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September 26th, 2016  |  +Amy

Fall is here!

That means fall fruits and veggie favorites have also arrived!

Stocksnap Apples

Freshly picked apples | photo from: Stocksnap.io

Whether you’re craving a fresh-off-the-branch apple or maybe some pumpkin pie…it’s a great time to harvest locally grown fruit and veggies!

Here are a couple sources within 75 miles of Charlotte:

(click a name for more details)


Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill

Image result for windy hill orchard

Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill Logo | photo from: discoversouthcarolina.com

Location: York, SC

Windy Hill Orchard is a family owned and operated boutique apple orchard and Hard Cider producer located in the upstate of South Carolina. Open every fall from Mid August until Christmas we offer visitors, Award Winning Hard CidersPick Your Own Apples, Fresh Pressed Apple Cider, Fresh Made Apple Products, and much much more.

 

Hall Family Farm

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Hall Family Farm pumpkin patch | photo from: pointsouth.wordpress.com

Location: Charlotte, NC (Ballantyne)

Family owned and operated for over 70 years. Although we no longer farm cotton, we do have fresh strawberries in the spring and gorgeous pumpkins in the fall. We also offer a fun family experience with hayrides, chickens, covered picnic tables, and activities for kids of all ages. Fall season on the farm features a 5 acre corn maze, pumpkin picking, musical hay ride, kids activities, school tours, and group tours.

 

Apple Hill Orchard & Cider Mill

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Orchards & trees | photo from: applehillorchard.com

Location: Morganton, NC

The family has been growing apples in this location since 1955 and their apple growing roots go back five generations. Over the years, they’ve have expanded the orchard to include a cider mill, a country store, U-Pick apples, educational tours, group tours, and a bakery. Their hope is that it becomes a tradition for you, just like it has been for them.

 

The Bradford Store

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Inside The Bradford Store, a “good ole days market” | photo from: ahealthysliceoflife.com

Location: Huntersville, NC

The Bradford Store offers a unique selection of fresh, local, hand-prepared and organic foods can be found on Hwy. 73 in Huntersville, North Carolina near Davidson and Lake Norman. Experience the good old days with our local, free-range, grass-fed products many of which are organic and handmade goods. You can find NC Mountain apples & freshly pressed apple cider, local jams, jellies and honeys, and much more!


Article adapted from Charlotte Agenda’s post:

https://www.charlotteagenda.com/15183/apple-season-is-upon-us-pick-your-own-orchards-within-2-hours-of-charlotte/

 
September 23rd, 2016  |  +Amy

Below are this week’s 10 new listings! Click a property for more details.

Click here to view this weekend’s upcoming open houses.


3508 Windsor Drive Charlotte, NC 28209 - Image 1

3508 Windsor Dr. | MLS # 3215979 | Offered at: $1,125,000 | Listing Courtesy of: Lauren Ponder Dayton

15441 Brem Lane Charlotte, NC 28277 - Image 1

15441 Brem Lane, Charlotte, NC 28277 | MLS#: 3213239 | Offered at: $809,000 | Listing Courtesy of: Christine Hotham

921 Westbrook Drive B Charlotte, NC 28202 - Image 1

921 Westbrook Drive B | MLS # 3215804 | Offered at: $350,000 | Listing Courtesy of: Lauren Ponder Dayton

10612 Woodhollow Road Mint Hill, NC 28227 - Image 1

10612 Woodhollow Road | MLS # 3212451 | Offered at: $290,000 | Listing Courtesy of: Peggy (Margaret) Antal

11621 Red Knoll Lane Pineville, NC 28134 - Image 1

11621 Red Knoll Lane| MLS # 3217651 | Offered at: $290,000 | Listing Courtesy of: Annette Semprit

6893 Fenwick Drive Indian Trail, NC 28079 - Image 1

6893 Fenwick Drive | MLS#: 3216620 | Offered at: $230,000 | Listing Courtesy of: Christy Quick

12924 Russborough Court Charlotte, NC 28273 - Image 1

12924 Russborough Court | MLS#: 3216524 | Offered at: $229,900 | Listing Courtesy of: Christy Quick

11461 Dixie Glen Drive . Charlotte, NC 28277 - Image 1

11461 Dixie Glen Drive | MLS#: 3215732 | Offered at: $179,800 | Listing Courtesy of: Shirley Wheeler

412 Orange Street Charlotte, NC 28205 - Image 1

412 Orange Street | MLS#: 3217725 | Offered at: $170,000 | Listing Courtesy of: Curt Seifart Jr.

303 Green Street Marshville, NC 28103 - Image 1

303 Green Street | MLS#: 3216183 | Offered at: $124,900 | Listing Courtesy of: Faye McLamb


For all new listings click here.

