Guest Post by Denise

January 6, 2014
Hi guys!  I've been begging my sister and a few friends to do a guest post on my blog, and finally my sister Denise came through and wrote a pretty amazing post that I'm excited to share with all of you.  In the post below she writes about home decor, eating healthy, and her shopping experience in Charlotte.

Take it away, Denise!

Hello, my name is Denise-I’m Lisa’s sister who lives in North Carolina.  Lisa asked me to write a guest post to her blog, and although I had some reservations about it because I had never blogged before, I was honored that she asked me so here it goes! 
          One interest of mine has been home décor because it has been fun turning our recently bought house into a home.  Since my husband and I got married on a beach in the Outer Banks of NC and we now live in a small town near the coast, we like to incorporate the beach theme into our house as much as possible.  I wanted to add a sense of dimension into our family room so I looked into the idea of wall niches.  Basically a wall niche allows you to have a shelf built into your wall.  After some research on the Internet and my husband’s expertise of making sure we didn’t run into any studs or electrical wires while we were literally cutting holes into our wall, we are happy with our results.  My husband who is more of a perfectionist than I am wants to re-sand and re-paint the borders so they are nice and smooth with the rest of the wall.   Here is a picture of the niches above our couch in the family room.

In case you may be interested in this project, you could google “modern wall niche” to view various images for inspiration.  I like the idea of having lights built into the top of the niche to showcase the décor inside, so we may upgrade to that later.  The site we used as a guide and where we purchased our niches-although the video is no longer available-is:

Something else that sparks my interest is eating healthy.  I’m no expert by any means, and I definitely am inspired more than I actually follow through with it, but I recently came upon an idea that I intend to try. Over the holidays, I visited Viva-Raw, a storefront in 7th Street Public Market in Uptown Charlotte, NC.  They specialize in making unpasteurized juice that is healthy, fresh, and delicious!   I not only loved the juice-I tried the Sweet Tater-but I also loved the concept behind it.  I have a juicer that I haven’t used in years, and the ingredient selections of Viva-Raw juices as guides have inspired me to put it to use again… especially after eating a lot of sweets this holiday season!  If you’re ever visiting Charlotte, you should visit the store to try a juice for yourself, as you also explore the other unique vendors of chocolates, baked goods, crafts, and more within the marketplace.  Here are some examples of juices that Viva-Raw offers-taken from their Facebook page:  

GREEN CLEAN: Greens as Available (Bok Choy, Cabbage, Celery, Collard Green, Cucumber, Kale, Parsley, Purslane, Spinach, Swiss Chard) Apple, Lemon

PURE GREEN: Greens as Available (Bok Choy, Cabbage, Celery, Collard Green, Cucumber, Kale, Parsley, Purslane, Spinach, Swiss Chard) Lemon, Ginger

BEET BOOST: Beet, Apple, Carrot, Cucumber, Orange, Lemon, Parsley, Ginger

GOOD CARRMA: Carrot, Apple, Cucumber, Lemon

PRO FUEL: Almond Milk, Vegan Protein, Banana, Almond Butter, Maple Syrup, Flaxseed Oil, Cinnamon, Cacao

CITRUS TWIST: Orange, Apple, Carrot, Cucumber, Ginger

STRAIGHT GRAPE: Concord, Red, Muscadine

SWEET TATER: Sweet Potato, Butternut Squash, Apple, Carrot, Ginger, Fennel, Lemon

TOMATOEY: Tomato, Carrot, Celery, Red Bell Pepper, Onion, Lemon, Cilantro, Oregano, Jalapeño

While I’m talking about Charlotte, I will mention that if you haven’t been there, and if you love to shop, it would be worth the travel!  I was amazed by how much they have to offer!  I only visited Concord Mills and Northlake Mall, but there are TONS of other shopping malls and stores for whatever you are looking for-clothes, shoes, home décor, sporting goods, furniture (including IKEA), etc.  You could spend a whole week or more checking things out.  I plan on going back several times, perhaps even with Lisa when she visits me in NC for a girls’ trip!  I personally fell in love with ConcordMills-the largest shopping and entertainment destination in the Carolinas (nearly 1.4 million square feet!).  While my husband was happy (and busy) in the Bass Pro Shop, I shopped the rest of the mall. J   
As far as eating in Charlotte, one worthy restaurant to call your attention to is called The Cowfish.  There is only one other location of The Cowfish currently and it is in Raleigh.  I would highly recommend it if you have the chance to be near either of these NC locations!  The Cowfish is known for having the best gourmet burgers AND the best sushi in town.  It also has a “burgushi” menu which combines the idea of a burger and sushi.  For example, you can get burger ingredients inside of sushi, or you can get sushi ingredients inside of a burger.  I know the concept sounds weird, but it is a big hit!  The restaurant also offers many other things on the huge menu such as salads, sandwiches, gourmet milkshakes, and a variety of bar options like spiked milkshakes, sakes, beers, wine, and martinis.   There were options for eating healthy like substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream in the milkshakes, and there were also many vegetarian meal options.  I went with my husband and two other people, and we were all amazed by the food, the modern art/décor, the cowfish aquarium, and the atmosphere in general.  Here are some pictures of what I ordered:

S'mores milkshake

The Taste Explosion Roll from the “burgushi” part of the menu
We also ordered the calamari as an appetizer which was delicious as well, but we didn’t take a picture of it.  Everything was soooo good!   If you know you won’t be making a trip to The Cowfish anytime soon, you could always try to recreate some of the menu items in your own home!   Here is a link to their web site:

Well, I hope I did okay with my first guest blog post.  Thanks for listening and I hope some of these ideas can help you improve your lifestyle, as Lisa’s blog suggests!  


7 comments on "Guest Post by Denise"
  1. Hello! ;)
    I loved your blog in terms of interesting posts, appearance.
    I am very impressed. Yours!
    Have a nice day!

    ~ In the free time I invite you also to me! :)

    1. Thanks! My sister actually wrote this post, though. :)

    2. I was just telling Lisa how much I have enjoyed seeing her blog evolve over time. She isn't afraid to take the time, effort, research, and resources it takes to improve her blog and reach her readers! She is very inspiring! Thank you for reading my post and for the nice comment and I will definitely look into your blog! :)

  2. Hi Denise! The "burgushi" sounds totally weird but like it might actually be good, haha. I could totally imagine burger fillings inside of sushi, but sushi on a burger? Madness!

    1. My sis will be so happy you commented! I'm texting her now. :)

  3. :) I was very happy someone commented and actually took the time to read my post! Thank you, Rebecca! It's funny because when my friend was telling me about the concept of combining burgers and sushi (no matter what the order!) I was actually grossed out and wasn't really looking forward to going to the restaurant. I couldn't believe how popular the concept really was and how good everything that everyone ordered around me looked! Once I studied the menu, I realized there were many items that I want to go back and try! In fact I am actually going back to The Cowfish in Raleigh on Friday with a friend! I had asked her if she had ever been, and she said it was funny that she had just gone for the first time and would LOVE to go back! :) I guess when you think about the whole raw fish thing, it doesn't really matter if it's inside of rice or inside of a bun! ;)

    1. I suppose you're right! Wasabi-flavored mayonnaise is sort of a "thing" now anyway, so couple that with fish instead of a burger patty and it would probably be sushi-esque...