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I Like Toast and Jam

20 Aug

Toast is one of my favorite foods.  Really, it is.  I love it so much that those closest to me know it and buy me toast novelty gifts.  I have lots of toast art, toast band-aids, toast magnets, a toast kitchen timer, a toast post-it note pad and such.

toast is my favorite food

Recently a good friend of mine brought me back some blackberry jam from her trip to Jamestown, Tennessee.  I don’t think she realizes what a gift she gave me in that jar of jam.  It is so delicious that I look forward to waking up each morning so I can have some of it on my toast!

Yep, you read that right.  It’s called Tennessee Toe Jam.  Regardless of its name, this stuff is delicious.  If you ever run across some of this on the shelf in a market, buy it!


Spontaneity & Me

23 Jul

Spontaneity and me don’t normally go together.  But this past week I made one of the best spontaneous decisions ever when I said yes to an offer from a friend to go to the beach for a few days.
This was the view from our room.

This is where I spent the majority of my time.

And these two cuties (two of my nephews) were already there when I arrived and I got to play with them.

I’m so grateful I was given this opportunity.  I’m glad I said yes.  Great times.  Good memories.

Along A Shore

18 Jul

Gulf of Mexico.  Photo by Kandi Cook


noun//  1.  an expanse of sand along a shore.


noun//  1.  a disturbance on the surface of a liquid body, as the sea or a lake, in the form of a moving ridge or swell.

I am headed to the beach for a few days to play in the waves and relax in the sand.

Beach: Holga Motified.  Photo by Kandi Cook


When I’m With You I Feel At Home

10 Jul

Road tripping with David is by far the best!  It’s fun.  It’s comfortable.  It’s a bit adventurous, but not too adventurous for me.  It’s funny.   There’s singing, waving, honking, snacking and uncontrollable laughing.

Our church sent David to a music/worship conference in Ridgecrest, North Carolina.  He went last year and I was ignorant not to join him.  This year I went.  And I am glad I did.

The conference was good, David gained some valuable information from it.  I got to hear some good music and feel real out of place as everyone else there could sing a B# on pitch at any given time, play an instrument, read any music and knew exactly what page to turn back to for the CODA and had interesting information about music to add to the conversations at meal time.  (please forgive me if everything I just said makes no sense)

I was a fish out of water, but I was happy to be there with David because that made him happy.  AND,  I do love music– all sorts of styles.  So I was blown away by some of the incredible performances that we saw.

Ridgecrest is 17.6 miles away from Asheville, North Carolina.  Asheville is a place where I feel a little more at home.  It’s full of fantastic arts, food, people and street music.  We had some free time to venture out to Asheville while we were in the area.  We ate some great food, went to a few farmer’s markets, shopped and drove around a lot just to look.  Some of my favorite places were Early Girl Eatery, Noodle Shop, Malaprop’s, Kress Emporium, Lucky Otter and the WNC Farmer’s Market.

I tend to get so caught up in enjoying the moment that I don’t take pictures.  So I only have a few to share, a couple of them are not even mine.

Early Girl Eatery

At Early Girl Eatery all the food sounded so delicious.  I had a hard time deciding, but I ended up getting the vegetable plate because so many of their sides sounded so good.  The squash casserole and broccoli salad were incredible!  David got a side of fresh local sausage with his meal and I normally don’t like sausage, but he made me try it and then I wanted to steal it from him.  GO THERE!  EAT FRESH FOODS!

Kress Emporium:: photo from Kress Emporium website

The Kress Emporium is a beautiful building built in 1928 that is filled with arts, crafts and antiques from over 80 regional artists, collectors and crafters.  David visited this place the previous year that he went to Asheville and this building alone was one of the main reasons he wanted me to go visit the city.  He knows me well, I spent quite a bit of time in here and came home with a beautiful handmade glass bud vase.

There are a lot of farmer’s markets in the area, here a some pictures from one of the ones we visited, the Western North Carolina Farmer’s Market.

One of my favorite things about North Carolina is that you can buy glass bottle sodas just about anywhere!  I got off my no soda kick just a little bit while I was there so I could enjoy these:

Cheerwine:  Sparkling soda with wild cherry

We had a wonderful time in North Carolina, once the conference was over we decided to make our way back West through Tennessee with a couple of stops along the way.  We ventured off of Interstate 40 through the Smokey Mountains and through Gatlinburg.  The lookouts were breath taking!

Jill & David somewhere in the Smokey Mountains

After Gatlinburg we continued westbound with the plan to spend a couple of days in Franklin, Tennessee.  Which has become one of my top five favorite towns that I have visited.  I spent hours browsing the lovely shops in historic downtown Franklin and the shops and booths in The Factory at Franklin.  We drove out in the countrysides and enjoyed the beautiful rolling hills, homes and ranches.  We both loved it here.  I’m already making plans to go back.

If you ever go to Franklin, let me strongly encourage you to eat at Merridee’s Breadbasket and then make your way to Leiper’s Fork for a meal at Puckett’s.

David’s burger from Puckett’s!

I wish I had more pictures of the places we visited and the scenery that we enjoyed.  But I am also glad that I was just able to enjoy the moment and didn’t worry about trying to make good pictures.  Let me just say that if you ever travel through Tennessee, then be sure to make a stop in Franklin.  And if you are in East Tennessee, just go ahead a few more miles into North Carolina and spend some time in Asheville.  In both places you will find nice people, yummy fresh foods, good music and lots of local handmade goods!

If you know of any good towns to visit, please let me know!

My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.  -Diane Arbus

I’ve Been Everywhere, Man

22 Jun

We’re heading out on a little road trip soon.   Being married to an All-Star Road Tripster makes for an incredible time including, but not limited to:  a variety of music in the car, road snacks, stops to interesting places along the way, song parodies, lots of honking and waving to strangers.

West Coast Road Trip 2010

This time we are headed East on Interstate 40 until we reach North Carolina.  Stay tuned for post-vacation stories and photos!

Asheville, I’m ready to meet you!

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