Sep 30, 2014

Garden Update

It's that time again. Time for a garden update. Honestly, not much has been happening back here. We get some cherry tomatoes and an occasional full size tomato. Lately it's been a bit slow back here.

A couple of carrots and beets have sprouted. Although I'm a bit disappointed so far at their sprouting. Carrots can take several weeks and I'm guesing beets do too. So far I've spotted two beet sprouts and a handful carrots. Hmmm... Should I be soaking these seeds?

No spinach sprouts either. I will soak the seeds before I plant some more later this week. I'm slowly harvesting my spring carrots. I'll pull a few for dinner tonight this afternoon.

Basil is still out of control. I'm a bit over it. Don't be surprised if there is no basil in the next full garden update post. We have been getting fewer and fewer peppers. When are peppers done? This is the first year they've done so well for me.

The back bed continues to thrive. Except that apple mint to the front left. It's starting to look a little dead.

I noticed some young green beans the other day. Guess we'll get another round of beans!

There are still some green tomatoes on the plants in this bed. Last year I harvested tomatoes up until our first frost. I'm looking forward to getting a few more fresh tomatoes before this season ends.

I'm still planting spinach, beet, and carrot seeds every other week for the fall. Pretty soon I'll start cleaning up a few more beds for the winter.

Sep 29, 2014

Yard Sale and other Weekend Haps

This weekend Bryan and I checked off one of those things that every couple has to do once. We had a yard sale.

It was a long time coming. It started when we first found out we were expecting and realizing that we were going to have to turn our house upside down. Even before we met with the designer and started implementing our new plans I started cleaning out closets and cabinets. As things started accumulating I toyed with the idea of a yard sale. It seemed like we had so much stuff and we were spending money on updating things, so maybe it would be nice to get some money for our things.

I wasn't totally sold on the idea and neither was Bryan. We kept piling up things and putting off making a decision. It wasn't until last Tuesday that we decided to go for it.

This is what I've been living with for the last few months. Well, it hasn't been this bad the whole time, but it's been a couple months since I've sat at my dining room table.

I tried to keep this sale as simple and low key as possible. I could have done a better job keeping things organized pre-sale, but we just piled things up as we went through different areas of the house. I found some poster board in our recycle paper pile and I used those as signs.  We also didn't price anything until the morning of.

Saturday morning Bryan's brother and parents helped us drag everything out to the yard. With two big desks there was no way I could have helped Bryan get those and everything else to the curb.

It took about an hour to get everything outside and semi-sorted. I had three pricing tables: $1, $5, and $10. Other items were priced individually.

We didn't make a ton of money, but we were happy to get a little bit back and more importantly clean out the house of any unnecessary items.

Afterwards I might have danced all around my dining room table. Just because I could.

The sale wasn't the only thing we did this past weekend.

We saw the Memphis Dawls at the Levitt Shell Friday night with Brett and Sarah. (Look for a new music review when their new album comes out later this fall.)

Saturday afternoon I laid around while Bryan went for a run. Charlie and Roux snuggled. They are already great pals.

Sunday night we went back to the Shell to see St. Paul and the Broken Bones, who were fantastic. If you get the chance to see them live, do it.

Tell me: Have you had a yard sale? Will you do it again?

Sep 25, 2014

Restaurant Review: Schweinehaus

A few weeks ago a new restaurant opened in Overton Square. Bryan has been greatly anticipating this opening as he longed for liter beers and German food with a Memphis influence. So a couple of weeks ago we walked over on a Friday evening for a little date night.

Since it had only been open about a week or so we decided to go a little bit earlier than we normally would, about 5:30. We wanted to beat the crowds. When we arrived we were seated right away, but by the time we were done they were seating people ass to ankles.

The outside of the building, the old Paulette's space, features one of my favorite murals in the Square. (The one on the side of Bari is my other favorite.)

At Schweinehaus they do seat German family style, so you may end up sharing a bench with strangers. I don't mind this as it's always fun to get a closer look at what others are ordering and maybe even make a few new friends.

Let's talk about the beer. They have an impressive selection of German beers which I intend to explore intensively after Charlie is born. They also offer three different sizes which I appreciate. Bryan ordered a liter and I ordered an 8 oz of a hefeweizen. Behind Bryan you can see the bar area which offers bar seating as well as some standing room.

