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Featuring Baltimore: Millstone Cellars

March 9, 2016

Millstone Cellars is a farmhouse cidery located just outside Baltimore City. Millstone crafts their ciders, cysers (a combo cider/mead), and meads  in oak barrels and prides themselves on being all about “the handmade, the rustic, the refined, the traditional and the tasty”.

millstone cellars cider

Venture about 40 minutes north outside Baltimore City and you may find yourself in Monkton, a town that feels like it is much further away (thus, the beauty of living in Maryland) and reminds me of the towns that exist within the Berkshire & Catskill Mountains. All of the ingredients used in Millstone’s ciders are sourced within 150 miles of their Monkton farmhouse.

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The mill that Millstone now occupies was built in the 1850s, while foundation & property for the mill dates back to the 1750s. Millstone started off small in 2003 and opened the Mill in Mokton in 2012. They produce 35,00 gallons a year (some at their Monkton location, but most at a production warehouse in Cockeysville).

millstone farmhouse cidery

Their ciders, cysers, and meads use all natural ingredients and are refined sugar-free and preservative-free. Millstone is constantly experimenting with their barrels which means there will always be something new to try. The gorgeous scenery, beautiful tasting room, and delicious cider makes for a nice and quick trip out of the city.

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Devlin & I went up to Millstone a few Sundays ago. We packed some treats to enjoy after our tasting (salami, cashews, blackberries, etc) and it was a nice enough day I was able to just wear my denim jacket. We found the farmhouse with ease and made it with about 10 minutes to spare before the 3:30pm tour (Devlin smoked a cigarette in the parking lot while I ‘explored’, aka looked for the bathroom, which is actually located in a cabin on the property). Our tour was lead by Sarah, who was incredibly thorough and informative throughout the tour (and in a funny chain of events, it turns out I helped her at my job a few weeks back).

millstone cellars tasting

We tasted 8 different Millstone favorites during our tasting—3 year-round ciders, 3 seasonal ciders, 1 cyber, & 1 mead. My favorites from the tasting were the Hopvine cider, the Gingeroot cider, the Hopricot cyser, and the Midus mead. Hopvine is a cider fermented for 7 months and then infused with fresh & local hops for three weeks. It is bottled with honey and is delicious and light. The hops add a citrusy flavor and was not bitter like lots of hoppy beers. Gingerroot, another cider, uses a blend of two apples and is infused with baby ginger, which gives it a nice ginger flavor but is not so harsh and also gives the cider some notes of lemon and orange. Hopricot is a cyser and truly is the perfect blend between cider and mead. Once the apple juice has been fermented, honey is added to the same barrel. Hopricot is infused with hops an apricot wine for a sweet, floral and nutty flavor. Midus, the mead we tried (& Devlin’s favorite by far), is a mead infused with Norwegian spruce tips. Piney in smell, and tea-like in taste, it reminded us a bit of gin (this, why it was Devlin’s favorite). Midus was sweet from honey and the spruce tips added a nice balance.

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Devlin & I took a lot of cider home with us, including two varieties that weren’t in our tasting—Sweet Farmgate, another cider (only available in the tap room), and Pomme Jacques, Millstone’s Apple brandy. Sweet Farmgate was absolutely delicious—it is simply honey added to their standard apple-only cider, and Pomme Jacques is the perfect after-dinner drink to sip on (it kind of tastes like apple juice that has a lot of alcohol in it, but I totally dig it).

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After our tasting, Devlin & I enjoyed the food we brought (Millstone doesn’t serve food, and encourages all to BYOF) and some cider on tap. A trip to Millstone Cellars is definitely worth the trip, whether you are experienced with their product or totally new to cider.

