Heart of the Matter

I waited, and waited, and finally ... it came out in paperback!
I'm weird, I prefer paperback over hardback any day.

Heart of the Matter came out last year but I decided to wait until it came out in paperback to read it. I have read all of the other Emily Giffen books in order they came out. I fell in love with Something Borrowed which in my opinion is still her best book. After I read the book in 2008 they announced Hilary Swank purchased the rights to produce the movie but it would be 2011 before the movie would come out. And now we're only about a week away from the premiere of Something Borrowed!!

If anyone has read or wants to read Heart of the Matter with me, I thought about doing the Reading Guide and blogging about it to have sort of a book club style discussion. Let me know if you're in!

Happy Reading!!


Spring Cleaning- Attic Style

I was given quite the spring cleaning challenge this year! Cleaning out the attic of an entire family. Luckily my own family, or that would have be an impossible challenge. That means 30+ years of marriage (my parents) and two grown children's (my brother & I) worth of boxes, and all of the sentimental kiche that comes with. My parents are always complaining that I have so much stuff in their attic, and well, I admit-I do. But I also found out they have a lot more.

I'm preparing for a garage sale in a few weeks and I wanted to dig out all of those items to sale. I'm also throwing out loads of stuff in the process that we don't need, and sending some of it to goodwill.

Tip #1- Put any old clothing in a garbage bag and get rid of it! Unless you have recent or expensive, quality clothing- it's best to bag it up for Goodwill. It's difficult to sale all of your unwanted clothes at a garage sale. If I do, I put them in a box and say anything in the box, $1 each. Try to think of anyone or any other charities that could use those bags of clothing. It may make you feel better that someone will be given these items instead of having to purchase them from Goodwill.

Before Shot

I can't show you an actual panorama shot but you get the idea. Just imagine stuff piled up with absolutely no pathway. Do you see all of my mother's Christmas stuff? It's out of control and taking up at least 50% of the attic space. Also my dad has a bad habit of putting stuff right at the door and not organizing it. Gosh, I hope my organizing doesn't come undone within months.

Tip #2- Create a path if one doesn't exist. I literally had to start sorting and throwing out as I entered. We have some hard to get to space that wasn't being used and I began clearing a path to it. I pulled out anything blocking the way and began using this space for anything we wouldn't touch for a while.

Garage Sale area

On one side in a small area I began clearing out a space for what would be my "garage sale only" side. (Somehow one of my brother's racing trophys got stuck over there for the picture.) Luckily most of it could stay put. This now provides me a space to put these items as I move along through the rest of the madness. I came across a lot of "keepsakes" which then created a whole other section called "keepsakes" (duh).

I tackled one section at a time, slowly moving along the wall... clearing out and organizing. Going through the items is the tough part. When you haven't seen something for a while, it's easy to sit and reminise. That's the great thing about the "keepsake" section. I can move it there and go through it another day.

It took several weekends but I finally got it finished this past weekend, just in time for the May garage sales I have planned with my aunt. With our attic, it's not protected from the heat/cold so working in the attic only happened when the weather was between 50 and 70 degrees. This is really the only comfortable times to be in there so that's why I couldn't work in it every weekend.

Once all was said in done, I had a large area for garage sale to the left of the door, a clear area in front of  the door, keepsakes on the back wall, and christmas stuff to the right. I have temporarily placed my belongings that will move out with me and my husband (hopefully, soon) in front of the Christmas stuff in an easy to get to location.

It may not be the cleanest attic but it is now organized!


The end of an era

ABC recently announced the cancellation of two of their three legendary soap operas: All My Children (AMC) & One Life to Live (OLTL). AMC will go off the air in September, and OLTL in January. While I no longer keep up with these two shows, I did grow up watching them and I'm sad to see them go. I'm not a big fan of change especially when it comes to pieces of my childhood.

I have been watching soaps since I could sit in front of a TV. Back then we only had basic television (in fact most people did) so once Sesame Street and Reading Rainbow were off, there really wasn't much for children to watch during the day. Don't judge my stay at home mother because I'm actually glad for the exposure at a young age. It made me a lot wiser to things going on in the world. Looking back at old episodes I never really understood the entire context of the adult conversations. I was still quite sheltered.

