Where has your scent transported you?

6 Things to Do in Boston This Fall Posted on 12 Oct 21:49 , 0 comments

[caption id="attachment_2720" align="aligncenter" width="580"]Photo Credit: m anima, flickr Photo Credit: m anima, flickr[/caption] Fall is arguably one of the best times of the year – especially in Boston. With so many great activities, beautiful fall foliage, crisp, cool temperatures and delicious craft beers, Boston, MA should be your go-to getaway destination for its quintessential autumn charm. Read on to find out our Top 6 Things to do in Boston this Fall!   [caption id="attachment_2716" align="alignright" width="300"]3930553492_fb624eebd2_b (2) Photo Credit: Ben Schmitz, flickr[/caption] 1. Apple / Pumpkin Picking Fall just wouldn't be fall without participating in the obligatory apple and/or pumpkin picking. Of course, the rewards are without say: apple cider, apple pie, pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread…need we say more? There a variety of great local farms to choose from, such as Honey Pot Hill in Stow, MA, a farm boasting a wide selection of picking apples such as Macintosh, Gala, Cortland, Honey Crisp, and more; or venture to Lookout Farm in South Natick which offers pears, pumpkins, and 11 varieties of apples, as well as Brooksby Farms in Peabody where visitors can delight in the farm store, barnyard animals and apples. Whichever farm you choose, just make sure they serve the customary apple cider donuts!   [caption id="attachment_2718" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo Credit: mararie, flickr Photo Credit: mararie, flickr[/caption] 2. Visit Salem, MA A fall trip to New England isn’t complete without visiting one of the spookiest towns in the country – Salem, MA. Salem celebrates Halloween for the entire month of October with a festival appropriately named Haunted Happenings! Exciting events include a “Boo’s Cruise”, an Edgar Allen Poe Inspired Art Show, a 3D film which tells the true story of the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692, and more!   3. Boston Ghost Tours If traveling to Salem isn't an option, and you are like us and relish in the creepy, terrifying, and supernatural, then one only needs to step outside their front door. Boston offers a plethora of ghost tours such as the Haunted Boston Ghost Tours, a walking tour that includes history and tales of famous ghosts that are said to haunt the city. Uncover Boston’s dark and seedy past with Boston by Foot: Dark Side of Boston Tour; or explore some of Boston’s most haunted sites with Ghosts and Gravestones Frightseeing Tour.   [caption id="attachment_2719" align="alignright" width="300"]4021966397_b94bc50ee5_b (2) Photo Credit: Richard Howe, flickr[/caption] 4. Head of the Charles Regatta The Head of the Charles Regatta, held October 18th-19th, is often synonymous with the fall season and is a long-standing tradition in Boston. Now in its 5oth year, this two-day regatta is one of the largest in the world, bringing in more than 9,000 rowers and 300,000 spectators from all over the world to the Charles River. With a 3.2-mile course along the river, this is a great event to people-watch and to soak in Boston’s autumn scenery.   5. Explore the Harold Arboretum Part of Boston’s Emerald Necklace, the Arnold Arboretum is the perfect place for nature lovers to visit and see spectacular displays of fall foliage. This 250-acre National Historic Landmark - and part of Harvard of University - is the oldest public arboretum in North America. Sightseers are able to freely explore the grounds or take a special guided tour on topics ranging from flowers and fragrance to fruits and textures.   [caption id="attachment_2720" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo Credit: m anima, flickr Photo Credit: m anima, flickr[/caption] 6. Tour the Sam Adams Brewery You know it is fall when the pumpkin-flavored ale start to roll out (we love the Sam Adams Octoberfest). Which is why taking a trip to the Samuel Adams Brewery is the perfect way to quench your thirst after all of that exploring. With a $2 donation, where proceeds go to benefit local charities, you can take a one hour tour and catch the brewers in action as you learn the process of how their beers are made. Best of all, you get to sample some of Sam Adam’s world class craft beers!   Travelers Tip: Check out one of Boston’s most sought-after bed and breakfasts, the Clarendon Square. Built in the 1860s, this six-story historical townhouse offers spacious, modern guest rooms and luxury suites that are exquisitely comfortable and sophisticated.  The Clarendon Square bed and breakfast is just minutes away from Copley Square, Boston Public Garden & Common, Freedom Trail, Restaurant Row, the Red Sox & Fenway Park, and more!

