Black Bourbon Society Presents Bourbon, Beats & Bubbles at Gypsy Kitchen

I recently came across the Black Bourbon Society on Facebook and immediately wanted to join the group. With a lack of representation of persons of color in the bourbon community, founder Samara Rivers, decided that needed to change and form the Black Bourbon Society. The goal, to “bring African Americans who want to deepen their appreciation for fine whiskeys and bourbons through events, tasting and more.” With a community of 3,000+ bourbon enthusiast, Rivers organizes several bourbon centered events across the US. Each event features a carefully selected high quality bourbon brand that is available for tasting.

This past weekend, Black Bourbon Society was in Atlanta and was held at the Gypsy Kitchen. The afternoon’s featured bourbon was Woodford Reserve. Guest had the opportunity to taste 3 selections from the Woodford Reserve brand. A delicious spread of appetizers and welcome cocktails started the brunch off in a most delicious way.

Curated cocktails included:

Woodford Old Fashioned

(Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select, Simple Syrup, Angostura Bitters)

Spice Trader

(Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select, Ginger Beer, Lime, Apricot, Honey, Cayenne)

Radio City

(Woodford Reserve Rye, Montenegro, Sweet Vermouth, Cherry, Black Walnut Bitters)

There were beautiful vibes all around as bourbon enthusiasts sipped on curated cocktails and enjoyed an amazing spread prepared by the Gypsy Kitchen. It was the perfect prelude to the main course. On the menu: Scramble Eggs, Bacon, Chicken Sausage, Pan Con Tomate, Cinnamon Roll, Skirt Steak, Shrimp Cocktail, Mixed Greens, and Brunch Potatoes.

The event ended with a few word from Black Bourbon Society founder, Samara Rivers, expressing her deep gratitude to her guests continued support. It was a beautiful moment sealed with a champagne toast with Korbel.

Chicago is the next stop for the Black Bourbon Society, featuring Makers Mark. Click HERE for tickets!

For more information about Black Bourbon Society and future events, visit www.blackbourbonsociety.com.

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Taste & Explore: A Travel Guide to Cleveland, Ohio

Last week I traveled with my mother and daughter to Cleveland, Ohio. It was our first road trip of many together.  We were pretty excited to explore the great city of Cleveland. I had contacted Destination Cleveland for an itinerary of things to do during our stay. Their list included various attractions and places to eat as well. We also had a list of places we wanted to check too. Because we were traveling from Toledo, Ohio, our road trip was only about 2 hours. We left early Wednesday morning to get the most out of our 2 days in Cleveland.

10:45 AM

We arrived in Cleveland at about 10:45 AM. The first stop I wanted to make was to Brewnuts. I’ve been kind of stalking them on Instagram for months now. I really wanted to go early since they have a reputation of selling out early in the day. Brewnuts is located in a neighborhood on the West Side of Cleveland called Detroit-Shoreway. This donut shop is the result of two genius Clevelanders, Shelley & John Pippin, who quite their jobs “to pursue their three favorite things: donuts, beer and Cleveland.” Today, Brewnuts is serving up delicious craft beer based donuts and is being stalked by people like me.

When we arrived at the corner donut a signed that illuminated on the side of the building read “DONUTS & BEER”. I was so excited!! We entered the shop by pulling on a door handle that was a pink rolling pin. Love! The inside was just the cutest! I probably took about 20 pictures before even making it to the counter.

Once we made it to the counter, we were then presented with a major decision. What donuts we were going to get! They all looked amazing! I finally decided on the Hibiscus Limeade. My daughter went for the Mocha Toffee. So how did they taste?? AMAZING!! I tried not to eat all of it and save some for later. That plan did not work out too well. This is definitely a stalk-worthy donut shop in every sense!

12:00 PM

Next, a quick stop to another cool mural by muralist, Victor Ving. I’ve been a fan of his Greetings Tour ever since I discovered on of his murals in my hometown, Toledo. What a cool way to welcome visitors from out of town! I found out where the Greetings from Cleveland mural was from the list of murals on their website. I put the location in my google maps and shorty we were there! Let the photo shoot begin!!

