It’s A Beautiful Day For A Beer Festival

This past Saturday, Jimmy and I took full advantage of us both having the weekend off and spent the later half of our day at the 2014 Charlotte Oktoberfest.  After sleeping in and cooking a paleo pumpkin breakfast together {which Jimmy thought was delicious…post about that later}, we got ready and headed down to the NC Music Factory area {right outside of uptown}.

See what I mean?  B-e-a-utiful!  It has been overcast here for literally 8+ days straight, even yesterday, but thank goodness Saturday was gorgeous.

The event was sold out, but the venue was so huge that you couldn’t even tell.  The lines weren’t ridiculously long and at no point did I feel like a sardine {if a sardine was ever in line waiting for a beer}.  As I’ve said before about myself, I try to eat paleo, but I enjoy a good craft beer.  Oktoberfest = Not Paleo.

Our little souvenier cups!  {w/ a dark, sour cherry beer…pretty good!}

The entire festival was sponsored by Lagunitas Brewery {one of Jimmy’s all time favs}, but there were so many great breweries present, I wish I could give you guys a rundown on them all.  I tried taking a few notes here and there, but I got a little sidetracked.  Of course, we’re always excited to see Bluepoint Brewery show up.  This is a delicious brewery local to Long Island, NY. It’s actually made in the town over from where Jimmy grew up!

We visited this stand more than a few times, of course everything was delicious {love their Toasted Lager, Hoptical Illusion, and their pumpkin beer}.  Here’s Jimmy with his brewery.  He didn’t know I was taking this picture.

They also had a variety of food trucks on hand for all of us Oktoberfester’s {that’s a word}.  We decided to go with the Boone’s BBQ truck.  Put a good Carolina BBQ sandwich in front of this girl…game over.  It was perfect.

Speaking of food at Oktoberfest, while we were walking in/walking around, Jimmy and I kept noticing all of these people with crazy pretzel necklaces.  They were all different shapes and sizes {both ribbons and pretzels} and all day we were wondering, where do you get these things from?  Is there a stand where you order and make your own necklace?  Why are there so many different styles?!  After taking our first lap around the festival we were stumped.  We saw no sign of a pretzel necklace stand.  Then some random {but friendly} guy came up to us with a store bought Snyder’s bag and offered us his pretzels.  He then informed us that “everyone knows to make and bring their own pretzel necklaces”.  Duly noted, sir.  We looked like total Oktoberfest rookies.  Oh well, we will just have to just make our own next year.  😉

These are the pretzels that we were offered.

Overall, it was a great time had by all, and definitely something I plan on revisiting next year.  It was my first Oktoberfest/beer festival period, so I’m interested:

What/when/where are some of your favorite beer festivals? 

Did anyone go to the CLT Oktoberfest this weekend?  Who were some of your favorite vendors?

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Five Things #FiveThings

Wahoo!  Happy Friday everyone!  It’s been an extremely long week and work- I’ve basically been ready for Friday since Monday.  Now with my new schedule, I’m finally able to be fully excited for a two day break from work.

So let’s get this whole thing started…here are my Five Things for the week.

Charlotte Oktoberfest

On Saturday, Jimmy and I are going to the Charlotte Oktoberfest in uptown.  They are officially sold out for this year, and I’m excited to experience it all and test out the beers {and get that little souvenir cup}.

Jimmy is Home

Notice how I said that Jimmy and I are going to do something on a Saturday?  Yes, that’s right…because of our work schedules, this is the first Saturday in at least two months that we’ve been able to see each other {pretty brutal}.  We’ve done really well at making it work even with our schedules, but it’s nice to have a Saturday to ourselves.

Here we are last year with doin’ our festive thing at the WV Pumpkin House, when we were still at Marshall.

Sauna Session

Since it’s Friday, I decided to treat myself to a sauna session at the gym.  I’ve never been in a sauna before, but I’m really sore from this week and wanted to stretch while inside.  I’m horrible at stretching…I hate it…when I’m done working out, I want to get on with my day, so I sometimes avoid it {I know that’s bad, and I know how bad that sounds}.  It’s a good thing I have a foam roller at my apt because I’m not sure that I would ever stretch if it weren’t for that thing.  Anyway, getting back on track- I loved the sauna.  Future post coming soon!

