Read Sara's column in PennLive PA Media Group
Your unofficial ambassador to Harrisburg

What's new on

Giveaway: Midtown Cinema

If you haven’t visited the Midtown Cinema lately, I highly suggest that you change that.

In addition to independent films and fun themed events like 3rd in the Burg ($3 90s movies + BYOB!), they’re also feature a foreign film series, National Theatre Live, holiday specials, DOWN IN FRONT (think Mystery Science Theater 3000) and so much more.


They also implemented a new Membership program last year, and especially if you’re a Midtown resident or regular, this is a must. It also makes a terrific gift for your city dweller friends.

Membership includes $5 movie tickets on all regular, first-run films (regularly $8-9), one free guest pass so you can introduce your friends to the Midtown Cinema, voucher for a small popcorn, voucher for a small fountain soda, plus invitation to an exclusive Membership VIP reception.

Other perks include advance priority purchase for special events, free admission to any regular movie on your birthday, eligibility for Member of the Month, and reciprocal benefits at participating Art House Convergence cinemas.

Memberships are $40/person; $35/senior or student; $60/household (2 people). To enroll, click here.

This week, we’re giving away (1) Midtown Cinema annual Membership ($40 value) plus a “Date Night,” which includes 2 tickets, 2 small popcorns, 2 small sodas ($38 value) — $78 total value.

Complete the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CATEGORIES: Giveaway, Harrisburg, Movies

New Hilton Restaurants, Holiday Wines, Thanksgiving, Brew News, MORE

Hey you! How’s it going? Hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday. I did lots of driving (and listening to Serial), but I’ll be back for the Steelers game, vacuuming, working and maybe holiday decorating. Maybe.

I basically spent the holiday as the animal whisperer.

I basically spent the holiday as the dog whisperer.

First things first: The 3rd annual Holiday Party is THIS Saturday! Tickets are still available, but if I were you, I wouldn’t wait much longer. If you’re quick and use the code “FRIEND,” you may still be able to save 15%. We can’t wait to see you all and celebrate the holiday season!

P.S. If you need a ride, check out Premiere #1 Limousine — they have a variety of options for every event and group.

This week is sure to be a busy one for me — and since it’s officially the holiday season, I’ll be back to the Capital City Mall here and there to sell Torchbearer Sauces — please be sure to stop by and see me. We’ve got something for everyone. I’m there this Tuesday and Friday during the day.

Here’s the week that was:

From PennLive:

Upcoming Events:


Steelers start push towards the playoffs

FYI: The Steelers game will be broadcast on FOX at 1 p.m.

The playoff push for the Pittsburgh Steelers is officially underway, and they can’t afford any slip-ups against the teams that they should beat — and that starts with the game against the Saints this Sunday in Pittsburgh.

The Saints are in the worst division in the league, with all teams at least three games under .500 and the Steelers are in the best division in the league, with all teams at least three game over .500.

Both teams are right in the race to win their division and have a home playoff game.

Although the Saints are playing their worst football in the past few years, they still have the potential every week to explode and look like their old selves again.

Drew Brees can always put up huge numbers, and he will be going against a Steelers defense that has been giving up a lot of yards.

One thing that can help the defense will be the return of key players to the defense. Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor and Ryan Shazier are all expected to be back this week, which will give the Steelers the healthiest defense they have had since week three.

On the flip-side, the Saints defense might be worse than the Steelers. They are in the bottom 10 in the league in both running and passing yards per game and in the bottom five in total defense.

They aren’t good but the Steelers have been struggling on offense as of late.


Brew News – November 2014 Edition

This month really got away from me, and I’m sure you feel the same! December is right around the corner and we’ll be on to Christmas lists, holiday brews, the party of course, and then all the sudden it will be 2015. Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s recap a few headlines from the beer news world this November.

