Heather's Hangout

Sharing the people, places & little moments that make a difference.

Jolly good time at new Jolly Pumpkin location August 6, 2017

CampCaseyHorse

Always stop to greet a horse

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a private sneak peek of the new Jolly Pumpkin location in Royal Oak. The event benefited Camp Casey, a local horseback riding program for children and teens with cancer. Horses, craft beer, good food and a good cause. It was a winning night all around!

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I’m excited to have a Jolly Pumpkin location in Royal Oak. I love the other locations (Traverse City, Detroit and Ann Arbor. There’s a tap room in Dexter, but I’ve yet to visit.). The location remains at the site of Bastone Brewery and Vinotecca, on the corner of Fifth and Main in downtown Royal Oak. The interior has been renovated – still the same open concept but more rustic and natural, similar to the other Jolly Pumpkin locations (particularly Traverse City, which is my favorite); the bar is now in the center of the area; and it’s a larger space since they took over Vinotecca’s space.

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Camp Casey had the brilliant idea to bring their well-branded truck and horse trailer, along with one of their Hero Herd horses, to the event. Parked in front of Jolly Pumpkin, a steady stream of people stopped to pet the pretty Queen B and learn about the organization. And, of course, I had to stop to greet my four-legged friend and the volunteers (I am a past board member of Camp Casey, and an equine therapist for the organization). My girlfriend sloooowly pulled me away from the horse so we could check out the restaurant.

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My friend and I snagged an open table shortly after arriving, a good spot near the front to check out the restaurant and of course people-watch. Our donation got us a beer and plenty of delicious food. There was a nice buffet available highlighting some of the menu choices. I loved the various flatbread pizzas, and while I’m not usually a mac-and-cheese fan, I really liked theirs! The steak bites and pasta were also good. I’m looking forward to trying more of their food menu.

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This Jolly Pumpkin serves craft beer from Jolly Pumpkin (do I need to write “of course?”),

JollyPumpkinmenu

Many craft beers to choose.

North Peak and Bastone’s. I heard that they will serve rotating beers from other breweries. They also have ciders, wines (I saw several Michigan wineries listed) and cocktails (many sounded delicious!). A nice variety of choices!

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Bastone Brewery moved into the Monk Beer Abbey space along Fifth Street. You can still access it from Jolly Pumpkin. I liked the interior update and the menu also looked good (they are focusing on Belgian food and brews).

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The location opens Monday, Aug. 7 to the public. With Jolly Pumpkin’s good reputation and the location, this will be a popular spot.

 

Yoga, good food and great conversations August 27, 2016

My friend recently invited a few women to enjoy a relaxing day of yoga, food and friendship. I’m always up for that type of adventure so looked forward to the outing.

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She invited us to first meet at Namaste Yoga in Royal Oak. Some of the women had not previously practiced yoga so we opted for an essential hatha yoga class, which is gentle and relaxing. I enjoy taking yoga classes and probably should go more often. It’s a nice compliment to the strength training, hiking, biking, Zumba and other cardio that I participate in on a regular basis. Yoga helps me stretch tight muscles, strengthen my core, and relax my mind (or try to relax my mind as I can never quite shut the thoughts off! Can you?).

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yogamatblocksThis was my first visit to Namaste Yoga. It’s a small studio located on Troy Street, a block from the public parking lot adjacent to the farmer’s market building. That day, the meters and pay station were covered in the lot so I took it as a sign I was meant to be there and appreciated the free parking! Linda, the owner, was very welcoming when we arrived. I instantly felt like the entire ambiance of the studio is relaxed and friendly.

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Just past the lobby area is a large studio, with a smaller room attached to that. One of the walls is full of windows so lots of natural light flowed into the room. Some people prefer to practice yoga in a dimly lit setting but I actually liked the natural light. It was a beautiful, cool, sunny summer morning, which makes me appreciate nature even more. So a great setting for grounding myself in yoga! Namaste has yoga mats, blocks, bands, blankets and other accessories if needed. The instructor encouraged all of us to move at our own pace and modify when necessary. The class was a great way to start our morning.

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After yoga we were all hungry! My friend suggested a favorite place of hers – GreenSpace Cafe in Ferndale. I love trying new places so was game. GreenSpace is a plant-based restaurant and bar. Their food contains no GMOs, preser­v­a­tives, processed foods or animal products, and they don’t use microwaves or fry­ers. They even serve “conscious cocktails” made with fruits and greens. The restaurant was founded by a local cardiologist and his family. I was pretty intrigued by this point.

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GreenSpace’s ambiance is natural, chic and relaxed. I’m a sucker for the natural wood/outdoorsy decor so I felt comfortable right away (don’t judge, I like the outdoors!). The cocktail menu was interesting – elderflower, carrot juice, watermelon juice, lemongrass-infused vodka, and lavender syrup are some of the ingredients that make up a fun list of tasty drinks.

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We started with the cheese board and farmer’s board. The ‘cheeses’ are made with cashews prepared several different ways (smoked, etc.). I definitely was curious as to what cashew cheese tasted like and will share that it was all very tasty. I ordered the quinoa lentil burger, which was delicious and filled me up! My friends ordered a variety of dishes – tomatillo gazpacho soup, caesar salad, sandwiches and bowls. We all declared our food choices as successes and decided we would return to try more of the menu!

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I’ve had so much happening in my life the past few months, a divorce, house hunting, work, health appointments and more, that I didn’t realize how much I needed some fun, relaxing girl time until I spread my yoga mat, sat down and looked at the girlfriends surrounding me. As we whispered and giggled before the start of class, I could feel the stress seep out of me. It made me remember that part of life is recognizing and embracing the wonderful, kind, loving people who show up exactly when you need them. I am blessed to have such people in my life and grateful for the opportunities to make memories with them.

 

 
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