January 23, 2016

NASHVILLE

Last May we adventured with the Grundys in Nashville for Collegiate Summit.  During our free time, I led an unofficial culinary tour of Nashville.  Blake said that I kept us eating around-the- clock like newborn babies. 
We had coffee and treats at Barista Parlor.  And the lattes and pour-over coffees were the best!
We stopped for afternoon coffee at Crema.
And bonuts and biscuits for breakfast at Biscuit Love.

We shared burgers at The Pharmacy and ordered old fashion sodas.  And saved room for tacos and tamales at Mas Tacos (across the street).  If I had to choose, I'd pick tacos!
Brian and I dined at Husk on our first night in town.
And ate delicious breakfast at Marche Artisan Foods
We tried Nashville hot fried chicken at Hattie B.'s and all sorts of yummy southern sides (greens, pimento mac and cheese, baked beans, potato salad) and the boys got fries. 

We ended our trip with a picnic in the park by the Parthenon

January 16, 2016

DATE NIGHT: WILLA JEAN + DISTRICT

We stopped by District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew. for pre-dinner coffee and dessert (for me).  Everyday Adventures Lesson: It's okay to eat dessert first.

Since the king cake donut of the day was sold out,  my next choice was Boston Creme, although the cinnamon roll was pretty.

I read that the donuts at District are made from scratch (even the sprinkles).  That's straight dedication to the donut game.  They also serve made-to-order sliders and brew delicious coffee!
For dinner at Willa Jean (named after the grandmother of pastry chef Kelly Fields), the style was simple, rustic and modern.  I loved all the little details --- honeycomb tiles, Edison light bulbs, fresh flowers, and cute salt and pepper shakers!

The bakery/coffee bar was probably the best feature.  Maybe because, baked good, desserts and coffee are among my favorite things.


Brian had a great idea!  I got a to-go piece of king cake for the next day (since I ate a donut a few hours before and all).  I found the recipe here by baker Lisa White.  It was filled with fresh bananas, salted carmel sauce, mascarpone and topped with a praline glaze and pretty edible gold.  It also made a great breakfast treat for the next couple of days!
On our drive to NOLA, Brian caught up on the latest episode of Serial Season Two.  We navigated the Friday afternoon traffic with minimal sass (from me) and sweet patience (from Brian).  Date nights give us a chance for good conversation and fun.  On the drive home I pulled up Jennie Allen's Dream Guide on my phone (link here) to reflect on life in 2015 and think about our goals for 2016.

January 7, 2016

2015 | A YEAR IN REVIEW

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down
from the Father of lights..." James 1:17a

Celebrating all the everyday adventures from another year full of grace.

We kicked off 2015 by celebrating Progression Church's first birthday! We wore party hats, ate birthday cake, and reflected on our first year of learning, serving and growing to love Jesus and one another more.  Brian and I said farewell to some of our first BR friends as the Byrds embarked on a new adventure.  We served with an awesome team to launch the spring semester of college ministry at Progression.
I enjoyed sweet time in February with Jen, Lori, and Lindsay for If: Gathering 2014.  I met Jess for a chilly coffee date at Magpie and enjoyed King Cake bread pudding with the Youngs/Handys at the new Bistro Byronz in Willow Grove.  I left little Gussie with the Food Network channel and we came home to a serving spoon in his new bed.
In March, Louisiana boiled crawfish was back.  I started prep for a decorating refresh with the Nester's Cozy Minimalist class.  Brian officiated Chris and Selene's beautiful southern wedding.  And one Saturday included a living room full of women that love Jesus for brunch and encouragement.   In April, we took a road trip to NOLA to see Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors.  Brian and I worked on our first house construction project above our fireplace inspired by Layla at the Lettered Cottage and Joanna of Fixer Upper.  We celebrated the Risen King Jesus on Easter Sunday.  And sweet Gus was ready for a haircut. We drove to Nashville for a college ministry conference and spent time relaxing with the Grundys.  I had us eating all the foods and drinking all the coffee in Nashville.  We came home full, happy, refreshed and ready to eat a salad. In May, the Handys taught us a life hack for putting pjs on a baby.  We got the back patio ready for summer grilling.  Brian and I celebrated our five year anniversary with a relaxing day and dinner.  And I enjoyed the fantastic T. Swift 1989 World Tour with fun friends!
In June, we took a last minute anniversary trip to St. Croix.  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast each morning, beach-side lunches, and explored eclectic restaurants in the heart of Christenstead. We honed our snorkeling/communication/resting skills and enjoyed one of the prettiest beaches in the Caribbean.
We stopped for double scoops---because Louisiana summer in July.  I drove to Lake Charles to spend a Saturday celebrating Sarabeth's big 3-0.  We also took a trip to Mississippi to enjoy a little visit with the Grundys before the fall semester.  Brian and Blake went golfing and Lori and I found the perfect swim trunks for Baby Beaux.
We celebrated with Lauren as she moved for a new job in Colorado.  Brian and I missed the outlet mall exit and ended up dining at Houmas House.  The pharmacy girls were reunited at Brittany's baby shower in LC.  I turned 29 in August and the Grundys happened to be in town too!
In September, Jess and I tried out hip-hop cardio in my pursuit to find an exercise that I like before I turn 30.  The first combo we learned was perfectly choreographed to the Backstreet Boys.  Gus continued to show off his cozy and cute skills.  I picked up a cake on the way home from work and we ended our Wednesday night college community group by singing happy birthday to the newest 30 year old in BR.
Vanny shared her ninja turtles masks.  We stopped for coffee in Hattiesburg on our drive to Atlanta in early October.  I loved the teaching and inspiration after two full days of Awaken the Wonder - Catalyst Conference.  At church we celebrated new lives in Christ with baptisms. The Prices came over to watch the LSU game.  We met my mom for a birthday dinner and I did some fall baking. 
We spent Saturday night in Tiger Stadium with the Grundys in November.  I hosted a Stella and Dot trunk show with friends.  And some college friends came over for homemade pizza and cookie baking.  Gus stayed cozy and cute.  
December was sweet and simple.  We gathered for pjs and pancakes with the ladies of Progression and I shared the vision and heart of illuminate.  The Christmas decorations were minimal and our time was well spent with family and friends.  We cheered on the LSU basketball team and enjoyed blueberry lemonade during a warm December in Louisiana. 

Looking forward to many more adventures in 2016!

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