Thursday, November 29, 2012


No no no calm down, not across the country again. And not out of the parental unit's casa...yet! (I know, I know it was only supposed to be temporary, as I say this one year later.
I really should have told you months ago. I moved to a new domain. 
I figured since my followers were...Mom, Dad, Country Man, Country Man's mother, grandmother, cousin and brother, that the move would be safe. However, I noticed I've lost some readership along the way. And also some writership. Is that a word? Nope, it's not, I just got the red squiggly line indicating that it is not. What I mean is that I haven't been writing as much, because designing your personally hosted site, is A LOT harder than simply posting from the Blogger platform. I am still new to the world of blogging, and teaching myself along the way, but I'll admit I may have been a little hasty in my move. As I am with many things in life...but somehow I always pull through. 

Thank you for all of my readers who have praised my writing style, it is definitely encouraging. I hope that you come visit me and continue to leave comments at my new home. I look forward to seeing you there. 

Now, GO, quit hanging around this old space! You're missing all my Southern adventures.

love ya!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


For those of you who didn't catch up with me earlier today, I was super motivated to workout after the downward spiral last week. So, at 5:30pm I leave the office, head to the gym, change clothes, use the restroom, attempt to wash my hands and....
Smash my finger into the soap dispenser. 
Yes, with enough force to break my nail in half, cause an immediate blood blister to form and blood oozing beneath the nail (graphic sorry). 
No, I was not angry and trying to smash innocent soap dispensers.
Really I'm just a klutz. This is something you will learn about me. 
I shrieked a little, the woman next to me looked over, saw the blood and didn't even ask if I was okay!! That is NOT the Southern charm I've been talking about lady.
 But then she definitely gave me strange looks when instead of washing it off I took about 5 pictures. 
"Oh don't worry lady, I am a blogger! Yea, a blogger! Its all for the sake of the blog! 
Oh wait, you weren't worried anyway, were you!"
I didn't actually say that. I just gave her a creepy look and told her I'm a vampire.
A vampire who puts Snoopy bandaids on her cuts. 
It was still throbbing, despite Lucy's smiling face on my thumb. 
But, I was determined for the Yolates class!
(yoga + pilates = yolates, for my slow learners...I still love you)
I'm slow too, in different ways.
This was my second time doing the class, which is actually called Centergy at my gym, but Yolates sounds so much cooler, doesn't it?
The first time, I looked much like a dying seagull, not a graceful swan; because not only am I klutzy, I am also very NON-flexible. However, this is something I'm trying to fix, especially because one day I think it would be cool to own a Yolates studio. Maybe I should learn how to do it first though, just a thought. 
Honestly, I'm just really drawn to the culture of it, which maybe explains why I wore this Eco Yoga shirt...
If I'm going to look like a dying seagull instead of a blooming lotus flower scorpion firefly downward dog, I should at least attempt to dress the part. 
I've honestly had this shirt forever, I got it at Whole Foods a couple years ago. 
Yes, guilty - I bought a shirt at Whole Foods while I supposed to be "grocery shopping." 
Doesn't everyone spend WAYYY too much money every time they step foot in Whole Foods or is that just me?? Between the salad bar, organic ice-cream, craft beer selection and natural beauty products, I'm done for. (Pssstt...Karen, hook me up with the employee discounts ;)
One day, don't you worry though, I will not only be dressed like a Yogi guru, but I'll be doing this!
Whose the dying seagull now?!

And Country Man will be doing this!
But, he won't grow his hair like that....

and maybe just maybe one day I won't be such a klutz. 

XOXO Love, your dying seagull yolates vampire


Have you ever had one of those days where you are SO motivated to workout (you even pack gym clothes in your car in the morning!) but then it seems like the world is against your good and healthy motives? That happened to me last week when my "workout routine" went something like this.

4:00pm - check the gym class schedule and vow to go to the 5:30pm Spin Class
5:35pm - reading emails, "Crap! What time is it??"
5:36pm - check the gym class schedule AGAIN and vow to go to the 6:30 Pilates class
5:50pm - "Hello Boss....why are you back in the office, I thought you left for the day?"
6:45pm - "Goodbye Boss" Grrrrrr!!!!
6:50pm - Driving home I decide that I still have time for a run around the lake.
7:00pm - Change into workout clothes, SO MOTIVATED!
7:05pm - "Hello Mother, is that wine you are drinking? May I taste it?
7:10pm - "So, this is cheap wine from Walmart? Pretty good. You drank this whole bottle already?" Oh, you used it in your cooking, SUUURRRE!

