Fitness in Charlotte

A new year (and new decade!) comes along with new year’s resolutions. Many make a resolution to go to the gym, so why not make it fun? If you have a fitness class you love, you are much more likely to keep up with your resolution; therefore, I’ve made a list just for you on some unique fitness studios across Charlotte.

 

Inner Peaks

2220 South Tryon St

Charlotte, NC

Tired of lifting weights? Try indoor rock climbing instead at Inner Peaks! It has a regular gym inside, but the majority of the gym is rock walls with various levels of difficulty. Take their introductory course on how to climb, then you are able to belay others and climb whenever your schedule allows. This gym can be as social as you want, all while building some awesome upper body strength. Plus, there are yoga classes several times a week for when you need a cool down or rest day.

 

Cycle South

401 N Tryon St #108

Charlotte, NC 28202

Located in Uptown Charlotte, Cycle South is an indoor cycling studio with classes for all levels. If you’re a music junkie, you’ll love this workout because you cycle to the music. Cycle South also has workouts dedicated to certain artists/genres, which you can check out on their schedule here. If you’re new to Cycle South, arrive fifteen minutes prior to class so they can show you around the studio and lockers, where they also provide towels.

 

AIR Aerial Fitness

532 Governor Morrison St

Charlotte, NC 28211

Have you ever wanted to workout in the air? Yeah, same! Now you can at the AIR location in Southpark. This is a 50 minute class filled with stretching, cardio, and they have classes ranging from beginner to advanced; just check out the class schedule. You can also get your first week for just $25! An uptown location is coming soon.

 

CKO Kickboxing

10106 Johnston Rd

Charlotte, NC 28210

Looking for a fun workout to reduce stress? Try kickboxing! CKO is a one hour, total body workout. The classes are for all fitness levels, so anyone can enjoy them. If group classes aren’t your thing, CKO also offers personal training. CKO offers three classes, plus a pair of gloves, for just $19.99.

How to Hide Cat Litter

There’s nothing more unattractive than walking into a well-styled living room and noticing a smelly cat litter pan in the corner. Especially in smaller living spaces, cat litter can absolutely cramp your style. If you value the aesthetic of your home, but also can’t give up your kitty, here are some tips on how to hide and disguise your litter box.

 

Luckily, so many companies now make hidden litter boxes. You can find a cat litter planter on Amazon. At a glance, it looks like a potted plant. In actuality, this is a hollowed entry for your kitty with a fake plant on top. If you want to get a little more creative, you can paint the outside of the planter to fit any room’s style and replace the fake plant with anything you like!

 

Wayfair carries these awesome cabinets that blend in just like furniture. No one will ever know that the cute little cabinet in the corner of your living room is really cat litter. While these are a little pricey, they look so chic. Etsy also has really cute litter box furniture. If you are looking for something more stylish, check these out.

 

Finally, if your cat is a little tricky and you are a little craftier, you can make your own custom litter cover. Build a wooden box with one open side and one with a hole where your litter box’s entry should be. The perk of making your own is that you can still use a hooded litter box, which wouldn’t fit in the prior options. You can paint this to match your furniture and throw a cute pillow on top. No one has to know your secret!

How to Style a Coffee Bar Cart

Bar carts are definitely in style in 2020! No matter what size home you have, you can use a coffee bar cart to spruce up the space while having extra storage. Lost on how to make your cart look like it belongs in a magazine? Keep reading, and I’ll give you ideas on how to use and decorate this space.

 

On the top shelf, you can keep a coffee maker and/or espresso machine for an easily accessible cup of joe. In addition, you can have cute mugs, creamer, sugar, and stirring sticks for your own little Starbucks corner. For fun, you can even make a coffee bar sign.

 

Not into coffee? Make it into a hot chocolate or tea area! Bar carts can be used for any beverage (or food) that you like. It’s meant to be personal, just like your home.

 

If your cart has multiple shelves, don’t fret. You can put almost anything on a cart to make it cute. Add some succulents or plants on the shelves or beside your cart. The more plants, the better. Display your favorite cookbooks. Put your fruit bowl on a shelf. This will turn your cart into not just a coffee bar, but a little coffee and snack nook. You can rotate displaying festive trinkets that you find as well for that extra homey touch.

 

Finally, put the cart on a chic faux fur rug and put a chair or bookshelf nearby. This way you have the perfect space to curl up on the weekend and enjoy your home.

