Introducing ME…as your EMCEE?!!!





I can’t believe ANOTHER charity has decided that out of everyone in Charlotte, I would be the best person for the emcee position, so the pickings must be slimmmmmmm 😉 I mean, I’m honored and humbled that they trust me with a microphone in front of 800 people, but there must be someone else more qualified, right, RIGHT?!!!

But the truth of it is, when I was approached by my friend Allyson saying she was throwing my name in the ring (if I was up for it), of course I said, “I’ll do it!” Because no matter how terrifying it is to speak in front of that many people, it’s MUCH MORE IMPORTANT to raise money for a great cause, and No Kid Hungry is near and dear to my heart.

So without further ado, I’m your new Master of Ceremonies for this year’s Taste of the Nation Charlotte event!!! And although it’s not my first time interacting with this great cause (I donated gift certificates in years past from my old cakery), it will be my first year attending, so why not host the thing while I’m there?!!! 😉

If you’ve never heard of it, or have never been, it’s a night meant to raise money so no child in America goes hungry, while you eat, drink and are entertained! It’s the 22nd year that Charlotte has hosted this event, and there is a lineup of incredible restaurants participating! Some of my personal favorites will be there, from O-ku and Fahrenheit, to Queen City Q and Mimosa Grill! If you’d like to see a whole (and still growing) list, head HERE! And please let me know if you have/know of a restaurant that would still like to get in on the action…it’s not too late…I know a guy 😉 I’m also thrilled to know that the local charities benefiting from this event are Second Harvest Food Bank and Community Culinary School!

It will be at The Fillmore at NC Music Factory, which ironically is the last place I MC’d a charity event, so at least the space is familiar to me! Although last time, I took a shot (or 2) to ease the nerves. Might have to break #sober17 for this one folks! 🙂 Not only will there be incredible food, but also delicious drinks from the top mixologists and sommeliers in the area. And who doesn’t love an auction?!!! It really is an awesome night for an important cause, and I’d love to see as many familiar faces as possible! I’d actually really like it if yall were perfectly stationed throughout the crowd, laughing hysterically at my jokes too 😉 #noshame

The date is September 27th 2017, and has two price points:

  • VIP Admission is $120 and from 6-9:30pm (these tickets let you in an hour early)
  • General Admission is $85 and from 7-9:30pm

But yall know how much I like to give away things, right?! I have four tickets up for grabs (two pairs of two tickets) and I want YOU to win (I mean, if you want them)?!! What do you have to do to win? Simple enough…you must follow me, Miranda in Charlotte, on FB and IG , then comment “No Kid Hungry” on my blog post down below, my FB post, OR my IG post. If you already follow me, only the No Kid Hungry comment is needed in one of the three places! I will draw for the winner on the 20th to give you time to find a sitter, ask off of work the next day, whatever! 🙂

Oh, and if you don’t win the tickets, no worries, because I’ll have a discount code for my followers that I’ll give you after I announce the ticket winners! BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE (said in my best announcer’s voice), I’ll be on WCCB with Wilson’s World soon to promote the event! As soon as I know more, you’ll know morem I promise!

Thanks everyone for supporting this great cause, and if you can’t make the event this year, keep your ears out for next year! Liking the Taste of the Nation Charlotte facebook page will keep you up to date! I am actually really excited about emceeing this year’s event, and can’t wait to see what we raise…because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about for me!

ALL ABOARD!!! Free tickets to Tweetsie!

ALL ABOARD!!! Free tickets to Tweetsie!




Headed in!

I have lived in North Carolina almost my entire life, Charlotte, to be exact. My husband and I both went to Appalachian State University. I was a nanny for a family while I went to college, and little Jack Thomas (yes, the boy I nannied has the same name as my dad) loved trains. Yet I had NEVER been to Tweetsie Railroad, that is until two weeks ago?!

Immaculately maintained grounds, and super clean! Reminded me of the detail you see at Disney!

My mother-in-law, Alex, is a groundskeeper/gardener at Tweetsie (she keeps it looking beautiful for all of us), and wanted to treat us for her 60th birthday! I honestly didn’t know what to expect, and if I’m being 100% real with yall, I thought it was a train ride, and maybe some walking through the mountains?

My internal dialogue was, ‘even if this isn’t exactly up our alley, it’s free, so woohoo!’

Welllllllllllll, I will admit I was soooooo surprised when we walked through the entrance! Yall, it was TOO CUTE for words! It’s Cowboys and Indians brought to life, with themed characters walking around the park, a “jail,” horses to mount and practice your best “HI HO SILVER,” western stores to buy fun toys in, and much more!

