hodge podge of life.

So, I was out of town last week for work, and therefore unable to post. Playing a little catch up now is definitely called for I do believe…

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Worst photo of me ever…but great feeling!

A run-hater, finishes a 5K…
First things first… we finished our 5K!  Yes, the Breakaway Bardog 5K was a success, and if I do say so myself, we couch to 5kers did pretty great! Christopher clocked in at 31:28 and I wasn’t too far behind with 33:59. Definitely not earth shattering times, but for us it was just about completing it.

Don’t worry the running isn’t stopping here. We are already planning to do another race IMG_1211the end of October, so the quest to get faster and improve breathing continues. But this time around I am even more set, due to some new kicks I bought at Breakaway Running last week. Who knew there was so much involved in picking the right running shoe… this run-hater definitely did not. But Brian at Breakaway did not lead me astray, and I am now the owner of some pretty sweet Brooks. I have to say, they make me feel like one of the cool kids.

Ten Days and Counting…
That is, until the witzs hit the road for out West. A fitting word to describe our excitement, stoked! Completely stoked! It’s just the two of us, a car full of necessities, and the open road for a whole week and we couldn’t be more ready to get moving! The plan is to post a photo each day signaling where we have been or what we have been doing. So, if you read this blog weekly be sure and check in each day for an update!

Although we know what cities we are going to be in and when, what we are going to do when we get there is staying ambiguous. We have general ideas, but for the most part we just wanted to get there and decide. So, there is not telling what we might end up getting into. Also, we decided a few weeks ago that staying at our first bed and breakfast would also be fun for this trip. So, on our second night in Boulder that’s exactly what we are doing. I am pretty excited for that experience just in and of itself.

Memphis News that Makes Me Happy…
cupcakesIf you read the Flyer, listen to the radio, etc. you probably already know that Muddy’s Bake Shop is coming to Midtown. But just in case you haven’t heard, now you too know the exciting news. Yep, South Cooper is about to get a lot sweeter… and I am elated! Lovin’ from the oven will still continue to take place in East Memphis, it will just be spreading the love with this sibling store for those of us further west. So, keep an eye on 585 S. Cooper and all the deliciousness that is destined to come from it!

babalu-signFurthermore, to continue in the trend of Midtown being Memphis, Overton Square will also be getting another resident soon… and its a pretty tasty one if I say so! Babalu Tacos and Tapas is well on its way to expanding its Jackson, MS restaurant to the Bluff City. For any former Jackson resident or those of us who have just eaten there when visiting friends, you know that this place has pretty awesome food! So, I am quite pleased they decided to expand in Memphis. Plus, growth for our great city, just makes me happy!

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new likes downtown.

IMG_1167So, I am always up for trying new things. I would like to think most people are, but I guess you have to understand that I consider going to the movies or simply trying a new place to eat, an adventure. There’s something about not knowing whether an eatery is going to be “our new place” or the prospect that a new movie might move into my top ten that I really like. Hey, you gotta make the most of the small things in life…right?

With that said, you can imagine how pumped I get when I notice a new place popping up or I finally get to try out a place I’ve been wanting to go to. These past few weeks I have achieved both of the aforementioned. I have tried a new place (okay several times now) that opened about a month ago, and finally ate at an oldie but goldie. And… here’s how it turned out.

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T&T’s Coffee Art consistently rocks!

New Downtown Resident: Tamp and Tap

Tamp and Tap brings two of my favorite things under one roof… a little tamp (coffee) and a little tap (beer). And ummm…. whats not to like about a place that offers up both of these delicious liquids? I am actually sitting here drinking my regular hazelnut latte order as I type this very blog post, just so ya know! But aside from my usual order, you should get very excited about the Nutella Mocha this place makes. Yep, you heard me, Nutella meet mocha, meet amazingness! And I can tell you from first hand indulgence, it rocks! But if thats not for you, they of course also offer up any other coffee concoction you could possibly want.

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Wooo whooo Gerst!

On the beer side, there is a pretty good bit to choose from as well. See picture to the right for a list of draft options. And as you read that list you will see another reason to give T&T major props… Gerst! Yes, for anyone who knows me I am a huge Yazoo Gerst fan, and well right now downtown you can only get it at one other place… Aldos Pizza Pies. So, props to Aldo too! 

I have not tried the food… but I hear from others it’s pretty good! So, next time you are in the neighborhood you should try this new coffee bar out for yourself. They are located below Van Vleet Flats, at the corner of Second Street and Gayso. Open from 7a-9p every day. Chances are if you are here after 6p on a weekday you might see me.

Veteran Pinch District Resident:  Westy’s

So, I am fairly certain my research is accurate when I tell you that Westy’s has been around since about 2004. But I just made my first walk through the door this past Friday night.  And I have to say, I’m a fan!

They offer up a very chill atmosphere that fits family night out, date night, or drink night with friends. Its also a smart choice for a large group with all kinds of different tastes… because they definitely have something for everyone. They literally boast the biggest menu I have ever seen. If you can’t find something here you like, then chances are you don’t like food!

WestysIs the food the most amazing, never-had anything like this, going back every day kind? No. But was it a fun vibe with quality food and really good service… most definitely! If you go, ask for Leo, he took such good care of Christopher and I and seemed to be doing so for every table in the place. You won’t be disappointed!

