Holiday Shopping Made Easy: Shop the #OutaboutNC Virtual Small Biz Holiday Pop-Up Market

2020 will go down in history as the year the world stopped being what we were used to living in daily.  We stopped basically everything we loved, and unfortunately, many people lost people who they loved.


In 2020, we are more attached to the internet than in any year prior. Travel stopped. Eating in restaurants stopped. Shopping in person stopped. Retail stores closed down for months, and to survive, many retail stores had to turn to online sales to survive the economy. 

Callahan's of Calabash Opened an Online Store During COVID in NC

For my OutaboutNC community on Instagram, my focus is 100 percent on North Carolina, the same place where I have called home for a lifetime. When I started my #OutaboutNC chats on IGTV in late March, getting to know the individuals behind North Carolina's businesses put a little spark in my step in 2020.  

These local businesses have had to pivot with some developing an online store for the first time ever. Even I have somewhat pivoted in a new direction during COVID as my HouseStalker YouTube Show shoots halted, and travel and leisure content became limited. 

I've put more emphasis on working with brand affiliates, which align with my lifestyle such as my passion for clean beauty education/advocacy with Beautycounter. This beauty and skincare brand is a leader in the Clean Beauty industry with a Never-List of about 1800 questionable or harmful ingredients not allowed in its products.  My Beautycounter affiliate is now a primary source of revenue to support this blog over sponsorships, enabling me to keep the majority of my OutaboutNC and blog content editorial. 

Beautycounter wrapped up a three-month partnership with Sephora, and awareness about health over beauty is now greater than ever. More and more companies are cleaning up their act and making more products safer for consumers. My #BetterBeauty VIP group on Facebook shares all brands of Clean Beauty and helps educate consumers to make better choices at all price points. I also offer flash sales and discounts. 

For my latest #OutaboutNC project, I hand-picked vendors throughout North Carolina to work with me on a virtual holiday pop-up market for three weekends in October, November, and December. My longtime friend, Kim Prejs, of Teach Learn Style.com, is also sponsoring the event with her main affiliate, Zyia Active, a new favorite brand. 

The NC Small Biz Holiday Pop-Up

NC Small Business Pop-Up Participants

Wellness by Ari, located in Matthews, NC. Ari candles are made using 100% natural ingredients, starting with organic hemp wick and beeswax. 

Curry Wilkinson Pottery, located in Burlington, NC. This NC artisan specializes in jewelry, gifts, and pottery decor made on-site in its pottery studio. 

Hometown Goodie Boxes, based in La Grange, NC, This online shop specializes in gift boxes filled with NC made food/products. 

Callahan's Of Calabash,  located in Calabash, NC. This popular gift store has 35,000 retail space and has been a staple on the North/South Carolina border for forty years. Callahan's debuted its new online shop in 2020.  

Our October pop-up shop will be hosted in a special online Facebook group, and we will also share some items on Instagram. Join the pop-up shop on Facebook. Also, respond to our event RSVP as well so more people can learn about it. 

We will be having a few other vendors join us for our November and December pop-ups. 

Each vendor will be hosting a giveaway for one of the events. In October, everyone who joins the October 9-11 pop will be registered to win one of our two October gifts. 

This adorable fall patchwork pumpkin gnome from Callahan's will look great in your home for a festive fall.

Hometown Goodie Boxes has put together an exclusive goodie box for one lucky winner who attends the pop-up. 

The winner will enjoy a hot cup of tea from Asheville Tea Company. Working closely with local growers, Asheville Tea creates unique blends using botanicals, herbs, and other natural ingredients. From the piedmont area of NC, Lindley Mills organic muffin mix is healthy, easy, and delicious! A 10th generation organic specialty flour mill, Lindley Mills'  Muffin Mix is great alone, just add water, or toss in your favorite fruits, nuts, or chocolate chips. Top off your hot muffin with delicious peach preserves from Deans Farm Market in Wilson, NC. A local working farm, Deans Farm, gathers local produce at its peak, capturing the essence of that peach taste. 