To start we ordered Brezel and Fried Brussel sprouts. Bryan really liked the brussel sprouts, but they weren't my favorite. I did enjoy the flavor and dressing, but I think fried is just not my preferred brussel sprout cooking method. The pretzel though... it is served with beer cheese and their house mustard. The start of this dish is the mustard. It's delicious.

Next up we shared the Eisbergh salad which I forgot to photograph. I was surprised to receive a wedge salad, but enjoyed the diced crispy brat bites which sort of served as a crouton.

Finally we split the Jagerschnitzel, pork schnitzel. We were a bit nervous about this choice, but were not disappointed. We received two large pieces of pork with large servings of mashed potatoes and braised red cabbage. I don't even like cabbage and it was delicious. This portion was enough for two. I couldn't even eat all of my half and took it home for lunch the next day.

We really enjoyed our dinner and look forward to going back. I definately want to try the patio while the weather is nice. It would be a great place to meet up with friends after work or on the weekends.

Scheweinehaus's website:

Sep 22, 2014

Herbal Bouquet

Our herbs have been booming this year. It's been a blessing, but I also feel bad as I don't use them as often as they need to be clipped. Occasionally this summer I've clipped some back and tossed it directly into the compost pile. I feel so wasteful doing this, but at least it will be turned into some good dirt.

The other day I was going to a friend's house and decided I'd take over a little herbal bouquet as a happy. Who doesn't love fresh herbs?

It ended up turning out to be a really pretty arrangment. I had basil in the back, rosemary, sage, oregano, and mint in the front and sides. The oregano added a trailing component that made it extra lovely. Bonus: It's all edible and can be snipped as needed. I put the arrangement in a free drink cup from one of our local restaurants (doesn't everyone have a collection of these cups?) so the friend wouldn't have to worry about returning the vessel.

Have you ever put together a herbal bouquet? I think I'll put together another one today, just for me!

Sep 19, 2014

New Music: The New Pornographer's Brill Bruisers

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

I've been a fan of The New Pornographers for a number of years now. Sometime in college I heard Twin Cinemas and fell in love. But you know how in these days of Pandora and Spotify it gets easy to not listen to your own favorite music? This happens to me all the time. On our beach trip we popped in some old mixed CDs we found in the (inaccurately named) glove compartment. These CDs had several old New Pornographers songs. We danced and sang and rolled down the windows and sang louder.

Back at home I knew I needed to listen to some of their newer stuff. And they have a new album out! Brill Bruisers. They still have the same sound: powerful pop with group vocals. So if you love their earlier stuff, this will still sound familiar to you. Is it my favorite album, no. But that's okay. It's like visiting an old friend and knowing they are still the same deep down.

Favorite Songs: Brill Bruisers, War on the East Coast

When to listen: road trips, when you need to power through something (work, cleaning, etc)

Sep 16, 2014

The Potato Experiment: Part 2

Spoiler Alert: Utter and total failure.

It's been a few weeks since Part 1 of this experiment in which we were surprised to find potatoes in the garden bed. We had been expecting more potatoes from the buckets all along. At the time of our first harvest we got a bunch of Desiree potatoes out of our bed. We hadn't harvested the Desiree buckets and were eagerly anticipating what was happening in those buckets.

This past weekend we decided it was time. Here's how things were looking prior to dumping.

This large trash can (salvaged from the neighbors curb) "contained" the last of the yellow fin potatoes.

Three containers of Desiree potatoes.

We'll skip the dirt pictures and go straight to the harvest.

Yup. Two. The size of a small finger nail.

We were both disappointed, but not totally surprised after our first harvest. As we were cleaning up Bryan asked if we'd do it again. I think we will. We have decided to skip Yellow Fin next year and try Desiree and maybe another variety. I think we will still try containers again next year since we have them. We will also mess with the soil. Potatoes like a more acidic soil, so we'll experiment with the dirt we plant them in.

This was an experiment after all, so it's hard to call it a complete failure. What I love about gardening is that you learn by doing, by getting your hands dirty, literally. So while we may not have baskets of potatoes stored in the basement for winter, we now have first hand knowledge of growing potatoes and better appreciation for the potatoes we get from our farmers market and store.

