Tag Archives: North Carolina

Beer, Bourbon, & BBQ Festival Fun

About a week and a half ago I went to a Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival right down the road in Cary, NC.

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My parents happened to be passing through town on their way home from a beach trip, and my dad is a big bourbon fan (hello we’re from Kentucky) so we thought it would be a fun adventure.

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Our friend Steven, who’s in medical school with Derek, joined us as well as a couple of my parents’ friends.

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The festival was held at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, which was a beautiful venue. We were all thankful for the shade from the trees considering it’s constantly 90+ degrees here in North Carolina during July and August.

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When we got there we received our tasting flutes. I was surprised that these were actually nice glasses with the logo on them. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but their motto “Drink. Eat. Relax.” is on the back side.

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The tickets covered tastings for the 60 beers and 40 bourbon available. There were booths all over the place.

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By the way, as much as I want to like bourbon, I’m just not a fan. Fortunately many of the bourbon booths had delicious spiked teas. Woodford Reserve had a particularly delicious peach bourbon tea that I’d love to recreate at home.

It’s a bit of a bummer that food wasn’t included with the tickets, but we definitely weren’t disappointed with the barbecue we got. So good!

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I seriously get hungry just looking at that picture. If we move out of North Carolina next year, the barbecue around here will be sorely missed.

It was a fun day for us all, and I would certainly recommend it for other people in the area. After all, what’s better than sharing a few drinks and good food with family and friends?

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P.S. Don’t worry, we took an Uber to and from the festival after all those adult beverages. 🙂

The Farewell Tour & Bean Traders

As I mentioned back in my Tell Me Something Good post earlier this month, Derek is officially in his 4th year of medical school. (Look for a post in the near future about what it’s like to be married to a med student.)

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Gotta love the scrubs.

We’ve been talking about Derek’s residency for years, but we’re at the point where it’s no longer an abstraction. Lately it’s started to sink in that we’ll probably be living in a different city in a mere 10 months. Derek will, of course, be applying to UNC and Duke, and we’re not ruling those programs out at all. However, we both feel that it is a great time for us to try something different if he finds a program he loves outside of North Carolina. We’re both adventurous and relatively unattached (no kids, no house), and fortunately I can find medical social work jobs wherever we go.

That being said, I absolutely love the Durham/Chapel Hill area. It will always be home to me, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if we end up back here someday. Because it’s likely that we won’t live here for at least 4 years, I decided that I want to do a sort of “farewell tour” of Durham and Chapel Hill with BNP. I’m starting a new series of posts about my favorite places to eat and play in the area, and I even added a new page to the blog menu called, “Durham & Chapel Hill.” I’ll compile all of my posts on the page. It’s mostly just fun for me, but it could be helpful if you ever visit the area or want to try something new. 

I thought that I’d kick things off with this post by sharing my favorite coffee shop/study spot: Bean Traders!

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You’ve seen their coffee on my blog many times already. Bean Traders always has a booth open at the farmers’ market. It’s my treat while I shop around.

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Iced coffee, how I love thee.

I usually see this guy parked out front.

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I know Bean Traders is at the farmers’ market when I see their trademark van.

Bean Traders is only about a mile from my house in south Durham. It’s inconspicuously located in the middle of a strip mall. (My gym is actually in the same one.)

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Well hello there you hidden gem.

When you walk in you’re greeted by bright colors, lots of natural light, and friendly baristas.

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You can’t tell from this picture, but there’s a drink called a “dirty hippie.” It’s some kind of mix of coffee and tea.

One of the many cool things about Bean Traders is that they partner with many local business for their dairy products, bakery items, nut butters, candies, and desserts.

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Candy galore!

They also sell their own coffee beans.

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Love that “Drink the Love” sign.

I mean there’s a reason it’s called Bean Traders.

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The coffee is strong and delicious.

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It smells amazing.

I went here a lot during grad school for group projects or to study solo. There’s lots of space and free Wi-fi. The mismatched chairs in all different colors give it a cool, eclectic vibe.

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Bonus points for coffee served in mason jars.

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I got this almond-milk latte last weekend. Nom!

It is the best place to spend a quiet morning enjoying delicious coffee and reading a good book.

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The perfect Sunday morning. (P.S. I’m reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith AKA JK Rowling. Highly recommend it!)

I ❤ Bean Traders.

2014 BNP Year in Review

Happy New Year’s Eve! It’s hard to believe that 2014 is coming to an end. It has been a crazy, challenging, amazing year. I started Brown is the New Pink (BNP) back in late April, and I love being able to look back on everything that’s happened this year. For my final post of 2014 I am reviewing all of the major events of the year. Cheers to 2015!


January 

  • Celebrated the New Year in Kentucky
  • Took engagement pictures

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  • Started my last semester of graduate school
  • Found our townhouse and signed the lease for me and Derek’s first home together

February

  • Celebrated my 24th birthday
  • Pole danced and celebrated with friends at my bachelorette party 🙂

March (Holy cow, March was crazy.)

