For restaurant week summer edition, the girlfriends dined at The Elephant, a new American restaurant in one of our favorite neighborhoods Mount Vernon. The Elephant was unexpected to say the least, even after rolling in late the staff was super accommodating (They even had a place to put my drenched umbrella)! The building was rich with history. The brass and wood detailing made us feel as if we were in the 1920’s. Of course, we ordered from the restaurant week prefix menu. The first course we tried was the heirloom tomato salad which was perfectly seasoned, a play on the panzella salad with the croutons was a great touch. We also tried the BL”T” slider that included bacon, lettuce, watermelon, and basil pesto. The watermelon was so refreshing a perfect complement to the saltiness of the bacon. For the second course, the chilled Asian noodles is a must have! The sesame dressing was everything. The short rib was super tender my only complaint is that there wasn’t more. The jerk chicken pizza was done just right, the jerk chicken was not overly spicy, and the mango sealed the authentic tropical taste. For dessert, we had the cinnamon roll and the chocolate peanut butter tart. After dinner we explored the upstairs lounge recommended by the owner Steven. We were immediately mesmerized by the white marble bar. We got lucky going on a Thursday night, picture this enjoying a live jazz band under a gold chandelier and a candle lit atmosphere (major speak easy vibes). It was an amazing night we will be back and not just because I forgot my umbrella!
Visit the Elephant for a tranquil dining experience and be sure to follow them @theelephantbaltimore on Instagram.
Keep it Classy!
The Girlfriends ❤
For our first breaking bread interview we met with Carleen Goodridge the creator of Le Monade beverage boutique and plated by Le Monade catering company. We met at the beautiful Rec Pier Chop House restaurant inside of the Sagamore Pendry hotel. A great conversation over an exceptional meal. Carleen’s positive energy is infectious! A native New Yorker with roots in Liberia, she uses every experience to influence a beautiful brand. Le Monade beverage boutique is artisanal drinks, simple syrups, and wellness blends. Le Monade consists of local and natural ingredients meant to refresh, nourish, and inspire. Plated by Le Monade is a catering company where dinners consist of deconstructed west African food specifically Liberian cuisine which is a blend of southern American and Caribbean influences. The signature edible tablescapes, featuring citrus and tropical fruit are both appealing to the eye as well as a nourishing snack between courses.
Carleen dropped some serious gems about living your truth and being unapologetically you. A space that undoubtedly takes a journey to get to. “Every no and every wrong turn got me to where I am today.” She exclaimed as she opened about how rejection and failure ultimately lead to progress. The advice that she had for entrepreneurs is to not confuse success with money, find what you love, do not strive to keep up with the Jones’. The importance of rest and self-care were a huge topic. She spoke about how overworking leads to mental, physical, and relationship issues. Although she learned the hard way, she now secures time for rest and her well-being. Have you ever heard of a blue zone? (Yup we didn’t either). It is areas around the world where people are the happiest and live the longest. Carleen used to live in a blue zone in Ft. Worth, Texas. Where people ate healthier, maintained a healthy work balance, and understood the importance of healthy relationships, #Goals! If you did not know Carleen has four beautiful children and proper eating habits are something she values for her and her family. She shared her recipe for an avocado based chocolate pudding, while explaining how to find alternative options to replace guilty pleasures. “Spending more on quality ingredients is much better than spending money on hospital bills.” There is no price tag on joy was a phrase that stood out to us while discussing how money does not equal success or true wealth. Believe it or not Carleen is a city girl with a country heart who truly believes in being content with the simple things. Picture this, her vision is turning a bus into a mobile home or living on a farm raising livestock who rock her handmade flower crowns (seriously, how cute!) Carleen has a true love for décor she lit up on the topic of making your home appealing to you and making your kitchen your sexy place. We bonded over our love for bargain décor and Target clearance! We left super inspired after meeting with Carleen. We learned so much about health, growth, and embracing yourself. Carleen’s story is a pure depiction of taking life’s lemons and turning them into Le Monade. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and allowing us to use these gems to inspire others!
For more about Carleen’s businesses follow @le_monade_ & @plated.by.le_monade on Instagram.
Keep it Classy!
The Girlfriends ❤
On Friday, we had the pleasure of attending Taste charm city’s live “Juice Episode” at Tera Café Baltimore. Chef Cat sat down with a panel of six ladies that specialized in juices that promote healing and healthy living. All the ladies had unique and inspiring stories but ultimately shared the same goal to inspire and heal others. At the event we sampled and purchased some amazing products from some of the lovely ladies we also had a chance to try a small plate from Tera Café (ya girls were hungry!) The crab balls with old bay aioli was seasoned to perfection! Tera Café’s staff were very attentive and accommodating. Now for the juices!
· Chlorophyll Alkaline Water by @flowbmore this water is super smooth the chlorophyll and alkaline is not overpowering in taste. This water is a definite go to for a first day detox.
