Touring the DMV’s wine and beer country

This past summer one of my goals was to explore all that the DMV has to offer in terms of wine and spirits. A lot of people think that to get a taste of wine country you have to go to Europe or the West coast. Here I will tell you about a couple of hidden gems in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia Area that are worth taking a look at!


Bluemont Vineyard: This vineyard in NOVA (northern Virginia) is one of my favorite vineyards thus far.  When visited, I did the flight wine tasting which sampled both red and white wines, dry and sweet. the scenery is amazing and tasting/food are reasonably priced. This vineyard had a ton of outdoor/indoor seating and you drive through the vineyard to get to the tasting room which was really neat! This would be an amazing place for weddings/events/engagement photos. The view is breathtaking. Wine for sale is also reasonably priced.

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Dirt Farm Brewing: This Brewery is right nextdoor to Bluemont! Less than a five minute drive. I have not been as interested in beer but this place jumpstarted my interest! I was able to visit the brewery and the vineyard on the same day and really enjoyed it. We did a flight beer tasting which was reasonably priced and a different array of beers from IPA’s, lights to sours. Screen Shot 2017-10-14 at 11.29.04 AM.png

Linganore Wine Cellars: This place by far is my favorite Winery. Located in Mt. Airy, Maryland this winery is featured in the Maryland wine festival located in Westminster, MD. They have reasonably priced wines and labels that tell you how dry/sweet the wine is and the best foods to pair it with. I think this is great for anyone interested in drinking wine.

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How Greek Life prepared me for the Real World.

Greek life gets a lot of criticism from outsider perspectives. Usually resulting in comments such as “you’re just paying for friends” “you’re in it to wear the letters” and so on. Joining a sorority however, has single handedly been the only aspect from my college experience that prepared me for the real world and here is why:



  1. Accountability and Responsibility– Being in a sorority gave me the opportunity to become financially responsible for the organization I was apart of in many ways. Paying dues, managing funds if I did want to purchase merchandise or contribute to philanthropic events etc. Being apart of Greek Life also made me more responsible and accountable for the surrounding community. Being able to participate, fundraise and bring awareness to numerous charities and organizations made being apart of Greek Life extremely rewarding.
  2. Time Management– There is SO much more than people realize that go into being apart of a sorority. In my experiences I really learned how to juggle classes, meetings and events that I needed to attend and homework. Having this made transitioning into the real world a lot easier especially taking on a new job and balancing work and life.
  3. Discipline and Leadership- During my time in Greek Life I had the pleasure and honor of having a couple of different positions in the sorority.  Having these positions not only combine the previous two characteristics but encompass leadership skills and discipline. Making sure that deadlines within your position are met, drafting and submitting reports, collaboration with others. This really stood true in the real world.


If you have thought about going out for Greek Life I highly recommend it. There are so many learning opportunities available by joining any organization. It took for me about two years of researching greek life before I went out and it was the best choice I have made for my college and professional self.


Give it a try!

Four things that change after Graduating College that no one tells you.

Graduating from college is easily one of the hardest adjustment periods I think some can experience. It is extremely difficult to go 4 or 5 years with your life completely planned out to now- figuring out how to take everything you learned and apply it to the real world. Here are some things that changed for me that I never really thought would and I am still working through. Its ok if you are going through the same!!!

  1. Schedule– It’s weird going from having classes scheduled for most of the day and then to follow up with homework to not doing that at all Lol. One of the hardest things for me was getting used to having times where I only was expected to complete one task to do throughout the day in the work place. I will admit the lack of homework is 100% allowed but its still weird I mean we have had homework since kindergarten.
  2. Roommates aka Parents- It was so hard moving home! not because of my parents in particular but I have been used to all of my friends being within a walking distance radius of me. Going and coming as I please changed a lot because I had to be mindful of my new roommates and their rules (my parents) which hasn’t been too bad honestly they are fun to hangout with Lol.
  3. Taxes- Girl I owe everyone money. The government, the state, myself, it is crazy!!!! When you graduate and make real money you have to fill out your forms completely differently than you would in college which I am learning the hard way. So Make sure you check that out.
  4. Goals- Your goals and priorities change a lot once you actually graduate from college. This coming from a person who thought they knew exactly what they wanted to do, I ask myself a lot “what am I doing with my life”. This phrase freaked me out initially but I am starting to learn that its ok to not have all of the answers right now. Change can be good and lead you in directions and interests that we didn’t know we were capable of.

I hope that this helps all of my recent and experienced retired graduates. Being an adult is hard!! But we are all in this together and we will persevere!! You got this 🙂

50 Shades of Bronze: Tanning routine to last all winter.

During the summer months I tan really easily but like everyone else I lose my bronze during the winter time. Here is my self tanning routine! I use two tanning products and one product to prep my skin and one to moisturize.

