Tag Archives: weekend

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. 🙂

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4 Words 4th of July

As I mentioned in my last post, Derek and I hit the road for the 4th of July and spent a few days with my family. It was the perfect mix of fun and relaxing, and I wanted to share a little recap of the trip. Instead of my usual recap, and in honor of July 4th, I’ll be captioning with 4 words per picture.

Virginia is for lovers.

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Kentucky is for bourbon.

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My dad = chef extraordinaire.

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The spoiled rotten dog.

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Wine + funny movie nights.

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Four Roses Bourbon Distillery. 

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Bourbon encourages family selfies.

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Day at the pool.

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This sums it up.

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Hope you had a fun and safe 4th of July, too!

Charlotte Girls Getaway {Weekend Recap}

This past weekend was the most adventurous that I’ve had in a while, and I loved it.  It felt good to be really active and get out of my comfort zone.

Jenna, my best friend, organized a great weekend trip for a group of girls. We went out on the town in Charlotte on Friday night and spent all day Saturday at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. (Fun fact: USNWC is an official U.S. Olympic Training Site.)       

On Friday, right after work, my friend Julie and I hopped in my trusty 9-year-old Honda CRV and headed to Charlotte. We got to our hotel around 7pm and met up with Jenna and Sam in our room. After grabbing some dinner, we bar hopped around Charlotte’s Epicentre.

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Apologies for the extreme blurriness. Also props to whoever photo bombed us. 🙂

At one point we accidentally stumbled into some exclusive party for Charlotte’s 30-under-30. Whoops.

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Jenna and I trying to blend in.

We decided that if anyone asked we would tell people that we were the inventors of the flash tattoos we were wearing.

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#flashtats

There were a lot of fun bars, but my favorite was Rooftop 210. The music was lively, and it was the perfect night to be outside.

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The views weren’t shabby either.

It also had giant Jenga and corn hole, which as a game-lover, is a major plus.

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For the northerners out there, you may also call this “bags.” Let’s be real though, we all know that corn hole is a better name.

The night eventually ended with a lovely bucket of some sort of blue alcoholic substance. Which is NEVER a good idea.

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Jenna delivered the doom drink.

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Don’t try this at home.

Needless to say, the next morning was initially at little rough. Fortunately greasy, not-at-all healthy diner food cured my hangover, and I was ready to head to the whitewater rafting center.

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Pumped for a day of adventure!

Megan, another friend, met up with us there.

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Flash Five

Besides slowing down for a couple of intense thunderstorms, we were on the move all day.  We started with whitewater rafting.

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We had a blast, and our guide was great.

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We also completed a intermediate-level high ropes course. As someone who is scared of heights, it wasn’t exactly fun, but I was proud that I did it. Check out the video below if you want to see what it’s like.

After the ropes course we went on the mega zip. It’s a 1,123 foot zip-line. You launch from the top of the 46 foot Mega Tower and fly over sections of the whitewater rafting area. It was really fun and a great way to see the whole center.

Finally, we went to the Hawk’s jump, which entailed climbing up a 40 foot pole only to jump off of it. Trust me when I say it feels even higher than it looks in the video below.

It took me a few minutes to shake off the adrenaline from that one. My heart was pounding after I made it down.

We did a lot in one day, but there were still so many other things to do.

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The US National Whitewater Center also has trails for mountain biking or hiking, kayaking (whitewater or flat water), stand-up paddle boarding (whitewater or flat water), more ropes courses,  and climbing walls. We bought an AllSport pass for $54 that gave us access to everything. I think it’s an awesome deal for everything you can do there, and I would definitely go back again.  (By the way, it was quite the workout, too. I was sore for a few days haha.)

Going out in downtown Charlotte and our outdoor adventures were certainly fun, but the best part of the weekend was spending time with an awesome group of ladies!! Now we just need to plan our next getaway . . .

Daredevil, Farmers, and a Spy {Weekend Recap}

As it has been yet another month since my last post, it looks like I attempted my return to blogging a bit too soon. Womp, womp. I thought the worst was over after Derek’s surgery and internal medicine rotations, but then he was on the neuro ICU for a few weeks. It wasn’t as bad, but it still involved 60+ hour work weeks. Now Derek’s on his last rotation of third year. It’s outpatient medicine, which means normal hours! I’m pumped about it to say the least.  Anyway, suffice it to say that I’m back for real this time. On to a weekend recap!

