Friday, March 28, 2014

Upcoming April Events and Greenville in the News

cruisin carolina
Our great city of Greenville has made the news again! In the latest issue of Southern Living, on newstands now, catch the "Cruisin' Carolina" article about taking a road between Charleston and Greenville. We garnered a five-page spread that will be read or seen by almost three million readers nationwide. This trip was recently part of writer Valerie Rains six-part road trip series ending in Austin, TX.

Now on to some local events for April.
  • 2014 USA Boxing Junior Olympics Southeast Regionals at the TD Convention Center. Starts April 30th. For more info.
  • First ever Bunny Brunch at the Children's Museum of the Upstate on April 12 starting at 8:30 am. Admission $10/members, $19-$20/non-members.
  • Christian Band Casting Crowns to appear at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena on April 19th at 6 pm. Admission $77, $41 or $26.
  • Don't Dress for Dinner at the Greenville Little Theatre from April 4-19th. Times are 8 pm daily except Sundays at 3 pm. Admission $26.
  • Gear Grinder Mountain Bike Race at Falling Creek Camp in the Green River Valley. Race is on Saturday April 26th from 10am to 4pm. Come out and race or just enjoy watching this 6-hour endurance race.
  • International Festival in Downtown Fountain Inn on April 26th. Times are 9am to 3pm. Admission is free!

These events in April are just a few exciting things to do next month. If you know of any more to mention, leave them in the comments below.

This week we take a short trip to the orient. We are going to explore "The Orient" and "Sushi Murasaki" restaurants. The Sushi Murasaki is a full-blown sushi place with Sashimi, specialty rolls and Sushi rolls with all the fixins. Prices are reasonable. The Orient however serves up typical Asian-style food with good portions. They also have a double-long hibachi grill on site. Veggies are fresh. Ask them to take it easy on the sauce though. Let us know what you think about these two restaurants in the comments below.

the orient and sushi murasaki

Friday, March 21, 2014

Combat Dirt and Keep your Home Cleaner Longer

Here are some tips I learned about recently for adding too add that will give you more time some time between house cleanings. in your home.

  • Adjust the humidity level in your home.
    combat dirt and keep your home cleaner longer
    Ideal humidity levels are between 40 and 50 percent. Any lower and the increase in static creates dust, any higher and dust mites go into overdrive production. Here's a tip to keeping your vents clean: remove them once a year and clean them up. and before Before replacing them apply car wax and buff. The wax helps keep the vents dust free.
  • Keep glass shower doors clean. Head to your local auto store and pick up a rain repellant used for car windshields. Apply to the glass doors as directed. The water and soap will run off the doors when in use. Reapply once the water stops beading. But Remember, this is a product made for glass not plastic.
  • Stone counter tops. These types of counter tend to be very porous. If you have one installed, your builder or installer would have sealed it. But, Tthey need upkeep and should be resealed twice a year. To check, Check the counter tops by dropping a bit of water on the counter. , Iif the water doesn't stay as a bead for 2-3 minutes, it's time to reseal.
  • Spray protector for your furniture and carpet. Are you having a deep cleaning done on your furniture or carpet?, Aapply a spray protector like Scotchguard™ or Ultra-Guard afterward. These protectors will keep liquids and other soilers on top of the fabric for easy cleanup.
  • Daily spot cleaning works. Another way to combat dirt is to do daily spot cleaning. Set up a quick cleaning kit you can use to attack a dirty situation in minutes. Mr. Clean pads are great for small cleanups on walls, light switches and kitchen areas. Damp wipes such as Lysol® wipes are great for quick cleanups. Dry sweeper cloths pick up dust on wood and tile floors quick and easy.

Greenville In the News!

The April 2014 issue of Outside Magazine will name The Blue Ridge Mountains, specifically near Greenville, Travelers Rest and Asheville as runner-up for the 2014 Travel Awards: Best Bike Destination, second only to Scotland. See the full article here.

