Thursday, May 29, 2008

Denim and Wine - Two of My FAVORITE Things!

In my fashion and trend blog, I did a post just the other day on some of the fabulous local publications (print and online) by S&A Cherokee and noted Triangle East Magazine as one of my favorites.

Today's eNewsletter that arrived in my email inbox about what readers can find in the June/July issue highlights two awesome local finds that I cannot wait to read more about (I'm watching my mailbox daily!!) and then actually take in for myself:

" by Uniquities in Cameron Village or North Hills and buy a pair of high fashion jeans, designed by Johnston County's own Amy Stephenson. Her jeans are named after N.C. places, and they are super cute.

...forget it all and head out to the Hinnant Family Vineyards and Winery, located in Pine Level, right outside of Selma, for a glass of wine. The Hinnant family has the largest muscadine vineyard in the state and has a fabulous tasting room, where you can try each of their 13 award-winning wines for $4, and you get to keep the cup! Cheers!
I smell a girls' shopping excursion followed by a winery visit! I know quite a few girls that I won't have to ask twice... (and I'm also putting good money down that Adrianne will be the first to actually comment on this blog entry to confirm her spot!)

Back to Triangle East, if you aren't a regular subscriber, what's holding you back?

PS - Buying extra subscriptions (a stocking stuffer for my mom and dad this past Christmas - I mean OBVIOUSLY we're Triangle East kind of people) make a CUTE gift for your favorite Triangle East residents and are only $12!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've Always Wondered...

....why sometimes I'm so darn longwinded!

"In the South, the breeze blows softer...neighbors are friendlier, nosier, and more talkative. (By contrast with the Yankee, the Southerner never uses one word when ten or twenty will do)...This is a different place. Our way of thinking is different, as are our ways of seeing, laughing, singing, eating, meeting and parting. Our walk is different, as the old song goes, our talk and our names... Nothing about us is quite the same as in the country to the North and West. What we carry in our memories is different too, and that may explain everything else." - Charles Kuralt in Southerners: Portrait of a People

S&tC Party at Buckhead

In case you've missed it, all of our Ladies Night parties at Buckhead have been dedicated to the premiere of the Sex & the City movie all month long! (I even have mention of the promotion in a past blog post...)

Well tomorrow night is the big finale and Buckhead is obvi going ALL OUT!

Here are the details:

-We're going to be showing the E! premiere coverage from the red carpet LIVE on our big screens during the party.

-Sex & the City trivia for prizes (We have at least 6 local vendors that will be giving away all sorts of girlie prizes!)

-For the big treat, our grand prize will be given away which is a trip for 2 to NYC including airfare, hotel and 2 tickets to the Sex and the City movie tour!

-Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte-worthy attire is encouraged!

-In addition to the great prizes, we will have complimentary passed appetizers at the party and our normal Ladies Night specials ($3 Buckhead martinis and $3 glasses of wine). Our Sex & the City Flirtini (Smirnoff vodka, raspberry liqueur, pineapple juice and Sprite) has ALWAYS been a hit!

If you haven’t reserved one already, I believe there may even be a few complimentary VIP tables still available for the party - email our awesome Ladies Night go-to-girl, Amy Frierson, at to reserve one and get on the guest list for FREE COVER (sorry guys, ladies only on Thursday nights)!

The best part is that our party starts at 8pm and you can arrive as early as 7pm (that’s when the doors open), so even if you're planning to head out to Mission Valley to see the sneak preview in the wee-hours of Friday "morning" – you can totally enjoy martinis and the red carpet coverage with us well before the 10pm party starts at MV and truly make an entire “girls night out” of it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

BBQ Festival? Yes Ma'am!

I'd reallllllly love to be at the CMA Festival this year in Nashville, TN (after watching JMC's performance from last year over-and-over again on GAC) during the weekend of June 5-8, 2008 but if I'm not...

Annual BBQ festival at fairgrounds
RALEIGH - The state’s top ‘cue makers will be crowned at The N.C. Pork Council’s Carolina Championship Barbecue Cook-off on June 6 and 7.
Twenty-five teams from across the state will gather at the State Fairgrounds and begin cooking the night of June 6 to prepare for judging at noon on June 7. The annual contest, sponsored by the N.C. Pork Council, will award the top teams in both culinary and showmanship divisions. Winning cooks will share more than $4,700 worth of cash prizes.

