AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}


Of all the places I visited in the Outer Banks, Duck, NC was my favorite. The two-lane street that takes you from one area to another in the OBX meanders through the cute cluster of restaurants and shops of Duck. I liked that it seemed less commercialized than some of the other areas. When we passed through, there were pedestrians galore with dozens of people on the sides of the street (I don’t remember seeing sidewalks). It made me want to spend more time exploring the eateries and coffee shops there. We decided to visit AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts on the way to the beach house.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant is right on the sound, and their porch area is pet-friendly. You also get a great view of the water and the sunset if you go at the right time.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

To drink, I ordered the HOOKED ON QUACK – Malibu Mango, Malibu Coconut & Fresh Juices. It was perfect for lunch on the water.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

I had a salad with heirloom tomatoes to start.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

And for my main dish, I had the crab cake salad with house-cut fries. The sandwich was so delicious, and I loved that the fries had the perfect sprinkle of salt on top.

We had a great lunch at AQUA Restaurant, and the service was wonderful, too! I could see myself eating here multiple times if I were staying a little closer. I also want to take a trip to the spa one day!

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

Look how cute Duck, NC is! We took a stroll down the road to get a quick dessert.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

We visited Duck Donuts.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

At the Duck, NC location (there are a couple in the Outer Banks), you order on one side of the building and pick up on the other. If you’re looking for a large display of donuts, you won’t find one. They make all their donuts to order.

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

The donuts were served nice and hot. Hubby got cinnamon sugar, and I got chocolate glazed with rainbow sprinkles. These were delicious and reminded me a bit of those mini doughnuts you can sometimes get at street fairs…but bigger and better!

We had a great time eating at AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts. I definitely recommend both if you’re ever in the Outer Banks.

The Inn at Corolla Light


The house hubby’s mom rented for our beach trip had a Sunday check-in, so we decided to go up a day early and stay at a hotel or B&B. Thanks to TripAdvisor, I found The Inn at Corolla Light, which was pet-friendly and right on the sound in the Outer Banks. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to the Outer Banks, but there are apparently some parts that are easily over eight hours away from us by car. I also liked that this spot was right over six hours, which seems to be the shortest trip for an Outer Banks visit.

The Inn at Corolla Light

The Inn at Corolla Light

I picked this place because of the stellar reviews on TripAdvisor and the gorgeous sunset views right off the back of the B&B. As you saw on my other post, I unfortunately missed my photo op, but I’m still happy with the choice.

The Inn at Corolla Light

This B&B is deceptively large. I think there are as many as 50 rooms! I liked the wooden walkways throughout B&B.

The Inn at Corolla Light

The Inn accommodated our late reservation and even gave us a free upgrade to a room with a view of the sound. If I was to come here again and spend more than one day, I’d strongly consider paying for the upgrade because the view of the sound is so nice and the porch is very relaxing.

As for the rooms, they were comfortable but could use some updating. With a porch like this (pictured above), I’d spend most of my time outside, though. The porch wasn’t fully fenced in so I didn’t let Bailey run around freely, but he did get to enjoy the porch, too. The free wi-fi was a nice perk.

My only disappointment with the Inn was breakfast. I’m no B&B expert, but based on my past experience, my bar was raised pretty high. The Inn at Corolla Light serves an adequate continental breakfast that I find to be on par with most chain hotels. They had all the usual suspects: some cereals, instant oatmeal, bread, bagels, hard boiled eggs, coffee, hot water, milk, yogurt, and sausages. I would have loved to see some scrambled eggs or other hot food options. It also would have been fabulous to see more locally produced items since there are many great small food producers and bakeries around the Outer Banks, but this is more of a personal preference. I will say, the lady who was in charge of breakfast was great. She was constantly moving throughout the breakfast area making sure things were clean and well-stocked. She kept the area pristine. I also really liked the room where breakfast was served. It was so open and bright.

The Inn at Corolla Light

After breakfast, we took Bailey out to the gazebo at the end of the dock.

The Inn at Corolla Light

They have some hanging chairs out here.

The Inn at Corolla Light

I believe the deck is shared with a water activity company that does parasailing, jet skis, etc. Hey, if you’re into that, it couldn’t be more convenient. They’re literally at your back door at The Inn at Corolla Light!

The Inn at Corolla Light

The pool also has a great view of the sound. Since our trip was so short, we didn’t get to enjoy this.

The Inn at Corolla Light

There’s a nature path just off the back of the B&B, perfect for trail runners or anyone who wants to take a relaxing stroll by the water.

