadelphia and you feel that here. Do you like open air? I enjoyed the fact that it was nice enough for them to have all of the patio doors open. It was refreshing to see. I am an outdoor type eatery girl and my husband isn’t. Going back I can get the best of both worlds.

Few specials to think about: come and get drink specials, djs, etc.

Taco Tuesdays

Thirsty Thursdays

Daily Happy Hour 5-7pm

Taste of Food

I asked my children especially my son who loves his food how he thought the food was. He gave the immediate thumbs up. He isn’t a picky eater but he is particular about how he likes his food. When I didn’t hear him talking I knew SOMO did his food right. There was nothing but smiles from the entire table. Every dish was amazing.  I know you will find something for everyone. I am vegan I didn’t leave hungry by any means. They do not have a vegan menu but they allowed me to tweak my order to fit and it was still great. Thank you for the great experience.

Charred Brussel sprouts, with parmesan cheese. I removed the cheese but it was extremely good cooked with apple cider vinegar

Kid menu mac and cheese; the picture doesn’t even show the depth of how big the bowl is

Kid menu hamburger and fries, $5

Colton Court Podcasts

Did you know that Colton Court Podcasts is taped right in the sit down sports lounge of SOMO SoPhi? I had no clue. I was impressed with the lounge area as it sits downstairs when you walk in. The big television, the seating, it was definitely is a well thought out space.  I was even more impressed once it was transformed into the podcasts recording space. It was the perfect space. Take a listen for yourself; Colton Court Podcasts.

Owners, James M. Morrissey son of a fashion designer along with Jahri Evans and wife, Takia definitely got it right. Mix in Morrissey’s eye for creating a beautiful space and Jahri sports affiliation and love for the city, how could you go wrong? I absolutely loved the collaboration of SOMO. It’s inviting, well-managed, and the food and drinks will keep me and my family coming back. This is the go to spot for any dinner or luncheon you need. It has food for the whole family from kids to adults. The drinks had me smiling too! Check it out as well as my other pictures on my Instagram

Keep in mind they also offer space for private parties, birthdays, and they have an amazing brunch! You already know how I feel about a great brunch spot!

Also follow SOMO SoPhi on Instagram

Thanks to the #Travelwithchefcherryl and the brunch bunch, Philly Dine Out for an amazing time.

Need reservations, book your time at SOMO SoPhi with Open Table

 

 

 

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How to Catch Creation

I had the honor of being invited to attend the opening show of How to Catch Creation. I actually withheld reading any reviews, or any the media write-up before hand because I love coming in without any thoughts of what to expect before hand. I was pleasantly surprised of this production. First of all the set was magnificent. I grew up in theatre so sets matter to me. Secondly the cast looked like me. I loved seeing all of the representation of pretty brown faces.  Third, the play captured my attention and gave me a whirlwind of surprises some subtle and some knocking me over.

Let me give honor to whom honor is due by saying that How to Catch Creation is coming off the acclaimed Kilroy’s list.  It’s a play about discovering legacy as well as what it means to create and how creation shifts during periods of life. Creation takes many forms from art, life, relationships, and how all of the loops come together. As a creator myself it definitely spoke to the hills and lows of life and watching my own work take dips according to what may or may not have taken off.

Christina Anderson, playwright, did an amazing job on capturing the experience of black queer feminist writer and how through her life, life has taken on turns that end up bringing the most unexpected people to unite. When you see the connection I found myself holding back in the audience try not to mess it up for someone who might not have. I laughed so hard during this play.  I loved at moments when the audience interacted right on cue without a notion. I also loved seeing Christina Anderson herself in the audience as well as the director, Nataki Garrett. Seeing them watch their work had to be amazing.

This play is for everyone. I do love how it highlights love and heartache for same-sex relationships.  To be honest sometimes society in my opinion forgets that they have an experience like everyone else. It’s not as easy even with society beginning to open up to what it means to be apart of the LGBTQ community and also be Black.  I enjoyed hearing prior to the show from Amber Hikes who is the Executive Director of LGBT Affairs for the city of Philadelphia. I didn’t even know there was a division first of all.  I also didn’t know that are only 3 other positions in the cities of the United States like it. There is definitely a need for all of us to be aware of what our city is offering. It was great knowing that the city of Philadelphia and the Mayor’s office is representing all walks of life.

