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Country Star Jana Kramer at FED LIVE on May 3

The transition from the movie screen to the music industry is not always smooth or encouraged — just ask Paris Hilton 0r Lindsey Lohan — but you can always find a diamond in the rough, like actress-turned-country star Jana Kramer.

Even though she was making waves in Hollywood, landing a role as Alex Dupre in the hit series One Tree Hill, appearing in multiple movies and landing recurring roles in some of my favorite shows — Friday Night Lights and Entourage – Jana Kramer still knew she had to follow her country music dream.

Jana_Kramer_1580-x600“Honestly, country music is what I’ve always wanted to do; I grew up singing when I was a little girl and I just kind of shied away from it because I didn’t think I had the voice to do it,” Kramer said in a recent telephone interview. “But when I got older, I was like — I don’t want to live with regrets in my life so I’m going to try it and I’m going to go for it.”

Kramer could not have made a better decision — she won the Academy of Country Music Award for Best New Female Vocalist of the year in 2013 (an award that is basically a precursor to country stardom and previously won by Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift, Shania Twain and Faith Hill), her 2012 self-titled debut album climbed to no. 5 on the country charts and her debut single “Why Ya Wanna” hit no. three on the charts.

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CATEGORIES: Harrisburg, Music

Giveaway: ACS Farm to Table Kickoff Event at Troegs

Each summer, the American Cancer Society hosts a “Farm to Table Dinner” at Strites’ Orchard. The event is a “sophisticated yet relaxed” three-course dinner made wholly with local produce from Pennsylvania farmers and food producers.

This year, ACS is hosting a new fundraising event, the “Farm to Table Dinner Kickoff Happy Hour,” from 5-8 p.m. on April 30 at Troegs Brewing Co. in Hershey.

Kickoff STD

 

Local food and craft beer enthusiasts are encouraged to attend the happy hour style event with artisan cheeses and house-made charcuterie paired with Troegs handcrafted brews.

A limited number of 75 tickets are available for $40 in advance. Tickets may be purchased online or by emailing marsha.jackson@cancer.org.

The kickoff party functions as a precursor to the American Cancer Society’s fourth annual “Farm to Table Dinner” on Aug. 17. All proceeds from both the Farm to Table Kickoff Party and the Farm to Table Dinner benefit the American Cancer Society’s East Central Division. The party is made possible by sponsor Saul Ewing.

This week, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the Farm to Table Kickoff Happy Hour at Troegs on April 30. To enter, leave a comment below.

For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:

Enter early and often. A winner will be selected at random at the end of the week.

Please note: You may do each of these items only once per giveaway. All repeat entries will be discarded.

Giveaway: PA Flavor {4 pairs of tickets!}

This Saturday is one of my favorite local beer events, one of the can’t-miss brew fests Tierney listed a couple weeks ago, and a celebration of Pennsylvania agriculture: PA Flavor.

PA Flavor is presented jointly by the Brewers of PA, the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, the American Culinary Federation and the Department of Agriculture’s PA Preferred Program. Held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, it is designed to showcase the many unique beer and food producers in Pennsylvania.

pa flavorLike most brew fests, this is a sampling event, during which event attendees will gain an understanding of how well beer and food complement each other.

A VIP session runs from 1-2 p.m. (worth it – special beers and foods featured — Last year we tasted Troegs Splinter Gold, among others), and General Admission runs from 2-5 p.m.

PA Flavor features more than 25 Pennsylvania craft breweries and numerous restaurants and food producers. Food and beer pairings will be recommended to attendees and food producers will be offering samples and selling packaged food to go as well.

New participants this year include Liquid Hero Brewery, Righteous Felon Jerky and Quips Pub.

Tickets are available online; designated driver tickets also are available.

This week, we’re giving away 4 pairs of tickets to PA Flavor! That’s 4 winners! To enter, leave a comment below.

For extra entries (you must leave a separate comment for each extra entry in order for each to count), you can:

Enter early and often. Four winners will be selected at random on Friday.

Please note: You may do each of these items only once per giveaway. All repeat entries will be discarded.

#JM5K, Easter brunches, new brews, parking & more

What an amazing Saturday! Thank you so much to all of our amazing volunteers, sponsors and every one of YOU who came out to City Island yesterday to make the second annual Jersey Mike Rock + Run 5K so heart-warming and spectacular. More formal gratitude is forthcoming, but please know that Jay, Josiah and I couldn’t be happier with the day.

