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!

It’s Britney , B*tch


If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be going to a Britney Spears concert, I would have called you crazy. If you had told my sister 10 years ago that I was going to a Britney Spears concert, she not only would have agreed that you were crazy, she would have also been uber jealous. My how things change with time.

When Britney first hit MTV, it was my sister who was infatuated with the pop princess (she loved all the boy bands, too, of course). Meanwhile, I thought the whole sugar-y pop thing was silly, and I pretty much couldn’t stand the music. I may or may not have teased her for her love of Britney, the Backstreet Boys, and let’s not forget…the Spice Girls.

Fast forward to present day, and I’m such a Britney fan, while my sister isn’t! I could jam to Britney any day of the week, while my sister could care less to hear her music. So, as a Britney fan, I was super excited to hear she was coming to town. You’d think that I would have spent some time putting together a fun outfit for the concert (you guys know I love costumes), but things have been so busy, a costume was the last of my concerns.

My first choice was the Slave 4 U pink outfit, but that required too much DIY for my schedule. I tried throwing some last minute outfits with clothes I had in my closet, but to no avail. I had a close version of her Everytime outfit, but the white shirts weren’t the right size. I actually threw together a decent Gimme More outfit (I posted a photo on my Facebook – click to view), but I deemed it too scandalous for the night. An interesting decision given my choice of costume for Lady Gaga. Guess I wasn’t in the mood for pushing my age-appropriate dressing to the utmost limits. I ended up just wearing leggings, a loose tank top, and my Zumba shoes.


I went out with a fun group of girls for the concert – lots of my Zumba peeps.


The show opened with DJ Pauly D, but not Nicki Minaj. Not sure why she didn’t make it. I admit I watch the Jersey Shore, but I wasn’t there for Pauly. I didn’t really miss Nicki Minaj either. I was there for the main attraction.


Femme Fatale – moments before starting.


Show time!


The concert was super fun and I loved hearing some different remixes of her songs. She did a lot of her new songs, some old school faves, and of course her current #1s.




Random fashion/celebrity thought: Does anyone else think Kim Kardashian’s wedding look (click) was a little too Red Sonja (click) does bridal? I didn’t love the headpiece. What did you think of it? I must admit, I didn’t watch or read any of the wedding coverage. I’ve only seen a couple photos pop up via fashion blogs in my Google Reader. So, maybe the look made more sense if you saw the whole thing? Please discuss! ;)

Side note: I’ve read via various sources that the headpiece is a nod to Kim’s Armenian ancestry. Apparently, the headpiece was supposed to resemble a crown (though a couple google image searches yielded no similar results to what Kim wore)? I won’t even pretend to understand Armenian tradition, so if you’re Armenian, please educate us. I’m all about a cultural nod, so learning that alone makes me dislike it less. :)


Reader question: Tell me the truth – do you (or did you) love pop music – especially bubbly girl and guy groups and performers? Which one is/was your favorite?

Rapture – The Song


Another beautiful Saturday in the Carolinas!


Hubby and I started the day at one of our favorite places – the farmer’s market.


We grabbed breakfast at the market from the Roots Farm Food truck. I forgot my DSLR at home, so I tried taking some iPhone photos, but they didn’t turn out good enough to share on the blog.

We shared a veggie quiche and strawberry streusel. They were both wonderful.


I ended up taking home some golden beets and purple kale. Can’t wait to cook those up and eat them!


Bailey has decided that in lieu of pillows, his new favorite thing is to lay on my freshly cleaned laundry. Doh! So much for keeping my clothes clean and dog-hair-free!


I made a simple lunch.


Egg sammie on Great Harvest Whole Grain Goodness toasted bread.


Plus a super-tall pile of fresh-baked kale chips. I used kale that I picked up at the market last week. I forgot about it this past work-week and didn’t expect it to still be good on Saturday, but it sure was. It crisped up nicely, too!


I brewed up some Youthberry tea to relax and enjoy whilst replying to some of your comments. I have been such a comment-reply-failure lately. I love reading your comments, and usually think of great responses in my head. But, it can take me awhile to actually submit the comment online!


To celebrate the Rapture, my friends and I decided to go out to Cowfish.


Not really…we decided to get together and it just happened to be on Rapture day.


I met up with my friends Erica, Toya, and Megan for dinner and a movie just before 6 pm, which was when Rapture was supposed to happen. Hubby texted me around 6:15 to see if I’d been raptured, and we both agreed if it happened to anyone, it would have been Bailey.


I cashed in on a free-appetizer coupon to get a Crab Rangoon dip for the table. It was my friends’ first visit to Cowfish and they really wanted to try it.




