Valentine’s Day at The Rittenhouse Spa & Club

The Rittenhouse Spa & Club is a beautiful and luxurious oasis in Philadelphia, complete with an array of spa services. Last year, I was able to feature The Rittenhouse on Sugarpeel and the fabulous talent of Paul Labrecque and team. Check out my hair transformation here.

As Valentine’s Day approaches the Spa has special offers to make your day and night extra romantic- all offers extend through the month of February. The signature Rittenhouse Couples Massage is a 60 minute customized massage utilizing aromatherapy essential oils for maximum relaxation.

Couples Massage The Rittenhouse Spa & Club

Salt and Oil Body Glow. This 30 minute exfoliation treatment leaves skin feeling nourished, soft and silky smooth. Follow this treatment with the ESPA massage. If your skin is sensitive, try the exfoliating body polish instead of the salt and oil scrub.

A gift card is always a perfect Valentine’s idea, especially for those who need a day of pampering. If you purchase a gift card of $300 or more you will receive an additional gift card worth 10% if its value!

The Rittenhouse Spa & Club also suggests the ESPA nourishing lip trio treatment in natural, pink and red for a fabulous Valentine’s Day gift.

ESPA

 

Philadelphia Heart Ball

2016PhiladelphiaHeartBall

This year I am proud to attend and cover the 2017 Philadelphia Heart Ball, which marks the 60th Anniversary! The Philadelphia Heart Ball raises funds for local research and education. Sadly, heart disease and stroke is the number one and number five killers of men and women. However, the American Heart Association is dedicated and determined to reduce those staggering statistics by raising significant funds every year through philanthropic giving. Last year The Philadelphia Heart Ball raised a record $2 million!

“This is one of our largest and most important events,” says Laura Hollot, Executive Director of the American Heart Association Philadelphia office. “The Heart Ball raises awareness of heart disease and health issues in our community, and it also celebrates the results of our research, advocacy and educational programs at work.”

This year, The Philadelphia Heart Ball will take place on February 4, 2017 at the Philadelphia Marriott. Ajay Raju, Chairman and CEO of Dilworth Paxson LLP will be honored with the Heart of Philadelphia Award. This prestigious award recognizes a member of the community that is performing philanthropic duties that are positively impacting change in our society.

Dr. Thomas L. Spray M.D, the Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Director of the hospital’s Thoracic Organ Transplantation Program, will receive the Edward S. Cooper Award, an honor bestowed upon those making meaningful contributions within the medical field.

For sponsorship opportunities, please contact Becky Shenk at [email protected] or 215-545-5222.

Please stay tuned for my upcoming coverage of this year’s Philadelphia Heart Ball!

DrKennethB.MarguliesandDr.MariellJessup

Dr. Kenneth B. Margulies and Dr. Mariell Jessup- 2016

Dr.RichardSnyderAHABoardChair

Dr. Richard Snyder AHA Board Chair- 2016

Apples and Frills

The weather was absolutely beautiful over this long holiday weekend so taking a trip to Solebury Orchards for fresh apples, apple butter and cider and visiting Bountiful Acres for fairytale pumpkins for cooking was a quintessential fall day.

empire apples

pumpkins

fairytale pumpkins

My style on this crisp, sunny day was inspired by the one and only Stevie Nicks. I have been a fan since I was little and over the past months I have been listening to Gypsy almost everyday, singing along to Landslide and watching video clips about the tumultuous band Fleetwood Mac. Music just speaks to you differently throughout the years, which is one of my favorite parts, the meaning changes.

These over the knee boots, I found at Lulu’s, which offers a large selection of vegan apparel and clothing. I paired the faux suede boots with a fun mini dress with frilly sleeves from Zara- another trend this season. I did not want the look to feel like a costume so I avoided some of my favorite accessories like hoop earrings and long chain necklaces. I wanted it to seem modern and fresh even though this style was around in the seventies.

