In honor of Mexican Independence Day and National Guacamole Day, which both fall on Wednesday, September 16, Mercadito, known for its authentic Mexican cuisine, delicious tequila and mezcal-based specialty cocktails and voted a top Mexican restaurant in Chicago, is celebrating with a week-long special menu available from Monday, September 14 – Sunday, September 20. Mercadito’s limited-time menu includes Chile en Nogada, a traditional dish originating from Puebla comprised of poblano pepper, pork picadillo, walnut sauce and pomegranate, Pozole Rojo, a traditional pork and hominy stew with guajillo chile, Pomegranate Guacamole with avocado, habanero, mint and pomegranate seeds, and a Guacamole Flight, which includes tastes of Mercadito’s traditional guacamole, toreado guacamole and the pomegranate guacamole for $18. Perfect for pairing, each day of the week will feature a different Tequila and Mezcal Flight, featuring three one-ounce pours of various agave spirits for $15. Mercadito is currently open for indoor and patio dining in Chicago’s River North neighborhood at 108 W. Kinzie and also offers takeout and delivery.
As indoor dining and wine tasting shut down in Napa & Sonoma Counties, we just wanted to remind you that outdoor wine tasting continues at Benovia Winery and Inglenook, and outdoor dining continues at Brix Napa Valley. All three destinations are just minutes from private airports.
Benovia Winery remains open for outdoor wine tasting with “Pinot & Pairings on the Patio.” Benovia Winery is a fun, family-owned, limited-production winery in the heart of Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley that produces some of the region’s most exclusive, coveted, sustainably-farmed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The health and safety of Benovia’s co-workers, guests and the community is their first priority, and visitors can relax knowing that behind the scenes the Benovia team is sticking to the strict guidelines set forth by the CDC and local health officials.
Guests who want to enjoy wine among the vines will be surrounded by Benovia’s sustainably-farmed Martaella vineyard. What could be better than tasting wine right at the source? The spacious deck on the back of Benovia’s Ranch House is a perfect setting for visitors seeking privacy and a comfortable distance from other parties, while they enjoy a tasting served with thoughtfully-chosen pairings.
Guest Expectations of Benovia Winery:
- Reservations are required and the number of tastings accepted each day will be limited. Prompt arrival is essential.
- A greeter will be waiting for guests outside the tasting room.Visitors will be guided to their tables where their own personal pens and tasting sheets will be waiting for them.
- Benovia asks that all guests please wear masks when they arrive and any time they leave their table.
- There are restrooms in each tasting area that are cleaned frequently and hand sanitizer is available throughout the patio and tasting areas.
- Contactless payment is provided at the end of the tasting.
- There’s a substantial cushion between each tasting appointment so the Benovia team can give the tasting room and all high-touch areas a comprehensive cleaning, in step with guidelines from the CDC and local health officials.
BRIX NAPA VALLEY
We are happy to share that outdoor dining continues at Brix Napa Valley. Guests can relax on the spacious patio at Brix and in the garden & citrus grove overlooking the stunning vineyard, with a breathtaking view of the Mayacamas. Brix is also offering a robust selection of carry-out dishes and wines-by-the-bottle-to-go from their vast cellar. For couples who have had to cancel elaborate weddings, they can book more intimate ceremonies in the garden at Brix for the bride, groom and four special guests.
Guest Expectations of Brix Napa Valley:
- Brix is serving their famous Sunday Brunch à la carte.
- Unfortunately, Brix cannot welcome guests to sit at the bar.
- There are motion-activated hand sanitizers throughout the estate.
- Both reservations and walk-in guests are welcome, but Brix cannot seat parties larger than 6.
- Guests have to wear masks when they arrive, and any time they leave their table to walk through the restaurant or garden.
- Guests have to remain six feet away from other parties the whole time they’re at Brix.
Inglenook was founded in 1879 by Gustave Niebaum as Napa’s first estate winery, Inglenook boasts an illustrious heritage, a renowned legacy of innovation and an outstanding portfolio of award-winning wines that have defined and established Napa as a world-class wine region. From Gustave Niebaum to John Daniel, Jr. to Francis Ford Coppola, Inglenook’s three principal stewards have shared a strong sense of vision and an unwavering passion to create a wine estate that hearkens back to the European tradition, producing original, distinctly Napa wines that rival the best in Europe. It remains the largest contiguous estate on the famed Rutherford Bench, Napa Valley’s finest area for producing spectacular Cabernet Sauvignon.
