Friday, December 27, 2013

Not So Acoustic Xmas

This past fall, my college roomie and BFF Chelsea, invited me to a show for a band called 'The Neighbourhood'. Their hit song, "Sweater Weather" hadn't quite been played on the radio as much so I wasn't as familiar with them but I decided to tag along anyways. They put on a great show at Amos' Southend with 'The 1975' opening among the sea of hipster crowd that went crazy over both bands. I walked away that night with new music to put on my playlist and happy to have spent an evening with Chelsea, something we don't do often enough.

A few months later, I got a text from Chelsea saying that 'MSMR', 'The 1975' and her favorite band of the moment, 'The Neighbourhood', were coming back to Charlotte to be featured in 106.5 The End's "Not So Acoustic Xmas". They impressed me the first go round, so why not go again? We bought our tickets early and were glad with our decision as only a few weeks later, we found out the show was sold out. Weeks went by as we waited for Friday the 13th, the day of the big show. Chelsea found out that not only were all 3 bands doing a show, but hours before hand, a pre-show NODA bar crawl was happening where each stop featured something from each band. I've never been a part of a bar crawl again, why not?! I was allllll in.

First stop was at Heist Brewery. We picked up our Block Party passport as it was essential to win the grand prize of a trip to anywhere in the U.S. to see a favorite band PLUS a meet & greet with 'The Neighbourhood'. A new beer was being revealed that afternoon but both Chelsea and I aren't really beer drinkers and settled for a cocktail instead. Best decision ever. That drink was heavenly, I tell ya, tasting just like a jolly rancher. We sipped on our cocktails and enjoyed 'The 1975' as they played an acousitc set fresh off their flight from England. Once they finished, we scurried on over to stop #2.

The 1975 playing an acoustic set

Stop number 2 featured a meet & greet with 'MSMR' at Growlers. We got our passports stamped and ordered my favorite drink, a Shirley Temple Vodka which I'm pretty sure is now Chelsea's favorite :) We passed up on meeting 'MSMR' but ran into Melissa, an old friend and running buddy of mine from high school. After catching up, our last stop was in sight.

Cheers! (again)
My fave, Shirley Temple Vodka
Ran into my an old friend! Miss you, Melissa!
Next on the list was the Blind Pig where we registered to win a Meet & Greet with the grand finale show of the night, 'The Neighbourhood'. We crossed our fingers hoping to find a text saying we won in the next hour or so. We kept our phones nearby as we played a few games at the bar and grabbed some food. As we were finishing dinner, we both received texts saying that we had won a meet & greet! Chelsea was excited to say the least. We stood in line with the other winners as we waited for the band to arrive. Our turn finally came as we linked arms with the band members, said hello and took a picture. Our night was made and the show hadn't even begun!

Excited to have won a meet & greet! 
with The Neighbourhood
We walked on over to the Neighborhood Theatre and were happy to catch the middle of MSMR's set. This was a new band to me but I seriously enjoyed every song they performed. They had so much spunk and were really grateful to play in Charlotte. Plus the lead singer was wearing a polka dot top. You can never go wrong with a polka dot top.

Shortly after 'MSMR' left the stage, 'the 1975' appeared and all the tweens in the front went crazy. I have to admit, I swooned over their English accent too as I snapped a few pictures that were later featured on a screen showcasing popular tweets and photos from the show. 

The 1975
The grand finale featured 'The Neighbourhood' as the crowd grew louder when they took the stage. Their hit song "Sweater Weather" was of course played as I enjoyed the show a little more this time having heard more of their album before the show.

The Neighbourhood
It turns out Friday the 13th had nothing on us. We'll take a meet & greet win over bad luck any day :)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013: Be Merry

Tis the season to be jolly! Jeremy and I have been overwhelming busy this month trying prepare for Christmas. Jeremy has been busy coaching JV basketball at Carmel Christian, I've been busy with work and having my nose buried in my latest book, Divergent, and Apollo has been on a bad streak of chewing anything that is in sight while we are away. With all of the hype surrounding us, we have tried our best to live up to our Christmas card and Be Merry.

Jeremy and I always try and give back to the community especially during Christmas season. We picked out a few gifts for a little boy and girl to sell at our church, Forest Hill, Christmas Toy Village. I also, for the first time, helped prepare and serve lunch and with my fellow work employees at Rowan Helping Ministries in Salisbury. It always feels good to serve the community and help in any way we can and I must say, it always feels extra special in the month of December.