First, I usually prep my skin with an exfoliator. I use Ulta’s brand sugar scrub in grapefruit. It smells great and leaves your skin soft! After exfoliating, I apply my first coat of self tanner. I use St. Tropez Dark Bronzing Mousse. St. Tropez has a very deep color and really resembles the tan I usually get during the summer. It is expensive as far as self tanners go- however, it has lasted me months! So worth the purchase for sure. The mitt for this product is additional. I have experienced ZERO streaking and the tanning smell is comparatively mild.

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After the first coat dries I then add a second coat with Fake Bake Flawless Darker. I like this product a lot but when I use it alone the tan doesn’t last me very long. It also rounds out my coloring and makes the tan more natural looking. This product is also rather expensive as far as self tanners go but completely worth it. It has also lasted me months AND the mitt is included with latex gloves to wear during application.


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Once this dries completely which takes about 15 minutes you can do whatever! I usually do this right before bed so the color can develop. The fake bake in my experience does get on your clothes where the St. Tropez does not but it washes out not a problem.

**Keep in mind- Both St. Tropez and Fake Bake have other shades! I selected these based off my natural skin tone and my expected summer tan darkness so keep that in mind!

**Tanning Secret** !! I finish off my self tan with Johnson’s baby oil gel. It locks in the natural moisture of my skin and keeps my tan lasting longer. Your tans will last as long as you’re whiling to keep up with them so for me I try to maintain mine for about a week and a half. 

The Best Mascara. Ever!

One of my favorite makeup products ever is mascara. I literally cannot live without this stuff. A lot of people ask me which mascara I use because I am blessed with long lashes. Through a lot of trial and error I have found some amazing mascaras that I love to use. HOWEVER, this one is THE BEST MASCARA. Ever.


I am obsessed with Benefit’s Roller Lash Mascara for so many reasons! First being it is great if you have sensitive eyes! I wear contacts and a lot of times I run into issues with mascaras and contact lenses irritating and then causing itchy eyes and discomfort. This has not happened once with this mascara. I have been using it for about 3 months now.

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I also shockingly love the brush to this mascara. Usually I try to stay away from the skinnier bristles and look for something that is more fuller but the thickness of the mascara and this brush pari really nicely. There is absolutely ZERO clumping. This mascara lifts and separates every eye lash. It also does not run at all if I happen to work out and still have mascara on it stays in place which is great.

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I purchased this from Ulta (My absolute favorite store ever). Benefit has a ton of other mascaras worth trying if this one does not work for you!

You have Guac to be kidding me!

This is for all the Avocado lovers out there and Brunch lovers alike! I love a solid table side guac and smoked salmon obviously. Since I am Italian and marinara sauce is pretty much my blood type of course I love all things pizza and pasta. I am introducing an amazing spin on pizza and brunch combined! This is a very healthy recipe ** substitutions will need to be considered if you are gluten free or vegan. Enjoy!

Smoked Salmon & Avocado Brunch Pizza (no baking necessary)

Large Guac Recipe (Meal prep or Feed a crowd!)

6 ripe avocados (A ripe avocado should be soft to the touch

1 ½ tomatoes

½ red onion

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp of paprika

2 Tbsp of lemon juice (or lime)

salt and pepper to taste.

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  1. Dice 1 1/2 tomatoes and and 1/2 red onion place in bowl.
  2. Clean Avocados- removing skin and seed and place in bowl.
  3. Place spices and lemon juice in bowl and mix.

After mixing you can add citric acid so that the Guac doesn’t turn brown! Lemon and Lime juice also have the same effect.


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Assembling the Brunch Pizza


1 Package – Ready to Eat Smoked Salmon

1 Package- Philadelphia Cream Cheese 

1-2 corn tortillas


  1. Turn your corn tortilla into a tostada. Spray corn tortilla with cooking spray on both sides. Place corn tortillas on griddle over medium/high heat.
  2. Once the corn tortilla gets golden brown and relatively harder in appearance take off the stove burner and let cool.
  3. Once tostada is cooled- spread cream cheese layer first, then guacamole layer second.
  4. Add smoked salmon on top and you are ready to eat!



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We were on a Break!- Give your GI Tract a Break with this Breakfast Smoothie

When you have Crohn’s disease your body is working twice as hard to take in nutrients. Reaching optimal nutrition is important for everyone but especially those with an autoimmune disease. I have this breakfast smoothie pretty often because my GI tract thinks a lot of the good I put in my body is bad so I like to switch it up with this.

Here is one of many smoothies that I have in the morning. Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie. It is SO EASY and keeps me full from 7:00am- 12:00pm. TRY!!

You will need:

1 Banana

5 Strawberries 

1 1/2 Cup of water- coconut water 

Ice to your liking 




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Directions: I use a nutriBullet to assemble all the ingredients and I use the fill line (see picture above) for my liquid and ice. Then I blend to my liking.

This recipe is Vegan, Gluten Free and Whole30 approved. I also use Coconut water- with pineapple to add an additional flavor to the smoothie.

**Mix it up- You can use almond milk instead of coconut water (Ive used unsweetened vanilla) and you can add Vegan Protein powder! I have used Vega Vanilla I hear JuicePlus has one but I have not tried it yet. Also for those who use JuicePlus you can empty your garden blend capsules to add your daily greens.  

