Ask Me About…

Ask me about…

Haven’t we all walked into car dealerships or retail stores and seen someone wearing a button that said, “Ask me about…”? It might be a new warranty plan, or maybe it’s about a new line they’re introducing, but sometimes, it’s something way more funny.

I was reminded of “Ask me about…” one recent morning. My husband brought me coffee in bed, and I did a little reading before opening Facebook. When I finally looked at my Facebook timeline, I laughed till I cried. There was no one else around, but I laughed till I cried…all by myself. A friend…the same one who coined the phrase “friend chicken” (see that story here)…had posted a photo of her husband. They were on their way to his colonoscopy, and she had purchased him a shirt just for the occasion. Apparently, she had to do some pouting to get him to wear it, but he gave in and wore it. It said, “Ask me about my butthole.” Yep…that’s what it said! I even started laughing as I typed it! I know…some folks don’t have a sense of humor and wouldn’t approve, but dang it…it’s funny! It’s especially funny when you go in for your colonoscopy. In fact, they should sell them there…not buttholes; t-shirts…they should sell the t-shirts. You can purchase the shirt from hellotushy.com here.

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Of course, I had to share the photo of my friend’s husband on my Facebook page. They are both doctors, so I hope they don’t mind that the picture of him wearing the t-shirt is going viral! I couldn’t help myself! I’ll have to ask her how many times it has been shared.

And after I shared it, a friend from Alabama commented that her husband uses The Butt Hut “for all his colonoscopy needs.” I looked it up. It’s a real place, and it’s in Birmingham. She added that they have t-shirts that say, “The Butt Hut. We stand behind our work.” I love it! What is it about butt humor that makes me laugh so hard?!? I can just imagine myself standing in line at the grocery store and seeing that t-shirt standing in front of me! I’d have to take a picture. And then I’d want one of the t-shirts.

Now that I’m 51, I have a lot more knowledge than I had when I was 21 and playing a silly game in college. I don’t know how useful my knowledge is, but there’s a lot more of that useless knowledge. I was talking with my friend, Mary Ann, about what we could put on our buttons or t-shirts, if we ordered them, and we laughed and laughed. A lot of what we said can’t be put in writing, but here were some of our ideas for things we actually know about:

  • Ask me about going back to bed after sending my kid(s) off to school.
  • Ask me about where I hide the clutter in my house when I have guests over.
  • Ask me about my favorite vodka.
  • Ask me where to buy last minute snacks for an entire athletic team.
  • Ask me where to buy last minute snacks for the team and my favorite vodka.
  • Ask me about the best doughnuts in town.
  • Ask me how much I love not camping.
  • Ask me how much I love room service.
  • Ask me about the time I hung out with Woody Harrelson.
  • Ask me about my silly conversations with Mary Ann.img_4072

For things we don’t actually know, but we think would make hilarious buttons, we came up with these:

  • Ask me about the ten years I served in the state penitentiary for what I did to the last person who asked me that stupid question.
  • Ask me about the time Mary Ann helped me drag something to the lake.
  • Ask me about the thirty cats in my house.
  • Ask me about my explosive diarrhea.
  • Ask me about the time I took Ambien and woke up in the parking lot of a bar.

But one thing we never would have come up with is “ask me about my butthole.” Even Mary Ann and I wouldn’t put that on a shirt or a button, but we sure laughed when my friend made her husband wear that shirt! I don’t know why butt humor is so universally funny, but dang it, it is! And if you don’t think so, don’t tell me. I’ll just think you are lacking a sense of humor.

There’s a reason Beavis and Butthead were popular…ask me about them if you’re not familiar with them.

***You can order Ask Me About buttons from zazzle.com (here) if you’re interested in coming up with your own thing.***

 

 

 

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Share The South

Y’all might think I’m crazy, but when I travel, I make friends. It’s what I do. It’s my thing.

Therefore, when we return to places, I like to take regional gifts or gifts that represent something about me or where I’m from: the South. For example, when we visit Los Angeles, I have a few friends I like to see, and I try to take a little something for them, because some of them have never been here. It’s fun.

Sometimes, it’s something obvious that I take. If the person knows I went to The University of Alabama, I might take a Bama sweatshirt or t-shirt. But I can’t take the same thing every time. It’s fun, to me, to search for interesting places to purchase stuff that represents North Carolina, Alabama, or just the south in general.

Since it’s summertime, we try to make a few more trips than the rest of the year. During the rest of the year there’s that thing that messes up all our travel. It’s called school.

