January 27, 2014

thanks for being my neighbor!

Lately, it has been rather cold for those of us living in North Carolina.  I know our weather is beautiful in comparison to the rest of the country...but I'll admit it...we are wimps.  We just can't handle these cold spells like the rest of the country can!

So, in order to brighten the spirits of my fellow apartment dwelling neighbors, I felt like it was time to leave a couple of notes on the door and cross another thing off my 101 in 1001 list.

100. Place notes on my neighbors' doors- DONE! (01/22/14)

January 23, 2014

happy national handwriting day!

Inspiration from Southern Abundance and Dixie on my Mind
I would love to see your handwriting!  Link up below!

January 22, 2014

the story of a target bag.

After work yesterday, I had to make a quick run to Target to return a few things.  After returning those things, I happened to find some things to replace the other things I had just returned...seriously, it it possible to leave Target without purchasing something?!? 

Anyways, I was in a rush to get out of Target because I was looking at said things too long and was going to be late to my Bible study. I have been looking forward to this women's study on Esther, so I was trying really hard to make it out of there as quickly as possible. I swiped my card, grabbed my bags are darted out the door.

I noticed I had two bags, but I had bought some beef broth, so I figured they just separated that from the rest of my items.  Well, when I got home later that evening, I noticed all of my stuff was in one bag and there was another one with a couple items in it...

+ pretzel chips 
+ hand soap
I didn't purchase these items, so they must have belonged to the person in front of me.  I love Pretzel Crisps, there is no doubt about that...and hand soap, well, you can always use hand soap!  Since these are both low priced items, the questions of the day is...

Would you have returned them to Target or would you have kept them for yourself?

January 21, 2014

celebrating an anniversary!

Cheminova, I have to say...you've been pretty good to me. 

One year ago today, I left the familiar to start something new. I remember waking up in the midst of boxes, putting on the new dress I bought for my first day, and leaving my parent's house bright and early. I started the morning with a leaking tire and ended it with a flat tire, but all in all, that first day was just a taste of all the adventures I would get to have with this amazing company.  

Check out some of the highlights:

+ I went through |17| states and crossed off |7| new ones
+ I went over the Mississippi River not once, but multiple times
+ I have met hundreds of people and have some amazing co-workers!
+ I have learned sales and marketing skills and have perfected the art of a good telephone conversation.
+ I have had many laughs with our sales team and customers

I visited West Monroe, Louisiana and pitt-stopped at Duck Commander, home of Duck Dynasty. I also got to see two of my best friends while visiting! On this trip I went over the Mississippi River multiple times and crossed off Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi off my list!
Kara visiting Duck Commander in West Monroe, LA
I looked at hundreds of pistachio, almond, and walnut trees in California.  I learned to always carry a ball cap, another set of clothes, baby wipes, and to always wear khaki pants (it's much much cooler, trust me!) I saw parts of agriculture that I have never seen before!

Kara visiting a pistachio orchard
ate more than my fair share of nectarines straight out of the field. There is nothing better than a ripe nectarine after a long, hard day at work. I probably ate a few too many apples too...but hey, an apple (or two or three) a day keeps the doctor away!

Kara got to eat several nectarines straight out of the field!
I saw the first Starbucks location, Century Link Field (home of the Seattle Seahawks), and Pike Place Market! I drank lots of good coffee, saw some of the most beautiful wineries, and realized that is doesn't always rain in Seattle.

Kara got to visit Pike Place Market
I rode to the top of the Space Needle in Seattle and saw some of the most beautiful views of a city that I have ever seen.  

Kara and the view from the Space Needle in Seattle, WA.
The nighttime view of Seattle from the Space Needle
I jumped out on a limp (literally) and zip-lined near the Hood River in Washington.  Thank goodness I was harnessed in because I had to bond closely with over 20 of my risk taking co-workers!

Kara got to Zip Line near the Hood River
Over this past year I have been blessed to see places that I have always dreamed of seeing. Being able to work with our customers, growers, and sales managers in these locations has taught me that agriculture is vastly different everywhere, just as people are. People have taught me so many new things...and the best part is that I am still learning something new each and every day. Nothing in this world is perfect, including our crops and our land.  It is plagued with diseases and harmful insects and it makes my day knowing that some of our products are helping feed this world that we live in. 

