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Left Photo

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Middle Photo

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Right Photo

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Not So Normal 5K + Weekend Activities

If you're local to the Triad area and you love to run, you must check out this awesome 5k.

The Not So Normal 5K + Weekend: Carrboro and Chapel Hill Family-Friendly Festivities

The Not So Normal 5K + Weekend is a three-day celebration of community and philanthropy kicking off on September 12th. There is a family-friendly lineup of activities in Carrboro and Chapel Hill culminating with a festive 5K race and outdoor country music concert that Sunday

They have date nights for parents with babysitting options, pajama parties for kids, and a variety of ways for the community to raise money for local charities while having fun!  The best part, unlike other races, 100 percent of proceeds from all 5K registration fees goes directly to nonprofits

Here is a break down of family-friendly events that will be happening:

o   Friday and Saturday Night (Sept. 12 and 13): 
Kids’ parties each night, babysitting options, restaurant specials, comedy shows, outdoor movie and a Carrboro Art Walk, “Meet the Merchants.”

o   Sunday Morning (Sept. 14):

 The Not So Normal 5K race…well, not quite 5K. We shortened to 2.95 miles to make it flatter and a little easier. Why? Because it’s not so normal! Active families will run or walk this fun run, and strollers are welcome on the course. Registration is just $25 and all proceeds go directly to charity. Participants are also asked to bring one book for Book Harvest and/or two canned goods for local food distribution organizations, TABLE and PORCH.

Kids' races, obstacles, face painting and tons of family-fun activities. Children 8 and under are free!

o   Sunday Night (Sept. 14): 
Frankie Ballard Live Presented by 94.7 QDR and The Not So Normal 5K + Weekend. 
Hosted at University Mall in Chapel Hill, the outdoor concert will feature rising country music star Frankie Ballard, and opening acts Casey JamersonStereosparks and The BuzzTown Band, and DSI Comedy Theater getting the crowd ready to rock. 

The concert benefits The ArtsCenterNC Children’s Promise and Kidzu Children’s Museum. Tickets are $9.47 and can be purchased online here.

 The Not So Normal 5K + Weekend, presented by Mom in Chapel Hill, celebrates community with a little music and exercise thrown in! It was created by stay-at-home dad, Jay Radford.  It’s anything but average! A full weekend of fundraising for local nonprofits, enjoying time in your community and great 5k. 

Sign up or learn more by visiting, www.notsonormal5k.com!

If you decide to come out, comment below so we can meet up!  Elise and I will be running (with our strollers) and we would love to cheer for you or run alongside you!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Fitting in my Closet

Dress: Marshall's, Sandals: TJ Maxx

I'm so excited that everything in my closet now fits.  Ev. ry. thing.  You don't realize how discouraging it is to have a bunch of stuff hanging in your closet that doesn't fit until its gone.  The best part is I didn't even get rid of much.  Most of it fits because I've been working my hiney off.

I put a few items in a storage container under my bed because I just know in a matter of weeks/months they are going to be options as well.  In the meantime, I'm not going to leave them hanging in my closet taunting me and bringing me down.  

I wore this dress on the first day of school this year and it was so exciting to not only be able to wear it, but to feel beautiful in it.  Do you have items hanging in your closet that don't fit?

If you're interested in making them fit, get in touch and I'll share some of my secrets with you!

Linking up with Liz, Lindsey, and Shanna

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Quick (and Healthy) Work Week Meal

With the beginning of the school year my schedule starts to get really crazy really quick with parent meetings, ball game duty, and extracurriculars going on long after 3:00.  I always try to plan ahead a few quick, easy meals that I can throw together on nights that I do get home later than normal.  I recently concocted this little treat and was very pleased with the outcome.  There isn't a whole lot of cooking involved and it tastes delicious.

You will need:
  • 1 bag pre-cooked extra small shrimp
  • cajun/spicy mango marinade
  • corn tortillas
  • lettuce, tomato, cilantro garnish
  • plain yogurt
All you need to do:
  1. Marinade the shrimp in the sauce for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Pour contents onto a baking sheet and broil until warm.
  3. Fill tortilla shell with ingredients and dig in!
It's a cross between Betty Crocker and Martha Stewart since it's not from a box, but not from scratch either.  I think you'll find it pleasing to your hungry family and your tired eyes after a long day at work.


Friday, August 22, 2014

Back to School Giveaway

I'm a big fan of back to school time.  It seems all the new school supplies are so much cooler than they were when I was in school.  Not to mention the great fashions, accessories, and shoes that come out with each new year.

When Rebeca asked me about being a part of this giveaway I thought it was a great idea!  So, here you have it - some pretty great prizes if you ask me!