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Millstone Cellars does FREE tastings on Saturdays & Sundays at their Monkton, MD farmhouse cidery from 12p-5p. Follow them online to find out about other local events they’re hosting. If you have Millstone Cellar pics to share, tag them #30thandweldon today! We’ll select a favorite (or a few…) to share!

millstone cellars

Millstone Cellars
2029 Monkton Road
Monkton, MD 21111

410.967.3463

web | facebook | instagram | twitter

Baltimore

Featuring Baltimore: Seoul Spa USA

February 26, 2016

Seoul Spa USA is a traditional Korean jjimjilbang, or sauna/bath house/spa in Woodlawn, MD (yes, Serial fans, that Woodlawn. Right across the street from that Best Buy…). IDK if you have heard, but Korean beauty is all the rage in the United States rn. Actually, as I write this I’m wearing a sheet mask (see Danielle’s review soon) and I just bought a Dr. Jart’s BB Cream, which is also Korean (and also as per Danielle’s recommendation). Sephora is filled with masks and other products and beauty bloggers are embracing the trend. Seoul Spa USA opened a few years ago and I’ve been wanting to go for awhile. This week, my friend Kelci and I decided to check it out (after talking about it for a year+).

The spa is located on the second floor of Security Square Mall (in the wing that is mostly abandoned), which admittedly seems strange, but once we arrived at the spa we quickly forgot we were in a mall. We arrived around 2pm on Wednesday and walked down the long corridor entrance to the spa. We went to the front desk, and purchased our pass to the spa. We were given a key to put our shoes in a locker in the lobby, and another key to put the rest of our things in once in the locker room. We were also given two small towels (no bigger than dish towels) and an orange outfit (think Orange is the New Black, but shorts and a t-shirt) for when we were ready to explore the mixed-gender common area.

For $30 at Seoul Spa gets you access to the gender-specific ‘wet areas’, a gender neutral common area (which features 5 special dry saunas, or ‘Poultice Rooms’), access to their gym (featuring ellipticals, treadmills, and some other equipment), and a computer lounge (lol). There is also a restaurant which serves Korean food for purchase and Seoul Spa offers variety of spa services (scrubs, massages, facials, and a ‘herbal healing service’ for women, which consists of sitting in a room with herbs in your vagina for about 30 minutes).

Photo via Seoul Spa USA

Photo via Seoul Spa USA

The wet areas are gender-specific and feature two hot tubs, one cold tub, and two saunas—one dry and one wet. These wet areas (which are enjoyed naked) feature showers along the wall to rinse before/after getting into the tubs and small basins that sit low to the ground along another wall—we weren’t sure, but it looks like you can get your hair washed? idk. Maybe it’s just to make washing your own hair easier. We didn’t investigate. Our favorite hot tub was the herb-infused tub, which features water with what looks like a giant tea bag fixated to the side. We also enjoyed both saunas (preferring the dry, but the wet steam room felt very good too) and could only manage to dip our toes in the cold bath. I’m sure there is some bad ass who can sit and enjoy the cold bath, but we just weren’t feeling it on a rainy Wednesday. We spent a good amount of time soaking and sweating in the wet room before changing into our orange outfit and heading to the common area to explore the Poultice Rooms.

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Photo via Seoul Spa USA

The common area is large and offers lots of space to relax. There are a series of massage chairs and mats on the floor to lay down on. Surrounding the room are the Poultice Rooms—dry saunas, each featuring various minerals and/or temperatures (Himalayan sea salt, terra-cotta, jewels, wood charcoal, cold, and ice) that focus on specific areas of healing. We tried each room, and although they more-or-less feel the same, we definitely felt some benefit from all of them. They all smell really good, and we felt especially amazing after enjoying the Himalayan sea salt room. After each hot dry sauna, we’d take a moment in the cold room (kept at 35º F) and a few times went ahead and cooled off in the ice room (kept at -20º F). Apparently, the repeat change of going from hot to cold is great for circulation and for strengthening the immune system. It also helped me not feel like I wanted to pass out! Kelci and I went back into the wet room and enjoyed one last soak in the tea tub before heading home.

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Overall, Seoul Spa USA offers a very positive experience. I felt relaxed and my skin felt amazing. The reviews online are very mixed and I didn’t know what to expect but after going to Seoul Spa it is clear that if your expectations are correct, you will have a great time (lots of the negative reviews complained about the lack of ‘jets’ from folks who ‘frequent spas often’). My one complaint is the lack of direction. Besides the guy at the front desk (who was very nice but honestly no older than 19) and the ladies cleaning the locker room/wet room, there was no one around who seemed ready for questions. I felt like some sort of welcome packet/information would’ve been nice. That being said, it was kind of cool exploring the place not knowing what we were doing and learning on the fly. Seoul Spa really allows you to heal and relax at your own pace, which I see value in. I would bring a water bottle, which I meant to do but left it at home. There is a water station with small cups, but I was feeling especially dehydrated toward the end of our visit and would’ve liked to have been able to drink from my water bottle. The towels you are given are quite small, so bring an extra if you see fit (we didn’t, and we were fine). The Seoul Spa website also suggests bringing some slippers if you don’t want to walk around barefoot. We also didn’t do this and were fine.

