Texas Meets Montana at The Resort at Paws Up

montana grillers paws up

Memorial Day Weekend is this weekend, and if you haven’t made any plans, pack your cowboy boots, jeans and head to Montana to one of my favorite places on earth: The Resort at Paws Up®. The resort is kicking off summer this weekend welcoming guests for a weekend of incredible food, wine and wilderness adventures at Montana Master Grillers: Texas All-Stars. This all-inclusive Memorial Day weekend celebration will feature gourmet outdoor dining prepared by some of the most outstanding chefs, outdoor adventure and so much more.

montana paws up

This year, Montana Master Grillers will feature four renowned BBQ chefs from Texas. The event will feature grilling demonstrations prepared by these world-class chefs including Chef Tim Byres from Smoke in Dallas, TX; Chef Evan LeRoy from Freedmen’s in Austin, TX; Chef Wayne Mueller from Louie Mueller Barbecue in Taylor, TX; Chef Kent Rathbun from Hickory in Plano, TX and of course, Paws Up’s own Executive Chef Ben Jones. Read on.. there is more:

Montana Long Table

Perfect Pairings: A weekend of grilling and BBQ would not be complete without craft beer and small-batch spirits. Celebrate this weekend with Montana’s Philipsburg Brewing Company and RoughStock Distillery (Bozeman, MT), Austin, Texas distilleries Dulce Vida Organic Tequila and Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Dennis Cakebread from Cakebread Cellars in Napa Valley will also be offering featured wine tastings and pairing varietals with the featured chefs’ spectacular fare.


Barrels (Both Gun and Wine): On Saturday afternoon, Dennis Cakebread will lead a thrilling sporting clays adventure. Guests who sign up in advance will have the opportunity to talk shop with this winemaking legend. Afterward, participants will kick enjoy an intimate wine tasting.

paws up montana grillers

Wrangle Up an Appetite: As part of Montana Master Grillers: Texas All-Stars, guests will partake in some of the resort’s outdoor wilderness adventures, such as horseback riding or whitewater rafting with one-on-one interaction with some of the finest chefs, distillers and brewers and winemakers in the United States.

paws up smores

Live Beats: On Sunday night, relax with an outdoor concert by local Missoula band, the Lil’ Smokies, the winner of the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.

There are few spots left for this weekend, so hurry! The Montana Master Grillers: Texas All-Stars all-inclusive weekend from May 27–30, 2016, starts at $975 per person, per night for four days, three nights. This package rate includes a private home or tent accommodation, three meals daily for two adults (including breakfast, all featured lunches, multicourse dinners and alcohol pairings), all scheduled events, three wilderness adventures of choice per person, airport transportation to and from Missoula International Airport (MSO) and on-property transportation. Don’t miss the spa tents (see below):

paws up


As part of the first annual BBQ-U held June 17–19, 2016, Montana Master Grillers alums Sam Huff (Sam’s BBQ-1)in Georgia) and Danny Fischer (Baby Blues BBQ in California) will conduct outdoor grilling demonstrations that will transform attendees from backyard beginners to experts. Guests will learn the techniques to cook a variety of high-quality meats and veggies like an expert, get up close and personal for demonstrations, and enjoy the grill masters’ fine cooking at a Montana Long Table dinner. Participants will take all of this in amidst Montana’s majestic outdoors, luxury accommodations and outdoor adventure opportunities. For reservations, please call 877-588-6783 or go to paws.com.

Best Beerfest in April

kohler beer festival

The 8th annual Kohler Festival of Beer is April 29-May 1 – a celebration bringing together brewmasters from across the country at Destination Kohler. The weekend is crafted for the beer enthusiast with brew-themed happenings. Guests can enjoy flavorful food pairing experiences, tasting soirees, educational seminars, culinary demonstrations, lively music, and a 5K Beer Run/Walk. This year the line-up of new events includes an interactive grilling experience, sessions on homebrewing, beer-infused cooking, craft beer trends and more. Tap into all the details by clicking online.

kohler beer festival food

Satiate and Educate
Educational opportunities are plentiful for craft beer fans of all levels and interests. Brewmasters, cicerones, chefs and chocolatiers host inspiring educational sessions throughout the weekend:

  • Beer Infused Foods ($35), Friday at 5pm – Discover how to incorporate and infuse beer into favorite foods and recipes at this cooking demonstration with food and beer samples.
  • Art of Homebrewing ($40), Saturday at 10am – Learn the techniques, tips and secrets to create beer at home.
  • Beer 101 ($30), Saturday at 2pm – Gain insight into the basics and nuances of beer and brewing at this session focusing on history, proper pouring techniques and glassware.
  • Craft Beer Trends, ($30) Saturday at 4pm – Get a taste of the latest trends in the craft beer industry from a certified cicerone.
  • Those seeking a hands-on experience will enjoy The Art of Grilling ($120) on Saturday at 5pm featuring a 1.5 hour session on grilling basics, tips and tricks hosted by resort chefs. Twenty culinarians will line the grilling stations at this interactive session as they prepare and enjoy dinner.

kohler beer festival beers

A new event this year affords a sole brewery the opportunity to showcase its portfolio of craft beer to festgoers.

Tasting events with ample samples

Kohler Festival of Beer signature events celebrate the discovery of beers from more than 30 breweries. The events include both abundant beer tastings and food pairings. Performances by regional bands include Copperbox, Marc Croft Band, DJ Sye Young and Sammy Llanas, the former lead singer of the BoDeans.

  • Hops the Shops ($40) taps the weekend with a pairing event at The Shops at Woodlake on Friday from 8-11pm.
  • Regional chefs collaborate with brewers to share fantastic grilled fair with beer pairings at Shorts and Chefs ($40) on Saturday from 11am-1pm.
  • A day choc-full of beer-themed events culminates at Cheers to Beers ($90) tasting gala on Saturday from 6-9pm featuring high-end and hard-to-find beers at the inspiring Kohler Design Center, a showroom of Kohler Co. products and services.


kohler beer festBeer here, there and everywhere

Visitors to Destination Kohler can enjoy beer-themed menu additions at its restaurants, an al fresco beer garden and special offers at Woodlake Market. Resort restaurants get in the spirit offering unique food and beverage specials at various locales including the resort’s historic taproom Horse & Plow Restaurant & PubCraverie Chocolatier Café will pinpoint select beers that pair perfectly with Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates. Cucina will host lively music and small bites at the Goose Island Beer Gardenlocated in the breezeway at The Shops at Woodlake on Friday from Noon-6pm and Saturday from 10am-6pm. The Wisconsin Room will host a Friday evening Sierra Nevada Lobster & Seafood Buffett and the Beer Lovers Brunch ($40) on Sunday morning. Woodlake Market will showcase featured festival beers making it easy to take home new favorites.

Craft a brew-cation

Check out Kohler Festival of Beer overnight package offering event tickets, exclusive opportunities, special offers, and accommodations at the Forbes Five-Star The American Club resort hotel and the Three-Star Inn on Woodlake. Who wants to go?

Big News

Networking through Social Media vertical copy 2

Big news! Who would have thought that I would be speaking at the University of Alabama? I have had my own business for 12 1/2 years, and I started my blog 6 years ago. My business has taken many twists and turns but has always been rewarding, fun and connected me to fabulous new friends, acquaintances and amazing opportunities. I am honored to speak and share my story tomorrow night with the talented Faculty and Directors in Department of Advertising and Public Relations. I am also excited to announce a new extension of my business Alison Lewis Social Media. Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years!

iphone-content for blog

Home for the Holidays Show House by Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles

Tis the season for the Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse & Marketplace presented by Dovetail Homes. Beginning Friday, November 15, and running through Sunday, December 8, this designer showhouse, located at 58 Blackland Road NW in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, will be transformed into a holiday oasis. With proceeds benefiting the Southeastern Horticultural Society, the newly constructed home will play host to tours, seasonally inspired workshops and a café and marketplace for guests to enjoy.

