#FiveThingsSF {March 6, 2015}

Heyyooo everyone!  It’s finally the end of the week which means another edition of our Five Things.  Remember to post and share your Five Things for the week with the hashtag #FiveThingsSF so we can all share in each other’s weekly gratitude round-up.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Lavanila D.O.

Living a healthy life doesn’t end in the kitchen and the gym.  For me, living a healthy life applies to all avenues and aspects of what I do…including basic hygiene.  One main focus for this {although it might sound weird} is having “clean” deodorant in the sense that it’s aluminum and paraben free.  I’m going to do a full write up on the who’s, what’s, and why’s very soon, but this week I found a new product favieeee.

I found this Lavanila Deodorant at Sephora on Monday and I’m officially in love.  The deodorant that I was using was also aluminum and paraben free but it wasn’t really working out for me in the sense that at times I wasn’t exactly…smelling…my best.  Not cool.  This tackles both the issue and the reasoning behind choosing a product such as this.  The vanilla grapefruit smells okay, but I’m definitely going to try a few different scents before making my final decision.


I love Instagram, and I love this Instagram account.  I don’t know who is in charge of it {Skellie, duh}, but it’s hilarious.  The account belongs to Skellie, a sassy, urban, 20-something skeleton living in NYC just trying to figure out her place in the world, one insta at a time.  Just to give you an idea…..


Seriously so funny, so basic, so dead.  Literally,  I crack up every time.  You can follow her @omgliterallydead .

Christmas in March

I woke up the happiest girl on the planet on Tuesday because I had a little gift from one of my besties, Abby.

I don’t care when a Christmas present gets here, if it’s Kendra Scott, say no more.  This girl knows what’s up when it comes to gifting, and anything turquoise is quite alright with me. 🙂

Can You Hear The Wedding Bells?

Ring-a-ding-ding, Santa must have been my mailman this week because on Wednesday I got ANOTHER surprise package from ANOTHER bestie.  This time is was from Liz in Chicago, the friend that we made the Best Bride-To-Be Gift Basket for.  I was super pumped and super honored because this was a surprise package asking me to be one of her bridesmaids!  {It was totally the Gift Basket that persuaded her to choose me…only kidding!!}

Of course I said yes, and I can’t wait to both help her and be by her side for her special day!!  Love ya, Liz!

Jimmy Time

You probably can’t tell from the blog, but Jimmy and I haven’t been able to see much of each other the past three weeks due to work.  This past Monday, he was given the day off last minute AND the weather gods decided to shine down on Charlotte by giving us a beautiful {and random} 60 degree weather, sunny day.  Jimmy and I took full advantage of it and had the best day spending time together and exploring parts of CLT we haven’t seen yet.  We saw places I definitely want to blog about later, but I decided that I want to just keep our random fun day to ourselves.  The blog doesn’t need to know everything. 🙂  I’m just so thankful that we were able to hang out all day and do fun things!  {and in beautiful weather, I might add….c’monnnn spring.  Where ya at you big tease?}

Side note:  picture not taken from this past Monday, but you get the idea

Okay now it’s your turn to share!  What are your five things for the week?  Remember to use the hashtag #FiveThingsSF on any social media platform so we can see what we’re thankful for this week!

What are your Five Things for the week??

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Dairy Free Overnight Oats + February Volunteering Recap

I woke up this morning reeeaaadddyyy for breakfast.  While I attempt to maintain a “paleo-based lifestyle” most of the time, my emphasis is heavy on mostly veggies and no dairy.  I avoid gluten most of the time, but it’s something that I’ll let slip in there every now and then {it’s all about how to best balance your diet for you}.  When I was in college {when I still consumed dairy on the reg}, one of my absolute favorite breakfasts was Overnight Oats.  If you click that link it will take you back to the Rec’s page when I originally posted the blog, oh how time flies.

After posting about my Dairy Free Chai Tea Latte last week, I got to thinkin’…what other of my favie things can I turn “dairy free”.  I instantly thought of this meal.  I originally followed PBF’s measurements, but much like her I’ll get to point where I can just eyeball the appropriate amounts.  The key here is that you MUST assemble this the night before.


