Monday, September 26, 2016

Photo Shoots and Cocktails

I think I'm finally getting back on track. Last week was filled with so many deadlines, airlines and headlines.

It's been crazy at the next town over in Charlotte. I'm sure you've heard about that police shooting in town. The streets are packed with protesters taking over and, well, you know how it goes with that. Just puts us all in one of those moods. Too close to home I'd say.

But I'm here to talk about a different kind of Shoot.

Tuesday I got to fly for the first time. I did fine. Would I do it again? Sure. But I will not say I loved it. I'm not a fan of being that close to people. But the experience was great!

I was chosen by Nutrisystem for an all expense paid trip to Clear Water Florida to be in a photo shoot, commercial, and social media ads. I was over whelmed.



Once my plane landed, I had a black car and chauffeur waiting on me. He took me to the Hilton Hotel where I checked in.



I received some gifts and money then I was then taken by a limo bus to the production studio where I had a wardrobe fitting. 

 

I was feeling pretty special. There were seventeen of us all together. Later that evening I attended a cocktail party where I mingled and made many new friends.
I was looking pretty rough by this time. Ha.

 

I met a couple big names such as Anthony Sullivan, the spokesman for Oxi Clean.


I also got to spend some time and laughs with Kat Carney. Shes a lifestyle host and health journalist. You may have seen her on CNN, QVC, PBS and Nutrisystem. Before you ask, I did not see Marie.

Wednesday, was the day I did interviews for ads and social media. I was not very good with this. I just draw a blank when the camera is pointed at me and I'm put on que. I also had that southern twang that people find hilarious. I think everyone else had an accent and I was the normal one.

 

Thursday, was the best! I got to have my hair and make up professionally done and had several photo shots taken on a white screen. I loved this part. Being prepped and pampered is something I could get used to. I also did some speaking parts on a green screen and some photos in a kitchen scene. It was all surreal.

Another familiar face in the crowd was Meghan Linsey from the TV show "The Voice".
She was having her time in lights for Nutrisystem too.

That night, we did not have a car service and wanted to get away, So we called Ubers and headed to town for dinner.

 

I got a salad....so they called it.

 

It was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I made so many new friends who have lost weight just like me! We shared stories and laughs and even tears. We exchanged numbers and emails to keep in touch.

Thursday night my black car took me straight from the studio to the airport, eyelashes and all. I had a 7:00 flight. Sadly I did not get to see the beaches of Florida because we were so busy but that's fine. I love the Carolina Beaches and will be heading there in two more weeks to finish off my vacation days.

 

I made it back to North Carolina where my very own personal black car was waiting on me. Nothing beats a Ford with my handsome husband driving and daughter riding shot gun as again I was chauffeured. We went to get some ice cream. Then Home Sweet Home. 

I just wanted to hold my husband tight because I missed him so much. This was the first time in 23 years that we spent a night apart. It was weird.

The next morning, I did not want to dress myself, fix my hair or drive myself to work. I was spoiled in just that little time.
It took me two days to catch up on rest.

You may see me on a commercial or ad for Nutrisystem. Its all left as a surprise that I don't even know until or if It happens.

I have lost a total of 50 lbs on Nutrisystem. Its been over a year and I continue to maintain my weight on Nutrisystem foods. You can read my whole journey HERE.




Friday, September 23, 2016

My Birthday Girl

Twenty five years ago I had just ate a large banana split and was watching the World Series with Mom. That's when I felt my baby girl telling me its time to come into the World. Well, really it was mom that said lets go, I thought I was just having a cramp.

To the hospital we went, daddy was driving, Mom smiling, and me with no idea. (Confused? Well, For the sake of me and my baby, I finally escaped an abusive marriage). So I was living with my parents for a while.

I arrived at the hospital close to midnight and five hours later, I gave birth to a purple cone headed baby. She weighed 7 lbs, 13 oz. She was not the prettiest baby in the nursery at the time, but she was mine and it was instant love. When it was time to take her home, she was a normal color, chubby cheeks and had a head of dark hair with a big curl on top. Dressed in blue ruffles and silk shoes, I stood back and figured she was a keeper. She was beautiful. 

She was a colicky baby and cried every night for hours. I cried too. I was only 22 and had no idea how I was gonna get through, but I did. I managed with lots of the help of my (new) husband who adopted her as his own. We took her to church, got her through school, and she graduated college on our dollar. Times were hard and finances were tight but she was worth every bit. We raised a smart, hard working, beautiful daughter that's brought much fun and joy to my life. Shes my only, she my one. 

