Hot Time in the Old Town--Mainstreet Martinsburg's 7th Annual Chili Cookoff

Posted by  | September 29, 2011  at 4:28 PM  


Saturday, October 1, Mainstreet Martinsburg will close off Queen Street for the 7th Annual Chili Cookoff. For a $5 entry fee, you can taste Chili to your heart's content (or your heart's burn tolerance) and then place your vote for who you think simmered up some champion chili.

The team to beat this year, are cookoff veterans, JarHead Chili, who have taken home prizes for the past two years. My personal pick from last year's cookoff was Habanero Mexican Grill's vegetarian chili. Don't let the vegetarian title fool you into thinking it's bland, though, this chili was hot, flavorful, and fresh (aka perfect in my book).

Live entertainment for this year's event will be provided by Joe Taxi as well as the Chef Eric Group. Adult beverages will also be available for purchase to help cleanse your palette between chili samples. However, don't forget to vote for your favorite chili before you do too much palette cleansing!

7th Annual Chili Cookoff

October 1, 2011
4PM to 8PM

Martinsburg, WV

(kids under 7 are free)

Sokel Makeup & Skincare of Charles Town

Posted by  | September 20, 2011  at 8:45 PM  

Often when people travel to Charles Town, WV, they're looking for a chance to beat the odds and win big; however, when it comes to skincare, I'm not one to gamble. A visit to Sokel Makeup & Skincare is one of the smartest bets you'll ever make in Charles Town, not to mention a guaranteed jackpot. Located in the historic downtown district at 123 North Charles Street, Sokel Makeup & Skincare offers an array of facial treatments in addition to makeup applications and workshops. Owner, Anna Sokel doesn't just treat her clients, she really talks to them, and she's not afraid to tell you the truth either.
When I visited Anna for a European Facial, we had a heart-to-heart conversation about my skin: the good (I use sunscreen, moisturizer, & drink lots of water), the bad (I don't exfoliate as often as I should), and the ugly (I've battled pores on my nose since middle school--EEK!). Having an honest conversation with Anna, allowed her to really customize my treatment, ensuring the best results for my skin. We also chatted at length about my battle of the blackheads, to see if there was any possible path to victory (P.S. I think I'm finally winning!).
My treatment also included a paraffin hand dip, neck & foot massage, and I left with some Dermalogica samples to help encourage my exfoliating habits. I must say, the little mitten Daily Resurfacers came in very handy while camping at Pickin' in the Panhandle, and I have grown quite fond of the Daily Microfoliant powder for every day use.
After my visit with Anna, I can't wait to attend one of her makeup workshops! Maybe, I can finally master the perfect smokey eye without looking like I have a black eye...

