2017 SaraBozich.com Reader Survey

by: Sara Bozich
January 8, 2018

Help us help you!

Thanks to everyone who has supported SaraBozich.com and our local community throughout the past year.

In 2017, SaraBozich.com:

Now that 2018 is underway, we want to hear from YOU!

TAKE OUR 2017 READER SURVEY »

Our annual survey is designed to get the best feedback from our audience so we can make the site and events work for you.

Categories: Bloggers, Harrisburg, LivePA

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Year-End Survey! [BONUS] WIN Crowler Coozies + Shot Glasses

by: Sara Bozich
December 26, 2017

Help us help you!

Thanks to everyone who supported SaraBozich.com and our local community throughout the past year.

reader survey

In 2017, SaraBozich.com:

Before we move on to what 2018, we would love to hear from YOU!

Our annual survey is designed to get the best feedback from our audience so we can make the site and events work for you.

» COMPLETE THE SURVEY

This week, we’re giving away a SaraBozich.com crowler coozie and shot glass to 5 winners.

To enter, complete BOTH the SaraBozich.com 2017 Year-End Survey and the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Categories: Giveaway, Harrisburg, LivePA

Sara’s #shoplocal Gift Guide

by: Sara Bozich
December 5, 2017

Still shopping? I am! Fortunately, that’s part of the beauty of shopping local — you don’t have to wait for shipping. Plus, you get to support real people who you may know (or not, but hey — say hi! Make a friend!) and local products.

Huge assist to Intern Jimi for helping me assemble this list. Dive through and take a look. And see what I’m calling the one thing to get that truly impossible-to-shop-for person on your list!

For the one always asking what’s local on tap

If you know they like to #drinklocal, you can’t go wrong with the gift of local libations.

Beer + Pizza = Presents

Pizza Boy Brewing Co.’s crowlers will make any craft beer nerd happy. Pizza Boy usually has around 20 “crowlerable” beers to choose from, and you can’t go wrong with any choice. Pick out three for a custom 3-pack (equal to a six-pack of bottles) — at least one should be an IPA. And make sure your recipient knows to drink these within a few weeks.

If your giftee is local, pair a crowler with a gift card so they can heighten their beer + pizza experience after the holidays, too.

Wine O’Clock

Wine is a classic gift, and The Vineyard and Brewery at Hershey can help you “up” your wine-giving with a customized gift basket. Get creative and build a basket complete with a bottle of wine, chocolates, cheeses, and wine glasses.

Put a Pine Tree On It

Choosing the right beer is never easy. Take the hassle out of that decision and give your craft beer enthusiast a gift card to Zeroday Brewing Co. While you’re there grab a crowler or two of their seasonal offerings like Grievance or one of my favorites, DTF Saison, a beer made with an entire Douglas Fir tree.

Tip: Mix n match this with Pizza Boy crowlers for a taste of the Harrisburg area.

Spirit of Spirits

Break out the holiday cheer(s) and give them a bottle of local craft spirits. With the wide range of spirits from Midstate Distillery, Tattered Flag Brewery and Still Works, and Eight Oaks Craft Distillers you are sure to find a local option they can use for their favorite cocktails.

Easy: Pick up a copper mug, a lime, and a crowler of ZerØday’s ginger beer for a make-your-own Moscow Mule kit!

For the Busy Bee and Perpetually Undercaffeinated

Booze isn’t the appropriate gift for everyone — and coffeehouses offer a caffeinated alternative (plus more) for anyone who deserves an upgrade on their morning (or afternoon!) pick-me-up.

Elementary Coffee Co.

Market days at Broad Street Market wouldn’t be the same without a drink from Elementary Coffee. Their fresh coffee and seasonal drinks have made them a staple during any market trip. Show a fellow coffee drinker some love with a gift card, bag of beans or one of their signature glass travel mugs.

Wishlist: New camping style mugs from Fennec, available at Elementary.

Little Amps Coffee Roasters

Little Amps’ new freeze-dried coffee makes an excellent gift for the person who is consistently on the move. They come in boxes of six and can be mixed into any beverage for a customizable pick-me-up. Of course, you should also pick up a few bags of beans at one of their locations or from their online store.

Little Amps Freeze-Dried Coffee Combines Quality and Convenience

Other fun gifts to snag at Little Amps: vinyl (yes, records), LA swag like tees and totes, gift cards.

Cornerstone Coffeehouse

You can create a whole coffee-lovers dream basket from treats and gifts from Cornerstone Coffeehouse. Grab some coffee — perhaps a holiday blend, add a selection of delicious pastries and treats, then complete the ensemble with one of their beautiful coffee mugs.

Capital Joe

If you have a state worker on your list, they will love a gift card from Capital Joe. This quiet retreat is located right off Forster St. just steps from the Capitol Complex. They’ll thank you as they relax with a cup of coffee and pastries.

Allegedly, it also boasts some of the best city wifi — a perfect place for your favorite freelancer to check out.

