Explore St. Louis

St Louis; Summer Road TripSt Louis; Summer Road TripI find myself standin' in the closet next to a step ladder. A worn leather pouch catches my attention. I hadn't realized how much I missed that leather pouch and it's owner. I grimace as I climb the step ladder tryin' to reach the pouch. If my Momma could see me now, I think. The leather is worn but familiar in my hands as I slowly unfasten the contents. Paper after paper spills onto the hardwood floor. My word. I can't believe the contents have lasted so long.

I smile thinkin' how Daddy always was the prepared one. Never one to be caught off card, the trusty leather always by his side. On long extended weekends and summer family road-trips through The South, the worn and frayed leather always came out and found its way into the glove compartment of Daddy's old  car. Filled with maps. life insurance polices and medical records that leather was always the highlight of summer. When the leather came out I knew adventure was right around the corner.

I find myself in a rabbit hole of sorts. A quest for more memories. I race through the house, my feet squuekin' as I go until I came upon the cabinet that hold its continents. I reach for a worn scrapbook and viciously flip through the pages. My eyes settle on a worn picture. There a baby faced me smiles with a group of friends as we stand next to the Missouri visitor center. My shirt reaches my knees and the smile, my eyes. We'd just crossed the state line on our quest through St. Louis I was woken for my nap so that pictures could ensue. I chuckled lookin' back. How baby faced me thought everythin' was grand as grand as the arches. I chuckled as I remembered that baby face me made a joke they they were grander then the fast food arches.

Summer adventure and road trips; always the highlight of summer.

I find even know lookin' back some of my fondest childhood memories were spent away from electronic and life distractions and just livin'. Daily strivin' to have a life where vacation is endless.


And while vacation may not be endless just yet, allow me to help y'all a little bit.

St. Louis is a perfect family fun destination from Six flags, to baseball to museum and botanical gardens.. St. Louis has it all. I highly recommend it all. This 25 in St. Louis is a great start.

But now to the goodies. I am partnerin' With St. Louis to offer:
2 night stat
Tickets to a few local attractions
AND a $50 VISA gift card.

to enter

Share a photo or video of your family bein' funny with the hashtah #funnestfamily to social media. Contest runs till 6/30/16 and you can all the serious details here

Mozzarella + Asparagus Pasta

Mozzarrella + Asparagus Pasta With Ragu Homestyle Saucemozzarella asparagus pasta
I  stand in the kitchen phone in hand. Hungrier than the devil is an understatement. Hungry for supper... hungry to whip somethin' up. Ten days was far to long to not be Barefoot in the kitchen. I was a proud Southerner after-all.  I smiled think back to the Three layer Caramel Cake I'd made that was devoured. My life revolved around my next meal. My next creation or ramblin' adventure. I quickly pulled up Facebook. Where was that casserole I had whipped up ages ago and then felt the need to plaster all over the book.

Mozzarrella + Asparagus Pasta Mozzarrella + Asparagus Pasta
I sat in my little ford at the entrance of the grocery store dreadin' fightin' the crazies. I pulled up Snapchat and began to ramble. Southern or not I was still a millennial. I quickly grabbed everythin' I needed and then made my way to the pasta aisle. I let out a little whoop when I saw we had the RAGU Homestyle Sauce. I quickly rushed my cart through the aisle tryin' to beat and older man to the only free self check-out. I smiled and thought, "Jesus is watchin", when the older man tells me he is late for work and shows me his one item of lip balm and ask if he can go ahead. I eventually make it home gnawin' on a piece of chocolate all the while.
Mozzarella and Asparagus Pasta Mozzarella and Asparagus Pasta




Ingredients:
1 package of spiral noodles
2 bushels of Asparagus
2 cups of kidney beans 
mozzarella
3 bellpeppers

red, yellow & orange
1 jar of RAGU Homestyle Sauce






Directions:
1. Cook the pasta accordin' to the package
2. Boil the bell pepper in water for about 20 mins are until they are soft. This helps them baker better and not be so crunchy.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 F
2. Optional but I like to sautee my asapagus for a few mins. All you need is a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Chop the bell pepper and the asparagus
5. Pour the cooked pasta in a bakin' dish. I used a cast iron.
6. Add the bell pepper, kidney beans and asparagus.
7. Pour in the jar of RAGU Homestyle Sauce
8. Stir
9. Layer with Mozzarell and bake for 20-30 mins are until the cheese is melted and the RAGU Homestyle Sauce is heated.
That simple y'all. I'll also be givin' away a $25 visa gift card. What the catch? All ya have to do is click one of those pretty pictures. It'll take you to the new Ragu website to show you all the new homestyle flavors. Come back and comment with which one if you favorite and that'll get ya an entry. That simple y'all. The giveaway will go to June 6th at 11:59 PM. Y'all get to gettin' now.

Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich

Lox; Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich Lox; Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich

Y'all remember a few months back when my family headed over to Mississippi for our family reunion on my Paw Paw's side? Well, now y'all do. I promise I have a point and how it relates to the Southern Recipes I've been postin' lately. While I was there our breakfast was comped by the hotel each mornin'. I am a huge fan of Salmon and couldn't stop eatin' the fresh slices with capers they had each mornin'. About the second day one of my uncles laughed at me and told me he would show me how he ate it growin' up in Mississippi. My mind was blowin' y'all. Never had I had a breakfast sandwich like this.

Obviously I had to spice up an old but simple Southern recipe my family loves to eat. What I love most is how simple the recipe is. Think of this as a simple breakfast you could serve when the family comes over. It's also my go to brunch item when i'm in a pickle.
Lox; Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich

Lox; Roasted Red Pepper + Sun Dried Tomato Salmon Caper sandwich

Ingredients:
6 ounces cream cheese
tablespoons capers 
6 ounces of smoked salmon
3 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes
3tablespoons roasted red bell pepper
dill
English Muffins/Bagel


Directions:
1.Cut the English Muffins/ pr bagel in half and then toast them.
2. Once the cream cheese is room temperature spread it on the bagel. Top with the cream cheese, smoked salmon, dill and roasted red pepper and sun dried tomatoes.
3. Top with capers and enjoy.


Beyoncé Diva Day Giveaway


As a kid I had two obsession in life: Spice Girls and Destiny's Child. Y'all, it was a serious problem. You couldn't tell me nothin' as a child as I would bounce around the house singin' all day. We would have all the cars moved outta the garage and would roll around in Barbie roller skates makin' up dances to the songs. It was a tragic hot mess y'all. My Daddy would always yell, "you can sing all them lyrics but do you know your prayers like that." My Daddy, always the one throwin' shade. Guess he knew early on I wasn't gonna grow up to be as fabulous as Beyonce. Y'all already know the story here of how I got braids as a child and it was a hot mess. You see Beyonce and all the girls had them as well as all the famous R&B groups so naturally I wanted them as well. Like. my braids in the pic don't even look anythin' like Beyonce or Immature. Why,why... I have so many questions for my Momma for lettin' me out the house like this. And let's not even get started on this hot mess of a half top I was wearin'. Y'all most of the pics from me as a child in the summer time is with silly outfits like this. Kelly in Destiny's Child always wore them. It's ok, cause I've grown and know I ain't never gonna be on the level of any of those girls but especially Beyonce.

Now, as for her new Lemonade visual album. Y'all it's been a good few days and am still processin' everythin' I watched. On the superficial my favorite was the cinematography and how she portrayed that against a Southern backdrop. But, the way she was able to tell her truth and the truth of so many other black women through music is what sold me. Always a class act she is. 

BUT... now to the goodies....
I've teamed up with 9 bloggers to give one of you lucky readers a BEYONCE DIVA DAY! The prize for this insane giveaway includes: 1 FLOOR ticket to the Beyonce show at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX on May 9 (travel, accomodations, parking, food not included) $100 gift card to RiffRaff 1 set of lash extensions from Lash Loft 1 gift card for a manicure at Bellacures Dallas Preston Center 1 gift card for a blowout at DryBar
In other words, the day of the show you'll be able to treat yourself with hair, nails, lashes and a brand new Freakum Dress! Enter using the Rafflecopter below!
Ginger - Sevi - Jaleesa
Aleshea - Shannon - Brandi
Tiffany
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dr Pepper Museum Dublin Texas

Dublin Texas Dr Pepper Museum Dublin Texas
It is Dr Pepper not Dr. Pepper. Please, I'mma need y'all to stop with that mess. It's the quickest way we know you are from parts unknown... also known as not from Texas.


Dr Pepper was not founded in Dublin, but Dublin was the first place to start mass bottlin' the "Jesus nectar." Dr Pepper was started in Waco and the name comes cause the founder was tryin' to marry a lady names Ms. Pepper. Her daddy was a doctor and not havin' it. So he assumed if he named the drink Dr Pepper it would help. It didn't but in the end all was well cause he married a Texas gal instead. Once thought to be the future hub of transportation, Dublin Texas is a quaint little country town just a few miles from Stpehenville and Tarleton State University.

Dublin Texas Dr Pepper Museum Dublin Texas Dr Pepper Museum Dublin Texas Dr Pepper Museum Dublin Texas Dr Pepper Museum Dublin Texas Dr Pepper Museum  
Location: 105 E. Elm Street, Dublin Texas
Dublin Texas is just a few mins from Stpehenville Texas where Tarleton State is located. This location was picked to be the bottlin' plant because back in the day they thought Dublin would be the next DFW.

Cost: $5 gets you in the museum and old bottolin' plant that is attached to the store front.

Best Coffee Shops in Dallas

Houndstooth Best Coffee Shops in Dallas
"No, I am my Father's daughter, no matter the weather. He'd have a cup and so would I. The older I become, the more likeness I find. No longer here to share his guidance, I find myself lookin' for him in the littlest of things; in my mornin' coffee."  I wrote those worse on this here blog many winter moons ago.I fin delight in my mornin' coffee... just a girl and her chemex. I reckon if he was still around he'd wrinkle his noise at my affinity for a hand crafted latté... content with his Community Coffee.

