Lori V.

Nov 222014

As you read this, if you read this on Saturday the kids and I will be having a ball at the last Carolina home football game of the season.  Consequently, it is also the first football game I have gotten to go to this year.  Next year, I WILL have season tickets!   This game is also the military salute, as well as Senior Day.  I am so excited to see all the fanfare and excitement that goes along with gameday at Carolina!

So, I thought a little throwback from last season would be fun!

~~Patrick & I – Carolina vs. UNC – Home Opener, August 29th, 2013~~
My first college football experience since high school when I went to a game at Navy and at UVA.  Loved it and I loved being able to share it with Patrick.


~~My College Roommate (and Gator) Lauren & I – Carolina vs. Florida, November 15th, 2013~~
This game was awesome because not only did Lauren & Jimmy come up, but my sister in law and our friend Megan came down from VA, and Patrick’s best friend Tommy came with their friend Steve.  It was a great time, even if I did have too much vodka and took a nap before the game!


This is the hilarity it was trying to get 4 kids to sit still long enough for me to take their photo.  This is one of about 10 shots I took.  At least in this one, all are looking at the camera!   This was Carolina vs. Coastal Carolina, the next to last game of the 2013 season.  The kids all had a blast!

Nov 212014

Black Friday jump starts the holiday shopping (and holiday gifting) season for most people.  When I was a kid, my mom loved giving gifts from a local store that sold items handmade by folks across the world, most in remote, poor villages.  I love the idea that when giving a gift, you are actually giving back to a sole individual who truly needs that income to take care of their family.   I love the idea of giving gifts that give hope.



Macy’s and Full Circle Exchange have partnered to empower artisans and their communities to overcome poverty through special design partnerships, business training, education, health care and sustainable economic opportunities. Our Fair Trade Collection of handcrafted products makes change a possibility by helping to break the cycle of poverty.   By going into communities in Haiti and Rwanda, they are bringing hope to a nation otherwise ravaged by war (Rwanda) and natural disasters (Haiti).  In 1994, Rwanda was torn apart by a brutal and swift genocide—in roughly 100 days, close to one million Rwandan citizens were murdered. In the aftermath, the population of this small African nation was nearly 70% women. Faced with an uncertain future, these women turned to their past and reclaimed their unique heritage of weaving. Drawing strength from this common history and ancient art form, brave women from both sides of the conflict organized groups of weavers, in an effort to rebuild their communities and their lives… together. This July marked the 20 year anniversary of the genocide.   The program gives “trade-not-aid” and in turn gives the women sustainable income to provide for their families.

I was blessed to receive this beautiful sweetgrass bread basket, and I am so excited to be able to display it in my new home (moving next week!).   The sweetgrass basket is handwoven using sweetgrass and raffia and incorporates traditional Rwandan weaving techniques.   The artisans who weave these baskets receive half the wholesale price for each item sold, this truly is giving back!    Each basket is handcrafted, so slight variations in size and coloring will occur.  I was able to use mine the other night at a jewelry party I hosted, lined with a linen napkin, it held chips for dipping!


Gifts like these not only bless the person who receives them, but they also bless the maker.   This year marks the 10th anniversary of Macy’s partnership with Rwanda Path to Peace collection.    Today, the Path to Peace project is larger than ever, employing over 2,500 weavers and impacting tens of thousands of lives  Focused on trade, not aid, the Rwanda Path to Peace project puts the power of opportunity into the hands of the women of Rwanda, providing not only income but the chance to take an active role in the shaping of their future.

Other beautiful items from the collection include baskets of all shapes & colors, metal wall art and beautiful picture frames to showcase your family photos.  Any of these items would be wonderful gifts for the upcoming holiday.  Perhaps give grandma a photo of the kids in this Heart of Haiti picture frame or give the office Christmas party hostess this beautiful vase.  The possibilities are endless for how you can give and give back this holiday season.

You can find out more about Rwanda Path to Peace and its items by following Heart of Haiti’s social channels at @HeartofHaiti on Twitter and www.facebook.com/heartofhaiti on Facebook. For additional information about how Rwanda Path to Peace is helping entire Rwandan communities, visit this page.

“I am a  member of the Everywhere Society and they provided me with this product for review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.”
Nov 202014

This really seemed like an appropriate title for today’s post, even though I’m only moving 7 miles (ish!).    Someone at work asked me the other day how many times I have moved, so I thought it would be a fun blog post.

August 1998 – Moved from Virginia to North Carolina for College!  

December 1999 – Got Married, and moved to the San Diego area in California. (MCAS Miramar)
   - while in California lived in 2 towns – Santee and Ramona.   10 foot moving truck used.

November 2001 – moved back to VA – 20 ft moving truck used.  Dad driving the big yellow Penske truck.