For Good Neighbors, Favorite Friends and Otherwise Impossible To Buy For

Let’s face it, we all fall off of our diets a bit during the holidays. We’re always eating, and holiday treats shoot to the top of the food pyramid. It’s okay to indulge, we won’t tell.

Fudge

For local sweets, you have to check out the holiday offerings at fudge-o-lutely. With flavors of Egg Nog, Sugar Cookie, Peppermint, Gingerbread, and Salted Caramel it will be hard to pick just one. Don’t worry, fudge-o-lutely knows you want to try them all, so they put together a few samplers.

  • Holiday Fudge Sampler – Try up to four different holiday flavors with this sampler that comes in both one-pound and two-pound options. Mix and match or go all-in with your favorite flavor.
  • Holiday Super Sampler – More than just fudge. Get a taste of pretty much everything fudge-o-lutely offers. It’s complete with your choice of two fudge flavors, Calicutt Spice Co.’s chai hot cocoa mix, mini marshmallow fluffs, two chocolate bark bars, and an artisanal elixir bottle.

Ice Cream

Finally. For the truly impossible to buy for — who doesn’t like ice cream? (Besides my sister, ugh). This is what my dad is getting this year.

Make that ice cream lover happy for months with Urban Churn’s Holiday Gift delivery service. It’s so simple. You just pick the quantity (2 or 4 pints), the duration (3 or 6 months), and the flavors. Just imagine how happy they will be with ice cream right outside their door.

Urban Churn Continues to Grow and Experiment

Spices, Sauces & Nuts, Oh My!

Okay, so maybe we all don’t overindulge during the holidays. For those who choose to live a little healthier, a gift basket from Sarah’s Snacks offers a variety of healthy snacking alternatives.

Choose from baskets featuring just Sarah’s treats or get the Taste of PA Gift Basket with items from local businesses including Torchbearer Sauces, Calicutts Spice Co., and more.

Speaking of Calitcutts, their selection of freshly ground spices not only taste great in your holiday dishes but make great additions to any gift baskets you are assembling. Last year, everyone on my list got an assortment of spices — and their cocoa mix + fudge-O-lutely mini fluffs were the go-to gifts for my UPS and USPS guys.

Both the Broad Street Market and the West Shore Farmers Market, along with any other local markets, are chock full of treats that are sure to delight anyone on your list.

When You Need More Than An Amazon Gift Card

Great Harrisburg Restaurants

Wind down from shopping with a drink at Greystone Public House and grab a few gift cards while you sip. From now until Dec. 24, you will get a $10 gift card for any $50 gift card purchase. Give the second one away, or keep it to treat yourself.

Book Lovers + More

Midtown Scholar is a convenient stop after finishing up at Broad Street Market. Walk through their bookshelves to find a book of interest for that special someone. Scholar also offers gift cards, notebooks, totes, and other fun stocking stuffers.

Making Groceries Hip

A Provision’s Loyalty+ membership is a perfect gift for that 20-something who just moved to the city. The membership is only $35 and includes a kit of reusable containers, discounts on products, exclusive samplings of new products, and much more.

For Moms, Best Friends & Treating Yourself

Whether you’re jewelry shopping or treating yourself to a new handbag, discover the area’s specialty boutiques to find special pieces to give this season.

Downtown Camp Hill is home to so many boutiques it’s easy to pick up everything you need within relative walking distance.

Hostess & Wellness Gifts at Little Bits & Pieces Gift Boutique

Start at Body IQ Life and Little Bits & Pieces Gift Boutique and peruse the shop for that “a-ha” gift for the hard to please person on your list. Find women’s clothing, jewelry, gifts, and a variety of wellness items all in one stop. Don’t stop there — the selection of coffee, candles, and chocolates make for great hostess gifts.

Plus, the Boutique offers private shopping experiences so you can grab your friends (and a couple bottles of wine) and knock off some QT and holiday shopping all at once.

Custom Makeup

Take a short walk across the street to visit Carmina Cristina Makeup Boutique. Here you can pick up any number of exciting lipstick or lip gloss, and makeup from Carmina’s signature line, plus body items perfect for pampering. Carmina also offers a variety of classes throughout the year so you can learn how to apply the perfect cat eye or bold lip.

Tip: Book a special event just for you and your girlfriends! And buy the Vitamin C lip treatment — You won’t regret it!

Jewelry No One Else Will Have

Visit Meeka Fine Jewelry’s new shop located right next to Cornerstone to find one-of-a-kind, high end, artisan jewelry. Every piece is designed by owner Monika or one of eight hand-selected artisans, and each is customizable.

Fashion Finds + More

Don’t forget about the shops at Strawberry Square. A fashionable scarf from Amma Jo can put the finishing touch on any outfit, and Ideas and Objects is full of one-of-a-kind gifts. Of course, Hallmark can be your stop for any holiday cards or last-minute decorations.

Insider Tips to Strawberry Square: Guest Feature

Also worth checking out:

Sassy Jeans & More upstairs at the West Shore Farmers Market — for the uber fashionista. Get fitted for denim and have the jeans of your dreams. I also love their super cozy sweats.