2/3 cup of oats {quick oats work the best, I accidentally bought quick steel cut oats but they still worked!}
1/2 cup of almond milk {or any non-dairy substitute}
6 oz container of yogurt {here I used coconut milk yogurt, but almond milk yogurt should work well also}
2 Tbsp of chia seeds
A little bit of honey or agave nectar for added sweetness

Combine all of the ingredients in a mason jar or sealable container {a bowl that you cover with plastic wrap will also work}.

Then mix all of the ingredients together, seal the container, place in the fridge, and let the mixture sit over night.

By letting this to sit in the fridge overnight, this will allow the oats to absorb the remaining ingredients, giving you a tasty, thick, and filling breakfast!  Top with anything you want, and you’re good to go!  Keep healthy toppings in mind.

And then up close….


Soooo delicious, and I’m so excited that this worked out with dairy-free alternatives!

February Volunteering Recap

If you’re just joining us, my New Years Resolution this year was to become more active in my community through volunteering.  To make sure I accomplish this and stay on top of my goals, I have to volunteer at least once a month.  This month I ended up volunteering a few times, continuing my volunteering responsibilities from January.  It’s been so much fun seeing the kids on a regular basis and playing with them.  Now that the weather is going to start warming up soon, there are a lot of other fun volunteering events that I want to try.  I can’t wait to fill you guys in when I do!

Hope everyone’s having a great Thursday!  One more day to Friday!

Have you ever had overnight oats before?  In what ways do you give back to your community? 

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#FiveThingsSF {February 27, 2015}

It’s Friday, people! Unfortunately for most snow day hopeful’s, pretty much all of the anticipated 7-10 inches is no more {only ended up getting about 2 Wednesday night into Thursday morning}.  No matter…time to talk/think about what your Five Things for the week are!

Deez are mine:

Not Being on My Death Bed

Although I had a tragically scary 48 hours to kick off the week, I am so thankful at how quickly I have recovered…

Now, what to do with all that jello and ginger ale…

You’re lying if you say that alcohol related activities didn’t immediately spring to your mind.

Almond Milk Dirty Chai @ Smellycat

The Smellycat Coffeehouse in NODA has quickly become my go-to coffee shops in Charlotte.  Partly because of location, but also because of how awesome it is.  My favorite bev is easily their Dirty Chai, made instead with almond milk.  If you’re ever in the area, I suggest giving it a try!  Also, don’t be afraid to ask the coffee shop that you’re visiting for their dairy-free alternatives.  They should be up with the times at this point!

If you’re just at home, don’t forget to give my dairy-free chai tea “latte” a try either.

P.S.- Dirty Chai = Chai Tea Latte + shot of espresso

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

This will always and forever be my favorite lipstick of all time.  It’s literally perfect.  The application is easy, it stays all day {no matter how much you eat or drink}, and you’ll get many a compliment while it’s worn.  Trust me, I know.

I recently wore my “Beso Red #10” while in Huntington and quickly remembered why I love it so much.

I’ll be honest, I’m a huge make-up girl in the sense that I appreciate quality in my products over quantity.  For my day to day, the main reason why I wear any make up at all is to cover up my stupid pre-teen skin and to look like I’m awake.  {Like we’ve covered…body of 25 year old, skin of a 13 year old}.  However, I do love a good excuse to get all glammed up and go do fun things.  My favorite go-to “fun” makeup?  Lipstick.

My favorite lipstick line used to be anything MAC, but this Stila definitely takes the cake.  The Stay All Day line doesn’t have as many color options as MAC, but for what I try to go for, I prefer the Stila.  Expect a full write up soon.

House of Cards

Need I say more?  House of Cards is here, people!!!  Hide yo kids, hide yo wife.  I watched the most recent season finale last night just as refresher, and I am so excited this is back!  If you’re worried you’re going to ruin your life and binge watch it all over the weekend then feel empty and depressed until the next season comes out {because let’s be honest, Netflix releasing something like this all at once totally feeds into our glutonous “gimmie, gimmie, gimmie” culture, and we all buy into it}, do what I do.  Exhibit an ounce of self control, stay off spoiler alert blogs, and limit yourself to one to two episodes a day.  I have to do this with Orange Is The New Black.  As long as YOU can control YOURSELF, it’s a much healthier way to indulge in this quite tantalizing masterpiece.


Kevin Spacey is the man.  In life, and in this show.