JM5K 2014

Also, be sure to scroll down for more race day coverage, including great photos captured by local photographers.

And that was my weekend. Friday, of course, we were at The Speakeasy for pre-registration. Saturday we spent all morning at City Island and all afternoon at Ceoltas. I also managed to make it over to the final Deschutes event at the Brewhouse, effectively checking everything off my weekend “to do” list.

Therefore, I won’t be doing much today, but HAPPY EASTER! And here are 11+ suggestions should you decide to venture out.

From PennLive:

Elsewhere on the Internet:

#JM5K Race Day Recap:

Upcoming SaraBozich.com Events: 

CATEGORIES: Running, Sara Bozich

Homebrewing: Why I Do It

Well here she is, ladies and gentlemen – Saison 27 in all her glory. With final ABV coming in at 7.6% and its beautiful cloudy amber color, it’s easy to see why this beer was well received at Brewin’ Up a Cure last Sunday at Brewery at Hershey.

home brew contest ed tierney mike

The beer has a lovely honey sweetness from the excessive amount of orange blossom honey I used and had little hop flavor despite the pile of hops that were added. I, along with the crowd at Mac’s Mixed Nuts Home Brew Contest, found it to be incredibly drinkable on the 80-degree day we had. In fact, while my beer didn’t win the competition, it did make it to the second round of the top 15. Not too shabby I say.

During the event I was asked many questions about homebrewing as well as the beer itself, some questions more surprising than others. A few asked what gave it its sweetness, what was causing whatever flavor they found in it, and what type of hops were in it. Those were easy to answer as I know flavors in-and-out in most cases.

Some asked more technical questions about the grain percentage and the temperature at which we mashed in. Most commonly, people were surprised to find that a woman had made the beer, and asked how I got into homebrewing.

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CATEGORIES: Craft Beer

Weekend Roundup 4/17

These next few weeks are jam-packed — Welcome to spring, right?

Last night we intended to hit up Market Cross Pub for its Deschutes ice cream night with Twin Kiss Creamery, but unfortunately plans were derailed. I’m looking forward to reading Chelsie’s post on Stouts and Stilettos about the event!

Oh hey, did you read this?

Oh hey, did you read this?

And things won’t stop. Tonight we have dinner plans with friends, then tomorrow it’s over to The Speakeasy to set-up for packet pick-up and registration for the JM5K. Speaking of:

SATURDAY IS THE JERSEY MIKE ROCK + RUN 5K! Quickly, know this:

  • You can register Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m. on City Island.
  • Race is at 12 p.m. (NOON)
  • Food trucks on-site: The Chicken Truck and Mad Dash Concessions
  • Sponsored by Al’s of Hampden/Pizza Boy Brewing: Free samples after the race for runners 21+.
  • CAMP POSITIVE: Kids’ activities, check-in your kids while you run/walk
  • AFTER PARTY at Ceoltas, presented by VeTour Productions and featuring the Very Americans, Herbie, Dirty Thieving Gypsies, MORE.
  • LEARN MORE.

Need more inspiration? Tune in tomorrow morning at 7:10 a.m. to Glenn & Bob on The River 97.3 for “Sara’s Weekend Picks.”

What are you doing this weekend?

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Running Tips: Dealing with Pre-Race Jitters

I am running a marathon on Monday. And while I am super excited, I am also really, really anxious, nervous and scared.

I suffer from pre-race jitters very badly. I am naturally a nervous person, so putting a big event in front of me just exploits that. I’ve always freaked out a little before athletic events. In high school and college, I never could talk to anyone at a swim meet; I’d just have to sit with my headphones on until my events were over. So, it’s no surprise that this trait has jumped over to running races as well.

running

Even though I still get that butterflies-I-am-going-to-throw-up feeling, I’ve learned a few tricks that have helped me calm down just a little bit on race day.

Plan:

  • Lay out your clothes the night before, and make sure everything is good to go.
  • Are your iPod and Garmin charged?
  • Do you have safety pins for your bib?
  • Do you have a right and a left shoe (Don’t laugh; I accidentally packed two left shoes for a lunch run a few months ago!)?
  • Give yourself plenty of extra time to get to the starting line. I’d rather be a half hour early twiddling my thumbs at a race, instead of standing in a porta potty line while the national anthem is being played. I always get to races earlier than necessary and immediately get into a porta potty line even if I am sure I don’t think you have to go.
  • I think it’s also important to check our your surroundings and familiarize yourself with the location.
  • Know where/when you need to pick up transportation if need be.
  • Make sure a race has a bag drop off before you lug a backpack full of stuff over with you.

