#atozchallenge | V is for Volunteering at the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling

I am addicted to chocolate. I thought I was doing a good thing when I gave up milk chocolate and switched to dark chocolate with all its well advertised health benefits. While I do think it was a good change, it gave me a false sense of healthy eating, and now I eat it everyday. Not most days. Every single day. It’s getting to be an issue.

With my obsession for chocolate, I’m always on the look out for events where I can enjoy chocolate deliciousness. The last few years I’ve kept an eye on the Chocolate Lovers’ Fling. This annual event is a fundraiser for the local nonprofit, SARSSM, Sexual Assault Response Services of Southern Maine. This year’s Chocolate Lovers’ Fling, which was held at the South Portland Marriott at Sable Oaks, was their 30th Annual event. It has some staying power. Clearly, I’m not the only person with a chocolate obsession. Continue reading

#atozchallenge | U is for Udon Noodles at Mi Sen Noodle Bar

I have a nipponophile in my house. I had no idea that I had one until I did a quick google search for “someone who likes Japan and Japanese Culture” and up popped this new word. It started innocently enough with an interest in Japanese anime and then it expanded into a love of all things Japanese. One of her key areas of passion is Japanese food and especially noodles such as udon noodles.

Thinking I’d earn Mom points for taking her to a noodle house, we headed into Portland one recent Friday night to try Mi Sen Noodle Bar. It is a cute place, with nice decor and a serene atmosphere. But, one thing it is not, is a Japanese noodle house. My husband said I should have known by the name, and he is probably right, but I was focused only on the “noodle bar” part. While it does serve udon noodles, it is Thai based which gives their dishes a different flavor. Continue reading

#atozchallenge | S is for Smitty’s Dinner and Movie

Dinner and a movie has been around forever. Even before movies were invented, I suspect cavemen sat around roasting their dinner and watching the hieroglyphics on the walls. Today, dinner and a movie usually means to separate events, but there is one local movie destination where you can do both in one stop. Smitty’s Cinema, which is a small chain with theaters throughout Maine and one in New Hampshire, has table seating and a full menu so you can order dinner while enjoying the latest movie release. Continue reading

#atozchallenge | R is for a Review of “Got Here As Soon As I Could” by Sarah Smiley

As my A to Z Challenge theme is focused on Maine, I thought it would be fun to do a book review on a book that has a connection to Maine. Fortunately for me, Sarah Smiley released her latest book, “Got Here As Soon As I Could; Discovering The Way Life Should Be” on April 1st. It’s almost like she knew I would need something for the letter R in my A to Z Challenge. Isn’t it just like a fellow Mainer to do something so nice!

I have not read any of her previous books, but one of my good friends absolutely loved her earlier book “Dinner with the Smileys” so I figured I was in good hands. This latest book is a compilation of articles from her Syndicated Column.  Sarah moved to Maine from Florida about six years ago and she immediately bonded with the state. That’s something I can appreciate. While I didn’t relocate here, I have a great passion for my home state and enjoy how she tells stories that really highlight some of the wonderful things about Maine. Continue reading