Sunday, August 31, 2008

Talk Southern to Me: Manners

Manners: not so much southern words as much as they are a way of talking.

Here's wiki's definition of manners, but they're much better illustrated below.

An email quote from Renee - I swear sometimes it's like the girl is my cosmic twin that just happened to grow up in Eden instead of Raleigh.

"One guy thanked me for being so hospitable - I welcomed him to the South and told him I am a lady."Finally, a quote from Magnolia's and Juleps' story about one girl's manners:"Why did G respond respectfully at all times to someone 10 years her senior (eek) who is in an authority position? Not knowing how or why I would need to explain it, I simply asked this girl where she was from again. When she said 'New Jersey', I simply turned around and said, "Then you just wouldn't understand". In my South, that's just what you do."

Friday, August 29, 2008

I Hate Junk Mail

HAAAATE IT! But I do love real snail-mail :-)

Anyways, not much to say about this other than "THANKS!" to A Southern Accent for sharing this totally neat little green website... where you can easily get off of junk mail lists.

Sign up on GreenDimes (I went with the free option - don't hate), validate your account via the link that arrives in your email, then be sure to click on the boxes that display "action required" so you can for real get off the lists!

I hear there's something about a yellow pages opt-out now, that was the topic of one of my very first blog posts of 2008, but I'll have to go digging to find a link!

Post #89284 on Firefly's Sweet Tea Vodka

Obsessed, much? Just maybe...

Last night's post recruited the following comment from Polos & Pearls:

"how do you drink it???????"Great question!

Cooter (shown below) mixed us all up quite a few "Sweet Tea Vodkas" at Buckhead last night for the game. The simple recipe that tastes just like a stronger Bojangles Sweet Tea included: Firefly's Sweet Tea Vodka, a splash of water, and a big slice of lemon... squeezed and mixed briefly with a stir straw. Super simple, super delicious.

Another great variation that I've thoroughly enjoyed includes Firefly's Sweet Tea Vodka and a bit of Simply Lemonade... delish. But that's expensive, so you probably won't find it in any bars - that'll have to be on your menu for the personal tailgates.

Any other suggestions out there? I think it'd be great with just about any premium lemonade, limeade, pomegranaite juice you can find at the grocery store right now... I'll have to experiment and report back.

Please share any of your delicious results in the comments!

I Am SO Embarrassed

I was SO embarrassed to open my email this morning. Not because of the 34-0 final score, but because the morning email story about the status of our injured QB from last night's game that included a dramatic picture of the team kneeling to pray for Russell Wilson and even worse - a link to "buy picture" right below it.

Now, I realize there's a 99% chance that's because the site uses a template that includes a link below ALL pictures to "buy picture", but this is the first time I've noticed it... and I am not a bit impressed.

I personally think it's totally devoid of any class to make profit off of a very frightening incident for Wilson's family, friends, teammates, and fans - especially only 12 hours later, especially when USC showed so much class on their own:

BrAvEsFaN1010 (10:07:33 AM): i was actually really impressed with the sc fans
BrAvEsFaN1010 (10:07:59 AM): they were all screaming stuff like "come on carolina, get on your knees, show some respect"
That quote's from a fellow NCSU '07 alum who happened to be at the game... who saw it all first hand - and I think that says a lot.

So hat's off to you USC - congrats on the win and class... it sure is something you can't buy.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

There is Some Good News...

Wow, that game was truly heartbreaking. Especially sitting in the back bar/billiards room at Buckhead with 50 other Wolfpack fanatics.

Luckily for us, there was something to get us through that embarrassing game...

I can't believe I was able to keep it a blog secret since Monday of this week when I found out we would have our hands on it this week... I am also SO proud of our awesome GM for buying every single case that was available - we are the only bar that will be serving Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka in Wake County until later this month.


PS - If you have three "sweet tea vodkas" during the last half of the game... be sure to potty before leaving the bar. That was quite the excruciating 8 minute ride home tonight!

