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dinner club

Food & Wine

Quick Tips to Starting a Dinner Club

About four years ago my husband and I moved from sunny Miami to season-filled Memphis and so the search for new friends began. Miami’s culture-filled, energetic, cocktail-sharing environment had welcomed us with open arms with martini happy hours, Venezuelan weddings and Colombian surprise birthday parties … sigh.

We felt a little bit out of our element in Memphis.  Meeting people as an adult requires a person to be so energetic and seemingly interesting and persistent and brave, and… listen, it all starts to seem like a whole lot of work. And isn’t this process supposed to be fun and social and energizing?

That’s when I had an epiphany: it’s so easy to get behind an invitation that involves food and drinks and sitting around a table. When I started talking to local Memphians about all the restaurants I wanted to try, their faces lit up.

Enter the birth of Dinner Club.

It’s been about three years and I’m here to tell you I’ve learned so much about my new town and how to be fearless in my quest to meet new people. If you’re intrigued, I’d love to share more about how you can start your own Dinner Club.

Find your people.

I try to remember not everyone I befriend needs to be just like me (duh). But I did narrow my group down to women only and consider personalities for the initial invite list to take into account conversation and common interests. DO encourage the people you invite to invite their people too.

Brunch Dinner Club

Just pick a place!

I know this sounds obvious, but in the beginning I wavered so much on whether or not people would show up based on the place. I polled people, I researched the newest restaurants in the area, and I over-analyzed the location. The thing is, people will migrate towards the food, drinks, people and conversation. Just be sure the place accommodates your group size and the price point doesn’t break the bank for the majority of the group. Most of the girls that come to our dinner club don’t have a difficult time sharing ideas on where to head next. Although we have met at some of the girls houses in special instances, the majority of the time we get out and try new places, which means cleaning and cooking doesn’t have to be a requirement.

Celtic Crossing, Veggie Omelet


Dinner Club doesn’t have to be JUST dinner.

Our dinner club has done brunch, a barn party with chili and games, and we’ve even got a coffee meetup and a park pot-luck on the books. We’ve organized exchanges for some of our meet-ups too including books, nail polish, scarves, alcohol, and beauty products, which makes for fund conversation. If your goal is to meet new people and try new places, then almost anything is game. Plus, mixing up the times and days of the week gives everyone a chance to join.

Bonfire Party, (left) Nikkole, (right) Kate

Be adventurous.

Try new things.  Share your food and encourage others to do the same. The beauty of forming a group around food is that people are inspired to try new things, plus bringing the cost down per person by sharing plates makes people want to cartwheel to the cash register.

Be realistic.

If you truly want to meet new people and get a group of individuals together that make for good conversation, then you have to consider you’ll be catering to a wide range of ages, career types, marital and child status’. What I am saying is, interesting people are busy, so consider putting something on the books every 2-3 months  IN ADVANCE and go from there. It does seem to be hard to get our group together once a month, but every 2-3 months is a more reasonable time frame.

Now I’m going to say something to all of you neurotic schedule planners that are appalled that a person would possibly cancel last minute (me, me, me!) – GET OVER IT, things come up. The more understanding you are to cancellations, the more comfortable people feel about being a part of your group.

Stoney River, Blondie Dessert

Be a concierge.

We tried rotating the organization of each meet up (each member scheduling a different restaurant) and it failed miserably. Just assume the role (with input from the group of course) and move on.

Being a concierge can become second nature with these tools and ideas.

  • Google Doodle can provide date options you can send out to the group which makes selecting the most popular date pain-free.
  • Check out Open Table or Yelp to take on the burden of making a reservation
  • Research things like whether there is a corkage fee and share important information you’d want to know like the link to the menu, location address, and parking whenever possible. I say whenever possible because you may be attending these restaurants for the first time too!
  • Start a Facebook group to invite members, set up events, reminders, and privately share pictures with your club. It also allows members the functionality to invite other people. We started with an email chain, but the Facebook group works much better.
  • Be the photographer.
  • Know the general area where your members live. Take this into consideration as much as you can when you set up your meet-ups  and recommend carpooling options for further locations.
  • Make it your own.