Inglenook is best-known for its Cabernet Sauvignon and its premier wine, Rubicon. Rubicon’s blend varies each vintage but is always predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon. Inglenook also makes a refreshing Sauvignon Blanc, and a complex white blend called Blancaneaux, made up of Marsanne, Roussanne and Viognier. All of the wines are estate-produced from Inglenook’s organically-farmed vineyard. Overall, the estate is 1,680 contiguous acres, and 235 acres are planted to vineyards.
The Inglenook estate has undergone several name changes over the years. In 1879, Finnish sea captain Gustave Niebaum purchased the Inglenook farm. The first vintage was released in 1882 under the name “Inglenook.” In 1975, Francis Ford Coppola and his wife, Eleanor, purchased 1,560 acres of the Inglenook estate, including the Niebaum mansion. They were looking for a country home where they could raise their family. In the French tradition, they joined their name with Niebaum’s and the property became the Niebaum-Coppola Estate Winery. In 2011, the Coppolas acquired the iconic Inglenook trademark and announced that henceforth the celebrated estate would be known by its historic original name, Inglenook.
Francis Ford Coppola took on the task of reuniting Inglenook with its prestigious past and has patiently reassembled the jewels of the crown. Today, the Coppola family honors Inglenook’s rich heritage by building on its legacy of innovation and forward thinking and producing internationally critically-acclaimed wines.
The gracious Inglenook team is donning white gloves and masks to protect guests and offer the impeccable, warm service for which Inglenook is known. Imagine tasting on a sunny day alongside Inglenook’s iconic fountain in the winery’s open, breezy courtyard – or savoring a private luncheon, crafted by Chef Alex who draws upon the bounty of the organically-farmed estate and culinary garden to create memorable coursed meals that pair perfectly with Inglenook’s wines.
Guest Expectations of Inglenook:
- Inglenook continues to host guests with white glove service in the estate’s spacious courtyard and on its picturesque terrace.
- Tasting appointments are by reservation only, with a limited number of guests allowed on the estate.
- Visitors are welcomed through the gate with convenient contactless entry and parking spaces have been thoughtfully organized so that guests can remain a respectful distance from each other as they get in and out of their cars.
- Behind the scenes, guests can be assured that the Inglenook team has thoroughly cleaned all high-touch surfaces hourly.
(or reserve by calling 707-968-1161 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you’re a single living through the COVID-19 quarantine, you’re likely well-acquainted with loneliness. But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can still meet your soul mate, or at least, someone fun to hang with, right from the comfort of your own home.
You can even go on dates! While the pandemic may have changed how you date, there’s no reason it should stop you from connecting with someone great.
In fact, dating is still alive and well online. With millions of singles hungry to connect, they are turning to online dating apps in droves, making this the ideal time to take the plunge.
Online dating: How to choose the right app
If you’ve never tried online dating, choosing which app to download can be overwhelming. With thousands of apps out there, it can be hard to know which one is for you.
Start out by deciding what you’re looking for. Are you seeking someone you can eventually have a relationship with or do you simply want some casual companionship? Do you have niche needs? Do you prefer to meet older singles? Are you willing to pay for a better experience? Are you open to dating someone from outside the country?
Once you know what your priorities are, it’s time for a little bit of research. Start by reading some well-researched guides. We’ve seen some great ones from Beyondages.com that help guys looking for all kinds of things from this article about what you need to do to meet a cougar to what guys who don’t really know what they want should do. This will give you a better idea of what is worth your time and money and what you should avoid.
Keeping a list of the pros and cons of each app can help you to compare and narrow down your choices. Whichever app best aligns with your needs is your best bet.
Once you’ve downloaded an app, uploaded some profile pictures and written up your profile, it’s time to start connecting.
While it’s possible you’ll meet someone great right away, it’s not likely. That’s why being patient is so important. It usually takes a while to meet someone you really click with but, once you do, all of that waiting will be worth it.
Now comes the challenging part. Dating from a distance. Let’s take a look at five of the best ways you can have amazing dates virtually.
Dinner and a movie
Who says the traditional first date outing can’t work during self-isolation? With a little bit of coordination, you can enjoy a great first date via FaceTime, Zoom or Skype.
