First Annual Pick & 'Nic this Saturday Rain or Shine

Posted by  | May 31, 2011  at 10:45 AM  

Saturday, June 4, the Eastern Panhandle Bluegrass Association (EPBA) and the Martinsburg CVB will be hosting the 1st Annual Pick & Nic' Festival. This debut event will be held at Moose Acres, which is just a quick 10 minute jaunt from the heart of downtown Martinsburg, WV.

This year's festival will feature music by The Back Creek Valley Boys, Circa Blue, Drymill Road, and Stoney Creek. If you're looking to pick up some pickin' pointers, bring your instrument of choice and join in one the workshops that will be held throughout the day. There will also be a clogging workshop for those who prefer to let their tootsies do the talking.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the gate and cover the Pick(ing) workshops and the picNic. You can purchase tickets online here or at the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 115 North Queen Street in downtown Martinsburg. For further details and to view the full schedule visit the EPBA website at

1st Annual Pick & Nic Festival

Saturday, June 4, 2011
Gates at 10AM
Music at 11AM

Moose Acres
1063 Douglas Grove Road
Martinsburg, WV  25401

$10 in Advance
$15 at the Gate

 “The success of our Sunday evening jam sessions at the Train Station
and the Pickin’ Preview fundraiser at the Apollo in March shows that
bluegrass music is in demand.
-Steve Harris, EPBA Board Member

Keshia's Kakes of Berkeley Springs--Key to the Sweet Life

Posted by  | May 26, 2011  at 1:38 PM  

Just a short jaunt from downtown Berkeley Springs, WV,  you'll find one of the Panhandle's sweetest secrets--Keshia's Kakes. Whether you're in the market for frou frou wedding confections, a snazzy sport-themed cake for Father's Day, or perhaps you're just looking for some sugary self-indulgence,  Keshia is your go-to gal.

Keshia's Kakes prides themselves on their customization. It's not just about having a cake that people will think looks pretty or sounds tasty, it's about making a cake that is perfect for you from the filling to the frosting. Speaking of frosting, let's talk taste.

So often, pretty cakes are pretty tasteless, not so here my fondant-loving friends. Cupcakes top to bottom? Magnifique. All of the icings I sampled were flavorful and sweet, but not too sweet. The cakes and cupcakes strike the perfect combination of being fluffy (airy even) and moist without being the least bit dry or soggy. Often, I look at cake/cupcakes as mere carriers for the frosting, so I eat most of the cake first and save all of the icing for last. I actually consumed Keshia's cupcakes like a normal person would, enjoying how the frosting-cake combos perfectly complemented each other in both taste and texture.

I would be quite remiss, if failed to mention that Keshia's carries more than just cakes. One of her specialties are peanut butter balls, many that come with a slight twist. My favorite? The PBB with the sea salt sprinkled on top. If you drop by Keshia's Kakes or see them at a local festival, be sure to snag some of these sweet & salty treats: feel free to send a few my way as well!

For more information and to peruse pictures of Keshia's custom creations click here! 

Keshia's Kakes 

2011 SUFOM Tuxedo Junction: Give My Regards to Broadway

Posted by  | May 18, 2011  at 2:36 PM  

Friday, May 6, 2011, marked the 4th Annual Shepherd University Friends of Music (SUFOM) Tuxedo Junction fundraising gala. Held at the Bavarian Inn, in Shepherdstown, WV, the theme for this year's event was "Give My Regards to Broadway" and paid tribute to some of stage and screens most notable numbers.

The Shepherd University Jazz Ensemble provided the entertainment for the evening, and not only were the hills alive with the sound of music, but it also appeared that party-goers could have danced all night and still have begged for more.

Those looking for a break from the dance floor were encouraged to peruse the over 40 donations up for silent auction that evening. Items ranged from voice lessons, to yard work, to swanky dinner soirees held at the homes of some of Shepherdstown's most generous hostesses.

Speaking of hosts, the Bavarian put on a show of their own with this year's food stations. Each station featured a different musical production with the food coinciding with the setting of that show: Les Miserables, South Pacific, and Oklahoma to name a few.

This year's event was more than just a fundraiser, as it also served as somewhat of a farewell to Music Department Chair, Mark McCoy and his wife Lisa. The McCoy's will be heading west this summer and will be greatly missed by all those associated with the University's music program.

Here's giving my regards to both Broadway and the McCoy's--break a leg and best wishes!

Mark & Lisa McCoy

Clifford Smith, Val Smith, and Collin Lam

Ed Moore, Alice Barkus, and Neal Barkus

Mary & Jim Staley, Alice Chakmakian,
Carol Kable, and Denny Small

Joe & Julie Siler

Ken Cooper, Cindy Eberhardt,
Richard Helldobler, and Allison Edwards

More pictures from Tuxedo Junction 2011, after the break...