PS #2 - We will DEFINITELY be doing quite the southern tailgate at Buckhead to celebrate the launch of Firefly Sweet Tea vodka (which even our yankee regulars love!) soon... I'll be sure to make sure ALL of you awesome readers get an invite here!

Cheers to Kristy

Cheers to Kristy for pointing out her wonderful ShopNCAASports wine find... perfect for any tailgate that may include a little (or a lot of) vino!

I was REALLY excited to see you can get a two pack for my Wolfpack faithfuls, too!

(ShopNCAASports - NC State University)
With hundreds of items to choose from, it's going to be really, really hard to fight the urge to buy, buy, buy!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Calling All Fishermen & Fisherwomen!

I say fisherwomen explicitly because I know quite a few of my female readers kick butt and take names when it comes to fishing.

Please consider entering or volunteering with this event to benefit the NC Coastal Land Trust!

Championship to Benefit NC Coastal Land Trust!

Calling all fishermen and women! If you like to fish, enter the Fisherman's Post NC Flatfish Championship to help fund coastal conservation.

The tournament is Saturday, September 20, 2008 at the Joyner Marina in Carolina Beach.

Proceeds from the tournament with benefit the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, and each participant will be invited to make a small donation ($1-$5) to the Coastal Land Trust when registering.

The Coastal Land Trust member with the largest catch will win a gift certificate to Michael's Seafood-one more reason to join in on the fun! Tournament cost is $125 for those registering before September 1st and $150 after September 1st.

For more information on the tournament or to register, contact The Fisherman's Post at (910) 452-6378 or email

For those of you who don't fish but would like to help out with this event, we are looking for volunteers for Friday, September 19th and Saturday, September 20th to help with the tournament and hand out information about the Coastal Land Trust to participants.

To volunteer, email
Sounds like a great tourney!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thank You!

I am actually sending a big "thank you!" out to the local media... seriously!

Dress for Success celebrated the NC Triangle affiliate's official opening yesterday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony in Northgate Mall in Durham, NC. The amount of press coverage that was provided and has continued has been truly gracious and hopefully will recruit some new volunteers an resources our way.

Big thanks go out to (please let me know if I've missed any):

--Women reinvent themselves at boutique - from the N&O's Sue Stock's retailing column
--More on giving - from the N&O's Sue Stock's retailing blog
--Women get boost with jobs - from the N&O's Barry Saunders
--A great video news clip from News 14 Carolina
--And finally, an in-depth coverage video (fourth down on the list) from News 14 Carolina with Executive Director, Pat Nathan!
Please check out the above links and let them know that you enjoyed their coverage! We can always use more good news on tv, online and in the newspaper.

Stay tuned here for more info coming soon about Y.E.S - Young Executives for Success... a component of Dress for Success that provides networking, social events, and opportunities for young local execs to give back to Dress for Success in a really fun way!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Garden & Gun

Another positively southern magazine: Garden & Gun. I had my first experience with Garden & Gun in the waiting room at my dentist's office... yet another reason I absolutely love them.

(from her email newsletter)

It's been said before on this blog how much I adore Miranda and I am really excited she's on the cover. How appropriate!

Good News, Good Vibes, and Good Tunes Today

I feel awful today - I'm running on next to nothing but I am counting down the days (and minutes) 'til Wolfpack Football and after Labor Day... which is when the BF and I can finally get away on that vacay we're both long overdue on!

Luckily, my daily blog reads & XM Radio are helping me through the day:

--Why Carl Edwards is the man
--I can't wait to give TWC the boot
--I don't need a single thing... but some of my favorite causes definitely need your support. (Especially those that help our four-legged pals.)
--My partner in crime... for so many reasons.
--The light at the end of the (Murphy Center) tunnel.
AND XM is playing a lot of Luke, Eric, and my hometown boy - JMC - today!

Oh, and I saw Kenny with a few of the favorites this weekend, too. Maybe THAT'S why I'm a little tired today!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Talk Southern to Me: Y'all

What a no-brainer. Y'all is probably the most overused word in my southern vernacular and an obviously needed addition to my "Talk Southern to Me" blog series.