Catherine & Mary’s Restaurant, Drink: Sweet Melissa


I’ve had so much fun making Memphis home one meal-at-a-time with these crazy, amazing, interesting women I get to meet up with and talk with over food on a regular basis. There are many more fun ideas we’ve yet to plan.

What kind of groups do you participate in with your friends; I’d love to hear!

PS: Check out my Yelp account to see some of the places we’ve visited, pictures of some of our meals, and my reviews.

Barn Party, Bonfire S’mores (left) Ashley, (right) Carrie

Food & Wine

Diary by Wine Corks

On my 30th birthday I traveld to San Francisco and Napa with my mom. It was incredible! When we stayed at my brother’s on the San Fran part of the trip I noticed my he had a clear vase with wine corks. On several of the corks he had scribbled on them with a black sharpie maker. The corks had phrases like “New Years”, “New job”, “Vacation” noted in his handwriting.

I returned home and immediately started my wine cork diary. I made a commitment to add insignificant events like “girls dinner club night”, coupled with cliché events such as my “first toast after a new baby” or “New Years” evening. Of course we also have photo books, but it’s been nice to see my wine cork jar grow, a significance of memorable evenings, stacked together with black-sharpie-marked corks scaling my clear filled jar.

How do do you commemorate significant events in addition to photos?



Family, Food & Wine, Health, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites {2.8.18}

Happy Friday- Whoop whoop! Work has been insanely busy and I couldn’t be more ready for the weekend! We are still surviving winter in a big way over here- I am particularly over it and we sure are ready for some warmer weather- however it’s projected to be cold and gloomy again this weekend so our plans will be something indoors. We might head to the movie in theatres now- The Greatest Showman- and we’re scoping out a hands-on, interactive, dinosaur show at the Agricenter this weekend.

I haven’t posted favorites in a while but here’s a little bit of what I’m loving.

I discovered these two recipes during my Whole30 journey and they’re on weekly repeat at our house now! If you’re doing Whole30 too just minus beans and rice on the second recipe.

Click here

and here

My new go-to workout is Pure Barre! My back was really killing me due to sitting at work all day. I was going to the chiropractor every month but I have not been back in 3 months due to Pure Barre! It’s a lot of planking, core work and stretching that I think was missing from my life. This workout can get expensive but they always have a special going on that makes it a little more economical. It’s been worth it for me, and my back, to have a stronger core!

My kids are real comedians at this age and I’ve been blogging a lot lately about our life, and our humor.

Click here to read about my son’s 3 medals and here to read all about how my daughter is asking everyone she encounters all about their age!

If you’re looking to create a collection, here are some details to consider.

Plus if you’re interested- I give you permission to nap!

I found these Brazi bites at my local Fresh Market and I’m in love- they had me at cheese and bread. It’s been about 6 years since I’ve visited Brazil, but as far as I can tell these little bits of heaven aren’t too far off the mark from the originals. You can find them in the freezer section. They’d be great appetizers if you’re needing to bring a side for a potluck.

I hosted our dinner club last weekend at my house- apps and game night was the theme. It was so much fun! Everyone brought and app and a game and the food spread we ended up with was something I just would never have accomplished on my own! One of the crowd favorites were these Parmesan cheese bites! One of my friends described them as “little bites of heaven”.

Other than that I’m also loving these two pictures, but I’m partial!

I hope you’re having a great week so far. Be sure to comment all about what you’re loving right now!


Reviewing Our Year!

Christmas. I get it. It’s magical and artful. It’s traditional and gather-some. It’s full of events and people and wonderment. But January is my month. After all the wrapping paper has cleared and the trees are discarded and stored it’s the month that beckons me. It’s the time when you can be faithful to goals and aspirations- crowds of people are supporting you because they’re all in the resolution zone. It’s a time when savings and fitness and the best you is actually celebrated.