So what were some of the themes presented:

Despair, from seeing Lindsay Smiling who played Griffin, try to work his way to normality after being wrongfully accused of a crime and incarcerated for 25 years. His struggle to want to have a child of his own as he learns about his mother and her past was incredible.

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Love, from Tiffani Barbour who play GK Marche a writer who falls in love with Natalie played by Shauna Miles and seeing who their love goes from incredible highs to the lows of breaking up and infidelity. Their love was priceless and unmatched until loneliness lead Natalie into the arms of another.

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Betrayal, Shayna Small plays Riley a young woman who has motivated her boyfriend, Stokes, played by Jonathan Bangs, who is losing his focus and rhythm.  Their beat is thrown off when Riley falls in love with Tami, played by Stephanie Weeks who is opening herself up to this forbidden love.  The beat is so off that now in order to get the rhythm back do they let go?  Do they go back to life before the betrayal? Can they co-exist?

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Explosive, fun, witty, and most importantly colorful are some of the best words to describe my experience. You are not going to want to miss out on this adventure. How to Catch Creation will be playing until April 14th. You can purchase tickets which range from $10-69 by clicking here

I would strongly encourage you to see the play and take some friends or family along as well. Thank you to the Philadelphia Theatre Company for as always inviting me and treating me above well. Thank you to Kory Aversa and Aversa PR for these opportunities as well. Thank you to the amazing cast of How to Catch Creation for such a wonderful time.  You all were professional and most gracious as well after the show.  Thanks to my personal team for always helping me get to these shows and for being the best caretakers for my littles!

 

 

 

 

Weekly Recap: Friday February 22, 2019

Blog Life

I hope you are keeping up. A new blog has hit everyday this month so far.  We talked about a lot of mental health topics one way or another. It was necessary. One I got a lot of emails from followers requesting it. Also life hit me this week in various forms. I am one who tries to practice what she preaches. So I made my mental health my number one issue to maintain this week. Nothing in particular set me off it’s just that I am aware from therapy how to recognize when I am becoming elevated. I hope you have the same mindset for your life. It’s important to check in with yourself and slow things down. Life is already crazy enough.

Fit Life

I got into another Broad Street Run! I am more than excited. This is year 2 and although I now know what to expect I want to fix a few things that I didn’t know about the run this year. I want to train a little better.  So I am hitting the pavement sort of talk by running outside earlier. This will work with my stamina. It was pure adrenaline and training that helped me last year. But I want to get stronger and do this right!  Also I have the Hot Chocolate 15K in April. Its run season.  So I am training which means I will cut down on alcohol and focus on more water intake etc. Its hard lets not kid ourselves. The run is on Cinco de Mayo I will reward myself with a margarita and some banging tacos. Until then I go hard and show up for myself. So my training have gotten a little more intense. I am making sure I have what I need ahead of time. Send some running vibes my way!

Shout out to Cake Bams for sending me the best artisan rice cakes that I’ve ever had. These health-ish cakes were covered in goodness. The four flavors, love you matcha, chocolate chip crookie, salt in the dark and birthday erryday! You’ve had flavored rice cakes but never none like this. So such a sweet and amazing treat to end my 4 day workout week!!

Kid Life

We celebrated my youngest 5th birthday. That means we do not have any more babies in our house. She is officially a big girl! This is also the anniversary of the blood clot that almost took my life having her. I am grateful for her. She is like a fresh breath of life. She is an amazing child. She had the day to go to the movies to see Lego Movie 2: The second part. She honestly fell asleep but it wasn’t because of the movie it was because she woke up super early and excited to see what we had planned for her day. The movie itself was good having a lot of parts for the adults too.  She also went out for lunch, took in a lot of phone calls and Facetime from family and got the gifts she wanted. We also had a party for her with her classmates at school and that was what she wanted. I was glad that as parents instead of pushing our agenda. I am learning to take cues from the kids on how they want to be celebrated.  In our house birthdays are always a big deal because it’s the one day that should be yours. We enjoyed cake at home so this week my workouts had to match them slices!  My other kids have enjoyed their 3 day week and a snow day.  Pray for my grocery bill. They can eat. I enjoy watching them enjoy what kids should be enjoying.  As long as my kids are happy and healthy that is a big win!  I am extremely blessed to have the children that I have!

