Meaty Pizza and Vegan Dessert

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Hubby and I had a great date night on Friday…

Brixx Pizza

We wanted to take Bailey with us, so we hit up Brixx since we knew we could bring him to their patio. We split a spinach salad (that’s half pictured!) and a pizza. We shared a half BBQ chicken and half 4×4 (4 meats and 4 cheeses). We also tried a couple new beers with a beer flight. Brixx has my favorite version of BBQ chicken. I know they didn’t invent it, but I really like their take on it. I compare all other BBQ chicken pizzas to theirs. We’d never tried the 4×4 before, but hubby especially loved it. I enjoyed it, too, but like I said…nothing beats their BBQ chicken for me.

Lunas Living Kitchen Patio

I’ve been wanting to check out Luna’s Living Kitchen‘s new location but just haven’t made it there for whatever reason. We decided to check it out for dessert since I love the sweets there so much. I wasn’t sure if their patio was pet-friendly, but lucky for us, it was! I’ve been frequenting Atherton Mills for several years now, and it’s really nice to see it filling out (especially since it’s with some of my favorite places in town).

Lunas Living Kitchen Menu

It looks like Luna’s has pared down their dessert menu. I think they used to have 5-6 options, but they’re now down to 3. Luckily, two of my faves are still there: the cheesecake and chocolate pudding.

Dulce de Amor Lunas Living Kitchen

I’d never seen the third before, but we decided to try it – the Dulce de Amor. It was four layers of awesomeness. I think it’s a great addition to their dessert menu. Yum!

A latte sounded great, but they didn’t have any decaf espresso beans. But, they did tell me they could add steamed milk to their brewed decaf coffee. That sounded like a great idea, so I ordered one made with coconut milk. I didn’t even know you could steam coconut milk. You can, and it’s good!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

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I’ve been trying to beat the August 12th deadline for the 20% discount code that Spreadshirt is currently offering by getting as many of my designs out of my head and into The Chic Life shop. I’ve added a couple new designs (“Shop Local” and “CHIC”), plus some new products with the existing designs. I’ve had some requests for more designs on the wide neck sweatshirt (pictured above) which looks like it fits in a cute, off-the-shoulder-look. Can’t wait to get one of those myself!

I’ve been pouring lots of hard work and love into the t-shirt shop, so I hope you guys like it! I’m learning all kinds of stuff about the shop, Spreadshirt (in general), and graphic design. Oh, and FONTS! I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent researching fonts. They’re so important, and I kind of enjoy looking through them all anyways in a font-geek kind of way. It’s all a true labor of LOVE!

Click here to check out my t-shirt shop. Use code SUMMER14 till August 12th for 20% off orders over $30.

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Thanks for reading!

Food Dudes, Bonnie’s Bagels, Rundown Cafe {Outer Banks, NC}

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While Duck, NC wasn’t terribly far from our beach house and I loved our visit to the area, here are some of my favorite restaurants from the more central Outer Banks, NC area, which was closer to our beach house: Food Dudes, Bonnie’s Bagels, and Rundown Cafe.

Food Dudes - Outer Banks, NC

We went out to Food Dudes (link is to their Facebook Page) to celebrate my nephew’s birthday. This restaurant is in a tiny strip mall area on a road next to the beach in Kill Devil Hills, NC. The restaurant has a great, casual beach shack kind of feel. The upside is the food is delicious and the service is really friendly. The downside is that the inside of the restaurant is tiny. I think I counted about five four-top tables, plus a bar with about 8-10 seats. If you can get a seat here, it’s worth it! We tried a couple appetizers, which the whole family loved. I especially liked the cold shrimp rolls, which were really refreshing. For my entree, I had the mahi mahi plate. Our waitress even told me the fish was local! Major bonus points! It certainly tasted fresh, and I loved the crispy breading on the outside. The plate also came with a spicy slaw and waffle fries. I had hard cider to drink. This was one of the meals I thought about a couple times over the trip. I found myself wanting to go back to enjoy it again, it was that good!

Bonnie's Bagels - Outer Banks, NC

As you guys know, I’m a big fan of bagels, so I was thrilled to find a bagel shop baking fresh bagels close to our beach house – Bonnie’s Bagels in Kitty Hawk, NC.

