Jim Beam Distillery and Bardstown

Monday, March 23, 2015

After our last attempt at stop three on the Bourbon Trail, we finally made it to the Jim Beam Distillery in Clermont, KY this past weekend. It was an absolutely beautiful day in the Bluegrass and we had such a great day. 

This is the gift shop area from the outside. They have an enormous operation that no picture could really do justice. Just to give you an idea, if you do the guided tours, there is an actual bus to take you to the different points in the tour. 

This Bourbon Trail Almanac was a really cool book. It was filled with fun facts on each of the stops on the trail, as well as the distilleries that are not a part of the official trail. It also included different drink recipes you could make using bourbon and was only $5. 

All of the names on these barrels are names of the different bourbons produced at the Jim Beam Distillery. When we got there, it was around 3:00. Unfortunately for us, all of the guided tours for the day were already sold out, so we had to do the self-guided option. It was still neat to walk around and see what we were able to, but a lot of the property is only open to you if you are part of a guided our, so I'd say we will end up heading back to Jim Beam to do a guided tour. You learn a lot about the brand, the distilling process and the history and science behind the bourbons. Since I'm not a drinker, the history and science is what really interests me. 

How pretty are the grounds! One of the two small red buildings pictured depicts how the bourbon is made while the other had some really neat information and videos about how the actual bourbon barrels are made. 

The inside of the gift shop was really impressive. They had all of the bourbons for sale there, lots of Kentucky Proud foods that somehow incorporated bourbon, bourbon balls of course and lots of fun bourbon shirts. They even had furniture made out of bourbon barrels. The table and chairs you see in the picture above are some of the barrel furniture. 

This picture could not be anymore Kentucky. Basketball and Bourbon. I thought it was so neat there was a spot to play basketball right outside of one of the tasting rooms on the grounds. There was a Smokehouse at the distillery where you could eat, but since it was so crowded, we decided to backtrack and grab a very late lunch in Bardstown. 

I had never been to Bardstown before, only passed by it on the interstate, but it is just an adorable little town. Voted best small town in America according to a sign when you enter the town :) We ate at The Talbott Tavern and watched the game with a bunch of other rowdy UK fans. The food was so delicious. I got the Broubron Walnut Chicken, sun-dried tomato risotto and green beans and we all split a plate of fried pickles, fried banana peppers and fried green tomatoes. Everything was really delicious, I would definitely recommend it. We are planning on heading back to Bardstown in May for a wine festival someone there told us about. There were so many cute shops and boutiques in town, but everything was closed since we came through so late in the day. I'm really excited to head back though and explore the town a bit more. 
We had a really great day with friends and marked one more stop off of our Bourbon Passports. 

Five on Friday

Friday, March 20, 2015

Caroline's Easter dress came in the mail today and it's just beautiful. It has Lillys of the Valley smocked on it and I just love it. I also have her a Beaufort Bonnet to coordinate as well.
For St. Patrick's Day, I made a fun breakfast of green pancakes and green eggs and ham. Caroline just loved it. I set it down in front of her and she said "Ohhh...special pancakes." It was really sweet.
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I just picked up The Littlest Bunny in Kentucky to go in the Easter Basket for Caroline. It's a cute little book. They have them for all different places. I'm also waiting on Jeremy: The Tale of an Honest Bunny by Jan Karon to arrive as well.
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I made this Balsamic Slow Cooker pork last week and it was amazing! I got started with it later in the day, so I cooked it on high for about 3 1/2 hours instead of what the directions state, but it would be even better doing it on low as directed for a longer period. I made it with the exact sides show and it was a big hit with everyone in the house. It's definitely going in the recipe box.
Our race is NEXT WEEK!!! I'm sort of freaking out because I feel like I haven't done enough hill work to really be ready for the incline of the bridge, but ready or not, it's here :) I'm super excited to get to Charleston with Juston for a little getaway. Just have that race and then lots of walking, eating, shopping and sight-seeing to do!

What's Cooking: Blueberry Breakfast Bake

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A few weeks back, we had some overnight guests and I always like to take that opportunity to bake things I wouldn't necessarily make when it's just the three of us. I'd had this Blueberry Breakfast Bake on my to-make list for a while and it did not disappoint. 


1/2 cup unsalted butter
zest of a lemon
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour (1/4 cup reserved)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
1/2 cup buttermilk

In a medium sized bowl, cream together the butter, lemon zest and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix. 
In a seperate bowl, combine the blueberries, the reserved 1/4 cup flour. In a third bowl, combine the rest of the flour, salt and baking powder. Now, alternately add some of the flour mixture and buttermilk to the bowl with the whipped butter ingredients, starting and ending with the buttermilk. Gently fold in the blueberries. Put mixture into a non-stick square (9x9 approximate) dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until cooked through. I cooked mine a bit longer than this, but my over tends to take longer sometimes, so be sure to keep an eye on it the last 5-10 minutes. This stuff was SO delicious. I also did some scrambled eggs and fresh fruit with this just to cut the sweetness and not feel like a complete glutton having cake for breakfast ;)

A Day in the Life

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I always love reading blog posts from other mom's that chronicle a day in their lives, so I thought I would do one of our days. This isn't necessarily a typical day since I didn't have to work and it was hands down the most beautiful day we have had so far this year, so a ton of our day was spent outside.