Of course, the train is the focal point, still running on coal, sounding the iconic whistle and bell, and leaving the “station” every 30-45 minutes!

Tweetsie! (Click to see a 13 second video!)

Characters hop on and off, performing acts on the mountainside along the way, and making you laugh while in your seat.

There’s a chair lift, which was my favorite part, and it was so relaxing to ride it up and down the mountain!

The petting zoo had llamas, goats, and more, with some of the animals roaming freely, and many who loved their extreme close-ups! I’m not a huge fan of animals, but I played along, and even kind of fell for a mini horse (remember when Rob & Big had one on their show?!)

We panned for gold, and found lots of fool’s gold, which is (free to do) and good enough for my minis!

And then the rides?!!! I had NO IDEA there were rides here?! Think of the classics you sometimes see at fairs…but these are always here, feel very secure, and the engineers on staff look after them to make sure they are running as they should. (We were at Tweetsie right after that horrible accident happened in Ohio and a part of me was inspecting every damn bolt on the rides). But I felt comfortable with the conditions, so we rode as many as we could, and I took a ton of videos and posted them on my Instastory (which is why you should be following me for sure on IG), but didn’t save them…bad words! Anyways, trust me when I say there’s SO MUCH TO DO.

We really did have such an amazing day at Tweetsie, and couldn’t have asked for more beautiful weather! July in the mountains>July in Charlotte any day of the week, but it just so happened to be partly cloudy and 75 degrees! ALL THE PRAISE HANDS! Because I don’t like to sit in other peoples’ sweat. #vomcity

But let’s not end of that note, shall we?! Let’s round this out with a GIVEAWAY!!! I have 4 tickets to give to a lucky winner! They are one-day park admission tickets (a $180 value), and are good until 10/29/17! They aren’t valid for the Day Out with Thomas event or the Ghost Train Halloween Festival, but any other time works for sure!

I’ll be drawing for the winner Monday, August 21st, 2018 and will announce it on the Miranda in Charlotte Facebook page first, and then notify the winner!

TO ENTER:
You can do as many or as few, but you must do at least one so I know you want to be entered! Each thing you do is an extra entry though! Make sure you comment somewhere which steps you did (yes I verify)!

  • Comment “ALL ABOARD” in the comments section of this blog post!
  • Share this blog post with your friends on your facebook feed, saying, “I’ve entered to win a four tickets to Tweetsie!”
  • Like my facebook page, Miranda in Charlotte
  • Head over to Instagram and “like” me @MirandainClt
  • While you’re in IG, find the pic that says “Win tickets to Tweetsie!” on it, and read the caption to see how to get even more entries!
  • Follow me on Pinterest!
  • Subscribe to my email blasts by finding this part on my blog and following the instructions!

THAT’S IT! Good luck to everyone, and enter enter enter!!! xoxo, M

$25 theater tickets to popular shows?!

My kids saw the billboard a couple weeks ago as we were driving down 77, and the questions started, “OH MOMMY! The Little Mermaid is coming to Charlotte!!! Can we goooooooooooooooooooo, PLEASSSSSSSSE?!!!”

“I’ll look into the the ticket prices and see if we can swing it girls!” I replied, full of hope and in a pleasant mommy voice!

Then I looked at the prices, and decided, ‘maybe watching the DVD, AGAIN, will be a close runner-up?!’ 😉

Honestly, I get why ticket prices are high for these shows. The talent is INSANE, the production is top-notch, the theater is nice, the people working are beyond pleasant, and so on and so forth. But it doesn’t mean that I can afford it often. I actually said to Joshua recently, “I could easily see a show (be it comedy, concert, play, musical, etc.) every night of my life and be happy, but we’d also be bankrupt.” 🙂

So what does a girl do when live performances are her life, but her bank account says ‘nah girl. you need to stay home?!’

You start a gofundme! KIDDING. You dig around for some ideas! And this one didn’t take long, because look what I found on the Blumenthal’s very own website

Did yall know about this?! I had heard about it from a friend or two when another show came to town a year or so ago, but already had tickets to it, so didn’t look into any further. Oh, and make sure to look at the details for each show, as they seem to vary, and it seems like this offer is ONLY available on EVENING shows! I can’t stress this part enough friends…EVERY night/show is different, because tickets get sold around the clock, so go to the website first! But for the most part, IF there are still seats available last minute, you can get tickets for $25…first come/first serve!

