15 Reasons Why Charlotte Is The Weirdest

Have y’all seen this article that’s been making the social media rounds? The author of this article only lived in Charlotte 9 months before moving to New York City…so that definitely qualifies her as an an expert on our city, right?

While I don’t appreciate the snarky tone, some of these I do actually agree with. Uptown or Downtown, I’m proud to call Charlotte my home!

 

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Oil Pulling 101

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Have you guys heard of oil pulling? It’s one of those that I first heard about and then coincidentally heard it mentioned again and again from various sources over the next few weeks. At first I was skeptical and thought it was another new age trend brought to us by our friends at Whole Foods. But it’s not a fad, in fact, it’s been around since ancient times and is an Ayurvedic (form of alternate medicine) practice for detox and rejuvenation. After reading of the health benefits that oil pulling brings, I was intrigued and set out to learn more. Plus, something that will whiten my team AND cure a hangover?? SIGN. ME. UP.

So what is it? 

Ancient oil pullers used sunflower or sesame oil, but from what my research shows, most people nowadays use organic coconut oil. Coconut oil is full of antimicrobial properties which kill bacteria which occupy your mouth. Basically you swish the coconut oil around your mouth for 20 minutes. During this time the oil, which has a “sticky-ness” to, it travels around your mouth/ up into pockets your toothbrush can’t reach & pulls out the bacteria & disgusting toxins.

A few of my favorite benefits:

  • Whitens teeth
  • Strengthens your gums/teeth/& jaw.
  • Prevents cavities & gingivitis. Some people even reported it helped their cavities?!
  •  Helps get rid of acne/ eczema/ psoriasis/ & other skin care issues.
  • General body detox
  • Cures a hangover (hallelujah!!!)
  • Helps with sleep issues
  • Clears out your sinuses & helps allergy sufferers
  • If you have halitosis, oil pulling has been a big savior for many sufferers & your morning breath will get MUCH better
  • Helps with general pain issues.
  • Manages any weird hormonal imbalances.

Also said to help with:

  • Acne
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Back and Neck Pain
  • Bad Breath
  • Bronchitis
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Constipation
  • Dental Cavities
  • Dermatitis
  • Diabetes
  • Eczema
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Mucous Congestion
  • Peptic Ulcers
  • PMS
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Bleeding Gums
  • Sinusitis
  • Tooth Abscess

How do you do it?

1. Everything I read said to do this first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach

2. Drink a large glass of water first to help remove some of the bacteria that grew throughout the night

3. Spoon 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in your mouth and begin swishing. The consistency of the oil is similar to Crisco, but don’t worry, it quickly dissolves into a liquid form.  Not going to lie, I gagged the first minute it was in my mouth. It’s a weird texture, but just try to look past that and it will be a liquid before you know it.

4. Swish the oil in your mouth for 20 minutes. This might seem like a lot at first, so start with 5 and work your way up to 20. I put my spoonful in before I hop in the shower. It helps to be distracted while you’re doing it. Try not to swallow the oil, because remember its pulling all the toxins out of your body. However, it’s not the end of the world if you do swallow some.

5. When the 20 minutes is up, spit the oil in the garbage, not your sink. The oil will solidify and clog your drains.

6. Make sure you brush your teeth afterwards to remove any remaining toxins that are in your mouth. From what I read, it’s suggested that you use a separate tooth brush for this than your regular one.

7. Repeat! You can oil pull up to 3x a day and it is recommended that you do it consistently for 30 days and then again as needed.

Anniversary at The Fork

This weekend we celebrated our two year anniversary. Matt and I decided that I would plan the day “adventure” and he would plan the evening activities. My adventure actually came from a Homeland episode I watched back in the fall, and I had been saving the idea for this particular weekend. You might remember in season 3 that Saul goes hunting with Senators. The lodge they were at was so beautiful, and since Homeland is filmed in Charlotte, I figured the lodge had to be nearby.  There’s actually a website that tells you where each of the episodes are filmed, so I was able to find the lodge info. The lodge used for this location is called The Fork Farm and Stables in Norwood NC, about 45 minutes east of Charlotte. The Fork is a full service hunting lodge where you can hunt duck and quail, shoot sporting clays, ride horses and fish.

We arrived at The Fork around 1:00 and were blown away by how beautiful it was. We followed a gravel road until we found “The Ordinary”  Gun Lodge. We met with Johan, the Sporting Clays Director. He was extremely helpful and set us up with all the gear we needed. We decided to do the 8-station small gauge course. Johan came to the first station with us and gave us a free lesson and some pointers, which went above and beyond what he had to do. There was only one other small group on the course so we felt like we basically had it all to ourselves.

Side note: Who knew they made strollers specifically for guns…?

I have been to a gun range once, and hated every minute of it. It scared me being in such a small place with so many loud guns. This was a totally different experience that I enjoyed much more. Shooting clay’s is actually very fun and kind of addicting. I was a lot better than I thought I would be. The only bad part is that they didn’t have any youth guns, so the gun I used was too big for me. I left with some ugly bruises and soreness in a strange armpit/shoulder region, but it was worth it. We already have plans to go back soon, and Johan told us he would have a smaller gun for me to use next time.