Decide on a restaurant together, choose your meals and have them delivered to your homes. You can take it up a notch by getting dressed up and lighting some candles in your respective spaces for a more exciting and intimate meal together.
You can follow up your dinner conversation with a movie. Thanks to Netflix Party, you and your date can watch a movie at the same time and chat about it right from your browser.
If you’re enjoying your time together, meet back online for a cup of tea or glass of wine and more conversation.
If chatting is getting a bit old, why not challenge your date to a game night. While virtual game nights don’t take a lot of planning, it can be fun to coordinate your game night snacks and drinks.
Once that’s done, hit up an online platform like Tabletopia, that allows you to play classic board games with your date. If you want to make things more interesting, put some conditions on the game outcomes. Have the loser pay for the next dinner and movie night or, if you really want to make things interesting, make a pledge that the loser has to initiate your first kiss when you can actually meet in person.
A get to know you night
If there’s some on-screen chemistry happening between you and your date, you can increase the intimacy a bit by playing a different type of game. Word games like 20 Questions, or Would You Rather? can be a lot of fun and can help you to learn more about your online mate.
You can also give psychologist Arthur Aron’s quiz a try. The 36 questions are designed to increase intimacy between strangers and partners alike. The questions, which are broken into three segments, gradually become more personal, allowing you to open up to your date slowly.
If you haven’t had enough truth yet, challenge your online paramour to a game of Truth or Dare. While being apart may limit the dares you can give somewhat, it can still be a lot of fun and will force you to get creative.
While there’s a lot of skepticism around meeting a potential soulmate online, more and more people end up in happy, successful relationships with people they met on an app. Getting to know each other is a crucial part of creating a strong bond that can blossom into a great relationship.
Take a class together
Many businesses are getting creative by offering their services to people online during the pandemic. This is something you can take advantage of for a fun and unique date night.
Decide on what kind of class you’d both be interested in taking, be it a cooking class or a karate session. Tune in to the class on one device and have video chat running on another so you can feel like you’re learning together.
No matter what you decide on, plan to enjoy each other’s company after the class. With a cooking class, you can simply sit down and enjoy the meal you cooked together. With something more active, enjoy a refreshing beverage and a post-workout rehash of the new skills you learned.
If things are progressing well with your online love, a fun date night can simply be planning all of the things you want to do with your date once you can actually meet in person.
Make a list of all the places you want to visit together and all the types of dates you’d like to go on. Talking about the types of dates and places that interest you will help you get to know each other better and will give you something to look forward to.
Some other great ideas for having fun together virtually are: a digital karaoke night, virtual travel via Google Arts and Culture, creating playlists together or for each other and listening to your favorite music, working out together or trying a virtual wine tasting.
Have you been on some virtual dates? What ideas have you tried to keep things interesting? Let us know your best self-isolating dating tips in the comments below.
1. Maintain good posture the entire time. Proper digestion only occurs when we are sitting up straight. Good posture is defined as ears aligned with the shoulders and the “angel wings,” or the shoulder blades, retracted. In proper alignment, spinal stress is diminished. Recent studies show that gastric emptying is significantly delayed in the supine position when compared to a sitting position.
Furthermore, “If you’re slouched over your plate, food cannot travel to the stomach in time for your body to tell your brain it’s getting full; it can take twice as long; thus, causing you to eat twice as much leaving you full and tired.
2. A brief family meditation for peace and happiness. Coming back together as a family means leaving many personal worlds of happiness, sadness and development behind. Take time out to honor and recognize this transition. Sit quietly together, hold hands and briefly recognize the personal worlds. Then state an intention to have a great family get together.
Dr. Ken says: Meditation is the process of calming the body and mind while allowing a connection with the universe. We are all so busy with our day-to-day activities and thoughts that we lose track of our goals, our vision, and our life plan. This non-stop grind prevents us from being thoughtful and performing the tasks necessary for our well-being and body maintenance.
3. Deep Belly Breathing: Deep belly breathing helps with digestion of food by enhancing motion of the belly and its food contents. Deeper yet though it serves to improve the motion of the spinal segments, spinal cord and nerve roots, and it increases the cerebrospinal fluid motion and distribution. Deep breathing might also decrease the swelling of the deranged spine joints and the nerve roots causing less pain. Deep belly breathing in itself will help you to feel better.