February 2002 – moved to Beaufort, SC (MCAS Beaufort)
   - while in Beaufort, lived in 2 different parts of town, Port Royal & in base housing on Laurel Bay

July 2005 – moved to Newnan, GA, outside of Atlanta  24 foot moving truck – 2 trips (again, big yellow Penske truck)

November 2012 – moved to Lexington, SC – 24 foot  moving truck (two trips), mini van and a truck w/trailer.  Dad driving the big yellow Penske truck.

and just 2 short years later, moving again to another house in Lexington where I hope to stay awhile!   I love the fact I have gotten to live in so many places, but my kids are getting older and the thought of moving them again, moving schools honestly makes that “moving bug” go bu-bye!   It was hard enough moving Katie here to SC part way through 6th grade.   

Our moves have always been grand adventures for us.  When we first got married, we had a little 10 foot Penske moving truck (Penske will become a theme, trust me).  We had all our worldly possessions in it, and all our wedding gifts.   When we moved in November 2001, Matt was already in VA, so it was just my mom, dad, Katie (6 months old) and me.  The adventure there was seeing the country with my mom.  My mom having to climb over the seat repeatedly to hang with my “doesn’t like the dark” baby girl.   We also lost a very prized stuffed animal on the trip.   Now that I am divorced, the last move of coming here to SC was as much moving on as it was moving locations.

Its neat to see the US along the way..although driving 12ish hours each day is also hell on your body.   You see a lot of this…and alot of nothing.  Corn fields, cow pastures and empty open roadway  (photo borrowed from my brothers similar San Diego to east coast move).  



Every move has also been an adventure because something random always happens.   Moving to Atlanta, we moved during Hurricane Emily and on the way back to Beaufort for the 2nd load, the truck lost all power and they had to power brake it off to the side of the road.  Then had to sit and wait for what our friend Stewart described as the creepiest tow truck driver ever.   Moving from Atlanta here started with unhooking my washer and breaking a pipe in the wall (whoops!), and then on the trip back to Atlanta to get the 2nd load, the gas cap was stuck on and we had to get a police officer to bring a wrench to loosen it.

I love the adventure, but I want this move to be nice to me.  I mean, its only 7 miles – right?

Nov 192014

So, in my house my TV is an old “box” TV, that I think weighs roughly 50lbs, and is awkward and hard to handle if you need to move it.  That TV will NOT be moving with us to our new house in a few days, and I am grateful for the flat screen I have in my bedroom.  Takes up such a small amount of space AND is lightweight.   

However, in a recent visit to Best Buy, I noticed an amazingly thin, and lightweight television that is just hitting the market.  This thin, curved screen is beautiful.  Watching a sunset beach video on it, you felt like you were going to be able to just take a step forward onto the sand and watch the sunset in person.    This new technology is absolutely amazing, and I believe overtime will become more mainstream, just like console TV’s where in the early 80′s!   

I encourage you to visit your local Best Buy (find one here!), and check out this new technology for yourself.  


LG_OLED_Infill_smaller file 2

What is OLED TV?

The stunning design of LG OLED TV is only 0.21″ thick at its thinnest point. Picture quality is spectacular, with Infinite Contrast that ranges from the most blazing whites to the deepest blacks. And, LG’s exclusive 4 Color Pixel technology delivers bright, vibrant colors. Learn more here:     LGOLEDatBestbuy.com     The 0.21 thickness, is at its thinnest point more thin than a standard #2 pencil is.  Thats crazy!  

Your first kiss. A baby’s first steps. The majesty of a desert sunset. Some things in life defy all explanation and must be experienced to be believed. Such is the case with LG’s latest display technology. With deeper and richer colors, stunning contrast and ingeniously curved screens, it is unlike any technology you’ve ever seen, and it delivers a picture that exceeds your wildest imagination.

Some of its great features:

·         Infinite contrast ratio and stunning color – delivers more natural, lifelike viewing.

·         4 Color Pixel technology enhances color range and accuracy.

·         Super thin design (consider how to show visually)

·         Find content faster with webOS 

The webOS is great for surfing Netflix, Hulu and even Youtube!   I have a friend who has a smart TV, and I love being able to switch between Netflix and Amazon Prime video.  Makes picking out a movie for family night 10 times easier!   

Again, I encourage you to visit Best Buy to check out the OLED TV for yourself.  Ask for a demo, and see if you can pick one up for yourself as an amazing Christmas gift for your family!


The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.  All opinions contained herein are her own!

Nov 142014

You don’t know me…or maybe you do.  Its possible I only have like 5 blog readers and they actually know me in real life.  Who knows, but in case someone new is here reading, here are some things you may not know about me.

I have an unreasonable, unrealistic fear of bridges.  Patrick thinks this is funny, and will slow down when we go over one.  He says he is trying to get me over this fear. In addition, I don’t like parking garages.  However, I pay $60 a month for a parking garage space that I gladly use everyday, and I park on the 4th floor.  I park there partially out of necessity (darn undergrads grabbing all the lower levels), and partially out of worry that someone will bang my car on a lower level (again, darn undergrads).  This is me saying “suck it” to my parking garage fear.
 I am completely obsessed with reruns of Criminal Minds.  Derek Morgan shirtless – enough said….and the way he talks to Penelope Garcia.  I swoon a bit (yes, swoon).

