Daytrippin

I have this one friend from back home (he shall remain nameless because he doesn’t need to be everyone’s therapist). He and I have been friends for 26 years. I can always tell when I need a break, from parenting, because I will be having one of my random conversations with him and it will turn into a therapy session complete with an Amanda Meltdown.

Sometimes single motherhood gets overwhelming. Most of the time(with the help of about 18745387278456159 friends) I manage just fine. Sometimes I just need someone to say, “You’re doing ok.” other times I need 24 whole hours to regroup. I am my kiddos primary care giver. They see their father less than 4 days a month and they are rarely with him a full 24 hours. Their time with him is a little scattered. So, rarely do I get a full day to recharge. I’m so thankful that I have friends and family that offer hands when I need a moment to breathe. I took one of those moments recently. I grabbed Susan (most of my trips will start with that phrase) and we headed to Nashville for the day just to get out of Lexington.

Nashville is about a three hour car trip. Totally doable for a day trip. I love Nashville. It has such a creative energy and while you can’t do or see everything in a day you can have a great time, eat some good food, do some shopping and hear some amazing music.

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When we first got into the city we found a really amazing farmers market. We looked through all the beautiful veggies and then headed over to the crafty side of the market.

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I ended up buying a great print of the Nashville skyline from this great little setup.

After this we headed to 12 south. 12 South is one of the trendier little neighborhoods in Nashville. It’s home to White’s Mercantile, Draper James, and many other little shops and restaurants. We had a delicious lunch at Josephines.

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After lunch we did some shopping. So many photo opportunities in this area and I purchased a cute dress at Draper James.

We then headed to The Gulch. I really need for Lexington to start naming neighborhoods. It would make me so very happy.

We stumbled into a little store called Two Old Hippies. This happened to be a live music Venue and they were setting up for a cool show. Susan and I stuck around and the music was amazing. There were four sets of performers and two of them spoke to my soul. T-N-T duo and Marcus Eaton. Look them up. Listen to them!!!

For Dinner we headed over to Pinewood Social. I later learned that Anthony Bourdain did an episode of his show there! It was a really cool concept for a restaurant complete with a bowling alley and dipping pools.

We headed home after dinner. I’m not gonna lie, I felt it the next day but it was well worth it!

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August Goals.

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Can y’all believe it is August? July was a whirlwind of a month full of highs and lows and I am completely ready for the structure that August brings. I know I am not alone in that feeling. I start the summer in a dreamy state, thinking about warm evenings and days by the pool, but by the end of July I just want my kids to go to bed at 8pm and for them to eat someone else out of house and home.

August also gives me a sense of renewal. We are back to the schedule I prefer and some of my favorite things fall in this half of the year. All that being said, I made my goals for the month with ease.

1. Get back to school ready. We have a couple weeks to get back into the swing of things. Time to reprogram the teenager who has now become accustomed to staying up and sleeping in. I have kept the six year old fairly close to her regular schedule and we are already using a reward chart to encourage her to go to bed without argument.

2.Four books for review this month. I really want to read more. I read plenty of facebook and Instagram posts so I know I have the time. So I am challenging myself this month to read less online posts and more printed word.

3.Weekend away to Recharge. A Dear friend of mine invited me to come visit him and I am all in. Being a single mom is not for the weak. Getting that recharge when you can is so important. My kids are with me 26 days out of each month, so when I get the opportunity to recharge, get a break, and catch up with an old friend at the same time I take it.

4.Spend more time writing. When my last relationship ended and the break up cloud lifted, a wonderful idea for a novel came to me. I have been brain dumping those ideas for a while and have now started the process of putting it all in order. I’m hoping to get some ground covered this month!

5. Yoga 3 times a week. I love yoga. I feel amazing when I do yoga. I have never left a yoga session and said, ” Man, that was a complete waste of time”. However, I fail to make it a priority. I’m using this month to get back into the habit of spending at least three evenings a week in yoga practice.