We look forward to you attending the October 9-11 OutaboutNC Small Biz Holiday Pop-Up.

Sponsored by Beautycounter with Leigh Powell Hines and Zyia Active with Kim Prejs

Beautycounter and Zyia  Active: Two Great Brands


NC Travel after COVID: Fall in Love and Feel Safe with The Chetola Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains

185 Chetola Lake Dr, Blowing Rock, NC 28605, USA

Travel in 2020 has been a downer. For many, it has been non-existent. With hotels and restaurants closed, COVID quarantine restrictions, many traveler's plans were scrapped, or people were afraid of traveling. My own family vacation to France and Germany came to a screeching halt. No flights going to France made that decision automatically for us. Still, even if traveling continued all summer during this health crisis, I do not believe we would have continued with our plans to Europe at all. More than likely, we would have canceled them on our own. 

Lucky for me, I live in North Carolina. I have a beautiful state to explore in my own backyard. North Carolina ranked sixth in the nation for overnight visitation in tourism last year. In fact, North Carolina was on an upward swing in tourism spending in all 100 counties. 

The lake on the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC
The Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC

Unfortunately, no one could predict the massive tourism halt that COVID caused in 2020.  Hotels and restaurants were closed to guests for months. When they slowly started opening at 50% capacity, they were faced with the public hesitation about travel in general and the additional responsibility of extra sanitation and safety diligence. 

Chetola Resort Lodge

During quarantine, I launched a new Live Interview Chat from my home office on OutaboutNC Instagram. Each week, that interview segment became my weekly dose of joy and my new connection to NC.  When Governor Roy Cooper announced the state could operate in Phase 2 of COVID Restrictions, I interviewed management with the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock. It was one of the first hotels in North Carolina to undergo the new "Count on Me NC" NCRLA Safety Certification. 

After that interview with Chetola, I had the itch to travel and look at something besides my living room.  Will was more skittish about travel than I was. However, he was sad about missing our trip to Europe.

Leigh Powell Hines, founder of OutaboutNC/HinesSightBlog Visits the Chetola Resort during COVID

After some sweet talk-coaxing, I convinced Will that getting away would be excellent for our family's mental health.  Let me rephrase that. I did say it would be good for our mental health, but I also flat out announced I would take the Chetola Resort up on its offer for a press trip. He could stay home and work or go with us to the mountains, but COVID would not stop me. I felt confident in the steps the resort put into place after my interview.  I also was so tired of cooking in quarantine that the thought of getting room-service was really appealing. 

My list of pros for visiting the Chetola Resort was strong. 

I stressed that the hotel was taking a full 24-hours between guests to clean rooms during COVID. This top-ranked North Carolina mountain resort, located on 78-acres between the mountain towns of Boone and Blowing Rock, has received many housekeeping accolades throughout the years, so cleanliness has always been a resort strength. Still, that strength is even more critical in 2020 and is at the top of every guest's check-list due to the COVID circumstances. 

The Chetola Resort recently received the AAA "Best of Housekeeping" Award.  Following CDC guidelines, masks were also required in all public spaces. Temperatures of all guests were being taken at the entry gate before checking-in

The resort's Timberlake restaurant served at 50 percent capacity, offering take-out, room service, and outside seating.  The hotel also had a list of restaurants at the Front Desk that offered outdoor dining and take-out in Blowing Rock and Boone. 

Another strong pro travel point I gave to Will was there were activities for us to do on the property, so it would definitely feel like a vacation. The pro there for safety is that there was a lot to do outside while staying on the resort property.  If we didn't feel safe leaving the resort to go into Boone or Blowing Rock, we would be entertained with tennis courts, resort activities,  hiking, and swimming. 

The Blowing Rock-Boone area is also an easy drive two to three-hour drive from Raleigh. It is shorter in length than a trip to the Asheville area. 

