Dreams do come true

You guys! All of my Shreveport prayers have been answered! It’s happening! It’s really happening!

On Wednesday, I was literally leaving the grocery store, when I refreshed my Facebook newsfeed and saw this article from the Shreveport Times as well as the following:

wf-img-placeholder

Screen Shot 2013-11-10 at 11.19.26 AM

Are you at all surprised that tears of joy literally sprang from my eyes? I actually cried and became weepy, I was that happy and excited.

Then, the ultimate cherry on top of an already fabulous news week, was that Shreveport is also getting its own Blo Blow Dry Bar.

Blo Blow Dry BarThis week was proof that dreams do come true.

Great organic produce + great hair = I have died and gone to Shreveport heaven.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Hungry bavs, Southern Living

Chicago visit!

At the very end of October, I flew to Chicago for my friend Julie’s wedding. Chicago is so fun to visit because so many Notre Dame friends live there, and in a weird way, the abundance of familiar faces make the city feel like home.

It was a whirlwind weekend, as wedding weekends tend to be, but I tried to squeeze as much catching up and city life into 36-hours as I possibly could.

I arrived Friday evening and went to a vinyasa class at Yoga Loft (relaxing!), followed by dinner with friends at Hubbard Inn (I ate my weight in bacon-wrapped figs, delish!).

On Saturday morning, I woke up early and squeezed in a 9-mile run along Chicago’s Lakefront.

IMG_0964

IMG_0966

I met up with an ND friend for coffee at Beatrix (adorable!), followed by brunch with a few others at 25 Degrees. Then, to tame my wild hair, I even snuck in a blowout at Blowtique.

The wedding was beautiful, and it was such a treat to catch up with so many Notre Dame friends, many whom I’ve known since freshman year of college. My college days would have not had nearly as much laughter if these girls hadn’t been there to share the experience with me.

Thanks for the photo, Beth!

Thanks for the photo, Beth!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Celebrations, Travel

Girls’ Weekend in Nashville

The month of September ended on a high note when my sister and a few of our friends met up together in Nashville, Tennessee for a girls’ weekend and a half marathon race.

Pre-race dinner!

Pre-race dinner!

We ran the Women’s Running Series Half Marathon and it was the first race I’ve ever run where serious thought was put into what runners really want during and after running 13.1 miles.

Free running skirt stations in addition to water stops? Check.

Champagne and chocolate chip cookies at the finish line? Check, check!

photo 3

photo 1

The race started and ended at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the weather was perfect. It was so great to catch up and we agreed that weekends like this are so important and absolutely necessary, especially since everyone’s lives are becoming more and more full as we get married and start families. We’ve already started scheming for the next trip.

Oh, and here’s the obligatory, pre-best-pulled-pork-sandwich-of-my-life-and-I-don’t-even-eat-pork photo of us in the Nashville unofficial uniform: sundresses and cowgirl boots (I have no idea why it’s so small. Sorry!).

Outside Puck's Grocery. Seriously delicious BBQ.

Outside Puck’s Grocery. Seriously delicious BBQ.

Leave a comment

Filed under Road Trips, Running, Southern Living, Travel

How we met “Oscar”

Shreveport can be pretty cool sometimes (yeah, I said it).

You might remember that back in 2012 at the Academy Awards, William Joyce and Brandon Oldenburg, two Shreveport locals of Moonbot Studios, won the Oscar for “Best Animated Short Film” for their film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Well, a few months ago, we were lucky to be invited to a tres chic martini party by good friends of ours. It was hosted by Moonbot’s Lampton Enoch and Brandon Oldenburg, with a special guest appearance by that very “Oscar.” It was a ton of fun, and we were so grateful to be included in such a unique evening. What a treat! (p.s. it’s a lot heavier than it looks!)

IMG_0946

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Celebrations, Southern Living

The tragedy of my little garden

You might remember my excitement about the garden I planted in September. I was ecstatic and even more so when the garden thrived. I couldn’t even believe I hadn’t killed anything, and I was so, so excited about it.

And then the unforeseen happened.

A biblical invasion of fire ants turned my garden bed into a prolific ant farm.

