Ardmore’s Taste with a View

What a night?! Over 20 vendors serving the most amazing food and drink showcasing the best of the best in Ardmore while benefiting Ardmore’s business authority was a blast rain and all!

The event took place at the One Ardmore Apartment Homes. To say that these apartments aren’t beautiful would be a full on lie. The layout of upscale, regale, and located in the heart of Ardmore. The rooftop where some of the vendors of the night were located had the most amazing views! I was blessed to get there early to catch it all before the rain came. As much as rain is usually a nuisance it didn’t stop the party in the least bit.

With so many vendors I’ll give you a drop of what made the night amazing:

My first stop was Buena Vista, a Mexican restaurant who is located at 251 Lancaster Avenue. I had the Mexican rice and it was so super flavorful. However not just the food was superb but the customer service was amazing. I love to watch how people serve you before they know what you do. I was serviced with amazing spirit!! I love going to tasting events because as much as I love Philly; Ardmore is only 30 minutes away from my home giving me new locations to have food, fun, and drink locations to try!

Next up (I was up and down in the venue) was Songsan which is a Korean barbecue restaurant. You can find them at 66 Rittenhouse Place in Ardmore. They also have a location in Paris as well. You know I just got back from there. I had the Jap Chae which are glass noodles with vegetables! They were sooo good! I had a full plate of them. I love glass noodles. The first time was at another Korean barbecue spot. These were flavorful! Looking at their menu this would be an amazing spot to have a group party or even an intimate dinner for two.

Next on my stop was Besito Ardmore. This is going to be your stop for Mexican good as well. I had some of their plantains and they were delicious but nothing more delicious than their pomegranate margarita. Say what you will but I came back at least twice!!! Margaritas are a big deal to me. I order pomegranate margaritas anytime they are on a menu and these gave a few spots a run for their money. I’ll be back on the drink alone!

I stopped at Marokko and it’s a Mediterranean and Moroccan themed restaurant with authentic food. What you get is smiles, hospitality, and love in their food-no lie! I also enjoyed to the fullest the belly dancing!! You have to check out my Instagram to see clips! Everyone and I mean everyone enjoyed the show!

Also Father’s Day is Sunday! They are having a special where did gets a free appetizer with his entree and reservations are requested!

Outside of food there were also pop up shops! I stoped at Trace. It’s your go to spot for housewares, arts and gifts!! Beautiful pieces that I thought we’re unique and bold. I saw a few pieces I might have to slide a suggestion or two for my upcoming wedding anniversary!

I enjoyed the pieces at Styche a woman’s clothing store. Ladies if you’re looking for one of a kind pieces that are well made and beautiful this is your place! I def found at least 4 dresses I need to have it in my closet along with some beautiful accessories! Oh and for the men who can’t ever seem to know what women want they have gift cards!

With all of the food and drinks I was so happy to run into Jen Crompton, owner is Fuel Cycle Fitness. They offer indoor cycling as well as boxing classes. They offer private lessons, group classes and 1:1 trainings. They also have a unique offering of Boxing and Brunch happening June 29 from 10am-2pm! This is a great event to bring out your teen daughter and have a mommy and me time while building skills set, life skills and of course brunch! Tickets can be found here. You know I’m all about women empowerment! Grab your daughter and head out to this event!

Back to the food! I stopped at The Ripplewood whiskey and gin and fell in love. They have food and drinks and they are amazing. Have you ever had a chip melt in your mouth? Whew the goodness! This would be an amazing spot to grab after work drinks or a great date night. I will be back. The orange really opened up the flavor and it was smooth!

Back downstairs to Dressler Estate Cidery. I had the sparkling cider. It reminded me a lot of wine. It was sweet but not too sweet and definitely refreshing!

For my icecream lovers look no further than Parlour! They had two flavors on display:

Amazing service and great conversation. And FYI they have dollar cones. Now grant it they are smaller than traditional sizes but….. for little hands that I have in my family it works great! Oh and the blueberry pie is amazing. They have at least 24 flavors so there’s something for everyone!!