And last, but certainly not least, our dog, Andy, could go with us to Blowing Rock for this get-away. The Chetola Resort is pet-friendly in the newly-renovated Chetola Lodge only. The condos available for reservations through the hotel reservation system and The Bob Timberlake Inn do not allow pets.  VRBO rentals on resort property for individual condos could possibly allow four-legged friends if you want to stay on the resort property in a larger space. 

Pet-friendly Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC

Andy our poodle loved the Chetola Resort.  

I could not think of one negative con to put on the list for not making the trip. However, we did agree that if either one of us did not feel comfortable about something while staying at the resort when it came to COVID safety, we would leave even if on a press trip. 

Luckily for us, there was not one concern during our three-night stay at the Chetola Resort, and we had the best family vacation that we've had in a very long time. It was relaxing, and just like its name in the Cherokee language was meant to be,  Chetola is a truly a "haven of rest." I think everyone needs to visit the North Carolina mountains and enjoy this resort in any season. 

The Chetola Lodge is my Preferred Lodging Choice

I like the location of the Chetola Lodge, which is the resort's pet-friendly option for guests. There are 42 modern, nicely decorated, and also in this building is resort ware and local sundries, including the best cider from Appalachian Mountain Brewery. The lodge is adjacent to the Bob Timberlake Restaurant and all the resort amenities such as the indoor pool, the spa, and recreational activities ran by the hotel. 

The Bob Timberlake Inn is operated more like a Bed and Breakfast manor above the resort's restaurant in the estate's old manor house. It's a romantic hideaway for couples only featuring a complimentary cheese and wine reception plus a butler's pantry for ice cream and drinks.  The inn rooms depict artist Bob Timberlake's craftsman furnishing style and feature period furnishings from the 1920s to the 1940s. 

The Chetola Premier Condominiums make up the majority of accommodations on the scenic 78-acres. One hundred one to four-bedroom-condos are individually owned, and many are available for both nightly and weekly rental through both the resort. 

Chetola Resort Condos

Condos are dotted throughout the estate, and some condos are a mile or so away from the restaurant and resort activities.  All condominium guests have access to resort amenities, but they do not have housekeeping services. Condos under the resort's management are not pet-friendly. 

Check-In and Housekeeping During COVID

The Chetola resort has implemented a touchless check-in service since reopening after COVID, and the housekeeping staff does not enter your room once you have checked-in. Each morning, I greeted housekeeping in the hall, got fresh towels, and replenished coffee supplies. Our room was spotless, and I did not have one concern about cleanliness. 

I loved our balcony overlooking the resort lake, and all of you know that this type of vacation is my cup of tea. We are not very active. Some may call my family boring, but we had enough adventure and relaxation mixed in with this stay, and we left feeling relaxed and rested as opposed to being on the go. 

The Spa at Chetola Has Medical Grade Ventilation Fans in Treatment Rooms

Spa services are back open at Chetola. This was my first time visiting the spa on the property, even though it was my third time staying at the resort. The Chetola spa is tucked away adjacent to the indoor pool. It's full-service but small in capacity even before COVID.  In 2020, spa capacity is so low now for that safety reasons that you feel as if you have been whisked away like a Hollywood Star, and you are the only person they are pampering. The resort is spacing out their appointments, so that will be the case. It is truly a magical experience, and probably at the top of my spa experience list. 

The spa at the Chetola Resort

The Chetola Resort spa menu is extensive, and they are offering their full-spa menu except for a couple massage.  Spa guests are asked to receive spa services in a mask. 

When this spa first opened, it was built as a medical-grade spa, and that is now a blessing for the resort because the ventilation is top-notch, which is another plus that makes guests feel more comfortable post-COVID.

This spa experience was so great that I think it would make the perfect girlfriend getaway for a spa weekend. Blowing Rock is known for its adorable shops, great food, and add a visit to this spa and resort, then you will have a perfect getaway. 