Holiday Decor

I love decorating.  The holiday’s are coming up.  I’m super excited about holiday decor.  Enough said. {white girl alert}.

Being Present

I try to remind myself as much as I can to be present.  When you are present, I believe that’s where you find true peace and happiness.  A lot of times we can get caught up in what happened in the past, and what’s to come in the future.  However, while you’re worrying about all of that, you can miss what’s going on right in front of you.  This might seem so small, but to give you a back drop for the story {and why I’m bringing it up today}, I currently live in the University area of Charlotte {aka right by UNC Charlotte…aka my neighbors are college students}.  When I got home from the gym this morning, I noticed one of my neighbors loading his, what appeared to be homemade, UNCC cornhole boards into his truck bed, driving off into the sunrise.  It made me laugh.  “What a life”, I thought to myself, “I have to go be a big girl at work in a few hours and this kid’s main focus is transporting his cornhole boards at 9AM on a Friday”.  He probably doesn’t even have Friday classes, because if you’re smart, that’s how you work your class schedule.  I started to feel nostalgic of when I was at Marshall, with my friends, and even though I worked a lot, I also had a majority of my Friday’s off from class.  I didn’t realize I was going to at the time, but now looking back I do miss it every now and then.  I then remind myself, even if I’m stressing about anything, one day, I will also miss this time in my life.  When all I had to do was work hard {so what if I’m not at my dream job right now…I’ll admit that}, I still have a good job, work with great people, I have great people in my life, sure, I’m making a few payments on things here and there, but I don’t truly have THAT much to worry about… it’s all really okay.  Then, I am once again thankful and less stressed.

Nice Fall picture of Marshall’s Memorial Fountain…{I actually took this picture years ago}.

Now that I’m done with that tangent…lesson is- be present, don’t forget to enjoy the moment that you’re in!

Off to work, hope everyone has a great Friday!

What are your Five Things for the week?

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Tips to Get Up {and stay up} For The Gym

Breakfast:

Once I got home from the gym, I whipped up some “Italian Eggs”, with Basil Chicken Sausage from TJ’s, tomato, onion, spinach, garlic, and fresh basil and parsley.  Throw in 1 full egg and two egg whites, scrambled and you’ve got a meal!

The past few days I’ve been getting up suuuuuper early {for me at least} to get to the gym.  As I mentioned yesterday, while getting up at 5am kind of stinks, being able to get my workout done that early gives me so much more time to get things done.  This improves the quality of my day and makes me much happier overall, so to me it’s worth it.

If you’ve been reading here and there, then I’m sure you’ve noticed how much I complain/how often I wake up later than I want to, to make it to the gym on time.  Since truly experiencing how it feels to have so much more time available to me in the mornings before I go to work from 12:30-9:30 versus what I used to do {wake up between 7-9, workout, and rush to get ready for work}.  The pros outweigh the cons on this one and that feeling is more important to me than sleeping in.  Maybe I’m a little late to get on this train, but I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this…better late than never.

I am by no means saying it’s easy to wake up and immediately go workout at 5am, I’m just saying that it’s possible.  So, I’ve incorporated three rules into my morning routine that help me get going.  Keep in mind that I am a grouch when it comes to waking up early, but once I’m up, I’m a fabulous morning person {it’s true}.

Look, I even made it all pretty:

1.  Keep your phone/alarm away from your bed:  This forces me to get out of bed, rather than simply reaching over to slap my alarm quiet {because that’s what I do, slap my alarm}.

2.  Never go back to bed:  I am guilty for following rule number one very well….but then setting another alarm and jumping back into my warm and cozy bed {see I’m horrible at this}.  No one can go back to bed for “one more minute”.  It’s like a Pringle, you can’t just eat one, once you pop you just can’t stop {that’s the saying right?}.  Every time I lay back down for just “one more second”, I wake up 1-2 hours later.  I can’t do that anymore.  Even if I just sit on the floor for a minute while I wake up, laying back down is not an option…

Man, typing this out is making me see how pathetic I can be in the mornings…I have great admiration for anyone that can just shoot out of bed and get their day started between 5 and 6am.  Kudos to y’all.

