Friday, December 30, 2011

The Great Memphis Hot Chocolate Adventure - Round 5

The search continues dear friends....

I bet you can figure out pretty quickly where I picked up this little ditty...


Duh...Dunkin Donuts!!

I had forgotten about Dunkin Donuts until I went out to my aunt's and uncle's house the other day. They live right down the road from it! 

Whip Cream? - NOPE! (Hey, I am getting good at remembering to tell them not to put it on there.)

Chocolate-ness- On a scale of 1-5 (5 being full on super duper chocolate flavor) I'd give it a 4-5. It was pretty dang chocolaty.

Richness- On a scale of 1-5 (5 being super duper rich), I'd give it a 4-5ish. Almost 5ish. This stuff was good. And rich. But not as rich as I want it to be. Like I said, I might have a problem....Apparently I want this stuff to take like warm chocolate syrup..haha.

Size- I got a small which is 10oz.

Calories - For a 10oz cup, it has 220 calories and 7 grams of fat. YOWZA!! Must explain why it tasted so good....haha. (This info came off the DD website.)

Price- Okay, to be quite honest, I lost my receipt. :( I know, BAD JENNIFER! However, if memory serves me correctly, I believe I paid something in the neighborhood of a $1.37 with tax? I know it was under $2 for sure. Which isn't a bad price at all. It was only 10oz, but if you are looking for a little treat, then the price isn't bad at all!

Cup cuteness- As you can see from the pic, the cup is very festive. Very cute.

All in all, I have to be honest....

So far, this is tied for my favorite cup of hot chocolate (with Poplar Perkin')!

This hot chocolate was really good. Maybe it was the mood I was in that day...or maybe it's just that good, but I really loved this hot chocolate. I would highly recommend Dunkin Donuts as a hot chocolate destination. I hope that if you do try it out, that it is as good as the cup I had. 

I have a few more places to try in the Hot Chocolate Adventure (and maybe a few more to try out at home), but so far these are the standings!

1st place (tie)- Dunkin Donuts & Poplar Perkin'
2nd place- Starbucks
3rd place- Panera Bread
4th place- Making my own at home (Hershey's cocoa style)

This is where I got my DD cup from:
Dunkin Donuts
1674 Whitten Rd
Suite 108
Memphis, TN 38134


Hope you are having a great day friends!

Much love, :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Catching up....

Hi friends!

Sorry I've been a little MIA.

The holidays were CRAZY!

Yikes...I think I am still recovering.

How about you?

My funk still continues....maybe I'm suffering from an early case of S.A.D.....

But, I'm trying friends to get outta the funk!

How was your Christmas?

Mine was wonderful. Stressful at times. But wonderful.

Here a few highlights:

Christmas Eve brunch with homemade quiche, muffins, and mimosas!

Baxter was really wanting some quiche of his own!

Genuine reaction to my Joseph gift card so I can go order my Tory Burch wallet or shoes!

Some kisses do begin with Kay ;)

New stereo for his truck :)

New bible with my married name on it. Made me cry!

Christmas Eve dinner. Made yum-o crockpot lasagna!

Christmas Day at the in-laws...our best friends Josh and Robyn with their "Mazel Tov Bitches!" pints glasses ;)



At my bro and sis-in-law's house meeting Blue finally!

My youngest niece Heather Dawn...isn't she the cutest?!

My partner in crime...my niece Hannah Jane :)

Getting acquainted with Blue :)

All the loves of my life!

My big bro :)

My fab sis in law!

The hubs and I on Christmas Day

The hubs and his fam
Whew!

I am so blessed.

I sure did miss mom and dad, but like I said before, I'm going to try to go and see them before school starts up again!

How crazy is it that New Year's is only a few days away??

I can't believe it. 

My hubs has to work, so I will be going and visiting him while he works behind the bar all night long in the new dress I acquired a few weeks ago. 

It's a little out of the norm of what I would usually go for in terms of a dress...but I got a great deal on it. 

Let's just hope the dang thing fits.

Ugh. 

The holidays have not been kind to my jean size.

Okay okay.

I, not the holidays, have not been kind to my jean size.

And I haven't run since Friday.

Yikes!

So, that def hasn't helped.

But there is a story.

I had a scare on Friday when I was running. I had decided to just go and run 6 miles. Well, things were going fine. Every mile, I'd stop for a sec, stretch real quick, and hydrate. So I'm running...and I get to mile 4 and I come to a place where I can stop for a sec and stretch. Well, when I stopped. I really stopped. 

