You’re Invited! Blades Natural Beauty Discussion & Demo at Art in the Age

3_20_phillybloglove1With Spring and Summer coming quickly, what better time to talk about natural beauty, skin healing, and easy make up tricks for both day and night? Natural beauty and make up expert Jessa Blades of Blades Natural Beauty will be at Art in the Age on Thursday, March 27th from 6:30 to 8:30pm discussion wellness and sharing tips and tricks on how to keep your natural glow all year long. Space is limited so RSVP to to reserve your spot! Click here to check out the Facebook event.

Art in the Age
116 N 3rd St.

Thurs, March 24


You’re Invited! Blades Natural Beauty Discussion & Demo at Art in the Age

Sparkling Rhubarb & Flower Cocktail

3_18_larkandlace1I’m seeing a pattern here. The common ingredient in all of my favorite cocktails is St. Germain. It’s just so classy and so delicious. Now that the sun is starting to show its face again around these parts, Spring feels closer than ever and I want everything floral. Lucky for me, I can have my flowers and drink them too. (Oh, and you as well, which is why I’m sharing the recipe.)

What you’ll need:
 - 1 ½ oz. Art in the Age Rhubarb Tea
 - 1 ½ oz. St. Germain
 - Tonic Water
 - Ice
 - A sprig of Rosemary and a slice of grapefruit, plus more to garnish
Muddle the grapefruit and rosemary in the bottom of a shaker. If you don’t have a muddler, a wooden spoon will work just fine. Add ice followed by a shot of Rhubarb Tea and a shot of St. Germain. Shake and strain over ice. Add tonic water. Garnish to your liking and enjoy!
Simple, elegant, and refreshing. Now if only it would stay warm so I can enjoy one of these drinks while also working on my tan. Okay, who am I kidding, I don’t get tan. It would be nice to sit outside anyway though. Drink responsibly!

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Sparkling Rhubarb & Flower Cocktail

Philly in 36 Hours

3_16_nicolefranzen1I was in Philly for a couple days. I had pretty much an afternoon to visit some shops and eat. Whenever I travel, I get recommendations from locals and friends so that I’m prepared. No time to waste on crappy food and tourist traps. I recommend the following based on the few hours I had to walk around while I wasn’t working :) I’ll be back to explore more, until next time Philly.

Vagabond | 37 N3rd St.
Cutest boutique around, got myself in some trouble in there. Great selection of clothes, be sure to check out their vintage collection in the back.

Art in the Age | 116 N3rd St.
Menswear primarily, a great selection of goods including some of my pals (Morris Kitchen and Blades Natural Beauty). Snap is delicious!

Moon & Arrow | 754 S4th St.
A great mix of vintage clothing, used furniture, jewelry and home goods.

Zahav | 237 Saint James Place
Based on everyones recommendations, this middle eastern restaurant did not disappoint. Hummus, labne, yummy salads, fresh baked bread. Nom.

La Colombe Coffee | 130 S19th St.
One of my favorite coffee distributors :)

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Philly in 36 Hours

Warm the Belly


Nested in the burbs of Philly, The Paramour offers guests a chance to warm up and embrace liquid therapy with their Caribbean Cider and Pearamour cocktails.



2oz. Blue Chair Spiced Rum

1/2 oz. Art in the Age ROOT

1/2 oz. Brown Sugar Syrup

2 oz. Apple Cider

Splash Lemon Juice

3 Fresh Sage Leaves



For Brow Sugar Syrup: 1 part Brown Sugar into 2 parts water. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved. Muddle sage with brown sugar syrup in cocktail shaker. Add all other ingredients over ice and shake. Pour into rocks glass. Garnish with fresh sage leaf.




Warm the Belly


Focus on Dining


by Margie Royal
Entertainment Editor

Now that Lent has begun, for many families fish and many more meatless dishes will be put on the dinner table during the next 40 day interval. So this week we are featuring a business that specializes in selling high quality seafood: Christopher’s Crabcakes. Christopher’s Crabcakes is a family run business that has been part of the Booths Corner Farmers Market since 2001. Their crab cakes are made right on the premises with jumbo lump crabmeat and just enough filler to hold them together. They also sell homemade salads (chicken, tuna, seafood, shrimp, potato, macaroni and cole slaw) and soups such as Lobster Bisque, Cream of Crab and Maryland Crab, all made fresh daily. The display cases also feature tempting filets of salmon, flounder, Chilean Sea Bass, and stuffed sole and flounder. The Coconut Crusted Tilapia and Parmesan Crusted Tilapia are a personal favorite of mine. Booths Corner is open Friday 9 a.m.- 9 p.m. and Saturdays 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Booths Corner is at 1362 Naamans Creek Road, Boothwyn.D’Ignazio Towne House, 117 Veterans Square, Media, is set to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with Corned Beef and Cabbage, Marie O’Brien’s Irish Stew, Irish potatoes, green beer, green hats, and, from 6-9 p.m., bagpipers and a roving Irish troubadour. Call 610-566-6141 for more information.

