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Peppermint Patty Pucker January 16, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Beauty.

palmers-dk-chco-pprmtRanked high among my many obsessions is lip balm. Not to mention that a visit to Walgreens, for me, is basically like setting a kid loose in a candy store. So many fun things, so little funding! Casey had to return a purchase to our local Walgreens, so I was free to roam about looking for new products to try. Bee-line to the lip balm. There I spotted a tube of Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Lip Butter…in dark chocolate and peppermint. This combination I find yummy in many things like Junior Mints and Brownies, but I would like to also point out that it can go terribly wrong. Knowing that the chocolate is artificial, there was the potential for this to be a complete flavor disaster. Upon my first smear, I was pleasantly surprised by the Junior Mint-esque scent…but slightly disappointed in the lack of flavor. Not just in the fact that it didn’t taste the way it smelled, but that it didn’t taste at all. No flavor. Of course, maybe that’s the point. If it tasted so good that you licked your lips constantly, would you really be doing your chapped smoochers any favors!?

Chick to Chick January 13, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Pets.
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3dogschickI usually give Dixie cookies made from natural ingredients. I’ve been ordering Cheese Treats from Happy Tails out of Columbia, SC, and paw print cookies from My Doggy out of NY. However, I like to change it up. I search for everything through Etsy, so why not dog treats?

Sweet success. I discovered 3 Dogs and a Chick. Owner Nicole and her three pups live in Ft. Walton Beach, FL, and serve up homemade, healthy, and all-natural dog treats. I snagged up a variety pack which Nicole baked fresh on Friday and I found resting comfortably on my front porch on Monday afternoon.  I selected the Apple Honey paw prints, BBQ’d Squirrels, Doggie Doodles (like the human Snickerdoodle counterpart), and Aloha Biscuits (pineapple soft cookies). Each variety smelled delish (and, no, I didn’t give ’em a try myself) and were unbelievably soft.  I haven’t pegged Dixie’s favorite. She basically gobbles each of them up with equal vigor leaving only the tiniest crumbs and a large puddle of drool.

Namasté January 8, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town.

Since last summer, and by way of my friend Beth’s introduction, I’ve been taking regular fitness classes at our local rec center. Classes are less expensive than our gym membership and the people are way more friendly. The class schedule changes every quarter which gives me the opportunity to try new things. I started with a crew class. It was a great total body workout, but like running on a treadmill, it can get to be a little monotonous. Next up was boxing for fitness. Well, you all saw how that played out. This quarter I’m taking on hatha yoga. Tonight was my first class and, well, I l-o-v-e-d it. Along with the other classes that I’ve already mentioned, I’ve also been taking pilates which I’ve held near and dear for some time now. More so than what I expected, yoga is quite similar yet more flowing. 

The point of this post was to say how much fun I had, but to also mention a few of my Christmas presents that I’ve put to use as a result.  I have a pointy tailbone and a pointy spine.  When I would do “rolling like a ball” (super fun, by the way) on my old mat, I could feel every bone dig into the wood floor. OUCH! To compensate, I would basically roll like a wobbly ball. Casey relieved all of that by giving me a new, extra squishy mat for Christmas. Santa knew I would need a fancypants bag for my fancypants mat and this was under the tree. Who knew Santa shopped at Etsy?! No wonder he’s so jolly!

Carafe Wine Makers January 8, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town.
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One of my top five favorite booths at the MCES was Carafe Wine Makers. Located in Old Town Alexandria, Carafe gives you the opportunity to take control of the grapes. Once you’ve decided on your personalized blend, a few weeks later you’re able to visit their location again to bottle, label, and cork your creation. If you’re not interested in creating your own vintage, you can always pop into their wine bar for happy hour or one of their special tastings. We preferred their fruity mist wines. The blackberry merlot was by far one of the best wines I tried at MCES…I even ventured back for seconds!

Stonewall Kitchen January 7, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.

stonewallNow back to our regularly scheduled programming…
Prior to the new year, I was talking about the various vendors that we enjoyed at November’s MCES. Based on the crowd surrounding the Stonewall Kitchen booth, we weren’t the only fans there. I’ve yet to try one of their spreads, dips, or mixes that I didn’t like. I hold a deep disdain for celery, but if anyone could make me change my mind, it would have to be Stonewall. For those who know me, you know that’s saying a lot! The quality of Stonewall products is just that good.

Their jam selection is endless and endlessly delicious. Looking for a two-second appetizer, take a block of cream cheese and cover it with their Hot Pepper Jelly, serve with Wheat Thins or Chicken in a Biskit crackers. YUM! Spread their Mimosa Brunch Jam on a buttermilk biscuit for a treat reminiscent of my southern childhood. The Holiday Jam was a favorite in the Moore household this year, but you’ll have to wait until the next holiday season to pick up a jar of this cranberry-orange delight (or check out the sale items).  They seem to offer everything under the sun.  I especially like their packaging. The labels look to be handwritten giving me the feeling that I’ve brought home some of my Aunt Emma’s homemade goodies. 

Stonewall is based in York, Maine; however, you can find their products at many grocery and specialty food stores.  If you happen to live in the DC area, you can head over to National Harbor and check out their newest company store….but you better wait until payday!

Here’s to Luck and Prosperity in 2009 January 1, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Family/Home, Food.

new-years-dinner-09In order to bring luck and prosperity in the New Year, southerners typically eat a meal that consists of black-eyed peas, collards, and cornbread.  Respectively, they represent coins, paper money, and gold.  This is a superstitious tradition that dates back to the Civil War.  These sides are typically served with pork which is also a symbol of prosperity in many cultures.  According to my research, “pigs are considered good luck because they root forward, symbolizing progress.” [source: blogher] The combination makes for one tasty meal where I get to enjoy my most favorite food of all, collards.

hot-fudge-brownie-cakeI also took this opportunity to try out a recipe that I read about in the January 2009 issue of Southern Living, the hot fudge brownie cake. It was delicious and not too overwhelmingly sweet…it just needed something extra.  There’s also a mocha version that I’d be willing to give a shot next go around.  A little coffee, in my book, makes everything better! 

Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2009 from our family to yours!

Sahale Snacks January 1, 2009

Posted by smooregasbord in Around Town, Food.
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sahale_nut_blendsIf you’re a nut for nuts, then you’ll love Sahale Snacks. Using only natural and organic ingredients, Sahale takes various nuts and combines them with dried fruits and unique seasonings and spices. We’ve tried the Valdosta (pecans, cranberries, black pepper, and orange zest), Soledad (almonds, apples, flaxseed, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper), and Cashews (with pomegranate and vanilla) and have loved each of them equally.  The serving size on these snacks is 1/4 cup. However, if you can stop at just 1/4 cup, call me. That will make you one of the most disciplined individuals that I know!