Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Chicken and Donuts!!! (now with MORE chicken! lol!)

Let's talk chicken........if you follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook, or ever talk to me, you probably know a little bit about my Chick Fil A peach milkshake addiction. Oh it is bad! Really good for me it is a seasonal shake or I would need to sell the car to buy bigger pants (and walk everywhere to work back into my original size). But enough about that.......back to the chicken.

Chick Fil A is opening a new location down in Fairfield on September 8th. (see link for address.....) Like they do for every opening, the first 100 people in line get a free Chick Fil A meal for a year! Dang that would be fun! But if you don't want to spend 24 hours hanging out, I have heard a rumor that they are practicing starting tomorrow and plan to pass out 10,000 free sandwiches! I wonder how long it takes to pass out 10,000 sandwiches? I wonder if you have to buy the rest of the meal or can't buy anything else at all? I don't know the answer to these questions. If you do, let me know and I'll update the post. Take a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory and make it a road trip!

Wow there is a whole lotta chicken going on! All Chick Fil As are giving away breakfast sandwiches starting next Tuesday! You pick the date, you pick the store, you pick the time! CLICK HERE for more information and to RSVP! If you go in any morning other than Thursday, you can even enjoy a peach milkshake with that free breakfast entree! (Hey, now! It is perfect for breakfast.........fruit and dairy! mmmmm! Tasty!!)

(and before we move on from chicken, let me remind you that Chick Fil A near Arden Fair has family night every Tuesday night where kids eat free. with the boys older now, we don't get to take advantage of these fun things.....but you might be able to!)

If Fairfield is a little too far away (because you are busy doing all those awesome things I mentioned happening this weekend) how about some donuts? vegan donuts? seriously awesome donuts?? Doughbots Donuts opens Saturday morning at 5am!! (I'll be sleeping in, but you are welcome to bring me a few by......otherwise, I'll be enjoying them a bit later and might even do a donut review!) Are you going to check them out? IF you do, let me know what you think! I am not a big donut fan, but am really intrigued by the idea of designed donuts.

hope that all makes you hungry!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Labor Day Weekend: enough time for FUN & a little relaxation!

School has started and I can't believe how much I am already looking forward to the first holiday, Labor Day! A three day weekend somewhat guarantees me I'll get to sleep in at least ONE morning....and even offers that whispered promise of a possible date with hubby!

But just when I start thinking wonderful thoughts of kicking back, that old adage comes crashing through: "the universe hates an empty calendar." This must be why there are SO many things to do this weekend! And believe me when I tell you, there is something for everyone: young at heart, old fashioned at heart, and gay at heart! (sorry! just couldn't pass that one up!)

Here are my top picks for this coming Labor Day weekend:

  • Sacramento Gold Rush Days: Did you know I was a history major in college? They called it "social science" but it really was history! Anyway, I used to participate in events like this on the side. The folks from the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation (and others) are going to truck in a bunch of dirt to Old Sacramento, have loads of people in period costumes (like I used to do), and pretend Proposition 13 and Governor Terminator didn't exist! The sites says the year is 1850, but if you want to attend the preview night on Friday, it will only be in $18.49! If you can hold on until the clock strikes 1850, the event is free and runs from 10am to 5pm. No planning ahead necessary! If you are good at planning ahead (to go back in time) check out the Old Sacramento Underground Tours while you are there! The site also has a great schedule of performances and know, in case you are good at that planning ahead thing.
  • If you want a more colorful weekend, how about checking out Sacramento's own Rainbow Festival! This event runs Friday through Sunday (you will need Monday to rest). The Rainbow Festival is held to raise awareness and raise money for charities that provide support and services to the Lesbian and Gay Community......and to have a blast!!! The main event is the festival street fair Sunday from 10am to 6pm. There will be entertainment, vendors, etc. J and L Streets between 19th & 21st will be blocked until about 8pm Sunday night for the Festival.
  • Should the Rainbow Festival prove a bit TOO colorful for you, how about Sacramento's 20th Annual Chalk it Up! Held at Fremont Park Saturday through Monday, this will feature artists creating works of chalk art, kids activities, and even your own opportunity to create your own personal square!! If nothing else, you might want to check out the festival just to get a chance to track down your favorite elusive food truck! AND, Blackbird Kitchen & Bar is going to be there! These are the awesome people who fed us some AMAZING oysters at the last Sacramento TweetUp! I am SO looking forward to these guys opening for business! Anyway, come get your hands dirty (or chalky), listen to some music, and be a kid again!!
  • However, should your weekend plans include a belated spring cleaning.....or early fall cleaning, maybe you are looking for something a bit more practical? How about an e-waste event? You are in luck! One is being held this Saturday from 9am to 1pm in the parking lot by the softball field at Mira Loma High School!
  • They can accept: monitors, tvs, PCs, VCRs, stereo equipment, speakers, keyboards, mouse(s), PDAs, digital cameras, zip drives, telephones, cell phones, printers, copiers, toasters (huh, didn't know about that one), blenders, microwaves, laser and multifunction scanners and fax machines. They'll even destroy your hardrive!!
  • They cannot take: household appliances like fridges or washers/dryers, furniture (seriously people? when is furniture considered e-waste??), hazardous household waste like: flourescent light bulbs, paint, pesticides, used oil, cleaning supplies, and tires......again, not e-waste!
  • While you are there, consider making a donation. That IS what it is all about, right?
So, a big beautiful weekend ahead of you! Lots of fun things to do......and still get that lazy morning to sleep in! If you decide to check out any of the events listed above, please let me know! Also, remember to take a moment and tell me how you would have some fun sharing Tillamook Cheese! I have some great ideas (and terrific jokes) already!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sharing Loaf Love! And you can too!