The big day finally arrived as the weather finally went below 70 degrees and turned cold reminding us that it was, indeed, Christmas Eve. We enjoyed a great Christmas Eve service surrounded by friends and family feeling very grateful and humbled to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

That night Jeremy, Reuben and I had a small dinner that featured some pretty fabulous sweet potatoes I made. We opened a few gifts and went to bed with happy hearts. Apollo got a bone even though he deserved coal with the way he's been acting lately. We awoke the next morning preparing for Christmas #1 with the Littles at my sister's house. I walked into their home with the first thing out of Keegan's mouth being, "ASHA!" It seriously melts my heart anytime I hear him say my name :) We exchanged gift after gift and afterwards sat down to some delicious prime rib that melted in our mouths.

We came home took a quick nap to gear up for Christmas #2 with the Singletons. Waking up refreshed, we packed Apollo, the Christmas ham, and more gifts into the car and headed down the road to our next destination. More gifts, smiles and laughter were exchanged as we watched the Miami-Lakers game and stuffed our faces with the best green beans on the planet. (I'm a little obsessed with my mother-in-law's green beans)

We happily came home with left-overs galore and happy to have spent the entire day with family that fill our hearts with so much joy. We hope you had a very Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

November Wrap Up

I took way too many pictures in the month of November for me to not share, so before December gets away from me, here's a little recap of November.

I started off the month with a little painting at Wine & Design with close friends from work. We rushed down to Charlotte quickly after ending our work day in Salisbury and had the best of times painting, gabbing and laughing our way through our paintings. I'm not a huge fan of my work, especially when it stands next to Elyse's and Donna's! If you can't tell, they are both pros compared to me. We painted peacock feathers and mine looks like it was dropped in a puddle and had gone through a wind storm, while there's are pretty much perfect. Regardless, we all had a great time and I can't wait to do it again!

I had been on a 4 week running hiatus when the weekend of the 5K for Karl snuck up on me. Julius, Sairy's fiance, had signed us up for his fraternity's annual 5K at Wofford College. 5K for Karl supports the loss of Karl Alexander, a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, who sadly passed away due to a heart condition after his first year at Wofford College. All of the race proceeds were funded to support the Karl Alexander Memorial Scholarship to benefit a future scholar at Wofford. Sairy and I couldn't have been more motivated to run for Karl even though it had been a while since I had laced up my running shoes. Sairy ran her little heart out and placed FIRST FEMALE OVERALL with a time of 24:45. How awesome is that?! That's pretty hard to do in any race so I was more than proud and excited for her. With Sairy placing first overall, that left me with the 1st in my age group. We were running with a bunch of youngin's  in college so I'm guessing that's how I placed because my time was pretty awful. I came in at a time of 30:38 but happy to have finally started back up running.  Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with Krispy Kreme donuts...the breakfast of champions!

On Tuesday, November 12th, Charlotte had it's first snow of the season. The weather reports had called for it days before, but let's be real, I didn't really think it would actually happen. On my way home, I slowly noticed the rain turning into tiny white flakes. By the time I reached home, it was coming down non-stop. A little stuck but that was just enough to make me happy. Oh...and Apollo wasn't as thrilled to see the cold white stuff.

JUSTIN TIMERLAKE!!!!!!!! Justin came to Raleigh, NC and blew us away with an unforgettable 3 hour performance. It was the best date night everrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

Elyse invited me along to walk and shop at Charlotte's annual Southern Christmas Show. I had never been before, so I was more than excited to go. We both walked away with great Christmas gifts, ornaments and more as I was happy to finally experience all the hype.

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I had been running in the same shoes for the past 4 years. That's a major no-no in any runner's book so I finally bit the bullet and bought some new *bright* running shoes. My first run out, I dirtied them up on a few trail runs with Sairy. On our second trail run of the month, we both tumbled to the ground falling (and laughing) as we tripped over roots (or our own two feet)...nothing has changed since we've been running together in high school.

The Fall season isn't complete without a bonfire and s'mores taking place. Our friends happily hosted a great chili dinner and s'more-making get-together as we talked all things football, family and more.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire finally made it's debut in theaters! You better believe I was there opening night with Chelsea by my side. Catching Fire was my favorite book of the trio so I was probably a little too excited to finally see it play out on screen. I couldn't have been happier with the outcome and loved every minute of it!

My Dads birthday usually falls around the weekend of Thanksgiving when we're out of town. Luckily this year it landed on a weekend where the entire family was in town and we were able to get together! We catered in Bojangles' and watched the Panthers play against Miami and WIN! The win made getting everyone huddled together for a family picture much easier and more enjoyable :)

THANKSGIVING! My favorite holiday happened and it was better than ever. I love getting together with my extended family. They are simply the best. It was the perfect way to end the spectacular month of November.