Ashley

Ashley

Ashley

I focused more on my skin than a heavy amount of makeup. I wanted to create dewey skin by applying face moisturizer and then cream makeup products. I applied Laura Mercier cream blush in Praline to the apples of my cheeks. To my eyes, I applied M.A.C. Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly and two coats of False Lashes mascara. I defined my lips using the In Control lipliner, then applied Mehr matte lipstick all over my lips and Plushglass in Big Baby only to the center of my lips. Layering creates fullness to lips. What are your favorite beauty and fashion trends this season?

 

 

New Hope’s 1870 Wedgwood Inn- Part 2

New Hope

During my delightful stay and conversations with owners, Carl and Dinie, I learned all about the unique differentiators that make the historical New Hope, Pennsylvania truly special. As I mentioned in my previous article, people from all walks of life, from celebrations to business trips to romantic getaways find comfort at the Wedgwood Inn. Over the years, the Wedgwood has continued to embrace the rich history of the Inn and town, while incorporating the modern, including free wifi for convenience. All guests should feel at home no matter the season or holiday. Carl and Dinie offer holiday inspired dinners to ensure that travelers experience the highest hospitality.

Young, old, and everyone in between can enjoy the charming town of New Hope, which is filled with antique shops, delicious restaurants, boutiques, tours, plays, and much more. For a list of upcoming events visit the New Hope Community calendar. Interested in maximizing the scariest month of the year? Make a reservation for a private ghost tour and embark on a lantern-led walking tour while learning legendary local ghost stories. Enjoy seasonal events from the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad including the anticipated Haunted Halloween Train and the upcoming North Pole Express.

Ivyland Railroad

Ivyland Railroad

History buffs can visit the New Hope Historical Society and make a reservation for the Parry Mansion tour.Parry Mansion Museum

The Bucks County Playhouse offers programs for children, teens, and adults. Do not miss out on The Rocky Horror Show, playing October 21st-30th!

Bucks County Playhouse

Bucks County Playhouse

Of course, I could not leave New Hope without browsing through antique shops and strolling through all of the boutiques, including the fabulous vintage pieces in Nightbird Vintage Clothing and Love Saves the Day. I found an absolutely delicious smelling soy candle in Warm Pumpkin Spice from the Bridge Street Soap Company, where you can also create a custom fragrance for body care products!

warm pumpkin spice candle

There is so much to do for all ages. As we begin the homestretch of the holiday season, be sure to take advantage of all the wonderful things that New Hope has to offer. Make a reservation at the Wedgwood Inn and enjoy a relaxing stay with much to do and see. Also, keep in mind that Carl has clients that he offers consultation and education in the hospitality, specifically B&B industry. Anyone interested in switching careers or starting an Innkeeper profession should contact.

Wedgwood Inn

New Hope’s 1870 Wedgwood Inn

Wedgwood Inn

This weekend I will be visiting and staying at the Wedgwood Inn, located in New Hope Pennsylvania. I am thrilled to be featuring this beautiful and historic Victorian Bed & Breakfast. Owners and Innkeepers, Nadine and Carl purchased this one of a kind home in 1982 and have been running it ever since. The Wedgwood Inn is set on two acres of bucolic land in the heart of Bucks County.

The Inn pays homage to the past as guests dine on bone blue Wedgwood china (Invented by Josiah Wedgwood) hence the name. Contemporary accommodations are incorporated as well including jacuzzi suites. Breakfast is served daily and all food is made from scratch with love.

Stay tuned as I report my full experience, interview with owners, and photos next week!

Hotel Series Part 3- The Loews Hotel Philadelphia

If you are planing to visit Philly either from out of town or a jaunt from the suburbs, it is very easy to look online for a hotel, scroll the amenities, look through the photo gallery, but you still cannot grasp the culture of the hotel. This is the primary reason why I wanted to include a hotel series on Sugarpeel. I want potential hotel guests to really get the inside scoop. Let’s face it, traveling is costly and the stay needs to be comfortable, exciting, and worth the money spent.

