What I Am Loving: November & December 2018

I had so much going on in November I forgot to publish my ‘What I am Loving’ for the month. What can ya do? I have doubled up for the month of December with an extra long list.

Real Christmas Trees

That last time I had a real tree for Christmas I was living in Colorado and under the age of ten. My family used to get a real tree every year until that one fateful year when it fell over, crushed a lot of our families ornaments and made a huge mess. That was when my mom transitioned to a fake tree..

This year my husband and I decided to go with a real tree for a couple of different reasons.

  • Our pre-lit fake tree no longer worked, despite paying an astronomical amount for it less than four years ago.
  • We were not sure that we were putting ornaments on the tree since our son couldn’t understand the concept that they were not to play with and I personally think real trees still look pretty sans ornaments.
  • We needed a smaller tree since our downstairs has been overtaken with an insane amount of toys

We chose the Family Farm off Avent Ferry Road in Holly Springs to buy our tree. We found a beautiful full tree right around 5.5ft which is exactly what we were looking for. They are locally owned which is a plus and also have a cute sleigh set up for photos and a friendly cat named Boo who just loved my son. The good news is that I haven’t killed our tree yet, I have remembered to water it each morning and evening, so this might become a new tradition for us! You definitely cannot beat the smell of a real tree. I (meaning my mother, ha) also used the branches that were cut off to make multiple floral arrangements for our home.

Wholly Guacamole Minis

I love guacamole but making it is such a chore, especially when, if you’re like me, want to eat it on a daily basis. I was introduced to these Wholly Guacamole Mini cups by a friend who had them at her home when I went for a visit. I love to use them as a spread and/or dip for my whole wheat turkey wrap that I eat almost daily for lunch. They are also great as an addition to salads or as a side with my breakfast eggs. My son also loves to share my cup with me during lunch to dip his pretzels in. The good news is that they are the perfect size that you don’t have a ton of extra that goes bad from sitting in your fridge.

Morgan Street Food Hall

I finally had a chance to visit Morgan Street Food Hall the day after Thanksgiving and it did not disappoint. I went with my parents and son. We arrived right around 11am and was surprised by how empty it was. Granted, it did get packed closer to noon but by that time we had already got all the food we were going to eat. They have a huge variety of food which is perfect if you have a bigger group of people because each person can choose what they want to eat. They have quite a bit of seating, including a couple areas of comfy couches which we were able to snag since we were there before the crowd. I ordered lobster bisque from Cousins Maine Lobster, which was delicious but it could have used a few more lobster chunks in it. I then got a banana, strawberry and Nutella crepe (I was serious about my love for Nutella) from the little coffee shop which was cooked perfectly just like the ones I ate when I studied abroad in Paris. We got my son a smoothie and fries, both of which he loved, and my mom got a lotus salad. I am hoping to make it back sometime soon with my husband for a date night and try a little something from multiple places.

Hillridge Farms

On Thanksgiving 2017 we started a new tradition with my parents; after eating our Thanksgiving feast we would head to Hillridge Farms (Youngsville) for their opening night of the Festival of Lights. Opening night is always on Thanksgiving Day (5pm) which gives us something to do besides sitting around the house doing nothing.

This year we arrived around 4:40pm with extra blankets, hats and jackets in tow (we weren’t properly prepared in 2017). We like to arrive early so we could get one of the first tickets to see Santa before the crowd. The cost was $10 per person, kids under 2 are free. Admission includes a visit and photos with Santa, the Festival of Lights hayride, and a multitude of fun activities like bounce houses, slides, swings, a maze, and other fun things for kids.

They have a train in the back of the farm that is an additional $3/person. My dad and husband took my son on the train and he loved it! You get to see some lights on it but not as many as the hayride.

I cannot say enough good things about their hayride. They have so many lights that are set up as different scenes and with the final “scene” being a dedication to America. Who doesn’t love that?! The hayride is just under thirty minutes long and totally worth the admission price by itself.

We always plan to eat dinner at their restaurant which is inside in the heat and has surprisingly good food! They also have coffee, hot cocoa and the most delicious homemade donuts I have ever tasted. You can also purchase items to make s’mores at one of their fire pits and buy food to feed the goats, turkeys, and ducks, which is my sons favorite part!

If you have never had a chance to go to Hillridge Farms for their Festival of Lights I absolutely recommend it over any other Christmas light display in the area, especially Pullen Park. I might be the only person that doesn’t love the Pullen Park Holiday Express and I am not afraid to say it.

Town Hall Burger and Beer

My husband and I took our son up to Southpoint to try out the new Mexican restaurant but they were having sprinkler issues that night so we had to pick another place to eat. We chose Town Hall Burger (located across 751 by Bonefish) after my mom had previously recommended it after eating there with my father. Without question, it is my new favorite place to grab a burger and cannot wait for them to open in Holly Springs!

Their burgers are made to order with so many different toppings that it made it hard to choose what I wanted. I am usually a straightforward burger girl – ketchup, mayo, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle. I rarely go out on a limb and get anything creative on my burger but this time I did. I chose their California burger which was a certified Angus Beef patty, applewood smoked bacon, guacamole, lettuce, pico de gallo & chipotle mayo on a brioche bun. It was outstanding. My husband chose the Carolina Burger which was a certified Angus Beef patty topped w/ pork belly, pimento cheese & cole slaw, also on a brioche bun. He loved it! Our son got the chicken tenders which were homemade but had too much breading for him so he ate the chicken without it. We also had an order of sweet potato fries which came with cinnamon yogurt for dipping and tasted like I was eating dessert.

If you are into eating a bit healthier when you have a burger they do offer their burgers in a lettuce bun!

Town Hall Burger and Beer is opening a location in the second phase of Sunset Commons and there is no doubt that I will be there on opening day, and probably every week after that.

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