Daily coffee consumption has led me here, to this list…. Best Coffee Shops in Dallas. 

Sip | Stir Best Coffee Shops in Dallas


Sip | Stir 

You put the lime in the coconut and you sip, sip, sip. Okay, maybe that isn’t how it goes, but y’all can’t tell me y’all haven’t thought of that. If white on rice was a thing it’d be Sip | Stir before it was a thing. Y’all lemme explain. Sip | Stir is in the ever popular Uptown. It’s minimalist | white EVERYTHANG is what instagram dreams are made of. But, how’s the coffee you ask… delicious thank you! A dub the latte a tad smoky with a hint of coffee flavor, and who doesn’t love free wifi….

Ascension

Craft Coffee; The words Ascension proudly boast on its bright red logo. Of all the coffee shops on the list Ascension gets the gold star for masterin’ coffee also known for its daily breakfast and wine. Located on Oak Lawn these guys know coffee. These guys even have brunch for those of us who can’t resist. 

Mudsmith Best Coffee Shops in Dallas

Mudsmith 

I walked in to a tattoo shop. I know, I know, all good stories start this way. If only this was one of those stories. But, alas I walked into a tattoo shop on Lower Greenville with seven as he got my logo tattooed on himself Mudsmith a few doors down caught my eye. A tad crowded at time, the coffee is worth the wait. If décor had a say it’d be Pacific Northwest Hipster meets Tex the Texan.

Houndstooth

What kinda name is Hound anyway? There has to be a story behind… I must know. I’d ask but I’m always too busy eatin’ the lemon whiskey donuts to do so. “The wall” a focal point of the quaint coffee shop, Houndstooth is a hop skip and a jump from my beloved Sissy's Southern KitchenSissy’s Southern Kitchen. I may be a little biased but Texas anythin’ has my vote. Any coffee shop that has mugs with the shape of Texas inside is a coffee shop I want to frequent.


Cultivar
I dub the, the hidden gem of the list in a shoppin’ center off Peavy Road attached to Good 2 go Taco. What more do you need… coffee and tacos. Yes please! Even better that the coffee they use is my fav. And, if craft beer is your thing, they have a wall for that as well. Once you’ve indulged in all that pop over to Dowdy Studios and tell em’ hi. Better yet by a few Texas thangs. 
Local Press Brew Best Coffee in Dallas

Local Press + Brew
Oak Cliff, that’s my hood! What y’all don’t know that song? So what if you only started visitin’ the Cliff after gentrification set in. Sigh, I digress. I pass by Local Press + Brew every time I go to bestfrans apt, so one random mornin’ I dropped in and never quit comin’. Known for it’s coffee and cold press juice, it has an intimate fell both inside and on the patio. But, honesty the fresh dranks is far better than the atmosphere. 

White Rock Coffee
There’s more to Dallas than downtown and trendy neighborhoods and districts. Those are the words I always utter when I see a Dallas best of list. As someone who lived in the Lake Highlands area before her parents decided to move east of the city, I know this to be true first hand. White Rock Coffee has always been my go to drive through coffee joint. Even now as an adult I catch myself in the drive through line on the way to Junior League HQ getting’ a quick latte and bagel. 

Oddfellows

Man, I’ve come to terms with the fact that Oddfellows will probably make every Dallas list Glitz & Grits ever makes. Lemme stop right there cause I am not sorry about that. When somethin’ is good, it is good. Latte with chicken and waffles all day every day is a must. Then you have to walk around Bishop Arts and spend monies on all the #ShopTexas goodies. Did I mention Oddfellows uses Curvee Coffee. If you don't know about this Austin based company known for good coffee and no wifi than I'mma need you to brush up on your Texas ASAP!

Mokah

Part of the 'Life in Deep Ellum' Mokah is obviously in the heart of Deep Ellum. A great little shop for a pick me up before you traipse around. And for the non coffee drinker readin', but why, they have some of the best tea. Make sure you stop at Adairs for lunch. Seven will be so ugh when he reads that. Deep Ellum is his hang and he thinks its becomin' to "Dallas" with so many wanna be hipsters takin' over his local spots.

Pearl Cup Best Coffee Shops in Dallas



I spend as much time outta Dallas as I do in Dallas and for that reason these two coffee shops are my two honorable mentions for the simple fact that Peal Cup is in Richardson although I believe they have a Dallas location and Shoemaker and Heardt is in Wylie.

If you drop by Pearl Cup the Pear Cup Latte is a must. As far as Shoemaker goes I love it all. It's an old Country Store that happens to have a coffee shop inside. I also suggest tryin' the homemade fudge.

Where's the F in DFW


Fort Worth always seems to be left off the best DFW list and I always wonder why it's even added to begin with. Well, I got y'all. My Fort Worth shops are
Brewed, Roots and Avoca

Houndstooth Best Coffee Shops in Dallas

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