Not that I should need to define "y'all" for anyone who reads this blog... but I definitely think it's worth a look at... a quick google definitely gives me some interesting results including:

Wikipedia on "Y'all"

And the funniest thing I've ever seen, yet may still feel compelled to subscribe to:

Has anyone ever seen Y'all magazine? Is it like People, but for Southerners? I think this may be hook, line, and sinker for me: What Southern Women Know. It would be awesome if they had a RSS feed that I could subscribe to!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Since my previous post on FireFly Sweet Tea Vodka has inspired so much interest, I thought I'd offer some clarification based on the easy to find info on the NC Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission website.

(I also did this because there's always so much adult beverage industry gossip and 9 times out of 10... it's just people who *think* they know the law... but don't.)

1. This was new to me: You CAN actually buy FireFly from your local liquor store... it just takes a little bit of work. It takes a while though and you've got to order a lot (no worries here!).

"The Commission will approve special orders of products not on the approved price list when a local ABC board has a request from a customer. This merchandise must be purchased in full case allotments and be paid for in advance. After the product is paid for the Commission will order it from the proper vendor and when received at the state warehouse ship it to the local board where the order originated. The special order process normally takes 6-8 weeks."
2. If the product is actually approved for sale in the state, it will only be added on a quarterly basis. The earliest it would be considered (it it has not been this past year) is in February '09."The ABC Commission at its annual meeting each year in February considers product(s) for listing. New companies, who wish to sell distilled spirits in the State of North Carolina, must be represented by a resident North Carolina Broker . The broker (chosen by you) will make the presentation of your product(s)."So read up on the site a little - I was amazed at how well it's written to provide info to the general public.

I expected lots of legalese and no clarity, but I believe if I started bottling something today, I could have it on the shelves next spring because the commission has done a excellent job of providing clear and complete information for buyers and businesses alike.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sweet Tea Vodka

You heard it here first folks.

I'd like to thank my dear e-friend, Antoine, for returning from Charleston to tell me about this wonderful phenomenon that has taken over the bars in the Low Country (who, by the way, I finally got the chance to meet in person for the first time at the Triangle Entertainment Industry Professionals Mixer last week at Deep South).

Little did I know that the drink that I knew would be a hit here too, had already been smuggled back into NC for an engagement party the following Saturday for the BFF and her husband-to-be for our party's enjoyment. It bewildered me to no end that you cannot legally buy this in the state of NC... yet. I'll see what I can do.

Ok, enough anticipation... here's what you'll all be driving to SC to purchase until it's available in our closed-state liquor stores:

By itself, cut with a typical bar beverage, or my personal favorite: added to a bit of Simply Lemonade, it is the most amazing thing to grace our southern drinking habits since... well, maybe sweet tea itself.

I will be venturing south to round up a few (cases) of their newest addition - handles - before the first official football tailgate of the season that is quickly approaching. Hmmm... how much can you buy in SC without needing a permit?

Let me call in Brandon for a definitive answer on this one...

Trust me - I will figure out a way to get this into this state so that I can sell a "Little Lisa's Firefly Sweet Tea" at Buckhead Saloon for $6.00(?) each.

PS - Check out my 8/22 post on how to special order this at your NC liquor store!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Local Round-Up

A collection of some good to know local info from yesterday's blogosphere...

From the retail business news goddess, Sue Stock:
North Carolina's Fresh Market stores have started stocking fresh shrimp that have been caught in NC waters.

Add this to the ridiculously long list of things to do this Saturday:
the Town of Cary's Lazy Daze festival!

Another from Sue Stock - the business news writer who keeps us on our retail toes:
Replacements will be selling more than 100,000 pieces of overstocked merchandise. Unlike previous years, shoppers will pay a $5 entrance fee and then $5 for a box that they can then fill with as much yard sale merchandise as it will hold. (Yes, you can buy multiple boxes.) Items in the separate sidewalk sale section of the event will still be priced per item.
Love it all.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Catwalk for the Cure

If you're local, please plan to attend!