3.  Count to thirty {or sixty}:  Now that I’m out of bed to turn off the alarm and sitting on the floor for a minute {lol}, I count to thirty.  Sometimes I doze off sitting up when counting between 10 and 15 seconds, but I always make it to thirty.

Then, once I get through these three steps I’m ready to get dressed and head out.  The great thing is, if I keep it up this will someday just be part of the routine and I won’t have to worry about following steps one through three.   I’ll just get up and go!

Until then, I need to live by these three to get the job done.  What about you guys?

Anyone an early riser?  What are some of your strategies for getting up in time for those early workouts?

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Unleash Your Inner White Girl: It’s Pumpkin Season

I started today off going to my first 5:30am RPM Spin Class at my gym- definitely making this a part of my routine.  When I’m done working out, I have SO much more time to get things done before work!  A natural energy boost!  I’m currently blogging, showered, and fed as Live! With Kelly and Michael is starting {which is the complete opposite of my mornings these days}.  Happy Christine on a happy hump day.  I’ve always loved spin classes.  I used to attend them all the time at the MRC, but since moving I haven’t been to one.  I’ll just be honest, my backside is not used to those bike seats anymore, it’s gonna take some time to get used to…

So, it’s finally here.  Yesterday marked the first day of Autumn.  Of course, I am excited about this time of year, but with this comes the nationwide stereotyping of the “common white girl”.  An excerpt taken from Urban Dictionary:

“Common White Girl:  Any white girl in America who is obsessed with any of the following:  Leggings, Uggs, Starbucks, Autumn, iPhones, Instagram, Twitter, Selfies, or the movie Mean Girls.”

“Why does that girl drink Starbucks so much?”
“Because she is a Common White Girl” Source

It happens.  We do it to ourselves, honestly.  Just check any “common white girls'” social media, you’ll see it there.  While I don’t consider myself a “common white girl”, I still love fall and sweaters and pumpkin, and I want to like it without being made fun of.  One of my friends and former coworkers, Joe, sent me this meme yesterday and it was cracking me up…

Not sure where he got this from, but it’s hilarious.  I showed Jimmy and we were joking around about the common white girl stereotypes, and he looks at me and goes, “Christine, you ARE a basic white girl”.  “Excuse me?!” I exclaim, “I don’t even own a pair of Ugg boots!”…he looks at me and jokingly says, “Christine, you write a blog”.  All of this happening while I’m editing the blog on the couch.  Touche, my male companion, touche.

However, I would like to note that plenty of people write blogs other than “white girls”.  The same way plenty of other people besides “white girls” drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes.  The logic is not sound.

So anyway, remember how I said I don’t want to be stereotyped as a “common white girl”?  Let’s talk about my top five favorite pumpkin things:

**These Paleo Pumpkin Apple Spice Waffles from PaleOMG!  They scream a cozy Saturday {and Sunday} morning brunch must have.

**Pumpkin Pie Roasted Almonds from Knead to Cook’s blog.  I made these babies last year, and I’ll definitely be making them again!

Source

**Pumpkin Better Than Sex Cake–  It’s not paleo, it’s not even healthy….but it’s friggin’ delicious.

**Southern Tier Pumking Beer– not paleo either, but the best pumpkin beer out there.

Source

**Pumpkin Bread:  I don’t have a “go-to” pumpkin bread recipe.  I will also double the pumpkin bread recipe for pumpkin muffins, etc…here are some links for a few that I think are promising…

Eat the Cookie’s Pumpkin Bread

Real Food Forager’s Pumpkin Bread

PaleOMG Chai Pumpkin Bread {can you tell I’m obsessed w/ Juli Bauer?}

So there ya have it, got my “common white girl-itus” out on the blog and now I’m done.  I do truly love this time of year and I’m excited to see what it will bring!

Until next time…

What about you?  What are your “common white girl” guilty pumpkin pleasures?

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Look Back At It: NC Island Time

Although it was an extremely short trip, this past weekend on the coast was more than needed.  Like I mentioned on Friday, I went to visit one of my old college roommates, Allison, who now lives there.  Since I work until 9:30 on Friday nights, and the drive is about 3 1/2-4 hours, I got up early on Saturday morning and hit the road.  I’ve never driven to the coast the way that I did this past weekend.  Normally I’m leaving from Durham, so I just hop on 1-40 and I can pretty much get there with my eyes closed in two hours.  This time I took 74 and it was still an easy and relaxing drive, passing from one water tower town to the next, I got there in no time.

