Life Lessons in a Parking Lot

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Is it ever a wise choice to attend a sale that must post a sign at its entrance that says “we are not responsible for any harm that may come to you during the sale”?

Saturday I choose to attend the bi-weekly Sav-Mor Sidewalk Sale.  My friend Lacey Keigley and two of her sweet girls decided to join in the fun craziness.

If you live in Greenville or its surround suburbs I highly recommend you at least try it once.  You have never really lived until you have.

As we picked out our spots along the perimeter of the rows and rows of banana boxes full of groceries, each with a 8 year old in tow, we began to fill the anticipation rising up in us.

As the clock ticked closer to 9am, the magic hour, we started to second guess our spots.  Had we made the right choice.  Would we get the best deals by running (yes, running) down that “aisle”?  We did not pick those aisles randomly but with thought because we saw things on them that we wanted.  But, then we started looking around and wondered, “could we have done better?”  There was some really great stuff several rows over.  But now, it was too late to move.  Those other people would get that good deal.  We would need to be satisfied with the path we picked.

We talked yelled back and forth about the choices we made and how our lack of contentment is just like with any other thing in life.  How we pick a path and are not content to enjoy what is on it.  How what someone else picked seems so much better than what we decide.  How their choice looks better and will be better than our own.  How we wish we had picked differently.  Why can we not find the joy in what we have in front of us?  Why must we look side to side and want more?  Why are we so quick to compare ourselves to what others have and wish we had it too?

And then the whistle blew and we ran.  And we grabbed.  And we grabbed.  And we grabbed.

And then we stood looking at our 5 boxes worth of goodies feeling so proud of ourselves and what we had accomplished in a matter of minutes.

Then we looked at the people next to us and thought, “man they got some great stuff, wish I had seen that”.

Mama always said there’d be days like this

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Yesterday was errand day

We (Smiley and I) accomplished a lot today

I accomplished the following by 1pm….

  • Trip to the doc for Smiley to get a flu shot
  • A leisurely , fruitful crazy, unproductive trip to Miracle Hill
  • A stop in at Aldi
  • A quick, productive run into TJ Maxx
  • A well planned and controlled chaotic trip into Dollar Tree
  • A fun and delicious lunch with the Hubs at The Cafe @ Williams Hardware
  • A short walk on Main St. with my loves

Smiley accomplished the following by 1pm….

  • A brave trip to get a flu shot where she only cried for 5 seconds
  • Learned to crawl and standup in between all the racks of clothing at Miracle Hill
  • How to get an elderly lady to tie her shoes in Aldi
  • Where the organic lollipops are found in TJ Maxx
  • That the Dollar Tree has lots of “aluminum boxes” that can be taken off the shelf and piled on the floor
  • That grilled cheese on wheat at The Cafe @ Williams Hardware is delicious
  • That holding hands with her parents is great fun and that leaves grow to be almost as big as her

After our action packed morning I was sure that the rest of the day would go smoothly since Smiley would be napping.  Current me is laughing at past me for thinking such silly thoughts.

Our afternoon between the hours of 1 and 5….

  • Smiley not napping
  • Me not napping even though I wanted to sooooooo badly
  • Me trying to make Shepherds pie, cookies and a ravioli bake to take to a friend who just had a baby
  • Me helping a high school chic with her Human Anatomy and Physiology  class
  • Smiley running around the downstairs playing with whatever she could get her hands on
  • Smiley falling off the kitchen counter and getting her first fat lip
  • Me feeling like the worst mom ever for letting it happen
  • Me finishing making meals with a toddler attached to me
  • Delivering aforementioned meals to my friend

Lets only hope that today will carry a little less drama. Probably not going to happen since we will be participating in a toddler trick-or-treat playdate at 9:30am

 

 

Rock the Cazbah

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Yes, I know that I did not spell the title the way The Clash do in their song.

Now that is out of the way let me get to the point of this blog. FOOD!

The Hubs and I are very fortunate to have an amazing babysitter who loves Smiley and works for free.

Yeah, FREE and she is not related to us!

Recently on our weekly semi-regular date night we went to eat tapas in downtown Greer.

We walked into The Cazbah at roughly 6pm and there was no one around.

So what do we do, we turn around and walk out and look at the sign on the door to see if they are really open. (why would the door be unlocked if they were not open, not sure)

We walked back in and found a guy at the bar (who happened to work there) who directed us to the roof.

Turns out that is where the action is.

Roof Top Dining.

It was wonderful.

We ate things like Tempura Asparagus, Mac N Cheese Egg Rolls, Mushroom n Goat Cheese Ravioli; just to name a few.