So January I’m waiting for you. I’ve been waiting for you since October because keeping up with the Christmas Johnses is tiresome. I look forward to boring, cold weekends and empty calendars and lightweight lunches and gloomy Monday’s because for me it means getting stuff done. It means making way for clean closets and fitness classes and family time. January beckons creativity and adventure and futuristic thinking. It’s the best month of all the months for us planners and future thinkers, strategic sisters and hard core jet-setters. It’s my birth month and my spirit month. If it’s not your month take this opportunity to get to know January in a whole new light.

I put together a snapshot of our year in review, so here’s a little look at what 2017 meant to us if you’d like to see…


In January we braved the cold with just a few days outside and lots of time in the local art studio, one of our favorite places. I celebrated my birthday (top right) and We had a fun barn party with the dinner club girls (top left). We made our first trip to the Memphis Ikea and we had a massive snow dump (at least for Memphis) where we played around outside and snuggled inside (bottom pics).



In February we celebrated little man’s birthday early with a joint party with his bestie (they’re only a month apart) and we indulged in some donuts at our favorite place Gibson’s in Memphis. And our little gal started her Toy Story obsession with a little help from her big brother.


In March we made a visit to Birmingham to pick up my father-in-law and drop off my son so he could make a short little drive to the beach with my family for his independent spring break. We finally got some warmer weather for patio dining at our favorite pizza place and my son celebrated his birthday the Montessori way at his school- looping the “sun” four times.


In April I made a quick trip to Nashville with my friends from elementary and middle school days and then my sweet friend from Miami came for a visit to Memphis. The kids also started their obsession with Spring umbrellas and pinwheels (they wanted to hold all the umbrellas and spin all the pinwheels!) This is also the month I started this blog!

We also instituted Sunday park days in April, celebrated Easter at church and with friends in our backyard with an egg hunt and did all the kite flying, tire swinging and bike riding we possibly could.


In May I celebrated Mother’s Day at my daughter’s school with muffins, my mom (Gigi) came for a visit and she accompanied me to a Dinner Club breakfast. Gigi made her traditional cupcakes with my son and we made a visit to the “touch a truck event” in Germantown, plus we kept obsessing over our most favorite park where we found a fun frog friend that the kids couldn’t stop chasing.


In June I made a trip down to the beach to visit with family as we officially kicked off our summer. We swam in the pool, the ocean, ate ice cream and hit up a Wahoos baseball game.


In July we enjoyed more baseball with our local Memphis Redbirds, we made our way to the Levitt Shell concerts in the park, we enjoyed family walks in our neighborhood and my son went to his first VBS camp at our church. My mom and I threw a baby shower for my sister at the beach so my son and I made our second trip down to Pensacola. When we weren’t baby showering we were swimming and visiting with all the family.


Our August was full of birthday parties and sunflower farms and water time in our backyard.  We attempted the largest leaf cleanup yet! We had a staycation at a local hotel in Memphis where my daughter found her love of biscuits and jelly! We ran our annual Elvis 5K and continued pool days to beat the heat. Our sweet friends joined us for fun at the art studio and we were invited to a end of summer party complete with one of the largest bounce house slides we’ve ever seen and our sweet little girl was bound and determined to master it before age 2- and she did!


September was all about back-to-school and celebrating our sweet girl turning 2! Our coffee club (the girls who service coffee at church) got our picture made for the church volunteer newsletter. We went to a dinner with Woody and Buzz and these two besties got in their get-ups.

We started fall soccer season and we made it to the annual Germantown Festival and we had a work eclipse party. We tried a fun new restaurant, Farm and Fries and my husband and I made it to the Shelby Farms Go Ape ropes course for a fun date day.


In the fall I made a trip to meet my niece and enjoy some alone time with family at the beach (my first solo trip without kids since I’ve been a mom!). We made it to our first Disney on Ice show with the kids and visited a fun barn party for Halloween. We also made a trip to Huntsville to visit family where my sister-in-law got in her best buck mascot uniform and we ran all over the local pumpkin patch (one of my most favorite things we have done all year). It was our first time to see our nephew play football.


