lifestyle blog -- stories and features
One of my favorite morning breakfast sandwiches is without a doubt the Egg & Cheese Croissant from Panera Bread. There is no need for any meat on this beautiful sandwich. I have been stopping in the Panera on my morning drive down Cantrell for 10+ years. Located at Pleasant Ridge this location is where I am known the most.
I am greeted by wonderful smiles and laughter each morning. If these awesome folks won't jump start your morning out right, "then Houston you have a problem."
When I stopped in one morning last week to get my favorite croissant, I got a surprise. I jumped about ten feet. It seems that the General Manager saw me coming and decided to give me a pre-Halloween scare.
Meet Travis Moser
This photo says it all. Travis has been with Panera for over ten years. I think he has rotated throughout the Little Rock/North Little Rock area a few times. He is fun and brings me lots of laughter.
I met Travis when I had to show him how to make the best sweet tea. That is, when Panera use to make sweet tea. I have no idea why they decided to drop good 'ole southern sweet tea. I use to make sure that it is stirred and the sugar didn't settle to the bottom. Also, it is important to wash out that large container so that it doesn't become sour. The tea needs to be switched out every couple of hours so that it remains fresh at all times. Maybe that is why they decided to bring in those "froo froo" teas and drop the sweet tea. I forgave them and still stop in to get my egg and cheese croissant. Be sure and grab one of those delicious pastries shown for only .99 cents with a purchase of a meal.
Panera Bread - Pleasant Ridge is located at: 11525 Cantrell Rd, Little Rock, AR 72212
I stopped in this morning to the brand new Starbucks in Little Rock for their Grand Opening. This is a fresh new look for the Starbucks. The modern design is spacious and has beautiful wall graphics among other features. There is plenty of working room for the Barista's to make our custom drinks.
Crystal (my friend and favorite Barista) has moved to this location so I want to make sure she felt welcomed to the neighborhood. Our office is just down the street from this wonderful new design. I had my favorite custom "Patty" smoothie.
Gabe was there from the Kavanaugh location to lend a helping hand for their first opening. I was introduced to Tracy, the Store Manager. Tracy has been with Starbucks' for a little over two years. Tracy moved to the new location from the Little Rock Cantrell & Mississippi store. Tracy is full of smiles and is top-notch when it comes to Customer Service.
This Starbucks also has Nitro cold brew coffee, "commonly referred to as "NCB," is cold brew coffee charged with nitrogen to give it a rich, creamy head," I am definitely going to give this brew a try.
Sitting on my TV stand in my bedroom is the original release of A Star is Born with Kristofferson and Streisand. That it is utmost favorite movie of all time. Not only was the music just absolutely perfect the chemistry between the two was perfection.
When I starting season the previews of the new release I absolutely couldn't wait. I was already a fan of both Bradley Cooper and Gaga, so I was so excited to see them make my favorite movie of all time!
I pre-ordered the tickets via Fandango a month ahead. AMC at Chenal Promenade premiered the movie on Thursday Night @ 7:00. This was the first showing in Little Rock. I wasn't surprised that the Premier night wasn't full due to the fact that I didn't hear any ads for the movie.
Greg and I both love movies and music so off we went. The movie reached beyond any expectations that we both had. The chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga will give you chill bumps. Bradley Cooper's voice is perfect for the character. I don't think that any other actor could have pulled it off in this modern age. Ladies..........he can sing! Those baby blue eyes will give you chills. Lady Gaga is so genuine in this movie. I imagine she is much like Alli, the character she plays. The song choices for the movie and breathtaking.
The scenes are familiar as the one with Streisand and Kristoferrson. I am glad they left the similarities. This is what made the movie perfect to me. This movie will make you laugh, cry and you will leave with chill bumps. The last song in the movie is spectacular with the full orchestra coming into the song. I am quite certain this movie will have Oscar and Grammy nominations.
Friday at the office, I couldn't stop talking about the movie. I rushed to download the soundtrack and I think I have played it 20-30 times. When I got home from work last night I told Greg that I am going back to see it again tomorrow, if I go myself, I am going again. And again, I did go. In fact, he decided to go with me the second go around. We both enjoyed it as much as the first night. I probably will see it again a few times before it goes to DVD.
P.S. I might be a little obsessed.