Craft Beer is Outselling Budweiser

Image via The Wall Street Journal

Image via The Wall Street Journal

That’s right. Craft beer’s shipments are now outpacing Budweiser, according to this Wall Street Journal article (p.s. they’re keeping the Clydesdales, ignore that part).

There are many ways to interpret this information. First, this is craft beer, as in all of the brands combined, taking over just one brand. This data isn’t saying that New Belgium, for example, is the David to their Goliath.

Second, consider the fact that Budweiser has more in its portfolio than just its flagship ‘”Bud Heavy” – Bud Lite, those Lime-a-rita things, Black Crown, Michelob (all varieties), Bass, Boddingtons, Beck’s, Busch, Landshark … the list goes on. But their customers are divided amongst all of those brands, with the flagship declining behind craft beer now. This isn’t to say that this isn’t good news however. It’s always wonderful to hear the leaps and bounds craft beer  is making to get ahead in a tough consumer market.

The people are speaking for what it is they want now, and apparently Bud just ain’t it.



Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a safe and turkey-filled holiday. I’ll be on the road shortly (why does Pittsburgh have snow in the forecast now?), and I can’t wait to see family and have some great food and champagne (that’s how we do holidays on my mom’s side).

Good luck to all of you braving the snow for today’s Turkey Trots!


In the meantime, I’m looking forward to starting Serial on my drive.

As my friend, Bruce, also says: Football, food — it’s the perfect holiday. It’s my tradition to root against the Cowboys and for the Lions, so it’s rare you’ll see me do this, but Go Eagles!

This year, I’m thankful for:

Here are a few tips and links to get you through today:

If any of you over-did it last night, my condolences. Please check out these my ultimate hangover guide to fix you up before dinner.

The Best Thanksgiving TV Marathons To Be Thankful For – via Huffington Post.

You have through 5 p.m. TODAY to enter to win tickets to see KIX and The Luv Gods on Friday night at the Radisson.

You also can score a FREE $50 Rubicon gift card by entering now through Saturday night.

Late to dinner and need a quick hostess gift? Grab a bottle of wine and wrap ‘er up with a cute tea towel — it’ll look like you put much more effort into it.

For bars to go today and tonight, plus Black Friday events and through the weekend, we have lots of ways to spend time with (or avoid!) family and friends.

Also, skim through my PennLive columns to keep you up to date on the latest and greatest in the area. Makes for great dinner conversation!

CATEGORIES: Holiday, Pennsylvania, Sports

Weekend Roundup: Thanksgiving Edition

Okay, babes, you’re going to want to bookmark this one. Your Weekend Roundup is here a whole day EARLY, with tonight’s parties, tomorrow’s races, dinners and post-dinner drinking, plus Black Friday and the weekend. BIG.

Congrats to all of you with the day off. I have no commute, which is terrific, but also means I still work.

I’ll also be packing for my trip — Pittsburgh and Elk Co. this holiday, and I had already planned to leave tomorrow morning, so no biggie over here. We’ll see what this snow does anyway. Right now it’s nothing more than rain. Okay, fine, it’s snowing now.

Possibly my favorite Thanksgiving photo ever.

Possibly my favorite Thanksgiving photo ever.

Because of the holidays, there won’t be any radio for me this week, but you can still catch Bruce on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon on 92.1 WTPA. Jeri the Girl is filling in for me!

Next week, everything will be back to normal. Meanwhile, a couple worthwhile notes:


5 Ways to Stay Healthy on Thanksgiving

So, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. (Cue: Where did this year go?! How is it Thanksgiving already?!) I’m not here to tell you how to survive on salad and skip the desserts tomorrow, because I do think it’s important to find some balance. I don’t think it’s healthy to binge on every food available, but I also don’t think it’s healthy to skip every holiday food.

Here’s how I try to handle Thanksgiving while eating, and without overeating.

