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.

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!

Designing Charlotte in Every Style

If you’re looking to build or planning an extensive home renovation, you probably already have a strong idea of what kind of style you envision. Browsing through designer portfolio’s you are are looking for an architect or designer who understands your vision and who’s work feels instinctually YES. Here are some of Charlotte’s best architecture and design firms for every style. 



Pursley Dixon Architecture 

“Beauty matters”

Pursley Dixon approaches both modernism and classicism as two halves of the same conversation, and this philosophy lends itself to their breathtaking visions of classic homes. They are an architecture and interior design firm specializing in custom residential work, creating spaces that are unique and beautiful as individual as each client.  Their thirteen-member firm focuses on creating fresh and forward design. 

Featured in: 

  • Traditional Home
  • Luxe Interiors + Design
  • Garden & Gun
  • House Beautiful
  • Southern Accents
  • Southern Living
  • Renovation Style
  • Elegant Homes
  • Decor Magazine
  • Southern Home
  • The Classicist
  • Beautiful Homes

Instagram: @pursleydixon


Ruard Veltman Architecture

“Experience the spaces we’ve imagined” 

Ruard Veltman Architecture is a firm that has cultivated a deep understanding of historic, traditional design while also incorporating the best of modern elements. Their vision for designing in traditional residential neighborhoods are putting inspired homes in pristine natural environments.

Featured in: 


  • Southern Homes
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Southern Living
  • House Beautiful
  • Coastal Living
  • Elegant Homes
  • Country Living


Instagram: @ruardveltmanarchitecture


Greg Perry Design

“Applying art and classic principles to modern times”

Coming from an unpretentious, unconventional design education is just part of the DNA of this designer. Greg Perry‘s design reflects his clients, and his clients are eclectic, confident and possessing a strong vision. Driven by the principles of scale and proportion of the 16th century Andrea Palladio, and taking influences from the Gilded Age, his designs are perfect for the modern client. A successful project will “please the client, understand the fabric of the neighborhood and abide by architectural civic responsibility.”

Featured in: 


  • QC Magazine
  • Better Homes & Gardens
  • Luxury Home Magazine
  • Southpark Magazine


Instagram: @gregperrydesign 


Modest Maximizer

Garrett P. Nelson Studio

“Creating home” 

Garrett P. Nelson is a professor, design review chairman and a rising star in the design world. His firm creates beautiful homes where people can live and grow deep roots, from cottages and bungalows to larger homes. 

Featured in : 


  • 2011 Historic Charlotte Preservation Infill Project of the Year


Instagram: @garrettpnelsonstudio


Charlotte truly is a city for everyone and no matter what style you are drawn to, there is an architect and designer here who can make your vision come alive.

Halloween in Charlotte


It’s a full-on week of Halloween and Charlotte brings the events, no matter if you’ve been planning your costume for the last six months or whether you’ll throw on cat ear headbands from the dollar bin. Since the holiday falls on Wednesday this year, you’re getting a Wednesday Addams treat—twice the chance for murder and mayhem on the weekends and everything in between.


October 28th


Red Clay’s 4th Annual Howl-o-ween

12 p.m.-7 p.m.

Red Clay Ciderworks

245 Clanton Rd.

An event for the fur-babies! Bring out your best doggie-and-me costumes for treats for your puppies and a costume contest at 4pm.  Magnolia’s Poboys will be on site.


Día de los Muertos

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden

6500 S. New Hope Dr.

Día de los Muertos is a holiday separate from Halloween, but don’t miss out on this family-friendly day celebrating family who have passed. There will be face painting, stilt walkers, crafts for children, horse drawn carriage rides and more. The Beer Garden will be open for beverages, lunch and treats. This event is free for members or with a General Admission ticket ($12.95 for adults, $6.95 for kids 2-12).


Family Fun Fest at Sycamore Brewing

12 -5 p.m.

Sycamore Brewing

2161 Hawkins St.

Sycamore Brewing is the location of another great family event. Bring the kids, the dogs, and yourself in costume for a contest with different category and prizes for each winner. No matter if you win, make sure you get a photo in their Pumpkin Patch, go trick-or-treating at each food truck, enjoy live music and try one of the fresh seasonal beers from Sycamore Brewing or ciders from Wild Blossom Cider. Best part is, this event is free.


Costumes & Companions at NoDa Run Club

10:45 a.m. – 3 p.m.

NoDa Brewing

2921 Tryon St.

A one, three or five-mile run is the perfect way to excuse the weekend debauchery. This costume run and contest with the NoDa Run Club takes you through the NoDa NE neighborhood. Participation is totally free and prizes will be awarded!


October 29th


The Haunted House at Caswell Station

9 p.m.-12 a.m.

Caswell Station

366 N. Caswell Rd.

Halloween isn’t complete without a haunted house. Make a night of it with a great meal at Caswell Station, and then walk through the haunted house afterwards. Tickets are $5, which includes one drink voucher, including seasonal drink specials. Costumes are encouraged.


October 30th


Rocky Horror Picture Show

8 p.m.

Rí Rá Charlotte

208 N. Tryon St.

Another Halloween classic you can’t miss out. Relish the spirit of the season by making your way Uptown for a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show featuring “That Type” – Rocky Horror Charlotte Cast. Tickets are $20, which includes a Rocky Horror-themed cocktail.


October 31st


Trick or Treat at the Market

11 a.m.-3 p.m.

7th St. Public Market

224 E. 7th St.

A great event to bring your costumed kids out to trick-or-treat at the 14 small businesses in the 7th St. Public Market.


Spook Your Pooch Halloween Contest

4-10 p.m.