Sep 12, 2014

New Music: Water Liars

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

The other day I was having a little pregnancy hormone induced meltdown... it's not something I am proud of, but it's reality. To distract myself mid-freak out I decided some music was in order. Months ago I book marked this post and picked the second suggestion since I had already listened to the first.

Water Liars' newest album was exactly what I needed. Pretty mellow, with the occasional harder edge. Soothing and distracting. I've since listened to the whole album multiple times.

Favorite Songs: I Want Blood, Swannanoa

Sep 9, 2014

A weekend in Savannah

Savannah, GA has been a city on our to-visit list for a while now. While we do get to travel much of the South, but we don't get over to the eastern side very often.  We decided to spend a couple of days in Savannah to close out our summer vacation.

After our week at the beach, we drove up to Savannah Friday afternoon. It is only a two hour drive from Amelia, so it wasn't a long drive, but simultaneously shortened our drive home by two hours. Win/win.

We checked into our hotel, East Bay Inn, and settled in for a little while before heading out to dinner. I hadn't really done much planning or preparation for this trip. I made a little list of a few restaurants that sounded good and a few places to check out, but that's pretty much the extent.

I wanted to check out the Olde Pink House for dinner. I called to see if they had any spots open for dinner the same day, but we weren't interested in dining at 10 pm. They did say they had several places where they seat first come, first serve and also serve the full menu at the bar.  Bryan and I often opt to eat at the   bar in crowded or overbooked restaurants. It's just the two of us and we can avoid the wait. (However, this will soon change.) When we arrived they seated us immediately in a bar area at a table. We must have arrived at a good time because later I watched as people waited for 30 minutes or so for a table in the same area. We shared several small dishes and had a lovely meal.

Saturday morning Bryan went out for a run while I lolled about in the big, cozy bed. That's one thing I love about traveling, lolling about in comfortable beds whilst watching HGTV. We got our act together and walked down the street to B. Matthew's Eatery.  Great breakfast! Seriously, don't miss this if you go.

Our plan for the day was pretty simple: walk the historic district. We intended to check out a few things on our walk: City Market, ShopSCAD, and Chippawa Square.

We did a lot of walking, occasionally popping in a cute shop, but more often stopping in a square and resting. My favorite thing about Savannah was the squares. Every couple of blocks we'd come across another one. And they are perfect for pregnant ladies.


By late afternoon we had returned back to Bay Street and started towards River Street. Bryan and I were both captivated by these old bridges and many storied buildings.

The stairs and cobblestones in this area are not for the faint of heart or weak ankled. Wear sturdy shoes.

Sunday morning we checked out of our hotel and drove out to Tybee Island for breakfast at the Breakfast Club. It was nice to end our vacation with another glimpse of the beach before heading back east.

Savannah is a great, old Southern town. Tons of gorgeous architecture and charm around every corner. We saw a bunch of bachelorettes walking around, but it's also a great weekend get away for a couple.

Where we ate:
- Olde Pink House
- B. Matthew's Eatery
- Gryphon Tea Room
- Leopold's

Sep 8, 2014

Garden Update

I'm overdue on a garden update. Here's what's been happening on our little urban farm.

When we got back from the beach our cucumbers were looking mighty sad. My theory is that the house-sitter didn't pick any cucumbers and they started rotting on the vine and that rotted the whole thing. Who knows. Either way, they are now gone.

I've been harvested lots of cherry tomatoes and peppers and a few full size tomatoes as well. Motley likes to use the cherry tomatoes as toys.

I started planting some fall vegetables last week. In the long bed to the left I've got two types of beets and carrots. I'm planting a row of each every other week to help spread out the harvest. To make sure I actually stick to this plan I've created tasks on my calendar. Otherwise I'll totally forget.

It's looking a little empty without those cucumber vines.

In the middle bed are my carrots from the spring.  Bryan harvested a handful the other night for our dinner. I lost steam in the spring and forgot to finish out this bed with carrots. Oh well... I planted a row of spinach here last week. Will add another row in a couple of weeks for winter harvest.

