WV State of Mind

Uncover West Virginia's best-kept secrets.
Tapping Into Water

02/25/13

Tapping Into Water

What should water taste like? Nothing, right? When I was asked to judge the 23rd Annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting, the largest and oldest water tasting competition in the world, I said, “Sure. That will be the easiest thing I’ve ever judged.” Boy, was I in for an education. First, you must judge the color. Hold the glass of water up to a white tablecloth. Is it cloudy? Discolored? (We tasted a black water called BLK—now that was a trip.) Next you judge for aroma. Three quick sniffs will tell you if there is chlorine in the water or if it has a musty smell. Other categories you look for are mouth feel and aftertaste. Does it feel refreshing or heavy in your mouth? After you swallow does it leave an aftertaste? The municipal water...

Posted at 12:18 PM Comments

Twice as Nice

01/21/13

Twice as Nice

We just received our advance copies of the 2013 WV WEDDINGS Magazine. I have to say that I open the box with delirious trepidation. I’m always nervous when it comes to printing something so large and so photo-dependent. Our entire office feverishly works on this issue for months and months, so when I finally hold a copy in my hands, it is like seeing a child for the first time, although I do believe the magazine weighs more. I flip through every page, looking for some big defect to jump out at me. I love this issue. But I always wonder: What will the cover bride think when she first sees the magazine? How will the photographer of the cover photo react? Will all of the couples be thrilled? As luck would have it, as I am working on this blog post, I look over at my e-mail...

Posted at 03:18 PM Comments

Do Nothing Day

12/12/12

Do Nothing Day

The holiday season is here! It is hard to believe that 2012 is winding down and 2013 is right around the corner. When I was a kid, I remember hearing adults say, “Time goes by faster and faster the older you get.” And that just seemed down right absurd to me. It isn’t absurd now. Time is just zipping by, and I sometimes feel like I’m riding a county fair ride, holding on for dear life as I’m whipped from month to month at a breakneck speed. Because of this frenetic pace, I have to be organized when it comes to the holidays. Before Thanksgiving, my tree is decorated, my holiday shopping is complete, and my Christmas morning brunch menu is planned. Why? Because from November to January, all of us in the office are busy little elves working on the...

Posted at 09:03 AM Comments

Reflections on The Emerald Isle

11/01/12

Reflections on The Emerald Isle

CLICK ON EACH PICTURE TO ENLARGE VIEW. Recently, my husband surprised me with a vacation to Ireland in honor of our 20th anniversary. I had always wanted to visit Ireland because, like many West Virginians, my family has Irish ancestry. Ireland’s economy is dependent on tourism, and as we traveled this beautiful country, I couldn’t help but be struck by similarities to West Virginia. In fact, as we spent many hours in the car navigating the narrow roads, I started writing down my thoughts on what our state could learn from the Emerald Isle. 1. Limit fast food restaurants. In 10 days, I only saw one drive-thru restaurant—a McDonald’s, of course. I asked a local about the lack of drive-thrus. His response: “Why would you want to eat in your...

Posted at 09:12 AM Comments: 4

Carnival of Ideas

10/01/12

Carnival of Ideas

Our first WV WEDDINGS Extravaganza at Snowshoe Mountain was a huge success! It was three days of non-stop fun! On Friday, Snowshoe Mountain Resort sponsored a kick-off reception in the Big Top with smoked scallops and shrimp and fruity Bellini’s. On Saturday, more than 100 people gathered for several inspirational sessions before enjoying lunch on the lawn. Many thanks to our sponsors—Snowshoe Mountain Resort, Masterpiece Inc. Event Specialists, The Cupcakerie, Sweet Confections Bakery & Catering, and Chesapeake Energy. On Saturday evening, Jane Engelke of Elizabeth Michaels in Parkersburg hosted a fun fashion show in St. Bernard Chapel of wedding and bridesmaid gowns, provided by Oliverio's Bridal & Prom Boutique in Bridgeport and Elizabeth Michaels, and...

