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The Perfect Blowdry November 26, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Eco/Green, Gadgets.

dyson-airbladeWhen we visited Founding Farmers, one of the more exciting moments for me was going to the restroom. No, not because I’m a big girl who can go by myself. Being an eco-friendly establishment, there are no paper towels to dry your hands. Instead there’s a hand dryer, but not just any old hand dryer. It was a Dyson Airblade. This thing is AWESOME! I know it seems weird to get all excited about a hand dryer, but I hate those old school versions where you stand there rubbing your hands together tirelessly and still walk out with clammy palms. This thing works like the dryer at the end of one of those drive-thru car washes. A couple of swipes of the hands through the Dyson Airblade and your hands are perfectly dry. Gosh, I love technology. Kudos to Andrea for posing as my hand model!!

Finding Good Eats at the Farmer’s Table November 24, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Eco/Green, Food.
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ff_the-spreadI apologize for the lack of posts lately. Work has gotten the best of me over the last two weeks, but hopefully the Thanksgiving holiday will give me a little time to play catch up!

My friend, Nicole, told me about Founding Farmers a while back after reading about it in the Daily Candy newsletter. As fellow Southerners, we can appreciate the food that Founding Farmers offers on their extensive menu. During Casey’s mom’s visit, we stopped by for lunch after our tour of the Capitol. Since it was lunch and we didn’t want to roll ourselves home in a wheelbarrow, we opted to try several small plates…except for Casey, who we all know has a tapeworm and eats big-man portions! We tried the roasted tomato soup, devil-ish eggs, ramos house fried green tomatoes, potato chips and dip (only because one of the dips was pimiento cheese), and the expert cheese taster cheese plate. Casey ordered the rustic chicken pot pie and nibbled off of the small plates too (did I mention the tapeworm). The food was fantastic! I love deviled eggs, but I have a serious dark spot in my heart for celery. The fact that celery was in the deviled eggs…well, you know where this is going. The cheese plate was the best ever!! There were even a couple of cheeses from Thomasville, GA. The honeycomb that accompanied the plate complimented all of the cheeses that were included especially the bayley hazen blue cheese (VT).

ff_cheese-plateBesides serving up good eats, they are also serving our environment a healthy dose of green. The physical structure is LEED certified. They use solar power and reclaimed wood among many other things. Their operation is eco-friendly: they recycle, they’re energy efficient, they use recycled paper products, and reusable glass carafes for serving water. True to their name, the food served at this restuarant comes straight from the farmer and the taste and quality proves to be the best part of all.

Get a Life November 18, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in General.

Since GMA is my one of my favorite shows, I’m not sure what rock I was under when this originally aired. However, while getting my daily dose of Dooce (try saying that three times fast), I came across this article. With all of the REAL issues in our society, it disgusts me that this is what certain individuals choose to make an issue. If wearing this type of scarf makes you a terrorist, then half of L.A. is guilty. Here’s my advice: get a life. I’d like to tell you where to stick that scarf!

Southern Dictionary: Woolly Worm November 15, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, General.
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woolly-wormConsider the woolly worm to be the farmer’s almanac of insects. A caterpillar meterorologist, if you will. This fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar eventually morphs into the Isabella Tiger Moth. Spanning my entire 30+ years, anytime we see one of these woolly worms, we carefully examine its banded brown and black coloration to determine what type of winter is coming. Brown indicating mild weather and black indicating it is going to be a cold one. The color on the head represents the beginning of winter and, obviously, the further back on the body you go indicates the end of the season.

When we visited Stribling Orchard a few weekends back, we came across at least half a dozen of these fuzzy creatures. They all pretty much indicated the same thing: put on your scarves and mittens for the first part of winter, but don’t pack away the shorts too quickly!

An Apple A Day November 13, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.

apple-11A few weekends ago we drove out Route 66 to see the fall leaves. In addition to taking in the beautiful colors, we stopped off at an orchard to pick a few apples. Stribling Orchard not only grows over 20 different types of apples, they also grow a variety of peaches during the summer months. If you’re not already impressed, they also produce honey from their own beehives, and they have a bakery on site that produces pies and breads. We purchased a loaf of apple bread that was to die for. There were H-U-G-E apple chunks baked into the center…mmmm. We picked about four pounds of apples and at 50¢ a pound, I realized how much I’m getting ripped off at the store!

