16 January 2018

Home Tour: Nolan's Room

I realized recently that since my last blog post (in 2016!) we have moved... twice. Yep. At that point, we were living in our amazing downtown condo. We sold that place and moved out to Highpoint. We loved our charming little old house in this amazing neighborhood. After living there about a year, our landlord decided he wanted to sell the house, so we moved.. again. This time, to the house we are in now, on Mud Island. I was really sad when we left Highpoint (and still miss the neighborhood) but it ended up working out for us. The house we are in now has 3 bedrooms instead of the 2 we had and an extra bathroom! With our new third member in our family, this extra space has been super helpful!

So, with that begin said, how about a home tour? I thought I'd start today with my favorite room in our new house. Nolan's room.

Before he was born, I found these adorable space prints on Etsy. It was because of these retro-inspired astronauts that I decided to go with a space theme for Nolan's nursery.

We are using an antique mid-century dresser as his dresser and changing table. The amazing stars over the changing table are from one of my baby showers! Everyone wrote prayers or thoughts on the stars. I love reading these little messages. 

This kid already has a tonnnn of books! Part of that is because I love to read and I think exposing children to books from day one is super important. Also, for one of our baby showers instead of cards, everyone was encouraged to bring a book with a message inside instead. Nolan has quite the collection!

There are so many special little things in this room. It's simple, comfortable, and overall I wanted to give Nolan a place where he feels safe and warm and loved.

Which room would you like to see next? 

11 January 2018

The Day You Were Born

This story actually begins the day before you were born. Thursday, December 7th, I had a doctor’s appointment. You were growing exactly how you were supposed to. I still had 12 more days until your due date. The doctor and I discussed when I could potentially be induced. Being pregnant is hard! I was so uncomfortable and I was ready to meet you. We talked about being induced the following Friday, December 15h and that she would check the hospital’s availability and let me know. Your Dad and I left the doctor nervous and anxious but mostly excited that we would get to meet you in just a week! We planned how we would spend the next several days getting the house ready and preparing for your arrival.

Well, you had a different idea.

Friday morning around 3:30 am, I woke up with some cramps. The thought that I was actually in labor really didn’t occur to me. I thought that these could be the Braxton Hicks contractions everyone had been talking about but that I had not experienced. These cramps would come and go and I would fall asleep in between. They had told us in parenting class that you know you’re in labor when your contractions are consistent and evenly spaced apart. I decided to start looking at the clock. These definitely weren’t consistent. I was still convinced this was false labor.

My alarm went off for me to go to work. Your Dad convinced me to stay home because every few minutes I was in pain. There was no way I could teach in this condition! I stayed home and hoped these false contractions would stop. Well, they did not get better. I spent the morning on the couch tracking these contractions that were sporadic. I still thought this wasn’t labor, or perhaps I was scared to admit that I was in labor.

Around lunchtime, I finally called your Dad and told him that he should come home from work and take me to the hospital. I figured they would tell me this was false labor and I would relax and these pains would go away. He came home, we grabbed a few things we thought we might need just in case this was the real thing but both of us thought the chances of us being sent home were pretty good. I mean, I was just at the doctor and we had talked about being induced in a week! 

We made it to the hospital and as I sat down at the registration desk my water broke. I was definitely in labor.

They put us in the last delivery room that was available and started my epidural. Those pesky contraction pains that I had been having all day gradually decreased and I couldn’t feel them anymore. Your Dad and I spent the next few hours relatively relaxed just hanging out in the delivery room waiting for something to happen. Apparently one of the other moms that day was having some problems so our nurse did not come and check on me as often as they usual do. After a few hours, she came in to check on my progress. I was 10 cm dilated, she jokingly asked me if I could feel the baby that was about to fall out of me! I had been so relaxed just hanging out in the hospital bed not feeling any pain that my labor progressed very quickly. It was time to call the doctor and push.

The entire pregnancy leading up to this day I tried to imagine what it was like to be in the delivery room. I always pictured it with a lot more people. I was surprised that the only people in the room when it was time to actually have a baby was my doctor, my nurse, your dad, and me!

Looking back I know I had a very easy delivery experience, I was only pushing for about 15 minutes and I got to meet my first baby, the one who made me a mom. It was the most surreal experience that I was always remember. That moment they handed you to me and I knew you were mine.

Nolan Anthony Long, you were born on December 8, 2017 at 5:03 pm weighing 6 pounds 1 ounce. You were perfect. 

Some things I learned:
- Relax! We were not expecting to have a baby that day so I had no time to get nervous about it. I really think that's part of the reason why delivery was so easy for me. I know this is easier said than done, but try to relax mammas!
- Epidurals are the best things ever. I had been having contractions for about 9 hours and it was brutal. Once they hooked me up, the pain went away completely. I was able to just be present and enjoy the moments leading up to my son's birth.
- Take a Shower. Someone had told me that once you think you're in labor to make sure you shower before you go to the hospital. I am so happy I did this! I was having contractions every few minutes but somehow managed to take a shower before going to the hospital. In all the excitement and craziness of having a baby and being in the hospital, I didn't manage to take a shower until Sunday afternoon.

