Wednesday, February 12, 2020

5 Springfield Eats for When the Cold Won't Quit

We had a "snow" day last week sans snow, which happens more frequently than the school systems would like, I'm sure. But whether or not we've had any snow to speak of, it's definitely been cold. I'm piling on sweaters and wearing waaaay more turtlenecks than usual—if my 10-year-old self saw me now, she would be appalled.

Cold weather means staying in a lot, but when we go out, I have one priority: Staying warm. I will sacrifice my style in favor of being warm any day. And when we go out to eat, I want comfort food. Here are a few of my local faves for the winter—

Grilled Cheese + Tomato Soup from Cherry Picker

This one comes with no surprise—Cherry Picker's Orange & Tomato Bisque soup + Leland's Grilled Cheese is one of my absolute favorite things to eat when the weather gets chilly. The environment is cozy like a snow globe, and my mouth is literally watering thinking about the blue cheese crumble on that sandwich. As I'm typing, I said to Austin, "we should go to Cherry Picker tonight". So good.

Casper's is one of the places I don't go as often as I'd like. It's in a teeny Quonset hut which fills up quickly, so you have to plan a lunch out right to make sure you're not standing to wait outside in the cold! In college, my dad picked me up from school and took me to Casper's pretty often, and it's one of my favorite traditions with him. They have a lot of menu items, but my favorite is a traditional small bowl of chili

J.O.B. is another good place to stay cozy in the winter months. My favorites to share are the Cheeseburger Cubicles and the Kentucky Hot Brown Cubicles, which taste like a perfectly packaged Thanksgiving meal—definitely a comfort food. We like their traditional brown sugar fries or cheese fries on the side (plus, get fry sauce on the side!).

Winter is practically made for breakfast for dinner. Or breakfast for breakfast, or breakfast for lunch. You get the point. Breakfast food is cozy, and cozy is my main winter goal. My personal favorite at Druff's is the Swipe Right Breakfast Bowl—and you can think of it like a salad, with hash browns instead of lettuce.

(This part is about ramen!!) My favorite at Karai is their Old Skool Ramen—it's a bit savory, not too spicy, and if you get it, you must order the soft-boiled egg as an add-on. Sorry, it's just the rules!! I know this post has been a lot of soups, and while ramen may or may not technically be a "soup"—can you blame me?!

Stay warm out there!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

My Goals for 2020

Feels like 2020 is getting off to a slow start—do you feel that way, too? It's January 23, and I'm just now finishing up some little New Year's notes and really digging into what I want out of 2020. And the first month is already almost over!

I went easy on myself with my goals for the first week of the year, and I think that was the right choice for me. The holiday season was so busy this year (and we don't even have kids!!), and I needed some time to rest + recoup. But goal setting (and sharing my goals!) is one of the things that brings me joy, and I like putting them out there, so there's a little built-in accountability. Here are some of the things I'm putting my mind to in 2020.

Move my body 3 times/week
I know this probably sounds crazy to some, but I've never really had a good routine around exercising! I'm hoping to develop this habit now, as I know it's something I want to carry with me as I get older. I'm not making too many rules around how I should be exercising, though, which seems like the right choice for me. The second week of January, I did yoga, and last week, I walked a BUNCH on a fun trip to Atlanta to purchase new items for my shop.

Learn to bake a loaf of bread
I'm not sure if I'll turn into a lifelong baker from this (probably not, tbh), but I love the idea of knowing exactly what went into my food—especially bread. I think bread can tend to carry a lot of preservatives, and I'm interested in knowing how to make my own.

Sew an outfit
I learned to sew from my grandma when I was young, and I always love doing it when I make the time. I'm hoping to devote a little more time to that hobby this year, and hopefully I'll have some cute outfit to show for it!

Read 12 books this year
Reading is something I always want to do, but I don't always plan to do. This is the year I'm planning to do it.

Finish our bedroom
We have several years worth of house projects in the pipeline, and I'm honestly looking forward to them! I'm hoping to feel like our bedroom is in a good place by the end of 2020, so we can have a little retreat away from any other renovation areas. Having one space "done" will feel so good!

And the reality is, I g2g now because I haven't exercised yet this week, and it's Thursday. Gotta kick it in gear to meet my quota. Ha! Did you make any goals this year? I'd love to hear them if so!!

p.s. all the photos in this post are by my dear friend Beth Solano, who recently launched a beautiful new website. You should look it up, and follow her on Instagram! xo.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

My Favorite Date of the Year

Austin and I tend to eat out pretty often in this stage of life, and—this might surprise you—we're not big movie-goers. A lot of our date nights are pretty simple, with a dinner we'd enjoy, or a little time downtown. Since we both work downtown, too, there isn't always a huge difference between our "date" nights and our day-to-day. For an anniversary or special occasion, we may do something a little larger, but for the most part we're pretty predictable. We like sharing cubicles at J.O.B. or a cheese board at Scotch & Soda.

But, there is one day of the year that we make an exception to our basic date, and I look forward to it more than anything else. Since Austin and I have been married, we've started a New Year's Eve tradition of setting goals together and making a date out of it.

We'll call it the "let's do this" date, because we like writing our goals on this notepad in particular. Cherry Picker is another favorite of ours, and that's where we like going for this date. It's the best place in town to focus on contentment, cherishing the past, and considering what we want for the future. And I really can't explain why, but the vibe is there. We like taking it slow on this day with our tasty drinks and aspirations for the next year.

If you want to try your own "let's do this" date, here are some things we like to focus in on.
  • We both write out individual goals on our own papers—we take some time to consider where we're interested in improving on our own first.
  • Then, we trade papers and see what each other wrote. This is one of my favorite parts of our little tradition because it's a special way to connect, and I think it's extra important to share your goals with people who can root you on.
  • Some of our goals are bigger, and some are small. For example, I wrote "bake a loaf of bread" on my list this year. That, theoretically, could just take a day, but it's something I know I want to do in 2020, so it went on the list.
  • Finally, we sync up and write a list together. Some of the items are copied from one or both of our lists, but the focus here is that we both have individual goals, and then we have our goals as a couple.

The most important part of goal-setting is mindset. I try to never set goals from a place of negativity or beating myself up for things I haven't done yet. I love to think of a new year as full of potential, with endless possibility, especially as I go into it welcoming expansion. Wishing you all a 2020 full of both growth + peace. ❤️