In November we made our third trip to the beach to enjoy Thanksgiving with my family complete with a Christmas parade and a trolley ride and visits to our favorite local store Innerlight and my husband’s favorite beach restaurant. My husband and I had a fun brunch date at the Kitchen and then we picked up the kids and headed back to our favorite park for pine cone collecting. My little assistant also helped me volunteer at my son’s school.


December was a whirlwind. We visited family in Huntsville for the holidays and stayed in one of our favorite Airbnb’s, my husband and I enjoyed a date night at our own home for the first time ever overnight without kids in our own house! My son helped my husband deliver food for work to some of his customers and we put up our Christmas tree complete with our fun train. We had a lots of hot cocoa, made a ton of cookies and started our first annual cocoa and jammies tradition where we hit up Starbucks in our pajamas and grabbed cocoa and coffee to take with us to our trip to the Shelby Farms Starry Night Lights..

I hope you enjoyed our year in review. It was such a fun year, but these are truly the highlights, we have had some bumps in the road too. Running back through our pictures makes me realize when we were busiest, what my truly favorite annual traditions are and those things that we may need to retire. Honestly some of my favorite days looking back are those days that allow us to be spontaneous- going to the park, eating ice cream, hanging out at the pool, drinking hot chocolate at our house, and trying a new restaurants.

Here’s to you and yours this New Years and hoping it’s your best year yet!


Family, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites {10.12.17}

HELLO Friday! Ah, after six days of being out on vacation and then for a work conference last week it sure is good to be home. I missed my kiddos so much.

We had a little bit of a crazy week THIS week. My daughter’s school had a sewage mishap, caused by the water company. Well the entire place was backed up with sewage overnight, flowing for a good six hours before anyone made it out. So what they have is a good 4 inches of poo poo (literally) all throughout the building. We have been coping with a pieced-together-plan of working from home and a fantastic borrowed nanny that stepped in to support us for a few days. The most amazing contingency has come about as a result of the contaminated building and we are crossing our fingers that the school will relocate to another promising facility next week! The school is having to replace EVERYTHING since items are all deemed contaminated, so parents and teachers are all coming together to outfit the temporary location. This is crazy town!

I love to spend time with my toddler at home, but working from home with a toddler for multiple days is no joke. I know she’s ready to get out of the house and play with her friends and go back to her regular routine.

We also heard a bit of news about our adoption journey. We originally planned to adopt internationally, but due to my preexisting medical condition and our birth order plan, coupled with a few other details, we found that we did not have a risk-averse country that would accept us, so we have decided to switch to domestic adoption. Basically, we could have wrapped up our adoption application for a country, gone down a long road of waiting, paid up to $20,000 in country fees, all to have the country come back to us with a “no”. I don’t have any more info on our new plan other than that for now, because we ourselves are in the dark, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated on our journey here.

So here we are again, where I recap my Friday Favorites with you and share a little bit about what’s been going on.

First, one of my favorites was visiting my new baby niece. I wrote about my trip here. Isn’t she just so precious? I remember that newborn stage being so fun but so exhausting!

I headed to a conference in San Antonio for work. Our speaker, Mel Robbins had fun words of wisdom for us. She wrote a book about the Five Second Rule. Her method motivates her to get “out of her own way” by counting down from five every time she hesitates to do something. She equates it to a rocket launch, and says that it triggers blockers in the brain that keep humans in a procrastination state. She uses it to get out of bed, boost confidence, network, start projects, etc. Basically anything that she hesitates moving forward on. I’ve used it multiple times since I arrived home.

I finally finished Crazy Rich Asians on my trip. I highly recommend it for a fun, light read. And I picked ups JoJo Moyes, Paris for One in the airport. So far, it doesn’t disappoint!


This resort in San Antonio was beautiful. I didn’t get to lounge around much, but I did grab a margarita and while I enjoyed the view. It has a water slide, which I definitely didn’t get a chance to take advantage of, a spa, a gym and a TPC golf course along with several restaurants.

