The Preserve Annapolis

Posted: 18 days ago in Everything Else Lifestyle


I eat out quite a bit, but rarely am I compelled to write a review (of sorts).

Preserve Restaurant in Annapolis changed that.

Sorry for those readers who aren’t within shooting distance of this Annapolis, Maryland eatery.  However, I still highly recommend the trip to all you out-of-towners!

I am not remotely a food critic, but I am a food aficionado.  My husband and I have been lucky enough to partake of some pretty incredible dishes in true foodie towns like NYC, Portland, and Charleston, as well as our own District of Columbia.

preserve-annapolisLest you think that Michelle and Jeremy Hoffman are just another cute couple playing at being restaurateurs, let me tell you that they are not.  Preserve has been 2 years in the making for these CIA grads (The Culinary Institute of America, for you food-newbies). They come highly trained and since then, have worked with and for some of the premier chefs in this country.  And lucky us, they decided to set up shop in Annapolis so they could raise their son here while treating us to some of the finest cuisine available, anywhere.

Our thoughts on Preserve restaurant?

Preserve did a damn good job of impressing us! Fresh, delicious foods backed by a commitment to using local, sustainable food sources.  Why should you care?  Well check this out: 7 Benefits of Eating Local Foods. Even cooler is that the genesis of their name, ‘Preserve’, nods to their love of pickling, preserving and fermenting foods.  Not only are these processes delicious, they are good for you (for real!).

pickling-preserveWe showed up for dinner at Preserve on their first Friday open to the public, surprised to see a full house and a waiting list — but more than willing to wait. Michelle, masquerading as a lovely hostess, told us there might be as much as an hour wait, but that she’d text us the minute a table became available for our party of four.

Less than 20 minutes later, I got “dinged”, and down we sat in their cozy corner booth.

Having had a cocktail (or possibly three) before I arrived, I brazenly asked told our waitress that we didn’t want to look at the menu, we just wanted her to bring us any four appetizers and four entrees that the chef would like to prepare for us.  Olivia didn’t miss a beat. She and Michelle conferred, and moments later she described in mouth-watering detail what they had chosen for us.  I have to say, her menu savvy was impressive, and she was cute as a button with a big personality – they have definitely not lost the art of customer service here.

I won’t embarrass myself by trying to explain the dishes in detail; I’ll leave that to the experts.  Let me just say that everything was fresh, delicious, beautiful and most dishes were very atypical of the tres’ predictable crab cake and rock fish specials a la Annapolis. This meat-averse girl was very happy with the many vegetarian options available in addition to fresh animal proteins.

preserve-info-annapolisBeyond the great service and food, the décor (most DIY projects by chef/owners Michelle and Jeremy) was spot-on.  Great comfy wall seating with a subtle nautical flair. A garage door fronting Main Street to enjoy an (almost) al fresco meal was our favorite touch. Even the restrooms (unisex, thank goodness) were papered with the Farmer’s Almanac, a homage to Preserve’s philosophy of truly farm-to-table.  I even dig their logo, which is reflective of their menu – simple yet intriguing!

At a time when many new digs are trying to capitalize on the farm-to-table movement, Preserve doesn’t spend a whole lot of time waxing philosophical about that.  They are too busy dishing out great food to those of us lucky enough to find a seat at their dream child.

Bon Appetite.

(No vegetables were harmed during the writing of this blog post).

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Are Your Nipples Normal?

Posted: 25 days ago in Health Wellness


Truth is, that’s a trick question because there is no “normal” when it comes to healthy nipples.

Officially, the nipple of your breast is the nub that sticks out (or in the case of inverted nipples, sticks in).  The nipple is in the center of the colored part of your breast, called the areola.  Since it’s fairly common to refer to the entire areola/nipple combo as the nipple, we’ll do that, too.

ThinkstockPhotos-98972703So, back to what’s “normal.”

There are almost no two nipples that are alike (if you don’t believe me, check out this nipple gallery), so let’s get into what makes our nipples so different.

Nipple Color
Nipples come in various shades of tan, pink and red, and usually deepen to brown once a woman becomes pregnant.

Nipple Size
Nipples can range from the size of a quarter to – and I swear this is true because I saw it – the size of a saucer. That was a bit of a shock. The actual pokey part, the ‘official nipple’, can be as small as a lentil, or as big as (gulp) an olive. A large olive. Yup, I’ve seen that one, too.

Small Bumps on the Areola
The little white bumps that you see on and around the nipple are not pimples! They’re called Montgomery’s glands, and they produce lubrication. Please don’t squeeze them!

Hair Around the Nipples
You might see some fine or even wild hairs on your nips – I swear, they grow overnight. Feel free to trim or pluck, but please, no bleach, wax, or lasers, as the skin is just too sensitive.

Height of the Nipple
Some nipples are erect all the time, and some only tighten when they get cold, stimulated by clothing, or with arousal. For some women, nipples are a major erogenous zone, and others can take them or leave them.

“Triple Nipple”
Some of us have a third or even fourth nipple. Guys are more inclined to (1 in 18!), but about 1 in 50 women have “supernumerary” nipples.

Nipple Abnormalities
Now, you do need to know that many breast cancers begin just beneath the nipple, so if you notice any changes from YOUR normal, please see your doctor as soon as possible.  These changes may include:

  • Any fluid at all coming from a non-lactating nipple
  • Scaly or crusty skin not associated with breastfeeding
  • A nipple that suddenly becomes inverted, or looks in any way different from the other breast
  • Pain, or a change in a nipple’s normal sensitivity

Breast Exams!
You should check your headlights at least monthly as part of your regular full breast exam (you are doing that, aren’t you???). But why not check them daily as you bathe or shove those puppies in a bra? Knowing what’s normal for you will make it that much easier to detect if or when something becomes abnormal.

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Spring Renewal Detox & Giveaway

Posted: 41 days ago in Everything Else Health Lifestyle Wellness


Madame Winter has left some serious shit behind in my life.

Shit like 10-extra-pounds, bags under my eyes, lethargy and pasty skin — all of which have me bearing no resemblance to the me that I see in my head. How did all that happen in just a few sub-zero months??

It’s time to call in the big guns and do a detox.

Detox as in, eat healthier, move more and clean up my act. Not detox like go to drug rehab — though if you are suffering a chemical addiction, you do need to address that. Like now.

Just as Mother Nature bursts forth with all her colorful glory this time of year, your body can do some pretty amazing stuff, too, if you just give her a little detox-nudge.

Where does one begin? Well, you can Google till your heart’s content, chat with your peeps at the yoga studio/work, and patch together a healthier eating plan. Yeah — you can do that, but will you? Or will you just continue to bitch about how bad you feel?

Why don’t you make it easier on yourself for once, and let someone else drive the detox train?  

My good friend and nutrition guru extraordinaire, Lisa Consiglio Ryan of Whole Health Designs is the bomb-dot-com when it comes to detoxing. She’s put together a muy comprehensive guide to getting your detox on that involves hand-holding through the entire process. Her Spring Renewal Detox is no different, and it begins this coming Monday, April 20th 2015.

So, what do you get with your Spring Renewal Detox? Lisa Provides:

  • shopping lists
  • recipes
  • coaching calls
  • daily emails
  • one-on-one support
  • and more..

It’s Saks Fifth Avenue service at Target pricing. Don’t believe me? Just check all the goodies you get here on Whole Health Designs.

Bottom line is, I use a Spring detox as a way to reset my eating bar. My diet (along with a few other things) gets a little schlumpy in the dark of winter, and Lisa’s detox is a great way to remind myself how good I can feel when I fuel my body correctly.


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