Summertime is almost here, and if you love books as much as we do, we know you’re compiling your TBR stack for the summer. Well, guess what? We’ve done it for you, finding the perfect mix of romance, women’s fiction and mystery – all southern fiction, all set at the beach and perfect for reading by the ocean, the pool or in your home while you relax and sip an iced coffee.

Summer is all about getting outside enjoying some rays and having good times. And there’s no better way to do that than to listen to a fun playlist of music full of good vibrations.

We’ve compiled our list of ten songs that we’re listening to this summer. Our list spans the genres of country and pop, from Maren Morris to Corrine Bailey Rae and back to Chris Lane. Good music knows no bounds, ya’ll!

by Staff Writer

We’re drinking all the strawberry beer this Spring. And why not? What better way to kick back and enjoy the fresh fruity flavors of the season than to drink the best strawberry-inspired beers we could find? It’s the beginning of the strawberry season after all. Our roundup of seasonal favorites includes three beers from North Carolina: one ale, one sour, an apple cider and one beer brewed in England.

by Nikki Terpilowski

I thought I knew all of the coffee shops in Fuquay-Varina. But recently, I drove down Broad Street and saw a new sign on one of the historic buildings I’ve always found so intriguing. It was the location for a butcher for a while, was empty and now it’s filled with chocolates, pastries and coffee. I had to see for myself what Tsuru Sweets & Coffee was all about.

by Anika Williams

 

I’ve always loved books and I often seek the refuge of bookstores in my area.

There is a mixture of big-box chain bookstores and independent bookstores in the greater Raleigh-area and I thought I’d visited them all. So I was pleasantly surprised when  I stumbled upon an independent bookstore in Wake Forest, secreted away amongst a community theater and a dance school. I couldn’t wait to explore.

Who doesn’t like fluffy buttery sweet pancakes for breakfast? Or lunch? Or dinner? It’s one of those meals that can appease the finickiest of eaters, both child, and adult. We know it’s pretty hard to mess up pancakes and they’re actually really good, whether you get them at a drive-thru window at a fast-food restaurant, sit down for a quick bite at a country diner or hobnob it at a fine dining establishment serving mimosas with your pancakes at brunch. But we still wanted to figure out some of the best places in North Carolina to get a really tasty plate of pancakes, and that is what we did.

by Debra Burdick

Early afternoon on a Saturday, a woman stands in front of the counter at Halgo speaking Polish, ordering kielbasa and other meats. A couple proudly tells Ziggy Gorzkowski, the proprietor, that their families are from Poland and they are transplants from Michigan in search of good Polish food. But customers don’t need an accent or family history in order to enjoy Halgo, the European deli across Alston Avenue from the South Regional Library in Durham.

Isn’t it annoying when you’re mad for some good Polish food, you do an internet search and find a bunch of German or vaguely European restaurants? Hello, they’re not the same. Don’t worry, we’ve done the search for you – hey, we know how hard it is to find a good Polish place to eat in the south. It’s near darn impossible, not like up north, where you can’t throw a stone for hitting a Polish deli.

There’s just something about a nice cozy mystery. If you’ve read one, or two or three, you know what I mean. They are a bit addictive with the cute town, eccentric cast of characters and mysteries you want to solve for yourself. And let’s not forget the themes! It’s so entertaining to read a story that incorporates something you’re really interested in, whether it’s cooking, knitting or woodworking, there’s a cozy mystery for every reader. And there’s nothing we love more than to find a really good cozy mystery set in the south.

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite cozy mystery series set in the southern USA. 

I remember discovering craft beer. And then I realized I was a porter and stouts kind of gal. The darker and the thicker the brew, the better. And almost immediately after that, I recall thinking that the stout beer I was drinking would probably taste awesome in a cup of vanilla ice cream. I immediately did an internet search for is ice cream and beer a thing? Of course, as the internet will remind you, there is nothing new under the sun. And every idea has already been thought of… at least twice. Of course craft beer + ice cream or spirits + ice cream is a thing. Of course it is.

When’s the last time you had dinner with your family? I don’t mean when’s the last time you all sat on the couch watching TV or playing video games and eating dinner at the same time, but rather, I’m referring to the old school tradition of setting the dining room table with plates, cups and silverware. Everyone sits together and there’s no screens or devices to be seen?