Kara was working with diseased apples
I love my career...there is no doubt about it.  I wake up excited because I love to do what I do. Taking care of 12 sales managers all across the country is a daunting task, but it is a challenge that I love taking every day.  They make me a better person and challenge me to new heights. We work as a team and love each other like family...and nothing will be able to take that away from us.

So, Cheminova, thank you for taking a risk on me...for taking an inexperienced college student and former agriculture teacher and introducing her to a world full of opportunity. I am blessed to be part of this ever-growing industry!

January 15, 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen: The President of The United States

It's not every day that you get to see the President of the United States. 

Since living in North Carolina, I have had the privilege to see the President's Motorcade pass by twice.  Once, while I was a student at North Carolina State University and once as an employee at Cheminova. The President was in Raleigh today visiting Vacon in Research Triangle Park, and North Carolina State University to speak about the Next Generation Power Electronics Innovation Institute that will invest in manufacturing technology.

Even though I may not agree with all of the President's beliefs and decisions, President Barack Obama is still a human being, just like the rest of us.  He makes good decisions and bad decisions, he has a family that he loves dearly, and most of all, he is doing something that he is passionate about.  I enjoy political banter just like the rest of you, but when it comes to saying disrespectful and hateful things about the President of the United States, I just can't do it.

The President is in a position that most of us wouldn't take in a million years.  Just watching him age from his election in 2008 until now isn't worth the job.  He has lost so much valuable "family" time with his wife and girls, but he has chosen to be in office because he loves and is passionate about what he does.  

What's wrong with that? You, me, hopefully, everyone is doing something that they are passionate about.  If you aren't, my advice is that you stop immediately because you aren't making life better for you or those around you.  

So, today was a different day at work. Right around 11:35 am and 12:30 pm, a group of my coworkers and I were huddled into one of the vice presidents' offices (of our company) watching the Presidential motorcade pass by just a hundred yards away.  You know what? Every single one of my coworkers has a different view of the President and politics, but right before our very eyes, we got to see something special. There was laughing and giggling, ooo's and ahh's, and pictures being taken from our windows. Standing there and looking at my coworkers made me smile...because people, it's not every day you get to see the President of the United States drive by, right outside your window.

P.S. It's kinda cool that he pretends to be a Wolfpack fan too!  Go Pack...Beat Wake!

January 12, 2014

a coincidence...I don't think so.

This morning I woke up and the first thing that came to my mind was that I needed to get my passport renewed. Why I woke up with that thought, I have no idea, but it is something that convicted me so strongly. I knew I wanted to go somewhere, but where and why? 
I got ready and went to church, sat in Sunday School, then sat down for service with a couple of my friends from class. One of the girls leaned over and whispered, "What do you think about possibly going to Kenya in 2015?"

Ummm...what? At first I thought I needed to get my ears cleaned because I didn't know if I had heard her correctly. 

This morning was the first time in a long time that I have had a burning desire to travel abroad again. See, in the summers of 2005 and 2006  I traveled to Russia on a mission trip with the church I was attending in Michigan.  My two times abroad were amazing and nothing could ever compare to the memories that I made there. I didn't want to erase those memories and I think I thought traveling abroad again would make me lose those memories.

Something in my heart changed this morning.  Who knows if I will actually go to Kenya, but the Lord put something on my heart this morning. I have always believed that the Lord will guide our way and will provide where needed.  This morning's sermon was about discipleship and being a disciple of all nations. Wherever and whenever that may be, I know it's going to be amazing.

January 9, 2014

DIY: the simple hair tie.

In North Carolina, all girls have to have a hair tie...not maybe have one...you MUST have one. The humidity is pretty evident here most of the year, so some days you just want that hot mess off your neck and out of your face.  My friend Amanda introduced me to these cute elastic hair ties she was buying at a boutique in Raleigh and I absolutely fell in love with them.  They don't leave a crease in your hair, which makes them absolutely perfect for work.  During the summer, Amanda and I were walking during our lunch. We wanted our hair up but when we finished, we still wanted to look professional in the office.  Hence, this became the perfect hair tie.