For more information, log on to
How awesome is it that as noted in the same article from above: The Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a Raleigh-based organization that distributes food to the area's poor and undernourished, and the Wake Tech Culinary Technology program will receive all proceeds made from the sale of competing teams’ barbecue.So I checked out and there are lots of cool things taking place (oh hush, I'm a country girl at heart!): Celebrate North Carolina's farm bounty at the first Got to be NC Festival blending the largest assembly of antique farm equipment in the state with a full carnival with games, rides and great food. Mix in the official N.C. Barbecue Cooking Championship sponsored by the N.C. Pork Council, the Got to be NC Agriculture Food Expo featuring tasty foods to sample and buy, antique tractor pulls, fireworks, great music, draft horse pulls, a petting zoo, pig races and fun for the whole family.

Admission is free except for the tractor pulls, grandstand concerts, rides and games. Gates open Thursday and Friday, 3 p.m to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight.
Schedule, maps, and more are available on the site, too!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

All Kinds of Outdoor Summer Music Events!

Music on Main in Downtown Garner

Music on Main
live music. great food. lots of fun!
Free Admission!

Time: 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm Thursday evenings
Place: Main Street, Downtown Garner

2008 Season Band Schedule
May 8th - The Fantastic Shakers
June 12th - The Catalinas
July 10th - Coastline
August 14th - The Embers
September 11th - Craig Woolard Band
Midtown Music Concert Series at North Hills Updated Band Schedule (6-9pm on Thursday evenings!)
May 22 - The Embers
May 29 - Black and Blue

June 5 - The Entertainers
June 12 - Part Time Party Time Band
June 19 - Sammy O'Banion and Mardi Gras
June 26 - The Attractions

July 3 - The Kays
July 10 - The Tams
July 17 - The Embers
July 24 - Billy Scott and the Party Prophets
July 31 - Liquid Pleasure
We all know Garner holds a special place in my heart and I'm more inclined to break out of R-town every now and then (avoiding the traffic of North Hills!), but I wouldn't complain if I found myself at either event!

Citrus Mini Cheesecakes

I received a new email yesterday: "5 New Bisquick Desserts". YUM. There's no option to view the entire email as webpage, or I'd link this to all of them, so I'll just pick the one that's going to get tested in my next Betty Crocker moment.
Citrus Mini Cheesecakes

Need nibbles for a crowd? Cheesecake bars stir together in minutes and satisfy palates with a citrus twist.

Prep Time:15 min

Start to Finish:1 hr 55 min

Makes:60 mini cheesecakes
1 1/2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lime, lemon or orange peel
1/3 cup firm butter or margarine
3 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons Original Bisquick® mix
1 teaspoon grated lime, lemon or orange peel
1 1/4 cups milk
3 tablespoons lime, lemon or orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
Citrus peel, if desired

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, stir crust ingredients except butter. With pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), cut in butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Pat on bottom of ungreased 15x10x1-inch pan. Bake 10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 tablespoons Bisquick mix and 1 teaspoon lime peel with electric mixer on medium speed until blended and fluffy. On low speed, beat in milk, lime juice, vanilla and eggs until blended. Beat on low speed 2 minutes longer. Pour over partially baked crust.3. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Refrigerate until ready to serve. For mini cheesecakes, cut into 10 rows by 6 rows. Garnish with citrus peel. Store covered in refrigerator.
High Altitude (3500-6500 ft): No change

Nutrition Information (Who cares?)
1 Serving: Calories 100 (Calories from Fat 50); Total Fat 6g (Saturated Fat 3 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 25mg; Sodium 85mg; Total Carbohydrate 9g (Dietary Fiber 0g, Sugars 7g); Protein 2g Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 0%; Calcium 2%; Iron 0% Exchanges: 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat Carbohydrate Choices: 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Fair Warning

I have this folder in Outlook - "Blogs" - which are things that I've received via email that I want to blog about, but don't have time to right at the moment. It has 36 items right, 29 of which are still marked as "new". So I'm going to try and catch up this weekend... so don't be afraid to click "older posts" at the bottom since I'm trying out only displaying 15 or so on my front page. Those of you with RSS feeds... should see a lot from me too!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Wine Festival in Wilmington!