By the way, I have a pair of tickets (for you and a guest) to give away!

Just comment here or email me at to enter - deadline to do so is Friday - August 22nd, 2008 - by 12:00pm... (noon - not midnight).

As if fashion and contributing to finding a cure with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation isn't enough, the grand prize to be given away at the show is a stay for two at the all new The Umstead Hotel & Spa!

GOOOOD LORD what a generous donation from The Umstead that was!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Another Reason to Love Capital Bank

If you read my first post about Capital Bank, here's another winning reason why you should dump your dud of a bank if they're not working for you: my debit cards showed up today and clearly noted on the back of all of the envelopes was this message -

"Biodegradable. Compostable. EarthFirst PLA film made from corn."

See Kermit... it actually can be easy to be green. ;-)

Raleigh is NOT Miami...

So please, stop trying to make fetch happen - whoops, I mean Miami.

While I hear great things about the rooftop view from Solas, it's blog posts like the following that make me not want to go. I can occasionally be found in stilettos rather than boots or flops, but more often in the fall and winter than our beloved NC summers does this actually occur.

Solas… Dress Code… Smess Code… This is Raleigh!
Only In Raleigh - Solas… revisted!
And while we're on the topic, I'm not advocating t-shirts in the nightlife scene, but if you don't allow gentlemen wearing boat shoes into your establishment, then you can pretty much guarantee you'll be overrun by the guidos and "jaegerbombssssss" morons who make me say "ick" when I see groups of them pile into my favorite watering holes.

(Let's also note that the boat shoes-wearing folks generally have more money to spend and a longer customer relationship to benefit from for your establishment.)

I guess I'll have to venture out there for sure this week to make the call myself as to whether this is a Raleigh-Must-Do or another empty piece of real estate.

Hot Sauce Festival?!

No, not the Buckhead band (who still manage to amaze me with their on-stage shenanigans on Friday and Saturday evenings), but the real hot sauce!

From today's Boss' Planner, Jonny mentions September 13th as the date for the NC Hot Sauce Festival... further proof that we'll have a festival for anything! But hey, I'm not complaining.

While I probably won't be at that event (darn you, acid reflux), I still think it's a fun idea.

Clarification: apparently it's the "hot sauce contest" as Google search results would have it.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What Book Got YOU Hooked?

For me, it wasn't just one book - it was so many books that I was a fan of growing up (southern, duh).

My sister and I had a HUGE collection in our playroom: there was The Penguin That Hated the Cold, all of the Berenstain Bears (OMG - they have an official website... those crazy things didn't exist when I was reading these books!), Winnie the Pooh, and so many more that were 1980's-babies staples.

Unfortunately, I know many children aren't that lucky... enter: First Book.

First Book is a campaign for literacy and for providing books to children all around the country and I am SO proud that my wonderful Pi Beta Phi is one of their partners (our national philanthropy is after all literacy!). I am in love with their blog and their What Book Got You Hooked? campaign:Now through September 15, readers everywhere are invited to tell us about the first book from childhood that made reading fun, then help get more kids hooked by voting for the state to receive 50,000 new books for children in need.

A number of celebrities are supporting this year's effort, including: Kenny Chesney, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Thompson, Edward Norton, Stephen Colbert, Ira Glass, and Barry Mannilow.
So, what book got you hooked?

North Carolina is 27th in the rankings right now for 50,000 new books for kids who are in need, so please vote before September 15th!

Best Darn College Football Calendar

This has got to be the handiest/neatest football scheduler EVER.

SUPER big thanks to Lisa S. for sending it my way this morning!

StrangestBrew's 2008 College Football Schedulerizer

Go ahead and grab some 11'' x 17'' paper from the office, print your customer calendar (by conferences or your own personal favorites), and tape it to the fridge (or frame it and hang it in the living room/game room)... I sure won't make fun of you.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm in Love...

...with Capital Bank. Betcha didn't see that coming did ya?