When I went to go purchase some myself, I couldn't believe the price of them.  I was paying somewhere between $1-2 per hair tie which is ridiculous in my opinion.  I understand people have to make a living...but goodness, I just couldn't justify paying that much for a hair tie that I might lose or leave somewhere.
DIY Creaseless Hair Tie Pile
After a lot of searching and finding this awesome tutorial on Pinterest by Life in the Green House, we knew we had to make them ourselves.  It was crazy how much cheaper we could make each hair tie! If you want a good detailed tutorial, I would check out hers.

Now, I understand why they are expensive...the elastic itself isn't too expensive, it's the time it takes to make the hair tie.  The elastic comes in rolls, so I had to cut 10" strips of elastic, tie the ends together, then singe it with a lighter so the ends wouldn't fray. It's a great "sit in front of the TV DIY" because it takes very little thought.  Now, I could show you step by step how to make these...but let's be honest, it's pretty simple. As much as I love taking pictures for this little blog, poor lighting and my small space can make it a little difficult after work. So, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  I can answer those!

The elastic comes in all different colors, patterns, and sparkles; it's so fun to be able to match my hair tie to my outfit.  They don't crease my hair and they look pretty on my wrist. I will be able to make a couple hundred for less than a dime. People, that's a steal.

Looking to buy the elastic to complete this tutorial?  I bought mine from HERE. Make sure you like them on facebook too...they are always running great specials with coupon codes!

Another 101 in 1001 goal completed...

51. Complete a project from Pinterest DONE! (01/08/13)

Have you ever used these crease-less hair ties?

January 6, 2014

ice cream is good for the heart, not for the thighs.

It's the truth...there are days in a woman's life when she is just a bit different. By different I mean, moody, clingy, hopeless, and sometimes, down right mean. Sometimes it's just a day...other times it's a week.  All depends on the woman...and sometimes, there is nothing that we can do about it. So, to the gentlemen in my life and to those that read this blog, if you made it this far...I thank you for putting up with my mess this week.  I know I was a terror.

Anyways, on Saturday I was experiencing one of these "different" days and probably wasn't the nicest or best representation of myself.  Actually, it would have probably been better for me to just stay out of public. Anyone else have those days?

Well, I had a few gift cards from Christmas, so in hopes of perking up this not so jolly spirit, I decided to take some time to myself.  I turned off my phone and just went shopping for me.  I bought a new shirt then thought about what else would make me happy...

Ice cream.

Ice cream always makes me happy and it seems to be my "go-to I'm in a funk" food. l had a Coldstone Creamery gift card that I was gifted from work and decided to buy myself a huge bowl of ice cream. So I did.
I promise you. I did not eat all of that in one sitting.  

My ice cream cost me about $5.  After seeing that huge bowl, I decided that my thighs didn't need another $10 worth of Coldstone cake batter ice cream with brownies, so I told the sweet girl at the cash register to keep my gift card and use it to pay for the next person that came in. She kindly obliged and I went to sit in my car.

Next thing you know, I see someone else that wants ice cream on a cold 30 degree evening walking into Coldstone and I was immediately intrigued. The best part about this, it was a pregnant woman and her husband.  I can only imagine how badly she was craving ice cream to want it on a cold night.

So, instead of paying for someone's coffee, I paid for a sweet couple's ice cream...and it made the rest of my day just a little bit better. Have you done a random act of kindness lately? If so, what was it?

92. Pay for someone's coffee DONE! (01/04/14)

January 3, 2014

high five for friday.

Yesterday was my Monday and today is my Friday. I have to say that is a pretty awesome week...even though I absolutely, positively, 100% love my job. It's nice to rest from my one and half week holiday rest. Anyways, carrying on with my top five of the week.