I started shopping for Christmas about 2 months ago.  I love giving gifts, and this year I have had a lot of fun learning about my coworkers to pick the perfect gifts for them!I love road trips.  I have been blessed in the last 2 years to go on many a “road trip” with Patrick.  Even just going to go visit family upstate, I have enjoyed every road trip we have taken.  We play silly car games or just quietly ride holding hands.  It is an amazing feeling to be able to enjoy everything with your best friend.

 As an adult, I have lived in 5 states – California, North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina and Georgia.  I am finally now “HOME” in South Carolina, where I intend to stay and firmly plant my roots.

Nov 112014

College campus…the melting pot that is our university.  So I bring you the first of “heard around here”.

A – Her nickname is Lucious Peaches, or “LP”.
L – It sounds like something that is a stripper, but then I remember I’m fat and I cannot dance.
K – Well actually, history shows there is a market for anything someone wants to put out there, so you could be a stripper.
Did I just totally quote the reason why you can be a stripper?  Yes I did, because I am a history major.


A – You know those graphs that have pictures and facts and things, what are they called?
L – An infographic.
A – OOOHhhh – I kept calling them icongraphy, but that’s like Jesus pictures.


S – I’m thinking about getting hair extensions, but damn they are expensive.
L – You should look for hair on amazon. You can buy anything on amazon.
Passing Professor – did you just say buying hair?  you can buy hair on amazon?
L – Yes, see the wonderful things you can learn in this department?


L –  We found an entire drawer of historical office supplies.
N – I don’t even know what that means, should I be worried?


No, Just no.
Stop It!  I can’t even.


I just wish these undergrads would put on appropriate length shorts.







Nov 062014



5-hour ENERGY®  just annouced the winners of its 5-hour ENERGY® “Yummification” video contest, and one winner is “local” to me (Zac from Lugoff!)!   The winning videos and recipes are posted at http://5hourenergy.com/yummification   
Congrats to all the winners!   Here they are with their Yummy Drink Creations!   

 First Place ($50,000 prize): “Pomelimelade” by Tim Merlau, Los Angeles, CA
This winning submission mixes a Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY® shot with limeade, and then takes us on a musical journey through all that can be accomplished over several hours (spoiler alert:  it’s a lot).


  • 1 glass Limeade
  • 1 shot of Pomegranate 5-hour ENERGY®

Second Place ($30,000 prize): “Ramalamadingdong” by Mark Golembeski, Los Angeles, CA
The second place video helps us turn that 2:30 feeling frown upside down by mixing a 5-hour ENERGY® shot with lemonade.  This video has it all: a clown, a puppy, a guy in a tutu, and much more.


  • 1 glass Lemonade
  • 1 shot of Berry 5-hour ENERGY®

Third Place ($10,000 prize): “Arnold Power” by Zac Sheorn, Lugoff, SC
The third place winner reminds us that you don’t have to be good at sports, but mixing a Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY® shot with decaffeinated iced tea helps keep you refreshed while practicing.  And practicing.

“Arnold Power”

  • 1 glass Decaf Iced Tea
  • 1 shot of Pink Lemonade 5-hour ENERGY®


*Disclosure – I received compensation for posting this information for 5-hour ENERGY®.  All opinions expressed are my own.*



Nov 052014

I love the new Tim McGraw song “Shotgun Rider”.  Lately, when we make trips to or from Walhalla, I have been driving part of the time – so this seems appropriate for us.   Love how the two songs I think of as “our” songs are Tim songs!


Roll, won’t you come roll with me slow, fast, full speed
Girl wherever sweet time takes us
Hang, with me down this old road
Only god knows where we’ll go
Don’t matter long as I’ve got your love


I don’t ever want to wake up, lookin’ into someone else’s eyes
Another voice calling me baby
On the other end of the phone
No I don’t ever want to know
No other shotgun rider beside me singing to the radio

Nov 032014

That is the number of thoughts in my head right now – eleventy-billion.

What am I thinking of you ask?

Moving – changing my address – moving – packing – moving – bills – moving – timing – moving.

Did I mention I was moving?    This was not in my plan dammit!  


However, I did find an adorable house for the kids and I and it is perfect for us.  Allison (coworker) and I went to look at it a few weeks ago and the homeowner who is renting it seems wonderful.  He doesn’t want to go through a property manager, which is a plus for me, as I am not a fan of  property managers!   He is a bachelor and is moving in with his girlfriend in Charleston.  The lease is for a year, and at the end of that we will figure out what to do next.  I hope to buy a house in the next few years, and of course – I hope to buy a house WITH Patrick.  We will see where our road leads us, but I hope that is the path we are on (I think it is though!).  

The thought of packing makes me nauseous.  I feel like I just did this, although in reality it was 2 years ago.   The timing stinks, but – it happens.  Everything happens for a reason.  I have been able to purge a lot of the items in the house.  I was holding onto things from my previous marriage because well…I don’t have a valid reason for it.  But things that I didn’t need have been purged, the rest of his stuff has been packed and put away for him to pick up.  Some furniture has been sold, or will be sold soon (washer & dryer anyone?)  This new house is as much about moving on as it is about moving to a new place.  

Lots of photos will be to come – I am excited about this new adventure with Patrick and our kiddos!