Here’s how it worked for us last night:

Box office opens two hours before show, so for the 7pm show, it opened at 5. Naomi (my cousin) went at 4:50, and was the 6th person in line.

When she got to the ticket window, she was asked how many tickets needed…”Three!”

The computer generates the best available seats and you get those! Ours were orchestra right…typically more than $100 each!

Then Naomi came and picked us up, we headed to dinner, and then off to the show!

So how was it?!

AMAZING! Better than I even expected! I don’t want to spoil anything as far as theatrics are concerned, but it was top notch! For me, Ursula and Sebastian stole the show, and all of the voices were incredible…wow can Ariel SANG, HONEY!!!

My lovely Lilly!

My cousin, Naomi!

The ticket prices (at any price) are worth going to see The Little Mermaid, but I must say my wallet was thrilled we were able to go for $25 each! We had the BEST time!

Definitely check into it next time you want to head to a show! Naomi did say that by 5pm, the line had grown to about 25 people, but they all seemed to get tickets because there were still a few random empty seats in the theater by showtime! Best bet is to arrive early! I also think you’ll have a better shot on a week night than a weekend, and not an opening or closing night, be we get our tickets on an opening night, so it’s always worth a shot!

Now in saying ALL OF THIS, I realize that certain shows will be completely sold out (yes, I’m talking about you Hamilton), and this won’t even be an option (will I still try JIC?! heck YES)! I also realize that certain shows only allow you to buy two tickets at a time like this (Wicked). This is why I can’t reiterate enough to check the Blutmenthal’s website each and every time!

Oh, and lastly, an FB follower of mine told me that you might be able to get single seat tickets for a good price the day of shows online…look into it if you go to the theater alone (I totes would)!

Hope that helps!!!




Make Mother’s Day extra special with these events!

I’ve been asked to do a Mother’s Day round-up blog post, and you ask; you shall receive!!!

Mother’s Day on the hill…Ritchie Hill is teaming up with Roots Catering for their 1st Annual Mother’s Day brunch, taking place May 14th from 11:30am-1:30pm. There will be a farm to table menu, bottomless mimosas, and acoustical music. Tickets must be purchased by May 1st! Tickets HERE, and they’re $35/person for 21+, $25 ages 3-20, and children under 2 are free.

Slice Pie Company…I love pie. That’s just a fact. If mom loves pie too, Kristen can ship either the apple or pecan pie to her…make sure to order by May 7th if you need it shipped! If you’re local to Raleigh, you can still order next week. Use the code MDAY17 when you email her at orders@slicepiecompany.com for 10% off your order.

Mud. Facial Bar…It starts Sunday with aerial yoga at 11am, and then buy one facial and get 50% off of your second one! Plus, complimentary champagne all day! Book ONLINE as it will sell out fast!

Mother’s Day brunch at the Brawley Estate…There will be a southern brunch and dessert buffet by La-Tea-Das catering Sunday from 11-1 and 2-4! You will get a complimentary family photo and gift for mom included in ticket price. Adults are $35/ticket and children under 8 are $18. Buy HERE.

Massage Works Charlotte is offering $20 off for massage gift certificates! Head to the website to get the deal and book the appointment! Ask for Christine Martin!

The Ballantyne Resort…There will be a traditional style brunch from 11am-3pm in the ballantyne ballroom. Plenty of food and live entertainment, with a complimentary glass of champagne or mimosa for mom. Cost is $85/person, $35 for kids 5-12, and 4 and under are free. There will also be Mother’s Day brunch at the Gallery Restaurant inside the hotel. Reservations are required for both! Leading up to Mother’s Day, the resort will be doing a Mother’s Day tea Wednesday to Saturday 1-4pm, and reservations are required for this as well. When you call to book, make sure to specify which event you are attending! (704) 248-4100

Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is offering Mother’s Day events all weekend long and here is the link to check them out! From free admission for moms, to a complimentary potted plant, and even food and beverages on site!

One Day University…If learning is your mom’s favorite thing, One Day University and The Charlotte Observer are offering a 4 part lecture series at Queens University, on Saturday, May 13th from 9:30am-4:15pm with a lunch break in the middle. $195/person, but use code CH125 for $70 off!!!

Shine on me Jewels is offering Mommy and me button earring sets in tons of different patterns, colors and designs! They’re absolutely precious, so head to her Etsy shop and check them out! $8 for two pairs of earrings!

