July 27, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Goodies Galore

Note: Company is no longer in business.


It's a random Tuesday afternoon and you get the craving for chocolate-covered espresso beans. You're out of luck unless you want to travel far and wide in search of them, right? Wrong.

Goodies Galore, a sweets shop located in the Tramway shopping center, boasts pounds of these delicious caffeinated beans -- along with all kinds of other white-, milk-, and dark-chocolate covered goodies (my son is partial to the marshmallows, my husband to the oreos, and one day I'll try the potato chips).

You'll also find treats like candied apples, caramel clusters, and all the novelty candy (including an entire sour/sweet sugar bar and rock candy suckers) you could ask for. And in case you're need to please several palates, there's plenty of ice cream, roasted nuts, popcorn, and soda-shop beverages to keep the whole family happy.

The star: While anything dipped in chocolate or drizzled in caramel is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth, Goodies Galore's showpiece is the fudge! Made right in the store where anyone can watch, Gloria whips up so many varieties that you'll need some serious discussion before deciding which to take home. Flavors include Chocolate Walnut, Polar Bear Claw, Maple Nut, Caramel Pecan Delite, and, of course, traditional varieties like Chocolate and Peanut Butter.

But don't take our word for it. Head over to the shop and taste owner Gloria Sasser's mouth-watering treats for yourself. In fact, if you go to Goodies Galore between now and 10 pm on Tuesday, August 3, you'll be entered into a giveaway to win a $25 gift certificate to the store. Here's how:
1. Go to Goodies Galore and sign the sheet owner Gloria is keeping at her register. This will earn you entry into the giveaway.

2. Tell your friends about Goodies Galore and this giveaway via your Facebook or Twitter page. This will earn you an additional entry.

3. Tell your friends to put your name in the "referred by" field on the sign-in sheet at the store. This will earn you an additional entry.
That's it! Simple, painless, and you'll have the chance to sample some of the tasty, made-with-love goodies that Gloria whips up fresh just for her Sanford customers while you're at it.

Remember: The contest will close at 10 pm in one week. We will select a winner at random from the names on the sheet (along with the additional entries). Notice that numbers 2 and 3 above are for additional entries. You will not be entered into the contest without signing the sheet, so be sure you stop by the store.

See you at Goodies Galore!

Review written by Kelly Quinones Miller.

July 19, 2010

Ice Cream Social Giveaway Winners!

We had a blast tonight at the first SocialSanford Ice Cream Social and loved getting to see some new faces, as well as reconnect with some familiar ones. And if you were under the age of 12, you had so much fun that your parents had to force you to leave -- that's a good problem for Brickcity Childcare Center to have!

So here's the good stuff: our giveaway winners! We'd like to send a huge thank you to Stephanie Nipper (Mary Kay), Gloria Sasser at Goodies Galore in the Tramway shopping center (look for a review next week!), Laura Bruce at Somethin' Blue Photography, and the Temple Theatre for some really awesome prizes.

And here are our big winners:

EMILY NASH - $20 to Mary Kay

LAURA BRUCE - $20 to Goodies Galore

KELLY KLUG - Free sitting with Somethin' Blue Photography

TARA DAVIS - Free sitting with Somethin' Blue Photography

ARICKA WEBB - 2 tickets to any show in the Temple Theatre's 2011-2012 season

That's five brand new SocialSanford giveaway winners (bringing our grand total to 15)! We're very excited and grateful that so many local businesses have shared their services and products with us, and with the Socialites.

Please try to shop and plan locally. We have so many wonderful shops and business owners, but they can't survive without the community's support. So the next time you're in the mood for chocolate, head over to Goodies Galore. And when you need to get your photos taken, forget Sears or the other other corporate studios and look right here in Sanford!

And with that, we're closing the book on our first SocialSanford event (except for photos, which we'll be posting all week). We enjoyed it and can't wait to try it again!

Review & Giveaway: Somethin' Blue Photography

Here's my not-so-well-kept secret: I hate being photographed. I love photography, I am much more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it and often end the day having snapped hundreds of photos of those around me. I am not in a single one.

So imagine my feelings when Laura Lett Bruce of Somethin' Blue Photography offered to donate her time and talent for a SocialSanford mini-shoot. Melissa and I knew the offer was too good to pass up so we gladly accepted it and planned to meet at the local library later in the week. But head shots? Like, with my face in them? I spent the next few days with knots in my stomach. What would I wear? How should I smile? Should I smile? Would I cringe when I saw the final product?

All that critical energy and wracked nerves were for nothing. The minute Laura walked up with her 100-watt smile and effortless attitude, I immediately felt at ease. I didn't have to make a list of flattering poses because she knew them and I didn't have to stress out about whether I'd look run over because her photographs are flawless. She even allowed me to see each photo after she took it to show me that I was doing a great job (such a relief!) though I didn't need the pep talk for more than a couple frames.


  

Want to know the truth? We had fun! Melissa and I felt comfortable cutting up and sharing our worries. Laura even took a few candid shots (to preserve our insanity) between the more professional ones.


And while our shoot focused on professional head shots, Laura's wedding and personal photos are just as awesome. Her company name, which comes from the old superstition "something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue," really showcases what her photography captures so well:

Things old (as in, photo restoration):


Things new (look at those cheeks!):


Things borrowed ("the essence of true smiles"):



And things blue (all things wedding!):


As you can see, we were in really skilled, capable hands. So we want to give a huge thank you to Laura and Somethin' Blue Photography for being so patient and for sharing her amazing talent with us. We'll be turning to her again and again for our photography needs.

