Leopard Heart Graphic Tee from Express
Personalized Pillow from FancyItPretty on Etsy
Amy Backpack in Indigo Denim from Vera Bradley
Hand Stamped Coffee Spoon from Jessica N Designs on Etsy
Skater Trench in Khaki on ASOS
At the end of May, we packed up the SUV and headed to Chattanooga for three nights in a rented cabin for our first family road trip. Though I’ll share with you how we did that tomorrow, today I’m recapping our trip.
Though I’ve lived in Georgia my whole life, I’ve never ventured out to explore Tennessee and thought this would be the perfect opportunity. Chattanooga is about 2 hours from Atlanta and includes so many wonderful things. We definitely will be going back when we have older kids as we discovered there was a lot we couldn’t really do having such a young kid (Katherine was 5.5 months at the time). So, we committed ourselves to things we wouldn’t want to do again on return trips with older kids: Ruby Falls and the Tennessee Aquarium.
We decided what we wanted was a close trip where we could do a little bit of activities but also kick back and relax. We found a cabin on VRBO that equipped us with a kitchen, cable TV, and a hot tub.
Next, we broke down the trip into what we wanted to do as two adults. Because with an infant, she really just does what we want to do and if you wear them in a carrier they fall asleep during 75% of your activities. In fact, if it wasn’t for the drive distance from Chattanooga, we almost visited the Jack Daniels Distillery.
Chattanooga truly has so many great family-friendly options so to make it easy we decided we would visit things that we wouldn’t want to do with older kids. The reason we wouldn’t do Ruby Falls with older kids is because it is about a 2 hour claustrophobic trek to visit a waterfall inside of a cavern that sits about an Empire State building depth underground. And the pictures do it plenty of justice.
The reason we wouldn’t do the Tennessee Aquarium is because we have the Georgia Aquarium closer and I want them to rep our own aquarium and secondly because (sorry, Tennessee) our aquarium is so very much better (we have dolphins AND whales).
We highly recommend touring some of the highly rated restaurants and walking around downtown. Our favorite place to eat was Maple Street Biscuit Company (which does have locations elsewhere in the South) and Milk & Honey for coffee and gelato.
At the end of the day, retiring in a vacation home versus a hotel room. We discovered our new favorite beer blend: a snake bite using Angry Orchard and Peroni introducing to you ladies and gentleman what we adoringly refer to as an Angry Pony (you’re welcome). And we definitely took a few dips in the hot tub after we put la babe to sleep.
Sausage & Kale Ragout
A recipe by JC Carter of Sweet Love and Ginger
Every year September ushers in the beginning of fall.
The air begins to cool, the leaves change, and fresh produce is everywhere.
Ripe tomatoes, crisp apples, crunchy greens, bright peppers, and sweet berries, are in abundance this time of year. It takes all my self restraint not to just cook and eat everything that crosses my path. Nothing pleases me more than an afternoon babysitting a large pot of simmering tomatoes that are preparing to become sauce. The task of shredding fresh zucchini to become cake or bread is relished knowing that a steamy slice of bread is on its way. The smell of slow roasting root vegetables can take over an entire house in the most wonderful way.
I could wax on about cooking and fresh produce all day, but that’s not the point here. I know that most people don’t always have the time to spend strolling through the farmers markets, blanching tomatoes, or slow roasting anything. I mean there’s school and sports and work, crap and that parent teacher thing that you forgot about, but does that mean that they and you too can’t enjoy the bounty that surrounds us this time of year? I think not.
Sometimes a quick tomato sauce with freshly diced tomatoes fills the void just fine. Now all you need is to add in some fresh crunchy greens maybe some protein, if your into that kind of thing, and a starchy vehicle to transport it into your mouth. All the freshness of this season can be whipped up into a hearty meal in less than 30 minutes, leaving you with plenty of time to enjoy the meal before the hustle and bustle that also accompanies this season whisks you away again.
Seriously, try it. Just a few minutes with some fresh produce and I promise you won’t regret it.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Saute onion and sausages for 4 to 5 minutes or until the sausages have browned and the onion turned translucent.
Add the garlic and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Stir in the kale, broth, beans, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Adjust seasonings and serve.