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Personal Life

This week I took out time to get me together. It takes a lot to juggle the many hats that I wear at any given time. I am amazed at each passing day just to get to the next. I do not think I am some wonder but its a lot in our house and lives to maintain it all.  However so much joy I have found in reconstructing what I want and what I need and finding alternatives to getting the things I want in a different way.

I was able to celebrate Galentine’s Day with one of my favorite humans, K at True Food in King of Prussia. This is a great spot if you want to eat healthy and without regret meal but still have an amazing food experience.  I had the Dashi Ramen bowl that had the right amount of kick to it. I also for dessert had the flourless chocolate cake. I know what your thinking-how can this be good?  Well it was amazing. It was served warm with vanilla ice-cream on top drizzled in caramel sauce and it was super delicious. Can’t forget about cocktails. I had War of the Roses (keep in mind it was Valentine’s Day weekend) which had pomegranate infused vodka, rose petal, pineapple and orange. From first sip to last it was definitely memorable. True Food also serves an amazing brunch on the weekends and has a kids menu in case you have to travel with the kiddies. Thanks True Food for an amazing dinner date with my boo. Also the restaurant is super beautiful. If you love taking pictures for the gram, this is your place. The green is beautiful and its so open and clean including the see through kitchen area.

date

I don’t always get to see all of my girlfriends as often as I would like. Many of my closest friends live out-of-state. However K and I are able to have monthly dates. Monthly dates help to keep us close and being around each other is pure joy. If you have good friends nurture those relationships. I try to keep in contact with my out-of-state girlfriends with messages and videos as often as possible!

Events

spread love

This Saturday join me and the rest of TCP as we “Spread Love” event. You can either donate goods, help spread love, or attend and bring ideas as to what can be done in the community.  One winner will receive $500 to make that idea happen. Let’s come together and support one another!

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Diana Anello from Bredenbeck’s 2018 best in taste and show

I will be attending this Sunday Variety, The Children’s Charity of Delaware County “Let them eat cake under the stars” event. You can get tickets to this amazing fundraiser as with your cost of ticket allows you unlimited drinks as well as samples of some amazing cakes from the area. Who doesn’t like cake?  I will be doing my morning run and workout just so be sure I can eat cake and help deserving kids and juveniles in my area live a quality life.

I have a special project that I am working with on Monday with some of my fellow bloggers that I will do a special blog for on Tuesday.  All I can say is my workout game got to be strong it’s going to be one yummy treat!

Also March is coming! It’s Women’s History month and we are going to be giving you some amazing interviews this year! Be on the lookout!

Today is also national margarita so if you’re able and like them grab one!!

Tinsel Philly: Happy Hour Meets Christmas

So if you love Christmas and you love drinks and getting out this is your bar. This pop-up Christmas bar is the envy of anything holiday that I have attended. Tinsel Philly Pop-Up bar is your go to. What is Tinsel and how should you prepare? Bring some friends, be ready to drink, bring a fun attitude and leave the decorations, great fun and awesome Christmas atmosphere to Tinsel.

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First of all you are going to want to be in the holiday spirit from the door until it’s time to leave. From the window display to the bathroom, there is no corner or ceiling that is left unturned. I loved it.  The ceiling even has real drop down presents.

It is an eye pop of happiness. If you had the unique opportunity to attend last year, you will be pleasantly surprised to find that its bigger and better. It features a 33 foot bar. Say it with me, dranks!   I was impressed. Being a lifestyle blogger I feel as if it is my job to be able to bring anything that makes your life fun, easier, and gets you out and about and this had all of that. I am going to start from the front of the venue to the back.

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I found super convenient street parking. I only had to walk less than one block away. This was not a turn off for me. Tinsel is not hard to find. Once you are on the block it literally sets itself apart from all of the other venues around it. It’s the most lit Christmas display and that itself reassured me I was in the right place. Once inside, I walked into an overhead of lights. Lights engage me. Once inside, the 33 foot bar is undeniable. The bar was absolutely wonderful. Now I am going to keep it real. Bars sometimes for me can intimidate me, but not at Tinsel. The staff was warm and welcoming and let me know their favorites off the bat. Now I had my sight set on the Tinsel Snow Globe. It is a keepsake.  Let me say the inner child kicked in as I shook my globe and enjoyed the tastings of Grey Goose La Vanile, White Cranberry and the best part edible snow. Yes, you read that correctly, edible snow. The slew of drinks that Tinsel has to offer has something for everyone. From cold Christmas drinks and specials to hot drinks and wines and beers, you are sure to be pleased. I was super happy not just with the themed drinks having great names but making sure it didn’t lack in quality. At Tinsel, that is not the case. You know I love to be on point and if I am spending my coins, I want my drinks to be worth it. You will find my personal stamp of approval. I love adult juice so when I am out and about I want to be able to get out and know that I am getting what I paid for.  Knowing that last year’s Tinsel Philly was packed nightly I can definitely see why.