  • Moved into our townhouse
  • Married the love of my life!!! (Wedding Recap Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

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  • Gave a big presentation at my internship at the VA
  • Interviewed for my first “real” full-time job
  • Accepted my first “real” job offer!

April

May

  • Graduated with my Master’s of Social Work

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June

  • Started my first job!
  • Derek took the USMLE Step 1 (HUGE test for medical students)

July

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August 

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September

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October

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November

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December

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  • Hosted our Second Annual Tacky Sweater Party

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What. A. Year. Wishing you health and happiness in 2015!!

I’m Baaaaaaccckk {Christmas Recap}

Hello friends! I’m back on the blogging wagon after a couple much-needed weeks off. Derek and I are in Lexington, Kentucky at my parents’ house for a couple more days before we head back to North Carolina and reality. It’s been a great vacation for all of us, and I wanted to share a series of pictures as a Christmas recap.

Before we left town, we hosted our Second Annual Tacky Sweater Party.

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Love these people. Photo credit goes to our friend Deepak and his fancy camera. 🙂

We had a blast and stayed up until 3am playing Catchphrase. It was great fun!

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The adorable version of our group tacky sweater picture.

After the party, Derek headed to his family’s house in Wilkesboro for a few days to spend time with his family while I finished up work. I drove to Wilkes on the morning of Christmas Eve to pick up Derek on the way to Kentucky. Fortunately, we were able to eat breakfast and exchange presents with his family before heading out.

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After an easy 8 hour drive, we made it to Lexington!

We got to Kentucky just in time for the candlelit Christmas Eve church service, my favorite of the year. After church we watched some of our Christmas movie favorites: Elf and Christmas Vacation.

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We spent Christmas morning relaxing and getting ready for our big lunch. I, of course, partook in the family tradition of drinking a Bloody Mary.

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Scooter wanted to be part of the action.

On Saturday my grandpa came over to watch the University of Kentucky vs. University of Louisville basketball game. My mom, dad, brother, and grandpa all went to UK and are huge Wildcat fans.

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Derek couldn’t bear to wear UK blue and had to rock some Carolina gear.

One morning Derek whipped up some Norwegian pancakes, one of his family’s traditions. One of the things I love about being married is blending our family traditions. You get the best of both families!

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Delicious Norwegian pancakes.

We also went bowling.

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My mom always demands “shoe pics.” Haha!

My mom and I went shopping yesterday, and we’re planning on going to a movie later today. Derek and I will spend New Year’s Eve with my family before heading back to Durham on New Year’s Days. Then it’s back to work for me on Friday. Yay for a one-day work week!

I’m so thankful for the time spent with friends and family. I was definitely getting burnt out at work, and this break is exactly what I needed. Hope your holidays were great, too!

A Tale of Two Love Stories {Fun Friday}

Happy Friday, friends! It’s been a hot minute since I made a Fun Friday post, and I think it’s time for some pictures, videos, and stories that made me smile or laugh lately. I hope they bring a smile to your face, too!

Let’s kick things off with the case of the cat and the “empty” food bowl.

It’s funny how peculiar animals are about certain things. My parents’ dog Scooter will not turn around on the hardwood floors (likely because he’s scared of slipping). It’s hilarious to watch him slowly back away when he wants to leave the kitchen. What a goober.

Next up is a video of an English bulldog riding a motorcycle who waves to a passing biker ON HER OWN. The dog waves first without prompting from her owner. I had to watch it twice to make sure.

You totally thought I was making that one up, didn’t you? 🙂

On to another video. I am a big fan of Key & Peele, and they recently released a new sketch about text messaging. (**Warning: harsh language is used in the video.)

That’s definitely one of those “I’m-laughing-because-it’s-true” videos. Making people laugh is a talent in itself, but it’s even more impressive that Key and Peele are able to mix humor and social commentary so well.

To wrap things up, I’ll share two love stories. The first is a post from Humans of New York. The couple in the photo share the story of the beginning of their 50+ year relationship. It’s a sweet and funny story.

The second is a video of the first marriage ceremony for a same-sex couple in North Carolina.

Last Friday, October 10th, a federal judge ruled that North Carolina’s gay marriage ban was unconstitutional. I watched the marriage in the video happen live on TV. It was a beautiful, and I felt blessed to witness such a significant moment in history.

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Derek and I saw these flags on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill when were on our way to church. The town put them up to commemorate the momentous ruling.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!!

Where We Love Is Home

It’s been a great weekend! I’m thankful that I was able to spend time with my family and be here for my grandpa’s 90th birthday. I head back to North Carolina tonight, and I know I’ll be a little sad when I leave. I wish we lived closer to each other. However, in many ways, I am lucky to have two places to call home. Even though I don’t like leaving my parents, brother, and grandparents, I get to go home to my new family with Derek. Though it means I leave a little bit of my heart in another state, I’m blessed to have so much love in my life.

“Where we love is home, home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”  – Oliver Wendell Holmes

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