I have yet to commit to Memorial Day plans, but for those of you who are venturing to Wilmington or its surrounding beaches... enjoy!

Jim Quick & Coastline's quick eNews tonight mentioned the following engagement:

Sat - (5/24) - Wine Festival / Hugh McRae Park- Wilmington, NC - 4pmI don't have any details other than that (it's late... I'm catching up on email, not googling stuff) but Hugh McRae is right smack in the middle of town and where they hold Wing Fling. If you can't figure out where it is or how to get there... chances are... you may not even need any more vino anyway! ;-)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What Southern Mamas Tell their Daughters...

...that the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too.

Kudos to BFFs in Boston for a killer post on a book that's going to be added to my collection very soon!

Suck Your Stomach In & Put Some Color On!: What Southern Mamas Tell their Daughters that the Rest of Y'all Should Know Too, with its most appropriate tagline that became the title of this post, looks like an incredibly entertaining (and reminiscent) read.

An Update on...


For those of you who are as addicted to the simplicity and speed of RSS feeds as I am, my only complaint is that some don't pick up updated posts! What a shame.

So if that's your situation, here's your fix!

Todays updates to past posts include:

All I Want is a Good Moisturizer...

If Koka Booth in Cary Isn't Your Thing...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Back Home Box Foundation

Those who know me know that support for our troops is something I always keep close to my heart and mind and I was VERY glad to meet these folks and find out a little about their organization during the Wolfpack's spring Red & White game a while back.

The Back Home Box Foundation's goal "is to give our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan the pleasure of opening a big 'ol box full of things they miss." They encourage those interested to "read the e-mails on our web-site and we think you will want to help".

Check them out online at or at 13200 Strickland Road, Suite 114/286, Raleigh, NC 27613.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Crawfish Day at the State Farmers Market

Who's up for a Louisiana Crawfish boil?

Picked up a flyer at the Farmers Market Restaurant while there for breakfast on Sunday:
State Farmers Market Crawfish Day

Saturday, June 7, 2008
From 10:00am until sellout!

$5.00/lb. live
$6.00/lb. cooked
*% lb. min. for live
*1 lb. min. for cooked
*40 lb. limit per person

No pre-orders!

For more info, call 919-733-7417 or 252-331-4773

Hosted by: NC Crawfish Grower's Association & NC Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services, Steve Troxler, Commissioner
And here's a nice little site with cooking directions, recipes, etc.: Crawfish Boil New Orleans, Louisiana Style Crawfish.

(Clearly, the image above is not related to this event, but I thought it was party-inspiring nonetheless!)

Monday, May 19, 2008

I Would Really Appreciate Your Support!

This year, I'm racing for everyone I know and love whose lives have been touched by cancer - especially my Aunt Pat who is currently kicking breast cancer's butt!

It will break your heart to try and count the number of amazing people we've lost due to cancer but, the worst part is - while treatment is getting better every day - there is still no cure.

Join me in the fight against breast cancer until we've found a cure!

Thank you for your support!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

All I Want is a Good Moisturizer...

... that isn't tested on puppies. Is that too much for a girl to ask?

I went to Target tonight in search one one thing: a new facial moisturizer. (I'm not saying the Mary Kay tinted moisturizer I've been using this week is the cause of this horrible texture on my right cheek and forehead that only I can tell a difference in, but I figured I'd try a new moisturizer in a sort trial-and-error and thanks to Dr. Mom's advice.)

Here are my requirements:

  • oil-free (non-comedogenic)
  • light, not too heavy
  • sunscreen included is a plus, but not a deal-breaker if it's missing
  • not tested on animals
  • not too expensive (nothing over the $15 range)

Utter. Shopping. Failure. (Tear.)

So I'm googling... but while I'm at it... does anyone use one they'd suggest that meets my simple requirements?

(For the record, I did find some "choices" that were clearly marked as organic -another plus- and very much so not tested on animals, but upon inspecting the ingredients... were full of oils. Natural and good for you, I'm sure, but my skin will blemish up with any added oils. No thank you.)

May 22, 2008 Update: After doing some research and talking shop with some of the girls... here is an update on some of my skin-care findings. (Click to the comments to read the updates!)

