Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Grocery Shopping Re-Invented at Lowes Foods

Let’s be honest, grocery shopping is not high on the fun things to-do list. Add a few kids to the mix and it ranks near the bottom. It’s a need. We all need food, so we grudgingly push our cart up and down each aisle until the basket is full. What if I told you that grocery shopping could be fun, engaging and even purposeful. I know it’s a stretch of the imagination, but I have seen it with my own eyes.

Lowes Foods. Yes, you heard me right. The locally-owned and operated grocery store in North Carolina, listened to their customers, their needs, their wants, and even their whiny kids and re-invented grocery shopping. I had the privilege of experiencing and learning about all the Lowes Foods Originals that stores will be offering. Customers will be greeted on The Front Porch (customer service and cashier lines) with genuine Southern hospitality. The little details that went into creating the front porch atmosphere is amazing. Check-out lanes are named after local streets, for example; High House Rd and Crabtree Crossing. The floral department is inside an open-air greenhouse structure, and local products are displayed in the front.

My favorite feature is the Pick & Prep station within the produce department. Customers pick fresh fruits and vegetables, take it to the Pick & Prep counter, and select how they would like their fruits and veggies to be sliced, diced or chopped. It’s like having a personal sous chef, and you can continue shopping while your produce is being prepared. Think about all the time you will save when preparing your meal at home. I just get intimidated when a recipe calls for something to be diced. I’m so excited to try new meals that once looked too complicated. They also have a refrigerator section with already prepared Pick & Prep items. Last week, I purchased a container of already sliced strawberries. I took them with me when I visited my son at lunch. It was a fun snack with zero prep time.

My kids are going to love the Chicken Kitchen. Lowes Foods took their customer’s favorite deli item, the rotisserie chicken and made it the star of the show, literally. Rotisserie, fried or chicken salad; Lowes Foods has it in their kitchen, but you’ll also find a walking, dancing chicken shaking his tail feather to the chicken dance.

The 21-year-old and older set will enjoy the Beer Den. Taste and learn about the local craft beers on tap from the Den Master. Purchase a $4.99 Growler, a 64-ounce (one half gallon) glass jug filled with beer fresh-to-order. Return the jug during your next visit and only pay for the beer itself.

The Community Table brings all the Originals together.  Similar to your dining table at home, it’s a place of gathering, tasting foods, trying new recipes, and sipping wine and beer. Each table has a story. All of the tables are made from reclaimed wood from either a farm, factory or train station in the South. Just like the people at your table, you have a story to share, a joke to tell or a savings tip to pass along.

I had the opportunity to tour the Preston Corners Lowes Foods store which is still in the midst of construction. Their Re-Grand Opening date is set for September 17.  The Holly Springs store is complete and ready for your visit. While not all the stores are under-going renovations this year, you can still enjoy these wonderful features: Lowes Foods To Go, Digital Coupons, The Carolina Crate and Back 2 Schools.

Sometimes busy moms can't make it inside the store, so Lowes Foods offers the Lowes Foods To Go Service. Register below and you can win a free month of this service ( a $16.95 value). It's like having your own personal shopper.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summit Nutritions Raspberry Ketones- Review

Eating nutritious food and exercising regularly is the only proven way to lose weight, but sometimes you need an extra push to help your body fight cravings and maybe increase weight loss. That's the reasoning behind me trying the Raspberry Ketone supplements. Yet, like any vitamin, supplement or medicine you take, everyone's body reacts different. My body didn't react well to this supplement. It made my stomach feel sick, and I didn't eat for a whole day. Controlling one's appetite and not eating are two different things. Our bodies need fruits, vegetables and good carbohydrates to give us energy throughout the day.

I know other people who have positive reviews from taking Raspberry Ketones, and it significantly aided in their weight loss. Remember Raspberry Ketones are not really raspberries from the bushes, but a synthetic supplement that will react differently for each individual. My experience was unpleasant, so I hope you will be selective when choosing a dietary supplement.

If you do decide to add a supplement to your diet, start with a small dose to see how your body reacts.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Keeping Your Sanity and Femininity in a House of Boys

Disclaimer- I love my boys and being a boy-mom, but Mama is a girl.

I couldn't take it anymore. I had enough. It was another rainy Saturday, and my hubby was sick in bed. That thing they say about when men get sick; it's all true. My two young boys were bouncing off the walls, and I was wracking my brain thinking of what to do. We ended up attending a Super Hero day at the bookstore and then dinner and playtime at McDonald's. Later that night, I was scrolling through Facebook and looking at what my friends did on this soggy day. About half of them went to the live performance of "The Little Mermaid" and the other half got pedicures with their little princesses. 

