Our family Spring Break road trip was perfect. Just the right amount of touristy stops and trying to feel like a local. Plus we all got to have a hand in fulfilling my sweet grandmas lifelong dream of seeing Elvis's home, Graceland. Here's what we think you just can't miss.
1. Beale Street
This street is literally a party 24/7. We came here as soon as we dropped our bags in the hotel and now we're full of inside jokes from all the craziness. There is live music coming from every door and you will run into every single kind of person, We plopped down on a patio and listened to possibly the worst and best show I've ever heard from "Cowboy Neal the Real Deal." If this is definitely a must see.
2. National Civil Right Museum
Wow did we not schedule enough time. The museum is so big and so emotionally draining that you definitely need to give it between three and four hours minimum. At the end of the tour you stand inside the room in the Lorraine Motel that MLK stayed in the night before he was assassinated. It's powerful and important.
3. Soda Fountain
Also on Beale Street is A. Schawb's Old Fashioned Soda Fountain. There are phosphate sodas, milkshakes, and handmade waffle cones. It's just like the movies and sitting at the bar with my family was wonderful. My grandma loves her a root beer float and she said these are the hands down best.
4. Pizza and Coffee
I've come to believe that you get to know the heart of a new city through their coffee shops so my sister Ella I and hunted some down and our favorites were Blufftown Coffee next to the Civil Rights Museum and Cafe Keough downtown. Blufftown is more neighborhood coffee shop and Keough is more of a transplanted European cafe. Both are a must stop.
Of all the food we had, and yes sadly even the ribs, this pizza was what we are all still talking about. In the newly renovated section of the downtown you can watch the trolly cars pass and sit on the patio of Aldo's Pizza to eat the most scrumptious Six Mushroom Truffle Pizza you will ever eat.
Also in case you were curious this is Elvis's mansion and the happiest little lady Graceland's probably ever seen.
I don’t care how much snow falls between now and May, it’s officially Spring in our house. I’m checking my weather app three times a day looking for the next sunshiney weekend day and Ben and I are taking every chance to get outside - freezing the whole time because we refuse to wear our heavy winter coats anymore. So since the rain is pouring and I’m going to have to focus on bringing the springtime spirit inside this week, here are some discoveries and new loves that are kicking off my March!
I heard about this as the Awesome of the Week on the Sorta Awesome podcast and I LOVE it. When I’m working, I need to be surrounded by productive sound. Here’s what I mean by that: if there is someone chatting with me, or a song with gorgeous lyrics in my earbuds, I can’t focus and the sound makes my work unproductive. But silence is hugely draining to me so I have been known to waste an hour driving to and from my favorite coffee shop because I know I’ll be surrounded with the ambient noise that helps me stay focused while appeasing my extroverted self. This habit though, has become pretty time consuming.
But then in comes Brain.fm! These geniuses formulate music that will be the perfect motivator for whatever you're trying to accomplish, whether that’s deep work, falling quickly to sleep, or meditating well. I definitely recommend that you try it out! But if more traditional music is your thing and electronic sounds don’t sound beautiful to you - look up Tsh Oxenrider’s Schoolhouse playlists on Spotify! All of that magic is linked below.
2. Blackberry Coffee Syrup
I could do a whole other post on Ashley Brooke’s Design’s overall aesthetic that I am just obsessed with, but I could actually rave even harder about her blog! Just a few days ago she shared a recipe from her sister for blackberry coffee syrup that was SUPER fun to make and SUPER delicious. We bottled it up in this pretty jar from the Target Spot and now it literally brightens up my morning coffee with pinky spring color and a welcome yummy change to my go to Thin Mint creamer routine.
3. Designing Your Life + Journaling
I got the most inspiring email ever from Taste of Beauty based out of Columbus with advice on a little journaling session to help you design your day as a strategy for designing your life. I made myself sit down and run through the exercise wholeheartedly. I mapped out every detail of the perfect (normal) day and it was so enlightening to notice the places my priorities have shifted since college and in which places they are as consistent as ever. I was inspired to pick up Bill Burnett’s Design Your Life to do a deep dive on how intentional long term goal setting looks. If you get any energy from planning, this is for you.
Flowers & Bread
This one is local to Columbus. Flowers & Bread just opened up on North High street and is as simple and perfect as it sounds with all the white marble, unfinished wood, and gold accents you could ever want plus stunning flower arrangements everywhere, to-die-for lattes, and freshly baked mini loaves of the tastiest bread. I would happily just move right in if they would have me. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out, you have to add this one to your list.
Quotable truths: “You can’t have quality output without quality input.”
I heard this one on Jamie Ivey’s podcast, The Happy Hour, and I’ve been mulling it over ever since. I love input. I believe you have to be a good listener to be listened to. You have to watch the perfect lesson to improve yours. You have to be prayed over to pray well and unselfconsciously. You have to input wisdom to output quality content. I’m living by this as I choose the TV, books, and apps that are getting to be part of my input this year.
In the dead of winter I always start planning make believe tropical vacations and thinking longingly of my favorite summer outfits. I feel like I don’t even remember what it feels like to take a long walk outside anymore! But in an attempt to find the joy in this season, I’m jotting down the little things that are saving my life and putting a smile on my freezing cold face this winter.
1. Ben's Yeti
2. Daily Laundry and Audio Input
I know that most people do things like laundry on the weekends, but we are definitely in a season where every evening is full and the weekends are packed, so laundry was piling up WAY more than it should have. Now, we are working out a daily system of a small load a day. Before we head to bed, the dishwasher and washing machine are working to get our things clean for morning. In the morning I wake up, talk to Jesus, turn on a podcast (loving Relevant podcast right now) or new music (JohnnySwim has my heart), and start folding laundry and putting away dishes. It gives my hands something productive to do and wakes up my brain. Before I leave for my day, I feel like I will come home to a clean and completed space.
3. The Overdrive App
4. Living with Landyn
This blog is everything. I love her style and have bought so many gorgeous new pieces on her recommendation. She has the smartest recipes and I’ve cooked at least three already that Ben was obsessed with. And her Instastories….I cannot get enough. It is super unlike me to follow someone’s blog religiously, but she’s got a fan in me. Love her.
5. My Elliptical
My TV time has become my workout time. After my lazy Christmas break I needed to move my body but guys I HATE THE TREADMILL. So instead I’m spending an episode of Grey’s Anatomy or The Bachelor on the elliptical four or so days a week and working in a yoga class two or three times a week. I feel like I’ve finally struck a balance that actually allows me to look forward to my work outs. But maybe I’m just excited about Grey’s…..whatever works.
6. Stauf's in Grandview
Ben and I kicked off our Whole 30 on January 2nd to start our New Year committments to healthier habits off right. We have spent (much) more money in groceries than we ever have in two weeks and made some pretty gross stuff. But now we finally feel like we are developing a rhythm, cooking variations our our favorite carb, dairy, and sugar free favorites that are cheap-ish, easy, and actually pretty yummy.
Slow Cooker Taco Bowls:
5 Ingredient Protein Pancakes
Welcome! I'm a brand new wife, second year music teacher, Jesus follower, and am chronically curious about just about everything. Join me as I kick off this adult life.
"I am the Vine, you are the Branches. If you abide in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."