The best part: Should you hire Somethin' Blue for a mini-session in the month of July, you'll pay only $20 sitting fees and $10 sheets. If you book one of Somethin' Blue's photographers for your wedding in 2010, you'll get 25 percent off your bridal photos, wedding coverage, and/or trash the dress sessions.

Bonus: That's a sweet deal, right? There's more! Just for our "Socialites," Somethin' Blue is extending the special through August! That means you have the rest of the summer to get your photos taken ... but that's not all. Mention SocialSanford when you book your session and you'll be entered into a drawing for a FREE 16x20 canvas wall portrait!

We are so excited to share this exclusive offer with our "people" and we hope you'll take advantage of it. Call Laura at (919) 770-4295 to reserve your slot today!

Review written by Kelly Quinones Miller.

Tonight's the night!

The very first SocialSanford event is happening tonight. Brickcity Childcare Center is hosting our ice cream social from 6:30pm to 8pm. We have several gift certificates to give away and lots of ice cream and popsicles for everyone who stops by.

Brickcity Childcare Center is located at
1408 Burns Drive (map) and employees of the center will be available to provide tours and answer questions.

Big thanks go out to Brickcity Childcare Center for opening their facility to us and to Lowe's Foods for donating food.

Stop by and say hi! If you need a picture to help you spot us, check out our new Meet the Founders page. We'll see you there!

July 14, 2010

Protect Your Private Info On Facebook

Heads up! Facebook has quietly implemented another panic-inducing privacy change. Whether you want them to or not, everyone you allow to see your status updates can also see (and share) your phone number.

While many people have locked down their privacy settings so that only close friends and family can view their information, there are still a vast number of people whose Facebook updates and information are open for public viewing. Follow this easy tutorial to ensure you only share the information you're comfortable with everyone knowing:

Step 1: Launch Facebook. On the far right side of the navigation bar across the top, you'll see "Account." Click on it to see the drop-down menu. Then select "Privacy Settings."


Step 2: In the "Sharing on Facebook" section of the "Choose Your Privacy Settings" page, select the level of privacy you are comfortable with.
  • "Everyone" will allow anyone in the whole wide world to view the contents of your page. 
  • "Friends of Friends" will allow your friends' friends to view some of your content (such as your statuses, photos, and bio) without having to friend you. 
  • "Friends Only" will force people to friend you in order to view your information.

Once you select the level of privacy you want, click the "Apply These Settings" button at the bottom of the "Sharing on Facebook" box.

Our suggestion: "Friends Only" is the best way to go. You can then control who sees your data and eliminate the general concerns many people have about Facebook. For instance, if only your friends can see your data, then you are probably safe announcing that you'll be on vacation at the beach all weekend without worrying about being robbed. (Unless you have really bad friends!)

Step 3: To protect your phone number (no matter which level of privacy you choose), click on "Customize settings" at the bottom of the "Sharing on Facebook" box.


Step 4: Once on the "Customize Settings" page, scroll down to the "Contact Information" section. Click on the drop-down menu for "Mobile Phone" and select the level of privacy you want. If you aren't comfortable with your friends having access to your number (or your Facebook "friends" are different from your real-life friends), select "Customize."


Step 5: In the "Custom Privacy" dialogue box that pops up, click on the "Make this visible to" drop-down menu and select "Only Me." Then click "Save Setting." Do this for each element of your contact information.


That's it! You've effectively hidden your private information from those who you fear won't use it wisely. Oh, and for the record, we suggest you only friend people you really know -- even if you think it might hurt someone's feelings. Facebook can be a very safe place if you make it that way.

For those curious about their friends' phone numbers, you can view them by clicking on "Account" and selecting "Edit Friends." On the left side of your screen, click "Phonebook." All the numbers are right there for your viewing pleasure. Happy dialing. ;)

July 12, 2010

Brickcity Childcare Center

Good, affordable childcare can be hard to find and sometimes simply looking for it can be overwhelming. It's even harder if you only need part-time care, a drop-in service, or have an infant. (Which is why, as I sit here typing, my 3 children surround me!) However, there's a new child care option in town to make it just a little bit easier.

Brickcity Childcare will open their doors on Monday, July 19. They're starting off with Mother's Morning Out and After School programs. The facility has an indoor playground so the kids can have recreation no matter what the weather is, the child-to-staff ratios exceed state requirements, and they are the only center in town offering KidCheck, a secure check-in and check-out procedure that ensures
your child's safety.

As a mom with one child at Tramway and two other children who are not yet in school, I appreciate that their MMO program will be offered year-round, not just on the Lee County Schools traditional schedule. I also like that they will take infants...most MMO programs only take children after they've reached their first birthday. Brickcity will take children for as little as 4 times a month with their drop-in program, or as often as 5 days a week. You decide which works best for your family and your schedule.

Future plans include summer camps, track-out programs, and live streaming video cameras so that you can check in on your child at any time via the internet, and a multitude of other innovative ideas.

They'll be hosting an Open House this Saturday from 10am to 2pm, with hot dogs and ice cream. They've also offered to host the first Social Sanford event! We'll be having an ice cream social Monday, July 19, from 6:30pm to 8 pm. Come by either event to tour the facility and get more information about their programs. More information about the ice cream social is forthcoming, so stay tuned for that!