Friday, October 31, 2014

Slow Down In My Neighborhood!!!!!!

For the love of chocholate... Please slow down when driving through neighborhoods especially tonight!!!!!!

I guess it's just part of growing up or maybe it's because I am now a mom but I am super aware of people flying through my neighborhood. And these lunitics scare me!!! An accident can happen in the blink of an eye and your speed can play a major role in the outcome! Tonight there will be kids everywhere in all kinds of costumes and all jacked up on sugar, please watch out for them!!

Halloween Safety Tips:
- Make sure your costume is bright in color! Reflectors are an added perk!
- Bring a flashlight or glow stick to help you see where you are going and to help drivers see you!
- Always look both ways before crossing the street!
- Watch out for cars backing out of driveways.
- Stick to houses/neighborhoods you know.

Have a safe and happy Halloween! 

<3 Rachel



Friday, October 24, 2014

Check Out My Curves- It's For A Good Cause;)

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month select Curves locations are offering a $10 punch card that allows you to work out 10 times between now and November 15th! This is a great offer (10 workouts for $10) and a great cause!!!!

  • Cards must be bought before 10/31/2014.
  • Every dollar collected is donated to breast cancer research or care.
  • No enrollment or membership fees required.
  • Only one punch card per person
  • No it is not just old women that go to Curves!!!!!
I attend the Curves at 40/42 (across from the Snoopy's)!! I really enjoy working out at Curves! It is a women only environment with no judgement! I see women of all shapes and sizes that are just wanting to get fit!

<3 Rachel

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dear, Husband

For the past five years--five years today, actually--I've been blessed to call you Husband.  You've been my friend for much longer.  My Love for what feels like forever.  And my partner in all things until the end.  

Husband, it's been a journey.  There are parts of our story that only you and I know.  Inside jokes.  Secrets.  Things.  And there are things that I hope that everyone else can see.  How much I love you.  How much I like you.  Even on days when I don't.  

Because there are times when it's hard to like even the one I love the most. And I know that I'm not always likable.  But there has never been one minute, since the first second I realized I loved you, that I haven't adored you.

I love that your main goal is to make me smile.  Even when that is the last thing I want to do.  I love how hard you  work for our family even though I sometimes hate it, too.

You are every love song that I've ever heard on country radio.  Every old tune by Alabama.  All the good ones by George Strait. And you are all the ones that haven't been written, because they will all make me think of you.  Like you are why they were created. For me to ride shotgun and sing along to as you drive.

Through town.  Through life.  

You and I are not the same.  Not mirror images.  But we agree where it matters the most. In our faith, our morals and our standards. I mean, come on, we picked each other.  Even if by doing so we picked some hard roads along the way.  And fought some tough battles.  I'd fight them again.  I'd pick you again.  

And again.  
And again.  

And we created something pretty amazing in the form of a boy that calls you Daddy.  I love him in a way that I never thought possible.  But it is different from my love for you.  You, Husband, will always be my favorite. My Number One.  He will one day grow and leave.  Find a love and life all his own. And you will always be Mine.  

When this life is done, I will look back and say that despite all the things I had done wrong--and there were many--I did right by loving you.  And taking your last name when you offered.  And making it mine.  

To the rest of our lives...

--Your Wife

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Two Broke Bloggers: Fall Art Project (Butt Painting)

We did some painting here at the Potts' house and  made the cutest dang pumpkin I have ever seen!

This was a project inspired by Pinterest of course and cost under $10 to make (frame not included).

My sister-in-law, Lindsey helped me tackle the craft store to find the perfect non-toxic finger paint and white cardstock paper. On the ride home we plotted our task.... You see these pumpkins were made by using Jett's butt as a stamp:) So we planned that I would hold him while she painted the paint on his bum using a paintbrush. We made 4 pumpkins so we painted and stamped a few times.
We had to mix the red and yellow to make orange as our kit did not come with an orange paint! (My elementary school art teachers would be so proud!!)!
Lindsey painted the stumps and twigs on the pumpkins using a Q-Tip while I bathed Jett. And there you have it- a quick, cheap and sooo precious fall art project!

*Our husbands thought we were crazy and so did the grandparents- but those grandmas were all excited to know we made one for them too!

