Category Archives: Lifestyle

Here are all of my lifestyle posts featuring my family, travel, home decor, and inspirations.

Napa Valley Is the Perfect Venue for a Smooth Jazz Getaway

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Tuesday, June 20, 2017 IN: Lifestyle

Napa Valley Jazz GetawayNapa Valley Jazz Getaway; Kate Spade Long Gingham DressNapa Valley Jazz Getaway; Kate Spade Long Broome Gingham Dress

The claim to fame for Napa Valley is exploring its nearly 400 wineries. And I can see why. Napa Valley’s climate creates the ideal location to grow wine grapes. But the rolling hills and clear skies set the stage for a worthwhile visit to Northern Cali.  Specifically, Napa Valley, the perfect venue for a smooth jazz getaway.

Napa Valley Jazz Getaway; Long Gingham Kate Spade Dress

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Harrisburg National Civil War Museum. Wearing: Kate Spade Broom Collection gingham long dress similar sleeveless version here at Talbot’s, J. Crew White Martie Pant, Kate Spade “Licorice” Camel Suede Heel similar here in light camel with Handmade Oval Rattan Handbag purchased in Hawaii at least nine years ago, similar here.

 

About a year ago, the hubs and I decided we wanted to venture back to Napa Valley.  During our initial visit on August 24, 2014, we experienced our first earthquake the first night in Napa. The devastation of downtown Napa was tremendous. However, this didn’t stop us from keeping our planned itinerary of winery visits, a day trip to Bodega Bay and St. Helena’s.

Napa Valley is the second vacation hubby, and I took just to focus on our love of smooth jazz music.  In 2008, we sailed to Aruba for the ultimate Smooth Jazz Cruise.

2014 Napa Earthquake

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. 2014 photo Carpe Diem Wine Bar in Downtown Napa.

I learned about the Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway on social media. I Googled the “Brian Culbertson’s Napa Jazz Getaway 2017” event and found the option to purchase packages to all the events. 

2018 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. 2018 Brian Culbertson’s Jazz Getaway ticket packages.

The ticket costs did not include either hotel accommodation or flights to California. We were fortunate that my husband’s youngest brother lives near Napa.  Harry provided our shuttle to and from the airport as well as excellent hospitality and lodging at his beautiful home in Fairfield.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Welcome Dinner Menu, Gold Access Card and Program for Schedule of Events.

The exclusive packages provided a few intimate settings with less than 200 people.  The digital notifications kept you in the know if you left or misplaced the event program. The FAQ on JazzGetaway.com  gave insight into the weather, the artist lineup and any changes to the program.
Weekend and single day passes are available.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valle is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Westin Verasa Napa.  Wearing: J. Crew peplum top similar here, Laura Tanzer Custom Design Palazzo pants with Dolce Vita Sandal similar perforated leather here and Handwoven Oval Rattan Summer Bag.

Day ↑One:  Wednesday, June 7:
For our first evening, the Westin’s chef, Ken Frank hosted a home-style welcome dinner in the courtyard outside.

Brian Culbertson greeted the Platinum, Silver, and Gold Access card holders, kicking off all day, every day smooth jazz for five days.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location:  Westin Verasa Napa.  Day One: Afternoon Wine Down. Wearing: J. Crew Sweatshirt, similar here with J. Crew Sailor Pant, similar here and Fashionphile Chanel mini satin flap bag.

Day Two↑:  Thursday, June 8
The first full day included a not too early “Wine Down” at the Westin Solera Courtyard from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. featuring complimentary wine tastings and performances. We had time before evening event to enjoy dinner at a local upscale Napa restaurant, Mustard Grill.

We drove a short distance from the Westin VersaHotel to the Lincoln Theater for an effective presentation by legendary bassist, composer, producer Marcus Miller and solo piano showing by Brian Culbertson, who played his new romantic songs.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Mustard Grill, Napa. Wearing: Catherine Catherine Malandrino white cold-shoulder A-line dress on sale here with Fashionphile Chanel satin mini flap bag, 2014 Kate Spade Limited-edition Rwandan Handwoven Raffia Bag similar here with Dolce Vita Suede Sandals similar here.  The hottest day, Friday, June 9th at Napa, allowed me to wear my cold-shoulder dress.