Reusable Wine Tote

I’ve had this baby for awhile but I have just recently been using it again and remembered why I love it.  I’m all about reusable bags when grocery shopping, so why not take it to other aspects of life?  This is a  Scout reusable wine tote.  So, when you’re going to a friend’s/picnic/whatever, just slip your bottle of wine into this sturdy, fashionable tote and you’re good to go!

I last used this tote when I went over to my friend, Emily’s, for Valentine’s Dinner.  It’s cute and cheap.  This rings in at only $7.50, and there are a variety of patterns and colors to choose from.  They even have insulated bags, as well as bags that are built to hold more than one bottle!

You would never know that there’s a bottle of wine in here, would you?  Though, if I’m the one carrying it, that’s safe to assume…

Okay now your turn, list your Five Things for the week by commenting below or using the hashtag #FiveThingsSF on any social media platform!

What are your Five Things for the week?  Happy Friday, all!

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I was not compensated for any product recommendations on this page, all thoughts are my own.

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#FiveThings {Jan 11, 2015}

A little late night #FiveThings blogging sesh while watching the Golden Globes.  Tina and Amy are of course killing it.

The second full week of the new year has just begun, before we get started let’s take a minute to recap last week’s, #FiveThings!


I technically finished listening to this podcast last Friday, but I had already posted my #FiveThings for the week and I didn’t want to say anything about it until I finished.  This is a podcast that I’ve heard about from a variety of people, and after I upgraded myself to the iPhone 5s the other week, I decided to download it on the podcast app.  It’s 12 episodes long, and I listened to it day in and day out.  I even listened to it when I ran, that’s how obsessed I was.

I won’t say anything to spoil it, but basically this podcast covers and recants the story of Adnan Syed, a 17 year old teenager who is convicted of his ex-girlfriends murder.  To this day he has maintained his innocence, and between the amount of people who think he’s innocent, and the way that the case was handled, you might start to think he’s innocent as well…but is he?  I really can’t say any more or I will give it away.  Just have a listen for yourself.  It definitely helped me out during my hour long commutes to work.

“This is a Global Tel-Link prepaid call from Adnan Syed, an inmate at a Maryland correctional facility”…

True Detective

Continuing with my binge-a-thon ways…

The best thing Matthew McConaughey has done recently besides those Lincoln commercials {*sarcasm*}…is True Detective.  I’m partial to his role as Jack Lengyel in We Are Marshall, for obvious reasons, and as an actor, he’s done some amazing things.  His role in True Detective is just one of the many.  For Christmas, Ryan gave me a Google Chromecast {yesssss}, so Jimmy and I made T.D. our first big fish to fry with that baby.  It’s only eight episodes long, but it is quite intense.  We finished it in just a few days.  I recommend it to anyone that loves dark and twisted murder mysteries…keeping in mind it is on HBO, not quite kid-friendly, if you catch my drift.

It is definitely a must watch.

Got to See Duke Play this Week

My fellow roommate, Andrew, is a HUGE Duke fan, just like me. #DUKEFAN4LYFE

They played Wake Forest on Wednesday night, which is only about an hour or so away from our apartment.  On Monday night, we decided to get tickets for the game.  The last time I saw Duke play in person was at Cameron Indoor when Kyle Singler and Jon Scheyer {who is now an assistant coach} were still on the team.  So basically, that was a while ago.

The team is very young and promising this year, and even though it was at Wake, it was a nice last minute surprise to see them in action!

So what, we were in the cheap seats?  It was still a great, and at times too close for comfort, game.  Of course, Duke won. 🙂

But I’m not going to talk about what happened today.

Nicki Minaj- The Pinkprint Deluxe

It’s about as easy to pin down my taste in music as it is to pin the tail on the donkey.  As you might have noticed on the blog, I range anywhere from Taylor Swift to Elton John to Bruce Springsteen.  My current music obsession, especially for working out, is Nicki Minaj’s new album, “The Pinkprint Deluxe”.  Go ahead and judge me.