Posted at 03:18 PM Comments

Wedding Bells Are Ringing

09/18/12

Wedding Bells Are Ringing

I’ve been thinking a lot about weddings lately since we head to the beautiful Snowshoe Mountain Resort this week for our three-day WV WEDDINGS Extravaganza (September 21 to 23). When I decided to launch WV LIVING, I knew I’d have a wedding issue. I knew that, nationally, brides buy more than 7.5 million bridal magazines every year, and I knew that the wedding industry is a $60 billion annual industry.  I also felt that the wedding industry in West Virginia was untapped and loaded with potential. Brides canvas the entire state and region, looking for the perfect venue, creative cake, or fabulous florist. They may be from Beckley, but they’ll travel to Parkersburg looking for the perfect gown. Brides from Elkins hire photographers from Wheeling. A couple that...

Posted at 09:44 AM Comments

Women’s Equality Day

08/27/12

Women’s Equality Day

''I always feel the movement is a sort of mosaic. Each of us puts in one little stone, and then you get a great mosaic at the end.'' —Suffragist Alice Paul I have to tell you what my son asked me this past Wednesday. “When did all that stupid stuff about boys and girls not being equal start? I don’t get it,” he said. He is nine years old. My son’s comment makes me very proud—proud of how far we’ve come as a nation. Proud as a parent—maybe I’m doing something right, after all. And hopeful. Hopeful that in the future, we won’t still be discussing that women make 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns, the lack of women CEOs in Fortune 500 companies, or the low numbers of women serving in Congress....

Posted at 07:58 AM Comments

Think Big

08/08/12

Think Big

I’m excited to announce our newest publication—The Ultimate Sports & Travel Guide to the New Big 12. It will be hitting newsstands from coast to coast and the iTunes, Amazon, and Google app stores in September. If you are a WVU football fan, you can’t help but be excited for the upcoming season. BIG changes are in store. Which is why we created this publication—a piece that will serve as a primer on the Big 12 Conference, including its two newest members, as well as showcase each of the college towns as a tourism-rich destination, providing an insider’s guide to where to stay, eat, and shop. As fans, we know that football is more than just a sport. It is a lifestyle. It is an important driver of tourism. And it has a direct influence on our culture...

Posted at 11:26 AM Comments: 1

The Big Storm

07/03/12

The Big Storm

Last Friday, seemingly out of nowhere for those of us not glued to the Weather Channel, a violent and furious storm whipped through our state. Trees fell. Roofs were blown off homes. Transformers blew up as power lines came tumbling down. Water was lost. In less than an hour, more than half our state was without power. We were in the dark. Instead of waking to the sound of an alarm clock, most of us woke to the sounds of chainsaws. Neighbors helping neighbors clear the roads. Strangers helping strangers. As I watched a steady stream of power company trucks with license plates from Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, and Oklahoma hit our highways, I flashed back to 2005, when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Mississippi. My family and I had just moved to Jackson, Mississippi....

Posted at 10:24 AM Comments: 2

Hatfields and McCoys

05/28/12

Hatfields and McCoys

The History Channel will debut its monumental three-night miniseries Hatfields and McCoys tonight, May 28, 2012, at 9 p.m. I was fortunate to be invited to the premier at the Keith-Albee Theatre in Huntington. The all-star cast of Academy Award winner Kevin Costner, who plays Devil Anse Hatfield, Bill Paxton, who plays Randall McCoy, and Tom Berenger, who lights up the screen as the uncle of Devil Anse, bring this historic tragedy to an international audience. I admit I viewed the miniseries with a bit of trepidation. Will this just exacerbate negative West Virginian stereotypes? But I was blown away—as was the cast. Tom Berenger, whose depiction of the ruthless and brutal Jim Vance is award-worthy, said at the press conference, “I had the same reaction to this script...

Posted at 11:14 AM Comments: 3