Wooden Robot Brewery

1440 S. Tryon St. Ste. 110.

Trick-or-treat with the costumed pups at Spook Your Pooch. Prizes will be from Wooden Robot Brewery, KeenDog, TwistedEats, Skipper, Pet Wants Charlotte: The Urban Feed Store, Social Pet at Charlotte and The Dog Salon. Scary movies and awesome treats will be waiting!


Fourth Ward Halloween Parade and Costume Contest

5 p.m.

Fourth Ward Park

301 N. Poplar St.

The parade meets at the fountain on 6th and Popular for a “Parade through the Park,” followed by costume awards for the kids, pets and parents. children. Trick-or-treat the neighborhood after and then work out the candy surge with a bouncy house on games at the dead end on 9th St.


Halloween Trivia Night

8-10 p.m.

Solstice Tavern

3221 N. Davidson St.

Big Pop will be leading a “Trivia Spooktacular” starting promptly at 8:30 p.m. at the Solstice Tavern. There will be prizes and drink specials. Costumes encouraged!


City Lights ’80s Horror Night

8 p.m. – 2 a.m.

City Lights Rooftop

555 S. McDowell St.

Eighties nostalgia is the perfect Halloween party with a backdrop of the city, live music, costume contest with cash prizes, and two craft cocktails (or wine or beer). Tickets are $20.



6 – 10 p.m.

Brewers at 4001 Yancey

4001 Yancey Rd.

Brewers at 4001 Yancey will be serving all of the delicious variations of their infamous Pumking brew, as well as hosting a costume party with awesome prizes and a silent disco.


Petra’s Halloween Bash

7 p.m.-1:45 a.m.


1919 Commonwealth Ave.

There is no cover charge for this great night of live music from Broom Stick, Human Pippi Armstrong and DJ Monsterpiece, karaoke (hosted by Mike Earle), and a gallery opening reception featuring art works by Kelly Keith. To top it all off, there will be a midnight costume contest with a $100 cash prize.


Halloween Party Bus

9 p.m.-1 a.m.

AMC Theatre

7325 NorthLake Mall Dr.

Fifty bucks will get you a seat on the party bus with food, drinks, games, and music. Costumes are required and a good time is for certain.


Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

Five Charlotte History Facts


  1. Stand on the intersection of Trade and Tryon in Uptown Charlotte and you’re standing at the birthplace of trade and commerce for this area. But it isn’t what you think. A large group of Loyalists (colonists who were still loyal to King George) decided to colonize the area that would become Charlotte because it was already the intersection of two Native American trading paths. These paths are now, you guessed it, Trade St and Tryon St.  
  2. Did you know the original branch of the United States Mint was actually located in Charlotte? This was back in the gold standard days and in 1837, when The Charlotte Mint opened, it created more than $5 million in gold currency. During the Civil War, it was used as a hospital and military office for the Confederate government. In 1931, when the building was set to be demolished, a group of citizens came together to have it moved to its current location in Eastover and turned the building into the Mint Museum Randolph—the state’s first art museum! 
  3. The Ballantyne neighborhood almost had another name. See if you can guess what it was going to be, based on the story. The development was first reported on in 1991.  The area was farmland along the city’s planned outer belt. The plan was to transform 1,756 acres of mostly undeveloped land in south Mecklenburg County into offices, shops and residences in a community of 10,000 to 12,000 people. The second choice, “Ballantyne,” was also of Scot-Irish origin. Figured it out yet? It was almost named “Edinborough.” 
  4. Ever wondered why our downtown is actually called “Uptown”? The Native American trading paths (now Trade St and Tryon St) was the highest elevation point in the city, so everyone had to go up to reach this point. Hence. . . Uptown. This never faded, but it wasn’t until the 70’s that the City Council decided that the shopping and business district in the center city area be officially declared “Uptown Charlotte.”  
  5. The “Queen City” nickname comes from the name of King George III’s wife, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.


Would you like to go on a tour of some of the locations mentioned below? Feel free to contact me if you’re interested in checking them out in person!  


Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21

10 Ways to Use Charlotte’s Libraries

It’s easy to forget about the library. The library isn’t offended. It knows you buy your physical copies of books at your local indie bookstore. It knows there is nothing easier than the “One Click Buy” button for your Kindle. But it would also like to remind you, maybe with a polite throat clearing, that the library is still here. Waiting. With books and also more than books.  


Here are ten ways to use the library you might not have thought of just yet.  


  1. Place a hold on almost any material and have it delivered to a library branch of your choice. The limit is 99 items out at once which is more items than anyone needs at any point in time anyway!  
  2. Access the library of instructional videos—covering business, technical and creative skills, there are more than 3,000 courses with 129,942 video tutorials.  
  3. Learn a new language using Mango Languages, a language-learning software with over 70 world language courses and over 17 ESL/ELL courses.  
  4. View old pictures of Charlotte neighborhoods at The Carolina Room at the Main Library or at The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Story, the library’s local history and genealogy website.  
  5. For those who qualify, you can request Outreach Services which bring the library experience to a person who is home-bound, in senior housing, within correctional facilities, living with disabilities, living in transition, or new to this country.  
  6. Read digital versions of current magazines. There are hundreds of magazines to view on your computer, tablet or smart phone through library services. Just ask your nearest friendly librarian.  
  7. Download five free songs a week!  
  8. Visit the “Idea Box.” Located on the first floor of the Main Library, the Idea Box has 3D printers, sewing machines, laser & vinyl cutters, knitting machines, and more. 
  9. Attend free classes. Charlotte Libraries offer more than 22,000 programs open to the public. Topics include: job skills, how to download items from the library’s collection to an e-reader or smart device, etc.  
  10. Have a quiet moment in any of the reading rooms, surrounded by the smell of old books and magic 😉   


Photo by Cody Hughes @clhughes21