Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Moms Rock with REO Speedwagon

Disclaimer:  I have been given two free tickets to the REO Speedwagon concert at Robinson Center Music Hall for writing this post and promoting the Moms Rock event.  There will be no other compensation.  All opinions are my own and as always I wouldn't share anything here that I don't fully believe in.

I began hanging out with my mom socially even before I became a teenager. Her cousins often gathered together for dinner and a movie and my mom thoughtfully brought me to one of those weeknight Girls Night Out movie dates.  I was so ecstatic. A school night + dinner out + a movie? I thought I was one lucky kid. And, I was.  Those special nights would shape me into the woman I would become: a woman who was friends with not only her mom but with her mother's female cousins as well. 

As I became a teenager those movie nights led to weekend get-togethers; picnics, festivals, parties-in-the-park where we'd listen to local bands, dance, and enjoy each others company.  Hanging out with these ladies became even more fun when I was an adult and lived across the street from our town's huge music festival venue.  Along with awesome female companionship came adult beverages and some really, really great rock'n'roll entertainment.

One of my first concerts at the Muskegon Summer Celebration was hanging out with mom and the girls while REO Speedwagon rocked it onstage. We were never the types to try to get up front to be nearer the band.  Instead we found our spot in the back, close to the large screens. We'd spread out blankets, eat, drink, people watch, sing along to Take it on the Run {baby!} at the top of our lungs, and just have a good time. It's one of my most favorite memories.

REO Speedwagon is rollin' into town on May 8th.  They'll be at the Robinson Center Music Hall in Little Rock. I wish my mom was here to go.  It would be the perfect Mother's Day present, don't you think? 

I'll be going with Thom (he's never seen them!!) but we'll be hanging out with some pretty awesome friends who also happen to be moms.  I think we'll be able to rock it! 

I'd love to rock it with you, too! I'm happy to be able to offer the discount code MOMSROCK to you for tickets.  See below for ticket pricing and the discounted price.  Bring your mom! Bring your bff.  Let's take it on the run, baby.  Okay.  I promise not to sing too loudly.

Prices are as follows:

52.00 (discount to $47.00)
47.00 (discount to $$45.00)
$37.00 (discount to $35.00)

Get  your tickets here.  Don't forget the discount code MOMSROCK.

If you can't be there in person, follow our rockin' night with REO Speedwagon using #RockTheRobinson, #ARWB, and #REOSPEEDWAGON on Twitter & Instagram.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Arkansas Blogger Bake Sale | May 3rd

It's almost May, and that means I've been focusing my efforts on working to end childhood hunger here in Arkansas and across the US. That's right, the Arkansas Blogger Bake Sale is happening in just under two weeks and we've revved things up this year prior to the actual bake sale.

Our fearless leader Christie from Fancy Pants Foodie along with Kevin from The Mighty Rib and Julie from Eggs & Herbs have put together a fabulous auction of goods and services to get this year's fundraiser kick started. Bidding is underway and will go through May 2nd.  Check it out and get your bid in. Cakes, cooking and decorating lessons, and gift certificates to some fine Little Rock establishments are up for grabs.

The bake sale will happen on May 3 from 9am to 5pm in North Little Rock at Sixth and Main Streets-right next to the Argenta Certified Arkansas Farmer's Market. Just like last year there will be plenty of goodies to satisfy every sweet tooth including gluten-free and vegan options. Savory options will also be for sale and maybe even some fun non-food items that I am working on.

Interested in volunteering?  We're still seeking bakers and booth workers.  Click here to tell us how you'd like to help out.

Can't make it to the sale?  Don't eat sweets?  Want to donate cash? No problem! Click here for our team donation page.

All proceeds will benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign for Share Our Strength.  It's also important to note that the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance administers the No Kid Hungry program here in Arkansas- a great organization doing really, really good work.

I love volunteering for this project. No kid should go to bed hungry or wake up without a meal for breakfast. We can change this, friends.  Join me, won't you?

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pin it & Spin it: Paper bag ribbon

The main reason I bought a sewing machine was to be able to make these paper bag and lace ribbons I found ages ago on Pinterest. Paper bags, thread, ruffles.  Sounds easy enough, right?

Not so much.  At least for this girl.  I think it was user error concerning the machine and invisible thread, though-something to do with the tension setting and maybe a little goo build up on the arm that holds the spool of thread.  I was able to get only half of a ribbon made before frustration set in and I had to ask Thom for help with the sewing machine. After he got it straightened it out for me I just sort of gave up.

I like the final result. I used thin paper lunch bags and some thrifted lace trim. I definitely think the invisible thread would look much nicer and eventually I'll try this pin again. You're probably wondering what exactly will I use paper bag ribbons for? I plan on decorating the front of a gift bag or some white tags with them. Have you completed any of the projects you've pinned lately? I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Girls Who Craft

I spent Tuesday night with a couple of friends: Eggs & Herbs and Southern Fried Gal. Okay, they have real names: Julie and Carmella. We met up for a craft night.  Both of these gals were my first friends here in Arkansas (awww...group hug!) and we all met through blogging.  Such fun.  Can't wait to do it again!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Pin it & Spin it: Fried Pickles

Normally, I'm not a fan of fried foods.  I mean I like them and all but if I'm going to be totally unhealthy I'd much rather it be with cupcakes and frosting. Total honesty, friends.  I know I'm a mess.

But when a girl gets a hankerin' there's nothing to be done but to give in.

We've tried fried pickles in the past without success.  I've had my eye on these two pins for awhile. After a quick consult with the resident Cove chef {Thom} we thought we could do better with the basic recipes.

Here's what we came up with:

The spin: kick up the basic recipe with more garlic and cayenne. Add a milk/egg wash and double dredge. We also added a bit of Slap Ya Mama to the egg wash mixture {no hot sauce in the house-a travesty for which i am most regretful.}

 Fried Pickles

For the coating:

dry ingredients
1/3 cup cornmeal
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne

wet ingredients
2 eggs beaten
1 cup milk
splash of hot sauce or about 1/2 tsp Cajun Seasoning {we use this}, optional

Note: for a whole jar of pickles you will need to double the dry ingredients for the coating.  I made ours in two batches as to not get too much egg/coating gunk in my dredge bowl.

1 jar of dill pickle slices, drained
Oil for frying {we used canola-about 3 inches deep}

Gather: cookie sheet; parchment or wax paper; plate & paper bag for draining {or use paper towel, baking rack, etc}


Heat oil to 350 degrees. We used a  deep fry pot with a basket but a frying pan with deep sides will work as well.  Prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with parchment paper or wax paper. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl.  In another bowl, beat eggs and milk. Add hot sauce or Cajun seasoning if desired.

Place a handful of pickles into the egg wash mixture and then into the dry ingredient mixture. Toss to coat.  Taking two pickles at a time, re-submerge them into the egg wash, re-dredge in cornmeal/flour mixture and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Fry the pickles in small batches for 3-5 minutes.  If using a fry pot with a basket it should not be necessary to turn the pickles.  If using a fry pan, turn the pickles halfway through for even frying.

Remove pickles and drain on paper bag lined plates.  Salt immediately.  Continue working in small batches. About halfway through I made up another bowl of dry ingredients to finish dredging the last half of pickles.

Enjoy while warm with ranch dressing or dill sauce.