2011 Spring Fresh Feast on the Farm

Posted by  | May 10, 2011  at 5:12 PM  

April 30, 2011, the first "Fresh Feast" of 2011 was held at Marty and Carol Kable's Elmwood Farm in Ranson, WV. The muti-course menu for the evening featured items ranging from smoked trout to scalloped potatoes, to peach blueberry crisp--the foods were traditional, but with a twist.

Kerry and Josh Bennett
The dinner was held in a newly constructed machinery building, that was filled with perfectly set tables complete with sparkling white linens. Judging from the glistening green of the John Deere, it looked as if even the machinery was washed and dressed for the dinner party. Since Elmwood Farm is a fully functioning farm, the evening included a tour and brief tutorial on the workings of the business. It gave guests a chance to learn how some of the equipment framing the dining area actually functioned, and appreciate a few of the many advances that have been made in the agricultural industry.

The non-profit for this feast was the H. Hart Bennett Foundation, which received 20% of the profits from the evening, as the Kables donated their 10% (which they received for hosting the event) to the foundation. The foundation supports various youth farming programs in Jefferson County including 4-H and FFA. The Bennett family was in attendance, and as Hart's father, Chip Bennett, spoke of establishing the foundation, he took the crowd from tears of laughter to tears of sorrow to tears of hope. It was incredible to see a group of family, friends, and strangers share such strong emotions.

As the dinner drew to a close and the coffee was served, there was no doubt in anyone's mind that they had dined for a very worthwhile cause that evening.

More pictures from the 2011 Spring Fresh Feast, as well as the full menu, after the break.

Pedi-Profile: Serenity Day Spa

Posted by  | May 5, 2011  at 5:58 PM  

Salon/Spa: Serenity Day Spa

Location: 109A Tavern Road, Martinsburg, WV  25401

Contact: 304.264.4200

Nail Tech: Stephanie Payne

Treatment: Spa Pedicure

Cost: $45

Length: 60 minutes

Polish: OPI, Zoya

Atmosphere: Peaceful, calm, relaxing--your spa treatment begins from the moment you step into Serenity Day Spa. After checking in at the front desk you're ushered into a low-lit waiting room, complete with a fire place and an extra comfy couch. Flipping through some fashion mags, you almost forget where you are until you're fetched for you treatment. Don't worry, though, the treatment room was equally relaxing.

Special Treatment: After nestling into my pedicure chair I was handed a warm neck wrap, which was absolutely amazing and smelled heavenly, but not too heavy. Refreshments were also offered in both the waiting area and during the treatment. So, in addition to receiving a marvelous (and much needed) pedicure, this appointment really allowed me to unwind and forget the 10 million errands I should have been running.

Bottom Line: Soothes your soul as well as your soles

Pumps and Pearls 2011 at the 84th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival®

Posted by  | May 4, 2011  at 8:47 AM  

Prize Winning "Pumps"
Monday, April 25, the grand ballroom of the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, VA, was filled to capacity with the areas most fabulously footed ladies for the 3rd Annual Kimberly's Pumps and Pearls Party. Upon entering the ballroom, the first thing you spot is a table full of door prizes--just gorgeous little things--and wait, is that a shoe or a cake, why, it's shoe cake, of course! Then, as you glance around the room, you can't help but stare at the floor as you try and take in the most impressive sea of shoes you will ever see in one setting.

One of the highlights of Pumps and Pearls is the "Bloom" shoe contest. Entries are divided into three categories: purchased pumps, self-designed stilettos, and then there's the category for everything else (teams, flats, sneakers, etc.). Each group parades down the pink carpet as veteran judges Carrie Luebcke and Hilary Shockey of Scarpa Alta have the rather dubious task of picking the winners of each category. I was blown away by the creativeness at the very 1st Pumps and Pearls, and three years later, these ladies never cease to amaze me--one contestant even had a potted plant on the toes of her pumps! I can only imagine what designs Pumps and Pearls 2012 will present, but I'm willing to bet that some of these ladies are already plotting (or perhaps even potting) their pumps for next year.

Amy Slaughter, Steffany Plotts, and Stacey Slaughter

Darlene Hess, Cheryl Greene, and Jean Toan

Adriana Posadas, AimeeJo Brumback, Julia Bouder,
Mitzi Davis, Kathy Thomas, and Polly Nelson

Hilary Shockey, Carrie Luebcke, Jen Pettit,
Brandy Derry, and Cheryl Connolly

Tracy Riley and Melissa Cooper

Dana Watson, Kim DeHaven, Denise Repine, and Jessica Watson

Lisa Fultz, Kate Horton, and Jacque Albers

Jessica Jackson and Lisa Mckee
of L.L. McKee Salon, a 2011 Pumps and Pearls Sponsor

Melissa Howell, Jessica Wayland, and Pamela Howell

and Melissa Cooper of Coopers Jewelers,
2011 Pumps and Pearls Sponsors

More pictures from the Pumps and Pearls 2011 after the break!