Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Welcome to 2015, my friends!!!  I thought maybe I should dust this thing off for the New Year.  I did this last year and did one post, maybe I will do two this year!

To start the new year - I will answer one of the two questions I always get asked…  The questions are as follows:

#1 What is it like to live in Beulaville?
#2 When are you getting pregnant?

As for question 2, I have a niece and she is perfect.  At this point, I drink more coffee than water, I answer emails in the middle of the night, and my idea of cooking is grilled cheese sandwiches.  So, question 2 will go unanswered for a while longer…

As for question 1, here is what I can tell you about Beulaville:

We have 4 fast food restaurants (McDonald's, Hardees, Bojangles, and Subway).  We have 3 pizza places (Pizza Hut, Pizza Village, and a place that I can't remember the name of currently).  We have an Andy's.  We have a takeout Chinese place that is super cheap, but feeds an army.  Last but certainly not least, we have Duff's Cafe (which actually has the best seafood on Friday nights).  

There are literally FIVE auto parts stores.  Several dollar trees/dollar stores/dollar whatever.  And a hardware store.

There are two small grocery stores (no Harris Teeter, no Food Lion, no….).

A gift boutique and a nail salon.

Two gas stations.

A Walgreen's.  And some other pharmacy...

And two stop lights.

I am sure I am missing something, but these are the major highlights.

We are basically a small town sandwiched between Raleigh and Wilmington.  The first being about an hour and a half away and the second being about an hour away.  (We are about 45 minutes from Kinston, NC that has a restaurant named the Chef and the Farmer.  You should literally book your reservation and get in your car to go eat there.)

Most people here have some connection to the farm industry, but not all…  There are hog farms, turkey farms, chicken farms, and so forth.  You will see tobacco grown here, cotton, soy beans, corn, wheat, and etc.  I am sure I am forgetting something, but basically these are the big ones.

Zack's family used to grow tobacco and the best stories are told at Sunday lunch about what those days were like.  Sometimes I leave Sunday lunch at Mema's with a face that hurts from smiling so much (oh - and this is by far, the best food in town).  Zack's family now has hog farms and grows row crops.

I work about 30 minutes away in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which is the home of Camp Lejeune military base.  We have recently gotten a Panera in Jacksonville and a Lowe's Food.  Woot, Woot!  My gym is in Jacksonville.

We have a small regional airport about 10 minutes from our house if you're asking yourself how I manage to travel.  I can literally get my boarding pass and get through security in less than 5 minutes.

So, yes, this place is small.  There isn't much for food and shopping, but you'll never find warmer hearts and better fried chicken.  And apparently, I am becoming more like a local because I drive down the country roads like a bat out of hell and straight down the center.  I mean, its a requirement.

My door is always open, come visit!  I will take you on a tour of the farm, take you to Sunday lunch, and Zack can entertain you with his new jokes about the Bachelor.

Love from the country,


Wednesday, March 5, 2014


While I was in law school, I considered exercise to be walking down to the gym in my complex and jogging on the treadmill for 15 minutes or walking instead of calling a cab after leaving dinner (you know, walking 10 blocks in stilettos is hard work).  

After starting work, I really didn't exercise at all.  I started scuba diving last spring and that at least helped me get out of the house and explore another world.  Then, in late October/ early November, my friend Kylene asked me to try CrossFit with her.  We tried a workout on a Saturday and I couldn't move for what felt like days afterwards.  The rest is history...

I now go approximately 5 days a week.  When I went to the grocery store tonight after the gym to buy groceries (or beer actually), I had on a headband and a sweatshirt that both said CrossFit on them.  This struck up a conversation with an employee of the store that asked me about it.  "Why do it" was the gist of the conversation?


It forces you to push yourself to a place that you did not know you could go to.

It takes you out of your comfort zone.

It forces you to rid yourself of everything bad that happened in the day and think only about that next rep, that next step, and so forth.

It makes you accountable to others because if you don't go, someone will stalk you down on social media and see to it that you are back the next day.

