Friday, May 2, 2014

Five on Friday… Memphis edition.

Yes. The Royals are in town. News media is everywhere, and there are hashtags aplenty on Twitter, spilling the beans every time they are spotted out in the city. Is it cool? Yes. Is it great, positive exposure for  our awesome city (which, let’s face it, usually only hits national news for bad stuff?) Yes. But for the love, people, they are here for a wedding. If you were getting married, would you want your husband’s bros to steal the weekend spotlight? I think not.

The bride is the granddaughter of Kemmons Wilson, founder of the Holiday Inn brand. The Wilson family invests millions of dollars into our community. The least we can do is let the lady have her wedding in peace.

The beginning of May kicks off the annual Memphis in May festival. Each May, a country is honored, and there are festival activities each weekend of the month. This weekend is the Beale Street Music Festival, which will feature awesome acts like Juicy J, 311, Alabama Shakes, Snoop Dogg Lion, Third Eye Blind, Bone Thugs N Harmony, Dropkick Murphys, among many others. (I only listed the ones I’d actually like to see if I were going.)

From the time I was 13 till I was 18, I went every year. I lost a flipflop running to the Stone Temple Pilots stage, I danced with a college guy in the crowd at the Offspring show (I may or may not have been 14 really freakin’ dumb). My bff and I walked through a packed crowd and made it to the front of the stage to see Dave Matthews Band. Good times. Great memories.

However. I am too old for that shiz now. Seriously. It’s almost always muddy as heck. There are tons of underage kids drinking (Where are your parents?!?- ha.) And honestly, I’m really lame and can’t stand that kind of crowd of people unless I have had all the wine.

The weather this weekend will be beeeeautiful, so we have decided to hit the Tigers baseball series against UConn. The conference rivalry between Memphis & UConn in basketball is quite heated, so I’m excited to watch them duke it out on the baseball diamond.

I’ve raved about it many times before, but the Levitt Shell is definitely one of the gems of this city. Each year, a free concert series is put on at the Shell, and it is so much fun! The concert calendar for 2014 was just recently announced, and I cannot wait to make the concerts a staple in our weekly agenda.

Also, tomorrow night (Saturday), they will be showing Game 7 between the Grizz & OKC Thunder on a huge screen at the Shell. It’s going to be beautiful weather, so I think we are going to take a cooler out and watch Tony and Mike and Z-BO(!!!) seal the deal and take down the Thunder on their own court.

Memphis gets a bad rap, but this city is actually full of giving, charitable folks. We have amazing organizations working towards a better Memphis, and this generation of change is truly making our city one of the best.

I was introduced to the GiVe 365 organization about two years ago, and the idea is honestly brilliant. You commit to giving one dollar a day, and all the members’ money is pooled together to be used for grants. Local non-profits apply for the grants, and the GiVE 365 members vote to choose which non-profits receive the grants! What an amazing way to really demonstrate how one person’s actions can make a huge difference when we band together for the betterment of our city!

Membership could not be easier. You can donate for the whole year at once, or have it debited from your account monthly. GiVE 365 also holds monthly meetings/activities for its’ members to learn more about the non-profits, social happy hours to get to know each other, and occasional lunch and learns to get some exposure to Memphis organizations you may not know about! (And, FYI, it’s also a great way to network. The group has a strong young professional membership, and other members can be great social and professional resources!)

Hope y’all have a great weekend! I am so excited to get out and enjoy the outdoors before it is 400 degrees and 180% humidity.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Five on Friday!

Coming out of my hiatus for a little Five on Friday action!


In years past, I never really made the most out of my weekends. Sure, I loved not going to work, but I never got much accomplished. Since the move, however, I am honestly living for my weekends. Thursday nights I work on getting the house picked up, laundry done, and the dishwasher emptied so that come Friday night I can geek out over vacuuming the floors (vaccum lines, y’all) while enjoying a nice cold beer. #nerdalert


Speaking of weekends, I am so excited for the next few coming up! This weekend we will be hitting up the first crawfish festival of the year, which makes me ten kinds of happy. Mudbugs bring spring, y’all, and this girl cannot wait to spend some time outdoors. Next weekend will be a doozy, with B’s nephew’s first birthday on Saturday, and Stella’s ballet recital on Sunday. I love spending time with my people, so these plans have me giddy!


While it’s not hot yet in Memphis, I know it’s coming soon. With patio season, concerts at the Levitt Shell, and all the other outdoor activities going on, it’s kind of hard to stay cute when you’re sweating your balls off “glowing” in the 90* temps. While browsing online a few weeks ago, I ended up on Columbia’s website, checking out their dresses. Now, I know their clothes are geared towards the “outdoors sportswoman”, but look. I get just as sweaty drinking sangria at Overton Park as LouAnn who spends the day out on the lake bass fishing. SO, I ordered these dresses (all with sweat-wicking outdoor fabrics), and love every single one of them. The maxi dress is honestly the most flattering maxi dress I have ever worn. The skirt on it is a great A-line, and the fabric is substantial enough that it doesn’t cling.

