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Handmade gifts are the best, so check out the 10 Charleston artisans creating goods with a Southern accent I wrote about for USA Today 10Best and get your holiday shopping done!

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i’m baaaaaack!

Jenny Craig progress sign

Okay, I put back on all the weight I lost last year — all 30 pounds — plus some.

I’m a little disgusted with myself.

But, since my word this year is “improve,” I’m back at Jenny Craig and I’ve already lost [Read more…]

yoplait light? sweet!

Yoplait Light Boston Cream Pie
This post is sponsored by Yoplait Yogurt. All opinions are, as 
always, 100% mine. I hope you'll click on the sponsored links
because this is an awesome snack!

Okay, you are so going to thank me for this.

As we’re all making resolutions and words for the new year, losing weight and eating healthier always seem to top the list. For me, the hardest part is cutting down on sweets. But I’ve learned I can make it through the day if I know I have a great snack to look forward to, and Yoplait Light just made that so much easier.

Just look at these flavors! Boston Cream Pie! Strawberry Shortcake! Orange Creme! Raspberry Cheesecake! Boston Cream Pie! (Okay, I have a chocolate obsession.) [Read more…]

a yummy giveaway from the fruit company!

Fruit Company basket with note

It’s no secret that I’m kind of obsessed with The Fruit Company.

It all started last summer with a delivery of juicy peaches. Then, last week, they sent me the most delicious Honeycrisp apples which so many of you drooled over and ordered for yourself that The Fruit Company generously offered to do a giveaway of one of their most coveted gift baskets!

Yes, there is a Holiday Hamper Fruit Basket with one of your names on it! [Read more…]

a is for apples. and so it begins.

The Fruit Company Alex and me apples

I was happily celebrating my final NaBloPoMo post this morning when my doorbell rang and the mail carrier handed me a package. [Read more…]

marie callender’s frozen desserts: more to be thankful for

Marie Callender's frozen

I am participating in a Vibrant Influencer Network sponsored campaign for Marie Callender’s. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine. I am in no way affiliated with Marie Callender’s and do not earn a commission or percent of sales.

It’s no secret that I don’t cook. Or that I love food. Or that I especially love dessert.

So, I thought, right in time for Thanksgiving, I would share with you my secret for simple, delicious, crowd-pleasing desserts: Marie Callender’s frozen desserts. [Read more…]

san diego restaurant week

Former SD Mayor Jerry Sanders helps Chef Mark of Fish Public!

Former SD Mayor Jerry Sanders helps Chef Mark of Fish Public!

I just came back from a press conference for one of my favorite events of the year — San Diego Restaurant Week. This year, it runs from September 21-26, and more than 200 restaurants will be offering three-course prix-fixe dinners for $25, $35 or $45 per person and/or two-course prix-fixe lunch menus for $10, $15 or $20. You can check their website to see which restaurants are participating, check out their menu and make a reservation.

This is the 10th anniversary of the twice-yearly event, and it’s how we’ve discovered some of our favorite restaurants. After today, I have a few I definitely want to try.

Because it’s also Wordless Wednesday, it seemed like the perfect time to share pictures of some of the delicious dishes we were treated to at the press conference. [Read more…]

cheese, please! why i’m a #kingdomcheeselover

Ben & Jerry's cow

Cheese, cows, England, the countryside, farm to table, travel, organic food, British accents, cheese.

Okay, you can’t really sing this list but these are a few of my favorite things.

So you can see why my heart practically stopped when I got this email from Mamavation.

Kingdom Cheddar contest


Don’t you think this trip has my name on it?! I do!

Want to know why? Let’s start from the very beginning. (I don’t know why I seem to have developed a Sound of Music theme here. It must be those rolling hills.)

Anyhow, I love cheese. And, in an amazing coincidence that I’m going to take as a sign, I actually tasted Kingdom Cheddar on a recent trip to London. And there is only one word to describe it — YUM.

Besides how delicious it is and how many awards it’s won, it’s also the first USDA certified organic cheese exported to the U.S. from Europe.

In other words, this cheese stands alone. Ha ha ha! 

Seriously, it would be a dream come true to get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kingdom dairy farm and the gorgeous countryside it calls home.

I’ve written about England, about farm to table, about organic farming. I would love to write a series of posts about Kingdom Cheddar just like I did about my Buick Bucket List Trip and my husband’s birthday weekend in Scottsdale, and share their unique story on my other outlets as well.

Plus, I genuinely adore cows. See that beautiful cow, at the top of this post? It sits in a place of honor overlooking our living room.

So don’t you think I should be going to England? I hope you’ll leave a comment below and let the Kingdom Cheddar people know how dedicated I would be to introducing and promoting their cheese. And I also hope you’ll come join the Twitter party tomorrow night at 9 Eastern/6 Pacific. They’ll be giving away lots of prizes, and they’ll also be announcing the lucky winner of the trip.

If — fingers, toes, everything crossed — it’s me, they won’t even have to ask me to smile for the camera. I’m already saying, “Cheese!”

Update: I didn’t win although I did have a great time at the Twitter party, which was laden with cheesy jokes. Congratulations to Jenny McGruther, who will be going to England. Please bring back some cheese for all of us!

my — yes, my! — favorite kitchen gadgets

Lois - kitchen

Okay, you can stop laughing now.

Yes, I get that if you know me at all, you know I don’t cook. If you know me more than a little, you know that my kids used to ask what the food man was bringing for dinner when we lived in Manhattan. If you’re a friend, you know that I had one of our ovens removed when we lived there, and we used our dishwasher as a file cabinet. And, if you’re a family member, well, we’ve eaten in some pretty great restaurants, haven’t we? [Read more…]

from farm to table at chaminade

Chaminade strawberries

I recently stayed at the beautiful Chaminade Resort and Spa in Santa Cruz, California and was crushed to discover I was missing the hotel’s first Farm to Table Wine Dinner of the season by just one day. [Read more…]

reddi-wip® and me: a love story

Reddi-wip crepe

There’s a crepe in here somewhere!

I can honestly say I’ve never turned down Reddi-wip®, whether it’s been offered to me on ice cream, pie, hot chocolate, whatever.  [Read more…]