 

Remember, there’s no perfect science to putting together a bar cart. Hopefully these ideas help make a corner of your home a little more comfortable and a little more “you.” For more decor inspiration, definitely check out my Pinterest boards!

Dog Friendly Spots in CLT

If you walk down the streets of the Southend neighborhood in Charlotte, around every corner is someone walking their dog. The rail trail makes a great city-view stroll with your pup, but there are also a ton of dog-friendly hangouts in Charlotte! If you can’t bear to leave your furry friend at home, keep reading.

 

Lucky Dog Bark & Brew

2220 Thrift Rd

Charlotte, NC 28208

With several CLT locations, this is one of the most popular dog bars in Charlotte. It is an indoor/outdoor sports bar, but also offers daycare, boarding, and grooming services. The pups can play while the people hang!

 

Sycamore Brewing

2161 Hawkins Street

Charlotte, NC 28203

Located in Southend, this is one of the most popular breweries in Charlotte. Did you know you can bring your dog along, too? While dogs can’t run loose, they can hang out on leash as you enjoy a drink with friends! Dogs are also invited to the very popular Front Porch Sundays, where local businesses pop up at Sycamore for you to shop.

 

U.S. National Whitewater Center

5000 Whitewater Center Parkway

Charlotte, NC 28214 

If you love the outdoors and desire an adventure with your best fur pal, try bringing him to the Whitewater Center! On leash, your pup can enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, or hiking. The Whitewater Center also has fun events that are dog friendly. Just check their calendar!

 

Hoppin’

1402 Winnifred Street

Charlotte, NC 28203

Hoppin’ is a really fun, hip bar in Charlotte where you can serve your own beer/cider with a wristband connected to your card. Dogs are welcome to join in on the fun! Be sure to check out the list of everything they have on tap.

 

Seoul Food Meat Co.

1400 S Church St Ste A

Charlotte, NC 28203

Enjoy Korean BBQ and karaoke–and enjoy it all with your pup! Seoul Food Meat Co. has an outdoor, fenced dog park where your furry pal can run free. This fun restaurant has four stars on Yelp. See what people have to say about it!

Sushi of Charlotte

Are you craving sushi, but haven’t found your favorite sushi place yet? Charlotte has so many tasty restaurants, including sushi joints. Here are some places that will hit the spot for that craving!

OKU

2000 South Boulevard
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28203

If you are looking for an upscale sushi place with low-key vibes, Oku is your place. Oku has high quality sushi with rice that seems to melt in your mouth. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Oku not only offers delicious sushi, but specialty entrees. While rolls can be a little pricey, Oku offers half off rolls from 5:30-7:30pm on Mondays and Wednesdays. You’ll need a reservation here because it’s so popular!

Yamazaru Sushi & Sake

2173 Hawkins St
Ste A
Charlotte, NC 28203

Yamazaru is located closely to Oku, conveniently next to Sycamore Brewery. You won’t need a reservation here if you’re willing to wait maybe ten to fifteen minutes for a table. This place offers rolls that differ from its Oku neighbor, which is great for variety! The options are almost overwhelming, but it also means you’ll never get bored with the menu! While they do not offer any sushi specials, this place is pretty affordable with most rolls being in the $10-15 range.

Akahana

1308 The Plaza
Charlotte, NC 28205

If you’re looking for BOGO sushi, this is your place. You cannot beat this deal! Plus, there are a lot of sushi choices without meat or with cooked meat. It’s vegetarian and pregnancy safe! Just look at the online menu here, then call in your order and it will be ready for pickup by the time you make it to the restaurant. If taking sushi home isn’t your thing, they also have a lovely seating area to dine in.

Futo Buta

222 Bland St
Bland Street Light Rail Station
Charlotte, NC 28203

While Futo Buta is known for its ramen, the Southend restaurant also has terrific sushi. This place is popular, so you’ll want a reservation! If you want sushi as an appetizer before an amazing ramen entree, Futo Buta is your place! Check out what people have to say about this restaurant on yelp.

 

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine too!

48 Hour Film Project of Charlotte

Even though Charlotte is no New York City or Los Angeles, it still has a well-established film community. They have local meetings, as well as a group that travels to the well-known Sundance Film Festival in January. Charlotte is even lucky enough to have a local casting company. The Charlotte 48 Hour Film Project takes place every year, and it’s coming up soon: August 9th-11th of 2019!