7:15pm - "Mom, should I go for a run?" Secretly hoping she says, "No honey, lets drink wine and watch bad reality TV."
7:16pm - Mom says, "Sure honey, if you want to. Dinner won't be ready until after 8 anyway."
7:17pm - Take a swig of wine, "Do you want to run with me?"
Mom: "Umm, no, do you ever see me run?"
Me: "Fine, do you want to walk with me?"
7:25 - Headed to the lake with my mom for a nice evening stroll!
Go Momma Go!
So, my workout plan backpedaled from:
Spin Class --> Pilates --> Running --> Wine drinking --> Walking --> Dinner

Has this ever happened to you??

Well, you know what, I was glad that it did because I got to enjoy some quality time with the Madre and this beautiful sunset!

Me and the Madre
baaahhhh yikes! good thing I gots my hairs did!
See...when you are strolling slowly you can take better pictures. 

But, today I really am going to the gym! I have my workout clothes in the car! Yolates here I come!
yoga + pilates = yolates (just FYI, i'm not crazy)

And I won't become a chunky monkey like my sister's pretty kitty. 
Meet Puka.
He is pretty
and very fat
and cross-eyed.

I'll let you know how the yolates goes!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


What exactly am I looking for? 
BOOM! right off the bat.
Pretty loaded question for an ordinary Wednesday, right? 
Get ready for some deep thoughts....this blog is no place for doggie paddlers.

Everyone feels entitled to their own: happiness, well-being, health, wealth, prosperity, love-life, adventures, vacations, food, fun and friends. But, what are we actually entitled to? Nothing. The world owes us….nothing. We owe the world our talents, love, kindness, gentleness and passion!
I am certain about one thing and one thing only: that I am loved. And that is wonderful. 

Yet, I am the type of person that seems to be in a constant search. You know those types… and they probably drive you freaking crazy!! Well, sorry, but I am one of those. We constantly are soul-searching, proclaiming our passions, changing our ambitions, career paths, college majors, hobbies, interests, etc. The only constant is being loved and loving in return. But, everything else is cyclical and dwells within the different seasons and chapters of my life (or whatever analogy you want to use). I like to think that I’m just interested in a million different things and want to learn about everyone and everything that I possibly can in this world. Some might attribute it to ADD, but I’ve never actually been tested for that because I think it is far too over-diagnosed. And I don't need Ritalin YO!! Oh look at the bunnies. I like pickles. Did I turn off my straightening iron?

I do know one thing though, this cubicle is eating my soul. Not in the same way that Las Vegas will.... fortunately I moved to the humble South before that happened! And to all my friends who still live in Vegas, your souls are golden and good, so you don't need to worry. But I do! Because these cubicle walls are a fortress: a highly-air-conditioned “soundproof” (joke of the year) fortress.
My brain is squished. 
Does anybody like working in a cubicle? 
I really truly want to hear from you if you do. 
Does anybody like working in an office? 

I want to work outside, or at least open a window. 
Right now I'm trying to leap inside a calendar!
And it isn't working!!!

I've decided, I want to be a zookeeper. Okay maybe not...
I don’t actually know what that entails, probably far more poop than I’m willing to handle. 
If you had to choose: cubicle-dweller or zookeeper, what would you choose?

Okay serious questions though. Riddle me this. 
How do you cope with cubicle-life?
Are you using your talents and living with passion?
Do you have a window in your office? ;)
Do you like to shovel poop?
Do you ever shove your face onto a calendar of Hawaii and try to morph yourself inside?
AND lastly,
Do you think the world owes us or that we owe the world?

Talk to me goose.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


I'M TURNING HEALTHY! I've always been a pretty healthy person, but since moving here I'm not gonna lie, I've put on a pound or three or five. The buttery goodness, biscuits, grits, fried everything, dining out while traveling for work.... and drinking beer at the lake, in the yard, on the couch, on the lawnmower, in a canoe, in the woods, in a tree, in the bathtub will do that to a girl. So, remember when I said I was paying an average of $22 per elliptical session. Not anymore! I'm down to $21 per session. Take that Golds Gym! 

