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Things to Do in Raleigh

Raleigh Weekend Family Fun

There's plenty going on this weekend in Raleigh for those of you that are not on Spring Break or returning home from your break! It's First Friday tonight so there's always lots going on this night every month. Lots of art galleries to explore and new restaurants to try! I like to look at the Downtown Raleigh events calendar often to see what all is happening downtown. There's a Make It -Take It event at the NC Museum of History. There's a Family Science Fair at Marbles Kids Museum. There's always the Farmer's Market to peruse as well as many parks around the area to play at and explore! Get outside on what looks to be a beautiful weekend. Grab your spouse, family, friends or pet and get moving!

Being Active Together (even in Winter)

When I'm working with clients in counseling for stress, anxiety or depression, we discuss how good nutrition, sleep and exercise are healthy coping skills towards managing their symptoms. I've blogged about that here, here, here and here. Staying active is important! And if you can incorporate activity in relationships, then that's even better! Doing something good for yourself with a member of your support system is a double dose of healthy coping skills! There are great ways to be active even in Winter in Raleigh! Raleigh Winterfest is going on Downtown right now and ice skating is a fun and active way to spend some time with a friend or loved one; I talked about that more in detail last week here! When it's not too cold outside, there are great places in Raleigh to walk or hike or run together. Even if it is cold, bundle up - the hat, gloves, scarf and all - and head outside. The Capital Area Greenway Trail System has trails all over the city. Umstead State Park is another great place to walk, run or hike. Lake Johnson is one of my favorites; it has some good hills to get that heart rate up! Plan some time this week to get outside and get active with a member of your support system; I bet it'll have a positive impact on your mood or stress level, or both!

Raleigh Weekend Activities: Date night, Family night, Girl's or Guy's night out!

There are so many fun things going on in Downtown Raleigh this weekend! Often times when I'm meeting with clients for counseling and we are discussing ways to enhance their relationships (whether it be their marriage, family or friendships), I hear people say, "there's just nothing to do in Raleigh." That is completely untrue! So clients end up sitting at home with their spouse, family or friends watching TV or movies. Now there's nothing wrong with some occasional TV nights or movie nights but it's good to mix things up a bit and try new experiences together. There are lots of options to take your friends, your spouse or your family to experience some winter fun together this weekend! Try a new experience together and see how it impacts your relationship, your conversations and your feelings towards one another. It's First Friday, so as always, there's lots to see this Friday night downtown in so many of the art galleries and local businesses. First Friday makes a great (and as cheap as you want it to be) date night! Also, Winterfest is going on, so there is outdoor ice skating too all weekend! Check their schedule to see all the fun options; Friday night they have a DJ and music! On Saturday at Logan Trading Company in Seaboard Station, you can shop for a Christmas tree, sing Christmas karaoke and get your kids' picture with Santa for free! Also on Saturday at the Museum of History there is a "Make it, Take it" event where you and your kids can make your own traditional NC Christmas ornament; my husband and I have done this with our niece and nephew before and it was so fun (and free!). For a little bit of cash you can see some gorgeous historic homes all decorated for Christmas on Saturday or Sunday for the 41st Annual Historic Oakwood Candlelight Tour of Homes! This is a great way to see an amazing historic neighborhood, tour some homes and spend some quality time together. Take advantage of what downtown Raleigh has to offer this weekend and share an amazing experience with your loved one(s). This is a great way to build into your relationships and make fun memories together. 

Winter Holiday Family Fun

The Raleigh Christmas Parade is happening this Saturday morning! This is such a fun event to celebrate the holiday season. Bundle up and head downtown early to get a great spot to sit and watch the Raleigh Christmas Parade. Maybe you can make this a family tradition and each year watch the parade? Family traditions are a great way to foster good memories and enjoy each other. The holiday season is a great time to institute some fun family traditions. Let your kids come up with some ideas that would be exciting to have as yearly traditions and let them plan! When I'm working with families in counseling, we talk about traditions and family rituals that bond them together. What makes your family unique? What fun things do you do or can you start to do that will create lasting memories for you all? 