12:45 PM

Our next stop was to our hotel for the night. With the amazing assistance of Destination Cleveland and the generosity of the Holiday Inn Express, I was hosted at one of the most beautiful hotels in downtown Cleveland. Now this is not your ordinary Holiday Inn Express. As soon as you walk up to the building you realize that right away. Located in the renovated 19th century historic Guardian Bank Building built in 1894, this building was once one of the tallest building in America. In 1999, it was converted into a Holiday Inn Express. In 2000, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. This hotel has an incredible vintage feel about it that can’t be denied.

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by valet. Valeting your car is a good idea, with it being a fee of $24 flat, from check-in to check-out. In and outs are allowed as well. Located in downtown area, it’s definitely convenient to just valet and just walk around and explore rather then trying to find parking. Holiday Inn Express is also in walking distance to many coffee shops, restaurants, attractions and even a market.

Check-in was a breeze! My room was even ready early! The hotel attendant provided me with two key cards and some useful tips to make my stay even more comfortable. She also gave me two cocktail tickets to use at the hotel’s Evening Refresher. Nice!

Our room was on the 6th floor. When we got off the elevator, we noticed the floor was hardwood, which continued into our suite. I thought that was a very cool feature of the hotel. My mother really appreciated it because she suffers from allergies. Carpet is definitely not her friend. The room was very nice! It had high ceiling, huge floor to ceiling windows, and a cute kitchen and living room area. There was ample space for all of us. The queen sized beds were super comfortable! Our stay also included free WIFI, hot complimentary breakfast and a 24 hour fitness center.

Later that night, it was a tad bit chilly in the room. The heat didn’t seem to be working, so I called down to the desk and requested an extra blanket. The young lady at the desk ask if I had turned the heat on. I said yes. So she offered to send maintenance up to take a look at it along with a blanket. About 4 minutes later, there was a knock at the door. Maintenance came in to looked at the thermostat and determined it needed to be reset. They left and came back and let me know it should be warm in the room very shortly. And it was! I really appreciated their quick attention to this

*Big Thank You to Holiday Inn Express for hosting me during my stay in Cleveland. As always all options are that of my own.

2:00 PM

After getting settled in our room, we left to explore some more! Our next stop was to the the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Cleveland Museum of Art was founded in 1913 and opened in 1916. Its collection includes “45,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts.” All of this FREE OF CHARGE TO ALL!!

Our visit the Cleveland Museum of Art was amazing. There was so much to see! I enjoyed stopping and speaking to Museum employees about the art. You could tell they also had an appreciation of the art and the Museum.

3:30 PM

Before dinner, we made a quick stop to the Cleveland’s oldest publicly owned market, West Side Market. Since its opening in 1912, it’s been a Cleveland landmark. This place is incredible! With I’ve 100 vendors offering baked goods, coffee, spices, and meats, it is most definitely a foodie’s playground.

5:00 PM

One block from the market, was another place I found on Instagram while planning my trip to Cleveland, Soho Chicken + Whiskey. I had to visit! I found out that on Wednesdays you can order chicken and fixings À la cart and their prices were very reasonable. Everything on the menu sounded amazing. I ordered 2 wings, rosemary waffles, and roasted asparagus. A plate of warm biscuits with whipped butter and apple butter to share was also included. It’s making me hungry just thinking about how good it was.

Day 2

8:00 AM

Thursday, we got an early start on the day and headed across the street to Pour Cleveland to grab some espresso. Located in the heart of downtown Cleveland, Pour Cleveland is a multi-roaster pour over and espresso bar. They strive to “serve really good coffee and make people happy.” And that is exactly what they did on my visit. The baristas were very friendly and made everyone in my party very happy. What a great way to start the day! In addition to serving and array of espresso and tea beverages, Pour Cleveland also offers fresh pastries, catering, brewing equipment, power sourced tables/ free wifi and good vibes. They even featured my daughter on their Instagram account!