This summer, we have a few trips planned, and I’ve been looking for the perfect southern gifts to take with me on my trips. You know, lots of people all over the country still think we don’t have paved roads or shoes in the south. They think we still cook everything in lard. But with my gifts, I like to introduce them to the real south. Sometimes it’s funny stuff, and sometimes not. But here are a few of my favorite places to get southern gifts.

THE BUTTERCUP GIFTS AND STATIONERY: The Buttercup on Providence Road in Charlotte has great gifts for everyone, and a lot of them represent the south. They have college mascot gifts, personalized stationery and other gifts, jewelry and art by southern artists, and a lovely assortment of other unique gifts you’d be proud to present to that hotel concierge who fielded all your crazy questions before you traveled. Their website can be accessed here, but they have a much bigger assortment in the store.

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THE BITTER SOUTHERNER GENERAL STORE: A friend recently sent me a text and shared this fun website with me. It’s called The Bitter Southerner, and they offer lots of funny gifts with a southern theme. Some of my personal favorites are t-shirts listing the first names of well-known southern authors; sweatshirts featuring one of our favorite southern sayings, “Bless Your Heart;” t-shirts that simply say “Mayo and Tomato;” baseball caps; automobile license plates…you’ll have a great time perusing this site. They even have The Bitter Southerner Coffee Club, a membership plan through which they ship the recipient coffee from “some of the best coffee roasters in the South,” according to the website. Take a look at their offeringshere.byh-sweatshirt_1024x1024.

LOCALS ONLY CHATTANOOGA GIFT SHOP: Another friend told me about a gift shop she stumbled upon in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they offer all sorts of Southern fun stuff and delicacies, including one of my favorites…Miss Shelley’s Southern Jam. They offer four flavors of her jam, and many of my friends could tell you they are fantastic jams, and they make great gifts. In addition to this, they offer all sorts of Chattanooga merchandise, Moon Pies, Southern seasoned grits, and See Rock City birdhouses. People who don’t live in the south might not be familiar with the iconic See Rock City rooftops on barns, but this is a fun way to introduce them. This is a fun website I highly recommend. See their website here.

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PAPER SKYSCRAPER, CHARLOTTE, NC: This store on East Boulevard in Charlotte is chock full of gifts that represent Charlotte and North Carolina. I’ve purchased all sorts of gifts there…lowball glasses with “704” (our zip code) on them, bourbon-infused honey, candles made in Charlotte, cans of Bertie County peanuts, books about Charlotte, and postcards galore. If you’re looking for gifts that represent Charlotte or North Carolina, this is a great place to shop. You can get information about the store from their website here, but to purchase from them, you’ll need to go in for a visit…and it will be fun when you do!

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CORNER COPIA GARDENS AND GIFT SHOP: I’ve written about this one before, but it’s worth mentioning again. Corner Copia Gardens and Gift Shop is located in charming Fairhope, Alabama, a lovely small town on the Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay. It is owned and operated by a childhood friend of mine, Michelle Prouty Johns, who has had a lifelong love of plants and gardening. If you find yourself in the area, it’s worth a stop to see the lovely and sometimes rare plants she has in stock and purchase some fun stuff from the gift shop. She opened the gift shop to supplement the gardens in the off-season, and she has some great gifts, including “air plant jellies,” head-shaped planters, and lots more. If you stop in, please tell her Kelly sent you! She doesn’t have a website, but you can check out her Facebook page here.

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SOUTH GEORGIA PECAN COMPANY: My friend, Linda, who used to live in Valdosta, Georgia, introduced me to South Georgia Pecan Company a few years ago when she gifted me some Chocolate Amaretto Pecans that were absolutely heavenly. She even advised me to keep them in the freezer…it just enhances the flavor. Since then, I’ve gifted them to a few folks myself. The company also offers other types of pecans, gift baskets, and even Southern Pecan Pies, a treat indeed. While you’re at the website, check out their great t-shirts too. They would make great gifts for taking on a flight…easy to get through security. And if you’re not from the south, it’s pronounced puh-KAHN down here. You can order directly through their website here, but if you call them for any reason, please don’t say pee-can.