 
September 20th, 2016  |  +Amy

A bedroom never truly feels complete until the headboard is in place. Often a focal point of the room, retailers ask big bucks for this single piece of furniture. Don’t bother turning your pockets inside out for this statement piece just yet…it’s an easy place to save a money. Check out this awesome list of DIY headboards and headboard alternatives that will give your bedroom the finished look you’ve been searching for — without the big dollar signs!


Cottage Style

Cottage Style: from DIY Network’s Easy-to-Build Headboards

This one is very simple to build — standard-size lumber is fastened to a large piece of plywood, then the whole piece is painted white. Easy, wallet-friendly, and stylish!


Chic Refurb

Serena Appiah understands how to pay a little and get a lot. She painted and reupholstered this vintage DIY headboard over on her site, Thrift Diving. This beautiful headboard, Serena suggests, could also be used as a dining room bench backrest.

Thrift Diving DIY Painted Headboard3.jpg

After photo of Serena’s refurbished headboard


 

Double Drapery

Teryn Yancey, of Vintage Romance Style created this statement bed canopy

This bed canopy is soft, romantic, flowy, and — added bonus — it involves no sewing! Teryn Yancey can show you how to make your very own dramatic DIY bed canopy out of curtain rods, chandelier swags, ribbon, and two tablecloths. Held together with hot glue, this faux headboard is sure to draw attention.


Footboard to Headboard

Moroccan-inspired headboard by Kara Palsay

Moroccan-theme headboards can fall into the hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars. Don’t shell out the dough until you’ve searched for Moroccan…doormats? That’s what Kara Paslay did! She spent under $100 and made her very own, very trendy DIY West Elm Morocco headboard look-alike.


Fab Upcycle

Repurposed headboard project by Rachel Ranney on Buildipedia

Speaking of unique repurposing, who would guess that an old door could make a perfect headboard? Rachael Ranney shows us how to make this upcycled upholstered headboard from a door in her video-and-photo tutorial on Buildipedia’s blog. The story here? Salvage old furniture and your room could look this good, too.


Foam Faux Tile

Make a Faux Tiled Headboard- only $12 and 20 minutes! Perfect for renters or people that move a lot!

Faux Tiled Headboard Project from Sweet C’s Designs Blog

Feel like there’s not enough time to make these neat projects? Courtney can show you how to create a stylish DIY headboard in just 20 minutes. Check out this fun DIY over at her blog, Sweet C’s, and see what you can make with just a little paint and a few foam tiles.


Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens’ article:

http://www.bhg.com/blogs/better-homes-and-gardens-style-blog/2016/06/10/never-buy-a-headboard-again-9-amazing-diy-headboards/

and DIY Network’s post:

http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/make-and-decorate/decorating/15-easy-to-make-diy-headboard-projects-pictures

 
September 16th, 2016  |  +Amy

Looking for a new place to try for lunch, but don’t want to fork out $10+ on a meal for one? Check out these restaurants serving up delicious dishes that won’t hurt your wallet!

QCEats LunchUnder5

 

Brook’s Sandwich House & Chili

2710 North Brevard Street

The tiny spot with the walk-up window in NoDa has been around since 1973 and is still going strong. Their burger was named Charlotte’s Best Burger by The Observer in 2011. The menu is no-frills and consists merely of staples like hot dogs ($2.25), BLT sandwiches ($3.50) and liver mush ($3.25). Everything on it is $4.50 and under, even Charlotte’s Best Burger, which will only cost you $3.50 (add $.25 for cheese). Yes, you can afford a drink, as they range from $.25 to $1.50. Remember it’s cash only and that hours are 7 am to 3 pm. Monday through Friday.

 

Le’s Sandwiches & Cafe

4520 North Tryon Street

If you’re a Banh Mi lover, you needed Le’s in your life yesterday. The small restaurant located in the Asian Corner Mall has a dozen sandwiches on the menu all for under $4.25, including vegetarian options. Options include grilled cured pork ($4), Le’s Combination ($3.50), grilled chicken ($4) and shredded pork and pork skin ($4). Two things to know: it’s cash only and closed on Wednesdays. Hours are 9 am to 5 pm.

