Holy Grail Moisturizer

As a product junkie and skincare fanatic, I’ve tried numerous skincare products and routines since my early teens. Moving into my 40’s, I’ve tried to change up my regimen to include a serum morning and night and a little bit heavier of a moisturizer, preferably with anti-aging benefits. I’d tried samples of some Perricone MD moisturizers before, but they were so tiny I could only try them for a day or two.

Thanks to Influenster, I was able to receive a recent VoxBox featuring Perricone MD’s Face Finishing & Firming Moisturizer. This lightly rose-scented cream is hydrating but not too rich. It smooths, plumps and firms skin and is perfect for daytime use. I’ve been using it now for over a week and I can definitely tell the difference. My skin is clear, moisturized and healthy-looking. Some of the fine lines around my eyes have been smoothed out and my face just feels soft and smooth.

If you’re looking for a good anti-aging moisturizer, definitely give this one by Dr. Perricone a try! You can find the product at Sephora, who currently has several excellent coupon codesfor some extra freebies.

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Welcome 2018!

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”
― Robert Louis Stevenson

2017 ended with hosting a family holiday get-together in our new home, visiting my parents in their new home and watching the ball drop with our kids at home, ringing in 2018 with the people I love the most. 2017 was full of much transition – we moved into a new home, my oldest two kids left elementary school and moved on to middle school and my parents bought a new home. 2017 held much ugliness on the national stage. It beat down all of us who are dreamers and hopers and optimists. But the year ahead is a blank book waiting to be written, a plot of soil waiting to be planted.

In 2018, may we all sow seeds of all the things we’d like to see bloom in our world: love, compassion, empathy, diversity, knowledge. May we leave behind the ugliness and the division and the hate and the pessimism and bring our renewed hopes into this New Year.

This year, I will stand up for myself, for those I love, and for those who are marginalized. I will confront ignorance and hatred with as much grace as I can muster, and I will not be afraid to say no to things that do not serve my highest good. I will let go of those people and situations that need to be left behind. And I will be open to the magic of this world, and when I need to, I will create my own.

I wish you all a wonderful 2018.

Mid-Atlantic Fall Food Events

The weather is getting cooler, there’s pumpkin spice everywhere and I had to break out my hoodie the other day. Fall is on its way, and the cooler weather is a great time to attend some foodie events. Here’s what’s going on in the Mid-Atlantic region this fall:

  •  42nd Annual Virginia Wine Festival – Oct. 14 & 15, Oronoco Bay Park, Alexandria, VA – Taste the best Virginia wines and ciders at this long-running wine festival complete with a Virginia Oyster Pavilion. General admission and VIP admission both include a tasting glass and unlimited tastings of Virginia wines and ciders. Some of Virginia’s best wineries are represented, such as Barboursville, Chateau Morrisette, CrossKeys Vineyard, Horton Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards and Prince Michel.
  • 5th Annual Craft Spirits Celebration – Sept. 14, Houston Hall, New York, NY – “The best spirits tasting event of the year” takes place this weekend in the West Village. Offering dozens of distillers, food pairings, live music and more, this event promises a good time.
  • New Kitchens on the Block (NKOTB) 3 at Mess Hall – Oct. 8, Mess Hall, Washington, DC – Try signature dishes from 11 of the District’s best new restaurants. Cocktails featuring Catoctin Creek, Green Hat and One Eight Distilling will be offered, and VIP guests receive swag bags with plenty of super secret stuff inside!
  • Virginia Craft Beer and Wine Festival – Sept. 16, Portsmouth Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA – Craft beer from breweries such as Starr Hill, Devil’s Backbone, Center of the Universe and South Street Brewing meets cider from Bold Rock and wine from The Williamsburg Winery, Lake Anna Winery and more. This waterfront event features delicious food and unlimited tastings of beer, wine and cider.
  • Virginia Spirits Festival – Sept. 30, The Passenger Bar, Washington, DC – Explore the distilleries of Virginia at this showcase. On-site sampling and purchasing enables you to buy what you try. Discover a new favorite spirit or cocktail!
  • 2nd Annual Craft Spirits Showcase – Sept. 16, Roanoke City Market Building, Roanoke VA – Master Distillers explain their craft and introduce you to their Virginia-made spirits at this second-year event. A Battle of the Bartenders pits bar staff from across the Commonwealth against each other in the fight for the best cocktail. Unlimited tastings of Virginia craft spirits are included.
  • Cocktail Classes at Barmini by Jose Andres – Sept. 27, Oct. 10, Nov. 1 and Dec. 16, Barmini, Washington, DC – Learn techniques and recipes for unique cocktails at acclaimed Barmini. Tickets for this interactive experience are extremely limited, so purchase early! Some sessions are already sold out.
  • Taste of DC – Oct. 7 & 8, The Festival Grounds at RFK Stadium, Washington, DC – This food, beer and wine festival literally has it all.  65+ of the region’s best restaurants, a wine walk, Oktoberfest, 3 stages of live music and culinary entertainment, the 7th Annual Ben’s Chili Bowl World Chili Eating Championship, the DC Chili Cookoff and a Kid Zone make for an action-packed weekend of the best food and drinks in the region. Various VIP options let you tailor-make your experience.