On-Site Chetola Resort Recreation

Archery lessons at the Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC

The Chetola Resort offers so many fun activities for the family such as campfire s'mores, paddleboat rides, archery lessons, disc golf, tennis, pickleball, lake fishing, and hiking. My family loved the archery lessons. While the girls toured all the accommodations on the property with marketing, Will and my son got in a game of disc golf.  That was also great exercise because the course took them throughout the resort's sprawling condominium area. 

The premier condo area at the Chetola Resort in Blue Ridge Mountains

Chetola Sporting Reserve

The sporting reserve within the Chetola Resort
The Chetola Resort Sporting Reserve is off-site of the main property and is about a 30-minute drive away from the resort. 

The Chetola Resort operates a state-of-the-art sporting reserve about thirty minutes away from the resort. To get there, you basically go up a mountain then back down a steep cliff. I did not visit the reserve, but Will and my son decided to reserve a spot for shooting. They loved the experience. Will thought there was a lot of value for the approximate $200 cost for the two of them. I think this activity was a highlight for some father and son bonding. Meanwhile, Andy, my daughter, and I tried the paddle boats and kayaking. 

Recreational activities at Chetola Resort

The Sporting Reserve features clay shooting, rifle and pistol range,  archery, Orvis endorsed fly fishing and special events. The sporting reserve also coordinates snow skiing, tubing, zip-lining, golf at Hound Ears Club and white water rafting. 

Timberlake's Restaurant at the Chetola Resort 

Chetola Resort Timberlake's Restaurant serving casual, comfort-style food.

I like to save the best for last when I write about hotel stays. Guests need to eat, and when a resort restaurant is good, that makes a hotel stay even better, especially in this post-COVID travel time.  For us, dining at Timberlake's was an easy choice, especially because Andy was with us on this trip.

Patio dining with a dog in Blowing Rock at Chetola Resort

 As sweet and cute that he may be, Andy is, unfortunately, a high maintenance traveler and barks when he is left alone in a room. We had no choice but to take him with us wherever we dined.  

Under the culinary leadership of Matt Rivers, Timberlake's restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has a very casual, comfort-food style, and Bob Timberlake, a foodie, gave his seal of approval before putting his name behind any menu item.  We ate two dinners and one lunch at the restaurant. One last dinner at the resort was a carry-out meal that we ate on our porch. 

I was extremely impressed with the food, and that's nothing new for me because when I visited the resort years ago, I felt the food was very memorable then.  I plan to share one of Matt River's recipes on this blog soon for the home chef. 

The special lunch order request for the delicious Korean BBQ short ribs

The Korean BBQ short ribs was a clear family favorite entree.  I had it with delicious collards and golden roasted potatoes. My youngest child, after tasting my entree,  loved the short ribs so much that we had to ask if they would make a lunch portion for her.  It's also important to note that our waitress had no idea that I was there working with the resort for an editorial review. She immediately asked the chef if that was possible. He had not even met me yet, but Chef Rivers was so thrilled that some child would want his Korean BBQ shortribs for lunch that he gave her a huge portion.

I personally think the gesture speaks volumes about the resort's customer service. Staff from housekeeping to the front desk make this resort so special. Resorts can have the most beautiful views and facilities, but if customer-service is off then a guest's stay is off. I feel 100 percent confident in recommending this resort to vacationers.  The  Chetola Resort is a family-owned resort, and by its customer service, it shows.  They treat their staff like family and the attitude is passed on to its guests. 

The sesame ginger dressing was divine. It was so good that I almost licked the bowl. 

I must point out that this area of the North Carolina mountains has great food in general. Some of the meals I had at other area restaurants are some of my best tasting meals in 2020.  Be sure to watch my live interview with Chef Matt Kelly on Timberlake's patio. He shares some hints about how he makes his Korean BBQ and the sesame dressing I adored. 