Most days start off around 9:00 am when Caroline gets up. Every other day, I get up early to workout before she wakes up, but on the days I don't I stay in bed and snuggle with Caroline. The dogs even snooze away until the head of the house gets up.

Once we get up and moving, the dogs get fed, then we get fed and dressed and are raring to go around 10:30. Since it was such a beautiful day, I asked Caroline if she wanted to go to the lake and feed the ducks. It was always one of my sister's kids favorite things to do when they were little. She was so excited when I asked her and said she wanted to go, but asked if she could watch Umi Zumi (however you spell it) first. 
The park was hopping since it was such a nice day. There were people everywhere. And there were ducks and geese everywhere, too.

She even got to help me drive part of the way around the lake in between feedings. I remember doing this same thing when I was little :)

We did a little bit of swinging before we left. It was still pretty muddy, so I didn't take her over to the playground. After a post office run and a pit stop by my parents house, we headed home and had a picnic lunch out in the back yard around 1:00.

Her meal of choice 70% of the time you ask will be rice, so that's what I made her. And you better believe Lucy kept a close eye on Caroline's fork. 

After lunch, we headed out front for some sidewalk chalk drawing and general mess-making. It ended up all over her face, hands and clothes. 

My car has been in need of a good washing for weeks now with all the crazy snow we got last month, so I had the best helper to wash the salt and dirt off. 

The outside time must have worn her out because around 3:15, she went down for the nap. Her naps have been very inconsistent since daylight savings time with her only taking maybe four since the time change. She doesn't really get cranky without it, so I don't force it as long as she'll lay down and be still for a bit as a trade off. I was trying to get her to nap the other day and she sat up and looked at me and said, "Mama, let's just get up. I'm not cranky." And hit me with the biggest smile. How could I argue with her reasoning and subsequent proof?

While Caroline slept, I swept and mopped our floors in most of the house and piddled on Pinterest for a bit. She woke up around 5:15 feeling fresh, so we went outside to play again. Juston got home around 5:30 and we all took the dogs for a walk around the neighborhood. When we got back to the house, I got started on dinner while Juston and Caroline played in her sandbox. 

It was just too perfect of an evening to spend inside, so once I got dinner made, we headed out to the back deck and ate our dinner there. After dinner, it seems like the rest of the evening just passes in a blur. There's some reading Cat in the Hat, watching Kate and Mim Mim, snuggle time on the couch and before I know it, it's time for bed. Usually around 9:30 I take Caroline back and lay down with her while Juston finishes up some work with his quiet time. 

We definitely had a great time yesterday. My girl is growing up and changing so quickly, but she is just the sweetest and I love her to pieces. She definitely keeps life interesting. 

Our Weekend

Monday, March 16, 2015

We had the most beautiful weekend around here! I hope everyone else did, too. On Saturday, we got to celebrate my oldest niece's birthday. Her birthday was last week and she turned twelve! I really can't even believe it. I feel like my sister's kids have grown double time since I had Caroline. Mostly because I don't get to do as much with them as I used to since they're always busy, but man, I swear, this twelve year old was just born not too long ago it seems. 

How cute is her cake?! Another by our Aunt and Uncle of Magee's Bakery. Jayden loves UK Women's Basketball so she wanted a jersey cake. 

Caroline couldn't wait to bowl! I don't know who had more fun, Caroline or my dad. He said he hadn't bowled since the 60's but he sure made up for lost time. I'm pretty sure he played the entire two hours at the party. 

My girl never lacks for help when her cousins are around. My nephew helped her do her first bowling ball roll. She sat right there until her ball made it's way to the pins. She knocked three down her first try. 

Me and Juston with the birthday girl. She's almost as tall as me now! That's my old sweatshirt from when I was about her age that she's wearing. 

Caroline really loved playing the games in the arcade area, and again had the best helpers around. She said she was driving to the beach. Make room for Mama!

Jayden won all these little stuffed animals from the claw machine and gave them to Caroline. She also won her some other little toys. My girl made out like a bandit.

After the party, we came home and played outside for a long time. We walked around the neighborhood pushing Caroline in her favorite little car and she looked for worms. 

Sunday, Juston and I went on a five mile hill run and it was tough! But I was so glad to have my running buddy for the day. We have't really gotten to train together hardly at all for this race. Usually I run while he keeps Caroline, then he runs before he comes home from work while I have her, so it was nice to get to do it together. I even planted some pansies this weekend. Once that sun came out, I just couldn't stop myself. Today, they're calling for sunny and almost 75 so we'll definitely be getting into some outside fun! Have a great Monday.

