Why Don’t We Vote?

 

 

2008 was an exciting election for many reasons, but particularly interesting is that we saw a return of young adult voters to the polls. Despite this spike, the trend is not expected to continue in the 2012 elections. 1972, 53 percent of young adults voted, starkly contrasted by year 2000 where only 36 percent did.  So why don’t we vote?

Political experts have tried to target this issue for a while now. Perhaps an explanation could be that Gen Y has proved we  are waiting longer to start careers, get married, begin families and purchase houses; and the recession surely isn’t making any of those goals easier to achieve!  We vote to protect or change what we have – money, marriage, and homeownership being most important. But if we don’t have those things, do we feel like we don’t have a “dog in the fight”?

Why should we vote if we feel we don’t have much at stake?  Because we can actually make a difference! I know I’ve often thought “my one vote won’t make a difference” – but think of the impact that could be made if millions of us with this same sentiment all voted. Another reason is that decisions made today WILL eventually affect us, and our children, marriages, homes and money. Issues like Global Warming are scary to think about our children and grandchildren living through if they go unnoticed now. More importantly, democracies only work if we’re all active citizens. What sets our government apart is the right to speak up, disagree, be different and make a change if we want to take action.

Like many of you, I am also conflicted on who the right candidate is. But there are many resources to help. I’ve found that Rock The Vote has a lot of great fresh information for young voters. Also, you can take the presidential election quiz on I Side With to see which candidate most closely represents your beliefs. It’s time for us to grow up and make informed decisions based on our own assessments, and to stop living our parents opinions.

If you live in Mecklenburg County, you can skip the lines and vote early up until this Saturday. For a complete listing of times and locations, click here. Honor history, respect those who have given us this right, and make your voice heard by voting on Tuesday, November 6th!

Gator For a Few Hours

This weekend I finally got to experience the legendary Florida/Georgia football game. The event has rightfully earned its nickname as “The Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” – it’s a tailgate party on steroids. While it pained me to cheer for either Florida or Georgia, I put my hatred aside for four hours, and cheered barley clapped a few times for the Gators. Sometimes we have to support the ones we love, right? Despite the Gators losing, the weekend was an absolute blast. There were about 30 others who were staying at the house we crashed at and I have to say that the sea of air mattresses, empty Solo cups, Taaka (never trust anything with two vowel’s in a row) bottles and loud music until 5am brought me back to my glory days. It’s surely not as easy as it once was! It was great to finally meet all of Matt’s college buddies that I’ve heard so much about. He was the President of his fraternity back in the day, and apparently a Gainesville legend from all of the stories I heard. The night ended at a hole-in-the-wall Mexican restaurant with a few too many Don Julio Blancoshots to erase the memories of the loss.  Sunday we slept in, said our goodbyes, and then met Matt’s parents and their friends for a wonderful Jacksonville brunch. I think I actually got teary-eyed as we drove off from his parents. I take for granted that my parents live so close, and know that Matt wishes he could see more of his family. I am so thankful that Matt’s parents are such a great example to us both on love, marriage and respect. I am also so thankful for the wonderful son that they have raised! The normally dreaded 6-hour trip, didn’t seem so bad this time, and we made it home in time to watch the Saints play. Although I wore orange and blue this weekend, my heart will always bleed garnet and black. It was absolute torture not being able to watch the Gamecocks play, and to have to hear about Marcus Lattimore’s injury via a series of text messages and voicemails. He is my favorite Gamecock, and from what I’ve heard, a genuinely good person. I pray for his strength to recover from this, and for mental toughness to battle through another knee injury. #21

Me and MRH – Orange is an awful color!

Matt and his Dad

Cheers to good friends!

Love our road trips together!

Using my Caitlin Hewitt Lattimore cup all week #21

Friday5

Isn’t it great to have girlfriends who know how to throw a great party? Especially if you suffer from kitchen-xiety like I do. One of my dear friends, Courtney, had the girls over this week for a night of catching up and many laughs. Courtney can truly do it all. I am amazed at her cooking, baking, decorating and hostess skills. Every time she has us over I am so impressed by her attention to detail, everything is perfect. She is a modern-day Martha Stewart and I hope that some of her finesse will rub off on me. Today’s Friday5 is dedicated to some of the treats she graciously treated us to this week and good times we’ve shared!

1.  Ru San’s: If you haven’t been to Ru San’s, you should be kicking yourself. Ru San’s is a small, inexpensive, sushi place off Park Rd. There was a point in my life when I was eating there so many times a week that I was seeing Christina (my favorite waitress) more than I was seeing my friends or family. I order the Tempura Japanese Bagel Roll and an order of edamame every single time, no exception. Courtney was kind enough to provide a huge spread of different types of rolls and side dishes. What a great idea, right? There was something there to satisfy every guest. And there’s something about sushi that is casual and low-key.