Another note: I had Nolan at Methodist Germantown and I had an amazing experience. My delivery room nurse and the night nurses were seriously angels sent from heaven and I know they made the whole experience of becoming a parent ten times better!

08 September 2016

Outdoor Concert Root Beer Float

I've mentioned it before so naturally I will mention it again... I love the Live at the Garden concert series!! It's definitely one of my favorite Memphis Summer activities. Last time I gave you five tips to have the best Live at the Garden experience. This time I'm giving you another tip that is game changing for any outdoor concert. Root Beer Floats!!!

My husband gets credit for this one. He suggested that we bring some root beer with us to the REO Speedwagon concert since coolers are perfectly acceptable and encouraged and then get some Yarnell's vanilla ice cream from the truck that we know and love and make floats. Brilliant!!!

There's only one more Live at the Garden concert this summer!!! I suggest going... and making root beer floats.

23 August 2016

A New Season

You might have noticed that it's been extreeeeemely quiet around here. Well, I'm here to explain myself! There have been a few changes occupying my time and honestly, it was nice to take a blogging break. The truth is though, I've missed this!! I've missed this creative outlet, this online journal. I've missed other bloggers and reading other blogs, so I'm back. Back but not as frequently. I'm committing to twice a week, which I think will be ok with all of you when I tell you why I've been so busy and absent lately...

Reason 1 -- I'm going back to school! 
I've decided on a career change. I came to the realization that I'm not passionate about mutual funds and that I belong in a school as an educator. Yesterday was my first day of graduate school at the University of Memphis where I'm studying to get my Master of Arts in Teaching degree in Elementary Education! Phew! That's a mouthful but what that it means is that I'm studying to be an elementary school teacher. The past few months have been full of applying to school and entrance exams, but now I'm officially a graduate student and will be for the next two or so years.

Reason 2 -- I have a second job!
A few months ago I went to Memphis Escape Rooms with some family and friends and had the best time ever! Well, a few weeks ago I saw that they were hiring and it was a no brainer that I had to work there. I applied and now work there some nights and weekends to help pay for school (see above). You guys, I'm not just saying this, Memphis Escape Rooms is awesome! I highly suggest booking a room (or more - there are 6 different themed rooms!) with some friends.

Reason 3 -- We're moving!
Like I don't already have enough on my plate, we have decided to move. We love love love living downtown and our first home together, but it's time for a change. We're staying in Memphis but we're looking to move somewhere where we can have a yard for the dog, a guest room so lots of people can visit, and simply just more space. I've been spending alot of my time purging and packing and preparing to find our new home.

It's a busy season of life for sure, but I know all this hard work will pay off! So many good things on the horizon.

08 July 2016

Naan Pizza

A few years ago I shared one of our favvvorite recipes, Naan Pizza! Well, over the years the recipe has evolved (as has my food photography) so I thought I would share it again! This is so incredibly easy to make and delicious that we make it all. the. time. Especially in the Summer!

Naan Bread - which we find at Kroger in the Bakery section
Cherry Tomatoes
Mozzarrella Cheese
Olive Oil
Pepperoni (if you want!) 

First Step - Roast Tomatoes
Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and put on a cookie sheet with some olive oil. Cook in the oven at 350 for about an hour.

Second Step - Assemble Pizza
- Drizzle some olive oil over the naan bread
- Add the cooked tomatoes
- Then, the fresh spinach and pepperoni
- Generously sprinkle cheese over the top
- Cook in the oven until cheese gets nice and melty 

07 July 2016


Today's blog post is all about how I beat the Memphis heat! You guys, I never knew Summer until I moved to Memphis. The level of humidity is totally crazy and this is from somebody who is very cold natured! The way I survive? Light, flowy dresses. This one is perfect!! It's thin and comfortable and it can be dressed up or down. I like to pair it with my gold Saltwater sandals and a simple accent necklace. Also, this AMAAAZING mural doesn't hurt.

I found this dress over on Zulily which is my favvvvorite place to find good deals. Want some good news?? This dress is still available over there!!

And, you know, since I have to keep it real over here... how about this action shot?

05 July 2016

Best of Memphis - Brunch at Cafe Pontotoc

I have a new favorite meal. The problem? It's only available on Saturdays and Sundays!!! Ok, I've mentioned it before but we're not big brunch eaters. Between going to church on Sunday mornings and the various things that come up on Saturday morning, we typically overlook this particular meal. Cafe Pontotoc has made me a convert. Their brunch hours are Saturdays and Sundays from 11-3 giving us plenty of time and options so we don't miss out on this incredible meal. Not to mention that food. It is amazing.