Day Three ↑:  Friday, June 9
Day two of the Brian Culbertson’s Napa Valley Jazz Getaway brought another “Wine Down” at the Westin from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.  As well as Friday Night Funk at the Lincoln Theater with performances by saxophonist Candy Dulfer.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway; Euge Groove

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Oxbow Commons. I met jazz saxophonist, Euge Groove. Wearing: J. Crew Jumpsuit (that looks like a dress)  red stripe sleeveless similar here, Fashionphile Chanel satin mini flap bag with 2011 Kate Spade Limited-edition Rwandan Raffia Bag similar here.

Day Four ↑: Saturday, June 10

Oxbow Commons was the location for all the remaining major shows.  One can imagine what Woodstock might have looked like with the hundreds of people that attended the last two days.  Two different stages offered performances by Marcus Anderson, Julain Vaughan, Nicholas Cage, plus vocalists Peabo Bryson and Regina Belle.  My faves were guitarist Peter White, saxophonist Euge Groove (whom I met) and Japanese pianist Keiko Matsui.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway; Brian Culbertson

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Napa Oxbow Commons. Wearing: Catherine Catherine Malandrino Black bell-sleeve blouse with Sarah Puccini white wide-leg linen pants and Fashionphile Chanel satin mini flap bag.

Day Five ↑: Sunday, June 11
Still, at Oxbow Commons, this day was cut short because of an afternoon thunderstorm.  We retreated to the Oxbow Commons Farmers Market, so did everyone else, for dinner. However, the highlight of this five-day event was the high energy outstanding performance from a group from my hometown, Philadelphia: Pieces of A Dream.  The rain prevented main stage performances by Eric Darius and the group, the Whispers.

2017 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway. Wine Down at the Westin

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. Location: Westin Verasa Napa. My favorite look the first day of the Jazz Getaway. Kirsten wearing beautiful light blue Zara blouse, black pants and I forgot to ask about her adorable flats.

The attire for both men and women were, for the most part, casual and relaxed.  However, I stopped Kristen to meet and photograph her chic and Instagram-worthy outfit. I do know the beautiful blue shirt is Zara.  I thought I would see Kirsten again to ask her about her flats, but I didn’t see her again.

2017 Napa Valley

Napa Valley is the Perfect Venue for Smooth Jazz Getaway. I met Instagram friends, beautiful Lila from Dallas and fancy Fran from ATL as well as saxophonist Euge Groove and Brian Culbertson.

My brother-in-law Harry couldn’t understand how in the world I could run into people I follow on Instagram.  I did. Two virtual friendship became real at the 2017 Brian Culbertson Napa Valley Jazz Getaway.  I met the lovely Lila and her hubs from Dallas as well as fancy Fran and her hubs from Atlanta. You know that Disney Magic Kingdom song, “It’s A Small World After All.”  

Oh, I was so lazy that I didn’t open my laptop to start or finish a post. I even missed a week.  Also, I ordered new prescription sunnies, so I didn’t need to put in my contacts every day. Now *that’s* a vacation.

Finally, I didn’t overpack because I coordinated colors, so I took one pair of neutral sandals, sneakers, and just a few summer bags. This vacation was so fab we’re already considering attending the 2018 Napa Valley Jazz Getaway.

What are your vacation plans?  Are you a smooth jazz lover like me?  Please do share in the comments section.

Have a fabulous, healthy, and stylish week.

 

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for an Evening of High Style

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 IN: Fashion Lifestyle

 

Teri Jon Gown' Formal Affair

The Memorial Day weekend marks when our annual Hershey soirée takes place for an evening of high style. This year, Club 21, a private organization for African-American men, celebrates their journey of success in the Harrisburg area for seven decades.

Teri Jon; Evening of High Style; Soirée
Just like we don’t want to overlook the significance of Memorial Day as just a holiday to have a day off from work to go to barbecues, Club Twenty-One’s yearly event also has deep meaning.  It’s not just a party but roots steeped in history and accomplishments. 
Teri Jon; Evening of High Style; White Dinner Jacket; Soirée
The only time club history shared with introductions before the evening events commence. There are formal introductions and a short bio of each of the twenty-one members. As well as entertainment line-up for the night.
High Style; Teri Jon; White Dinner Jacket; SoiréeThe Club, founded as a social club in 1946. Also, it can point with pride to some significant accomplishments that grew out of the earnest desire of the club’s founders to assert themselves and to use their full range of talents for the betterment of the community.

DInner Setting; Tablescape; 2017 Club 21 Dinner Dance

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. The 2017 Club Twenty-One Tablescape with my gift bags for our guests.  The dinner entree included salmon, prime rib, and chicken.

