Monthly Archives

December 2014

Local Spots

Shop local: last minute ideas for a memorable Holiday gift

December 24, 2014

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably procrastinated on picking up a few special gifts for the important loved ones in your life. Do not fret! There are so many local shops that have great gifts, so you don’t have to worry about shipping.

Below, you’ll find a wonderful list of mine and my friends’ favorites places to shop locally.

(Most shops close TODAY between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., I’d recommend calling them directly to confirm if you cannot see a closing time printed on their Facebook pages that I’ve linked below)

OceanfrontCheck out A Dodsons’ wonderful assortment of Holiday decorations, oyster shell votive candles, Catstudio handmade glasses & pillows, and a melting snowman that the kids will love! Swing into Zeke’s Beans & Bowls for a gift certificate or a Three Ships Coffee bundle for the coffee lover in your life. Always a hit are “date night” gift certificates to Tautogs, Waterman’s & Eat. A Gurgle Pot from The Beach Nut is always a hit, as well as their wide selection of jewelry, clothes, and home decor. You can make your own gift basket at Taste Unlimited, don’t forget their House Dressing! WRV has a wide selection of anything your surfer/skater can dream of. Or grab a growler of your favorite beer from Back Bay Brewing. Don’t forget about that special lady in your life, Addison Weeks has a stunning assortment of jewelry and purses that will certainly make the holidays bright. Pick up an Elton John candle over at Chartreuse, and look through the beautiful art work for every different taste as well as the fabulous furniture.


Sprout Children’s Boutique & Consignment is the place to snag a pair of Zutano Cozie Fleece Booties, to keep baby & toddler toes warm and toasty. The Aromatherpy Shoppe’s all-natural handcrafted Sun Recovery Spray for those folks who love the sun and the beach. Gift certificates from Aldo’s Ristorante & Eurasia for a special night out are always welcomed. Nectar has a wide range of popular goodies, from their Volcano candles in “Capri Blue”, picture frames, baby gifts, or funny hand towels. Swing into Atlantic Garden Center or London Bridge Nursery and pick out festive small trees or plants and a pretty planter to go with it, instant decor! You can pick out tervis tumblers filled with candy or cookies at Please and Thank you, and their gift wrapping is gorgeous. Stop into Ocean Palm to add bright colors to the Lilly Pulitzer lover in your life. Simply Selma’s a wide variety of gifts, and definitely ask for their beautiful gift wrapping. Grab a jar of flavored Olive Oil & Vinegar from Savor the Olive. At the new wine shop Tinto, you can browse through their wines & champagne, perhaps tasting as you go! Delightful Digs has a great selection of home decor, jewelry, and truly unique gifts. Vinyl Daze has all types of records and CDs for the music lover in your life. The Creative Wedge has a little bit of everything, local art, pottery, coastal decor and gourmet food, craft beer & wine

In norfolk

When you’re grabbing a bagel at Yorgo’s Bageldashery, pick up a gift certificate too! Serendip has festive holiday decor and delicious smelling candles. A Dodsons is also in Norfolk, with many of the same inventory at their other stores. Kitsch has a ton of wonderful locally made gifts, my favorite are the Mini Virginia Pillows! Mary Barnett’s is a hidden gem, with beautiful ornaments, stocking stuffers as well as many gifts for all ages.

Happy shopping! Don’t forget your umbrella and rain boots!


Local Spots

Ice Skating in Virginia Beach

December 12, 2014

Vintage Ice Skating TessaDo you remember the first time you squeezed your feet into a pair of ice skates?

I was four years old.

In Vermont, most people grow up skiing. I figure skated.

Back then Lake Champlain froze, as did our driveway (very often). So there were a lot of opportunities to practice my skating moves. I fondly remember my green lycra leotard with a skirt attached. Underneath it, was a VERY thick layer of tights, wool socks & a turtleneck. I still have the stack of colorful skating badges that I had worked so hard to earn. I loved the way it felt racing friends across the rink, pushing your legs to go as fast as you could possibly . After skating lessons, we would sit in the bleachers of Gutterson Fieldhouse as the Vermont Ice Hockey Team barreled onto the ice. I was always disappointed when the players failed to perform a “sit spin” or “swizzle”, and instead raced around and around and slammed into the walls.

When I asked my mother what she remembers from those years, she told me that I fell on the ice, A LOT. And that the ice rink was freezing cold. Unfortunately, my figure skating career didn’t last past the realization that I would have to propel myself up into the air, and land on the ice balancing my entire body on ONE sharp thin blade. No thanks.

You can only imagine my excitement when I saw that an ice rink was being built in the Rudee Inlet loop, right off 3rd street in Virginia Beach. The Oceanfront Ice Park opened on November 26th, and has been going strong ever since.

This is the perfect activity to do with your family, friends, or on a romantic winter wonderland date!

What you’ll need to go ice skating at The Oceanfront Ice Park
Thick, warm, and comfy socks
Warm and comfortable clothes that you can move around in
• $12 for admission & skate rental
• Be over the age of 4 years old
 Call ahead to make sure there isn’t a private party: 757-296-3404

Local/Community Resources & Online Inspiration
Wikipedia’s definition of ice skates
 Glossary of Figure Skating Terms
• Pinterest


Just asking...

A Word With: Rita Cohen

December 4, 2014

Rita Cohen

Meet my friend Rita! One of the nicest, and most positive people to be around. I’m very picky about my fitness instructors, especially Zumba® Fitness Instructors, and Rita happens to be the cream of the crop. Her positive and fabulous energy is contagious!

Mom; Zumba® Fitness instructor; Interpreter/Translator.

Veggie Gardening.

Are YOU a VB “local”?
I’ve been living here with my husband and our (now) 2 kids for the past 14 years; and came to the area from Ghana when I was almost 9, so I guess you can say I’m a local.

Favorite family activity to do in Virginia Beach

Top 5 “must have” items for going to the beach
Nothing, really, since we are lucky to live literally on the beach.

A perfect date with your significant other
Dinner and dancing.

Favorite restaurant
Burton’s Grill. They have a wonderful gluten-free selection.

Go-to drink{s} at the moment
Green tea or coconut water.

Something you CAN’T live without
Ear plugs (I’m such a light sleeper, that I can’t sleep without them).

What’s on your bucket list?
Travel to every country whose language I speak.

Local tip
If you have a young family, avoid the Oceanfront and go to the Bay beach instead. The waves are much gentler, and parking is not such a hassle.

Any events in Hampton Roads that you’re looking forward to?
India Fest at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on Nov. 8!

What is your motto?
Inhale the negative, exhale the positive.