HOC Volunteer Orientation

On Saturday morning, I attended my official orientation with the volunteer organization I joined, Hands On Charlotte.  Since making it my New Year’s Resolution, to volunteer more, I was eager to get started.  I went through an hour long info session with about 20 other volunteers, got a t-shirt, and learned about all of the awesome opportunities to volunteer in the community.  In my previous post about my NY Resolution {linked above}, I mentioned that to stay on track my rule of thumb was that no matter what, I had to volunteer once a month.  The orientation leader emphasized how one day, he hopes that “regular volunteering” becomes a part of everyone’s life.  To him, “regular volunteering” means participating once a month.  Perfect, right?  Of course I hope to volunteer more than once a month.  Either way, I can’t wait to get started!

Before heading home, I walked over to one of my favorite local coffee shops, Nova’s Bakery to grab a Red Eye {coffee & shots of espresso} and macaroons.  I decided on two, their coffee and pistachio flavored macaroons.  It was the perfect treat to start off Saturday!

Good luck with the upcoming week, everyone!!

What are your #FiveThings for this past week?

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How to Eat With the Guys // Without Eating Like the Guys

Temptation.  It’s all around us. 

In terms of eating, we try to be healthy, but it seems at every turn there is always something waiting to throw you off track.  A chocolatey//melty//cheesey covered something fried…a bottle of wine, etc {how many have already “broken” their New Years Resolutions?}.  When it comes to these “temptations”, there is one situation that I tend to experience quite often.

If you’ve been following along these past few months, you know that I spend a decent amount of my social time with either my brother, my frat bros, or both…aka dudes…aka we do a lot of dude things…aka it probably revolves around alcohol and sporting events.  This generally means copious amounts of beer, nachos, wings, fries…whatever’s on the menu. Ya feel me?

This is actually a picture of Jimmy and I last year at the Jets/Panthers game {he’s a huge, miserable Jets fan}…months before we had any idea we would be moving to Charlotte.  Funny how things work out.

When it comes to the sporting world, there’s always something.  The NFL playoffs have begun {Panthers/Seahawks tonight}, the CFB National Championship on Monday, and college basketball is in full swing {March Madness will be here before you know it}.  Then there’s hockey, baseball, futbol, an Olympic event every two years…it’s an awesomely vicious cycle.  While I enjoy both alcohol and sporting events {just being honest/realistic here}, it’s important to understand how to enjoy these things in moderation.  I’m not saying don’t go to the bar or the game to avoid the temptation, but know how to behave when you do.

While I’m not always a complete angel at these things in terms of what I eat/drink, I try to follow these rules:

**Stay Hydrated-

Sure, sounds simple {maybe pointless}, but staying hydrated is important for a variety of reasons, including understanding if you’re even hungry in the first place.  A lot of times, hunger can be mistaken for dehydration.  When you’re in one of the type of settings listed above, it can be dehydration city.  You’re surrounded by salty, fried, alcoholic things, all notorious for causing a little dehydration.  Not only is it important to drink water throughout the day, but also make sure you’re ordering a water {even if you get a beer}, to drink as well.  If you’re going to an event {tailgate, the actual game, etc}, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water beforehand.  That way, you’re better able to understand the signs you’re body is telling you. Sure, those wings look good…but are you actually hungry?

**Plate Size/Portion Control-

If you’re in a scenario where everyone is splitting appetizers or a few finger foods, make sure you’re paying attention to not only what you put on your plate, but the size of your plate.  Numerous studies have shown that the size of your plate has an outstanding impact on how much you eat.  Essentially, the larger the plate, the more food we put on the plate, the more we eat.  Plate size does a lot to skew our perception of true serving sizes, which can have a drastic effect on our waistlines.  To learn more about that, click here and here.

**Understand what You’re Drinking-

Of course, grab some agua, but if you’re ordering a beer, understand what you’re asking for.  Obviously craft, non-light beers can range anywhere from 200-600 calories.  It can depend on what they’re made of, alcohol content, etc.  Lighter beers range from around 90-120 calories.  Check out the chart below…


Also, notice the info per beer.  Looks like Mich Ultra isn’t as “lowest carb/lowest calorie” as you would think.  If I have to choose a light beer, I prefer Miller Lite, which looks almost identical to Mich Ultra {and would probably be found on special more than Mich Ultra}.  Even though we’re not in college anymore, sometimes you still have to think like a college student in terms of $$$.

