Not just cute pictures of dogs

Every week since late 2012 Mary Shannon Johnstone has picked up a dog from the Wake or Vance County Animal Shelter and drove out to a landfill. There she photographs him or her doing what a dog does best. Continue reading “Not just cute pictures of dogs”

Where do you get your farm fresh foods?

Local food. Slow food. Fresh food. Where do you get yours?

Some grow their own, some head to the Farmer’s Market downtown on Wednesdays or to the main location on Lake Wheeler and Centennial Parkway (open everyday of the week). Or, maybe you subscribe to a weekly CSA—some neighborhoods have their own groups (find a great one in Raleigh) and there are delivery services (like Papa Spud’s) that operate in larger areas.

The Lomo Market is another place to buy amazing local foods—but it’s a truck! Food trucks are all the rave right now, but this isn’t one of those. So, I interviewed the Lomo Team to find out just what they call themselves and get a taste of what they’re all about!

Continue reading “Where do you get your farm fresh foods?”

SPARKcon 2013 guide

This is the 8th annual SPARKcon festival.

Location: downtown Raleigh, mainly on Fayetteville Street, other local venues too.

First day: Thursday, September 12 (pre-registered Kickoff at CAM)

Biggest days: Friday and Saturday, more info from the Triangle Explorer

Last day: Sunday, September 15 (bazzar and music continue all day!)

Schedule of events and a street map! There’s even an app for the iPhone.

Post your pics and follow via hashtag #sparkcon ♦ Get updates on the official Facebook page.

Watch this cool video I helped make for SPARKcon! (teamwork via Laura Walters, Ginny Skalski, Jason Hibbets, and Phil Smith)


SPARKcon is a festival curated by the community, SPARKcon is organized chaos resulting in bursts of innovation and creativity. Call it an open source festival in an open source city.

In January this year, the first big meeting was held. Followed by the splitting off of SPARKS and creating of new ideas. And, then a steady stream of ____SPARK meetings. Find out more about how the festival was planned and organized in this article by Phil Smith.

To help ignite the creative hub of the south, there was an Indiegogo campaign. Contributors got awesome perks for helping to fund the production and logistics of the event. Planners needed 10% of donations for the festival to come from this crowdfunding campaign; each year the festival grows (yay!) and costs more money.

Then, in July a big, final push made was made by the SPARKS—the wranglers of ideas and talented folks centering around various types of creative outlets—calling all talent for submissions. Everyone and anyone was welcome to participate and get involved.

Get ready for A LOT OF CREATIVE STUFF in yo face!

P.S. The feature photo for this post is from h0tgrits (Mark Turner), see more on flickr.

(ice cream) Pop-Up on Person Street

Have you been to the pop-up ice cream shop on Wilmington Street downtown?

They’ve been packed out, and I was even filmed being handed my ice cream float (!) for their Kickstarter campaign when I stopped by the weekend of July 4th.

Now they’ve secured a new, permanent location on Person Street, beside PieBird (what I got there).

The question now is: Will this area be able to support new businesses with necessary foot traffic?

The Works!

The downtown Raleigh July 4th celebration this year was called The Works! — it had a great vibe. Lots of people on a beautiful day (with no rain, miracles!) relaxing with snowcones or ice cream or beer. The highlights were seeing our friend Tab-One of Kooley High rap and going to a tented Beer Garden (on Fayetteville Street)!

Here are some photos I took from our fun day:

Local face cleanser line: Ablutions

I heard that only three things really prevent skin aging. And, after a lively discussion with my gal pals—that included some doctor advice, the latest and greatest from the web, and personal experiences—I upgraded my routine a bit. Most people need:

+ a gentle, yet effective cleanser

I use Green Clay bar by Ablutions

+ a gentle, yet effective exfoliator

I use Lemon Tamarind Microdermabrasion Face Polish or make a homemade baking soda scrub

+ a Vitamin C or A serum to balance and fight blemishes

I use Organic Pomegranate Serum

For over a year now, I’ve used Ablutions products and love them. If you’re looking for a local supplier and organic products, give Monica Shelton’s line a try. She really knows her stuff about skin and uses only organic products and the most wonderful scents! This one is fresh and heavenly. I also got my first! facial from her (at Epona & Oak in City Market) and it was AH-mazing. I had minimal redness (a day before my sister’s wedding!) and over the next few weeks it was wonderful to see my skin heal and improve after all that dirt had been removed.

What’s your “beauty” routine? Is there a line or brand you’re loyal to? Do you wonder about more simple, basic options? What did you grandmother use?