 

Little Village Grill

710 West Trade Street 

Look for the small space in the heart of Johnson & Wales that has a line out the door. With a solid portion of the menu (every pita, almost every burger, sandwich and salad) coming in at under $5, don’t expect frills. Pitas are $4.80, salads $3.95 and burgers and sandwiches range from $2.80 to $5.15.

 

Mr K.’s Soft Ice Cream

2107 South Boulevard

Opened in 1967 by Mr. Theodore Karres, known better as Mr. K. What started as strictly ice cream from a walk-up window expanded to hot dogs, burgers and fries. What didn’t expand were prices. Every burger and hot dog is $4.60 and under, a handful of sandwiches under $4.95 and sides range from $.99 to $3.50. Keep it simple and go with the classic Big K ($3.35).

 

Price’s Chicken Coop

1614 Camden Road

The South End staple has been around since 1962 and the prices still feel old school. Grab any of the sandwiches (chicken sandwiches run $3.65 and $4.40, a Fish Sandwich goes for $4.45), wings (3 wings will cost you $4.30), Bar-B-Q ($3.25) or burgers ($2.15 without cheese, $2.30 with) with that crumpled up five in your pocket. With what you have left over, you can definitely afford an iced tea ($1 with ice, $1.50 without).

 

Adapted from Charlotte Agenda’s article:

https://www.charlotteagenda.com/60281/breakfast-lunch-dinner-5-dollars-charlotte/

 
September 14th, 2016  |  +Amy
Image result for riverbanks zoo

African Elephants at Riverbanks Zoo & Garden | Photo from: riverbanks.org

Located in Columbia, SC, Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to more than 2,000 fascinating animals. The lush 170-acre site features dynamic natural habitat exhibits, scenic river views, spectacular valley overlooks and significant historic landmarks. With one of the nation’s most beautiful and inspiring botanical gardens, it was hailed by Horticulture magazine as 1 of 10 gardens that inspire and by HGTV as 1 of 20 great public gardens across America.

The Riverbanks Zoo staff is continuously and actively involved with conservation. From delivering high quality conservation educational programs to superb veterinary support for SSP (Species Survival Plan), they also contribute to a wide variety of regional and international conservation efforts.

From feeding giraffes to conquering the sky-high ropes course, Riverbanks has it all! Open 7 days a week, it’s a perfect place to plan your next day trip.

More information here: http://www.riverbanks.org/


Image result for riverbanks zoo

Animal Demonstration | Photo from: riverbanks.org

Image result for riverbanks zoo and garden

Part of Riverbanks Botanical Garden | Photo from: riverbanks.org

Saturday, Sept. 17: Animal Enrichment Day

From 10:00am – 4:00pm, watch wildlife in action during this fall favorite. Guests will have an opportunity to see the animals sniff, stomp, pounce and play with tempting treats designed to exercise their minds and bodies and enhance their overall well-being.

Friday, Sept. 23: Riverbanks ZOOfari

@ 7:00pm, The Zoo’s premier fundraiser! Take an evening stroll through the Zoo, catch a glimpse of some wild creatures, savor tasty cuisine and cool cocktails, and bid on one-of-a-kind silent and live auction items. Proceeds support ongoing conservation and education efforts at Riverbanks.

Monday, Oct. 1: Adult Garden Workshops: Concrete Leaves

From 10:00am – 12:00pm, create a beautiful cast of a large leaf and have a garden decoration that will outlast the frost. All materials will be provided, and the leaf will need 48 hours to cure before you can take it home.

View all upcoming events here: http://www.riverbanks.org/calendar.shtml

 
September 12th, 2016  |  +Amy

The Queen City has many educational places to discover for all ages! Whether you are searching to learn new things, or just have fun at a new place, plan a day to one of these attractions:


  • The Mint Museum Randolph: in a beautiful park setting, intimate galleries invite visitors to engage with the art of the ancient Americas, ceramics and decorative arts, and European and African art, among other collections. Resources include a reference library with over 18,000 volumes, a theater featuring lectures and performances, and a museum shop offering merchandise that complements both the permanent collection and special exhibitions. Image result for the mint museum randolph
  • Carolina Raptor Center: located on 57 acres inside Latta Planation Nature Preserve, a 1,500 acre nature preserve, part of the watershed for Charlotte, NC. For over 30 years, they have partnered with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation to provide environmental education opportunities for visitors from around the corner and across the world. Take a walk on the wild side at the Raptor Trail where you can see Eagles, Hawks, Vultures, Falcons and Owls.