Dr. Ken says, “A deep breath of clean fresh air is as soothing to the body as a large glass of cool water on a hot summer day,” so place your hands on your belly and breathe deeply to feel your belly move. Repeat this all day.
4. Small bites and small breaks will allow you to enjoy a steady-paced meal without needing to slow down or stop eating entirely. Take small bites of the highly caloric sides like mashed potatoes, stuffing and cheesy casseroles, but load up your fork with Turkey and string beans. Take a 5-minute break between each helping to allow your stomach to catch up with your eyes.
5. Chat, “Take time out to engage in and enjoy the conversations around the table. When you are actively engaged and fully involved in a fulfilling conversation then you spend less time eating and more time feeling externally better. The craving for food and internal satisfaction diminishes” Ask each person how they are doing. Find out about their little inner workings in life. Your family will manifest happiness, and then you become happier leaving you with less of a desire to binge.
6. Savor your desserts. Use a demitasse spoon to eat. This spoon is diminutive, smaller than a teaspoon. Allow the dessert to sit on your tongue for a minute. Allow the two to 8 thousand taste buds on your tongue to delight in the vanilla or chocolate, cinnamon, and other contents. Feel the texture and temperature of each bite. Train your taste buds to enjoy and delight in the taste and textures. Otherwise you become involved in volume consumption. This is where you eat so much to feel that your belly is full.
Dr. Ken says, “Evening out the trajectory of a meal that can last 3-4 hours takes some purposeful technique. On average, it takes between 12-14 minutes for our bodies to recognize we’re full. Keeping this in mind, begin your dinner with small thoughtful fork-full and pay attention to your body’s signals. It will tell you when to take a break, so you can save room for dessert!
7. Mini Chair Exercises (bends and twists) help you keep your blood pumping and metabolism working. Bending to the right or left (as if you were picking up a fork you dropped) and sideways twists (like you’re greeting a guest behind you) are two small, but effective ways to help your body digest.
Dr. Ken says, “Small range-of-motion exercises help ensure your body’s digestive functions keep up with your food in-take and your blood pressure remains stable. This will help ward off headaches, cramps and gas at the dinner table.
8. After Dinner Walk. Schedule a family walk after dinner. Walking helps digestion of food and builds a togetherness of the tribe. It is a great family routine to build. People start to feel better because the spine joints and the spinal nerves start moving with walking. One of the fastest ways to develop back or neck pain is to remain stagnant. When the spine joints and the spinal nerves do not move, then they can cause pain.
About Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj:
On the forefront of spinal surgery American surgeon Dr. Kenneth K. Hansraj is a spinal and orthopedic surgeon specializing in cervical, thoracic and lumbar procedures for example laminectomies and spinal fusions. Dr. Hansraj believes in tailoring the operation to the patient using the latest spine technologies. Dr. Ken is a spinal surgeon at Nuvance Health based at The Vassar Brothers Medical Center in the Hudson Valley, NY
Dr. Ken is the author of the internationally bestselling book, Keys to an Amazing Life: Secrets of the Cervical Spine, (January, 2013), which he was inspired to write based on this concept. Dr. Hansraj is also the author of Bloodless Spine Surgery: Pictures and Explanations. His goal with each of his books is to bring years of accumulated expert medical knowledge to the public at-large in an easy-to digest format and to help countless individuals with ongoing spinal and health issues.
Dr. Ken Hansraj is TV and media trained and has extensive experience with national outlets such as CNN, HLN, CBS, FOX, NBC, ABC, NPR and has been featured globally. Cision® estimates his current media impressions at 9+ Billions.
Jersey City officially opened up one of the swankiest restaurants on their waterfront with magnificent views of Manhattan. Mona Panjwani is the proprietor and visionary of this establishment. After 12 days of having their doors opened, they have built a team of individuals who are personable, approachable and possess a strong sense of ownership. Literally a recipe for prosperity.
With sufficient space, Lokal Eatery & Bar can comfortably sit up to 200 customers and is the perfect destination for a rehearsal dinner, trunk show, celebratory engagement and/or corporate gathering. Towards the rear, there’s a semi-private area with its own seating, lounge and sound system to drown out the clutter of what’s taken place in the main arena. “Lokal” murals, perfect for social engagement, are sprinkled throughout the spot which were constructed by a local commissioned artist. Adding an element of youth and elegance similar to its milieu. Overall the architecture and intent of this eclectic eatery have an industrial yet modern feel. Iron gates frame the bar and above the 30-foot island hangs a custom lighting installation.
