Category Archives: Uncategorized

Studei-841-blog2

Getting “the perfect shot”

Nearly every great, small business has extraordinary people behind it. Tashina Roberson and her business partner, Brian Donnelly, are those extraordinary people behind Studio 841, a photography studio located in Downtown Lancaster, that specializes in food, portrait, and wedding photography.

Tashina and associate photographer, Whitney Huff, have a knack for capturing candid moments – those human moments like laughter, warm embraces, and silliness that sometimes escape the camera in the rush to capture a posed, smiling face. They go to great lengths to get the perfect shot in the studio, in the city, on location, or in one of the great parks in the area.

I experienced Tashina’s passion for getting the perfect shot first hand as she took my two sons, wife, and I out to Rockford Plantation, a bucolic, historic Revolutionary-era 18th century home in the Lancaster County Central Park. With two young children (ages 5 and 1), we were just hoping to get them looking in the right direction and smiling at the same time. We got so much more.

Tashina was exceptionally patient through the entire session, mixing poses with moments for candid interactions. We posed as a family at some choice spots around the grounds. Then we just had fun, trying to get each other to smile, setting the boys free to play, and collapsing in laughter. I knew Tashina was capturing every special moment as she laid flat in the tall grass to get a photo of our boys rolling around. The entire time she remained composed and in control.

It’s clear to me that Studio 841 can meet anyone’s wishes for their photo session whether it’s a 30-minute portrait shoot, an all-day wedding, corporate head shots, or your wildest dream.

Next time you’re considering a photographer for an event or portraits, you’ll know one that will meet your dreams with a passion.

Below are photos by Tashina and her team. To learn more about Studio 841 and to see more of their work, visit them at www.eightfourone.com.

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nxtbook-media

Nxtbook Media – the Google of Lancaster

While not technically a tourist destination, Nxtbook Media is certainly a sight to be seen. Often called “the Google of Lancaster,” Nxtbook Media is determined to show the world that while Lancaster might be smaller than many cities, it is big and mighty in the tech world. July has been an exciting time at Nxtbook as they moved into their expanded location in the trendy Urban Place complex on New Holland Avenue. The historic architecture of the building is juxtaposed with the futuristic vibe of the renovated space.

The firm specializes in strategic marketing, brand management, technology solutions, digital content management, and workplace leadership. What allows them to excel is their progressive corporate culture of creativity, teamwork, and collaboration. “We exist to inspire,” reads the beginning of their vision statement. They have over 600 clients in over 20 countries throughout the world, and even have a sister office in Manchester, England, to whom they pay tribute with a large, red phone booth in their lobby. Over 2 million users access the digital content they manage. Want an “app?” They can do that. Want to produce a video? They can do that. Want to host your company presentation in their state of the art theatre? Sure, they can do that too. Or, if you just want to stare in awe at all the blinkey lights in their multi-color LED-illuminated server room, that’s probably ok too, because I have to admit – I did.

To increase productivity and creativity, Nxtbook’s 57 employees are provided with hula hoops, brain teaser games, inspiration stations, and even encouraged to “blow off steam” and regain concentration by engaging in an occasional Nerf gun battle! (Of course, to align with their mission, employees must donate to a designated charity to participate in the Nerf battles.) To excel in wellness, the organization sponsors employee running clubs (with employee running goals posted on their wall) and healthy snacks in their two kitchens. Employees are provided with modified desks if they wish to stand at their computer rather than sit, and ergonomic positioning of chairs, keyboards, etc., is apparent everywhere. It’s no wonder they are consistently rated by Central Penn Business Journal as one of the region’s best places to work.

Nxtbook also believes in giving back to the community, and supports many local charities including Pet Pantry of Lancaster, One Run Together, and JDRF. However, if you’re wondering if they raise money by the typical dinner gala, think again! Try Chocolate syrup chugging contests, communal meals, water wars, beard growing contests, and, of course, the previously mentioned Nerf gun wars.

So, if you thought that the only technology in Lancaster County is found plowing through a corn field, think again! Nxtbook is creating an awesome trend with it’s amazing people, amazing culture, and collaborative heart of gold.

To learn more, go to www.nxtbookmedia.com.

