Saturday, August 1, 2015

Saturday Editorial and Recap

Well I'll be...it is August.

I have always had a love/hate relationship with this month.  As a kid I hated it.  It meant summer's ending and school is starting.  That turned my stomach.

When I got older it meant:  summer's ending and school is starting.  Though, I loved college I still felt those pangs in my heart and stomach of sadness when facing the fact summer would be drifting away.

Now I'm the oldest I have ever been (get it?) and once again I'm feeling sadness.

I realize that summer will stick around until at least the third week of September.  It is just that summer isn't the same when you're back to the routines of school.  I can appreciate a child-free pool visit but I can tell you it is kind of empty.  Where's the giggling and constant splashing?  Sitting in the classroom;  learning or something like that.

There's something mildly nauseating about homework when the sun is still shining and it is 97 degrees out.  I vote for ice cream and running around the yard over fractions and diagramming.



Don't get me wrong, I love school.  I thoroughly enjoy the fact it brings schedule back to our lives and routines are pretty sweet to me too.  I just have big issues with looking at the hand we are dealt in August....back to school, so long summer.

Now, check this out.  Summer officially has three more weeks with us until school buses roll again. That means this blog isn't going to be back to school focused until the first two are up.  We have a summer to continue to celebrate. We're not looking at book bags.  Oh, no we're looking at our beach bag.  We aren't picking out school supplies.  We're making the birthday lists.  We're enjoying another week of VBS.  We're still sleeping late.

So this is the safe zone (at least for two weeks) from back to school chaotic activity.  Sure, I'll have my back to school posts going strong when I'm ready but right now is not the time.

Now is the time to enjoy summer.

Swim, laugh, giggle, stay up late, sleep in, play outside, eat too much ice cream, grill out with friends.....and just relax.



*****

Now here this....

Image result for this week's recap

I posted my August goals on Friday.  I think I need to add "make pickles" to them.  I was given a TON of okra and I love my okra pickled.

If you're headed to the pool then you need to take plenty of great snacks.  Tuesday, I shared my {favorite "healthy" pool snacks} with you!.

Are you grocery shopping this weekend?  Then check out the {Tasty Tuesday} post of two great recipes that are tried and true in our house.  One is a crock pot, throw it in and forget about it meal!  I also threw in my own zucchini bread recipe.

{Thursday was a random day} (that's how we like our Thursdays) from dealing with jerks to feeling like you need to be committed...yep that was Thursday!

And finally Friday was a recap of my {5 favorite things from the past 7 days} :)  I bought some awesome new shoes too <wink> :)

{Every week I post things that are popping around North Carolina for the weekend ahead.}  Sometimes I get it out on Wednesdays and sometimes it isn't published until Thursdays.  I hope you'll take time to check out all the fun and sometimes strange things we are doing across this fabulous state.

As usual, {Monday, May I} was the goals I had for this week...I have forgot my goals but that's cool it makes checking in on Sunday night even more fun.

So there's a recap of the blog this week!

*****

End notes....

I visited some awesome blogs this week and hope to throw in some love to them next week as I link you over to great posts on those sites.  Until then....








Friday, July 31, 2015

5/7 (The Last for July '15)

Five things from the past seven days for the end of July!
Memorized this whole chapter in 1st grade and it still continues to be my favorite chapter in the Bible.
So much in this one piece.

It was great to be back to church last Sunday.  Our minister was on vacation but we have this amazing speaker in house who I just adore to hear give his message.  He's funny and gets his message across with total ease.  We talked about ADD and our faith.  Hits home.  I get distracted every single day from God.  I can admit it, I'm not perfect, so very far from it! Though I say I am a Christian, all too often I get wrapped up in the trappings of this world.  It sucks. The great realization is that I can live more intentionally and take those five seconds before I do or say something to evaluate if its right and just.  This week I have been focused on Romans 12.  You can probably expect a blog post around it sometime soon.  Just sayin'.

The hubs wanted to bowl...so bowl we did.  I suck.


