2017 Goals

This year I decided not to make New Year’s Resolutions because, let’s be honest, who really keeps them. Instead, I made a list of actual, reachable goals. I want to spend this year bettering myself and being happier. To do that I plan to:

  • Read (at least) a book each month
  • Pay off one of my student loans
  • Teach Dixie to clean up her own toys
  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Kick sweets to the curb (mostly)
  • Learn calligraphy
  • Get in a great skin care routine
  • Volunteer more
  • Recycle
  • Learn the basics of a new language
  • Drink my daily water requirement
  • Exercise 3x each week
  • Disconnect a little more

Happy New Year (a little late) and I hope you keep your resolutions and reach all of your goals in 2017.

xoxo,

Kali

Nashville Eats

One of my Christmas gifts from Ben (my fab boyfriend) was a 3 day trip for the two of us to Nashville, Tennessee! I have been wanting to visit the city for a while now and I was beyond excited to know that I would get to spend time exploring Nashville with him before my winter break ended.

Just like before any trip, I researched all about the food scene in the city. I couldn’t wait to try hot chicken and find the best ice cream shops. Sadly, we didn’t make it to all the places on my list but this is what we did get to:

The Pharmacy Burger Parlor and Beer Garden – Pharmacy Burger with Tots (although I didn’t have one the Creamsicle soda at the table next to me looked delicious)

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Known as Nashville’s “Wurst-Burger” Joint this place is fabulous! Don’t go to Nashville without grabbing a bite and a soda from the old-fashioned soda maker. I do suggest using the No Wait app to get a jump-start in line!

 

Five Points Pizza – 14″ Woodstock Classic and Root Beer

This meal won the trip overall! Five stars for Five Points Pizza! That’s all there is to say.

Jeni’s Ice Cream Brambleberry Crisp and Ndali Estate Vanilla Bean

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Holy delicious! I could go to each of the 3 Jeni’s locations in Nashville over and over again! There are scoop shops in Columbus, Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, Charleston, Los Angeles, and St. Louis if you can’t make it to Nashville; you can even order online or join the Jeni’s Pint Club.

Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery – Classic Mac & Cheese

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Rock Bottom wasn’t on my list but we happened upon it while exploring downtown while our stomachs were growling and we were trying to escape the rain. This mac & cheese was definitely worth the stop!

Hattie B’s – Tender’s Plate (mild) with French Fries and Baked Beans

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No wonder Hattie B’s is famous for their hot chicken! I normally don’t like anything hot but the flavor in this chicken was super yummy! Not to mention crinkle fries.

Pied Piper Creamery – Oreo Speedwagon and Strawberry Fields Forever

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This ice cream shop is cute from the outside, a little wacky on the inside, and the ice cream is so yummy! They have original house-made flavors with punny names. They have 12 permanent flavors (including the strawberry) and 12 other flavors. The Oreo Speedwagon was a coffee flavored ice cream with crushed Oreos – it was good, but did not beat the Strawberry Fields Forever.

Five Daughter’s Bakery – Chocolate Coffee Crunch and Vanilla Cream

This adorable bakery is owned by a couple with even more adorable daughters (yes, 5 of them). You can’t get these donuts anywhere other than Nashville, so you need to make the trip. I tasted the Chocolate Coffee Crunch and Vanilla Cream. The Vanilla Cream was very tasty but I can’t imagine any donut better than the Chocolate Coffee Crunch made with homemade rice crispies. I got the King Kong flavor for my dad – he said it was one of the best things he has ever tasted!

Desano – Pepperoni Pizza

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This place is pretty unique! The Pizzaiolas (master pizza makers) create true Neapolitan pizzas right in front of the customers in wood-burning ovens! Oh, and it is delicious! (P.S. Try a cannoli for me.)

Let me know what your favorite restaurants are in Nashville, Tennessee and let me know if you try these out!

xoxo,

Kali

Christmas Sweets: Peanut Butter Fudge Recipe

My Meme sleighs Christmas (sorry for the cheesy pun). Not only does she put up a gorgeous tree with a ridiculous amount of lights but she redecorates the entire house – including each bedroom and the china hutches. Everyone has a stack of gifts wrapped in their very own paper; if you are younger than 5 years old your stack will be taller than you.

The decorations create a magical atmosphere to rip open gifts (and gifts and gifts). But what really makes you know it is Christmas time at Meme’s house is when you walk in and the counters are covered with baking ingredients and you’re hit with a wall of fresh-baked-cookie smell.

