Bloggers in Bloom Recap (AFGS2014 Giveaway)


(This post has a giveaway at the end!  Please comment for a chance to win.  The AFGS provided me with these tickets at no cost to me and all opinions are my own.  Thankful for their generosity and I look forward to the event to see the beauty that will be displayed.)

All day the city of Little Rock looked like a frozen glass house.  Ice was on every tree limb and wire.  But, at a blogging and flower and foodie event: it was warm and colorful inside.

Last night I went to a wonderful event hosted at a lovely home here in Little Rock.  It was all about flowers, food, spring, the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show (coming up in a few weeks), warm weather, friends, and wine & food pairings.  What a night filled with beautiful color and helpful information and prime rib and salmon (oh the salmon)!

AFGS 2014











For me, the night was about color.

Yellow is such an inviting color.  Have it in your guest room, your entry way, or anywhere in your home where you would like people to feel completely welcome.Art can make a statement.

The owners of the home we were invited in to love art.  There was a piece on every wall.  Gorgeous ways to bring in color to your home.

Strawberries and black pepper – new fave combination!

I had on a pink scarf and there was so much purple in the room – love it!  All these different hues found everywhere at the event!

I’ve been reading in Exodus in my devotions about how God was detailing the colors for the tabernacle.  I love God gave us colors and instructed us to use them in worshiping Him!  He is a colorful, creative God!

The last thing I learned was later when I was talking with my husband about the event: make sure your home tells what is really the most important thing in life.  When people come in your home – what will they remember?  What will their takeaway be?

And I have a giveaway for you!!!  Thankful for the free tickets to the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show.  I have three pairs to giveaway to readers!  So, if you are going to be able to attend the event at the Statehouse in a few weeks, leave a comment below (only blog comments will count) about your favorite flower and how you bring it into your home to brighten up the blah months of winter.  I will pick three winners who will each get a pair of tickets to the event.  Thank you AFGS!!!  I can’t wait to attend the event on Friday morning with my family!  And if you have Sunday afternoon available – it is going to be a great time for the youngest gardeners out there!

So thankful for the Arkansas Flower and Garden Show, the owners of Colonial Wine and Spirits, Chris Olson and his talents for making flowers come to life inside your home, and the Arkansas Women Bloggers, and all those who gave us such lovely SWAG for this wonderful event.


2012 Arkansas Cornbread Festival

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You know you are still in the South when on a Saturday in November you head out to a cornbread festival.  It was my first outing in Little Rock.

There was a diverse crowd there and almost as many ways people cook cornbread.

Scattered on Main Street were individuals and professionals (like the Capitol Hotel and Boulevard Bread) who had entered their authentic recipe for cornbread to be chosen the winner of this year’s festival.  But, along with the cornbread there was live music, arts and crafts, and even someone’s pet pig.

One of the vendors I stopped at was BVann Originals – bags, gifts, and pretty things that all had a touch of uniqueness.  B.Vann and his other workers at his table were very nice to talk with and let me take their picture. 

I tasted two good ones today – most were rather dry and served with good sides (meaning the sides were better than the star of the show, the cornbread).  They served authentic southern sides as chili, red beans, chicken and dumplings, and of course a variety of greens.  The best savory one I thought was more of a spoon bread sitting on top of some well-seasoned collards.  delicious.  Hint of jalapeno and sweetness.  Perfect combination.  The other one was sweet – like desssert sweet.  Pumpkin Spice Cornbread, topped with homemade local coffee ice cream and drizzled with caramel sauce.  Definitely a winner – and definitely non-traditional.

My only disappointment was there was no cornbread you could buy to take home – and no “secret” recipes to be given out.

I look forward to exploring more of the new state we live in.