But, especially since Country Man moved and I'm missing him like crazy, it helps to keep my mind and body occupied so I've been going more often...and trying to meet gym friends, who aren't 40 and up, real housewives of Atlanta gym friends, who like to do pilates and then go drink wine, shop and eat lunch by the pool. 

Okay, who am I kidding, I like to do all that stuff to! But, I'm certainly not a housewife. And if I ever am one, I won't be on that show...and I'll still shop at Target and I'll have goats in my backyard and make fresh goat cheese. Or, I'll hire someone to milk the goats. Sorry, sidetracked. I'll save the goat obsession for later. I just realized I really sounded kind of hickish there...oh goodness, it is innate now. Oops!
Okay, but real quick!! LOOK. GOATS!
You know you love them!!
And want to make cheese from them!
Okay, I'll stop now. I promise

Moving on!
Food tip of the day: spinach spinach spinach spinach SPINACH

When eating enchiladas do you usually eat 2? I do...mainly because that is what a restaurant will give you. Well, yesterday, I had leftover enchiladas, so I grabbed ONE up for lunch. But, I threw a big handful of spinach on top before heating it up. The spinach cooked down and warmed up with the enchilada, giving me half the fat and twice the greens, and feeling just as satisfied. Spinach can do that for you with a lot of different things. If you don't like it, teach yourself to! It is one of the Earth's greatest, natural, heart-healthy, nutrient-dense gifts to us: filled with iron, flavonoids (antioxidants), fiber and omega 3. I try to throw organic spinach into as many meals as I can - it is extremely versatile. 

I've learned to like it plain, but its also good drizzled with a little olive oil and garlic, crushed red pepper or whatever other spices compliment what you are adding it to. I throw it in pasta, on top of pizza, on burgers, in burritos and sandwiches, in omelets, in my cereal. 

Just kidding! I was making sure you were still reading and not bored by the anatomy of spinach. 
Does spinach have anatomy? I guess all living things do... I go again. Always getting sidetracked. 
Now my mind is thinking of spinach with body parts. I am so weird and sick and twisted. I know.

Here is an anatomical spinach/ pasta creation. I didn't take a picture of my enchilada yesterday, and this picture was in my phone archives from about a week ago. But, my enchilada looked a little strange with spinach on top of it anyway... and I don't want to scare you. Plus I'd already eaten half before I thought to take a photo. 
Trader Joes lemon pepper pappardelle pasta cooked according to instructions, I always add extra lemon juice and fresh ground pepper after its cooked. SauteĆ© a couple pieces of cooked shrimp and sausage in olive oil and spices. Drizzle spinach with a little vinaigrette ( I used wishbone raspberry hazelnut to add sweetness with the spice) and throw in the pan with shrimp & sausage to warm for the last minute. Combine it with the cooked pasta and top with goat cheese. Of course it had goat cheese!
Again, the beauty part of the spinach is that it is a space-filler, stomach-satisfier and nutrient-provider. You'll end up eating half the amount of carbs but since it is all mixed together you don't lose on flavor. 

Here are some other spinach photos I had in my phone from all the times I pretend I am a foodie, pioneer, chef, food network star, foodographer and creative genius.
I don't feel guilty about all the meat & cheese because it is on a flaxseed sandwich thin and loaded with spinach.
haha,  I am telling you - this justification thing works.
spinach for breakfast?? You know it!
I already took a bite before I took the photo....very un-foodnetwork-star of me

 I tricked you! This one is kale. But we can save that for another day. Aren't you soooo excited?!? I sense that sarcasm! Well, you should be....because if you think spinach is good for you, KALE, my friends, is pretty much the healthiest thing that humans are capable of eating. You just have to know how to prepare it, otherwise it can be "not so gentle" on the stomach.

