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):
What are your favorite life hacks?
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:
I absolutely LOVE this travel tip! Take it a step further and mail yourself the postcards home. That way, they will be waiting for you when you get back.
If you are looking for a budget friendly way, forget the mailing and just pack in your suitcase.
Years after the trip, you’ll be happy you kept all the postcards and the memories.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Article first published in Forsyth Family magazine: http://www.forsythfamilymagazine.com/from-the-mountains-to-the-coast-a-look-at-north-carolinas-favorite-spots/
The 4th of July is tomorrow! As one of my favorite holidays, I thought I would share with y’all a little bit on how I’m celebrating, with decorations, food, and a game.
Decorations: Red, White, and Blue Banner
1. Cut the bandannas into triangles or rectangles (whatever shape you desire).
2. Hot glue the tops of the shapes onto the twine and hang inside or outside.
Food: Red, White, and Blue Parfaits
Strawberry layer: Stir 1 cup of boiling water into the strawberry gelatin until gelatin is fully dissolved. Add in ½ cup of cold water and the chopped strawberries.
1. Arrange the jars at an angle in a muffin tin.
2. Put flour or uncooked rice in the wells to hold the jars in place. Gently spoon equal amounts of the strawberry gelatin mixture into each of the jars. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 to 45 minutes.
White layer: Once the strawberry gelatin is firm, begin making the white ice cream layer. In a medium bowl, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the unflavored gelatin evenly over 1/4 cup of cold water (allow the gelatin to absorb the water for 2 minutes). Then, stir in ½ cup of boiling water until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Mix in ½ cup of sugar, then stir in 1 cup of the melted ice cream until smooth
1. With the jars still at an angle in the muffin tin, spoon equal amounts of the ice cream mixture into each of the jars.
2. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 to 30 minutes.
Blueberry layer: Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin evenly over 1/4 cup of cold water in a bowl. Wait 2 minutes to allow the gelatin to absorb the water. Add in ½ cup of boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved and then mix in ½ cup of sugar. Lastly, add the 1 ½ cup of blueberries.
1. Refrigerate the blueberry mixture in the bowl until it thickens to the consistency of a gel .
2. Take the jars out of the muffin tin and set them upright.
3. Spoon equal amounts of the blueberry mixture into each of the jars. Refrigerate until firm.
4. Garnish with whipped cream and serve.
Game: Test Your Patriotic Knowledge!
Quiz your friends on their Patriotic Knowledge. Person to get the most right wins. (Answers below.)
1. What is the capital of Colorado?
2. The Mardi Gras celebration is held in the French Quarter of where?
3. Which state became the 50th state, admitted on August 21, 1959?
4. Name the six states that make up New England.
5. Coca-Cola was founded in which capital city?
6. Which state capital name means “protected bay?”
7. Which state is famous for earthquakes?
8. What state is known for having crocodiles?
9. Also known as Mary Hayes McCauley, what woman carried water to men in the Battle of Monmouth during the Revolutionary War in 1778?
10. Who was the leader of the Underground Railroad, which brought many slaves to freedom?
Answers: 1. Denver 2. New Orleans 3. Hawaii 4. Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island 5. Atlanta, Georgia 6. Honolulu, Hawaii 7. California 8. Florida 9. Molly Pitcher 10. Harriet Tubman
I recently wrote this article for Forsyth Woman, a local magazine in Winston-Salem. And, trust me, you’ll want to continue reading if you love traveling. After all, going a trip doesn’t have to break your bank.
Use these tips to help you take an adventure, go on vacation, or make this summer the time of your life.
Traveling on a Budget
As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, many people get an itch for travel. But, did you know summer is one of the most expensive times to take a trip? When it comes to taking a vacation, there is a price, with the hotel fees, flight tickets, and expenses that seem to pop up. No matter what your budget is, there are ways to go on a new adventure and make memories.
Article posted on: http://www.forsythwoman.com/traveling-on-a-budget/
“Conversations with my mother, father, my grandparents, as I’ve grown up have obviously driven me towards wanting to try and make a difference as much as possible.” -Prince Harry
There is another member of the royal family that inspires and motivates me- the favorite red-headed prince. Prince Harry follows in his mother’s, Princess Diana, footsteps in giving back to others.
The young prince is known for working with numerous charities, making people smile, and helping military veterans throughout the world. After attending the Warrior Games in the USA in 2013, the Prince of Wales saw the impact sports could help wounded warriors, who sacrificed for their countries. Shortly after, he founded the Invictus Games for wounded, ill, and injured active duty and military veterans, both men and women throughout the world. In 2014, London hosted the inaugural games. The next Invictus Games will be next week, May 8-12, in Orlando, Florida.
Prince Harry is an inspiration of mine, because I believe all military members, active duty or veterans, are important and should be respected, honored, and commemorated for the sacrifices they made. The motto of the Invictus Games is “I Am.” To everyone, this catchphrase means different things. I Am. I Am. I Am. For me, it means: I am able to do anything, no matter what challenges come my way. My definition was inspired what the Invictus Games stand for and the values Prince Harry believes in.
I am motivated by Prince Harry to continue supporting and doing everything I can for the military throughout the world. It takes a brave person to put their life on the line for their country. Taking a look back at my previous post, Operation: Remembering Veterans, remembering veterans and active duty soldiers is more than writing down their stories, it’s giving them the respect, honor, and support they deserve, each and every day.
One of my favorite quotes is pictured above. For many things in life, all we need is just 20 seconds of insane courage. Whether that be the courage to speak up, correct a wrong, apply for a job, or go on an adventure, 20 seconds can go far.
Try taking time everyday to do something new and something brave. You never know what will come of it.
“Lets hope it won’t be too long before one of the most important sounds peace on earth, is heard throughout the world.” -Bing Crosby
Today we close out another year. If you are like me, you are probably asking “where did 2015 go?”. Every year at this time, I reflect on the past and look forward to the future. I make my list of resolutions, half of which I stick with, half I don’t. Ending 2015 is a little different than others. A lot has happened, both good and bad. I worked on some really great projects, had personal success, and filled my life with joy. But, here is where the bad comes in, I also had moments (or days) of doubt, despair, and not knowing where my life was taking me.
I share this, because I know some of you have been there. We all have good and bad times. However, there is a hope for the new year, a hope for peace in the world and in our own lives. January 1st isn’t the only day for you to plan anew, plan for new adventures, hopes, and chances. Everyday is a new day to take a risk. After all, we do have 365 chances to make a change.
Along with those risks, let’s challenge ourselves to be a little kinder to others, a little nicer, and a little more helpful. This world needs more love and kindness and that starts with each and every one of us. Through love, we can accomplish peace on earth.
Auld lang syne, my friends.