There are chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter blossoms, decorated cut out sugar cookies, creme wafers, chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, white chocolate fudge, and more. I live off of a sugar high the days leading up to Christmas, and my favorite treat is the peanut butter fudge.

Peanut Butter Budge

Rich, sweet, creamy candy.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 stick of butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 can evaporated milk
  • 1 jar marshmallow fluff
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of creamy peanut butter

Directions

  1. Combine butter, sugar, and evaporated milk in a pot.
  2. Cook to 234 degrees; stirring constantly.
  3. Remove from heat and mix in marshmallow fluff, vanilla extract, and peanut butter.
  4. Pour into a parchment paper lined pan.
  5. Let harden; cut into bit sized pieces with pizza cutter.

You can even add nuts to the recipe; just mix them in between steps 3 and 4.

xoxo,

Kali

My Favorite: Christmas Movies

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday and it could be due to the unlimited amount of great Christmas movies to get you in the spirit. Here is a list of my favorites (in order).

  1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – definitely the live version!
  2. Elf
  3. The Holiday
  4. Christmas with the Cranks
  5. The Polar Express
  6. Miracle on 34th Street
  7. Home Alone
  8. Love Actually
  9. Frosty the Snowman
  10. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

xoxo,

Kali

My Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Float

Each year I wake up on Thanksgiving to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade usually while enjoying a homemade cinnamon roll. I love seeing the new and classic floats and balloons (like Tom Turkey in the featured image who has been in the parade since 1971) stroll down the streets of NYC. My favorite part of the parade is when the Radio City Rockettes perform because who isn’t impressed with their synchronization?

Rockettes

As great as the parade is, I think that it is missing something: a float designed by me. If I could design a float for the Thanksgiving Day Parade it would resemble the perfect backyard – green grass, trees, flowers, a white picket fence, and dogs. Definitely dogs. I would fill the float with adoptable dogs from shelters across the city to raise awareness and help them find a new home (after all, they would be seen by over 50 million people). What good is a float that doesn’t get to stop in front of Macy’s with a performance? I would have one of my favorite artists, Sam Hunt, aboard the float to serenade all those watching – who wouldn’t be thankful for that?

Although my dog float won’t be in the line up this year, there is a new dog balloon flying in the parade: Trixie! Trixie is an adorable cairn terrier owned by the Executive Producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and she is being honored by having a balloon fly down the streets that looks just like her! (Dixie is jealous.)

Trixie

If you could design a float, or a balloon, what would it look like?

xoxo,

Kali

Being Thankful

With Thanksgiving only a few days away I thought I would share just a few things I am thankful for in 2016.

  1. I went to the beach twice (once was with my Meme).
  2. The best friend I can call after months apart, and pick up right where we left off.
  3. Hart of Dixie, Jane the Virgin, and Gilmore Girls streams on Netflix (and the much anticipated revival, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is on the way!).
  4. Another semester of college is (almost) over.
  5. I have a job that I have always wanted – and my coworkers rock.
  6. The Tide is undefeated.
  7. Amenotherapy is helping to shrink my Meme’s cancer.
  8. My friends, family, and Ben.
  9. Dixie and I discovered the dog park.
  10. I get to go home tomorrow and spend the holiday with my entire family.

What are you thankful for this year?

 

My Favorite: Fall Dessert Recipe

I just got back to Tuscaloosa after a wonderful fall break at home. I got to surprise everyone by coming home a day early (I had to keep a secret from them all and it was so difficult). Ben and I carved pumpkins – our fall break tradition – and spent a day visiting his mom in Memphis, riding her horses, and roasting marshmallows for s’mores. And of course, we went to Las Brisas for chicken, cheese, and rice (yes, thats the meal and exactly how you order it). My mom and I got pampered with pedicures, I got my hair updated for fall, and I spent some time in the kitchen with my meme.

Because it was fall break, I couldn’t think of a better time to learn how to make Meme’s apple crisp – my favorite fall dessert. The featured image is of the original recipe she has, but she has made tweaks of her own throughout the years (as all great bakers do). We went by her own recipe that is only documented in her head – and now here. Enjoy & Happy Fall!

Meme's Apple Crisp

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A sweet, tart, perfect-for-fall dessert.

