Baxter Bark Twice

Do as I say, never as I do

What to Give: Holiday Gift Ideas

Posted by AllieB on November 30, 2011

Ho ho ho!!! (Sister, someone’s calling you.) Merry Christmas!

I’ve mentioned my lack of creativity before re: costuming, and the case is very much the same when it comes to gift giving. I think those who can give thoughtful and not necessarily elaborate or over-the-top gifts have a truly enviable skill. You know the person – they could make a bag of dirt seem appealing. They’re the ones who bring the delicately wrapped and ribbon-adorned lace cookies to the bake sale when you bring a half batch of Nestle Tollhouse because you ate most of the dough. (I speak not from experience….) Anyway, some people just have “the touch.” For those of us who don’t, there are gift guides.

For Guys: I’ve been asked by more than one person for gift recommendations for boys. This is pretty much the blind leading the blind, but I did a little research…and…here. Sorry in advance. I found this one guide: Gifts for Guys That DON’T SUCK that is trying just a little too hard…there are 4 pages of ideas, including a camouflage baseball, stainless steel ice cubes, and bacon-flavored hot sauce. I think I might pick up that third one for yours truly.

If anyone but Barney Stinson handed me a drink with these in them, I’d get the H outta D.

Look, shopping for guys is tough. Get him a tie. A Vineyard Vines or Ferragamo one with a tasteful golfing or aquatic or football motif. YKenna – I helped you not at all, did I.

White Elephant Party: Thompson Ferrier Candles. I always say you must smell a candle before you buy, but at this price I say go with it – Elegant Gardenia sounds pretty safe. I still don’t quite get the premise of these parties, but this falls in the right price range – can’t beat $15. This Capri Blue Jar candle ($28 at Anthro) is actually my most favorite, and it’s larger than most.

For Pallison ClevelandThe Meatball Shop Cookbook by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow (Ballantine Books; $28).  Make this: Start with the signature beef version and work your way up to the advanced-technique “bunny balls.”

Stocking Stuffer/Gift That Keeps on Giving: Best invention ever – the rubber wine stopper. This set will cost you $11.33 and will change the life of its recipient. It can make a bad bottle of wine good – literally. Go ahead and buy 2 – one to give and one to keep. That’s kind of nice mantra with Christmas shopping in general…

For the person who has everything/is impossible to shop for: a gift to charity in their name. Honestly, I really like it when people do this in my honor, especially when it’s to a cause I hold dear. If you’re really stumped as to what to get someone, think about what they like: puppies, trees, art, hunting, music, children, healthcare…if there’s a noun, there’s a 501 (c) 3 raising money for it. Most of these causes will send a notification to the person for whom you gave the gift, so that’s a nice little bonus.

This is a woefully incomplete list…nothing for parents…and I didn’t even include anything for me! That’s probably because I already have everything I could possibly wish for :) Well, except for new Frye boots and/or a console table for my abode.

Here are 425 more ideas from $3 to $1,295. 

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I’m just a girl, standing in front of a turkey, asking it to be delicious

Posted by AllieB on November 24, 2011


My initial plan was to do a sort of live-blogging situation of the Baxter Family Turkey Day – frequent updates with pics, shenanigans, what have you. I then realized that I do not know how to do that, so I’ll just do the one post. Currently, I am making whiskey sours and heating the Parmesan Pups (glorified pigs in blanket from Trader Joe’s), and I have on my fringe boots that are a treat for both the eyes AND the ears.

Today I am especially thankful for these things:

– Missy and my mom and dad and sisters and Stanton and my friends, new and old

– Baxter Bark Twice

– whiskey sours

– Holeman & Finch

– my new luggage by DvF – now I just need someplace to take it

– Revenge; not the practice, the TV show on ABC. Emily Thorn 4 eva

– Florence + the Machine

still thankful for The Devil Wears Prada – I now own the DVD, but I still rent it from Comcast every month. Which is really dumb.

– Georgia football…most of the time, anyway

Missy took this one of us – she’s surprisingly dexterous.

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It’s turkey time, you turkeys

Posted by AllieB on November 21, 2011

The annual day of thanks is upon us once again. I’ve come to really love Thanksgiving, and despite the fact that I will be the lone ranger dining with my parents and Missy and that it is a very unsettling 75 degrees outside, I am nevertheless very excited about this holiday.

I even wanted to cook something. I’m not going to, but the thought seriously crossed my mind – so much so that I BOOKMARKED recipes. This this one of Linton Hopkins’ wild rice casserole looked pretty delicious.

from: Garden & Gun

My second option was a less-tony-but-still-tasty-looking beans with brown butter.