An Interview w/ Meg Biram of Posted on 3 Sep 10:21 , 0 comments

[caption id="attachment_2692" align="alignleft" width="580"]Meg Biram in Shanghai Meg Biram in Shanghai[/caption] We recently did an interview with the amazing lifestyle blogger, Meg Biram of We asked her about her favorite travel experiences and on-the-go beauty's what she had to say!
1. What's your most favorite location you've ever traveled to and why? 
I like different places for different reasons, so I don't know that there's a favorite necessarily. For beaches, the best I've been to so far is the Bahamas. I loved Colombia, South America, and Ireland was gorgeous.
2. What was the scariest location you've ever traveled to and why? 
Definitely when I was in Colombia. I stood out like a sore thumb being blonde and blue/green eyed and unfortunately with some of the drugs and crime that happens there, I was a tiny bit scared of being kidnapped. Luckily it was totally fine.
3. Best hotel pool you've lounged at?
El Dorado on the Mayan Riviera
4. Best meal you've had and where? 
Too many to choose!
5. Most important thing you've learned on your travels?
Planning is important, but also to leave time for wandering.
6. Favorite novel to read on a plane?
Magazines or whatever book I've got downloaded on my iPad. I read constantly.
7. Favorite/funny encounter (either with other fellow travelers or with a local)?
I saw the Bushman in SF. That was pretty funny.
8. Any advice on on-the-go/on-the-move beauty? (What are some tips you may have for taking care of your skin, body, nails, hair while traveling)
Depending on where I'm going and for how long, it's totally worth it to get a gel mani. Then you don't have to worry about your nails at all.
9. Any beauty/health rituals for a long flight?
Neck pillow. A good one.
10. What's your favorite Nomaterra travel product and why? 
Boston Roll-on Perfume. It's enough for an entire trip but small for travel.
*Originally published by Nomaterra Fragrances | @nomaterra

Ingredient Spotlight: Malibu Honeysuckle Posted on 27 Aug 15:00 , 0 comments

Photo (23)A number of different species of honeysuckle grow indigenously throughout Southern California. While the flower gives off a sweet, tantalizing aroma and the nectar can be consumed, its berries are poisonous to humans, yet not to other animals. Because of its sweet nature, it is used to lure songbirds and butterflies into a garden to add to its beauty. The honeysuckle is used holistically to treat fevers, inflammation, and skin infections, as well as for its calming properties. Fun Fact: Honeysuckle can be found in cat toys as the smell attracts them. Because of its sweet nature, honeysuckle is also used to lure songbirds and butterflies into a garden. Explore the scents of Malibu here:

Travel Spotlight: A Guide to Southwest Florida Posted on 13 Aug 11:02 , 0 comments

IMG_0243 (3) Most people will concur, it’s nice to get away from the ruckus of every-day life from time to time. Sometimes it is a necessity to tune out and take a digital detox. Recently, part of the Nomaterra team had a chance to visit Southwest Florida and the pristine white sandy beaches of North Captiva Island, which provided a wonderful experience of true seclusion. Of course, to perfectly complement our seaside journey, we brought along a couple of our favorite Nomaterra scents: Malibu Honeysuckle and Miami Orange Blossom. IMG_0032 (1) IMG_0030 (2) IMG_0017 (1) IMG_0009 (1) IMG_0002 The tropical paradise, known as North Captiva Island, is located on the Gulf of Mexico off Southwest Florida. Being that this remote and undiscovered private island community is only accessible by ferry, private boat or a small plane, it provided a nostalgic outlook of old Florida as it once was during a simpler time. Part of the Lee Island Coast barrier island chain, the island is dispersed across an extensive state land preserve and is filled with million dollar homes that border seven miles of immaculate beaches. The stunning island was filled with gorgeous tropical Frangipani (Plumeria) trees, giving the island an amazing aroma of citrus, pineapple, and coconut. Interestingly, you will find no cars, crowds, or paved roads as you travel by golf cart or bicycle on sandy trails. IMG_0090 (1) IMG_0088 (1) IMG_0081 IMG_0080 IMG_0078 IMG_0007 (1) If isolation stirs up fears of boredom – do not fear. North Captiva Island offers some of the best shelling around, as visitors can find many rare and colorful shells. Additionally, the island provides a vast array of recreational activities such as tennis, swimming, golfing, biking, kayaking, boating, parasailing, scuba diving and fishing. Needless to say, boredom is not an issue. Guests can also bask in the grandeur of watching sunrise and sunset on striking beaches, or in viewing a pod of dolphins as they catch an early lunch of tarpon. IMG_0094 (1) IMG_0097 (1) IMG_0045 In addition to North Captiva Island, we took a half-day visit to the small community of Matlacha, which is located on Pine Island and part of the Cape Coral – Fort Myers metropolitan area. Matlacha is an “Old Florida” fishing village and is home to many brightly colored art galleries, island boutiques, seafood restaurants, and traditional Floridian cottages. We stopped in for lunch at Mulletville Waterside Seafood Restaurant where we shared a small plate of stone crab legs, a wedge salad with blue cheese crumbles and smoked bacon (to die for!), and a side of rice and bean. All dishes were delicious! We also browsed Matlacha’s charming boutiques and art galleries, such as Lovegrove Gallery & Gardens which features an array of eccentric pieces from paintings to painted furniture. Wildchild Art Gallery featured whimsical scenes of wildlife and sea life motifs, sculptures, garden furnishings, and other unique novelty items. Frills, a small gift boutique, was filled with cute casual skirts, dresses, swimsuit cover-ups, and handmade jewelry. The town of Matlacha most definitely proved to be an art-connoisseur’s utopia. Even the telephone poles were painted with murals! IMG_0236 IMG_0235 IMG_0234 IMG_0233 IMG_0232 (1) The last journey on our trip was to historical downtown of Punta Gorda, which is situated along beautiful Charlotte Harbor and just 30 minutes north of Matlacha. Punta Gorda is an architecturally rich “True Florida” boating town that offers an old Florida atmosphere. Cobbled streets are lined with huge royal palms, historical period homes, and vintage street lights, as well as trendy restaurants, bistros, spas, and eclectic shopping. One could also partake in Punta Gorda’s art walk, which circuits the city’s ten outdoor murals, each depicting the city’s natural and cultural histories, or engage in a number of environmental and wildlife centers such as Peace River Wildlife Center. Visitors can also tour the town’s varied museums such as the Museum of African-American History and Culture, or go for a jog along winding trails and pathways in Laishley Park on Peace River or Gilchrist Park along the harbor. Short on time, we decided to skip out on the art walk and focus on taking Punta Gorda’s historical walking excursion, which takes a lovely stroll along the town’s History District. Many of the homes were built in the late 1800s. Unfortunately, 2004’s Hurricane Charley extensively damaged many of the homes, structures, and historical landmarks. However, a revitalization of the City took place in the immediate years after the storm and resulted in the restoration of buildings. Along our tour, we saw the most amazing and beautiful Banyan tree, which was located on a Historical Landmark, where the first home built in Punta Gorda once resided. IMG_0106 (1) IMG_0104 (2) After our leisurely promenade and sightseeing the beautiful historic homes, we took a quick visit to Fisherman’s Village. The waterfront village is a brightly colored complex that comprises of several boutiques, candy and coffee shops, gift shops, restaurants, and a resort and marina, all under one roof. To finalize the evening, we decided to have dinner alongside a gorgeous sunset. Our chosen restaurant (mostly for the view) was Hurricane Charley’s Raw Bar & Grill. This dockside bar, part of PG’s Waterfront Hotel and Suites, provided an amazing front-side view to one of nature’s most incredible shows – sunset. Not to mention, the restaurant featured great live music and our dishes were equally amazing and tasty. We shared the Blue Crab Tower which consisted of jumbo lump and back fin crab meat mixed with avocado, mango and arugula topped with a champagne vinaigrette (yum!), and the Shrimp Grits – gulf shrimp sautéed in Cajun spices and Tasso ham atop home style cheese grits and topped with sauce creole (double yum!). The meal was impressive and best of all, we got to watch an incredible sun down. Needless to say, the meal and sunset was a delightful cap off to the evening. IMG_0239 IMG_0111 (2)    

