#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!

Halloween

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!}

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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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Five Things #FiveThings

Life’s moving pretty fast these days, in an attempt to keep up it’s always a good idea to pause and think about your “Five Things” for the week.  Of course there are things that I am always thankful for, every week, even every day.  Before the next week starts, take second to think about your own “Five Things”, as a simple and easy reminder that even if it can get overwhelming, life is pretty great.

Here are my things for the week, some little, some big…but five things I’m currently digging.

FRIENDS

Earlier this week, I got to see Erika, one of my great college friends when she was in town for work.  She’s the assistant coach for the Marshall women’s soccer team, and they played UNCC on Friday night.  We got to meet up and hang out once I got off work on Thursday, and my brother and I went to their game the following evening.  It was sooooo good to see her, I miss my friends.  Like, crazy miss them. We all live in different places now, and I wish more than anything that we could be in the same area again.  We’re about to see each other very soon, so Thursday was like a nice warm up for what’s to come.  To top it all off- Marshall rounded out their trip with a well deserved win!  We Are….

More ‘Maters!

After caring for my single, overly shaded tomato plant this summer, if you told me I was going to get one tomato from it, I would have been hesitant.  The poor thing didn’t have a chance, I didn’t realize how shaded my porch, and only growing area was until I moved in.  If you told me I was going to get two tomatoes from it, I would have rolled my eyes.  If you told me I was going to get three tomatoes from it, I would have laughed in your face.  Well, look who’s laughing now because out of no where, two more tomatoes appeared!  They’re some late bloomers, but I still love them anyway.  Welcome to the family {and soon my belly} little tomatoes.

Sunday Brunch

I love breakfast.  I love Sunday brunch.  After a few brunch mishaps around CLT, Ryan, Jimmy, and I have learned our lesson and will never stray from NODA for brunch again {Heist + Jackbeagles = Love}.  While going somewhere for brunch is always fun, it’s nice to stay home every now and again to make your own.  On this chilly and sunny Sunday morning, I whipped up the same Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes Jimmy and I made from PaleOMG last weekend {note…technically these are for “waffles”, but who’s checking?} along with some bacon and eggs.  I got cozy as I sat on our back porch wrapped up in a blanket, reading Creative Loafing’s most recent “Best of Charlotte” edition, while sipping on some coffee with a Spotify playlist in the background.  It was the perfect morning.  I did this until the Panthers game came on at one {I’m soo Charlotte}.  What a freakin’ game, right?

It’s a little dark, but you get the point.  Remember, I have a shaded porch.

I also need a better camera….working with an iPhone 4s over here, people.  Please, keep your comments to yourself.

As seen on insta.

This Bacon

When bacon comes in a box, you know it’s going to be good.

I stumbled upon this bacon last week at HT when it was on special.  This is hands down the best bacon I have ever had/cooked/purchased in my life.  Jimmy and I both agree- it’s what bacon is supposed to taste like.

On a sad note, when it isn’t on sale, it’s about 8 bucks {that’s right, I said EIGHT}.  I probably won’t consistently purchase it, but I’m enjoying it while I can get it for three dollars and change…would it be crazy if I bought twenty packages and frozen some?  Probably, right?  Jimmy would most definitely leave me {and take some of the bacon with him}.

TJ’s canned Organic Pumpkin

So I just realized three of my five things are all directly related.  Trader Joe’s knows what’s up and has everything pumpkin in stock for us white girls out there.  I walked in last week and there was a whole stand of canned pumpkin, to be used for baking, smoothies, etc. I grabbed three cans and never looked back.

And there you have it- Five Things.  I’ve got to mentally prepare myself because this is going to be a long week.  I’ve got some stuff to take care of on Friday so I’m working four 10 hour shifts Monday-Thursday, but good things are on the horizon so I can’t complain!

Happy Sunday everyone!  It’s the start of a new week, get out there and make it great!

What are your #FiveThings?

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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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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}.

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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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