Nestled in the heart of a rising luxury neighborhood within JC, this venue is destined to become one of the area’s most popular draws. Executive Chef, Walter Donadio, has managed to fabricate a tantalizing menu of appetizers, small plates and entrees which are certain to keep you coming back. Some of his best infused tapas and items include succulent scallops, rock shrimp, sauteed mushroom bowls as well as a vegan surf and turf packed with savory lentils. Most of their components are locally sourced and fresh from the Garden State – right down to the blueberries featured in some of their signature drinks.
Often times, you inflict a new place and the waitstaff is uncertain on what to recommend. That’s not the case for Lokal. Many of their squad members were well-informed on what they offer and even had ample recommendations for their handcrafted cocktails. Our favorites were their Elliott Stubb (reminiscent of an old fashioned) and Jerry Thomas – cucumber water iced cubes make this drink refreshing.
The future is bright for Lokal Eatery & Bar. And, with a strong location, menu and bar, it’s set to be one of the most prestigious brunch/dinner spots for global foodies, making it a firm contender for three Michelin stars and a James Beard Award. Subsequently, it’s extremely apparent that Mona and her crew are meticulous and pay close attention to details.
*Brunch is Saturday & Sunday from 11am-3pm. A perfect place to relax and kick back with friends as well as family before the week starts. If you eat meat, be sure to try the lamb burger. The Bloody Mary and Margarita are sure to get almost any party started.
**Happy Hour is daily from 5-7pm.
ABOUT TEAM LOKAL:
CHEF: Walter Donadio will serve as Lokal’s Executive Chef.
Donadio is a Michelin star kitchen trained chef with over 17 years of versatile culinary professional experience managing the provisions of fine dining for hotels, restaurants and country clubs. His experience spans the globe from various chef positions at Richy’s DMCC and Café Habana in Dubai to The Smith, Nobu Fifty Seven, Le Circ and Brasserie in New York, along with supervising kitchens at Hilton and Marriott in New Jersey. Passionate about food since growing up in his grandmother’s own restaurant, he loves combinations of flavors from different cuisines and is always searching for the perfect balance. He is a graduate from the French Culinary Institute (now International Culinary Center).
OWNER: Mona Panjwani
Panjwani opens Lokal as an events industry vet in the Northern New Jersey region. She launched an events production company in 2014 and came across the idea to create Lokal more recently while seeking a venue for her own company. The gorgeous waterfront eatery in Jersey City – which will primarily serve as a full service restaurant and bar is also complete with event and private dining spaces – combines all of Panjwani’s skills, passion, experience and goals into one. Panjwani is a member of the Hudson County Chamber of Commerce, Hudson County Women Rising and LadyDrinks South Asian Women Entrepreneurs Networking Professionals. She has been a Jersey City resident for a decade.
ARCHITECT: Abraham John ARCHITECTS
A multidisciplinary architecture, interior design, landscaping and urban planning firm founded in 1967. Abraham John & Alan Abraham are the Joint Principal Architects of Abraham John Architects. Abraham John Architects’ design approach is to re-connect architecture with nature, make optimum use of space, natural materials, lighting & landscape to reinvent and transform living environments and urban spaces. The firm works at multiple scales and with various organizations right from private clients to corporates & NGOs allowing itself to experiment and diversify its work.
LOCATION: Crystal Point Condos
PHONE: +1 201-222-6800
Eat, Drink and Stay Local at New Restaurant
Local bites meet big city sights as Jersey City welcomes its newest waterfront addition with the opening of Lokal Eatery & Bar. Keeping to its namesake, Lokal’s food and cocktail menus spotlight fresh ingredients sourced from the Garden State. The 6,000 square-foot spacious new restaurant also boasts panoramic Manhattan skyline views.
“Our mission at Lokal is to showcase the best the state has to offer and provide a place that reflects the culture of Jersey City,” said Mona Panjwani, owner of Lokal and Jersey City resident for over a decade. “We recognize the changing spirit of the area and are excited to create a hub that makes locals feel welcome. That, coupled with good food and drinks, contemporary design and gorgeous views, we are certain staying local will not disappoint.”