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Tell us, where’s the most remote destination you've visited?


3 Hamptons Events You Won’t Want to Miss Posted on 13 Jul 21:27 , 0 comments

July is peak season in the Hamptons, as the area has a surfeit amount of activities to immerse oneself in. Full of charitable events, luxurious boho-chic establishments, and lavish celebrations, summer in the Hamptons is where every socialite should flee. Take a look as Nomaterra explores some exciting events happening these next upcoming weeks.   Hamptons Wellness Week Hamptons Wellness Week is a week-long celebration of health and wellness happening in the East Hampton community July 13, 2014 through July 20th. The event will feature boutique fitness, holistic healing, acupuncture, meditation, spa services, pampering, prevention, and water sports as well as other events and activities. Proceeds from the event will go to the Wind It Project to fund educational opportunities across the globe. This is the premiere event to awaken your mind, body, and soul.   Opening Weekend of Bridgehampton Polo Opening day of the 18th season of high-goal polo is set to kick off July 19th. Featuring the world’s top ranked players, Bridgehampton Polo Club will feature Polo icon Nacho Figueras playing for Bash Kazi’s KIG team against Peter Brant’s Birch team. Town and Country Magazine will host the event, along with top brand sponsors including Lancôme Paris, Jet Edge, Eascada, Joie, Casablanca Pol and Sunbrella. Nowhere else will you find the top polo players, high-end brands, and charities all under one “tent.” Invited guests can indulge in the Hamptons VIP experience, which consists of a reception featuring luxury brands, hors d’oeuvres, French desserts and exclusive wines from Spire Collection.   Art Southampton Art Southampton, presented by Art Miami, is an international contemporary and modern art fair that takes place July 24th through the 28th, which is at the peak of Hamptons season. The fair will feature a select group of more than 75 international art galleries which focus on works from the 20th and 21st centuries. The event will be hosted on an 18-acre estate property located behind the Southampton Elks lodge and near the Southampton Golf Club. The fair will commence with a Platinum VIP Preview to benefit the Parrish Art Museum and South Hampton Hospital with sponsorships from Maserati, GRAFF Diamonds, Ruinart Champagne and Saunders & Associates. This event has attracted over 4,200 collectors, curators, art advisors and museum professionals over the years.   Whether you are attending an exciting polo match, browsing the latest artworks, or tending to your health and well-being, the Hamptons is the place to be this summer. Don’t forget to pair your outings with our East Hampton fragrance, which will leave you feeling classic, sophisticated and fresh – perfect for the Hamptons!