What's Cooking: Avocado Pasta

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I'm always looking for healthier options that don't skimp on flavor when it comes to our family meals, so when I came across this recipe on Pinterest for Avocado and spinach pasta, I had to give it a try. The recipe is originally from www.jocooks.com and is linked above, but my looks prettydifferent from the original because my blender is on the fritz currently, so instead of pureeing the ingredients, I had to mix them up in my mini food processor, therefore, the sauce in mine isn't as creamy. I used the veggie noodles in this recipe as well as doing some fresh parmesan on top and it was definitely a keeper. Caroline really liked it as well, and Juston was crazy about it. I have to say, tossing some blackened chicken or shrimp on it would make it even better and just the right amount of filling. 

You need:

10 ounces of whole grain fettuccini noodles
1 clove garlic
1 seeded, peeled avocado
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup pecans
Juice of a small lemon
3/4 cu pasta water
salt and pepper to taste. 

Once the noodles are cooked, add all the remaining ingredients to a blender and puree. If your sauce is too thick, you can add more pasta water. Pour spinach mixture onto pasta and stir until noodles are covered. As I said above, I added some fresh parmesan as well. I've linked the original recipe above and the pictures are much more appetizing than mine are ;)

Also, as an aside, can I just quickly discuss my love for Fixer Upper on HGTV? I could watch it every day and not get tired of it.

First, Chip and Joanna are basically the cutest. They make me want to have four kids, move to a farm, buy some goats and start my own real estate business. Okay, maybe not all of the above, but I just love them.

Here's some of my favorite interiors from the show:

I really love the high ceilings and the exposed beams. I'm also a huge fan of all the natural light coming in. We don't have great natural light in our house right now, so that is going to be a must in our next home, tons of natural light and windows. 

Again, all the bright light here, I adore and I love how they added so many sets of french doors in this transformation. I'm a white cabinet lover in a kitchen, too. I wouldn't classify myself as a Farmhouse Style person overall. I love aspects of it, but I'm more of a lover of Southern decor myself. There are aspects of Farmhouse I really love though. 

I just loved this sign they had a welder make above. I know a guy who can do something like this and am really tempted to see if he can make us one of these. If I can find a place to put it, I think I'll buy us one. 

And some of my favorite exterior transformations:

It's hard to beat a neat, symmetrical front facade on a home. I really love the white accents as well. 

I couldn't find the before for the above transformation, but it literally didn't even look like the same place when Chip and Jo got finished with it. How beautiful is the French Provencial style they did?!

And finally, my favorite all time reno of theirs...

I absolutely adore this home and would pack my bags and move in tomorrow! Am I the only one obsessed with this show?

Spring is in the Air

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I am just loving the forecast for the first time in a long time! It's calling for 50's and 60's all week and we are so ready for it. Yesterday was the first really pretty spring-ish day we've had so we took advantage of it. 

We headed to Mt. Sterling early yesterday to an adorable children's boutique called Oopsie Daisies. I try to get up there every couple of months to catch some of their cute outfits on clearance and yesterday I found a good selection of fall/winter for next year and even picked up some spring/summer for half off since it was from last year's inventory. 

Both of these were half off! I've always been partial to kids clothes with watermelon embellishments. No idea why, I just think they're so cute. And the smocked barn animal outfit for next year was a no brainer. 

When we got back from Mt. Sterling, we headed over and surprised Juston at work while he was in between meetings, then headed home, only to be surprised ourselves that I had to work that afternoon. I'm usually on Tuesdays, so it was unexpected but fun because I ended up taking Caroline with me and she had a blast running around the gym and playing with the girls. 

When we got home around 5:00, it was still sunny and warm so we got out Caroline's arsenal of outdoor vehicles and did a lap around the neighborhood in each of the following. 

Her Thomas the Train bicycle. This thing is a real pain because she can't really make it go herself yet, well, she can but is the worst at steering, so I have to bend over and hold her and the bike and push and steer, which is no problem, except that this bike is only like twelve inches tall. My back was killing me by the time we made it back to the garage. 

Next, she requested her scooter, or as she likes to call it, her "cooter". I swear, I laugh every time she says it. Couldn't turn that request down. 

Then came the push car. This is probably one of her favorites because the horn beeps, the gears shift and the key clicks. She also hords rocks from our landscaping in the back of it, which is what she's playing with in this picture. I just love our friends and family, because all of these toys are hand-me-downs from them and she just loves them all. We did another lap with Caroline in the stroller holding Dixie's leash. One of them loves this, the other one hates it, but it was too pretty not to take the dogs on a walk, too. They were so happy. 

We've got some other outside things planned for this week on the days it's not raining. Feeding the ducks at the lake, hitting a playground, going to a nearby hiking trail and a picnic are all included. Juston and I may head to the farm and do some shooting this weekend, too since his mom is coming in for the weekend.