Bonnie's Bagels - Outer Banks, NC

Bonnie’s Bagels had many stellar reviews online, so I was excited to check the place out. The restaurant definitely had a laid back feel. I even saw one surfer dude come in without shoes to order take-out! In addition to bagels, they offer a variety coffees and lattes, which the online reviews said were great. Paired with wi-fi, this could be a fun place to hang out if you’re looking for a coffee and wi-fi spot. I thought about coming back here myself to do some blog work.

Bonnie's Bagels - Outer Banks, NC

We ordered bacon, egg, and cheese bagels on whole wheat everything with a cinnamon bun. The sandwiches were delicious. You wouldn’t think that such a sandwich would be that special since you can get one almost anywhere, but I really liked Bonnie’s Bagels take on it. They had to-order fried eggs with just the right amount of salt on top, and the cheese was melted right into the bagel. It was delicious all the textures were spot on. If only I had one right now to enjoy whilst writing this blog post before work! The cinnamon bun was great, too. The layers were thick in size, but light in bite. Good thing we only got one to share, though. It was big!

Rundown Cafe - Outer Banks, NC

We hit up the Rundown Cafe and Tsunami Bar in Kitty Hawk, NC for lunch one day. This restaurant had a great, playful atmosphere.

Rundown Cafe - Outer Banks, NC

I love how creative they got with the anti-slippage tape on the steps (at least that’s what it looks like it is!).

Rundown Cafe - Outer Banks, NC

We opted to eat upstairs, which is where the tsunami bar is. We almost ate outside, but it was pretty warm.

Rundown Cafe - Outer Banks, NC

Look at the view, though!

Rundown Cafe - Outer Banks, NC

Hubby started with the Rundown Soup (Their namesake soup – a traditional jamaican soup of fish, coconut milk, onions, tomatoes & yams).

Rundown Cafe - Outer Banks, NC

Hubby had the fish bites for his entrée.

Rundown Cafe - Outer Banks, NC

Even though it was hot outside, it was cool inside, and I was feeling soup. I had the fish pho with grilled mahi mahi (which I could have gotten blackened if I wanted it more spicy). The soup came with sriracha and hoisin sauce on the side, which were great additions to the already flavorful soup to switch up the taste a little. The bowl was huge, and I just kept eating and eating it. This was easy to do because it was so tasty. I really enjoyed every bite. It was fun to get a little bit of each of the components in each bite…or to try to, at least! There was a lot of stuff in there: rice noodles, mushrooms, lettuce, green onions, sprouts, and of course the fish. I really enjoyed this soup. I loved all the ingredients, and the broth was really flavorful.

Duck Donuts - Outer Banks, NC

We found a Duck Donuts right down the street from Rundown Cafe, so we had to bring a box back to share with the family after lunch. Mmm…

Check out my other Outer Banks blog posts:

Thanks for stopping by! Do you have any favorite restaurants in the Outer Banks? Leave me a comment with your tips!

AQUA Restaurant and Duck Donuts {Duck, NC}

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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.

FitBloggin 2014 – Around Savannah, GA

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When I attend conferences, I almost always try to maximize my free time on the last day. Most conferences end in the morning leaving the rest of the day with plenty of time for more adventures. Since I drove to Savannah, this was especially easy to do for FitBloggin. And I’m so glad I decided to stay in town after the conference ended. I got to spend some time with some great bloggers.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

There was one shop I definitely wanted to hit up before leaving town – The Savannah Bee Company. I headed there with Shannyn, Kyra, Martinus, and Nikki. We wanted to do a mead tasting, but sadly, they weren’t able to do one until 12:30pm since it was a Sunday.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

Luckily, there were plenty of other things to check out in the shop. The Savannah Bee Company not only has a wide variety of honey flavors, but they have other treats, from lotions to honey-roasted coffee.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

They have a great sample bar at the front where you can taste the honeys the shop offers. I was surprised at how much the honeys differed in taste. The tupelo and winter white were my standout favorites, so I brought a bottle of each home to enjoy later.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

I also tried the honey comb, which was really good. It’s sweet, warm, and chewy. I’ve always wanted to try honey comb straight up, so this was a real treat for me! There was also bread, apples, and cheese in case you wanted to make a savory-sweet sample.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

Our next stop was a cupcake shop just down the block, Sweet Carolina Cupcakes.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

I hadn’t planned to eat any cupcakes since we hadn’t had lunch yet, and I was still hoping to score some macarons. But, when Martinus kindly offered for each of us to share a bite of his red velvet cupcake, I couldn’t resist. It was delicious, and the frosting was nice and buttery. Thank you, Martinus!