June 12, 2008 Update: I have a "thing" about graphic layout on webpages... so since I'm getting lots of great feedback about this article, I'm going to include any new info in the comments so this post doesn't get too long!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

State Fair Adding An Extra Day!!!

Yay!! Looks like we're getting an extra evening of deliciously-not-good-for-you food, rides, and fireworks, according to today's TBJ article, State Fair to Open a Day Early:

The State Fair will open a day earlier than scheduled this year for a Thursday "preview," organizers say.

The fair, originally scheduled to open Oct. 17, will instead open its doors to the public at 3 p.m. Oct. 16.

"Last year, the State Fair set records for daily and total attendance, with more than 858,000 people coming out to have fun," Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said in a statement. "Adding a day gives visitors even more time to have a great time learning about agriculture and experiencing the exhibits, rides, games and food."

The Agriculture Department says it's the first time in 22 years that state officials have added days to the fair.

Admission to the fair Oct. 16 will be $5 for adults and $1 for children ages 6 to 12, with seniors and kids under 6 getting in for free. That compares to a regular $7 admission charge, though it's expected that only 85 percent of the fair's midway rides will be operational in time for the early start.

Organizers say concession stands, exhibit halls and grounds entertainment will be ready by Oct. 16.

The fair will run until Oct. 26 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Act Now to Protect Boating

This came across my desk this morning from the National Marine Manufacturers Association, NC Marine Tradewinds, and

I don't know a single person who grew up around here without enjoying recreational boating at some point in their life. It is one of my favorite memories, and something I look forward to doing as much as possible even now as an adult. I mean hey - it's the family business.

Please take 5 minutes to write a quick letter in support of this legislation which will impact all recreational boaters!

There is a LOT of information on the homepage of that will allow you to educate yourself and give you the information you need to make up your mind about this bi-partisan issue.

Here is a excerpt from a press release available on

The issue of new federal permits stems from a September 2006 U.S. District Court ruling that ordered the EPA to regulate ballast water discharges, and mandated a deadline of September 2008 to put it in place. Although the litigation was aimed at ocean-going vessels, the court’s ruling struck down an exemption instituted in 1973 that applied to the incidental discharges from all vessels, including recreational boats. Large ocean-going ships use ballast water for stability and routinely discharge that water, introducing pollutants and invasive species in U.S. waters in the process.

“Unfortunately, the court’s decision to overturn the entire exemption unintentionally tossed recreational boats into the same category as commercial ships,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the NMMA. “While minimizing the exchange of ballast water from one international port to another is very important in reducing the spread of aquatic invasive species, it is equally important not to sweep small recreational boats into the same regulatory scheme. It was clearly never the intention of the law, or the EPA, to treat your everyday boater the same as these large ocean-going ships, and doing so would have a devastating effect on recreational boating in America.”

“Without legislative relief soon, everyday boaters would be required by federal law to apply for the same expensive permits as ocean-going commercial vessels and land-based industrial facilities,” Gudes said. “We are pleased that Senators Boxer and Nelson recognize the economic, social and cultural significance of the recreational marine industry and recreational boating and are moving to enact this crucial piece of legislation.”

“NMMA has been working with a broad coalition of stakeholders, including BoatU.S., to resolve this problem in advance of the permitting deadline,” Gudes added. “And it’s important to note that we are heavily indebted to the strong bipartisan efforts over the last year to provide relief for recreational boaters and anglers, including the leadership of Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Representatives Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) and Candice Miller (R-Mich.), who have also introduced legislation to address this matter. Congress must now enact this legislation before the clock runs out on America’s recreational boaters."

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm Fairly Impressed!

I don't even want to go into all of the issues that I (along with thousands of other ticket holders) have experienced in the past when dealing with Walnut Creek and Ticketmaster, but an email I received this morning (actually got past my spam filters, too!) makes me regard Live Nation much higher than the former Ticketmaster:

Dear Live Nation Tickets Customer,

Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek - Raleigh, NC has just informed us that the show time for Tim McGraw on May 17, 2008 has changed to 7:30pm.

If you have any questions, please contact Customer Support at 1-800-431-3462 Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm EDT, or email us at

Live Nation Tickets Customer Support
Very well done guys. I like it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

If Koka Booth in Cary Isn't Your Thing...

...(or - if you're like Ashton - and haven't moved your car from your downtown condo's parking deck in ages) then outdoor movies at Moore Square might just suit your fancy!

