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Monday, October 31, 2011

You Shouldn't Take More Than One Candy While Trick-or-Treating

Today at school I sat down with a couple of my young students while they were busy coloring pictures. I asked them what they were going to be for trick-or-treat tonight as I could feel the excitement of impending costumes and candy whirl throughout the classroom. They began to animatedly describe their costumes- one a Duke cheerleader and the other Cinderella "before she became a princess", both fabulous options in my opinion. They were so excited to tell me about their plans for trick-or-treat I decided I'd keep the conversation going. 
I asked them what candies they were most hopeful they'd receive tonight. Of course they knew exactly what sweet confections they'd like best to ingest before the sugar highs would surely ensue (me...I'd probably go with Twix bars if I could). One of the little dears then began to tell me that her dad told her to only take one candy per house (wise move!). But...she once saw a little boy take two candies instead of one and "she was pretty sure he's in jail now." 

Oh, the imaginations of little ones never fail to delight me! 

Happy Halloween! I hope you have a safe and fun evening.
What are your plans? 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fresh Eating at the State Fair

Last weekend the hubby and I decided to spend the afternoon at the state fair. We were there for over 6 hours and we didn't ride a single ride or pay for a single over priced heart-attack-on-a-plate fried food item. In fact, we ate well without having to pay for any food items. How did we do it? I'm glad you asked...

We sampled a wide variety of cranberry juices at the Ocean Spray tent. The sparkling juice and the cranberry juice with cherry were the best among the Ocean Spray nectar. Any ideas on where I could get some coupons for Ocean Spray?

We visited the Old Grist Mill for fresh, hot state fair hushpuppies. The interesting part of this mill is that they are actually using it. We got to see the process from corn to hushpuppies as we snacked. 

Mmm...Smitty's Apples sure smell good, though we didn't actually eat any. Just free smells and a photo op. 

 Now this tasty tale is about to get real good...
We stumbled upon an unassuming white tent with a simple sign reading "bread baking demonstration by Neomonde bakery". You had me at hello. 
For two solid hours we sat and watched Neomonde Bakery's entertaining French chef crack jokes and show us the simple joys of baking fresh bread. As he talked and baked he fed us plenty of samples of this gloriously fresh stuff. That's focaccia bread on the left there and walnut raisin pumpernickel on the right. Oh baby! 

Lots of yummy fresh bread made my Austrian reared husband a happy man. He grew up on this kinda stuff!

Fresh focaccia bread (10 minutes from the oven) with tomatoes, cheese, and herbs. I've tasted few things in my life as incredible as this. That is no lie.  This could have gone on for hours more and I would not have complained. 

 With tummies full of the French chef's delicious carbs we moved on to the see more sights such as these sparkly little Christmas ornaments. To early to get in the Christmas spirit? Never.

If it were up to me the only rides the fair would have would be the carousel and the ferris wheel. This is where I confess to you that I'm a 5 year old at heart. And yes, I do love animal crackers and juice boxes. I figured you'd ask. 

That's a whole lot of pumpkin pie! 

When I was a kid the Apex Lion's Club man was real. He sat there with his microphone telling passerbys about the piiiiiiieee. Now he's just a memory, but a recording of his "pieeeeeee" and a nice little cut-out for photo-ops keep his sweet southern memory alive, as does my husband who excitedly jumped in for this photo op. 

 I want to know how you get to be a taste tester for the baked goods competition. Seriously. 
 So close yet so far from such sweet confections. Darn glass case. 
This reminded me of those homemade oatmeal cream pies I discovered on Pinterest last August and keep meaning to make. 

Just sitting on a giant adirondack chair letting that fresh eating digest. Shortie over here had a little trouble getting on and off that giant chair. 

Finally we've managed to get another photo with us both. It's a miracle that ought to become a habit. 

What do you enjoy eating at fairs and festivals?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Game Day

You might have seen that I recently posted on my friend Caitlin's Bachelorette Brunch and Bridesmaids' Dinner. But as we all know, those events are really just prep for game day...the wedding day.  Guys have fantasy football, we ladies have wedding season and for me this wedding season ended on a high note. 

While running a play, the bride and groom wore their wedding colors (chocolate brown, watermelon pink, and avocado green). Getting in the mind-set for game day, surely. 

My husband had time to pass while I was in wedding day training. While I sweated it out to processionals and recessionals he snapped a few photos.  

As any wedding athlete would understand, good nutrition is key. Thank goodness for the rehearsal dinner in order to get our energy reserves back up before game day. And the lovely bride and groom decided to gift each rehearsal dinner guest with a chocolate dipped apple made by the team captains (bride & groom) themselves. 

The locker room, where serious bridesmaids put on their game faces and uniforms. 

Game face. 

Team picture.

Half-time: the time between the ceremony and the reception. Also a good opportunity to snag your hubs for a creative photo opt. 

A wedding athlete's equipment: stylish pair of heels and gerbera daisy bouquet. 

How do you prepare for wedding game day? (your own or a friend's)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bridesmaids' Dinner

This past weekend I had the joy of being Matron of Honor for my sweet friend Caitlin. She's smart, genuine, organized, pretty, creative, stylish and loves God. No wonder Tyler called her before any other guy could- she's quite a catch! 

You may have read my post about the bachelorete brunch I got to host for Caitlin the weekend before her wedding. Just a few days later all the bridesmaids, the bride, and the mothers got to gather together for a very special bridesmaids' dinner. It was a classy and relaxing evening- and oh...the food was INCREDIBLE. Here's a look...

The beautiful bride-to-be, who always puts together the most adorable outfits. 

Bridesmaids Brittany and Goldie and the talented wedding singer, Katie. I absolutely enjoyed every minute I got to spend with these Meredith College girls over the wedding weekend. Especially since I'm now a grad and no longer get to run into such sweet MereCo ladies about campus. 

Every little detail was well-thought out. These monogrammed napkin rings...perfectly classy! I wish I had thought to put some of these on my registry.  

 If this were a restaurant, I would order this salad every time.  

I have no idea what the main dish was called, but it reminded me of a very gourmet version of the southern favorite Ham Delight. It was chicken and ham baked in a flaky crust with a lemon poppyseed sauce on top. Potatoes are always good and you know it's fine dining when there's asparagus on the side.  

This was one of the most fun desserts I've ever had. 6 square thin mint cookies made into a box (and held together by melted chocolate) were filled with raspberry creme puree. It's probably a good thing I don't know where to find square thin mint cookies because I'd make this way too much.  

And all of a sudden I insert a picture of the bride and the mother of the groom crawling around on the floor, heels and all. There has to be a good story behind this one, right? About halfway through dinner Caitlin's sweet mom realized that one of the diamonds from her engagement ring (her mom's engagement ring, not Caitlin's) was missing. We searched the carpets on hands and knees, and a couple people chirped up that we should snap a photo- memory to laugh about in 20 years, right? We even took apart the bathroom sink where she had washed her hands. Nothing! The diamond was missing and what are the chances of that happening on the wedding weekend? But Caitlin's mom took it all in stride and we all got back to dinner. I admire her ability to roll with the punches, something I'm working hard to be able to do. 

I guess it just goes to show anything can happen when it comes to weddings...from gourmet salads to missing diamonds.