It was crazy good.  Like I was transported back to the days when I ate like this often (you know the pre-kid, pre-hubby days when I just blew money because I only had to worry about me days).

I love food and so tapas dining is my kinda dining because you get to eat a lot of different things and not spend $100 and not walk away feeling like you just ate your weight in food.

And, to make the event even better, we were using a Living Social Deal so it was a seriously cheap date.

All this to say that if you are ever in the vicinity of downtown Greer and you are without your kidlets and it is dinner time then The Cazbah is definitely where you need to dine.

 

The Grove

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Hi

Its me.

Yes I have been absent for awhile.

But now I am back, I think.

We have been busy little bees around here and writing is not something I would say I am gifted at, so to blog takes a bit of time and effort, which I have not had a lot of.

This past weekend the Hubs and I took a little trip to Marion, SC for a family wedding.  We stayed at a wonderful B&B called The Grove.

The Grove

It was beautiful and old and quiet and charming and a million other things.  Ann and Denley (the owners) radiated southern, christian hospitality.  I left feeling as if they were family.

We ate homemade cookies, french toast, and bacon cooked on a wood stove.  They fixed decaf coffee just for me (because while I love coffee my body stopped loving caffeine a few years ago).  Not only was it decaf but it was coffee from The Forest, which is our favorite coffee roaster.

After the trip was over I thought about why it was so enjoyable.  And I could name about 100 reasons but one that stood out was that for two days I got to take off my ‘mommy hat’.

Don’t get me wrong I love being a mom and would not trade my profession as a Stay At Home Mom for anything, but just like those of you who leave your house to go to work you appreciate it when you get some time off.

I had a chance to unwind and recharge.

I only had to worry about the food on my plate and not what was happening to the food on someone else’s plate.  If I felt like taking a walk, I walked.  When I felt like reading, I read.  When I sat in church for the wedding I did not have to care if the loud noises were coming from my kid.

I realized that it is okay to say you need a couple of days away from your job.  I realized that I am not a bad mother if I get out on my own for a bit.  I realized that I am probably a better mother for taking a break.

Stonyfield Yogurt

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Dear Stonyfield Yogurt

I love you.

You bring joy to my taste buds.  Especially your Chocolate Underground.

I know people that turn up their nose to your chocolate flavor but they have not tried you.  I cheer you on and hope that one day they will see the light and try your chocolaty goodness.

I know lots of people that make their own yogurt and they urge me to give it a try, but I won’t because I do not know how to make chocolate yogurt.  In fact you are the only ones that I know of that makes yummy chocolate yogurt.

My only complaint is that you are an expensive yogurt.  But, you are on sale at Ingles right now and I bought almost all of you from their store today.  I left 3 in case someone else loves you too.

I do appreciate your rewards program so that I can get free chocolate yogurt sometimes.

I also am very glad that you carry the good bacteria that helps protect against stomach virus’ because I am very sensitive to that.

Thank you for making Chocolate Underground yogurt; please do not ever stop.

Sincerely,

Mandy

 

Our life revolves around food

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I have come to realize that my world revolves around food.

This could explain why I need to lose about 25lbs 🙂

I love food and I want my family to love food.

Not just the eating of it, but the making of it.

I want Smiley to grow up know where our food comes from.

I want her to know eggs come from chickens and not just from the grocery store.

I want her to know that fruit grows during seasons and not year round.

I want her to know that grapes grow on vines and peaches on trees and not because she read it in a book.

I want her to enjoy the smell and taste of bread straight out of the oven.

I want her to know jelly can be made at home and does not have to be bought in a store.

I hope Smiley grows up to appreciate all that God has given to us to enjoy.

I want her to stand in an apple orchard on a mountain side and thank our Creator for creating such wonderful things.

I hope she gets to be at her great aunt and uncles house when the corn gets harvested and appreciate the hard work that goes into getting that corn on the table.

I hope she grows up to enjoy food as much as I do.

Thrifty Thursday

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Fall is coming.

I sometimes feel it in the air on my morning walks.

For me Fall means soups and stews and crock pot meals.

To pay homage to favorite season I give you a delicious, cheap crock pot meal.

  • Creamy Chicken
  • ~1lb boneless chicken
  • 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 pkg dry italian dressing
  1. Mix cheese, milk and dressing together.
  2. Place chicken in crock pot and pour mixture over top.
  3. Cook on low ~6hrs.
  4. Serve over rice or egg noodles.

This recipe has lots of flavor and the chicken just falls apart it is so tender.  I served it over brown rice and it was wonderful.  The family loved it and it will definitely be making an appearance in our home again.