The girls are getting way too big, y’all. They both brought home great report cards this week (Principal’s List and Honor Roll, both with Citizenship!), and have really been awesome about staying on top of their chores. Last week, Savanah tried out AND MADE the football/competitive cheer squad for the middle school she will be attending next year! Hold me closer, Tony Danza, because I am not ready for my girl to be in middle school. She had her fitting for uniforms, cheer camp clothes, & stuff this week, and I just don’t even know how on earth she is this old. I still feel like I am in middle school myself most days. I just don’t even know.


After a lot of shit-talking bragging about what a Bracket Master I am, my March Madness bracket is all but a wash. I still have ¾ of my Final Four teams in, but there’s pretty much no way I can beat B’s bracket. It breaks my heart a little, and also ticks me off because I hate to lose. (WTF Syracuse?! I mean, friggin’ Dayton?! Grr.) If Michigan State loses to Virginia tonight, I just am going to quit basketball. And we are not even going to mention the Memphis game last week. Ahem.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Movin' on up...

Sooo.. I may or may not have mentioned this, but... We are moving!!! 

I am so, so excited to finally get all of "my people" under one roof! B and I decided back in November that we should start looking for a house after the beginning of the year. I'm hoping to be completely moved in by the end of February, which will be here before I know it. I have zero interest in owning a home right now for many reasons (don't want to commit to an area, don't want the responsibility of upkeep, etc.), so we have spent the past few weeks looking for a rental that meets his our needs. 

Do you know how difficult it is to find a 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a garage (that we can afford) in East Memphis?! 

This may be the first thing I've ever wanted to wring his neck for, but I know he is right, and 3 females + 1 very clean man / 1 bathroom = A VERY BAD IDEA. We have actually found a couple that fit the bill... But I am too scared to pull the trigger. (Not sure what this says about me as a person, but whatever.) It's hard to have to make trade-offs for the home you will be living in for a YEAR OF YOUR LIFE. 

Take, for instance, the one closest to the girls' school. Perfect area, over 1600 sq. feet, nice curb appeal, has a big window in the front for where the Christmas tree will go, sidewalks for my evening runs (HA!). Unfortunately, that all comes with powder blue walls in the dining/living rooms, pea green walls in the den, a darker pea green on the walls in the kitchen, and a huge ass yard that someone will have to mow. (Ahem, that won't be me.)

Then there's the more Midtown-y home. Area is not as ideal, but I still love it & would feel safe there. House is small, only around 1100 sq. feet (no living/dining room, just an eat-in kitchen & a den.) The washer & dryer are in the kitchen, which I don't like. BUT! The bedrooms are a decent size. The master closet has tons of shelving & hanging bars. There is a freakin' wet bar in the master bedroom (totally weird, and I cannot help but wonder... Were the original owners hosting bedroom parties?!) The outside of the home has the perfect Midtown charm, the yard is a manageable size, and it is walking distance from Overton Square (no DUI's for these folks!)

So, the search continues. In the meantime, I will be purging (and purging, and purging) my millions of dollars' worth of clothes that tend to find a home on the floor of my closet and don't get worn for years at a time. (It's so much easier to go shopping than do laundry, amiright?!?)

Monday, November 25, 2013

A recap in photos from my iPhone!

I can only laugh at the fact that it's been three months since I've posted. Moving along...

Obviously tons has happened since August. A brief photo catch up...

Savanah turned 10. I'm still not sure how this happened. 

This smarty pants was selected to be a charter member of the National Junior Honors Society at her school. And bonus, she didn't catch her hair on fire during the candlelighting ceremony. (Those curls require some Serious. Product.)

My boo and I got to dress up for the Blues Ball. I've gone each year since I was 16, and it is truly one of my favorite events of the year. This year we had great company, and the adult time was much appreciated.
Out of the blue, Stella started talking about wrestling, and was dying to go "see a wrestling show." Coincidentally enough, WWE Raw came to town a few weeks after. A friend of ours passed along their season Forum tickets, and Stella had an absolute blast. The people watching was far beyond my wildest imagination. 

Halloween 2013. Stella had planned on being a box of Nerds since the Spring, and Savanah decided last minute that she would be a Hershey's kiss. Preeeetty sure this will be her last year dressing up, since she saw a cute boy while they were out trick or treating and was infinitely NOT HAPPY that she was "dressed like a huge silver rock."

The Junior Patriots killed at Cheer Off. They won four awards, as well as Best Overall! AND... Cheer season is OVER! Woohoo!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Very Memphis Weekend

Another weekend in the books, and I can say with 100% certainty, I definitely was not ready for it to end. Savanah was with her dad this weekend, Stella spent the weekend with my parents, so this Mama got to have a whole weekend to herself.

Friday night, Billy and I went to one of our favorite Memphis spots, the Levitt Shell, to see one of the 50 free concerts they do every year. Early last week, a local sports columnist tweeted that Norah Jones was going to be a special guest at Friday's concert. Um, seeing Norah Jones for free?! No way was I missing this! The weather in Memphis has been amazing lately, and Friday night was no different. It was a record-breaking crowd, and the bands were all great! I had kind of come to terms with the fact that maybe the whole Norah Jones thing was a rumor, but then she came out on stage! She played a few songs with the band, and it was just a great, great show. I cannot stress enough how much I love Memphis. The shows at the Shell are so much fun, and in a city that is known for its' racial division (sad, but true), it is so awesome to see the diversity of the crowd! If you live in Memphis and haven't been to the Shell for a concert, I really encourage you to go! (Some of my "must-see" shows are Ana Popovic & Mo' Better Love on 8/30, The Black Lillies on 9/12, and John Paul Keith on 9/20!)