Now for the details. When you sit down they give you a basket with mini biscuits and blueberry muffins. You guys. I can't even begin to explain how heavenly these blueberry muffins are!! I could literally eat an entire basket of them by myself (and I might one day because you can order a whole basket of them!) They're served warm and the flavor is seriously divine.

After devouring the biscuits and muffins, it's time for the main course. My favorite dish is the Crawcake Benedict. I mean, just look at that picture! The poached eggs are cooked perfectly and they sit on top of a crawcake which is just a crabcake made with crawfish instead. All on an English muffin and covered in hollandaise sauce. So amazing. I literally think about this meal daily.

Between the food and the atmosphere, Cafe Pontotoc has been our go-to spot for a mid-day meal on the weekends. I highly suggest you go there too.

30 June 2016

5 Tips to have the BEST Live at the Garden Experience

Outdoor concerts are definitely up there on my list of favorite things to do. I mean, what is there not to love about sitting outside on a beautiful night listening to some amazing music? I recently blogged about how much we love the Live at the Garden concert series at the Botanic Garden, but after going to our second concert of the season (which was Gregg Allman and amazing), I thought I'd share some tips on how to make the most of these super fun concerts.

1- Bring Lawn Chairs

Essentially Live at the Garden is one big party. There are table seats available close to the stage, however, I'm partial to the lawn seats. Everyone brings chairs and blankets and claims their spot. As the music gets going, people will get up and dance and all in all have a great time under the string lights.

2- Cool Down With Some Ice Cream

Ok, let's be real for a second. You can't talk about Summer in Memphis without mentioning the heat. Yes, it gets very hot and humid during the Summer months which makes the fact that Yarnell's has a truck at the concerts a lifesaver! So, be sure to cool down by stopping by the Yarnell's truck and getting some cool refreshing delicious ice cream.

3- Get There Early

Usually the gates open about two hours before the concert actually begins. I recommend going as close to gates open as you can! This gives you the opportunity to get a good parking spot, claim a great spot on the lawn, and enjoy a meal. Which leads me to my next tip...

4- Bring Dinner and a Cooler

You are able to bring your own food and drinks to the Live at the Garden Concerts so why wouldn't you! Looking around I realized that some people really have this down to a science. There was a group sitting near us that had real plates and silverware and a delicious looking cheese plate. I've also seen people bringing in catering trays. We usually grab some takeout on our way to the concert. This time we brought some Lenny's Subs (and left room for ice cream). Most people also bring large coolers. The smart people have coolers that are on wheels or even bring all their things with them in a wagon. If you don't want to bring food or drinks with you, that's fine! There are options available there.

5- Bug Spray

I mentioned the heat so it's only fair that I mention the bugs. It's Memphis in Summer. You definitely won't escape the heat and you probably won't be able to escape the mosquitos either. Luckily there are things you can do to avoid this being a problem. Bring some bug spray. I've also see people bring citronella candles that will not only keep the bugs away from you, but the people around you won't mind either!

There you have it! My tips to make the best out of the Live at the Garden Concerts. There are only three concerts left so you better get your tickets!!

Billy Currington - July 29, 2016
REO Speedwagon - August 25, 2016
Sheryl Crow - September 23, 2016

Once again, a huge thank you to Yarnell's for sending us to see Gregg Allman! 

20 June 2016

Ten Feet Off Beale Shop - Patriotic Donuts

There's a special new donut now available in the Ten Feet Off Beale Etsy Shop... a Patriotic Donut! They will only be available through the summer and they make the perfect gifts for a thoughtful Fourth of July happy.

There are play donuts for a child's play kitchen, catnip donuts for your four legged friends, and even tiny donut brooches that will add the perfect flair to any outfit this summer.

Hint: I like to use the play donuts as decoration! I keep a cake stand on my kitchen table and fill it with donuts that go with the season.

Check out the shop, let me know what you think, and what you'd like to see listed next!

17 June 2016

Steaks, Suds, and Spuds

Chef Anna of Bleu has done it again! A while back I talked about the amazing brunch that you can enjoy at Bleu, which is conveniently located Downtown by the FedEx Forum. Well, I had the opportunity to get a preview of the amazing event and menu Chef Anna has put together for Father's Day weekend. Steaks, Suds, and Spuds is such a brilliant idea that I'm sure any father would enjoy.

For $39.95 per guest, each diner gets to choose a cut of meat, a three draft beer flight, and a choice of potatoes. That's a pretty good deal if you ask me consider you get the choose from the following:

Steaks: Filet Mignon, New York Strip, Prime Rib, Rib Eye, Rack of Lamb, Double Bone French Pork Chop

Suds: Wiseacre Ananda IPA, Lagunitas IPA, Blue Moon, Ghost River Golden, Ghost River Red, Sam Adams Boston Lager, Sam Adams Summer Lager

Spuds: Mashed Potatoes, Baked Potato, Potatoes Au Gratin, Fries, or Frites

Did I mention there's complimentary valet parking? So, how about making a reservation and bringing Dad this weekend! I'm sure he will thank you.