Happy Friday! I am so excited to team up with these lovely ladies to offer one lucky winner a variety of prizes! There are SOO many amazing prizes in this giveaway!! A visa gift card, a starbucks gift card, advertising, a handmade scarf, and MORE!! 
The wonderful thing about this giveaway is that there is multiple prizes to be won!!! This is the perfect giveaway as we start to transition from Summer to Fall!! Are you looking for a birthday gift? A wedding gift? You could win it here! Looking to try out blog advertising or to do some early Holiday Shopping? These prizes will give you some options! Or win a Starbucks or Visa gift card for you or a friend! All you have to do is enter via the rafflecopter below! 

Good Luck y'all and Happy Friday!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Accessorizing a Simple Dress

I tend to gravitate toward neutrals, particularly greys.  So when I saw a dress almost identical to this one at the Bass outlet while shopping with my mom, I knew it had to be mine.  I won't mention the fact that I brought home the same exact dress in a distressed black color, too.  I mean, when you find a great dress, you stock up.  Right?  Right.

All I could think about were the endless ways I could wear this dress.
simple grey dress

Throw it on for a weekend trip to the farmer's market with some leopard slip-ons, a cross body tote, a hat, and your favorite lipstick.  Fashionable comfort at its finest.

grey dress 2

An easy, breezy outfit for the days when you feel like bleh, but don't want to look the part.  A good neutral palate makes the bloat go away...or at least less noticeable.

grey dress 3

Dressed Up
Throw on some cute shoes, fancy jewelry, and grab a clutch for a night on the town with your man or some girlfriends.

To me, the possibilities are endless.  And in a perfect world, my closet would be filled with pieces like this.

How would you style it?

Shop the looks:

Friday, August 15, 2014

8 Months

Dear Carson,

Our first summer together is coming to an end.  I can't believe it's been 8 months and I can't believe it's only been 8 months all at the same time.  This summer has been my favorite.  We've spent entire days at the pool, picnic lunched under a shady tree on our road trip, hiked a chasm, and giggled and played and run and made some of the best memories.

As I'm getting ready to go back to work, I'm so sad.  Sad because you're my favorite.  You can make me smile just by looking at me.  Your laugh is music to my ears.  I'm also really proud because I already know that you are going to blossom in your new daycare.  You are going to make so many friends and learn so much because you are so outgoing and so smart already.  I just wish I could be there to witness it all.

You've started hugging and to feel your arms tighten around my shoulders literally makes my heart squeeze with delight.  You've also started playing little games like reaching for someone and then turning your head when they try to get you with a smile on your face.  Tonight in the pool you would put your stuffed crab near my mouth for me to "eat" and then pull it away again.  You also love throwing things off the high chair.  I'm not sure if you're aiming for the dogs' dishes, but you're pretty good at hitting them - you love when they come to eat with you.

I see you growing and developing your personality and I just know you are going to be something special in this world.


8 Month Update
Weight:  20+ pounds
Length:  28 inches
Nicknames: The Milkman, Milk Monster, CT, Hungry Hungry Hippo, Bubby, Monster, Buddy Boy, Stinka, Bubba
Sleep: You generally go to bed around 8:00 and wake up around 6:00 a.m.  Sometimes you will wake up earlier, talk to your hands/toys and fall back asleep.  I'm curious to see how this changes once you are in daycare playing with other kids all day.  Your naps are still short, but you are taking 3-4 a day.
Eating: All the veggies and fruits!  You like everything.  You are mastering the sippy cup and love holding the bottle all by yourself now.
Clothing: 6-9 months - quickly moving out of 6 months!

  • Playing
  • Your Fisher Price Seahorse
  • Bath time
  • Walks/Runs with Mommy
  • The pool/water
  • Ribbons/shoe laces/strings/etc
  • The dogs!!  You follow them (with your eyes) everywhere...it's only a matter of time before you are chasing them around the house.
  • Musical toys
  • Yogurt bites
  • Being hungry
Exciting Moments:You are teething again
You are crawling around the living room floor (on your belly) to get to your toys and the dogs.
You put your toes in Lake Champlain for the first time, went for a boat ride, and hiked Ausable Chasm
You are starting to try to pull up on things
Momma's Milestones:
I got my dream jogging stroller and signed up for my first half post-baby.

I signed up as a BeachBody coach and recommitted to my healthy lifestyle.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

5 Travel Must-Haves

After road-tripping with a 7 month old to the Adirondacks a few weeks ago and then returning to NC solo with an 8 month old, I feel like I've got this road-tripping business down.  So when Man Crates contacted me asking what items I couldn't live without, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to share my travel essentials when on the road.
5 travel must haves

I take a water bottle everywhere I go.  I drink water like a camel so I need to have some with me at all times.  And I like to make sure I know what I'm drinking - so many places have unclean water or water filled with "safe" carcinogens.  

The iPhone takes decent pictures, but this last roadtrip my DSLR was a huge asset.  The photos from our trip are fantastic - I can't wait to get some printed. 

I hate stopping for food.  Mainly because 99% of the options are unhealthy so I always keep granola bars with me.  In fact, there are 2 in my diaper bag at this moment.  Kind bars are my jam.  So yummy. Bonus: you can pronounce everything in the ingredients.

