by Chika Gujarathi

Set in the tiny fictional community of Waves, North Carolina in the Outer Banks, is Jenny Hale’s newest romantic novel, The Summer House. As someone who loves to align her reading with the current season, I was so excited to pick up this book which is filled with new beginnings, friendships, and romance, all taking place in a beautiful beach setting.

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 Dianna Dames

The Azalea Festival first came about in 1948 after Dr. Houston Moore, MD spent several years cultivating the Greenfield Lake area of Wilmington, NC. Inspired by the Rhododendron, or Azalea flower, he successfully rallied the support of community leaders to create a festival in its honor. Over the years, the festival has expanded to include artwork, gardening, and local history. Every year, the festival draws around 300,000 people into Wilmington.

by Taylor Brooks

If you are a fan of beer, or just a fan of having a good time, you will definitely be a fan of at least one of Trophy Brewing’s three locations. For your food truck days with friends, pizza nights with the family, or dinner dates downtown, Trophy has a location to suit your needs. For this sunny Saturday afternoon, in particular, I decided to check out Trophy Brewery and Taproom.

By Anika Williams

Walking around Lafayette Village in North Raleigh is one of my favorite ways to pass the time. It’s an adorable European-style village in the middle of suburban Raleigh that approximates a small town in France but actually houses locally-owned gourmet restaurants and upscale shopping. It was on one of my strolls around the village, that I happened upon Jubala Village Coffee located on the perimeter of the shopping center.

by Debbie Burdick

The search for donuts often leads to well-known national chains, some of which have kiosks even in the local gas stations. However, one Durham donut shop can be found not in, but next to a corner gas station, and the owners and bakers are often right inside rather than at corporate headquarters. That shop is Baker’s Dozen, one of a family-owned chain of three shops in the Triangle that are offering some friendly yet serious competition to the national chains.

by Debbie Burdick

Helado. The Spanish word for ice cream slides over the tongue as easily as ice cream itself. At Pincho Loco, the ice cream and dessert shop tucked between Broad and Ninth streets in Durham, this creamy delight takes on many forms.

True to a Latin American sense of style, the little shop announces its presence at 1918 Perry Street with a profusion of colorful signs, the biggest ones offering their menu choices in both English and Spanish.

by Chika Gujarathi

When it comes to family fun, Raleigh has a lot to offer. So much so, that sometimes it’s precisely the abundance of options that makes it tricky to plan for a fun and relaxing day out. Well, today, I have an itinerary that is slightly off the beaten path, but it still does a top-notch job of delivering fun for the whole family without the usual hassles of crowds and parking!

by Debbie Burdick

Pristine nature is a relative rarity. Just ask any seasoned hiker how many times she or he has been enjoying a “natural” view and then stumbled upon an old cellar pit or a stone wall that once marked the edge of a farm. Nature taking back its own has its charms though, and the interaction between human history and natural history make the Occoneechee Speedway Trail one of the most intriguing in the Hillsborough area.

By Anika Williams

 

I love downtown Raleigh with it’s hustle and bustle, sights and the many spontaneous events that it hosts. Parades, street festivals, and arts and crafts shows are just a few that come to mind. Now that the weather is taking a turn for the warmer, I took my family and headed downtown this past weekend. We ran across a book store that had a Little Library out front. I was immediately charmed and decided to visit the shop. 

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.

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.

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.