To one of my favorites is Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant. They have one in my hometown of Lancaster. I took my mom and sisters to it last year. They always have an amazing assortment of drinks and food. It was good to see other locations. What would be the odds that I would meet a rep from Iron Hill Brewery thats also from Lancaster?!

They too have a Father’s Day special. They have a 3 course meals which includes dessert for 32.50. Oh and a contender is Das Boot which is available on tap and in a can! Get out there and shower dad at Iron Hill and enjoy!! As always full menu is available!

So I’m all about trying new liquor! I tried the Revivalist, an amazing botanical gin. I had the Harvest Expression with Lemonade and all I know is I will not let my Summer pass without making this a drink to share. Trust me if you want to have the best adult lemonade this would be the gin to add.

I also had the Dragon Dance mixed with a jalapeño drink and it was pure bliss. I definitely will be emailing to find out the exact drinks and will share when I get it. It’s a little bit spicy but smooth and it was good.

I love an amazing salad. I love a salad that is flavorful and makes you forget for a second that it’s a salad. Green Papaya Asian Bistro will always have a customer as long as their green papaya salad is on the menu. Look at the detail:

You can see quality when you see it?! The taste was magical. Being vegan I’m always on the hunt for some great tasting food and this will be a go to spot for me and my friends or family and it’s also BYOB!

Back to adult lemonades; the Proper Twelve Limerick Lemonade is a winner. It’s light and not overbearing sweet. But the Irish Whiskey was superb! Oh and if you love food they had some pulled pork and Mac and cheese at Jack Mcshea’s!!

Are you getting hungry yet? Last but certainly not least, is Delice & Chocolat that gave me a touch of Paris flare with their chocolate croissant. It’s the closest thing to a real Paris croissant since I have returned!!! It was delicious, flaky and good. Makes sense since the owner lived there for 14 years and it shows. You must stop by if you don’t think you will get to Paris or maybe you have it will take you back!!

So as you can see the food and drinks were plentiful. The pop up shops were amazing and Ardmore is the place to be! Ardmore is becoming a little gem of a location and I hope you make one of these restaurants or shops you’re new go to!!

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Weekend Recap: June 7-June 9th

What a weekend?! I love having full weekends. I love getting out and about and this weekend was absolutely perfect!

The weather was amazing. Friday I hung out with my niece and went to Dottie’s Donuts and enjoyed a vegan donut for National Donut Day! What an amazing assortment. I ended up getting the Neapolitan donut and I took a cinnamon bun for the road. Judge your own life! It was absolutely amazing! For a Friday and a donut Friday I definitely was winning!

I also enjoyed some down time. I needed to clean the house and do laundry. I love the quietness of cleaning. One of my kids was at a play date leaving me with just the two! I’m glad that they were such an amazing help.

Saturday Vibes

So Saturday I enjoyed a much needed manicure appointment. Nothing sets my weekend right like a manicure and some wine. Omnia is always my go to with my prescheduled appointments with my favorite manicurist John! He’s absolutely amazing and he knows what I like I don’t even have to ask. This week he talked me into a marble design but he knows I don’t like a full hand of designed nails. So one simple design on my ring hand is plenty. I’m simple in design but I love bright colors. I do not follow any rule on nail colors. If I want bright colors in the middle of Winter you will catch me with a bright color in the Winter. When I look at my hands since I use them so much I want to see neatness and happiness on them.

After that I raced over to TJ Maxx which normally I don’t ever have time to look for fashions because I just don’t like shopping in stores. I like what I like and shopping online is more my stick. I can’t be made that I found the perfect dress for the drag queen tea at Sofitel.

Drag Queen Afternoon Tea

If you didn’t catch the blog catch it here!

The dress was 20 dollars and it was super cute and for so well!! Thanks to my girl Pam for going to the event with me on National Best Friends Day!

