Monday, March 18, 2013

Green River Revival

Jeremy and I took advantage of the warm weather this weekend by packing up our Jeep with Apollo necessities (tons of drool rags + gallon of water + poop bags) and headed to the U.S. National Whitewater Center to spend the day under the warm sun that we've truly missed this winter. As you can see in the video that I grabbed from their site, the morning started off with a Color Me Green 5K trail race that I nervously awaited.  It was my first ever trail run and I had no idea what to expect! I was lucky to demo a pair of trail running shoes by Soloman specialized specifically for the dirt, rocks, and mud throughout the trail so that gave me a *tiny* confidence boost.

Photo from:
I've got my demo trail running shoes on & ready to run!

With plans of the river turning green later that afternoon, the staff of the Whitewater Center wanted to turn the runners green as well. Similar to the Color Run, there were people throughout the trail waiting to drench you with green powder with a prize going to the greenest AND cleanest of the race. My goal was to just get through the race or no green...I ended up getting pretty green.

Ready to start!
Ready, Set, Go! A zipline start!
I'm happy to report to you that I survived my first ever trail race without tripping or breaking my leg. I'm not gonna lie, there were a few close calls where I slightly slid in some leaves trying to pass someone, but I must say, those Soloman shoes had quite the grip! I probably would have ate it if I had run in my regular 3 year old running shoes.

Along with 1,200+ other runners, I was painted green as I ran along the trail. That green took a good 3 washings to get clean too!  Oh well. Totally worth it. I ended up in 360th place out of the entire group. I'll take it!

We then relaxed, listened to the live band, and waited for the rapids of the river to turn green. It was a good time and Apollo sure did love all of the attention!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sold Out

It was time to ditch the husband for the night (sorry, Jeremy) and head uptown with my girlfriends to enjoy one of my favorite female artists, Tristan Prettyman. I was beyond excited for the SOLD OUT show as I had been waiting to see her perform live for quite some time. TP was first on tour when her latest album, Cedar + Gold, released and planned to stop by Charlotte back in October. I bought my tickets and excitedly waited only to find out that the show had been cancelled. She got the offer to tour with The Script and I can't stay mad at her for jumping on the opportunity. She promised to come back in March and she stood by her word and delivered a grrrrrrreat show full of much needed laughter, great cover songs, and many goosebumps on my end! I LOVED the venue, Stage Door Theatre (part of Blumenthal Performing Arts), as it was small and intimate as she shared stories of how her songs came about. I can't tell you how much I loved every minute of it. Oh, and the opener for the show, Anya Marina? HILARIOUS. I wish I could be as cool as her. Heck, I wish I could be as cool as both her and TP. They were both so real and down to earth....strong and independent women. It was the ultimate girls night out, for sure.

Girls night out with Elyse!
Anya Marina
Tristan Prettyman
With my friend Katy! You should check out her blog,
After the show, Anya and Tristan were both nice enough to come out and talk to their fans. I had brought along a printout of a photo Tristan liked and commented on Instagram a while back. The caption read "@insta_mistrizz always says that tacos are better on Tuesday. She stands correct." It's not the prettiest or best of pictures (it's of a taco for crying out loud) but she liked and commented "hollaaaa!!! good job!". That seriously made my week right there. So...being the dork I am, I printed out the picture and comments and she graciously signed it saying, "Asha! Smiles, little lady! Thanks for coming to the show! All my love! XO Trstian aka Insta_Mistrizz". Amazing. She's amazing. She once again, made my week.

With the wonderful Anya Marina

Ahhh! With Tristan Prettyman!
I finally got my Peace, Love & Tacos shirt I've been wanting FOREVER!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! This season finale is THREE HOURS LONG?! My goodness... this is going to be a struggle. Having to stay up AFTER the spring forward daylight savings time for a non-sports, comedy or action related viewing is going to be ROUGH.

Ok, so the family is here in Thailand with Sean to meet Lindsay and Catherine.

And right on cue, Sean's nephew reminds everyone that Emily did NOT pick Sean. Just in case you forgot. Anyway, right off the bat, mom is a lil' skeptical, as she should be.

8:06 PM: Oh... we're 6 minutes in and they're already about to meet Catherine. Does this mean these 3 hours will go by quickly?

(I was joking. Not getting my hopes up.)