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

{Blogger shenanigans}

One of my favorite things about attending conferences is how you’re around people who are just as weird as you are. Every group has their quirks, and I love the blogger ones. We totally get taking lots of photos of food, photos of people taking photos of food, selfless galore, and other randomness. I love hanging out with fellow bloggers!

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

After a couple more photo ops, Martinus and Nikki headed back to the hotel to catch a tour. I wish I’d had more time in Savannah to participate in one of the many historic tours they offered. Guess I’ll just have to go back soon!

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

Kyra, Shannyn, and I had worked up an appetite, so we headed back towards the river to grab lunch. En route, we learned that the macaron shop was closed on Sunday. That was a bummer, but I was happy to at least have some delicious honey to enjoy at home later. Plus, I had one more stop I really wanted to make, and I had a good feeling they’d be open.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

We hit up the Chart House, which was located in a beautiful stone building right on River Street. We had a great view of the bridge and passing boats. The weather was warm, but we opted to eat out. With the breeze, it was really lovely.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

I was torn between two very different options for my lunch order – a salad or the short ribs. I’ve been on a short rib kick lately, so I figured what the heck, why not get those today. They were a little tougher than I wanted, but the flavor was delicious. It was a heavy choice for lunch outside, but it’s what I was feeling.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

{Shannyn, Me, Kyra}

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

For our last shop stop, we visited River Street Sweets. I really wanted to pick up some pralines for hubby, and I scored one pound to take home. The shop had chocolate and original flavors, but I opted for 100% original.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

I had to be out of the parking deck of the hotel by 3pm, and the girls had flights to catch, but we had about another hour to spend around town. So, we opted to check out some of squares in town.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

We took a leisurely walk through the squares, marveling at the giant, arching trees with their sweeping branches covered in moss.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

There were historic monuments throughout. You could spend a long time wandering around, checking out all the sites and reading all the plaques. It’s a nice setup.

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

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FitBloggin 2014 - Around Savannah, GA

We made it to the location of Forrest Gump’s bench, which has since been moved to a museum, before turning back towards the hotel. Our afternoon walking around Savannah was the perfect end to a beautiful weekend. Thank you Shannyn, Kyra, Martinus, and Nikki for helping me end the conference on a sweet note! Let’s get cupcakes in Denver, too!

I felt ready to head home but also like I wanted the FitBloggin fun to continue. I’d met so many great people throughout the weekend, and I look forward to keeping up with them over social media and potentially to even seeing them in person! As you may have read on other FitBloggin posts, the event was really great for a blogger recharge. I spent the drive home feeling really appreciative for the opportunity to participate in such a wonderful event. I was also really inspired by so many of the other bloggers who attended. I could spend all year hearing their stories about their healthy living journeys.

With my batteries feeling super-charged, I also brainstormed how I could apply the inspiration and learnings of the weekend to make both my blog and life better. I must say, I’m especially inspired to start blogging about healthy living again. That used to be a big focus here on The Chic Life, and I’ve dialed back in recent years. Well, I’m ready to bring that back to the blog with renewed energy. I also want to do more posts to give back and share some of the things Ive learned over the years to help my fellow bloggers as others have helped me. So, long story short (TL;DR) stay tuned for some posts on health & wellness and some tutorials coming up!

Thank you to Roni and everyone who helped make FitBloggin another success! I met so many great people over the weekend, and I wish I had gotten more photos with all of them. To those I met, please know I really enjoyed meeting and chatting with you, even if only for a short time. Hope to see everyone in Denver in 2015!

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Here are my other FitBloggin 2014 recap posts:

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Thanks for stopping by!

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

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For Father’s Day weekend, we visited one of my family’s favorite restaurants: Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

The restaurant is located very close to the Reedy River Falls in the downtown area. So, it’s great to swing by for eats and then wander around some of the shops or take in some fresh air walking through the park.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

One of our favorite things to enjoy at Pomegranate on Main is the plate of butter, mint, radish, and feta cheese that comes free with every meal. You put a little of each component on a warm piece of flatbread. The result is a refreshing starter with a crisp bite. Yum! We’re told this is a traditional Iranian breakfast.

