Vote Early…If You Still Can!!

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The line to vote early ūüôā

Leaving the gym a few weeks ago, I noticed an abnormal amount of traffic at the library. ¬†There were political signs posted everywhere, balloons, etc.,. ¬†Since I had the day off, I decided to investigate (yep, being nosey for once!!)! ¬†If it was early voting, I’d rather get it done than to try to and get my employer to let me off on Election Day…. only God knows how long the wait would be! ¬†My decision to pull over and vote on THAT day was quite a memorable and life changing experience.

I waited in line for nearly an hour to vote EARLY! ¬†Yes, a little over 50 minutes to cast my vote in one of the biggest elections of my adult-life. ¬†This political race has generated all types of energy! ¬†I have heard disrespectful things from both parties… each candidate has their strengths and weaknesses… everyone ¬†is blaming everyone else for the current state of the economy.

I honestly think people forget that all choices have consequences… some positive, some negative…. some long-term, while others short-term. ¬†While politics and religion are on the list of things “not to discuss”, I’ll simply say that the disrespect directed towards the POTUS regarding the state of the union is unreal. ¬†Its like playing spades,…the man had to play the hand he was dealt! ¬†His hand wasn’t stacked in his favor, so he made decisions based upon our current situation and the future he desires for the country. ¬†He’s HUMAN! ¬†No, all decisions may not have been AMAZING… No, you may not like or agree with him, but you should still respect the office.

So many people are still undecided in this election. ¬†If religion and gun laws are ALL that matter to you, then you know what to do…If you have always made awesome decisions and DEFIED your humanity…handle yours! ¬†Even though we have come through the Civil Rights Movement, there are still some people who are stuck in the Jim Crow south… people at the poles have had to face racial tension in line BEFORE ever reaching the ballot box. ¬†The link below provides the early voting dates (if applicable) for your state, absentee ballot dates, and registration deadlines. ¬†I urge you to get out there early! ¬†Make your vote count!!!

Election 2012: Early And Absentee Voting, By State: http://apps.npr.org/early-voting-2012/

The line was literally wrapped around the library!!

My New Toy

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I think I’ve stumbled upon a good thing!!!

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Has anyone else been bitten by the Samsung bug?!  Any MUST HAVE apps?!  I can FINALLY get Instagram!!! #Upgrade

I Just Want to Pay for the Oil!

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Soooooo, after work I decided to maximize my morning by FINALLY getting my oil changed. ¬†Although I added two quarts 3-4 weeks ago, the truck has been running hard/loud… I’ve been getting less gas mileage, AND driving it began to feel like a chore! ¬†I was even more excited to use a coupon I managed to find on GROUPON … $35 for a Signature Oil Change (half-off)!!!

With all that excitement I grabbed breakfast and headed to the nearest Jiffy Lube to cash in on my great deal!! ¬†Coupons are a great cushion to ANY budget! ¬†The oil change comes with a tire rotation, rain-x treatment, fluid check, and vacuumed ¬†floor boards #ThankyaJesus!!! ¬†So, I pull in and explain to the mechanic that I have a GROUPON… He does his thing, and the process begins. ¬†They let me know I have a few runner break lights out, so I’m like cool… ¬†Asked if they could replace them for like $8.99, I was like, “nah, I’ll take care of it”. ¬†They proceed to ask about all these fluids and cleanings and such, and I proceed to decline respectfully, lol. ¬†Finally, the gentleman asked me if I would like the same oil I always use. ¬†I said, “sure”! ¬†I drive a HIGH mileage vehicle and the synthetic oil that comes with the GROUPON won’t cut it, so I was willing to pay the difference in the price of the oil for the better product.

They begin working to Rain-X the windshield, and I removed everything from the floor so vacuuming would be a breeze (I figured I could at least do my part… ¬†The car is wretched o_O!). ¬†They topped off my fluids and even pulled out a filter for something (I don’t quite recall), and suggested I get it cleaned. ¬†I said cool. ¬†I’ll handle that later. ¬†We were off and popping! ¬†Taking a seat inside I nibble at my breakfast, finishing just in time to hear “Ma’am, we’re done with your car!”. ¬†I’m like, “SCORE!! ¬†Absolutely perfect timing!” ¬†So, I bounce over to the counter EXCITED about cashing in my GROUPON and paying the difference for the oil upgrade when the fun begins….