Last weekend's date night was great;  I just wish I wouldn't have been so tired.  It originally was going to be a group event - but things happened - it turned out to be a true date night.  We ate, talked, and bowled.  I appreciate time where someone else can watch the kids so my husband and I can connect.  With his schedule and it being summer (me + the kids all the time) it can be grueling on our marriage and sense of self.  Thanks Taylor for helping us out!

She's growing up....we looked at clothing instead of junk other stuff.

Lunch date just us two!


This was the first week I've had both my kids now that my C is finished with camp for the summer.  It was great to have both my kids with me.  We had a fun time together at the pool for one day, at the library for another, and getting caught in Target for an hour more than we planned thanks to a super soaker out of no where kind of rain.  On Friday morning we had just a girl's trip to the mall (her choice) where she enjoyed some time without her little brother around.  It is so important that I make sure we have that "girl's time" so she knows she is still so important.

I love these shoes!


I finally got some new shoes this week.  As in running/walking shoes.  I am a New Balance girl but I was swayed to the - wait for it - Skechers side this week.  I couldn't find a NB that fit me well this trip - I guess my feet are morphing again.  The sales rep insisted on me trying a pair of Go Walk 2 Flash Goga Pad shoes.  I was reluctant but tried them on.  Then I walked around the store.  Oh my goodness.  Those shoes feel great!  I asked about running in them and she said that she's had people buy them for jogging but wasn't sure about running.  I'm no Kenyan Sprinter so I figured why not.  My sales lady was so incredibly awesome.  She told me to wear them for a couple of days and if I did not like them I could return them.  Well folks, I broke them in and they are awesome.  Also, if you aren't a sock wearer then you would love these - they're made for you to wear barefoot.  They have absorbers (thanks to the yoga mat material) that help eliminate odor.  I just wear my thin socks with them and I'm a happy camper.


And finally....a little funny that I'm holding close to my heart this week....

Total opposite ending to the first picture huh?  Just for gigles, just for giggles....I think. Bahahahaha.


 xo Amanda

Linked up with Andrea
Linked up with April
Linked up with Tif



July Goals Revisited & August's Set!

July goals ummm.....well see for yourself!!!

1.  Plan a weekend in Tennessee.  Failed.  
2.  Take the kids to Discovery Center Huntersville.  Failed.  The big kid got an extra week at camp.  The little kid...he's just happy to be bouncing around.
3.  Get my hair did (color....home girl is kinda growing it).  Scored!
4.  Tube the New River.  Failed but we did get more River time minus a tube.
5.  Bike in Todd.  Failed.  My bike is broken....a month and a half later.
6.  Read two books.  Scored.  One sucked and one rocked.
7.  Have a date night (two would be the big goal).  Scored.  Two of them to be exact!
8.  Find three new recipes to make.  We are in such a slump or redundant meals.  Scored.  Thank you Pinterest and labeling.

I give myself a C because I was good for 4 and bad for 4.  :)




1.  Plan the birthday parties.  My son's birthday is August 24th and my daughter's is September 4th.  I always try to do one party for both.  This year I'm changing it around a bit.  I think.

2.  Find some computer classes to take this fall.  I feel like my skills need to be brushed up.

3.  Read two books.

4.  Get at least one date night.

5.  Have a shark free beach trip.

6.  Enjoy the river (continue to...)

7.  See if it is possible to actually make plans and carry them out with my BFF. 

8.  Three more new recipes this month.

9. 48 miles of pavement pounding this month.

10.  Make an eye doctor appointment and a physical appointment.



Ok it is your turn!  Tell me your goals for the month!





Thursday, July 30, 2015

This weekend in North Carolina

Before I get started - a little NC fun for you non locals.

I live about twenty minutes away from the town of Salisbury, North Carolina.  Salisbury is a pretty historical little town.  They had some old dead presidents come through there and practice law.  They had a pretty big role in the Civil War (a prison was there that was harsh).  Salisbury has also been in some movies (I believe Leatherheads was the last popular one).

However, there is one thing that has came out of Salisbury, North Carolina that you may have never heard of.

Cheerwine.

Growing up here means at some point in your young life you slurped down Cheerwine by the gallon.  I know I did.  I did so so much that now I don't really care for it.

