Be Spontaneous

GIVEAWAY IS STILL HAPPENING – ENTER HERE!

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My husband and I saw that one of our favorite bands was going to be within 4 hours of us (they haven’t been to Charlotte yet!), so we scooped up tickets and booked a hotel in Knoxville, Tennessee for the following weekend. We realized that we would be going right through Asheville, NC on the way and made plans to stop in for lunch and a stroll.

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First stop was at Lexington Avenue Brewery (LAB) for some beer and lunch. We walked around a little beforehand but quickly decided on a place when our hunger set in. This place had a creative menu, craft beer and no wait. Triple winner.

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We each got soup (roasted pepper bisque with cilantro oil for me, stew for him) and then split a couple small plates (or ridiculously large portion of bison nachos).

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After loading up on some dried lavender from the Herbiary shop, we started the second leg of our trip to Knoxville. I searched for bears on the mountainside while my husband drove.

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We had a great view of Knoxville from our hotel. My only experiences with Knoxville previously were one short stay for work two years ago (oddly enough, same hotel), and many stops through on my way as a kid from VA to Nashville to visit my cousin. I had no idea what Knoxville was really like!

IMG_1051We had about a half mile walk into the ‘Old City’ area, where we had planned to have dinner. I took this opportunity to play with the art in the city.

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Dogs? YES. Also, can I get a replica of this for our yard?

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The old city area was ADORABLE. It was bustling with people who were watching March Madness games, heading to our same concert and just out and about. The place we really wanted to go (Stock and Barrel) had a two hour wait. They served s’mores and nutella milkshakes which sounded amazing, so I debated on this wait for all of three seconds before realizing it was absurd to wait that long. Next time, Stock and Barrel, next time.

IMG_1064We ended up at Not Watsons, which was delicious. My husband had chicken and waffles, which I found to be amazing. His only complaint was that it was chicken tenders versus a whole breast. That syrup though!

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I got a black bean, kale and avocado wrap which was also amazing and healthy. I felt pretty good about that choice after seeing how heavy the chicken and waffles were (but again, they were delicious). After dinner, we headed towards the Tennessee Theatre for our show.

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The inside of the theatre was intricate and beautiful. And the sound…. wow. It sounded incredible. The openers were surprisingly good, although new to the scene.

IMG_1089Alabama Shakes were everything we expected and more. Brittany’s voice is even more incredible than it sounds on their records. I loved watching her on stage. She’s so passionate and full of energy and just totally rocked that place. It was definitely worth the four hour drive.

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We figured we might as well explore UT’s campus while we were there and check out the football stadium. It was pretty impressive in size (compared to Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium) but the design looked industrial and uninviting.IMG_1124
I’m sure it gets pretty rowdy in there and clearly people love going to games but aesthetically it’s not the best looking stadium.

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But it’s always fun to check out other stadiums when we’re in town. Looking forward to the UT/VT game in Bristol! GO HOKIES.

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We made our mid-morning commute back to Asheville with plans to stop in for lunch again. We walked around a little, enjoyed some street music and then grabbed some burgers at Jack of the Wood.

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No pictures of the food because we devoured it but we did decide to make a stop in French Broad Chocolate Lounge for some dessert.

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And I snapped pictures before we scarfed it down. We couldn’t decide on one thing (or even one thing EACH) so we picked three small items to share and the hubs got some coffee for the ride home.

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I loved our weekend getaway and roadtrip. We saw so many things in so little time. We had amazing food, heard great music, and had lots of time together. spontaneity worked out for us on this one – now maybe I can convince my husband to take that spontaneous trip to Belize, Honduras or Costa Rica? *Wishful Thinking* But I can say that we both thoroughly enjoyed this trip!

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Don’t forget to enter the giveaway to support breast cancer champions!

THE BIGGEST GIVEAWAY OF THE YEAR!