They aren’t anything drastic or crazy but sometimes it’s helpful just to write a few goals out and see the words on paper. I’m looking forward to the end of summer, the beginning of school and the sense of renewal that comes this time of year, at least for me. Talk to y’all soon.

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July Book Review.

July was a busy month but I managed to get two really quick reads in. My goal is to come to you every month with two or more books to recommend! I picked up my two July picks at the same time and blew through both of them.

I have been following Rachel Hollis for several years now. I have loved her from the moment I caught wind of her. Cazlin and I have appeared in a couple episodes of her Rach Talk series on youtube. She is delightful, inspiring, and my spirit animal. “Girl Wash Your Face” is about the lies we, as women, tell ourselves. We aren’t enough, we aren’t worth it, there is no way around our fears… (you get the picture). At the end of every chapter she offers advice on how she got past this lie in her own life.

I devoured this book. She is funny and inspiring and exactly what I needed this month.

“Grace not Perfection”, by Emily Ley had been recommended to me by two different friends. I am a perfectionist. This book was a real wake up call for me. It has helped me step back and look at my priorities a little differently. It was an extremely quick read as well.

A funny side note, I had followed both of these authors on Instagram long before purchasing any of their written works. They are both wonderful to follow. You should check them out on all their social media platforms even if the books don’t appeal to you.

I have a couple fiction on tap next month and hope to keep mixing everything up to give you some great recommendations. Also feel free to send me any and all recommendations as I am a self-proclaimed bibliophile!

My Top 5 Non-Negotiables.

I have been sitting with this post for a while now. Especially after the break up. Dating is not easy when you are a single mother. Not even a little. I now have three hearts to look after instead of just my own. Many people would argue with me on this and say “You have to live with the person long after your kids are grown, so that should be the priority”. But the truth is we would all have to live with each other long after my kids leave the nest. So after my divorce I made a mental list of non-negotiables. These are the things I have to have in a relationship. I’ll share my top five with you .

1. Loyalty. I really shouldn’t have to elaborate on this. If you don’t understand what I mean then we have bigger issues….

2. Someone who has a family mindset. I understand that my lifestyle isn’t for everyone. I spend a lot of my day pretending to work in a unicorn spa with the six year old. Some people find family life completely boring and dull. I am not everyone’s cup of tea and I am perfectly ok with that. As a mom my priorities are different. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy the occasional night off to forget about responsibilities, but it isn’t my normal. My normal consists of two amazing kids, a job I really enjoy and friends who sing Disney karaoke. I need someone who finds this enjoyable and not a chore.

3. Someone who can balance work and home. I am fully aware that so many people feel defined by their job. Those people won’t fit well with me. I’m not saying career goals aren’t important, because they are. There is just a way to balance that. You cannot expect to put 100% of yourself in just one area of your life.

4. Ability to talk things out. To make a relationship work there has to be compromise. To have any compromise you have to be able to discuss issues and to discuss them without shutting down or immediately getting defensive. This is a big one. It was completely missing in my marriage and a huge part of it’s downfall.

5. The ability to compromise. This is so important. A relationship isn’t about just one person’s needs, its about meeting each other’s needs and putting them before other people in your life. This is what makes a relationship, a relationship and not a friendship. Sometimes that means looking at things from a different angle and meeting in the middle.

So those are my top five. Boundaries are important. Especially when little hearts are on the line too.

Lexington’s Burger Week

I am fresh off of working my regular gig and then hanging out at the fairgrounds in the evening to help out. I cannot begin to tell you how good it felt to wake up yesterday morning and have only my regular sets of responsibilities to tend to. That being said, I wanted to give you my thoughts of Lexington’s Burger week. I’m aware I’m a week and a Half late, but still.

