Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LOCAL COMMUNITY: Brixx Pizza Cameron Village Celebrates Community + American Craft Beer Week

Located just on the outskirts of Cameron Village but directly on Oberlin Road, you will find casual, delicious indoor/outdoor dining at Brixx Wood Fired Pizza. Brixx Pizza has one of the biggest and best patios in the Cameron Village area. They are surrounded by a fast growing community of new apartment complexes and established Raleigh neighborhoods, and they are an easy walk to relaxed and casual outdoor dining and drinking. Parking can be tricky but if you are parked in Cameron Village doing any other shopping, they are an easy walk up to Oberlin when you're done shopping. If you live local, you can easily walk from the many apartments and neighborhoods.

Brixx loves being a part of the local community and if you do live nearby, be sure to ask for the discount card they offer local residents and Cameron Village employees.

The Spring menu offers lots of new salad offerings made fresh to order like the tasty new chopped Thai Chicken Salad. Brixx where possible, sources from locally grown greens in their fresh salads. There are new sandwiches on the menu like the Turkey Pecan-Cranberry Chutney sandwich served on fresh (baked that day) focaccia bread. We sampled some Korean BBQ Meatballs for starters, made fresh in house and sauteed in Korean BBQ sauce with fresh pineapple, green onions, sesame seeds and sriracha for a little kick. The Artichoke pizza with roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and basil pesto is a great veggie option. The Brixx menu caters to vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets, including offering gluten-free dough.
And of course all their dishes pair nicely with cocktail, wine and beer options!

Speaking of craft beer, nearly 75% of their 24 taps are dedicated to local NC beer.  They are currently celebrating American Craft Beer Week, the nationwide celebration of U.S. small and independent craft brewers, with some great pizza and drink specials every day of the week May 15-21. (Choose 1 pizza and local beer sampler for $15.95 available May 17, 18, 20 and 21). There's no better time to support your local craft brewers.

You can also take advantage of some additional daily drink specials at Brixx Cameron Village:

MON: $2.50 Craft Drafts (Excludes High Gravity/Allocated)
TUES: $3.50 Local Craft Drafts
WED: MBA $3.50 & $5.00 Specialty Cocktails
THURS: All Glasses of Wine $5
FRI: $3.50 Beer of the Month
SAT: $3.50 Beer of the Month
SUN: 1/2 Priced Bottles of Wine

Brixx is all about Community. Cameron Village (and other Brixx locations) partners with local Triangle area schools, churches, non-profits, and other charitable organizations to host Brixx Buxx fundraising events. They will help you plan and promote your event and they provide a personalized flyer for guests to bring in on the day of your event, donating $3 for every adult pizza and $1 for every kids’ pizza purchased on that day, to your organization. I have organized several school fundraisers myself and this is a fun and easy way to help raise money for school or church group trips, uniforms, etc. Brixx is a great location for everyone in our community whether it's families with small children (featuring chalkboards for them to draw on), college students, young adults, or senior citizens!

HOURS: Monday - Saturday: 11:00am - 1:00am, Sunday: 11:00am - 11:00pm
402 Oberlin Road, Suite 120, Raleigh Cameron Village, (919) 723-9370

So what are you waiting for? Get out and enjoy those warm Spring and Summer evenings with some great affordable food and drink out on the patio at Brixx in Cameron Village!

#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!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

LOCAL GIFTS: Gift Giving Ideas at The Local Squirrel in Cameron Village

May and June are big gifting months!  With Mother's Day, Father's Day, High School and College Graduations, baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, birthdays and more, we are lucky to have retail options like The Local Squirrel in Cameron Village that are your one-stop, local gift shop! The Local Squirrel has something for all your gift giving needs. They partner with local artists, jewelry makers, wood and leather craftsmen, and much more to provide a large array of hand-picked, hand-crafted gift items that are perfect for all your loved ones!  I've partnered with The Local Squirrel for the second time, to put together a little gift giving inspiration for these Spring celebrations. Also, there are several events coming up in the store soon that make shopping here even more fun!

  • Peppertrain Trunk Show . New necklaces from Kaitlyn’s Spring Summer Collection. Made locally in Raleigh! This event just happened this past weekend but she has a great selection of her necklaces available in the store.
  • May 10-14:  Rustico (leather goods) trunk show. They will have bags, their specialty journals, and other novel leather items great for grads and dads! Small business out of Utah and all their goods are made in America.
  • May 14:  MOTHER'S DAY! Opening at 10AM for LAST MINUTE shopping for mom!
  • May 18-21:  Allison Conway Collection jewelry trunk show. Bracelets, earrings and necklaces perfect to jump start your summer. Made locally in Durham!
  • June 9: One Year Party! Music, Gift with Purchase, Drinks, and Treats from 5-8pm.
    More details to follow.

STORE HOURS: Monday-Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm, Sunday: 1-5 pm (open at 10am on Mother's Day!)
LOCATION: 2012 Cameron St.Raleigh, NC 27605

Below, I've highlighted some great gift ideas for five major types of holidays/special events happening in May/June available at The Local Squirrel that I personally love. Whatever or whoever you may be gifting this season (even if its yourself!) The Local Squirrel has one of the most beautiful collections of curated gifts in Raleigh. Stop in and visit them this week in Cameron Village and get all your gifting done in one stop!