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I definitely plan to return to Seoul Spa USA another day of pampering. Kelci and I will probably be back for scrubs and massages as well but can’t promise we’re going to try the female herbal healing service. Have you been to Seoul Spa, or another Korean bath house? Let us know in the comments below—I’d love to compare experiences!

Seoul Spa USA
6901 Security Blvd, Ste 3058

Baltimore, MD 21244
410.277.3939

Sun-Thur open 8AM-Midnight
Fri & Sat open 24 hours


 

Baltimore

Featuring Baltimore: The Dailey Method – Towson

January 28, 2016

The Dailey Method – Towson is a new barre and cycle studio that recently opened in Towson owned by Melanie Pipkin Kozel. The Dailey Method promotes community, proper alignment, and being your best self.

So what the hell is barre? Don’t worry, we had the same question before we went to our first class too. Barre is a combination of ballet barre work, core conditioning and stretching—it’s a low-impact and full-body workout that promises to get you lean and strong. The Dailey Method focuses on the importance of proper alignment during the working, which improves balance and gets muscles working the right way.

The Dailey Method Towson barre

I don’t have dance experience! I’m not flexible! Is it hard? That’s okay! You don’t need experience in dance or barre to jump into class at the Dailey Method. Yes, it is hard but it’s a workout! It’s the good kind of hard (hehe there is a joke there). Shae & I went to our first class during The Dailey Method – Towson’s grand opening weekend. We attended a free class with Deanna and we worked HARD. We loved it and convinced Danielle (who has a lifetime’s worth of dance experience) that she would love it too. We went to our second class together, again with Deanna, and somehow it was harder than the first. It took two classes for me to be hooked! I went ahead and signed up for a new client special for a month of unlimited barre/cycle and convinced Danielle to sign up with me as well.

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Now, let me be honest: I’ve never really liked working out before, but the older I get the more I realize it’s necessary. I’ve dabbled in a LOT (yoga/running/various online programs/pilates/lifting/random cardio) but all of it has felt like I’m working out for necessity rather than for pleasure—and feeling that way makes it really difficult to actually commit to anything. I like the accomplished feeling after a workout, but during has always felt like torture. Barre & cycle at The Dailey Method – Towson is truly the only time I’ve enjoyed a workout as much during as I have after. It is hard. My muscles shake (which TDM promises is a good thing, as it proves I am working my muscles to fatigue so they can continue to get strong). I secretly curse my teachers when they tell me we’re doing ‘just 8 more’. But, so far, I feel like I’ve worked harder in my barre classes than I have during any of the various workouts mentioned above. Because the studio is small and classes are capped, the instructors will know your name after a class or two. They push you and I love how much attention I get in each class—I feel like I have a personal trainer, who just so happens to be training about 20 other people at the same time.

But I like working out, will I like barre? From what I hear, the answer to that question is a BIG yes. Danielle, who as I said is a trained dancer, also loves barre and has been going with me. Our other friend who is also named Danielle (confusing so we will call her Danielle M.) joined us for the 30 day new client special and has been enjoying it as well. Danielle M. is definitely more into fitness than Danielle & I are and has another gym membership. My friend Alex came to class with me the other night and she is one of the strongest people I know—she’s a runner who has completed two half-marathons and is training for a full. She is considering signing up for The Dailey Method – Towson’s 6-week special (more on that below…)

The dailey method towson Barre Room

Okay, this sounds cool. How can I try it out. Glad I convinced you! First, if you just want to try a barre class, you can go ahead pick one from the schedule here. A single barre class is $20, and a single cycle class is $23. If you think you’re going to love it and just want to dive in, you can sign up for The Dailey Method – Towson’s current new client special, which is 6 weeks of unlimited barre & cycle classes at $100. After you’ve attended 5 classes, which is not hard to do in 6 weeks, it starts to pay for itself. After you do your 6-week unlimited, you can gage how often you go and see if it makes sense to purchase a 10-class pass or a recurring monthly unlimited (full pricing list here). For a limited time, use promo code WELDON for 10% off the 6-week unlimited introductory and any 10-class packs—just tell em Julie/30th & W sent ya.