Ingredients

  • 6 apples (I used Fuji but you could use Gala, Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, or a mixture)
  • 4 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS + 1 TSP cinnamon
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 1.5 cup flour
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 TSP salt
  • 1 cup butter

Directions

  1. Butter a 9×13 pan.
  2. Pare and dice apples. Place diced apples in bowl.
  3. Combine 4 TBS sugar and 1 TBS cinnamon to sprinkle on apples. Mix to be sure each apple slice has the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
  4. Place apples in an even layer along the bottom of the pan.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine 3 cups brown sugar, 1.5 cup flour, 1 cup quick oats, 1 TSP cinnamon, and 1/2 TSP salt.
  6. Slowly mix in 1 cup melted butter to complete the topping.
  7. Knead topping mixture with hands until it is moist but crumbly.
  8. Crumble the topping over the apples in the pan.
  9. Bake at 350 until topping is golden brown (about 40-50 minutes).
  10. Serve warm à la mode.

For an even better apple crisp mix in 1 cup of powdered milk in the topping.

xoxo,

Kali

20 Fall Date Ideas

Let me start by apologizing that I have been non-existent in the blogosphere lately. With UA Homecoming thrown on top of my already packed class and work schedule (along with apartment and internship hunting), my last few weeks have been a whirlwind. However, the good news is: I am back (hopefully) and I have a lot of post ideas brewing.

During these past couple weeks my obsession and anxiety with the approaching season has not subsided any; it has only increased. The weather has finally started to cool down (it’s still a high of 80 almost every day, but that is progress), it is officially October, and I have hit midterm time.

The Tide is traveling to my home state, Arkansas, this upcoming weekend to face off against the Hogs. I am taking advantage of the away game and Ben (my boyfriend who lives 300+ miles from me) is getting to come visit! In preparation, I am coming up with some fall date ideas for us (and you too). Enjoy!

  • Pick out the perfect pumpkin at your local pumpkin patch
  • Drive around and have your own fall test tasting game – visit local coffee shops & bakeries to taste all of their seasonal specialties and rate them
  • Go for a hike somewhere new & take along your four-legged friend
  • Pick fresh apples at a local apple orchard
  • Build a bonfire & roast s’mores (live in an apartment? make s’more indoors)
  • Snuggle and watch a movie marathon (one of the best classic movies set in fall: You’ve Got Mail a.k.a my mom’s favorite movie)
  • Make homemade hot chocolate & don’t forget the marshmallows – want to get creative? Use this to create different  flavors!
  • Have a football watching party, just the two of you, filled with typical game day food
  • Do good: make a grocery store run to get your favorite canned goods and drop them off at a local food bank, visit the animal shelter and donate food / toys, or clean out your closet and donate the clothes
  • Create a shared fall bucket list – make it for all the fall seasons to come
  • Enjoy a picnic in the crisp fall breeze
  • Make caramel apples (from the ones you picked in the orchard)
  • Get the ingredients to make your favorite soup – or make a new soup that could be your favorite soup as a couple!
  • Carve a pumpkin (I always save this one for Fall Break)
  • Walk through a corn maze or haunted house hand-in-hand
  • Make a blanket fort – maybe even tell ghost stories
  • Bake – a pie, a cake, muffins, cookies, anything!
  • Go to a carnival or fall festival & don’t pass up the candy apples
  • Find a book in Barnes & Noble, grab a PSL, and read together
  • Fall in love

Okay the last one is cheesy, but I couldn’t resist! What are your favorite fall dates? Let me know in the comments below or personally through the contact page! Also, share this post with the photo below (it is perfect for Pinterest).

xoxo,

Kali

Welcome

This is my first blog post (yay!) and you’re reading it (double yay). Thank you so much for visiting my blog. It isn’t much yet, but I am hoping it will be. Before you keep reading you should visit the “Start Here” page to learn a little more about me and what you can expect from Doodle + Denim.

So, hopefully you have taken my advice and now know what this blog will consist of. You’re probably wondering why I named a life and style blog Doodle and Denim. Well, this was a very difficult decision and, again, the difficulty stemmed from every thing I read about how to name a blog. Everything said to give your blog a name that clearly represents your niche (and if you read the “Start Here” page, you’ll know I don’t have one.)

I pondered the name for about a month, prolonging the launch of my blog, because I was trying to follow the rules of blogging. However, I decided to choose something that was cute, catchy, and consisted of things I loved – my dog, Dixie, and denim jeans. (Yes, I know doodle is not my dog’s name but it is her #1 nickname.)

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I mean, is she not the cutest?

P.S. You can follow her on Instagram @dixie_thecockapoo

Now that you know the background behind Doodle + Denim and you know what to expect in future posts I hope that you subscribe, follow the blog, and keep stopping by.

xoxo,

Kali