Wine and art have so many things in common. They inspire, are contemplative, and evoke strong emotions. You can find a perfect blend of art and wine that brings joyful color to every inch of your day at Jacey Vineyards. We were lucky enough to stay in one of the spacious private residences that are available on site and enjoyed local oysters from in the literal backyard of the vineyard.
This stop on the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail became a reality in order to take a traditional farm and transition it to a safer place for the waterways surrounding the acres and acres of vines where fields once stood. Vineyards don't contribute to contamination in the same way that livestock or commercial farming does and this transition has yielded some gorgeous wines.
The tasting room is spacious and can accommodate a group and routinely hosts events like the painting classes hosted by Nancy Jacey, a fine art painter based in Richmond and daughter to owner, Dr. Jacey. Follow the Facebook page to learn when you can enroll in a painting class. The labels you find on the bottles are all original works from Nancy Jacey and are perfect representations of the vibrant flavors you will find throughout a tasting. This is a stop on the Virginia Artisan Trail and it's no surprise that the classes sell out very quickly. Be sure to book them as soon as they are listed!
Tasting Passports can be purchased at any of the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail locations or online at: chesapeakebaywinetrail.com/ Save money at each winery by pre-purchasing your tastings.
The Virginia Oyster trail has many stops that coincide with the Virginia Wine Trail and this is a prime location to find some of the most delicious oysters available anywhere in Coastal Virginia.
NOTABLE FOR: Most Artistic, Eco-Tourism, Foodie Friendly
If you are all about being oceanside during the summer, there are a few essentials you need for you beach bag. This is what I try to keep handy and some hacks on how to make a beach trip about having fun and reduce the stress.
When my twins were little, it was near impossible to have a good time at the beach, in part because I was carrying most of my home routine to the beach and trying to make it work while they ate sand or cried because some saltwater got in their eyes. I didn't give up though, and these are some ideas that have helped me tremendously.
I come by my name honestly. I was raised by a full-on flower child hippie and there are some things that I learned growing up that I just assumed everyone knew how to do, that I know now aren't common knowledge. A few of my hippie life-hacks for you to live a little better and a little closer to the principles of using natural products, and loving the earth. Here are some laundry hacks.
1. Lemon juice and sunshine will get your clothes whiter than any bleach. If you have a garment that you want make super-white, soak it in lemon juice and water and dry it in the sunshine. For an extra wow whitener, spread it on a mirror and let it bleach via the sun.
2. Vinegar will soften your clothes and take out a variety of gross smells. I am talking baby barf, kids nasty gym socks, and submariners t-shirts stink after 6 months. Add a couple cups to a load or for nasty tennis shoes or something extra gross (baby barf cloths) soak in a bucket of hot water and vinegar then wash like usual. You won't smell the nasty anymore or the vinegar. This is especially great for new clothes that arrive with the stiffeners in them all factory fresh and full of chemicals.
3. Essential oils are awesome. A word of caution with essential oils is to only purchase aromatherapy grade oils and only use a tiny bit. Also keep them stored the same way you would medications, because they can be toxic due to their concentrations. You can freshen clothes by using a non-toxic dryer ball (like alpaca or wool) and add a couple drops of essential oils to freshen your clothing. The dryer balls reduce the time you're using the dryer as well. If you want to cut the dependence on the dryer altogether, just hang all the clothes outside. I put up a clothesline in the backyard and purchased the pulleys, line-tightener and rope right from Amazon and added it to a birthday shipment a couple years ago.
4. Baking soda is your friend. I buy this stuff in bulk because it's great for close to a million things around the house and totally safe to have on your skin. Adding a 1/2C of baking soda to the wash will help soften clothes and make your detergent work better. You can also make a paste and scrub the sides of shoes to get them sparkling again although I like to use a magic eraser for my Chucks. Baking soda is also great for getting out smells. If you want to absorb some nasty stuff before it even gets to the washer, sprinkle a bit of baking soda in the bottom of the hamper. It also soaks up moisture, which is great for our beach clothes and suits that might take some time to get to the delicate cycle. You can also make a paste of baking soda and peroxide to get stains out, but it may lighten colors, so be mindful of that. I used this as a stain remover when my twins were tiny blobs and were on formula. You know a formula stain is there to stay and it took it right out. Now I use it to get out the occasional red wine stain on my own outfits. Times change.
5. Spray starch. I know, you don't think of hippies really ironing all day long but I was in the military. You can make spray starch easily and it makes ironing really much easier and your clothes look great. All you need is the cornstarch that you keep in the pantry. Yeah, in the yellow thing. Saucepan with enough water to fill your spray bottle, a tablespoon of starch, a tablespoon of vinegar and boil it while whisking that mix until it dissolves. Let it cool, add a drop of some essential oil and you're good to go. Enjoy ironing as much as a person can. Not my favorite thing to do, but I like to look like a professional and not someone who just woke up all the time.
