January Raleigh Adventures in Photos

Main, North Carolina, People, Raleigh

Trying to be better about sharing not just our bigger adventures away, but little adventures around our actual home, and our home city. Few things bring me more joy than photographing and adventuring with these kids lately. Enjoy!

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Pretending that we live at Oak View County Park, a favorite spot of ours.
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Butternut, squash and kale pizza making
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Couch surfing
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Train searching at Union Station
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Playing restaurant with sunchoke soup on the menu
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Apple sampling at the State Farmers Market
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Market loot
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Simply the best
Art viewing at NCMA, Georgia O’Keefe at that!
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King Cake making
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King Cake tasting
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Afternoon snoozing
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Art making, toddler edition

Also, T-Shirt 2.0 in this months Walter Magazine.

Until next time! -Addie

Raleigh’s First Snow!

Main, North Carolina, Raleigh

I know how much joy the beach brings my family, but never did I anticipate just how happy two snow days could make them. Even me, a hot weather gal, was elated for this yea’rs first snow. Perhaps it was because it happened at a perfect time, just before Christmas (so festive!) and not at the tail end of winter when we have already been so cold for so long, cooped up inside dreaming of sunny days. But really-back to the happiness factor. Never have I seen my kids, especially Grace (which is saying a lot because she is typically always happy) SO HAPPY. For two days there was no school, no plans, no where to go, and loads of snow. Grace stayed outside for hours until her ankles were numb and red. Elation- she was outside laughing and screaming and concocting all sorts of things she wanted to do in the snow, a bucket list of sorts. Snow angels, snow balls, snow castles – for her, it was the Frozen world brought to life. It was the perfect mix of joy and contentment. Charlotte loved it too, until she tumbled one too many times and then was happy to come inside to warm cocoa and cuddles and watch from our bay window. These kids might make a cold weather convert out of me after all. Here are a few snapshots from our first snow of the year that I couldn’t resist sharing. Enjoy!

 

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Charlotte, Carly and Olaf the snowman sharing the carrot nose.

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I didn’t realize how large and majestic looking the evergreens are in our yard until they were drenched in snow.

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Larger than life snowman, built mostly by the man of the house much to the girls joy.

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Please notice how wet she is. I couldn’t believe how long she stayed outside!

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Winter clutter

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A hot classic winter lunch on a very cold day.

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Lou bean joined me in staying inside where it was warm and dry:)

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Cinnamon salt dough ornaments. I was armed with activities for us in the event of cabin fever.

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Post-snow hot cocoa

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Always with a book, always in a dress.

Happy winter everyone!

P.S. Diamonds in the Rough in this month’s Raleigh Magazine by yours truly.

March & April-a few highlights

North Carolina, Raleigh

A few highlights from the past month while we excitedly anticipate summer adventures!

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Peaceful Play at Prairie Ridge EcoStation, (more on this below.)

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NCMA’s Art in Bloom…this year didn’t disappoint. Do we have a new tradition mom? 

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A weekend away (sans kids!) in Oriental, NC

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The smallest carrot cakes for Easter.

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Shrimp and spinach pizza al fresco, recipe here.

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An almost 2 year old, always going after my camera.

Walter

The April issue of Walter which included two of my own stories. Linked below with a few others. Hope you enjoy reading some of these as much as I did writing them! 

Peaceful Play at Prairie Ridge: Walter

Jewel Tones: 3 Irish Jewels Farm: Walter

10 Books for Parents with Picky Eaters: Mother Mag

10 Books for your Mini Francophile: Mother Mag

 

More to come!

-Addie

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Signs of spring at the Arboretum

Main, North Carolina, Raleigh

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Let the pictures speak for themselves-spring is nearly here. While it was bright, blistery and cold (41 degrees to be exact) at the JC Raulston Arboretum this morning, shades of pink, red, and purple could be found all over the grounds. Of my favorite are the Japanese Magnolia trees. After these bloom, the peonies, dogwoods, tulips and more will begin to follow suit and we are ready. See you so soon spring!

