I was under the impression that we would have been able to get some wonderful family photos at our wedding. However we were so busy, on a time restraint and honestly all London wanted to do was go play with her cousin. So alas we have zero pictures of the four of us. We have been wanting to redo our bedroom, add some updated pictures to the house. Especially to include Juniper, so I went on the hunt for a photographer. Alexandria had posted on her photography page that she was looking for models to build her portfolio, so this was the perfect opportunity. I had previously met Alexandria when she photographed an event for us last September at Westbend Winery and she was super sweet. Most importantly I love the opportunity to give young aspiring business women any help I can to grow their business. Alexandria is originally from Vermont, so she is starting her business all over again, that is not an easy task to undertake.
As a mother all you hope is that your children will have their best smiles and generally Juniper is such a happy baby that I was not concerned. Well the weekend rolls around and Juniper is not herself, is easily upset and did not want to cooperate. Panic sets in. Let me tell you that Alexandria was fantastic, so patient and helpful. I took Juniper to the doctors on the following Monday and she had a double ear infection and pink eye. Yet you would not be able to tell from these photos. It takes a talented person to be able to capture these type of pictures through the tears and cuddles we had to give out (not that I ever complain about those). If you are looking for a local photographer please consider reaching out to Alexandria.
Alexandria Bathalon - Elegant Rose Photography
When you first think you may need some mental health care it can be a very daunting feeling. You may feel ashamed, embarrassed, vulnerable and that you have somehow failed in life. This is exactly how I have felt recently. Although the mental health stigma has come a long way in the last 50 years, I feel that we still have a long way to go. On average there is about 40% of people within America that have mental health issues but do not seek treatment.
This week I found out exactly why those people are not getting the help they need. Simply put our mental health care system is broken and needs fixing. I have always dealt with some anxiety and have always pushed it to one side. Putting a smile on my face, showing the world that I am a strong woman capable of anything I put my mind to. Yet inside I often feel like I am falling apart, failing with the everyday things that life throws at me. I am constantly analyzing myself as a mother, friend, daughter, and wife. Always worrying that we are struggling financially, that the house is a complete mess, that I need to sort out the clutter, clean, carve out family time, meal plan, exercise, and the list goes on. When I get these overwhelmed feelings I end up caving in, becoming a hermit, wallowing in my own misery and things get worse.
I decided that this year I would make myself small goals, celebrate in my accomplishments, focus on self-care and take one day at a time. I know what I need to do to improve my state of mind, however, realistically it will not change overnight and so I wanted to speak with someone. I sat down, turned on my laptop and starting googling the first steps of getting help. Most things pointed to reaching out to a counselor and so I plucked up the courage to email some local professionals. My main concern was how expensive it would be and could I afford the help. Also, I did not have the courage to speak to someone in person or the phone yet so in my email, I stated that I would like them to email me back.
Now you would think that the people that handle these emails would be professional and understanding. So far that is a big negative, one emailed me asking for my phone number and when I responded that I was not ready to talk to someone and would like my concerns answered via email I never got a response back. The other place called me, even as I said I had asked them to email me not call. When I answered the lady at first sounded friendly when I asked them what information they would like she replied with “well you were the one who emailed us what did you want, do you want to speak to someone or medication”. I politely responded but informing her that I did not know what I needed that I just wanted some help. She said, “well to speak with someone will be $100 then if you want to consider medication you have to speak to someone else and that is $180”. I was so upset, there was no compassion in her voice, no care for my mental health, I was not being treated as an individual who needed help.
I did not feel comfortable talking with her anymore so I said thank you and she hung out. This is my first experience reaching out for help and as I sure you can imagine I do not feel comfortable going to either of these places. I do not think it should cost $280 to speak to someone regarding counseling and possible medication. This is exactly why people do not get the mental health care they need. Working in a field such a mental health should be treated with great respect, understanding, be judgment-free and have great customer service. If someone does not feel welcome by the receptionist they will likely not even trust the facility to treat them. This week the same company called me again, I informed them that last week I was treated very rudely and they did not even offer an apology.
So for those of us out there who need mental help and some help with what direction we should take, what do we do? If anyone has any advice I would be more than happy to accept it. It has taken me a week to make this blog post, yet I figured I cannot be the only one who is dealing with something like this. This is exactly what this group is meant to be, a safe haven where we can feel comfortable talking about the reality of our feelings. So here it is the real me showing my true colors. That no matter how strong I appear on the inside, I am not capable of carrying this burden on my own.