Ru San’s

2. Sparkling Apple Sangria:  Pinot Grigio AND Champagne in one drink?? YES PLEASE! Not only was this drink delicious, but beautiful as well. The apples soak in wine overnight and then you add the champagne right before serving. The apples were all cut in perfect strips (still not sure how Courtney did that) and really gave the drink a crisp look. I could have consumed the entire pitcher – but I think we all know where that ended the last time I did that (more on that below).

Apple Sparkling Sangria

3. Spiked Mulled Cider: After we killed the Sangria, Courtney of course had something else up her sleeve.  She served us Mulled Cider that really made me feel like fall was here and even better, it included some healthy options. Courtney added a special twist by combining Apple Bourbon and No-Sugar Added Mott’s For Tots…which I’m still debating if that’s illegal…and some cinnamon sticks. Courtney purchased the mulling spices from Savory Spice Shop in South End, gotta love supporting local businesses!

Mulled Cider

4. Cotton Floral Arrangement: I have been seeing cotton used in floral arrangements a lot lately. I wasn’t surprised when I saw an arrangement when I got to Courtney’s because she is an interior designer extraordinaire! She said she purchased the cotton in the floral department at  Harris Teeter, and that it was a tad pricey. But I think a few pieces add such a great punch to a fall arrangement.

Cotton Floral Arrangement

5. The Night We Met Matt:  I have to admit that secretly one of the reasons I wanted to join the Junior League was the hope that I’d meet some new friends that perhaps also might know a dashing young man they could set me up with. One Thursday night in March, before we all really knew one another, Courtney invited some of the girls from our group over to her place. It was supposed to be somewhat low-key, just a night in with appetizers and drinks, or so I thought. Long story short, we ended up consuming a few pitchers of a mystery drink Courtney concocted, and then attending a Bubba Sparxxx concert at the EpiCentre. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Bubba Sparxx, just think booty, booty, booty rockin’ everywhere, and that should jog some memories. Prior to the concert we were grabbing a few drinks at BlackFinn when this fox in glasses and a watch walked in. Honestly, that’s the exact thought I remember thinking when Matt walked in. Luckily his friend had some game, and approached us, we ended up hanging out them rest of the night, and the rest is history. I am so thankful for so many reasons that these girls are in my life. But they will always hold a special place in my life because they were all there when I met “New Love” (who they later renamed “True Love”).

Rough, but Infamous Night at Bubba Sparxxx

Junior League Group at Graduation

Saying Goodbye

This morning was heart wrenching. We all watched as  a dear friend say goodbye to his father who unexpectedly passed last weekend. Among all of the hurt, anger, confusion, wondering, and sadness, there was a ray of light. As I looked around the church, I saw many familiar faces. Some I hadn’t seen in years, and some that I saw last week. Everyone had come together for a common goal, to support someone we love. I hope that my friend was able to feel all of the compassion that filled the room. It makes me extremely thankful for the group of friends I’ve been so lucky to share my life with. I know that near or far, they would all be by side the second I needed them. Often times we take for granted those we are closest to us. I hope I never take for granted those who know my “story”. There is something to be said for people who know and remember all of your embarrassing moments, great successes, times of heart-break, late nights and early mornings; and still love you despite all of those things. Today we were all the grown-up versions of ourselves. Suits, ties, heels and hose, low hushed voices. It seems as if we’ve finally matured and become the people we need to be. My hope is that as the time passes and the reality begins to set in, that we all remember the love and compassion we have for each other. To remember that we’re all suffering in some sort of way – to be there for one another and to put differences aside.

Open Mouth, Insert Foot

As painful as it is to admit, I misspoke. The Florida Gators absolutely stomped us. It was embarrassing, painful and an extreme let-down of a game. While I still love the Carolina Gamecocks, I have to give credit where credit is due. Congrats Matt, enjoy the bragging rights for the next year!

I hate the Florida Gators.


Friday5

1. Southern Wedding Traditions: With the Hewitt-Stanton less than 7 months away, wedding fever is spreading like wildfire. I recently stumbled upon an old southern wedding tradition. According to folklore, if you bury a bottle of bourbon at the exact site where the wedding will take place, it won’t rain on the big day. Some believe that you have to bury it exactly one month before the nuptials, must be completely full, and upside down in order for the trick to work. What other southern wedding traditions have you heard of?

2. Bird Ave City Prints: Guys are practically IMPOSSIBLE to buy for. Most are content with a beer, football game and something from the grill. Anything they need, they go and buy, and anything they want, well…they usually don’t want much. This made things very difficult when trying to determine a birthday gift for Matt. However, I had seen a post from my friend Laura about these awesome prints from Bird Ave Studio. The company was extremely easy to work with, and will help you custom design your prints. I decided I would choose the major cities Matt has lived in; Jacksonville, Atlanta and Charlotte. I also chose a dark navy background to make the prints more manly. Paired with dark mahogany frames, these turned out awesome! It was a personal gift and something he never would get himself.