We are best friends and talk about everything (and everybody). We share our thoughts and secrets, laugh a lot and fuss rarely. 

I am so proud of her and what shes become. I miss her since she is now out on her own and working hard to make ends meet, just like the most of us at 25. 
She visits almost every week and we have fun taking selfies, shopping and watching TV.
She calls me Mai and I call her Boo.

She grew up so fast and in a blink of an eye she was an adult but no matter how old she gets, she will always be six in my eyes.

She keeps our pockets empty and our hearts full. 


Happy Birthday Ashley!!! 







Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Secret Revealed

Ok I have something exciting to tell everyone. Im gonna make this quick because Im exhausted and ready to go to sleep.
The day has been long. Im running on only four hours of sleep as I flew into Tampa Florida early.

If you follow my blog then you know I have been loosing weight on Nutrisystem. Its been over a year. Ive reached my goal and lost a total of 50 lbs. you can read my journey on the tab above.

Well, last month I got an exciting email letting me know that I have been chosen to share my success story and be on a Nutrisystem photo/commercial shoot in Tampa Florida for a week.
I still cant believe it.

Here I am in a fancy Hilton hotel. Tuesday was wardrobe fitting. They had all kinds of clothes for me to try on. I felt like a star. Later there was a cocktail party and making new friends.
Wednesday and Thursday I will be under lights and cameras and will have my hair styled and make-up. Wish me luck as im very camera shy and my biggest fear is public speaking.
More to come with photos later. Im tired.


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Blogging From A Plane

Every morning, me and my husband will spend a few moments hugging and kissing and saying goodbye as I head off to work with my fresh cup of coffee he always has prepared for me.

Well today is different. I have gotten a once in a life time opportunity to fly away on an all expences paid trip to Tampa. I cant wait to tell you all about it so stay tuned. Im announing it tomorrow..

Im experiencing a lot of "first". 
First time away from my sweetie in 25 years.
First time in an airpiort,
First time on a plane (do I get a sticker or something?)
First time out of the Carolinas.

I'm so excited but just as much nervous and sad to be away from my husband and home. I have so many mixed emotions right now. I know he didnt really want me going away but supported my decision to do this. I tried to hide my guilty emotions as I exited the car and left him alone. As soon as I walked through the doors of the airport I thought to myself " what are you thinking?!" "Turn around and go back!" But I didnt. I stayed strong, held my chin up high and entered into the security zone. It was not bad at all. I enjoyed looking at all the different people. The other side of security was like a mall. Im also learning how much of a germ a phobic I am. 

Now Im in seat 19A. Way out of my comfort zone, Alone and scared. Did I mention im afraid of heights? I really wish I was next to my husband instead of whoever it is beside me. I think I want to throw up. But Im blogging. There is no throw up in blogging. I can do this. 
 
When I get off of this plane, im suppose to have a black car waiting on me to drive me to my destination. 

Wish me luck and say a little prayer for me on this short three day journey. Though I believe ill have fun,  I already cant wait to be back home. 
I love my man so much.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Memories- Fish Camps

I grew up in a small town outside of Charlotte that is known for its many fish camps. When I was in highschool, It was a popular place kids landed their first job. There was one on every corner. I remember six of them with in a two mile stretch. Twin Tops Fish camp was only a mile from my home. The day I turned sixteen the family went to eat there. My dad took me into the kitchen where he knew the owner. "My girl just turned sixteen, can you put her to work?" I left that night with a job. I was a bus boy and enjoyed it. I was paid 3.00 an hour plus a percentage of tips. It was gas and movie money and thats all I needed at the time.

I noticed that many people who are not from around here give me a strange look when I call it a fish camp. A lot of people only know them as fish houses. I picture a fish house being fancy and serving wine. Fish camps around here are anything but fancy. The intereiors are often made up of wooden tables, bench seats and fish photos hanging on the wall that would tell the story of the fishermen. Families would make it custom to go every week and meet friends. With a roll of paper towels, a setting of paper plates and a jug of sweet tea on the table, you were ready to eat.

 

Fish camps were usually owned by generations of families. There was always competition on which one was the best. The other towns around would have fish camp festivals with cook offs and cat fish races. Those were the fun days. 

Fish camps are still popular and you can still see a line hanging out the door on any givin friday night. 
They are just that good.