Monday, September 1, 2014

Parkside Town Commons

What it is:  I don't know if anyone has seen if yet, but there's a great new shopping center that is being built at the intersection of Hwy 55 and I-540.  I know what you're thinking, that's in Cary!  None the less, I timed it from my house in S. Durham and it's only 9 minutes away-making it much closer than lots of other Durham shopping.

I did a little investigating to find out both what is open and what is going to open soon.  Right now in "Phase one" there's a brand new Harris Teeter, which is nice, but not very different than the existing ones.  There's also a brand new Target.  Other stores and restaurants open in Phase One include Tijuana Flats, Jersey Mike's, Massage Envy, Petco, and more.

They've been working hard on finishing "Phase 2" as well.  From what I heard there will be a movie theater complete with a bowling alley, a Field and Stream store, and lots of other smaller restaurants and stores.  One of those restaurants that I'm super excited about is Chuys.  This transplanted Texan was thrilled when I saw their logo on the Parkside Town Commons website.  Then, when we went to Chuy's last night they confirmed that they are opening on in Cary, slated to open in March.  So, hopefully, it will actually come to fruition and we will actually have a Chuys in this corner of the Triangle.

On a side note, there was also an article floating around that someone is building a Whole Foods somewhere at that intersection. It will be in another shopping center proposed for that intersection, but I'm not sure quite where.  Whole Foods would be another store that would be great to have in that part of town.

What we liked:  We love having lots of new fun stores pop up so close to us.

What we would change: Of course, I would like the construction to be done so we can see how everything is going to turn out.



(Pictures of phase two which is still in progress.  I took this picture a few weeks ago and it's amazing how much progress they have made since then.)

(The new Target)

(The new Harris Teeter)

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Bull City Craft Paint and Pour

What it is:  You guys have heard how much we love Bull City Craft.  We've already told you about their preschool playcraft, birthday parties, and ornament parties.  This time we were fortunate enough to check out one of their activities for grown-ups.  A group of moms and I were lucky enough to get a rare night out.  First, we headed to Thai Cafe, which I highly recommend for some great food, and after our lovely dinner full of actual adult conversation, we headed over to Bull City Craft.

We had reserved it for a group gathering, but they also have scheduled Paint and Pour night every Friday at 7pm.  Each night they have a different painting to learn and paint.  This time, we were painting the Lucky Strike Tower in downtown Durham.  Of course, it was Paint and Pour so we could all bring our own bottles of wine so we could have a glass while we painted.  Jessica, the awesome owner of Bull City Craft was painting the picture at the front of the room and we all sat at tables with our own canvas, aprons, and paints watching and learning from her.  While she was our guide, we could take whatever creative turn we wanted.  There were also lots of example pictures placed around the room to help.  In the end, after several hours of fun and lots of laughter, whether we considered ourselves artists or not, we all came out with a picture we loved.

What we liked:  Painting and using the creative side of my brain like that is something I don't normally do in my daily life, so it was lots of fun!

What we would change:  Unfortunately, it is definitely an adults only outing, but definitely worth the babysitter!

Website and other important information:


Address: 2501 University Drive, Durham

Class time: Fridays at 7pm

Cost: $35, with a $5 discount for eating at one of the neighboring restaurants and bringing the receipt


(the setup)


(watching our instructor)

(the finished result)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers

What it is: You've probably noticed a bunch of new restaurants popping up over the past few years along 15-501 near the intersection with I-40.  We've seen the introduction of Moe's, Five Guys, PDQ, and now, we also have Freddy's.

We stopped by last Sunday for lunch and apparently, we were not the first one to find this new spot. Freddy's was packed.  We waited in line for a few minutes, but that just gave us time to look over the new menu.  Their specialty is steakburgers and hot dogs with various toppings however I also noticed that they had some chicken options.  They paired the burgers with fries of onion rings.  Freddy's also offered delicious frozen custards in sundae, concrete, oreo custard sandwich, malt, and milkshake form.

I tried a steakburger, particular type of thin, griddle-fried burger, with fries and my husband tried the double with onion rings.  My kiddos sampled the kids' meals, one with a hot dog and one with a burger.  The meal came with fries and a drink.  The atmosphere of the restaurant was a 50's diner feel and we had a really enjoyed our meal. Of course, we couldn't leave without sampling dessert.  When I hopped back in the very long line to get my dessert I learned something valuable.  Apparently, you can order your dessert with your meal and skip the line when you're ready for dessert and just go up to the register and ask for it.  I will definitely do that next time.  However, once we got our "dirt and worms" sundae, it was delicious, and the custard was particularly good.