It’s also worth noting that the members of the Club Twenty-One, credited with taking instrumental roles in re-activating the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1947.  In helping to memorialize the name and legacy of the outstanding Harrisburg educator, Dr. William Howard Day, and in breaking down the bars of segregation in places of public accommodations in the Harrisburg area.

Formal Attire; High Style; Teri Jon Dresses; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. The 2017 Club 21 Dinner Dance at the Hershey Lodge, the group photo of some of the Club 21 men in their white tuxedo dinner jackets.

The club’s first formal dinner dance held on the evening of Friday, November 22, 1946.  That event and similar ones in the many intervening years have been black tie dinner dances for members, their wives, family, and friends. 

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for an Evening of High Style. The lovely ladies, our guests at the 2017 Club Twenty-One Dinner Dance.

The Club Twenty-One continues to maintain its original purpose of providing a social outlet for men of color, who, at the time of its inception, were barred from hotels and other places open to the public.

Formal Attire; Fashion Over 50; Teri Jon Dresses; High Style; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. My #BFF and I at the 2017 Club Twenty-One Dinner Dance in Hershey.

Art Sherrod; 2016 Club Twenty-One; Smooth Jazz

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. 2016 Club Twenty-One with an encore performance by Saxophonist, Art Sherrod, Jr.

Line Dancing; The Wobble; Formal Attire; High Style; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. Photo at 2017 Club Twenty-One Dinner Dance at Hershey Lodge.

Formal Attire; Dinner Dancing; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style.  The Harold’s Tony and Edna on the dance floor.

Formal Attire; Black Love; Wedding Anniversary; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. April and Hubby celebrated their 11th wedding anniversary with our group at the 2017 Club Twenty-One Dinner Dance.

Family; Formal Attire; High Style; Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. My niece, Kenya Pickles and I and 2017 Club Twenty-One.

This year’s dinner dance special commemoration of seventy years with the club members donning white dinner jackets with tuxedo pants. It seems the white dinner jacket adopted in the 1930s for warm-weather formal in Palm Springs.  We sometimes forget men do have a few options when it comes to black tie attire.

2004 Club Twenty-One; Hershey Soirée

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. 1994 Club Twenty-One photo.

My husband, an attorney, received his invitation to join the social club in 1993.  We attended our first dinner dance in 1994. Can you find me in the photo above?

Over the last twenty-three years, I adopted a more formal/black tie attire. What’s proper to wear? And most importantly, what works best for my body type? 

In that time, I developed an appreciation for the long gown. It fits in with the elegance of the evening.  I like that I now have a wardrobe of fancy dresses to choose from, I do rotate them as we go to many black tie events every year. 

Note, in my short ↑ video above; there are at least two cocktail dresses.  I used to prefer cocktail dresses and suits because I can get more wear out of them.

Teri Jon Gown; 2017 Club Twenty-One

I Attended an Annual Hershey Soirée for An Evening of High Style. The young and thin model wearing the Teri Gown gown I chose to wear.

One thing I noticed is very few retailers cater to women over the age of 50.  Have you ever seen the companies whose primary focus are women over the age of 50 but still utilize young and thin models to show their clothes online?

Teri Jon is my go-to designer for any cocktail attire.  Every piece I’ve purchased is well-made,  usually of natural fibers with incredible details. Teri Jon has great options for mother-of-the-bride, matron of honor, cocktail and daytime dresses and of course, evening gowns. On their website, you can shop by occasion with plus size available too.

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? Do you have any family traditions? Please do share in the comments below. 

Have a fabulous, healthy, and stylish week.

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 IN: Lifestyle

My first visit to the new National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in the nation’s capital was on December 21, 2016. I left the museum without experiencing all that the newest Smithsonian had to offer. One day was really not enough. So, I went back. This time with fourteen people ready to take in more of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


NMAAHC

On my initial visit, the hubby and I explored our African American history and culture with our college friends.  This time, our entourage included my millennials from New York City, our fellow Paris travelers, and other family members.

NMAAHC

I Wnet Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough.  Wearing: J. Crew Classic Denim Jacket, Target Who What Wear  Black and White Stripe Crew similar here, J. Crew  Navy and White Sailor Wide-leg Pant similar chino pant here, Miu Miu Gold Heels similar here with Vogue Limited-Edition Clare V Folder Over Suede Clutch.