I am so excited to wrap up the very first edition of Sweet Yellow Cornbread's online magazine. Fall is my favorite Season so I wanted to break out the first edition dedicated to Pumpkins & Fall. You will find a collection of pumpkin and other recipes from the Blog. We have put together some great decorating ideas for the upcoming Fall Season. There are some great stories and places to shop for the upcoming "Giving" Season.
Our next volume will be released in December, just in time for the Christmas Season. We have some great collaborations sharing some great tips in the next volume. Of course, we will have lots of great recipes to help plan your holiday parties.
Thank you for the support you have shown. Continue to read the blog and be sure and download the Magazine! Just click below on download file and it will download in PDF for you! Be sure and join our mailing list to get additional volumes sent to you. By joining the mailing list you will be eligible for random prizes that we give out!
Sweet Yellow Cornbread is so pleased this year to help out with The Arkansas Cornbread Festival. We will be at the Festival taking photos, meeting people and keeping you informed about the local vendors.
The Arkansas Cornbread Festival builds community by raising awareness of the South Main in Little Rock (SoMa) community while celebrating Southern culture and heritage through food, artisan crafts, and music. The wonderful Festival is full of music, enticing aromas, plenty of family fun. Thousands come each year to attend this marvelous event in Downtown Little Rock - SoMa's District.
Be sure and come and taste some of the best cornbread in all variety of flavors. The teams compete for cash prizes and awards to determine who makes the best cornbread and complementing side item. Sample them all and vote for your favorite.
The local SoMa business are open with specials for attendees, and food trucks, local breweries, live music, arts and crafts vendors, and Cosmo’s Kids Corner add to the fun. This is a perfect time to get a jump start on your Holiday Shopping.
Saturday, October 27, 2018 at 11 AM – 4 PM
GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY AND SAVE!
The 2018 Arkansas Cornbread Festival will be held on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. in Little Rock on South Main St. between the 13th and 17th Streets.
Cornbread Tasting Tickets ($8.00 in advance; $10.00 at the festival) allow festival goers to sample the cornbread and side dishes prepared by competitors, both professional and amateur, then your votes determine the winners. Additional Festival activities including music, games, local breweries, Arkansas-made vendors, and kids activities are free and open to the public. Get your tickets early!
Cornbread tasting tickets are available for purchase.
Chris Long and Veronica Wirges of North Little Rock are duos behind the Indie Pop Duo. Their first single "My Heart" released last night. The couple performed it live at their concert located at the Rebel Kettle Brewing in Little Rock. The dynamic duo plans to release three new songs over a span of three weeks apart from each other.
Chris was born in Florida but raised in Arkansas since he was six. Veronica is a Native Arkansan who grew up in North Little Rock. Early years, Veronica was a house party DJ during the rave kid days, while Chris was in various projects playing guitar and bass.
Chris started on violin at 6, and although his main instrument is guitar, he can pretty much play any instrument, says Veronica. "He has always had this radio station in his head playing music that doesn’t exist yet." Self-learned on recording software, he has slowly amassed a home studio to compose and record his music.
Veronica focused on lighting design, projection work, basically the visuals to go with the music Chris was writing. Chris heard a part on Bishop Briggs “Wild Horses” but couldn’t find the instrument in his samples packs. He turned to Veronica and asked if she could give it a listen and see if she knew the instrument from her years of being part of a school band. After a short listen she told him that was a Bari Sax. "I have one upstairs from high school."
Veronica agreed to get a few repairs done to the Sax so she could record some parts for backing tracks. She went on to play them with him during SXSW in Austin. Afterward, Chris kept finding more parts for the horn. Veronica really loved being able to reconnect with the instrument. She is on her six months back playing the horn and has enjoyed writing some of her own parts of the songs and collaborating with Chris on his.
Veronica says as a toddler she was very curious about the humongous saxophone she saw a musician playing. Her mother says that she thought it was adorable and was completely captivated by it. It wasn't until later, when she went to pick out an instrument for her first year of band, as she heard someone playing one in the next room. That is when she was determined to play on the sound alone. Her mother was surprised a decade later that she had recognized the sax as the instrument she had her played. Veronica took lessons until the age of 18 to play. It was when she tried to learn how to write music using the horn that she felt disappointed. Veronica packed the horn away in the case and put it aside not knowing that years later she would find herself playing and writing with her precious sax she fell in love with as a child.
The first of the three songs released are called the Nashville Sessions. The couple was inspired by their visits to Nashville and the network they became a part of to help move it forward. They had the opportunity to meet some talented artists. "We noticed that not just artists, but also audiences are hungry for original great work. It was inspiring, to say the least, these three songs are about how Nashville changed us."