NC Event: NC Muscadine Festival

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You never really know what to expect with small town festivals, even if they have years of reputation.
20$ isn’t a bad way to spend a day, enjoy the fruits of muscadines and scuppernongs, beach music, and shag dancing, and any fair food that you would want.
Kenansville in DUplin County was the setting for the NC Muscadine Harvest Festival. Small town and people from other counties came to enjoy the dancing and the vineyards’ tastes.
Chestnut Farms, Stephens Vineyard, and Duplin Winery at Rose Hill were by far my favorite. Whether it was the grapes, the customer service, knowledge, friendliness, or the sweetness – they are the winners in my book.
The shag dancing was fun to watch and I actually want to learn it. But, that requires a partner – one whom I want to be that close to – so I may just have to learn the steps and be ready. There were some dear elderly people who were dancing the night away.
What a fun event – and I’ll probably head back next year. You want to go. It surpassed my expectations.

Raleigh Event: 29th Annual Greek Fest

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One thing that I love about living in the triangle is that the nations come here. While most try to blend in to American “Southern” culture, there are some who celebrate their heritage. I love it!
Last night was the first time I have gone to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church’s Greek Festival. It was a lot of fun.
Met up with some new friends there. Dinner was delicious and a huge portion, so I gave half away. I had the chicken rigonato. Pretty much half a chicken, marinate with olive oil, garlic and oregano. Very juicy. Serve with rice and green beans/tomatoes (so good too). I really wanted a baklava sundae, but didn’t give into that. My friends said it was absolutely delicious.
The dancing was great – especially with the close-up seats we had. Just love getting a glimpse into another culture. Knowing that if I ever get to head to the Greek isles, than I will know something of their culture (besides good food and the color blue). And BTW, that is on my bucket list.
I asked the question if we had an American culture festival (some would say we do at the Fair each year), I wonder what people would see? America is such a melting pot that it would be hard to have a definite culture to promote.

Our State #6: Sunrise Biscuit Co. (Oxford)

posted in: Festivals, food, Uncategorized | 0
Heading north on HWY 50 gave us opportunity to hit up Our State Top 100 Number 6 on Saturday. Oxford, a little quaint town about 35 minutes north of Raleigh, was having its Hot Sauce Festival that day. I can’t imagine how dead the downtown would have been without the festival, but this restaurant I’m sure still would have been packed out.
Then line in Sunrise Biscuit Company never got any shorter while we were there, people just kept coming in. It was about 8:30am on a Saturday morning – people having more leisure mornings without having to rush off to work.
To be honest, this wasn’t the best biscuit I’ve ever had in my life. I’d rather have Bojangles any day of the week. The grits had no flavor and even after I put the salt and pepper in it – still they didn’t do anything for me. The biscuit was decent – but the sausage was better.
So…I think I’ll stick to Bojangles. But, the closest one to downtown Oxford was about 10 minutes. So…if you want a cup of coffee and a biscuit for a cheap price – you can go there.

NC Happenings: Hendersonville's NC Apple Festival

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Labor Day. End of summer. Beginning of Fall. Beautiful this time of year in North Carolina (Fall is definitely my favorite time of the year).
Over in a little town in the mountains of western NC, Labor Day brings hundreds of visitors to its quaint streets. Hendersonville comes alive!
My friends and I attended:
1. Loved the smell of the Greek food and roasted corn from Mother Shucker’s right when we turned the corner on to the main street of the fair.
2. I loved the Moss Farms where I could sample the apples but also mix and match my pecks that I bought.
3. I realized that Raleigh is sort of in a warp outside of Hendersonville.
4. Kilwin’s used local apples for their candied apples.
5. The Mast General Store had been there well before the turn of the century (1900) and had a quality assortment of long ago candy. And I stocked up on some mixed amish popcorn for 5$ (which is a better price than I can get in any grocery store.
6. I practiced restraint. We had just eaten at Hot Dog World, and even though all of the food smelled wonderful, I think I just took 2 bites of one apple. Thank you Jesus for self-control being put in practice that night.
7. I loved the sun glistening off the main street buildings. Pretty at sunset.
8. Singing in my head “small town Saturday night.” Everything’s a country song.

Next year, may make a return trip to the Apple Festival.