Bun in the oven!

10/29/2010 at 2:50 pm | Posted in baby sunshine, Motherhood, pregnancy | 28 Comments
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Swell Stuff {Pony & Poppy}

10/28/2010 at 10:28 am | Posted in Swell Stuff | 5 Comments
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Hello adorable matryoshka dolls. And funky notecards. And crisp, beautiful tea towels.

I discovered Pony & Poppy through Twitter and fell head over heels. I’m a sucker for bright, cheerful graphics and retro prints.

And what a wonderful surprise to see that they’re based in Raleigh. Holla!

Kindred spirits

10/27/2010 at 10:59 pm | Posted in About town, Small Fry, snap happy | 9 Comments
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I’m finally getting around to sharing my eleventy billion State Fair photos on Shutterfly (sorry for the delay, family) and just came across this one.

Makes my heart swell.

Country Living Fair

10/26/2010 at 5:03 pm | Posted in just plain fun, oh the places we go, snap happy | 11 Comments
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Laura and I drove to Stone Mountain, Ga., last weekend with her best friend Kristen to check out the Country Living Fair. Seven hours each way in the car? Totally worth it.

The fair was amazing. Vintage and handmade goods as far as the eye could see. Not to mention cooking and home demos (we got a kick out of Chip Wade from HGTV … and his jeans), and a cafe with delicious food made from recipes featured in the pages of the magazine.

In other words, heaven.

I took a boatload of photos (SUR-PRISE), so I’ll let them do the talking.

It couldn’t have been a more beautiful — and fun — day!

She's not a virgo. Really.

10/25/2010 at 9:07 pm | Posted in Small Fry, snap happy | 7 Comments

Six years ago today

10/23/2010 at 7:59 am | Posted in Love | 12 Comments

State Fair 2010: The "wee bit embarrassing" part

10/22/2010 at 9:45 am | Posted in About town, just plain fun | 11 Comments
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State Fair 2010: a cultural experience

10/21/2010 at 12:52 pm | Posted in About town, Friends, just plain fun, snap happy | 2 Comments
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So after countless visits to the State Fair over the years and a stint as the deep-fried ambassador, I learned something important this week: I have A LOT to learn about the fair.

Like, tucked back behind the big midway is a neat exhibit by the N.C. Wildlife Commission, complete with shooting range. Meet Beth and Sarah, my awesome tour guides:

If you venture down across the pond (a pond? where there used to be boat rides?) you can say hello to Smokey the Bear. And he’ll say hello right back. Which is definitely freaky, especially when he joins in on your conversation. Dude has some ears.

Just around the corner from Smokey is a functioning sawmill, with lumber that you can actually buy. And behind those guys, on a little peninsula that juts out over the pond, is where the fireworks are staged.

Before Tuesday, I’d never explored Heritage Circle.

::hangs head in state fair shame::

There is so much cool stuff back there. Like a blacksmith at work, fresh-pressed apple cider for sale and tobacco that’s been strung in a competition.

I saved some face with my tour guides by admitting that I knew of the free hushpuppies at the old grist mill. But the moment was fleeting. Because then I had to confess that I never knew the grist mill actually functioned. The system of pulleys and belts, whirring about overhead and dipping into the floor below, was astounding.

What an unexpected state fair adventure! It was so refreshing to get out from the deep-fried madness and escape to this little nook.

Now, that’s not to say we didn’t eat. A ham biscuit. NC State ice cream. Al’s fries. Steak sandwiches from the NC Cattlemen’s Association (which, according to Sarah, are the best at the fair).

And, we may just have done something a wee bit embarrassing … but that photo deserves a post all its own. Stay tuned!

State Fair 2010: culinary odyssey with the Deputy and her Assistant

10/19/2010 at 11:55 am | Posted in About town, just plain fun, snap happy | 11 Comments
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Y’all, I ate this.

A cheeseburger between two glazed Krispy Kreme donuts.

Well, I didn’t eat the whole thing. But one-third counts, right?

And the weirdest thing of all (weirder than a donut cheeseburger)? I didn’t hate it.

Using the State Fair’s cool Food Finder, we scoped out new delicacies to try in advance of our trip. While old friends like ham biscuit and hot dog beckoned (and won our attention. burp.), we bravely ventured out of our State Fair food comfort zone. A few times.

I don’t know why I closed my eyes. Made sense at the time.

The Deputy and her Assistant took a more cheerful approach:

Next up?

Deep-fried bacon and cheese mashed potato bites, also new to the fair this year.

While the potato filling was a little bland, the spicy cheese sauce made up for it. And, really, who doesn’t love cheese sauce?

Always up for a challenge, the Deputy ventured next for Frito pie. Which came nestled in its very own little Frito bag:

We capped off our adventure with some old favorites: a chili dog for the Deputy and deep-fried Reese’s Cups for me. Because it’s a State Fair requirement to eat up until the very minute you leave, right?

I’ll leave you, dear readers, with a word of caution from the Deputy and her Assistant. Don’t ride this after you’ve eaten all that:

*Have you been to the fair yet? What are you planning to eat? Do share!

State Fair 2010: a day of firsts

10/18/2010 at 10:36 am | Posted in About town, family, just plain fun, Small Fry, snap happy | 9 Comments
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This is Small Fry before her very first State Fair ride.

We spotted the carousel just after we entered the fairgrounds, and she seemed intrigued by the horses. So Marc took her hand and got in line. I was skeptical. After all, this is the child who refused to ride a kiddie train with her grandmother over the summer. I thought for sure we’d be dealing with an epic meltdown once that merry-go-round starting going ’round.

I stand corrected.

And proud.

With her face frozen in this expression the ENTIRE time, she rode and rode and rode. Seriously. Look at those lips:

And it’s easy to see how triumphant she felt at the end of the ride. Having her own little cheering section helped, too.

Our first trip to the 2010 State Fair was a day of firsts, indeed. Not only did it mark Small Fry’s very first fair ride, it also was my sister-in-law’s boyfriend’s (got all that?) first-ever visit to the State Fair.

I have to give it to Reid. For a first-time fairgoer, he ate us under the table. Before we’d even been inside the gates for 10 minutes, he’d already scored a cinnamon bun. He ventured next for some mini donuts, then tasted one of the fair’s new delicacies this year: a chocolate-covered frozen Twinkie. And that was just the beginning. I shed a tear of pride.

Small Fry LOVED saying hello to all of her barnyard friends from last year, especially Mr. Horse and the baby piggies. Here she is strolling the Expo Center with her Bebe:

And holding baby chicks with her Aunt Amy:

And getting a good look at Mr. Horse:

She also tried out a fishing game with her dad and won a trio of “nemos” in different colors.

And, this is our girl after packing away an ice cream cone covered in sprinkles. Those suckers ended up EVERYWHERE. Even nestled in her bellybutton. See them tucked in there?

It’s safe to say that the grown-ups had just as much fun as Small Fry. Here’s my sister-in-law Amy, with Reid, on her all-time favorite ride, the Alpine Bobs. You could hear her shrieks over the music. Awesome.

Tuckered out after a long day at the fair. Belly full of ice cream (and a hot dog bun, natch). Pinky the pig in hand. I’d say our first visit was a success.

Up next? Some shenanigans with the Deputy. Stay tuned!

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