At the helm of the kitchen, Executive Chef Walter Donadio takes his nearly two-decade career of working in Michelin star kitchens around the globe to design a Modern American menu with options for everyone. Utilizing ingredients from the state as much as possible, the fare includes small plates made to be shared tapas-style—including crispy oysters, pan seared scallops, homemade hummus, mushrooms al ajillio and rock shrimp—a flat bread section and more. There are various vegetarian and vegan options.
Behind the beverage program is consultant Tess Sawyer. Taking her experience from creating innovative drinks at renowned NYC cocktail lounges including The Up&Up, Mother’s Ruin, Holiday Cocktail Lounge and The Happiest Hour, Lokal will offer a robust list of craft cocktails, including the signature Elliot Stubb, made with honey from New Jersey, yuzu juice, lemon juice, aquafaba, vermouth, and blueberry, which is the state fruit and the state’s most lucrative crop. Several spices in the other cocktails are locally sourced as well. Lokal will also offer an extensive wine program.
Designed by award-winning Abraham John Architects, the dining area accommodates approximately 200 guests. There is a large bar area, an indoor lounge section, plenty of private dining spaces and an airy outdoor patio which will expect to open by next spring. With floor to ceiling windows, the jaw dropping views of the Manhattan skyline are a stunning backdrop no matter where you stand. The overall design and concept were created and executed by restauranteur Hemant Phul.
Another fun addition, Lokal has a selfie wall in the back lounge area, and another designated wall to showcase accomplished artists from the neighborhood. The first iteration, on display now, was created by Dominika Zajdel.
The timing of Lokal’s opening is fitting—Jersey City has been experiencing a revitalization, becoming a culinary hub drawing in locals and tourists alike.Conveniently located just steps from the Newport PATH station, Lokal gives Manhattan dwellers the perfect excuse to cross the Hudson River and New Jersey residents a new reason to explore the beauty of their own backyard. While Lokal has private dining spaces for special occasions, the restaurant aims to become a neighborhood mainstay where, true to its name, locals feel welcome.
Inspirational TV Personality Victoria Arlen Delivers Message of Hope
Guests use VR Glasses to be Transported to Guatemalan Village
An unforgettable evening on July 25th filled with surprises, heartfelt inspiration and the pure joy of giving culminated with Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM) receiving over $1.8 million in donations in one night – the most ever at this event and enough to transform the lives of more than 22,500 individuals living with disabilities in under-resourced nations around the world. Already, the humanitarian nonprofit has distributed 1.2 million wheelchairs around the world.
The 600-plus who attended the 16th annual Miracle of Mobility gala at Segerstrom Center of the Arts were treated to a fabulous gala evening PLUS three unique opportunities:
1) listening to television personality and gold medalist Victoria Arlen, whose own story of regaining mobility is incredible
2) journeying virtually to a small Guatemalan village using Oculus VR glasses and feeling like they are on a mission to distribute wheelchairs
3) taking part in an exciting live auction where generous donors bought wheelchairs for individuals living with a disability in an under-resourced nation. Each $80 donation will buy one wheelchair – changing that person’s life forever as he or she begins a life of mobility.
Guests enjoyed an internationally themed cocktail reception with food stations offering global cuisine, a silent auction filled with an eclectic array of gifts and experiences, a performance by Infinite Flow, the first wheelchair dance company in the world, and inspirational remarks from Free Wheelchair Founder and President Don Schoendorfer.
The evening’s special guest, 24-year-old Victoria Arlen, holds impressive credentials: ESPN host, Paralympics gold medalist, Dancing with the Stars semi-finalist, author and most recently, co-host of the NBC TV’s American Ninja Warrior Junior. Those credentials would be impressive for anyone but considering that Victoria was struck by two rare neurological diseases at the age of 11, causing her to be trapped in her body in a minimally conscious state for four years, it is an incredible turnaround.
Victoria spoke at the gala about her journey, including the four years when doctors doubted that she would ever return and the subsequent several years when she fought back to begin life again. She offered a message of hope and the importance of being thankful for what you have.
“When you focus on what you still have, you will find it changes your perspective, and that change in perspective creates hope. Hope that tomorrow will be just a bit better than today and when you take that hope, and mix in your own hard work, lots and lots of hard work, I believe you will find yourself back on the path to living out your own dreams.”