Despite the over dramatic acting, there is a rich history in these shows that should be valued. There are actors who have devoted their entire lives and careers to being on one show such as Susan Lucci, "Erica Cane." And if you're a soap opera fan, you absolutely hate when your favorites are "killed off" or "leave town" because of contracts or other opportunities that come their way in real life. So when actors devote their career to one soap, we love it! Soap fans are faithful despite bad story lines and awful actors that sometimes sweep through town. If only ABC had been loyal to us.

Like I said though, I haven't kept up with these two in quite a few years, mainly to poor writing. I, however, am solely devoted to General Hospital (GH). And when I say devoted, I mean every day I spend 40 minutes (thank you DVR) unwinding to GH. I have no idea what I would do if it came to an end. I have watched this show most of my life. I grew up with Kimberly McCollough "Robin Scorpio-Drake." I remember her when she first came on the show. I remember the day Luke and Laura came cruising back in town in the Pink Cadillac like it was yesterday (1993). I fell in love with the show during the Sonny, Brenda and Jax love triangle days. And I've been watching daily since. I would sincerely hate to see this show be cancelled for inexpensive talkshows and I hope ABC realizes the rich history of this show before it's too late. According to reports now, they do and they believe the writing and viewership are in a good place. Let's keep it that way GH fans!

I'd love to hear some feedback if you are a soap fan, GH fan or have a devotion to a show for 20+ years!

Happy Easter!

Wishing ya'll a Happy Easter!

Courtesy of thegogreenblog.com


My Carolina Grocery List - Part 2

It's great being back in NC and being able to shop at my local Harris Teeter store!
Here are a few more of my favorite foods I'm enjoying since being back home. Check out Part 1 if you missed my post back in January.

Five Alive is really not a Southern product, it actually originated in Canada but for some reason it's always been successful in the southeast. It is bottled by Coca-Cola (headquartered in Atlanta) which might be why it can be found in the southeast. I was able to find it in the canned version around the country at Wal-mart but it's not quite the same. I first remember seeing Five Alive in my grandparents vintage green refrigerator and can recall my granddaddy pouring a glass for me. Not long after our family also started drinking it as our "orange juice" every morning. Quite honestly, now that I've become a lot more health conscious... Five Alive isn't that good for you. Five Alive is a tasty blend of citrus flavors, and is smooth unlike orange juice but it's not real fruit. You can't get a full serving of fruit by drinking a glass like you can Tropicana orange juice; nonethless, it is delicious! And in true southern fashion -- what tastes good isn't always good for you.

Five Alive

Two words: Merita Bread. Need I say more fellow southerners? Can you find a softer, fresher, better tasting white bread than this one? Again, white bread isn't the best thing for you but in my opinion, this is the best! They also make a good wheat bread. Since I've been away and couldn't get my hands on Merita,  I actually converted to Sara Lee whole grain white. For me I am still able to get the fiber but the taste of white bread. I also eat more wheat bread now though. For the most part I don't eat white breads anymore and have moved on to whole grains/wheat.

Mertia Bread

Carolina Treet is one of those items I used to bring back with me after a trip home. I'm glad I don't have to go far to get this great marinade. I have always used this on grilled chicken as a marinade. My husband has become a fan also. Even though it says BBQ sauce, don't expect a sweet bbq sauce. It's a tangy kind of sauce that gives the chicken a little kick but not spicy.

Carolina Treet

Do you have any of these in your kitchen? Any more southern favorites out there?


Safe Haven

A few weeks ago I finished the latest Nicholas Sparks book Safe Haven. It was probably the most suspenseful Sparks book I've ever read. Like all of his books they are slow to start but once you start nearing the end, you can't turn the page fast enough.

Before it was ever released Safe Haven had a movie deal in place. As I was reading I thought to myself this is going to make a really great movie so I'm absolutely thrilled about this. I can't wait to see who will play Katie and Alex. If you read the book, do you have anyone in mind?

I'm already looking forward to the next book coming out this fall: The Best of Me.