Here's the Downtown Raleigh alternative to my post on Movies by Moonlight at Koka Booth this summer in Cary. And hey - it works out perfectly that they're on different nights! If you're a movie fan like me, you can do both! Thanks for the scoop (as always) Ashton!

Location: Moore Square

Date: Saturday May 24th, 2008
Time: Dusk (around 8:30 pm) every other Saturday

Movies in the Park will kick off Saturday at dusk with "Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix". Bring your lawn chairs, picnic baskets, popcorn, and blankets (no alcohol please).

This event is FREE.

Movie Schedule
Saturday, May 24: "Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix"
Saturday, June 7: "Alvin and the Chipmunks"
Saturday, June 21: "Shrek the Third"
Saturday, July 5: "Close Encounters"
Saturday, July 19: "Charlie Wilson's War"
Saturday, August 2: "The Bourne Identity"
Saturday, August 16: "Bucket List"
Saturday, August 30: "Nims Island"
Saturday, September 6: "Transformers"May 22, 2008 Update: Thanks to my daily update from Ashton for keeping us in the loop - apparently the movie series will not start as slated this weekend and will kick-off its series with Alvin & the Chipmunks on Saturday, June 7th instead. A little bumming, but I can wait for a good thing.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Talk Southern to Me: Antebellum Houses

As noted in my introduction to my new Talk Southern to Me series, the inspiration came from country music... notably, the up and coming group Lady Antebellum.

Check out the google image search for "antebellum" and see lots of beautiful pictures of actual antebellum homes and some inspired by such! Here are a few of my favorites (that link to their original home on the web):

And how about a little description? I sure do love wikipedia: "'Antebellum' is an expression derived from Latin that means 'before war' (ante, 'before,' and bellum, 'war'). In United States history and historiography, 'antebellum' is commonly used, in lieu of 'pre-Civil War,' in reference to the period of increasing sectionalism that led up to the American Civil War. In that sense, the Antebellum Period is often considered to have begun with the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, though it is sometimes stipulated to extend back as early as 1812. The period after the Civil War is called the 'Postbellum,' or Reconstruction, era."... "The term antebellum is also used to describe the architecture of the pre-war South. Many Southern plantation houses use this style"There you have it!

Talk Southern to Me

After listening to an interview with Lady Antebellum (MySpace) on XM Radio (which I am SO addicted to... thank goodness my dad was able to fix my car receiver!), I realized there are some words that wander around southern speaking that may be a little out of the norm.

Lady A was talking about where the name for their band came from (I'm a BIG fan by the way) and they said they were traveling around and it in fact, came from traditional southern antebellum houses. I had an idea of what a "traditional antebellum" house looked like, but I decided to do a little digging nonetheless. The BF also wanted to know anyways.

So that right there is the inspiration to a new addition to my blog here: Talk Southern to Me!

If you have any suggestions on words that you think should be added to the vocabulary of my blog readers, let me know, and I'll include them!

If You Don't Have a Little Betty Crocker in You...

I have the most random "Betty Crocker" moments (as Adrianne lovingly refers to them) and they usually happen after 10pm. Go figure!

For those of you who don't, or who may too busy to channel your inner Betty, I'd like to introduce you to A Sweet Reminder. They deliver fresh baked cookies (which Adrianne - a former cookie industry professional - gave rave reviews to) around the local area with a super personal and friendly touch. Bonus points go to them for having a specific line of cookies where HALF of the profits from that product go to the Susan G. Komen fight against breast cancer.

As a subscriber to their email list, I thought I'd share a list from Chip (their mascot!) of why mom deserves "A Sweet Reminder":

Here are the ten reasons why our mascot Chip Cookie says you need to send A Sweet Reminder cookies to your Mother:

1) You ran with scissors that one time when you were told not to.

2) Because your Father will never send her cookies.

3) You blew it last year with the overpriced buffet at the Holiday Inn where your Mom almost chocked on a chicken bone.

4) You want to upstage your older sister who is knitting your mom ANOTHER piece of clothing.

5) You can’t make Sunday lunch because you are out of state and gas prices are too high.

6) Your Mom made you all those cookies growing up, now it’s time to return the favor.

7) You watched “Mommy Dearest” last night and you realized your Mom did not do such a bad job.