9:00 AM

The day before we noticed a market not too far from the hotel we were staying at called, Heinen’s. Heinen’s is a Cleveland based family-owned grocery store that’s been around since 1929. Today the founder’s grandsons keep the legacy alive with 23 neighborhood stores across Northeast Ohio and the Greater Chicago area. The downtown Cleveland location is a sight to see. Located in the historic Cleveland Trust Rotunda building, this grocery is like no other. It’s definitely a downtown Cleveland landmark. When you walk through the doors you just have to stop and admire the beautiful architecture of the inside. The ceiling is just breathtaking!

Once you get done taking dozens of pictures of the ceiling, you realize this “grocery store” is not just like any other grocery store you have ever been in. This place is a foodie’s paradise. There is an insane selection of artisan cheese, meats, local products, and prepared foods. I imagined this to be the spot to grab lunch if you worked downtown. On the second floor you will find a very large selection of craft beers and wines. They also hold several wine tastings and dinners in this department as well. I was totally in love with Heinen’s!!

10:00 AM

Back up street we walked to find the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Inside this building historic building you with learn about what a bank does in its Money Museum. My daughter enjoyed all of the interactive displays throughout the museum and of course getting a bag of shredded money at the end. The Money Museum is free for all!

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I’m on the dollar bill!! 💰 #TravelWithSage #ThisIsCle

A post shared by Sage (@sageloves2eat) on

12:00 PM

After a short rest at our hotel, we continued our day of adventure at the Great Lakes Science Center. With the mission “to make science, technology, engineering and math come alive”, they are also making it fun. Just ask my daughter! What a cool place! We started our exploration of the center in Cleveland Clinic Dome Theatre to watch a very interesting film called Amazon Adventure. Watching it under the gigantic 6 story high domed screen made the film even more interesting.

Next we explore the HUNDREDS of hands-on exhibits. It was science overload and we LOVED it!!! My daughter was very sad we had to leave. She could have been there all day. This is a must-do attraction for kids and adults alike.

*Special thanks to the Great Lakes Science Center for providing complimentary tickets to me. As always all options are my own.

4:30 PM

We decided to check out one other local coffee shop before heading back called Passengers Cafe. This Ohio City coffee shop is located in the lobby of the Cleveland Hostel. They offer amazing espresso drinks, bagels, toast, and local pastries. Head upstairs to their cool rooftop situation, perfect for sipping lattes.

5:00 PM

Our last stop before heading home was to B Spot Burgers. B Spot Burgers is located right outside downtown Cleveland in Westlake, Ohio. This restaurant is the brainchild of Food Network Iron Chef, Michael Symon. The menu had so many delicious options! I order The Gobbler with rosemary fries! So good!! AND I was excited to see that they had a pickle bar to further dress my burger. Be sure to check out their happy hour menu for more delicious deals!

Cleveland is an amazing city! I definitely need to come back and do some more exploring. I need about a week there! If you’re planning a trip to Cleveland, Ohio in the near future consider adding these places to your itinerary.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The greatest stories and biggest names in rock and roll shine on at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2015. The experience includes four theaters, multiple interactive stations and seven floors that tell the story of the world’s most powerful art form. Visitors can pay homage to rock icons and see video, artifacts, memorabilia and other cool, “one-of-a-kind” stuff on display at the Rock Hall. The Rock Hall is dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music and the cultural context from which it emerges.

Children’s Museum of Cleveland

Excitement, enrichment and inspiration await during an afternoon of creative play at the new Children’s Museum of Cleveland. From thinking like scientists to embracing their inner artists to designing, building and exploring a pretend city, kids can write their own script in this open- ended learning environment. Families can get hands-on in the new Wonder Lab with water tables and magnetic walls; create their own masterpiece in the Arts & Parts room and discover their own adventures throughout this former Millionaire’s Row mansion, the stately Stager- Beckwith home.