In this third installment of the hotel series, I stayed at the Loews Hotel Philadelphia to really gain inside perspective of this luxury hotel. The biggest differentiator for me, hands down, is the people. Yes, the hotel was stunning, sleek and modern decor- punctuated with black Belgium marble, complete with a fitness center, spa, pool, multiple conference rooms, a ballroom, and guest rooms so clean you could eat off the floor. However, the people is still what stands out to me.

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Bank & Bourbon

Bank & Bourbon

Bank & Bourbon

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Ashley

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Loews Hotel Philadelphia

Customer service is king. I do not care how wonderful a place from boutiques to attractions- the service must be exceptional. The Loews Hotel has perfected the customer experience. Every employee seems genuinely happy to work at the hotel. Their exuberance is transferred to the guests by making them feel at home, comfortable, in good hands. These little touches may seem like the cherry on the proverbial sundae, but in actuality is the foundation of a great stay.

The Bank & Bourbon restaurant in the Loews hosts an annual Bourbon Bash event- proceeds to DonorsChoose.org. This year $37,000 was raised to benefit teachers in the Philadelphia school district. Teachers choose where the funds are most needed to benefit the students. The Loews Hotel cares about their city, their guests, and their employees…and it shows!

Thank you to Loews Hotel Philadelphia.

Photographer and Videographer Aubrey Basla. Thank you http://www.bensound.com for music.

Introducing the new Hotel Series

Philadelphia by Wendy Buiter

“Philadelphia” by International Artist, Wendy Buiter

Philadelphia offers a full spectrum of exciting attractions, exhibits, and cuisine. The city is a unique combination both celebrating and preserving its history while embracing the modern. Summer is the time for vacations and I wanted to introduce a new series including the hospitality industry in Philly. Whether you are planing a vacation or “staycation”  I will provide tips and coverage to ensure the perfect visit.

I am so excited to be sharing this new feature with you. The Philadelphia area has been my home for almost 20 years and I have found some truly interesting spots. There is never a shortage of things to see, places to visit, shop, eat, explore. The city has much more to offer than just cheesesteaks and the Liberty Bell.

First up is my review of the Liberté Urban Lounge located within the fabulous Sofitel Hotel. Stay tuned for The Ritz Carlton, The Rittenhouse, and Loews Philadelphia Hotel. Each one will focus on the differentiators that make them special and things to do in the surrounding areas.

 

Upcoming Event- Featuring Laini Cosmetics and Paula Hian

I am so excited for this upcoming event! Laini Cosmetics and Paula Hian are collaborating for a special beauty meets fashion event.

Laini Bianculli will be demonstrating how to properly apply bronzer and let’s be honest that is quite the skill! It can feel intimidating to apply bronzer if you are not sure where or how to do so. Laini’s gorgeous collection of brand new bronzing products are perfect for creating that sun kissed glow without any streaking. Laini offers a special curated collection, Beaches & Cream that has all of the bronzing products you will need for this summer and all year round- a must have to add to your makeup collection!

In the past, I had the pleasure of interviewing Paula Hian on her process, inspiration, and collections. She continues to create classic, timeless pieces with a unique and deft hand. Her new collection integrates geometric shapes and utilizes black and white color schemes.

Laini Cosmetics Brand Beauty

Thank you to the very talented International Artist, Wendy Buiter for this gorgeous custom art piece! Laini Cosmetics “Brand Beauty” featured wearing Paula Hian design.

Both women will be offering a giveaway that you do not want to miss. Join us for an evening out filled with laughter, drinks, and of course fashion and beauty!

PaulaHianandLainiCosmetics

WORLDTOWN concert

Worldtown

A couple of weeks ago I attended a  Worldtown Soundsystem concert at the Stratus Lounge in the Hotel Monaco for the first time. I was most impressed with this talented group of musicians.The music was energizing and fun, complete with a sax solo. The audience was up on their feet, enjoying the lively music and dancing-clearly longtime fans of Worldtown.

