Craft cocktails, demonstrations and tastings at Gadsby’s Bar American, April 17th

Join HoCoBlogs and Gadsby’s Bar American Thursday, April 17th, for a demonstration and tasting of their spring craft cocktails.

gadsby's bar americanLearn the difference between using fresh v. canned juices, how to make your own syrups, and how to construct some fun, fresh and healthful cocktails!

Beverage Director Chad Spangler is nationally recognized for his art by highly acclaimed magazines such as the Washington Post and GQ. He was named Washington D.C.’s best bartender in 2012 and GQ/Bombay Sapphire’s Most Imaginative Bartender in 2013. You can read about him herehere and here.

Gadsby’s spring cocktail menu is freshly released with exciting tastes of the season. They will be highlighting some of their new seasonal drinks using combinations such as kiwi, cucumber and black pepper; and kumquat, peppers and mezcal. You can even see some modern molecular techniques like making a lavender cloud to top off a cocktail with gin, honey and fresh lemon juice. (I can attest to the latter’s delicious, refreshing flavor and its interesting look and beauty.)

As this particular party is focused on demonstrations and tastings (still with plenty of time for mingling) spots are limited, RSVPs are requested and your social goodwill and ability/willingness/capacity to share the love and give some good social media attention to Gadsby’s Bar American are all important.

We may be so lucky as to taste a few dishes brought out by Chef Robert Gadsby, and Gadsby’s social hour runs from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, with specials on food and drink. Make sure to order a cocktail and some food after the demonstration. Your challenge, I’d think, may be choosing which to order!

See you Thursday, April 17th, around 5:00 p.m.


PS – While you may not yet have eaten at Gadsby’s Bar American, I can heartily recommend that they are deserving of the categories for which they ask for nominations in the Howard Livingmagazine’s Best of Howard Dining contest,which ends, interestingly, the day and hour of our party. While you can vote for many restaurants in a number of categories — and we encourage you to do so — our host is looking particularly for votes in the Best New Restaurant, Best Chef,andBest Martini categories.


Ooh La La! An evening of April in Paris at Petit Louis Bistro

Ooh La La! Bloggers, their readers and local social media activists are invited to enjoy an evening of April in Paris, Thursday, April 24th, 4-6 pm, at Petit Louis Bistro. Complete with an Eiffel Tower, French cocktails, wine, and snacks, this new addition to Columbia brings a slice of Paris to the Lake.

petit louis bistro columbiaThe event includes –

  • A “Rite of Spring” Tasting with Will Napier, Sommelier;

  • Select snacks from Chef James Lewandowski;

  • An Ooh La La Costume Contest – don your most characteristically French ensemble with prizes awarded to the plus chic;

  • Souvenir photos taken in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower;

  • It’s Fun, It’s French favors to be handed out upon guests’ arrival; and, of course

  • Ever-delightful and charming company and conversations.

Perhaps you’ve already dined at Petit Louis Bistro — for lunch, for dinner or to grab a quick sandwich at their Comptoir. Perhaps you’ve been wanting to check them out and see why culiinary hearts across the county swelled with joy with news of a Foreman-Wolf restaurant coming to town. Perhaps you just like coming to the HoCoBlogs parties. In any case, you’re in for a treat! And you’ll literally be among the first to enjoy the outdoor patio (weather permitting).

What a better place or reason to honor RSVPs than at a French-themed party at a French restaurant. Please RSVP if you are planningn to attend and, equally, cancel your ticket if you’ve RSVPed and cannot make it.

Dress for the weather. Dress for the event. And  – if you feel inspired — dress for the theme!



PS - Share the Love

As an added incentive, PLB will award a selection of their house-made bon bons and an “Ooh La La” t-shirt to the blogger or social media enthusiast with the highest Share The Love score. Get started today adding up your points to win.


HoCo party places that can accommodate 100 people

We’re on the lookout for great restaurants and bars in Howard County that can accommodate 100 or so people for a happy-hour party. As most of our events are right around the dinner hour, it works best when our crowd has a rather articulated area to be together without pushing over and into diners enjoying their dinner. Do you have any suggestions you can add to these lists?

Places we’ve had larger events
  • Stanford Grill, outdoor patio
  • Alexandra’s Restaurant / Fairway Lounge
  • White Oak Tavern
  • Kloby’s
  • Union Jack’s
  • Second Chance
Suggestions from a YPN board member
  • Xitomate Columbia
  • Eggspectation
  • Shanty Grille
  • Ale House
  • Merriweather
Some places I’m considering
  • Bean & Burgundy
  • Far East Moon

What would you add?