THREE GEORGES CANDY: Three Georges has been a staple in Mobile, Alabama, for a hundred years. According to a story on the WALA-TV website, the store was opened in 1918 by three Greek immigrants “who, you guessed it, shared the same name: George Pappalamporous, George Spero, and George Pope.” The store is located on Dauphin Street in downtown Mobile, and it should be on your list of places to visit if you find yourself on the Gulf Coast. If you want to try one of their old recipes, go for my favorite, the Heavenly Hash, made up of marshmallows and pecans smothered in milk chocolate. A little bit goes a long way, but everybody in Mobile knows about Heavenly Hash. You an order directly through their website here, but visit if you can.

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I also enjoy sharing books or magazines about the south (click on title for more info): Southern Living Magazine,Our State Magazinefrom North Carolina, Mobile Bay Monthly Magazine, Charlotte Magazine, Southern Home Magazine, and more. Earlier this year, I picked up a photo book about Charlotte from Paper Skyscraper and sent it to a friend who has never visited. Short stories are great too. For a book of short stories about the south, there is The Signet Classic Book of Southern Short Stories, which you can purchasehere.

So, there’s an assortment of places you can find trinkets, apparel, or foods that represent the South. Since I’m going on vacation soon, I plan to put in my orders this weekend. My friends, old and new, that I see on vacation this summer will receive a little piece of the south from us. To me, it’s fun to show them where we’re from, just like it’s fun for me to learn about their homes.

I need to get busy finding things to take, because if I don’t get things done early, I’ll be “as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” (I thank my Daddy for sharing that little saying with me.)

My Favorite Things for a Girls’ Weekend

I have a husband, a teenage daughter, and three dogs. I love them. I love spending time with them. I also love when my husband leaves town for a few days. I know…it sounds terrible, but sometimes, it’s fun to miss him! When he is out of town, I love to have friends visit.

When I have a friend or friends visit, my daughter will spend a little time with us, but mostly, she wants to carry on her social life. So once she goes to a friend’s house, we have “girl time,”even though we are 50+. Chances are, we won’t even leave the house.

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No kids? No husband? Friends in town? What to do? Every situation is different, but I will share some ideas of things we have done in the past. I’ve included lots of links!

*FAVORS I am all about some favors. If you plan ahead, you can give each guest a goody bag on arrival with some small take-home trinkets for the weekend. I think it’s fun to give them on the front end, especially if they can be used on during the weekend. Whether I’m getting together with one friend or seven friends, it’s fun to have some favors to offer. Custom T-SHIRTS are fun. When I gathered with some friends to bike the Virginia Creeper Trail, I had t-shirts made that said “Got Brakes?” and included the date and location on the back. I ordered everyone size XL, because I know they won’t wear them in public…best for sleeping or lounging at home. You can have custom t-shirts made through Zazzle (click here) or Cafe Press (click here). Some of the items I’ve listed in previous blogs are great for goody bags: 1818Farms Shea Creme (click here or order from Amazon here), Dry Divas Shower Caps (on sale at Neiman Marcus, click here), or some cute little, custom bags from Collective’s Etsy shop. I have one friend who loves candy (see photo below), so when she is in town, I always have some of her favorite candies: Zotz, Spree, Twizzlers, Skittles, and even Fruit by the Foot. (She eats healthy almost all the time, so it’s OK to splurge.)

*WHAT TO WATCH Old friend gatherings mean lots of talking, but it can also mean binge-watching favorite shows or watching favorite movies. As I posted on Instagram before, one binge-worthy show is an Amazon Original, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. They have streamed one season; watch now and be ready when the next season starts. It’s a funny, smart, heartwarming dramedy, and the aesthetics are incredible! It’s about a young, Jewish housewife, Midge Maisel, living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the 1950s. The opening scene is a shocking toast at Midge and Joel’s wedding, and then jumps ahead four years…they have two kids and live in a lovely apartment in the same building as her parents. Midge, like many women of her time, builds her life around her husband. All is well till things take a bad turn, and we see how Midge copes. It’s a must see for the storyline and fashion, a time when ladies dressed like ladies. I was mesmerized by every episode. It’s definitely binge-worthy, and I wish I had watched it with one of my college friends. I’d be willing to re-watch it. Eight episodes, and the first season is captivating from beginning to end. (Warning: language and nudity.) (It has been nominated for and won numerous awards, including two Golden Globes.) To watch, click here.

