In Case You Missed It in Lowcountry Life, Feb. 9

rdamgen@islandpacket.comFebruary 8, 2014 

Is that bacon you smell? One can only hope. The cured, savory, salty meat is so delicious that some people prefer it to sex. There's all sort of bacon dishes and products: bacon lollipops, bacon cotton candy, bacon air fresheners, bacon ice cream, bacon candy canes, bacon bandages, bacon donuts, bacon dipped in chocolate, bacon salt, bacon-infused vodka...Oh, sorry, we'll wait while you wipe off that drool. But has the "everything's better with bacon'" trend reached its peak? Lowcountry chefs discuss.

The only thing better than bacon is birthday cake. Hope you've kissed your New Year's resolution diets goodbye because we're all about indulging this week. We talked with Bonnie Christiana, a Bluffton mom and self-taught cake maker, while she made a true-to-animation Olaf cake (from Disney's "Frozen"). Christiana started baking cakes as a hobby, then her friends asked her to make them. Soon, it became a full-time job and she started Bonzie Cakes. She shared tips on how to make cakes you're sure to want to show off.

It takes a village to raise There's a lot you don't see when you're in the audience, like how much time went into crafting that stone-like wall from pulpy paper. Or how many times an actor gets oatmeal flung on him in rehearsals. (Hint: Enough to stick in the laces of his shoes. Ew.) Peek behind the scenes of the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina's latest production, "Don't Dress for Dinner," to learn more.

Attention to detail. If you've attended a burial at the Beaufort National Cemetery in the last four years, you've probably seen him. Louis N. Brown II, the cemetery's representative, works behind the scenes to help families honor their loved ones. He picks something from each service to remember -- he eulogy or way a woman tucks her hair behind her ear, for example -- so that when families visit gravesites later, he'll know who they are.

Get your fest on. It's film festival time, Beaufort. The eighth annual Beaufort International Film Festival kicks off Wednesday -- with a party, of course. Then it's all movies, all the time for the next three days. The short films, features, documentaries, student films and more are capped off with an awards ceremony Sunday. Film editor Arthur Schmidt, who won an Oscar for his work on "Forrest Gump," will win the Jean Ribaut Award for Excellence in Film Editing. And, yes, there will be nods to "Forrest Gump" at the festival, since it's been 20 years since the beloved movie was filmed in Beaufort.

Pour another cup of coffee. We've got your weekend long read right here. Heather Price and Ronald Vacha, a Bluffton couple, turned their sorrow into action by launching a random acts of kindness campaign in memory of their 6-week-old daughter, Vivienne, who died from sudden infant death syndrome. "I love hearing about people doing things in her honor," Price said when she talked to Lowcountry Life last fall. "It makes me feel so good to hear that, and Ron, too."

This week is National Random Acts of Kindness week according to The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. Why not do some in memory of Vivienne? You can get cards to let people know your act is in her honor from her parents' Facebook page. Find ideas for random acts of kindness on the foundation's website.

Lend us a hand. You know you want to see your name in lights...err, the newspaper. We'd like to hear from you about the following stories:

Calling all parents and grandparents:

  • Does your kid (or grandkid) have temper tantrums? (Be honest.) We want to talk to you about anything from the minor at-home incidents to the full-on grocery store meltdowns - what works, what doesn't, and how do you get through it?
  • Have your children been bullied? We want to know how you handled it. What's a parent to do?
  • Are you a grandparent raising your grandchildren? We want to know about your triumphs and challenges.
  • How has technology affected your parenting? Is your smartphone -- or other device -- a tool that helps you get more done as a parent or a distraction from quality family time?
  • Can parents boost kids' confidence? How?
If you'd like to talk about any of the above, email family reporter Amy Bredeson at

Are you afraid of bridges? How do you cope? Do any local ones in particular scare you? Email health reporter Laura Oberle at

Are you constantly having to explain or spell your unusual name? What do you like (or don't like) about its uniqueness? Email arts and culture reporter Erin Shaw at

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In Case You Missed It in Lowcountry Life, Feb. 3

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