And last, but not'll find a family.  When you have done more box jumps than you ever want to think about again, there will always be that person yelling at you that you can do it and to get back on that box.    

Will I be the next person to make it to the games?  No.  Will I look and feel a hell of a lot better in a pair of skinny jeans or a suit?  Absolutely. 

Photo Credit:  Maggie Selzer

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Valentine's Day Weekend

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you likely heard all my whining about a New York trip that didn't happen.  To make the story short, winter storm, Pax, and I are not friends - not even remotely.  When I figured out all of our flights were cancelled, I spent the next few hours trying to get us anywhere in America, basically.  The list includes:  Dallas, Chicago, Miami, etc.  Plane travel wasn't happening.  By Friday morning at 6am, Zack made the executive decision that we were driving further South to good ole' faithful Charleston.

Because it was the weekend of love, hotel availability was minimal, but I was somehow able to snag a room at the Charleston Place with a balcony overlooking King Street.

The Charleston Place basically sits above the Shops of Charleston, which include a Louis Vuitton and a Gucci (enough said, right?).  We had not made any dinner reservations because of our planned trip to visit those yankees up North, but we were in luck that the concierge makes reservations under fake names.  Who knew?  Friday night we went to a new place called the Grocery - think the Chef and the Farmer for those who live locally.  On Saturday night, we went to Hall's Chophouse.  I don't think the food could have been better.  When we walked into Hall's, we were greeted by the owner.  At the end of the night, he was giving us shots.  They get two thumbs up in my book.

During the day on Saturday, we walked through the Market, down to the Battery, and back to King Street to exercise my shopping skills.  I convinced Zack I needed Lululemon pants.  When I came out of the fitting room, I noticed that a blonde salesclerk had convinced him that he too needed his own Lululemon.  I didn't tell him when he stepped away that she was complimenting how well dressed he was -- he already spends enough time on his wardrobe selections.

At the end of the day, my over-planned, swank NYC trip was a bust, but Charleston was perfection.  It doesn't hurt that I also ate like $48 worth of Godiva chocolate covered strawberries.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Workout Clothing

Anytime you stick with a gym or a workout program, workout clothes become a necessity and if you are me, the cuter they are, the better.  Functionality is also somewhat important, as I am learning every time I have to do a burpee and I don't want my pants to fall down.  I have spent 30 seconds of a workout trying to pull my pants back into place and if you are as slow as I am, you don't have 30 seconds to spare.

My favorite finds are below:

I don't think I have ever owned anything by Reebox, but this jacket is lightweight and fun at the same time.  It fits true to size and isn't baggy.  You can buy it anywhere that Reebox is sold and it can typically be found on sale.      

Target has some of the best workout clothes at affordable prices in my opinion.  I have this pullover in a variety of colors.  These pants are also from Target and I think they are a great alternative to some of the more expensive workout pants.  They are about $20 and come in a variety of colors.  To me, they are similar to the Nike Dri-Fit pants, which are my favorite, but tend to be much pricer.  

I get a lot of questions about these pants and they are Nike.  The print is ridiculous, which makes them even better.  I try to just wear a black top when I wear them, so my husband isn't embarrassed.  
What are your favorites?  

I also must ask if the lululemon pricing is worth it.  My American Express feels a little uneasy about $100+ yoga pants.    

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Newlywed Life

I have been neglecting this blog for a very long time now (opps).  Zack and I are living at full speed ahead.  Since the wedding, we have done a lot of working and a little bit of playing.

So, here's a little trip down memory lane since we have gotten married -

We both learned to scuba dive (after I almost drowned in the deep end of the pool).  We have been to a depth of 130ft at this point, and we have seen some of the most historic shipwrecks off the coast.  Zack had a little encounter with a jellyfish and one of our closest friends suffered a broken leg, but we have managed the seas otherwise unscathed.  Can it be summer again, please?    