Blue Sky photography…buy mom a photo experience that will leave her feeling gorgeous and empowered! Check out her website to see examples of what the photographer offers, and you will see why mom deserves this. Starting Monday, May 1st, you can get a $500 gift certificate for $99!!!!! But hurry, these are limited and go fast!

Bechtler Museum of Modern Art…Moms get in free all Mother’s Day weekend! But as a bonus, Saturday is family day at the museum, so kids under 18 get in free as well! Open 10am-5pm Saturday and noon-5pm Sunday.

Chrissy’s Custom Creations…Chrissy has so much stuff to offer on her facebook page, that you’ll need to take a few minutes to scroll through it! I’m personally loving her birthstone necklaces, which are perfect for Mother’s Day, but really any of her gifts would be special for mom! Get your orders in ASAP!

Blue Restaurant and Bar is hosting a Mother’s Day all you can eat brunch Sunday from 10:30am-2:30pm, complete with live jazz, drink specials, and free parking! Adults are $39.95/person, $14.95 ages 6-12, and 5 and under are free!

Pure Stella Skincare…If mom is into hand-crafted skin care products, that are made without harsh chemicals/artificial fragrances, check out this local woman’s online shop! Use discount code MOMS17 for 15% off!

Carolyn Ann Ryan Photography…what do moms love best?! Their families!!! So why not get them a gift certificate for a family portrait session? Contact Carolyn, and she’ll even throw in a $150 print credit if you purchase one for mom or grandma (or any special mom in your life)!!!

Annie Sloan chalk paint sale! From May 8th through May 13th, quarts will be $34.95, Sample pots $11.95, Large Wax $24.95, and small sample wax is $15. You can find them two places…Chelsea and Savannah, and Shoppes at Rivers Edge. Check out their hours!

Bonita Pina…You can shop for mom, while helping support other women around the world (many mothers themselves) earn a fair trade with their hand-made products. Take 20% off with this code, TAKEOFF20, and buy mom a handbag, jewelry, accessories, and so much more!

Does mom like to run?! If so, she can start out her day with The Hunstad-Kortesis Mother’s Day 5K presented by Sportport. But the event is for the whole family, and even has a kids dash! Oh, and there will be complimentary mimosas and wine for mom!

The Peculiar Rabbit...They will be offering a Mother’s Day brunch all weekend long, 10am-4pm, including a free mimosa to mom both days!  Pamper Us Mobile Services will be on site Saturday starting at 11am, in addition to other vendors! And on Sunday, moms will get a free cupcake!

If you’d like special printables for Mom, check out the entire package from Anders Ruff Custom Designs…I love this preppy lilly design!

Check out your MLM peeps (Rodan+Fields, Lipsence, Jamberry, Avon, Herbalife, DoTerra, Young Living, Mary Kay, Arbonne, LulaRoe, Beachbody, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, Isagenix, Advocare, Younique, etc.)…many of them are offering a Mother’s Day deal or package of some sort. If you don’t have one of them in your life, I can connect you with one (I have no less than 200 in my feed daily…not an exaggeration)!

 

 

 

‘Find me at…’ Friday!

What are YOU doing this weekend?!

The big day is finally here for our little Lilly…NC State gymnastics championship!!! We are just grateful and excited for the experience for her, and want her to do her best, so she can feel good about her performance no matter the outcomes/medal count. That will take up a good chunk of our Saturday morning, but we’ll get in to something after that for sure! Then Sunday we have the KinderMourn Hope Floats duck race, which we’ve always wanted to attend, but haven’t been able to before! It usually falls the same weekend as Joshua’s marathon in Nashville, but since we have to be here for the meet, we’ll be able to watch the ducks race! And Joshua can continue to train for a different marathon.

Sooooooo, what else is going on this weekend, April 28th-30th?!!! Read to find out…

Schiele Museum of Natural History…This museum is so well done…we went recently for the Fossil Fair, and was surprised at the size of this place, and LOVED the planetarium! There is FREE admission this Friday from 1-5pm, so it’s the perfect time to try it out, and then get a season pass if you love it!!!

Matthews Food Truck Friday…Time to enjoy the gorgeous weather, jump in bounce houses, east some yummy food, and listen to good music in Matthews! This Friday’s performer is Michael Cosner, and the hours for the event are 5-9pm!

Brazwell’s Backyard Bash…it’s a joint charity fundraiser and fun night out, enjoying burgers and beer, and lots more Friday from 6pm-2am! The host is Rachel Brown of Queen City Chic, who is raising funds for Carolina Breast Friends.

