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When a Tree Falls…

 

So as some of you know, we’re now moving ALL the way across the city, from the suburbs to downtown Greenville. This is a very exciting time for the whole family as we’re ready to be near all the action. Of course, it’s also a very stressful time too.

As if finding the right home wasn’t hard enough, we then were having trouble with selling our home. With Greenville on the rise, we figured there would be tons of families looking to move in and settle down into a quiet neighborhood where the kids could roam freely.

Well, we fixed the inside of the house all up and officially put it up on the market. Because of the wonderful neighborhood we lived in and the school zones where we were located, we decided to put it up for Sale by Owner. We really thought it would be smooth sailing.

And we continued thinking this for several months, staying optimistic throughout the entire summer until school was finally in session. Then we began to worry, thinking all of the families moving to the area would have already moved in by now. There were plenty of people who contacted us for walk-throughs, but we had very few return for a second showing and only one person put a [laughable] offer on the house. At this point, we were discouraged and a little concerned that perhaps we had underestimated the market.

Just when we were about to throw in the towel and hire a realtor to give us the help we apparently needed, a co-worker suggested that we call a tree service company. The home we lived in is surrounded by a multitude of evergreen and cherry blossom trees. The cherry tree is directly in front of the house and had the most elegant cherry blossoms that bloom a lovely light pink every spring. All of the trees are gorgeous, and have always been one of my favorite parts of the house. However, I failed to consider the fact that it may not be so appealing to others.

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When looking for a company who does tree trimming in Greenville, SC, I stumbled upon Tree Service Greenville. After reviewing several other sites and companies, I decided to go with this one and I’m very glad I did. Tree Service Greenville were absolute experts and knew exactly what to do as soon as they came out. After a thorough examination of the trees surrounding the house and taking a good look at the additional landscape, they gave us their suggestions and quote.

The company really did a great job in working with me to get exactly what I though the house needed. I wanted to make sure the healthy trees would be cut back but would also stay in tact and they assured me that’s exactly what they always strive to do.

When it was all said and done, only a few trees had to be removed, (turns out they were dead and beginning to rot), and the rest were trimmed in the most beautiful fashion. They did an especially good job on my cherry tree which was still very full but better showcased the house.

Once we got all of this squared away, we decided to keep the house on the market ourselves for one more month. Amazingly enough, after only one week, it sold! We can’t be more grateful for the wonderful service provided by Tree Service Greenville. We’ll certainly be using them again and continue recommending them to anyone in tree service need.

Locksmith in Greenville, SC

My husband and I, having just moved to the Greenville area, couldn’t help but notice just how up and coming it is. (And after living here for almost a year now, we can see why)! Because of this, we decided to buy an older, run-down home near the downtown area that we could renovate and make “our own.” And with Greenville on the rise, we knew this would make for a good long-term investment.

After narrowing it down to 3 contractors and meeting with each of them separately, we went with the one who seemed to understand our vision the clearest. (However, I won’t mention them here- you’ll understand why in just a moment).

Overall, we were happy with our decision and within 8 months (only 2 off from our original finish date), we were fully moved in and settled into our new, beautiful home.

All was good until one day I came home to find both of our new wall-hung flat screens missing! I checked around the house for any sign of breaking and entering but didn’t find any. I knew I’d had to unlock the back door to get in and the front door was both locked and dead bolted. Next, of course was to check all of the windows, all of which were latched and closed securely.

Photo credit: warringtonlocks.co.uk

Having made only 3 sets of keys, one for me, one for my husband and one for the contractor and his team, (which we didn’t even think to ask them to return — tactical error), we were able to narrow down the suspected culprit quickly. I called our contractor and of course, he assured us he knew nothing about any of this and that he and his team were all trustworthy.

Without any proof, we couldn’t press charges, nor do I feel comfortable exposing them on a public blog. But you can believe we decided to change all the locks. I didn’t want to delay this process at all as we now felt somewhat unsafe in our new home.

Now having several connections in the area, we were referred to Greenville Lock which is a local, family owned company. After a little extra searching, we decided to give them a go and were very happy we did! Everyone we encountered at Greenville Lock was pleasant and incredibly efficient. Within minutes of submitting our information online, we heard back from them and our quote which was actually cheaper than we were anticipating. Plus, on top of that, we got an extra 10% off as first time customers. Bonus!

They were very accommodating when setting a time that would work for us and were able to complete the job in no time. We now feel completely secure in our home again and have Greenville Lock and their wonderful staff to thank! So if ever you find yourself in need of a locksmith in Greenville, SC , I would highly recommend Greenville Lock.