5 Easy Yoga Poses to Do While Traveling Posted on 17 Jun 19:28 , 0 comments

“Yoga takes you into the present moment, the only place where life exists.”                                                                                                                         -  Anonymous Nothing compliments  a nice relaxing vacation or business trip like some stress-relieving yoga. Yoga is the perfect "on-the-go" workout that you can literally do anywhere at anytime - and it requires no equipment! In addition, yoga has a myriad of  benefits: it stretches you out, massages your internal organs, improves circulation, and reduces anxiety. So whether you are in your hotel room, or about to suffer a long train, plane, or car ride, these quick yoga moves will prepare your mind, body, and spirit for that business meeting you're about to tackle, or "mental break" you've been looking forward to all week!  

Pose 1: Seated Spinal Twist

[caption id="attachment_2501" align="alignleft" width="300"]Photo Credit: CNN Travel Photo Credit: CNN Travel[/caption] How-To: On the edge of your seat, or on the ground, gently cross your right knee over your left knee. Then, bring your left hand across your right knee and your other arm on the armrest. If you are seated on the floor, place your left elbow on the outside of your right knee, and your right hand on the ground, directly behind your back  and aligned with the spine. Next, take a deep inhale and then turn towards your right side on your exhale. Take five deep breaths. Then repeat on other side. ¹  Why It's Good: Spinal twists are great for realising daily stress and tension, stimulates circulation, helps to alleviate strain and calms the nervous system.        

Pose 2: Bridge Pose

[caption id="attachment_2553" align="alignright" width="300"]yoga-pose-full-wheel-pose-1439-1 Photo Credit:[/caption] This pose is perfect if you have some time to kill in your hotel room or if you are taking in some beautiful scenery at the beach or park. How-To: Place a hotel blanket or towel on the floor and lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Rest your arms by your sides. Press your feet and arms on the ground as you exhale, contract your abs, and press your hips to the ceiling. Roll your shoulders back and underneath your body as press your back up further, and clasp your hands beneath you, or if you are up for the challenge, try grabbing your ankles for an extra stretch. Why It's Good: Not only does this pose strengthen your glutes, spine, thighs, and core,  but it also helps to improve flexibility, stimulates the thyroid and combats any menstruation problems.  

Pose 3: Standing Forward Fold

[caption id="attachment_2552" align="alignleft" width="260"]yoga-folds Photo Credit:[/caption]

This is, undoubtedly, one of my favorite poses, as it is such a great relaxer and helps to relieve any tension on the back.

How-To: Stand with your feet hip distant apart. Exhale and bend forward from your hip joints, and tilt forward with your knees slightly bent. You can either let your arms hang down freely, place one hand onto each elbow, or touch the floor if you are flexible enough for a deeper stretch. Press your heels firmly on the floor, lift your sitting bones towards the ceiling.  Take 8-10 deep breaths, then stand up slowly. Why It's Good: Forward bends strengthen your hips, hamstrings, thighs and calves,  lengthens your spine, and rejuvenates and clams the body.  

Pose 4: Tree Pose

[caption id="attachment_2504" align="alignright" width="380"]Photo Credit: CNN Travel Photo Credit: CNN Travel[/caption]

How-To: Standing with your feet together, ground down on all corners of your feet. First, distribute your weight evenly between both legs. Then,  shift your weight onto your left leg. Take a big inhale and bring your right foot onto your left anklebone, with your knee out wide. Grab your ankle and guide it to inner left thigh as you look ahead. Be sure that your foot is either above or below the knee. Next, press your foot into your inner thigh, while also pressing your inner thigh against your foot.  Hold the pose. Another trick is to think about pulling your right knee and inner thigh towards the back of the room. Your hands can stay on your hips, or alternatively, you can bring your arms in front of your chest into prayer position, or "spread your roots" with your arms actively reaching above your head. Hold for up to one minute. While exhaling, release your foot and arms back down. Repeat on the other side. Why It's Good: This pose is great for improving focus and concentration while calming the mind. Other benefits include the strengthening and toning of the legs, buttocks, ligaments and tendons of the feet, while also building self-esteem and self-confidence.²  

Pose 5: Chair Pose

[caption id="attachment_2551" align="alignright" width="300"]11223093215_0633440c2e_o (2) Photo Credit: Flickr User Amy[/caption]

How-To: Stand with your feet and knees together, with big toes touching and heals slightly apart. Then, inhale as you raise your arms above your head, and exhale as you bend your knee. You can either keep your arms perpendicular to the floor, or bring palms together. Alternatively, you can also reach out in front of you, extending your arms parallel. Try to bend your knees and bring your thighs as parallel to the floor as possible, keeping your shoulder blades down and below your ears. Breathe deeply for five-10 breaths or for up to one minute. Inhale as you  straighten your legs and release to standing

Why It's Good: Chair pose is the ultimate leg strengthener. It is a strong pose, and strong legs keep you grounded, even while flying. Chair pose builds muscle tone in the entire  lower half of your body, as it strengthens hip flexors, ankles, calves, and back. It also stretches out the chest and back, and stimulates the heart, diaphragm, and abdominal organs.  

