hot spots: Majestic Dance Studio in St. Louis + GIVEAWAY

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Hips sashaying…temperatures rising…laughter falling from your lips…
I get swept away in the moment when dancing. The pure elation I feel when I’ve found my rhythm isn’t something everybody understands. But you can.

Dancing may intimidate you, make you feel insecure. But think of the satisfaction that could be yours, if you give yourself the chance to learn. Majestic Dance Studio invites couples to come experience the thrill of dancing without the fear of failing. Let yourself feel the pulsating beat, & find your own rhythm in a dance group class.
Find the GIVEAWAY details at the end of this post.

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Photos courtesy of Adriana Almeida.

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Shimmy your way down to Majestic Studios for a new way to spend a night on the town, whether it be a nontraditional date night or a chance to try something new with friends.

Partners line up across from each other, & owner Alex Borodko takes you step by step, simplifying the sensational moves of the salsa & bachata. When you finally pair again with your partner, the movements combine easily to create a beautiful number sure to impress.

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Immediate photos above courtesy of Adriana Almeida.

Even if you don’t have a partner, the professionals are on hand to step in. Each offers a quick tip to improve your rhythm, from slowing down a spin & where to hold your arms to perfecting the hip swing. The rigorous workout is broken up with performances by the talented teachers. Josef Scherer & Loraine Ebel swept across the dance floor with an elegant ballroom dance. Alex paired with Angie Brooks in a lively International Latin to entertain us. We sat back, nibbled on a few snacks, & poured glass after glass of wine, enjoying the entertainment. The evening went by all too quickly, but the workout was refreshing–& I found that pure intoxication a night of dancing can give.

Keep on reading for the GIVEAWAY details…

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Thanks to Majestic Dance Studio for inviting me and a few of my fellow bloggers to experience a group dance class for ourselves. The experience was one-of-a-kind, & now I can offer it to one of you!
Winner has been announced. Thanks for participating!

Majestic Dance Studio GIVEAWAY

Congratulations to the lucky winner!

Photo below courtesy of Adriana Almeida.

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*Thank you to Majestic Dance Studio for sponsoring this post.

hot spots: Kingside Diner in the CWE

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The neighborhood of Central West End welcomes a new late-night diner for the urbanite socialite. I got the chance to sample some of its cuisine
& sinfully sweet drinks at the grand opening of Kingside Diner.

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True to diner protocol, Kingside delivers staple items, such as burgers & breakfast items. How does the restaurant set itself apart from others of its’ caliber? By introducing a swanky setting to an old-time recipe for success. You gotta admit, breakfast served all day will certainly please the late-night revelers who enjoy the CWE’s bar scene. Kingside Diner cooks up flatbreads, sandwiches & wraps with flavorful ingredients. My friend & I nibbled on bites of Romesco, goat cheese, spinach & onion, as well as bagels & lox, & even enjoyed silver dollar pancakes. Between that, & the oh so heavenly Bailey’s chocolate milkshakes, we certainly supped like royalty that evening. Check out the menu for yourself at Kingside Diner.

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*This post sponsored by Kingside Diner. Opinions are my own.

newsworthy notes: make me this year’s St. Louis Summer Ambassador

I grew up in Kansas City, but I fell in love with a boy from St. Louis–& then I fell in love with the city.  I’ve thrown my hat in the ring for the coveted title of ‘St. Louis Summer Ambassador’ awarded by Explore St. Louis, ALIVE magazine, KSDK, & the Midwest Influencer Network.  Make me the next St. Louis city ambassador, & you can expect to get the inside scoop on how to be a tourist in your own town or trip guides to plan your getaway to the Gateway City.  Simply share this video on every social media outlet like it’s going out of style, & you just might see me making the rounds this summer as the next city ambassador!