As in the world went blurry.

And I felt like I couldn't move.

And I felt like I was going to throw up.

And the music in my Ipod sounded like it was being sucked down into a tunnel.

So, I sat on the brick wall where I was on campus, and just sat.

I was there for a good 5 minutes praying the whole time that I wasn't stroking out. Or going to pass out with no one there to see me. (I mean, there were a few people on campus, but most of them were leaving for the day from their offices.)

So, after I felt like I could move again, I stood up and slowly (I mean, snail's pace) walked to my car. After 2 or 3 minutes, I finally could orient myself again, and my surroundings weren't blurry anymore.

So yea, I was a little freaked out.

There have been many theories thrown my way. Blood pressure spiked. Blood pressure bottomed out (pretty impossible). Blood sugar dropped suddenly. Hyperventilating.

But, I didn't think I was hyperventilating because I really wasn't out of breathe.

So, needless to say, I've been a little wary of running. 

But, I've decided to run tomorrow.

And run in the 10K on Saturday morning.

And probably go and get checked out by a doc soon, just to make sure that everything's in check. 

My blood pressure does have a tendency to run a little high. And heart probs run in my fam (my dad has had a heart attack...my grandmother died from heart disease at 56 with a heart the size of a football..no lie.)

So, yea, I need to be aware of these things.

And I've also decided to run with a RoadID

But, I also realized today after being freaked out for a few days...that I have to just let it go and move on. I can't let this little hiccup scare me!

But, say a prayer for me on Saturday morning. I have to admit. I'm a little scared of how this race is going to go. There is a real possibility that I'll be the last person to finish the race. I average about 12-13 minutes per mile...so I'm not the fastest bird in the bunch. And well...6.2 miles...is 6.2 miles.

So, we'll see. I am definitely glad that my husband is going to be there to support me!

And of course, I will be depending on God's support, as well.

Pretty sure it's the only way I'm going to finish!

"Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1

"I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

Up next, a hot chocolate post!

Much love, :)


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays Friends!

Hi friends!

I just wanted to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy Festivus....

Or Merry Happychristmahannukwanzaca.

:)

I thought I'd share with you some holiday cheer from our household...

Usually our tree is a Memphis tree. You know...grey (silver) and blue decorated....

However, this year I wanted to do something different (gasp!).

I bought a smaller tree to decorate as our Memphis tree and it went into our bedroom...

GO TIGERS GO!
We had to buy a new tree this year because the tree I'd had for 7 years finally bit the dust. I had bought it on clearance at Old Time Pottery and well...it just needed to go.

So, I got out new tree at Wally World...

And decided to go with a traditional red and green motif....

Oh and definitely a glitter motif, also...

Our tree topper. Loves it. 

I wish I could take better pics of our tree!


Here are a few shots of some of my fav new ornaments this year :)














I warned you. There is lots of sparkle!



Nativity :)

Our wreath on the front door from Etsy! I wish I could make this!
I broke out the Waterford crystal wine glasses we got as a wedding present. They are so pretty!

Dining room table setting.

Friends. 

Bedroom ;)

I am sort of obsessed with penguins right now. 

Kitchen chalkboard :)

Bar :)

The only time I like this green chest. Christmas-time. Haha...we are going to paint in the new year!
Our Christmas card for this year :)

Front (haha..yes I blotted out our last name..that's not how they came...)

Back (wishing you a merry and bright holiday season...)
A big thank you to the hubs for helping drag all the stuff down from the attic this year!

Hahaha...he HATES decorating the house for the holidays. So, I have to give him a shout out for going into the attic and getting all the stuff down...and then dragging it all back up there. :)

I have to be honest, while most years I am full of cheer, this year it's been a little lacking.

In fact, the other night, as I watched Brad wrap presents (yes, HE wraps because I truly can't!) I was just in a funk.

And I figured out why.

This is the first year that I will not be spending the holidays with my parents. My mom is trying to recover from numerous health problems right now, so my brother and I just asked them to stay at home this year so she can focus on recovering.

I know it's super hard for them to be away from us, but I didn't realize until a few days ago how much I was upset by it.

And I know it upsets them. Dad told me yesterday he told mom, "You know Ruth Ann. This will be the first time in 30 years that we won't be with any family for the holidays."

