Friday, October 14, 2016

Sweeter Off the Vine: Book Review

Picture Source
Hello Friends!

First let me start off by saying, this is a truly beautiful book. The pictures are amazing, and the feel of it is so classy. It would make an excellent addition to any library or would look perfectly placed in any kitchen. That being said, I did not enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. I actually haven’t created one dish from the recipes found in this book, so I do not even know if they are worthwhile. I do know that the recipes in this book are very ingredient heavy and some of them are difficult to find. I live in a small country town, and even still I do not know where to even begin looking for some of these fruits and vegetables.

If you are a French-country chef, then this book will be right up your alley. The texture and recipes are beautiful. If you are an individual who works long hours and you are looking for something quick to impress family and friends, this may not be for you. Most of the time when I get home, it’s already after 7:00 PM and I don’t really have the time or the energy to slave over a truly impressive dessert or meal. I have about 30 minutes to make something edible happen.

The thing I really did love about this book is the author’s decision to divide sections using seasons as a guide. For example, grape, apple, pumpkin and squash recipes are all located in the fall section while fig, apricot and melon recipes are all located in the summer section. This makes it very easy to find recipes using fruits and vegetables that are in season. I also loved the author’s choice to include unique ingredients such as rhubarb, dates and fresh herbs. While this book doesn’t benefit my kitchen, I truly feel like for a much more talented chef, this book would add luxury and class to a kitchen.


***Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my review.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Five Things Friday | 1

TGIF right?

I don't know about y'all, but I am so excited that Friday is upon us, even though I have to work Saturday!  Today I am spending the day in Statesville helping out the branch there, so I am little far away from home!  That's okay though because tomorrow at 12 noon, my weekend starts!  So in celebration of Friday, I am posting five of my favorite finds from the week!  Hope you enjoy them!

Kids are so honest...

Can you say yummy??  Check out the full, super easy recipe here!

As a young professional in the corporate world, I always want to better my leadership skills.  This link has some great advice!

If you are like me and prepping for good summer reads, here is a pretty interesting list of really good, really underrated books!

I love motivational quotes, and this one is a GREAT one!  Take a deep breath, and realize your plan doesn't have to be perfect!

What are five things that made your list this Friday?
Like I said, let me know!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Work/Life Balance

As I am writing this, I have just spent the WHOLE weekend cleaning and organizing my house.  My brother-in-law couldn't tell that I had done anything, and that is okay.  I can see what I have accomplished, but some days, it is hard to admit I can't do it all.  I read blogs about other women who work, are great wives, great moms, AND have time to manage a blog about their awesome lives!  It makes me feel pretty inadequate.  I sit on my couch on Sunday night and plan out my blogging week so that when I get home from work, I don't have to really write any posts.  I don't cook, and I only make time to clean on the weekends.  But that is all part of the balance.  

At Enterprise, we call it a work/life balance.  Balance your job at work and your life a home.  Sounds easy right?  Not exactly.  The Mount Airy branch is open from 8:00 to 5:00, but, unlike my naive expectations, those are not the hours I work.  My mornings start at 6:20 AM with my alarm and it is not unusual for me to still be at the branch at 6:00 PM.  Some days involve a quick drive-thru grab lunch and some days involve leftovers in the office.  Most of my time spent away from the branch involves delivering and moving cars, and when those rare moments come, I am normally super thrilled.  It's the little things.  Most days I bring home stories of bizarre rental experiences or I have dreams of Tahoes or minivans all night.  Turning it off sometimes feels impossible.  

Joshua told me when I first started working that I would be "living for the weekends," but what he didn't say is that when they get here, I am normally too tired from the week to really want to do anything.  I clean, go out for dinner and decorate, but my activity level is pretty low.  Still though, the work/life balance is improving.  With the change in the time, I feel like I am getting more done during the week, and I have started (finally) to have more energy when I get off work.  I have picked up reading before bed again, and my blog is finally starting to take shape again.  All of these are good things, and I am getting better (slowly).  I feel like most working people struggle with work/life balances, so if this post speaks to you, here are some tips that I feel are helping.

This sounds so simple, and it is.  You just have to sit down and do it!  Pick what is important to you, and make sure that goes on your list.  When Joshua and I had our pre-marital counseling session, our preacher told us about how he and his wife have a date night every Friday night.  At the time, that sounded cute but unnecessary for me again Joshua.  As the time has gone on though, meals with Josh have become a focal point of my excitement, and I enjoy eating dinner out with him.  While we do not have a set schedule yet, we do prioritize time with each other.  I have found that making a "To-do" list is very beneficial.  If I have something written down, I can't forget to do it.  Plus, scratching that item off the list is one of the best feelings.  

I struggle with this so much.  I want to do it all, but I just physically can't, and that is okay.  Joshua does not expect me to cook or clean, which is great.  This doesn't mean I abandon all attempts at cooking or cleaning, but I realize on Tuesday night when I am worn out that I don't have to cook dinner and Josh won't expect me to clean anything.  Still, some weekends, like this weekend, it is worth putting in the effort to getting a lot of stuff done.  I made my list, and it was HUGE, so I knew going in, it would be a long shot to complete that bad boy.  I didn't complete it, but I knocked some big tasks off that list, and that is the best I can do.  Do your best, and realize that the rest will (eventually) fall into place.

Part of a work/life balance is to be able to turn off work.  I work hard when I am at work, so I should be home when I am at home.  Find ways to turn off work, and de-stress.  My coworkers love to work out, so they go to the gym or go for runs with their dogs.  This sounds life pure torture to me, so this is NOT how I de-stress!  lol  Right now, I like to go home and work in my "garden."  I also read before bed every night so I can turn my mind off.  Joshua and I like to watch Netflix and Hulu together and just spend the evening on the couch cuddling.  All of these things are ways that you can turn work off when you are at home, and whatever works for you, that is what is important!

Work/life balance is a process, not a competition.  It is something you will work for every day, and I don't think we will ever get it perfect, and that is okay.  Perfection is overrated and the journey is what is important.  So learn to live with work and life and learn to balance the two in a way that works for you!  Good luck!

What tips do you have for a good work/life balance?
Like I said, let me know!

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