Seeing as how I am apparently 90 years old, I was asleep by midnight Friday, which meant that I was up bright and early Saturday morning! Billy and I took a trip downtown to the Farmer's Market. I love the South Main district so much, and the Farmer's Market is always fun. We grabbed some coffee and moseyed around. As per my usual, I left with a bag full of yellow cherry tomatoes and a few heirlooms, too. B got a loaf of sourdough that I am still itching to try out. After we left the market, we ran by the mall to kill some time and for B to check out some new sunglasses.

Met a friend for lunch at Trolley Stop Market, which was amazingly delicious as usual. Again, Memphis folks, if you haven't tried TSM yet, what are you waiting for?!  It's on Madison, right on the trolley line (bet you wouldn't have guessed that), and prepares all of their food using local ingredients. Everything is super fresh, and their hamburgers are hands-down the most amazing burgers I have ever eaten. (WAY better than Huey's, E&H, and Alex's!) If you're not into burgers, I'm also a huge fan of their Jive Turkey sandwich, and the Pimento Cheese BLT is a great combo of flavors! [One aside about TSM- Don't go there when you are in a hurry. The food is definitely worth the time it takes, but the whole place runs on "hippie time" and is very laid back. Not the place to go if you've got a 30 minute lunch break.]

I was super spoiled with amazing food this weekend. We took an amazingly awesome nap after lunch, and after we woke up B had a craving for Italian. I guess you can probably tell that we are huge fans of "eating local", and we decided to go to Ciao Bella for our Italian fix. I had a cup of Wedding Soup and the 1/2 portion of the Seafood Cannelloni, which was the perfect sized meal to fill me up.  After dinner, we settled in and watched "42", which was really, really good. B is a huge baseball fan, and I have slowly but surely been learning to love it, too, so seeing such a huge part of the game's history was really interesting. After snacking on a piece of strawberry cake from Frost Bake Shop (Best strawberry cake EVER. They make the cakes for SoulFish, and just opened their own storefront last week!), we called it a night.

It was such a great "re-charging" weekend. This summer was filled with so many changes for our family, which honestly thew me into a cave of unknown and left me just not being myself. I'm pretty sure there was a good case of mild depression going on, looking back. So, so thankful for getting back into a routine and really feeling like myself again. LOTS of exciting stuff going on this week. Can't wait to see how things work out.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back Into the Swing of Things

Life is FINALLY getting back to normal around here! The girls started back to school last week, and so far are really loving their classes. In fifth grade, they "switch classes"- their homeroom teacher does language arts & they go across the hall for math/science. It's a fun new baby step into what it will be like in middle school next year. (I can't even deal with that right now!)

While the girls have been in school, I have actually been able to ACCOMPLISH things during the day. Novel idea, huh?! The house is clean, laundry has been caught up, and I have cooked every single night. Not going to put on any heirs though, at least 2 days/week have been spent doing this, and I have the tan lines to prove it:

This week is shaping up to be a doozy! Pool yesterday, cleaned house today... And tomorrow I take my entrance test for Dental Hygeine school! I am a nervous wreck about it, but have faith that all will work out in the end! Thursday I will be signing Stella up for ballet & piano and signing Savanah up for more tumbling and strings (she's gunning to play the viola, I'm hoping for the bass or cello) on top of our already crazy cheer schedule. (I am crazy, I know this.) I am SUPER STOKED for Friday because it's Daaaaaaate Niiiiiight!!!! B & I haven't been out much lately, and I am ecstatic for the chance to spend an evening with him, listening to some live music (where Norah motherfreaking JONES may or may not be making a guest appearance!!!!!) and drinking some good wine. The girls will be with my mom, so I'm hoping to throw in a little brunching action Saturday morning, too! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sun on my face and sand between my toes...

Just last night I was sitting at the kitchen table, and it struck me. [My idea, I wasn't actually assaulted by the table.] We have not been to the beach since 2011. And, as a girl who grew up going to the Gulf of Mexico at least once a year from ages 0-18, that is just extremely freakin' unacceptable.

Unlike those beach trips of yore, any vacations these days are not complimentary all-expense paid excursions. I got on and got to lookin' at rates/locations, and decided that the girls' Fall Break in the middle of October seemed like a GREAT time for a beach trip. Still warm outside, but considerably cheaper and less crowded. SO! I am hopeful that it actually comes to fruition. Can't think of many things that would be better than being at the beach with my three favorite people. (And maybe my sister to come along and babysit.)


After I began thinking about the beach, I came across Holly and Amy's Vacation Dreaming link-up, and figured I'd join in! While I would be happy as a clam to go down to Orange Beach this fall, this is all about your dream vacation.

Any of the following would do just fine.