Victoria credits her parents with the hope that saved her. “Over and over doctors told my parents they needed to accept the very real possibility that I would not survive and, even if I did, the Victoria they once knew was not coming back. And while my family was willing to accept the diagnosis, they refused to throw up their hands and accept that this was all my future had in store. They accepted the diagnosis, but NOT the prognosis,” Victoria related.
“Somehow, they believed I was not a lost cause. I now believe that it was their refusal to accept that prognosis that brought me back to life.”
Following Victoria’s talk, a robust live auction led to the donation of more than 21,900 wheelchairs to be built and distributed in 93 countries around the world. In 2017, Free Wheelchair Mission reached the milestone of one million wheelchairs distributed and now is pursuing its goal of reaching the next million by 2025.
“Tonight’s gala was successful for so many reasons, most notably the many volunteers who help us bring the gift of mobility to people living with disabilities around the world and the many donors who embrace our mission and recognize how even a simple $80 donation can change a life forever, “ said Free Wheelchair Mission CEO Nuka Solomon.
“The gift from Free Wheelchair Mission provides the mobility that allows each recipient to begin a new life – whether it’s taking care of themselves, attending school or working – and we find that the vitality of the entire family and community are changed too,” Solomon added.
Key sponsors of the gala included Transformation Sponsors: Advisors Mortgage Group and The McDonald Family; Freedom Sponsors: The Hummelberg Family, The Morris Family Foundation, Diamond Hill Capital Management, KPMG and PR Construction. The full list of sponsors can be found here.
About Free Wheelchair Mission:Free Wheelchair Mission (FWM) is a humanitarian, faith-based nonprofit based in Irvine, Calif. that designs and manufactures cost-efficient, durable wheelchairs for individuals living with disabilities in under-resourced nations. FWM collaborates with a worldwide network of like-minded partners that facilitate wheelchair distribution in 93 countries. FWM provides renewed dignity, independence and hope through the gift of mobility at no cost to the recipient. Just $80, the cost to manufacture and deliver one wheelchair, can change a person’s life forever. Founded in 2001 by Don Schoendorfer, Ph.D., the organization reached the milestone of distributing one million wheelchairs in 2017. FWM currently intends to distribute the next million wheelchairs by 2025. For information or donations, visit freewheelchairmission.org.
When celebrating your anniversary, you want to do so in style. This is a day for the two of you to share your love and appreciation with a tangible gift that helps keep the mystery and romance alive. Your early anniversary gifts may be simple to choose, but over the years, keeping gifts unique and surprising can become more difficult, but not impossible.
Be inventive with gift-giving with the help of www.anniversarygiftsbyyear.org which provides the theme from which you choose your gift, such as silver for a 25th wedding anniversary and gold for a 50th. The themes can be taken literally, as in the above cases, or think outside the box for a gift that your beloved actually wants and that remains one of the top 10 anniversary gifts:
Rather than flowers that wilt within a week, consider a framed floral print in a design that fits your home décor. Plant a tree in your garden or in another special place where you can watch it grow over the years.
For milestone anniversaries, choose diamonds and precious metals to feel like royalty. Earrings that can be worn during the day and dressed up with a necklace to be the most glamorous among friends.
3. Home Decor
If you prefer not to wear jewelry, dazzle with home décor. If you are a hopeless romantic, a platinum-dipped rose will celebrate your partnership, surviving hard times that we all face in one way or another. This is an elegant rose that will be a daily reminder of your love.
Cotton could be matching bathrooms, new bedsheets, or even matching underwear. If you had cotton sheets on your second anniversary, by your seventh, you could upgrade to a silk sheet set for a romantic snuggle fit for a queen. As you share a bed, this is a gift for you too.
5. Technology and Appliances
You can stretch the idea of appliances to being a camera, such as a Go-pro or a pet-at-home camera that can monitor Fido while you’re out of the house. Agree together beforehand before you upgrade to a fancy fridge to mark your anniversary. You have an excuse to gift an iPhone XS Max since fruit is the theme of this anniversary year.
Leather could be a calfskin leather weekender bag that will age beautifully over the next decade while also hinting at weekends away together. If your getaway is further afield, a stylish three-piece luggage set with 360-degree wheels will make navigating an airport painless.
Chocolate covered strawberries are a favorite, even if a cliché. Have these as a dessert at home after a meal out. A designer leather laptop bag is stylish for upscale occasions, while practical enough for everyday use.
