We are travel-loving people, through and through, so this stay-at-home and quarantine order is slowing killing my soul. We've accomplished just about all of the home projects I've wanted done, I've organized about everything we own, we've purged, packed away the fall and winter clothes. I'm running out of things to do to keep myself occupied, so we've vowed to go at least every other weekend on even a little day trip to explore somewhere new.
Today, our travels led us to the day trip of all day trips, as basic as they get, a Sunflower Field in McConnells, SC. At the Draper Wildlife Management Area, you will find huge fields of Sunflowers. Despite there being probably around 80-100 people there, you're able to keep your distance and if you get a little crafty, you'll catch gorgeous photos with no other people in the background.
Some sunflowers are starting to droop and it is HOT out there. I mean, real HOT, but I highly recommend jumping in the car tomorrow, or next weekend at the latest and heading just outside of Rock Hill to this beautiful site.
It's just about an hour outside of Charlotte and we elected to take the back roads down from Mount Holly which gave us some scenery of beautiful homes and pastures through the South Carolina countryside.
You'll want to enter the Hunting and Fishing area, follow the dirt road all the way to the end where it turns into a parking lot, and the trail to the sunflowers is on the left side of the parking lot as you head in. Grab your camera and a water, because I'm not joking, it is HOT, and head up the trail of no more than 1/4 mile to the fields. There are several fields, all within eye-sight, but if you want to be on your own, be prepared to walk just a little further past the corn fields for your private spot.
When you are finished with the sunflowers, take a right out of the entrance road and go just about a mile down to Historic Brattonsville where you will find gorgeous plantation homes. The site is currently closed, due to COVID, but so worth the drive by to see even the outside of these historic buildings.
This trip was truly a photographer's dream.
McGalliard Park in Valdese, NC is also home to the gorgeous McGalliard Falls and our day trip destination just a few weekends ago. There are plenty of spots to take it all in or head down to the bottom of the falls. It was much busier than these photos will lead you to believe. Part of photographing these day trips has been learning to get any angle you can to capture the gorgeous scenery with no strangers photobombing.
We took the back roads and stayed off the interstate on the way out which allowed us to check out some areas we had not been through in quite a while.
The Park has a lot to offer, including restrooms and a picnic area. To reserve space under the shelter, there is a fee, so definitely look into booking that in advance if you're thinking McGalliard is your next family gathering spot. Otherwise, there are plenty of spots you can bring chairs or a blanket and set up a picnic for free, many with a view! If you're looking for a little more to do, McGalliard also offers nature trails and a volleyball court.
The upper area of the park is very walkable for anyone. To climb down to the bottom of the falls is a little steep, but not a long walk at all. The third photo in the slideshow above shows the pathway on the left down to the bottom of the falls.
We give this hour to hour-and-a-half day trip 4.5 stars!
As residents of the northern end of Mount Holly, we frequent the Mountain Island area. It's where our chiropractor, Omni Wellness Center, is located and it is close to Northlake for shopping and dining. We are SO excited that Riverbend Village is coming right along and the first retailers and restaurants have opened up right at the corner of Highway 16 and 485! This center will serve as a new home to some existing businesses, like UPS, Chick-fil-A and Harris Teeter, as well as home to some additions to the community. Already open are: Taco Bell, Freddy's Burgers and Dunkin Donuts. Coming soon: Jersey Mike's, Johnny Brusco's Pizza (NY STYLE, YAY), Chicken Salad Chick, Famous Toastery and more! Of course, you'll have what every grocery store shopping center has: dry cleaner, nail salon, Great Clips, etc., but a few available spaces remain and our fingers are crossed for something great!
Take a look at the site plan by visiting the developer's website here.
I am so excited to share this tutorial blog with you! While obsessing over all things fall, I fell in love with a hydrangea wreath on Etsy. The problem - it was $109 plus shipping and that is just NOT in the budget right now. So, of course I had to scope out how I could do it on my own.