1. Get some exercise! If you are staying local, there are a ton of races here on Thursday morning. If running and racing aren’t your thing, just try to stay active. Help in the kitchen, instead of plopping on the couch. Play flag football with your cousins in the backyard. Go for a walk after dinner to look at all the crazies who already have Christmas lights up (like my family). Walk the family dog. Offer to carry coats up to a bedroom. Make an effort to be both helpful and active.

2. Make a healthy dish to bring. I’m currently on a doctor-ordered gluten-free diet, which is about as much fun as stabbing yourself repeatedly in the eye with a sharp pencil. However, instead of focusing on what I can’t have, we’re making butternut squash soup, which is seriously delicious and healthy, and bringing enough to share.

3. Watch the liquid calories. If eggnog is your favorite thing on the planet,  go wild. It’s once a year. But if you are just drinking those apple martinis and hot toddies because they are there, then reevaluate. Sometimes, I will enjoy one “specialty drink,” and then venture toward a lower-calorie alternative that I enjoy just as much (such as rum and diet coke or a vodka soda).

4. Relax. For so many years, I stressed about how many calories were in this and how many calories were in that. But you know what? Thanksgiving is once a year. If you stop worrying about staying so healthy, or stop considering a “bad choice” as the end of the world, you may actually enjoy yourself. And not end up overstuffed or longing for what you wouldn’t allow yourself.

5. Friday is a new day. If you totally overdo it on Thursday, and wake up on Friday with a food hangover, then recognize Friday as a new day. No need to spend four hours in the gym, but also no need to go buck wild on leftovers because you “already blew it.”  Start Friday with healthy choices, and maybe don’t have that fourth serving of dessert.

How do you strive to achieve balance on the holidays?

CATEGORIES: Fitness, Food/Drink, Holiday

15 Top Chairman’s Selection Wines for the Holidays

At the beginning of the month, I joined some media friends for the “fun” table at another Chairman’s Selection tasting. At these events, which are not public, the wine buyers for each Fine Wine & Good Spirits store learn about the upcoming new selections. We were offered the preview to discover these ourselves. I’ve prepared for you my top picks — keeping them all below $30 (because, really, who wants to spend more than that on wine, anyway?).


Many of these are great buys, but are also limited in availability. If you can, visit one of the area’s “premium” stores or use the app or website to find where these can be purchased.

As you know, Chairman’s Selection wines are handpicked and are typically at least 40 percent below nationally quotes prices.


CATEGORIES: Holiday, Pennsylvania, Wine

Giveaway: WTPA Birthday Bash

Looking for a way to rock your Black Friday?


2014 WTPA Birthday Bash presented by LB Smith Ford Lincoln, featuring KIX plus The Luv Gods on Friday, Nov. 28 at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center in Camp Hill.


The Convention Center doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25; All Ages, 21 To Drink/Full Bar. For information call: 717-221-1124

This week, we’re giving away a pair of tickets to the WTPA Birthday Bash featuring KIX and The Luv Gods.

To enter, complete the Rafflecopter widget below. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

CATEGORIES: Giveaway, Music, West Shore

Giveaway: Rubicon

One of the most highly anticipated restaurants to grace downtown Harrisburg opened this year just as summer said goodbye.

Formerly (though unrecognizably thanks to the rebuild by The JEM Group) Neptune, a small, once-favorite gay bar — Rubicon was teased for more than a year with images of its renovation, potential culinary delights and hints of coming-soon refreshing libations.

rubicon wine

A French-style restaurant, its oval bar looks upward dramatically to the second floor mezzanine. From some spot you can see the custom-designed refrigerated wine case, its doors built from remnants of the building original floor joists.

Cocktails – much like its sister restaurant, Suba – are superb, creatively designed by the mixology team. The food, the work of Chef Qui Qui Musarra, is inventive — and of course, delicious.

rubicon oysters

This week, we’re giving away a $50 gift card to Rubicon.

Complete your entries using the Rafflecopter widget.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join Sara's Mailing List