5.31.2016

Chip and Joanna Gaines Worthy: North Carolina's 301 Endless Yard Sale Event Held Every June

Netflix finally unveiled "Fixer Upper" with Chip and Joanna Gaines in Waco, Texas recently. Seeing one show was all it took and I'm now obsessed with the couple like the rest of the country. On one of the episodes, I saw the Gaines go to a yard sale and search for unwanted treasures. What Joanna does to her unique finds are utterly amazing. 


North Carolina's 301 Endless Yard Sale will stretch 100 miles and five counties in June.


North Carolina may be too far for the Gaines to travel to find some used treasures to repurpose, but others are certainly heading our way in a couple of weeks for North Carolina's 301 Endless Yard Sale. It is held in five counties down Highway 301 for a 100-mile stretch the third Friday and Saturday in June. 



North Carolina's 301 Endless Yard Sale will stretch 100 miles and five counties in June.


In some ways, this highway is like the iconic Route 66 minus the teepee hotels and instead, replaced with a giant snowcone building that serves us some great snowballs. 


Cute, Snowball place off of 301 in Smithfield, N.C.
Hills of Snow is located off of Highway 301 in Smithfield. 


Highway 301 used to be the main route to Florida before I-95 was built. When that busy Interstate was built, travelers could get where they wanted much quicker, but at the same time, travelers had to say goodbye to passing through quaint Southern towns like Roanoke Rapids, Wilson, Rocky Mount, Selma, Smithfield, Benson, and Dunn. 

Four years ago, Johnston County started this sale because Selma, North Carolina, is known for its antiques and it was a great way to get traffic back to these small, rural towns with charm and charisma.  



North Carolina's 301 Endless Yard Sale will stretch 100 miles and five counties in June 17-18.


The first yardsale was a success and snowballed so to speak. It now stretches across five North Carolina counties and 100 miles. Vendors across the country come out to share their finds and people with talent like the Gaines are coming to North Carolina to repurpose these rare finds. 

I find this repurposing interesting. I turned to a couple who have the blog The Navage Patch to ask them how pros go about events like this. I really wouldn't know where to begin, but they do it with a mission in mind as a couple just like the Gaines. 


Greg and Handan of the Navage Patch


Greg is a woodworker and his wife, Handan, is a crafter and painter.  They each look for different things at yard sales, flea markets, garage sales and antique shops. 

Greg says, "Since Handan is the crafter and the painter, she is interested in all things, big and small. She looks for pieces with beautiful lines and curves and ornate embellishments. For her, material and finish are not as important as shape. A piece made from junky wood is as compelling as one made from something nicer, as she would anyway fix the imperfections and hide everything under a few coats of chalk paint. She also looks beyond a piece’s intended purpose (chair, dresser, bowl, etc) to see new possibilities (a tiered stand made from a table leg, a jewelry carousel made from a cabinet door, etc). 


Repurposing antiques
See how Handan took an old tool box and turned it into a planter. 


Meanwhile, Greg has his eye on different pieces when he goes to events like the 301 Endless Yard Sale,  "I’m looking for pieces with interesting wood grain or exotic veneers. Whenever possible, I like to preserve the wood – clean it, stain it (or leave it alone) and finish it with polyurethane. I generally focus on furniture and larger pieces. Often a piece will have excellent wood on some part, say the top of a table, but the legs might  be ho-hum. In that case, I would paint the legs but preserve the wooden top. I love to mix painted and natural wood – the effect can be striking. Occasionally I will re-imagine the piece. I am currently working on an antique maple dresser that I’m turning into a wine bar. Though it is an antique, there was nothing special about it – nothing to make me want to restore it. It was made from good solid maple, but it was a plain and utilitarian piece of furniture. None of the wood is interesting enough to showcase, so that whole piece will be painted, except for a mahogany bar top I made from the remains of another antique dining table."



Repurposing furniture
You will not believe what this desk looked like before Greg worked his magic as well as Handan
Greg and Handan have a unique story behind their blog and who knows,.....HGTV may come calling one day just like they did with the Gaines. After I post this story, they may put North Carolina on their list to visit next June. 

The US 301 Endless Yard Sale officially starts on Friday, June 17th and runs through Saturday, June 18th, 7am-5pm. Many sellers will be located along the stretch in well-established visitor sites like Riverside Mill in Weldon, the Tobacco Farm Life Museum in Kenly, TWM Antiques in Selma...as well as families, churches and schools on the route with vendor spaces.

