My Day-Trip to Raleigh’s State Farmers Market

This was originally posted on my new adventure-based website, Sprangled! Check it out for fun times and inspiration, and submit your own experiences, advice, and reviews. We all share this world together!

Appropriately located on Agriculture Street in Raleigh, North Carolina, the Raleigh State Farmers Market stretches across a 30,000 square-foot building and is open year-round. There’s also a strip of market shops filled with homemade treats and crafts. There’s much to explore, but what if all of that food makes you hungry? No worries — there are three restaurants that dish out meals made of locally raised meats and fresh produce right on the market grounds.

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The main farmers market building is packed with locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Perfect for a day-trip that will please just about anyone, this North Carolina farmers market is in a category of its own. With an abundance of fresh crops, locally raised meats, wines, cheeses, jellies, jams, and household decor, it’s pretty much an ongoing miniature fair. And the best part is, by purchasing basically anything at all, you’re supporting local business. Read More

12 Festive Things You Can Do for the Holidays

The holiday season has officially begun! Here are 12 magical ideas to get in the spirit this winter.

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If you already haven’t, decorate your home

 There’s nothing like kicking off the season with wreaths, ribbons, a sparkling tree, or some glistening candles by the frosty window. Of course, the best way to decorate is to…

Crank up those catchy holiday tunes 

Although you may be sick of “Feliz Navidad” by the end of December (since the music most likely started near Thanksgiving), once the holiday season has officially started, the music is a must to get you jingling with joy. Read More

10 Ways to Stay Creative

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Take on new experiences: Leaving your safe haven and launching yourself into new territory will certainly get the wheels in your head spinning. Seeing new sights and experiencing mind-opening adventures will bring about fresh thoughts and different ideas.

Embrace your quirkiness: You’re the only you who will ever walk this planet. Be true to your spirit — speak your mind and express your personality, because there’s nothing else like it. The odds of you existing were slim, but here you are. Read More

DIY Holiday Gift Idea: Peppermint Sugar Scrub

If you’re a female human being you’ve most likely received a basket of bath products wrapped in plastic during the holidays, or may have even purchased one yourself for a family member as a last-minute gift when you had no idea what to get her. If you aren’t feeling thoughtful after many years of holidays, why not get crafty and create your own beauty products? Fun and easy to make, sugar scrubs are fantastic gifts, especially when they come with a personal touch.

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You’ll need just a few basic ingredients for your sugar scrub: sugar, your oil of choice (coconut oil works great), and an essential oil to scent your scrub — peppermint is perfect for the holidays. Read More

A Bite out of Life: Mashed Potato Cupcakes

No, you’re not dreaming. Mashed potato cupcakes exist and you can make them.

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Show up at your aunt’s house with these tasty treasures and you’ll be the talk of the table this Thanksgiving. Fun and simple to make, mashed potato cupcakes are sure to hit that sweet spot once the turkey’s devoured and the chatter turns down as everyone’s attention becomes drawn to the incoming desserts. And the choice will be obvious.

To whip up these treats, grab yourself your favorite cake mix and follow the instructions on the box as usual (or make your own mix from scratch). Once finished baking in the oven, let the cakes cool for about 15 minutes and then apply vanilla icing to the tops. Use yellow Starburst candies or Laffy Taffy for the butter, and top it off with gravy, which is caramel syrup. If you’d like to get even more creative, use green sprinkles as chives, or red sprinkles as bacon bits.

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And, happy Thanksgiving to you, you’re done! These delightful desserts are sure to please the potato lovers in your life (and let’s face it, everyone, because…just…potatoes).

Source: Look! Mashed Potato Cupcakes!

Up Close and Purrsonal: Touring the Carolina Tiger Rescue Sanctuary

I fell in love yesterday — in love with wild cats of all sizes. From a curious ocelot to a chatty cougar to a pride of majestic lions roaring enough to make the ground rumble, I got to meet these species and more, all in one admirable place, the Carolina Tiger Rescue in Pittsboro, North Carolina.

As a lover of wildlife and putting my weekends to good use, I signed my boyfriend and myself up to tour the big cat sanctuary I’ve read so much about, three weeks ago, and thought about it every day until the afternoon we drove out there for our visit. It was worth the wait and was as exciting as I expected. Read More

Rocking Around Nashville

As expected, this place has rhythm — the good kind that keeps you up at night. Decked out in legendary honky-tonks and history, Nashville was a blast. With live music and homey cookin’, this little city has heart.

My group and I made sure to check out plenty of restaurants and bars for some barbecue, original tunes, local beer, party bikes (I call them beer trolleys) karaoke, bull-riding, and line-dancing to get the full experience of Tennessee’s capital. Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge was a great spot for wings, drinks, and music, and the same goes for the Wild Beaver Saloon, which has a mechanical bull that will hate you. And if you’re into multitasking and would like to tour the city while getting your drink on, Nashville Pedal Tavern is the way to go (it’s a “beer trolley”). Read More