 

If you aren’t familiar with the 48 Hour Film Project, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a film created in 48 hours. Artists from Charlotte get together in groups and write (based from drawings for genre, objects, etc.), produce, and edit the film, then vote for the best one from our city to compete internationally for a spot at the Cannes Film Festival. It is quite the challenge for  filmmakers, but a great learning experience for everyone involved.

 

If you’re interested, visit Charlotte Film’s Facebook page dedicated to the festival to find out more. Many teams are still forming, and it is an all hands on deck project! Local filmmakers meet often to discuss the different aspects of film and welcome newcomers with open arms to join.

 

If you are interested in acting in the festival, they are holding auditions so that groups can pick you based on what they’ll be writing. Join the Charlotte Film Community Facebook page to stay updated!

Tips for Moving With Pets

We all love our pets. They’re members of the family we could never leave behind. Moving with pets can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be. If your pets are keeping you from moving, consider these tips for moving with pets to ease the transition.

 

Keep Pets Away from the Action

If possible, try to keep pets as distant from the move as possible. Animals, especially creatures of habit like cats, will get upset with a changing environment. Keep them away from the packing as much as possible. If you have the means, try moving and unpacking everything before moving your animal. You can also keep your pet contained in a smaller room (like a laundry room or bathroom) and let them adjust to that one area while you unpack everything else. The best thing to do is move your pet last and keep environmental changes to a minimum.

 

Buy Stress Relieving Products

If you have a very nervous pet, there are products that can help cure that anxiety! The thunder shirt for dogs and cats has great reviews. You can use this for the car ride, the move, and afterwards (Fourth of July, I’m looking at you). Stores also provide calming treats. For cats, veterinarians recommend Feliway, which is a spray that will relax your cat.

 

Keep Your Pet Contained

No matter how trustworthy your pet may be, it’s safer for everyone to keep them contained in a crate. You wouldn’t want your pet to kick in the fight or flight and run. A lot of bird owners make the mistake of traveling with their feathered friend perched on their shoulder, but you could lose your bird within the blink of an eye if he’s spooked. You never know what you could run into during a move. Crating your pet will be more comfortable for the both of you. You can also keep your pet in the crate until you’re done unloading your stuff and have unpacked a room for them to settle down.

7 “In” Items for Your Home

If you recently bought or are trying to sell, you may need to update your home. Including these small, yet stylish features can help brighten and modernize the space. It’ll have all of your friends “ooh”ing and “aahh”ing as they admire your taste. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it a secret that you got the tips from me!

 

Gray Tones

Houses have transitioned from browns and beiges to grays over the last few years. Adding cool tones will brighten the room when the sun hits it, making your house look bigger than ever. You don’t have to have a completely grey home. Mixing cool tones with some warm, natural wood is in style! It looks effortless instead of tacky.

 

Round Mirrors

Round mirrors can go almost anywhere in your home. Put one over your dresser. Put it over your vanity. Use a round mirror in the bathroom. Put a round mirror over your couch. The possibilities are endless because mirrors look great anywhere and add the extra homey touch. Check out this one from Target!

 

Floor Mirrors

Speaking of mirrors, floor mirrors are also “in.” Again, you can place these almost anywhere. If you put them in a corner of the bedroom, it makes the room look bigger and gives you a spot to look at an entire outfit before leaving your home for the day. Put it in the living room on a smaller wall to give the illusion of a bigger room.

 

Bar Carts

These are so popular and have more uses than just being a drink bar. You can make this a coffee bar, a reading nook, a spot to put your plants. Bar carts can be styled according to what your home needs. What’s better than something stylish and functional? I love this one from Amazon.

 

Accent Walls

While cool tones are awesome, too much white can look a little bit like an asylum, which is definitely not the look anyone is going for. Add a pop of color with an accent wall. Don’t want to paint? Etsy has plenty of stick on wallpaper to choose from.

 

Animal Hide Rugs

Faux cowhide rugs are in. You can have one as your main living room rug or have something small enough to just fit in front of a chair. However you choose to style this, the hide will give a rustic and down to earth vibe in your home. Here’s an affordable one from Amazon!