Here's a Quick #OutaboutNC Guide to Help You Navigate the 301 Endless Yard Sale 

Starting Point  or Ending Point on Highway 301: Halifax County


Begin or end your adventure at Riverside Mill in Weldon. You will find over one-half acres of gleaming Antiques.  Vendors will be set up in their parking lot and down the road on the banks of the Roanoke River at River Falls Park.

North Carolina's 301 Endless Yard Sale will stretch 100 miles and five counties in June.

The Halifax local park will also be full of vendors. Halifax is home to a new farm to table Restaurant The Hen & The Hog

Keep heading south on 301 and you will arrive in Enfield. There you will find several vendors and the locals recommend Jennie’s Beans & Buns as a great place to grab a cool drink or lunch. 


Nash County (Rocky Mount, N.C.)


Vintage Signs are popular at the 301 Endless Yard Sale
Vintage signs are also popular finds on the 301 Endless Yard Sale. Photo from Tar Heel Flea Market. 


In Rocky Mount, N.C., you can stop at the Purple Petal and Tar Heel Flea Market. If hungry, stop at this historic staple, The Central Cafe on Church Street. I've eaten here and it's classic grilled cheese, hamburgers, hot dogs and cheap breakfast. A greasy spoon at its best. 

Wilson County (Wilson, N.C )


Wilson is known for Whirligigs
A Whirligigs. A lot can be found in Wilson

Wilson is known for the large kinetic sculptures that move with the wind called "Whirligigs" - a park is being built in historic downtown Wilson which currently houses 16 and a total of 31 will be in place by June 2017 for the completion of the park.  

Like fried chicken and BBQ? You are in luck. Wilson has Parker's Barbecue on Highway 301 almost across from the County Fairgrounds where a lot of the 301 Endless Yard  Sale Vendors will be set up while in town. 


The Beefmaster Inn in Wilson is known for its steaks.
The Beefmaster Inn in Wilson, N.C. 

Antique dealers are located up and down the 301 area of Wilson.Boone's Antiques, Boykin Antiques, Church Street Galleries, and Langston Antiques are a few well-known establishments in the town.  In the mood for a steak, then you'll be in for a treat at the Beefmaster Inn located on Highway 301.  The place is tiny. It will be hard to get a table.  It's not fancy, but you can bet it will be a steak just like my Daddy grilled. It's a Wilson staple. 

 Johnston County (Selma, Smithfield and Benson)

The 301 Endless Yard Sale began in Johnston County four years ago. Selma, N.C. is in the heart of the sale, and is considered the half-way point for many visitors.  Johnston County will have 30 miles of pure yard sale goodness from Kenly to Benson. 


I think one thing is for sure in the South, no one will go hungry. here.  As for local places with flair, Kenly has Stormin' Norman's BBQ.  Hills of Snow is must-stop to cool off.  Holt's Lake is between Smithfield and Four Oaks - is another well-known BBQ restaurant in the area. Four Oaks, N.C is known for Stanfield's General Store; it's a vintage general store with glass soda bottles sold out of a cooler and snacks.  They also sell local arts and crafts.  In Benson, you will not want to miss Glenda's Sweet Shop which is a local ice cream place and they will be serving treats to cool off as well as welcoming vendors into their parking lot.

Ending Point or Starting Point: Harnett County (Dunn, N.C.)

Dunn will have six miles of the yard sale stretch. With all the vendors Dunn has set up, it will take hours and hours to get through this county. 

Sunrise Antiques takes up two city blocks in Dunn, and  has an amazing collection of antiques, collectibles, and furniture. It also has one of the largest selections of used furniture throughout central and southeastern North Carolina. 

Sherry's Bakery, Homemade Doughnuts in Dunn.
Homemade Doughnuts and  Antiques A Good Combo.  Sherry's Bakery  in Dunn. 

You know me, I always like to find a  local coffee shop. The Celler can get you a latte to perk you up for your antique hunt. Broadstreet Deli and Market and Sherry's Bakery are two local, well-recommended places to grab a bite. Sherry is known for her homemade doughnuts. She also has fried okra as a side on her lunch and dinner menu. She's a woman after my own heart. I'm taking a field trip to Dunn this summer just for the fried okra. 

Visit the 301 Endless Yard Sale Website for more vendor information. This year's sale will be June 17-18, 2016. It's held the every third weekend in June. 