– Addie

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Thanksgiving at Milburnie

Main, North Carolina, People, Raleigh

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Happy holidays everyone! Can you believe it’s already December? We are currently in rural Georgia for a slow-paced, relaxing week with family. I wanted to share a few photos I took of our Thanksgiving at Milburnie Fishing Club in Raleigh. To be honest, I mostly wanted an excuse to share a few pictures I took of Grace that I just couldn’t resist! Milburnie Fishing Club is an old social club in Raleigh that has been around for more than 100 years. While the rest of Raleigh is changing ever so rapidly, driving out to the fishing club, you realize that are actually some parts of this city that are untouched and have kept their old-fashioned charm. It’s on a beautiful piece of property with walking trails, fishing piers, and an old cafeteria style dining hall. Raleigh’s local lifestyle magazine, Walter, wrote a great article on the fishing club if you are interested in learning more. You can read it here.

Every year Ann and John, some of the first friends we made in Raleigh, invite a large group of folks that are staying put for Thanksgiving out to Milburnie for oysters, beer and the other typical Thanksgiving fare. We spent the entire afternoon outside walking around the property, meeting new friends, hitting golf balls in the lake and eating lots of slimy, salty oysters topped with all sorts of delicious things. Here are a few photos. Enjoy! -Addie

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Strawberry Picking & Grilled Cheese with a Twist!

Cook, Main, North Carolina, Raleigh

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Happy Spring everyone! I love this time of year in the Raleigh area. It seems like there is something fun going on every week, even though the weather is still somewhat confusing (cold mornings, hot afternoons and recently several hail/rain storms). The past two months I’ve been dragging Grace to farm tours, nurseries, gardens, arts festivals etc. She doesn’t seem to mind if there is any sort of food or animals involved. Plus I’m really trying to relish these last few weeks with just the two of us before another baby comes along. I can’t believe it’s already May!

A few weeks ago we met some friends at Vollmer Farm, in rural Bunn North Carolina, for a strawberry picking extravaganza. The farm has certified organic strawberries fields to pick from, a cute country store, ice cream shop and a fun playground. Grace loved riding in the wagon out to the strawberry fields and playing in the play ground, but her favorite thing was berry picking (well berry eating). How does one explain to an 18 month old who LOVES strawberries that we really don’t need to eat every single berry we see? Very few berries she picked made it into her basket and most of the ones that did had bites taken out of them. I don’t blame her for eating so many. Have you ever tried a juicy, ripe, almost warm strawberry that has just been picked? So sweet! They are totally different than the ones you get in the store. After picking we enjoyed some burgers, strawberry ice cream and took a scenic drive home with a flat of the sweetest strawberries, albeit some half eaten. Since then I’ve been making Grace’s new favorite, strawberry grilled cheese sandwiches. Scroll down for the recipe and have a great weekend everyone! -Addie

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Strawberry & Brie Grilled Cheese:

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 vidalia onion sliced
  • 1 dash granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 slices good quality hearty bread
  • Softened brie cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese
  • Handful of thinly sliced strawberries

Method:

  • Preheat your panini press of whatever your use to make grilled cheese. Can also use a skillet and spatula or the oven.
  • Caramelize the onion. On medium heat melt the butter and add the onion. Cook until soft and translucent. Add sugar and balsamic vinegar and stir, cooking until onions are incredibly soft, dark brown and almost a mashed consistency. Takes a little bit!
  • Smear a generous amount of brie cheese on the bread slices, then add a thin slice of cheddar.
  • Portion out the caramelized onion and sliced strawberries on three of the slices of bread.
  • Assemble the sandwiches and press until cheese is melted and bread has become a bit crispy.
  • Enjoy outside!

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Greek Fest

Main, North Carolina, People, Raleigh

For the past three years, every September I’ve asked my Greek friend and neighbor, Larry, if he wants to join us at the annual Greek Fest. It only seems fitting. He belongs to the Greek Orthodox church (who puts the festival on) and clips free tickets for us from the local paper. Every year he’s politely declined my invitation. Larry is the neighbor who some how knows everything about everyone, yet you rarely see him. He has no internet and still uses a land line. He is incredibly sharp. In the 5 years of knowing him, I’ve heard him speak French, Latin, Greek and Spanish. He’s traveled all over the world. I specifically love asking him to pronounce various food items that I often butcher.He lives in the same home he grew up in and it doesn’t appear to have changed much. It doesn’t need changing. It’s two stories full of gorgeous art work (some done by Larry himself), antique furniture and all sorts of little artifacts that tell a story. His home is full of color and history. We hosted a neighborhood potluck a few months ago, which ended around midnight with some of the neighborhood touring his home in excitement.

