Best Dog-Friendly Places in Lexington

So I'm definitely one of those crazy dog people. Since moving into our new house about 6 months ago, I can't tell you how many neighbors start a conversation with something like, "I see you with your dog all the time." Yep, that's me! I'm always walking to the park or heading to meet a friend with Annabelle in tow.

 Heading to an outdoor concert downtown. Annabelle carries her own water and treats in her Outward Hound pack. 

Heading to an outdoor concert downtown. Annabelle carries her own water and treats in her Outward Hound pack. 

Especially when the weather is nice, we love taking Annabelle with us to outdoor events or just to dinner. We're fortunate that she's mostly well-behaved and gets along with people and other dogs. During spring, summer, and early fall, we almost always try to eat outdoors, so we always keep an eye out for good patios that we can enjoy. If the weather is less ideal, we typically head to a brewery since most of them in town are dog-friendly and serve food.

Favorite Patios: 

Favorite Breweries:

We obviously don't take Annabelle shopping very often, but she will ride along with us to our local pet shop, hardware store, and plant nursery. I found this list of national stores that allow pets, and the last time I was in the Container Store, I purchased a dog product and was informed by an employee that they are also dog-friendly. However, I'm not sure if Annabelle or I would enjoy if she tagged along to the Container Store or Pottery Barn. I'm pretty sure I'd be tugging her away from breakables the entire time.

Annabelle's favorite store is Chevy Chase Hardware. The store employees always give her treats and pets! We obviously don't take her shopping with us very often, but she frequently rides along with us to the hardware store or local plant nurseries. 

Where are your favorite places to bring your dog?




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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!

The highlight of my week was attending a preview night at Kentucky’s first Shake Shack that was sponsored by Maker’s Mark on Wednesday. The weather was so gorgeous on Wednesday that I was tempted to skip out and spend the evening a glass of wine and good book on the porch, but I’m so glad we trekked to the suburbs for the event! We tried EVERYTHING! The classic burger, chicken sandwich, mushroom burger, fries, you name it… Since the preview was sponsored by Maker’s Mark, we also enjoyed plenty of bourbon milkshakes and mint bourbon lemonade, which I’m going to try to recreate at home. I may have woken up a little bloated on Thursday. #worthit

Does anyone else watch Grace and Frankie on Netflix? It is funny and lighthearted, and the perfect show for summer! I will admit that part of my attraction to the show is the gorgeous beach house, and I loved this House Crush post about the house and how to achieve the same look.

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I’ve been a little uninspired in the kitchen recently and enjoyed getting some new healthy and affordable dinner ideas by scrolling through these 5 grocery lists for shopping at Whole Foods on a $20 budget.

If you haven't seen the Dog Mom Anthem floating around on social media this week, do yourself a favor and watch it!

It seems like such a long time ago, but we celebrated the Kentucky Derby this past weekend. We spend the day at Churchill Downs on Friday for the Oaks and then hosted a small Derby gathering at home on Saturday, and days were tons of fun! On Thursday night, I ran to the mall to pick up a pair of rain boots for Friday, and they were a lifesaver since it was cold and rainy!


Happy Mothers' Day to all of the moms out there! This weekend, we’re heading to one of my favorite restaurants, Holly Hill Inn, to celebrate Mothers’ Day with our mom and grandmother. How are you celebrating?


How to Get into the Derby Mood

If you live in Louisville or have spent time there during the first week of May, you know that the Kentucky Derby is more than just a sporting event. It's a bona fide holiday, and celebrations rival those of Christmas and the Fourth of July. Kids are out of school on Friday before the race, and everyone is getting Derby-ready the better part of April and early May. People are celebrating at concerts on the waterfront, running the Derby mini-marathon, chowing down at the Chow Wagon (which still confuses me, what is a chow wagon??), or just participating in a number of other festival events

 Photo circa 2015, when we were in better shape and sporting coordinating headbands at the Kentucky Derby Mini-Marathon. 

Photo circa 2015, when we were in better shape and sporting coordinating headbands at the Kentucky Derby Mini-Marathon. 

For those of us living outside of Louisville, it takes a bit more creativity to celebrate Derby week. Here's my plan for making the most of the next few pre-Derby days!!

1. Pick up some Kentucky Derby-themed snacks!


I stopped at Thornton's while running errands to grab a quick pick-me-up, and the bourbon vanilla latte did just the trick! They also had bourbon ball donuts and Johnsonville bourbon BBQ sausages, which would be festive treats to pick up if you're driving out and about this weekend! They'll have these offerings for the month of May.

2. Use Kentucky and equestrian-themed drinkware and dishes.

3. Pick up some red roses for the kitchen counter. Read more about the history of the garland of roses here!

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4. Have fun outfit planning for the weekend festivities! Check out our top picks!

Cheers to Derby Week! How are you celebrating?


Guide to Meal Planning

Some of my favorite blog posts to read are guides to mundane daily or weekly routines. I also love the classic "grocery haul" post or "what's in my fridge" post. As my mom likes to say, I'm really nosy. Sometimes these guides provide a little inspiration for a new healthy snack or how to improve part of my day, and sometimes I just find them fascinating. 

In the spirit of sharing instead of stalking other blogs, I'm giving insight into how I meal plan for a week. While I've always been a big planner, meal planning was a skill that I developed after I got married. As a single gal, I could happily survive on cereal or a hodgepodge of leftovers for dinner every night. Now I'm responsible for feeding another human, and during our first few months of marriage, I was really bad at it. I definitely underestimated the amount of food we would eat, and Jay was HUNGRY. 


For the most part, I try to prepare healthy dinners and allow for leftovers for lunch the next day, so many of my recipes make four servings instead of two. Sometimes I plan to make a dessert or snack that we can eat for a few days. Around mid-week, I start casually thinking about dinner for next week, and I keep a post-it note in my planner that I use to jot down dinner ideas. I also try to get a sense of whether we have any upcoming meals out or if one or both of us has a busy night. For example, Tuesdays are frequently busy for us so, I'll try to make something on Monday that would be easy to reheat for leftovers or plan a 20-minute prep meal. 


I normally go to the grocery story early Saturday or Sunday morning, depending on our weekend plans. Before I head out, I finalize what I want to make each night. Sometimes, it takes me 5 minutes to think about what I'd like to make, and sometimes it requires a bit more inspirations. I'll frequently pull out some favorite cookbooks and recipe cards or I'll peruse Pinterest for ideas.

Once I have my meals finalized, I'll make my final grocery list. I start by adding our weekly staples that we eat for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. We go through things like oats, almonds, milk, fruit, greens, tea, etc. Then I add in the ingredients I'll need for dinner. I typically use a large sheet of lined notebook paper for this list and make a column for produce, meat, canned/packaged foods, and refrigerated/frozen food. This makes it easier to follow my list in a logical order as I walk through the store. 

While it probably takes about 30 minutes of cumulative prep work throughout the week before actually making it to the grocery store, I love meal planning! I don't have to run to the grocery every couple of days to pick up something, and it takes the guesswork out of dinner, which is the last thing I want to do after being at work all day! 

What are your tips and tricks when it comes to meal planning?