Look for hotels in the area by visiting the links on my sidebar.  I am a partner with Hotels.com, Marriott, and Expedia. 

Disclosure per FTC guidelines: This is an #OutaboutNC marketing piece for this N.C event held yearly in June and compensation for my writing was provided. All opinions are my own and research was done on my own with the help of all five Visitor's Bureau. I attended a planning meeting and loved getting to know more about these wonderful N.C. counties. If you purchase any hotel rooms from my site, thank you for supporting the blog. A small commission will be earned

5.17.2016

Southern Parenting Tale: I think we're in a Family Crisis.That's what I would tell Myself, anyway!

Before my second child was born, I had things together pretty well. Dinners were on the table by 6:30 p.m. Jack was in bed at 7:30 p.m, at the latest. I was in bed by 10 p.m. Yeah, there were a few years that he woke up with nightmares every night straight for a year, but other than that small fact, it was pretty much easy street. I didn't think that though.

Of course, if someone told me this was the easy street  phase back in the year 2007, I'm pretty sure my response would be something like "You don't know the "bleepity bleep" what you are talking about. This is hard."

Source Pinterest. Credit: http://curiano.com/post/83399381423/live-life-quote


After Liza was born, things got a little more tricky as Jack entered elementary school. Dinner crept a little later. Bedtimes also got a little later. It wasn't perfect, but it wasn't bad.  I think I would call it mediocre street now.

However, if someone told me it was mediocre street in 2012, I would have shot daggers from my eyes.  Going from preschool years to having Cub Scouts one night a week was hard at the time because it was new.

In 2016, there is no doubt in my mind that we are in a "bleepity bleep" family crisis. Both kids are in elementary school now. They get home at 4:30 p.m. Neither one wants to touch a homework assignment as soon as they walk in the door. They want to eat every snack I have in the pantry and veg in front of You Tube. I so miss "Jessie" and "Witches of Waverly Place".  Shows that I complained at the time were too old for them. Now, I just get some English guy with a gazillion You Tube followers who plays video games for a living and children watch what he does in awe. I don't get. I just don't get it. It's a slow sign that I'm aging and turning into my mother. She never got why people wore thong underwear. I don't get YouTube.

As my children have aged, extra-curricular opportunities have surfaced. I am finding myself leaving our home at 5:30 people for karate twice a week and dance twice a week. One night we have Scouts at 7 p.m.

These activities are not things I force on my children, but I do think it's better than sitting at home watching a grown up on You Tube playing games. We now have martial arts twice a week at 5:45 p.m.  My son is thriving. He loves it. It's awesome to see a child who really just wanted to play Minecraft and computer coding now doing push ups, sit ups, kicks and doing it all with a smile on his face. He never complains to go and is always ready to go.  Liza loves dance class, too.  She wanted to learn to do a cartwheel so we added ACRO for a short time period which added an extra day of dance and craziness to the mix.

Source: Pinterest

You get the idea here. With all of these extra things, dinner gets later. Bedtime gets later. I get grumpier. Homework gets later once they finally reveal that they do, in fact, have homework.

My bedtime gets later. Later bedtimes means no one wants to get moving the next day. We are slow. Sloths could beat us to school. We try to accomplish way too much in a short amount of time in the morning, and honestly, I'm just one stoplight away from road rage as I rush to beat the carpool line closing.

This is the new norm and I don't think it's just me. If I talk to other moms they can fill in the blank that they have  piano, soccer, baseball, church, or gymnastics on any given night for their kids.

No parenting doesn't get easier. It gets more challenging and busier.

New parents tell themselves that things will get easier when they get through the clingy days and sleepless nights. Folks, it does not get less hard as children age.  It just gets harder in a different way. Yes, I can pee alone now most days, but I have no time to get dinner on the table due to my new job as chauffeur. It may get easier when they are out of college, but I can promise you that you will still worry about them even if they have a family of their own. Life may slow down for you, but there will also be new worries and challenges.

It's now my goal to tackle this frenzy lifestyle and do it much better this upcoming school year. I'm next year's PTA president. I can't have the Principal and staff always seeing my station wagon with fighting kids fly over speed bumps to get to the carpool doors before they close them to late parents. On a daily basis, I'm just this close to running over the "Stop, Get Out the Car. You are TARDY" sign as we finish the last 20 days of the school year.