The gentleman behind the counter said “Ma’am your total is $3?.??.” ¬†I had the same look you probably have right now…. o_O (ummm, scue me?!). ¬†In the calmest voice possible I asked him to explain why my balance was $30+ when the GROUPON covered the cost of the procedure and I had to pay the difference of the cost of the oil upgrade. ¬†After going back and forth for a few minutes about the differential, the gentleman said, “Ma’am, an upgrade to the high-mileage oil package adds $2?.??, plus an additional $6 for the 6th quart of oil.” ¬†Wellllllllllll, when did he plan to tell me that?! ¬†I knew I’d have to pay for an additional quart (because I drive an Expedition), but where did this “upgrade charge” come from?! ¬†I am normally not the argumentative type, but I proceeded to inquire WHY I had to pay an additional $20+ when the ONLY THING THAT CHANGED was the quality of the oil. ¬†It’s the same Rain-X, same vacuum, I skipped the tire rotation, and they used the same exact fluids that would have been used to top everything off… I was utterly confused at WHY I would still end up paying almost $70 for an oil change, and I had a GROUPON!!!! ¬†By the end of our conversation I figured we had met at a common ground, and I was ready to just pay my bill and move on. ¬†But, somewhere in the discussion the gentleman decided to charge me for the GROUPON deal and the additional quart of oil. ¬†The price ended up being drastically different from what it would have been if he would have just let me pay the differential, so of course I tried to pay what I owed!! ¬†After several efforts of trying to convey to him that I want to pay the price I owed for the oil differential… (dude, I want to pay!!!), he respectfully declined and continued to review the details of ¬†the GROUPON purchase to avoid this happening in the future. ¬†During his service recovery process, a few of the things he said caused me to reflect….., and eventually repent for my attitude and behavior towards him….

To Be Continued….

Elliston Place Soda Shop

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Elliston Place Soda Shop

“You can sit anywhere you like!”

….chimed a voice from the rear of the restaurant. ¬†I felt as if I’d traveled back in time to the era when jukeboxes held actual RECORDS (as theirs does….and only accepts quarters ;))!!!

There is a small sign taped near the coin insert that says “Quarters only, please!”.

This “mom and pop” shop completely made my morning. ¬†This visit to the Elliston Soda Shop, inspired by a man who will probably never read this blog, was an absolute refresher to my South Carolinian roots. ¬†It reminded me of breakfast at Gradma’s during the summer… the only things missing were my cousins and my cup of kool-aid (with only 2 ice-cubes because it was already cold #insider).

I ordered the fried bologna… yes, FRIED BOLOGNA (the THICK cut)… eggs, over hard¬†(as always), ¬†with grits and toast as my side items. ¬†I held back a squeal of excitement when my meal was delivered. ¬†The bologna had the burnt edges I grew to love and request as a child… I felt like a little school girl!!!!

Founded in 1939, the Elliston Soda Shop can brag that they’re the oldest operating restaurant in Nashville. ¬†Once ¬†pharmacy and grocery store, the original tile that reads “Elliston Pharmacy” still graces the entrance way. ¬†If you’re looking for a place off of the beaten path, yet near the heard of downtown, this is a great place to start! ¬†They serve lunch and dinner… no reservation required. ¬†Everything¬†is cooked to order…. ¬†mostly fresh, never frozen… AND they have a frequent buyer card!!!