This was the view outside my balcony.

Isn’t San Antonio so pretty at night?

I had a little bit of time to grab a manicure on the vacation portion of my trip. Isn’t this green nail color a great transition to fall? A guy asked me at the airport “what is green your favorite color?” I was in such a zone that I did not even realize he was referring to my nails!

Right before I left for travel, we had our Fall Dinner Club. We had our annual scarf exchange and had dinner in this sweet little town square in Collierville (at this little place). Isn’t this town cute? Every single scarf we exchanged was beautiful. We all left with a fun new fall accessory!

My daughter had a fun birthday party a few weeks ago to celebrate 2! Our nephews came up to visit us with their parents and they just had so much fun with my son. They gave him a whole lot of attention. Here he is with our youngest nephew goofing around.

And last week, right after I arrived back from my trip, we headed to Disney on Ice as a family. We don’t spend the money on tickets for these type of events very often- my kids just don’t sit still at this age- but they absolutely loved it!

So that’s a wrap. It’s been a packed few weeks and I can’t wait to catch up with my husband and kiddos this weekend. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Family, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites {8.25.17}

Hey there. It’s been a while. I have been stuck under mountains of “to do” lists, and trainings, and the first day of school for my son, and all the things that I’m trying to wrap my mind around including a test I need to take for work- eek! I think I’ve made about six lists of things that I need to do, but I keep loosing track of the lists so there are multiple lists with multiple things scattered throughout my life.

BUT I do feel extremely motivated and accomplished that we made a date night to attend the new Crosstown Grand Opening that we toured a few weekends prior. I booked both our fall and winter Dinner Club dates complete with reservations- let it go down in history that I have a reservation at a restaurant for December that I made in August! I also shared this post about tips I’ve gained over time to develop a resume.

And finally we’re surprising our kids with a dinner this weekend where they’ll get to meet the Toy Story characters crew. The end of fall is fast approaching and I’m bracing myself for Halloween costumes, fall festivals, cooler weather, and all the things pumpkin (Starbucks starts serving their Pumpkin Latte September 1st)! Also, doesn’t this Caramel Apple Mimosa look AMAZING!?

But through all the craziness and lists and work events good news came- my niece was born! Whoop whoop- I can’t wait to meet her and spoil her, she’s such a beauty and a little nugget! We are all so excited about her arrival.

I’ve been trying to capture some of my favorites in the midst of this crazy chaotic time because it helps me to be mindful of being thankful and appreciative of all the little things. Here are some of my most recent favorites to round out the week.


Fall Art Festivals!

My two favorite Memphis Fall Art Festivals are happening in September. If you live in the area mark your calendars!  The Germantown Festival will be held September 9th and 10th and the Cooper Young Festival will be held September 16th. Both have a variety of arts, crafts, pottery, door signs, clothing, baby goods, and all the things you can think of that would be homemade. We love shopping early for Christmas gifts.


These Flowers 

Aren’t these flowers from Whole Foods so pretty? I split them up and scattered them all throughout my house.


Our Rock Collection

People decorate rocks in our town, they call them 901 Rocks, deemed from the area code. Here’s our more recent collection. Our kids love to look at them. And when they find them in the city (which is like a giant Easter Egg Hunt) they go crazy!


Our Yard Day

Our yard was a little crazy. We made a point to cover some ground and involve the kids, because well, there’s no other way! So we bought these yard tools, got some smaller rakes for the kids and bagged up nearly 20 bags of leaves. I’m ready for fall and being able to enjoy our outdoor area again- it’s been so hot here lately!

PS: We love all our new tools and our bag holder for the leaves. The shovel came in especially handy when piling the leaves into the bags.


This Necklace

Look how pretty, and the packaging on old library cards- LOVE!

Basketball Season

Basketball season is almost upon us! And that means our hometown Grizzlies will be playing soon! If you’re local, be sure to check out the schedule.

These Two!

They’re adorable and destructive all at the same time. Here’s our art time at one of our favorite places! They were loving the stamps that day and all the colored pencils.