1. Mother's Day.
There are so many gift ideas at The Local Squirrel that are perfect for mom. We selected a few Mother's Day essentials such as locally made lotions and scrubs by Sugar Rose here in Raleigh, Chef Vivian Howard's award winning cookbook, beautiful recipe boxes, tea towels by Coast & Cotton, locally made art or a pair of stunning earrings.

"Floral" by Artist Alice Glass (8x10 on canvas)

2. Baby Shower Gifts.
Spring is a popular time for baby showers. The Local Squirrel has some of the most adorable baby items whether its this adorable soft unicorn, a basket for catching all things in the nursery, first board books, hair clips, clothing, towels, bibs and more! My favorite is the stuffed trophy heads perfect for any baby nursery!

3. Wedding Gifts.
We are attending a wedding this Spring, the first one for us in a while! The local squirrel has perfect wedding gifts and shower gifts for that couple in your lives. Select a beautiful pom pom blanket, a Mr & Mrs pillow, gold accessories, specialty wine glasses, cake toppers and more! Gold pineapples are very popular right now and make the perfect gift for good wishes. Pretty pink, gold rimmed jewelry dishes by L Phillips are great bridesmaid gifts!

4. Graduation Gifts.
Got a high school or college grad in your life? The Local Squirrel features one of a kind gifts for those special kids who have worked so hard! Check out a necklace or bracelet from Happy Tassels and Allison Conway Collection, made here locally, or these South candles that are perfect for that young traveler with wanderlust heading out into the world! These Cluse quality watches are a timeless and meaningful gift at $100.

5. Father's Day gifts.
Lots of great ideas here for the Dad in your life. These painted NC signs, beer bottle cap collector, RDU ball cap, scented "manly" candles from Porchfly, Rustico leather accessories are all just the perfect gift for your guy (perfect for graduation too!).


Perfect cards for all occasions!

Paper vases fit nicely over bottles and make a cute and clever gift for mom!

#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.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Mother's Day + more at the NEW Seasons 52

Looking for a great Mother's Day option?

Last week, we were invited to dine at the new SEASONS 52 at Crabtree Valley Mall. The restaurant recently opened in the former Starbucks location and they have created a beautiful restaurant and bar with trees and natural light pouring in over the dining room.

The restaurant features fresh ingredients on a rotating menu to optimize the best tastes of every season. The menu is inspired by what foods are in season and dishes feature ingredients at their peak of freshness. Many of the dishes for Spring include ingredients such as Asparagus, peas, arugula, spring lamb, strawberries and wild Alaska Halibut.

The restaurant is casually elegant and offers a great bar area for drinks and light dining as well as a huge dining room, outside patio and two rooms that can be used for lunch or dinner meetings or other special events with larger groups.

From Monday to Thursday, Seasons 52 offers great food and drink specials featuring select $4 beers, $6 wines and $8 Specialty Cocktails with some delicious small plates for only $5! One of these small plates we had at dinner. We tried the delicious SOUTHERN STYLE SHRIMP & GRITS featuring sautéed shrimp, chorizo, bacon, stone ground cheddar grits.

We decided on some red wine with dinner. Seasons 52 has a vast selection of wine and we spoke at length with our knowledgeable server who helped us pick out a couple really nice, bold reds. Along with a large selection of all types of wines, they offer a selection of "Interesting Reds" (loved) and six "Drink them before they're famous" wines that are new wines from both well-known growing regions and up-and-coming vintners from around the world.

For starters, we had the LUMP CRAB CAKE, which was Maryland-style and served with a mustard sauce. Highly recommend! Delicious. As mentioned before we also had the tasty Shrimp & Grits. We also tried one of the Flatbreads that featured asparagus. The chef came out and surprised us with a tasty "Amuse Bouche"  before our mains arrived. We had BBQ CHICKEN SALAD with baby spinach, romaine, sweet corn, roasted red peppers, sunflower seeds, Gorgonzola, cumin-lime vinaigrette and the fantastic CEDAR PLANK-ROASTED SALMON roasted vegetables, crushed potatoes, dill-mustard sauce, grilled lemon. That salmon was melt in your mouth delicious. I'm not a huge roasted vegetable fan but it included asparagus that I love (and is also a seasonal vegetable featured in several of their other menu options).

Finally we couldn't resist topping off our meal with dessert. Seasons 52 desserts are small perfect sized "mini indulgences". We tried the Key Lime Pie, the Belgian Chocolate S'more and the Savory Cheesecake with goat cheese. All of them fantastic so don't opt out!

Seasons 52 offers gluten sensitive, lactose sensitive, vegan and vegetarian options!

Brunch is served 10am to 1pm on Sunday but dinner is served all day. Cocktails served after noon, include Bloody Marys, Mimosas and Prosecco Bellini for $5! They offer a full brunch menu on Sunday so why not make a reservation and treat mom to a great meal out this MOTHER'S DAY!

You can make reservations in person at the restaurant, over the phone at (919) 787-3052 or online!
SEASONS 52 at Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh NC