Thursday, October 20, 2016

I'm a Bride-to-Be!

It's been a while since I have published any posts on this blog so it's about time I start sharing some stories with my readers becauseI have a lot to catch you up on.... 
I'm engaged! He proposed to me under the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York City this past December and I've been on cloud nine ever since. He surprised me in front of my parents and my best friend and her husband. I thought we were just taking casual photos in front of the iconic tree and then all of the sudden he is on one knee asking me to marry him. I said 'YES', obviously. 





For the past few months I have been planning my wedding and I want to share with you some of the highlights so far! My career in hospitality marketing for nearly a decade has emerged me in the wedding industry but now I'm seeing a whole new side of it as a client. Browsing through wedding magazines has always been part of my marketing research to make sure that the companies that I represent are on trend and relevant. I select photos that go into the ads and try to grab people by the emotion. Well, now I'm looking for a whole new reason. I'm the target market! 

Although I want to keep some things private and not reveal too much detail I will start will telling you about my favorite parts of the planning process so far. Selecting vendors was more enjoyable than I thought it would be. I have made friends in the Philadelphia wedding industry and I was afraid it would be hard to select from so many talented people. Well, it was very difficult at first but things have just fell into place. 


Wedding dress shopping was one of the first things I did. It mad me really feel like a bride! Trying on beautiful white dresses was so surreal but when it sunk in I really enjoyed it. I gave myself a lot of time because a decision like this is important. I started shopping exactly 12 months out from my wedding day. My sister The Curvy Bride boutique online found it was seriously the best thing she did so far as Matron of Honor so far. I had awesome an experience was at The Curvy Bride. And no, they did not pay me to say that!



After going to a few stores with experience that was terrible in comparison I knew I was spoiled by the personal attention given to me at The Curvy Bride. It's a boutique shop with designer dresses but all of the samples start at size 14 so you can actually see how the style will look. The owner Michelle and her team are amazing to work with and I can't wait for my dress to come in!  

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Spice VoxBox by Influenster

If you don't know about Influenster and their amazing Vox Boxes you are missing out. The latest box of products to sample was the best one yet! Spice VoxBox was packed with seven products to sample and review. I personally invite you to join so you too can test out new products in another VoxBox. Click here to sign up for Influenster.

The Spice VoxBox was full of great products from the brands listed below.
  • Foot Petals - Give 'Em The Boot 
  • Good Health - Veggie Stix 
  • Yogi Tea 
  • Soapbox Shampoo and Conditioner 
  • Not Your Mother's Whip it Up Cream Styling Mousse 
  • Sinful Colors SinfulShine Nail Polish 
  • Boots Botanic Hydrating Cream
I enjoyed being introduced to all of the products in the Spice Vox Box. However, two really stood out to me; Yogi Tea and Foot Pedals Give 'Em The Boot insoles.  

Yogi Tea was energizing and inspiring! The Vanilla Spice teabag was my favorite one. The blend of herbs was perfect for a mid-day energy boost. Each tag has an inspirational quote. The one below says, "Love is an Infinite Power."

 
The reason Give 'Em The Boot Foot Petals insoles were another favorite is because I just got new boots this winter and the insoles made them even more comfortable to wear! They are comfy and keep my feet feeling even warmer. Below are my new Franco Sarto black leather rider boots with the insoles inside.







Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Adventure in Cuba: City to Countryside


One of my most memorable weeks of 2015 was when I traveled to Cuba! I had an amazing trip and I want to share it with you. In October I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience and recommend you take the opportunity to learn about Cuban culture first hand if you ever get the chance. 

As an American, I always thought a trip to Cuba would be completely forbidden. Well, it is not if you travel with a licensed cultural exchange group. I signed up on a culinary trip with Cultural Contrast and Guillermo Pernot the Chef-Partner of Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar.

Old Havana is exactly how it is depicted in photos with old cars, open air restaurants, run down buildings and friendly faces. The people of Cuba were very welcoming and I felt safe walking around the streets with my mother who traveled with me. 




Each meal was a mini adventure within the trip! We were on a culinary tour and ate a lot while also learning about how the food was sourced and prepared. Food is a large part of the Cuban culture. Before arriving in Old Havana, I really didn't know that much about how the people of Cuba lived day to day- or meal to meal. 

Anthony Bourdain's Parts unknown episode about Cuba prepared me for what to expect when it came to authentic Cuban cuisine. I suggest watching it if you are planning a trip there soon. However, Chef Pernot knows a whole lot more about Cuban cuisine than Bourdain so we were in good hands on our trip! Just take a trip to Cuba Libre Restaurants and Rum Bars on the east coast and get a taste of his cuisine in either Philadelphia, Atlantic City, Washington D.C. or Orlando. 