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**If you’ve seen The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and want something new, my next binge-watch will be UnREAL on Lifetime. The third season just started, so I want to catch up on the first two (you can do this online through Lifetime). Kelly Ripa talked about it, and it sounds awesome. It’s a drama, and according to IMDb, it’s “a behind-the-scenes look at the chaos surrounding the production of a dating competition program.” One of the creators is a former associate producer of ABC’s The Bachelor, so maybe there’s some truth behind this fiction!**

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**If binge-watching TV isn’t your thing, maybe pick a movie. Bridesmaids is hilarious, if you want comedy. For something more serious…Sense and Sensibility (click here to watch on Amazon) and The Joy Luck Club (click here to watch on Amazon) are two of my all-time favorite chick flicks. Even though I’ve read both books more than once and seen both movies countless times, I get emotional every time. Another great movie to watch with friends is …”Snap out of it!” To see it on Amazon, click here.**

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*WHAT TO DRINK When friends are staying for the weekend, I like to serve a fun beverage. I’m not a big drinker, but when I drink, I want it to feel like a celebration. Nothing says celebration like some bubbly. Champagne is good, but I prefer Prosecco, because it doesn’t give me headaches. For daytime, I enjoy Peach Bellinis, and there’s no Bellini like a Cipriani Bellini. The original Peach Bellini was served at Harry’s Bar in Venice, Italy, which is owned by the Cipriani family.  Pick your Prosecco, and if you want an authentic Bellini, order the mix from the Cipriani family hereIf you do not want to mix your own, Trader Joe’s has the Secco Peach Bellini for $5.99, and it’s good! (I call it a “Bellini in a bottle”) This is my second choice, and it’s less expensive and easier! They also offers mango and cherry Secco Bellinis.

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*For nonalcoholic Bellinis, pair the Cipriani mix with Sprite.* **If you don’t like Bellinis or peach flavor, add a splash of Chambord Liqueur to your Prosecco…gives it a lovely red hue and raspberry flavor.**

*WHAT TO USE This is not so much something to “do” as it is something to “use.” I’m hoping to receive some lovely Cornet Barcelona Sagrada Champagne Flutes soon. My friend, Debe, recently told me about the beautiful line. According to the Cornet Barcelona website, “The dream of our company is to create more beauty and excitement so that those around us can be inspired and feel as though life is truly a gift.” Each piece is hand painted “in hues reminiscent of the world-renowned Sagrada Familia Basilica in Barcelona, Spain,” according to the site. They’re beautiful filled with bubbly Champagne, Prosecco, or a Bellini, and their price point is surprisingly good. Their flutes are handmade, so they are not always available, but I recently heard from a representative of Cornet Barcelona that they will be releasing more Sagrada Champagne Flutes in March and April. To see the Cornet Barcelona line, click here. These are items you can keep at home for visiting friends.

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*WHAT TO EAT What we eat depends on the guest, and some friends love to go out. If my friend, Angela, comes to town, she wants to stay in and spend the entire visit catching up. There are some great, simple recipes in Lisa Lillien’s latest book, Hungry Girl Clean and Obsessed. A couple of my favorites are the Beefed-Up Cheesy Mac on pg. 140, and the Love at First Bite Lasagna on pg 128; both are easy to make and taste great. (Purchase at Amazon here.) I am a believer in Hungry Girl. You can access recipes on her website too, by clicking here.. Or we might order some favorites through Goldbely in advance: Coca-Cola Cake from Jestine’s in Charleston, or the Southern Mac and Cheese from Loveless Cafe in Nashville. I’ve mentioned Goldbely before, but it’s worthy of another mention. Check out their offerings by clicking here. Don’t forget dessert!

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*WHAT TO WEAR I’m a fan of pajamas of any kind. When friends come to visit for a “stay in girls’ weekend,” I like to stay in pajamas or super soft loungewear. The softest PJs and loungewear I’ve found are from Barefoot Dreams (pictured below). For a long time, I only knew of Barefoot Dreams as a company that made supersoft baby blankets and sleepers. I recently discovered they have a fabulous adult line. My very favorite PJs they offer are the Luxe Milk Jersey Piped Pajama Set. Priced at $130 on their website, they aren’t cheap, but if you can spare the $$$ on PJs, they’re worth it. I also love their loungewear. Purchase them here. If you don’t want to spend that much, the Life is Good line is offering their Teacups Pajama Set on sale for $24.99, and they are well-made, comfy pajamas. You can’t go wrong with this brand, and this is a crazy good deal. To purchase, click here.

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When hosting an old friend (or friends), the main thing is to enjoy each other’s company. So invite a friend for a visit, share some Bellinis, eat some comfort food, and watch the entire first season of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Relax, catch up, and enjoy!

Cheers!

Kelly