Monday, July 24, 2017

The NEW Unscripted Hotel in Durham / Now Open!

Fresh off of a couple weeks away from Raleigh and the Triangle, it was fun to get back in the swing of things, attending last week's media premiere party at the brand new Unscripted Hotel in downtown Durham.  Durham is the first location of the new Unscripted hotel lifestyle and hospitality brand, part of the Dream Hotel Group, and they officially opened their doors last Wednesday, July 19. The 74-room hotel is located in the old Jack Tar Motor Lodge, at 202 N. Corcoran St. in the heart of downtown Durham.  All 74 private rooms offer fully stocked minibar, luxury linens and robes,  complimentary wifi, Jonathan Adler amenities and more. Room rates start at an affordable $169/night. The prime location features great views of the city of Durham and puts guests within walking distance from the American Tobacco Campus, Durham Bulls Athletic Park, DPAC and many of Durham's fabulous restaurants, breweries, local boutiques, bars and more!

The renovated hotel embraces the mid-century modern design which I absolutely love and I'm thrilled that they've stayed true to the original space, keeping that bit of Durham history in tact but reinventing it at the same time and giving it new life. They were careful in their steps of preserving the original design aspects and materials. There is also plenty of parking available with the adjoining four-story parking garage. The Unscripted theme features an overall fun, hip and creative vibe in its design. The lobby space (the Studio) is a great spot to meet up for a drink or to just hang out and catch up with a friend. The cafe, (allday) is open with outdoor tables on the street and offers coffee, breakfast and grab and go food/drink. The rooftop patio and pool area (the Patio) is open to the public for drinks and light snacks with music and nightly events.  The Patio is a retro-inspired homage to poolside lounges.

We sampled several of the menu offerings and there was a nice variety of tasty dishes with something to please everyone, featuring ingredients from local farms and businesses. They have partnered with Fullsteam Brewing in Durham to offer a unique lager brew called the Unscripted, as well as offering additional beers, wine, and cocktails.

Other food and drink offerings located in the hotel plaza space include, Neomonde Mediterranean restaurant (not currently open), which will be offering a variety of flavorful dishes featuring authentic family recipes and is targeted to open in the Fall. Jack Tar Diner is a new lunch/dinner restaurant coming soon from the owners of Pizzeria Toro, also planning to open in the Fall. Pour Taproom is currently open and serving up pay-by-the-ounce beer where customers pour their own drinks from 60+ taps, featuring a wide variety of selectively curated craft beer, wine and ciders.

Unscripted will be offering plenty of fun weekly events to guests and the general public. The schedule includes:
  • Monday “The Dive Inn” movies at The Patio 
  • Tuesday “Sounds of The Studio” album listening sessions 
  • Wednesday “Epic Sketch” art classes in The Studio* (To launch in August) 
  • Thursday after work “Mixer Mixer” in The Studio* (To launch in August) 
  • Friday “Night Swim” at The Patio 
  • Saturday “Stereo Patio” live DJ sets by the pool 
  • Saturday “BOOM” nightlife live DJ sets at The Studio 
  • “Sunday Best” mimosas and bloody mary’s at The Patio 
  • Sunday night “Mr. Kites Industry Night” variety show at The Patio (To launch in August)
Overall, I like the creative, unique atmosphere of this hotel.  Almost everywhere you look, there are fun messages, bright-colored furniture, fun music, cool architecture and signage that keep you smiling and who can disagree with a "don't take yourself so seriously" lighthearted vibe like that! Be sure to stop in for a drink or a snack next time you are out and about in Durham, check out the rooftop patio and pool and awesome Durham views, and see what you think! It's sure to make a "splash"! ;-)

Media premiere party
Watermelon Martinis

Jonathan Adler amenities

The Sea & Land dish

Lamb Pops

The Patio burger

Unscripted lager by Fullsteam Brewery

Sushi Cone

allday cafe on Parrish Street entrance

Pour Taproom now open

Thursday, June 22, 2017

FIND IT LOCAL: 8 Fun Summer 2017 Fashion Trends at Ivy & Leo in Cameron Village

It's officially Summer as of yesterday's Solstice and the warm weather is in full swing here in Raleigh. I'm sharing eight fun and trendy ways to help freshen up your warm weather wardrobe with the help of Ivy & Leo in Cameron Village.

Ivy & Leo offers great prices on quality clothing, shoes, bags, jewelry, and accessories, which is very appealing when shopping for myself, but also for teenager and college student budgets. The original store started in Charlotte, North Carolina (called Julie's), and they are a family owned business with 12 stores located all over NC/SC. The Ivy & Leo store at Cameron Village is the only one in the Triangle.  

Feeling youthful and having fun is always a good accessory to any outfit. Schools out and with the help of my teenage daughter, here are some trends that you can incorporate into your current wardrobe that will add some instant fun and style.

Keep an eye out in early July for Ivy & Leo's big Sidewalk Sale, July 13-16th...not to be missed!

HOURS: Monday - Saturday: 10:00am - 7:00pm, Sunday: 12:00pm - 5:00pm
LOCATION: 2010 Cameron Street, Raleigh, NC 27605


1. Off-the-shoulder. This trend is huge this year! It's no longer just about the straight-across style, there are one-shoulder, cutout, asymmetrical and more! No matter what style, bare shoulders are in for the summer!

2. Bright, bold accessories. Necklaces, statement earrings, clutches in bright colors and over-sized reflective sunglasses are definitely in this season and give any neutral outfit a burst of new life.

3. Tassels! They are on everything, including dresses, shirts, earrings, accessories and more.

4. See-through tops, rompers and dresses are popular this summer. Good for dressing up bathing suits at the beach.

5. Bold, flowy maxi dresses. Loose and over-sized, long and comfortable like this beautiful 'Palms Away' maxi dress are a great look for this summer or an island/beach getaway.

6. Round beach towels! Super fun, colorful and definitely stand out in the crowd of rectangular beach towels!

7. Fun hats. Super cute with scripted messages or broken down, baseball style hats for casual fun.

8. Embroidered accessories. Definitely part of the boho look that's popular this year.

#CVTRENDREPORT: I'm excited to partner again with Cameron Village over the next few months to feature some of the great merchants in the Village and highlight some 2017 Spring/Summer Trends and great "hidden gems". I love shopping local and it's been an amazing opportunity to get to know these merchants, their stories and their passion for what they do!

Thanks also to NC Photographer Zach Stamey of Focus Media for assisting with store photography.