Thanks to all the fun I had with them at the Sacramento Zoo last month, I was fortunate to receive a very special care package from Tillamook Cheese. They call it a "Baby Loaf Box". The wonderful people at Tillamook asked that I use the contents to Share the "Loaf" Love to bring friends and family together for some cheesy fun. (and promote Tillamook's awesome cheese of course!) Honestly, the possibilities for sharing the cheese were endless and a bit overwhelming. A favorite idea that didn't make the cut was a "build your own nacho bar." I don't think it will be too long before you hear me blog about that happening....maybe a football game party?

Anyway, as you may remember, our family tries to have a game night each Sunday where we end the weekend and start the week playing games and reconnecting. Recently, these have gone the wayside to last minute errands, Scout meetings, etc. Tillamook Loaf Love was just the incentive we needed to get back to this favorite habit.

We invited the Powers family over for a Sunday night fondue. The Monterey Jack and Medium Cheddar Baby Loafs were perfect for this! (yes, shredded cheese would be easier, but I have 2 kids that want to help and shredding cheese is a great way to let them help!) I wanted a nice balance between the more classic fondue dipping items and more "kid" fun kind of bits. By the time the Powers arrived, we had lots of goodies ready to dip: sausage, meatballs, tortellini, lots of veggies, apples, soft pretzels, and tator tots. Ready for dipping were a white wine Monterey Jack cheese with some garlic and nutmeg (surprising but tasty!) and a beer bacon Cheddar cheese fondue with bacon pieces, mustard, horseradish, and Worcheshire sauce.

Eight people around the table, dipping and talking made for a fun, loud meal! Lots of laughter, reaching arms and tasty cheese fondue! It was fun seeing how the same items tasted different in the two different cheese pots.

The kids decided their favorite dipping items were meatballs that had been baked and halved and the chunked sourdough bread. (don't tell the kids, but I think they ate more veggies tonight than they normally do!)

After dinner, the kids played Wii and the grown-ups sat around and chatted. The evening was definitely a success!

So, wanna know how "you can too" share in the Tillamook Loaf Love? Well, in the Baby Loaf Box were some coupons (and what I call "party favors".........see the photos with the two Baby Loafs) for me to share with my blog readers! The coupons are good for 2lbs of Tillamook Cheese!! (did you know the cheddar is aged and someone actually tastes it to make sure it is aging nicely? I want THAT job!!)

Here is the deal:
Tillamook asked that I have my blog readers post their ideas for how to Share the Loaf with their family and/or friends. The most creative ideas will win free cheese!
And since you know how I love puns, I am going to give the best cheesy joke or pun free cheese too!!
You have until September 10th to post your ideas and jokes!!

And when you win, be sure to check out Tillamook's blog or website for some great recipes using that tasty cheese!

Disclosure: In case you hadn't figured it out, in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR Part 255, Tillamook Cheese has generously supplied me with complimentary tasty cheese for promotional purposes.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Yeah, what Andrew said!

