Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Two Favorite Raleigh Spots for Those Who Love Books - Cameron Village + NCSU

It's officially Summer with this crazy heat wave this week and now is the best time to stay cool and read books. It's a challenge sometimes to choose a book over browsing the latest on social media. Personally I don't really enjoy reading books on a device, I love the actual book in hand. It's not just the book but the way it's designed, I love hardback books and fonts and color and well designed covers. I go to the public library nearly once a month and check out a stack of design, travel and cookbooks. It's funny because I'm not really a cook but I absolutely LOVE cookbooks! I love beautiful photos and easy to follow clear cut recipes that inspire me for preparing healthy and easy meals for my family.

If you live in Raleigh, you should know (if you don't already) that we have a great Wake County public library system. Many of the branches have had recent renovations and the shelves are well stocked with the latest books especially cookbooks.

Cameron Village Shopping Center has a fantastic public library and is a great place for taking a break and browsing the shelves for the latest novels, cookbooks or whatever you are interested in. I like to read up about travel destinations we are wanting to visit. I generally have about 8 books checked out at all times! The Cameron Village library is modern and well organized and I love all the natural light that shines into the building. The library offers programs for children, encourages recreational reading for all ages, and provides resources like computers to access the Internet, Microsoft Office, electronic research resources, etc. There are nice spots for reading and to escape the Raleigh summer heat.

On another note, a couple of weekends ago I got to test drive another Land Rover from Jaguar Land Rover Cary for the day. This time it was one of the most affordable cars in the line, the Land Rover Discovery Sport. It had an amazing dual moon roof that almost made it feel like I was driving a convertible! The power lift gate is still always a favorite feature (especially for hands-free loading) and the price for this one is one of the best for getting into a Land Rover.

I decided to drive it over to check out another absolute favorite library here in Raleigh just down the street from Cameron Village, the amazing Hunt Library on the NCSU Centennial campus. If you have not been there, make it a summer destination! It's a stunning building, beautiful naturally lit space with some of the best seating options in the city! Check out the Rain Garden reading lounge with colorful soft seating arranged around curved book shelves with floor to ceiling windows providing beautiful natural light. Also, while you are there, stop by Lake Raleigh right next to the library and take in the views.

Hidden gem: the sunset views on the terrace at Hunt library and at Lake Raleigh are some of the best!

1930 Clark Avenue, Raleigh. PH: 919-856-6710
HOURS: Monday–Thursday 9am–9pm, Friday 10am–6pm, Saturday 10am–6pm, Sunday 1pm–5pm.

Cameron Village Public Library

Hunt Library views

James B. Hunt Jr library on NCSU Centennial Campus

Rain Garden Reading Lounge at Hunt Library

Visiting Lake Raleigh

Lake Raleigh views

#CVTRENDREPORT: I'm excited to partner again with Cameron Village and Jaguar Land Rover Cary again this Spring to feature some of the great merchants in the Village and highlight some 2018 Spring trends and great "hidden gems". I love shopping, dining, drinking, exploring local and it's been an amazing opportunity to get to know these merchants, their stories and their passion for what they do!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

FlyWheel Sports - Trying Something New in Cameron Village

As the weather shifts more into the hot and humid days of Summer, you may want to consider an exercise routine indoors.  Flywheel Sports in Cameron Village, offers indoor cycling and exercise classes that challenge both expert athletes or novices (like me!) with an intense workout in just 45 minutes that push you to use your maximum potential while still having fun in a state-of-the-art facility. While riding the bikes in the Flywheel classes you can easily track your performance and participate in friendly competition with others in the class with cool bike technology. The Flywheel studio features stadium seating, custom-made indoor cycling bikes as well as complimentary towels and indoor cycling shoes for riders. The sophisticated facility at Cameron Village also features FlyBarre, a total body sculpting class that blends the best of lightweight training, dance, and core strengthening exercises.

Last week I took my first Flywheel class in Cameron Village. I have to admit I was a bit intimidated having never taken a class like this before (I had taken some cycling classes in my gym years ago). I arrived a few minutes early and was greeted by super friendly staff who helped me get my shoes for the bike and a locker to use. The lockers use your own security code so no need for bringing a lock. Towels and water were readily available. My bike was reserved for the class (you can choose and reserve your bike location in the studio) and the staff showed me how to properly get situated on the bike, lock in my shoes and adjust the seating and height. They showed me how to track my performance during the class and adjust the "torq". In-studio, every bike has a display with your Power Score and other metrics. The "Torqboard" is the TV screen in class where you can race other riders with an incognito "Torqname". This is optional but it is a unique feature of the class.

The room was nice and cool and they bring the lights way down once class starts so you can relax and get focused. The instructors are energetic and excited and work with all levels in the class. The music is loud and keeps you moving throughout the class. I like the 45 minute class versus an hour, for some reason it just feels like you can push harder and be done sooner ;-) After class, the instructor congratulated everyone and we all headed out to start our day!

There are really nice showers available if you need to get ready for work or whatever you have planned. Also, I definitely want to mention parking! I initially had the thought where in the world do you park for a class here? Not to worry! There is plenty of available free parking in the building garage. If you enter where the new Starbucks is located in Cameron Village and drive all the way through, you will see signs for parking in the garage under the apartment building. Bonus-your car will be nice and cool and out of the summer sun, after an intense workout! ;-)

The Cameron Village Raleigh location is the only Flywheel studio in the Triangle! They are excited to announce the debut of Pack Memberships, offering best value AND exclusive member perks. Click here to learn more.