Image result for carolina raptor center

 

  • NASCAR Hall of Fame: with 150,000 square feet of fun, it is the ideal place for your next group adventure. Whether you are a NASCAR fan or not, you can do it all at the Hall. They’ve seen 70-year-old sisters have the time of their life trying to win the Pit Crew Challenge, and preschoolers glow with pride when figuring out the engine puzzle. There are more than 50 interactive attractions. There’s nearly 1,000 artifacts, and 4 floors.

Image result for nascar hall of fame

 
September 8th, 2016  |  +Amy

As summer turns to fall, use these easy ideas to ease into the crisp temperatures and falling leaves. A neutral palette and simple decorative elements will help you keep the best of both seasons in your home with style.

 

falldecorbetterhomes

Add natural elements to decorate for fall.

Use soft whites: One of the main benefits of a neutral palette is that it makes it easier to transition from one season to the next. Decorating in cream, and ivory provides the perfect backdrop for adding decorative accents. If you prefer a little more color, simply decorate seasonally with neutrals and use white and cream elements to decorate a more colorful background.

 

Layer textures: Welcome the fall into your home by layering textures. Keep the additions minimal, that way you can easily add and subtract elements to achieve the look you want. Something as simple as a throw blanket on the foot of a bed can add just the right amount of warmth and invoke a cozy fall feeling without going overboard (in decor and budget!).

 

Include natural elements: Natural pieces bring in just the right amount of fall and they’re also easy on the wallet. Decorate with apples, pumpkins, leaves, branches, acorns, and gourds. If you want to keep your decor more neutral, use a white or tan color scheme to unify a space. With any type of natural decor, it always provides liveliness to a space.

 

Switch up fabrics: An easy way to transition is to switch out cotton fabrics for knits, and softer materials on pillow cases, draperies, throw blankets, and rugs. These fabrics will make you want to get cozy while exuding that warm and welcoming feeling that is associated with fall. It’s also a great time to change up your accent colors to keep your decorating scheme interesting.

 

Add soft light: As the nights start sooner, gather up your candles and create a little fall ambiance. Try putting small candles in Mason jars on a tray for a simple and effective centerpiece.

 

Incorporate a wreath: If you want to ease into autumn gently and don’t want to do much redecorating, a simple fall wreath is a great way to start. Acorns, leaves, mini pumpkins, and wheat are all wreath ideas that can span from late summer to late fall.


 

Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens’ article:

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/seasonal/fall/6-easy-ways-to-transition-decor-from-summer-to-fall-281474979547592/#page=0

 

 
August 26th, 2016  |  +Amy

MetPlanner Pineville

Plan a Day in Pineville:

With accessibility to both Charlotte and South Carolina via the LYNX Blue Line light rail, Pineville is Charlotte’s southernmost suburb. It’s a charming, small-town setting, and a gem filled with lots to discover.


Morning

For the kids and kids-at-heart, start off your day with excitement at Adventure Landing! From battling games in the arcade, slugging home-runs at the batting cages, hitting holes-in-one in mini golf, to speeding around in go-karts! If you’d prefer a more relaxed start to the morning, check out Jack Hughes Park for some fresh air! Enjoy the picturesque walking trail ideal for strolling.

Afternoon

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, try out Harper’s RestaurantThey have favorites for everyone, from grilled steaks and fresh seafood, to pit-cooked Carolina BBQ!

If you’re in need of some retail therapy, Carolina Place Mall has you covered.

Evening

Spend an evening gliding across the ice at the Pineville Ice House skating rink. Take your pick from public skating or hockey and figure skating lessons!

For authentic German cuisine, make reservations at Waldhorn Restaurant, one of Charlotte’s truly international eateries.

Late Night

End you night at Sammy’s Neighborhood Bar, for generous pours and complimentary games of pool and karaoke!


Adapted from Charlotte’s Got a Lot’s article:

http://www.charlottesgotalot.com/articles/charlotte-neighborhoods/Pineville

 
August 25th, 2016  |  +Amy

Late summer is the ideal time to start thinking about changes you’d like to make in your landscape this fall.

We are at that in-between stage in the gardening year called August. Summer’s not quite over and autumn, the great season for gardening, is still weeks away. It’s the best time for contemplation, which takes only mental energy and should not make you sweat. This time of year is perfect because the soil and air get cooler, which allows roots to grow and develop. Pixabay - Gardening

Preparing for this work requires evaluating what you possess already. But beyond that comes the idea of whether you actually like something, either individually or as a group.

