food, travel, lifestyle, and a hearty serving of motherhood

Category: Places (page 2 of 4)

A Weekend in Portland, Maine

Lighthouses. Steaming cups of seafood chowder. Trees drenched in reds, oranges, and the brightest yellows imaginable. Oysters on the half shell. Frosty craft beers. Lobster rolls. Panoramic ocean views.

This is Portland.


Back Cove

Lobster rolls

Back Cove 2

Back Cove 3





Lobster Ale




(Oh, AND I took almost 9 minutes off my previous half-marathon time! 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 14 minutes.)

Portland is an amazing little city with so many things to offer.

We ate at Gilbert’s Chowder House 3 times in 4 days. THREE TIMES. Their lobster rolls were the best around, and the seafood chili (yep, they have a tomato-based seafood chili) is to-die-for on a breezy day by the sea.

Portland’s breweries are endless and seem to be popping up overnight, much like North Carolina’s beloved Asheville.

The hills are shockingly San Francisco-esque in some areas, which made for gorgeous views of the ocean and Back Cove and Casco Bay (and also made me really nervous for race day!)

Overall, this trip left me feeling calm, rejuvenated, and ready for fall. Thank you for your hospitality, Portland.

xo Cassie

A Weekend of Surprises

This weekend has been an absolute whirlwind of surprises.

Richard left on Friday for his bachelor weekend in Asheville with “the boys” — and it seems that he’s having a blast, from all of the Facebook brewery check-ins! I half-assumed that my weekend would be spent at the gym, starting a new Netflix series (one that I know Richard would not be interested in), and just working on things around the house (in other words, being a hobbit).

However, on Friday night, I decided that I would go out and explore Raleigh a little on my own.

I don’t do a lot of “going out” by myself, but I ventured out with an open mind, never expecting to actually meet some cool people. I swung by the North Carolina Museum of Art for a beer and some live music at Iris, the museum restaurant. I prayed that the “Singles Meet-Up Group” was not calling Iris their meet-up spot THIS time around… Whew, there was no sign of them. Oddly enough, I ran into a foreign exchange student with her host family that I had helped at Athleta the day before. Small world, huh?

Beer at Iris

After the museum, I ventured to Five Points, one of the many “historic” districts in our beautiful downtown Raleigh. My plan was to see the 9:15pm showing of The Skeleton Twins at The Rialto, but I was fairly early. I decided to grab a drink and kill time at Churchill’s, a bar next-door to the theatre.

Let me just say this: having worked in a bar before, going to a bar alone does not bother me in the way it bothers some people. However, I DO get slightly nervous about stepping into a bar solo that I’VE never been to before. It puts me a bit out of my comfort zone.

As soon as I walked in, though, I was greeted by the friendly bartender and even by the woman sitting a seat down from me.

Whew, the place is not pretentious.

Kelly (the patron sitting near me) and I began talking immediately about everything from my wedding plans to vegetarianism to future school and career plans. We somehow just hit it off and became instant friends.

THAT is something that doesn’t happen every day. I find it so difficult to find really great girl friends, so I was happy to make a new friend in the most unexpected place. By the way, I missed my movie because we were having too much fun chatting the evening away!

The weekend fun continued yesterday when I met up with my Grandmother and her blog-friend turned real-friend Vanessa of Dreaming Shabby at SuzAnna’s Antiques in North Raleigh.

Pumpkin bread gifts

I brought small gifts of homemade pumpkin bread, and my Grandmother offered us some no-longer-wanted cookbooks that were collecting dust at her home. OMG, Vanessa is so sweet! We were somehow dressed almost like twins, too! My Grandmother Mary of A Breath of Fresh Air just knew that Vanessa and I would get along perfectly, and it truly felt like we’d been friends for years! I wish that Vanessa did not live as far as Charlotte, but perhaps I’ll have to make a trip down there soon.


Myself, my cousin Jasmin (who works at SuzAnna’s), Vanessa, and Susan (owner of SuzAnna’s)!


Vanessa and I at Starbucks in North Hills.

Fall colors

Myself, my Grandmother, and Vanessa outside my Grandparents’ cottage home in North Raleigh.

Don’t you just love when you meet someone for the VERY first time, yet it somehow feels like you’ve known that person forever? To me, those moments just provide something so genuine and comforting to the soul.

xo Cassie

A Trip to Garden Supply Co.

I really can’t believe that I am just now getting around to visiting Cary’s own Garden Supply Company. This fantastic combination nursery / home decor / antique shop is only 10 minutes from home!

I planned a trip last week because one by one, the recent storms destroyed my front porch terra cotta pots, leaving the woeful plants sitting as naked little root balls to simply dry out in the sun.

Sidenote, “naked little root balls” looks really silly and inappropriate when its typed out.

So, I bought plastic “terra cotta” pots.

Yep, I know.

You’re thinking, “That is so cheap and tacky.”

Honestly, I can’t tell the difference from the road. Plus, REAL terra cotta pots absorb water and leave ugly “water lines” halfway down the pot! Sorry guys, plastic from here on out.

Anyways, here are some other fun treasures that I picked up from the more thrifty / home decor side of the shop!


Hanging candles


Gold lantern

Dip-dye vase

As you can see, I’ve already found a spot for the beautiful dip-dye vase. It’s holding a silk flower arrangement in the guest room – my favorite room in our home!

The hanging votives will be beautiful around the back patio during a fall get-together with friends, once the mosquitos have dissipated!

As for the mirrored gold lantern, I’m thinking that it will stay inside, and only be brought outside for events as well. I quite like it on the buffet in the dining room.

And of course, the “vintage” clock needs to live somewhere near the teal living room! Even though it’s fake vintage, I couldn’t pass it up when I noticed that the center reads, “Designed in England”. Too cute!

What are your favorite garden / antique shops in your area? What was your best find?

I can’t wait to go back to Garden Supply Co. and buy some more of their beautiful vases. Loving the dip-dye look!

xo Cassie

Summertime Hiking

Just a quick little post to share a handful of today’s early-morning photos from my hike with Richard around Bond Lake in Cary — as well as a few that I snapped on my own while at Apex Community Park.





I hope that you, too, were able to enjoy some of the cool weather that today so graciously offered.

IT’S JULY, people!

And we’ve got our WINDOWS open.

And let me tell you — the cats are loving every minute of it.

xo Cassie

4th of July in D.C.

When deciding what to do for the 4th of July this year, Richard and I decided against Topsail Island with my parents and sister (come on, we just got back from an epic vacation with them). We also decided against drinking IPAs poolside with my friend Rachel (yep, did exactly that for the last two years in a row).

We made plans to head up to DC to spend the long holiday weekend with my brother, Patrick.

And we had a BLAST.

In roughly 80 hours, we…

…ate/drank at approximately 11 bars and restaurants…

Scorpion Bowl

Birch & Barley

Farmers, Fishers, Bakers

Old Ebbitt

…watched the 4th of July parade (and got a tad sunburned)…


…got a little touristy around the White House and National Mall and went inside the Washington Monument, which Patrick and I hadn’t done in 6 years…

White House

White House 2


…went on a moonlight boat cruise…


…watched the DC fireworks show (see title photo)…

…and spent Sunday evening at Busch Gardens where we were able to watch ANOTHER fireworks show! Unfortunately, I didn’t snap any Busch Gardens pictures. I leave my phone in the car, as I’m always paranoid about it slipping out of my pocket on a coaster.

I loved getting spending time in DC with my brother. Richard and I are slowly learning our way around, too!

Bro Sis

Thanks for a fantastic weekend, Patrick! (See you in Busch Gardens soon!)

xo Cassie

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