Stonecrest Summer Concert Series…on Friday and Saturday nights, in April through September, from 7-10pm, there is live music and FUN at Stonecrest shopping center! This weekend’s performers are Flutepraise!

Dia 2017 at Imaginon…This is a FREE event aimed at younger kids, and will have Buddy from PBS Kids and Chubby from the Charlotte Checkers! The event takes place Saturday from 10am-2pm, and celebrates diversity in literacy with author, Angela Dominguez.

Spring Fest at Sycamore Brewing…on Saturday from noon-10pm, there will be live music, beer, food trucks, and so much more at Sycamore Brewing! There will also be some special beer releases!

Southpark Family Expo…Put on by Macaroni Kid, this event Sunday from noon-4pm is simply put, FAMILY FUN!!! There will be so much to do, plenty of vendors, and you’ll leave with tired kiddos 🙂 It takes place at Symphony Park, and you can head to the facebook page for up to minute details!

The Cotton Room at Belfast Mill…This super cool pub is showing the movie, Bull Durham, on the projector screen to celebrate baseball being back in Charlotte, with the Knights home opener happening earlier this month! Free popcorn and drink specials, plus an awesome atmosphere make for a fun Sunday night!

KinderMourn Hope Floats Duck Race…This awesome charity event is going to be a highlight of our weekend! We will watch 30,000 ducks be released into the Whitewater Center’s rapids, and see whose duck wins! But most importantly, we’ll be there to support our friends, who are grieving for one reason or another, and who love KinderMourn, for what they’ve done to help them during the unbearable times. The event takes place Sunday 2-5pm!

What are yall doing this weekend? Anything I need to know about? Leave me a comment!

Tag me #mirandainclt if you attend something I’ve suggested!

 

‘Find me at…’ Friday!

There’s an arm wrestling championship going on this weekend?! Say no more!

We only have two commitments this weekend, so we’re going to have time to do some fun stuff around town too! The weather looks gorgeous, so I can guarantee a family bike ride (or two) is in our future!

always my favorite view of the skyline, because it’s from my balcony!

Here’s what’s going on for the weekend of
April 7th-April 9th

  • Whitewater Center…Film Series. Did you know that the Whitewater Center shows movies on Friday nights in April and May at sundown?! Today’s movie is Telluride Mountainfilm on Tour, it’s free to watch ($5/car to park), and will be at the River Jam Stage! You can always come early, and ride the mountain biking trails for FREE too!

http://usnwc.org/relax/whitewater-film-series/mountainfilm-on-tour/

  • Lenny Boy Brewing…5 year anniversary party! Saturday from 11am-11pm, and it’s FREE and family friendly! There will be live music from 1-6pm, and a Bao Time food truck will be on site from noon-10pm! But I’m most excited about the professional arm wrestling competition taking place at 7pm! Yes, there’s a league and everything for this?!!! WHO KNEW.

https://www.facebook.com/events/249949198747554/

  • Victorian Lawn Party…Reid House Matthews. On Saturday, from noon-4pm, there will be a FREE lawn party at the Dr. and Mrs. Reid’s house. There will be a tour of the house, children’s games, crafts, learn to milk a cow, gather around the maypole, a cake walk, and much more!

http://www.matthewsheritagemuseum.org/2017_Lawn_Party_Flyer.pdf

  • The Sandlot…The Cotton Room at Belfast! Last week was Major League, and this week is a crowd favorite, The Sandlot! The event is free, as is the popcorn, and it starts at 7pm! Drink specials are: $3 Domestics, $5 Tito’s and Deep Eddy’s vodka, along with $5 Crown Royals. The month-long drink special is the appropriately named drink, “The Sandlot”, which is a Cheerwine-topped bourbon treat!

https://www.facebook.com/events/1929399507290691/

  • Slow Art Day…Farmer’s Market on Yorkmont Rd! Crafters and artisans have created beautifully detailed wooden bowls, birdhouses, urns, jewelry boxes, toys and planters. There will be beeswax candles and lip balms, goats milk soaps and lotions, and even jewelry made with stones mined from the NC mountains. Come and shop from 8am-5pm!

https://www.facebook.com/events/599899266887888/

There will also be Easter-themed activities/egg hunts going on ALL AROUND TOWN, and there are so many, that I’m simply going to name a few places and times, and you can decide the best fit for your crew’s needs! Make sure you click on the link to see specific details about each one, as they are all different!

SATURDAY, APRIL 8th

SUNDAY, APRIL 9th

 

Anything else I should know about and put on the Miranda in Charlotte facebook page?!