So, if your riding the Riverfront Loop, visiting a friend on Mud Island, or taking a St. Jude tour, think about stopping at Westy’s for some grub! It’s located on the corner of North Main and Jackson in the Pinch, and is open 10 a.m-3 p.m 365 days a year. AND if you live downtown, Westy’s will deliver to you until 2 a.m., as long as you as spend at least $12. Pretty nice gig!

So, now that I’ve given you both some new and tried and true options…. come visit us downtown!

a run-hater, runs.

IMG_1150I hate to run.

There I said it. And I feel like I just made a huge confession. I don’t know about you, but running has seemed to be the “in” thing these last few years. My news feed on Facebook is constantly full of folks at Color Runs, Races for the Cure…and even more seem to be tackling half marathons and marathons. (Insert fist pump here!) …But then there’s me, sitting over in what feels like the ever-shrinking minority, hiding my running shoes from world because well, I’m a run-hater. That’s why it’s such newsworthy news that the hubs and I are about to tackle our second 5K. But don’t let this fool you…I still hate to run.

I hate how my right side cramps when I’m not breathing just the right way. I hate how my legs always ache in protest about half way through my run. And most of all I hate how hard breathing becomes. The list could go on, but I think I’ve already clarified for everyone how out of shape I am. So, let me explain what you are all now wondering….then, why the crap do you do it?

Simple. I want to stay in shape, and running is a tried and true method of doing so, while also being cost effective (and by that I mean free) and flexible. Don’t get me wrong, I have my Y membership and I use it. No one loves a Zumba or Step class more than me; I actually prefer an aerobics class. But if you work and have a social life, going to a 6 pm class each Tuesday doesn’t always fit your schedule, plus one day a week isn’t going to cut it. With running, I can go just about any time on any day that I want… the pavement here in Downtown Memphis is always open.

And here’s the other reason… I want to eat. And I want to eat things I like! It’s not that I have a sugar tooth to tame…cookies, cakes, candy bars, they do nothing for me! Nope, I fall victim to the other 5 letter word with lots of weight (pun-intended)….carbs. Specifically, bread! I love it…I crave it. Dangle a Cracker Barrel biscuit, an Olive Garden breadstick, or a Ricatoni’s (local hometown place) loaf in front of me… and I. am. yo. slave. Yep, yummy baked goodness makes for one weak girl over here…

So, you see my need to keep my feet moving… thus I am making myself a runner, while continuing to be a run-hater. It sucks, but IMG_1156so does paying taxes, and I keep doing that. I know apples and oranges… but hopefully you chuckled. The thing isI have tried running a couple of times in the past, but this time it actually seems to be sticking. One part, thanks to Michael and Whitney (as in Jackson and Houston) because right now, I have to blast some pop tunes to deafening levels to keep myself pumped up, but the other part is the hubs. It helps to have an accountability partner, who won’t let me bullshit and wiggle my way out of that night’s run. And someone who hates running just as much as me. We can vent at the pain, and moan at the uber-runners, who we run past with no music needed and a pace that makes my head swivel. Yeah, you know the ones!

So, stay tuned for pics of the 4th Annual Breakaway Bardog 5K, benefiting St. Jude. If you are a run-lover or run-hater trying to run, think about signing up too! It’s Sunday, August 18 at 9 am Downtown. There’s a pretty sweet after party in the alley by Bardog, so be sure to stick around afterwards! Beer. Dunk tank. Burgers. Good times! And much more!

Wish us luck!

this is why we hike.

Witt Springs - Ash and ChrisThis past weekend the hubs needed a break from the city, so he planned us a short camp trip to Richland Creek Campground in Northeast, AR. I could tell you that we were about two hours NE of Conway, near Witt Springs, but really we were just out in the middle of absolutely nowhere.  Just so we are clear, my definition of absolute nowhere is 10 miles down a gravel road, after already 20 miles of back roads and farm land. But if there is one thing I have learned camping with Christopher…going out of cell range is usually worth the view!

This weekend was no exception! We set out originally looking for a pair of waterfalls knows as the Twin Falls; however, the campground we were going to ended up being closed, so there were no maps or folks to ask for trail directions to the falls. But in our attempt to locate the falls on our own, we still ended up finding some pretty cool creeks, swimming spots, and views! Plus, there was lots of time to just relax “jungle book” style and read…without the distraction of electronics. There is no doubt my favorite part of camping and hiking is the solitude!

IMG_1143For those of you who may be reading this, and consider yourself a non-camper…let me encourage you to give it a try! Just because you are out where you can actually see the stars , doesn’t mean you have to live and eat like a caveman. Car camping in a campground allows you to still enjoy life as a first world citizen. As you will see from the pictures here, we eat meals that we also eat at our apartment, we bring a blow up mattress for our tent, and although not pictured, we downloaded a movie onto the laptop and watched it as we fell asleep!

IMG_1141We would love for you to share any good camp sites or day hikes you have been to.  We are always looking for a new place to explore. Adventure or misadventure… they both usually make for good pictures and good stories!

Take a look below for a recap of our weekend and some of the sites we took in…because its for moments and spots like here to the left that make a hike worth the sweat and bug bites! Enjoy!

 

 

 

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camp site

Witt Springs - Creek

awesome swimming spot

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dinner!

 

 

Witt Springs - Chris in Eno

love!

Witt Springs - Bacon for Breakfast

breakfast!

Witt Springs - Ash on Trail

trying to keep up with the guide…the hubs!

Overlook

overlook on the side scenic hwy 7

Witt Springs - Flowers

all the different unique flowers we saw on the trails.