My exit was just as pleasant as my entry… “Come back and see us!!” [Me: ¬†I most definitely will]

West End Café

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The smell of fresh coffee, sausage and eggs greet you at the door…¬†murmurs of intimate conversations fill the air‚Ķ

Mexican chorizo sausage, salsa verde & manchego cheese

I wanted to try something new and different, and that‚Äôs exactly what I got.¬† Led here by a 50% off option on Scout Mob (yes, I live on a BUDGET!), I felt there was no time like the present to ‚Äútaste and see‚ÄĚ.¬† If you are looking for your traditional bacon, eggs, and grits, this is not the place for you!!¬† Omelets that cover half of your plate and a bread selection to please any palette calls 1720 West End Avenue ‚ÄúHome‚ÄĚ :).¬† Great customer service, pleasurable window views, and a cozy earthy/modern ambiance is a great way to start your day.¬† They serve breakfast, lunch, and brunch daily.¬† I developed an immediate appreciation for the ‚ÄúBrunch Libations‚ÄĚ ;).¬† Bon appetite!

Restaurant website…¬†http://www.westendcafenashville.com/

Brunch Drink Menu

When God Winks at You

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How God Speaks Directly to You Through the Power of Coincidence

Those extraordinary little events in your life happen for a reason…

The short of the long…. this book is AWESOME!!!!

It was a great, refreshing read. ¬†There can often be weeks… even MONTHS between the time I purchase and read any particular book. ¬†I purchase when my heart is pricked, and read when my spirit is lead. ¬†I received a personal “God-Wink” the moment I cracked the pages.

For a little personal background, I started the blog to help me build the framework for my first book. ¬†The plan is to fill the book with events and circumstances that have taken place in my life (and a few friends…with permission, of course) that could have only been acts of God. ¬†This book is¬†EXACTLY THAT!!! ¬†It blessed me to read about how others have cried out to God for closure, comfort, or¬†confirmation¬†and He delivered in a way only they could understand… almost as if he wrote the answer to their prayers in the sky! ¬†It gives an account to people who received and unction from the Holy Spirit, and their willingness to comply allowed them to be in the right place at the right time to fulfill a specific duty.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD.” -Psalm 37:23a (KJV)

I laughed, cried, held my breath in anticipation, and gave thanks to the creator from cover to cover. ¬†It is a quick, inspiring read to confirm that your “weird” moments have a purpose, and that “voice inside your head” knows what it’s talking about!!

There is a reason you took a different route that time, a reason it seems like God hasn’t answered your prayer,… a reason you have an undying dream deep in your heart, and why you can’t seem to figure out why the little thing mattered. ¬†God is simply speaking to you in terms only you can decipher. ¬†It may not make sense to you or those around you. ¬†Just remember, you were placed in the earth with PURPOSE!! ¬†Even if you haven’t found it, God has YOU on the path of discovery :D. ¬†I think you should grab the book…. your reading this entire post wasn’t a coincidence…. #ImJustSaying

“A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the¬†Lord¬†directeth his steps.”¬†Proverbs 16:9 (KJV)

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(Sidebar… I think I got it from a Dollar Tree OR Goodwill. ¬†If you want a copy shoot me a message or something. ¬†I’ll see if I can find another. ¬†#PayItForward)

The Original Brunches: Breakfast and Lunch

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Wake up on the Sunny Side!!

Great food, GREATER service!!!

From the moment you walk in until the time you leave you will be surrounded by great food and great people!!! ¬†My uncle invited my aunt and I to lunch while my mom was in the hospital (detailed post will come), and this was his suggestion. ¬†I am still grateful for the broccoli casserole, and the mac and cheese was FABULOUS!! ¬†Each day offers a tongue teasing dish that is sure to knock your socks off!!! ¬†We happened to visit on “Meatloaf Monday”…

Meatloaf Monday!!!

Meatloaf (yes, with rice…YUMMY!!!), broccoli casserole (veggie), mac & cheese (veggie), and collard greens…. #delightful

The meatloaf was made the way my grandmother used to do it, the mac & cheese the way it should be, and the sweet tea was TRUE to Carolina! ¬†Add the ketchup if you dare!!! ¬†Yes, this was definitely a portion large enough to be “Linner” (lunch and dinner).

My friends and I are slightly round with REASON! ¬†We enjoy food, fun, and fellowship. ¬†We take steps to remain healthy, but anytime we have the opportunity to try something tasty and new, we’re all for it!! ¬†So, if you enjoy great food and happen to visit Columbia, SC this is a place to put on your list!! ¬†Check please!!!