Posted on Aug 17th, 2014 by Allison (Reviews/Recommendations, Whatever)

Yes, they really do taste like cotton candy. The sweetest, most delectable grapes I have every tasted.

Where did I find these sugary little jewels, you ask?

Why, Central Market of course. They lured me in last year with a sample… walked around the store letting people try them. But they sold out before I could purchase a bag.

Last night I walked in to the grocery department and there they were… I grabbed one of the few remaining bags and couldn’t resist popping a few in my mouth before I got them home. I haven’t finished off the bag yet (but will soon!) and am already counting the days until next season.

They’ve only been on the market since 2011… Have you ever experienced this yumminess?

Learn more about them in this NPR story.

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Posted on Nov 27th, 2012 by Allison (Whatever)

Since moving to the beautiful northwest, I have few reasons to return to the extreme cold, heat and desert of Salt Lake City.   There are some good reasons, mind you, including people (my daughter, granddaughter, mom and a few friends), a couple of restaurants (Cafe Rio, Asian Star) a french bakery (Glaus) and Xpedx.

But today I have one less reason.

I love Xpedx in Salt Lake City.  I never pass up an opportunity to stop and shop from its cavernous offerings of paper, shipping supplies, ribbons, gift boxes & bags, bolts of wrapping paper, plastic serving ware and more – all very reasonably priced.  I’ve never been in another store like it.

Today I received the sad, sad news that Xpedx is closing its doors of the flagship store (Salt Lake) this week – Friday is their last day.  I am so sad, and now have one less reason to visit Salt Lake.    The only stores offering anything close to what Xpedx has are “me-too” paper and craft stores for scrapbookers.  

No thank you…  I’ll save time and shop online.

R.I.P  Xpedx SLC.  You will be missed (by me, anyway).

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Posted on Dec 27th, 2011 by Allison (Reminiscing, Whatever)

When I was a tween and teenager, I collected frogs (long before frogs became “cool”). I had, and still have, some awesome frog jewelry, figurines, and some cool stuffed frogs received from boyfriends/husbands/friends over the years. But I’ve never considered myself “collector” of anything (besides clutter or excess pounds, perhaps).

The other day I undertook the monumental task of organizing my ribbon drawer(s) and realized that I actually am a collector…

…of ribbon.

It started in my early 20s. I didn’t have much money at the time, and treating myself to a fancy ribbon now and then seemed like an affordable indulgence.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on Dec 23rd, 2011 by Allison (Whatever)

This year has gone by incredibly fast – and this month in particular. I can hardly believe that Christmas is only a day away.

Is it just me, or do the holidays feel like they’re rushing upon us like river rapids?

I decided to keep things simple – my only decorations are my horizontal Christmas tree (garland above my fireplace, with some of my favorite ornaments) and a collection of three small sparkly snowflake trees on the mantle.

I was inspired by my son’s Christmas plans, and tried to keep gifts simple, but meaningful. Yet, despite my intention to make it a low-key Christmas, I found myself rushing around to get gifts finished and mailed off in time to be received by the big day.

I got some hair-brained idea that I wanted to sew some gifts this year (which is ridiculous, since I don’t sew). It really would have been much simpler and less time consuming to just go buy gifts. But no, once I got the idea, I was a woman possessed. So it’s my own fault that I lived in chaos (and fabric stores) for 2 weeks.

And now, the holiday is upon us. Are you ready? What exciting (or boring) plans do you have?

Whatever your plans (and do please share them), I hope you have a wonderful Christmas – or whatever holiday you celebrate :)

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Posted on May 6th, 2011 by Allison (Music / Entertainment, Whatever)

I’m really and truly almost finished with my final Costa Rica post. Just so many photos to go through (don’t worry, I won’t post them all).

But in the meantime, I have a question.

Who the hell are the Kardashians and why should I care???

I keep hearing and reading about “The Kardashians” and see them on tv advertisements.

Can someone please fill me on just who they are and why I (or anyone) should care? Why they are the recipients of so much attention?

And are there other “celebrities” or current public figures out there that have you as befuddled as the Kardashians have me?

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Posted on Dec 22nd, 2010 by Allison (Whatever)

You might get a Christmas card from me this year. But you might not. In fact, it’s likely that you won’t.

I’m sorry. Really, I am.