And that, my friends, wraps up all of my favorites as of late. What are you up to this weekend? We are hoping the weather dips so we can enjoy the outdoors. We also caught the tail end of this movie last night (insert ugly cry here)- we love us some Morgan Freeman! Have a great weekend!

Family, Food & Wine

Friday Favorites {8.11.17}

Hello and welcome to Friday! So Friday is always the day that I think things will start slowing down for the weekend, but it ends up being one of the busiest days of the week for me each and every week. It’s like everything I haven’t had a chance to wrap up all comes together on Friday and there’s an energy to complete all the things.

This Friday I thought I’d share a few favorites I’m loving for fall season (I know say it isn’t so!), a few fun things we love to do as a family, and food I thought was worth mentioning. I hope you’re settled in for a great weekend, how are you spending your Saturday and Sunday? We are running the Elvis 5K that I talked about in this post– wish us luck! We’re also headed to an adoption meeting our church- more on that journey (if you’re just tuning in) here. I also just posted about the baby shower my mom and I threw for my sister if you’re interested to see how we planned it.

If you’re new and want to read more feel free to click around and/or follow along: FacebookInstagram

And now, on to the favorites…

Family Fun

Earlier in the week I posted about one of our city adventures, a visit to Crosstown Concourse, located in Memphis, TN. Here’s a snapshot of some of the fun we had. Be sure to take a look at the full post.

I also loved this origami décor in one section of the lobby.

We are die-hard fans of our city so you will be seeing more content on how we explore and get out into our town.

Our family also partied hard at a friend’s birthday last weekend and this shot is one of my favorites. I mean that little girl of mine sure knows how to have a good time!


Beautiful Things

I have been scanning Etsy and look at these finds! I ordered this wall hang below. I posted it outside on my brick for better lighting so you can see all the colors, but I’ll be displaying it inside on a more neutral, tan wall.

I found this simple fall wreath on Etsy and I’m contemplating buying it…

And at Dinner Club we visited a fun new Colombian place; I just loved their décor. It makes me want to go visit Colombia wearing all of the below.


Finally, I am loving this zucchini “pasta” salad recipe I found on another Memphis blogger’s site…

And I’m snacking on these bars for a healthier option when I’m on the go and I’m forced to have a late lunches.

In other news, my sweet neighbor dropped by all these tomatoes because she was leaving town and couldn’t possibly eat them all.

And that brings my short list of favorites to a close…

(Sorry, this song is on a constant loop in my head- eek!)

I’m so happy you stopped by. Thanks for letting me share all the favorites I’m loving these days. I hope you have a fantastic weekend!


Linking up with Erika | Friday Favorites, and Katie | High Five for Friday

Family, Food & Wine

Life Lately- What Happened to July? {7.25.17}

Happy last full week of July- can you believe it? This month has flown by but we have been enjoying every minute of it. Soon it’ll be stricter school schedules and cold weather, but for now, we’re all about finding ways to keep cool and that usually means squeezing in all the water activities and family time we can!

First, before I get down to business, be sure to check out two fun interviews that went up this month. The first is with Brian, titled Why Limit Happy to an Hour and the second one is with Nicole, titled Hola and Hey Mon! Both interviews are unique and genuine and I just love all the inspiring chiclets of information in these great stories.

Well like I mentioned we sure sought out the best ways to stay cool.

My daughter showed us all how to live the summer dream- eating Doritos poolside in a bathing suit. I mean, I hope she’s always confident enough to indulge while she’s hanging out in her bathing suit.We dusted off our water table and brought it out for an entire evening of fun complete with ice cream on the porch! We threw every bath toy we own in there just in case you’re wondering!A snow cone truck visited my son’s school; I pulled up to this!My husband and I squeezed in a date night. Somehow the only picture I took was of this monstrous margarita- yum! It’s from Frida’s Mexican Restaurante.We dressed up as princesses and ate more cold food items.We also squeezed in a couple of game nights with my oldest. We also found ourselves searching high and low for potted plants.And I made it to a girl’s night at Loflin Yard for Dinner Club. Isn’t this drink (titled Battle of the Greensward) and this cheese plate so pretty! All the cocktails have funny or local names! The food menu is pictured below in case you’re local and want a sneak peak. We had the street corn and the chicken wings in addition to that cheese plate- so yummy!