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Dad checked out the menu online before we headed over to ensure he could eat something and follow his new-ish vegan diet. He was thrilled to have found a few great options. One thing he really wanted to try was the appetizer sampler where you can pick four of the many interesting options. We tried the spinach, the tomato salad, the hummus, and one of the eggplant dishes. Dad could only eat the two in the middle because the other two had dairy in them. The whole family enjoyed the sampler. My personal favorite was the spinach. Hubby really enjoyed that one, too.

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Sis and I had Persian tea. We love this stuff.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

A small plate of ground sumac graces every table. Our waitress encouraged us to sprinkle this over the rice of our entrée dishes. I like putting it over the kabobs, too.

Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC}

I must have been hungry because I forgot to take a photo with my DSLR camera. Luckily, I have this one from my iPhone. I usually get the chicken, but I wanted to try something new. I ordered the “Soltani Barg – a combination of one Koobideh kabob and one Barg kabob”. One of the kabobs was made with marinated tenderloin and the other was made with ground tenderloin and chuck. They were both delicious, but I liked the one made with the ground beef the most. My lunch kabobs were especially delicious with a nice sprinkle of sumac. I also enjoyed the charbroiled tomato and rice. Our waitress told us to cut the tomato into the rice and add some sumac on top. The combination of all three was very enjoyable. There was something to that warm, juicy tomato being mixed into the rice.

Dad raved about the food so much, he was still talking about how much he enjoyed his meal through the rest of the weekend. Looks like we picked a good spot for a Father’s Day celebration!

You can learn more about Pomegranate on Main {Greenville, SC} on their web site.

Lost Dog Cafe – Folly Beach, SC

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Since our hotel for the WordCamp conference was only 15 minutes away from Folly Beach, hubby found a great, dog-friendly restaurant there for us to visit for Sunday lunch before we had to hit the road. We went to the very popular Lost Dog Cafe – Folly Beach, SC.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

The restaurant was abuzz with people and lots and lots of dogs all around. They were on a wait, so we decided to enjoy the fresh air and hang out with Bailey outside. There’s a cute mini-park next to the restaurant where many people took their dogs, and we moved that way as the tables started getting seated.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

The restaurant features two patio areas (that I saw) – one in the front and one on the side.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

I was glad we got to sit at the one on the side because we had a great view of the park, and the greenery all around was really relaxing.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

The menu featured a great selection of mason jar mimosas. Since hubby was driving, I got a refreshing bellini with sparkling wine and carbonated peach juice.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

You can order breakfast or lunch any time the restaurant is open. We struggled to choose which path we wanted to stick to (everything sounded so good!) and ended up ordering a few different things to share.

We started with a bowl of the she crab soup, which came with bagel crisps. We pretty much try to order she crab soup at least once when we visit Charleston, and we really enjoyed the flavor of this one. The crisps were a nice touch, and I enjoyed breaking off pieces and dipping them into the soup.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

We also got a soft pretzel, which came out with honey mustard. I saw a lot of people ordering this while they were waiting for their table, but we’ll probably skip this one next time and get another one of the baked goodness pictured at the end of this post instead.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

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Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

For the main event, we ordered the special – mahi mahi. We really enjoyed this. First off, there was a great combination of things on the plate. There was the beautifully crusted fish, roasted potatoes, a vegetable medley (with all of hubby’s faves!), and more bagel crisps. I wish I could get this in Charlotte. I could eat this once a week!

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

And we just had to order the cinnamon roll, which was delicious. The layers of this were really light and flaky, and the roll practically melted in your mouth. Our only mistake was not ordering two. One to eat then and one for the road.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

We really enjoyed our experience at Lost Dog Cafe. I could see us eating here almost once a day if we were staying the beach.

Lost Dog Cafe - Folly Beach, SC #restaurant

Whenever I visit somewhere, I like getting a shirt for my tourist-y take-home. I saw a big selection of shirts and other wares near the restroom and decided to take this pink unisex t-shirt home.

Till next time, Lost Dog Cafe!

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By the way, I’ve started a Pinterest board with photos from the restaurants we’ve visited in Charleston, SC. Click here to check out my Charleston, SC Pinterest board!

Thanks for stopping by!

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