I’ve never really participated in burger week before. Sure, I like a good burger every now and then, but not my go to when I want to dine out. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Burger week, here in Lexington, let me give you the cliff’s notes. Several restaurants offer an amazing burger for 5 bucks. If you try every burger and get a stamp on your burger week passport you are entered to win prizes. Most of the restaurants are packed because of this and many of them run out of the burger by the end of the day. Obviously some people take burger eating as serious business.

I accidently participated this year. My son texted me and begged for A&W for lunch one afternoon. I was in the area and decided to grab it for him. When the lady asked me if I wanted to try their burger week selection I said, “sure.”
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A lovely acquaintance of mine is part of the marketing team at A&W. They did a great job on this burger. The maui Wowee was a burger topped with sweet BBQ sauce, grilled pineapple salsa, Hickory-smoked bacon, lettuce, provolone cheese, and an onion ring. Y’all it was yummy. I knew I could never hit every burger. The thought alone made me a little ill, but having that one early in the week helped me decide that I would at least try four.

For my second burger, I headed to Louie’s wine dive. Their burger had my favorite accessory, a fried green tomato.
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It was a super simple burger. Bourbon BBQ sauce, cheese, and an ale 8 battered fried green tomato.

My third and favorite burger was at Big City Pizza. A pizza place, who would have guessed that they would have my favorite burger?
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This burger had mac and chees and a piece of candied bourbon bacon on it. That bacon alone made that burger.

The last burger that I chose was at the Lexington diner. The Kilauea. Seriously, I have an issue with pineapple. I could eat it on everything.

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All the burgers were so delicious, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be eating another burger for a while. I can’t even begin to imagine anyone who hit all of the restaurants participating. I needed a detox after the four I had!

Hope y’all are well. Talk to you soon.

Six year Old Royalty.

One of my favorite things about Lexington is the Farmer’s Market. I love it. I love the people, the dogs, the flowers, the vegetables… Everything. Normally I enjoy Saturday morning, downtown, but when the opportunity comes up to hit a farmers market on a Wednesday evening at the Castle in Versailes, you don’t turn it down.

Caz and I grabbed Susan and we headed out to Versailles. The weather was questionable but I figured there might be less of a crowd because of the weather. On the way there Caz became very concerned about meeting royalty. She said she was nervous and wasn’t sure how to act. Susan and I assured her that most likely we would see no royalty and if we did they would be Kentucky royalty, so they wouldn’t be so uptight.

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As fate would have it, they did have some royalty on hand. Cazlin curtseyed and posed with the Kentucky Castle Princess.

The grounds there are beautiful and they are still doing some renovations. They had the market under a large tent so we made our rounds.

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Here are just a few of my favorite little snapshots. I picked up a pint of delicious little tomatoes and then I spied something new….

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This company is locally based and makes some amazing seasonings and ice cream toppings. I purchased some of the Memphis rub and it did not disappoint.
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You don’t have to be a local to grab some of these. You can order them at http://www.zeldaandbramble.com

I’m planning on trying several more of these very soon.

I highly encourage you to check out the upcoming markets.They are having Wednesday markets through October. 3-6 pm. It was a beautiful backdrop to shop in.

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Hope to see you there.

Changes

Sorry I’ve been absent this week. We had a power outage, an air conditioning issue and a breakup. Needless to say it was a rough week.

Change is inevitable. We always hope that those we love adapt with us, but it isn’t always the case.

Relationships are not perfect and when you have kids things are very different. Dating is different. What’s important is different. What you do with your time is different.

I learned a lot about myself in the last year. I had a lot of fun in the last year. I learned some things I never knew I wanted in a relationship and I also learned some things that are no longer acceptable for me. He was a truly lovely man and I wish him happiness.

So I find myself single again and that’s ok. I know I need some time for my heart to heal and that’s ok. I need to do a few things before I ever think about dating again and that’s ok too. In true Amanda fashion, I made a list. A list of things that I have to do before I even consider getting back out there. Don’t worry, I’ll take you along.

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