October 2014 archive

On Kisses Goodbye

By Natalie

I read somewhere that a husband is blank% more likely to have a better day when his wife kisses him goodbye in the morning. I don’t remember the exact percentage. Let’s just say 98%. Because I think it’s true. Let’s not worry where I read this statistic, nor it’s validity, because why? Why not take my word for it? And also, I’ve looked around, and can’t seem to find that article I found years ago.

Since reading that fabulous statistic I’ve tried my very hardest to do so. It makes sense right?

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Gee will Brandon leave with a good start to his day in a great mood if I say “Goodbye Babe I love you. Have a good day.” And give him a kiss as he goes. Or… if I say “You didn’t [take out the trash, put your shoes away, etc.]” With my back turned as he shuts the door? I need your imagination here. I have my hands out in front of me palms face up. One hand is a foot lower than the other. Shall we weigh the options? I’m pretty sure if you ask your spouse they’d prefer the first option. Yea? And hey, I’m not perfect. Those examples didn’t come out of thin air.

It’s sort of hard to do sometimes. Isn’t that awful? Sometimes life gets the best of us, and we don’t even mean to let our spouse walk out the door without letting them know we love them. Sometimes we don’t kiss them goodnight because he’s still brushing his teeth and preparing for bed, and my head hit the pillow half an hour ago. Expressing love takes intentionWrite that one down.. Life gets in the way. Kids soak up the best of you. Breakfast and dinner aren’t going to cook themselves, and work is draining. I get it. But your spouse still needs some sort of care in there. You’re a team. So start simple, give kisses goodbye. And if you’re feeling generous give kisses hello! Those are important too.

With Love,

Natalie


Camping in Comfort

By Natalie

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I’ve been trying to convince Brandon that I find camping to be romantic when it’s just the two of us. He still doesn’t quite believe how it could be. Just us, our dog, a campfire, s’mores, no distractions, chilly nights that leave you snuggling for warmth. How could it not be? Camping is one of those things that once you have all the gear it’s a super inexpensive outing. You’d think he’d take me up on it more often right?

Now with my kind of camping we bring an air mattress, cause I’m not quite at the sleeping bag level, and I’m not sure I will be. To each his own. I also brought everything I could. We had enough bags to make an extreme camper cringe. As B began loading the car he said “Really babe, it’s just one night.” And then I got all defensive. “I know!” I said. “This is why I want to do more than one night next time, because it’s ridiculous that we need to bring all this stuff just for one evening.”

“Really?” Brandon said. “We need to bring scones?” he pointed down at the grocery bag full of food where I had stuffed some mini scones for breakfast. He got me. I may have gone a bit overboard. But I’d rather have too much than too little. Someone back me up on this.

So we get to the site, and you’d think that I remembered it all right? False. Once our tent was quickly set up, I began unpacking bags on the picnic table and B says “Where’d you put the matches?”

My eyes got all wide, and I looked at him with an I’m so sorry face. I totally forgot the matches, and I knew it too cause they weren’t where they usually are at home, and I tried to remember to grab them before we left. Inevitably I didn’t. Who goes camping and forgets the matches!? I made poor B walk up to the front gate where he had to ask for matches. You could imagine his embarrassment. But don’t worry there’s more.

“I’m kind of embarrassed to blow up the air mattress out here.” He says to me. The campsites were a bit closer together than we were used to. And aside from the crickets, and crackle from the fire, it was awfully quiet out there. “Well we don’t even own sleeping bags.” I said. “So just do it quick.”

I heard a little whirring sound come out from inside the tent, and then it almost immediately shut off. Then I heard large forced puffs, in a synchronized fashion. “No he is not.” I thought. I walked over, and unzipped the front of the tent. There was B sitting with the air mattress pressed to his lips. “No!” I said. “There is no way you will be able to blow up a queen sized air mattress on your own! You’re going to kill your lungs!! I knew you were going to do this!” He laughed knowing just how ridiculous it was. Brandon, that guy. He cracks me up.

He used the motor to blow it up, and no one judged us, as far as we knew. I like to camp in as much comfort as possible, is that so bad?

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Bingley LOVED camping. He was a bit anxious and confused at first but once he realized we were there to stay he loved being outside all night, and I loved having him there. He sat right in between our chairs most of the night looking up every now and then to see if we were going to toss a potato chip or two his way.

How fabulous is that collar of his? I put it on him since the beginning of October, and I realized two things…

  1. He looks pretty good in green.
  2. It’s perfect for camping, because it glows in the dark! Perfect for finding him in the tent.