Party! And complimentary wellness treatments from Synergy Pilates & Yoga

Please join HoCoBlogs, Gadsby’s Bar American, C02 Productions and Umbrella Syndicate at Synergy Pilates & Yoga’s open house party on Thursday, April 10th, 6-9 pm. Synergy, one of the first women’s fitness centers in the area, is expanding with a new wellness and treatment center offering acupuncture, reflexology and massage in addition to the pilates, yoga and other fitness classes they already offer.

Party Deets
  • When: Thursday, April 10th * 6-9 pm
  • Where: Synergy Pilates & Yoga, 8815 Columbia 100 Parkway, Suite 2, Columbia, Maryland 21045
  • Food: Light fare provided by Gadsby’s American Bar.
  • Hashtags: #HoCoEvents, #HoCoWellness, #HoCoHealth, #HoCoBiz and more 
Complimentary* wellness treatments
… and/or for the ladies, a three-month trial membership

Bloggers and those seriously active on social media are invited to experience a complimentary scheduled wellness treatment (a one-and-a-half-hour session combining acupunture, reflexology and massage). This treatment option is open to both women and men. Female bloggers and those who know how to work social media and their local networks are invited to experience a three-month trial membership that includes classes such as Metabolic Magic, Piloxing, Buddha Camp and Interval Intensity.

Those receiving the complimentary services or memberships are asked to share their social capital (their influence) with their local network. The expressed and unabashed desire here is to help local businesses be more successful and to help bloggers get more access to services and opportunities in Howard County.

To receive one of these gifts

To receive one of these gifts, please coordinate with me (Jessie Newburn - email or text, 443-794-7521) of HoCoBlogs. The complimentary treatments and memberships will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Perhaps you’ll write a blog post and share that on Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps you’ll do a Vine or Instagram and share that as well. Or maybe you’re a photographer and you’ll post some Instagram and Facebook photos and write a review on Yelp or your Facebook page. We’re each different and have comfort levels with different tools. In any case, please lmk what it is you plan on doing in exchange for what you’ll receive.

spring into wellness - synergy event - gadsbys


Business sponsorships of parties and marketing opportunities

Businesses large and small, we have parties you can sponsor and give a little TLC (food and/or drinks) to bloggers; we have many bloggers who are curious and want to explore their home zone more. They want to know what businesses and services are here. We can help you connect with them.

Save the date
  • Synergy Open House – April 10th
  • Planning Board Meeting re #DowntownColumbia, HoHu, Merriweather & more – April 17th
  • Columbia Villages & GEDS Market Study – April 23rd, Bain Center
  • HoCoBlogs’ next party is at Alexandra’s Restaurant  at Turf Valley. Assuming the weather is lovely that day, we’ll be outside on the patio.  May 28th
  • Check in on this recent post for other upcoming HoCoHappenings.


To those politically minded

If you’re politically minded — or maybe just poli-curious,  in Howard County, and interested in social media, may I recommend that you –

  • Follow this Tumblr accounHoCoLOCO for one man’s curation of local news and politics.
  • Check out Scott E. Software’s  technology and social media scorecards for each of the races and all of the candidates. Comparisons of who has what digital communications assets — Facebook pages, blogs, websites, and Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Instagram and Google+ accounts — and the number of followers they have are being posted (mostly) each month.
  • Follow this list of HoCo Elected Officials (and candidates) Twitter accounts. This will help you to stay up to date with the local political scene and  see how other  candidates are managing their Twitter presences.
  • Share these HoCo Social Media tips designed for local candidates. Do you know someone running for a local seat this year? Are they following the tips on this page? If not, will you help them be more informed?
  • Follow #HoCoPolitics. If you don’t understand why people tweet, fine, w/e. But at least use Twitter as a news source. It’s free, easy to scan and surprisingly easy to navigate if you know what you’re doing. Following #HoCoPolitics, the twitter list provided above and other local news sources on Twitter is a great way to scan what’s happening in the political scene and to be able to delve deeper into newspaper articles and blogs at your choice.

We all benefit from a more informed and engaged community; and especially as elections loom, it’s more important than ever for candidates to reach voters and for voters to be informed.

If your focus is more on local government and you have local government connections, may I recommend this page and set of resources.

