Anders Ruff Workshop

Pineville and Davidson, NC

Disney Hacks

Stroller Edition

Adventure Air

Rock Hill, SC

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bar Menu Deals at Cheesecake Factory South Park

My boring shuffle from work to home was pleasantly interrupted last week. My girlfriend Shannon and I scheduled some much needed face-to-face time to catch up and experience the new bar menu deals at the Cheesecake Factory in South Park. Twist my arm Cheesecake Factory! Yes I'll enjoy delicious apps for $5.95 (normally $12) any Monday thru Friday from 4:00-6:00pm while I sip on martinis and laugh bar-side with one of my favorite ladies instead of sitting in traffic on 77!

We all know that the Cheesecake Factory is second to none in all things cheesecake, but what I hadn't expected was the flavor and variety of their $5.95 bar menu. It's not your average bar fare.

First we started out with the Korean fried cauliflower, a sweet and spicy take on our favorite white veggie.

My absolute favorite was the Avocado egg roll, they are crispy and savory avocado happiness.

If you enjoy a little bit of heat I recommend the crispy tempura dynamite shrimp.

For a more costal flare we tasted their crispy crab bites - who doesn't love crab cakes? They taste like vacation feels.

The most unique item we chose was the sweet corn tamale cakes - they were sweet with a hint of savor from the salsa verde.

I love mojitos, and Cheesecake Factory served up one which was perfectly muddled and refreshing.

They offer an extensive bar menu for $5.95 (4-6pm M-F) including fried macaroni and cheese, "Happy Hour" burger, foot long hot dog, factory nachos, Tex Mex egg rolls and more.

We ended our visit with to-go slices of mouth watering cheesecake for the hubbies who were home with the kiddos.

Shake up and enjoy your M-F afternoon with a stop to the Cheesecake Factory in South Park to get a great deal on their new bar menu.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Asheville Getaway - Soaked in Bliss at Shoji Spa, Lodge & Wellness

This parenting gig can be pretty scarce on indulgences - but a few weeks ago my husband and I partook in a weekend filled with many of our favorite things during a kid-free getaway to Asheville, NC. 

I'd be lying if I said I didn't have second thoughts about going, it's a LOT of planning and it was tugging at my heart strings to be away from the kids, especially our baby. However, every ounce of me was so thankful that we carved out this special time to be together. We were like giddy teenagers, smooching, laughing and walking hand in hand (because we weren't carrying anyone or holding little hands) along the unique streets of Asheville. 

We were invited to experience one of the most luxurious ways to warm up and chill on the side of a mountain at Shoji Spa, Lodge & Wellness Center. They offer private, scenic hot tubs nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

I was impressed with the cleanliness of the spa and the tub - everything was meticulously maintained and the staff was attentive and helpful as they led us to the dressing rooms to take a rain down shower prior to tubbing. We walked out of the dressing rooms donned in over-sized robes, sandals and towels. The spa attendants offered a fruit-infused cup of water as they gave us a tour of the grounds. We began our afternoon of relaxation in their cedar sauna. 

Next we were off to the main attraction. Doesn't this picture just say it all? It was B-L-I-S-S.

The hour of Shoji's hydrotherapy was exactly what we needed to soothe our parenting-weary bodies. Each muscle relaxed as we melted our stress away, encircled by nature and the gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We breathed deep, with the breeze in our hair as the quiet rolled over us throughout our long, hot soak. We finally had the time to connect and enjoy one another's company without a basket of laundry to fold or grocery list to compile. It was just silence - and him and me and nature, and the time to lay my head on his shoulder and reflect on all the reasons I fell in love with him in the first place. It was the time and presence we needed to give to each other because we give our kids, our families and our jobs so much. 

We left Shoji feeling more connected, relaxed, rejuvenated, recharged and ready to step back into the real world of adult-ing. It was a wonderful escape and we're already planning our return trip. 

Shoji Spa also offers a cold plunge pool, but I was so elated in my toasty warmness that I skipped taking the plunge. In addition to their renewing hot tubs Shoji Spa provides massage therapy, couples massage, lodging as well as hike and soak packages. 

You can check them out online here, on Facebook or on Instagram. Plus (my favorite) you can book your partner for a you and them weekend - then go online and book your package at Shoji Spa.

My awesome video skills are on display if you want to see more of Shoji's grounds here