Archives for June 2013

Cirque du Soleil: Quidam Giveaway Winner

 

quidam

Alright, folks, we’re just one week away from the Quidam Cirque du Soleil show in Charlotte.

Are you ready for the winner of the giveaway for FOUR tickets?  *squee* I’m so excited.  I haven’t picked the winner yet as I type this so if I weren’t busy typing, I’d be rubbing my hands together.

Here we go…

OK, I’m back from random.org.

The winner is….

*drumroll*

Comment #6 Niki

I would love to give this to my brother, his very pregnant wife and 2 girls in SC. They would eat it up! :)

Niki could not make it so we drew a second name: Comment #17 Tammy! Congrats!

And if you missed winning the giveaway, remember there is a discount for a 4-pack.  No promo code is required.  Just use this link or click on the image below.

QUIDAM_Blog_Offer_2013

We’re attending the Wednesday night show and I’ll be back on July 4th for a review.

What I Wore Wednesday 06.26.2013

It’s Wednesday when I share my outfits from the week.

I pair my outfits with inspirational photos.  Read more about that here.

Email and RSS readers need to click over to the site to see the inspirational photos.

Just one outfit for you this week.  Last week we were still dealing with the water leak debacle while trying to get ready for a week in Florida.  You did not want to see my outfits.

Since arriving in Florida, I’ve basically been living in a swimsuit.

I’ve had some colored shorts on my radar for a few weeks and I found some great ones here at The Loft Outlet and The Limited.  We went out for a bit of shopping after eating dinner in Tuesday night and I wore one set of shorts.

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Hope y’all are having a great week!

Let’s connect!  Like AmyJBennett.com on Facebook.  Follow me on PinterestInstagram or Twitter.

Linked with The Pleated Poppy’s What I Wore Wednesday

Working Mom Neurosis

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Two days after I posted The Summer Working Mom, we had a sitter come for the first time this summer to watch the girls.  Scott was sleeping off his night at work and I was super busy with meetings.

We’ve done different things over the years during summer.  For many years, my job was only 30 hours a week and I had very little meetings.  I was able to make up work in the evenings after early bed times.  Also, when the kids were younger, they still napped.

Some summers my mom and mother-in-law were both off one afternoon a week and would whisk them away.  One summer we hired a middle-schooler to come hang out with them.  Some summers we planned a lot of play dates at the house and they would play in their rooms or in the pool together for hours.

My job now is full-time and it’s changed in such a way that I could be in meetings on the phone for 6-8 hours straight.  I don’t have the luxury of planning much work in the evenings.

The young lady we hired for this summer is 19.  She’s super responsible and attentive and loves to play with them (not just watch them play) and can drive.  The girls think it’s the best thing ever.

In fact, years later, they still talk about that middle-schooler coming to play with them and I’m sure they will do the same about this summer.

But let me share my neurosis about the whole situation.

When she came, it was fantastic to see her almost immediately grab a board game and take them to their room to play.  They love board games and that’s something I definitely cannot do while I work.

Yay, this was the best idea ever. Look!  They’re playing board games and not watching TV!

And then, guilt starts.

Oh my gosh, I’m the worst mother ever.  They’re playing board games but it’s not with meeee!  All their childhood memories will be with a sitter and not their mother.  

Then, she takes them to the library and they pick out books to read.

Yay!  They’re reading books–their teachers would be so proud.  They’re going to have great memories of the sitter taking them to the library.

And then…

They’re going to go on Oprah one day and talk about how their mother never paid attention to them and they only remember me telling them to be quiet as I sat at my desk.  Nevermind Oprah has been over for years.  She’ll probably start the show again just to feature all their problems.

Then she swims with them–for hours.  As I watch from my desk on my meeting, I can see they’re laughing and she’s doing flips with them and playing games.

What success! We got a great sitter who’s really giving them lots of attention–what more could I want?

Me.  They could probably want more of me.  All the other moms are at the pool with their kids.  See?  It’s right here on Twitter.  I’m such a failure.

And on and on it goes.  I continue to have an internal struggle about my kids, working and having a sitter.  If I didn’t have one, they’d  likely spend hours in the front of the TV.  If I went into work, I’d hate not seeing them at all.  So, I’m here where I see them all the time but then feel guilty about it all.

But the truth is, I know for a fact that I would not spend every single day playing board games, swimming and going to the library or the museum or whatever for hours on end.  If I weren’t working, I’d be busy cleaning or organizing something or writing a blog post.  I’d be doing something.  Sure, there’d be more time with them but it’s not as if I’d do everything the sitter is doing.

And the fact is, they LOVE spending time with this sitter.  I know they will talk about her for years to come and have great memories.  I can only remember having a sitter a few times as a child and I don’t look back and say oh my gosh, my mother was such a failure.  I can’t believe she wasn’t spending time with me.  My thoughts are my mom had something to do and she got this great sitter for me and we had a ton of fun.  Yay!