If you’re a foodie, there’s plenty to do this fall on the East Coast. Enjoy!

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A new look

2017 has been a year of change, and in that vein I’ve decided to make some changes to my blog. While my obsession with culinary history continues, I wanted to open this blog up to be more of a lifestyle blog reflecting who I am and the things I love, from food and recipes to music, movies, clothes, home decor and more.

It’s no secret that I’ve been drawn to a darker aesthetic since I was a teenager, but what happens when you’re goth af on the inside, but you’re married, have kids and a career and live in the ‘burbs?

From the Wikipedia: Southern gothic is “a subgenre of gothic fiction in American literature that takes place in the American South.” Themes that are typical in Southern Gothic literature “include deeply flawed, disturbing or eccentric characters who may or may not dabble in hoodoo,ambivalent gender roles, decayed or derelict settings, grotesque situations, and other sinister events relating to or stemming from poverty, alienation, crime, or violence.”

For me, the Southern Gothic aesthetic encompasses urban and rural decay, melancholy music, rustic industrial decor, antiques and found objects, the spectre of history looming large and, my favorite part, the note of eccentricity that’s the hallmark of people who don’t fit into boxes. Imagine walking down a deserted Southern country lane, the air heavy with humidity and the scent of magnolia, as you explore a roadside antique shop or graveyard.

Join me as I share my obsessions and explore the Southern Gothic aesthetic.

What’s on the horizon: the promised recap of my anniversary Europe trip with my husband, antiquing in the mountains of Virginia, music, favorite recipes and more.

 

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Opens New Craft Bier Brauhaus

In keeping with the craft beer trend, Busch Gardens in Williamsburg has opened a brand new “brauhaus” featuring 30 rotating craft beers on tap. This cozy spot is located inside “Das Festhaus” in Germany, and is tucked away at the back of the building, offering a quiet place to enjoy a craft beer or beer flight accompanied by various bar snacks.

On the day of our visit, there were beers on draft from DuClaw, Starr Hill, Bold Rock Cider and St. George, among others. My husband and I each got a beer flight of four different beers. I tried the Flying Dog Blood Orange Ale, Hofbrau Dunkel, Founders Dirty Bastard Scotch Ale and DuClaw Sweet Baby Jesus Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter. We got a meat and cheese platter and a pretzel and hung out in the brauhaus for a bit. It was great to sit down and rest a bit after walking around the park all day, and the tucked-away location and great selection of craft beers make this a spot I’m sure we’ll hit up whenever we visit the park.

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Make your plans for DC’s Cochon 555!

This April, I’ll be heading to DC to partake of some of the most delicious pork, wine, bourbon and cocktails in the country at Cochon 555. If you’ve never heard of this celebration of all things pig, don’t worry – there’s plenty of time to buy your tickets and find out what you’ve been missing!

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Cochon 555 is a national tour promoting heritage breed pigs by inviting five chefs and five winemakers in each stop on the tour to cook one of five pigs in whichever ways they choose, and to pair the dishes with the best wines. Besides the most interesting and innovative nose-to-tail bites of pork, each event features tastes of other foods, sips of bourbon and brews and popup cocktail bars featuring themed drinks.

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Cochon 555 events take place from coast to coast, and additional events have been added in recent years, such as Asian Speakeasy and Heritage BBQ events.

Washington, DC’s Cochon 555 event will be held on Sunday, April 17, with an Asian Speakeasy the preceding Friday evening and a Chef’s Course dinner series that Saturday. I hope to see you there! If not, be sure to follow all the excitement on my Instagram account.

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