**The frame came from Wal-Mart and was $10-$12.

<3 Rachel

Friday, October 10, 2014

Smile, it's about Food!

I was crabby yesterday.  Downright irritable even. 

So I started writing this blog post—mostly in my head—about three really simple things that have made me really simply happy lately.  And wouldn't you know?  They were all about food. 

So here you have it. Three food things to make you smile.  Big. 

Siggi's Yogurt 

I love good food and I really love it when it's also good for you.  I eat yogurt at least once a day.  But when I started really thinking about the brand I'd been eating (a store one) and the artificial sweeteners in it, I was getting a bit creeped out.  Look, I'm not a stickler for all things natural, all the time.  However, if I can do better in a certain area, I do.  It's like with my coffee.  I put real cream in it.  Does it have more fat than that non-fat, sugar-free stuff you can buy?  Absolutely.  But do you know what the ingredients are in cream?  Cream.  You know what the ingredients are in that other stuff? Gross.  

Anyway, Siggi's only has a few ingredients and I can pronounce them all.  It has a thicker consistency, more like a Greek yogurt but without that tart taste.  I'm not really a fan of Greek yogurt.  It's fine for mixing into things, but alone, not so much.  

Siggi's main downfall would be the price.  As with most things good for you, it costs too much.  So I get it when it goes on sale.  And then I wait anxiously for my mid-afternoon snack.  

Blueberry Muffin Overnight Oats

Picture by creme de la crumb blog
I eat pretty much the same thing every day for breakfast.  Hey, if it ain't broke, right?  Well, sometimes I need to switch it up a bit.  But finding something I can make that is fast, easy and not terrible for me, can be a challenge.  

I've been eyeing these overnight oatmeal recipes for a while on Pinterest.  This past weekend I finally gave one a shot.  Let me just say, that name says it all.  This stuff really does taste like a blueberry muffin!  

I thought I might be a bit weirded out by eating cold oatmeal, but it was so stinking good.  Check out the original blog post on it at the blog creme de la crumb.  Cute name, right?  

Here's the skinny:

1/2 cup almond milk
1/2 cup old fashioned oats (not quick oats)
6 oz blueberry Greek yogurt (one personal container is a little less than this--just use that, it's enough)
A few drops of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar-free dry vanilla pudding mix

Put it in a container with a lid in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Eat up!  

The original recipe calls for cinnamon that I did not use, additional blueberries that I did not use and Cornflake-like cereal that I did not use.  You, however, are welcome to do whatever you want.  Enjoy!  

Nancy Jo's Homemade
Clayton, NC

This last one is my favorite.  I've got a bit of a sweet tooth.  Whatever, I just like food.  And Nancy Jo's is a small, hometown bakery in downtown Clayton, NC that offers up all things sweet and yummy to make you smile.  

The goodies they sell are not good for you.  They do not help you lose weight.  They are made with things like butter and sugar and all things fattening and sweet.  

And you know what?  There ain't nothing wrong with that.  Because sometimes a girl just needs a brownie.  Or piece of cake.  Or homemade fudge or toffee. And Nancy Jo's has you covered.

The rum cake is almost too good and the maple fudge is amazing.  And I don't even like fudge!  At all!  The red velvet cake did not disappoint and the 12-layer chocolate cake (pictured on their flyer) is a Cerame Family favorite.  My boys love it!    

I am, however, getting a bit disturbed by the fact that I've taste tested just about everything in the bakery.   Except the chocolate covered cherries.  I'm not a fan of those no matter who makes them so you'll have to take Steven's word for it that those are good.  

There are five locations for you to choose from in North Carolina--Clayton, Clinton, Greensboro, Oak Island and Raleigh.  Go see them at your closest one and get some sweets and treats for your upcoming Christmas party or gifts bags!  

Steven and I have been blessed to meet and become friends with the owners of Nancy Jo's and let me tell you, the desserts are wonderful, but they don't hold a candle to the people that make them. And I'm not just saying that because they've given me free fudge.  It's just true.  

And there really isn't anything sweeter than good friends, now is there?  Well, except maybe that maple fudge.  


Thursday, October 2, 2014

Why I Unfriended Facebook

Let me go ahead and say that this is not a post about how Facebook is evil and the decline of all things good in our society.  Society was doing an awfully good job with declining long before Facebook came along. 