After shooting we drove around the property and checked out the other amenities. It was such a beautiful day and being out in the middle of nowhere was so peaceful and a welcomed change of pace for us. The Fork has a lodge where you can stay the night, and we definitely plan on doing that the next time we go back.

While we were getting set-up with our guns, a lady in the lodge told us about a vineyard that was close by. We figured that since we were so close, there really wasn’t a reason not to stop. The vineyard was called Stony Mountain and was right outside of Albemarle, NC.

The vineyard is essentially a big open house with deck that overlooks Morrow Mountain. The weather was absolutely perfect and we were lucky to find a table and chairs on the deck. We were very surprised by how many people were there. The vineyard is family owned and operated and you can tell how much each of them care about their business. We ordered a bottle of Cab that was priced extremely well, and some cheese & crackers. Although all of the grapes are dead now, I’m sure its beautiful once they start blooming. Stopping off at the vineyard was an unexpected detour of the trip, but definitely time well spent.

While we wanted to stay and relax all day (and drink more!), we  had an hour drive home and that would be one expensive Uber ride! So we called it a day after one bottle and headed home. We must have said 50 times on the way home how much fun we had and how we couldn’t wait to get back to The Fork. Once we got home I dropped Matt off and rushed home to shower for our night “adventure” that he had planned. We called an Uber and headed to Luciano’s – a restaurant that we’ve been wanting to try in our neighborhood. The restaurant is cozy and beautifully decorated. I ordered the salmon and it was delicious! After dinner we decided to be adventurous and head uptown. A new bar/restaurant called Fahrenheit just opened above the Skye Conodos/Hyatt Place hotel. This is Charlotte’s first rooftop restaurant and it did not disappoint. There is a huge bar/lounge area and giant doors that open to an amazing deck. The view from the deck is arguably one of the best in uptown as you get a panoramic view of the city. There are large fire pits, a social pool, and a seasonal herb garden on the deck. We only ordered drinks, but were impressed with the space and are intrigued to see what the food is like. We will definitely be back.

If the future is as fun as these last two years, I think we’re in good shape!

Happy Anniversary, MRH

I can’t believe its already been two years since the dashing young gentleman in the watch and glasses swept me off my feet and stole my heart.

Matt – I love you with all of my heart and am so thankful that I get to do life with you by my side. I cherish the memories we’ve already made in the last 730 days and dream about the days 73 years from now, knowing we’ll still be making each other laugh. There is no doubt that YOU are the better half!

 

 

Lent 2014

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Lent is the six week period (that kicks off today, Ash Wednesday) and concludes on Easter Sunday. Because Easter has a tendency to sneak up on us, the 40 days leading up to it allow us to examine ourselves, our sin, and to become more aware of our need for Jesus Christ. Not only do we celebrate the ability to wear white, linen, and Jack Rogers without judgment, but Easter is also a time to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.

According to Twitter, The top 10 most-mentioned Lenten sacrifices in 2012 is as follows:

1. Twitter

2. Chocolate

3. Swearing

4. Alcohol

5. Soda

6. Facebook

7. Fast food

8. Sex

9. Sweets

10. Meat

Last year I gave up Thin Mints. In 2012, I gave up texting and driving (trying to break a bad habit), and in 2007 I tried sobriety (but that was college and lasted all of 8 days). So the soul searching process began a few weeks ago and I decided instead of giving something up, I was going to start doing certain things:

1.       Living more intentionally: I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this, but I can be having a conversation with someone and then realize I have zero clue what they said. 99.9% of the time it’s because I’m reading Twitter or refreshing my Instagram feed for the 20th time in two minutes. Matt gets so frustrated by it that now he stops talking mid-sentence until I realize I have zoned him out. I also find myself not knowing the answer to something that someone has already told me, most likely because I wasn’t giving them my full attention. With the routine of daily life it’s so easy to be on auto-pilot. I know one day I’m going to look back on my fast-paced life and  wish I had taken more time to ask my parents important questions, or to check in with old friends.

2.       The Love Dare: A few months ago I heard about a 40 day devotional a from the mail courier where I work…crazy story, but this man is on fire for Christ and such an inspiration to me. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but then the devotional kept surfacing in random places and conversations and I really felt compelled to give it a shot. The book is The Love Dare, and it  leads you through daily devotionals, places to record your thoughts, and each day ‘dares’ you to perform a simple act of love for your significant other. While the book is marketed for married couples, I know that it will be of great value in my relationship now. There is also a ‘Love Dare Evaluation’ you can take beforehand to find your love strengths and weaknesses and sends bible verses to help you in your areas of weakness. I often take my relationship with Matt for granted, and never want to forget that it was God who brought us together and who is constantly working in our lives to make us stronger.