The Dailey Method – Towson also has starting offering free (FREE) community classes for both barre & cycle taught by their teachers-in-training. I’ve been to two of these, thinking ‘lol teacher in training this will be easy’. NOPE. Wasn’t easy. Heather kicked my ass too and it is definitely on-par with the workout you will get from Melanie, Deanna or Bethany. These classes are found on the regular class schedule, just look for the word FREE (what a great word). Also keep your eye out for a 30th & Weldon/Dailey Method collab (hint hint hint).

Cycle Room

Alright. I’ve decided which class package makes the most sense for me. What do I need to know before going to my first barre class? Expect to sweat a little bit. Bring a bottle of water, but know you can buy a bottle at the studio if you forget yours at home. Keep in mind that those 2 pound weights are a lot heavier than they look. Everyone who works at TDM is really really nice and this will be very apparent when you enter the studio for the first time. Everyone I’ve met in the classes are all really nice too. They’ve got very cute clothes for sale and you will want to spend all of your money each time you attend class.  If you have kids, the Dailey Method – Towson offers childcare at a fraction of the cost you pay your sitter. The studio is bright & beautiful and is a great environment to be in. There is a shower room & blow dry bar if you want to go from class to work (or from the barre to the bar. haha). Push yourself during class. Ask questions if you have them. Smile often.

What should I wear? Socks are required at the Dailey Method and the floors are carpeted. Any socks will do, although they sell some sweet grippy socks specially made for barre at the studio. I prefer to wear calf-length or ankle-length leggings and I wouldn’t recommend shorts (I’d imagine you’d spend most of class pulling them down, I could see a lot of the movements forcing those shorts to continuously ride up up up). Wear your favorite low-impact sports bra (if you can get away with low-impact). I prefer to wear a tank top so that the instructors can check my alignment. I would imagine something more flowy would get in the way as well. You’ll probably want to keep your hair up with a hair tie (I like cloth hair ties, that don’t crease hair and that I can’t feel when I’m doing floor exercises).

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What types of results will I see? Can I really get a full-body workout at this studio alone? I’ve already seen changes in my flexibility. Although class doesn’t seem to get easier, I do feel like I am getting stronger and that I’m able to push myself more and more each class. My mental health has also been positively impacted—after class, my mind feels clearer and I feel like I can handle a lot. To see a difference in your body, Melanie recommends coming to class at least three times a week. Barre and cycle compliment each other really well—the cardio you get from cycle works well with the muscle conditioning you get from barre. You could even attempt the ‘Dailey Double’ and attend one right after the other! I’ve yet to accomplish this (one day…) but I met a student the other day who had just done it. Her advice is that if attempting the Dailey Double, take your barre class first and then finish it off with cycle. With barre & cycle, it is totally possible to get your workout in at this studio alone. Of course, If you are a runner you’ll want to keep running, if you’re a yogi you’ll want to keep practicing, and if you love your gym you’ll want to keep going there but barre can be a great compliment to your other workouts as well.

Cycle Room Action Shot

The Dailey Method – Towson is definitely a great addition to the Baltimore fitness community! If you have any questions, comment below (or better yet, ask them at your first class). Remember to use promo code WELDON for 10% off the 6-week unlimited introductory and any 10-class packs. I hope to see you at the barre soon!

The Dailey Method – Towson
1220 E. Joppa Road, Suite 101
Towson, MD 21286

(410) 938-8925

web | facebook | instagram | contact

photos of the studio from JvL Photos

Baltimore

Featuring Baltimore: Aesthetic Distance

January 18, 2016

Aesthetic Distance is a photography studio run by Eliza Romero-Kovalsky. Based in Baltimore, MD, Aesthetic Distance specializes in highly stylized, fashion editorial-inspired, modern women’s portraiture.

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Eliza first contacted us about a month ago, citing her desire to fill a void that exists in modern portraiture; a space for women somewhere between the corporate headshot and boudoir photos. She aims to provide a place for women to get beautiful photos to treasure and share, to make them feel confident and glamorous while showing them in their best light. She is a woman working for women – something we can always get behind.

