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Wofford Girls July 31, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Family/Home.

Every year, me and seven of my closest girlfriends from college get together for a weekend. We spend this time catching up on what’s going on in each other’s lives, but more importantly we do silly stuff and laugh and laugh and, oh, did I mention the laughing?!

Well, I’m leaving tomorrow to take part in the seventh annual Wofford Girls’ Weekend. I can’t even imagine what sort of shenanigans we’ll get into, but one thing I can count on is that we will most certainly have fun!

Of course, there are some parts of the weekend where we have to adopt the Vegas tagline…What Happens at Girls’ Weekend, Stays at Girls’ Weekend!

Pretzel Dog July 30, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Pets.
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No, I’m not talking about one of those things you can get at Auntie Anne’s. I’m talking about my ridiculous dog. We got two new recliners and a sofa from La-Z-Boy about two weeks ago. I love them! If you don’t think recliners are cool, well, technically they probably aren’t. However, they are the most comfortable chairs that you will ever sit in. Just ask Dixie. She has proceeded to contort herself, like the Cirque du Soleil dog that she is, into a pretzel while enjoying the comfort of our new recliners. The only downside…she typically gets stuck and needs human assistance to free herself. We may have to cordon off the recliners with caution tape when we’re not at home!

Gimme Five July 29, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in General.
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When I’m bored, I peruse the internet for random, weird, and sometimes interesting sites. I stumbled upon this website called 5min.com the other day. This is a how-to website that has hundreds and hundreds of videos on a wide array of topics like how to knit, how to make french onion soup, understanding your cholesterol levels, how to burp a baby, and how to solve a rubik’s cube. Videos can be submitted by anyone. It’s basically an informational YouTube. They say the idea is that everyone is an expert at something and that expertise can be relayed to the public in no more than five minutes.

The videos are divided among approximately 20 categories ranging from Food to Sports. The videos are even further categorized by subtopics. For example, under Food, you find American, Asian, Desserts, Soup, Vegetarian…and the list goes on and on. Some are very informative while others, well, they are clearly there for entertainment purposes. If you’ve always wanted to know “Where do smurfs come from?”, then 5min.com has the answer.

TJ Faves: Fruit Leather July 25, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food, Shopping.

Since I have begun making homemade granola, I typically buy all of my ingredients at Trader Joe’s (TJ’s). They offer a great assortment of dried fruits and nuts at ridiculously cheap prices. Even more convenient, there’s a store in the bottom of my office building and within walking distance of my house. Anytime I go to TJ’s, it’s hard to resist browsing for things not needed. They are always stocking their shelves with new items and they have an awesome circular called the Fearless Flyer which makes those new items seem less resistable.

Recently, I picked up some of their fruit leather. It’s the all natural, good-for-you version of the Fruit Roll-up. There are about 14+ ingredients in a Fruit Roll-Up vs. the 2 or 3 ingredients in a stick of TJ’s fruit leather. I’ve only tried the passion fruit and pineapple, but that first impression and $0.45 price tag has left me wanting to try more!

Check, Please July 24, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Eco/Green.

Ever wonder the impact you have on the environment when purchasing something like shoes or clothes? There has been a lot of emphasis recently on buying local…more so with food than with anything else. This can be seen with the 100-Mile Diet and the One Local Summer challenge where you only purchase foods that are grown, harvested, and/or manufactured within a 100 mile radius of your home. Way harder than anyone would think, trust me!

So what about other products? I came across a feature on Patagonia’s website called the Footprint Chronicles. Pick a Patagonia product and trace its footprint. Find out everything from the distance traveled to the carbon dioxide emissions produced from one product. It’s actually kind of mind-boggling to think that those Sugar & Spice shoes that I think are so cute actually traveled 18,950 miles from origin to distribution, while generating 51 pounds of CO2 emissions and 6 ounces of waste, and consuming 30 kWh of energy which they say is the equivalent of leaving a lamp with an 18 watt compact fluorescent bulb burning 24 hours a day for approximately 69 days. WOW, all that from a pair of shoes! That’s a lot to think about.

I’m sure these aren’t facts that we are going to take into consideration for every single purchase we make, but this site sure puts it all into perspective…let’s just call it an environmental reality check.

The Doctor is In July 22, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, General.

I love Good Morning America. I find that watching GMA is a learning experience. Although, my husband would tell you that some of the things I learn tend to lean on the side of bizarre. That being said, the nugget that I took away from this morning’s show may take the cake in the bizarre category.

As I have said here before, I didn’t get my first pedicure until I was 29. I didn’t really care for it all that much. It wasn’t as comforting as I thought it would be…the scraping, poking, and cutting. All that could change with a few tiny carp. It’s the latest in pedicure treatments, having a bunch of garra rufa fish (aka doctor fish) nibble off the dead skin on your feet. These fish, from Turkey, have no teeth and can only survive off of the consumption of dead skin cells. This practice has been popular in Japan for years. Now it’s made its way to the States. Actually, I guess I could consider myself lucky because Yvonne Hair and Nail Salon located right here in Alexandria, VA, offers the Dr. Fish Pedicure. A fifteen minute dip in the tank runs approximately $35 and a 30 minute dip runs about $50. Based on customer reactions after a treatment, these doctor fish leave your feet feeling super soft. I’ll keep you posted if I decide to take the plunge! Read a related story here and see the doctor fish in action.

Blast Off…to the 80’s July 18, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Shopping.

One of my favorite discoveries on Etsy is a store called Blast from the Past. Her jewelry features the bright colors and funky shapes that covered the outside of your Trapper Keeper.
Basically, it’s happy jewelry! It makes me want to put on my legwarmers and jelly bracelets and jam to a little Pat Benatar.

Oh, the Bounty July 18, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Food.
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I enjoy a good salad dressing; however, unless you make it yourself, most dressings are typically full of fat, sugar, and preservatives which turns a healthy salad into a nutritious disaster. I had previously settled on the Lighten Up! versions of Newman’s Own as the dressing of my choice. I had yet to find a flavor that was not enjoyable. Recently, though, it seems that I’ve seen good review after good review of the new Wishbone Bountifuls. While on vacation, we decided to give a couple of these a try. They are virtually fat free, low in calories and sugar content. Both flavors that we tried were excellent. I have to say that I have found myself leaning towards the Tuscan Romano Basil as a favorite.  It’s summer.  Now’s the time to try a new salad and maybe a new dressing, too.

TJ Faves: Ultimate Vanilla Wafers July 17, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food, Shopping.
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Through the recommendation of Baking Bites, I decided to give TJ’s Ultimate Vanilla Wafers a try.

Here is my review:
Take the Nilla Wafer we all know and love…


Give it a little of this…


And you get this little gem…

They truly are ULTIMATE indeed!


So Appropriate July 16, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in General, Pets.

Prior to leaving for vacation, Casey and I headed to the bookstore to pick up some reading materials. While he was fretting over what smartypants book he was going to read, I decided to wander aimlessly through the store towards the magazine section. I passed by the display for the canvas totes and personal journals and something caught my eye. I own a basset hound and feel that it is the best breed out there…call me impartial. That being said, anything basset hound-esque appeals to me. There was a black canvas tote with a basset hound print on the front. I thought, “So cute.” Then I read the text directly under the picture and immediately took it to the checkout because I couldn’t leave the store without this bag in my possession.

“Well, Susan, this is a fine mess you are in.”