Great Greenville Restaurant

Now that my husband and I know the Greenville area pretty well, particularly downtown as we’re close by, we have a handful of restaurants where we’re known by name. There’s one in particular I’ll be introducing you to today which is nowhere near downtown. But boy, it’s worth the drive!

The Lost Cajun, (off of the Pelham Rd exit from I-85- about a 20 minute drive from downtown), is not only one of our favorite restaurants in Greenville but also one of the best Cajun restaurants we’ve been to outside of Louisiana.

Everything on the menu is delicious. I know this because I’ve tried everything! Now, you may be thinking, “Wow, she really is a regular!” …Which I am. But you don’t have to be in order to get a taste of all their food. This is because you’re brought a sample platter with 6 of their most popular items as soon as you sit down. This was an amazing surprise our first visit. And an even better surprise when they brought it to us again several visits later, knowing we’d already had it before!

The sample plate

Their menu is very well-priced, giving you an option of [large] cup or [large] bowl for everything but their po’ boys. Which are also true to Louisiana!

As good as everything is, (my favorite is the red beans and rice– how is something so simple SO flavorful?!) we’re always sure to save room for desert: Beignets and chicory cafe au lait. For those of you who don’t know, a beignet is a typical Louisiana desert that is much like funnel cake; fried dough covered with powdered sugar. Yum! Always good service and always a good time.

Photo credit: photosugar.com

If you’re in the mood for some good, authentic Cajun food in Greenville, The Lost Cajun is definitely a place to try. (Tell our favorite waiter, Joe, I say hello)!

Greenville Auto Glass Service

It’s not very often that I have only positive things to say about a car service company. Growing up, cars were my father’s “other babies.” He showed me enough of the ropes for me to know what a real good maintenance/service job looks like and how to spot scam artists, (which are all too prevalent in the car business).

Because of this upbringing, I’ve always been very picky about who I allow to touch my cars. And even after doing my thorough research, I still often come out of the experience either disappointed in some way or feeling like I’m trying to be manipulated.

So I’m very happy to be able to review a company I just came across who was, in my books, nothing below excellent.

When I wound up with a crack in my windshield, (which has always been a pet peeve of mine), I initially tried to fix it myself in hopes of avoiding the additional hassle. Oops… Turns out my thinking was a bit skewed.

The “DIY repair kit” I purchased for the job not only didn’t fix the problem, but the adhesive wound up sticking to the glass and left a horrible residue on the windshield. It was all but impossible to get off, especially once it got into the crack on the windshield itself.

Photo credit: windshielddoctor.net

Fed up, I went ahead and started doing my “master ninja” car repair shop research. I knew better than to use a mechanic for windshield problems, so I was looking specifically for a qualified auto glass Greenville specialist when I stumbled upon 20/20 Auto Glass. Their below mentioned guarantee was my first hint they knew what they were doing:

“If we repair a chip in your windshield and you’re not happy with it for any reason, we’ll apply the cost of the chip repair toward a new windshield… or refund your insurance company for the repair and replace the windshield instead with no cost to you (with approved insurance).”

Anyone who is willing to work with you to guarantee your money is safe likely knows what they’re doing; they don’t want to lose out either! So after a little more extensive research, I decided to give them a shot. And from what I experienced, I’m glad I did. Everything from the customer service to the workmanship met my rather high standards. I’ll definitely be using them again, and recommending them to anyone in need of an auto glass specialist in Greenville.

Local Cafe and Grocery

If you’re in Greenville and haven’t experienced the Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery, you’re missing out! This place has a little bit of everything. It’s a convenient 5 minutes drive from downtown, and is also located right off of the swamp rabbit trail, making it a perfect stopping point for those biking or strolling by.

Photo credit: Holly Diller; collegianonline.com

The cafe menu itself offers a simple selection of breakfast sandwiches, perfectly baked pastries and breads. They also have fresh sandwiches and seasonal soups for the lunch crowd. You can either order one of their delicious specialty coffees or grab a beverage from the coolers lining the back wall. I always recommend browsing around the grocery prior to ordering. They offer such a wide variety of delicious and healthy treats and drinks, you never know what you’ll find. They also carry a vast assortment of all-natural and local products; everything from kitchen spices to skin care products. It’s tough to leave empty handed.

If you’re there on a nice day, there are several picnic benches outside where you can sit under a canopy and enjoy your food in the fresh air. And if you’re alone, there’s even a small cabinet filled with books nearby. You can either borrow a book while you eat or bring a book you no longer want and swap it out for a new one. What a brilliant idea!

