I’ve found that as I’ve gotten into my thirties, nights out with my girlfriends are still SO fun, and SO needed. The bonus is, we’re usually home at the latest 12:30am and get a full nights sleep (hell yeah). I recently had a fun night out with my friends and we took advantage of the mild temperatures and festivities being offered in our awesome City of Oaks, aka Raleigh.
Raleigh may not be a buzzing metropolis, but it has something going on ALL. THE. TIME. I’ve finally had to put myself on a event budget to control the amount of concerts, block parties, wine tastings, beer festivals, etc etc and actually rest (occasionally) on the weekends. However, recently, one of my favorite breweries (I’m a sucker for an IPA, y’all) was having their “birthday party” and celebrated with an afternoon of live music, food trucks, and flowing beer.
My friends and I took advantage of one of our rare ladies nights and caught up on girl talk and relaxed and listened to live bluegrass. For those of you not in the south, or unfamiliar with bluegrass, just imagine banjos, guitars, stand-up bass and, in this case, a group of middle-aged men going nuts. If you are looking to check out bluegrass music and want to know where to begin, here is my Top 5 (Current) Bluegrass bands:
- Infamous Stringdusters
- Punch Brothers
- Steep Canyon Rangers (they occasionally play with Steve Martin!)
- Chatham County Line
- Mandolin Orange
Obviously this list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a good place to start. Most of the members of the above bands are also of the (older) Millennial generation, so they definitely keep the energy top notch for live performances.
Craft beer definitely is heavy and leaves me feeling quite full, so outfit planning had to match accordingly. I chose a strappy blue & black top and matched it with a black maxi skirt. This outfit always garners a lot of compliments and 8 out of 10 times people think I’m wearing a dress. BUT the skirt hits high waisted, so it allows for a bit of bloat and fullness without getting super uncomfortable, or requiring a ton of “sucking in,” because who wants to worry about that while they are out trying to relax? Craft beer, and especially my hoppy IPAs, do not garner well for overall clean or healthy eating, but one must have cheat days and have fun! As I mentioned in a previous post, absolute restriction from foods you love will not bode well for success with maintaining a diet. So, choose one day per week, or one day per every ten days to indulge on your choice cheat. I definitely do not drink craft beer often (or at least as often as I used to), so it definitely now serves as my treat day.
After a few beers and incredibly delicious arepas from the food truck, we decided to head out for one more drink at a new cocktail bar in town. It was pretty early when we got there, so it was super easy to order drinks and check out the space. The bar had a swanky feel with gilded ceiling, balconies, and a cool neon sign above the bar. I opted for just a prossecco to balance out the heavy beer from earlier. My girlfriends tried the crafted cocktails though, and gave them high praise.
(look hard in the crowd in the mirror and wave to Kelly!)