Five More Minutes

Gidget and Me

I can’t tell you how many titles I wrote for this post and deleted. Grief. Losing a Pet. Heartbreak and many more. However, I landed on the title “Five More Minutes” after pulling up YouTube and seeing country singer Scotty McCreery’s song, “Five More Minutes.” I knew immediately that would be my title.

In a previous post, I mentioned my dog, Gidget, passing away on Friday, October 13th. Well, today, my mom and I went back to the vet for the first time since her passing. For about the last year or so, Gidget had kidney issues and needed fluids every so often.  Our vet became our second home and family. I had been dreading going back, because I knew she wouldn’t be going with me. Last night, I dreamt about going and crying the whole time I was there.

My family got our miniature, apricot fur, poodle when I was in the second grade, over 17 years ago. Gidget was a puppy and we grew up together. We became as close as any human and dog could be. She was my everything and best friend. As I sit here writing, tears are streaming down my face.

During that October week, we had no clue it would be her last. On Wednesday, we took her to the vet for fluids and she took a turn for the worse. Between Wednesday and Friday, we were at the vet about four to five times and it was all worth it. I remember the vet telling me on Wednesday that if Gidget didn’t improve, it would be only a few days. Little did I know that would be true. Instead, I thought “come Monday, we’ll say we made it through the few day mark.”

It was shortly before midnight on Friday. I was the only one in the den with Gidget. She was in my arms, her favorite nighttime spot. After some jerking, she let out one more breath and passed away…in my arms. Just two hours before I would have never guessed this is how the day would end.

Gidget was the sweetest, best dog there ever was. Yes, I know I’m bias, but she truly was. She had a personality that was full of life. She was sneaky, funny, and knew what she had to do to get her way. All Gidget had to do was look or do something cute and our hearts would melt. You couldn’t say no to her puppy eyes and beautiful face. Caring for her in the last few months of her life, paying the vet bills, and overcoming every struggle and challenge was all worth it. I would do it again in a heartbeat, without even a second thought.

Going to the vet today was just another reminder that she isn’t here anymore. As I pulled out of the parking lot, I wanted to “hit that pause button and give myself five more minutes.” What I wouldn’t have done to do the same thing that Friday night.

As hard as it is to know Gidget is no longer physically here with me, I know she is still and will forever be in my life. I will one day see her again and then, I’ll be able to give us five more minutes.

xoxo,

Megan

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Life Hacks

I’m all for making life easier. So, when I find a tip I like to use, I feel obligated to pass it on.

Here are my favorite top 7 life hacks (so far):

  1. If you mess up a voicemail for someone, press # to erase and start again.
  2. You can heal paper cuts immediately and stop the pain by rubbing chapstick over it.
  3. While on vacation, hide your emergency money in chapstick containers, lip balm containers, and other less noticeable places.
  4. Eat marshmallows to relieve toothaches, sore throats, and arthritis.
  5. If you ever break a glass, put a piece of bread on it. The bread will pick up all the small pieces of glass.
  6. Put candles in the freezer before using them. They will burn longer.
  7. In a public bathroom, the stall closest to the door is the cleanest. Studies show that this stall is the least used.

What are your favorite life hacks?

xoxo,

Megan

 

 

My Fall Bucket List

My favorite time of the year is upon us – Fall! I love all the decorations, sights, and smells season. In addition, I have my annual traditions I must do, including the ones below:

  1. Take a drive/walk to see the fall foliage: We live within driving distance of the Blue Ridge Parkway and can make an easy day trip to see the colors of the season. Another way to take in the views is simply driving around your hometown and surrounding areas. Or walk through downtown, parks, or Old Salem to experience the beautiful scenery.
  2. Attend a fall festival /fair: Once I go to the Dixie Classic Fair, I know fall has arrived. Other events include the Autumn Leaves Festival in Mount Airy, Harvest Day at Old Salem, and the Apple Festival at Historic Bethabara Park.
  3. Bake: Apple pie, pumpkin pie, homemade apple sauce, caramel apples, the list goes on and on for all the delicious fall foods. One of my favorite things is baking during the season. Don’t know what to bake? A simple google search or Pinterest will bring up hundreds of recipes. Just a hint: pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are delicious.
  4. Go to a pumpkin patch: There is nothing better than finding the perfect pumpkin to carve. Hawks Pumpkin Patch on Clemmonsville Road and The Farm at The Children’s Home are favorite local pumpkin patches.
  5. Carve a pumpkin: Do you like a friendly face or a scary face? It’s up to you, because after you get that perfect pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, you can take it home and carve it. Growing up, we always carved a pumpkin and also painted one. Let your kids have fun with creating their favorite book or cartoon character by using paint, markers, yarn, and other craft supplies on the pumpkin.
  6. Decorate for the holidays: Many stores throughout the area have been selling fall and holiday decorations since the middle of summer. Seeing these items always gets me into the decorating mood. Take one Saturday and turn your house into a fall oasis. Some of the decorations can even become DIY projects, such as this fun scarecrow. All you need is: one shirt, one pair of pants, a hat, old pillowcase for face, old newspapers, safety pins, narrow rope, small amounts of straw, raffia, or dried grass, and permanent markers or felt scraps for the facial features. Button and zip the shirt and pants and tie the ends of the arms and legs with the rope. Stuff full with newspaper and use safety pins to attach the two pieces of clothing at the waist. In the pillowcase, add stuffing and form into the size and shape of a face. Use the permanent marker or felt to create facial features. Tuck into the neck of the shirt and secure with safety pins. Add the hat. To finish, stuff some straw or raffia into the openings (such as arms and legs) and glue if necessary.
  1. Watch Halloween movies: Freeform’s (formerly ABC Family) 13 days of Halloween is the perfect place to start your Halloween movie marathon. To make the marathon complete, watch older fall movies, such as all-time favorite Hocus Pocus. You can’t get through the season without watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown at least once.
  2. Watch football: No matter who your favorite team is, it’s the time to root for them. High school, college, pro – everyone has a favorite. Let’s just hope the Carolina Panthers have as good of a season as they did last year! Super Bowl LI material? I think so! In addition, spend some time outside with your family and friends playing your own game of football.
  3. Jump in a pile of leaves…and then rake them up: Fall is one of the seasons to be a kid again and with being a kid comes the chance to jump in a pile of leaves. However, the adult responsibility sets in when you have to rake them up afterwards.
  4. Go trick or treating: Who doesn’t love putting on a costume and being someone else for a while? Halloween gives you a chance to step outside of the box and do just that. Plus, if you go trick or treating, you’ll get candy. Another option would be dressing up and handing out goodies to children that stop by your house on All Hallow’s eve.
  5. Have a bonfire: What better way to celebrate fall than with a cup of apple cider and s’mores in front of a bonfire? Bundle up with your hats and scarves. Gather your family and friends as you toast to the new season.

xoxo,

Megan

From the Mountains to the Coast of NC

  
My love for North Carolina goes deep. We have the mountains on the West and the coast on the East, with abundance in between. What more could anyone want? Nicknamed the Tar Heel State, NC’s history dates back to the original 13 colonies. It became a state in November 1789 and today, 227 years later, North Carolina is still thriving and has something for everyone.

The Mountains

NC is surrounded by numerous mountains, including the Appalachian and Smokey Mountain ranges. This area can be divided up into three different parts: the Foothills, the High Country, and the Smokey Mountains and Cherokee. Within the Foothills, the city of Asheville is a favorite among many. Visitors can tour the famous Biltmore House and Estates. End the day in the city’s lively downtown with eclectic food and shopping. Looking at the Foothills, other hot spots travelers love are the Blue Ridge Parkway and Pisgah National Forest.

The High Country includes the towns Boone and Blowing Rock. Go back in time to the Wild West at Tweetsie Railroad or take a walk on the mile high bridge at Grandfather Mountain. During the winter, Beech and Appalachian Mountains are popular among skiers and fans of winter sports.

As for the Smokey Mountains, Cherokee Indians often referred to them as “the land of the blue mist.” Some areas of interest here are the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and Bryson City.

The Piedmont

Heading inward, the next part of the state is the Piedmont region, home to Charlotte, the Piedmont Triad, and the Triangle.

Located near the border between North and South Carolina, Charlotte lives up to its advertising motto “Charlotte’s Got A Lot.” Visitors can enjoy the thrill rides at the theme park, Carowinds , discover news things at The Discovery Place, or fill their need for speed at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition, Concord Mills and the American Girl store are ideal places to shop in the city.

Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point create the Piedmont Triad. Animal lovers will dig the Greensboro Science Center and the North Carolina Zoo in nearby Asheboro. In Winston-Salem, see where the Moravian town of Salem started by touring Old Salem, the historical replica of the town. The neighboring city of High Point is known as the furniture capital of the world, full of shops and museums. While there, be sure to take a picture with the World’s Largest Chest of Drawers. Not too far away from the area is the Yadkin Valley, where many wineries are located.

The Triangle consists of our state’s capital Raleigh, as well as, the main cities of Durham and Cary. Visitors can explore Raleigh’s Museum of Art and Museum of History, while sports fan can catch a game of the Carolina Hurricanes or the Durham Bulls in their stadiums.

The Coast

Over 300 miles of beaches, tons of lighthouses, and a chance to see wild horses on the beach make up the perfect place to relax on the coast. In addition, history lovers can visit Revolutionary and Civil War sites. Two favorite spots for travelers: the Outer Banks and Wilmington.

The Outer Banks and Currituck offer new adventures. See where the Wright brothers first took flight and learn about their journey at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills. The Cape Hatteras lighthouse, finding the wild horses in Corolla, or catching a show at the Lost Colony outdoor theater in Manteo are foolproof ways to spend the day.

Lastly, Wilmington, nicknamed Hollywood East, attracts people near and far. Fans can tour various filming locations of movies and TV shows, including Iron Man 3 and One Tree Hill. Aside from the film scene, Wilmington’s Historic District shouldn’t be missed, along with the NC Aquarium and Fort Fisher. A unique experience for all ages is stepping aboard the USS North Carolina Battleship, where you learn about the battleship’s history and more.

Whether you are new to the area or lived here your whole life, the Tar Heel state offers plenty of adventures, fun times, and great memories.

xoxo,

Megan

Article first published in Forsyth Family magazine: http://www.forsythfamilymagazine.com/from-the-mountains-to-the-coast-a-look-at-north-carolinas-favorite-spots/

Planning a Summertime Party

Party 2

While the kids are out of school, and the days of summer are long, there is no better time to have a summer party with family and friends. Turn your backyard or house into a fun getaway, and party into the wee hours of the morning with these party ideas.

There are several themes for summer parties. Different ideas include beach/under the sea, patriotic, luau, ice cream social, backyard movie night, picnic, camping, fiesta, low country boil and, of course, the classic pool party. When it comes to choosing your theme, think about what type of party you want to have and where your guests will have the most fun. Some questions to consider — would you enjoy a fiesta or a low country boil? If camping isn’t your thing, don’t have a camping themed event. Remember, you are going to be spending time planning and hosting this party, so pick a theme you are excited about and enjoy. Another thing to keep in mind is the type of guests you are inviting. Are they all adults, or are both adults and kids invited?

After choosing the theme of the party, start thinking about the invitation, decorations, food, games/crafts and party favors. A good place to go for ideas is to look online, including your trustworthy friend, Pinterest. Some of my favorite party ideas are listed below and can be used for multiple summer party themes.

Decorations:

Decorations always set the mood of the party. Go all out, and turn your party area into the beach, under the sea, a backyard BBQ, etc. For some general summer ideas, use sand buckets for snacks and toy shovels for scooping. If your event is outside, keep the sun and bugs under control by filling a bucket with sunscreen and bug spray for guests to use. Get creative and decorate the bucket, and add a cute sign. Another party must is a photo booth. Add props related to your theme and a backdrop. Guests will love taking home a memento from the day. For nighttime parties, place glow sticks in a clear bowl, filled with ice and bottled/canned drinks. This decoration makes a festive and colorful addition to your party tables.

Food:

Along with salty, sweet and fruity snacks, be original with your food options. For drinks, serve the traditional summer beverages — lemonade, sweet tea, soft drinks and water, but add in Sunny D. This bright orange thirst quencher will be loved by kids of all ages and bring in a little bit more of the summer oasis. Want something different than the common party drink? Try this Pina Colada Sangria recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Moscato
  • 20 oz can of pineapple juice (crushed pineapple may be added, as well)
  • 1 ½ cups coconut rum

Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a pitcher. Refrigerate overnight, and serve chilled.

