Feast Your Eyes...

on the new Trader Joe's in Lexington, Kentucky! This morning I had the opportunity to attend the Grand Opening celebration which, I am happy to report, was well attended. There was a live Bluegrass band, flower lais everywhere and complimentary product sampling too. I tried Trader Joe's Cookie Butter for the first time in my life and liked it. If I had the metabolism of Michael Phelps I probably would have purchased some.

Nonetheless, I did not leave empty handed. I purchased low fat chocolate cat cookies and a jar of almond butter flavored with sea salt. I normally go for the ginger cat cookies but discovered, while comparing the nutrition labels, the chocolate cats had less calories and fat than the ginger cats. Who knew?!

This morning was also the first time I had shopped Trader Joe's since residing in D.C. I miss my trips with Stephanie to the location in Tysons Corner, VA where I would stock up on pumpkin seed granola which is amazing with light vanilla soy milk and fresh peaches.

Although I have mixed feelings about being home, I am grateful for the opportunity to witness Lexington's commercial growth and hope Trader Joe's is here to stay.

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"Put Some Pork In It"

Like any other Southern gal I love good bbq coupled with some down home sides. Double H BBQ in Lexington, Kentucky provides both. The pulled chicken "meal deal" is my personal favorite. The chicken is lean and juicy lacking fatty grissle occassionaly present in bbq. The sweet potato fries are homestyle with a dash of cinnamon sugar instead of salt and the baked beans are some of my favorite. The corn pudding and green beans (taste just like Granny's) are also good. The potato salad is a mixture of new potatoes and eggs with a dollop of mustard. Although potato salad is not my thing, the large chunks of potatoes and eggs are a sure indication its homemade.
Located at 1244 Versailles Road this joint is currently open for lunch only. Although, it has plenty of seating the service is so efficient it could also be classified as "fast food." Located within minutes of downtown and UK's campus, it's ideal for folks who want to escape the office without fighting traffic.
If you are thinking about stopping by, say, "Hello" to Nan.
 Tell her Boo sent you.

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Photo of the Day

I am a creature of habit. I thrive on routine. Everyday, without fail, I visit National Geographic's website to check out the "photo of the day." I enjoy seeing pictures of exotic places, peoples and cultures I hope to experience but may never have the chance to in my lifetime. These images, while visually stimulating, are a powerful reminder of the world that exists beyond my own.
Today's image was especially meaningful to me. The photo, according to the caption, was taken at the Roman Amphitheatre in Jordan. I have actually been to this amphitheatre! I have climbed the ancient rows of stone stairs and walked around the top gazing out on the surrounding metropolitan landscape. I remember the sights, sounds and smells of the city and I wonder, with longing, if anything has changed since my visit. Change is inevitable and yet this Roman amphitheatre has survived change for thousands of years. How many people have tread this single spot and will my feet stand where this woman does years from now? I certainly hope so. Until then, my daily dose of National Geographic will have to do.

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My Fitness Pal

Earlier this week I learned about an app that aids individuals in tracking diet and exercise in the ever challenging pursuit of developing a healthier lifestyle. The app is called My Fitness Pal. It was easy to find and is accessible online at http://www.myfitnesspal.com/.
I started using it today to track my caloric intake. I am anxious to see how well I do at staying within my boundaries to accomplish the goals I have established for myself. Only time will tell. If you are looking for an intuitive fitness app My Fitness Pal is definitely worth checking out.

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This week...

 Anthropologie announced plans to open a store in the Lexington Green shopping mall answering my longtime dream of a Bluegrass location. Long overdue, Anthropologie is scheduled to open their doors early 2013. According to a recent article, the store will be located in the space currently occupied by Disc Jockey. It is anticipated four to five additional retail stores will be joining the Lexington Green retail family. Although nothing has been confirmed, it is rumored one of these mystery stores will be Urban Outfitters. Could it really be true? First Trader Joe's. Second, Jason's Deli and now Anthropologie? Now all Lexington needs is a Potbelly's and life will be complete. Sort of...

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"Southern Whisker Wars"

This afternoon while getting my daily Garden & Gun fix, I noticed an article posted on the Southeastern Beard and Moustache Competition held annually in Charleston, SC. Another reason to love Charleston. The article posted http://gardenandgun.com/gallery/wildest-whiskers-south displays pictures of several contestants (which is totally worth the three minutes it will take you to scroll through the photos and read the article). I thought this picture of Chad Roberts was the most creative. Trying to imagine how this man sleeps, eats, works, showers, kisses, etc. with his creative arrangement of facial hair is mind blowing. *Sigh* Men.

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Catfish Alley

A few weeks ago I started following the "boards" of a fellow Kentuckian on Pinterest. I quickly noticed she loves the South and she loves to read. Sound familiar? Many of the e-jackets she pinned were books by Southern authors or novels classified as Southern lit. Like myself, this woman is also on GoodReads. Taking a chance, I sent her a friend request. To my delight, she accepted. Access to her bookshelves introduced me to many books and authors I have not even heard of, let alone, read before.
Catfish Alley by Lynne Bryant was among her books. Reading the book summary and reviews I knew I had to read it. Although I am only half-way through the story I am already under Bryant's spell. If you are looking for a good read this summer consider a trip to Catfish Alley. Grace Clark is one of the best storytellers in town.

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Boo's Berries

For the past three years I have been talking about planting blueberry bushes on the Cat Farm. A few months ago, Tracy suggested we check out a new hardware store in Berea called Jenkins. Jenkins purchases all of the plants they stock from local farmers. We purchased three Bluecrop bushes which are large and bear fruit between the end of May and mid-June. We also purchased three smaller Elliott bushes which yield fruit between mid-July and the end of August. Elliotts produce a lot of berries, which is why we bought them and although none of the berries are ripe yet one of the Elliotts has a ton of berries.
This afternoon Joshie and I decided to pick ripe berries on one of the Bluecrops. We were both pleasantly surprised with our first sampling. The berries were perfect. Firm, juicy and sweet. Just the way blueberries should be. Dad was so impressed he has vowed to buy more in the fall, which is the best time to plant blueberry bushes. Eventually, I would like to have over a hundred bushes. I would also like to plant blackberry and raspberry bushes too. Add bees for pollination and the Cat Farm will be one step closer to self-sustainability, which is a goal of mine too. As produce prices continue to climb it is comforting to have a food source located just outside our kitchen door. Between berries and veggies we are looking forward to this fall's harvest.

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