Weekend Roundup: Valentine's Day in NuLu

One of my favorite parts about living in Louisville is all of the neighborhoods to explore. Each one has their own flavor and things they are known for, and one of the trendiest neighborhoods right now is NuLu. Even though I work adjacent to NuLu, it isn't often that I have an excuse to make the trek downtown to enjoy the different restaurants and shops that take residence here. This made NuLu the perfect stop along our Valentine's Day itinerary. Our first stop of the evening was the Before I Die wall. This is a piece of community art sponsored by the local Speed Museum where people are encouraged to write the things they dream about doing in life. I've been wanting to write something on this wall since I moved to Louisville but never had a good excuse to stop by. Lucky for us, the Before I Die wall is right next to the restaurant where we were having dinner. Since the wall has been up since 2013, you can see it is really starting to fill up. Hopefully you can tell though that my addition to the wall is saying that I want to marry my Valentine. (Ugh, gag. It is Valentine's Day after all.)


In the words of Ryan, "Never have I made a fatter face." Sorry, babe. Sometimes you just got to do it for the Instagram.

Our second stop was at Decca. Right in the heart of NuLu, Decca has a cozy atmosphere that made it a perfect pick for Valentine's Day. It's known for its seasonally changing menu full of great entrees and even better cocktails. Ryan chose the rib eye and waysider while I had the lamb and little red dress, and there was plenty of sharing in between. Next time we go back, I want to check out Decca's Cellar, which serves a full dinner menu and bar snacks and often has live music.


Although Ryan and I love trying new restaurants in Louisville, I still always have the Grinch in my head repeating, "but what will I wear?!" For Decca, I wore a simple black dress with scallop detail and followed this make-up tutorial for a Valentine's Day eye using my Naked 3 and Too Faced Romantic Eye pallets.

We topped off the night sampling this tart, drinking this wine, and watching this movie.

How did you spend your Valentine's Day weekend?



Planning for Spring in Kentucky


This past weekend, we enjoyed a girls' weekend in Lexington. We saw Mama Mia at the Lexington Opera House and hit up a couple of my favorite restaurants - The Village Idiot and Windy Corner.

Winter starts wearing on me, and I always get in a funk in February. Getting out of the house and laughing with friends always does the trick. This weekend was just what I needed to help combat the funk. I've found that I start planning fun weekend events and vacations for the warmer months around this time of year, so it gives me something to look forward to. Although I like extended vacations, research shows that having more smaller events to look forward to is more beneficial than one larger event, so I've compiled several events that are on my radar right here in Kentucky.

*Side note: Read this and replace "Mom" with "Laura," and you have a legitimate one sided conversation I have with people when talking about Lexington (where I live now), Bowling Green (where my parents live), and Somerset (my husband's hometown). I seriously believe what I say too!

Anyways, Lexington, which has often been overshadowed by Louisville, is becoming a hip and foodie destination in its own right. More entrepreneurs and business owners are changing the landscape of small towns throughout Kentucky for the better. There is definitely plenty to see, do, and eat these days in Kentucky!

March 31 - Old Crow Medicine Show Concert - A classic crowd-pleaser with a cult following. Scoring tickets may be difficult.

April 9 - Under the Streetlamp - This show features the past performers from Jersey Boys, which is one of my favorites! Guaranteed to hear some doo-wop and Motown favorites, and probably some coordinated foot action as well!

May 22 High Hope Steeplechase - I say I'm going to go to this every year, and something always comes up. I hope to make it this year!

June 1-12 Phantom of the Opera - Another great Broadway favorite! Sarah shared how she won free tickets to KyPAC in this post, so you Louisvillians may want to try it for yourself.

June 10-12 Lake Cumberland 360 - If you're a fan of the lake during this summertime, this festival includes activities beyond the normal lake day. We've participated in the bike ride before.

June 11 Beer Cheese Festival - I've never been to this quirky festival before, but I've heard it's a good time. What's not to love about beer cheese?

July 8-9 Master Musicians Festival - This falls during the same month as Forecastle in Louisville, but I like this music festival so much more! It is laid back, lawn chair friendly, and normally has a good selection of food and drinks.

Do you have any plans for warmer months?



Weekend Roundup

Ok, you caught me. I didn't do anything overly exciting this weekend. As half owner of this blog, I'm calling an audible and deeming today #FlashbackMonday to last weekend. That's when all the really good stuff happened, anyway. Last weekend was many things--it was happy, full of anxiety, life changing, and even a little sweaty (more on that later). Saturday afternoon brought stressful Christmas shopping and battling who I have to assume must be featured somewhere as Louisville's Worst Drivers. (Where do these people come from? Why do they only appear in December?) However, the one thing keeping my spirits up was that Ryan had promised a date that night to one of our favorite local restaurants, The Silver Dollar, and ice skating downtown.