This week we explore Smoke on the Water, a saucy southern tavern, as they call themselves. Might be because they offer a large menu packed full of items off the smoker and from the grill with variety of sauces. They carry everything from starters or appetizers to lunch menus to full dinner entrees. Prime Rib is available after 4 pm. They even have live entertainment. Checking out their reviews on Yelp®, their BBQ, fried catfish and fried green tomatoes are a hit! Can't get any more southern than that. Hit up their site to download a copy of their menu. Yum, Yum!
smoke on the water greenville sc
Smoke on the Water

Friday, March 14, 2014

Trees that Add to Your Curb Appeal

Crape Myrtle in full bloom.
Spring is on its way! If you are looking to add some foliage to your yard here are some great suggestions that will add to your curb appeal.
  • Crape Myrtle. This tree is great for dry areas and deer populations. The Crape Myrtle loves sunny, hot climates and they often bloom during the summer when other trees are done. Use a light pruning touch when trimming, they don't like being topped.
  • Sugar Maple. Different soil types don't bother this tree and it weathers temperature changes well. Hardy sugar maples are good replacements for trees you lost to disease. You will have great fall foliage and you can tap it to make your own syrup. Just keep away from roads up north as the salt will hurt the tree.
  • Smoke Tree. Add a pop of color year round with this tree. For summer, this tree has pink bloom clusters, in fall foliage turns yellow, orange and red. The rest of the time the leaves are purple, gold or green. This tree does well in hot, dry weather and different soil types.
  • Saucer Magnolia. If you are looking for spring, look at the Saucer Magnolia. It puts out purple and white fragrant flowers around the March time frame. It is also a very tolerant tree, surviving harsher environments including pollution and even does well in clay soil.
  • Colorado Blue Spruce. For those who love evergreens, here is a tree that can thrive anywhere. Give this one growing room though. Birds love to nest in the branches. Gather cones for holiday displays.
  • Japanese Flower Cherry. Want to recreate a bit of the Washington D.C. mall with your own cherry blossoms? Plant this tree. It prefers well-drained soil but will survive in less. One problem, you will need to treat the tree for pests especially caterpillars, aphids and spider mites. Plant in full or partial sun and in groups for heightened curb appeal.
  • Northern Red Oak. A popular tree that helps feed the wildlife with acorns. This tree is a long-term investment possibly living to 300 years old. Great fall color, shade in summer and sturdy branches.
  • Eastern Red Cedar. Another evergreen choice. Plant in full sun and use as a wind break. Likes all soil types and grows anywhere. Birds love this one, eating the berries and nesting in the branches.
  • Fig Tree. Want a fruit tree without the mess of citrus or apple trees? Try a fig. Plant them near walls or building in full sun to protect against the elements. Prune as needed. This tree will give you two crops per year after three or four years of growth.
Hope these suggestions help you make some choices about what kind of trees to plant this year. You could even make it a family affair and dedicate the tree with a small plaque. Then watch as it matures through the seasons.

This week we are exploring Trio Brick Oven CafĂ© in historic downtown Greenville. If you are a fan of gourmet wood-fired pizzas and eclectic ambiance, this place is for you. They provide a variety of homemade dishes, wraps and sandwiches. Trio Brick Oven Cafe’s wine list is extensive offering over 25 varieties by the glass. Outside dining when weather permits.

trio brick oven cafe greenville sc
Trio Brick Oven Cafe in Historic Downtown Greenville SC. Photo by Victoria Cottle.

Friday, March 7, 2014

It's Not Easy Being Green

its not easy being green
Remember when Kermit the Frog used to sing that song. Well, in today's society it still applies. With all the marketing that happens on your TV, phone and other mobile devices it is easy to be swayed away from a greener lifestyle. So here is some help.

Here are three ways you can green clean your refrigerator.
  • Green clean the exterior of your stainless steel refrigerator. Add a few drops of a natural dishwashing liquid to some warm water. Use this solution to remove fingerprints and remember to follow the stainless steels natural grain.
  • Green clean the inside of your refrigerator. Combine equal parts of vinegar and tap water into a non-toxic solution. Boost its cleaning power by warming in the microwave.
  • After you clean, keep the smells down by adding in a box of baking soda. They are about $1 a box so you can buy them in large amounts and swap out every three months or so.
This week we take a look at Mary's at Falls Cottage. Popular as a venue for weddings, anniversaries and large events. This restaurant is located in the historic West End of Greenville. Their menu offers contemporary southern meals as well and eclectic ones using fresh and local ingredients. Falls cottage was originally built in 1893 and today is a protected landmark on Greenville's Historic Register. Mary's Restaurant has been in Falls Cottage since 2004.

marys at falls cottage