For an anniversary where you just want to stop and take stock. To appreciate getting through the year together and take time to relax. Have a couples’ massage, a manicure, and a pedicure and enjoy the steam rooms and other treatments on offer.
Invite as many people as you want to a dinner party at home and have a chef cater for the event so you can both relax in the company of those who mean the most to you. Alternatively, hire a private room in a restaurant for the whole night.
f there are bottles of unopened fragrances, consider a perfume bottle from their favourite designer or in their favourite style instead. Classic designs from Lalique or bold geometric designs in metal. Choose their favourite style.
Restaurateur Rohan Talwar helms IB Hospitality and owns the illustrious West Hollywood gem, Norahs. A few months ago, he opened the doors to modish and culinary oasis, Margot – complete with exotic dishes, regional wines and special drink menu.
Margot, a Mediterranean infused restaurant composed of various seating and dine-in areas with 360 degree views of West LA, in Culver City is a diamond in the rough. The rooftop (indoor and outdoor seated venue) nests at the top of the PLATFORM (a boutique shopping experience with fashion/pop-ups, wellness and bites) and borders tons of retail, commercial and a new hotel soon erupting. The speedy Expo line train can be seen swiftly running east to west while you sip and/or dine outside and mimics the likes of some of the more prestigious eateries within Brooklyn’s Dumbo area. Similar to the train, rumors have quickly traveled throughout the city that Amazon will begin developing a new location nearby.
‘Hot like fire’ understates the atmosphere at night as the outside appears to be torched with tons of heat lamps in tow. With fresh farm-to-fork ingredients and handmade pastas (try the spaghetti), this place is a soon to be staple within the LA area. The menu constantly changes for an all-inclusive dining experience, including those with strict plant-based diets. Great for romantic dates, celebratory moments and family gatherings on ‘Sunday Funday’ largely due to their tapas as well as fresh raw seafood bar. Talk about delectable oysters. Step foot inside to find every inch of this establishment scream social media engagement wall. Note murals and tapestries all aligned in tune with a modernistic and contemporary ambiance. Service is extremely courteous, helpful and hospitable. And if that’s not enough to keep you coming back, the handcrafted cocktails will. Try their refreshening grapefruit gin and juice or a fruity frosé – worth every penny. It’s about time Culver City got what it deserved – a casual dining experience with budding professionals who seek something edgy, youthful and tasty.
Boost your metabolism before you eat, as SoulCycle is located on the second floor right underneath Margot. Or, after a zesty salad and sandwich at Margot, you may want to head down to the first level to the cozy ice cream shop with a menu of small-batch flavors, Van Leeuwen Ice Cream.
• Accommodates approximately 150 seated or 350 for reception
• Rooftop patio with dedicated bar accommodates approximately 120 seated or 150 for reception
• Intimate private dining terrace available for approximately 25 seated or 40 for reception
• Social dining options available for weekend brunches, lunch and dinner
• Market driven menu inspired by coastal mediterranean cuisine
• Full service bar with handcrafted cocktails made with fresh ingredients
• Stunning beach and city views throughout
On Thursday 6 June 2019, the 31st edition of Le Dîner in Blanc de Paris will take place in one of the most prestigious locations of the French capital.
Last year, several thousand international guests attended this wonderful event where the elegance of everyone’s white outfits gave the evening a magical and universal character. Watch the 2018 video here.
Again, this year, guests are invited from every continent, 30 countries and 90 cities around the world to share this beautiful dinner party infused with elegance, joy and friendship.
Along with American, Canadian, English and Australian guests, whose grand-parents landed 75 years ago exactly on June 6, 1944: D-Day, attendees will participate in the remembrance of this great moment of sacrifice and fraternity. Some of the world’s most important dignitaries will also come to Normandy and to Paris to commemorate this historic anniversary.
Le Dîner en Blanc brings a lot of happiness to everyone. Indeed, for a few hours, it’s a kind of magic that envelops the event, making guests more stunning, cities more beautiful and the future much brighter…. In their best attire and their most joyous mood, guests are reminded of the delight it is to share this amazing evening with strangers that can become friends in an instant.
Close your eyes and immerse yourself in the feeling brought by thousands of dazzling and sparkling lights, making your heart sing… once again.
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