After fighting the never ending battle with First Citizens Bank on their awful practices and absurd way of posting some of my most basic transactions (plus, not earning a freakin' penny of interest), I've dumped those losers.

Since then, I've opened a Bank of America account (which is nice because of their Keep the Change program which forces me to save without thinking about it) to make payroll at my company free and easy - and most importantly - the BF and I have moved all of our personal banking to Capital Bank.

We each have our own Smart Checking accounts (you should really make your money work for you at 5.01%) and then we have a free joint account which we only use to transfer our own funds to for paying things like the mortgage, utilities, etc... you know... all the things we split.

So why on God's green earth am I posting about a bank? Because you'd be silly not to have a CB account if you're in Raleigh right now - and here's why:

Capital Bank's Smart Checking
5.01% APY* on your balance!

* A high interest yield on ANY Balance up to $25,000 (upon meeting “reward requirements")
* No Minimum Balance
* Free ATM Usage
* Free Online Banking and Bill Pay
* Free QuickCheck Debit Card
* Free e-Statements
* No Monthly Account Maintenance Fees

Earning these rewards is simple... just use the services we’re giving you with the account:

1. Use your debit card at least ten times per cycle. (Sorry, ATM withdrawals do not count as debit card transactions.)
2. Establish at least one regular direct deposit of a payroll or government check, or set up an automatic debit.
3. Receive Electronic Statements, known as e-Statements.
Even the best online-only banks are not even paying anything close to 5.01%... and I tell you what, if those "requirements" aren't the habits of Gen Y anyway (ie: electronic statements, use your card 10 times per month, set up a dd/auto-draft)... then I don't know what else would be.

So there - go to CB and make your money work for you.

PS - I'm not getting a referral bonus or anything, I just wanted to make sure everyone knows about this great little bank... where everyone is also SO much friendlier than at FCB. Plus, who wouldn't want to make 5.01% on their freakin' FREE checking account? Also, both BoA and CB have mobile banking where I can instantly transfer money between accounts.... FCB doesn't.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Vote for the Stadium Song!

Ah, a little democracy in Wolfpack Country. And I LOVE that rap has been specifically excluded.

Vote for the Wolfpack's 3rd/4th Quarter Song!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Like I Said... Everyone Has a Cause

If you have a motorcycle, or a friend who does, please send them out to this fundraiser!

Donation Bike Wash
for Matthew Baldwin

Sunday - August 17th

Locked & Loaded Grill
1125 US Highway 70 W
Garner, NC 27529

Starting at 12pm!
Hosted by 96 Rock's Mandi
All proceeds will go to Matthew for hospital bills

Come enjoy live music and great food while getting your bike washed for a great cause!
Sponsored by Carey Kidd, The Office, La Piazza Italian Restaurant, and Ideal Entertainment
Matthew is SO adorable.

There's also a bar night fundraiser for those of you who may not be able to make the donation bike wash. (I can't find the facebook event... if anyone wants to link it in the comments... please do!)

This flyer from Carey Kidd describes a little more about the accident that Matthew was in and why he and his family could use our support. This flyer is for the fundraiser bike event itself!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

You Hear This Ticketmaster/Live Nation?

You surcharge-charging fools... take notes, please. Just give me a flat price and we'll call it a deal!

From Sue Stock's retailing blog:

Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis did a survey about such fees and found that shoppers are bothered by these fees more than was previously thought.Catch her blog post and read the full dirt she linked to!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Kenny Chesney's Next Big Star...

at my bar... tomorrow! How sweet is that?

Join 94.7 WQDR at Buckhead Saloon THIS THURSDAY NIGHT at 9pm to help decide who our next big star will be!

See the 4 finalists - Holland Marie and the Johnston County Line, The Johnny Orr Band, Kevin Lee and Jason Marks - work the stage to win the chance to be Kenny’s opening act here plus compete for $25,000 and an audition with Kenny’s label... plus a slot on his Poets’ and Pirates tour.