8) You have forgiven her the time she came to your high school to say “Hey!”

9) Keep her occupied so she won’t harass you with “Am I going to be a Grandma soon?”

10) She gave birth to you….’nuff said!
I can personally vouch for how outstanding this business is, as I've sent a little surprise to Nick before, and it was totally a great experience!

SPCA Meet & Greet at Seaboard ACE Hardware

Yay! How cute! Here's the skinny from

Dog Meet'n'Greet at Seaboard ACE Hardware

Come out to meet some friendly, adoptable dogs from the SPCA. Check out our pet section of organic and innovative products for our animal friends. Any adoptions that day from the SPCA as a result of the event will get you a free bag of food and a special deal coupon good for pet products at Seaboard Ace Hardware.

Saturday, May 10th, 10:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Monday, May 05, 2008

I Am Not Even Kidding...

...This TOTALLY Just Happened.

This blows my mind: I got a call on my cell from a number not in my phone, random area code, so naturally... it went to voicemail.

Checked my voicemail and had a message from "Hi, I'm a volunteer for Senator Barack Obama and I am calling to see who you are voting for..." (this is where I deleted it).

So I call the number back to ask politely to be removed from their calling list (I mean dang! It IS my cell phone and I have NO idea how they got my number) and it turns out, it's the girl's personal cell phone!!


Anyone else had some crazy politics stuff happen like this today? Should I call her back and tell her to get a new hobby? Maybe volunteer to cure cancer instead? Save some puppies? Sheesh.

I mean, I'm all for encouraging folks to register and vote and whatnot, but all these Obama campaigners are really starting to annoy me with their "Register to Vote FOR OBAMA" crap.

Adrianne and I have discussed this - it's totally noble to encourage people to use their voice and cast their votes, but don't push your agenda on me!

*Insert angry growl here.*

(PS - While I do subscribe to some of the democratic party ideals, I still primarily consider myself a conservative republican anyways. Talk about not reaching the right people.)

Do This!

Don't lie, you SO have a mailbox (NOT your email inbox... give it a break) and even if you check it only once a week... make this coming Saturday the day you do so!

Postal Workers Take Food Drive Door to Door (thanks Ashton!)

Martha Quillen, Staff Writer

Postal workers will make it easier to support your local food bank next weekend by collecting donations as they make their appointed rounds.

Letter carriers will collect non-perishable food from mailboxes on Saturday, May 10, as part of the U.S. Postal Service's annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive.
All food collected in the region will go to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, which makes it available to local organizations.

Representatives of the food bank, the postal service and the letter carriers associations announced the food drive this morning.

They said the items needed most include canned meats and vegetables, canned soup, peanut butter, rice, pasta, dried beans and cereal. They ask that people not donate items in glass jars or bottles.

Smoothies For Your Health (and Tasty Enjoyment)!

Adrianne and I were talking about our love of smoothies last night and how we couldn't figure out why Planet Smoothie's new franchisee didn't wait until the slow of summer to close the Hillsborough Street location instead of before exams... maybe they need a business consulting team... one comprised of the Jeffries/Fields girls? ;-)

So this post is dedicated to smoothies in Raleighwood!

From Sue Stock's retailing column today:

An update on our Planet Smoothie stores, which closed because a new franchisee was taking them over: The store at 6325 Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh already reopened. The store at 2302 Hillsborough St. in Raleigh will reopen May 23, and the store at 966 High House Road in Cary will reopen in mid-June.From Sue's "Taking Stock" blog:On May 7 (that's Wednesday), Planet Smoothie will launch a new program to promote the health benefits of drinking smoothies. All summer, every Wednesday, Planet Smoothie stores will offer a smoothie from each of its "lifestyle categories" for 99 cents. Here's the schedule:

*May 7: Leapin’ Lizard (peaches, strawberries and fat burner blast from the Weight Loss lifestyle category)

*June 4: Spazz (strawberries, bananas and booster blast from the Energy lifestyle category)

*July 2: Chocolate Chimp (chocolate, bananas & protein blast from the Protein lifestyle category)

*August 6: Twig & Berries (strawberries, bananas, & yogurt from the Cool Blended lifestyle category)

*September 3: Screamsicle (pineapple, peaches, orange juice, sherbet & anti-oxidant blast from the Wellness lifestyle category

And, as I wrote in this week's Retailing column, our area Planet Smoothie stores are in the process of reopening under new ownership. The one on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh is already open. The store on Hillsborough Road in Raleigh will open on May 23. And the Cary store will open in mid-June.

