Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Because it's Christmas and this Shit is Funny.

My gift to you ... the Christmas pictures/ memes/ quotes/ what have you that I've El'ed-oh-el at this holiday season. Enjoy!
I can't stop laughing at this and it's not even that funny! (Though totally punny!)

My all-time favorite Christmas movie quote:

My daughter's Santa pic this year. THAT STANK FACE!

And, because I never fail to crack myself up, I present to you this:

(But, first, back story) -- my friend Vanessa "accidentally" decapitated her elf on the shelf. She posted a pic on Facebook. And I'm still cracking myself up at my comment:

Monday, December 15, 2014


Overton Square is located in mid-town Memphis and, in the past couple of years, has BLOWN UP.  I was down there for New Years Eve about four or five years ago and it was d-e-a-d dead.  No more.  It's where the Memphis locals go for barhopping (as opposed to the touristy barhopping on Beale Street) and it's just a really fun place.

Babalu opened an Overton Square location a few months ago. As soon as they were open for business, people were lining up for hours to eat there. Literally, hours. I've been wanting to try for a while but also wanted to wait for the hype to die down a little bit. I went last week and even at 8:00 on a Thursday evening, it was packed enough that there was a 20-minute wait for a table for two. On a Thursday!

Luckily, there were a couple open bar stools and we snagged those real quick. 

I didn't sample much of the food. It's mostly tapas style with shared plates and everything looked absolutely delicious. But we were there for more of a snack and a drink. We settled on the guacamole, decided to throw in the extra dollar for bacon and jalapeños. 

They make the guac right at your table. Or, in our case, right at the bar. The guy explained each of the ingredients, effortlessly hulled out the avocados, tossed and smashed everything together and - voilà! - guacamole perfection. 

(I didn't think to take a pic until we'd scarfed down half. Oops! And isn't it kinda funny how something that doesn't look all that great can taste so amazing?)

It was de.lish.  The bacon gave it a hint of smoky flavor and the jalapeños were a good idea as it was still super mild -- not sure how mild it would've been without them. It was also a huge - HUGE! - helping of guac. It could've easily fed four. 

I want to go back and try more of the Babalu menu but not just because I liked the guacamole. It was the ambience, mayne. I Love Lucy episodes were projected and played silently on a wall. We saw two birthdays being celebrated -- bottles of Patron were brought out with sparklers in them. The vibe was not-too-young but still hip. Yet not so hip you felt awkward if you're a suburban mom of three who drives an SUV. 

The staff was friendly. We inquired of the bartender about live music in the Square and another waiter who was close by offered suggestions as well. Much later, when we were actually leaving the Square, that particular waiter was standing outside. He recognized us, asked where we went, and how we enjoyed it. Very friendly guys. 

Babalu! I'll be back!

By the way, after we left, we headed next door to Lafayette's Music Room. We paid the $5 cover to hear the band (never did find out their name!) and snagged a table. This was my first visit to Lafayette's and, from what I understand, they're still very new so I'll just say this: the band was good. The people watching was on point. But the service was AWFUL. My friend ordered a Miller Lite, the waiter even came back to double check our order, then still brought out a Bud Light. One mistake is understandable but the waiter was also slow (again, I get it, they were slammed) and, frankly, kind of rude. It was disappointing to have such terrible service and what seemed like it could be a pretty cool place.  I might give it another shot but I just keep thinking if the service was that bad on a Thursday, what's it going to be like on a Saturday night?

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Thursday Things

1) I know that a lot of people kinda hate the new trend in country music to be more pop-ish or to "rap" in every song.  But I am unapologetic about the fact that I LOVE IT.  And this song . . . gah, I love it:
The top YouTube comment on this is, "I sing along to this shit in da car and bitches melt."  I'm sure my semi-feminist self is supposed to be offended by that but, come on, this song DOES make this bitch melt!  Also, Sam Hunt looks like such a frat boy douchebag but a damn cute one.

2) Speaking of music . . . I still hate Taylor Swift's 1989 album but, damn it, if Blank Space isn't growing on me.  I AM JUDGING MYSELF. 

Also?  T-Swizzle was a nominee for Time's Person of the Year?  Were they drinking?

3) This is dumb:

Who grew up watching Rudolph?

EVERY.DAMN.BODY. That's who. 