First Friday time Raleigh!

I blog a lot about First Friday because it's such a great way to enjoy time with friends, family or your significant other and enjoy downtown Raleigh at the same time! And it doesn't have to be an expensive night out either! Fall is here and the Holidays are right upon us; usually around this time there is so much going on that date night takes a back seat as do family outings. But we need to keep a strong priority on date night and family outings even during the busy Holiday season; this is something my clients hear me stress all too often in counseling. :) First Friday is a great way to do that! Bundle up and enjoy walking around various Galleries and seeing what is going on in downtown! There's also BBQ downtown this Friday night so you could make that dinner; sandwiches are only $5.00! Yumm!

Fall Family Fun

Fall is here according to the calendar and some days the weather says it's here too! There are lots of fun fall activities you and your family can do together. When I'm working with clients in counseling, we discuss activities and outings as a way to build relationship and create memories. Whether your family has small kids, teens or whether your family consists of you and your spouse or you and your friends, doing a fun activity together is a great way to deepen relationship and make memories! Decorating your front porch with items from the Raleigh Farmer's Market is one fun activity. Carving a pumpkin and roasting the seeds are a few others! It could be a great family tradition to head to the Farmer's Market and pick the perfect pumpkin (or two)! One year we learned how to make homemade pumpkin pie using a real pumpkin; now that was a memory maker! Something fun we've done with our niece and nephew is visit a pumpkin patch where we got to "pick" our own pumpkin and do various other festive, fall activities! There are several pumpkin patches around the area like Hill Ridge Farms, DJ's Berry Patch and Porter Farms. Do something festive and fun this fall with your family! See if it doesn't create great space for the relationships as well as some great memories to look back on!

Raleigh Family Fun this Weekend

There are several fun events this weekend that sound fun and family-friendly. When I'm working with teen clients and their families, we focus on building family relationships, increasing healthy communication and family togetherness. We talk about creating time for conversation and creating time for fun. Here are a few ideas going on this weekend if you're looking for something to do with your family in downtown Raleigh. Staying healthy is important and how fun would it be to do that together; Marbles Museum is having "Family Fit - Zumba" this Saturday for an hour. You could take your family to that event and then stay and play at the museum! There is also a Caribbean Carnival downtown at City Plaza; this sounds like a great cultural event with lots of fun entertainment and food! Marbles is also having a day at the Mudcats. This is a great way to support the museum, meet other families, and enjoy some baseball as a family! I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone; do something new and different with your family this weekend. New experiences can be a lot of fun and connect you together as a family in unique ways!

2012 Best of the Triangle

Thanks for much to all who voted for the 2012 Best of the Triangle! I'm so honored to have been named Best Therapist again this year! Wow, what a privilege it is for me to be allowed into others' lives and hearts and to walk with them through such difficult journeys in the process of counseling. It's such an honor for me! Here are the winners of the 2012 Best of the Triangle in media, goods, music & clubs, out & about, services, and wine & dine for the Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill areas. Here is where you can pick up a copy of this week's edition of The Independent; it's a great edition to keep on your coffee table to help spur date night ideas or family outing ideas!! I love browsing this edition throughout the year when I'm looking for somewhere new to shop or eat, or a new place to adventure to, as well as when I need practical things like a tailor! I encourage you to look through these winners and finalists when you are looking for somewhere new to shop, explore, eat or for services to use. We use them for all kinds of things and have never been let down! It's how we found our plumber in a pinch and he worked out great! Thanks again for voting and have fun perusing all the winners and finalists!