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stanneretirecomm

The perfect destination for retirement living

I’ve been working at St. Anne’s Retirement Community for seven years now. Seven! How time flies. This is my first “real” job out of college. In my initial interview when asked “have you ever worked with older people before” [my 40-something year old boss was referring to our Residents] I replied “why of course! I work with people your age all the time!” After the howling laughter subsided from our entire senior management team who were in the interview, I returned from lobster red to my normal shade of skin color, and they unanimously decided that I was perfect for the job – PHEW!

I came to settle in Lancaster after graduating from Messiah College, and after joining the St. Anne’s team. Originally, however, I’m from Ipswich, MA, a beautiful little shore town north of Boston. So, why did I choose to stay here? The same reason that many folks are choosing to spend their retirement years here – Lancaster is awesome!  And here’s why:

People: No. I’m not being cliché, it’s true. Everyone is so nice here. People smile, they lend a helping hand, and whether they’re a “native” or not, they’re easy to make friends with!  Many folks have vacationed in Lancaster for years and it’s the compilation of those happy memories that bring them to settle down here.

Variety: There are so many choices in Lancaster. From small city charm, to country farms, to gourmet restaurants to the local diner… there’s something for everyone.

Weather: While we still have 4 seasons, they’re not nearly as extreme as one might find in New England, and we don’t have hurricanes like Florida, or droughts like the mid-west. The majority of our days are bright and sunny. The farm land is green, the sky is blue, and – as long as it’s not manure spreading day – the air is fresh!

Location: Lancaster is within a few hours drive of Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia, New York City, and Pittsburgh. Which means we’re conveniently located to major airports, attractions, and all that comes with that. On the other hand, if you’re more into the great outdoors, we’re also close to the Chesapeake Bay, Raystown Lake, Poconos, and Blue Mountains.

Health Care: Lancaster General Hospital, Ann B. Barshinger Cancer Center, Hershey Hospital, and other health facilities are all within minutes of downtown. In Lancaster County, there are also 17 non-profit Continuing Care Retirement Communities that offer a continuum of health care services while also providing excellent accommodations and amenities.

Cost of Living: Everything from real estate to groceries are more affordable in Lancaster compared to many larger cities. For those of you who are number crunchers, I also hear the tax benefits for older adults living in PA are better than average.

What’s great about St. Anne’s? We like to say we’re the “Just Right” community. We’re not too big, not too small  - approximately 250 Residents call us home. We’re not too fancy, but our campus is still beautifully decorated, maintained, comfortable and home-like. As a continuing-care community, St. Anne’s offers a variety of floor plans in independent living Cottages, Villas, and Apartments as well as Personal Care, Skilled Nursing Care, and Rehabilitation. Our Residents enjoy maintenance-free living so they can continue to be involved in wellness, volunteerism, and other life-enriching activates. As a non-profit organization, our Residents and our Mission will always be a priority.

Want to learn more about St. Anne’s Retirement Community? Visit: www.stannesretirementcommunity.com
Want to learn more about retirement options in Lancaster?  Visit:  www.exploreretirementliving.org

fallinlancaster

Fall in love with Lancaster

Fall in Lancaster County is beautiful!

For some of us, this time of year makes us feel nostalgic. Our childhood experiences – the sight of leaves changing color, the anticipation of jumping into a pile of fallen leaves, the feeling of cold days and warm sweaters, and the taste of hot cocoa — often flood our memories. For others, this season evokes feelings of romance. The cool weather brings thoughts of huddling by a cozy fire, cuddling under a warm blanket, and taking a romantic walk hand-in-hand.

No matter how you identify with the season, experience it with zest. Drink warm pumpkin lattes and hot apple cider. Pick your own pumpkin for decorating. Journey through a corn maze. See community members join together at their local fair. Dare to encounter scary Halloween attractions.

Lancaster County welcomes you to enjoy our Autumn – it’s everything you want.

 

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Traditional & non-traditional gifts for the holiday

There are always a few people on my list who I’m not really sure what to get, or gifts for those White Elephant exchanges. So, in case you struggle with the same thing, here are a few ideas for some traditional, and some not so traditional holiday gifts!