· Quench by @drjen_knowsskin Very refreshing, the watermelon and cucumber stole the show in this juice.
· Beets by Dr. J @drjen_knowsskin Super sweet, if you love smoothies this drink is for you!
· Ginger Rose by @le_monade_ The ginger awakens your taste buds with a subtle finish of rose water. It gets better with every sip!
· Citrus Thyme by @le_monade_ Warm citrus taste with the aromatics of thyme. Paired with champagne would make the perfect girlfriends brunch cocktail.
Super bummed that we did not get to sample all the juices from the ladies but we look forward to connecting with them and trying their products. Follow them! @lovewaterandjuice @tastebudtherapist @veganjuiceology and many thanks to @naturallychefcat for putting together an awesome event and giving a platform to female entrepreneurs.
Keep it Classy!
The Girlfriends ❤
Valentine’s Day… You either love it or hate it in our case were somewhere in the middle. We wanted to share with you our best and worst experiences on Love day. Let’s just get the worst out of the way now (rip the band-aid off)
• Being stood up on Valentine’s Day- What’s worse than being stood up on Valentine’s day? Being stood up when you’re supposed to go on a freakin Valentines double date! I should have known better meeting this guy at a bar called “the black hole” but against my better judgement and the fact that we had mutual friends I just went with it (when in Rome right?!) so after weeks of planning and a couple of dates with this guy it was time for our double date with friends. Hours of double texting and calling later, I concluded that this date was not happening. My friends had come and gone and I was left embarrassed and alone on Valentine’s day. 😦 But in true girlfriend fashion I had a backup plan! I reached out to an old flame, ya know just checking on him *insert side smirk* and he came through with gifts and all! Thus restoring my Valentine’s Day and faith in humanity.
• The Valentines’ Day Massacre- Started out as your perfect cliché Valentines date. Went to see a movie and dinner followed. We were seated at the restaurant and ordered our drinks (I was dying to try the pink punk martini) but first I had to tinkle. I went to the ladies room and upon my return little did I know some creep with a whole date was eyeing me as I walked back to the table. Side note: My boyfriend was not having it! His immediate reaction was rage. He kept asking the creep to admit that he was staring and the guy brushed him off. And just like that the fire was lit! My boyfriend pulled the guy out of the booth and started fighting him. Yes, we were kicked out of the restaurant before the appetizers even hit the table.
Now for the good stuff..
• Private Pasta Night- The key to a great Valentine’s day is attention to detail. For me, it was having a private tasting in one of the trendiest restaurants in Maryland and going on a surprise trip to get my outfit for our date night. Pulling up to an empty restaurant, my first reaction was did this man really take me to a restaurant that’s closed?! Did he even plan this at all?! But before I even had a chance to start an argument he told me to get out the car and go inside. I walked in to a full Vietnamese spread just for us from the sparkling plum wine to the spicy glazed pork belly everything was perfect!
• After School Special- We all know how lame it is when Valentines falls on a weekday this particular year it was a Tuesday. And while i wanted to spend all day doing cute stuff with Bae life had other plans. I had spent the whole day working and then had to go to class right after. (Apparently Valentine’s dinner plans does not count as an excused absence) So after class i just decided to go home and chalk this up and just another uneventful Valentines Day. Until i got a text from Bae to stop by his apartment when i arrived i was surprised by balloons, music, and a home cooked dinner. Everything was so thought out and sweet. My Valentine’s Day started out not great but ended quite nicely.
Valentine’s is possibly the sketchiest holiday of them all. So rather you totally killed it or just didn’t get it right. Don’t beat yourself up boo!
Keep it classy!
The Girlfriends ❤️
So were almost to the time of the most the annoying holiday ever! Between the over exaggerated social media posts (why God must valentines fall on woman crush Wednesday) and the anti-Valentines extremists (we know we know valentines is just another pagan holiday used to suck money from us innocent civilians). Whether you’re booed up or bae-less this year. The most important thing is Self-Love! Here’s some girlfriend tips of loving and finding happiness by truly embracing you:
• Positive Affirmation- Self-love starts from the inside out! Whether it’s through leaving motivational post-its around reminding yourself how much of a queen you really are or morning pep talks about how wildly capable you are. The main objective is to remind yourself that you can conquer the world!
• Get Cute Without Reason- We all have those pieces that when you put it on you immediately slay! Whether it’s those killer heels or that bomb matte lipstick (that you paid way too much for). Wear it! Not for anyone else but yourself. We all know you look good you feel good. So, get dressed up and seize the day!
• Find your happy place- Maybe its cocktails at your favorite watering hole or Netflix with Chinese take-out. Do you boo! We all have those things that makes us especially happy. But don’t be afraid to step out of the comfort zone. Explore the different options around you who knows you may find a new favorite!
Moral of the story don’t get all wrapped up in the #couplesgoals you see around you. Love yourself first no one is you and that is your super power!
Keep it Classy!
The Girlfriends ❤