Resort Packages at the Chetola Resort 

Many resort packages are bundled together for travel savings. We experienced the resort's doggone friendly package. At the front desk, there was a welcome sign for all the guests with four paws. Typically, pet owners are assigned to the first floor of the lodge for easy access. 

When the doggone friendly package is active (it goes in and out on the calendar and is a popular summer package), the pet-fee is waived, and dogs get a complimentary bandana, leash, doggie treats, and pup bags in a cute fire hydrant dispenser. 

Dogs and humans have plenty of places to walk on the resort

Whether you escape for two-nights or a week, you will fall in love with the Chetola Resort. I did. 

The Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, NC, a Western NC mountain town on the Blue  Ridge Parkway, is pet-friendly

Read some of my older Blowing Rock area posts when my kids were a lot younger. 

Check out more recent  posts about this beautiful area in the NC Mountains from my friends at NC Tripping.com

13 Wonderful Hikes Near Blowing Rock, Boone, and Banner Elk

17 Beautiful Waterfalls near Boone, Blowing Rock, and Banner Elk

Glen Burney Trail in Blowing Rock

A Weekend in Blowing Rock: 25 Things To Do, Hotels, and More

We visited the Chetola Resort in July 2020. My editorial writing is funded through my Beautycounter affiliate website. Join my new VIP group on Facebook for Deals and Sales. It pays to shop clean. 

Fall in love with two of my favorite Beautycounter products: Vitamin C-Serum and The Overnight Resurfacing Peel


Packing A Boden Swimsuit, Beautycounter Sunscreen and Much More in My Pool Bag

Updated July 2020: Will and I were at our neighborhood pool this weekend, and ironically, I was wearing this same Boden swimsuit that I bought in the summer of 2011 and showcased in this post so many years ago. The suit has faded a little, but it still fits. I have also bought two other Boden swimsuits over the years, too, and still, swear by this brand. 

As we were sitting there in our lounge chairs with a pool bag filled with nothing, but Countersun Tinted Mineral Sunscreen Mist, I noticed several families in the pool who had children about the age of my kids when I first wrote this post. My kids were under the age of six at the time. 

I looked at Will as we sat there with no children with us, and said, "I don't miss the days of bringing young children to the pool with swim diapers and all of the stuff." He laughed and stated, "It was so much work. By the time we got to a pool, applied sunscreen, and put on their floaties, it was then time to go home because it was their nap time." 

We no longer keep up with the gear, swim diapers, or any pool accessories that parents need to take to the pool these days. We just have to keep up with where our kids are now when we're relaxing at the pool. Lucky for you, websites like Globo Surf, do all the research for you on the best swim diapers to use on your brief trip to the pool.  Enjoy this trip down my parenting lane from 2011. Parents, I promise you that you'll be where Will and I at the pool sooner than you think. I must also be frank with you. I don't miss those pool days at all. I was wrong on my prediction that I would miss them. But I love going to the pool now.  And this child, nine years later, even carries her own swim towel, but I'm still left toting the pool bag. 

Summer 2011

I remember the days when I loved going to the pool.  I would pack up a cute little tote with a book, magazines, and a bottle of water, and I would sit in a lounge chair with not a care in the world for about an hour.   Do you remember doing that in your younger days?  Heck, I was doing it when I was 36.  Fast forward six years and the pool season is no longer what I remember and could perhaps be my most dreaded time of the year.  As a mom, you know what I'm talking about here.  Taking young kids to a pool is incredibly hard work. It's the most laborious work I've ever done for only an hour of entertainment.

Gone are the days of sitting in a lounge chair with a good read.  Yes, I was one of those people.  Every season, I would have a cute bathing suit, hair, and makeup always completed, and my swimsuit rarely got wet.  These days, I'm lucky if I'm even able to sit down at all, my swimsuit could be on backward for all I know, and it's highly likely I'm hiding my no-makeup face behind a big pair of sunglasses.  My hair usually looks as if I have already gone for a swim.