 

Charlotte print

Matt with the final product

3. Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Collection: Yes, I realize it’s not 1998 anymore, and no, I’m not bringing a Plumeria Body Splash Kit to my friends 10th birthday party. For those of you who last stepped in to a Bath & Body Works for the aforementioned celebration, the store does still exist. The Sleep Collections, Warm Milk and Honey body lotion is amazing. I use it before I go to bed, and honestly think it helps me fall asleep.  The aromatherapy collection also includes candles and pillow spray that amazing also.

 

4. Maroon 5 – One More Night: I simply cannot get enough of this song. Ever since The Voice premiered three seasons ago, my love for Adam Levine has grown exponentially. It’s something about his modest, tight-fitting, solid-colored, sleeves-rolled-up, forearm tiger tattoo that really does it for me. This song is great, and I listen to it on repeat upwards of 20 times in a row. 

5. South Carolina vs. Florida: This is really important game for both teams. After losing to LSU last weekend, we have a lot on the line. It’s also very important because my boyfriend (unfortunately) is an alumnus of The University of Florida. I remember thinking the first night we met that it was probably a deal-breaker that he was a Gator. I used to think that anyone who didn’t go to USC should probably never be considered for anything long-term or serious. In this case, I’m glad I lowered my standards! Unfortunately, due to a wedding and a family trip, we will both be in different states, watching the game separately….After sitting through baseball season, I have to assume that this is for the best. I don’t envision it being a pleasant evening for one of the two of us, and by that, I mean Matt. USC supposedly has a team filled with injuries and plagued by the flu, but I have to hope HBC probably has something up his sleeve. Go Gamecocks!!

3rd Annual Dilworth-South End Chili Cook-Off

3 things I love: Dilworth, Chilli, and Sundays. I used to spend Sunday’s feeling depressed that another weekend had ended and that there were five more early mornings ahead. Until I realized that hating Sunday’s really shortens your weekend to only one day, and that’s unacceptable. So now Sunday’s are spent just like a Saturday, fitting in as many activities as possible. This Sunday was no different. We attended the 3rd Annual Dilworth-South End Chili Cook-Off in the heart of South End at Atherton Lofts. I’d say there were probably 15 restaurants and 3 independent teams who competed, and boy was it a competition! The competition was broken down into four categories: red, green, white and vegetarian. My favorite chilli was Good Food on Montford’s submission. I think it was my favorite because each chili sample also included a wonderfully delicious cheese curd on top. After helping myself to three samples, (hey…it was “unlimited”) I stopped myself short of just asking for a bowl full of cheese curd only. I also really enjoyed Zink’s white chilli which had hints of lime flavor. I’d have to say that the chilli samples which included “ad-on’s” such as cornbread, sour cream, cheese, etc. really impressed me. I guess that’s the name of the game; what can you do to outshine your competitors? After some craft beer from local breweries like Triple C Brewing Co. and Natty Greenes, about 100 samples of chilli, and an afternoon spent catching up with good friends, our hearts and bellies were very satisfied.

I only have 364 days to perfect the perfect chili recipe for next years competition……

Atherton Loft’s

Matt and I

A few of the participants

The Chef’s from Good Food on Montfod

Friday5

1. Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners: Ahhh, Crock Pot season is finally upon us! There is some weird reaction that seems to take over…as soon as there is a nip in the air, it just seems like the next natural progression is to start throwing a bunch of foods in a pot and letting it simmer allllllll day long. Matt and I have been experimenting with some different crock pot recipes. Last Sunday was the first cold day of the season and there were three NFL games on tap, so naturally chilli it was. The chili turned out delicious, however the mess it left was not. Then we discovered Reynolds Slow Cooker Liners. Consider it a, errr, diaper, for your crock pot. At first I was weary about the materials it would have to be made from for it not to burn inside the crock pot. However, after some investigation I learned that the liners contain no BPA and are approved by the FDA. They are a little pricey, $4.99 for 4 liners, but worth it to not battle the crock pot grime for the rest of the day. You can find a coupon for the liners here.

Before and After using the Slow Cooker Liners

2. Working Uptown: I am now on Day #8 of my new gig at Bank of America. I have lived in Charlotte for 18 years now, but was still always intimidated by Uptown Charlotte. The one-way streets, crowds of people and “skyscrapers” were very overwhelming. However, it was always a dream of mine to work here. I remember thinking in High School that everyone who worked in Charlotte must work uptown (and carry a briefcase, of course). My dreams were quickly deflated when my first job out of college was in the slums of  East Charlotte. But I am thankful to be up here now. My hour lunch break turns into adventure and exploration of the city. There are so many things I never knew about Uptown. You could spend just an hour exploring my building. I think the coolest part of my floor might be the “Urban Garden”. Each floor has a dedicated space with live trees and flowers to give the effect that you are outside. It doesn’t quite do the trick for fresh air, but it’s a nice escape. I am also very impressed by the “Wellness Room” aka nap room; complete with sofa and lock! I can’t wait to discover more!