And if that didn't entice you, I don't know what will...
stay tuned

xoxo my turning country, turning healthy lovers

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Country Man helps contribute to probably about 90% of my country-ness; just by being around him I'm automatically immersed in Southern activities. So, now that he has moved almost three hours away I'm going to have to rely on my own country instincts...this could get interesting.
Luckily I will be talking to him everyday and visiting as much as possible - so don't worry, lessons in Redneck will still be in abundance.
The day before he moved we spent some time together and I suggested that we go fishing. ME, I, suggested it! Aren't you proud? I figured it would be very fitting and also probably make him think I was the coolest girlfriend in the world for suggesting it. And I am of course! just kidding. Okay, occasionally maybe. So we strolled on down to the little pond by my house. 

I lie. 
We did not stroll.

We drove 400 feet and parked right in front of the no-parking at anytime sign.
Hey we followed the rules of resident + one guest. That's a start!

And at least we didn't park directly on the sidewalk. We are so well-behaved!
Onward to the pond!

It is a cute little pond, but I made the mistake of wearing flip flops. Very un-country of me. It had just rained and every step I took I sank into some kind of gushy muddy grassy buggy muck.
I think Country Man and I are past that phase where I pretend that I'm not grossed out by anything, can totally hang in any situation, love dirt and bugs, never complain and am pretty much an all-around badass. 
C'mon guys, you know what phase Im talking about! I'm not the only one who does it! 
Regardless, I can still grab a fishing pole, step in some dirt and throw back a its not all that bad to care about my pedicure once in awhile. Right? Justification always helps.

So, I carried on with my bright pink fishing pole and went to it.

This is where things start to get reallllly interesting! 

First I took pictures of us...

Then I drew a heart on Caleb's hand...

Then I took a picture of him walking...

Then I took a picture of a flower-plant-thing....

Then there were geese...
Okay I lied again. This was a different day, when I was on a run. I just didn't have an opportunity to show you my geese-friends yet. Now you see. Are you excited yet?

Then I took a picture of some nasty trash in the pond...


we caught nothing....
Maybe I was too distracted by flowers and hearts and geese and unicorns.
Its okay though because it was about 90 degrees and 100% humidity, and I'm allowed to say that because I'm out of the "no complaining, hang with everything" phase :)
Don't you love it?!

PS: yesterday Country Man told me he washed his hair with dish soap....

Thursday, July 5, 2012


A neglected blog is a sad blog. And I hate to say my blog is sad right now. I am so sorry my Turning Country readers that I couldn't find the time to keep you posted. I barely kept Country Man posted while I was on a week-long business trip in Reno, NV. We survived on 10 minute, in-between-meeting-phone calls and wee-hours-of-the-morning-goodnights. Needless to say, it is so good to be home. Despite the fact that I've been coughing up the Reno crud, smoke, grime, sleaziness and alcohol all week in the form of a yellowish-greenish color. Yum!
If you've never been to Reno - here are a couple snapshots. Tell me then if you feel so enticed to visit?
I would label Reno as:
wait..I didn't come up with that?




don't ask why I was here

enough said....yes this is in the middle of the bedroom


Okay, fine...I won't complain about a microbrew at lunch
like all of the dives in Vegas smashed together
Reno, NV is not exactly the epitome of class, and really, any business trip is tiring. You have to be peppy, on your best behavior, best-dressed, energetic, knowledgable, charming and awake
Puts a damper on a country-girl lifestyle - to wear slacks, skirts or heels, sip martinis and shake hands with high-rollers every night. I'm not gonna lie, once in a while, it is fun to play dress-up, mingle and dine out. But, it doesn't take long for a girl to prefer curling up next to her man with a home-cooked meal and a movie. At least it doesn't take long for me.
It didn't help that traveling was a fiasco for me!
I'll break it down for you.