Large pool bag filled with snacks, towels, and toys

As for that little pool tote, it has now been replaced with a big pool bag filled with sunscreen, snacks, sippy cups, extra diapers, pool toys, wipes, clothes for two kids, Zip-Loc bags for wet swimsuits, grocery bags for dirty diapers, and, of course, towels.

It also never fails that I always leave something important at home.  The bag is so full and heavy that I lean to one side as I peer through the crowd to find a seat for us and all of our pool loot. It's only 10:30 a.m., and it looks as if the early birds got the best places fo sit. The pool doesn't open until 10:00 a.m.  Those early birds need to teach me how to pack a pool bag quickly.

We find our lounge chair, apply our sunscreen, and are ready to hit the pool fountains at zero water entry, which is perfect for a toddler.  Let the kid fun begin! 

What's that sound? It's a whistle.  Oops!  You guessed it. It's kiddie break time for ten minutes where people who are like the "old me" can frolic in the water splash-free.

Mini Boden Swimsuit

I dig in my bag for snacks. It's never on top, so I sift through goggles and sunscreen to find the goldfish.  Even though we just got there, this is my chance to sit for ten minutes because the rest of the time, this middle-aged mama will be standing in water with her rear end for all to see instead of lounging in a chair where my backside would be nicely hidden.  At least this year, I'm attempting to stand there in a cute Boden swimsuit. If only I looked as attractive as the model in the catalog, though.

The scorching, southern heat kicks in as it is approaching lunch and my daughter's naptime.  Pool fun must end.  And yes, it's just as much work to pack up that bag and change everyone into dry clothes as it is to get us ready to go.  One day, I know I will be able to park my backside in a lounge chair again while my tweens tote their own pool bags to the pool. I'll see all the younger mamas with their behinds in the pool with their little ones, and I bet I'll say, "I do miss those days!"

pre-schooler with googles

See you at the pool! 

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Serving 22,000 steaks a Month and 14 million Guests through the Years, Raleigh's Angus Barn Celebrates 60 years in Business

As a child, I remember a black and white photo that was in my family photo albums that were of an era before I was born. Dad was wearing a jacket and a tie. Mom had on some green patterned skirt and white frilly collar blouse that screamed the holiday season. The shirt became popular again in the early nineties. To find that photo now would require hours of digging in a box. For some reason, that photo always fascinated me. They were celebrating the holidays at Raleigh's Angus Barn in the mid-sixties. I came along at the very end of 1968 and changed their lives. I look back now at a much older age than they were in that photo, and I laugh now because I realize their life was turned upside down upon my arrival. No doubt, they had a pretty good 14 years before my fabulous entrance. 

When I moved to Raleigh in 2000, one of the first things I wanted to do was to dine at the Angus Barn just like parents did so many years earlier. It was interesting to me to think that a restaurant was still thriving after so many years. I've written about the Southern tradition of the Angus Barn during the holidays on the blog before and how it is so wonderful for families during the holidays. 

The Angus Barn in Raleigh, NC circa 1060
Angus Barn exterior circa 1960. Photo credit courtesy of Angus Barn

The Angus Barn, located on Highway 70 near the very-small Raleigh-Durham International Airport, opened its door to the public on June 28, 1960. Truthfully, it was in the middle of nowhere. Nothing was out there except an airport that had about twenty flights a day. Ironically, this new cutting-edge restaurant was located just a few miles away from where my parents resided. 

In 1959, novice restauranteurs Thad Eure, Jr, and Charles Winston bought 50 acres of pastureland on a desolate section of Highway 70, halfway between Raleigh and Durham. Believed by many to be misguided due to its rural location, the young entrepreneurs were unable to receive any bank funding. 

However, Eure and Winston were determined and borrowed from every person who had a modicum of faith in them to raise the money. Based on dining preferences of the time, they decided that the restaurant would have a steak and potato-based menu; and the legendary Angus Barn concept was launched.