**It’s Okay to Indulge a Little-

This one is probably the most obvious.  Watch what you eat, but it’s okay to indulge slightly every now and then.  Don’t over stuff yourself, try to wait 15/20 minutes after eating your first serving to see if you’re still hungry.  Get a burger and remove the bun, get a salad topped with a protein {nix the ranch dressing!!}, choose something grilled over something fried…you get the point.  Sure, these tips are helpful, but when you’re in the thick of things and surrounded by bottomless fries, buckets of wings, and pitchers of beer, are you really going think back to this one Skinny Fingers post and avoid all of it, all of the time?  Probably not.

And you know what?  That’s okay {really}.  What I’ll do a lot of times is order a big salad, a light beer, and then end up stealing 4-10 of Jimmy’s french fries.  Being able to eat just a few fries will often times curb my craving, and after I have just a few, I’m able to practice much better self control and I won’t stuff my face with all of “the bad stuff”.

Case and point– this is a salad I ordered the last time Jimmy and I went out to watch football on a Sunday before the playoffs {a few fries were stolen…but I promise, just a few!}.  Bar food crisis, averted!

Bottom line, none of this is going to be the “healthiest” thing for you, but in terms of the situation at hand, these rules are some of your best friends.

Does anyone else have other healthy tips and tricks in situations like these?  I’d love to hear them!

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#FiveThings {Nov. 23}

Happy Sunday morn everyone…wanted to stop in and drop off my #FiveThings for the week before heading out to a little brunchie brunch.  Even though the weather is Charlotte right now is blah, I still plan on having an awesome Sunday off.  Let’s jump in-

My Health

At the beginning of the week at had a little bit of a health scare {reasoning for the lack of posts}, and one that I’m still experiencing some pain from even today.  Good news is, it wasn’t exactly what we thought it was and I’m almost back to 100%.  I work really hard to stay healthy and fit, I also feel as though I do a great job listening to my body, and I think this is why I rarely suffer from “the common cold”.  That being said, if I ever get sick…I get SICK.  Really crazy, one-off types of illnesses that I would be more than happy to tell you about, but it would take forever.  The beginning of the week was more than terrifying because I thought that something bizarre and scary that I previously had was resurfacing.  Still have to do some more digging as to what it was, but the whole experience makes me thankful for my overall day to day health.  It’s something that I think can get sidelined every now and then, we just assume we’re supposed to be healthy so we take it for granted sometimes.  It deserves a lot more recognition, it’s the foundation of a lot of the things we’re able to accomplish in life.  This week I have been reminded to be even more thankful for my health than I normally am.

Family and Jimmy

Can’t follow that little blurb up with anything but mentioning how awesome my family and Jimmy were this week.  Even though we had to take a last minute day trip to Durham to see some doc’s {shout out to Dad for working that out}, Jimmy was along for the ride.  And of course, mom’s are awesome because they’re mom’s.  I am always thankful for them {Ryan too}, but they all really came through this week.

Duke Basketball is back, baby

Do you hear what I hear?  No, not ringing sleigh bells or singing angels…but the dribbling of basketballs.  Being from Durham, I can’t remember not being a Duke Basketball fan.  Say what you want, but I love everything about Duke Basketball and I’m so glad the season has started back up again.  Maybe I was solo with a glass of wine and the Stanford/Duke game last night…and maybe that was the only thing I wanted to be doing at that moment.

Did I ever mention that I bonded with Coach K when I was in the 5th grade?  I was one of five kids who’s artwork was chosen to be published for the Duke Children’s Hospital holiday cards, something they do every year.  A huge ceremony was held at the Duke Children’s Hospital for the five of us.  I wish I had a picture of my card, but basically it was a picture of a dog looking out of a snowy window, looking at Santa flying through the sky {sooo Christmas}.  Coach K said that my card was his favorite because it reminded him of his own dog(s), Cameron and Defense {very fitting names}, and told me I was terrific.  I even have proof.

And that, ladies and gents, is the moment in life where I peaked.  This is photographic evidence, not many can say that they have actual photographic evidence of when they peaked.