8:07 PM: Ok, Catherine just walked in. Sean's family is really nice. At least on camera. But yeah, they're very welcoming.

Oh snap.. they're all sitting at the table for a meal and they're actually... eating! Like... everyone! I've seen everyone hold their fork! This is the most excited I've been about this show in a while, haha.

BOOM! Forks in hand and actually eating!
8:09 PM: And it's time for the one-on-one with mom. Is it just me or is this actually moving along quickly? How much do they have to show if this is happening so fast?

Ok, I just checked and technically, this finale is only 2 hours... that last hour is the aftershow. Forgot about that... just so you know, I'm not watching that last hour. Well, at least not blogging about it.

8:11 PM: Well, talk with mom went well. I like Catherine more soooooo, I'm pleased. Now it's dad's turn. I wonder if Sean's dad is ever upset or makes anyone else upset?

My goodness. He just dropped some serious "dad of the year" material on Catherine that almost made ME tear up. This guy should work for Hallmark if he doesn't already.

Hmm, I wonder if there was any one-on-one talking time with Sean's sister. Anyway, her day is already over. Lindsay, you're up!


The wife has come through in the clutch! Fresh lemon cake cookies with white chocolate chips just came outta the oven and immediately into my mouth. This might help get me through these 2 (or 3) hours!

8:17 PM: We're back and Lindsay has arrived! Is this another day? Nope, looks like they're wearing the same clothes... I think. Except for Sean. Dad's shirt is untucked though. He's in chill mode now.

Yeah, I can't tell if they have different clothes on or not.

8:20 PM: One-on-one time with dad first. He starts off asking Lindsay the same question. Hmm, can't tell if he liked her answer or not.

This is starting to sound like an interview.

8:21 PM: And dad is at it again. Jesus! ... well, yes, Sean's dad... my tear ducts still work!

"How did Emily turn this family down?!" asked Asha... shockingly.

Lindsay made dad laugh a lot. Good move.

8:23 PM: Mom's turn. By the way, wherever they are in Thailand is gorgeous. Everywhere they go outside is just... awesome.

Looks like mom is approving of Lindsay. Said she loved her from the start.

I don't know what it is about Lindsay but she just ain't doing it for me. Anyway, let's hear what everyone has to say. I hope they close their eyes and raise their hands and vote for their favorite girl. I'd just like to see who'd win.


8:31 PM: Back on and it's time to get feedback from the family. Everyone got a line... however, no one said anything helpful.

They keep reminding him that he doesn't have much time to make a decision. I think he knows this.

Whoa... mom is all of a sudden crying. She just wants him to be sure about his decision. I get that... just didn't know if the tears were necessary.

Ok, mom has now mentioned NOT proposing to either girls like 3 or 4 times now. Is she dropping subtle hints to Sean?

So... did they come to Thailand like... for a weekend? They just left. Maybe they're just going back to their hotel and they're gonna do their own thing on their own time now. Yeah, let's go with that.

[Commercial break]

Just saw a commercial for Target advertising their spring collection. I'm so ready for spring. I'm a spring baby (birthday = the real first day of spring, March 21) and I'm ready to wear my spring colors.

Ok, back to being a man - anyone want to watch some March Madness? The Buffalo Wild Wings commercial got me thinking about watching basketball somewhere. Mellow Mushroom ain't a bad spot to watch games either.

8:40 PM: We've come back and... I can't really tell what kind of... style Sean has. I like a lot of his clothes, but then he suddenly wears something... young and hipster-ish. The white watch he is wearing sparked this. Just saying, don't see too many grown men rockin' the white watch.

They're taking a lazy river-like canoe ride on a river. Seems relaxing.

They're being goofy at the moment. I wish they wouldn't show that part. They just look stupid.

I don't really have anything to say about this. They... look stupid. The end.

8:44 PM: Lindsay just dropped the "L" word on Sean.


Juuuuuuuuuuuuust kidding, she said love.


8:49 PM: Evening date time with Lindsay. Umm... yeah, Sean clearly got the memo about attire. His v-neck t-shirt matches accordingly with Lindsay's little red dress.

This may have been a hint of how Sean felt about Lindsay.
Never, ever formal or that serious with her = pink v-neck t-shirt for their last ever date. Snazzy.

These 2 kiss a LOT. It makes me feel like I need to kiss Asha more. I'm gonna go do that now.