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If I win the Official Explore St. Louis Summer Ambassador Search, I will share how to spend a perfect day in the Lou, from talking an afternoon walk along the pretty pathways of the Missouri Botanical Gardens to a show at the ever-elegant Fabulous Fox Theater.  I’m a last-minute contender, so it’s too late to vote for me via KSDK.com, but the more you share my video, the better my chances will be at becoming your St. Louis ambassador.  The Top 5 contenders will be announced tomorrow.  & to learn if I make the cut & earn the title, come to the ‘Be a Tourist in Your Own Town’ event:

‘See for yourself why St. Louis is such a great place to visit during the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission’s annual Be a Tourist In Your Own Town event.  The region’s most popular attractions will exhibit with free refreshments, music, prizes and fun for everyone.  This event will take place from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. in Ballpark Village.”

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Thanks for your support, ladies & gents!

hot spots: Schlafly Tap Room in Saint Louis

Recently dubbed the top pick for microbreweries in St. Louis by Ladue News readers, Schlafly is an easy draw for fans of beer.  So what on earth tempted me to explore the “king of microbreweries?”
The promise of great food & good company, of course.

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Don’t worry, beer lovers.  There was plenty poured & much sampled by my fellow dinner mates.

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We enjoyed quite a spread of barbeque ribs, thick layers of lasagna, and plump mussels drenched in a beer-steamed broth.  & yes, that is a wine glass you see.  So if you’re like me & don’t prefer a cold one, clearly you can find other options here.  Considering I’m surrounded by beer aficionados, this is a major bonus for me from any brewery!

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Now, let’s talk about that beer, shall we?  My friends (plus hubby!) gave me the lowdown on the goods.  Melissa enjoyed the Dortmunder, finding it to be a refreshing summer beer.  Eric chose the Tasmanian IPA, which is only offered in the winter months, but he found the sweet, floral brew to be inconsistent.  Greg favored the Old Ale, another seasonal selection that is only offered in limited supply.  The group thought the Coffee Stout, which is blended specially with Kaldi’s coffee, hit the tongue like a full roast.  Ultimately, the Schlafly Tap Room, with its endless options, proved to be a delight for all of us.  Stop in soon for plans on our upcoming travel adventure!

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hot spots: holiday lights in the city of St. Louis

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Growing up in Kansas City, the holiday season meant the Plaza shops & restaurants set the city aglow with a glorious light display.  (The Plaza is a historic shopping district modeled architecturally after Seville, Spain.)  I never realized how much I came to enjoy those lights until I moved away from them.  So when the holidays come round each year, I set out to fill the void by finding new city lights to warm up my spirit & put me in the mood for Christmas.  In previous years, I discovered the charming displays of Historic St. Charles with its dolled up storefronts & the Missouri Botanical Garden’s festive displays known as the “Garden Glow.”  This year, by special invitation, I found a new holiday lights display that charmed me aplenty at Anheuser-Busch’s Holiday Lights.

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Anheuser-Busch’s Holiday Lights tour offers more than just pretty light displays.  This free event takes you on a fun jaunt through the brewery grounds with pit stops along the way where you can sample new beers & classic favorites.  From Stella Artois Cidre to a selection of Ritas, there are many to expand your beer palate.  My party found the first tasting station most appealing as it offered a chocolate brew.  After a round of samples, we grabbed pub food served buffet-style & prepped ourselves for more rounds of beer tasting.  Despite the drizzling night sky, we enjoyed a merry time of hops & holiday lights!

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When: annually from Thanksgiving weekend through the first weekend of the new year
Price: FREE.  Includes 5 samples.
Buffet: $10 a person.
Additional Packages include commemorative beer glasses, buffet tickets, a photo package &/or fire pits for groups.

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This post was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC.  Opinions are my own.
St. Louis Arch photo C/O Martha Dahl at Essence Photography by Martha.

Hot Spots: Cafe Verona in Kansas City

Cafe Verona is a lovely Italian restaurant served up with a side of class.  You will find this charming eatery in the suburban town of Independence, right in the heart of the historic square, better known as President Truman’s stomping grounds.  I met up with my best friend for a late birthday celebration & we savored every bite.

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You know those restaurants that offer items to nibble on while your meal is being prepared?  The ones whose pre-dinner goodies are so yummy you plan on coming back just to snack on them again?  The sliced bread loaf offered at Cafe Verona is as memorable as Red Lobster’s cheddar biscuits.  Sprinkle a bit of freshly grated parmesan cheese in the olive oil & saturate your slice with the winning combination.