Crushed It

Now you can hear the angels singing.  This week the sky opened up and The Lord spreadeth a plentiful gift upon us mere mortals…the Pitch Perfect 2 trailer.  I know you have had to have seen it by now.  I’m speechless and can’t wait until it comes out in May.  I still remember seeing Pitch Perfect with my friend Jess, kind of on a whim.  We were like, “yea we love Glee, we’ll probably like this, let’s go”…and leaving the theater FAH-REAKING out about how aca-awesome the whole thing was {Skylar Astin, heyyyy}.  Can’t wait to get “pitch-slapped”.



So this is more of a “things I’m excited about next week” kind of thing {besides Thanksgiving, that’s a given}, but it got me through this week and having to work on Saturday {had to make up some work for missing earlier}.  I’m typing at you today, staring a three day work week and a four day holiday break right in the face.  I haven’t had time off like this since moving to Charlotte, I can’t wait…can I get a ‘gobble, gobble’!!

What are your #FiveThings for the week?

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Hello all and Happy Friday! Hope it’s finding you well…I’m certainly doing just fine today as I am blogging at ya from Huntington, WV!  That’s right, another friend weekend is coming up {which I will get into in a sec}…so, let’s dive into another edition of #FiveThings…

I’m Rick James, B!@$%

Okay, might be kind of an abrupt way to start off a Five Things, but I can’t help myself.

Monday night, Dave Chappelle was in Charlotte and my roomies/frat bros and I didn’t get to go…we were sad.  Late Monday night, I noticed that The Fillmore insta-ed that Dave Chappelle was sticking around for another round of shows the following night!  Without hesitation we snagged some tix and made the best plans anyone could have made for a Tuesday.

Not allowed to take pictures during the show {I follow the rules, people}, but this was the view from our seats.  Not to shabby.  It was also my first time in The Fillmore…def need to pay more attention to their performance schedules because I love the place, not a bad seat in the house.

As seen on insta {but filters make everything better}, me and my frat bros.  Jimmy on the left {the ball and chain} and Andrew.

Do you really need me to recap the show?  Absolutely not, wouldn’t do it justice.  It was Dave Chappelle.  Enough said.  May have almost peed my pants a few times.  Although, he did say he hated bloggers…I’m going to assume that he’s referring to the hateful/narssistic types that troll the Internet looking for something to tear apart.  You know, the ones that think they’re right about everything and aren’t spreading any love {because there are those out there}…I’m also 1,000% positive Dave Chappelle will never read this, so we’ll just leave it at that.

{as I sit, rocking in the fetal position} everything is okay, Dave Chappelle doesn’t hate me…Dave Chappelle doesn’t hate me…


The year I was born, the year the Berlin Wall {started} to fall, and the title of Taylor Swift’s new album..all very important things.

And yes, that means I bought it.  While I don’t consider myself to be a “Swiftie” {or whatever they’re called}, I’ve loved her since before she started crying on her guitar about Tim McGraw.  She keeps doin’ her thing and doin’ her thing, so I’m gonna continue to stick by my girl.

PTO, you PYT

Remember the last time I was in Huntington?  Well, long story short, I worked four 10 hour shifts to get that Friday off for travel.  Somehow, my PTO got messed up so to make up for it, I was given a free day to use any time I wanted {this is something that NEVER happens at work…it’s virtually unheard of}.  Knowing some friends were wanting to get together this weekend, I said “uhhh this Friday please?!”, and off to Huntington I went.

Also, want to take a second to recognize what today means for Marshall University.  As some of you may know, on this day in 1970, the Marshall University football team, staff, and fans died in a horrific plane crash on the way home from a game versus ECU.  On this day every year, there is a fountain ceremony where many from the school and the community gather to honor those that passed, shutting off the water from the iconic fountain until the spring.  While I didn’t get in town in time for the ceremony, as a daughter of Marshall, this day was certainly in my heart.

My New Scarf

Originally spotted this scarf on fellow Charlotte blogger, Court in Session‘s site.  Click the link to go to her page…love it!  I had been searching for an amazing blanket scarf for fall, and I found it on her Nine Blanket Scarves You Need for Fall, post.  I ordered #7 off of DailyLook.com.

I’m obsessed…this thing is HUGE.