Worldtown

Worldtown

Check out my interview with Ben- Producer / DJ / Arranger
Please tell Sugarpeel readers how you all met?
Femi (the other co-founder of Worldtown) and I met through a mutual friend through the Temple U community. We were brought together as DJs. We hit it off on similar tastes in international music. From there, we connected with the Boom Room Studios owner and drummer, Gary Dann. In fact, that is where we had our first year anniversary in 2012. From that community we connected with a few of the other members and decided to take the loosely organized Worldtown SoundSystem live project to the next level.
What is the style of music of your new EP?
It is based on house music, but incorporates live elements. In fact, most of the recordings are solid takes of the whole band playing along with the DJ tracks (the way we perform at our live shows).
What inspires your music? Why House?
House is a universal music. It is played all around the world! We have always played dance music as DJs so why change styles when we know it works?!
Where is your dream venue to perform?
My dream venue would be outdoors at night on a beach.
Worldtown will be performing and upcoming concert at Taste of 3 Cities Philadelphia on June 25th!

Dining with Divas Black Tie Awards Gala

Dining with Divas

Over the weekend, I attended the Black Tie Awards Gala by Dining with Divas to kick off Mother’s Day weekend at the home of Carolyn Smith, the beautiful mother of Actor, Will Smith. His sister Ellen, is a warm hearted, loving, philanthropic woman who has dedicated her life to giving back especially to mothers. Every year Carolyn’s mansion is the location for Ellen’s Dining with Divas events. When I spoke to Ellen on Saturday I was so moved and touched by her dedication, my eyes began to swell with tears. She explained to me that once she gave birth to her child she found herself contemplating the “what ifs” of life. One of which was, “what if I was in a shelter?” All mothers should be celebrated even if they do not have the means. This year the Black Tie Awards benefited women and their families in transition from homeless shelters and domestic violence and abuse shelters.

Ellen Smith founded Dining with Divas with the purpose of giving back through the community through events that pamper, educate, entertain, and empower. Since 2004, Ellen has made it her mission to use her resources to create a “one stop shop” for moms and children to share a wonderful day together including exciting musical performances, guest appearances, delicious food, and family fun. The “Mother’s Day Signature” event has welcomed and entertained hundreds of attendees over the years and is a joyous occasion that is looked forward to all year round.

Ellen Smith

Cory, Carolyn, Ellen, Kyle Smith

Carolyn Smith Mansion

Carolyn Smith Mansion

Carolyn Smith Mansion

Carolyn Smith Mansion

The honorees of the night and award recipients included, Charisse R. Lillie, Vice President of Community Investment at Comcast Corporation, Grammy nominated singer Jazmine Sullivan, Communications Professional Dyana Williams and one part of the R & B Soul group Kindred, Aja Grayon.

Dining with Divas

Dyana Williams, Charisse Lillie, Ellen Smith, Aja Grayon, and Jazmine Sullivan

Ellen has donated her time to Laurel House and for the past twelve years she has opened The Mansion to mothers who may not ordinarily be able to celebrate Mother’s Day. The Mother’s Day Fashion Show and Brunch event (held the following day) provides poolside massages and vendors to make sure that all moms are celebrated and pampered no matter their situation.

Ellen Smith

Betsey Kilkenny

Betsy Kilkenny, Director of Fund Development at Laurel House

I met some truly special people at this event including Nikki Bagby, Outreach Supervisor Medicaid/CHIP/Healthy at United Healthcare. Nikki has been attending Ellen’s events for years. Instantly, I knew she was a kind soul, one that I felt happy just meeting. Also, as this is a lifestyle website, I would be remiss if I did not mention Nikki’s hair and makeup, which was absolutely stunning!

Nikki Bagby

Nikki Bagby

I wore a cap sleeve Calvin Klein black gown with Nina heels. My makeup was simple and bronzed as I applied Laguna Beach bronzer (coming soon) and Liquid Shimmer by Laini Cosmetics. My lipstick was bold and bright. Wearing Funny Face by NARS.

Ashley Basla

Ashley Basla

Ashley Basla

Please visit the Dining with Divas website to see how you can contribute to the inspirational efforts of this organization.