Good Mental Health Needs Exercise & Nutrition

Taking care of your physical body is such an important part of taking care of your mental health; I talk about this quite often with the clients I see for counseling. Our bodies, minds and souls are all connected; we are a whole human being. The different parts of ourselves all impact and influence the other parts. If I'm not taking care of myself emotionally, at some point that will manifest itself in some way in my physical body. However, if I'm taking care of my physical body, then my mind and emotions have a better potential for being healthy as well. Healthy nutrition and exercise are such important pieces of good mental health. Exercise releases chemicals in the brain that help us actually "feel" better; this is just one great benefit of regular exercise. A healthy, well-balanced diet is essential to great mental health as well. Eating junk and not getting enough vitamins and nutrients our bodies need causes things to run more sluggish inside our bodies and minds. There are great ways to be healthy, inside and out. I love going to the Farmer's Market (they are open 7 days per week) and stocking up on fresh, local fruits and vegetables for the week. I really enjoy supporting local farmers and eating what is in season and knowing I'm also giving my body some of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function as it is designed! For those of us that work, live and play in Downtown Raleigh, there is a great farmer's market there too in City Plaza on Fayetteville Street on Wednesdays from April-October. Exercise can be fun as well and really helps boost mood and take care of our bodies. Grab a buddy (or just some headphones) and head to Lake Johnson; it's a gorgeous place to walk or run! Try incorporating some healthy eating and exercise into your weekly routine. It can be hard to implement new changes but they are so well worth the effort!

Marriage Enrichment Seminar - Raleigh

There is a great upcoming marriage workshop here in Raleigh. I highly recommend these 2 presenters! One of them, Dr. Rosenau, was my professor at Richmont Graduate University for my sex therapy classes! He is a great speaker and very passionate about Biblical sexual intimacy in marriages! The other presenter, Dr. Neel, is a wonderful lady and a sex therapist here in Raleigh! Below is some info on the seminar and contact info in case you and your spouse are interested in signing up!

Covenant Lover’s

One-day Seminar  May 12, 2012

Providence Baptist Church


$40/couple- advance registration

Do you want to create a stronger, more passionate love relationship in your marriage, with a vibrant and mutually enjoyable sex life – to become “lovers” in the true sense of the word?  Join us for a one-day seminar that will help you develop practical and biblical foundational principles for experiencing intimate connecting and satisfying lovemaking within God’s amazing covenant relationship of marriage.   With two nationally recognized experts in the area of Christian sex education and therapy, learn helpful ways to grow your marital love life as you gain insights into the Creator’s grand plan for vibrant sexual intimacy – all in a safe and respectful environment.  This seminar promises to be fun, insightful, practical and biblical, with its basis the book:  A Celebration of Sex by Dr. Doug Rosenau.

You can contact Becky at or call 919-326-3000 for questions. 

Sharing New Experiences

Looking for something fun and different to do? Bogged down with the same old routine for your fun nights out or date nights? I always encourage clients I see for counseling to try new fun things, to spice up their nights out with family, friends or their significant other by trying a new experience. Sharing a new experience together helps increase connection and gives you something new to converse about together. When we share a fun new experience together, we feel closer and more connected to that person. It creates new memories also. So get out there and try it! Carolina Rollergirls have a double header this Saturday April 14 at Dorton Arena in Raleigh. If you haven't been to see the Rollergirls yet, it's quite the experience and a guaranteed good time! Take your significant other, a group of friends or your family to this exciting event and enjoy sharing a new experience together watching the Rollergirls! 

St. Patrick's Day Parade in Downtown Raleigh

It's St. Patrick's Day this Saturday and there will be a fun parade and festival in Downtown Raleigh to celebrate. Spring is in the air and it's time to come out of hibernation and start enjoying the warmer weather. This parade and festival will be a great way to get outside and do something fun and different with your friends, significant other or your family. Doing fun new things together creates connection and closeness in a unique way. We all tend to get stuck in ruts and do the same thing each week and each weekend or for each date. Break up that routine and try some new things as a family or in your marriage. This creates a new kind of closeness because you are sharing in a new experience together. You're learning new things, seeing new things, doing new things and that allows you to connect in new ways. Plus it's a great way to add some new energy into your relationships. So whether or not you decide to take part in the St' Patty's Day festivities (don't forget to wear green if you do go!), I encourage you to grab your family or your spouse or a good friend and get out there and try something new. It's a great way to deepen your relationships, relieve stress and say goodbye to those winter blues. Enjoy a new experience together and increase your connection to each other as you do something new and different. If you struggle with anxiety, stress or depression and despite the longer days with more sunshine and the warmer weather you are still feeling bad, it might be time to consider counseling. Or if your family or relationship is struggling and though you try new experiences, the relationship is still tense then counseling can be a helpful thing to try.