MrAndrewBradley: Food Trucks!

those cream puffs were amazing! but even more so were the great fish tacos from Mama Kims! can't wait until I can catch Wicked Wich near work.....their sandwiches looked awesome!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

oh the things you could do!

well.....if you have the time or could be in 2 (or 3) places at one time! all very cool things! I am so thankfully that Sacramento has so many great options to spend your free time doing.
  • in case you have fallen prey to the propaganda put forth by that dastardly Wizard, you can spend Saturday afternoon at the Crest Theater enjoying the Wizard of Oz sing-along! Karaoke starts at 1pm.
  • tonight is an outdoor viewing of the Wizard of Oz at the Crocker Art Museum. (sorry for the last minute notice...I WAS going to give you 3 hours notice but Blogger decided maintenance was more important than informing you about this!) not billed as a sing-along, though I have been promised that no singers will be punished. the event starts at 8pm. I would suggest a quick check at the weather since there is a huge fire burning at 7th and Richards and all of downtown has that "fresh smoked" feeling.
I wanna know when they are going to make a Wicked movie and then have sing alongs for the faithful! Elphaba Lives!
  • tomorrow night, Thursday, plenty of notice, don't complain if you didn't know about it already...... is Wonderbread 5 at Outdoors at UC you might assume AT the UCD Med Center. that nifty link will give you a link to directions in case you are Med Center area challenged like I am! be a good sport, take some soda tabs or laundry detergent or microwave popcorn by the Ronald McDonald House while you are in the area! it will start your night off with GROOVY karma!!
  • finally, if that ol' "sing the praises of Oz" thing isn't for you.....but yellow squishy fruits are more your style (somehow that didn't look as good written out as it sounded in my head)....the head over to the Second Annual Banana Fest! really, you could do both since this event is August 13th & 14th! the event is at William Land Park (handy dandy close to the Sacramento Zoo) and features all those wonderful foods that make the smell of ripening bananas worth it along with some pretty nifty entertainment for the entire family! where do I sign up for the banana split eating contest? AND, if the $7 price tag makes you skittish, have I got a deal for you!!* follow @BananaFestival on Twitter, mention them in a tweet today, and you will get a code for $5 tickets! that gives you $2/person towards the purchase of your favorite banana delicacy! I have heard that you can only use the code once per order but can use it on multiple orders.....just think how much money you and your bunch (of bananas) can save!
finally, if you are in the mood for a darn good movie (and some popcorn whether it is good, bad, or indifferent) remember that my favorite movie of the year, The Help, comes out tonight! remember me talking about it?

I think I am missing something (even though I DID make a list!). so how about if I just state that these amazing events are in addition to all the already great things you can enjoy before the summer disappears and I start singing the praises of Halloween, pumpkin patches, and how bad I look in the color orange!

*not really a I-have-personally-scored-for-you kinda deal......just something I saw and of course had to share.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

#TheHelpMovie - a review and comparison

Under the theory of sharing the things I see, I wanted to try and do a more formal review of the movie The Help. I have read the book and seen the movie twice now. I tried to think and be objective the second time around instead of just basking in the beauty of the story. (there is a hint about how I feel about the movie.)

The Help is the story of an independent young white woman, fresh from college and itching to write the story of her career, and the supposedly "free" colored women who are paid below minimum wage, treated like slaves, and considered disposable as they run households, raise white children, and put up with the indignities of living in the South in the 1960s. (wow that was a mouthful!) The story Skeeter decides on is how these maids/housekeepers feel and their relationships with the ladies they work for. This isn't easy for her to accomplish and that underscores the worries of the time. Two very strong willed maids, Abileen and Minny, help her. These three women are the focus of the book and film.

For me, the most important part of any movie adaptation of a book is that the movie retains the spirit of the story. I realize that characters need to be combined sometimes and parts left out. but the resulting movie still needs to make me feel the way the book did. (think about the avid fans raging against Harry Potter for the parts of the movie that don't live up to the books.)

The Help did an excellent job of keeping the overall feel of the story. Yes, parts were left out and events skimmed in some cases, but the viewer still left the movie feeling the same way a reader feels when done reading the book: totally peeved about how maids/housekeepers were treated by the white women they worked for and vindicated by their victories, small and large. I loved that at certain parts of the movie (which I shall not spoil for those who have not read the book) you could tell who in the audience had read the book. But knowing what twists and turns were coming didn't take away from the joy of watching the film. In fact, I think it made it just that much better. And while many movies might fade after the second watching, I was only more captivated the second time.

The actresses picked to play each of the main roles, Emma Stone, Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer shine! in this role, Emma Stone has proven herself an actress to be reckoned. Equally impressive are newcomers (to me) Bryce Dallas Howard (Ron Howard's daughter), and Jessica Chastain. I know it is cliche, but these women truly brought their characters to life.

Is it a good indication of an excellent adaptation when you leave the movie wanting to read the book again? if that is the case, then The Help is truly an excellent movie. even if you have not read the book, you will enjoy this story of friendship and courage.