Are you an avid yogi? Share with us some of your favorite yoga poses to do while  traveling!

    References: Dodson, C (2011, September 9). "Airplane Yoga: 18 exercises for healthy living." CNN Travel (Online News Article). Retrieved                                 from: Kiltz, R. (2010, October 29). "The Health Benefits of Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)" (Weblog). Retrieved                                                                                           from:

A Weekend of Music in Memphis Posted on 15 Jun 19:12 , 0 comments

Last weekend, I traveled with my husband to Memphis, TN for four days full of music, soul food, and some southern culture, everything that the "Deep South" is know for. Growing up in New York, I've always had a fascination with the South, and it's otherworldly way of being—the drawl-ish accents, the slow-paced life, the kindness of the people. We chose Memphis for it's musical history, it's considered by many the birthplace of Blues, Gospel, and Rock n' Roll (Elvis), but we got so much more. Memphis has that old-world charm that just draws you and makes you feel right at home. Four days is barely enough time to discover and enjoy this rich city. [caption id="attachment_2458" align="alignleft" width="303"]Main Street in Downtown Memphis Main Street in Downtown Memphis[/caption] IMG_8684               We rented a car and stayed at the famous Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. You actually don't really need a car if you're staying in downtown Memphis, as everything is literally within walking/trolley distance. We only used the car twice to travel to Graceland and Overton Park, but you could get to those places just as well without a car. Our first two days were all about hitting up all the best spots in downtown Memphis. We started with a late breakfast at the historic Arcade Restaurant on South Main Street. So many movies have been filmed here, The Firm, Great Balls of Fire, 21 Grams, Walk The Line, to name a few and it's been a hot dining spot since the 1950's. My husband ended up ordering The Travel Channel Favorite, "Eggs Redneck." Portions were as expected, HUGE, especially for us New Yorkers, but the food was absolutely delicious. [caption id="attachment_2544" align="alignright" width="300"]Arcade Restaurant Memphis Tennessee The famous Arcade Restaurant in Memphis[/caption] Breakfast was followed by a 40-minute tour of the Gibson Factory, we were lucky enough to go while the factory workers were still there, which made for a very cool experience. We saw all aspects of the making of a Gibson Guitar—starting with the type of wood and it's cutting and shaping, to the custom artwork stations, and then the stringing and testing, almost every step is actually done by hand and it takes several weeks to complete one guitar. Job training takes as long as 9 weeks and the whole factory is kept at 45% humidity to keep the wood just the right amount of moist. My favorite part was by far the painting station, I had no idea an artist actually spray paints each guitar by hand (which made me think...what if he messes up!?) Tip: Go when the workers are there, so any time before 2:30pm, except for their lunch time, which is around 11am, it makes for a much more complete tour. Tickets are $10 p/person. [caption id="attachment_2461" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Gibson Guitar Factory and Store Gibson Guitar Factory and Store[/caption] Our night excursion started with a ride on the trolley, which immediately took us back a few decades. Racket-y wood seats, old ticketing machine, and woman singing her blues-y heart out to the strum of a guitar. The place we were planning to eat at was packed, so we walked down Beale Street and randomly stepped into King's Palace, a Blues Club/Cajun Restaurant. Given that this was on the super tourist-y Beale Street, our expectations weren't high, but we were definitely proven wrong. The food was delicious, the drinks strong, and the entertainment - a guy singing some of our blues and rock favorites to his guitar, was superb. We followed this up with the Bruno Mars concert at the FedEx Forum, which seemed even larger than Madison Square Garden, and was packed to the the max. People had traveled in from all over the South to see him sing that night. The Moonshine Jungle concert was fantastic—high energy, phenomenal singing and dancing by a super talented artist. The whole night was this unique, contrasting experience of music in the old and new form, from Blues in a bar on historic Beale Street, to Bruno Mars at a massive and modern entertainment center. [caption id="attachment_2462" align="alignleft" width="225"]Historical Memphis trolley Historical Memphis trolley[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2463" align="alignright" width="300"]Beale Street at night Beale Street at night[/caption]                 The next afternoon we took the Mud Island monorail, which gives you spectacular views of the Hernando De Soto Bridge and of the Mississippi River. The bridge is in the shape of a wide letter M, and is lit up by 200 sodium vapor lights. It lights up the whole city at night, and you can pretty much see it from all parts of town. It was so cool to see the Mississippi River in person, considering it's the fourth longest river in the world, and even water sources as far as Pennsylvania and New York feed into the Mississippi. It's also been and is still a key source of commerce for towns like Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Memphis, among others. Mud Island River Park was a fun way to learn about the topography and commerce on the Mississippi River, it's a miniature replica of the river from start (in Minnesota) to finish (the Gulf of Mexico). Our favorite part though, was surprisingly the Mississippi River Museum on the 2nd floor. It started off a bit slow at first and then became increasingly better with each segment. You get to walk through a replica of a saloon of an actual steamboat that was used for entertaining back in the 1800's. You can sit at the bar, with the ornately designed walls, ceilings, and chandeliers above you and feel like you're on a dinner-time ride on an 1830's steamboat in the 1830's. The rest of the museum brings you through segments of the Civil War, slavery, and the development of Gospel, Soul, Blues, and Rock and Roll music in Memphis, all done in a very interactive way. We walked out of that museum being shocked by how much there was to see and learn in what seemed like a small, unassuming space. [caption