Explore Historic Maryland | Star Spangled 200

A few weeks ago, I was invited to a press trip to St. Michaels as part of the Star Spangled 200‘s Chesapeake Campaign, a traveling festival celebrating the story of Maryland’s fight for the nation as the British roamed the Bay. Star Spangled 200 is a cultural and educational initiative to commemorate Maryland’s unique contributions to the defense and heritage including the pivotal clash that ensured American victory, an iconic flag, and our national anthem.

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History buffs, academic, families and pretty much anyone interested in American history in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area, take a trip back in time along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail to hundreds of sites throughout Maryland that invite you to explore the story of the War of 1812 , visit the places that changed America and experience history as it comes back to life via re-enactments, educational activities, food and drink, and other interactive adventures. From the ramparts of Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine to the site of the Battle of Bladensburt, the State of Maryland is dotted with the rich history of the war that forged our nation.

The days of our visit, August 10 – 12, marked the 200th anniversary of the Battle of St. Michaels bringing the War of 1812 to life. On August 10th, the waterfront and historic districts were transformed to a time 200 years ago, with costumed re-enactors strolling about town, boat-rides, cannon-firings (I have never seen my dog, Dexter as scared as I did when he heard the cannons, poor pup),horse-drawn carriage rides (Dex is also oddly afraid of horses), and lantern-lighting ceremony celebrating the legendary “Town that Fooled the British.”

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The celebration continued on Sunday, August 11th when the Talbot County Watermen’s Association hosts the 4th Annual Watermen’s Appreciation Day and Crab Feast at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (CBMM). The event included a boat docking contest, live music, celebrity appearances, and more, while honoring the watermen who work the same waters once under siege by the British two hundred years ago.

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We had such a lovely time, learning about the town, going on guided tours, sailing a skipjack, devouring local cuisines, and meeting the friendly residents of St. Michaels.

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And as it is always the case, good company is essential to having fun. It was such a pleasure to meet Laura Powell (dailysuitcase.blogspot.com ), Lara DiPaola (traveling mommachickennuggetsofwisdom.com , Lara’s lovely family, Cassandra Vanhooser (talbot county), and seeing Lauren Walbert SS200. Thank you for a fabulous trip down history of the Chesapeake.

For more information on the Star Spangled 200 visit starspangled200.org

Hello Monday + For the Makers + Brizo #Blogger19 Reunion in Memphis

Happy new week. Over the weekend, I stumbled upon For the Makers website and fell in love with everything in their store. They describe themselves as one part magazine and one part craft store, but I think they are so much more. Tons of cute craft supplies to shop, pretty DIY tutorials and my favorite part, the gift box, which is a monthly gift box package filled with supplies that are normally only available to designers.  And if you are not a crafter but want to explore/develop those skills, take a look at how easy it is to follow along their tutorials and make cool things. I’m hooked. And want to throw a craft party  for my friends asap.

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Tomorrow, I head out to Memphis for the Brizo #Blogger19 reunion. I have so much to do before I leave, and as always, I still havent packed. Follow along on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as we visit St. Jude Children’s Hospital, I choke up a little just thinking about being there with all those brave kids, tour the Brizo factory and experience Memphis as Brizo’s guests. From the looks of it, its going to be epic!

Have a productive week.

xo

 

Travel: Element Hotel Times Square

Last month I was invited by Element Hotels (Starwood’s eco-wise brand) to a complimentary stay at one of their properties to experience their hospitality first-hand. After a quick look at their website I was intrigued by their claim to being much more than a “green” hotel concept that motivates guests to go and do!

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As I was scheduled to attend BlogFest2013 in NYC I decided to check out the Element Times Square West location. At first I was weary of being in crowed Times Square area, but once there I was impressed with quiet zen-ish feel of the hotel.

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A stark contrast from the bustling and noisy neighborhood, the hotel itself is designed to make guests feel instantly at home; spacious guest rooms each with a large king-sized bed, a work desk, a kitchenette with a full refrigerator and dishwasher, spa-like showers, and big windows boasting views of the city.  Rooms are stylish, sustainable and designed for comfort. Floor plans maximize flow and flexibility. Naturally lit open spaces invite conversation and inspire creativity. Best of all, (for me), they are pet-friendly! Dexter was given his own bed and food bowls and if his wags are any indication (they are) he also enjoyed his stay very much.

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From their complimentary RISE breakfast spread, which guests can take back to their rooms to enjoy, to their RELAX beverage and snack to unwind in the early evening midweek, no detail in ensuring guests enjoy their stay was overlooked. I especially loved the sunny greenhouse in which they served their RISE and RELAX spreads. Im totally eyeing it for a private event.

Even their rooftop patio is equipped with comfy loungy seating with views of the Hudson river. A 24-hour fitness center, an on-site laundry room and bikes to borrow are some of the other amenities that add to charm of Element Hotel in Times Square.

Energy-conscious travelers take note: The flooring in each room is made using recycled tires, (super durable), the design of the windows allows abundant natural light and reduce dependence on electricity, and the appliances are energy-efficient. Hotels even have electric car-charging stations!

For a limited time some of their hotels are offering free second night. You can take a list of all Element Hotel properties here.

NYC + Brizo + Fashion Week

Helloo, m’dears. I took an extra day off from blogging to prepare for my trip to NYC.

Brizo is hosting me along with a few other bloggers for a three-day design focused Fashion Week event. The team at Brizo believe that “Fashion applies not just to the clothes you wear. High-style can be achieved on the runway, in the home and all around.”  And I couldnt agree more!

Brizo has been the primary sponsor of the Jason Wu fashion shows since 2008, and in 2011the two brands announced plans to collaborate on a collection {Jason Wu for Brizo} of faucets, fittings, accessories for the bathroom.

They have put together an exciting schedule for us, including attending the Jason Wu show and after-party. Ill be Facebooking, Tweeting (hashtag #BrizoFW) &  Instagramming from the events so make sure to connect and join the fun!

Next stop NYC!!

disclosure: Brizo, the faucet brand for the fashion forward, invited me to New York to see its newest products and attend an exclusive expenses-paid, design-focused event during Fashion Week.