(I kissed her... just so you know.)

Lindsay feels Sean can really express himself to her by kissing.

... yeah... gonna try that line on Asha.

Lighting the lanterns... think this was actually Lindsay's idea? I dunnooooooooooooo. I need to be on the "set" for this show's recording. I just have so many random questions.


9:00 PM: We're back in the live studio audience. I wonder if Asha could convince me to go to this if we were in the neighborhood.

Catherine's turn. She very excited.

Yo... that elephant is BIG. (duh)

Wow, look at how green their plants are!

By the way, I read somewhere that Asian elephants, as opposed to African elephants, are the only ones that are tamed and trained. Anyone know if that's actually true?

Anyway, Asha and I agree that Catherine got the better date. It was at least more fun.


9:08 PM: Time for the evening portion of Catherine's date. Think she'll drop the "L" word to Sean?

Je ne sais pas.

("I don't know"... for those that don't speak French.)

Well, she's started this speech so let's see where it goes.

9:12 PM: Catherine said she can't see anything other than this ending with Sean's proposal to her.

OH snap. Catherine with the last second (and a lil' more dramatic) "I love you" to Sean! Bold move. Oh, now she's following him out. Ha, see Tierra, this is how you're supposed to do it.

Anyway, Catherine is going on about her confusion with Sean. He's had quite the poker face with her and she can't read him.


This time of year, I miss college. My roommate, C.J., and I would of course, pull both our TVs into the living room to watch 2 games or a game + tv show. Could definitely use that right now.

9:23 PM: I can tell Sean hasn't been working out regularly. His abs are kinda... gone.

"Heeeyyy, Neil Lane!"

Sean picked out the ring. They... kind of all looked too similar. Kinda wish I had Neil Lane give me a ring for Asha... however, the ring I gave her has some nice meaning.

9:27 PM: Yo, who picked out these dresses for the ladies? They've had on better.

Sean made a terrible tie knot. I'm pretty sure someone (or him) re-tied it since it looked much better in the next clip.

Only 30 minutes left! Who's it gonna be?!?!?!


9:33 PM: Back with the studio audience and whoa... the crowd is definitely pro Catherine. Oh, and now we get to hear from this season's rejects Lesley, Sarah, Ashlee and Jackie.

I'm REALLY glad Ashlee admitted that after watching the show, she was much more serious (not fun) than the other girls. I'm proud of her for that.

Ok, I'm done with this now. Although, I wonder why those 4 were picked.


Watching the news is depressing. Even their commercials make me sad.

9:41 PM: Ok, time for the end of this. I'm ready to see this note he gets too. I'm thinking the note is from Catherine. I was thinking the same thing as Jackie - thinking Catherine could maybe be getting cold feet not being able to know what Sean's thinking/feeling.

Ok, so a lot of times, whoever comes out first is the loser, right?

Ahhhh... the anticipation just CRANKED up.

OH SNAP... Lindsay steps out first!

Hahaha, Asha and I are just... all over the place right now with anxiousness.

(random question - there are lots of lily pads in the water in Thailand. Can frogs really sit on those like they do in cartoons?)
Fact or fiction? I need to know!

Ok, moment of truth. Sean is now face to face with Lindsay.

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... Sean is dropping the bomb on Lindsay. I feel bad for her because like he said, he has to basically dump someone for no real reason at all. Man, I'm glad America didn't have to watch me beg Asha and watch her reject me over and over before I finally convinced her to marry me. That would've been embarrassing.

Finally done with that. Sean is a mess right now. He's crying more than Lindsay. So now for the important question - is Lindsay the next bachelorette?

I'm actually a little surprised he didn't pick Lindsay. That's who I thought he was gonna pick.


Ahhh, and they cut away. Haha, the audience is SHOCKED. Ooooo, did Chris Harrison slip up?! He said, "...that was a brutal break up with Catherine." Is he hinting at something or did he just get his names mixed up?


9:58 PM: We're back on and it's time to wrap this sucker up.

Oh, Sean's reading the letter now... oh... and now Catherine's reading it... oh, now Sean's reading it. We don't need 2 people reading it!

Haha, Asha pointed out that Catherine is wearing gold and she is the winner, while what's her face was wearing second place silver. Was that planned??????

After a long walk in those wobbly heels, Catherine is finally face to face with Sean.