The cherry tomatoes and jet star tomatos are out of control over there.

Here's the other side of the garden. Basil and peppers are thriving.  We moved the remaining potato buckets over here so they'd be watered while we were out of town.

We've also been getting a couple of jalepenos! Finally!

In another day or so I'll have some cherokee purple tomatoes to harvest. I need to look at my lima beans. They are not growing up the fence, but I've seen a few beans on there that need to be harvested. If I remember correctly from last year, they got bushy and then started producing and then started growing up vertically.

There are a couple of roma tomatoes that are starting to turn as well. I think the green beans are done.

More out of control tomato vines.

Now that the weather is cooling off a bit I'm enjoying being out in the garden again. Being rewarded with tomatoes helps.

Sep 5, 2014

New Music: Papercuts' Life Among the Savages

As part of my 30 before 30 goal I wanted to spent more time this year immersing myself in music, specifically new to me music. I hope to post a few of my findings here for you. I'm not a music reviewer so don't expect any titillating review or anything.

Oops, it's been a few weeks since I've listened to new music. This pregnancy has turned me into a slacker.

Anyways, I heard a tune from Papercuts on a Dinner Party Download episode a few months back and finally got around to listening to their new album Life Among the Savages. It's super chill, great background music. Not like muzak, but just nice to listen to when you are working or cleaning, etc.

When to listen: working, background music for nearly any occasion

Sep 4, 2014

Beach Trip!

Bryan and I were able to get away for six days at Amelia Island, Florida last week. It was getting super hot in Memphis and I was ready to cool off with a sea breeze.

Word of warning: this post will be lengthy and picture heavy. 

We drove down all day Saturday. We weren't sure when we left if we wanted to make it all the way or stop over halfway. But once we got through Macon, GA we still had energy and decided to push on.  It was so nice to wake up Sunday morning to this view.

We started our day with coffee and a walk on the beach.

Afterwards we headed out to breakfast and to do our grocery shopping.

We always make a stop at Atlantic Seafood for all our local seafood needs. The guy behind the counter was super helpful and suggested this Pompano for us. He even invited us in the back room to watch him fillet it.

Once we got back to the condo the weather had changed. There was a hurricane off the east coast and it effected us for the next three days. Crazy wind for most of the time and mostly cloudy Sunday afternoon.

We did some shopping Monday and Tuesday since it was too windy to be at the beach.

We were walking on the docks at the marina looking for wildlife when Bryan spotted this little guy. A river otter living under the dock near Atlantic Seafood. Turns out there is a family, a mother and three babies, who live there. They were adorable to watch.

There were many walks on the beach.

Wednesday the wind finally died down enough for us to put the tent up. Bryan used sand buckets to reinforce the tent from blowing away.

My aunt had taken my mom and other aunt to Big Talbot Island State Park not far away a couple weeks before we went. Seeing their pictures and hearing the description we wanted to go and check it out for ourselves.

Big Talbot Island is one island south of Amelia. In the picture above you can see Amelia on the horizon. The tide is causing the bluff of Big Talbot to wash away, creating a graveyard of trees. It was fascinating to walk along the beach among them. It felt other worldly.

But to get to the beach you have to walk a 1/3 mile trail. It was beautiful... until we saw the spiders. Which there were lots of. Big ones. Not far from our heads.

Bryan armed himself with a stick to protect us.

Finally we made it down to the beach.

We happened upon a young osprey bird who let us getting pretty close to him. He'd just taken a dive before perching here.

To avoid the spiders we decided to try climbing the bluff to get back to our car. Bryan got a lot of sand in his shoes.

We spent Thursday and Friday morning on the beach.

Bryan made a little fort in the front of our tent.

We had a great trip. The last beach trip as a couple. Next year I guess we'll have a little one in tow.

Where we ate:
- Cafe Karibo
- Timoti's
- 29 South

What I made:
- Baked pomano, served with roasted potatoes and asparagus
- She Crab Soup
- Sauteed shirmp with lemon garlic butter sauce over pasta

Where we went:
- Downtown Fernandina Beach
- Atlantic Seafood - for fresh seafood
- The Plantation Shop
- Big Talbot Island State Park
- The Ritz Carlton - for drinks on their patio at dusk