We rounded out July with a stay-cation in downtown Memphis where we rode the hotel escalator 20.5 million times (complete with serious bedhead), made important phone calls and visited two of our favorite eateries, Rendezvous (for dinner) a famous Memphis BBQ institution and The Arcade (for breakfast) where we sat in the Elvis booth (Elvis was a regular at one time; people kept coming over to the booth while we were eating to get a glimpse). My daughter had her first biscuit and jelly and I think it’s safe to say she was in heaven.

Finally, after church one night, my son and I visited the field of Sunflowers. They’re huge and the sun was setting over them when we arrived.

And that wraps up our July! I hope you’re having a wonderful month. If you’re looking to get organized, be sure to check out this post! And stay tuned for What’s Up Wednesday and Friday Favorites this week.

Career & Resources, Family, Health

Friday Favorites {7.14.17}

Hey it’s Friday! As my son would say, only one more day until we get to “just hang-out”. As working parents we sure cherish weekend family “hang-out” time with our kids.

This past week was my first week back to work after a long stay-cation and I’m hanging by a thread. I’m so thankful I’ll get to charge my batteries soon!

As for fun Friday favorites, I thought I’d share some of my favorite ways on how we recharge.

1.Coffee helps you live longer!

It’s no secret on this site that I love, love coffee. If you love coffee too then you’ll appreciate this new announcement that talks about the new-found benefits to drinking coffee. Coffee is my first line of defense for a mid-week recharge! In fact, our office carries the local brand Ugly Mug  (pictured below) which most of our office is extremely happy about. PS: If you live in Memphis, the I Love Memphis Instagram account is capturing Memphian’s favorite coffee spots.


2. This Book

I started reading this book this week and it has been captivating so far. It gets to the point immediately, doesn’t drag on setting up the opening scene and has me wanting to flip to the end to see what happens (no one else does that?) It’s definitely a great read for escaping a busy week.

3. This article

I am doing research for a project a work regarding mentoring and I came across this article. Listen, if you’re not in business that doesn’t mean you don’t need to rely on people to mentor you for guidance and insight. This article reviews ideas on what to talk about with a mentor (which can sometimes be awkward); I found it to be so refreshing. It actually got me excited about my next mentor conversation.

4. This podcast

This podcast was actually a recorded public speaking event for Jen Hatmaker. If you listen, keep that in mind that it was recorded at a conference and she does refer to a few things they put on screen that you’re obviously not going to be able to see on the podcast. However all that aside, I just loved the message, how she tied her knowledge and conclusion together, and I always love the personal insertion she incorporates in her speeches of her everyday family life. It is a Christian message and basically indicates the importance of being a faith mentor.

5. We’re gardening!

Well sort of. We bought plants at Lowe’s and we put them in pots with dirt. Every night my son is watering them. This is a huge step for us because I basically kill every living plant. Check out these plant boxes. Aren’t they inspiring? If we get serious we may upgrade to a more elaborate set-up. For now, we’re sitting on our porch, eating ice cream after dinner and watering our plants to help us recharge. I also found the pretty outdoor pillow pictured below at Lowes, because after all this gardening I need a chair with a pillow to relax in!


PS: This random picture just makes me happy! A petting zoo came to the kid’s school and my daughter ran right up to the Llama and gave him a big fat hug while screaming Llama Llama! She knows the animal from this book.

What are your Friday favorites? I’d love to hear. This weekend we don’t have much planned other than pool-time and family time. I also get to head to Dinner Club! Last weekend was pretty full so we’re looking forward to low-key plans. Stay tuned for a fun interview I’ll be posting this Saturday. Happy weekend.