It's First Friday Raleigh!

First Friday is something I love about Raleigh. It gets us out and about, shows us great local art and lets us enjoy some amazing local venues in a unique way! Grab a friend and make it a girl's night out. Grab your significant other and tell them it's "Date Night"! Grab the family and tell them it's time for a new family experience together. Head out to First Friday. This can be a cheap idea too if you are on a budget. Spend some time intentionally pouring into your friendships, relationships, family with a new experience!

Couples, there's an app for this!

Couples there's an app for all this deep conversation I have been suggesting for your relationship in blogs here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. An app that is designed to help you emotionally connect beyond surface topics and the daily grind. We were out to dinner with my sister and her husband at Cantina South (a great spot for a Raleigh date night by the way - amazing Guacamole, seriously so good!) and talking about how it can get hard to come up with really good conversation topics at the end of the day (or the week) when you are tired and drained from work, child-rearing or life in general. My savvy sister showed us an app (for iPhone/iPad users) on her iPhone that had amazing conversation starters, great questions to use with your spouse for thought-provoking conversations and questions to get really emotionally connected. I love it! It even has a fun spin-the-bottle feature! So all you wives who deeply desire your husbands to connect with you at an emotional level- here is one great solution: ask your husband to download the app "twoignite" and then schedule a date night. Husbands, wow your wife and download this app and then start asking her some great questions over a nice meal. Once you've settled into your table, pull the smart phone out (if it's even been put away yet), and start connecting. You'll be surprised how easy it can be to connect when you have great questions like these to get the conversation started. There's even a "couples only" section of the app that gets you talking about physical intimacy (husbands, don't start your date with these questions). :) If you are still having trouble connecting after trying several date nights with intentional questions like these, it may be time to consider some counseling together.

Southwest Raleigh / Raleigh's Creative District

I'm proud to live, work and play in Southwest Raleigh, also known as Raleigh's Creative District. My husband and I have been following this blog for a while; my husband followed one of the bloggers before in another blog about our neighborhood. Keeping up with this blog is a great way to learn about things going on in the area, find new restaurants to try and keep up with super-local news. I am honored to be featured on the blog today! Check it out then stay and peruse the blog to see why I love Raleigh's Creative District and have chosen to live, work and play in Southwest Raleigh! Being a part of a community is important. I often talk to clients I'm counseling about social support, community and friendships. It's important to have healthy people around you that you can be honest with and derive support. This helps keeps us healthy and stable; it acts as a buffer between us and stress, crisis and trauma. I hope you have a solid community around you and if not, look around and see what steps you can take to become an active part of a healthy community. 

Raleigh Date Night Idea

One key to a great date is doing something new and exciting. Lucky for those of us in Raleigh, that happens each month on First Friday. All kinds of galleries and local businesses open up their doors (and walls) to all kinds of art. A great way to pour into your relationship is to see and try new things together. I encourage the couples I see for couples counseling and marriage counseling to vary their date nights. Do different things; try new things. See things you haven't seen before. Maybe you're not into art and that's OK. It doesn't mean you can't appreciate it and have a great night exploring something new together! Head downtown this Friday and see what there is to see. Make it an all out date and do dinner downtown. Some ideas for dinner are Poole's, Chuck's or The Raleigh Times. Great local Raleigh restaurants, fun atmosphere and great food! Then wander around the First Friday events together. Afterwards stop in at a local coffee shop like The Morning Times and grab something warm to drink and enjoy conversation about what you saw. What was the most intriguing piece you saw? What piece did you want to have in your home? What gallery do you think your significant other liked the best? Then spend some time talking about your relationship. It's a new year; set some goals together for your relationship. What things would you like to improve upon and how might you go about doing that? How can each of you contribute to those goals? It's a great time to reflect on what you did well last year and how you can continue to strengthen and grow your relationship in the coming year. 