 

My main goal this time was to see the Emmett Till memorial, including his coffin. We weren’t allowed to take photos at the family’s request but it was well-worth the line to see it.  The last time I went to the NMAAHC, there were long lines with hours of wait time to see the restored coffin.  This time, there was no extended wait time for this exhibit.  As a Black woman, the senseless and brutalizing death of this fourteen-year-old Black child was most certainly a jumping off point in 1955 for the Civil Rights Movement.

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. The segregated railroad car, the first artifact installed into the not completed National Museum of African American History and Culture.

NMAAHC

I Went Back to the National Museum of History and Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. A segregated railroad car of the Southern Railway Company was the first artifact installed into the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the weekend of November 15, 2013.

NMAAHC

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. The restored Jim Crow-era segregated passenger train coach on display inside the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C.

This time I was fascinated with the Southern Railway No. 1200 Jim Crow era train car inside the museum.  The segregated railroad car was the first artifact installed and the museum was built around it. According to The Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (which I bought in the bookstore), during the 1940s, the Southern Railway Company operated a long-distance passenger service between Washington, D.C., and New Orleans.  To comply with state laws that required public transportation be segregated, the company outfitted this coach with a partition to create separate seating sections for white and black passengers.

Reading The Official Guide to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, reminded me that I still didn’t see everything located in the 85,000 square feet of exhibition space which houses over 3,000 objects.  

The NMAAHC is still experiencing record number visitors since opening in September 2016.  You still must have a timed pass to enter the museum.  I was able to secure another set of the free timed entry passes back on January 5th.  The next release for July 2017 passes is on April 5th at 9:00 a.m.  Passes go very quickly when released.

NMAAHC

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. The millennials and the boomers.

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American of History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. Location: NMAAHC in Washington, D.C. My millennials: Arianna, my daughter, Channing, and Serena.

NMAAHC and National Museum of African American History & Culture

I Went Back to the National Museum of African American History & Culture Because Once Was Not Enough. Location: NMAAHC. BFF, Cynthia and I at the museum.

Our group of millennials and boomers opted to polish off our day with dinner at BusBoys and Poets, a restaurant, bookstore, lounge, and theater in the Northwest section of Washington, D.C instead of 
Sweet Home Café in the NMAAHC.

If you live in the Washington, D.C area, be sure to visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture.  But know that once is not enough to fully experience its wealth of exhibits. If not, I hope you enjoyed my visit this time.

Have a fabulous, fierce and stylish week,

Tip-Toe Through the Tulips

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, March 20, 2017 IN: Lifestyle


Every year in March, I don’t miss the chance to awaken my senses to see and smell spring blooms at the annual Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s theme was Holland: Flowering the World. My BFF Cynthia and I got the chance to tip-toe through the tulips inside the Philadelphia Convention Center located on Arch Street between Broad and 11th Streets.
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I Discovered the Museum of the City of New York

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Wednesday, February 8, 2017 IN: Fashion Lifestyle

Did you know that New York City has a total of 83 museums among the five boroughs? I had the chance to discover one of them — the Museum of the City of New York.

For those of you who have been following the Age of Grace for the past four years, you know that I very much relish the chance to take a trip to any museum.  No matter the location, the Louvre in Paris,  the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, or the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D. C., I like them all. I’m already looking forward to the Metropolitan Museum of Arts Costume Institute’s, Spring 2017 Rei Kawakubo and Comme des Garçons exhibit.
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It’s Vision Board Time Again

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Monday, January 2, 2017 IN: Lifestyle


You know it’s the end of any year when you see and hear all the television commercials for gym memberships and weight loss opportunities. For me, the end of the year signals its time to make another vision board.

Each year, nearly 50 percent of Americans vow to change their behavior come January 1st, resolving to lose weight, get more organized or whatever they pledge to rectify.
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My First Visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture

BY: Eugenia PUBLISHED ON: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 IN: Lifestyle

On September 24th, 2016, the 19th Smithsonian Museum opened its doors to the public. And finally, last week, I was able to visit the National African American Museum of History and Culture (NMAAHC).

My First Visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Location: Italian Lake, Harrisburg, PA. Wearing: Vince Camuto Ruched Sequined Sheath Black Dress, ASOS Oversized Faux Fur Scarf in Chocolate similar here, Metallic Bronze Leather Gloves from Portolano Sample sale similar here, Metallic Heels from Mui Mui sample sale similar here, Chanel Quilted Mini from Fashionphile similar here.

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