With a strong hospitality vision,  the southern gentleman with no previous restaurant experience ended up establishing a local and national landmark. There is a lot of history behind those now-famous red-barn doors. The restaurant has seen its customers through tragedy and triumph. The barn came back better than before after a devastating fire in 1964.  At the age of 60 this month, its one of Raleigh's oldest restaurants. 

Fire destroyed the Angus Barn in 1964
The Angus Barn Fire of 1964 in Raleigh, NC/Witek Marketing 

In 1978, Eure bought out Charles Winston, who went on to pursue other successful hospitality endeavors. After Thad Eure Jr died in 1988, at the young age of 56, his wife Alice and daughter Van continued to co-own and manage his beloved "Big Red." 

Owners of the Angus Barn
Thad and Alice Eure, original owners of the Angus Barn 

Now owned and operated by Van and her husband Steve Thanhauser, the Angus Barn is staffed by a loyal, hard-working team, many of whom have built lifelong careers at the Angus Barn. "I may own the barn," says Eure, "but the customer is the true boss. Customers can choose to close your doors simply by taking their business elsewhere. I am here to guide my Angus Barn family in recognition that each guest to walk through our doors is our boss."

During COVID19, the  Angus Barn had to adjust business to curbside take-out like many other restaruants
Current Angus Barn Owner Van Eure Serving Guests During Curbside/Witek Marketing 

Through its trials and triumphs, multitudes of loyal guests have made the Angus Barn one the nation's 50 highest-grossing independent restaurants, consistently ranked as one the 100 best restaurants in the United States. In 1989, Wine Spectator magazine bestowed its coveted Grand Award upon the Angus Barn Wine Cellar for the first time. It received the exact same honor this week, almost 30 years later to the day. 

The Angus Barn is 60 years old on June 28, 2020
The Angus Barn Celebrates 60 years on June 28, 2020/Witek Marketing 


Since that first night in June 1960, over 21,000 nights and 14,000,000 guests later, generations continue to make the Angus Barn a cherished part of their lives. Today this historic restaurant can seat close to 900 guests and employees over 400 team members. Although it is still famous as a "Beef Eaters Haven," serving over 22,000 steaks per month, the menu of the barn has expanded to include poultry, seafood, and pasta, as well as options for today's more nutrition-conscious guests.  

In 2008, the Pavillion, a  large open-air dining and event facility overlooking Angus Barn's scenic lake, constructed almost entirely of reclaimed materials dating back to the 18th century was built. 

And if you dine at the Angus Barn, you will notice that this is not one of those a-la-carte type steak houses that became popular a few decades ago. All dinners come with your choice of garden salad, spinach salad, Caesar salad, wedge salad, French Onion soup, or the soup of the day. Plus, diners get their choice of baked potato, stuffed potato (my favorite), garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potato, thin-cut fries, baked onion, white rice, or rice pilaf. Bread and homemade crackers are served at every table. 

The early years of the Angus Barn in Raleigh, North Carolina

If you ever visit, Raleigh, NC, experience a Southern tradition like the locals. We are so fortunate to have this outstanding restaurant in North Carolina. If only "walls could talk", I bet we would hear a lot of great stories. 

The Angus Barn is back open after weeks of closure because of COVID19 in 2020, just in time to celebrate its milestone birthday. Service looks a different right now because of the changing times.  Curbside Pick-Up/Take-Out is available with a limited menu. The restaurant's website details its current COVID safety initiatives. 

This post is made possible through the support of Beautycounter, a leader in Clean Beauty, banning 1800 questionable ingredients that are currently being used in the cosmetic and skincare industry. Any sales purchased through this link, directly benefits HinesSighBlog income. Let Leigh be your host for a virtual #BetterBeauty Education with your friends on social media. Email me at Leigh@hinessightblog.com to chat about it.  Hosts receive free rewards and products. 


The Best Quarantine Spinach and Ham Quiche Recipe

How much cooking have you done since you have been under a stay-at-home order for COVID-19?  I feel as if I have never cooked more in my lifetime.