Pack Memberships offer a new way to crush classes each month! You can pick a pack that fits you, based on how frequently you take class. The more classes you get, the more you save, and your pack will automatically renew each month to keep you accountable and on track to reach your goals.
  • 4 classes/month: $80 ($20/class)
  • 8 classes/month: $144 ($18/class)
  • 12 classes/month: $192 ($16/class)
And to give you even more flexibility, all credits and Pack Memberships can now be used for Flywheel and FlyBarre classes. For more info and to purchase, click here: http://bitly.com/2aO84Aa

I hope after reading this you feel inspired to try something new like Flywheel this summer to shake up your workout routine. Use the promo code FLY-RALEIGH to try your first class FREE!

Shout-out to Jenny Roberts, Flywheel Studio Manager for making time to meet with me, show me around the studio and giving me the confidence boost to take a class! ;-)

HOURS: Monday - Sunday: 6:00 am - 8:30 pm
LOCATION: 402 Oberlin Road Suite 104 Raleigh, NC 27605 | ph: (919) 948-3332

 I'm excited to partner again with Cameron Village and Jaguar Land Rover Cary again this Spring to feature some of the great merchants in the Village and highlight some 2018 Spring trends and great "hidden gems". I love shopping, dining, drinking, exploring local and it's been an amazing opportunity to get to know these merchants, their stories and their passion for what they do!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Just a Few of my Favorite Things at Cantina 18

To be honest, there are a few basic things in life that consistently bring me happiness.
Here are FOURGuacamole. Tacos. Margaritas. Dining Outside.

All four of these things and more converge in a delicious and refreshing way at Cantina 18 in Cameron Village. Chef Jason Smith uses locally sourced, fresh ingredients to make some delicious food and drink offerings right here in Raleigh. You may know him from Seaboard 18, an amazing restaurant in downtown Raleigh’s "Shops at Seaboard Station"- a re-purposed, historic coastal train depot in Raleigh. Cantina 18 is located in Raleigh's historic Cameron Village. If you love Southwestern food and guacamole, tacos and margaritas much as I do, you should make plans for lunch or dinner at Cantina 18.

GUACAMOLE. Cantina 18 always uses the freshest seasonal ingredients and sources other ingredients from local farms including the goat cheese in this guacamole! Tomatoes, pickled jalapeƱos, black beans, cilantro and of course, avocados. SO good.

TACOS. I honestly think I could (and sometimes do) eat tacos every day. I literally never get tired of eating tacos! I love the fish tacos at Cantina 18. The fish taco is crispy and blackened and the fish is locally sourced and combined with Lunazul tequila slaw, and a delicious chile-lime aioli. This taco has just the right amount of crunch and flavor. I also love the grilled chicken tacos with goat cheese, cranberries and apple. Really nice and a good healthy taco option! Along with chicken and fish, you can also choose beef, short rib, shrimp, chickpea masala, pork belly carnitas and BBQ duck confit for your taco platter.

Chicken + Fish Taco plate

MARGARITAS. I don't drink cocktails on a regular basis (although I'm getting more interested in craft cocktails), But I do LOVE a great house margarita on the rocks with salt! This house margarita at Cantina 18 is A M A Z I N G. Fresh and flavorful, made with Blanco tequila, triple sec, house-made sweet & sour, it's a win! On Mondays, they are on special for $6.50! While I was there, I also tried the JalapeƱo mule. Really nice lime flavor with a spicy bite! Ingredients include fresh jalapenos, Social House Vodka, ginger beer, and fresh limes. If you like a little heat, this is a wonderful drink to add to your Raleigh cocktail list!

House Margarita

Jalapeno Mule

AL FRESCO DINING. Lastly, who doesn't love dining outdoors? Cantina 18 has a nice patio for dining outside but if it gets a little too hot and humid for you or if there's the threat of a NC summer thunderstorm, try dining upstairs where the Juliette windows open up for a wonderful open-air dining experience in the Cantina without getting wet or over-heated!

Also, a side note, if you are looking to host an event, Cantina 18 features a private dining room for corporate and social gatherings from 15 to 150!

Juliette windows upstairs dining room

Patio dining at Cameron Village

I hope after reading this you feel inspired and I hope you can visit Cantina 18 and try all these tasty items out for yourself. Summer is here and it is a great time to enjoy patio dining with friends and/or family. Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

It's important to eat local, support the local community and take some time to get to know the amazing folks who put their time and effort, sweat, tears and passion into creating cool dining experiences for us here in Raleigh. I highly suggest putting Cantina 18 on your outdoor dining plans soon!!

HOURS: Monday – Sunday: 11:00am – 10:00pm

LOCATION:433 Daniels Street, Raleigh, NC 27605 ph: (919) 835-9911

#CVTRENDREPORT: I'm excited to partner again with Cameron Village and Jaguar Land Rover Cary again this Spring to feature some of the great merchants in the Village and highlight some 2018 Spring trends and great "hidden gems". I love shopping, dining, drinking, exploring local and it's been an amazing opportunity to get to know these merchants, their stories and their passion for what they do!