It’s been a little over six months since I started trying to raise money for breast cancer champions to help them mark items off of their bucket lists. We’ve done some great things through donations, including:

  • Beth: Horseback riding
  • Elaine: Trip to Bald Head Island
  • Adrienne: Race car driving experience
  • Michelle: Hang gliding experience in OBX
  • Julie G: Learn to speak French

But I think we can do more. And I have all of these items that were donated to help raise money and I’m going to give them ALL away from March 10 – April 10, 2015.

The instructions are simple, and you can earn extra entries simply by sharing on social media. My goal is to double what we’ve already raised and help at least 5 more champions mark something off of their bucket list by the time summer rolls around. Want to enter? Follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mandatory steps include DONATING $10 TO FUNDRAISER and COMMENT ON THIS BLOG POST.

Best of luck to everyone. Please share (even if you don’t donate to enter) so that we can help as many of these champions as possible. I’m looking forward to the Pretty in Pink Fashion Walk in Wilmington this year and being able to see so many of these smiling faces. Learn more about the Pretty in Pink Foundation and the work they do to help women with breast cancer.

Warm Weather Dreaming!

I woke up to a blanket of snow on the ground and big, fluffy flakes falling from the sky. Not quite what I expected after a pretty warm weekend. Also, not what I expected as I’ve been daydreaming of spring for a while now. We made the best of it and had a little fetch party before I had to start working.

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Since we’re all going to need warmer clothes for the foreseeable future, I decided it’s time for another giveaway!

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This gorgeous original Bostonian scarf (My2Shay) is up for grabs (and trust me, it will KEEP you warm!).

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Also, two fun sets of earrings are looking for a new owner (Painted Pearl), keep one for yourself and give one to a friend!

Simple rules: 

1. Donate $5 (or more! Feel free to be generous) to the Pretty in Pink Bucket List project (read more here)

2. Share the blog post on Twitter or Facebook with buttons

3. Comment on the blog that you donated (make sure your comment has your same name that shows when you donated)

This cause is near and dear to my heart and I would love to continue making dreams come true for some breast cancer champions. Last year, there were so many items crossed off of bucket lists because of generous people like YOU. Let’s do it again in 2015! 

Giveaway runs through midnight on Thursday (3/5/15). Only open to U.S. participants. Must do all three steps (will be verified) in order to win. *Entries from past giveaway will be honored for those who donated $25 or $50*

Be Our Guest (book) GIVEAWAY!

Welcome to 2015’s first giveaway! This item has to go to a special group of people, those who are engaged and I know that’s A LOT of you since most engagement happen between Thanksgiving and Valentines day! (Congratulations – SUCH an exciting time!!). I want to help you knock one thing off of that planning list with this giveaway:

Customized Wedding Guest Book

This hand crafted, personalized guest book by For Love Polka Dots will be created JUST FOR YOU. It will include both of your names, your married last initial and your wedding date, along with 86 (43 front and back) pages to be signed by all of your friends and family on your special day. Gorgeous, right?

So here’s how you enter:

DONATE: Donate $5 or more to the Pretty in Pink Wishes campaign to make bucket list wishes for breast cancer survivors through the Pretty in Pink Foundation come true. For every $5 donated, you get an entry!

COMMENT: Come back here and leave a comment letting me know you donated, what your new last initial will be and your wedding date (it’s okay if you don’t know the date yet, they’ll work with you!).

Giveaway starts now and ends on Tuesday, January 13th at midnight. May the odds be ever in your favor – and high five for doing a good thing for these breast cancer champions!

*Comments are moderated. It may not appear immediately after leaving comment but will once approved. Winner will be chosen at random after giveaway ends. I will do the drawing on video and post an update here. Share with your friends. All of the money raised is for an excellent cause!

Happy Hump Day!

Giveaway Winners!

Going to make this post short and sweet! I recorded a video last night of me drawing the winners of the giveaway. I did change up the giveaway a little bit, so be sure to view it to get the deets and find out who won what!