We love living across the street from Larry and hearing stories about his life, the people he knows and the history of our neighborhood he’s witnessed. He met Grace when she was just three days old and I’m pretty sure he knew I was pregnant before I did. This year, while on his front porch one day out of no where he said, “I think I’ll come with you this year.”  I don’t even think we had mentioned it, but I knew exactly what he was talking about. I didn’t make a big deal about it, but inside I was most excited. I told him to be ready at 6:30pm. Off we all went! He knew everyone there and we stayed later than any year before. Grace (who ADORES Larry) and him were the stars of the show. We ate, drank, danced and had a little Grecian vacation right here in Raleigh. After telling me not to scream, Larry even treated our entire meal and oh man it was delicious. Scroll down for some pictures.

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Shelves and shelves of Greek olive oil in the “Marketplace” section of Greek Fest.

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Chocolate dipped almond cookies which were incredibly soft and scrumptious.

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Likely what we look forward to most every year, this Baklava Sundae. The Baklava Sundae is a generous serving of vanilla ice cream topped with crumbled baklava, drizzled with warm honey and chocolate syrup.

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Gorgeous Greek salads.

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Baklava!

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Spanikopita, stuffed grape leaves, feta and Greek style meat balls which Grace apparently loves.

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Remember when I said Grace adores Larry? I wasn’t kidding. She waves to his home when we’re out front. She reaches for him when he’s around and tries to steal a kiss and a hug at any opportunity. Needless to say, she loves him as much as we do and considers him family and I couldn’t be more happy about it.

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Until next year Greek Fest! P.S Grace fit in particularly well at Greek fest with her white embroidered dress and espadrille sandals. I tell you, dressing a baby girl is SUCH fun (especially when the babies grandparents have super good taste.)

-Addie

Raleigh Weekend Agenda + a Thankyou

Main, North Carolina, Raleigh

Dear mom,

Thank you SO much for this swing. It has turned out to be so much more than a swing to us and I am so very grateful. It has been a reminder to slow down. It’s a reminder to get outside. It’s  a fun way to keep Grace from unpacking every single drawer and cabinet in our home. And for being such a small house, we apparently have a lot of cabinets and drawers that MUST be emptied. It’s a source of laughter. It’s been a source of observation, observing the people that pass and wave, the birds the chirp and the honey bees from next door (who make their best effort to run us off.) It’s made us spruce up our porch and I have a feeling it’s going to make fall so fun. Thank you. We love you!

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While Grace and I traveled most of the summer (you can read about a few of our adventures here, here or here), I’m looking forward to staying in one place for the next few months.  North Carolina is the ideal state to be in for fall. The state just comes to life. The leaves saturate with color, and festivals around food, music, culture and more get people outside and together on a weekly basis. Everything is perfect in fall. It’s also full of plenty of company for us and a 1st birthday next month! Read on for some things happening this weekend and a few other fun links for you.

Saturday: Hallelujah, Raleigh’s gotten themselves a Seafood Festival! What’s better is that it’s at the famous, historic Pullen Park. Happening Saturday and Sunday,we will be going to this for some blue crabs, live music and park play with Grace.

Sunday: The Triangle Food Truck scene seems to be busting at the seems. Durham, Raleigh’s neighbor and named by Southern Living, “The South’s Tastiest Town,” is hosting a Food Truck Rodeo.  Another sister town, Wake Forest, is hosting a genius community event, “Wake Forest Unplugged.” People are invited to spend an entire afternoon free of electronic devices and instead get outdoors and enjoy live music in the beautiful  Caroll Joyner Park . The fantastic Lakota John & Kinn is playing. If you’re not in Raleigh, listen here.

Monday: Labor Day is the last day of the Starring North Carolina exhibit at the NC Museum of History which is located right in downtown Raleigh. I am really hoping we can make it to see this. What do Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Homeland, Dirty Dancing, Walk to Remember and Hunger Games have in common? They were all filmed here in North Carolina. According to the NC Museum of History, North Carolina is one of the country’s leading film and television production locations. For only five bucks this exhibit sounds like a must see if you’re in town!