Giving Back at the Holidays

Christmas can be both an exciting time of year and a difficult one. All the decorations, music and festivities can be great when things are going well for you. But when relationships are difficult, when you've experienced loss or when you are depressed, holidays can be very hard. If you are experiencing a recent loss, consider reading this short article or reading some previous blogs that reference grief. If you find yourself feeling sad or depressed, here's a short article on depression and here are some blog posts about depression. Whether the holidays are an exciting time or a difficult time for you, giving back can be a powerful, wonderful thing! I encourage you to take a look at these Raleigh organizations and find a way you can use your time or your resources to give of yourself! Doing this can reduce stress, decrease anxiety, improve mood and give meaning to your grief and loss. There are so many in need and so many small but meaningful ways you can help someone else. The Salvation Army, the Raleigh Rescue Mission, the Women's Center of Wake County, InterAct of Wake County, SAFEchild, and the United Way are just a few local organizations that have a multitude of ways you can help someone this holiday season. Take some time this week and find a way to give back. Schedule time to follow through. See if it doesn't improve your mood and lighten your load! If you are having difficulty this holiday season with sadness, depression, anxiety, grief or loss, consider giving the gift of counseling to yourself! Allowing someone to walk through your difficult time with you can be such a gift. Happy Holidays!

Winter Raleigh Family Fun - Great Date Idea!

So much to do in Raleigh this time of year. Winterfest downtown is one of those things! There is ice skating and other fun things to explore and experience. Bundle up and head downtown to City Plaza. This would be a great outing for families to do together. It would also be a great date idea. At just $8.00 per person, it's not too expensive either! Ice skating can be a fun activity and perhaps quite humorous even! Make a day of it or an evening of it. Wander around downtown and try some of the great local restaurants. You might find a few great shops to do some Christmas shopping as well! Stitch is a really great store with fun things to buy! Take advantage of your area Raleigh. There's so much to discover. Spend time playing together as a family or as a couple. Then spend some time reflecting on your relationships. I encourage couples and families I'm seeing for counseling to spend time both in "shoulder" time (doing the same things together) and "face" time (intentional conversations about your relationships). These combined help relationships grow and maintain their closeness. What fun holiday traditions do you have? Are there ones you want to implement? What are your favorite holiday memories? If holidays are a difficult time of year for you, share that with each other too. Be intentional about your family outings and your date nights. Intend to grow your relationships, nurture them and watch how spending time together draws you closer together. Have fun this Winter Raleigh!

Fun Raleigh Idea

This is a great time of year in Raleigh and there is so much going on in our area! One fun thing to get into this weekend is the Boylan Heights Art Walk on Sunday afternoon. Check out the website for a map and some sneak peaks of what art will be featured. This is a great experience (and great day-date idea!) for friends, families and couples! There will be lots to see (even if you don't want to buy anything) and it's a gorgeous neighborhood to explore. It looks like it's going to be a goodweekend weather-wise, so get outside. Move about! Do something fun in Raleigh. The Boylan Heights Art Walk is just one of many fun ideas!

Holiday Family Fun!

I love posting things about Raleigh goings-on because I love downtown Raleigh and there is so much to do! The holidays are here and that means there is even more going on in Downtown Raleigh. This weekend is the Christmas Parade. What a great time to pile on warm clothes, pack up blankets and chairs and head downtown to watch the parade. So much to see and so much fun to be had. This is a great way to get in the holiday spirit and have some fun holiday family fun! I encourage you to grab your family, significant other or a group of friends and head downtown to watch the 2011 Christmas Parade. It's bound to be tons of holiday fun! Enjoy!