What’s Up Wednesday {6.28.17}

This Wednesday I’m writing about what’s new; here’s what I’m sharing!

It’s a fun way to check in with all of you to share just what’s been going on; I’d love for you to share what you’re up to in the comments!

What we’re eating this week

Right now one of my favorite things to eat at home that keeps us from going out are these meatball bombs. My kids love them and it fills our craving for pizza. I also have spinach salad on repeat for lunches at work and I had this amazing sandwich at one of my favorite places, Java Cafe for lunch last week. It’s a hot ham and cheese- yummy!

What I’m reminiscing about

We are knocking things off our summer bucket list and we had so much fun at the Redbirds baseball game earlier this month. The weather was just perfect and someone gave us free tickets at the gate because they purchased too many for their group! How lucky is that!

What I’m loving

Everything and anything summer. The beach, the pool, the sunshine and not having to find matching socks for my kids #justsayin

We have flip flops and native summer shoes on repeat here.

What we’ve been up to

We have been jumping into summer full swing. My kids get to attend the same school during summertime which means less drop-offs in the morning for me. We’ve been trying to spend the extra time going on walks in the morning before work and school. I’ve been doing my normal workout and then walking like it’s my part-time job just trying to shed some summer pounds.

My son also just finished Vacation Bible School in the mornings last week; it was his first official camp.

And we’ve taken two trips this month to the beach to my hometown of Pensacola Beach, Florida.

What I’m dreading

Right now I can’t even think about days that don’t involve pools or sunshine and flip flops or popcicles. We sure are enjoying summer.

What I’m working on

Right now, I’m working on career development and what my career path looks like. I’ve been preparing my development plan.

What I’m excited about/ What I’m looking forward to next month

I’m so excited for the 4th of July. We have this little neighborhood parade every year and it keeps getting better and better. It always feels like we time warp to the 1950’s for a day and it’s a full blown red, white and blue extravaganza. Here’s some pictures from previous years.


I’m also excited about trying a fun Colombian place we have lined up for Dinner Club. Here’s one of their spreads.


What I’m watching, reading, and listening to

We just finished up The Crown on Netflix and I’m sad there aren’t any current episodes. I just finished listening to What Got You Here Won’t Get You There in the car on the back to back road trips to the beach and I’ve been reading The Woman in Cabin 10 at night and finally finished it last night. It had a slow middle section, but chugged along with a suspenseful ending.

I also just listened to this podcast where themindbodygreen with Jason Wachob interviewed Melissa Hartwig, co-founder of Whole 30. She talks about a difficult childhood she experienced, her recovery from drug use, how she created Whole 30 and her “church” outdoors where she claims to have a deep, spiritual relationship with God. It is incredibly authentic, inspiring and insightful.

I’m switching it up between my audio book, my Salsa station and Shawn Mendes on Pandora.

What I’m wearing

We just moved into a new work facility and it is cold cold and blizzard cold so I pretty much have layers on repeat. I also got this cute shirt that I’m loving for Saturdays mornings.

What I’m doing this weekend

We just left my hometown of Pensacola, Florida last week where I helped to host my sister’s baby shower to bless my first little niece Sloane. We drank champagne and I had a few hours away from our kiddos. This upcoming weekend will probably be low key and full of park time and pool time, still unpacking and washing clothes from our trip.

What else is new?

We headed to a friend’s adoption fundraiser last weekend where vendors like Noonday, Matilda Jane and Lula Roe and Mbabazi House of Style featured their goodies with a contribution of their profits all going to the adoption fundraiser- what a neat idea! Click the links if you’d like to see some of the goodies and shop these retailers for a good cause.

My husband and I have also been volunteering to make coffee at our church pretty regularly this summer. I also just posted about how we feel about adoption and all about how I lived through a rare medical disease.

I also bought this foam roller off Amazon a few months ago and it is a beautiful thing for a person who holds a desk job! It arrived straight to my door in 2 days.

Happy Hump Day. I hope you’re all having a great week! If you’re visiting this site I’m glad to have you here, feel free to take a look around.