Even More Coming to Cameron Village

Sue Stock is quickly becoming one of my FAVORITE N&O writers, but no one can ever replace Dennis Rogers. Ashton Smith has always been one of my favorites, and I love her even more for sending me a daily update of what Sue (and other Raleighs) are covering!

From Cameron Village Evolves:

Despite being one of the country's oldest shopping centers, Raleigh's Cameron Village remains one of this area's most popular shopping destinations.

One reason is that the center is continually evolving, in an effort to stay fresh in the face of ever-increasing competition from new malls and the consumer spending slowdown. The changes at Cameron Village tend to come in waves, and I've got several to report:

* Cherry Modern Design is closing this month, and home furnishings and accessories store Carlton & Co. will relocate to the Cherry Modern Design space on June 1.

* Foster's restaurant -- formerly Nelsons -- will reopen Thursday.

* Cameron Bar & Grill will open this coming week. It is owned by the folks who own the North Ridge Pub and Cafe Tiramisu in North Raleigh. (See my perpetual blogs on this.)

* Next door, a chain called The Flying Biscuit Cafe will open its first Triangle store this fall, selling a vast array of biscuit-related food. Its only other North Carolina store is in Charlotte. (Mmmm... biscuits.)

* BurgerDawgz will open next to Piccola Italia late this year or early next year, serving milkshakes, burgers, hot dogs and sandwiches. (The BF will LOVE this.)

Friday, May 02, 2008

Why Wait for Cinco de Mayo?

...when Buckhead's got Tres de Mayo!!

Starting at 1pm tomorrow, we're doing it block party style again with lots of live music, Corona specials, and headline act... The Embers!!

As a special treat for my blog readers, I have free - YES FREE - tickets ($5 at the door) for any one who reposts this absolutely pertinent info and either leaves me a comment telling me so, or leaves me a link to it! Once you do it... we'll chat specifics for getting you your tickets! (I'll give you tickets for you and few guests!)

Email me at or if you haven't heard from me by 11pm tonight. I have land steward training in Wilmington in the AM, but if you post the blog early tomorrow AM, we'll take care of it when I get back tomorrow afternoon!

I can't wait to see you all there - please come find me and say hello!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Calling All eBay-ers!

My beloved sorority (actually, ahem, Fraternity for Women), Pi Beta Phi, has teamed up with First Book to provide books to children everywhere - helping to promote one of the most important life skills of all - literacy.

I am so impressed by the work being done by First Book, based out of Washington, D.C. and really hope that any of you who will be doing any eBay (selling or buying!) transactions will please think of the following when doing so!

First Book and eBay Harness the Power of MANY!

We are thrilled to announce that First Book is joining forces with eBay Foundation for Community Gives - the first online giving campaign designed to engage the eBay Community in supporting First Book’s work.

First Book is one of only three organizations eBay Foundation has chosen to support as part of the campaign, which was launched Monday with a $1 million grant split evenly among the three. Visitors to the site are encouraged to buy, sell or donate on behalf of First Book.

You can help! Do you have something you were ready to put in the garage sale pile? Sell it on eBay on behalf of First Book — you set the portion to benefit the charity. Or make a donation for as little as $1; for every person who gives to First Book, eBay will give an additional dollar. (Be sure to select First Book.)

Visit the site to read some great stories from local programs transformed by First Book — and help us spread the word today!
PS - Check out First Book's blog and add it to your daily reads!

A Precious N&O Article About the NC Children's Hospital

Just a Little Horse Play at Children's Hospital
Harnessing a bit of happiness for young patients

"If you thought you heard a horse whinny Wednesday at the N.C. Children's Hospital, it was probably Snowball.
The white miniature horse was one of three to visit young patients, and she let at least one startling, loud cry escape from her small body.

Children ran hands through the horses' manes, fed them Shredded Wheat cereal, or just looked at them through a tangle of IV poles and wheelchairs in the children's play area on the seventh floor."
Published today in the N&O, take 2 minutes to read it and enjoy a smile for a while.