I was beside myself, and my desperate attempts to eradicate the ants resulted in killing my hard-earned crops. I did salvage a few green onions, but still, it wasn’t the same.

The remnants.

The remnants.

I’ll try again in the spring, but it was quite a lesson (at the risk of sounding cliche) in the challenge of cultivating our own food. I’ve always been a supporter of the local, organic food movement, and if I was this upset over a few carrot tops, I can’t imagine the devastation real farmers face when an entire season – and their livelihood – is lost in an instant.

Leave a comment

Filed under Hungry bavs

A Solution to the Food Desert

I planted a vegetable garden, and this is so monumental it warrants a blog post. Historically, my track record with plants is grim, but I am determined for my black thumb tendencies to grow at least a few vegetables this season.

I’m am motivated purely by the fact that we will probably never, ever have a Whole Foods, and I am tired of cutting into produce and having it look like this:

A very rotted red bell pepper that looked completely normal until I cut into it.

A very rotted red bell pepper that looked completely normal until I cut into it.

This actually happens a lot. My biggest struggle when I first moved here was the lack of acceptable produce. I realize now that we were very spoiled in New Jersey and D.C. I also realize that Shreveport could probably be categorized as a “Food Desert” when the Farmers’ Market isn’t in session.

“Food deserts are defined as urban neighborhoods and rural towns without ready access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets and grocery stores, these communities may have no food access or are served only by fast food restaurants and convenience stores that offer few healthy, affordable food options.” (http://apps.ams.usda.gov/fooddeserts/foodDeserts.aspx

We have two main grocery stores in town, and their displays are nice, but the pickings can be slim. Apples are generally mushy, green beans are usually moldy, and cucumbers are always flaccid and limp.

This isn’t to say we lack flavor. Louisiana is known for its cajun cooking, and we definitely have plenty of that, which is great for a night out. We also have every fast-food chain imaginable.

But, in my efforts to avoid living off of take-out and rotted peppers, I have planted a vegetable garden for the fall.

I bought seeds from the very helpful experts at Lex Plant Farm. (The basil seeds were free from a Mrs. Meyer's soap purchase.)

I bought seeds from the very helpful experts at Lex Plant Farm. (The basil seeds were free from a Mrs. Meyer’s soap purchase.)

We’re starting off with carrots, green onions, and basil (those were a freebie), and when it cools down, I’m hoping to add in some beets or broccoli, or both. We’ll see how this goes. I have no idea what I’m doing.

The fertilizer contains blood meal and smells like a slaughter house. Gidget was all over this.

The fertilizer contains blood meal and smells like a slaughter house. Gidget was all over this.

The basil pots! This is technically a summer herb, but it's hot enough still (95 degrees) that I think we can pull this off for now.

The basil pots! This is technically a summer herb, but it’s hot enough still (95 degrees) that I think we can pull this off for now.

The 2 x 2 raised bed for our garden.

The 2 x 2 raised bed for our garden.

We’re five days in and I haven’t forgotten to water anything yet. I’m already feeling victorious.

3 Comments

Filed under Southern Living

The best news ever.

IMG_0925I received the best email right before Labor Day Weekend.

All summer I had been working with a group of wonderful individuals to complete an application to bring Girls on the Run to Shreveport. On August 30th, we received official word that we were approved and Caddo Parish will be home to the next GOTR Council!

For those of you unfamiliar with the program, Girls on the Run is a 501c3 organization that empowers girls in 3rd – 8th grade. We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates running. By the end of each season, the girls are physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K race.

This program means so much to me. When I lived in Washington, D.C., I worked as the Race Director for the Girls on the Run – DC Council. Every season I was always inspired and motivated by every young girl at our end of season 5K. Each and every girl always crossed the finish line with such enthusiasm and a sense of accomplishment that it was as if they each had just won the New York Marathon. I am SO beyond excited that Girls on the Run is coming to Shreveport!

We have a lot of work ahead of us – first step is raising $7,500! Yikes! You can visit our fundraising page here and you can also learn more about the program through this great 3-minute video.

Leave a comment

Filed under Girls on the Run