"They're playing Mulan music." - Asha

10:03 PM: BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE! Sean's on bended knee... and she said yes.

Wait a second... there have only been 2 times I've actually picked a preseason winner and I've been correct - 1. the 2008-2009 University of North Carolina mens basketball team winning the championship (it was a lock, they were the only great team in the country - and probably the last one we've had) and now, Catherine winning the Bachelor.

Ladies and gentlemen, your bachelor and his new woman.

My life is complete.

Ok, it's been an entertaining season. Definitely had some good moments. It was a grind to get through this season, but we did it, guys... we did it! It was fun. I'm not sitting through this after show thing, so I'll find out who the next Bachelorette is later.

Good stuff folks, see ya next season!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happy Birthday, Keegan!

Last weekend we happily celebrated our nephew's very FIRST birthday! He looked so handsome in his button down shirt and he was quite excited to open all of his presents! It was hilarious how excited he got over a push lawn mower. He is all boy for sure. I'm so grateful to live so close to BOTH of our families so that we can get together and treasure these moments on a regular basis. Happy Birthday, Keegan! We're looking forward to many more to come!

Little friends
Time for presents!
Ohhh, what's in here?
Love you, mom!
He was SO excited for this bubble mower! 
I forget the show, but he LOVES them.
Cake time!
Smash cake!
With Mom and Auntie
with Auntie A & Uncle J
The best way to eat a cupcake. Thanks for the tip, 30 Rock!
Fat and Happy :)

Friday, March 8, 2013

Baaaaaaaaaallantyne Magazine Debut!

The latest Spring issue of Ballantyne Magazine is out and if you're flipping through, you may stumble across some familiar faces. That's right, Jeremy and I squeezed our way into one of the photos of a feature 'Date Night' story running in the magazine.

 For full article visit: |  Photography by Shane Baskin

For those of you who don't know, Jeremy works at the best YMCA in Charlotte, Morrison Family YMCA, which features a teaching kitchen that hosts cooking classes for families, couples, adults and youth. Ballantyne Magazine was running a feature article on a unique Date Night which consisted of a Couples Cooking Class. They had their feature couple but wanted to fill up the class so that the pictures would be more engaging and full of people. One of Jeremy's co-workers asked if he would like to join and who are we to turn down a free meal?! We were all in.

We arrived early and learned that the menu consisted of Crab-stuffed Wild Alaskan Salmon Fillets with Hollandaise Sauce, Sweet Potato Gnocchi in a Butter Sage Sauce and Creme Brulee for dessert. After drooling over the sound of the menu, we took our seats and met the feature couple that had the photographers attention throughout the evening. I was secretly hoping that the mystery feature couple included Emily Maynard but my hopes were a little too high as another blonde walked into the room. The couple was really nice and seemed to have a great time as we cooked!

We started the class off multi-tasking by breaking many eggs to make a Hollandaise Sauce and start our Creme Brulee. We had a total of four couples in the class and learned some cool cooking tips (like three different techniques of separating egg yolks). And let's just say, our teacher, Chef Adie Cervin (executive Suis Chef at Myer's Parks Nolan Kitchen), made it look soooooo much easier. We eventually got the hang of it and started whisking in the ingredients for our delicious dessert. Once done, we set our Creme Brulee's into the freezer as the dessert usually takes anywhere from 2 hours to 3 days to set. We only had about 1.5 hours, so the freezer was going to have to be good enough!

Next up, we whisked more egg yolks to create our delicious Hollandaise Sauce. We were instructed to whisk quickly so that the sauce wouldn't separate the eggs and butter. We took note and whisked for what seemed like forever. Once it was my turn to give it a try, I somehow ruined it (evidently I wasn't whisking fast enough), causing the sauce to separate. Sadly, there was no way to save it and we had to pitch it. Womp, Womp.

The main dish was next on the list as we mixed up the crab stuffing for our Salmon fillets. Jeremy learned some knife skills as he cut a pocket through the middle of the salmon for the crab. I had the easy job of stuffing the salmon as the cutting part was a little intimidating.

For full article visit: |  Photography by Shane Baskin
We popped the salmon in the oven and it was on to the mixing, rolling and putting together of our homemade sweet potato gnocchi. We both had never had gnoochi before but we had actually just searched the grocery stores the previous weekend since it was in a recipe I planned on using later that week! Now we were able to get a preview and taste of this mystery (to us) Italian food.