However, we all know it's for the best.

I am so grateful to have my parents around, even if they are 5 hours away. I know many people who aren't lucky enough to have their parents here anymore, so I am grateful for the opportunity to have the luxury to pick up the phone and tell them how much I love them.

But I miss them terribly.

And it's hard. Especially as they are getting older. And the years go by faster. And I feel like I don't go see them enough.

So, I am going to try to go see them before school starts back. Even though it won't be the same as in years past, at least I'll get to visit with them! :)

(oh good grief, now I am crying...)

So, now because I am getting all weepy and sentimental I think this is where I should stop.

I am looking forward to spending Christmas Eve with my husband! We get to spend all day together and I am so grateful! We plan on making breakfast together, then opening gifts at some point, going to Christmas Eve communion at our church, and then eating the homemade crock-pot lasagna I am attempting to make.

Sounds divine :)

Then the next few days after that will be spend shuffling around from his family and mine.

I can't wait to see my nieces on Monday!

From the bottom of my heart, I wish each and every one of you a bright holiday season. I pray that you feel blessed beyond measure and find joy in the small things.

Much love, :)




Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Great Memphis Hot Chocolate Adventure - Round 4

Hi friends!


The great adventure continues!

Where do I get this little cup o' goodness from??


Poplar Perk'n!



Whip Cream? - NOPE!

Chocolate-ness- On a scale of 1-5 (5 being full on super duper chocolate flavor) I'd give it a 4. Still could use some more chocolate...I think I might have a problem.

Richness- On a scale of 1-5 (5 being super duper rich), I'd give it a 4-5ish. There was something that made this hot chocolate...different. I thought at first there might have been a touch of hazelnut in there or something. But, then after further inspection...I came to the decision that whatever it was tasted like melted marshmallows! (I don't think there were any in there...but it sure tasted like it. YUMMM!) 

Size- I think...12oz. :)

Calories - I am not sure about this. Poplar Perk'n doesn't have a true website. Just a website on Yelp with no nutritional information. :(

Price- $2.90 for a 12oz. Not bad! 

Cup cuteness- I gotta be honest. The cup was not very cute. It was just in a regular ol' Poplar Perk'n cup. However, they are locally owned. So, I know it's hard to spend money on things like holiday cups. So, they get a pass on that. :) And like I've said before, this doesn't make any difference in regards to my decision. 

I would say that Poplar Perk'n is a great place for a cup of coffee...or hot chocolate. Some of the reviews on Yelp aren't all good. But I love this place. First of all, it's local. And that always gets a star in my book. It's literally in the shopping center of the restaurant where my husband is the bar manager/bartender. So, it's really convenient. 

And I reallllllyyy liked this cup of hot chocolate. Like I said, there was just something different about it. It's definitely in the running for first place. 

GO GET YA SOME! (I hope you like it as much as I did.):
Poplar Perk'n
4610 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38117

Much love, :)



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Louisville...

Hi ya friends!

I hope you all have had a great Monday!

I thought I'd do a little Louisville recap...

First of all, I'd like to say that we had a great time in Louisville. The people there are so nice. Even at the game, the fans were really nice. I'm so glad that the rivalry has been rekindled. ;)

Getting ready to head out!



It's our friend "Trip the Tiger!" He made the trip to Chicago with us...and wanted to come to Louisville, too!

The man and I stayed at the Hyatt downtown and our room was really nice. It's funny because they are going to be closed these next few days to begin some renovations to the lobby and to add a new restaurant. However, I really hope they don't change their rooms up very much because they were decorated really nicely.

We'd recommend the Hyatt Louisville any day!

Our first night in town we decided to head next door to the Marriott hotel to have dinner (because our hotel was kind of lacking a restaurant right now) at the BLU Italian Grille. The menu looked great online, so we just moseyed on over.

Getting ready to head to dinner. I have a good looking husband. Yep. 

Shirt- Target (on sale for $8!)
Tank-Cato's
Pants-Target
Shoes- Payless (I love gold sparkly things!)

A beautiful tree...and a handsome husband = happy girl. 

Dinner was great. It wasn't the best meal I've ever had, but it was definitely good. And it was really pretty in there, also. They had a fireplace...and that made things even more cozy.

He had the filet.

I had the seafood risotto. 
After dinner we literally walked a few steps to the Marriott's hotel bar....which is very nice. Small...but nice.