The town of Media will kick of its first-ever Restaurant Week, Sunday, March 9 through Thursday, March 13. Enjoy a 3-5 course meal for $30 at: Ariano, Azie Restaurant, Court Diner, Desert Rose, Diego’s, D’Ignazio’s Towne House, Dos Gringos, Double Decker Pizza, Fellini Café, House, La Belle Epoque, La Na Thai French, Lotus Farm to Table, Margaret Kuo’s Media, Picasso, The Plumstead Inn, Shere-E-Punjab, Sligo, Spasso Italian Grill, Stephen’s on State and Temaki Sushi Bar.

The inspiration for and creation of Art in the Age’s four distinct spirits, ROOT, SNAP, Rhubarb Tea, and SAGE, was heavily influenced by the history and culture of Pennsylvania. Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College’s 7-9 p.m., Thursday, April 24 class, “Pennsylvania Spirits: When Botany and History Come Together” will welcome a representative from Art in the Age who will discuss the historical events and times that inspired each spirit and the botanicals that comprise them. Participants will also have the opportunity to sample cocktails made with each spirit following the presentation. Sign up quickly if you want to attend; the class is limited to 25. The registration fee is $40 for non-members and $30 for members. To register go to www.scott or call 610-328-8025.

Saturday, March 29 will be an evening of fashion, cocktails, hors d’ oeuvres, music and more all to raise awareness and funds for the Delaware County SPCA. The event, from 7-9 p.m. at the Community Arts Center, 414 Plush Mill Road, Wallingford, includes cocktails, appetizers, beer, wine, signature drinks, a fashion show with both human and adopted or adoptable pets as models, a silent auction, a cash prize raffle and a deluxe goody bag. Tickets are $75. On March 30, a benefit luncheon will be held, noon to 3 p.m. at Kings Mills, 6000 Pennell Road, Media. The luncheon ($50) will also include a fashion show. To avoid the service fee and purchase a ticket over the phone, call Justina Calgiano at 610-566-1370 ext. 231 or e-mail

Now through March 30, Krispy Kreme has added two coffee-flavored doughnuts to its line-up. The Mocha Kreme Doughnut is topped with mocha icing, a milk chocolate swirl and decorated with milk chocolate icing. The Caramel Coffee Kreme Doughnut is topped with caramel and coffee flavored icing, a mocha drizzle and dollop of coffee Kreme.

Our recipe this week, in honor of the start of Lent, is Crab Cakes served with Tarragon aioli sauce. The recipe appears courtesy of Chef Nicholas Petti of Mendo Bistro in Fort Bragg, Texas.

Crab Cakes

Serves 4 to 6

Tarragon aioli:

2 egg yolks

3 cloves garlic

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 dash Tabasco sauce

1/4 cup very hot water

2 cups olive oil

1/2 bunch tarragon, finely chopped

Crab cakes:

1 1/2 pounds Dungeness crab meat

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, plus more for outer coating

2 green onions, finely chopped

1/2 to 3/4 cup of the tarragon aioli

Oil for sauteing

For the aioli: Place the egg yolks, garlic, lemon juice, salt and Tabasco in a food processor or blender, then blend. Pour in hot water, and process for 15 seconds. With machine running, slowly drizzle in oil until a mayonnaise consistency is reached. Stir in chopped tarragon.

Combine the crab, panko and green onions. Add 1/2 cup aioli and test mixture to see how well it holds together. If needed, add additional aioli. Do not overwork ingredients. Cakes should be loose and just barely hold together. Form into cakes about 3 inches in diameter. Set crab cakes on a bed of panko.

In a medium saute pan set over medium-high heat, heat the oil until just smoking. Place cakes, panko-side down, in pan. Saute until golden. Carefully turn over. Lower heat to medium, then saute until heated through. Serve with additional aioli.