The weather prediction for the weekend looked perfect, but if there’s one thing I know, there are no meteorologists more incorrect than the ones that live on the water {sorry, but it’s true}!  When I got there, it was overcast pretty much all day Saturday, so Allison and I took time to explore, have friend time, and walk around some local shops.  I’ve missed Allison so much!  We hadn’t seen each other for 62 weeks {according to Instagram}.  Getting to visit her was just what I needed, and I don’t think we stopped talking for even a second.  There was A LOT of “stuff” that I wanted to buy for the apartment, but it just wasn’t in the budget at the moment.  I did walk away with this really neat kitchen accessory…

Mount it on the wall…it’s a bottle opener!  I’m sure my frat bros, Jimmy and Andrew, will love this.

We rounded out our shopping day with a quick seafood lunch/snack at Sear’s Landing, right on the water.  I LURVE seafood, and I take any opportunity that I can to get some in ma belly.

We split a half of a pound of steamed shrimp and crab fritters over a brewski…perfection.

Just look at that crab meat!!!

It was extremely calming to sit out on the water {see what I mean about Saturday’s weather}, but I was at the beach, and with a best friend.  So, the weather can do what it wants, I’m happy either way.

Allison’s boyfriend, Josh {who also lives there} went to WVU, so they had a bunch of friends come over to grill out and watch the football game that night.  Although it was tons of fun getting to see some familiar faces and hang out all night, I stayed away from wearing any blue and gold…I’m a daughter of Marshall, I can’t do that!  Allison and Josh have also just recently gotten a new puppy…enter, Chief:

They also have my BFF, Cali, Allison has had her for about 5 years…we all used to be roommates. 🙂

Cali and Chief= Best Buds, not related, even though they look like it.

The next day, we woke up and the weather was beautiful!  Allison had a coffee and pastry shop that she’d been wanting to take me to on Topsail Island {she lives about 10 minutes away from there} called The Corner Sweet.  So we grabbed a morning treat and sat on the beach {and continued to gab}.  Salted Caramel Mocha Coffee for me, with an Apple Cinnamon Scone, please!

When then got ready to go spend time on the beach and enjoy the beautiful weather before I left {friend trips are always so short}.

Sunday’s weather definitely made up for Saturday.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve spent many a summer on the NC coast, and while all trips to the water are relaxing, there’s just something about heading out to that shoreline feels like going home.

Can you believe this picture was taken with an iPhone 4s?  Yes, I’m in the technology stone age.

{pictured in strapless bandeau bathing suit tops here, people!}

Not really paying attention to the time, Allison and I hung out for a few hours by the water and got a little extra crispy on our fronts.  Even in late September, Aloe Lotion is still my best friend.

We then rounded everything out by splitting a pound of steamed shrimp at Buddy’s, a restaurant/bar at the pier, for old times sake.

The weekend went by as quickly as it came {doesn’t it always}.  I’m so glad that I was able to spend time with Allison and I can’t wait to see her again {next stop, Charlotte!}

How did everyone else’s weekends go?  Do you have a vacation spot that feels like home, the same way the NC coast does for me?

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Five Things #FiveThings

Happy Friday all!  Welcome to another edition of #FiveThings, a lot is on the horizon and I’m ready to take on the day.  Let’s get started…

WEEKENDS OFF

Yes, I said it.  I now have weekends off from work.  While I made the most of my Wednesday/Sunday off schedule, and stayed positive, having weekends off has almost rejuvenated me, and I feel more in sync with everyone around me.  I still work 12:30-9:30pm M-F, but who cares!  Between this job and the jobs I held while in school, I haven’t had weekends off for at least 7 years…{yikes!!! did I really just say SEVEN…YEARS?!}.  While I am absolutely loving Charlotte, it also gives me time for some weekend trips to visit my very best of friends.  Which, speaking of…

We Goin’ To Tha Beach

With Jimmy on the road for another weekend of work {:( }, I decided to stretch my legs and do a little traveling to visit one of my old college roommates in honor of my first weekend off!  {Plus, I miss her and she isn’t too far away}.  Tomorrow morning, I’m going to wake up bright and early to visit my friend, Allison, who lives in Wilmington, NC.  It is going to be so great to see her!  As I was going through the archives to find a picture of us {which there are many}, I decided on these two…we were such babies, still in undergrad…

From, I want to say ’08 or ’09 in Daytona for Spring Break?