How I got hired right out of College

It used to be- you went to college, gradated with a degree and were able to find work not a problem. For millennial’s at Liberal Arts College’s this seems to be harder to do. My secret to getting hired right out of college is my LinkedIn. LinkedIn for those who do not know or are confused about the site is designed to work as an online resume. On the site people post different jobs, volunteer opportunities and even updates on the business world.


My sophomore year of college I created a LinkedIn after my first major internship to keep connected with the people I had met. Within 3 years I had over 500+ connections and prior to graduating had roughly 5 job offers waiting in my inbox. The key to this new age of job searching is the art of networking.


After each internship I had, I would look for people on this site to see if they had a LinkedIn (Kind of creepy but no shame in the game, I wanted a job badly). I would also set goals each week or month to connect with people in different areas incase my interests would change then I would know someone in that field that could guide me.


Building a network is just as important as building your resume. Your network is who you can go to for career advice and opportunities. LinkedIn is also a great way to discover internships. I used this tool to find most of mine since the University I went to had ZERO career development resources. Give it a try!

The Best Matte Foundation. Ever.

Finding the right foundation is so tricky! There are a ton of different types like HD, Airbrush, Matte and so on and then there are different levels of coverage. Being in college and in the workplace I just wanted something that would get me through the day without adding so much additional oil to my skin and give me the airbrush coverage. L’oreal Infallible Pro- Matte Foundation does just that.

My skin type is really weird… in the summer time I find that I have a ton of extra oil on my skin and leading up to the colder months I usually dry out and its awful. L’oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation evens everything out for me. The coverage is amazing and I can honestly say it lasts 24 hours AND even longer with a setting spray. I used this foundation for my sisters wedding and it lasted her through the entire day. which says a lot because a wedding is obviously something us girls dream about for a while and there is a ton of pressure to look your best!

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This is the exact foundation I am currently using and the number 105 which is natural beige. This foundation in combination with the Nyx Bronzer is the perfect partnership. I also love the package of this foundation as it tells you everything you need to know in terms of finish, hours it will last and texture. Give it a try!!

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**Remember: This product works great for me with a combination skin. It might dry you out if your skin is already naturally dry. Try to look for products that will put essential oils back into your skin. I use No7 Day cream for dry skin which has an SPF to prime my face before applying. 

Sushi Bazooka- Life Changing.

I love cooking so much ! It is actually one of my favorite ways to relieve stress. I also love sushi and have always wanted to try making my own. After a lot of research and the recent debut of the Sushi Bazooka I had to get my hands on this to try it.


Below will be a review of the Sushi Bazooka and the recipe to my favorite sushi roll. The Philadelphia roll.


Sushi Rice: Yields 2 rolls 

1 cup of white rice- Does not have to be sushi grade- I used Uncle Ben’s White Rice 

1 cup of water 

3 Tbsp- Plain rice vinegar- Purchased at Weis Markets

1 Tbsp- Sugar

1 tsp-Salt




  • Place 1 Cup on white rice and 1 cup of water in Rice Cooker (You can use a stove top obviously I got a rice cooker for Christmas which cooks the rice more evenly. The Rice cooker took about 25 minutes to cook the rice.
  • In separate Saucepan bring rice vinegar and sugar to heat. (not boiling) make sure it is hot enough to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add mixture to rice with salt and stir. This makes your rice stick to everything!! And rounds out the flavor.


Now that your rice is prepared we can review the Sushi Bazooka! For the Philadelphia Roll- You use: Smoked Salmon (Raw), Avocado, and Cream Cheese. Since I like to play to my strengths when it comes to cooking I DID NOT USE RAW FISH. A great subsititue is ready to eat- smoked salmon. It gives you the texture of raw fish without the danger and the smokiness rounds out the flavor profile with the rice vinegar.  Here is the smoked salmon I used and the toasted seaweed (Nori). Smoked salmon can be purchased at most grocery stores and the seaweed was purchased at Weis Markets.

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Place your sushi rice, smoked salmon (ready to eat), Cream Cheese and Avocado in the sushi bazooka: Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 2.00.31 PM.png


Then you will close the Bazooka and use the clips in the lower section of the picture to fasten the bazooka shut. Before turning the bazooka place your Seaweed (Nori) sheet on a cutting board. Then start turning the Bazooka!! Once you have gotten past the initial turning you can push the rest of the roll out (See Below).Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 2.03.05 PM.png

Then start rolling your rice with the seaweed! You can use a bamboo matt to help you roll but in my experience the Sushi Bazooka makes the rice tight enough to just go ahead and roll into the seaweed. Once the rice and seaweed are rolled use a serrated knife to cut sushi pieces. Screen Shot 2017-01-07 at 2.03.35 PM.png

And ENJOY!! The Sushi Bazooka is an amazing product and is absolutely life changing. It is so easy to use and actually works!! I will rarely ever go out to buy my own sushi again. Stay tuned for a California roll recipe I am working on 🙂