Friday, May 9, 2014

#500DaysofBeauty Guest Post- Sun 365 Self Tanner by Kristi

Hey everyone! Happy Spring! I've got a whole host of fun exciting summer essentials, but before those warm rays brown you bronze, get a little bit of help from self-tanners.

The problem, however is the scent, the application, the orange... how to combat this?

My friend Kristi says she has found a decent product:

"I finally found a self-tanner that no-shoot-honest-to-god DOES NOT SMELL. This is monumental, people. My legs will *not* be the color of raw chicken this summer!!"

Plus, after Kristi had it on for a few hours, she said: 
"Ok, now that it has bonded with my skin for a bit I am catching a hint of self-tanner smell. However, it is very faint/tolerable and the color is perfect and has not collected/made dark spots on rough areas.
If you're a fair to medium-skinned gal, this is for you."

There you have it folks- from a lady who has decreed it shall work!

Additional Note: 6 hours later, Kristi did detect the Self Tanner Smell, but it still had great coverage! So during the application process there isn't a smell, which is a bonus!

Have you tried it? What do you think? What kinds of self-tanners do you swear by?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Victory Tasting Dinner Was a Huge Success!

In case you missed it, T Burke Gastro Pub hosted it's first ever Victory Tasting Dinner with Victory Brewing Company at the Valley Forge DoubleTree by Hilton! Four courses of deliciousness! 

The atmosphere that night was perfect- cold and rainy outside, warm and cozy inside. 

We began with a lovely duck confit over leafy greens and a goat cheese croquette, paired with the Swing Saison, the savory duck commingling with the fresh peppercorns and spicy citrus of this refreshing beer. This one was my favorite beer. 

We then moved on to delightful pan seared salmon paired with Golden Monkey, which has 2 imported row malts, coriander seed, and whole flower European hops. This tasted so amazing with the salmon.

The third course found Rach and I getting a little full, but we were ready for the next course! They brought out beer-braised short ribs with Hop Devil, a Victory IPA favorite with whole flower American hops. This was the perfect meal for this evening, with stick-to-your ribs meat and potatoes. This was the end of the savory meal, and next was dessert. 

Dessert was a chocolate brownie created with the Storm King Imperial Stout! Topped with a caramel beer drizzle and frosty vanilla ice cream, we were in heaven! Amazing!

So, don't miss the next one when it comes around!!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Victory tasting menu party at T. Burke's at Doubletree VF

This is what you have been waiting for! 

A Victory tasting party at T. Burke's Gastro Pub at Doubletree Valley Forge on Wednesday, March 19th. 

Beginning at 6pm ( Til 8pm), T. Burke's is excited to present an awesome pairing of Victory beers with delicious fare!

For just $35, you get a gorgeous four-course pairing, including delicious duck confit with a Swing Saison; succulent pan seared salmon paired with Golden Monkey; beer braised short ribs with Hop Devil beer, and dessert, well, you have got to be here to believe this decadent chocolate and ale confection!

Don't miss this amazing dinner tasting menu with Victory's best beer and food at the Doubletree Valley Forge on Wednesday March 19, 6-8pm in T. Burke's Gastro Pub!

$35 pp plus tax and gratituty. 

Please contact Michael Rechner at 484-684-1473 or email at 

We can't wait to raise a glass with you! 

Doubletree by Hilton Valley Forge, 301 West Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia, PA. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Romance at the Ritz

Valentine's Day is right around the corner. I never thought I'd be so glad to see February, so please let's leave behind the Polar Vortex. 

Luckily, I've got my engaged love to keep me warm! You can bet with my first Valentine's Day as an engaged lady, S and I will be celebrating! 

One of the places we love to celebrate and visit is The Ritz-Carlton Philadelphia.  Set on the lovely Avenue of the Arts near the Academy of Music, the Kimmel Center, City Hall and more.
Time to Relax at the Ritz
In the very first moment of arriving out front, the staff at the Ritz knew our names and that we were celebrating our engagement. Check-in took just a moment, and within minutes, S and I were happily ensconced in our king-size-bed room, enjoying some wine and cheese and marveling over the view and the comfort of the luxurious room. The bathroom was a vision in elegant granite and marble, with a tub, stand up shower, private toilet and marble vanity. 

The king size bed was perfect for lounging and an afternoon nap. The management kindly sent up Philly truffles and cognac which S and I immensely enjoyed! Later, we prepared for dinner at the Ritz's restaurant, 10 Arts Bistro. 
Thank you!
This is set in the main lounge and lobby of the Ritz, with low lighting, a majestic marble dome high above and powerful columns below. This property was previously a bank, and the touches of old classic architecture everywhere. 

Blair & Pear Martini
S and I settled in with drinks, S with a Japanese microbrew and myself with the delicious Blair & Pear honey lavender martini. We toasted our engagement, and perused the menu. We began with the artisanal bread basket and special sushi rolls, the CheeseSteak rolls - sweet and unique rolls wrapped in tender beef, peppers, onions, shiitake mushrooms and a touch of cheese whiz. These were fabulous! Every Friday and Saturday evenings from 6-8pm 10 Arts Bistro hosts a pop- up sushi table with unique and different sushi rolls.  