And then, I couldn’t pass this gem up from Christmahanakwanzaka…

Throwbacks for sure.

One of the many reasons I love North Carolina is for all it has to offer.  Want to go to the mountains?  Take a left.  Want to go to the beach?  Take a right.  {not exactly that easy, but you know what I mean}.  Living in NC most of my life, the beach=summer=beach, they were one in the same.  This year, I haven’t been once.  Between the shoreline and getting to see Allison, I’m more than ready for the weekend.

My Shows are Back On!

This time of year means my shows are coming back.  The list:  Modern Family, New Girl, The Mindy Project, Glee, Parks and Rec, Nashville, any maybe a few others here and there…I’m open to more show suggestions, although I don’t know if I have any more time for another!

And of course, thank goodness for Hulu Plus because I can never catch these shows when they air.

Needing a Scarf

Anyone that knows me knows I have an obscene amount of scarves…for what reason I don’t know.  Between simply liking them and last winter’s crocheting extravaganza I somehow ended up with close to a million {okay, maybe not that many}.  Either way, I love scarves and how they can keep you warm, but are also great accessories for this time of year.  It’s still pretty warm down here in NC, but every now and then you’ll feel a cool breeze or get a hint of fall and know it’s right around the corner.  It’s not here yet, but it sure is trying.  That’s another great thing about NC…you get to feel all of the seasons.  It’s not always hot or always cold, it transitions very nicely {and it snows once, maybe twice…which is all I need}.

Source

I would like all of these things served to me on a platter while I’m wearing a scarf.  Please and thank you.

PBF Green Drink

This thing has been my saving grace more than a few times for breakfast in these past weeks.  I originally found this recipe on Peanut Butter Fingers blog almost a year ago, and I’ve kept it in my back pocket ever since.  For her green drink recipe, click here.  I like to include half of an avocado and replace the 1 cup water with 1 cup carrot juice (hence the off-green color).  I’m a firm believer in making breakfast one of the most important meals of the day, and I’m a stickler for getting all my veggies in…this baby does the trick, especially when I’m rushing around between the gym and work.

Well, well, well…another episode of Five Things is complete.  So now it’s your turn.

What are your Five Things this week?

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Dreary Morning // Brown Drinks

I was having some technical difficulties this morning before work, so apologies for the late night post.  It was an overcast, lazy, don’t want to go to work, I just want to cuddle and watch movies kind of day in Charlotte.  But alas- it’s Wednesday, and only halfway through the work week.  Womp, womp.

Surprisingly, I woke up and went to gym very easily and eagerly, at an extremely reasonable hour {which always helps my mood if I can willingly get to the gym early}.  After working some arms and abs, I incorporated the following sweaty circuit to round it all out.

I didn’t even have a jump rope, I just pretended that I did and it still got the job done. {I just assumed there would be one at the gym, and I was surprised when I couldn’t find one, but I still wanted to complete the workout}.  Plus, the burpees always get me, but I feel so great once I’m done!

All.  Purple.  Everything.  That tends to happen every now and then.  I enjoy a good purple.

Because today is so blah, I was in the mood for some Paleo Oatmeal.  Along with the “oatmeal”, I fried up some bacon and made a brown drink {much better than it sounds}.

The Brown Drink included: {blend in ninja until smooth}

1 cup organic carrot juice
1 cup organic spinach
1 cup organic kale
1 stalk of celery
1/2 of an organic English Cucumber
The juice of one lemon

Not the most creative thing I’ve ever come up with but it certainly did the job…gotta get those veggies in to start the day right!

{pictured on the oatmeal…freshly sliced peaches and frozen raspberries}

A very filling breakfast if I do say so myself.  Got through the workday without any complaints, now off to finally do some snuggling and finish Wild….I’m almost done!

In what way do you make sure you get your veggies in for the day?  How did everyone get through Wednesday?

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