Also, second part of the giveaway is happening in the new year so stay tuned and keep sharing! You can click the link on the right hand side to “Follow Blog” and get email updates each time I post, OR you can visit Blog Lovin’ and sign up there!

Hoping to announce another item to be crossed off of a bucket list today (will be posted on the Go Fund Me site) and all of the winners will have their items mailed to them this week!

My heart is so grateful for all of you who have read the blog, donated to the giveaway, shared the giveaway and for all the site owners who were generous enough to donate items, too! Also, please excuse my outfit, I got home from the gym and wanted to do the drawing last night as I had promised!

Last day of giveaway!

Again, I’m so grateful for everyone who has donated to the Go Fund Me and all the shop owners who donated their products for the giveaway. Today is the LAST day to enter and win these amazing items:

There’s some seriously good stuff in here, y’all! Don’t miss out on getting yourself something cute this holiday season while also donating to a good cause.

  • Enter by visting the Go Fund Me and donating $10 or more (the more you donate, the more entries you get!)
  • Then leave a comment on this post letting me know you donated
  • And SHARE the post on Facebook or Twitter (or both!)

Happy holidays! xo

We Believe Santa 5k recap + giveaway

Before I tell you about my 5k today, I wanted to share a few more items that are part of the giveaway. When I contacted Wendy with LoveW Boutique to see if she would be willing to donate something for the giveaway, she responded with “Can I send you 10?” I mean, seriously, the generosity of this woman is overwhelming! I received the bags and they are even more adorable in person! She sent two different sizes, some change purse sized ones and some larger make up bag sizes, and all different designs.

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And I may or may not have squealed over the charms that are attached to the zippers:

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The smaller bags will be paired with the jewelry that was donated by The Painted Pearl, Lori’s Wire Jewelry and Island Cowgirl.

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So, by donating just $10, you could win some fabulous earrings, a necklace, or pink ribbon rings PLUS one of these darling bags. If you need a reminder on the jewelry, here you go!

Earrings from The Painted Pearl in gold or silver:

Painted Pearl
                         Painted Pearl

Necklace from Island Cowgirl:

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Island Cowgirl

Pink Ribbon Rings by Lori’s Wire Jewelry:

Lori's Wire Jewelry
Lori’s Wire Jewelry

Aren’t these items incredible? And aren’t the shop owners who are so generous also incredible? Their kindness has blown me away. And I’d love for you to have a chance to win any or all of these items in the giveaway. So go enter TODAY and don’t miss out!

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This morning I ran what will be my last organized race of 2014. I ran the We Believe Santa 5k at the US National Whitewater Center. I’m not a huge fan of trail races (although trail running can be quite enjoyable).

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I really should have been doing a 7 mile run today, but my legs were actually still a little sore from my 6 miler and workouts earlier this week, so I figured strenuous hills and trails would be enough of a workout today. And it was. I finished 206 of 480 participants. Somehow, I did not do so hot in my age group but I reminded myself that I wasn’t there to compete, just run and that I did.

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And I had my biggest supporter waiting for me when I crossed the finish line, so it was a good run.

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How was your Saturday? Hope it was AMAZING and I hope you’ve had a chance to check out all the amazing items in the giveaway and entered. Remember, it all goes to a great cause of making some special wishes come true for ladies who have breast cancer. Your support is appreciated and you’re basically guaranteed to win something with all of these amazing prizes!

What I’m loving Wednesday!

I am excited to share some products with you today that I am loving right now! And I’m proud to say that none of them are tested on animals – which is something that is near and dear to my heart. But first….

I wanted to share something else that’s near and dear to my heart: THE BIG GIVEAWAY that’s happening RIGHT NOW from which all proceeds go to help women in NC with breast cancer or who are survivors, cross things off of their bucket lists! You have until December 15th to enter (by donating to the GoFundMe) and you’ll be entered to win a variety of prizes such as these items from Carolyn Leona!

