Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Travel: Weekend Getaway Essentials

This last weekend, I took my boyfriend home to meet my family, in Arkansas, for the first time. 

(We also went to the Flippin Walmart, which was definitely a tacky highlight of the trip!)

To be fair, he had met my mom and brother already, but still, that's stressful! 

It was an amazing weekend getaway (seriously, they love him), but now I DEFINITELY need a vacation from my vacation!


While I'm daydreaming about my beach vacation, here are my weekend getaway essentials!

I always bring a good book - right now I'm rereading the "Bride" series from Nora Roberts - total fluff but I love it! I'm also big on skin care, so I need sunscreen, and if you're going to the beach, or even to somewhere where you might be hiking or sitting outside, you need to bring a bag that won't get soaked and a towel in case YOU do (we went hiking in the Ozarks this weekend and definitely needed sunscreen, and a towel would have been nice to take a little break on!)! A giant towel is also a makeshift picnic blanket!

Plus, if you're a nerd like me and know that the meaning of the universe is 42, you KNOW to always bring a towel.

Finally, stay hydrated y'all.

Thanks to HomeAway (a really great website that helps you find vacation rentals) for making me this cute graphic!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Nashville Nosh: Burger Up

A few months ago, my mom and I went to Nashville to see one of our favorite authors, Deborah Harkness, speak at the Nashville Public Library.

(Seriously, she's a badass - she's a tenured professor of early modern Europe and science at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, a wine blogger, a best-selling author of some amazing books, AND a super nice person!)

Before the talk, we stopped at Parnassus Books to get some books for her to sign and to get our line tickets, and then we decided we should get some food. Luckily, the people at Parnassus directed us to Burger Up, in the adorable and trendy 12 South neighborhood.

Burger Up's menu looks pretty standard at first glance. Lots of fried things, lots of burgers, fries...but then you look at the insane quality and ingredients on those basics.

We ordered some fried mushrooms (with spicy lemon lime remoulade) and I ordered the woodstock - Benton's bacon, Tennessee sweetwater cheddar, Jack Daniels maple ketchup. No boring burger here!

My mom got the class - and yeah, no fancy names or jack daniels ketchup, but still so good, and great quality.

But first, let's talk about these mushrooms.

I have never, in my entire 31 years of eating fried mushrooms (no joke, I'm pretty sure instead of a pacifier my parents just stuck a fried mushroom in my mouth as a baby) eaten fried mushrooms that were this good. 

We ordered two orders worth. 

No shame.

Here is my burger.

And a close up shot. Oh my.

(Before our second order of mushrooms came out...)

They also have super fancy and delicious ketchup. The Jack Daniels ketchup on my burger was great, and this was great, but that lemon lime remoulade was where it was at.

In addition, it's a really cute space. 

The service was great, the prices are really reasonable, and the food was insane. Plus, a table with kids sat next to us, and the kids menus are in books! How fun is that?

We had a great time in Nashville, and will definitely be back to eat (multiple) orders of those fried mushrooms soon!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Rainy Spring Fashion

It's spring!

Which, in some places, means color and sunshine and flowers and bunnies and pastels.

In Memphis, it means monsoon season.

DAYS of non-stop, solid, dreary, chilly rain.

And even though it's cleared up...kind of...there's still more rain coming next week.

So how to dress for this super wet season?

Here are some of my favorite pieces, with lots of fun colors to brighten up the dreary days!

Rainy Spring Essentials

A fun rain jacket (and seriously, this thing keeps the rain OFF!), my new favorite dress that fits like an absolute dream (and can work with sandals, heels, or even rain boots!), great skinny jeans in the perfect length, cute rain boots, lip scrub plus lip gloss in an adorable macaron looking case, and sandals for showing off the post-winter pedicure when it *finally* stops pouring!

What are your spring essentials?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Memphis Nosh: Red Koi Japanese Cuisine

You know when you find a restaurant, and you realize it's been there for awhile, and you think "what kind of friends do I have that haven't told me about this place before?!?"

Yeah, that's Red Koi.

To be fair, people had mentioned it to me. Several times. But no one had physically dragged me into the small, not very exciting looking place in the Ridgeway Target strip mall area.

And I may never have made it if it weren't for one night when I had to go to Best Buy (my own personal hell, but Target didn't have the thing I needed) and got out of my car and smelled...nirvana.

So I immediately dragged my friend Ashley. 

And then Sloan.

And then my friend Catherine.

And have eaten there twice in one weekend more than once since.

It's that good.

Inside the strip mall is a very chic, very clean, very delicious restaurant.

It's family owned, and has been in business since 2012, winning a ton of awards and basically being an awesome local establishment.

As you can see from their menu, they have a MASSIVE selection of rolls, fried rice, hibachi, apps, and specials. 

The first night we got to go from Red Koi, we just got the Red Koi's Special Fried Rice and the chicken yakisoba. Both of which were fantastic, but that fried rice changed my life - hands down, best fried rice I've ever had.

Since then, we've ordered probably half the menu.

The 3 Roll Special, which is way too much food for one person, but is so good you can't not:


Great wine selection, including Kung Fu Girl Riesling, one of my favorites.

The 2 roll - more manageable.

(My two faves: the spicy crab tempura roll and the crispy salmon roll - on special, $9.95 for all this! Also, that honey sauce is INSANE.)

My favorite crazy roll, the Rolling Stone Roll:

(Crabstick, Avocado, Cucumber, deep-fried and top with baked spicy crab and Red Koi's Special Sauce)

Also, every table gets free spring rolls as soon as you sit down! And that dipping sauce is magical.

The Tempura veggies are great - they prompted me to say, "god fried is the best way to eat vegetables" - much to the delight of my friends.

The hibachi is not the normal "show" hibachi, but is really good, and the fried rice can't be beat. It's not crazy expensive, the staff is really nice and helpful, the service is fast and friendly, and it's in a great location. 

I'm in love.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Happy International Women's Day!

Happy International Women's Day!

Today, ladies, don't take any shit.

Today, gentlemen, remember that feminism helps you out too - when half the world's population is disenfranchised, no one really succeeds.

Embrace being a feminist. It's AWESOME.
Most importantly, appreciate and celebrate the amazing accomplishments women have achieved - then go out and change the world for the better!