The Home for the Holidays’ designer home built by Dovetail Homes pays tribute to American colonial times while remaining true to the charm of the South. At approximately 7,000 square feet, the LEED-certified home is equipped with energy-efficient appliances and repurposed materials to ensure an environmentally friendly project. An acclaimed group of more than 16 local designers have been selected to put their lavish touches on each room of the house from the main living room and powder room to the custom library and lady’s retreat. In addition to tours of the elaborate home, this nearly month-long event will offer a truly interactive experience. Every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. there will be themed workshops inviting guests to listen, learn, craft, wrap and more as well as various specialty events. The full event schedule includes:

Saturday, November 23 It’s a Family Holiday

This weekend is devoted to celebrating the season with family. A children’s fashion show hosted by McCall Wilder Designs, storytelling sessions featuring local celebrity guests including Atlanta & Co.’s Christine Pullara and WSB-TV anchor Jovita Moore, a gift wrapping seminar for the adults hosted by Nicholas Kniel Fine Ribbons & Embellishments and a Stress-Free Yuletide Entertaining workshop by tastemaker Steve McKenzie are all slated for this family-friendly day.

Saturday, November 30Atlanta Style Now

The Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC) plays host to this style-centric weekend complete with interactive seminars and workshops. Programming will include a keynote by celebrity designer, producer and blogger Brian Patrick Flynn, a panel discussion on hiring a design professional moderated by Hillary Mancini of Peace Designs and the Design Collective, and a group discussion with Home for the Holidays designers on how the worlds of interior design and fashion co-exist and collide.

Thursday, December 5 – 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Sip ‘n Sign

Raise your glass of fine wine as we toast some of Atlanta’s finest authors while they sign copies of their latest books. Grab a copy for yourself and everyone on your holiday gift list. Chef-owner Anne Quatrano, The Peak of Chic’s Jennifer Boles, interiors photo stylist Annette Joseph, cookbook author Carolyn O’Neil, as well as design writers Kimberly Grigg, Elizabeth Dowling and Kathryn C. Greeley will be present. Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased at www.atlantaholidayhome.com.

Saturday, December 7 Kitchen Confidential

Home for the Holidays’ final weekend concludes on a gourmet note with chef demonstrations in the home’s outdoor kitchen garden. Guests are invited sample seasonal dishes presented and prepared by F&H Food Trading Group’s culinary director Bob McDonough, F&B’s chef Phillipe Haddad and chef Mimmo Alboumeh of Red Pepper Taqueria.

Showhouse Hours and Costs

Home for the Holidays Designer Showhouse and Marketplace is open to the public for tours Friday, November 15, through Sunday, December 8, Thursdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday workshops are free and included with general admission. Advance tickets purchased before Thursday, November 14, are $20 per person, and $25 at the door or online after Thursday, November 14. Groups of 10 or more are $15 per person, and children 10 and under are free. Tickets for Moonlight & Mistletoe and Sip ‘n Sign must be purchased separately at www.atlantaholidayhome.com.

About the Southern Horticultural Society:

The Southeastern Horticultural Society (SHS) formed in 2008, growing out of the annual Southeastern Flower Show, a truly premier event. We connect children, teens and adults in Metro Atlanta and throughout the Southeast with nature and educate them about the environment, healthy living and sustainability. Realizing the powerful impact of working in partnerships, SHS teams up with locally based organizations to bring educational resources to develop the Wellness component in neighborhoods where people live. Overall, SHS provides a platform for communities to learn about, experience and sustain healthy environments.


Tina Jackson Velina Jewelry at The Pantry in Birmingham

If you live in Birmingham, you must tune into the new Tuesday Tastemaker evening series at the Pantry in Crestline Village. Join the amazingly talented Tina Jackson, the designer of Velina Jewelry next week on Tuesday, November 12th at 6 p.m. Enjoy night out with the girls and shop this beautiful hand-crafted line of jewelry, enjoy a Craft Cocktail Tasting (I can’t wait to see what this is) and delicious food (of course) by the Pantry. 

6pm until…
Reservations are required, call 205-803-3585

Tina is a currently a graphic design and business student at Samford University, and owner/designer of VELINA, her own jewelry line business. A native of Toronto, Canada, she lived in Paris, France for three years, traveled throughout Europe, North America, and parts of Asia. She currently finds herself in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. She also studied Art in New York City and Fashion Styling in Milan, Italy during her university career. In addition to being a student and running her own business, Tina works as a freelance graphic designer on the side.