Breakfast was amazing. But I’m married to a Poe boy. I’m pretty sure it’s inevitable to have great camping breakfast with those men. B made Bacon, eggs, and coffee. They were soooo good. He’s a keeper, I know.

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Autumn Dog Walks

By Natalie

image1Recently I went on a walk with the puppy on possibly one of the last warmer days here in Charlotte. Does it get any better than this? It was a white t-shirt, dark denims kind of day. Where the sunlight kissed the pond after a fabulous date, and left it sparkling.

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Bingley was overdue for a long long walk. You wanna know how I knew? Because a couple nights before he began barking at me continuously to play, and then proceeded to run around in circles chasing his tail… This went on for a while.. Until eventually he got dizzy, and waddled off to the side of the room.

As Bingley and I passed the bridge we came across a photographer which is a usual occurrence at Freedom Park. Her lens was pointed toward a twitter-paited couple nuzzling noses. The woman wore a short fluffy white dress and a veil. The man wore a fitted suit. A neatly wrapped bouquet of flowers lay beside the photographer. It was some sort of wedding shoot. But on a Wednesday? Perhaps it was an after the wedding session. Whatever they were there for, they seemed to capture the attention of all passerby.

Then, careening downhill came a young boy on a bike. His eyes peeked out from under his helmet, as his hands gripped the handle bars. His dad was jogging behind him, arms out, and ready for anything. The little boy thrust the handlebars side to side in desperate attempt to keep his bike upright. His training wheels were fresh off, and this was his big day. What an event to witness.

His smile was wide, even through his wobbliness. “Mommy! I did it! I did it!” he yelled. A woman with sunglasses and running shorts yelled up to him. “Good job baby!” After a few more steps I began to pass her stumbling behind her daughter’s bike. She whispered encouragements to the little girl who was taking on the slight hill with more caution than her brother. I smiled at them as we passed. This was quite possibly the sweetest scene I’ve witnessed all week. I’m not sure what could even top it next week. As we were going in opposite directions I passed this family of four a few more times. And with each passing I saw the kiddos get better and better. They grew more confidence, and were cycling straighter paths without the aide of their parents. It was adorable.

During this wonderful walk, and all of my people watching I had a thought. “Have I ever been the source of someone’s inspiration?” Young woman walks giant black lab briskly. Young woman discreetly takes photos of trees, and pet. Or so she thinks.

I was inspired by everyone at the park that day, who’s to say I didn’t inspire them? Not just the family teaching their children to ride bikes, or the photo session couple. But the boy sitting on the quiet bench by the ducks working on his laptop. The woman across the way from my bench that sat cross legged on her blanket under the willow tree engrossed in a novel. The old man that sat on his cooler holding onto his fishing pole leisurely. It was the perfect day, with a laid back kind of afternoon. I’m going to enjoy them while they’re here I think. Just until the winter months. Go on trees, keep those leaves changing. And wind keep those cool breezes coming.. We’re loving it out here.

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Buy Me Some Peanuts & Cracker Jacks

By Natalie

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Lately I’ve had a hankering for a baseball game. Cracker Jacks, organ sounds, caps, the whole gambit. I was just getting into MLB especially since The Nationals stadium was close to home. I was becoming a Nationals fan for a number of reasons. I mean come on the president’s race doesn’t get old. “Root Root Root for the NAA-TION-ALLLS” has a ring to it in the 7th inning. My old coworkers used to call me Nattitude when I was having an off day. And frankly… I think I look good in red. It was all so meant to be.

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Photos from the last game I went to after the Lupus Walk in D.C.

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Down here in Charlotte there’s no MLB team to convert too, just the Minor League Knights. So I suppose it works out and I can root for both. Nationals, you’ll always be in my heart. Until next season.

Discoveries & the Like

By Natalie

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Hello October. We missed you. I’m satisfied with the tan I’ve acquired this summer, and all the change that’s happened. I think I’m ready to settle inside with some pumpkin bread, cinnamon scents, hot apple cider, and a shared blanket with my love. When will the leaves turn October? I can’t wait to see them. Those rich crimsons, and bright yellows. They give me fuzzies inside. Well that and the cooler weather you’ve brought along. That puts the fuzzies right in my throat, and nose.