Admission is free and is 21 and up only

Kenny’s Next Big Star - be a part of history in the making!
Ok, the last line is uber-cheesy... but don't look at me... I didn't write the copy for this promo... but I'll still be there with my cowgirl boots on!

PS - I'm sorry for not having more advance notice for you all, but I do hope those of you who are free can make it!

We Can't All Be Little Betty Crockers

But you can definitely give it a good try with Savor Hospitality's video-blog (vlog)!

Cooking Coarse Debut
As many of you already know, we launched a daily vlog this week, "Cooking Coarse" designed to provide mini cooking lessons (of course focusing on basic cooking METHODS), but with some twists here and there.

To check out the vlog, visit: Cooking Coarse

Here you can:
1. Just Watch - good enough!
2. REGISTER - to receive emails every time a new post is ready for veiwing
3. REGISTER - to post comments, ask questions and offer feedback
Big thanks to Mandy for sending this recommendation my way!

I've actually had the awesome opportunity to meet the Savor Hospitality folks at a bridal association event we hosted at Buckhead on our sweet new deck and their lunch catering was DELISH!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

2008 Depot Fest Concert Series | New Raleigh, NC

2008 Depot Fest Concert Series | New Raleigh, NC

Previously mentioned Parmalee on August 14th and The Embers on October 23rd.

I guess I could wander a few blocks away from Buckhead long enough for a few songs at either show - maybe.

(Maybe will become a "sure!" if Parmalee has "Carolina" on their set list!)

Facebook vs. MySpace

Dear facebook,

You are SO much better than MySpace.
Just wanted to make sure you are aware of that.

While yes, I do have MySpace (it's necessary in the marketing/social media/bar industries unfortunately), I hate it. It's so abused and full of crap, spam, and people who don't know how to write literate messages thanks to text messaging that it's nearly impossible to use without frustration every time you log on. UGH.

Clearly, everyone else is starting to see things the way I do. Even the venues and associations are starting to take notice and respond accordingly!

Proof? Previously referenced events (many times over): Beer, Bourbon & BBQ on facebook and NC State Fair on facebook with a profile and concert events.


A Little Variation on "Talk Southern to Me"

Continuing my mini-series from quite a while ago (more to come soon... for sure), I hope you all enjoy another installment of "Talk Southern to Me" - with a twist.

PS - Big thanks goes out to Google Reader for recommending Miss LiLi NC to me. While I made my way over to check out her layout (for the first and presumably last time since I'll now catch her updates in G Reader), I found this awesome southern quote in her adorably preppy header:"If I had it my way, I'd have every girl sent to Carolina to learn that smile and to talk with that accent that drives me wild." ~ Hank WilliamsWell said.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Everyone Has a Cause

If I had a television network, I would dedicate an entire evening (as often as possible), with as many big names and performers that I could gather up, to support this father's cause.

Read his story - Father spreads message about cancer - and please sign his petition here.In addition to signing his well-deserved petition, I also found out a little more about The Petition Site... which I thought would be a great thing in itself to share with those of you who may find it useful in your civic-, faith-, or philanthropic-based pursuits in the future. It's an easy way to spread your message and gain support for your cause by educating others and gaining their support online - regardless of geographic limits.

Another Domestic Goddess Tip

I do love my wardrobe and home textiles... so this is great, need-to-know info!

Monday Morning Tips from the Beaufort Lookout
"The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load clothes.) He told us that he wanted to show us something; he took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it.

The lint filter is made of a mesh material ... I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. Well ... the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh that's what burns out the heating unit.

You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free ... that nice fragrance too. You know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box ... well this stuff builds up on your clothes and on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to potentially burn your house down with it!

He said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long! How about that!?! Learn something new everyday! I certainly didn't know dryer sheets would do that.

Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush and I had it done in 30 seconds. Then when I rinsed it ... the water ran right thru the screen! There wasn't any puddling at all! That repairman knew what he was talking about!"
Thanks, Beaufort Belle!

PS - I also cut my dryer sheets in half... you don't need nearly as much softener as Bounce would like for you to think!