I had a long, busy week at work so Friday evening was pretty low-key. We spent the night on the couch watching Daredevil on Netflix and drinking wine (me) and beer (Derek). If you haven’t watched Daredevil yet, I definitely recommend it. It’s fun and surprisingly well written.

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On Saturday morning I headed to the South Durham Farmers’ Market to stock up on fresh veggies.

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I’ll probably write a more detailed post on this later, but I’ve been making an effort to shop at farmers’ markets instead of the grocery store. I’m making the switch for environmental, economic, and nutritional reasons. Not to mention the food just plain tastes better than the grocery store!

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I grabbed an iced coffee on my way out. Such a treat.

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After my farmers’ market adventure, I stopped by the library to drop off a couple books.

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I recently finished the audio book version of Eleanor and Park.

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Yep. Totally snuck into the YA section to grab this one. It was worth it. I grabbed a couple of cookbooks for inspiration on my way out, too.

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Later in the afternoon, Derek and I headed to UNC to hang out at the pool. Warning: paleness ahead.

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The weather was perfect, and it was our first pool day of the year! After we got cleaned up, we went out for dinner at our local Mexican place and then headed to the movie theatre. We saw Spy on a whim and really enjoyed it. It certainly made me laugh, and I always appreciate a feminist storyline.

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Today we’ve catching up on a lot of things around the house. We did some serious cleaning and laundry, which was much needed, and I cleaned/chopped/peeled all of my farmers’ market purchases so they’re ready to use during the week. As tedious as taking care of the house can be, I love the feeling of having a clean and organized home.

I’m thankful for such a relaxing, restorative weekend. Here’s to hoping the week ahead is just as good!

Birthday Fun {Weekend Recap}

Wow, I can’t believe I haven’t posted since the end of January. Last week was insane at work. I had my patient case load (which is more than enough to keep me busy), and I was covering for another social worker. Whew! I’m glad it’s over. This week is already so much better.

Enough about work though. I’m writing because I want to share some of my weekend. I celebrated my 25th birthday!

Well, actually my coworkers kicked off the celebrations on Thursday by bringing me this delicious, gigantic piece of strawberry shortcake from Nantucket Grill here in Durham.

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Personally I think their food is just OK for the price, with the exception of their cake. It is AMAZING. They have a good variety, too. It’s definitely worth checking it out if you’re local.

On Friday I took a half-day at work. I decided to take the afternoon off to get my hair cut and have a little “me time.” I was starving when I left work, so I headed to one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Durham: Parker and Otis.

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It’s conveniently right around the corner from where I get my hair cut. I got the three salad plate with tortellini pasta salad, fruit, and curry chicken salad. So good!

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After lunch I walked down the street to get a much-needed trim and highlights. While my hair did its thing, I read trashy magazines and drank wine. Yes, my hair salon offers complimentary adult beverages, and yes, I drank wine at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. I was celebrating, and it was 5 o’clock somewhere. 🙂

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I spent the rest of the afternoon laying on the couch watching Friends. Derek got home later in the evening (thanks med school), and we headed out for a late dinner at Sake Bomb, our favorite sushi place. In addition to sushi, I got this fancy drink. It’s called a “Melon Ball.”

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On Saturday, my actual birthday, I received several birthday phone calls, cards, and Facebook notes. Nothing makes you feel more loved than hearing from friends and family. My parents even posted this collage! The outfits are excellent.

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Derek and I slept in that morning and then headed to Target to pick up a few things. In typical Target fashion this resulted in us walking out of the store with way more than we planned to get. #1 rule of Target: always get a cart. You will need it.

After our Target trip we got outside for a walk. It was a beautiful sunny day, which is amazing considering my birthday typically coincides with terrible weather.

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By the time we got back we had worked up an appetite. Derek took me out for lunch at The Original Q Shack. 

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I would argue that the best part of living in the South is barbecue.

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After lunch Derek and I relaxed at home for the rest of the afternoon. He had to be at the hospital at 6am on Sunday for work, so I headed over to my best friend Jenna’s house for some more birthday fun while he got a good night’s sleep.

Jenna, my other friends Katy and Julie, and I spent the evening eating pizza, drinking wine, and watching funny movies. I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend the evening. 🙂 (Side note: I love the name of this wine we drank.)

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On Sunday morning Julie, Jenna, and I went to church and grabbed brunch at Relish. I had never been there before since I’m not out in Raleigh that often, and the food was great. I got a BLT with fried egg, and it was the best brunch I’ve had in a long time.