Adding a little extra excitement into the mix was that Saturday was actually Repeal Day, marking the end of Prohibition 82 years ago. Although we weren't planning on celebrating Repeal Day, whenever you show up at The Silver Dollar to find all of the staff dressed in Prohibition-era style clothing and a free photobooth sponsored by Old Forester, you find a way to make the celebration work. You may remember from Laura's last Weekend Roundup that this date would eventually turn into the night I got engaged, so having pictures from the Old Forester photobooth turned out to be such a fun reminder of the night. Moral of the story: always do the photobooth.


Look at Ryan's face. He's got a ring in his pocket and knows what is about to go down. My face? Blissful ignorance.

After dinner, feeling stuffed and satisfied, we headed downtown to 4th Street for Louisville's Holiday in the City. Ice skating is one of my favorite winter time activities. I like to go every year and feel especially proud of myself when I manage to stay up on my skates the whole time. This was one of those nights, and with a giant Christmas tree in the background and the scent of roasted nuts in the air, I basically felt like a human peppermint mocha latte on ice skates--it was actually that Christmas-y.


These are the faces of two people about to fall.

I'm going to skip over the gory details of how Ryan wanted to drive around to look at Christmas lights, how we couldn't find any Christmas lights, and how the sounds of Bing Crosby singing softly in the car while we drove around for what felt like 10 years in the dark pushed me to my edge, and just let you know that somehow we ended up in St. James Court. St. James is a court of beautiful Victorian homes, and easily one of my favorite places in Louisville. I'm lucky to live very close to St. James and enjoy frequent walks through the area with my pup, Lou. After a little bit of encouragement, Ryan managed to get me out of the car to go for a walk. We came upon the center of the court where Laura and Ryan's brother had set up a blanket, candles, and champagne. Anytime I had pictured this moment in my head, I was very calm. I'm typically not one to be emotional in public or make a huge scene. *Cue reality* Ryan is on one knee, and I am crying (not pretty crying, mind you) and profusely sweating. Somehow through all of that, Ryan decided he still wanted to be with me anyway, and the rest, as they say, is history.




Weekend Recap

This weekend didn't really get started until Saturday night. I spent Friday evening and Saturday morning running errands, cleaning the house, working in the yard, and dog-sitting while Jay was at a conference. However, the second part of the weekend definitely made up for the mundane first half. Since Jay has been working long hours recently preparing for upcoming trials, it was really nice to spend Sunday together. After church, we went to a waffle brunch at Manchester Music Hall and listened to live music by Tyler Childers. Manchester Music Hall is a recently renovated event space, and we've been wanting to check it out for a few months now. Since the brunch was fairly low-key, we were able to take in the venue's new changes, and I thoroughly enjoyed my mini waffle croques from Whoo Wants Waffles and the mimosa bar.

After being stuffing ourselves with waffles, we went to Judy's Garden Shop, which is around the corner from our house, to pick out our Christmas tree. We've gone there for the past several years because the owners are really friendly, and we can carry our tree home with us instead of having to load it up in the back of the Jeep. We brought Annabelle with us this year, and I thought it would be really festive if she wore her holiday hat that matches her cousin Lou's. I find dogs wearing hats to be hilarious, so I take every chance I can to put one on Annabelle. Annabelle was definitely the most popular customer and had her picture taken more than a few times.

The holiday fun continued at my sorority's alumni cookie exchange. I normally end up eating a dozen cookies at these events, so I'm pretty proud of myself for only eating one cookie and leaving the rest for the collegiate members.

After the cookie exchange, we spent the evening at home making dinner and decorating the Christmas tree. I received my first Blue Apron delivery this weekend, which I plan to share more about later. I will say that as someone who cooks dinner most evenings, it was really nice not to have to meal plan this week.

FINALLY... I saved the best for last! Sarah got engaged on Saturday night! I know she plans to share more details of the story, but from my perspective, the evening started with lighting candles in St. James Court and hiding behind a tree for a while before ending with a YES!

Since I was snapping photos from a really awkward position in the dark, the pictures of the proposal didn't turn out great, but here's a little dark and blurry peak into the proposal. To be honest, I'm just glad I didn't burn down Old Louisville or get arrested for stalking.




Let the wedding planning begin!