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So let’s hit you with the Logistics:

Where is Tinsel Located:

116 S. 12th Street, Philadelphia PA, 19107

What drinks Does Tinsel offer?

Like I stated above there is something for everyone. The coveted Take Home souvenir drinks include the Tinsel Globe, Canned “Good” which is what it sounds like, a canned good can that is filled with your choice of either Deep Eddy’s Vodka or Bacardi Cuatro, Cranberry or Cinnamon (proceeds benefit MANNA) and Makers Mark Stocking Shot or the Neat X-Mas Ornament. I personally tried the Tinsel Globe, the Canned “Good” and the Makers Mark Stocking and they all were worth their price because one the bartenders were awesome and they didn’t short change me on the liquor.

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Tinsel Philly is donating $1.00 for every “Canned Good” drink to Manna who prepare and deliver meals to those are in need and are battling sickness and would otherwise not be able to have nutritional meals. Learn more about MANNA.

They have cold and warm drinks like the Hot Toddy, and the spiked hot chocolate that was made with either Stillhouse Mint Cocoa or the Bacardi Coconut. Absolutely everything that the holidays drinks  are about.

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There is also an assortment of holiday beers, wines and what we all need to know about the happy hour which is Monday-Friday from 5-6 pm with $2 off most drinks.

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Oh and for my Mall or any other professional Santa, you get one drink free and 50% off at all times. You must be wearing your full attire and credentials may be asked to verify.

Music

No bar is complete without music. When you come into Tinsel you will be welcomed by Philadelphia DJ Robert Drake aka Mr. Christmas. He also in addition to spinning at Tinsel will host his 26th year on XPN which is the Night before Christmas with 24 hours of nonstop sounds bringing everyone into the holiday spirit. You can check out his music takeover on XPN

Tinsel Holiday Take overs

DJ Drake will be spinning Monday Mixers on December 10 and December 17 from 5-7pm where there will be prizes. Yes prizes.  That means you can have some fun, dance, drink and win a gift for you or for someone else and have one less gift to purchase. Come on out!

Letters to Santa

This year Tinsel will have brand new post cards to the first 500 patrons. Tinsel staff will take these postcards that can be sent to Santa, or to spread holiday cheer to others. Staff will take these cards and mail them off for you!

Santa’s Throne

This was one of my favorite spots. It was a great place for that coveted Instagram pic! I had to make sure I got one! The room attached to the Santa Throne was well decorated and completely inviting. So make sure you bring someone who can get that great shot and angles for you. Definitely well worth it!

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Holiday Events Coming Up:

Saturday December 22, 2018: Jingle Bars Holiday Crawl. For tickets and more Info

Follow Tinsel and keep yourself updated you don’t want to miss, The White Elephant Party where you bring an unwanted gift and exchange it for something else. Also they will announce Day parties and New Years Eve Party and you don’t want to miss out!

Shout out to Craft Concepts Group which includes,Teddy Sourias (owner of Trademan’s BRU Craft, and Wurst, U-Bahn, Cinder Cooper and Lace, Uptown Beer Garden, Finn McCool’s Ale House) and the local artist  who worked to make sure that they opened up the space to exceed the space from last year to this year’s bigger, and definitely decorated open space. The intrict detail in all of the artwork was mesmerizing and appreciated.

And as always thank you Kory Aversa and Aversa PR for having me.

Make sure that you don’t let the holidays over take you, take some time to have a drink at Tinsel where you can have a drink and leave the cleaning and stress up to them. You deserve to have a ball and celebrate. Grab your friends and family and Pop-up to Philly’s Christmas Pop-Up at Tinsel. You will not be disappointed!

Holiday Etiquette

The holidays are high time. Between happy hours, holiday parties, and company parties the list is endless in how to celebrate it. One of the things we must tackle today is holiday etiquette.