Chemise Collection — new to downtown Camp Hill — this is on my “to check out” list. Clutches, scarves, sweaters and more.

Stash Vintage — These super cool ladies may have closed their brick-and-mortar store but you can score great finds on their Instagram and Etsy shop. I do. Like all the time.

(Psst — look for our boutique shopping guide in early 2018!)

The Best Local Booze to Bring For Thanksgiving

by: Jimi The Intern
November 19, 2017

In our family, Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a fridge stocked with a variety of libations.

My mom brings the Pinot Grigio, my uncle has a fresh case of his Coor’s Orginal, and I bring the local flare. For family holidays I always enjoy showcasing and sharing what our area has to offer with my family.

With so many local options to chose from, it’s easy to put together a full menu of local drinks.

Planning a Local Thanksgiving: Guest Feature

Whether you’re planning the meal, or just need to bring a drink as your contribution, here are a few beer, wine, and spirit options to consider this Thanksgiving.

Naughty and Spiced Holiday Ale
The Brewery at Hershey

Holiday spices abound in this winter warmer. You get flavors of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove with a refreshing punch of orange zest. The winter warmer base is sweet and tames the spices to create a balanced beer.

Blizzard of Hops
Troegs Independent Brewing

thanksgiving beer

Blizzard is best drank fresh. This is one of, if not my favorite Troegs beer, and I usually can’t get enough of it. I love the bright flavors of pineapple, citrus, and pine that comes from the hops, and the malt offers just a hint of sweetness.

Blizzard goes well on any table and is be a beer that can be enjoyed all day.

Critical Condition
ZerØday Brewing Co.

ZerØday’s imperial amber ale presents a great balance of malt and hops. It’s a little higher in alcohol at 8% ABV, but that makes it an ideal beer to sip on while preparing dinner or watching football throughout the day.

Grab a crowler or two and treat your family to this Midtown brew.

Bonus: If it’s available, grab a crowler of ZerØday’s ginger beer (only $5), and use it as a local (and better) substitute in any cocktail calling for ginger beer.

Mulled Naughty and Spiced Wine
The Vineyard at Hershey

thanksgiving wine

This mulled wine is built on a Chambourcin base and has similar flavors to the Naughty and Spiced beer with cinnamon, nutmeg, orange zest, clove, and just a hint of anise.


Sara’s Picks: Thanksgiving Wine, Cider & Beer

I’m hijacking Jimi’s post for a few of my own picks. 

Seconding Tröegs Blizzard of Hops — My first post-baby case of beer, and I’m drinking a can right now. This delicious and refreshing “winter” IPA is great for long days watching football from the couch, and it sure to be a hit on Turkey Day. Also worth seeking out, Tröegs Dead Reckoning Porter is another lovely cold-weather treat.

Beaujolais Nouveau — Thursday was Beaujolais Day, a tradition I haven’t missed since I learned about it many years ago. This first press of the Gamay grape from the French region of Beaujolais has a sweet start (I tend to liken it to raspberry jam), but finishes with a pleasant dryness. Serve this slightly chilled, and it’s a crowd pleaser. Perfect for the Thanksgiving dinner table. Plus, it’s just $12.

On our Thanksgiving table this year: Ploughman Cider Pinot N’Arlet, a wild fermented cider aged on Pinot Noir skins. I nabbed a bottle (okay, two) of this one Saturday at Broad Street Market. The Pinot Noir skins (from a neighboring vineyard) lend its pinkish hue, which plays to my love of rosé wine, and like rosé, this cider is delightfully dry.

Speaking of rosé, a bottle or two of Waltz Vineyards Stiegel Rosé would make a fine addition to my kitchen your Thanksgiving table.


Spirits from Midstate Distillery

thanksgiving booze

Whether your cocktail recipe calls for rum, moonshine, or vodka, Midstate has a spirit that can give your drink a local twist.

A simple vodka + cranberry can be an after-meal treat if you’re feeling full but are ready to finally relax with a drink after washing the dishes. Or, you can try your hand at making a large-batch cocktail, like this Honey Punch, and feature it as a signature drink for your guests.

Blue Agave Spirit
Tattered Flag Brew Works and Distillery

Do you want to bring something wild to Thanksgiving? This is your ticket.

Technically it’s tequila, but of course, since it is not made in Jalisco, Mexico, they can’t call it authentic tequila. It’s a Blanco-style, so you’ll get notes of citrus, spice, and earthiness with a smooth finish.

Although this “PA-Tequila” is not ready for to-go sales just yet, Tattered Flag will be releasing it this week just in time for Thanksgiving.

Crafty Cranberry Cider
Wyndridge Farm

Apples and cranberries are two fruits you’ll find on most Thanksgiving tables in some form, so why not feature those flavors in your drinks?

In Wyndridge’s Craft Cranberry you get crisp apple flavor with a slight tartness from the fresh cranberry juice. This dry cider would delight any gluten-free guests you have coming to your get together.

Be sure to also check out the Pennsylvania-made aisles at Fine Wine & Good Spirits to find even more locally made products to bring to the table.

What local drinks will be on your table for Thanksgiving?

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