Conclusion: neither/nor, but I WILL be ever so helpful with preparation and cleaning. I’m serious, I will. OH, maybe I’ll create a themed cocktail for us…that can be my project. Or we can just stick to the Baxter Tride & True: Whiskey Sours. That’s fine with me. Hey, look at that – I’m already done with my project. I had some lofty aspirations for cooking something last year, too – in case you were wondering, it didn’t pan out. And there’s your token turkey day funny on the right; I borrowed it from myself, which is totally not cheating.

I’m working on my holiday wishlist right now, I’ll put that up next week. What with the arrival of Pinterest in my life, it’s been a lot easier to compile/keep track of my wants and needs. My mother has already informed me that she has completed her holiday shopping, so I guess I should have gotten on top of this sooner…Gaylen and I aren’t always on the same schedule re: getting things done.

ATLiens: The Whigs are playing their annual Thanksgiving show on Friday night at Variety Playhouse. Openers are Ponderosa and Johnny Corndawg. Be there or be not awesome.

I mostly just wanted to check in real quick and say hey. Hey.

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New & Improved

Posted by AllieB on November 16, 2011

Good day.

Two, no three things of interest:

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar has been released. They seem to have cut out the bonus 13th month that I posed for…strange. That Brooklyn Decker is just tragic, isn’t she?

so sad :(

On a wholly unrelated note, I have updated my restaurant spreadsheet!!! I’ve even helpfully HIGHLIGHTED the new restaurants, per the suggestion of Randy Dale. I know I am missing some because there are more than 150 restaurants ITP (there are three or four OTP that I need to mention…next time), but it’s pretty comprehensive. You may check it out here, and it is also updated on my Atlanta Restaurants: A Guide page that has some other helpful links to reviews and stuff. I aim to please.

My posts are getting shorter and shorter…OH YEAH – I went back to Mirko and ordered off the menu…BBT says: delicious. I got papardelle (long, wide noodle) with the mushroom cream sauce. It had approximately 1,400 calories and 45 grams of fat, but it was really, really good. My father got the papardelle with the Amatriciana (spicy tomato) sauce, and his was really good, too. Not as good as my gluttonous concoction, but very tasty nevertheless. Plus, the Spinaci salad (baby spinach, goat cheese, raisins, some vinaigrette dressing) was also quite good. Forget Pan-Asian on Sundays; I’m going to Mirko.

Watch out for tornadoes.

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It happened; it’s over

Posted by AllieB on November 15, 2011

I guess I’m due for a follow-up post about my TV debut. Saturday went…okay. I don’t know if I’m cut out for showbiz, there’s a lot of waiting around and patience is not a virtue I really possess. The good news is: I wasn’t a total spaz. The slightly less good news: the dish I was assigned to talk about was this new one called Texicana Fries. It’s the amazing chili lime fries piled high with carne asada, guac, and cheese – it was delicious. However, I had to take a bite of this tower of delight on camera and of course wound up with like half the serving in my mouth. It took me over a minute to chew it all. I am confident this will not make the final cut, but it might show up on the Bloopers – wonderful. I have no idea when this will air, and once I find out I will pass it on to you. IRREGARDLESS, it was an awesome opportunity for Tex’s, which is really what matters most. (And here’s their schedule for the week.)

Communist Russia is coming to Atlanta! Just kidding, an ice bar called CZAR is opening up in Buckhead – from the looks of it, it’s going to be part of the E. Andrews bloc that is taking over that entire building…hmm, maybe I’m onto something…anyway, if you’re in need of some after-hour employment, this might be just the opportunity for you! Per the Craigslist posting:

Looking for attractive and in shape staff. Ability to speak Polish, Russian, Czech, Ukranian, German, Austrian, Croation, etc. and/or have the accent is a huge plus.

Bar will be made entirely of ice/glassware made of ice/featuring 175 vodkas and sushi bar.

Please send resume and 2 photos if interested.

Expecting this to become instant hot new venue.

They’re being super flexible: you don’t have to speak the language, you just need to have ze accent (and a hot bod). I’ve never found these places very appealing – you have to put on these big, unflattering parkas and then everyone ends up looking the same…this could turn tricky after a cocktail or two.  But if the ice bar is open all year round, I will absoLUTELY hit CZAR up come July – this could actually be exactly what Hotlanta needs.

Ice Bar in Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas. Do you see what I mean?! There’s no way to tell who’s who…

Congratulations to my bestie JTOMM!!! So happy for you and Alex. SOCKS.

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