I found the hydrangeas for 40% off at Michaels, making them less than $5 each. You'll need 9 of them for this 18" wreath base which was about $4.50. Then I opted for the pack of 35 pieces of stem wire, about $2.50, in a dark green so it is easily hidden within the wreath. Michaels only had Christmas ribbon out so I opted for a shimmery burlap, I used a coupon to get a 25 ft roll for $6. I think it is perfect for this wreath and I'll definitely use it when I make the Christmas wreath I'm already envisioning! So, your shopping list is:
9 hydrangeas - check them out and pick some nice full ones.
Wreath foundation (wire) 18"
Stem Wire pack of 35 precut pieces
Ribbon - at least 10 feet
Step one: make sure that you picked out full enough flowers, one for each of the 9 sections around the wreath foundation.
Step two: Cut the leaves off of the steam on each of the hydrangeas. Leave a short stem on each of the leaves, you'll use the stem later to tie the leaves to the foundation. There were two leaves on each of mine. Set the leaves aside.
Step three: Cut the flower off of the stem right where it starts to spread into separate branches of flowers.
Step four: Use the stem wire to attach the hydrangea blooms to the wreath foundation. Center the bloom in the middle of the section and use the wire to attach multiple stems to different sections of the foundation, making sure the bloom won't blow off in the wind. Repeat for all 9 blooms (see photo below for example).
Step five: You should have two leaves to go in each gap between flowers. One on the inside of the ring and one on the outside. Take the stems of two leaves and with the leaves facing opposite directions, tie the stems together with stem wire. Wrap around the stems several times from each half of the stem wire, then place against the wreath foundation and wrap the stem wire around the foundation to attach the leaves. Repeat in between all flowers (see photo below for example).
Step six: Take your ribbon and create a bow. This is NOT my strength. I youtubed how to make a bow. Then attach the bow with stem wire. You can use the stem wire in the process of making the bow and then attach with the same wire.
Step seven: Take 2 1/2 to 3 feet of extra ribbon and loop it through the foundation just behind the center of the bow. Pull down so the middle of the ribbon is flat against the foundation. Tie a knot out of the ends then pull up on the center so it is now the top of the ribbon which you will use to hang your wreath!
Step eight: SHARE THIS BLOG WITH YOUR FRIENDS!
If you missed out on our Girls Night Out at the Social Vineyard, it's not too late to check out our amazing vendors! The Social Vineyard is our favorite Downtown Gastonia spot. We love supporting all female-owned businesses, but we especially love the fun events and charitable donations that The Social Vineyard contributes to our community.
We introduced the Gaston Co Wives community to Evelyn Rose Boutique! Evelyn Rose offers a wide variety of clothing in sizes for all body styles. They also offer gorgeous accessories to compliment every outfit, so be sure to check them out!
Olivia Allen with Young Living shared ways to keep your homes healthy and happy! To learn more about Young Living Essential Oils and how they can completely change your daily life, visit Olivia's website!
If you've been following us for a while, you've probably noticed how much I love our next product! Color Street changed my life about two years ago. Not only are my nails healthier and stronger, but so is my wallet! Color Street is a 100% nail polish STRIP that you apply like a sticker, but it is REAL nail polish and will last up to two weeks but takes only 10 minutes to apply and NO DRY TIME! Yes, you can roll right on with your busy life and not sit under the dryer for 15-20 minutes and still worry about smudging or pay $40 for a gel manicure and be obligated to go back every 10-14 days. Color Street is regularly featured in magazines and website articles and has grown to help thousands of women build work-from-home businesses or side-hustles! Check it out!
Mandy with Mary Kay came to share some of my favorite products! Satin Hands is something I keep in my event kit. There are few things more frustrating than being stuck at a vendor table for 10 hours with no lotion or constantly having to reapply. Satin Hands is the answer to that problem! Keep your hands silky and smooth all the time! Visit Mandy's website to learn more!
We hope to see you at the next Girls Night Out on September 19th at Station Belmont!
I was so excited to find this phone case on Casely. I have been searching for months after seeing Teen Mom 2 Star, Chelsea Houska with it in her Instagram stories. I ordered it right away. About $20 with the current coupon and regular shipping.