id="attachment_2466" align="alignleft" width="300"]Mud Island River Park Mud Island River Park[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2465" align="alignright" width="300"]View of the entrance to Mud Island Memphis trolley, Mud Island River Park monorail[/caption]                 [caption id="attachment_2468" align="alignleft" width="300"]In front of Hernando De Soto Bridge at Mud Island River Park In front of Hernando De Soto Bridge at Mud Island River Park[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_2546" align="alignright" width="229"]Hernando De Soto Bridge Tennessee Arkansas Hernando De Soto Bridge between Tennessee and Arkansas at sunset[/caption]                       [caption id="attachment_2484" align="alignright" width="250"]Restaurant prices of local dishes from 1950's at Mississippi River Museum Restaurant prices of local dishes from 1950's at Mississippi River Museum...everything under 25 cents![/caption] [caption id="attachment_2480" align="alignleft" width="300"]Sun Studios Replica at Mississippi River Museum Sun Studios Replica at Mississippi River Museum[/caption]                   [caption id="attachment_2482" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Beautiful view of Memphis city from Mud Island River Park Beautiful view of Memphis city from Mud Island River Park[/caption] That night we spent the evening hopping from one blues bar to the next on Beale Street, and the talent of these artists in these dive bars is incredible. Music abounds everywhere in this city, and no more can you find this than on Beale Street. We really enjoyed listening to soul singer Natalie, at Blues Hall Juke Joint, though we heard B.B. King's and the Hi-Tone Lounge on North Cleveland Street are also top notch. At around 12am, we followed the music into Silky O' Sullivans, where a phenomenal cover band was playing old and new hits. There's a beautifully lit, large outdoor patio at O' Sullivans where we sat and grabbed a late-night snack, but the music was too good to stay seated for long. We joined the crowd of people dancing up at the stage and basked in the warm, Southern weather.  At around 1 am, Alfred's on Beale switches from a band to a dj that blast the music onto the street, and street dancers and performers break it down to crowds of people circling them and cheering them on. A fun fact: you can buy drinks on the street at any of the outdoor street bars that line all of Beale Street, and just sit yourself down on the stoop on the side of the street and people watch. An entertaining ending to a wonderful night. [caption id="attachment_2488" align="alignleft" width="300"]Blues Hall Juke Joint...a dive bar worth visiting for the musical talent. Blues Hall Juke Joint...a dive bar worth visiting for the musical talent.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2487" align="alignright" width="300"]Beale Street stays alive into the late hours Beale Street stays alive into the late hours[/caption]                   [caption id="attachment_2486" align="alignright" width="300"]Neon-lit outdoor street bars on Beale Street Neon-lit outdoor street bars on Beale Street[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2467" align="alignleft" width="300"]Main Street in Downtown Memphis Main Street in Downtown Memphis[/caption]                   We designated Sunday for traveling to Graceland (not far from Memphis, about 15 minutes). Neither my husband or I grew up listening to Elvis, but we felt we couldn't visit Memphis without visiting Graceland. This place is not to be missed! As with the rest of the trip, we were more than pleasantly surprised with the way the tour was led, we learned so many interesting facts about Elvis that we never knew before, his charitable nature—he would write checks to anyone and everyone to help pay people's bills and help support hospitals and endless charities, his obsession with music that went beyond concert performances—he would invite friends, family, and his management team to play up on the roof of his hotel after playing a full concert he'd done just an hour earlier. He led a very full, though short, life, and was an energetic spirit that definitely resonates to this day. His decorating skills were extravagant—from the peacock room to the jungle room (where he held impromptu recording sessions in the 70's), to the decor of his planes, everything had an exotic and energetic touch to it. On our way back to downtown Memphis, we made a stop into Sun Studios, where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and other musical stars had recorded when they were first starting out. [caption id="attachment_2492" align="alignleft" width="300"]Peacock Room Elvis Presley's Peacock Room at Graceland Mansion[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2493" align="alignright" width="300"]The Trophy Room at Graceland Mansion The Trophy Room at Graceland Mansion[/caption]                   [caption id="attachment_2495" align="alignleft" width="300"]At Sun Studios At Sun Studios[/caption]     [caption id="attachment_2494" align="alignright" width="300"]The Pool Room in Graceland Mansion The Pool Room in Graceland Mansion[/caption]                     The last stop of the day was Overton Park, the perfect ending of live music on a green lawn, with local beer crafters and food vendors. During the summer they have free concerts on the weekends (Levitt Shell Free Music Concert Series). Following the concert, we snuck into the Memphis College of Art, and browsed the local art of students. [caption id="attachment_2476" align="alignleft" width="300"]Levitt Shell at Overton Park in Memphis where free concerts are held during the summer time. Levitt Shell at Overton Park in Memphis where free concerts are held during the summer time.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2477" align="alignright" width="300"]Memphis College of the Art beautifully lit up at night. Memphis College of Art beautifully lit up at night.[/caption]                         The nicest thing about Memphis, especially for a romantic like me, is that it completely transports you to another time and place. It's a romantic and nostalgic city, holding on to its Blues and Rock fame, and it has so much soul that is deeply immersed in its food, music, and people. This is a must-go. Best Time To Go: May for the month-long cultural and musical celebration Travel Types: old souls, romantics, music afficionados Best Nomaterra Fragrance for this trip: Savannah Magnolia   [caption id="attachment_2479" align="aligncenter" width="335"]Downtown Memphis Sunset Downtown Memphis Sunset[/caption]  