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Loved hanging out with these two!

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Finally, Jenna and I wrapped up the weekend with hiking at Umstead. The weather here was incredible on Sunday. It was sunny and 70 degrees!

We found some rocks that reminded us of the cover of The LIttle Mermaid and decided to recreate Ariel’s pose.

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Nailed it!

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It was a great birthday weekend, and I’m so thankful for my wonderful husband, family, and friends who helped me celebrate. Here’s to making 25 the best year yet!

The Time I Practiced Yoga at a Bar {Weekend Recap}

Hello, hello! Hope your week is off to a good start. I wanted to share a recap of my weekend because it ended up being a fun and busy one.

On Friday night Derek and I went to The Black Keys concert. I bought the tickets as a birthday gift for Derek back in August, so we were pumped to finally go to the concert.

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It was just a little dark at the concert, haha!

I took a video of them playing the song below, but I had some trouble uploading it. Instead, I’ll share the music video.

The Black Keys were great live! I’d definitely recommend seeing them in concert if you’re a fan.

On Saturday morning I met up with my best friend Jenna for a yoga class at Clouds Brewing.  The “price” for admission was a toy for Toys for Tots. Over a hundred people attended, which resulted in an awesome donation for Toys for Tots. Pretty neat idea for a toy drive, right?

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The class turned out to be really challenging. Definitely not for beginners. Fortunately, many of the people who attended were just like Jenna and me: yoga amateurs. We had a great time and cracked up at our attempts to get into certain positions.

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It was fun and almost surreal to practice yoga in a bar. This was the view to my right during the class.

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After such a tough class, it was totally necessary to reward ourselves with beer and lunch.

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We started our meal with a beer cheese appetizer. It came with sliced bratwurst, sauerkraut, and pretzel bread. It was all good, but the pretzel bread was the bomb.

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For my meal I got a flatbread with grilled chicken, spinach, feta, and red onion. It was delicious. Gotta love feta.

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After the yoga class and lunch, we went to see the newest Hunger Games movie. I headed home in the afternoon and spent the evening with the hubby.

On Sunday Derek and I went to church and then headed over to our friends’ house to make gingerbread houses. We, of course, had to dress for the occasion.

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Our friends were prepared. So. Much. Candy. (And wine.)

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Our friends made the gingerbread from scratch and had a fire going. Does it get more Christmas-y than that?

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I even got some quality dog time in. Isn’t Pippa cute?

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Candid action shot.

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Fun time had by all!

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What a great weekend! Have you done any fun holiday activities yet?

The One You Feed {Fun Friday}

Happy Friday!! What. A. Week. Whew! Between being sick (bad head cold) and my intense patient caseload, I am pumped that the week is over. I’m also glad to be blogging again. Things got so crazy that I haven’t posted this week. I figured a Fun Friday post would be the perfect way to kick back into gear with Brown is the New Pink. If you don’t already know, when I have tough weeks at work I like to post pictures, videos, or stories that make me smile or laugh. It helps me separate myself from work, and I’m hopeful that it helps other people who just need to smile or laugh, too. Let’s get to it . . .


Can you believe how cold it’s gotten?

I am in BIG trouble if Derek and I have to move up north for his residency.

I should warn you that the next video has the potential to make you cry. Patrick Otema, 15, lives in a remote area of Uganda and was born deaf. There are no schools for people who are deaf, and he has never been able to have a conversation with others. However, Raymond Okkelo hopes to change this for Otema and other people who are deaf by teaching them sign language.

The way Patrick lights up at the end is one of the most heartwarming things I’ve seen in a long time. It was definitely a reminder for me to be mindful of my privilege as someone who doesn’t have any disabilities. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never even thought about how people would learn sign language in areas that don’t have schools for the deaf. The video also reminded me to be thankful for the gift of communication and language. It’s certainly something I take for granted.

Switching gears to something funny, I love this album of pictures about married life. I’m still a newlywed (8 months strong!), but I can already relate to these pictures, especially since my husband is quite the goofball.

Next up is a clip from Saturday Night Live. Jim Carrey impersonates Matthew McConaughey in his Lincoln commercials.

I laughed so hard when I saw this for the first time. “Whose kids are these? And how’d they get in my Lincoln?” Haha!

Finally I will wrap this post up with the fable below.

And with that I choose to feed the good wolf. Enjoy your weekend!!

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