Be our guest at the Audrey Robbins Awards Luncheon

This coming Friday, March 28th, be our guest at the Association of Community Services’ Audrey Robbins Awards Luncheon. The luncheon, now in its 39th year, honors volunteers, teams, organizations and individuals in Howard County’s health and human services realm. It’s a very sweet event.

HoCoBlogs is a media sponsor of the event and has two tickets to gift to local bloggers and/or social media activists. Coshi Productions, a wedding storytelling videography company run by Shelly Choo and Brian Seckinger, has produced the videos honoring each winner, and they are gifting six tickets for local bloggers and people active in social media locally.

We have a total of eight tickets to gift, and most of the ticket holders will be seated together. To get one of these tickets, please contact Jessie Newburn, email or text (443-794-7521), with your name and blog; or if you’re not a blogger, with a short statement of how you’re active in HoCo and how you use social media. You do need to be on the registration list to get in, of course, so please contact me right away to secure one of these tickets.

Big thanks to @coshipro. Hope to see you at @ACSHoCo’s event on Friday! Hashtags to use: #HoCoEvents, #HoCoAwards, #HoCoVolunteers, #HoCoGives


Check in on this recent post for other upcoming HoCoHappenings.

  • Columbia Market Analysis and Economic Development Services – March 25th
  • HoCoBlogs’ co-sponsoring of Synergy Women’s Fitness Open House (big party)  - April 10th
  • Planning Board Meeting re #DowntownColumbia, HoHu, Merriweather & more – April 17th
  • HoCoBlogs’ next party at Alexandra’s Restaurant – May 28th

Happiness, village centers, volunteers and what’s up HoHu and the county — where to be when

International Day of Happiness at Union Jack’s – March 20th

You can try to keep up with The Jones, define yourself through others’ definition of “right” and struggle to be some sort of picture-perfect human being. Or you can be happy. Join the happiness movement with this Live Happy party and celebration at Union Jacks Columbia,  Thursday, March 20 (today … the first day of Spring!), from 4:30-6:30 pm. Free to attend. Cash bar. Photos and “Why I’m Happy” badges posted to a virtual wall garner contributions to Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Columbia Market Analysis and Economic Development Services – March 25th

Imo, Any time Jane Dembner is involved at a public meeting for CA, it’s a good idea to go. She’s involved in some of the more strategic, long-term changes for CA … and she can put on a good meeting. This is the second meeting re a study to “evaluate current and projected demand for development in Columbia’s village center, as well as an interrelated analysis of the Dobbin Road/Snowden River Parkway/former General Electric manufacturing area.” A collaborative effort between Columbia Association, Howard County Economic Development Authority and Howard County Development of Planning and Zoning, at this event the consultants will discuss some of the initial market findings they’ve uncovered for the village centers and GE-Dobbin Road-Snowden River Parkway corridors. Free, register here.

Audrey Robbins Humanitarian Award – March 28th (lunch)

This is one of the sweetest events, imo, in Howard County each year. It’s the Academy Awards of HoCo’s nonprofit scene in which individuals, teams and orgs are honored for their (often tireless) contribution to the human services sector of our county. Contact ACSHoCo for tickets. HoCoBlogs has been a sponsor for several years, including being a media sponsor. We have two  tickets to gift to local bloggers who are willing to write about the event after they’ve attended.

Planning Board Meeting re #DowntownColumbia, HoHu, Merriweather & more – April 17th

Not everyone’s cup of tea, for sure, but sometimes being present, listening, watching people’s responses and experienceing information in a more sensory way has deeper meaning and impact. If you’ve been curious about downtown Columbia, Merriweather improvements, Howard Hughes’ role, the 30-year plan and more, you might want to check out this event. Learn more here, here and here.

Save the date

April 10th - Big, network-y, mingle-y party at Synergy Pilates & Yoga; new wellness center with all kinds of goodness . Door prizes. Light fare by Gadsby’s. 6-9 pm. More info coming.

May 28th - HoCoBlogs party - We’ll be back at Alexandra’s Restaurant at Turf Valley on May 28th. Save the date. Hope to see you there!

My gift – Happy!

If, by chance, you’ve yet to see this, imo, addictively awesome video, “Happy,” it’s my pleasure to introduce it to you here. If you’re already a fan, one more watch can only add to your happiness! (Many thanks to Tom Coale for introducing this video to me by way of a Facebook post!)