Invites and the NO Game

We know that for most of us we are going to get swamped by so many invitations. Keep in mind that you have to understand that not all invitations will be a go. I used to be the type that felt like I had to spread myself thin trying to accommodate everyone’s event. That is not the case now. Between working, my family, blogging, friends, it is impossible to be everywhere at the same time. For that my NO muscles gets worked extra during this time of the year. I get so many people caught in their feelings but what I remember most is that others will do the same so I have to take care of me and mine. Do Not feel obligated to attend all events. Do you know how much it cost? You may need an outfit, transportation, a hostess gift, a regular gift depending on the event, babysitter if you have kids like me and everyone wanting no kids to be included, and just man hours to juggle it all, someone is definitely getting a NO. I have the holidays to prepare for on top of all of that and my own traditions to uphold too. Juggle but don’t break or break the bank attempting to be something to the very folks that wouldn’t extend themselves to you.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Gifts, Gifts, Gifts

I love giving gifts. However instead of buying for everyone I find ways to one cut my cost. I stick to my budget and I always come under it. I hate attempting to feel as if I am overspending. I have goal and none of those goals will be accomplished if I am feeling guilty and having to recover after the Holidays from spending too much. There are ways to get around the whole spending too much. Instead of attempting to give each kid a gift in the family, make family baskets, filled with holiday classic movies, popcorn, candy, etc.  What you have created is a great family day in. The snow is going to come and that is the gift that keeps on giving especially where little kids are concerned. I also like to give the gift of entertainment. I can get families with children a gift card to an activity that I know they would love. Trust me with 3 kids of my own, someone paying for my kids on activities they know I am already going to attend is a savings. I also elect not to do gifts. If I am meeting up with friends, having dinner or drinks, sometimes just the gift of time is priceless. This means that us getting together and me spending time brunching, etc is a gift in itself. I have one friend that we meet up New Years Eve and do an early dinner.

Dranks, Pour it Up!

Be careful who you are around and the company you are keeping as you indulge. If you are at a company event, be smart. Have a drink or two but never more than that if you know that you are the type that has loose lips or will behave out of character. Worst than a one night stand walk of shame is the walk in shame the day or weekend after the holiday party where you got a little too loose. Don’t let this be you. Get a Uber or Lyft or have a designated driver. Do not drink buzzed or drunk. Trust me the price is more than you are willing and can afford. The most devastating time is having someone die at the hands of a drunk driver and around the holidays. Be careful.  Limit the amount of drinking you plan on enjoying. Make sure that you know your limit. Do not test your limit in a mixed crowd.

four champagne flutes with assorted color liquids

Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS on Pexels.com

Pot Lucky Unlucky Moments

Please do not be a hero making a new dish to bring to the potluck and it’s a meal that hasn’t been approved. This is not the time to flex. Opt to bring the adult juice or at least something that is edible. Also if you have pets, for the sake of all of those involved even if you think it’s a great idea to have your cat or dog in your kitchen, leave them out while you cook for others. This is an issue as to why I always ask, who made that? Why? Everyone ain’t as clean and pet hair in my food is not what I call a Holly Jolly Time. Please practice hand washing and make sure you aren’t cross-contaminating with the food or cooking utensils either. How you cook is just important to what you bring to the potluck.

This is a small list. Like I could have included re-gifting items you don’t want. If you plan on doing so, make sure it’s at least a gift thar a person would actually like. Don’t give gloves just for the sake of not having a gift. Put some thought. Gift like you would want to be gifted. There are so many price points to keep in mind. If you are attending an event, attempt to go to the event. I have had times when emergencies have come, but be sure that you aren’t RSVP to something you have no plans on coming. Also be sure to limit your drinks. Nothing is worst than having to figure out as a hostess how to get your guest home.  Be considerate of others. They may have said no to your invitation because it’s too much for them. They may not want to come or they may just been bombarded by so many invites that it could be too much for them to handle.

Have some fun. Show holiday spirit but be considerate of others around you!

Christmas Village Experience 2018

So as many of you know I came across the Christmas Village last year doing a Google search for free family fun. I then convinced my family to give the authentic outdoor German Market a try. We were impressed and excited to attend again this year. This year I was invited to take an intimate look at what the Christmas Village really has to offer behind the scenes. This year thanks to the renovations of the Love Park sign, it was even more special!