Day of departure:
1. Running late and packing last minute (as always)
2. Country Man missed a turn to the airport. Not his fault that the domestic terminal exit changed - but it backtracked us quite a few miles
3. Had to check a bag (uggh) and wait in a long line (uggh!)
4. Get to check-incounter and my bag weighs...63 POUNDS! Okay, I promise I'm not that crazy when it comes to packing, I had a ton of marketing collateral with me.
5. Lady tells, me, "Ma'am you are over 50 pounds that will be a $90 overage fee"
6. I tell lady, "aww hell nah! I'll buy a $20 bag, stuff it full and carry it on."
7. I buy a $25 carry-on bag.
8. I stuff it to the brim with our marketing material
9. I wait in check-in line AGAIN (uggh)
10. Carry on bag weighed 15 pounds. Checked bag weighed 48. Success!
11. Wait in long security line (uggh)
12. Get through security, and at this point have 25 minutes until takeoff. My coworkers have already texted me that they started boarding. I, of course, blame everyone but myself.
13. I get on the Tram to head to D gate
14. Tram breaks (uuggggggghhhhh)
15. I am in terminal T (very very far from D)
16. I quickly walk in the general direction of the D gate
17. I jog towards D gate
18. Coworker calls and says "you have 10 minutes and then they are closing the doors."
19. I sprint towards D gate
20. I knock a woman in a wheelchair with my 15 pound carry-on, yelling apologies as I continue sprinting. She wasn't hurt.
21. PS: there are no direct flights into Reno and flights are sporadic, scarce and expensive.
22. Co-worker calls me again.
23. I ignore the call and continue running.
24. Co-worker calls me again
24. I pick up and he is franticly yelling, "hurry, I know you used to be a track star. Hurry. Use those legs! They said you literally have 2 more minutes to get here!"
25. I see the D gate. I see the signs!
26. I see my co-worker and the gate-security man waving their arms at me.
27. I MADE IT!!
28. I find my seat (window of course) in the packed plane and make everyone move out of my way. I shove my now-even-more-freakishly-heavy carry-on bag in the overhead compartment.
29. I sit down and continue profusely sweating and heavy-breathing for the next half hour
30. My co-worker behind me says, "Hey, Rachel. I ate a bean burrito and its wafting up your way."

 So farewell, Reno. I have many memories there. And I have learned many things, such as: you are considered one of the top meth-capitals in the world. But, beneath all of the drugs, grime and dust there are some pretty freaking nice people there. And I have a couple awesome friends who call it home. It was so nice to see you guys. Now come visit the South and get some fresh air. You won't be hacking up yellow stuff on your way home, I promise.
xoxo NIGHT
okay okay, Reno has some potential. The River Walk at dusk was beautiful.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Oh my gosh...
I didn't even want to write this post because it was shall I say, disgusting! 
The other night I went over to Country Man's house. Guess who was there? 
A dead deer!
And Kevin. 
Yup they go hand in hand. 
Okay, so I walk in carrying a tupperware full of leftovers from our private dining experience last Saturday, with Chef Alexis Hernandez from the Food Network.
Boy can that man cook....and boy can he talk.
But that's another story for later.
I'm ready to prepare a feast, so I give a quick hello and head to the kitchen to start cooking. Much to my astonishment, dismay, shock, horror, surprise and bewilderment I see something sticking out of the kitchen sink!
I approach with much trepidation.
And THIS is what I see...
Apparently, the men were preparing another kind of feast that I was not ready for: mentally or physically. You've got to warn a girl about these types of endeavors beforehand.
End of story. Enough said. I gotta go!
I am in a public place and can't risk somebody seeing this up on my screen right now.

 XOXO Love, not-quite-there-yet-country-girl

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

REDNECK LESSON #1: What the heck is jug fishin?

Kevin's midnight Facebook status says it all:
"Pullin an all-nighter out on the lake with Caleb, jug fishin, frog gigging, and plain ol' night fishin." 
That would be Caleb, as in Country Man Caleb. 
But, hey its better than seeing a Facebook status that says, 
"Pulling an all-nighter out on the Strip, jug fishin, clubbing and plain old lap dances."
Those are Girlfriends-in-Vegas concerns. 
I don't even want to know what "jug fishing" on the Strip would entail!

Girlfriends-in-Georgia worry about whether their man will:
1. Get eaten by a lake creature or gator
2. Get torn up by mosquitos or get a fishing hook to the eye
3. Overdose on Mountain Dew
4.  Capsize his homemade boat
5. Bring home dinner!
Haha, just kidding on that last one, we aren't cave people. But, they do have a growing collection of frog legs, bass and catfish in the freezer. That will be a blog-worthy event once they decide to fry it all up; I've never tried any of those things...the frog legs and ugly-faced catfish are especially eerie to me. But, apparently this year has been all about trying new things, so catfish face - here I come.