I actually like sending holiday cards – I like getting them. In this day and age of digital communication, there’s something special and personal about receiving a tangible, hand written/signed card in the mail. So it’s something I plan on and look forward to each year. In fact, I purchased the cards in October with the best of intentions and chances are you’re on my list. They just need to be written in, signed, address, stamped and mailed.

But, due to working 60 additional unexpected hours in November, this holiday season is not going as I had planned. It all just feels so overwhelming this year. No tree, though I have hung a garland under my mantle. After 2 weeks I finally hung a few decorations on it.

And I managed to finally make/send an advent calendar to Kennedy just in time to start the countdown to Christmas… a much bigger project than I’d initially imagined, but it turned out really cute.

Happily the holiday package for family in Costa Rica made it in time for them to enjoy a few treats and crafts for the season. So I didn’t bail on the holidays entirely… but the greeting cards will probably sit here unused this year. Maybe you’ll get a postcard from Costa Rica in January instead. No promises :)

But even though you might not get a card this year, I want you to know that I’m happy you’re in my life – whether in person or online.   And I hope you have a beautiful Christmas, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Kwanza, or whatever you celebrate.

I’ll leave you with a seasonal photo of Molbak’s poinsettias in case a card is not forthcoming…

Happy Holidays! How are yours shaping up this year?

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Posted on Nov 15th, 2010 by Allison (Whatever)

Here are a few things that made me smile this week… well, a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been in a (overworking) vortex for what feels like forever…

A love letter from Miss Kennedy. Also enjoyed the ones she wrote to her parents.

I was particularly pleased to see that she drew me as tall and thin.

Was happy to receive a postcard from cute Marie in the mail – all the way from the Galapagos Islands.

I also got a good chuckle from many signs from the Rally to Restore Sanity.
“You are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own spelling.”

Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear
I Have a Sign
www.comedycentral.com
Rally to Restore Sainty and/or Fear The Daily Show The Colbert Report
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Posted on Jul 24th, 2010 by Allison (Politics / Social Issues, Whatever)

I think I have a crush on Rachel Maddow.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

You go girl. Keep being smart and sassy and putting idiots like O’Reilly in their place.

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Posted on May 31st, 2010 by Allison (Whatever)

As you take time to reflect and feel gratitude to fallen soldiers today on Memorial Day, why not consider offering a tangible thank you to those currently serving on our behalf?

Fox River, a company that makes highly coveted combat boot socks, has a program called Socks for Soldiers that allows anyone to purchase socks for deployed soldiers. A soldier will thank you.

Click here to purchase a pair (or two) – Fox River pays the shipping.

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Posted on Apr 11th, 2010 by Allison (Travel, Whatever)

Brazilian CardinalIn my previous Hawaii post, I mentioned our “friends” – the sweet little Brazilian cardinals that graced our lanai – always in pairs. They simply delight us every visit to Kauai.

You’d think it would get old, but no – every time we see them we light up and call out “hello friends” and feed them crumbs of bread, even though we know it’s probably not a good idea.

We had a pair that visited us daily the whole 10 days were in there. On the 8th day, we were sitting on the couch and all of a sudden heard loud commotion coming from the deck. Our friends had brought more friends, and instead of one pair – there were 8 pairs! Yes, that is 16 cardinals (and a lone mourning dove) chattering on the railing, the table, the deck, the chairs. One pair was continually arguing like an old married couple. It was such fun.

Kristin left the sliding door open as we watched and continued to feed them, and one brave soul actually hopped up and ventured into the condo to partake of the crumbs you see on the carpet.

A cardinal commotion

And with as many cardinals as we saw on this trip, we saw even more chickens. We don’t call them friends…. no, instead, every time we see one we call out – in a loud and alarmed voice, CHICKEN!!!! It has become the natural response anytime one appears. I did it without thinking when there was a woman near us at the Hanalei Valley lookout. She laughed.

Chickens run amok in Kauai

Chickens, freed from their coops during the 1992 Hurricane Iniki, literally run amok on Kauai. They are at the beach, on the golf course, in parking lots, fields, along side the road. Unless you’ve been there it is difficult to imagine the magnitude of the chicken population, So Kristin and I decided to try and count them.

In a 2 mile stretch, we counted 99 chickens along the side of the road. And those were just the ones we could see – you know there are more lurking in the shrubbery. Why someone doesn’t round these guys up is beyond me. Any ideas how they should do it?

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