4) Boys went to their first Grizz game Tuesday night:

Their dad took them and I'm a little disappointed I didn't get to be there for their first game. But they were SO excited. And talked ninty to nothing about all things Grizzlies and Tony Allen and
5) TWO WEEKS UNTIL CHRISTMAS. WHAAA?? Most of my shopping is done. Absolutely nothing is wrapped. In addition to, you know, Christmas, I'm also preparing for a trip to Arizona. The next two weeks are going to be crazy. 
6) I went to Mulligan's the other night ... I don't know if they have them everywhere but it's just a bar. And a bar is the best place ever to be during office holiday party season. Oh em gee, the drunk people you KNEW where going to be hooking up then not making eye contact at the water cooler the next morning. Also, weirdly enough, Mulligan's had karaoke when I was there. Christmas karaoke. Like, people were singing Silent Night and O Holy Night and it was weird. 
7) Conversations with Kyan:
"Hey, Mrs. Smith ... oops, I mean Mom. Sorry, you and Mrs. Smith look a lot alike."
Kyan's teacher has at least ten years on me and, really, we look NOTHING alike. So I gave him the whole "whachoo talk in' bout, Willis?"
"You're both white!"
There ya have it. All white people look the same. 
8) Is anyone else just so completely and over Frozen? Like, I kinda want to punch Indina Menzel every time I see Elsa branded merchandise. 
9) Can we talk about just how excited I am that my Hogs are playing TEXAS in the Texas Bowl?!? Arkansas/ Texas is my favorite matchup EVER. I can't wait!

10) Two weeks, y'all!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Making a Case AGAINST Being an Overacheiver Parent.

There seems to be a Great Divide when it comes to that damn Elf on the Shelf. People either love it or they hate it. Personally, I've thought the thing was creepy since its inception and just didn't have any desire to have it in my house.

But I did like the idea behind it. And making Christmas "more magical" for my children. And being a Pinterest mom. So I found a Grinch doll that I bought several years before and introduced him a few Christmases ago. He visited the children every night and brought some sort of activity for them to do. 

And it was fun. It was. I'm not taking that part away. 

But now it's a few years later. And life is different. And I'm tired. But they already have that little tradition ingrained and "WHERE IS THE GRINCH?"

Confession: I have no idea where he is. None. Probably somewhere in the abyss of my closet but he might as well actually be on the North Pole. 

J is on the cusp of no longer believing in Santa. Karis was never fully into the whole Grinch thing anyway. Kyan, however. Oh, Kyan. He fully believes (like wants to punch any kid who tells him Santa isn't real) and he misses the Grinch. For a week now he's been asking where he is. 


So I got this genius enough idea. I wrote a letter from an "invisible elf" and placed it on our tree. 

Yeah, I fail at parenting. 

I explained that he was watching the kids this year because Santa needed the Grinch elsewhere. 

Let me reiterate: I fail at parenting. 

Poor Kyan. "But why is the Grinch somewhere else? Does he ... he doesn't want to see us anymore? I want the Grinch!"

One last time: I fail at parenting. 

If there's a lesson in this it's to leave the overachiever parenting to others. We were raised without Elf on the Shelf and a gift-a-day advent season and we all turned out all right (until Pinterest came along anyway.)

Now, I'm off to find that damn Grinch. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wiseacre Brewery and Taproom

I make anyone who comes to Memphis try Ghost River beer. It's brewed locally, it's a good beer, and they offer it on tap at many local restaurants (and also sell 6-packs at places like Kroger.) It really is "THE" Memphis beer.

But then there's also Wiseacre. It's also brewed locally and I tried the Pilsner a few weeks ago when I was out somewhere that had it on tap. And Wiseacre? They also have a taproom and offer brewery tours and all that. Um, YAY!

I went to the taproom for the first time last Thursday. I played it safe in the beginning and went with Tiny Bomb (the Pilsner) since I knew it and knew I liked it.

My friend ordered the Lord Skylark and I decided to take a sip. It's brewed with Earl Gray tea and tastes AMAZING. I stuck with it for the remainder of the night.

Wiseacre brews a variety of beers (I really should've tried more options while I was there!) and tasters are just $1.75 so definitely an affordable way to try the different beers. The staff was super friendly. They have my favorite thing ever: a nice-looking patio. Of course, it's December so it was really too chilly to be out there. We stuck to an inside table. 

Now if there's anything to complain about it's this: they don't serve food. Like, there is literally only beer. There is a food truck outside and I noticed the girl who worked in it bringing in orders to people inside. So they do have that. Buuuut ... it would be nice to know you can order - right from your table - something deep fried, cheesy, and yummy when the beer munchies hit. 