The Inn at Corolla Light

One of the best perks of The Inn at Corolla Light is that you get to use the amenities of the Corolla Light Resort. The Inn also has bikes you can use for free. We took a quick bike ride down to the beach access area of the Corolla Light Resort. I didn’t realize there was so much to do there. They had a giant pool, restaurant, and gift shop. The resort was like a tiny village.

The Inn at Corolla Light

The Inn at Corolla Light

As we were chilling under the gazebo taking in the fresh beach breeze, we noticed a family who walked through the gazebo, turned around, and waved upwards. Turns out there’s a camera streaming the beach attached to the front of the gazebo! Click here to view the live surf cam.

The Inn at Corolla Light

My Tips – The Inn at Corolla Light:

  • Personally, I think an upgrade to a sound view is worth it. I’d probably pay for it if we went back, as long as we were staying long enough to enjoy the view.
  • If you’re okay with standard hotel breakfasts (like the buffets they have at most chains) then you’ll be okay with breakfast. If you’re a major foodie, you may want to consider eating out or bringing something with you.
  • The restaurants in Corolla close EARLY (before 9:30pm, depending on the time of year). Don’t wait too long to eat, or you may be picking up a frozen meal at the grocery store to heat in your room. I’d recommend calling ahead to ensure they’re still open. Since we checked in late, we almost missed dinner because all the restaurants we called were already closed. We managed to get pizza at The Tomato Patch, which was open a little later than the others.
  • Be sure to take advantage of the amenities at the Corolla Light Resort – they have a beach, pools (indoor and outdoor), exercise facility, and restaurants, and they’re just down the road.

Before I end, I do want to say that the staff at the Inn at Corolla Light is one of the best I’ve seen. They were so friendly and accommodating throughout all of our interactions, from booking the room to renting the bikes, to check-out. We really felt well taken care of. Great job to the team!


Have you been to the Outer Banks? Where do you like to stay? Any recommendations?

Thanks for stopping by!

Outer Banks Sunset


Hey guys!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I went for a wonderful vacation at the beach. We went to the Outer Banks, which is somewhere I’ve never been before but always wanted to visit. I have lots of great photos and stories to share, but for now, I wanted to share this photo of an Outer Banks sunset that I captured on the way to our B&B.

Outer Banks Sunset

I really wanted to do a photo shoot for the sunset on Saturday, but we got into town just in time for me to (almost) miss it. We pulled over on the way so I could capture this moment of the fleeting sun. Hey, at least I got one Outer Banks sunset, right?

More posts are on the way! Hope you’re all having a great week!

Thanks for your feedback on the workout recaps and the local foodie web site. I appreciate your comments and emails!

Desserts in Durham and The Honeycutters


We went to Durham this past weekend to visit my MIL for Mother’s Day. We had plans to eat in to celebrate. The boys were in charge of picking up food. Wanting to contribute something (other than a purse I picked out for my MIL at the Green Jeans Sale), I decided to do what I do best – find dessert.

Downtown Durham

My friend Ben suggested Scratch Bakery in downtown Durham. So, I headed to the downtown area, parked my car, and went on a bit of a dessert adventure.

Doughnut Muffins

Ben mentioned that Scratch had something special – doughnut muffins. I was surprised to see any left since I went 30 minutes before closing, around 2:30pm. I happily scooped up some to take back to the house. But, I wasn’t done there. I thought the doughnut muffins could be more of a snack. I also picked up some cake (see later photo). But, I wanted more. Scratch was sold out of many items, so I decided to get a variety of desserts from multiple places.

The Cupcake Bar Durham

I went on to get cupcakes from The Cupcake Bar. Many of the cupcakes were decorated with graduation flair since there were many college graduations that weekend. I was sad there were no Mother’s Day themed cupcakes but glad the shop stayed open pretty late. I ended up hitting up this spot after a pit stop at…

Cocoa Cinnamon Latte

Cocoa Cinnamon. It’s been over a year since I first visited this cool little coffee shop, so I was excited to make a return trip. This coffee shop was just outside of the downtown area, so it was an easy two minute car ride from where I was. I was a little nervous about finding somewhere to park and then somewhere to sit since the lot and building are on the small side. But, I lucked out and got a space since someone was leaving just as I pulled up. And though the inside of Cocoa Cinnamon is a bit small, they have quite a bit of outdoor seating. I was ready to share a table with a stranger, but I found an open table in the front.