First off you should know - it is not wine.  It is not alcoholic.  It is a soda that has a cherry flavor.


It used to be exclusive to North Carolina and parts of South Carolina and Virginia.  Nowdays it is expanding into new markets.  Check out the history of this small town soda by clicking here.  It is pretty nifty.

Alright....here's what's poppin' in North Kackalacky.

Image result for beer bourbon bbq cary

Cary - The Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival... If you like beer (they'll have 60 ready to go), bourbon (how's 40 different ones to wet your whistle?), or BBQ (its cook off time in Cary) then you need to head to this festival which runs Friday and Saturday.  Along with all the alcohol and pig you'll have great music (bluegrass to blues) to jam out to and there's a beer belly contest.  Tickets are required and start at $99 for the entire event.  If you have a DD they get a reduced price ticket.

Raleigh - Jay Pharoah at Goodnight's Comedy Club...If you are an SNL fan then you won't want to miss seeing Jay Pharoah perform this weekend at Goodnight's.  He'll be the main act tonight, Friday, Saturday night.  The guy is hilarious.

Robbins - 60th Annual Robbins Farmer's Market...I think its safe to say that Robbins is practically the center of the state.  It is very rural and agriculture is still the main beef out there.  This weekend they'll celebrate that agriculture side of life by having a party - complete with fresh food to purchase, music, dancing, a 5k and a wagon train?  Yep!

Image result for weathervane winery

Lexington - Wine Down Friday at Weathervane Winery...I have yet to visit this winery but I have a good friend who really likes it.  This Friday (yes tomorrow) relax after a chaotic week (for me since I can't really relax until maybe Saturday evening) at the winery.  From 7-10PM relax to the sounds of Stewart Coley and sip away the worries of the week.

Nags Head - Experience the light house after dark... Are you up for getting a flash light, putting on some running shoes and going up the Cape Hatteras Light House after dark?  If so this weekend is your chance.

Murfreesboro - 30th Annual NC Watermelon Festival... This event starts today.  Come out and celebrate the fruit that is summer.  The Watermelon Festival offers more than just one of the best fruits known to man; it also has music, food festivals, and Miss. Watermelon contests.

Maggie Valley - Hillbilly Woodstock...Ummmm well...you can pack your tie dye or opt against it.  I hear there will be 20+ bands (types not specified), a car and bike show, a lot of food and proceeds help benefit the Haywood County Animal Shelter.  This is deemed a celebration of Appalachian and Western North Carolina history.

And that's all I have for you this week folks.














Thursday Thoughts


I think....

Throughout your life you will find people who are selfish, narcissistic & inconsiderate. You can't change people, but you can change how much they are apart of your life.

Yep, totally in accordance with that eCard.

Neutral themed baby shower:  "For this child I prayed"

This fits this week!  I pray for my own kids but this week I have been praying for other kids.  Specifically, the new bundle of pink joy for fellow blogger {Katie MacArthur}.  Her beautiful Charlotte was born but during the process ingested a lot of meconium.  Please pray with me for them as they await information from testing to be done this weekend on a brain bleed and other serious issues.  I believe Charlotte is beautifully and wonderfully made and will be just A OK!


So I checked two books out at the library last week and I have no interest in either. Ugh.  I returned them and got three more...better choices!

Saturday is the first of August?  <Sad face>  August is way busy in our house.  Trips, school, birthdays...you get it.  Maybe I am secretly in some weird way looking forward to the return of normalcy.  Oh my gahhhh did I say that?

Life philosophy according to Krispy Kreme. Best. Advertisement. Ever. :)

The cravings I have had for Krispy Kreme this week have been insane.  Not pregnant, just feigning something really bad for me but really really tasty.

Struggling Stay at home Moms? Read this new post by ChaoticallyCreative.Com

I want to start a mom's group.  I'm so overwhelmed right now that I need a group of happy, wine drinking, laugh til you pee type women who aren't cats.  Seriously, though.

And last....

"You are valuable because you exist, not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you ARE." (Max Lucado)


















Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Heavy Hearted Wednesday



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No Matter What It Seems, Follow God's Path as It Will Lead to Deliverance. - Isaiah 66:9, "Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God."