All in all, I'm a fan of Wiseacre. I'll be back. 

(No idea what exactly this is but the bartender gave it to us as a "gift." It was strong -- definitely had rum in it. And check out that smiley face!)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Thursday Things

1) Let's talk Christmas shopping and deals. My two I'm most proud of:
Peyton Manning jersey: originally $70. On sale for $35, another 20% off, and I was able to use $15 in Kohl's cash. Out of pocket -- $25 and that includes tax and shipping!
Dallas Cowboys jersey: originally $70. On sale for $55, I had a $50 Nike gift card. Out of pocket - $11. ELEVEN. I'm so proud of myself! Good deals are one of my favorite things about the holiday season!

2) I know I'm a few years behind the curve, but I FINALLY bought me a scented wax warmer (like Scentsy but I went with the cheaper Walmart one.) Um, I totally LOVE that thing and my house smells amazing!

3) This is the BEST BEER EVER. 

I'm in love. And the bartender at Friday's (where they don't even serve this -- fyi) and I had a super long discussion all about its deliciousness. 

4) Having a four-year-old at Christmas is magical. 

It's also this:
"I want presents. It IS Christmas! It is! Right now! I want my presents. I don't WANT to ask Santa. Can we make cookies? I want my presents. I want Snow White. JINGLE BELLS JINGLE BELLS JINGLE ALL THE WAY! I want Cinderella. It IS Christmas! I want my presents!"

5) It was 70 degrees here on Sunday and then, like, 35 on Monday. Hello, miserable! Summers in Memphis are hot as hell but at least they're consistent. 

6) BEST NEWS EVER: Trader Joe's is looking to open a Germantown location in 2016. Omgomgomg! COOKIE BUTTER!

7) It's only December 4th and I'm already over the Elf on the Shelf. I mean, it's one thing to post a picture when you do something cute. Quite another to show him perched on your kitchen cabinets. No one currrr. 

8) I would honestly be okay if I never heard the word "Ferguson" again. 


Interestingly enough, I agree much more with the need to protest - NOT LOOT AND RIOT! - over the outcome of the grand jury decision in Staten Island.  Ferguson, though, was engineered by race baiters and the media and I, for one, am over it, over it, over it.
9) As much as I enjoy this season (and all the food that comes along with it) I'm already not looking forward to the diet-and-exercise orgy that will be a MUST for me in January.  Ahhhhhh.  Somebody pass me a candy cane Oreo . . .

10) Me:

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holiday Weekend.

Wednesday afternoon, the kids and I headed out: Arkansas bound.

I made it close to my hometown around sunset and, OHMYGAWWWSH, the Natural Stste chose to SHOW OUT. 


(Please don't judge me too harshly for taking pics while "driving."  We were literally in the middle of nowhere and I was able to stop to take the pics.)

And, I mean, THAT SKY!!! It was like Arkansas was all, "Welcome home, Brandi!"

We were about 15 or so miles from my grandma's house when J asked, "are we going to go see Pawpaw?" Of course, we had to swing by the cemetery to say "hi" to Pawpaw. 

Thanksgiving was low key this year and there were more kids in attendance than adults. Nobody made dressing which is just ... I can't even. I'm sure we'll have it out our ears come Christmas. 

Jaidan and my cousin's daughter are only two months apart in age. This is them on their first Thanksgiving and again this year. The kids had so much fun playing with their cousins -- no one wanted to leave.

I dropped the kids off with their dad then made my way back to Memphis. I really, REALLY hate that Black Friday shopping now starts on Thursday. However. I was able to do 90% of my shopping this way:

Then I headed out around 4 Friday morning and was pretty much the only one shopping. I still got everything I wanted (minus $5 Monsters High dolls at Walmart -- though I did find them for $7 at Kohl's!) and didn't have to fight crowds or stand in the cold.  WINNING.

I spent most of Friday hanging with a friend, watching football (let's not talk the Arkansas game), having a beer or three, just enjoying a lazy kid-free day. 

Kids came home Saturday afternoon and Kyan was the only one who would claim to miss me. He's my favorite. We watched the Iron Bowl which, of course, Bama won and you know what? The whole weekend sucked in college football. Sucked. 

Sunday was laundry and cleaning and mourning the end of the holiday weekend. I really wish I could've pushed pause a few times over the course of the weekend. Or maybe now I wish I could rewind ... 
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