Dishtowels

Liz, the owner of Carolyn Leona, donated two fancy dishtowels (valued at $14 each!) and one DARLING pig apron. Now, her pig items have been FLYING out of the shop, so this is a great opportunity for you to win one and make sure you get your hands on it before she sells out again!

pig apron

Is that not THE CUTEST? Her aprons are $30 each. If you’re interested in ordering any of her items, she has free shipping through tomorrow with the code “SHIPFREE” at checkout. I am a HUGE fan of her linens and aprons and will definitely be purchasing my own – but YOU can win yours here. And by donating $25, you are entered 3 times to win (which is still less than the cost of the apron or both dish towels!).

Now, for those products I wanted to share with you. Have you ever heard of the Beagle Freedom Project? Their videos make me cry all the time. These poor pups have been caged up since they were born and had products put on their skin and in their eyes and mouths to see what kind of reactions they have to them. What products, you ask? TONS of products that you have in your house and probably use on a daily basis. There’s an app that you can use when shopping to find out if an item is tested on animals – isn’t that handy?

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Image from Beagle Freedom Project website

So, in an effort to not support testing on animals, I’ve been very careful about what products I purchase. I’m proud to say my current toiletries do not fall in the category of being tested on animals.

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First is Dr. Teals: I use the foaming bath and epsom salt (I like the relax and relief kind!) for my post-run or hard workout baths. They have a variety of other products available as well, and other scents.

Next is Organix lotion: I have the coconut milk hibiscus scent and love it. You’ve probably seen their hair products when you’re out shopping, those are good too!

Method is a brand I’ve been seeing pop up in different places, but it’s definitely available for you at your local Target, grocery stores or drug stores. Not only do they have body wash, they have household cleaning products – and all at reasonable prices – including laundry detergent.

Jessica Alba’s brand has been one of my favorites for a long time, but this is the first time I’ve used her hair products. I have the conditioner pictured here and I can’t tell you how much I love the smell! It also does a great job of making my hair silky feeling! Did you know Jessica Alba also helped found the Honest Company and they have a ton of baby products?

Jason is a new one for me. I saw this shampoo and thought I would give it a try (I also tried Aquage but I didn’t love the smell of the shampoo. I do like the volumizing products though!). This particular shampoo boasts that it has biotin and of course, that it doesn’t test on animals. It kind of smells like baby powder to me. I do like the way it works, so I’ll probably continue using it.

Lastly, the Neutrogena Naturals line offers a wide selection of acne treatment, creams, cleansers and scrubs for your face. I am currently using the pore scrub and liking it. It’s just enough scrubbing for my face and doesn’t dry me out.

What are some of your favorite products? I’m currently seeking make up that also isn’t tested on animals (and working on convincing my husband we need to foster one of these beagles!).

Pink Friday! [GIVEAWAY]

Thank you to those of you who participated in the last giveaway. We were able to help a few more items be crossed off the bucket lists of some amazing cancer survivors. If you didn’t participate, you can read about it here and how this whole thing got started.

I’m excited to announce the next giveaway which includes a TON of amazing items from some really wonderful people who donated them for THIS good cause.

1. Noonday Collection Scarf (purple scarf, different than what’s pictured) // 2. This is Your Year journal by MiGoals // Make-up Bags by Love W Boutique // 4. Monogrammed Wooden Wedding Guest Book (made to order!) by For Love Polka Dots  // 5. Say Yes to New Adventures 2015 Planner by Nude and Loitering Tees // 6. Love Never Fails print (black & gold) by Lovely Little Paper Company // 7. Winnie the Pooh quote print in gray by WisePrints // Holiday Cocktail Tea Towel by Emily McDowell // 9. Harbor Style Scarf (Burnt Orange) by My 2 Shay from Our Corner // 10. Take the Bull by the Horns journal by Evelyn Henson // 11. Proverbs quote print with blue background by Wise Prints // 12. Roosevelt quote print in purple by Wise Prints // 13. Greeting Cards set by Sugar and Type // 14. Dish towel set by Carolyn Leona // 15. Hope necklace by Island Cowgirl // 16. Make Today Ridiculously Awesome journal by LH Calligraphy // 17. Pig Apron by Carolyn Leona // 18. Two sets of earrings by The Painted Pearl // 19. Two Pink Ribbon Rings by Lori’s Wire // 20. Work Hard Be Kind mug by Sara Moore // 21. Trio of Owls by 518 French Girl // 22. Love Never Fails print by Southern Weddings // 23. Love Never Fails Print by Stationary Boutique  24. Love Compass pillow by Fiber and Water // 25. Today I Choose Joy pillow by Simply Said Stitches