Dizengoff Brunch Time

On Sunday the weather was so beautiful and it was amazing! It was also pride weekend! I hung out with my blogger friend and foodie, Cheryl of Travel with Cherryl also known as PhillyFoodGal

We went to Dizengoff of Philadelphia! This is like the Hummus King of hummus and so right up my alley! It was smooth, creamy, and full of flavor! I could have bought another to be honest!

I have the Fava Bean and a Lemonada with gin. It was Sunday Funday right?! It was amazing! All of it. The service was great and the location was perfect. They also have outdoor sitting which is my thing to do when I eat!

Stress Less Space

After an amazing brunch I went to the Stress Less Space which is an alternative to incorporating less stress into your space. It is an organization that will help you utilize and manage the stress we carry everyday. I personally have had some stress in my life lately with new changes, my car issues and life itself. It was good to relax for an hour to journal, head noise canceling relaxation sounds, and the quiet. Jesus the quiet almost changed my whole life!! Like my whole life. I was able to travel to my hometown with the most amazing zen!

I would suggest if you live in Philadelphia to give it a chance! The care of the staff was amazing and it was extremely therapeutic!

TCP Sundays

I did go back home to do a podcast with TCP; The Cultured Professional! You can catch it by clicking on the link! Parental advisory is advised as we talk about a lot of current events without any chasers aka we didn’t sugar coat a thing and some sexual content as well. It was great to be in a different genre of entertainment and information.

During the trip I was able to spend some time with my nieces! I enjoy anytime and I’m making it a purpose now that they are getting older to spend as much time as I can! I came home super late from the podcast so outside of Target trip I had zero time for anything else!

Husbae

Shout out to my husbae for meal prepping for the week for me by cooking out on the grill! Although that doesn’t include my vegan meals it was one less thing for me to prepare. I’m cool with just making my own items! Also shout out to him for keeping the kids moving as I was out and about as I was out both Saturday and Sunday!

So yes to say my weekend was busy was an understatement! I wouldn’t change a thing!

Drag Queen Afternoon Tea

So can I admit something?! I’ve never been to an afternoon tea. Clutch your pears for real because it’s true. So after being invited to a Drag Queen Afternoon Tea I was even more nervous.

I wanted to make sure I was right head to toe and that everything went well. It’s pride weekend here in Philly and I’ve always been super supportive of the LGBTQ community in any way I can. I was so happy to attend this tea and I’m sure it showed in my smile.

Today is also national best friend day so sharing it with one of my besties made it special. I couldn’t wait to go to Sofitel Philadelphia and enjoy myself. From the moment I parked I was treated with such courtesy. Every staff member greeted me. Everyone was super welcoming and warm. In their lobby is a love sign. You can’t miss it. I know that love is an action word and Sofitel did that by the way they took great care of each guest!! It’s what I look for when I attend events. How someone treats you when they don’t know your position speaks well of how they are. Sofitel has my backing on their ability to show love and I hope to come back as a patron soon!

I wasn’t in the room long when I was greeted by 3 phenomenal divas. Each of them welcomed me and immediately took pictures with me! I loved them! I loved everything about them! I know there are some who would just love to point their noses but let me tell you, don’t! They are living their lives and doing a fabulous time doing it!

Pictured left to right; The Lady Vayne, SunShyne and A-Dick-Shun

Since I had never been to an afternoon tea I was excited to see how it all played out. We were asked our drink order and our tea selection. We were served on a 3 tiered stand. I knew that I was to start with the sandwiches, then the scones and then the desserts. I did my research. In between I sipped my tea and my Bellini. Nothing I had wasn’t amazing. Each selection was great!

Here’s the fun part. While enjoying the amazing food we were treated by performances from our drag queen guests of honors. It was one of the most entertaining performances and it was just fun. They went in and held nothing back and worked that room like nobody’s business! I knew they would. No one in that room wasn’t pulled in by their performances!