These little things don’t seem like big issues, but they can quickly turn a race morning into chaos.

Don’t try anything new

This is not rocket science. As much as we know it, I think we’ve all been there, buying a new outfit but not trying it out before the race and then having it chafe terribly. Or never training with gels and then deciding to take one from an aid station. Stick with what you know. I have a very sensitive stomach, and I’ve learned to avoid nuts, gluten and alcohol in the days leading up to the race. I’d rather be safe than sorry.

Look at the course map

When I ran the Steamtown Marathon in 2011, I didn’t really look at a course map, and then I nearly died on a hill at mile 24, and all I remember is crying and walking up that hill, hating my life. When I ran the Harrisburg Marathon in 2012, I was much more prepared and knew to expect the hills in Wildwood Park. Luckily, I hyped them up so much in my brain, they didn’t seem that bad at all.

Have fun

Running isn’t your job. At the end of the day, no one cares about your time. If you miss your goal, or totally flop at the race, it doesn’t matter. It’s hard to believe, but its true. If you trained properly, be proud of your training cycle and be proud for having the guts to show up and give it your all. And don’t forget to smile. Running is fun, remember?

Although I am not gunning for a PR next week, I am still rattled with nerves. Anyone else have tips to share?

CATEGORIES: Running

Beer Events: Deschutes Central Pa. Launch Week

Last month, I wrote a story about top craft brewer, Deschutes Brewery’s recent availability in our area. I shared a list of tasting events and venues where you could find their first offerings on tap and by the bottle.

This week marks Deschutes Brewery’s “official” launch weekend — and this time you can meet the gang from Oregon at a variety of events, from beer dinners to meet’n greets and more.

CentralPA_NowFlowing

And while you’ve had the chance to try their top sellers like Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter, at select locations you’ll also find Hop Henge Experimental IPA or Fresh Squeezed flowing as well.

Let’s start with the big stuff:

Hot Dogs and Beer with Deschutes Brewery at Brass Rail Deli
April 16,  5-7 p.m.

Hot dogs, beer, good times – what is a more “American” style pastime? That’s why we’ve pulled together a series of special hot dogs paired with Deschutes Brewery beers while the Oregon brewery is down celebrating its launch in Harrisburg. Mirror Pond Pale Ale with a Campy Dog sample and Black Butte Porter with a BBQBR Dog sample are just a couple of the tasty pairings of the evening.

Brew Burgers with Deschutes Brewery at The Warwick Hotel
April 16, 4-10 p.m.

Deschutes Brewery is bringing its beers to the region, and what better way to celebrate than with some good, old fashioned burgers? The Warwick Hotel chefs are creating some special burgers just for this evening, all perfectly paired with Deschutes’ Oregon beers. Giveaways, sample platters, the gang from Deschutes hanging out from 7-10 p.m. for a chat and you have a great Wednesday evening in store.

Deschutes Brewery Ice Cream Social at Market Cross Pub
April 16, 7 p.m.

Decadent delights are in store!  It’s an ice cream flight night – ice cream and beer flights that is! Four of Deschutes Brewery’s beers have been paired up with four ice cream flavors from Twin Kiss Creamery in Shermans Dale. Now that’s dessert.

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Beer Fests, Greek food, #sbhh PHOTOS, new winery & MORE

Last night my husband said, “Today felt like a Sunday, but I’m so glad it’s not.” Hear, hear!

craft tastings

Friday night’s Craft Tastings Chocolate + Beer Pairing was a blast. But you’ll read more about that later. We followed that with a lovely hike on Saturday, effectively tiring our out-of-shape-from-winter pup, and a rousing game of catch in the backyard.

For dinner, we met friends back at Hellenic Kouzina, which was as delicious as always.

hellenic kouzina

This afternoon, my mom and I are going to “Mother, Daughter, Friend” Tea benefiting PAWS of Pa. If there’s time, I’d love to swing by Brewery at Hershey’s homebrew fest to try Tierney’s beer.

This week was nuts, and I’m much looking forward to a lower key week ahead. But let’s take a look back:

From PennLive:

Elsewhere on the Internet:

#JM5K NEWS – Less than 1 week away!:

Upcoming SaraBozich.com Events: 

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