I am the only female in my house. Even our dog is a boy. I knew I wasn't the only mom struggling to keep her sanity and femininity in a male dominated house. I remembered the research paper I wrote in high school about breaking through the glass ceiling, and I realized my predicament took the whole glass ceiling theory to another level. More like baseballs breaking my glass chandelier. 

Found this at The Purple Polka Dot

Anyway, what's a mom in a boy-filled world supposed to do? Well, I made a list of all the girly, pretty, and relaxing feminine activities and things I enjoy. In the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be sharing with you my girly-girl favorite things plus talking with other moms. Stay tuned to read about beautiful jewelry, manicures, pretty dresses, retail therapy and give-a-ways! 

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Saturday, August 16, 2014

Where Legends Are Born

I took the plunge. It's something I've always wanted to do. A new challenge of strength and perseverance. I won't be alone; my husband is braving this battle with me. What am I referring to when I  repeatedly use terms like strength, perseverance and bravery? It's a mud run, yet it's not any mud run. It's where the muddy are separated from the clean, and an ordinary 5k is left in the dust. It's Panda-Monium; the latest mud run hosted by Legend Race.

Legend Race owner, Fred Augustine knows what it means to push yourself to your limits. It's the feeling he experienced when he completed his first mud run last year.  "I have never ran more than 5 miles before then," said Augustine as he described his wife signing him up for the 13.1 mile obstacle race. Augustine endured extra miles due to getting lost and exhaustion, but the encouragement from other racers kept him going. "There is no greater feeling than being out there. The feeling of pushing yourself to do something you never thought you would ever attempt like crawling in mud, jumping over walls, climbing heights that challenge you physically and mentally.  Just to say if nothing else, I finished," Augustine explained.

I would be lying to say I'm not nervous. The running part I can handle, but the obstacles are a different story. Fred Augustine told me his favorite obstacle is the monkey bars. I used to be a champ at the monkey bars in elementary school, but nowadays I dread those bars. So, I've been building up my upper body strength with chin ups and just hanging in a chin up position. If I'm really brave, I try the monkey bars at the playground.

"The best exercise anyone can do for a mud run is interval training, burpees, and a lot of trail running with hills," said Augustine. I've got a training plan, but should I wear if I'm going to be covered in mud at the finish line? "Dri fit, tight clothing, it will help with the mud not weighing you down as much," said Augustine.

Legend Race obstacles focus on a fun experience to test your skills and encourage you for the next obstacle. Climbing, crawling, flipping tires, and scaling walls are just a few of the obstacles you will find on the course. They even offer a fun course for 5-8-year-olds and a 1-miler for 8-12-year-olds.

Augustine was hooked on the mud run/obstacle course race after his first run. "So I thought what better way to spark fitness and help people feel a sense of accomplishment," he said. Augustine and his wife started Legend Race in February 2013, and since then, they have been handing out medals. Augustine has kept all of his medals and refuses to clean them. "They are a reminder to me, to continue to stay fit, and a sense of accomplishment," said Augustine.

I, of course, was drawn to this local (Raleigh) company for it's fun fitness outlet, but what I love best is their commitment to the community. A portion of the proceeds of the Panda-Monium race will support the Special Olympics and Pittsboro Elementary School.

Interested in registering for Panda-Monium on September 13? Visit Panda-Monium to register and use promo code: Cool25 to receive 25% off registration.

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Goals, Set them High!

Goals. We all need to make goals. Whether it's to lose weight, eat healthy or blog more; it's important. I've been encouraged by a fellow blogger and friend, Tanya to write out my goals for August. It could be personal goals or professional goals. My list will be a little of both. I really like this idea of being goal-oriented because as a stay-at-home mom I find myself running around in a chaos. I need structure; I need goals. The following is my list of goals for the month of August. I hope my blogging goals will keep you coming back to read the informative and interesting posts I have planned, and I hope my personal goals will encourage you in your fitness and family journey.

Blogging Goals
  1. Write a review of the book, The Bridge Tender by Marybeth Whalen, and offer a giveaway of a signed copy of the book.
  2. Introduce you to Legend Race owner, Fred Augustine and the upcoming mud run Panda-Monium.
  3. Product reviews. I'm trying Summit's Raspberry Ketone supplements. They're supposed to be a natural fat burner. We'll see. 
  4. Write a post about how mothers keep their sanity and maintain their femininity in a house full of boys. If you have any suggestions for this post, send me an email at

Personal Goals

  1. Start training for a mud run. 
  2. Each more fruits & veggies.
  3. Cut out sweets.
  4. Start planning at least 3 meals a week.
  5. Go to church more regularly.

Now that I've written that all done, I actually feel better. It's not just a bunch of to-do's scrambled in my head. I have direction. I have a plan. I have goals. You might have similar goals as me, or maybe your goals are completely different. I would love to hear about your goals. Comment below, so we can encourage each other on our journey.

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