You will have to check my Instagram for the performances. So I know you want to be apart and you can!! How?

There is another rendition of the Drag Queen Tea coming next Saturday. The atmosphere is super relaxing, fun, and the food and drinks are a smash hit! Hit the link so you can come show your love for Pride, and to give a portion of the proceeds to the Attic Youth Center to support LGBTQ youth. Who doesn’t love to give while having an amazing time! To be honest the time frame from 2-4 goes so quick you don’t want it end! I’m proud of all who live in this world being who they choose to be even when the world wants them to conform. It’s not our job to police someone’s choice. It is our job to love with action!

Make sure you click the link, grab a friend and be in the building. Sofitel is doing their part and you can do yours! While we know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea; I sure didn’t have a problem sippin so you now can do the same!!

Sip and relax because this afternoon tea isn’t like anything you have ever been to before!!

Thanks ladies for a wonderful time!! Thanks Sofitel Philadelphia and Aversa PR for the invite.

Lancaster Vegan Fest

I had the best time of my Saturday! The one thing I adore about Summer is being out and about and festivals. Like who doesn’t love good food, good people, and fun? Non humans I suppose!

Today I went to Lancaster Vegan Fest. Since becoming vegan I’ve kept up with my lifestyle and it feels amazing to even know about these types of festival even exist. Not only do they have vegan fests in my city of Philadelphia but all around too! I guess it’s true you don’t know until you know! Today I attended the event in my hometown of Lancaster with my twin, my youngest daughter, all of my nieces, my brother, my sister in love, my sister in love’s mother, and cousin brother. Talk about a fam bam explosion!

Now my brother Mr. Not Vegan still had a great time too. He constantly makes fun of my “leaf eating life!” They had live performances, great food, and great drinks even some adult juice tasting as well. They had a kids corner with face painting? Arts and crafts and even a bubble spot which was a big splash with my nieces

Talk about an amazing happy crowd? It really doesn’t get any better!

Now on to the food! The kids had icees, juices, and my highlight chocolate covered fruit. There were over 50 something vendors so I had to be selective! But goodness….

Shout out to the Pop’d Shop who had an amazing selections of soda and some super bomb popcorn! I bought the caramel one and whew it was super delicious!

Also I stopped at the one and only Chef Oliver of Culinary Services of Chef Oliver and I had the Sausage Ragu over White rice-it was vegan and I’m really sad I didn’t get any for the road. It was full of flavor!!!

Overall even if you’re not plant based, just want to taste different options, or just curios, attend your nearest vegan fest! Trust me the selections will surprise you and the crowds are amazing!! I hope to see a few followers at the next one! There is a Philadelphia Vegan Fest on June 8, 2019!

Paris owes me Nothing Part 3

Time to be tourist! After a long sleep we were up and out! We passed Pont d’ Arcole to get to Notre-Dame Cathedral. We took the metro. That was an interesting adventure. It was crazy to see what the fire took of the Cathedral. I hope it will be repaired as soon as possible. They also had a lot of armed guards there and a lot of police in the area.

Esmeralda

It started to rain so we stopped at Esmeralda, a restaurant that looks towards the Cathedral where I enjoyed a crepe filled with bananas and chocolate and wine. My husband had a hamburger and fries which was hilarious as I informed him he at least celebrated national hamburger day! My girl Kyla enjoyed her fries and wine! We decided we were going to keep walking and hit up some more sights but not before I had my real banana gelato! It’s so much better here than in the States.

Shakespeare and Company

I’m such a nerd but I spotted a book store and not just any store; Shakespeare and Company book store. I was in Heaven! Floors of books and old fashioned ladders to get the books that are higher up. It was a little more modern than I expected but I was in pure bliss!