Make Your Memorial Day Memorable in East Hampton Posted on 23 May 13:50 , 0 comments

[getty src="108163406?et=PHGm1yt5RUVBc6mleJOarQ&sig=HXF2tmm05rdfAjqTd4rryb6MSk8kgJjS_I8QqXY7lfg=" width="509" height="385"] Memorial Day weekend, the official kickoff to the Hamptons summer season, is right around the corner. Nomaterra has the perfect weekend planned for those looking to create a Memorial Day weekend that’s unforgettable. Sip wine and watch the sunset beachside What can be better than watching a sunset while sipping on a delicious glass of wine? Luckily, Lieb Cellars offers estate grown grab-and-go boxed wines for the beach or boat, as well as kegs of wine for larger parties. You can’t go wrong with their nationally recognized reserve Pinot Blanc and Blanc de Blancs sparkling wines, or try a more medium-bodied red, such as their Bridge Lane Red Blend, a dry red wine comprised of black cherry, cedar, and spice flavors. While sipping wine is wonderful by itself, pairing wine with the right fare enhances the entire experience. We recommend perusing Lieb’s food and wine pairing suggestions, which focuses on some of the local foods from the East End of Long Island. Catch a concert while raising money for a social cause The Surf Lodge, a much sought-after bohemian escape, is partnering with eBay Giving Works to raise money for the Montauk Playhouse with a private performance by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros on May 25th. The Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation is raising funds for the restoration and development of the historic Montauk Playhouse, creating a vital community center for the arts, education, recreation and human services for Montauk and East End of Long Island. The Surf Lodge has an impressive line-up in 2014 for their ever-popular FREE Summer Concert Series  - so great musical acts will be going on all summer long. Browse an art gallery East Hamtpon’s reputation as an artist’s colony began with painter Jackson Pollock, as he resided in what was known as the Pollock-Krasner House and Studio. East Hampton’s Guild Hall has one of the oldest non-juried museum exhibitions on Long Island and is one of the few non-juried exhibitions still offered.  The top honor is a solo show in the museum’s Spiga Gallery. This exhibition will be on display from May 3 till June 7. In addition, be sure to view Arlene Slavin’s upcoming exhibit, Intersections. Guild Hall will exhibit a new series of sculptures and paintings referencing work Slavin exhibited in the mid-1970s. Similar to her early work, these sculptures and paintings are pencil, diagonal, grid-based, with layers of lush, translucent stained colors.  

Travel Spotlight: City Guide to Savannah Part II Posted on 5 May 09:00 , 0 comments