A little midweek motivation for you today.

My heart was sad to hear the news of Amber's passing in Statesville yesterday.  If you're from around here you probably heard her story and maybe some of you were like me - glued to her posts and her immense love for Jesus Christ.  My heart aches for her little ones and to think she was only twenty-seven.  She was an amazing worker for God.

Recently, it seems like more and more young moms have been battling disease and passing away.  This rips at my soul and makes me so much more aware of the gift of good health and to take each day as a treasure.  I may need some mom breaks here and there but I am so thankful for the blessings bestowed on me to be given another day of cooking, cleaning, refereeing, and thinking I'm going crazy!

Thank you, Amber.  You've shown me what it means to live.  You've shown me the light in the darkness that was your own.  Your testimony made me see how precious this exact moment is.

To God be the glory.

Click here to read an article published by a local paper about Amber's life.
Click here to visit the Amber's Army Facebook Page











Tasty Tuesday



Hey y'all!  Today I wanted to share a couple recipes that we adore in our house!  One is a very simple crock pot recipe that is summer perfection and the other is a stove top quickie that is healthy, clean and fast.

I didn't go through the process of typing up the recipes because I included the link to the recipes for you with each picture. The link will take you to either the first blog post I put the dish in or the site it came from.  Salsa verde's home site can be seen on the photo!



Salsa verde chicken (The EASIEST recipe ever!)

Only 3 ingredients and less than 3 minutes to throw into a crock pot. Now THAT'S my kind of dinner! #crockpot #recipe #chicken

It is a little bittersweet I link up to that post.  I wrote it just a few weeks before the huge life event of 2014....our house issue.  It is funny how food makes you remember things - like the day I tried this recipe first, our house was completed from our planned renovation. We were floating on a cloud.  Funny how things can change!

Anyhoo, this dish is a favorite for everyone in our home.  Yes, even the two year old will eat it up.  It isn't very spicy so if you're worried about heat you should be just fine.  For three ingredients you should try it!



Lemon Pepper Chicken with Asparagus

5 Ingredient Lemon Chicken with Asparagus - a bright, fresh, healthy recipe that's ready in 20 minutes! 300 calories. | pinchofyum.com

The first time I made this recipe my husband updated his status on Facebook to:

"If my wife keeps making good food like she did tonight then we're opening a restaurant."

I think that sums up how tasty this clean dish is.  You can opt out of oil if you need to and use an alternative.  The flavor is intense and you basically have your whole meal ready in about thirty minutes.

If you're not into the whole clean thing then I say go ahead and whip up some garlic mashed potatoes to go with this stuff!





And for fun...here's my Zucchini Bread Recipe!


Read the recipe through before you make this.  I'm not a recipe writer and often times just depend on memory when I'm making a dish.  You can tell I did that when writing this because I failed to immediately state such things as  Preheat your oven to 325 first.  Or Grease and flour your pans after that.  Oh, that info is in the recipe just near the bottom instead of the top.  


You will need two bowls - a medium size for the dry ingredients and a large for the wet.

Dry ingredient bowl:
3c AP flour
1t salt
1t baking soda
1t baking powder
4t cinnamon

Stir all that together in your medium bowl.

Wet ingredient bowl:
3 eggs
1c of oil (I use half cup olive oil and half cup vegetable)
2 1/4c of sugar
3t of vanilla extract

 Grab your mixer and mix the wet ingredients together until they are well combined.  Then start to add in your dry ingredients (about a quarter to a half cup at a time).

Stir in 2 cups of shredded zucchini

(You can also add in nuts if you prefer.  My crew isn't big on pecans or walnuts.  However, if you do add nuts, send me some, I love them!)

This is enough for about two loaves.  Or you can make like myself and make one loaf and 8 muffins.  Just note you need to grease and flour your pans very well - it is a bread and it will stick like glue!

Bake in a 325 degree oven for an hour.  After an hour test with a fork, if it comes out slippery wet bake another 10 minutes and recheck.  If it comes out moist and delicious (because you know you'll try it) then you are good to go.

I let mine cool for about twenty minutes....then devour!