Sunglasses and sunscreen are givens when driving long distances during the day.  Did you know that the most common area for skin cancer/age spots is the left side of your face?  The sun beats down in on you while you're driving so wear your sunscreen people!  

Check out Man Crates for fun gift ideas for the carnivore, beer lover, or athlete in your life.

What are you travel must-haves?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Touring Home

While we were home in the Adirondack mountains for our summer vacation, we went around like tourists.  The town I grew up in is right on Lake Champlain and the population literally doubles during the summer months with people from the city and all over coming to their lake houses for weeks/months at a time.  Our little town thrives (if not survives) on tourism.

You can always tell when its that time of year because The Diner parking lot is full of cars, Ethel's Dew Drop Inn has a line to the road for ice cream, and cars are parking perpendicular to the Country Store.

We stuck our toes in the lake, hiked the chasm, had dinner on the water, and walked the river walk.  We already have ideas of what we want to do this winter and next summer as CT gets older.  

The things I did as a child are made one thousand times more special when I share them with my boy.

Would you be interested in seeing a travel guide to the Adirondacks?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

What's Going on Inside

Raven wrote this post about breaking points and judgement and it got me thinking...

Thinking about the times I've compared my life to others', thinking they were happier or more successful or more "together" than me.
Thinking about the smiles and laughter and facades we can so easily outwardly display regardless of what is going on inside.
Thinking about how sad it is (yet how alarmingly easy it is) to feel alone in a world full of people that love and care for you.

I've never been depressed.  I've never considered taking my life.  I've never had to take medication for any reason other than the common illness.  But, I can't say that those things will never happen.  Because, like Raven said, we do all have a breaking point.  The heart can only take so much.

A few years ago I was going through a difficult time.  Changes were happening with residual effects that I hadn't anticipated.  Change has always been slightly daunting to me, particularly when I'm not in control.  I know at that point in my life I really needed a friend.  Someone to ask me how I was doing, if I was okay, or if I simply wanted to talk.

At the time, some of my closest friends backed off and the friendships aren't the same.  It was (and is) heartbreaking for me.   I miss them.

I guess the point of it all is that we need to look deeper.  Sometimes a friend is acting out because they need attention.  Sometimes a friend is crying because it is therapeutic and they don't know what else to do.  Sometimes they stop attending dinner parties, concerts, or outings because they feel more alone in the group than they do by themselves.  At those times, I hope that I will be someone who asks, "How are you, really?"

It's hard to put up with those behaviors when we don't know what is going on and it's hard to know what is going on until we ask.

RIP Robin Williams; you rockstar of a human being.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

3 Things to Consider When Purchasing a Jogging Stroller

If you're a runner, a jogging stroller is a must-have, non-negotiable, staple on your baby registry.  Most of us have never actually run with a jogging stroller because we don't have children(yet)!  Hence the need for one now. 

This article is a great resource if you consider yourself a runner and are in the market for a jogger.

I'm going to break down 3 things  every woman needs to consider before making the financial plunge that is jogging stroller hunting.

Activity Level
Consider your activity level before and during pregnancy.  If it was low before/during pregnancy, chances are you aren't going to sign up for a marathon after the baby comes.  I know we all have fantastic ideas of how we are going to lose the baby weight, but be realistic with yourself.  Don't set yourself up for failure or disappointment before you even get started. 

The more active your lifestyle, the more features you are going to want your jogging stroller to have.

This is obvious, but don't let price be the only driving factor in your decision making process.  This is an investment.  Think about the activity level I mentioned above.  If you are very active this might be used on a daily basis.  If that is the case, you want to invest in a stroller that is going to last. 

Don't forget the old adage: you get what you pay for.

There are so many features available in jogging strollers (strollers in general) so it's really important to decide which ones are best for you and your lifestyle. 

If you are running in an urban setting you are definitely going to want a front wheel that rotates.  If you are running long, straight distances a fixed wheel would work better for you.  You may want to find out if the jogging stroller you are interested in has an adapter for your carseat and a snack tray for toddler stages.
jogging strollers


Friday, August 1, 2014

Life Lately

If you follow on instagram you may already know that for the past 2 weeks we've been in upstate NY with my family.  We road-tripped up two weekends ago and hit up a Yankees game on the way. 
It was the quintessential visit to Yankee stadium complete with batting practice, hotdogs, cold beer, and Jeter getting a hit.  Somehow or another, we lost CT's t-shirt we got him as a souvenir and even that couldn't ruin the day.

It was also the perfect pitstop on our way to the Adirondacks.

The last 2 weeks have been full of family and friends.  Unfortunately Justin doesn't get as much time off as I do with my teaching schedule so he went back to NC after a week.  In the week he was here, we hiked Ausable Chasm, stuck CT's toes in the lake, and even managed to have a date night on the water.
He loved it.
Although we are missing daddy, this last week has been full of snuggles, hugs, kisses, and playing.  We are soaking up as much grandma/grandpa/greats time as possible.
How has your week been?