2020 is already going to be a busy year, yet I am determined to make some changes in my life to make them easier. Between work, my part time gig, full time college, motherhood, being a wife and the house something has to give. I have found that one of the biggest stressors is when my house is unkempt, that is being polite and an understatement. When my house is a mess, cluttered and I am behind on cleaning my mind mimics my house. I am unable to relax in my own home because I am constantly worrying about I should be doing whilst I am trying to enjoy some quality family time. In the end everyone suffers and the house. So I have decided that I am going to go through every room and be ruthless. If things do not have a purpose, have not been used in over a year and I have not missed it then it is going. I am going to try on every item of clothing I have and if it does not make me feel good when wearing it, then you guessed it, it is going as well. Life is too short to be focused on the small things around the house, but when we have less things we have less to clean which gives us more time with those that matter doing the things we love. Its been too long since I have had a good purge so although I know it will not be done in one weekend, I am excited to start and even more excited to see the end results. Let the purge begin.
For some more inspiration take a look at these Marie Kondo quotes:
One of my favorite things to enjoy around the holidays has always been Christmas lights. Growing up I was spoiled as I was able to go into central London to see the wonderful decorations. I remember excited to see what new lights Oxford St, Regents St and Carnaby St had. We would make sure to go look at the beautiful displays in Selfridges window and always enjoy a special visit to Santa's grotto. London sure knows how to do Christmas right and it has only got better with time. The German Christmas market in Hyde Park is a special treat and my local castle in Rochester also had their own German Christmas Market. So when I moved to the US I wasn't ready to miss all these special traditions. In the movies America is portrayed to be so special around Christmas, with parades, light displays, decorated town squares and much more. Unfortunately my first Christmas in South Carolina, I was so homesick. Fortunately we took a trip to Gatlinburg which is beautiful this time of year. Last night we made a special family trip to McAdenville near Charlotte and it was the perfect evening for it. It was super busy, the lines of cars were weaving around the roads but we made the decision to take a lovely walk. I had heard so many talk about Christmas Town USA so we had to go explore ourselves. Take a look at a few of our photos. I think we have started a new tradition.
Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. The Christmas break provides us with valuable time with out family, which means time to make memories and enjoy traditions. One of my favorite traditions I have is making Christmas cookies every year with London. I love an opportunity to spend time with you but baking Rudolph cookies for Santa always puts a smile on my face and warms my heart. I get caught up in life at the moment which means I do not take as much time doing the small things with London as I should. I know I am trying to better myself by going to college but it sure does kick my ass. If you are looking for a family tradition baking cookies is always a good idea, add some pretzels and m&m's, then you have cute reindeer's. Check out some pictures from the previous years of London making these. She also loves to help me make Pecan Pies.
Here is my favorite sugar cookies recipe (makes about 32 cookies). Recipe is from https://www.wineandglue.com/perfect-sugar-cookies/.
Its been a while since I introduced myself and since we have some many new beautiful faces I wanted to tell you all a little about me. My name is Chrissy Weaver (previously Moore), 2019 has been a big year for our family. We have two beautiful daughters, London Florence is 7 and we welcomed our second beautiful baby girl, Juniper Orion this May. After proposing on New Years Eve, me and Carl got married this October. We dreamed about having a vintage, 1920's, Peaky Blinders wedding and I am delighted that our vision came to life. I am originally from England and have been fortunate enough to call the United States home for nearly 10 years. Although I miss my homeland very dearly, North Carolina is now my home sweet home.
Now I have been doing the Winston Salem Housewives in the City now for 1 year and I love meeting all you AMAZING ladies. I am hoping that for 2020 we can plan more fun events, work with more women owned businesses, support local charities/non-profits, explore our beautiful city and empower more women. I want you to know that EVERYONE is welcome at our events and in our group. Please don't let the name put you off, we are a diverse group of women, all ages, all backgrounds and all have our own dreams. What we do all have in common is that we all need somebody to lean on, we all have our down days and this group can provide ladies with an opportunity to connect with like minded people. We all have a past, some are divorced, have blended families, suffered abuse and much more. My main goal is to strive to make a difference in one persons life each day. My goal for 2020 is to spread the word about our group and invited people to learn about us. The more the merrier is my moto.