After the apple pickin’ adventure, we stopped by Chateau O’Brien winery located just next door. I really enjoyed Buddy’s Bistro Red named after their mascot, Buddy the French Bulldog. We even got to meet Buddy while we there. He’s a generous dog…he donates $1 of every bottle sold to a charitable animal organization. The delight of this pitstop was their Apple Wine, a dessert wine made with apples from Stribling Orchard which would pair nicely with a slice of cheesecake.

apple-2Time for lunch. Sticking to the theme, we grabbed a bite to eat at The Apple House in Linden, VA. We enjoyed homemade hickory smoked barbeque sandwiches and the pièce de résistance – apple doughnuts!!! These may be the singular most fabulous thing I have ever eaten. Good enough to make you want to smack yo mama! After all of this excitement, we didn’t quite make it into Shenandoah, but none of us left disappointed or hungry.

Go Fish! November 11, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Beauty.

dsc04473Q: What involves a bunch of girls screaming, giggling, and squirming?
A: A Dr. Fish Pedicure

Last night we had a Girls’ Night Out and decided to take the plunge and try the Dr. Fish Pedicure that I wrote about a few months ago. We ventured down Route 1 to Yvonne’s Hair and Nail Salon to dip our feet into a tank filled with garra rufa fish aka doctor fish. As I stated before, these Turkish fish have no teeth and live off the consumption of dead skin cells (i.e. they nibble the dead skin off your feet). I’m a big fan of GMA and Diane Sawyer assured me that I would only feel a slight tickling sensation. Diane, why did you mislead me?! Tickle? No, that’s not what I felt. It was more like the sensation you get when your feet fall asleep. I know that the textbooks say these Dr. Fish have no teeth, but I felt a couple of chomps every now and then. YIKES!

Dr. Fish 1Beth and Cindy were the bravest of the bunch meaning they didn’t scream like the rest of us. Of course, we all get a gold star for keeping our feet in the tank for the full fifteen minutes…AND…the promise is true, your feet are a whole lot softer! We had a blast and everyone should try it at least once. As for trying it again, the fish may be biting but I’m not.

To see more photos and video “foot”age, then check out Nicole’s blog.

Green is Good November 6, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in General.

green-goodnessEveryone knows that I’m a friend to the environment, but that’s not what I’m referring to this go around…then again, maybe I can bring it back around to the subject.

A couple of weekends ago at the Marine Corps Marathon Fitness Expo, we stopped by the Bolthouse Farms booth. They were handing out samples of all of their juices, smoothies, protein drinks, and new Bom Dia (an açai berry blend). I really enjoyed the Mocha Cappuccino Perfectly Protein which mimics a delicious iced coffee. However, the Green Goodness smoothie was a blue-ribbon winner for me! It looks like Nickelodeon slime, but tastes like a smoothie made from all the best fruits of a tropical island!! It’s delicious and is good for you to boot.

Not only does Bolthouse Farms make a delicious beverage, they are also stewards of the environment. They use solar power farming to facilitate irrigation, helped develop and participate in the Spray Safe Program, and use recyclable packaging. What’s not to love? Green truly is good.

Voting Can Be a Treat November 4, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, General.
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i-voted-ovalToday is election day! Today is the day when all of the annoying campaign commercials and phone calls will end. YAY!! Don’t forget to go and cast a vote for your candidate of choice. If you do, there are rewards involved (besides the obvious – a new president).

Starbucks is giving a free cup of brewed coffee to individuals who simply tell the barista that you voted.

Participating locations of Krispy Kreme will give individuals sporting their “I Voted” stickers a free star-shaped doughnut covered in red, white, and blue sprinkles.

If your sweet tooth is aching between the hours of 5 – 8 pm, head on over to Ben & Jerry’s to get a free scoop of ice cream.

Wow, so easy and yet so satisfying in so many ways!

Sneak Peek November 2, 2008

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town.

Casey’s mom arrived on Thursday evening to spend a long weekend with us. As a surprise, Casey was able to get us a tour of the Capitol. If you’ve never been, I encourage you to write your senator or congressman to get a tour. It is incredibly educational and a lot of fun to see how our government works…or at least is supposed to. I’ve never been a history buff, unlike my husband, but it does give you a greater appreciation of our nation’s history. We got to walk down on the house floor, pass by Nancy Pelosi’s office, see the Old Supreme Court, and learn some wacky historical facts…it was well known that Jefferson and Adams did not like each other. If you look closely at Trumbull’s painting, The Declaration of Independence, you can see Jefferson standing on Adam’s foot. I love learning funny (and random) stuff like that!

As a surprise to all of us, our “guide” gave us a sneak peek of the Capitol’s new visitor center which doesn’t open to the public until December 2nd. We weren’t allowed to take any photos because they want to keep everything under wraps until the opening. We were shown an 18 minute film before touring the exhibition hall. I can’t say enough good things about the visitor center. You leave with much more appreciation, not just for our great country, but also for each individual state and how it all works together. While construction of the visitor center went well beyond the expected completion date and the original budget, the payoff is incredible. Just another reason why living in DC is so great!

See more photos in the Flickr sidebar.