I had a chance to meet up with this fun couple today at lunch. Their passion for music makes my heart smile. The couple have been together for 15 years and married for 13 of those. They enjoy spending time together and focusing on growing their music. This duo will definitely being around for awhile. Be sure and grab their new songs as they are released.
You can catch them play tomorrow night at LIVE LIFE CHILL in Little Rock @ 8:00 P.M.
Download their debut release at: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3mJSvlLVpOblhzdsaZOZsB
For additional bookings and releases:
Be sure and visit their website at: http://www.monsterboylives.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/monsterboylives
As many of you might know, my beloved shitzu Blake Shelton passed away a couple of weeks ago. We had him for twelve years. It was very traumatic and he suffered more than he should on his last night on earth.
I cried for three days. I couldn't go to work without losing it. I was irritable and just grief struck. I couldn't have imagined the loss to be so difficult. My daughter and a friend of ours suggested that I get a new little puppy. The new puppy wasn't to replace Blake in any way. However, it would help me and Greg emotionally
I began my search for a new puppy. We wanted to have a baby shitzu. We loved that breed so much and the love of their owners. They love to snuggle with you and are very loyal to their human parents.
I first found a puppy and inquired about one. I wanted a female this go around. We heard females were a little more laid back and a little less aggressive. This person told me that they were moving and had an 8-week old female and they couldn't keep her. They just wanted a small fee to take care of transferring the paperwork.
The instructions were that they would contact me the next morning after they made arrangements with the puppy transport company. The puppy they said was in Palestine, TX and they would have her transported right to our door. I said I was a little confused about the total cost. They assured me that they would cover that part to go to a new home. They just wanted a small fee of $350 to pay for the re-homing and transferring of paperwork. The e-mailer said that they just wanted to make sure that the puppy was going to a good home.
They asked for more information on Greg and myself. Instead, I said you can look on my blog and see photos of the family and how much that we loved our other animals. Monday (the next day) arrived and I received a text asking if I saw their email. The instructions were for me to send the $350.00 fee via Money-gram. They instructed not to do it online since it wasn't safe. The emailer actually emailed me the Kroger location in the Heights where I could send the money. I was to email them a photo of proving so they would go get the money.
Luckily, I am highly trained in computers and knew something was up. The emailing was getting a little strange and the typing was changing from one day to the next. The even told me hugs & kisses and was really strange. "I need some proof you aren't scamming me," I told the phone number texting me. I even warned them that my brother was a Judge and he wanted proof.
Of course, they were defensive stating that they were Christians and were offended. They texted me a photo of a reservation with a puppy transport company. I immediately googled and couldn't find any such name. I also googled the home address of the texter. Indeed, it was in Palestine, TX. However, it was of a Corporation still under construction.
I have contacted Arkansas authorities to begin trying to find the scammers. I even told them that my emotions were high as I had lost my precious Blake. I can't imagine how many people were really taken from the scam. Thank Goodness that my senses were sharp enough to know that I was being scammed. It appears that there are tons of puppy scammers on the Internet running ads in papers, etc. They are actually taking photos of real breeders puppies they have online.
1. Never fall for the wire money routine. Surely, don't fall for go to the bank and draw it out using Moneygram. The money would have been gone without a way to get it refunded.
2. When asking for proof of any type of shipment or transaction, be sure and take the time to research if the address or company is real. Also, I knew that there would be no way the shipment for the puppy would be $550.00 and they only wanted $350 total. They could have easily just given the puppy away locally.
3. I suggested that I would send someone right over to get the puppy from them. All contact was dropped immediately dropped at that point. I asked to see more photos than the ones they had on the ad. They informed me that the couldn't because they were at work and the puppy was with a relative.
4. Real breeders will let you do a deposit with a secure transaction such as Paypal that is protected. They will also offer up their real address so you can go to pick up the puppy in person. They will provide you with whatever photos you ask for throughout the process of you obtaining your new puppy.
Greg and I did get a new puppy. A little precious female that I named Farrah Fawcett. She is adorable and we traveled from Little Rock to Montgomery, Louisiana to pick her up in person.
Farrah is adjusting to her new surroundings. She handled the five-hour drive to Little Rock like a champion. She did not whimper or fuss at all. She is eating her food, drinking her water and adjusting to her new bed surroundings. Major, our five pound Morkie, is a little frightened of this little one pound puppy. He doesn't know what to think of her just yet. I am sure within a couple of weeks they will be playmates.