Check out our events scheduled so far for the next 6 months. We are looking for people to partner with and would love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org
December 16th 2019 @ Hoots Beer Co
January 22nd 2020 - 1 year Anniversary @ Vintage Sofa Bar
February 12th @ Earls
March 26th @ Wise Man Brewing
April 20th @ Corks, Caps & Taps
May 11th 2020 @ Incendiary Brewing
This year has been full of so many changes, many of them have been blessings, yet accepting change is not always easy. This past month I have felt really down in the dumps, fighting back my feelings, but let's be honest, it is not easy. One of the hardest things to do when you are down is to pull yourself out of the deep dark hole you feel you fell in. Having my sweet baby and getting married this year have been a highlight. But now here I am, 35 years old starting all over again. I have put my career on hold, my college graduation has been pushed back another year and I feel like I have lost my own identity. When I was pregnant with London, I was surrounded by a group of wonderful ladies that were also pregnant or were new moms. I had my own support network, where we could lean on each other, watch each other’s kids, have coffee together, play dates and drink wine. This time around, life is very different. I don't know any other mom friends with babies, I spend more of my time trying to juggle life and always feel like I am failing.
So there I was yesterday, throwing myself a pity party, drinking champagne at 5 O'Clock (because it's always 5 O'Clock somewhere right?) and I was feeling very lost. I decided then and there that I had to do something about how I felt. And as the saying goes, every day is a new day. Fast forward to this morning, I woke up grumpy, hormonal and tired, but I am determined to make it a great day! The one thing I have learned is that the older we get, the more we become uncomfortable with who we are and our life. It is almost like we become stagnant. We are like plants, we have put down some roots but in order to continue to grow, we need light, love and nurturing. For example, we are always wishing we weighed a little less, had more time to work out, spent more time playing with our kids and sold the unwanted things in our home. The only person who can make all of this happen is yourself. Sometimes it may seem like you are being selfish, but take some time to look after yourself. Because you are not useful to anyone if you are worn out and depressed. Even simple things like taking a relaxing bath, a peaceful walk, starting weight watchers or changing a career. Doors do not open by themselves, we have to get the energy together to push or pull it open.
I have always thought of myself as an optimist, a glass half full girl, not half empty. Yet it is so easy to become absorbed in all of the negatives within our life, rather than relishing in the positives. One of the biggest things I worry about is money. Unfortunately, money makes the world go round and we can't live without it. I have been working in the school system now in NC for nearly 4 years, but when I got pregnant with Juniper we decided it was best financially to take 12 months off, to stay home and sub part-time. Five months later out childcare situation has changed and I feel unable to leave her with anyone else. An amazing opportunity presented itself for me to work at a daycare where I would get paid to look after Juniper, along with 4 other babies. You would think I would be over the moon, which I am, but I am struggling with letting go of my position at the school system. When did we decide that our career needs to dictate who we are in life?
Over the past few weeks, myself and Carl have been trying to focus on how we can better our family. I don't want money for material items, I want to be able to take trips, pay off debt and build memories. When we are gone, no one will remember what car we drive, how big our house was but the one thing they will cherish the memories you made with them. The overwhelming feeling of dread is still there, but today I am determined to accept change and take a new journey. Sometimes we have to get lost in order to be found. We have to be willing to take a detour. It does not mean that we do not make it to our final destination, we just have to take some alternative roads to get there. Instead of being disappointed, I will enjoy the beauty of the ride and take the time to soak up the small moments along the way rather than being so focused on the big things that I cannot control. I am embracing the 35-year-old me, I may not be perfect there are things I want to improve and I will make small goals for me to achieve. Most days my head tells me one thing and my heart tells me another. I now know what people say when they describe having a midlife crisis. I am making myself a promise, to take each day a step at a time. I will celebrate the small milestones, even if it involves making choices I feel conflicted and confused about. I am ready to make short term sacrifices for long term gains. Today Friday, November 8th, I am going to let Jesus take the wheel.
Halloween is one of my favorite days of the year. I love seeing all the creative outfits, the cute kids but don't leave our furry friends miss out on the fun! So find a favorite costume and take them trick-or-treating this year! Whether you choose the class dachshund dressed as a hot dog (which lets face it always gets a laugh), scary monster or something more creative, there are costumes for all shapes & sizes. You could even do a duo and have a costume that matches your four legged friend. But always be kind and don't force your dog to wear a costume you can tell they hate. Before buying a costume take the time to measure their neck, chest and length of their body, to help you find the perfect fit!
There is no doubt that Shih Tzu's are one of the cutest fluffy dogs on the planet, but does it get any cuter than this Ewok. Pick your favorite Star Wars character and make it a family outing.