Lastly, here’s a few links for your weekend enjoyment:

  • Season 3 of a Chef’s Life aired this week and we are so happy. Check  your local PBS channel to see if it airs in your area. It’s full of food, family, farms and fun.
  • J Crew and New Balance collaborated on these shoes that I kind of like.
  • Honest Company is launching a makeup line and you can enter here to win it all!
  • Wondering how many of Wall Street Journal’s Fall Reading List I’ll be able to get through.
  • While we are going on our annual camping trip during this, Raleigh is hosting a big Bluegrass Fest that will take over the city.
  • Grace and I made this cake yesterday and need to pay Ocracoke a visit next summer for the Fig Festival!

Until next time and thanks for reading. Thought you all might enjoy some pictures of little bit 😉

-Addie

 

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Seaboard Saturday

Garden, North Carolina, Raleigh, Visit

Hello friends and family! I hope your week is going well and that you had a lovely weekend. I wanted to share some photos of Seaboard Station, where we spent our Saturday soaking up the gorgeous weather. Hanging out in Raleigh’s historic Seaboard Station is one of our favorite weekend activities. While Seaboard is quickly expanding with new restaurants and shops making their debut, we can’t help but stick with our old favorites. However, I’m certainly happy this area is gaining popularity. Scroll through for a little tour of why we love coming here and if you’re in Raleigh, put this on your radar for your next weekend outing.

Eat: Lunch al fresco at Sunflowers Cafe. This place has scrumptious sandwiches, salads, soups and a ton of house made baked goods. Mamas in the area-you can call in your order and pick it up at their drive through window. Perfect if you have a sleeping baby in the car that you want to nap just a bit longer. Chris and I split the weekend special which was a grilled turkey, havarti cheese and pesto sandwich and a cold cucumber ginger soup. The soup was different, creamy and refreshing and I wanted to slurp it down with a straw. While the sandwich of the day was tasty, their Awesome Anna will always be my favorite. You can’t go wrong with melted brie, apples and grainy mustard. I also like to think it’s named after my older sister, Anna who is also awesome and happens to love brie and apples!

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SipSeaboard Wine & Tasting Bar has free tastings on Saturdays and offers a nice discount on what’s being sampled, should you like it enough to purchase. They always put together a nice variety for their Saturday tastings, usually themed around a country, season or staff picks.

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We usually end up chatting with other locals who come for free wine in their tasting room and the staff couldn’t be more friendly. Grace was very determined to try to take down entire shelves of wine so we didn’t quite get the 411 on what we were tasting, but we sure enjoyed the spread.

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How gorgeous is this Rosé display that currently greets customers as they walk into the shop? Right now they have a huge selection of this increasingly popular style of crisp, refreshing wine. I’ll have a have a taste of each please! The Underwood (top left corner) is a wine from Union Wine Company in Oregon and I am a big fan. We’ve been pleased with both their Pino Noir and Rosé.

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Logans

See & Shop: The heart of Seaboard Station is Logan’s Trading Company (where I am trying to recruit my mother to come work!) Logan’s is likely the most chic garden center in Raleigh, with an outdoor cafe in the middle of the nursery, local gifts, produce, home decor and gorgeous plant arrangements all over. The building itself used to be an old train station and the nursery sits right along the railroad.  I love just strolling through drooling over all the flowers, huge ceramic pots in a variety of bold colors and designs and talking plants with the super enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff. See mom you would fit right in! Just imagine yourself tending to all the beauty below…

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I love bringing Grace here and showing her the various plants, bees (like the one below) and butterflies that we see.

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Oh how I dream of the day I can fill a huge yard with all this plant life.

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If only succulents under my care looked this full and healthy. They had them growing in hanging bird houses which I thought was such a neat idea.

It’s impossible to ever leave Logan’s empty handed. We picked out a small variety of greens and a few other things to spruce up the planters on our front porch that have been looking rather pitiful lately. We’ve been eating most meals on our porch lately and getting really pumped for fall. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and thanks for reading!

-Addie