Philly Cheesesteak Sushi Rolls
Next we enjoyed succulent oysters on the half shell with lemon and lots of hot spicy horseradish sauce. Then the chef sent out tender pork belly to try with a fresh cilantro salsa and baked pita chips. So heavenly!

Pork Belly
For our main courses, I chose the 72- hour brawler braised shortrib over sharp cheddar and sweet potato gratin and candied Brussels sprouts. S chose the braised lamb shank with roasted potatoes and a mint jalenpo glaze. Heaven. S swooned over his duck while I was actually silent enjoying the tender delicious ribs.  Each bite was a delight. 

Short Ribs and Potato Cheddar Gratin
S and I quite liked the lemon intermezzo, then eagerly looked forward to dessert- coffee and cappuccinos with a cheese plates, then a selection of mini ice creams - peppermint candy cane, Dutch  chocolate, praline toffee with lemon shortbreads. S got the sweet potato cheesecake over a cranberry compote and candied pumpkin seeds - it was like Thanksgiving on a dessert plate- a delicious decadent delight. With my sweet tooth for fruit desserts, I chose the apple crisp with tart apples, bourbon soaked raisins and my absolute favorite- sweet, heady cinnamon ice cream. Serious Yum!

For Valentine's Day, 10 Arts Bistro is ready to set the most romantic table in the city - call now to reserve a table on Friday February 14 or Saturday February 15 to enjoy a special Valentine's Day menu at $195 ( tax extra). Also, reserve a room for a night or two to enjoy the most romantic place in the city. 

Don't miss the most romantic place in the city for you and your love!

After a glorious night's sleep in our luxurious bed, S and I headed downstairs for a romantic brunch.  I thought after the previous night's dinner I'd never be hungry again, but when we saw the brunch spread, we were suddenly starving!

We began with a taste of grits and duck confit, potato hash browns, special-order omelets with mushrooms, ham and cheddar, bagels with fresh lox and whipped cream cheese. We especially enjoyed the small glass containers with strawberry Greek yogurt and vanilla. Then the chef sent out cheesesteak eggs Benedict - poached eggs over cheesy tender beef- glorious! We also loved the assortment of croissants and sweet rolls with our coffees. 
Alas, it was time to check out. 
Cheesesteak Eggs Benedict
On the way home, we reflected on our wonderfully romantic Ritz weekend. Luxurious, elegant and romantic - all the elements of a glorious happy weekend. The Ritz Carlton Philadelphia has it all - and you should go and celebrate Valentine's Day 2014!

Annual Taste of Phoenixville Draws Large Number of Hungry Patrons

At the Phoenixville Foundry Thursday January 16, hundreds of generous patrons attended the Good Samaritan Shelter 12th Annual Taste of Phoenixville. 

These amazing restaurants served up great food all night:

Artisans Gallery & Cafe, Bistro on Bridge, Bridge Street Chocolates, Cooking Spotlight, Cupcakes Gourmet, Dia Doce, Dominic’s Ristorante Italiano, Foresta’s Market, Hacienda La Michoacana, Hill’s Quality Seafood, Majolica, Marly’s BYO, Mike Walsh, Wine Educator with Main Line Wine Events, Molly Maguire’s Restaurant, MomPops, Montesano Bros. Italian Market & Catering, Nook & Kranny Kafe, Pepperoncini Restaurant, PJ Ryan’s Pub, Rivercrest Golf Club, Robert Ryan Catering & Design, Saint Peter’s Bakery, SIPS Bistro & Bar, Sly Fox Brewing Company, The Grille at Spring Hollow, Thai L’Elephant, Tony’s Family Restaurant/Storti’s Caterers, Vecchia Pizzeria.

The Good Samaritan Shelter has helped many people in the area get back on their feet, including several to spoke to the crowd about their experiences. to volunteer at the Good Samaritan Shelter, please contact Robyn

Another wonderful successful event! Thank you to all!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Is Winter Ruining Your Complexion?

Here in southeastern PA we are in the chilly throes of winter. We got a record-breaking foot of snow yesterday, and I've been informed it's only -13 degrees outside! I'm ready for some balmy temps in the 40s! Yes, I know it's winter and this is what winter does, but this is getting crazy. Add to this to my poor dry face, and I'm ready to stay in bed with a good book until spring!

How about you? Are you having winter skin woes? My face is dry, red, and blotchy in places. I've exfoliated and used my good skin serums, but my face isn't responding well. I've never had this issue before, so I wasn't sure what to do. Vaseline, maybe??

I had a small sample of Josie Maran's Argan Oil from Sephora, which I figured was for smoothing hair, and after my bath on a whim I dabbed the oil on my face the other night, and again last night. It's quite dry in my house and I haven't been drinking enough water. 

Today, my skin is noticeably less dry and red, and the blotchy spots have gone down considerably.  I only have a dab left and will need to order some. I think this is going to be my answer. 

In addition to the Argan Oil, I need to stay on top of my 5 glasses of water a day along with my brewed pot of Tevana herbal teas and gently cleansing my skin. 

So how are you faring with this harsh winter dryness? Have you used Argan Oil?