Pork and Flan were the most common menu items but no two dishes were prepared exactly the same! The dish above is a pulled pork dish constructed and delicately plated with the crispy skin on top of it. 




The hotel our group stayed at was in the heart of Old Havana, Parque Central. It is a top ranked hotel and is well known for it's rooftop pool and view. There I am in the photo below admiring the surroundings on the rooftop. 




We took a day trip to the western province of Pinar Del Rio, home of Cuba’s most lush landscapes and agriculture. This was my favorite day of the entire trip because it showed me there was more to Cuba than the city of Havana! 



Lunch at the private farmhouse was the best farm-to-table meal I have ever enjoyed. Everything was sourced from the acres of land that surrounded us. The abundant of fresh vegetables and herbs was unbelievable! 







Friday, July 10, 2015

Au'loni Magazine Presents: NEXTgeneration Marketing Gala

It has been a while since the last post but I'm back and better than ever! As you can imagine I have been very busy with work and balancing everything on my plate. I was so honored to be asked to be a guest speaker at an upcoming industry event, NEXTgeneration Marketing Gala on August 20, 6:30 p.m. in Philadelphia. Sign up to show some support! 




Hurry, tickets will not be available at the door! Click here to sign up. I will be discussing the importance of networking, seizing all opportunities and always being ready to take the next step in your career as an entrepreneur. The marketing and public relations industry in Philadelphia is an expansive community and I am flattered to be called upon as an influential member of this niche market. 

In a nutshell success is all about relationships because you never know who you will meet and the impact they will have on you. I look forward to meeting new professionals on August 20th and hope you will be one of them! 

What great timing too! I have become very familiar with becoming an entrepreneur as I just enrolled as a Consultant of Rodan + Fields. It is a new opportunity that I'm ready to take on so stay tuned for more about that on my blog Always a Brunette. 

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Get a Taste of Brulee Catering in Philadelphia



Come on out to get a taste of Brûlée Catering by ChefJean-Marie Lacroix this Saturday, December 13, (12/13/14) at the Independence Seaport Museum! 

It has been over six months since I posted but I’m back and better than ever. This March I started a new position as Marketing Manager at Brûlée Catering in Philly. I love it so far and have met very interesting people, attended fantastic events and of course tasted delicious cuisine by their talented chefs. 

This Saturday is the SportsRadio 94WIP Tailgate Throwdown Finale with Brûlée Catering’s Executive Chefs as ‘Coaches’! Join us this Saturday, December, 13, 2014 at 1:00 – 3:00pm at the Independence Seaport Musuem to sample the six winning tailgate recipes and vote for your favorite one!

Over the course of the last six weeks, six amateur chefs selected to team up with our Executive Chefs and hosts of SportsRadio 94WIP; Angelo Cataldi, Al Morganti, Rhea Hughes and Glen Macnow. One team will be crowned the winner and receive prizes including Vermont Castings 5 Burner Gas Grill from Dreifuss Fireplaces and a Big Green Egg Smoker from Queen Appliances.


Below is a preview of the recipes going head-to-head at the Tailgate Throwdown Finale! I hope to see you there so you can get a taste of Brûlée Catering!


Recipe #1 – Mexican Cheesesteak Tacos
Finalist: Jay Carlson  Chef-Coach: Jennifer Salhoff, Executive Chef, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar

Recipe #2 – Sticky Sweet Sriracha Wings
Finalist: Dave Koller (Philadelphia, PA) Chef-Coach: Thomas McMullen, Executive Chef Off-Premise Catering, Brûlée Catering

Recipe #3 – Suzie Q’s Dr. Pepper Infused Ribs
Finalist: Lemond Adams (Hockessin, DE) Chef-Coach: JC Nunez, Executive Chef Off-Premise Catering, Brûlée Catering

Recipe # 4 – “Concrete Chuck” Roast Sliders
Finalist: Peter and Shelia Kurilla (Philadelphia, PA) Chef-Coach: James Rodebaugh, Executive Pastry Chef, Brûlée Catering

Recipe #5 - Buffalo Chili
Finalist: Ed Hourigan (Philadelphia, PA) Chef-Coach: Guillermo Veloso, Executive Chef, Brûlée Catering at Please Touch Museum

Recipe #6 – This is a secret until it is unveiled on Thursday morning’s WIP show.
Finalist: Liz Grover (North Wales, PA) Chef-Coach: Matt Levin, Executive Chef, Brûlée Catering at National Constitution Cent