The menu has a vast selection of salads, pastas & sandwiches.  I opted for the frutti de mare pasta this particular evening.  The spaghetti cooked in a zesty alfredo sauce included bites of lobster, shrimp & clams.  Since Katie & I were filled to the brim with rich Italian cuisine, we decided to split her birthday dessert: a warm brownie with a gooey center.  Pleased with our choices, I’ll certainly be back to try the bruschetta trio & the pesto chicken panini.

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Cafe Verona has a warm interior & is painted with large murals, such as one of the “Birth of Venus.”  The Romanesque atmosphere is complete with an open courtyard walled off by large iron gates.  People have started decorating these gates with love locks (read about the start of this tradition in my Venice review).  The husband & I took a closer look at some of the love messages left attached to Cafe Verona.

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If you are looking for an intimate dinner location with some small town charm, give Cafe Verona a chance.  Come back later this week for my next edition of Muse Moments.  Till then, ciao!

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hot spots: Anheuser-Busch in Saint Louis

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Anheuser-Busch Brewery recently hosted my husband & I for a beer tour date night.  The “King of Beers” just so happens to be brewed right here in the heart of the Midwest.  The #1 beer in America is a thriving hot spot for people from all over.  After our visit, we completely understand the draw.

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The Grand Tour

The classic facilities gives you a taste of the rich history of this brewery born before Prohibition.  Anheuser-Busch gives visitors the opportunity to check out the brewery for free, but the Beermaster Tour gets you the inside scoop on the brewing process along with freshly brewed samples.  From the fermenting tanks all the way to the finishing vats, you see what ingredients & conditions are required to make the perfect concoction.  Of course, the perks of this tour include some generous tastings: one at the beginning of the brewing process & another fresh from the finishing tanks.  (Well, really, you get a refill at the end, so that’s three samples with which to start.)

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Cool facts I learned on the tour include: the entire line of impressive beers crafted by Anheuser-Busch offer up quite a variety.  From the world-favorite Budlight & Budweiser to the flavorful Shock Top line to the crazy Clamato Chelada Picante concoction, it’s all created by this massive brewery.  Their new line of Ritas is already best-selling & growing rapid fast.  We also learned why the magnificent Clydesdales got red harnesses for their debut in China.  (You’ll just have to go on the tour to find out why for yourself.)

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The Cuisine

After the tour, Greg & I stopped at the on-site restaurant, the Biergarten.  We chose the thick & salty Bavarian Pretzel Sticks, which were delicious dipped in the beer-brewed honey mustard & cheddar cheese.  The charcuterie board offered tasty aged sausage & a variety of cheeses paired with nutmeg & cinnamon doused grapes that were absolutely heavenly.  We devoured a gourmet burger, smothered barbeque ribs & ate Parmesan fries to our heart’s content.

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The Swag

So, consider this: why pay for the Beermaster tour rather than opt for the free one?  THE SWAG.  You get your full $25 worth with all the goodies you’ll score while on the Beermaster tour.  Actually, the full value of all the items you get are worth way more than what you pay for your tour ticket.  You get a baseball cap with Anheuser-Busch’s famous eagle logo & a beer glass with etching in the bottom to better aerate your beer.  Plus, each sample included on the tour is pulled directly into this glass, meaning you get a full 3 beers.  Afterwards, you & your tour get VIP access to the Beermaster Suite, complete with a stocked mini-fridge full of various brews crafted by Anheuser-Busch (& there’s no limit on how much you can take!).  All in all, the Beermaster Tour is absolutely worth it.

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Anheuser-Busch can also be a family affair.  The kids will love spending time with the giant Clydesdales & enjoy playing at the foosball tables within the Tour Center.  Plus, you get a family photo op inside the stables & can purchase the photo at the end of the tour.  Try out this too cool brewery tour for yourself & tell me what you think!  Special thanks to Adriana & Anheuser-Busch for hosting us, & also to Justin, our awesome tour guide!

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This post was sponsored by Anheuser-Busch Companies, LLC.  Opinions are my own.