Traditional

  • You can never go wrong with a gift certificate to one of our many theatres. Whether it’s to the Fulton Theatre, where they put on Broadway caliber shows, the Rainbow Dinner Theatre, where they do all comedy, all the time, or American Music Theater with live, musical experiences with amazing dancing, you’re sure to find the theatre that’s best for the recipient.
  • Another present that’s sure to be use is food! There are plenty of gifts of food that you can pick up from here in Lancaster County. Everyone loves a whoopie pie or shoo-fly pie, and stopping at Kitchen Kettle Village or Intercourse Canning Company for some jam & relish makes the perfect stocking stuffer or gift box!

Not-so-traditional

  • Tellus360 has so many fun quirky things, from wooden electric guitars and reclaimed wood furniture, to Irish antiques, cards & books, and MUCH more. It is definitely always worth the trip, and I’m sure you’ll find not only a gift for someone else, but something for yourself as well!
  • Make a donation to an organization, like the Long’s Park Amphitheater Foundation. Each summer this organization offers, Long’s Park Summer Music Series, 13 weeks of FREE music. Show your support this year by “lighting a candle” on their birthday cake. Read more about that organization here.
rvcamping

5 reasons Lancaster is an RV destination

Country villages, unforgettable landscapes and the simple joys of Amish life are just three of the many reasons to visit Lancaster County by RV. The family-centered attractions of Pennsylvania Dutch Country make it easy to bring the kids along on your journey. Here are five fascinating reasons to start planning a Lancaster County adventure for the whole family.

  1. Kitchen Kettle Village, a delightful collection of vintage homes filled with goody-filled shops, is located in Intercourse, PA. Take the family on a buggy ride, stop for a memorable lunch at the Kling House Restaurant and purchase local specialties as you stroll through the village shops. Be sure to take the kids to the Bake Shop for freshly-baked cookies and whoopie pies!
  2. It wouldn’t be a Lancaster County adventure without a side trip or two to photograph the area’s many covered bridges. Enduring structures like the White Rock Forge Covered Bridge near Quarryville and the Forry Mill Bridge over Chickies Creek near Marietta draw photographers from all over the world. CoveredBridgeSite.com contains an excellent guide to Lancaster County’s historic bridges.
  3. Take the Old Philadelphia Pike to the village of Bird-in-Hand to experience the joys of a farmers’ market. Vendor stalls line the Bird-in-Hand Farmers Market every weekend year-round, and their hours are expanded during warmer weather. Comfortable indoor shopping in a quaint setting with something everyone in the family will enjoy — the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning. An RV travel tip: just five minutes out of town you’ll find Country Acres Campground, a highly-rated RV paradise waiting to be your home away from home.
  4. Follow Lincoln Highway over rolling hills dotted with neat and prosperous Amish farms to find Flory’s Cottages and Camping in the borough of Ronks, PA. Not only will your RV camping family enjoy the serenity of this rural campground, they’ll also love such local attractions as Lapp’s Wooden Toys and Furniture on Irishtown Road.

We’ve barely scratched the surface on why RV travelers should be planning a Lancaster County road trip! Whether your family comes for the quaint villages, glorious scenery or exceptional lessons in history, Pennsylvania Dutch Country doesn’t disappoint. There’s a Lancaster County adventure for the whole family waiting for you in South Central Pennsylvania.

Guest post by: Joe Laing, the Marketing Director for El Monte RV Rentals. You can see more great RV vacation ideas in their Monty’s Musings RV Travel Blog and be sure to check out their RV Camping Pictures.

oldesquareinn

Stately home, lovingly restored

One of our staff out in the Visitors Center here in Lancaster County was able to visit the Olde Square Inn, and she wanted to share about it, so this is what she had to say!

The Olde Square Inn is a beautiful stately home, lovingly restored, right on the Main Street of Mount Joy, where you can walk to numerous restaurants, shops, places of interest.  Strategically located between Lancaster and Hershey, close to a winery and several of our Rivertowns, and only 15-20 minutes to downtown Lancaster – and you can even see Amish buggies passing through on the way to their nearby farms.  The charming innkeeper is very knowledgeable about local history and can recommend some of the “out of the way” places in the area.  She serves an awesome breakfast consisting of homegrown and local products, and especially loves hosting teas and weekend retreats.

The elegant carriage house is perfect for a romantic get-away or family of four and is handicapped accessible.  Lovely gardens and a pool are additional amenities.

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