[getty src="168447264?et=mTLQv0QpRatEe1A0KRGGxA&sig=UF9EKjkLfZfJRi35SYs55INL2d7NnCiiPoN84uz6O2A=" width="507" height="387"]Last post we gave you the ins and outs of Savannah’s best in boutique hotels and shopping. This week, we reveal some of the city’s amazing artistic and gastronomical scenes. Get ready to explore even more of the "Hostess City of the South." Browse the Savannah Art Scene It’s hard to talk about Savannah and not mention its marvelous art scene. Every year, the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) hosts the SCAD Sidewalk Art Festival. This festival offers students, alumni and prospective students an opportunity to create temporary chalk masterpieces on the paved walkways of Savannah’s scenic Forsyth Park every Spring. The event is free and open to the public which gives them the opportunity to view and photograph the amazing creations. In addition, SCAD holds an annual runway Fashion Show. It’s one of the premier fashion shows in the country, as students showcase works that have been chosen by some of the fashion industry’s top professionals. Perhaps you’ll find the next big names in fashion? And if you can’t get enough of the art scene, SCAD is also featuring the annual Sand Arts Festival. This festival displays incredible sand castle designs, sand sculptures, and sand relief and wind sculptures. Of course, if that doesn't satisfy your artistic cravings, you can always venture to City Market, which is the center of Savannah’s vibrant art scene. Here you can explore and visit over 50 local artists and art galleries.   Best in Dining If you are looking for a unique dining experience, leave it to President Obama to discover the best, off-the-beaten path food establishments in Savannah. His favorite place to eat when visiting Savannah? Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining House. This restaurant caters to those who love indulging in great southern comfort food. With platters of fried chicken, butter beans, red rice, collard greens, and mac and cheese, it’s no wonder President Obama continually makes this diner his “go-to” place when visiting Savannah. Those who would like a more inimitable experience should visit the Olde Pink House. Legend has it that several ghosts haunt the 19th century Georgian mansion that is known as the Old Pink House. While the potential for the paranormal could be unsettling, don’t let it distract you from the restaurant’s superb food and cozy ambiance, as the Southern-influenced cuisine is flavorful and features a large selection of pork and chicken dishes. Lastly, the 45 Bistro on Broughton Street is an obvious choice for fine diners. The elegant restaurant is located on the ground level of the Marshall House Hotel and serves up a rotating selection of eclectic and brilliantly executed dishes that are bursting with flavor and cooked with the utmost care. An attentive staff and extensive wine list make this the perfect spot for a romantic Savannah evening.     Are you an avid Savannah traveler? Tell us your favorite places to browse great artistic works or unique places to dine!  

Travel Spotlight: City Guide to Savannah Posted on 25 Apr 15:00 , 0 comments

[getty src="90799871?et=mw0h0g57RHVMQvQfYMAp_Q&sig=LY8U5DYrmhOootm5_sCAlA5kxqjDMnuc1Faf5sXFIPU=" width="507" height="387"] Savannah, the oldest city in the state of Georgia, will arouse any traveler’s senses. Its eclectic culture, quaint cobblestone streets, majestic Colonial architecture, and Spanish-moss-swathed garden squares are what sets this town apart from any other. Savannah’s beauty is rivaled only by the city’s reputation for hospitality, as it has become one of the country’s most popular vacation spots. The best time to visit Savannah is during the Spring and Summer. This is the time when the city is bursting with gorgeous blooming gardenias, dogwoods, honeysuckles and magnolias. Of course, it’s the magnolia’s intoxicating scent that inspired one of Nomaterra’s most popular fragrance, Savannah Magnolia. Savannah is a prime vacationing spot, as there are an abundance of activities, lodging, dining and shopping in the area, especially within the Historic District. Read Part I of this two-part series, as we on to uncover the best hotels, boutique, activities, and restaurants to do in one of our beloved cities.   Best in Boutique Hotels The city of Savannah is brimming with unique and eccentric boutique hotels. One that comes to mind is the Bohemian Hotel Savannah Riverfront, Autograph Collection. It combines chic designs with vintage charm and is set above the 18th century cobblestone streets that line the Historic District. Overlooking the famous Savannah River, the ambiance is one that is vibrant yet relaxed. The gorgeous hotel features design accents that utilize reclaimed oak floors and brick walls adorned with original artworks, antiques, and unique lighting fixtures. Enjoy a night cap on the popular rooftop lounge which offers spectacular views and a casual elegance. Also, the Mansion on Forsyth Park, Autograph Collection is another popular hotel. Located on the famous 22-acre Forsythe Park, this boutique hotel is just a short distance from art galleries, exquisite restaurants and boutique shopping. The hotel’s opulent interiors and diverse art collection reflects the unique history of Savannah, while offering a memorable hotel experience. Built in 1888, the remarkable Victorian-Romanesque exterior structure offers an array of architecture, art, music, and cuisine experiences such as the Poseidon Spa, Grand Behmian Gallery, 700 Drayton Restaurant and 700 Cooking.   Best in Boutique Shopping Leave your car behind as you stroll through Savannah’s Broughton Street, where local designers showcase their greatest talents. The first stop along your stroll should be the Paris Market & Brocante. In this two-story bazaar, you’ll find rustic antique lightings, architectural fragments, Parisian fabrics, and Fauchon chocolate cubes. Next, explore DC2 Design. Created by three young designers, DC2 features authentic home furnishing-and-accessories, fabulous purses, jewelry, and a dessert-and-coffee bar. Do you really need anything else? The last must-see store on our list is the globally-inspired, Zia Boutique.  Here you can peruse jewelry from around the world, designer bags, African masks, and Cuban oil paints. The owner, Zia himself, intermingles his heritage from Kenya, Japan, and India to produce a diverse selection items.     Are you a frequent visitor of Savannah, GA? Then tell us your favorite lodging, dining, shopping and activity hot-spots in the city!  

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