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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Farmer’s Market

I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Labor Day weekend!  This past Sunday, I took a trip to the Charlotte Farmer’s Market.  I’ve been wanting to go for awhile, so I was really excited when I finally got the chance. 

Located in the south western part of Charlotte, it’s a quick and easy trip that I’ll definitely be making again.  I took $40 cash out and figured I could get a majority of my grocery shopping done anyway since what I buy is mostly produce and meats.  I showed up around 12:30 {it opens at noon on Sundays}, and it wasn’t very crowded.  I think it gets busier later in the day, and it’s definitely busier on Saturdays.  It was nice browsing around and talking with some of the vendors.  Everything looked so healthy and colorful…oh yea, and did I mention huge?

Sweet potatoes the size of your head, I tell ya!  They were all about this big, it was unreal.

Stoplights…

And these adorable, little baby eggplants.  I’ve never seen any so small.  I already had so much produce by the time I saw these, but you better believe I’m researching what I can do with them…{stuffed baby eggplants, anyone?}.

There was also a stand where a man was making flower bouquets on the spot…they were all so beautiful!

My favorite vendor went by the name of Cyrus, he hooked me up with a dozen organic eggs from Cherry Grove {which is right down the road}, and filled me in on which vendors were local, hormone free growers.  My kinda guy.  I decided to take a page out of Jessica Alba’s book, The Honest Life. when she talks about getting to know your farmers.  Just because something is coming from the Farmer’s Market doesn’t mean that it’s almost the same as what can come from the produce aisle of your grocery store.  It’s imporatnt to learn how the food you’re buying is grown, and what standards the farmers grow by.  I also got suckered into buying almost a dozen peaches.  The first stand I walked by, the guy {I think his name was Mac} cut me a fresh slice of peach to let me try….it melted in my mouth.  Then some of his other customers were around, telling me how they “only buy peaches from him”…okay, sold.

 Safe to say I went HAM at the Farmer’s Market {not pictured:  the dozen eggs}

And I got it all for around $30…who says eating healthy is expensive? 

What do you like to buy at the Farmer’s Market?

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Five Things #FiveThings

For a variety of reasons, I’ve decided to slim down my “High Five Friday” name, and keep it at just “Five Things” for the week.  Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  Also, as we all know, I’m having a hard time posting “High Five Friday’s” on Friday…and like I mentioned in my first High Five Friday post, I don’t even like high fives.  I find them awkward in most instances, and only acceptable during certain events (as in sporting or drinking…am I right, oooorrrr…yea, I’m right).  So anyway, Five Things, it is {most of the time posted on Friday}.  Same idea, different name.  Let’s get on with it.

Now that we’re off of that tangent, here are my Five Things for the week. 

My ‘Mater

I just recently discovered that I have given birth to a tomato.  I honestly never thought this day would come, and I am so proud to call it my own.  I’ve felt very bad for my tomato plant because it didn’t get much {if any} sunlight on my back porch…a fact I wasn’t aware of until I moved in.  I felt as bad as a person that gets a dog but never has time to put it outside feels.  I didn’t even give it a chance, but still it persevered.  Next time I will have better, if not more strategic, luck with my tomato plants.  Until then, mi madre can keep sending hers to me via D-Town {that’s Durham, for those of you who don’t know…keep ’em coming Ellen}.  I will continue to love and nurture my one, baby, sunlight-seeking, tomato, and see what happens.

Food Storage Containers

Yes.  Food Storage Containers.  And I don’t mean “tupperware” {oh paahh-leeeaaasssee}.  Tupperware, Shmupperware.  Don’t get me wrong, I agree with and love the presence of tupperware, but I’m talking about creative food storage containers.  I’m talking about these babies, and they make my fridge look good {fridge accesories…that’s a thing, right?}.  When I was in HomeGoods the other day, I saw these two treasures.  For a grand total of $5 and I decided to splurge {I cancelled my ipsy scrip so I can live like this now}, for both avocados and onions…the two things I have on standby 24/7.  Now I not only eat healthy, but I eat healthy in style {insert smiley face emoji that wears the sunglasses}.

This what it looks like when full…

And then seal shut. 

The Ninja

The holy grail. Need I say more?  I finally got a ninja.  Smoothies and cauliflower rice fo dayyyzzz.

My Headboard

After the whole “pay $65 for an old, green door” debacle at The Flea Market.  I vented to my friend, Ali, who, in my opinion is an expert flea marketer.  She suggested that if that was something I was looking for, her husband Blake, could build it.  At the time I was thrilled and of course jumped at the opportunity.  Then, just yesterday she sent me this picture…

“Ready to be salted and sanded”

Now, I CAN BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF!!!  I cannot wait until I can call this mine, and Ali and Blake are so sweet for building it for me.

Family Visits

Last Sunday Ryan and I were lucky enough to have our parents come visit for the day.  Even though we’re all so busy and have crazy schedules, it’s nice that Durham is only 2 hours away {and an extremely easy drive}.  It was a short visit but it’s always nice to see the parents and spend some time exploring/showing them around certain parts of Charlotte…hopefully they can come back again soon!!

So there you have it, my five things for the week!

What are your five things?  Happy Labor Day Weekend everyone!

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Dried Stevia Leaves – HELP !!

Even though my porch doesn’t get much light, my herbs are growing faster than ever, especially my stevia.  This baby isn’t joking around.

I orignally bought the stevia simply because it peaked my interest.  Suuure, basil, parsley, rosemary, all awesome herbs that you can do a variety of things with…but stevia?  As in the natural sweetener in products like Truvia and Pure Via, grown on my own back porch?  Yea, let’s give it a shot.  Additionally, anyone that knows me knows that I say a big N-O to artificial sweeteners, so having some stevia around could be a neat idea.  It really is incredibly sweet {stevia extracts have about 300 times the sweetness of sugar}, if you nible on the leaf you almost instantly get a sweetness explosion.

But then something happened…

It grew…

ALOT.

So I’ve been doing some research on what you should do with stevia leaves.  Most info that I’ve found has said to dry the leaves and then grind them up and use them the same way you use sugar {sprinkle it in coffee or tea, etc}.  Following this idea, I’ve trimmed some stevia and hung it out to dry as a trial run.  I’m really hoping that this is the start of something new {High School Musical Style}, and something that I will be able to consistently do, because that would be pretty rad.

My question, to any other stevia farmers out there is:

One- is this how you do it?  & Two-  what other ways have you used stevia in the past?  Help a stevia sista out!

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