I got my usual – the bento box (mini burger, sushi roll, sweet potato fries, edamame, cucumber salad). For whatever reason, I am now addicted to the combination of sushi and burgers, just not together in the same bite. The restaurant does offer that, but I just like getting a sushi roll…and some burger…in the same meal.


Erica and Megan got bento boxes, too!


I got the specialty box this time…including a shrimp tempura roll.


I ordered the specialty (instead of the original) so I could get the mini burger of the week, which had pimento cheese, tortilla chips, and pepper on top.

Everything was wonderful as always.


Unfortunately, when we went to the movie theater, we found out Bridesmaids was sold out. Ruh-roh.

We ended up hitting up Ulta instead to make-up shop and run covert nail polish operations. ;)

And then we hit up Dean & Deluca for dessert and drinks. I had a latte and shared this piece of coconut cream cake with Erica. We may have missed the movie, but we made up for it with fun girl talk and tasty treats.


All this talk of Rapture reminds me…”Rapture” is one of my all time favorite techno songs. There are a bajillion mixes of the song, and I wasn’t able to find my fave on youtube, but here’s the video for the original version by iio.:

I was pretty big into techno in college, but I don’t really listen to it any more. I do still like when this song randomly plays on my iPod, though. :)


Did you do anything different or special for Rapture day?

Did you / do you like techno music?

Blue Mood Classics


I’m still in a bit of a funk from yesterday, but feeling much better, thanks to your encouraging words (thank you!), and…


Ok, so I’m obviously not a famous musician. I’ve never even uploaded a youtube response of myself singing a song. Heck, I haven’t ever really sung karaoke (you know, like when you actually try to sound good instead of just singing Dixie Chicks in a huge group). But…I love to sing. Whether I’m good at it or not, singing and music in general have been really great ways for me to feel out my thoughts and work my way through life.

I put on happy music when I’m happy and sad music when I’m sad. Singing helps me get into the song.

Yesterday, I belted out Lady Gaga’s Speechless in the privacy of my kitchen and it was such a great release. There’s something about letting yourself go and getting lost in a song. I find myself even doing this when I’m dancing in Zumba class, but in a different way.

One of my favorite artists to listen to when I’m sad/upset is Tori Amos. Have you heard of her? If not, you should know her. She’s amazing. Her songs are so unique and her lyrics are often so mysterious.

Here’s one of my favorite Tori Amos songs, “Silent All These Years”:

She’s so talented. I’d really like to see her in concert some time.

Other blue-mood classics:

  • Mad World – Michael Andrews & Gary Jules
  • Everybody Hurts – REM
  • Black – Pearl Jam
  • Immortal – Evanescence
  • One – U2
  • Cathedrals – Jump Little Children
  • Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven


Tonight, hubby and I broke into the Blackened Spice we brought home as a souvenir from the Bahamas.


I only today discovered the tiny heart on the bottom. So cute!


We added the spice to some shrimp, which hubby grilled. We’re hoping to get a few more grill sessions in before winter.

Anywho, we also had brown rice and steamed broccoli with a real butter drizzle.


You know what else is comforting? Baking projects.



Today I went for a little baking experiment. It’s pretty tasty, but I think I need to give it another go before releasing the recipe.


I love a good makeover. And The Chic Life blog got a makeover tonight. I’m still tweaking the new template, but it’s been a long time coming. I really liked my previous template – how it looked and how it was different. But, there were several things wrong with it that needed to be fixed. So, I thought, I have 2 options:

  • Spend many grueling hours fixing the errors with my old template myself
  • Buy a new template that has everything already working

I opted for the second option. What do you think? I tried to keep the look mostly the same, but it’s definitely a bit different. For one, the drop down links in the top actually work now! lol

Do you listen to music when you’re sad/down/blue/or otherwise upset? What artists/songs do you like?

Summer to Fall


Going straight from the tropical, summery Bahamas to cool, fall-weather North Carolina has been almost a shock to the system. One minute I’m sipping coconut daquiris on the beach, the next minute, I’m eating pumpkin oatmeal in a sweater. C’est la vie.


Since I’m now in full-fall mode, I started today with pumpkin spice brewed coffee…


…and since you guys know I’m like a 5 year old at Christmas with new stuff, I busted out my new Bahamian starfish bowl for some pumpkin oats.


Hello delicious oats! This batch was made with rolled oats, hemp milk, canned organic pumpkin, pepitas, and maple syrup.


I wore my boots for the first time this season (ok, first time with the exception of my Lady Gaga concert get-up).


I packed up a large salad for lunch today (last night), but didn’t have anything to go with it.


So, I scored some rice and beans for only $2 at a local burrito shop.