Nutella Hello Dolly Bars

My kids had never heard of “Hello Dolly Bars”, a dessert I grew up baking in the kitchen.  These are often called “Seven Layer Bars, but in the south, we always called them “Hello Dollys”. I decided to twist the recipe slightly and spread the crust with Nutella and call them Nutella Hello Dolly Bars. These are so easy to prepare, and they feed a huge crowd. These are great for Father’s Day weekend, July 4th, Labor Day and fall tailgating. They are also a fun recipe to make with the kids this summer, so enjoy!

Fitbloggin 12 Blog Conference: Fitness Friday

What is Fitbloggin 12? I am so excited to feature Fitbloggin 12 for my “Fitness Friday” this week. It’s a great conference for bloggers or writers interested in fitness, wellness, good food and a healthy lifestyle. It’s two full days of education, networking, friendship and fun held in Baltimore, Maryland on September 20-23. I will be there speaking on “How to Attract Traditional Media”, and I am so excited about the other speakers, agenda and sponsors at this conference. There’s even a 5K race on Saturday, which is going to be so fun! If you’re interested in signing up and attending, please use the discount code (“SPEAKERFRIENDS) for a 25% discount. Let me know if you’re coming so we can meet up!

Speaking Event Friday at Women’s Work-Life Symposium

I am so excited and honored to be speaking at this year’s 3rd Annual Women’s Work-Life Seminar Symposium in Panama City Beach, Florida. I will be accompanies by five other wonderful motivational speakers such as Lorna Owens, International Motivational Speaker and Author, Jill Nichols, Chief Operating Officer of  Vera Bradley, Jennifer Webb, Author, Speaker and Coach, Charlotte Steill, Certified Professional Organizer, and Martha Lanier, Author, triathlete and cancer and heart attack survivor. When it’s over, I am off to the beach! Have a great weekend, Alison

Travel Tuesday: Put Atlanta Food & Wine Festival on Your List

Mark your calendars now for an event you won’t want to miss. The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival will be held May 10-13, 2012, and tickets are on sale now. This Southern festival is like no other, and event organizers call it, “A four-day culinary exploration of the South”.  This is the event to eat, drink and enjoy all that is Southern: chefs, sommeliers, beverage innovator and industry leaders and experts on food and beverages in the south.  I was lucky enough to attend and speak at the festival last year, and I thought, “This is the perfect event to come with your girlfriends or significant other.” It’s the ideal Mother’s Day gift. Here are some highlights of this years event:

-200+ Award-Winning chefs, mixologist, sommeliers and beverage innovators

-88 Demonstrations, seminars, discussions & trade programs

-3 tasting tents with more than 100 chefs participating

-14 unique dinners and events

Most of the events will take place in, or within walking distance of, the Loews Atlanta Hotel in Midtown. For more information on tickets, hotel and complete schedule, see The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival.

First and third photos by AFWF/Raftermen.

Photo credit for second photo Michael Paley, Proof on Main and Garage Bar, Louisville, KY

Weekend Inspiration: Travel, Food, Fashion and Fitness

Wow, what a week! From Disney in Orlando for Food Blog Forum to Sandestin Resort (pictured above and below) in South Walton, my kids and I have had quite the treat. I guess this is the true definition of an “awesome” spring break. Here are some inspirations from last week from my travels as well as across the blogosphere. Let me know what fun things you are doing this weekend. Have a great one, Alison

Beach Inspiration: Beaches at the amazing Sandestin 

Travel Inspiration: Gelato from Sangelato Cafe in Sandestin

Children Inspiration: We had so much fun in Disney. Especially, Leigh.

Passover Inspiration: Flourless Chocoalte Cupcakes with Marshmallow Meringue Frosting via Urban Baker

Food Inspiration: Baked Whole Wheat Banana and Chocolate Donuts from Top with Cinnamon

Easter Craft Inspiration: Glittered Easter Eggs via Martha Stewart 

Fashion and Home Inspiration: Lavender  “Apartment 34” and Whitney of “The Curtis Casa”

 Workout Inspiration via “Plus One Fitness”