As always, summer parties call for s’mores. Turn this classic backyard treat into a party favorite with a s’mores bar. Set up the table with marshmallows, Hershey’s chocolate bars and graham crackers. Add in more flavors, and include bananas, strawberries, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Ritz crackers, Hershey’s cookies and cream candy bars and York peppermint patties.

Games and Crafts:

One of my favorite ideas for a party activity is creating a movie theater right in your own backyard. This activity works for all different types of parties because you can show a movie that matches your theme. First, you need a screen. Some options include showing the movie on the side of a house, tool shed or other flat surface or hanging a flat bed sheet between two objects. Next, you need a projector, laptop and sound system. Computer speakers, stereo amplifiers and a boom box are great options to get the sound louder.

If you are looking for guests to get in touch with their creative sides, add a craft or DIY project to the party. One option is decorating flip-flops which can be purchased at the Dollar Store. Also, buy different colors of paint, Sharpies, stickers, buttons and more. Your visitors will enjoy getting to put their own spin on something they can take home.

Don’t forget about party favors. Make goodie bags with items related to your theme. Include snack-items, games or something unique and special to remember the event.

xoxo,

Megan

Article first published in Forsyth Woman magazine: http://www.forsythwoman.com/good-times-summertime-parties/ 

Homemade Chicken and Dumplings

After a long, hard Monday, there is nothing better than some comfort food. This recipe is one of my favorites and one you have to try!

Ingredients:

  •  3 cups cooked chicken
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • salt
  • a cup of milk

Directions:

  1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients with a fork. Stir in the milk, mixing until the dough forms a ball.
  2. Roll the dough out into a thin square with a floured rolling pin. Cut the dumplings into squares about 2″ x 2″. It’s okay if they aren’t the same size. Sprinkle flour over the dough before cooking.
  3. Bring the broth to a boil over high heat. Drop the dumplings in one at a time, stirring while you add them. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked chicken to the pot and warm for a few minutes.

Enjoy!

TBT – My Tarheel Food Bucket List

I’m getting hungry with today’s throwback Thursday! Absolutely loved writing this post last year.

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My Tarheel Food Bucket List 

Put food and travel together and I’m a happy camper! So, when I saw an article titled, “15 Restaurants In North Carolina That Will Blow The Taste Buds Out of Your Mouth,” I knew I had to read it.

Most of those places I had never heard of before and some I had. Out of the 15 restaurants, I made a 5 must-try bucket list. Sounds like a roadtrip around the Tarheel state for me!

1:Darryl’s Wood Fired Grill in Greensboro: Who doesn’t love BBQ with a signature sauce?

2: Hurricane Mo’s in Kitty Hawk: Dine on a meal of shrimp, wings, and tacos with a great view of the Outer Banks.

3: Dame’s Chicken and Waffles in Durham: Chicken and waffles, does anything get more Southern?

4: Johnny’s Pizza in Apex: You can’t keep me away for a good slice of pizza for too long!

5: The Cowfish in Charlotte: Where else can you get burgers and sushi at the same place?

To view the complete list, visit: http://www.movoto.com/blog/opinions/north-carolina-restaurants/?src=fb

xoxo,

Megan

Stay Humble and Kind

Humble and kind. Two words full of meaning and two of the most important things a person can be in this world.

Country superstar Tim McGraw has struck a cord with the world with his new song, “Humble and Kind.” The song tells the story of different events in life, but no matter what, you always need stay humble and kind. In response to the song,  McGraw has created the hashtag #StayHumbleandKind, for people to share their stories of making a difference on social media.

“Humble and Kind” is one of my favorite songs. It is a true testimony to the phrase “don’t get too big for your britches.” Wherever life takes, all of your accomplishments, and success, don’t forget where you started. Don’t forget what it took to get you there and always stay humble and kind.

Let’s keep the momentum going and share your #StayHumbleandKind stories with me! I might even repost a few 🙂

xoxo,

Megan

 

Giving Thanks

Tomorrow, family and friends will gather and give thanks for everything in their lives. In addition, we will eat until our hearts’ are content. But, why does giving thanks have to happen only on Thanksgiving, one day year? Why not the other 364 days? Why do people only post what they are thankful for on Facebook during November?

Let’s make it a goal to be thankful for at least one thing per day for the next 365 days. Write it down, say it aloud, make it a family event. Whatever you do, give thanks all year long. As the saying goes, the things you are thankful for, someone else is praying for them.

Happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo,

Megan