I hope my hippie tricks help you find some small changes to make to take some of the chemicals out of your laundry routine and keep you healthy and happy!!
The iconic show that swaps neighbors to redecorate a room in their neighbors house is coming back. Trading Spaces is casting for new families to share their lives and let their friends come in and redesign a room in their house.
Do you have someone you'd trust to come and change how your home looks? If you're game for letting someone make a change in your house, you can visit their casting page at www.tradingspacescasting.com/ .
I think there are some great designs that came out of the original show but I have to admit that I loved it when someone hated it!
I have been divorced (happily) for years and have done my share of online dating, or at least a considerable amount of sifting through the medley of guys that are looking for “love” online. While there are many great guys that are out in the world, there are many not so great guys on dating sites and apps. While you’re trying hard to craft a witty bio that encapsulates your best qualities, many guys won’t bother to read it at all. I am still very much single and looking for an intellectual comic who likes to lift but in the meantime I thought I would offer some observations of guys profiles so that ladies can make informed right swipes.
No matter what platform you're on, there are some tendencies I have noticed:
I don’t have any answers, but I can tell you that guys are more worried that you won’t look like your photos than they are that you might be married (in my experience) so be sure that you are clear on both. I also want to be clear that this is meant to a fun overview of some of the trends I have noticed throughout my journey with dating since my divorce. I have met some great guys but haven’t found the right guy. I hope that just knowing that women have some relatable moments online makes it feel less lonely while we swipe and hope for a nice night of cocktails and conversation with a new person. I am all about adding great people to my life, and this is one way that you can get to know new people outside of your social circle.
I would love to hear more about how you have found the love of your life in an unexpected way or how you’ve navigated online dating. Give me hope or give me laughs. I’m happy to know both.
1. Your arm, back, belly fat. No-one is looking at your squish or mine. Everyone has a million things to distract them from their lives in the palm of their hand and no interest in critiquing your choice in sundress or shorts. I’m not saying put on a string bikini that is 5 sizes too small but seriously, no-one is looking. They’re watching kitten videos on their phones, or maybe baby sloths. Baby sloths are awesome.
2. Making anything from Pinterest that requires you to go to a specialty store. If you can’t get it from Amazon, it doesn’t matter. Ina Gartner is the only person who can get all the best ingredients that magically drop by her home because she’s friends with all amazing and talented chefs, vintners and magicians because I’m fairly sure that some of those ingredients are only grown in one specific mountainside in Italy.
3. Schedules. Let your schedules relax a little. You don’t need to be on-time for mandatory fun. Taking the time to show your kids that a stop to get ice cream can be a priority or one more wave is just as important as getting to an event on time. Try to relax the timelines when you can, because summer is short and the time they’re little will seem even shorter.
4. Being “covered”. Dress so that you're comfortable for the weather, not for what society holds as an expectation for you. You’re meant to enjoy the summer, not worry about what impression it gives or if you’re inciting a riot with how much neck you’re showing that'll be deemed indecent. Be comfortable and have some fun. I have a hat that says, “Stay Rad” and my son thinks it’s dope. I don’t get to me a cool mom much longer. I’ll be the embarrassing mom who he won’t kiss on the cheek when he leaves for the bus, or goes someplace with his friends. For now, I’m dope, so I'm soaking it in.
Here are a few thinks I recommend caring about: stuffed burgers, donut ice cream sandwiches, sprinkles on all things, baby ferret videos, SUP yoga, stargazing from the back of a pickup truck (pro-tip put an air mattress in the back) and lots of popsicles.
Every site on the Chesapeake Bay Wine trail has something great about it but his location is so much fun. If you're in the area and don't have a lot of time to spare, this is a great place to do a quick tasting and enjoy a relaxed moment among the vines. The tasting room is screened in, but the real treat is walking amongst the vineyards to visit with the rescue dogs that make the winery home.
This is also a location that boasts a location for The Oyster Trail and proudly hosts oyster roasts regularly on location. I'd recommend it as a location for a girls weekend or even a place to grab a drink before heading to dinner.
You can find some exciting options in both red and white and while you're trying the beautifully berried reds or very fresh and crisp whites you can make your mark (literally) on some oyster shells that decorate the tables. They also have lodging at the Hope and Glory Inn bed and breakfast. I'd recommend staying there, but if it's full check out the Tides Inn and enjoy their complimentary beach cruisers to take downtown and take in the sights from a different perspective. Slow down, reconnect, and enjoy the amazing Virginia wine, food and hospitality that is all around you in the Northern Neck. I can't wait to go back.