My Building

3. Dress Up your iPhone: iPhone accessories are really expensive, especially when Apple comes up with a new version every quarter. It’s hard to stay trendy without spending a lot. But my dear friend Roxana introduced me to For Chic Sake. They provide the templates to create labels for your phone, or in this case, iPhone charger. Where was this decoration when everyone in the Hewitt household was arguing over the case of the mystery moving chargers?? I haven’t printed mine yet, but Rox said it was super easy, and look how adorable her’s turned out!

Roxana’s Nautical Themed Charger

4. Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked Fro Yo: Of course the real thing is always better, but darn is this close. I recently discovered that my favorite Ben & Jerry’s flavor, Half Baked, came in the Fro Yo version, oh happy day!! I have to confess that this definitely encourages me to eat more, but I don’t feel quite as guilty afterwards. The Fro Yo version does not skimp on the chunks of cookie dough or the brownie and I think the Fro Yo part is actually better than the real versions ice cream.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked FroYo

5. Trader Joe’s Mini Ice Cream Cones: If your sweet tooth is really kicking in and the Ben and Jerry’s Half-Baked Fro Yo isn’t enough, try these  MINI ice cream cones. These tiny cones are just enough dessert when you’re craving something sweet, but don’t want a lot of calories. At only 70 calories per cone, it’s a must-have for your freezer! Trader Joe’s sells 8 cones for only $2.99!

Saint Sandy

It is hard to NOT be aware of breast cancers haunting ways, especially during the month of October.  From pink-tinted fountains to the pink illumination of the Duke Energy building, to the thousands of runners in the Komen Race For The Cure and the NFL’s specialized uniforms, you’d have to be living under a rock to not notice the sea of pink everywhere you turn. The month of October definitely helps to put a spotlight on this terrible disease.


October is not only National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but it also marks a very important date in my own families history. Today, October 8, 2012, marks 16 YEARS that my mother has been cancer free. For those of you know who know my mother, you already know that the nickname “Saint Sandy” falls short when actually describing her. She is the strongest person I know and  she is also the hardest worker I have ever met. She has given me a lifetime tutorial on putting other people before yourself, kindness, and grace. I thank God every day that I was given the opportunity to be her daughter. I also thank Him that he blessed her with 16 more years as my mother. In typical Sandy fashion, she wants no recognition or special attention for beating this disease. But today, (and every day) I am in incredible awe of how strong she is. You Go Girl!

So, what can YOU do to fight breast cancer?

  • Self Examination – I vaguely remember awkwardly glossing over the topic in 8th grade health class, but that’s about it. So here’s a link if you need a refresher like I did: Breast Self Exam
  • Yearly Mammogram – Beginning at age 40, yearly mammograms are a necessity for all women. Those with breast cancer in their family history are recommended to start these earlier.
  • Run or Walk in a Race- Challenge yourself to run in a 5k race and set a monetary goal. This past weekend, the Komen Race For A Cure race in Charlotte raised over a million dollars. With locations all over the world, there’s no excuse to not participate.
  • Purchase Items That Support Research: Women love to shop, so why not buy items that also support breast cancer awareness. Here is a great site with 20 Awesome Products That Support Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Limit Alcohol Usage: Women who have three to six drinks a week versus women who don’t drink have a 15 percent higher risk of developing cancer.
  • Limit Plastic Usage: Plastic carries the chemical BPA, a weak synthetic estrogen that acts as a hormone disruptor. BPA affects how estrogen and other hormones work by blocking or mimicking them, throwing off hormonal balance and increasing the risk for cancer.

The best new is that when detected early, the survival rate is 99 percent! Do what you can to protect the women in your life.  I love you Mom, thanks for being a fighter!

27.

Typically, an odd-number hater, I have come to really like the age of 27. There is something about it that sounds really grown up and mature. I feel like your mid-20s are for finally coming to the realization that you are no longer in college and the stark reality that this thing you’re doing is actually life in the real world. 27 seems like a settled and content place.

Settled and content are just a few of the many words I could use to describe Matt. He is the most calm and patient person I have ever met. I am amazed every day at how level-headed and fair he is. I am so proud of how all of his hard work has paid off and how successful he is at such a young age. I am so thankful and blessed to be able to share this special day with him. Here’s to 27! Happy Birthday, Matt, I love you!

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