What we liked:  The food was yummy, and the service was very good.  Also, it was nice to go to a place where they work really hard on both the entrees and the desserts.

What we would change:  When we went on Sunday afternoon it was very crowded, so next time I might try to go back at a different time to see if it was less crowded.  That being said, we had no trouble finding a table even though it was crowded.

Website and other important information:


Address: 3303 Watkins Rd, Durham, 27707

Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10:30am-10pm, Sunday: 10:30am-11pm


(my lunch)

(my husband's meal)

(our sundae-"dirt and worms")

(a view from the outdoors)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Getting Fit with Kids Week 4-Wrap Up

Four Easy Steps To Great Health
Great work on the last workout everybody. We had fun coming up with an animal inspired workout that trained the full body in an interactive way. This will be the last week for the adults and kids workouts. Next week we will develop workouts for adults (which can be done with kids, but are more focused for adults). This last article, of the first series, we want to talk about you and your family. 
As we all know, your health is important. But it is common for us to put other priorities in front of it. Why do we do this? Time? Stress? Lack of Motivation? Here are the easiest steps to reprioritize what is important in your life and to really make a healthy lifestyle something your entire family embraces.
Write down each of these questions and answers somewhere you can see everyday.

Step 1) What is my current state of health?
If you do not know, go to a doctor. Take a baseline assessment of yourself. Things like your weight, body fat percentage and record it along the way. We recommend once every two weeks.

Step 2) What are your goals?
Be specific. It can be to lose weight, gain strength, reduce your blood pressure, etc.
It does not have to be a huge goal. It could be as simple as losing 5 pounds. But quantify it. If you want to get stronger, how so? Maybe a new push up record or more muscle tone? Whatever it is, be specific.

Step 3) How am I going to reach these goals? And by when?
You need to hold yourself accountable if you want to reach goals. Plan out how you will reach your goal. What will it look like? Will you walk everyday? Will you  begin cooking healthier food? Be specific about the steps to your goal and make realistic dates where you can check in and see how you are truly doing.  This is where you can compare to your baseline and continue your first measurements.

Step 4) What Will I Enjoy?
Enjoy what you are doing. Initially, you will be creating a habit to exercise or eating better or both. But, eventually it will become a natural part of your family’s lifestyle. Add variety to your exercise and pick activities you enjoy. If you do not know what you like, try everything and ask friends or family if they have any recommendations. Or us at Chapel Hill Training. We love working with families.
In the end, remember why you are doing this. Taking care of our bodies is crucial and should not be brushed over. Do not wait until it is too late to make a difference in you and your family’s life.
Write down your own whys? Maybe you want to make sure you see your great grandchildren. Maybe your family suffers from heart disease and you want to make a change. Whatever your why, remember it when the voice in the back of your head is saying to quit.

Please ask us how you can implement these steps into your family’s life. They will thank you for your attention to their health and happiness.

In health,

Justin Hardy
Chapel Hill Training
400 West Rosemary St. Suite 1003
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Durham Green Flea Market

What it is: Every weekend I usually end up passing the Durham Green Flea Market located at 1600 E. Pettigrew. There is always plenty of traffic,  and from the road you can see tables of fresh produce, boxes of merchandise, and the smell of some great cultural dishes. 

On a late Sunday I was finally able to check out this neighborhood treasure. The pictures don't do it enough justice. If you like your locally grown produce, frgual prices, and lots of cultural flair, you should definitely check this place out.

What I liked: Being a natural foodie, I couldn't get enough of the authentic Mexican food and culture.  Being from California, this place made the list for one of the best mexican food spots in Durham!  The prices were incredible, and the variety of things you can find at this flea market is astounding: shoes, clothes, purses, electronics, and toys can all be found in this indoor/outdoor spot.

What we would change: The day you go and the crowds will determine what kind of parking you will get. You can pay for parking or park on the street which may not be as convenient if your toting a little one.