Click, Click- Boom

I am currently camera shopping.  Yea, yea, camera phones are great but I’m talking about the Mac Daddy, King Mackerel of cameras.  It’s a lifelong {or at least long term} decision.  One of my bosses has a Canon 60D and he brought it to work yesterday so I could check it out…it’s pretty sweet.  I’ve been asking around, mostly getting rave reviews from Canon users.  I’ve also been looking at Sony and Nikon…on top of actual research, I think I’m going to have to block off a night to hang out at Best Buy and just play with all of the cameras….I’m open to any and all suggestions here-  got a sweet camera?  What is it and why do you like it?

What are your #FiveThings for the week?

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#FiveThings {Nov. 2}

Good Morning SF-er’s!  Is everyone fully rested and recovered from their candy coma and extra hour of sleep this weekend?  I know I am, and although I counted down the days to the night we were “falling back”, I still had a solid 5 seconds of confusion when I woke up this morning after looking at my smart phone and then the clock in the kitchen.

Let’s get on with another edition of #FiveThings, shall we?

Ali in Town

This past weekend, my best friend from high school, Ali, came to visit!  It was great to see her and be able to spend a whole weekend with her.  In addition to it being Halloween weekend, it was fun to take her around to some of the places that I love in Charlotte.  She went to school here, but now lives back in Durham.  We spent Saturday night having dinner at our mutually favorite food spot, Cabo Fish Taco.  It’s located in the NODA area of Charlotte, and if you’re ever in town you HAVE to visit this place.  Margaritas and Fish Tacos make for some happy people.

Lemon Grilled Shrimp and Jerk Shark Tacos with their signature Avocado Pasta Salad…get in ma belly!

She even came with my headboard in tow!  Post on that later….can’t wait to see her again soon for Thanksgiving and Christmas!


As we all know, this past Friday was All Hallow’s Eve.  As I mentioned in my Costume Dilema post the other day, Ali and I weren’t sure what we were going to do until the very last minute.  We went with Candy Rappers and it was a success.  I love a good play on words.

As seen on insta…Candy Rapper Nation.

We tried hard to create a #crnation logo on the back of our jackets, it held up for awhile, but Ali clearly did a better taping job than I did.  We all met up at my friend Emily’s apartment before heading out.  That adorable little nugget in the bottom left is her dog, Ollie…he wanted to be a Candy Rapper too.  All in all it was a fun {and packed} night out in CLT!

TJ’s Fruit Bars

These things have been on my snack radar the past few weeks.  Trader Joe’s Fruit Bars…two ingredient, raw, fruit bars {and only about 90 cal. a piece- kill my sweet tooth and any of that midday hunger}.  This one is hands down my favorite.

Cold Weather Running

Call me crazy, but I enjoy cold weather running much more than warm weather running.  Not sure why, but I always have.  Even though it was 80 degrees this past Monday, it’s now 40 degrees today… {welome to the piedmont region of NC} ….which means pulling out all of my cold weather gear {yes!}.  And maybe, just maybe I’ll be motivated to start running longer distances again.

Speaking of cold weather running…special shout out to my former boss {and boss runner}, Michele Muth, who is running in the NYC marathon as we speak!  Go Michele, go!!

The Walking Dead

A few weeks ago, one of my Five Things was the fact that, ’tis the season for my shows to come back on TV.  One I forgot to mention was The Walking Dead.  With the past few weekends being full of travel I have missed the last two episodes {and another one is coming on tonight!}.  I’ve been a Dead fan from the beginning, and although it has been slow at certain points over the course of the series {admit it…you know it too…still love it anyway}, everyone has been telling me that the past two episodes have been insane!  Once I get some things done today, I plan on spending my evening catching up on everything before I watch the new episode tonight.  Are any of you Walking Dead fans as well?  I can’t wait {and don’t spoil anything for me!}


One holiday in the books.  Up next, Thanksgiving {no Christmas until Nov. 28th here, people}.  Hope Halloween found everyone with a spooky good time!

What are your #FiveThings for the week?

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Costume Dilemma

Started the morning off with another round of spin class and a smoothie.  I was craving something sweet but I don’t have any berries/sweet fruit on deck…so I settled with this:

1 Banana, 1 cup of almond milk, 2 Tbsp flax seeds, 1-2 handfuls of organic spinach, 1/2 an avocado, 1 Tbsp of raw honey, 1/4 cup of shredded coconut, and a few dashes of cinnamon.  A surprising combination of ingredients that is actually a creamy, dreamy breakfast smoothie.  It almost tastes like a “healthy” batter, if you can believe that.