We practically criss-cross the roads going between Charlotte, Raleigh, and the Carolina coast.  Say what you may, but I love this state.  We have been to Topsail beach, Ocean Isle Beach, and Emerald Isle this year.  We also went back to our alma mater for a basketball game just a week ago and I got my "city" fix by staying in North Hills.  If you are visiting Raleigh or just want a fun place to stay, the Renaissance North Hills has my vote.          

I started Crossfit.  Yes, it is addictive.  Yes, everyone who starts it likes to talk about it.  After years of no exercise, it was time do something, and I don't like to do anything on a small scale.  So, I started Crossfit, and while I am a long way from where I want to be, I am a hell of a long way from where I started.

We have spent countless Sundays screaming at the television for the Carolina Panthers.  I tried to convince Zack that I needed to go to the Super Bowl.  Basically, I told him it was a bucket list item and that I had to go (and go this year).  Then, I looked up the prices.  Needless to say, if my Panthers make it, I will be watching it on the television.

What is on tap for 2014 you may ask?

Well, definitely more of the above.  I would like to hop down to Charleston soon.  Maybe, go somewhere tropical for our 1st anniversary.  Save money for a house of our own.  AND - just love my husband!  

I get the baby question on the daily.  No, I am not pregnant.  Yes, we want to have children.  No, I am not ready just yet.

I'll be back soon.

Love,  Rachel  

While you are at it in 2014, do a little dance..
Photo Credit:  Kristin Vining

Friday, March 29, 2013

Just Shy of 2 Weeks

Yes, we are two weeks (and a day) from the day we have been planning for years.  Don't get me wrong - things are busy, very busy - but I don't feel like I am running around with my hair falling out or being too stressed to function.  I think I am more stressed about work than anything else.  I wake up in the middle of the night with anxiety over work decisions, but I haven't had any wedding nightmares, dreams, or anything of the like yet.  

Zack and I have been together since 18.  At this point, we have been operating as 1 since I finished undergrad.  This wedding seems almost like a celebration of the past as much as a starting point for the future ahead.  I am not getting cold feet.  If anyone should have cold feet, it should be Zack.  I am a pain and a half to deal with.  If you have ever spent a weekend with me, you'll know that I am trying to put your shoes away before you take them off.  

Babe - If I forget to tell you in the years to come, thanks for putting up with me.  (I also apologize for continuously breaking the wedding budget).   

So, for the next two weeks, I am going to TRY to release control and let the people we have entrusted to make this day one big party do their job.  Plus, I am going to look forward to a honeymoon in paradise. 

 Oh, if anyone has a suggestion for a rehearsal dinner dress, send it my way.




Friday, February 15, 2013

2 Months and Counting...

I have been more than absent from my blog as of late.  Actually, I have been absent from just about everything except work.  Big girl livin' is rough.  Daily, Zack wants to throw my phone (specifically my email application on my phone) out the window.  To his dismay, it is here to stay.  Momma has to pay the bills.

Now to the wedding... 

In case you have missed my constant Facebook updates regarding the social event of the year, otherwise known as our wedding, we are now under the 2 month mark.  Basically, all the planning is done.  I worked really hard at planning this wedding.  In other words, I called a wedding planner and let her handle it.  All vendors have been picked, now we just have to dot the i's and cross the t's.

The only thing in regards to wedding planning that isn't coming along well is the "pre-wedding diet."  I do have the diet soda police at work though.  Every time I go to the fridge, the police stops me.  It is a start at least!

So, for all my married gals, tell me what pre-wedding diet/cleanse/etc that worked for you.

I'll leave you with a picture of the best four-legged guy around.  He was big pimpin for Valentine's Day.  Doggie Daycare even gave him a treat bag and he participated in the gift exchange (all participating dogs brought one gift and exchanged with a dog friend).  My gift was a last minute purchase on my lunch break that I kind of just threw at them the morning of, unlike the stay-at-home dog moms who had the perfect gift bag, tissue paper, and the works.  My future kids are doomed.