IMG_4494.jpg IMG_4499.jpg

I was really excited to try this Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip protein bar from a local eatery, but I wasn’t a fan. I love their other flavors to pieces, but this one had RAISINS in it. I don’t know if it’s the fact that I don’t care much for raisins or that I totally didn’t expect raisins to be in a PB-Chocolate-Chip flavored bar, but it was not my cup of tea. I’ll stick with the blueberry or banana flavors next time because those are scrumptious.


Post-work, I taught ZUMBA! I subbed a class for my friend Alicia (yes, the one I randomly ran into in the Bahamas!) since she was still out of town

We had a really, really FUN class! I hope tomorrow’s is just as good. The playlist was kicking and the class was really moving great tonight!

Fave songs of the playlist:

  • The Power
  • Everything I Can’t Have
  • She’s Hotter
  • Hello Good Morning
  • Krazy (an old-school song I’m trying to revive in class)

Speaking of songs…

I CANNOT get Lady Gaga’s Speechless song out of my head! I’ve found myself singing it non-stop for about the last 48 hours. Whoa. Check out the video above – it’s sooo good live!

I would really like to try singing this at karaoke…if I could just muster up the courage.


Anywho, hubby had dinner ready when I got home – breaded halibut, garden medley rice and steamed broccoli.


Plus we split a Great Harvest cinnamon roll for dessert. Soo ooey-gooey and yummy!

And speaking of sweets, I’ve had TONS of birthday dessert but ZERO official birthday cake. I think this is pretty tragic and needs to be remedied immediately. Or at least ASAP. Anyone want to bake me a cake? ;)


Btw, the Bahamas were beautiful, but something was missing…

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Bailey! That’s our little cuddle-monster. :)


This little guy may have missed us, but he also missed our BED! He’s been getting pretty cozy there a lot lately. Spoiled little guy.

Do you let your pet sleep on the bed?

Toasty Icebox


I wasn’t quite ready for Monday to be here, but I was looking forward to 2 things:

  • Starbucks Monday
  • Oatmeal



First up, I enjoyed some hot oats with rice milk, flaxseed meal, cacao nibs, sliced almonds, and Justin’s chocolate PB.

I really am enjoying how the Justin’s chocolate PB has a slightly savory-sweet thing going on with a nice salt flavor in the sweet PB.


Coffee #1 – Don Pablo


Coffee #2 = Starbucks Monday! Tall vanilla soy latte.


And I was kind of bad and got breakfast out…yes a second breakfast! I love these spinach feta wraps and I figured it would be a good buy since the lunch I packed was pretty light.


Mmm…toasty! Smells so yummy!


The best part – the crunchy end.

I’ll tell ya what wasn’t toasty today and that was my office, which must have had the thermostat set to “icebox.” I was so cold all day! Brrrrrrr!


Lunch #1 = spinach salad with green zebra tomatoes from our garden and organic bell pepper…plus sunflower seeds and balsamic vinaigrette.


Lunch #2 = white chocolate cherry PB / strawberry jam toasted sammie.


I got creative with our leftover rotisserie chicken from last night and made a healthified chicken divan dish.


The recipe wasn’t quite what I wanted, so I’ll have to try it out again before sharing. Sorry!


I served the chicken over brown rice (cooked in my mom’s old school rice cooker) with extra veggies – steamed organic cabbage and organic baby carrots.


The casserole had organic broccoli, but IMO you can’t really get enough veggies (not by normal standards at least).


I had a strange craving for some of hubby’s Lucky Charms so I had a bowl with milk. I haven’t had any in ages and had forgotten how sweet they were…phew! I wish I had some hearty whole grain flakes that were unsweetened so I could control my own sugar levels with some fresh honey. Mmm…


No Monday zumba tonight. :( Very sad, but I’m still in a bit of a funk and wasn’t feeling up to it. I need to rest up so I can teach tomorrow!


The Chic Life – Seen on the Web

Look who’s been cooking some TCL recipes:

Lookin good guys!

Have you blogged about one of my recipes? Leave me a line to let me know – I’d love to check out your post! :)


MJ Flashback

Michael Jackson’s Earth Song came on in my car this morning when I was on my way to work. I hadn’t heard it since the 2010 Grammy’s and before that not for years. It used to be one of my favorite songs (I was a HUGE MJ fan as a kiddo) when I was growing up.

Here’s the 2010 Grammy version of Earth Song, which I think is a pretty neat rendition of the song with lots of talented singers. Such a good song, though. I love how Michael tried to use his fame to bring attention to important causes.


Does your SO or family keep something stocked in your house that you don’t really eat?

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