Greater Cleveland Aquarium

The Powerhouse, located in the West Bank of the Flats, is now home to the 70,000-square-foot Greater Cleveland Aquarium. The historic building includes eight galleries and over 50 exhibits with aquatic life from around the world. Visitors have the chance to dive right into interactive experiences with stingray and tortoise encounters and aquarium feeding times. One of the most exciting exhibits includes a sea tube that allows visitors to experience life under the sea in a clear, 150’ walk through tunnel.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

From dinosaurs to diamonds, the Museum is a beautiful blend of traditional and interactive galleries that show kids of all ages how history and art connect with the natural world. At the Ralph Perkins Wildlife Center and Woods Garden visitors can marvel at bald eagles, owls, foxes, bobcats, deer and other animals in this 2.2 acre outdoor gallery that connects to the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The different mixture of creatures, ranging from endangered animals to animals that have learned to live with humans makes this nature center unique.

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo & Rainforest

Home to more than 3,000 animals located throughout 165 rolling wooded acres and a two-story Rain Forest full of exotic creatures and striking plant life from across the globe, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Rainforest is one of the city’s must-see attractions. Families can get “nose- to-trunk” with a six-ton elephant at the five-acre state-of-the-art African Elephant Crossing, the nation’s first LEED certified major outdoor animal exhibit.

Thank you Destination Cleveland for all your assistance during my stay in Cleveland! I look forward to returning soon! #ThisIsCle

VIP Blogger Tour at The Avenue East Cobb

Last week, Atlanta Bloggers were invited to The Avenue at East Cobb for a VIP Blogger Tour. Our tour started in The Avenue’s management office where we were greeted and walked the red carpet. Inside we were treated to Brixx Pizza and champagne to get the tour off to a great start.

Our next stop was Ann Taylor. Here we were given a preview of their upcoming fall trends. Their collection included a beautiful selection of blouses, jackets, and ankle pants. Afterwards, the great staff at Ann Taylor gave us to a style challenge. We were all given a pair of ankle pants. We then had to come up with 3 looks that incorporated these ankle pants. Oh! And we had 4 minutes to complete the task! Eek! I pulled a few things together, but of the other bloggers really knew how to put an outfit together. I was very impressed. The winner of the challenge, Nikka Shae of Oh! Nikka, won a Ann Taylor handbag. Nice!

Ann Taylor
4475 Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30062
678-560-1937


Next, we went to barre 3. barre 3 is “where ballet barre meets yoga and pilates”. The workouts are designed to transform the body to one equal balance, strength, and flexibility. What’s really great about barre 3 is that if you can’t make it to the studio, they offer unlimited access to their Online Workouts with a subscription. With the Online Workouts you also get access to balanced, seasonal recipes. Getting back in shape has never been easier!

barre 3
The Avenue at East Cobb
4475 Roswell Rd
Marietta, Ga 30062
770-726-0839

Next, we walked over to one of my favorite stores, Williams-Sonoma. Williams-Sonoma was founded in 1956 by Chuck Williams. He was the first to discover, import, and popularize brands when they were small such as KitchenAid, Le Creuset, and Mandolines. Today, Williams-Sonoma is America’s leader in high-quality cookware and tools.
At our stop here at the Williams-Sonoma East Cobb location, we were warmly greeted and presented with a Moscow Mule. A Moscow Mule is a cocktail consisting of high quality vodka, a spicy ginger beer, and lime juice, garnished with a slice of lime. Williams-Sonoma carries this fantastic Moscow Mule mix, spindrift, making it easy to make your new favorite cocktail. Just add vodka!! It was delicious! Spindrift us exclusively sold at Williams-Somonoma, so be sure to pick one up! Before we left he had a small contest. The first blogger to show that they followed Williams-Sonoma at East Cobb on Instagram (@wseastcobb) won a Copper Mug. The blogger with the quickest draw was Lindsey from Redhead Baby Mama! Awesome prize!

Williams-Sonoma
The Avenue East Cobb
4475 Roswell Rd
Marietta, Ga 30062
678-560-3660

Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa was the next stop on the tour. They offer an array of stress relieving and facial enhancing experiences including their Signature Hot Stone Massage. Open seven days a week, Hand and Stone is sure to have a time to fit your busy schedule.
On our tour of the spa, we we’re shown their massage rooms as well their facial room. The spa was very relaxing and spotless! Before we were on our way bloggers, Allison (PeachfullyChic) and Mireille (City Peach) were able to experience a relaxing massage. They seemed to really enjoy it! I will be back!

Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa
4475 Roswell Rd
Suite 1560
Marietta, GA 30062
770-565-0808

 

Next, we went to Versona. Versona is “an exclusive women’s boutique offering apparel and accessories at exceptional prices every day!” The boutique was huge and filled lots of fashion forward items. I could definitely shop here! A few bloggers were given a style challenge. They had to select an item, then tell us how it could be worn or used. With their great ideas, they were gifted with the item they had selected! All of the bloggers also received a very nice tote bag from Versona! What a nice surprise!!

Versona
The Avenue East Cobb
4475 Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30060
770-973-3378

 

The last stop on this awesome tour was Cheeky Mexican Tanqueria. Cheeky would be you go to place for fresh food in a lively, fun environment. You definitely got that vibe as soon as you walked in the door. We were seated at their self serving beer tap tables. Cheeky’s, patent pending, “My Tap” system allows patrons to enjoy a sporting event on ahigh definition tv, while pouring their own beer in tap at the table. The system keep track of how much beer is poured and is sold by the ounce. Very cool!
Next,we were treated with a few bites. I really enjoyed the Chicken Quesadillas and Chips and Salsa! Really tasty! We also was able to taste a couple of their signature cocktails, the Cheeky Margarita and the Prickley Orange Margarita. Both cocktails were exceptional! I will definitely make the drive to Marietta for that!

Cheeky
4475 Roswell Rd
Suite #1510
Marietta, GA 30062

What a fantastic tour! I really enjoyed myself! Thank you The Avenue East Cobb for inviting me!

Atlanta Food and Wine Festival 2015

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the third and final day of Atlanta Food and Wine Festival. This was my second year attending the grand event. If you love food, wine, craft beer, bourbon, unique treats, and an all around good time. This is the event to be at. Now I must say, yesterday the weather was less than desirable. It began pouring down in Atlanta an hour before the gates open. How nice! The rain continued about an hour into the festival. Most of the festival was under tents, but moving from tent to got a little tricky. Nonetheless, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. I know I did! I had some great fun friends also in attendance so that made for an even more awesome Sunday.

There were some pretty unique items being served up. I really enjoyed Feast BBQ’s Delaware Oysters topped with Potlikker Shaved Ice. It was beyond delicious. I also enjoyed the Cricket Bark from Delysia Chocolatier. Revolution Doughnuts served up their famous Peach Slider Doughnuts. An Atlanta staple, the King of Pops, had Patron Pops. Yum! I also sampled some great wine and cocktails.

As the day ended the weather became beautiful and Coca Cola lounge became a club as the Dj pumped up the music. Festival goers flocked to the tent to join the party. What awesome Sunday!
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Sage Kimani

One beautiful afternoon in Atlanta, I decided to do an impromptu photo shoot with my daughter, Sage. She loves taking pictures and I love taking them.  Here are some of the highlights. I just had to share them with you!

BET present The Being Mary Jane Experience

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Last night, a very select group of Atlantans were able to get a sneak peak at the new season of Being Mary Jane. The advanced screening took place at Suite Lounge. Guest were treated to specialty cocktails, lite bites, and swag bags. The event was hosted by V-103’s Wanda Smith. After viewing the episode, which was great, we were treated to the sounds of Stacy Barthe. What a beautiful voice! It was a lovely evening. The new season of Being Mary Jane airs February 3, 2015 on the BET network.

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For more pictures click here.

Oh! They had a photo too! Yay!

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Modern Luxury Brides Atlanta Issue Release Party

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On January 13, 2015, Modern Luxury Brides Atlanta celebrated the release of its newest issue. The grand event took place at the beautiful Commerce Club in downtown Atlanta. Guest were treated to delicious bites, the sounds of Saved By The Band, and several bridal services. The night was complete with a photo booth!! I love photo booths! This night the very awesome people of Robot Booth was in attendance. Below you’ll see the hilariousness that occurs when there’s a photo booth involved.
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