Dining news and recipes are welcome. Send to mroyal@

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Focus on dining

Party Idea: A Create-Your-Own Cocktail Bar



Last night (Friday) was a wonderful, glorious girls’ night. I never had girlfriends until recently and I don’t understand how I survived for so long without them. (Some thoughts on that here.) We’re all pretty creative ladies so thinking of fun ideas kept me awake at night. What are we supposed to do, drink some Black Russians, pop in a rom com, play cards and call it a night? No. Our hands must create. Glancing over at my overflowing liquor cabinet, my mind devised this plan: a create-your-own cocktail bar. BOOM.
It seems like such a simple idea but it is one that is open to endless possibilities of ending so poorly. Not enough booze, not enough possible combinations, too much booze,  not enough blackberries… For my first little make-your-own bar night, I think it went pretty well. Here’s what I learned:
The most important thing to remember is variety, variety, variety. Some are whiskey girls. Some are vodka girls. Some like gin. Others enjoy champagne. Find your staples but don’t make it boring. Find a good balance of liquors and liqueurs. Variety doesn’t stop at the hard beverages though! Include many different choices for mixers. Tonic water and pineapple juice are staples but why not branch out a little more? Pomegranate juice and Blood Orange San Pellegrino were big hits. Fresh fruit and herbs are also a must-have. They’re good for muddling as well as garnishing. The more unexpected, the better. We loved having lychees and starfruit on hand.

Sharing is to be encouraged. The name of the game is to try as many combinations as you can without getting too… tipsy. This is why we share. It’s fun tasting concoctions that you never would have thought of conjuring up.

Never underestimate the power of having extra ice handy. I didn’t think this through and ended up running back and forth from the fridge in the kitchen to the dining room table many times. It’s not a far trek but it’s also not conducive to party-time conversation. Yelling into the other room over the buzz and clatter of falling ice cubes falling into a glass vase is not a good look for anyone. Have plenty for the glasses as well as the shaker.

I’ll definitely be doing this again. It was so much. Just remember to drink responsibly and if you have to, hide the car keys.

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!





Party Idea: A Create-Your-Own Cocktail Bar

Philly Flower Show Cocktail Recipes from Art in the Age


The famous Philadelphia Flower Show starts this weekend (and runs March 1-9). To celebrate, Art in the Age has crafted two Flower Show-inspired signature cocktails that they’ll be serving at the show on March 2 (look for them in the Grand Hall from 4-6pm). Art in the Age incorporated their organic liquors into a delicious blackberry lemonade and a lavender cup.


Bartram’s Blackberry Lemonade


  • 2 parts RHUBARB tea
  • 3 blackberries
  • a few basil leaves
  • sparkling lemonade

Directions: In rocks glass, muddle blackberries, a few basil leaves, and RHUBARB. Add ice and top with sparkling lemonade. Stir to combine.


SAGE Lavender Cup


  • 2 parts SAGE
  • 2 tsp. Lavender Honey Syrup*
  • Splash of club soda
  • Lemon slice

Directions: Fill a tall glass with ice. Add SAGE and lavender honey syrup. Top with club soda, stir, and garnish with lemon

*To make Lavender Honey Syrup: Combine 1 cup of water, 1 cup of honey, and 3 sprigs of lavender in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until combined. Cover, remove from heat, and let steep for 25 minutes. Remove lavender and store syrup in a glass bottle. Can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

If you can’t make it to to the show to sample these libations on the 2nd, some local restaurants are also serving the signature libations: Revolution HouseJones, andSmokin’ Betty’s. And if you can’t make it there, whip them up at home!

Cheers to a very happy weekend!

Images and recipes via Art in the Age





Philly Flower Show Cocktail Recipes from Art in the Age





The Full Scoop On Last Night’s Mix Masters Bash


Last night, we got to introduce Of Mercer, the amazingly chic work-wear brand, to the D.C. scene. We (and a bevy of stylish attendees) spent the evening at Urban Chic in Georgetown, shopping the online-only collection in person. From perfectly structured dresses to cool, modern jewelry and belts, these duds are tailor-made for Washington’s professional set.

In addition to enjoying tasty food and drinks, guests got to try out a lip-gloss bar by Nival Salon — we saw so many gorgeous pouts during the night! Among the attendees were some of the DMV’s chicest bloggers: E ofDistrict of Chic, Meaghan of District Sparkle, Cheralee of Miss Lyle Style, Tammy of A Loyal Love, Lindsay of 2nd & L, and Alina of The Hyperbalist.

If you couldn’t make it last night, don’t fret: You still have two more opportunities to check out Of Mercer in person. Tonight and tomorrow, the brand will make appearances at the Capitol Hill Hotel and the AKA White House, respectively. If you’ve already got plans, you can always shop the collection online from the comfort of your couch.

Click through for the best snaps of our lovely evening with the love ladies of Urban Chic and Of Mercer.

Thursday, February 27, until 7:30 p.m. The Parlor Room atThe Capitol Hill Hotel, 200 C Street SE; 202-543-6000. Friday, February 28, noon to 8 p.m. AKA White House, 1710 H Street NW; 202-904-2500.

2_27_refinery29_22_27_refinery29_3The Full Scoop On Last Night’s Mix Masters Bash