I was able to attend the opening ceremony to light “The Present.” Thanks to Mayor Jim Kenney who hit it home with his opening speech about giving towards others. This is the season to not just think about ourselves and our families but how we can best serve the people of Philadelphia. The Present is 27 feet in height, well-lit holiday present. It is in the middle of the Christmas Village.  Not only is it visually stunning, its set as a reminder to give to others.  If you are in the area you can give by texting and you will receive a gift tag that can be displayed on “The Present” that is a symbol of what the holiday is all about. You can actively give by doing the following:

  • TEXT PARKS to 501501 to donate to Fairmount Park Conservancy will go towards helping Philadelphia Parks
  • TEXT BOOKS  to 20222 to donate to Welcome America’s holiday book campaign for Parks and Recreation. Every $5 raised will purchase a total of 4 books. 
  • TEXT 80100 to donate to Project Home to help end poverty and homelessness

Inside “The Present”

“The Present is open starting today to the public all the way through December 24th. It’s free to enter and as you can see from the above photos it’s a beauty to see, take photos and walk inside!  I felt like the biggest kid. The colors and lights had me mesmerized. 

So I knew after watching “The Present” light up that I was off to a good start. The first stop on the tour was the German Grill. The open grill had all the best of the German deliciousness. From Bratwurst to Schnitzel, I was in pure Heaven. The open grill is such a delight and the smells pulled me in. I was completely satisfied.  As soon as I got home, I was upset as to why I didn’t take a Bratwurst to go. 

This took me to the second stop on the tour and that was to the open beer garden, The Alm. It’s always a good idea for beer. There are a lot of new items on the menu. Let me also point out for families with young children. This is a great spot to combine adulting and kids. It’s closed in. So this means a lot of play for the kids and drinks for the adults. This year they have a new beer mug. It’s a beauty to behold and you know that the bigger the cup, the bigger the gulp!

As if the beer wasn’t enough, I made my way to one if that’s right one of the wine offerings, German Gluhwein.  It’s a mulled wine. They offer a white and a red wine and both were amazing.

Next up was Käthe Wohlfahrt. This indoor gem blew my mind. This unique shop was full of mostly hand-made treasures. From one of a kind pieces to ornaments and decorations, it was a delight. Note there is no videography or photos for the public. However I was able to get you that inside look. What I will say is this is a must on your stops through the open village. Be careful as some of the pieces are pricey. So if you have little ones just hold their hands. I do believe once they see how well-lit and how beautiful the pieces are, they will spend more time asking questions than running through the store.

Next stop was the The Bacon Jams. I’ve never had bacon jam but today I wanted to buy all of them. These easy to spread jams taste super authentic to real bacon. The flavors were amazing. I tried every last one. From the maple bacon to the honey bourbon! All of them were a treat!

I believe I was turning into a foodie by the end of the night. The next stop was to Sweets where we tried some toasted chestnuts. I’ve never had any before but I was a believer tonight. Be sure if you attend that you make your way. There are other sweet treats as well.

Keeping in line with sweets we make our way to John and Kira’s. This was like chocolate Heaven! I tried for her first time honey bee chocolate made from local honey bee. First of all this gooey treat should be eaten in one bite. It’s honey flavor mixed with chocolate had to be the best that I have had in a long time. We also had some amazing sea salt caramel.

If you ever been to the Christmas Village you are full aware of the Raclette. It’s basically the best cheese I’ve ever eaten, that is melted under a special heated lamp and the cheese oozes onto some of the freshest bread Philadelphia has to offer. I was in cheese coma. Let me say that yes I took one for the team of non dairy, but I ain’t feel not ounce of shame.

For those who love unique cards you must stop at Love Pop. You can get pop up 3D cards. I enjoyed the tour and I plan to grab a few to give to special friends.