For full article visit: |  Photography by Shane Baskin
As we waited for the gnoochi to cook, our instructor brought out the blow torch for our last and final touch to the meal. We sprinkled our chilled Creme Brulee's with sugar and we scorched them to add that thin, crisp outer shell. I'm pretty sure this was my favorite part of the night. It's not everyday that you get to use a blow torch! { This is where we happily snuck in for a picture }

Our big break! For full article visit: |  Photography by Shane Baskin

We were more than ready to throw down this delicious meal we had made with the help of the other three couples and Chef Adie. We cooked up some amazing smells in the room and couldn't wait to dig in. Everything was delicious and VERY tasty. We couldn't believe we cooked up something so good! We had a great time and recommend it for any couple out there wanting a unique date night!

The final result!
To check out the full article online, visit All photography (except for the last image) by Shane Baskin.

Also, if you're interested in taking a cooking class at the Y, visit for more info!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Photo A Day February: Short but Sweet

And just like that, we blinked and February was over. It really was a blink...I can't believe we are now being introduced to March which Jeremy claims is the greatest month of all. February was a blur of workdays, doctor visits and lazy weekends with the husband.

1. fork. Jeremy and I love burgers and often make a burger joint our date night at least every other week. We had gone to Bad Daddy's Burger Bar for the night and I had no problem finishing off my delicious burger. Please note the fork was not used but it was the photo for the day so I snuck it in the picture.
2. pattern. I've gotten into the habit of changing up my desktop background to a festive little calendar for the month. I absolutely loved the pattern and colors for February!
3. something beginning with 'e'. Elephant!
4. hope. I am hoping to show as much love and support to my future kids as my mom has shown to our family over the years.
5. something you smelled. leftover white chicken chili for dinner! omnomnom!
6. soft. I straightened out my curly locks and it was so hard to stop running my fingers through my soft hair. That's something you can't do with curls!
7. your name. Asha means 'HOPE'. Did ya know that? Now ya do!
8. something orange. This one was a struggle. Jeremy and I were once again having burgers for date night and afterwards we stumbled into Home Depot just to look around. It's what we do.
9. guilty pleasure. I don't know what it is, but the tv show, Vampire Diaries, has me wrapped around their little finger. Although I'm probably a little too old to be watching a show directed towards high schoolers, I tune in every weekday at 8!
10. 3 o'clock. It was a warm Sunday afternoon and we were craving some ice cream!
11. entrance. Time to burn off that ice cream from the day before during an afternoon workout.
12. where you ate lunch. Lunch was devoured in the break room with friends...nothing crazy but I do enjoy the space.
13. walking. Apollo, are you ready to go on a walk?! He LOVES to go walking! What dog doesn't?
14. love is...Love is a kiss and a love note from your loved one!
15. inside your fridge. (almost) Dozen Eggs.
16. perfect. A morning walk in the snow was a perfect start to the weekend. Charlotte hadn't seen snow in more than two years! TWO!
17. in your hand. My hand held a homemade butterscotch oatmeal cookie....that I happily ate for breakfast. Hey, it had oatmeal in it :)
18. something you don't like. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE girl scout cookies...I just hate that they come around only ONCE a year.
19. i am...a North Carolinian and a Charlotte native (there aren't many of us left)! I came across this pillow last fall and loved it! Couldn't afford it so....we took a picture, haha.
20. where you stood. A trip to the doctor's office was in order. Fuuuuuun! (not.)
21. full. My gym locker was jam packed full of my stuff.
22. makes you smile. This framed artwork at my in-laws house that Jeremy did when he was 6 always makes me smile.
23. a word. OPEN--we were more than happy that our favorite pizza place was open on a cold and rainy evening.
24. cloud. There wasn't a cloud in the sky that day so this picture from our December flight would have to do.
25. on your beside table. A good book, of course!
26. quiet. A foggy morning in the meadow screams quiet to me!
27. playing. Keegan had those organized toys sprawled out in the middle of the room in no time!
28 upside down. Artwork turned upside down while we were eating at ANOTHER burger place. We may have a problem...

Alight folks, one more month and I'll have 365 photos under my belt. Do you think I should continue with Photo a Day or finish with one year? Decisions. Decisions.

Here is the list for March if you want to play along! Details here if you need them!