And I don’t believe that Facebook is evil.  I mean, I’m going to guess that the vast majority of you that are
reading this right now arrived here from me posting it on the very Facebook I claim to not be so chummy with anymore.  

I still use Facebook from time to time.  I clearly put up all our new blog postings.  When I receive notices that someone has tagged me in something or sent me a message, I go take a look.  I might even comment from time to time.  Throw a "like" your way if the mood strikes.  But it is far more common that I go days, and sometimes weeks, without scrolling through the newly updated statuses, shared stories and screen swipe after screen swipe of photos.

And it's not because I don't care about your children's pictures (I love them, actually.) or that you had an amazing vacation (I'm really glad you did!) or what you had for dinner (OK, sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.  You win some, you lose some.).    

Look, I used to peruse Facebook all the time.  I was one of those people that checked it so often that there was often nothing new to see from the last time I had the app open on my phone.  It was a habit, a time filler, and a pretty good way to find out just enough about people to not have to have an actual relationship with them.  

You know what I mean.  There are dozens, maybe even hundreds of "friends" that you've collected on Facebook that you're not really friends with.  And really, that's OK for the most part.  There is nothing wrong with being Facebook friends with someone that you're not really that tight with and getting a little insight into their everyday life.  After all, they invited you in, right?  Or at least, accepted the invite you sent them.  

And for all it's aggravations (random ads, changing rules, constant negative posts, etc.) Facebook is really quite awesome for reconnecting with people that you knew once upon a time.  The best friend from elementary school that you swore you'd write to "every day" when her dad got that new job three states away.  Friends from high school and college that found lives other places.  Or maybe that was you--the one that went away and found that keeping in touch just wasn't as easy as we all thought it would be when we wrote it over and over in yearbooks and on the backs of tiny, wallet-sized pictures.  

The problem with Facebook isn't in having lots and lots of "friends" or even in being on it often.  It comes when you start thinking you know everything about someone based on a few pictures and random comments they make about football games, political affiliations, the latest diet craze or shoes.  And when I say you, I mean Me.  

My constant Facebooking was altering how I was seeing people in general.  And I didn't like it.  I found myself becoming more judgmental of others' lives, and how they chose to live them.  I was mentally critiquing their actions, their opinions and sometimes, amazingly petty as it sounds, what they wore.  

I kind of freaked out a little when I realized that I was being a jerk.  Even if I was only being a jerk in my own head.   So I backed off--way off--from my daily Facebook time. As in, I stopped looking all together.
 I need a breather.  A minute to stop knowing everything about everyone.  Or at least thinking I did.    

What someone chooses to share on any social media is really only a small glimpse into a much bigger picture.  And the only way to know the whole picture is to get to know the whole person.  You know, like, actually talk to them.  Ask them questions and care about answers.  Have a relationship with them.  

And that, dear readers, can be hard.  That's the beauty of Facebook.  I can think I know all about you because you post once a day how you hate your job and love your child.  So I can assume your boss is terrible and you're an amazing mom.  But it takes a lot more effort to know why you're unhappy and learn your daughter's middle name and if she's allergic to milk.  Do you want a change or just need a break?  Is Dora queen in your house or Doc McStuffins?  

I'm not saying Facebook kept me from being a good real friend.  Or that it made me judgmental   I'm saying it allowed the parts of me that might not be so great, to grow a bit.  And they began to take over.  And I had to get that in check.    

It's funny how many conversations people want to have with you that start with the words "so did you see on Facebook..."  And it's funny how people assume they've told you something or that you know about situations and tidbits of their lives because they've posted them up for everyone to see.  They forget you're not really part of the "everyone" anymore.   Or maybe they haven't realized yet.  And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with them.  But I've made a choice to generally exclude myself from something that most people do very naturally.   And it seriously throws them for a loop.  

In the end, "unfriending" Facebook has been a really great decision for me.  Now, on the rare occasion that I
do check it out, it's just more fun again.  To be honest, I'm more into it for the pictures, so I'm sorry if I skip over a lot of your status updates.  And I don't have Messenger on my phone anymore so if you've tried to send me a private note, I can't read it.  But I'll give you my email.  Or my phone number.  

You know, if you'd like to talk.  

Or be friends.  For real.