Our next stop was Mike’s Hot Honey. We were told that when you taste it, it would be sweet and then bitter and it was true. Mike’s Hot Honey is a spread that can be put on almost anything from bagels to chicken. I enjoyed it. I don’t know if I am getting a cold but if I was when I left I definitely felt like my palette was cleared. 

mike hot

girl

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Of course we needed something a little sweet so we headed over to Helmuts Original Austrian Strudel. They had your classics like cherry but they also had some that were a definite go back and true such as the meat and pulled pork puffs. They even have a mac and cheese one!  

helmut

cherry

One of the final stops before ending with hot chocolate was Truffleist. This is what the name says, Truffle. So between some amazing cheeses and salami, the truffle butter was everything. I mean everyone enjoyed it. They have an amazing selection and to be honest I could eat that truffle butter by the spoonfuls. It was that good. 

truffle

One more goodie before I end, I love hand blown glass. The colors are amazing. So I had to take a picture of the Mouth Blown Ornaments. 

blown

So the tour was everything and more. You and your family or friends will have an amazing time. I tried to give you a snippet of what it would be like. The only thing that I didn’t see was Santa but you can catch Santa in the Santa Hut for pics starting on the weekends and then close to the season being over he will be there everyday. I would make sure you go and see him if you’re trying to get on the Nice List. 

Special thanks to Philadelphia Christmas Village, the sponsors: Bank of America, Acme, Käthe Wohlfahrt, and Hernnhuter and all of the partners who helped to make this day. Also shout out to all of the amazing vendors who bring the Christmas Village to Life rain or shine. Remember its free to enter and you only pay for the food, drinks, and treasures you find. 

Special shout out to Kory Aversa and the Aversa PR and Events for having me. 

So head on over and grab your kids, your friends, your girls, or your boys and  have an experience to remember!

Hours:
Sunday – Thursday: 11:00am – 7:00pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:00am – 8:00pm
Christmas Eve: 11:00am – 5:00pm

Location:
LOVE Park, 1500 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

Evaluate Your Life

I think doing check ins with yourself is important. It’s not just something you do when the New Year hits or on your birthday. A life check up and check in helps to reinforce your goals. T

So what do you do when you check in and discover your life is heading left and you are off task of completing your goals?

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You take a deep breath. You find out what caused you to lose focus. Was it not investing enough time into yourself. This happens more often than most people think. If you aren’t doing a monthly or even weekly check up you can find that on your lists of importance you are on the bottom. You can’t give to someone when you have nothing to give of yourself. Take the time to put you back on the top of your list and make your dreams come true.

What if you don’t have enough resources?

A lot of us don’t have enough resources. We simply are acquiring them as we go along. Join the crowd. End of day, you can still make things happen. If you work your plan and find hiccups, set some intentions. Research what you need and how others in your same position got them. If it worked for them it can work for you. The difference is when you don’t have resources you have to learn to make them. Ask a mom who has limited resources but her children have many needs. If she loves her kids, she gets up and makes it happen.

What if the list are long and overwhelming?

Take that list and put them into categories. What can you do right now? What will take time? List them in order of the time you think it will take to make it happen. Not all dreams if not most are build over night. You have to be doing the work and being consistent. Its like the stories of those who are looking for a job and interviewing. They may hear a thousand Nos until they get to that Yes. Be consistent and keep moving.

What if you lose hope?

Hope isn’t lost its just shifted. You have to be able to refocus yourself. How do you refocus yourself? Look at what you want. Is it something that no matter how many times you put it down, you keep coming back to it? Is it a passion that you feel on a daily basis. If you are at work is it always on your mind? This is where your hope is. Just because you laid your dream down, it didn’t die its crying out to you to pick it up. This is why you talk about it all the time. This is why the desire is burning so bright. It has a hold of you tighter than you have a hold on it. Tighten it up. Get back out there. Be ready for a few Nos. Be ready for times when you feel overwhelmed.

woman writing on a notebook beside teacup and tablet computer

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Evaluating your life can be exhausting. It can be mentally draining. All you do is focus on what you don’t have, where you aren’t, the time wasted, etc. you will find it hard to keep going. Find the little victories along the way. Get back up, dust yourself. and get back into your life. Don’t quit on life, make your life happen. Even if that dream takes years as long as you keep moving you will get there. Everyday there is at least one more thing you can do to make your dream happen. If you aren’t doing something everyday than you aren’t working hard enough or smart enough. If you want to lose weight, everyday you should be drinking your water, increasing your exercise, substituting better food in place of bad food. This is daily. If you want to go to school, you need to prepare. Have you gone to the school of your choice and spoke to a counselor? Have you applied for grants online and in your community? Have you filled out the application? Are you working hard in the day to finance school? This is called an action plan. The part where you take your dreams from off the paper and push them into the atmosphere of action so you can see the reward!