She hasn't barked at the cats one bit. They haven't figured Farrah out just yet either. Stay tuned in the coming months for cuteness overload. I couldn't resist sharing some photos and a little video. Our friend, Ashley Philbrick of AP Monograms made this adorable blanket for her with her initials FFD. Welcome, Farrah Fawcett Downs!
xoxo - Pat
It is amazing how many wonderful bloggers I have met in my journey. Nicole Hampton has a wonderful blog called Dough-Eyed. Nicole is known for her high altitude baking. Nicole is based out of Colorado near Denver.
Nicole by trade is a Digital Marketer specializing in SEO and Website Marketing. The two gifts she has combined make for an excellent cookbook called "Sugar High." It is about sweet & savor baking in high-altitude kitchens. Her blog as been featured in several publications, including Buzzfeed as well as DiningOut.com.
I had the wonderful opportunity to receive an uncorrected advance reader copy of the book from Graphic Arts Books. This book is edited and designed by former Williams-Sonoma cookbook developers and is beautifully done. It was a pleasure to review this wonderful cookbook and my opinion I share is from my own heart.
In the book you will find wonderful recipes from; classic biscuits, various brioche recipes, cinnamon rolls, cupcakes, cookies, cakes and my favorite is the pepperoni tomato pizza and the tomato-garlic focaccia. With more than 100 recipes that are beautifully photographed you will enjoy this book for many years.
I can't wait to see the final copy. You can preorder the copy on Walmart.com. This would make a wonderful Christmas gift for your loved ones or a gift-exchange present. Be sure and read about Nicole on her Blog - Dough-Eyed. She is a doll. Be sure and follow her on Instagram @dough_eyed or on her Facebook Page.
Thank you Nicole and Angela from Graphic Arts Books for the wonderful opportunity. If you are wanting to publish a cookbook of your favorite recipes drop Angela a note: Angela.Zbornik@GraphicArtBooks.com
This weekend I challenged myself to fill up a large brown bag at Whole Foods for $50.00. I wanted to make sure that the contents would have enough for two meals, snacks, and any extra special items. I wanted to make sure and stay within the $50.00 since I had received a gift card to Whole Foods from a Blog Supporter.
What's the best part of shopping at Whole Foods on a Saturday around lunch? You get to sample whatever they are grilling outside. This last Saturday included Turkey Burgers. There were samples of a beautiful drink made with fresh fruits and vegetables. This drink included: cucumbers, peaches, lemons, limes, and pineapple mixed with some agave juice and water. It was delicious and beautiful! The samples of the turkey meat were delicious and the burgers were excellent.
I ventured inside for my shopping quest. I was so pleased that I didn't go over the $50.00, and that included tax. What was inside my brown bag?
Overall I was very pleased with my "Brown Bag" picks. Greg and I had wonderful steaks served with baked sweet potatoes, salad and watermelon for dinner. We enjoyed delicious soup for lunch, I will be snacking on those bread and butter pickles for sometime.
I would be curious to know what would be in your $50.00 Brown Bag? Take the Challenge and let us know. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to be included in our next Brown Bag Challenge.
Greg and I decided to try out the new Silos Cafe in Benton this weekend. This building use to be known as Abe's Ole Feed House (the all you can eat catfish buffet.) From our house it is about a 35 minute drive on a Friday night.
The restaurant now is a "sit-down" cafe style. You order from the menu from a variety of "southern" dishes including: chicken fried chicken, grilled chicken, catfish, mash potatoes, peas, beans and so on. They do have burgers, sandwiches and a large variety to choose from.
On a Friday night it was packed. We had to circle around a few times to get a parking spot. The wait to get a table didn't take very long. However, once we sat down and ordered it did take a little longer to get the food out. The food is cooked to order and so it was hot and fresh. Greg ordered the chicken fried chicken, peas and mashed potatoes. I took a little taste and it was very good. I ordered the grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and pinto beans. The sides were delicious. The grilled chicken was a little tough. The waitress asked if you would rather have cornbread or a roll. I chose the cornbread ....of course! I wouldn't have called it cornbread, it was more like those deep fried corn patties.
The next time we venture out that way, we will give the breakfast a try. I love a good "southern" breakfast. I am not sure that we will venture out on a crowded Friday night again. It is priced great for the food choices that are offered.
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