I have really tried to have zero waste in my cooking these days. I had leftover Easter ham and decided to throw together a "use what I have in the fridge" quiche for another meal. I used this favorite quiche recipe of mine that I originally shared in 2012 on the blog and adapted it to work for what food I had in the refrigerator.

Spinach and Ham Quiche

It turned out well. So much in fact that I made the Spinach and Ham Quiche a second time.

Quarantine Spinach and Ham Quiche

1 store-bought pie crust
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, minced
Up to 10-ounces of fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
1/4 cup of diced ham
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shredded cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork. Bake the crust until it just starts to color, about 10 minutes. Remove the crust. Set aside. Lower over to 350 degrees.

While crust is in the oven, melt butter in a large pan, add onion and cook over medium heat until soft, about five minutes.  Chop the damp spinach and add it to the pan with the onions. Cover and cook occasionally, until the spinach is tender and shrinks. Drain off any liquid in the pan.  Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk the eggs and milk together in a large bowl. Stir in the spinach mixture, cheese, and add the diced ham. Pour the entire mixture into the browned prebaked pie crust and slide onto a baking pan.  Bake until the pie puffs, and the top is golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes. Let quiche settle for at least 10 minutes before serving.  It is even better when reheated.

Quiche on a plate.


Try Color Street for EASY DIY Manicure or Pedicure

Since you can't get to the salon for a manicure or pedicure during COVID-19. I have an excellent alternative for you that is easy to do and affordable.

Instead of dying easter eggs this year,  Liza and I did our nails using the nail polish strip Glamsterdam from Color Street.

Color Street DIY Nail Strips

I hesitated to try this DIY polish application at first, but I am glad I did. Sure, my nails are not perfect, but after I do them, I feel happier and more upbeat. My nails look 100 percent better than if I had tried to use nail polish on my own.

You need to try Color Street.  Trust me. Do their special. Buy 3 and get 1 free. You will love it.

My friend, Dana, introduced me to the products in January and I've become a big fan.

A pale blue called Chilladelphia

Color Street makes 100 percent nail polish strips that are easy to apply. In fact, they are so easy to use that my own daughter does hers and mine.  It's that simple. Your nails become a canvas for wherever your creativity takes you. 

You can go pastel, bold, glittery, neutral, or mix and match.  The first time I did Color Street, I started with the palest of pinks called Himalayan Salt. It is still a favorite of mine.

DIY Nails with Color Street

The color ideas are endless.

Neutral nail polish

You can design an overlay look, mix it up, or keep it solid. The choice and your creativity are up to you. There is even Clear as Day, which is just a clear nail, and it works great over solids to give it more protection.

Plaid about you is a great plaid overlay over any color

The nail strips come in petite (great for little hands), standard size, and pedicure strips. However, you can always use the standard strips for your toes, too.  You may need to turn the largest one sideways for the big toe, but it is easy to do and works just as well.

Color Street Nail Strips

The strips can also be used to cover gels from professional salons.

I came up with my own combo for UCA in Orlando. I used Holy-Teal-edo with the Coming Up Rose Gold overlay.  The teal is now a favorite of mine, and I think I will wear it to cheer competitions since it is our primary team color. It's lovely by itself, too.

You're probably wondering how easy is Color Street to apply. It is easy.  The pedicure is more challenging, but I did it.  If this non-DIY queen can do it, then I know you can do it even better.  Once they are on your nails, they are immediately dry.

How to apply color street nail strips

For a limited time, I have a virtual ColorStreet Blog party open with Dana. Buy 3 and get 1 free. Tell me about your favorite colors.  Shop at this Color Street link.

Easy DIY Nails at Home with Color Street

Disclosure: I do not sell Color Street or earn a commission from Color Street.  As a virtual hostess, I get free gifts and discounts. Talk to Dana about hosting your own virtual Color Street Nail party to receive the same perks.  All opinions about Color Street are my own and this post is editorial content only.

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