I ordered the See-line Woman – a latte made with molasses. It was delicious! I love how Cocoa Cinnamon has several unique coffee offerings. I happily sipped on my latte whilst working on a blog post for an Easy Spiced Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe. I got to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air, though I wasn’t sure how long that would last. Most of the day, I toted around a Northface jacket (couldn’t find an umbrella!) since the sky (and weather report) threatened rain. Towards the end of my coffee break, I started hearing thunder. Though it didn’t start raining, it was enough to at least have me thinking it was time to head home.

Durham Dogs

The dogs had a pretty good time this weekend, too, and were playing when I got back. Bailey and Chessie played with a new tug-of-war toy, and that was funny to watch. Chessie is goofy and seems to just like the act of playing. Bailey, on the other hand, wants to WIN! He kept pulling the toy away from Chessie and keeping it from her. Silly boy!

The Honeycutters Concert

My BIL took us all to a small concert to see The Honeycutters on Saturday night. They are based in Asheville, NC, and they are an original country roots band. Country isn’t my favorite genre, but I really like some styles and select artists. I really liked The Honeycutters’ music and ended up getting a CD to take home. I guess some people may think I just like Pitbull and Britney since I’m a Zumba instructor, but I like a lot of different types of music. Sometimes, these smaller bands are harder to find, so you need a good reference with the inside scoop, like my BIL.

Here’s a video (see above) in case you’d like to hear one of the songs I really liked from the show – Mr. Cody.

Scratch Bakery Honey Almond Cake

And we may or may not have dug into that other Scratch Bakery treat – honey almond cake – after the show. Yum! I loved the slightly sticky almond topping. It had a bit of the savory-sweet thing going on with honey and salt, which added great balance.

We gave hubby’s mom her purse on Sunday, and she loved it. Woohoo! It was a navy blue Carolina Herrera bucket-style purse with a long strap and gold details. I hope she gets lots of great use out of it.

We had another great trip to Durham and a wonderful weekend!

Hope you’re all having a great week! Thanks for stopping by!

Insta-Chic {5-4-2014}


Phew! It’s been quite a weekend! Hope you all had a great one.


After working Friday, I rushed home to quickly eat some pizza before heading off to volunteer at Green Jeans. When you volunteer with GJ, you can earn some additional percentage (5-10% depending on your hours) of your sales. I opted to work three three-hour shifts, one on each day of the weekend. The Friday shift went by pretty quickly. I worked the designer booth and got to scope out the goodies there. I picked out a couple things to gamble on. If they were there the next night when I’d have early access to the half off shopping, I’d think about getting them.


The next morning, my dance fitness company led the warm up for the AIDS Walk and then participated in the two mile walk. The weather couldn’t have been better for the event! We started at Gateway Village and then headed straight into uptown and back. We had a rolling speaker blasting music that got the crowd around us going. It was a beautiful walk.


I snapped a photo of this sign while we were on the walk. I love the message – “Celebrate everyone!”


Post-walk lunch was Viva Chicken. Yum!


And my friend Sarah and I picked up Fourth Ward Bread Company’s new kronuts for dessert. I thought kronuts were supposed to be cut like donuts, but this one was more like a fried croissant rolled in cinnamon sugar. It didn’t have the same layers the previous version did, but it tasted good.

After lunch, I headed off with more of my dance friends for a two-hour Sales & Procedures training session that I led. Training went well, and we even ended a little bit early, which was great because I wanted a little breather before my next Green Jeans shift.


I had a 6-9pm volunteer shift at Green Jeans. The shifts are really fun because you get to work with and talk to cool people…and play with clothes. It reminded me a bit of my days working retail at J. Crew, but here you see the same volunteers from event to event. So, it’s nice to see the familiar faces and catch up.


I managed to get a little shopping done after my shift. This is an added bonus of volunteering – it takes a little less time because you’ve already helped put clothes back and sort racks and know what’s there instead of digging through later. Just a tip for any of you considering consigning at the fall event.


Sunday morning was my big break in the weekend. Hubby and I had breakfast on our back porch. We have to enjoy the spring weather out there while we can because soon it will be so humid and hot. Not to mention the mosquitos and other bugs will be in full force very shortly.


My last shift of the Green Jeans sale was Sunday afternoon where I worked the last hour of the sale and then two hours of breakdown. Breakdown consisted of sorting for the first bit. I like organizing things, so I enjoyed it. They had a really thorough system, and everyone was hustling. I stayed a little late to help sort, which worked out well because all of my things were ready to take home, so I didn’t have to come back during the official pick-up.

And above are my leftovers from the sale. I’ll do a recap post about how sales went. And I need to do one for the things I bought, too! I found some goodies at this sale, including a beautiful designer shawl. Can’t wait to share!

Have a great week, everyone!

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