I’ve come to believe–thanks to my mom–that all this neurosis is just plain old unnecessary guilt.  The Bible says Satan is out to steal, kill and destroy.  He will do anything–anything–to steal my joy.  Even when I have a successful job and kids that are having a blast, he is still trying to make me miserable about it all.  And the thing is, no matter what situation I am in–working or not–he would do the same.  It is his intent to make us unsatisfied and discontent with our job as mothers.

I believe, when I’m not being so neurotic, that there are none of us getting it “right”.  It is not right to stay at home and it is not right to work.  We are all called to our own place and only then are we getting it right.  My job is to be sure of my call from God and then to be content with the calling and the outcome.

So, mothers, be certain I understood your neurosis.  I live it, I breathe it, but I also do not accept it.

When the thoughts rage, I remind myself that I’m right where God has called me and He alone will complete the job He’s started in both me and my children.  He knows what He’s doing and my job is to be content and trust Him.  I remind myself to be thankful for my job, thankful for my kids, and thankful for a wonderful sitter.  Gratefulness always kills the neurosis.

Moms, tell me I’m not alone.  You struggle with thoughts like this too, right?

 

Low Country Boil

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Our small group from church decided to do some special meals together for the summer.  One couple offered to do a Low Country Boil.  Although I’d heard of it often and seen pictures of my friends on Facebook eating it, I’d never experienced it myself. 

After tweeting about it, I realized that not only had many others not experienced one, some had not even heard of a Low Country Boil.  So, I picked up a camera for the process and did a little research so we could all learn together.

 

The gist of a Low Country Boil is you get a huge pot of water, potatoes, sausage and one or more types of shellfish and boil it with some heavy seasoning. 

Then, you normally throw it on a picnic table covered in newspaper where it’s all up for grabs.  You’ll see we opted for throwing it in some pans instead.

I was curious, though, where exactly the Low Country Boil originated and found this from Coastal Magazine:

Once called Frogmore Stew, this one-pot wonder was created by a National Guardsman when he needed to cook a meal for 100 soldiers. Richard Gay, who learned the recipe from his family, had everyone remembering his stew. The dish was later named Frogmore, where Richard was from, by the guards who teased him about home. The postal service eliminated the name Frogmore, which changed this popular dish to Lowcountry boil.

I had suspicions it might be a Louisiana dish but it appears to have its roots right here in South Carolina, somewhere between Charleston and Hilton Head—a very lovely area of South Carolina if I do say so.

 

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There are a ton of variations of a Low Country Boil. Some add crab, some add crawfish but here’s how ours went down.

First, you need a big pot like a turkey fryer.  Most people make these for big outdoor get-togethers so that works perfectly.

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Fill the pot up about half way with water. Dump 5 lbs of red potatoes and a lot of crab boil seasoning in your water.  We used nearly a cup I’d guess. 

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The seasoning is the key. This crab boil came from Academy Sports for less than $5. 

Sidebar – I will warn my gluten-free friends that this brand does have MSG in it.  I took some Gluten-Flam and didn’t have any adverse reactions.

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You’ll want to cook the potatoes until they’re just about done, about 30 minutes. 

While that’s happening, cut your sausage—you’ll need 2-3 lbs.  We used two kinds.  The first is a beef sausage and the second is Kielbasa which has pork, turkey and beef.

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When we went out, you could see the potatoes were at a rolling boil and ready for the sausage and corn.

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Let that cook for another 15-20 minutes.

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If you have folks in your group that are allergic to shrimp, you can take out a plate for them at this point.

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Next, it’s time to dump in the shrimp—you’ll need 3 lbs. It’s shell-split and deveined raw.

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After another 8-10 minutes, pour out your excess water in the grass.

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And now…hold back your dogs and kids because it’s time to dump!

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Tucker was READY for that food and you can see Bella’s nose up in the air smelling all the goodness.

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As I said, normally, people throw it on newspaper on a table but it was just too muggy and hot out, so we took the party indoors.

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And as Duck Dynasty folks would say, we were HAPPY, HAPPY, HAPPY!

 

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I know it might not look like much, but let me tell you, the seasoning is the star of the show.  So much flavor and goodness.  I do believe we’ll be experiencing another Low Country Boil, y’all.

 

Low Country Boil

5 lbs red potatoes

2-3 lbs sausage

24 small ears of corn

3 lbs of shrimp

Crab Boil to taste

Add water, seasoning and potatoes to a turkey fryer.  Boil potatoes until tender (about 30 minutes).  Add corn and sausage and boil 15-20 minutes.  Add shrimp and boil 8-10 minutes.  Remove excess water and pour food in pans or on newspaper.  Enjoy!

 

Have you ever heard of this?  Experienced it?  Let me know if you make it yourself!

Cirque du Soleil Quidam Trailer and Giveaway Reminder

 

Take 90 seconds to watch the trailer above.

 

OK, is that not awesome?  My favorite part is when the girl flies up above 3 men stacked straight up.  I mean, who does that??

I’m getting so stinkin’ excited to see who wins the 4 pack Giveaway of tickets to see the show live in Charlotte.  Just head over to the original post to comment to be entered!

I also wanted to remind you that there is a discount for a 4-pack.  No promo code is required.  Just use this link or click on the image below.

 

QUIDAM_Blog_Offer_2013