Now, on to the hard stuff.

I don’t know what to wear for Halloween this year.  Don’t tell anyone….but I was thinking about not dressing up as anything at first {gasp!}.  I absolutely love Halloween and dressing up, but as of last week I didn’t have any set plans so I didn’t know if it was worth it.  Since then plans have been made and one of my best friends from high school, Ali, is coming to town to visit….now making it costume crunch time.

I should mention that I take Halloween Costume-ing very seriously…check out the Christine Halloween Archive…

Street Sign in 2011 {w/ my friend Dem…who was a 10-yd field marker with her boyfriend…he was chained to her ankle about 10 yards away, dressed identically}…and I’m assuming that was a real street marker.  I found it in the attic of my old college house.

Chef Boyardee in 2012 w/ my second Italian Fam…love those guys.  I miss that job every day.  Also, I didn’t tell anyone except for my close friends that I was dressing up like this.  No one recognized me, it was pretty interesting to just roam the streets of Huntington that night incognito.

As Walter White w/ my friend Jess {as Jessie} in 2013 {say my name…}

See.  Christine don’t play when it comes to Halloween.

Ali and I have been going back and forth on what we should do…she sent me this pic last night for a “candy rapper” costume {not sure where she got it from}.

Get it?  Candy…on a rapper?  Candy Rapper?  I still have no props or clothing for a costume yet, but mark my words I will have something by the end of the week.  I had fun browsing the Internet today, and checking out some options.  Are you still short on costume ideas?  Check out these links below:

Her Campus:  16 Funny Halloween Costume Ideas

Refinery 29:  11 Costume Ideas No One Else Will Have

Mental Floss:  55 Awesome Halloween Costume Ideas

What do you guys think of the Candy Rapper idea?  What are you dressing up as for Halloween this year?

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NODA Eclectic Marketplace

Back from the gym and ready to rock on this Monday.  To kick off the start to another week, I wanted to tell you guys about this rad little market that Ryan and I stumbled upon Saturday morning- the NODA Eclectic Marketplace.

We first noticed it on our way into another filling edition of Jackbeagles brunch.  You heard it here, maybe not first, but Jackbeagles has one of the best brunches {can that word be plural?} in CLT.  As I said yesterday, I’ve dragged my brother and boyfriend to a few different brunch spots in an attempt to branch out, and nothing beats brunch at Jackbeagles {or NODA in general}.

This is my breakfast guilty pleasure- Shit on A Shingle.  No BS, that’s really what it’s called.  I do really well with eating during the week, but I throw my inhibitions to the wind when it comes to weekend brunch.

Afterwards we went around the corner and I grabbed a red-eye coffee from the Smellycat Coffeehouse while we walked around.

The NODA Eclectic Marketplace is located behind the Smellycat Coffeehouse and the Fire Station, it’s very visible from the street.  There were a variety of local vendors present.  As we looked around and chatted with some of the vendors, we were told that the market has been around for about a month or so.

Each stand had something unique it was bringing to the table, and they were all awesome.  I just wasn’t planning on dropping a bunch of dough at the time {see Dad?  Aren’t you proud of me?}.  I did get a few things that will serve as gifts for people for bdays/Christmas {yes, I just admitted to Christmas shopping in October}.  One stand really caught the fancy of both Ryan and myself, accidentallydesigned.  Click the link to check out her Etsy shop.  On Saturday she had a variety of candles, scarves, jewelry, and pickles…yes, pickles.

She made these pickles, each jar having at least a half of a can of the beer that it was labeled with.  Hop Drop & Roll is a famous and fabulous local NODA Brewery beer, it’s easily one of my favorites.  While she had a variety of accessories that I liked, I decided on this bracelet.

I love the teal/turquoise letter, as well as the saying.  It reminds me of a favorite quote/reminder of mine, “in movement there is life” {Alan Cohen}…it’s important to remember and recognize that the journey is what keeps you alive and fuels your soul.  Never stop growing, moving, learning, thinking, and feeling.

In terms of the market, the vendors told us that they were going to be there every Saturday, weather permitting.  So, head down to NODA and check them out next weekend!

Off to work, let’s get this week started…

Any local shops/markets you’re currently loving right now?

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