 

Plants Galore

If you were looking for a sign to buy that cute little succulent out of Trader Joe’s, here it is. Plants add life to your home, but they’re low maintenance. You can put them on any table, counter, or shelf. Even adding a plant (that loves water) in your shower can help spruce up your daily routine!

Day Trip from Charlotte

North Carolina is one of the coolest places to live because we have the beach and mountains all in one! Summers can be busy, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have a day getaway. Charlotte is a wonderful city with plenty around it to make for a fun day trip.

 

The Quarry at Carrigan Farms

The Quarry is a natural body of water, fed by a spring, located in Mooresville, NC. Pay just $15 to dip into this gorgeous water. All swimmers will pass a swim test or are required to wear a life jacket. Not into swimming? They also have a farm to visit with hay rides!

 

Crowders Mountain

If you love to hike, then you’ll love Crowders Mountain. There is no fee to hike and multiple trails, depending on your hiking level, to lead to the top. What’s at the top? Just a gorgeous view overlooking the state park. They offer other activities as well, such as fishing, rock climbing, and bouldering. Enjoy the day in one of the best parks nearby; just don’t forget to pack food and plenty of water.

 

The U.S. National White Water Center

Charlotte is lucky enough to have the National White Water Center. This is an amazing place for numerous daytime activities: white water rafting, kayaking, paddle-boarding, zip-lining, biking, and more. The White Water Center also hosts community events, such as River Jam, where people can gather and listen to live music, eat food, and enjoy the great outdoors.

 

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

If you love nature, take a short drive to Belmont, NC to enjoy the beauty of Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. You can enjoy 110 acres of many different plants and creatures. Take your kids to the Butterfly Bungalow, where they can get up close and personal with several species of butterflies! Admission is only about $15 for adults and about $8 for kids. Then enjoy local food like Nellie’s Southern Kitchen after your visit (the food must be good for Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra to have their wedding reception there)!

 

The Great Wolf Lodge

North Carolina is lucky to have such an awesome, family friendly vacation spot! With an indoor waterpark and interactive game throughout the hotel, the Great Wolf Lodge is a great spot for families to get away. Keep the kids occupied with Magiquest, Build-A-Bear-Workshop or numerous free kids activities while you enjoy their fitness center and minigolf. Your suite is even designed to look like it’s part of a forest. There’s fun for everyone.

 

So as you can see, there are plenty of trips you can make in just one day from our beautiful city; another reason why I love Charlotte so much!

Stay Cool: Troubleshooting your HVAC

The worst time of year to start having HVAC problems are the middle of summer (and the dead of winter). Not only are you quickly experiencing the discomfort of no heat or air, you also have that sinking sensation in your gut that something is wrong and it’ll probably cost money. Here’s what to check first, before you even have to call the technician (or maybe while you’re waiting for them to pick-up). 

 

Power

Believe it or not, sometimes we all miss the simplest reasons our HVAC is acting up—the power is off. If the power is off in your house, or in your neighborhood, there is probably nothing wrong except that you’ll have to wait for the power to come back on. 

 

Air Filter

Airflow to your unit is important and if you haven’t been changing your air filters regularly, the restriction can cause your unit to slow down or drag, especially when it’s trying to work hard during the summer heat. For twenty bucks and five minutes of work, you’re HVAC can be frigid once again. 

 

Batteries

If the thermostat display doesn’t work, try changing the batteries. 

 

Circuit Breaker

Check the circuit breaker in the breaker box. If it’s been tripped (the one switch that doesn’t look like the others), reset the breaker. Breakers can trip for a variety of reasons, and if it happens once it’s no big deal. But if the breaker keeps tripping, it’s best to get an electrician to come look at the problem.  

 

On-Off Switch

On many units there’s an on-off switch next to the indoor air handler unit. For whatever reason (pets, kids, random incidents) this switch can get flipped. Best to double check. 

 

Outdoor Switch

There’s another switch on the outside unit and it can get flipped for all the same reasons. Make sure it is plugged in or flipped on. Be very careful, as this switch controls the 240 volts of electricity to the outdoor A/C unit and it’s very dangerous.

 

Condensation pump 

There’s a water safety switch under the pan under the unit to stop water from leaking into your home. If there’s no water in the pan, or it looks old, try emptying the pan, flush the drain line and see if it makes the unit start working again. 

 

If you’ve checked everything and there’s still a problem, definitely contact your HVAC service technician and have them come out. You don’t need to be suffering in this heat.