No matter what dog you have this costume is sure to be a big hit! No matter how many times I see this costume, I am always laughing. This costume does not discriminate as it even looks great on a cat!
The baby shark craze has been insane this year. If you have a little one at home I am sure you have heard this song countless times. So why not include the whole family this Halloween and be the share family!
Arrrrrr matey's! This costume is perfect for all shapes and sizes! This would be a great addition to any family this year with a theme in mind that includes a pirate!
This is probably my favorite for this year, since we are doing Batman and the rest of us are all being villains. So this would be the perfect addition this Halloween for my family.
If DIY costumes are your thing then try your hand at this. Do you know that Starbucks now offer a babyccino free for your little ones and also a puppuccino also for free. It is not on their menu as it is part of their secret menu but be sure to ask for it next time.
Unicorns really do exist! How cute is this magical outfit, let your little girl dress up as princess and let the dog be her unicorn.
Now this is a DIY costume anyone can do with just a little time. I know we all love our furry friends, especially those that are cute enough to be a teddy bear.
When I found this costume, I could not stop laughing. This is pure genius, may not be appropriate for everyone this year but I got a kick out of it.
We have all seen the traditional wiener dog dressed up as a hot-dog, but what about a taco dog!
No Halloween would be complete without a pumpkin and I think we can all agree this is one cute outfit!
If you haven't laughed at any costumes yet, I hope you got a kick out of this one! Spice up your night island style with this beauty!
How perfect is this costume! This dog owns this costume!
No Halloween would be the same without Hocus Pocus. The costume options for your puppy this year go on and on, but I think this is one of my favorites! What is your puppy dressing up as this year? Do you let them join in on the fun or let them chill safely at home.
All photos courtesy of www.amazon.com
I look forward to these events so much every month. I am always so excited to see the regular people that come to support us and enjoy meeting new people. The weather was threatening us this month, but thankfully the dark clouds, thunder and lighting blew right over us. We enjoyed great fellowship, networking and shopping local. The company was amazing and the drinks were too.
September 12th 2019 - Westbend Winery & Brewing in Lewisville, NC.
Alexandria Bathalon - Elegant Rose Photography
Sunshine - Website: https://drinkthesunshine.com/
Facebook: Sunshine Beverages (@drinksunshine)
Rachel Ferraro - Evelyn Rose Boutique
Emily Stessman - Paparazzi
Jennifer Merritt - Mary Kay
Gail Roby - Ruby Ribbon Shapewear
I hope you will join us at our next event: October 9th @ Fiddlin Fish Brewing Company
We are still looking for vendors for our events in 2019 please email email@example.com
With school already back in full swing now, summer seems so far behind. Just as I was hoping to get in a routine, the sickness has already hit my house. The saying starve a fever, feed a cold is so true. I am so hungry and so I figured it would be rude not to give in to the traditional phrase. Everyone knows that one of the best things about being sick is eating soup. Then once I think of soup I think of all the other yummy fall one pot meals or at least those that just get heaped in a bowl. So with the fall and sick season upon us, I wanted to share some of my favorite meals with you. I hope that you can enjoy these this fall, most of them are super easy and great for making for guests. I promise you that no one will leave your house hungry, The biggest hit in my house is the white chicken chili and the 7up biscuits. Also with football season here I wanted to share my favorite mac n cheese recipe and snack recipe. They are both perfect with beer! I hope you enjoy these yummy recipes! Most of these are great to make in batches and freeze for those lazy cold days ahead.
Lasagna is a favorite meal of mine but whenever I make traditional lasagna I feel like I spend hours making it. This one pot Lasagna soup is AMAZING:
There is even a white chicken version:
It wouldn't be Fall without a Chili recipe, this one is my go to.
White chicken chili:
My favorite thing about Olive Garden is the Zuppa Toscana and it is so easy to make at home:
Nothing beats a good tomato soup, this roasted tomato and red pepper will hit the spot:
I love pumpkin but I am not a pie fan, instead I love a good warming spicy pumpkin soup:
Baked Bean Casserole:
Jack Daniels Mac n Cheese:
Super easy to make but addictive crackers:
7up Biscuits - I promise you will love this and your friends/family will be begging for you to make more.
This is how we feel when the sickness bug hit! Circa 2018 Halloween pictures - we love dressing up! The year before we did Guardians of the Galaxy, stay tuned for this year.