Find more information about upcoming events by following them and subscribing to the Chesapeake Bay Wine Trail Facebook page:
or following them directly on their website: http://dogandoyster.com/.
In an effort to be more transparent, I have been challenged to share some personal things about myself so here's a few things you might not know about me, even if we have been friends in real life for a while. In no particular order, here are 50 random things about myself. Feel free to commiserate about any of them with me.
Father’s Day has been so hard for me since the loss of my Dad. He never cared much about traditional holiday’s but he always made me feel like I was special, even when all I bought for Dad’s day was a steak that I then asked him to grill. He and I were roomies from the time I was 14 until I left for the Navy shortly after graduation. He gave me advice and lessons that taught me to be tougher than the world. I will never forget him, but it makes it hard to see all the well wishes of people sharing how much they love their Dad on this holiday.
I have however found a bright spot for this day of the year that honors my Dad and doesn't make me want to cry all day. I like to think of it as a day for any person that fills the role of Dad. The Uncles who don’t have kids that take little ones to ball games, the Dad’s of friends of mine that include my kids in family activities like they are their own. The not-quite-a-Dad who provides an awesome example of how to be a kind man who takes the time to help. I have men in my life who still make sure that I call them when I’m at the end of a long car ride, and remind me to change the oil in my car. These are the “I love you, Princess” that I will never hear again from my Dad. I spend this day thanking those men that do for me the things that I miss.
My kids are seasoned travelers, happy day-trippers and beasts at brunching. We travel near and far and have been piled into a car for more hours than are prudent. I love being able to pop into a car and take them someplace fun for the day, or visit one of the many friends that have become family from our time as a military family.
One of these spur of the moments opportunities happened recently when I booked into a conference being held at Great Wolf Lodge. We grabbed our babysitter, headed out and got on the road to the lodge.
This was our experience. We arrived near bedtime, checked in and our room had an actual cabin inside it! My little’s convinced their babysitter to sleep in the mini-cabin with them while they took the bunks, she was on a single on the other side. At check in, you’re given wristbands that ensure access to the waterpark and a special one for the grownups to open the doors, and charge items to your room. It’s so easy to be able to just scan the wristband and go. You also get some cute wolf ears that my kids suggested we wear all the time. How can I say no to the cutest faces I know?
The next morning, my kidlets had breakfast while I went to the conference. They were able to play at the waterpark for hours while I was learning about so many exciting opportunities to advocate for people with disabilities. The conference was catered, and both the food and staff were so wonderful. I have to admit that among so many conferences I have attended, this was very well done.
When the conference broke for the day, we went exploring a little and visited Pierce’s BBQ, about a 1/4 mile from the resort. We decided to try this place out on the recommendation of a local and even by my very high standards having lived in Texas, their brisket was very tasty. We had an amazing dinner in a retro dining space that was filled with locals. That told me everything I needed to know. Certainly a highlight of our mini-trip.
Great Wolf Lodge was a great experience, from the arcade that is housed indoors, which my kids had the best experience at. My daughter won her first stuffed animal from a claw game, to the dance party that is hosted every night in the lobby. There are great activities that we didn’t even have a chance to enjoy, like spa services and ear decorating. Even though we were in Williamsburg, barely an hour from home, it really felt like a tiny vacation because every detail of the Lodge makes you feel like you are in the Great White North or the woods in Canada. I loved being completely immersed in the experience, but the true value I saw was in the staff. Everyone was helpful, considerate and truly a pleasure to be around. I joked and laughed many times throughout the short stay, and even had a moment of panic when I dropped my credit card somewhere along the way, when it fell out of my pocket and no sooner than I noticed it was gone, did I find it at the front desk. Someone had found and turned it in within the 15 minutes or so that it was missing.
I would recommend staying here to any traveler, whether you’re in for the night, or need to book a conference for a large group. There is something for everyone, and enough fun for kids of all ages. If you think it’s only for families, you’d be missing out on some really excellent waterpark fun, along with cocktails, food, skeeball and so much more. It’s a fun place to be a kid, but also sit in front of a fire at night if you so desire, or relax on your own private balcony. You decide how you want to spend the time. My kids and I took advantage of what we could in only about a day but I hope I find another opportunity to stay and play. www.greatwolf.com
My name is Starlite, and before you ask, YES! My parents were hippies. I am an artist who has traveled all over the world and settled in Suffolk, VA. It's a quaint part of Hampton Roads that I liken to Mayberry at times.
I am an artist who teaches classes around Hampton Roads and sells private commissions for artwork and murals.
I am a big fan of sarcasm, craft beer & bourbon. I love the water and a good book, ferris wheels, bad dancing and good conversations.