Website and other important information:

Address: 1600 E. Pettigrew

Hours: Saturday and Sunday: 7am-4pm


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Getting Fit with Kids-Week 3

Congratulations to all of you last week who worked out and got stronger, leaner, and healthier!
Check out the workouts from the previous two weeks here-Week 1, Week 2.  This week’s is a really fun obstacle course. Easy to set up, and addicting to any child. These basic animal movements tone the whole body including, the core, the legs, and the arms. A great way to lose weight, and build real life stability. Try it out and have fun!

All you need are two markers of any kind, shoes, cones, sticks, etc. They should be placed 5 yards apart (15 feet).

Directions: Repeat this circuit 3 times. Resting when needed to maintain good form. For an extra challenge, increase the distance between the start and finish lines.

1) Bear crawl down and back. Doing 30 jumping jacks on each line.
Begin in the top of a pushup position. Moving one arm forward, maintain even hips to the ground. Next, move the knee of the arm that you moved forward. Repeat on the other side of the body.

(bear crawl)

2) Crab Walk down and back. Holding a 30 second elbow plank on each line.
In the top of a pushup position begin parallel to the start line. Move one arm laterally, and then the back foot on the same side. Repeat the motion on the other side to return to the top of a pushup position. Maintain a neutral spine and hip position throughout. 


3) Kangaroo Hop down and back twice.
With a bend in the knees, jump forward. Land on the middle of the foot and land with a soft bend in the knees. Recover, and repeat. The hop does not have to be a maximal effort. Rather more like bounding. 

(kangaroo hop)

Let us know what you think of the workout! All the workouts in this series can be completed up to twice a week along with other activities such as stroller walking. If you have any questions about how to incorporate exercise into a full program, please feel free to contact us.

Justin Hardy
Chapel Hill Training
400 West Rosemary St. Suite 1003
Chapel Hill, NC 27516

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving

What it is:  My husband and I wanted to do something fun for our anniversary this year, so we decided to try indoor skydiving.  Fortunately, we found Paraclete XP Indoor Skydiving in Raeford and discovered that it would also be a fun adventure with older kids as well.

When we drove up we knew we were almost there when we saw the tall building rising up on the side of the road, with two tall towers to manage the air circulation in the skydiving area.  We had bought our tickets earlier over the phone so we just came in, filled out waivers, and headed upstairs to await our flight time.

Before we started, we were able to watch some of the other "skydivers" in the flight area.  Apparently, you can head up to observe there at any time for no cost.  We watched some definitely pros flipping around and doing the most amazing stunts in there.  We were a bit intimidated but we were reassured that we wouldn't be doing that in the tube.

Soon, it was time for our scheduled flight.  So, they gathered our group together and lead us to the classroom.  There we watched a brief video and received a few simple instructions about hand signals that they would give when we were in the tube in-flight.  Next, we headed back up, put on a flight suit, helmet, ear plugs, and goggles.  Before we knew it they led us in to the flight chamber.  There we would sit on the bench and wait our turn for our two one-minute flights.

It was fun to watch everyone else go through their turns.  We had everyone in our group from kids as young as 5 years old to a group of obviously experienced skydivers practicing complicated formations.  When it came time for my turn I simply walked to the doorway and fell forward into the air tube.  There the guide helped me stay in the proper form and I floated around for my minute, having a great time.  It was definitely a fun experience.

While they say that anyone can try it over 3 years old, I would probably wait to bring my boys back for a few years.  My six year old would probably be too intimidated to step out into the air tube and I don't think that my 4 year old would have the body control needed to be in there.  That being said, the little five year old that was in our group was able to have a great time and the guide was holding on to her the whole time keeping her steady.

What we liked:  It was a fun, fairly easy adventure.  It didn't require any prior skill and it didn't take a long time.  There were no complicated instructions, we just got to head in there and have a good time.

What we would change:  It was definitely expensive, but one might expect this from an adventure like this.  It was $64 for one person for our two minutes of flight.  Plus, it was about 1.5 hours from Durham, so it was definitely an all day adventure.

Website and other important information:


Address: 190 Paraclete Dr, Raeford, NC

Hours: Sunday-Thursday: 9am-7pm, Friday and Saturday: 9am-11pm  **You need to book your flight time online or by phone before heading on over.


(a view of the building)

(an interesting diagram of the airflow in the building)

(our outfits)

(I'm flying!!)