Pont des Arts

Near Pont des Arts I spot a clown. Yes a clown! I want a picture with him. He takes one of me by twirling me, Marques snaps a few pics, and then he has me and Marques take some of just he and I! The clown grabs Marques and snaps some of him by having him hold his leg and attempts to kiss him. The laughter alone….don’t worry no clowns were harmed!

Louvre Museum

The day we visited it’s closed. So of course we continue to take pics at the Louvre Pyramid and Tuileries Garden! It was still an amazing time. Everyone was smiling and having the time of their life even though it soon started raining!

Place de la Concordé

This tall statue is so breathtaking with its golden tip. I’m amazed at how much history and architecture is in Paris. If you love both you will be blown away.

Champs-Élysées

This section of Paris is beautiful and rich. From the shopping and fashion district to the history, cathedrals, beautiful gardens I’m super glad we didn’t miss this. Also we stopped at the Arc de Triomphe.

Body Attack

Most folks would do this high level of working out prior to going on vacation but since working out is a lifestyle and not just a swimsuit ready venture, my girl Kyla had us at Les Cercles de la Forme to take a body attack class. Kyla teaches it in the States. I have taken her class and she’s very official. The class in Paris which was like one door down from our hotel, was just as intense. Kyla needed no help with the routine as she knew it! It felt good to work out with her! Glad she found the class even though she tried to kill me!

Buffalo Grill

It was definitely time to eat after all of that waking and workout! So we ventured to Buffalo Grill! It’s hard to eat for me since I’m vegan and the French love their meat and cheese. I had to make a lot of adjustments to make it vegan approved but we made it happen! I had about 25 ozs of wine and made sure I ate bread and whatever vegan options I could make up. They had steaks etc.

Eiffel Tower Take 2

So although we did see the Eiffel after the wedding on the boat, seeing it lit at night was amazing! I mean having to almost break our necks to get a justifiable picture wasn’t an easy task but we did it! It was amazing in all of his glorious lights! It’s the simple everyone knows Paris by! It is unifying and pure joy! I don’t think I smiled that hard in quite some time!

Paris day 3….

Paris owes me Nothing, Part 2

Like I said in Part 1 we were initially there for a wedding! Shout out to my girl Chrystal and Ray as they celebrated their love in Paris.

Most of the guests and some of the extras got there before we did. That means they had already done some sightseeing. We got there about 2 hours before the wedding started due to our late flight to celebrate with our oldest.

We arrived at our hotel; Hotel Alahambra. Let me say contrary to some folks, if I go somewhere and I like it I talk about it and tell you to add it to your list of go tos. However I’m going to be super blunt. To help phrase this here are my pros of the hotel:

  • Great location in the heart of Paris
  • Breakfast option
  • Near the metro
  • Near amazing food restaurants
  • Great pricing (we will come back to this)

Cons:

  • Owner/staff wasn’t pleasant
  • Having to turn in your key every time you left
  • Shuttle to airport which we thankfully didn’t take; owner tried to strong arm us

So on paper the hotel is beautiful and quaint. In person it went left. We got the hotel from Booking.com and any time I’ve gotten a booking through them it has been legit. Since we were traveling as a group of 3 and not 2 we placed that information in the browser. A room came up with basically a large queen and then a double bed. It made sense to get it. Kyla my girl stated a few days that many others who visited said that the owner gave them an issue with having more than 2 adults in the room. In my head I’m like this can’t be a thing, we set 3 adults and that room came up.

Well….we get there and it’s an issue. He wants to charge us an extra 300 for the third adult. No lie. Kyla and whomever wrote the last review were right! So I’m attempting to keep calm. If we would have left, his establishment wasn’t going to give us our money back we would have to fight with booking.com which I definitely will be doing before the end of this week.