My initial thought was love for the pattern, as expected, the case was shiny and slick and a bit heavier than the case I took off of the phone.
Two days in and I'm taking the case off and hopefully sending it back for a refund. Here's why this newsfeed ad phone case was a major flop:
1. The case is so slick that it slides off of everything. Where I usually set my phone, in at least four separate places, this case slides right off and onto the floor. The phone itself was fine, but one of those falls cracked my screen protector.
2. Just enough weight to make the phone heavy and uncomfortable to hold.
3. The case has a cutout for the volume switch, which is really helpful, but the case covers the buttons and what they designed to allow you to push the buttons is extremely difficult. I have so many unintentional screenshots from trying to push the buttons but then can't get a screenshot when I want one - it just clicks the screen off. This is honestly the biggest deal breaker of them all. Trying to take a phone call and not being able to get the volume up or down is just a nuisance that I shouldn't have with a $1,000 phone.
Overall: cute but not functional. Would not recommend and really glad I didn't stock up on all the case designs I liked.
It's our favorite time of year - when we feast at a discount! Charlotte's Queen's Feast is taking place from July 19-28, 2019 at participating locations. Here's what you need to know:
BOOK NOW! Don't wait until the day or two before because the best restaurants and the best deals will be booked! If you don't make a reservation, don't bother trying to walk into these places until after restaurant week is over - you won't get a seat and they just might laugh at you.
Check the menus before booking. Only select appetizers, entrees and desserts are included. You may not see your favorite dish as part of the selection.
You can view participating restaurants by location. Be sure to book the correct one. For example, the Ruth's Chris in Southpark and Uptown often participate. Be sure you know where you are headed!
Look at the pricing on the website and make sure you are getting a good deal. Not every restaurant is discounting by much and the free dessert that you aren't interested in won't justify the visit. Our favorite restaurant is not that great of a deal since we don't care for the add-ons that restaurant week offers.
Expect a packed restaurant, slightly lower quality and a possible wait (even with your reservation). I'd like to think we are restaurant week pros at this point. We go somewhere every restaurant week. We try and go somewhere different each time. I'd have to say our best experience was at Sullivan's Steakhouse in South End. The quality was as good as it normally is, we were seated pretty quickly and the service was still good, despite the overwhelmingly busy environment. We've also been to Ruth's Chris during restaurant week and the quality was not nearly as good as is normal. However, you have to think not only are they giving you food at a major discount, but they're slam packed! A fair trade, in my opinion. Fleming's was my favorite before our visit to Sullivan's. Both are quite good and if it is your first restaurant week experience, I'd recommend one of the two!
Don't let the Charlotte in Charlotte Restaurant Week fool you. Restaurants across the region are participating!
Here are some of my favorites, geographically:
Belmont/Gastonia: McAdenville Table & Market, Webb Custom Kitchen
Mooresville: Epic Chophouse
South End: Sullivan's
SouthPark: Del Frisco's, Harper's, Maggiano's, P.F. Chang's
Uptown: Capital Grille, Chima, Fahrenheit, Fleming's, Morton's, Sea Level
What do we love more than free stuff? FREE ICE CREAM!
This Sunday, July 21st is NATIONAL ICE CREAM DAY and you can enjoy this delicious holiday for free (or at a discount)!
Here's local(ish) places offering deals*to be verified by local establishment*:
Baskin Robbins: Two pre-packed quarts for $8.99
Cold Stone: New and existing club rewards members get a B1G1 free coupon for Sunday. Sign up by Saturday to redeem!
Culver's: Free scoop of custard with purchase of value basket at participating locations, with coupon
Dairy Queen: Download the app and get B1G1 free
Sonic: Half-price shakes and ice cream cookie sandwiches for $1.49 after 8 pm
I'm Katie and I'm so excited to be bringing Housewives in the City to Gaston County! I'm a resident of Mount Holly. I absolutely love traveling, sports and I'm always up to learning something new. I cannot wait to meet all of you!