Chances for winning in this giveaway are exponentially better than last time when there were only 3 items. I am so grateful to be able to continue raising money for such an amazing and fun cause. It’s been so wonderful to speak to each of these ladies as their item is presented to them. So, here are the deets:

Starting on 11/28 (which I’m declaring Pink Friday because I don’t shop on Black Friday – or Thanksgiving!) you can enter by donating $10 or more dollars to the Go Fund Me that has been set up and you will be entered to win one of these items. If you donate $10, you will be entered once. If you donate $25 you will be entered 3 times. If you donate $50, you’ll be entered 7 times. Remember, all of the money goes to putting smiles on the faces of people who are fighting unimaginable battles. Once you enter, come back and leave a comment letting me know that you donated and SHARE the blog post on either Twitter or Facebook (the icons are at the bottom!). I’ll keep track of the entries along the way.

The drawing will be held on 12/16 – in time to get your items to you before the Christmas holiday. I will video it and upload it for all to see and also include a recap of the winners in a separate post. Got it?

Good. Let’s raise some serious money for these ladies and make their holidays even more special. Oh, and say thank you to these AMAZING people who donated all of these items!!

Giveaway details: 

1. Donate $10/1 entry, $25/3 entries, $50/7 entries

2. Comment on blog letting me know you donated (follow the blog for updates on new posts!)

3. Share blog post with icons at bottom on either (or both) Facebook/Twitter

4. Drawing will happen on 12/16

So, what are you waiting for? Get entered today! I’d love to hear in the comments which items you’re most excited about – I am pretty much in love with all of these items and know I’d be excited to win any of them!

*number of entries depends on amount of $ donated. chances of winning depends on number of entries. all items will be shipped by 12/20. must be in U.S. to participate. right reserved to cancel giveaway or change end date at any time. winners will be selected randomly and all decisions are final. 

Giveaways Galore!

I might be a bit of a giveaway junkie, well, when it’s for something that I would otherwise buy. This week has been FILLED with giveaways for things like craft beer VIP tickets, books,  running shoes, Jack Rogers, and monogrammed EVERYTHING. Naturally, I have entered all of them and am patiently waiting for my name to be called (or in our new social world, to be “posted” somewhere). I’m happy to share these awesome giveaways with you so that you can have your very own chance to win!

Craft beer for you Charlotteans (or folks close enough to drive): Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is opening their new Brew Haus on 8/15. Your chance for VIP tickets, free beer for a year and fun with friends can be claimed here!

Jack Rogers and Persifor Giveaway (ends Monday 7/14): Claim your shot at the perfect summer shoes by entering here!

Southern Weddings magazine: (ends 7/31) monogrammed goodness, along with another shot at Jack Rogers! You definitely don’t want to miss out on this summer goody bag, enter here!

Marley Lilly monogrammed goodness: At Marley Lilly, you can decide what you want to put your initials on, or you can put them on everything! Enter here for $100 dollars to spend at Marley Lilly. Ends in 9 days!

I’d love to know which giveaway is your favorite and if you decided to enter! Good luck to everyone, hopefully you’ll be walking around in Jack Rogers with a monogrammed bag, necklace and beach hat and sipping on an Olde Meck Captain Jack next time I see you!