Sokel Makeup & Skincare
123 North Charles Street
Charles Town, WV

Pickin' in the Panhandle 2011

Posted by  | September 15, 2011  at 3:28 PM  

The Dixie Bee-liners
After 9 days straight of solid rain, there was a lot of hoping, praying, and finger crossing that the clouds would clear for the 5th Annual Pickin in the Panhandle BBQ & Bluegrass Festival. Things were still looking rather soggy Friday morning, but by mid-afternoonn the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun same out to shine! And there was just a little bit of mud...
I arrived at Lazy A Campground on Friday afternoon, clad in my trusty Wellies, so the mud was no match for me. My Mini Cooper, however, sort of, kind of, got stuck--oops! Oh well, it's not like I was driving anywhere 'til Sunday, right? What really impressed me (other than how far the Mini actually made it) were my fellow festival-goers. I don't know if the mud was a bonding agent or maybe we were all just so overjoyed to see the sun, but everyone was incredibly nice and I couldn't even begin to count how many people offered to help me get the Mini out of the mud hole.
Camping calamities aside, this was definitely the best Pickin' yet! Since I camped all weekend this year, I had more time to do some exploring, so I spent some time chatting with the Backyard BBQ competitors. Once again, everyone was awesome, and some of their setups were quite creative and a few, like the Hill Billy Smokers, were even interactive! And how can you not love a team offering up free adult beverages, like the 55 Iron crew?
And the bands? Amazing as always. One of the things I love most about big music festivals are checking out bands I've never heard before. The Dixie Beeliners and The Hillbenders were two new discoveries for me, and they have already been added to my iPod repertoire. I was also excited to see the bands I knew would be great like Fitzmaurice, The Steeldrivers, and Shannon Wurst. Of course it wouldn't be Pickin' in the Panhandle without local favorites like Circa Blue and The Back Creek Valley Boys.
The Hillbenders
The Steeldrivers
Shannon Wurst
I've been to 3 of the 5 Pickin' in the Panhandle festivals, and each year I learn something new. In 2008, I made a day trip up from DC for Sunday afternoon and decided that the next time I was definitely camping out. I couldn't make the Charlie Daniel's craziness in 2009, but was back with tent in tow in 2010. My friends and I only camped on Saturday that year and missed out on the Friday night festivities. We planned then and there that we needed to do the full weekend in 2011 and set up shop on Friday. This year, I arrived at Lazy A around 5ish on Friday and quickly determined that next year I'm going even earlier--Noon is the target for 2012.
Looking back, I think I've finally come to the conclusion that I just can't get enough Pickin'! I'm already scouting camping gear for next year, and can't wait to see what the Pickin' planners have in store. So, mark your calendars for the weekend after Labor Day and be on the lookout for Pickin' Previews throughout the year--see you tentside in 2012!

More pictures from Pickin' in the Panhandle 2011 after the break!

Date Night at the Movies with Miss Monroe & Mr. Grant--MSV to Show "The Misfits"

Posted by  | September 13, 2011  at 5:17 PM  

Friday night the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley (MSV) in Winchester Virginia will be showing the 1961 film The Misfits, starring Marilyn Monroe and Carey Grant, in the garden. This film is a fitting selection as the MSV is currently home to Andy Warhol's famous silk screen Marilyn as part of their exhibit: Goya, Dali, Warhol: Masterpieces of World Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine.

From 6:30 to 8:30 guests are encouraged to peruse the gallery for their first Marilyn fix, and then at 8:30 the film will start rolling. You'll just need to bring a blanket or chair and perhaps a petite picnic. Beverages (boozy and otherwise), popcorn, and other movie treats will be available for purchase, but no outside alcohol is permitted on the premises.

The Misfits in the MSV Garden

Friday, September 16, 2011
Gallery Tour - 6:30PM to 8:30PM
Movie - 8:30

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
901 Amherst Street
Winchester, VA 22601

$5 for Members
$10 for Non-Members

***In the event of rain, the movie showing will move inside to the MSV Reception Hall.

Harvest Gathering Weekend at The Miller House

Posted by  | September 7, 2011  at 12:50 PM  

September 9 & 10, The Miller House in Stephens City, VA, will be holding their Harvest Gathering celebration.
Friday from 5PM to 9PM will serve as a special night showcasing the Valley’s most unique Fall and Halloween decor. Garlands, wreaths, seasonal items, and more to get your home ready for the holidays!
Saturday from 10 AM to 5PM will be more of a family affair with food, music from bluegrass band Five of a Kind, and lots of vendors to help you do a little harvest gathering of your own ;)
Harvest Gathering Weekend

Friday: 5PM to 9PM
Saturday: 10AM to 5PM

The Miller House
5960 Valley Pike
Stephens City, VA 


Fashion's Night Out Comes Closer to the Panhandle

Posted by  | September 4, 2011  at 8:02 PM  

Calling all fashion addicts in the panhandle! As you may already know it is the season for fashion, which means fashion events! As a true addict knows Fashion's Night Out is taking place in New York City on September the 8th. What you may not know is that there is a Fashion's Night Out taking place in DC as well (exciting, I know). I am sure you are already aware of the details as to what FNO entails, but for those of you who are not familiar "Fashion's Night Out is an unprecedented global initiative created in 2009 in a partnership between American Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the City of New York to celebrate fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the industry's economy, and put the fun back in shopping." (FNO)

On top of the fabulous apparel that will be seen in every participating shop there will be plenty of places to eat! Don't miss this exciting opportunity to peruse through tons of designer goodies!

Fashion's Night Out

Fashion Extravaganza



September 8th 6-11