At the awesome hotel bar. 
And guess who was sitting in the bar with some colleagues??

VERNE LUNDQUIST.



Practically broadcast royalty.

It was so neat.

No, I didn't ask for a picture with him...I probably could have, but I didn't. And it's not like he probably asks to have pictures taken with him that often, either....but I just have this rule that I really don't like to bother celebrities when they are out trying to lead a normal life.

So I didn't ask.

However, all this went right out the window when in walks...drum roll please...JOSH PASTNER!!



AGHHH!!!

He came in to say hi to Verne and the other guys at CBS.

I was so star struck all I could do was wave at him and say "GO TIGERS!"

To which he waved and smiled that million dollar smile back at me.

I WOULD have asked him for a pic.

But it was late.

And I figured he was busy.

You know, like, preparing to coach my favorite team.

Okay I was too chicken to ask. 

But, I really hope one day to have a pic with him!

So, I had my gushing moment with the hubs (as he was outside when this encounter happened)...and then it was on to more important matters...

Bourbon flights.
The hubs "Pappy" bourbon flight.  Very good!

My bourbon flight...the last one is called "Old Bardstown." My grandparents lived in Bardstown for most of their lives :)

Whew.

Gotta love Kentucky for the bourbon.

Gotta love our bartender Clare, too. She was so amazing we went back to see her the next night. More of that later....

After the beloved bourbon flights we decided to leave and explore some more of downtown Louisville and hitting up the Maker's Mark Lounge.

Heading down to the Maker's Mark Lounge.

Definitely a cool place. Really busy and seemed to be the happening place.

We dubbed it "frat-tastic."

But it was fun...and we had a great time there, too!

Day 2...game day....SO EXCITING!

Interesting thing about the KFC Yum! Center...you can smell KFC biscuits for at least half a mile away....no lie.

Anywho, before we went into the Center we hit up the Galt House hotel to have an adult beverage in Al J's Lounge. It is voted the best place in Louisville to have a drink...and I can see why. It has beautiful views of the river...and the bar has fish swimming in it. Crazy!

The hubs hanging out...
 Also, the whole place had been turned into a Gingerbread House/Santa's workshop for the holidays. It was SO beautifully decorated!
Fun times.

So, after hanging around for a little while...off we went to watch the game.

Our seats were great. Half-court. (High-up...but still great seats!)

These were smiles BEFORE the game. 

Well, if you don't know by now...we lost.

:(

But we played a great game.

(Of course with some mistakes...) but it was a wonderful game nonetheless.

After the game,we took our heavy hearts back to the hotel...to get changed to head to dinner.

We decided to try out Bistro 301.

A really nice place inside. We sat in the lounge. We loved the decor!

The hubs had the scallops. Yum.


And I decided to try a Louisville tradition...it's called a "Hot Brown."

"Hot Brown." Yes, it's covered in bacon. Bacon = happiness.


Mine wasn't really in sandwich form as it normally is....but it was delicious. So delicious.

After dinner, we loved our bartender at the Marriott so much, we decided to go and see her again.

I would highly recommend her (Clare) and the bar in the Marriott if you are ever in Louisville!!!

Sunday morning, we took the advice from my brother to go and eat at Lynn's Paradise Cafe.



Good grief! This place is sensory overload!

First of all, the food is amazing!

The hubs had the Kentucky Scramble.

I look psycho. And I had the sausage fritatta. 


This place has been on the Food Network and the Man vs. Food show.

And they were packed!

But, it was definitely worth the wait.

We loved it. YOU MUST GO THERE IF YOU VISIT LOUISVILLE!!!

And of course, I had to try their hot chocolate.

Cowboy boot glass. 
I gotta admit..it wasn't that great. Good but not great. But, it comes in a cool glass, huh?

Then it was time to head South to Memphis...all 6 hours it takes to get either to or from Louisville.

And boy was I happy to see our street sign. Sunday was some of THE WORST I-40 traffic I have ever experienced. It seemed like there were 1918283830 semi-trucks on the road.

The man and I almost had a nervous breakdown.

But, alas, we didn't!

And we had a fantastic time in Louisville. Can't wait to go back in 2 years when the Tigers take them on there again!!

GO TIGERS GO!


Quote of the trip:
Brad: "This elevator reeks of bourbon."
Me: "Honey, I think that's the whole state of Kentucky."

Much love, :)