You should find beauty in your trees and shrubs, even if they are there to serve a function, such as creating a screen or defining a boundary. Flaws, too, may be evident when you take a close look. It could be such things as an overgrown shrub whose height and width take more space than you like, perhaps encroaching into a driveway or sidewalk. You remedy such problems by pruning every year or two. But is the plant’s appearance worth the trouble? Could it be replaced with something that will be the right size at maturity and produce beautiful flowers and foliage? Or, perhaps you have plants that bore you in every season and are no longer interesting. Many fine ornamentals offer year-round beauty from their seasonal flowers, their beautiful foliage or their great structure and shape. These are the real keepers and you know them when you see them because they appeal to the eye.

Vast numbers of interesting shrubs and trees are in the garden centers that will liven up the landscape. That means camellias, chosen for a long season of bloom through the winter and well into spring. And Japanese maples, for example, come in a wealth of textures, sizes and leaf color.

So, you look for the uninteresting, the overgrown and out of shape that await replacement and even the vacant spot awaiting a new resident. This is contemplation that requires thinking and study. And that’s a job for the heat of August. But fear-not Fall lovers! Autumn is right around the corner!


Adapted from The Charlotte Observer’s article:
http://www.charlotteobserver.com/living/home-garden/nancy-brachey/article93565212.html#storylink=cpy
 
August 23rd, 2016  |  +Amy

For decades, timidly ‘tasteful’ bathrooms have been decorated in tepid neutral shades. But now color—from truly cool blues to emphatic black—is on tap again. Here’s how to do it right:

(Click photos to learn more about the property)


For many years, a compulsively neutral color scheme has been the ideal: soothing whites, taupes, muted wood or stone. But graphic designer Constantine Giavos of Manhattan was having none of it. This year, he and his wife, Rachel Lamel, a fashion executive, moved into an Upper East Side apartment, escaping their old beige-tiled “absolute mediocrity” of a bathroom in the process. Renovating with help from New York designer Wesley Moon, Mr. Giavos binged on color in one of the full baths, tiling the walls and floors in celery green and pink respectively.

As home-design trends shift, Mr. Giavos appears to be ahead of the curve. Even if the powder room has traditionally been a canvas for decorating, the full bath has long been a neutral zone. Permanent tiles, vanities and fixtures don’t come cheap and homeowners typically play it safe, following the lead of housing developers. Result: an understated aesthetic that won’t offend anyone. Lately, however, designers say more clients are willing to go in a more bold direction: colorful, and even ornamented. “It’s a response to the boredom of two-and-a-half decades of neutral bathrooms,” said Mr. Moon. His more fearless clients, he said, are thirsting for color and “ready to rebel.”

9455 Titus Ln BrandonRuby Powder Rm

Patterns that pop! 9455 Titus Lane, Huntersville, NC 28078 | Listing Courtesy of: Brandon Ruby

A gutsier palette may also reflect confidence in the strengthening real-estate market, said Jamie Chappell, who tracks trends as creative director of San Francisco’s Fireclay Tile. Sales of existing homes reached a nine-year peak this May, according to the National Association of Realtors, and Bill Darcy, CEO of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), noted that “consumers are stretching themselves.” Mr. Darcy is mid-bathroom design himself, leaving behind beige tiles in his previous home and opting for blue walls and dark cabinets.

Still, for Charlotte Cosby, head of creative at Farrow & Ball, bathrooms are an ideal place to splash out a little. They aren’t rooms you socialize in, or rooms where you spend hours on end,” she pointed out. She’s heard the most regrets from “people who have stayed safe but wished they’d done something more interesting.” In what is the most intimate space in the entire home, success lies in finding the sweet spot between overly bland and over-the-top.


More Examples of Color Splashes:

7432 Valleybrook Rd Brandon Boyd Ensuite Ba

Don’t be afraid to go bright! 7432 Valleybrook Rd, Charlotte, NC 28270 | Listing Courtesy of: Brandon Boyd

949 Muirfield Dr Crystal CoxPowder Rm

Break the norm with a bold and warm color! 949 Muirfield Dr, Mooresville, NC 28115 | Listing Courtesy of: Crystal Cox

Adapted from The Wall Street Journal’s article:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/bathed-in-color-the-end-of-the-neutral-bathroom-1471541514

 
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