Girlfriends-in-Georgia also have to be really excited about receiving pictures like these at 4am...
Me: "Wow babe, good work! Way to go! Nice catch! Looking good in that headlamp"

"Good catch! Can't wait to sink my teeth into that lil' critter!"

"Don't worry sweetie, I won't judge a man by the size of his bass!
Or by the size of his truck."
Kevin must be trying to compensate for something...
Good work gentlemen!

And jug fishing...well, its just what it sounds like!
1. Tie the line, hook and bait to an old milk jug
 2. Toss the jug in the lake
3. Continue your usual rod and reel fishing or "frogging" or whatever the heck else you are doing
4. Get really excited when you see the jug start to bob under water
5. Chase said jug all over the lake
6. Yank that sucker up and pose with your prize, (you must be in a tank top or shirtless).
7. Text pictures of prize to all of your friends
8. Beat the catfish on the side of the head with a large stick to ensure its death (PETA hates you)
9. Skin it, clean it
10. Eat it
That was your Redneck Lesson #1
 You can learn more about catfishing at other credible sources such as:
*Note: Just because they are listed on my blog does not mean I endorse them or the people on there in any way, shape or form.
Although, Karen, I may have found you a prospect! 
You said you wanted a country man and Southern gentleman!

Saturday, June 16, 2012


The other night I was on the phone with my friend Karen, who lives in Orange County, CA and works as a chef at Whole Foods. She needs to come visit me! I know she would love this country life and these charming Southern gentlemen. But, we will come back to that later. Karen and I were on the phone while I was getting ready to go out with Country Man and 2 other couples for dinner. She asked where we were going, and I told her, "a restaurant called Marlows Tavern" and she said,
"Yeehaw! Is that one of 'dem there country saloon-type taverns!"
I laughed and told her, 
"Karen, NO, we aren't all hicks around here. 
We do actually have normal restaurants with normal food." 

I'd had a momentary brain-lapse forgetting where I was, and not realizing that "normal food" in the California-sense of the word is different from "normal food" here in Georgia. See: "Stick a Beer up the Chicken's Butt" for example. I was still suffering from my brain lapse regarding "normal food" until I opened the menu and saw everything fried, with grits, with a biscuit, extra buttery, specialty sweet iced tea, potatoes and corn galore. I laughed out loud at the selection: pointing out items like "shrimp & grits" and "fried chicken stack" and "loaded corn on the cob".

One of the couple's I had never met before looked confused by my reaction, so Country Man explained where I was from and directed them to my blog. The next statement is always, "Oh my gosh, I love California! And Vegas! I've never been to Vegas. People actually live there? That sounds so fun! Why would you leave and move to Georgia!?!" I'm working on a "Why I left" blog post, it is coming soon. But, its a long and complicated story needing delicate treatment. People here in Georgia seem to love their Southern roots and country-ways, but they don't expect anyone else to love it....hence the reaction I usually get, "why would you leave?"
But, you know what people - I love it too! It is in adventure and such a nice change of pace.

That was a tangent - why do I always seem to do that. I blame my mother for my lack of "staying on topic" skills. Back to the restaurant. Back to the menu. 
I went half California-half Georgia by ordering fish tacos with a side of jalapeƱo grits. Yum! 
Who would have thought to put grits as a side with fish taco. Only in the South, my dear. Of course, I thought the fish tacos could have used some avocado, but aside from that, it was delicious. 

Country Man opted for something called "The Kitchen Sink," i.e: everything in the kitchen thrown on top of one burger. It was scary!
But of course, oh so good!

I've never been a food picture-taker until recently, and I have to tell you that it still feels a little awkward to me. I'm like, "WAIT! Don't take a bite yet. Wait! Angle it this way. Your burger is such a beautiful model. oh yeah, baby. work it french fries. Wait! The lighting isn't right!" Okay I'm not that annoying yet, but these are baby steps in the blogging world, I don't doubt that I will get there eventually. 

Right now I try to snap it as quickly and discreetly as I can without looking like a tourist from China. But, when this little beauty came out, I had to snap snap snap away - I don't care that I literally just met you TJ, let me take pictures of your food!! So y'all think I'm weird?
Well, stick a flag in it!
Note: it is NOT the 4th of July
This is just how we roll in these parts..
at our "normal food" restaurant in the South.