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Weekend Roundup 9/1

Hands-free chili eating contest, Sept. 4, 2004 Well, August went fast … Everyone keeping up? It’s September now – end of the summer – Labor Day on the horizon – kids back to school. So what does that mean for us? There are TONS of events going on this month. In fact, I have a special post dedicated to all of the big events happening this September. Read it here, tweet it, share it, Facebook it, por favor.

Labor Day weekend means a luxuriously lengthy weekend, Harrisburg’s Kipona – the last street festival of the season – and often the final days of your neighborhood pool.

You’ve got through the weekend to enter to win hair product from local (eco-friendly) style mavens, DANU Hair Care.

Tomorrow’s “Out with Sara” column in The Patriot-News reviews the Hilton’s first in the fall Winemaker Dinner series, plus revs you up for future events (they’ve got some tricks up their sleeve this season – pay attention!).

Let’s get into the meat of this. What are you doing this weekend?


September 2011 Preview

image from Go ahead and take a big wave goodbye to summer. With Labor Day around the corner, you know as well as I do, the party is over.

Fortunately, it seems like fall has a much bigger following than those heat-laced months, what with football, pumpkin-flavored everything and "the holidays" right around the corner. The mornings are cooler, the evenings often require a sweatshirt, but the days are still sunny and gorgeous (when there isn’t a natural disaster).

Perhaps it's that perfect cool/warm combination that inspires September as the host month for so many events. Each year it seems like more and more events and festivals take place during the month of September. Here are some of the top area events this ninth month. Read on:

Thrift Store Haul

Times are tough – we all know it – but that doesn't mean that you have to give up shopping or being fashionable.

A few months ago, I went through a period where I was jobless. This was devastating in itself, but the thought of not being able to shop was even worse. It's not always easy to resist the urge to buy, especially when I'm trolling fashion blogs, sale flyers and store websites for the latest info. I had to make sacrifices, and unfortunately shopping and beer (my two favorite things) were at the top of the list. Thankfully, I remembered my trusty old friends: the thrift stores.

Thrift stores have been regular haunts for theme-party shopping, from the 80s to ugly Christmas sweater to Halloween, but they have so much more to offer. Shopping at thrift stores like the Salvation Army, Goodwill and Community Aid stores seem to have a very negative connotation associated with it, which is quite unfortunate. Yes, the clientele isn't always desireable, but the deals are unbelieveable!


CATEGORIES: Fashion, Shopping

Old Towne Books & Brew

Old Towne 1 It’s been almost a year since I made my move to the central Pennsylvania area, and while I’ve racked up a list of my favorite spots and hangouts, I think it’s time to add one more to the growing list: Old Towne Books & Brew.

Always attracted to vintage and unique names and places, the sign caught my eye right away. I discovered this little gem of an ice cream/soda fountain/café/bookstore (yes – all in one, cute, corner store package) during the Mechanicsburg wine-tasting (which usually takes place in spring).

I’m also a bookworm, so I was delighted to find that I could trade in my old books (I have hundreds) for store credit to use on new books or any food or beverage that I’d like. Talk about a deal! They have nearly every genre you’re looking for – chick lit, children’s, murder/mystery, political, classics and new arrivals (I bought The Help and saw The Hunger Games for $8). I can safely say that I’ve taken all my friends there at least once, if not for the good company – always for the great coffee.


CATEGORIES: Books, Shopping

100 Things Before I Die

image from I’m working on my updated Life List (read my goals from 10 years ago here), and I remembered that I had begun some kind of lengthy “to do” list in one of my Steno notebooks a few years ago. Well, after searching my entire office, I finally found it right by my journals in my bedroom – go Sara.

I believe this list was inspired by the 100 Things To Do Before You Go memes. In fact, I’m pretty sure I got this from Mighty Girl, who is clearly much more creative and adventurous than I am.

Anyway, I only made it to #38 – and there’s actually a few I could cross off by now – but let’s take a look:


Giveaway: DANU Hair Care

image from **Congrats to winner Melissa!**

At a Carlisle-area salon, two mothers were shocked to realize how toxic the ingredients in their everyday hair care products were, damaging to not only to the environment, but potentially harming their young children as well.

This inspired the stylists to create their own brand of eco-friendly hair care products, DANU. You can read their full story here.

DANU offers shampoos, conditioners and styling products, in volumizing (“Mother Fluffer”) and moisturizing (“Moisture Mama”) – plus, their latest – Vanilla Oil Styling Oil Treatment (goodbye, flyaways and frizz!).

And to kick off the start of school, you can win a full-size Vanilla Oil Styling Oil Treatment ($20 value) this week on

To enter to win, please leave a note in the comments below.

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

I’ll select a winner at random at the end of the week.

P.S. You also can purchase DANU online or in any of these local salons.

CATEGORIES: Fashion, Giveaway


Golf 007 And then, in the midst of our happy hour, it was declared that the losing team would be buying the first round afterward.

Whoa, what? Was that a challenge? Maybe I should put my drink down and start strategizing. As I've mentioned before, I can be a bit competitive.

However, this wasn't running, biking or swimming, the athletics I actually know and perform daily. This was a whole different kind of game. This was … mini golf.

To prepare for our competition, the six of us met at my friend's downtown apartment. Obviously, carbo-loading and hydration were necessary.

For carbs, we had chips with barbeque dip or hummus as well as bruschetta and dough balls (Hey, peanut butter has protein). As for hydration, the choices were Whipped Cream vodka, the "blue drink"   (Bacardi Hurricane) and "the pink drink” (a sweet tea vodka and crystal light combination).

Pitchers in hand, we climbed up to the roof – which offers a gorgeous view of the city – to enjoy the weather of late summer.


Weekend Roundup 8/25

Another busy week on the books. This weekend is dedicated to relaxing and housework, though I expect I'll get out for an event or two as well. Tomorrow, Andy and I head to the Hilton Harrisburg for the first in their Fall 2011 Winemaker Dinner Series. I'll be sure to fill you in on that next week.

Here's what's going on this week at

Lots going on this weekend as we celebrate that last days of August. What are you doing this weekend?


Stories of Steel

Photo I've always felt fortunate to find work which I find fulfilling – journalism, writing and using television as a medium for story telling. It's a real treat to tell people about Pennsylvania's history in a fun and creative way. For someone who fell in love with learning at a young age, nothing is better. 

One of my first assignments for PCN was to produce my own television series. My assignment was to build an educational series around a subject I hardly knew anything about: the history of the steel industry in Pennsylvania.

My research and interviews for "Keystone Steel" led me to Bethlehem Steel, which is about an hour and half away from the Harrisburg. I toured the area and went back for half a dozen more visits between May and late August – I was fascinsated by the revitalization taking place: a massive project set out to rebuild Bethlehem Steel into a cultural, hip and fun art venue. The goal was to turn a defunct factory into a learning facility – and it's a success!

If you're looking for a roadtrip, a drive to ArtsQuest SteelStacks Campus for a night or an afternoon day trip might be the coolest thing you do before the end of summer. 


Back to School Fashion

I recently had the pleasure of doing a back-to-school fashion segment for CBS 21 news, which took place in Wears Like New consignment shop in Lemoyne. The one thing I truly love about this store is that they are very particular about the items they take and only accept items that are currently in style and concurrent with recent trends. This made it very easy for me to pull items from their racks to display on the segment.


Speaking of back-to-school, school starts for most students in the greater Harrisburg area next week. I'm sure many students are scouring the malls and their friends closets for that first day of school perfect "first impression" outfit.



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