Source: Pinterest


I know I'm not alone. In the past semester, as I've been in this stage, I've stopped in Moe's, Jersey Mike's, Chic-Fil-A...for dinner because I haven't planned meals after these classes. I know I'm not alone.  Tables are filled with American families with children over the age of six. Eating out several times a week is just not smart. It's tough on the pocketbook. It's also  not good for the waistline. Mine.

I think I have a solution. In the winter, I tried HelloFresh.com with a free trial for one week.  I really liked it. I liked it a lot, actually. Jack loved it and begged me to sign up. He loved every meal and raved about the service.  But,in Jaunary, we were busy just one night a week after school, NOT FOUR.  I thought HelloFresh was maybe too much of a luxury for us and I questioned the $100 weekly expense.  I wondered, "Do we really need this?" Do we need it now? Yes, I think we do. I'm signing up today.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver develops many of of the recipes for the boxes. Each box comes with portions and ingredients measured out. There is ZERO waste. Some times, you get leftovers off a meal to eat again. I tried three recipes, and it's been so long now and I'm so frazzled that I have forgotten them by their official names,  but I am pretty certain that Chicken Milanese was one of the meals after going through the archives today.

Courtesy:  HelloFresh

I also remember this entree. Tuscan Sausage Linguine. It was so good that I told myself that I should recreate it one day. I tell myself I should do a lot of things, but yet I never do them. Sadly, I've not recreated this meal either, even though it was one of my favorites.

Courtesy: HelloFresh

The third meal was a chili. Of course, Will thinks no chili on this earth is better than his. I am going to give him some bragging rights, but this chili was good. I enjoyed it.

Courtesy: HelloFresh


Liza was hit and miss on some of the meals, but it scored a home run with Jack. He liked every one. And if we must be truthful, Jack doesn't like a lot of things I cook so for him to love this then that is really good.

I think if I supplement the week with these meals and then plan on my Papa Spud's produce delivery to serve with chicken or fish one night then I will be in a better place, at least in the kitchen. I may need to serve dinner earlier like at 5 pm a few night a week.  Sounds crazy, but it may be a good option. HelloFresh prides itself on working with farmers for the best ingredients.

The HelloFresh box comes in the mail with lots of ice packs. There is a little bit of waste there or extra garbage, but if it helps us get our sanity back, it will be worth it.  I'm going to sign up for the family box. It is three meals a week for $105 with free shipping. I think it is my family crisis solution.

If you are in family crisis mode like me, HelloFresh created a code just for my readers to get $35 dollars off your first box. Use Hines35 at checkout. They'll know I sent you.

Disclosure: I tried HelloFresh in January  for a one week delivery with three meals for free. I've thought about the site now for three months and have decided that I'm going to become a customer. No other compensation, partnership or incentive influenced my decision. I'll keep you posted. 




5.15.2016

The 4-minute oversized lunch for those who like big portions, but need to watch weight

My biggest problem when I try to drop pounds is portion control. I like big portions I cannot deny. It is a Leigh issue and one I must tackle and face.  I can't eat just one slice of pizza. I want four. I don't want one sandwich at home. I want two. I don't want just half a sandwich when I'm out. I want the whole thing.  I've been like this my whole life. When I was a child, I would eat a whole can of biscuits. Back then, it did not matter. I was so skinny that I needed to eat two cans.  In my 20s, I would eat half a pizza plus a beer and it would not impact me one bit.I also lifted 50 pounds of TV equipment in and out of a car about five times daily.

In my late-40s, a bigger portion is my enemy. I cannot keep those habits. Maintaining a healthy weight has become an issue for me. Realistically, I would like to lose ten pounds.

Quick and Easy Healthy Lunch

Now that fresh produce is in abundance, I've come up with a lunch that is big and satisfying.  You can tailor this to what you like, but I use a very large pasta bowl as the bowl for this salad.

It takes less than 4-minutes to chop and put this salad together. I love it.  I also stay full most of the day.

1 large cucumber (quartered so it makes a lot of slices or chunks and fills the bowl)
1 large slicing tomato
Half a red onion, sweet onion or green onions (whatever you have)
Half of an avocado
Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, 1 tsp of olive oil and 4 to 5 drops of Lime Vitality Culinary Essential Oil (You can also use the juice of one or two fresh limes).
Toss your salad.
Sprinkle with Feta Cheese.
Enjoy.  I love this.

Easy lunch with fresh produce



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