Swamp Rabbit Cafe and Grocery also hosts several events throughout the year. During the warmer months, there may be several food trucks swarmed with hungry locals outside. This allows everyone to experience a variety of foods from the surrounding area. On other occasions, they hold craft fairs and markets where you will find local artisans selling beautiful and unique goods.


Photo credit: http://www.swamprabbitcafe.com
During the colder months, you’ll find anything from Mardi Gras Festivals with live jazz bands and gumbo to classes on Spring gardening. Regardless of when you go, you’ll always find something new and exciting going on. What a great way to get involved with the community!

Top Notch Flooring Company Downtown

There is an awesome flooring company located downtown. The guys over at Flooring Greenville SC are top notch, and provide excellent customer service. To get ideas on some new flooring, I didn’t have to go to their office. They brought samples straight over to my house, and I was able to see the colors and textures of different types, to see which looked best in my home.

I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’m not sure if I want to go all hardwood flooring throughout, or if I want some tile in the kitchen, dining and bathrooms. Maybe some carpet in the bonus/theater room.

Having the different samples brought right to me is much better than visiting a showroom with fluorescent lighting which is totally different. Having an expert talk about the differences in materials and grades, and how they can impact my install and finished look was also a great benefit.

I’m looking forward to making a selection, and will update here once the job is done and share my full experience. In the meantime, be sure to look these guys up if you are in the marketing for new flooring.

Awesome Tacos at Gringo’s Cantina

gringosJust a block off of South Main on Camperdown way, a hop, skip and a jump from the liberty bridge is Gringos Cantina. The tacos here are delicious, and there quite a few different styles and makes to choose from.

Excellent chips and salsa, and my favorite tacos so far are the flat iron bbq (pork) tacos with slaw. The baha fish tacos were a close second, but didn’t match my love for the bbq. Order them mix and match and try different ones.

And don’t miss Taco Tuesday! All tacos are $2.50 each. The place gets busy so get there early and enjoy!

Gringos on Google Maps

Great HVAC Repair Company in Greenville

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Wow, what crazy weather we are having lately! I wonder if my fellow Greenvillians are just as sick of this winter as I. I do not have the attire to handle walking around downtown much lately, it’s been quite a drag.

So, with this extreme cold (yes every day with the high below freezing is extreme for the Upstate) my heat pump wasn’t able to keep up, whatsoever. I leave the thermostat on 68, but the best my furnace could muster on most days was a frigid 63. Five degrees might not sound like much, but when your feet hit the cold floor first thing in the morning, the difference is cavernous.

I found a local hvac repair company, Greenville Heating and Air and decided to give them a try for a free quote for a fix. They came out quickly and found a few simple fixes to get my Goodman system up to spec and warming the house like it should. I was surprised my bill was only the standard service call, and no extra fees. Quite refreshing for a service type business to be this forthright and economical, so I felt obliged to make this post so others might find them.

If you need heat/air/hvac repair in Greenville, these guys rock!

A couple things they told me to check regularly, which was news to me:

1) Check your filters regularly and replace when dirty. This may sound like common sense to you, but I’ve grown accustomed to apartment life until I got this house, so it’s not necessarily common knowledge.

2) If you see ice/frost buildup on your unit, or the lines going to it, get it checked out, as this isn’t normal. I thought it looked like business as usual, but it ain’t. This can mean your system needs freon or refrigerant check.

3) Watch your utility bill. When things start costing more than usual, that’s probably a good time to get your system checked out.

I as a bit embarrassed at the condition of my filters. The hvac technician didn’t have my size on hand, so I just ran to the home depot while he was checking the system over and grabbed some new ones. The freon was a bit low, so we might have to find a leak if it happens again. I did notice a 20% or so increase in my power bill, so hopefully these fixes will mitigate the problem.

Now, come on springtime! I don’t care what Punxsutawney Phil says…

Yap, Fusion of Malaysian and American Cuisine

A relatively new restaurant in downtown Greenville, Yap is a must try. Cozy and laid back atmosphere with cool decor and friendly servers, Yap has an unique and interesting menu. From regular asian dishes such as pad thai, to really neat and different options like kuala lumpur ribs, all of the options we have sampled so far have been well received. Our current faves are the succulent slab of salmon when available in the bento box, and thai fish tacos for lunch.

Yap is on Main Street downtown, just a couple doors South of Washington Street, on the west side of the street. Check ’em out, you’ll be glad you did.