Can gum lead us to a happy place?

After day one of three  in our yearly marketing summit, I knew that there would not be a great deal of opportunity to try something new. Day one, I found myself daydreaming of a warm Caribbean beach. There was quite a bit of heated debate during day one and to keep my cool, I took myself to my happy place…St. John. I could feel the warm breeze and the sand between my toes.

So for day two, I stopped and purchased Orbit Mist Mango Surf gum.  Never tried this flavor, but definitely thought it could add relief to 8 hours of marketing presentations.

Besides cool package, the orange gum has incredible flavor crystals. And believe it or not, it did taste a bit like mango. With one good smack..I was transported to my happy place (with a bottle of champagne in hand)!

Idiazabal anyone?

Have you ever tried Idiazabal?  No? Me neither until tonight. So I am in Charlotte for a couple of days. The Marriott I normally stay in was sold out so I am staying at the Double Tree. I figured I would count the Double Tree that I am staying in as something new for the day…until I arrived and realized that I have stayed here before (Susan C.’s deb ball). Definitely remember this hotel.

Quick on my feet- I needed to improvise and go to plan B. The day was drawing to a close. I was with 10 other colleagues so I knew trying something outrageous was out of the question…I needed an easy, SAFE new thing to report on….not so original….A new Cheese!

That’s right- Iduiazabal is a cheese. According to Wikkipedia-

“Idiazábal is a pressed cheese made from unpasteurized sheep milk, usually from Latxa and Carranzana sheep in the Basque Country and Navarre, Spain. It has a somewhat smokey flavor, but is usually un-smoked.”

The waitor said it would have a smokey flavor, but I think he was mistaken. Not so smokey. But quite good. A very mild cheese. I shared with the table and everyone thought it was quite good. Maybe I’ll have something more exciting to report tomorrow.


I’ve seen yellow peeps and I’ve seen pink peeps, but never green…until today. While picking up some walatin, I couldn’t help but browse the Easter aisle to dream about all of the delish candy that I shouldn’t eat. 

Let me begin by saying that I am not a regular fan of peeps so I knew I could try these without eating all five (a big bag of m&m’s is a different story). As for the green peeps-I bit into the head thinking maybe the eyes might by chocolate, but was sorely disappointed to bite into a glob of mushy sugar-coated with crystal sugar. GROSS. YUCK. Sugar shaped like a bird in a rainbow of colors. Who thought of such a ridiculous easter tradition?

Sweet Tea

I am southern to the core…give me sweet tea over water any day (I almost would choose sweet tea over red wine, but that wouldn’t be a true statement). Each week I buy a gallon of Milo’s famous sweet tea ( from Costco. I feel certain my mom, not to mention my grandmother, would laugh to think that I actually purchase sweet tea rather than make it since the two-step process is so easy-  just boil water and steep the tea bag- voila easy enough. But really, great sweet tea is an art form. It’s not that simple. It’s like great french crepes…it takes practice. For the record, I can make sweet tea…but Milo’s is just so tasty – the perfect amount of sweet to mix with a juicy slice of fresh lemon.

But today….there was no Milo’s sweet tea at Costco. Tragic. Please tell me they are out rather than they have discontinued selling this southern delicatessen. Perhaps, the beautiful SPRING weather caused a run on sweet tea. Afterall it was in the mid 70’s yesterday and everyone was out and about enjoying a much deserved reprieve from Winter.

I stood in front of the shelves where Milo’s typically lives, only to find eggs. EGGS? really? My tea has been replaced with eggs.

In search of a substitute, I headed to Bi-Lo. If Milo’s is gone forever, I need another tea for the hot summer months. I really wanted to drive across town to Whole Foods and purchase Sweet Leaf (another favorite), but that would be a short term solution. I needed to find a new, readily available, alternative to Milo’s.  So I tried  Gold Peak. It was a stand out on the shelf. A sucker for cool packaging, I felt good about my purchase…until I got home and C. began to read the label. All kinds of weird things in this tea…and the worst part, it wasn’t made by some hip trendy group (like sweet leaf and Milos)- it was made by Coke. This wasn’t some cool tea blend thought of in someone’s small apartment kitchen nor was it a sweet tea that had been brewed in a cool old southern restaurant for years…it was an artificially flavored chemical layden tea concocted in a lab. And guess what…it tasted like it was made in a lab. YUCK!  Half a lemon and a cup of water later…I still couldn’t drink it.

C. felt so sorry for me that he freshly brewed his own rendition of sweet tea for my afternoon fix. Thanks C! So much for trying something new…sometimes ya can’t beat what you already know and love!

Another Man’s Treasure Part II- OOPS Sale!

Oops sale…or as some would call it Yard Sale! I was lucky enough to be included in the sale. A group of girls got together to sell their extra “stuff”. The premise was that we would have an upscale yardsale with just interiors things.

I must admit that the room was quite an impressive display of “fine” home interiors. You name it, we had it…from vietri china and oriental rugs to baby changing tables and junk- there was something for everyone! Honestly I can’t believe that people bought some of the things I had. And the weird thing is, there were a few items that sold for more than I even paid for them.

Success. I was able to get rid of some of the attick clutter and purchased two chairs. Too bad the awning stripe pottery barn bedding didn’t sale. Guess I’ll try e-bay (something new for another day).

Reverie Wines- A.S. Kiken

I honestly wish that I could make this post more colorful and tell you more, but the wine was so tasty that I can’t remember all of the details! My great friend S. invited us to a wine tasting Friday night. Not sure what I expected…but I learned so much. Reverie Wines from Diamond Valley Sonoma ( came to Greenville to share with us their private wine which is made of ultra premium Bordeaux varietal blends. We started with a, easy going table wine and progressed to the really sophisticated special petit verdot. The wine rep…wish I could remember his name…was lots of fun. He spoke about each wine in terms that even I could understand and follow, and no matter what the question was, he provided insightful answers to help all of us understand the origin and history of the wines being served.

Gville had our first mid 70’s day of the year so we were able to enjoy an evening on the porch. Though I learned about the wines…I was most excited to learn that there is a place that will ship old wine barrels for $150 straight to your door. Perfect for our new back porch.  

Thanks S. for sharing the evening with us and the introduction to a fantastic wine…you’ll have to stop by for a glass when we receive our first shipment!

You can’t have just one!

C. and I belong to a great supper club. We get together once a month and have done so for about three years now. Just your typical supper club. The host provides the main course and we each bring a side of sorts.

I always take great care in selecting what we will bring. The minute I receive the invitation with the “theme” I begin to craft what we will contribute. Though it’s not always a home-made dish, there is a great deal of thought put into it and the presentation is always creative and fun. I love to think of new ways to do things and love a reason to use my endless supply of china and serving dishes…and if I don’t have the exact piece I need, what a great reason to shop for something perfect!

Well….this week supper club snuck up on me. I didn’t have a chance to think of anything exciting…so for the first time in supper club history (all three years), we stopped at Publix on our way home and purchased our contribution…one bite cupcakes – chocolate and vanilla! I didn’t even have a cupcake tree to put them on or even a cute Spring platter. How’s that for a first…I let go of expectations.

And ya know what…the cupcakes tasted just the same!