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The professionalism throughout the process was impressive. She sent an incredibly thorough welcome packet that helped us prepare for our shoot and answered questions we didn’t even know we had. Her attention to detail carries throughout her business. We absolutely loved her photography, aesthetic, and style and were thrilled to shoot with her.
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Eliza shoots in her home just outside of Baltimore, MD. Her living room has been transformed into a photo studio—with the high ceilings and natural light the space is absolutely perfect. We arrived at her home studio and we hit it off with Eliza right away. While maintaining her professionalism, Eliza was friendly and welcoming and started making us feel comfortable the minute we walked into her home studio. We met Courtney McCormick, the fabulous hair & make up artist who would be making all of us look our best for the shoot. A ‘photoshoot’ playlist was blasting when we walked in and continued to set the mood for the day which kept our energy high and ensured a fun environment. Eliza walked us through the itinerary of the day and we quickly got to work.
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We started by taking our ‘before’ pictures  after which Shae started on her hair and makeup while Danielle & Julie looked at pose inspiration photos. The morning was casual—all of us talking and getting to know one another and gathering inspiration for the shoot. Shae’s beauty looked was bold and sultry (“This is more makeup than I’ve ever worn in my life!), with huge loose curls in her (very) long hair. Danielle opted for a silvery smokey eye, ala Kirsten Dunst at the Golden Globes, per a suggestion from Eliza. Courtney used nearly all of Danielle’s extensions to give her huge, voluminous curls  – the bigger the hair… ya know. Julie’s beauty look was inspired by Adele’s Time Magazine cover, a dramatic cat eye and red lip, with a swooping curl to show off her recently colored locks.
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We each brought a few different looks, based on the many suggestions available in the welcome packet. Lux fabrics like silk and chiffon, jewel tones that complement our coloring, and large statement jewelry pieces photograph beautifully and helped to make us feel more glamorous throughout the process.
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Eliza was constantly switching up her backdrops and lighting set up for each look, making the pictures a unique collection versus a set of photos in different clothes. She was so deft at suggesting poses and helping us achieve fierce shots without feeling silly – especially important for Julie and Danielle, self-proclaimed awkward kids in front of a camera. Shae, who is a little more used to photo shoots through her job, decided to push herself to do a lingerie shot – something she’s never been comfortable enough to do before. Courtney was there for our entire shoot as well, adjusting our hair and makeup if we needed it.
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Our photoshoot with Aesthetic Distance is an experience we will never forget. We felt absolutely gorgeous and are so grateful we were able to have our portraits taken by Eliza with hair & makeup done by Courtney. The photoshoot experience with Aesthetic Distance is a serious #treatyoself moment and comes highly recommended by us. A shoot with Aesthetic Distance feels like a once in a lifetime experience and would also make a fantastic gift for a special lady in your life.
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Check out Aesthetic Distance and be sure to contact Eliza for more information.  Check back tomorrow for the final images photos—we are so excited to share them with you!
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Aesthetic Distance – Eliza Romero-Kovalsky: web | facebook | twitter | instagram | tumblr | pinterest 
Courtney McCormick Beauty:  web | instagram | contact
Baltimore

The 2015 Mobbies – THANK YOU!

November 20, 2015

For the past few weeks, we have been calling on all of you to vote for us in the 2015 Mobbies, Baltimore Sun’s annual blog awards. Last night, we attended the Mobbies Bash at the Creative Alliance and guess what? WE WON!!

we tried to pull an Ellen and get a selfie with the audience...it did not go well!

we tried to pull an Ellen and get a selfie with the audience…it did not go well!

We are so honored and flattered to have won Best New Blog & Best Uncategorized Blog (and also runner up for Best Arts/Fashion/DIY…and 3rd place for Best City Blog!) When we started 30th & Weldon we never imagined this level of love and support from this community. We are so grateful for the opportunity to share just how incredible Baltimore truly is and we thank you all for believing in us and this city. Thank you to all of you who voted for us and believe in us every day! It was a pleasure meeting other bloggers last night as well—this is a great community! 

the mobbies 2015Check out all of the Mobbies winners in each category. We look forward to next year!