To say that his attitude was horrible is an understatement. Now being in Paris I’ve caught on to them being more blunt than Americans but this wasn’t about being direct. He was straight horrible. Since we asked questions and didn’t roll over on what he said, every time he saw us he had an issue. Now remember when I said about the whole airport transportation? They have it but you can get an Uber for cheaper and when we asked about it, it was buy it now! We asked when was the last day to request it if we wanted it, he said buy it now so y’all know my response?! Nope! I will never make a financial decision on bad attitudes, tight lips, horrible service or bad dispositions periodt! So no extra hustle money from us. I will happily review them and if I was you unless you’re willing to pay for every adult in the room even if you use a trusty site don’t bother coming here.

They do have a breakfast option that if you’re eating it would save you money on food at other locations. However this momma who wakes up everyday in her regular life between 5-6 even on weekends to run elected to sleep. Plus the “adult juice” I needed recovery time so I have no review on whether or not the food is good!

Wedding vibes

We had enough time to change and get an Uber to the wedding with a mere minutes before it started. With most weddings they gave us some wiggle room before it started. The bride and groom looking absolutely stunning. It was my first time meeting the groom but right from the start he was warm and welcoming. The officiant of their wedding did it in English and French. It was absolutely beautiful.

I knew from the vows that Chrystal the bride has found her true love. I’ve been around her for quite some years and I’ve never heard her describe any man like she described Ray! Also the pure look of love and peace was special. I wish them a lifetime of happiness. Following the wedding they treated the guests to a boat cruise that included seeing a lot of iconic sites like the Eiffel Tower. I think I’ve seen the Tower like 3-4 times this whole trip and each time it has been breathtaking.

The boat ride was just the best. From the food of which there was an option for me! Thank you Chrystal! I kept my vegan behind vegan all trip!

Following the wedding I went to see if my girl was going to join us but by then she was sleep. We went to the night life near the Moulin Rouge. I won’t go into detail to protect the “innocent” but it was a pure blast! Adult drinks, fun adults, meeting new people and watching random strangers giving the bride and groom their congrats was amazing!!

Overall the wedding was absolutely the best for this year and to top it off it was in the Love city of Paris.

Ray take care of my girl! Now it’s time for you to pass the test of the kids and then I’ll know it’s real!!

Let’s be tourist….

Happy Birthday Naila

Today is such a holiday in my world. My oldest is 10! 10 years of love. 10 years of peace! 10 years of pure joy!

I love that I was chosen to be her mother! She has been amazing since I first laid eyes on her. I had her 6 weeks early due to me suffering from preeclampsia. This is a condition that caused me to have elevated high blood pressure and other complications. It caused me to be on borderline seizure activity. From the time of them attempting to stop my contractions they told me they didn’t think her lungs were developed enough. I met with the NICU nurses who reassured me that no matter what happened she would be in great care.

After they realized my contractions wouldn’t stop they assumed it would produce enough to make her come down the birth canal but she didn’t. They then started to speed up the process and the pain was terrible. All of that and still no baby and I was in active labor for at least 2 days. Finally I was told I would have to have a C-section. At this point, I didn’t care what they did the only thing on my mind was her safety. Although I was in pain and having a lot of headaches due to my blood pressure, she was my main concern.

I got bumped several times to have the surgery, but at 11pm on May 26 we had a 4 pounds and 3 oz baby girl. She did everything the opposite of what I feared. She was hollering which meant her lungs were strong. She was still taken to the NICU. I barely saw her but I remember being sort of out of it but I was crying just hearing her. I kept asking if she was ok and everyone was all smiles. Thank you to all of the nurses in the NICU who hands down were everything we needed and more!

I went into recovery and a week and a half she was home. It was the longest time but having her home meant the world to me. She would go on to have several complications that required me to lose time at work, many hospital stays, etc. but I wouldn’t change a thing. Through it all, she has smiled and had the best disposition that you can’t help but want to smile back at her. Everyone who knows her or been around her, knows that she has a heart of gold.

To the best 10 year old who made me a mom, brought out to best in me, gives me constant joy, the best big sister, awesome friend, and an amazing mini-me daughter-Happy Birthday Gummi Bear!