Last weekend the Poe household was a sad bunch. B caught a bug from work, and inevitably passed it on to me. We never do well with temperature change. There’s always one bad cold to prove it. As if we weren’t pitiful enough ourselves we noticed one night while sipping our tea that Bingley was flapping his ears all around. He started shaking his head like he was trying desperately shake something out. Upon taking him to the vet we discovered he had a yeast infection in his ears. Said infection was to be treated by shoving medicine covered cotton balls around his ears. It was a sad way to spend a weekend friends.

Around here lately Brandon and I have gone through more changes, and discoveries. Bare with me while I utilize some fun buttons I don’t use nearly enough on this beautiful blog?

Inanimate Discovery

We’ve found that our fireplace is not really a fireplace at all, but rather a projected light dancing around as to mimic flames, and a separate switch for a heater, if you so wish. How silly is that? When did artificial, and convenience so suddenly take over the natural, and original? The more I enjoy the modern, the more I miss the simple. It’s a mystery.

The Best Chocolate Milk on Earth

Allow me to introduce to you the best chocolate milk on earth.

milk Move over Nesquik you’ve got nothing on Promised Land. Ok, I never really drank Nesquik anyway. My mother was convinced it was powdered cavities when I was young, and when I was old enough to deviously try it myself it was terribly disappointing. Thus leaving me to satisfy my chocolate milk cravings with Malt Ovaltine. Until now.

Originally I purchased this Chocolate milk in Publix solely based off of the appearance. Gosh I’m a sucker for purchasing things on appearance. I admit it. I’m a marketer’s dream. Brandon of course suspected my reasons for purchase and continued to state how it wasn’t all that great. That’s where he was wrong! I may have bought this based on appearance at first, but this milk has proven itself! So thick, creamy and rich. It’s clearly blog worthy.

I haven’t even gotten to the best part of the grocery trip. We proceed to the check out where the girl unloading the cart goes “This is the best chocolate milk ever!” My eyes grew 2 inches wider I swear to you. Then the cashier joins in. “Yes! That milk is the best!” the voice in my head screams “You are kidding me.” So I look over at B with a smirk. He shakes his head, and chuckles. I live for these moments. Gosh Brandon is so smart. And when I get backed up on something, or know something he didn’t, I get so excited. Not in an I told you so kind of way, but in a yay, I knew something you didn’t kind of way. So what it’s an opinion. I’ll take it. I’m not really sure if anyone can understand this other than my sister in law Ashley. Cause our husbands are brothers, and so much alike. Troubleshooting fiends those men. Technology cowers in their presence.

Work Discovery

I’ve been walking around with a burp cloth on my shoulder. Warming up bottles. Picking up crayon bits from the corners of a playroom. Shoveling sand in a sandbox. Reading aloud until my throat is dry. Tickling little ones, and delighting in their smiles. I’m filling my weekdays with caring for kiddos. And spending the weekends missing them. I’m a nanny now, and loving it. I take it pretty seriously you know. Like Mary Poppins serious. I even have the large nanny bag to prove it. I love watching kids grow. I love teaching them, and caring for them, so it seems fit that this is where I ended up. And with a wonderful happy family at that.

Self Discovery

I’m Happy. Really Happy.

It’s not like before I was necessarily unhappy. But somehow now I feel… happy on purpose. Does that make sense? Like sitting in my car in the morning sipping on my coffee actively thinking I am happy today kind of happy. Isn’t that great? I’m becoming more of my own person in Charlotte I think. Welcome to the road of my self discovery. Does it get better than this?

 

10 Recipes from the Meal Planning Board

By Natalie

As difficult as meal planning can be it is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Budget wise, and family wise, because let’s be honest who wants to look around for enough ingredients in the pantry to whip something up? All the while starving for dinner after a long day. Husband, and possibly kiddos rummaging around for a bite to eat. In order to assist in your efforts, I’ve decided to share with you my top 10 Natalie approved Pinterest recipes! Most of these I continue to make on a regular basis, especially the s’mores!! They’re a quick and simple dessert perfect for a hubby with a sweet tooth. Here’s a peek at what appears on the Poe table. Click the photos for a link to the recipe. For more yummy recipes you can follow my Meal Planning Board here.

chicken parm

Chicken Parmesan

turkey soup

Turkey Soup

stir fry

Stir Fry

veggie soup

Veggie Soup

foil dinner

Foil Dinners

bbq

Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

skinny

Skinny Spaghetti

mex lasagna

Mexican Lasagna

straw

Strawberry Shortcake Kabobs

smores

Oven Baked S’mores