1. Oh how I love this dog and how she drives my mother crazy.  Second dirty nose of the season! 
2. Speaking of noses,I am slightly saddened that my #projectantler is most likely over. I was able (with the help of my family) to take 15 pictures of antlers and noses on cars.We found the most at Target.  After sitting in the parking lot for a while, I realized that reindeer definitely shop at Target.  See the similarities?
3.My brother face- times me every time there is a big disagreement at the house over something trivial.  Guess they don't want me to feel left out! So, so so sweet of them!
4. I tried another milkshake at cowfish with some wonderful ladies at work!  This is my third milkshake and it's signature title was "All Shook Up".  It had peanut butter, jelly, bananas, and vanilla ice cream.  So yummy!
5. I got to see two movies this week.  Saving Mr. Banks and Catching Fire.  I cried in Saving Mr. Banks and was left hanging by a thread with Catching Fire. Two awesome movies!

What did you do this week? How's life?

January 2, 2014

wine tasting, the biltmore estate, & a mountain weekend.

My friends Lauren and Alex got married last year on December 29th in Louisiana and I was blessed to watch them say their vows to each other as a bridesmaid.  This year, they were traveling to North Carolina for Christmas and were going to be here to celebrate their one year anniversary.  They asked a couple of us bridesmaids and groomsmen to get together and celebrate it with them in the mountains of North Carolina!

So, over the weekend, five of us rented a cabin in Bryson City and enjoyed our time together.  On Friday night there was lots of catching up, playing pool, and laughing about some of our memories together.  Our cabin was really quite precious...it was a three story A-frame, fully furnished, and in the middle of nowhere.  Don't believe me? Check it out... I stayed in the loft...so the very top of the house.  I climbed a ladder to get up and down every day. The hill we drove up each night was kind of nerve-racking, but all in all, it gave us some memories and lots to laugh about.

On Saturday, the other couple (Justin and Sarah) went skiing to celebrate their one year anniversary of dating, while Alex, Lauren, and I went out for a couple adventures. Lauren really wanted to go snow tubing, but we were having issues getting tickets ordered the night before.  So, we drove to the top of the Cataloochee ski resort to only find out that the tubing hill was at the bottom of the mountain.  After some frustration, we find all the tickets are sold out and decided to move onto more hopeful things.

We drove to Asheville and the first thing we spotted was Moe's.  Alex was whispering in the back seat that he wanted Moe's badly for lunch...so, the nice chauffeur that I was,kindly obliged and we enjoyed lunch at a restaurant they don't get to enjoy that often!

After lunch, we headed over to the Biltmore.  Alex had never been and Lauren didn't remember it from her childhood, so we spent the extra $10 to get the Candlelight tour.  If we would have been a few minutes later, we wouldn't have been able to get tickets.
 While at the Biltmore we enjoyed wine tasting, seeing the grounds, shopping, and touring the house.  We had a lot of fun spending some much needed time together.  I did feel badly for Alex though...he may or may not have felt like the 3rd wheel at times with our girly chatter!

Even though I don't have a picture of us wine tasting...I couldn't have chose a better girl to try some North Carolina wines with!

Another 101 in 1001 goal completed!

61. Go wine tasting DONE! (12/28/13)

January 1, 2014

I gave my Christmas tree to a tiger!

Unfortunately, it's time to take down my Christmas decorations.  I have always loved Christmas and usually wait for it all year.  I love the joy and happiness it brings to people and their families, and the giving spirit that comes with the season. Most of the time, it's just a happy time of year!

But, alas, all of the cookie and chocolate eating needs to stop and all of the live Christmas trees need to go somewhere. I live in an apartment with a roommate, so I knew the tree would need to go sometime soon. I loved my tree from Twin Pines Nursery and had a really hard time getting rid of it since it was still so beautiful! 

So, in the bed of the teal tacoma it went...not to the dumpster, but to a tiger.

Yes. You heard me right. A tiger.

There is a place in Chatham County, North Carolina called Carolina Tiger Rescue that rescues wildcats.  Through the grapevine of gossip in small town Pittsboro, I learned that they take old donated Christmas trees and give them to the wildcats.  The wildcats play with these trees, use them as hideouts, and even toss them around.

Kind of funny...I know!
So, if you are looking for a place to dispose of your Christmas tree, drive down to Carolina Tiger Rescue and drop it off for the wildcats to play with.  While you're there, stop in, take a tour, and enjoy this lifelong sanctuary for wildcats! 

It's not every day that you get to see a tiger play with an old Christmas tree!