For Goodness Crêpes! Louisville, KY

Happy Hump Day Crêpe Day Joyflakes!

When I was a student at Iowa State University in Ames, IA, my friend Emily and I had a tradition of going out for crêpes every Wednesday afternoon or evening at a place called Stomping Grounds where I worked. Stomping Grounds is a french inspired café and coffee shop in campus town and they have some of the best food in Ames. It's simple, the portion sizes and prices aren't outrageous, and its the kind of place  you can go on a date, to study in your yoga pants, or to start a night out with friends with a glass of wine or a beer. In short, it's one of my favorite places.

But since leaving Ames, I haven't had the opportunity to go out for crêpes. So, since my mom and I are planning a trip to France after I graduate, we thought my visit to Louisville was the perfect time to try out one of the crêperies in town.

Enter, For Goodness Crêpes, a funky little place located on Baxter and with a menu that can suit any mood you're in.

The restaurant is pretty small with only about 25 seats, but they pack a lot of flavor into each crêpe on the menu. I opted for a sweet, lemon and berry crêpe called "Quite the D'Lemon" while my mom opted for a breakfast crêpe stuffed with eggs, bacon, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and basil mayo called the "Jiggy Piggy". Both were FANTASTIC.

It's a good thing that I don't live here, because you can bet your butt I would be at For Goodness Crêpes a lot and both my wallet and my waistline would be in BIG trouble. Needless to say, on my next trip to Louisville, we will be making a stop for some crêpe goodness.


The Farmers Market: Louisville, KY

Happy Wednesday Joyflakes!

I love the farmers market. It's by far one of the best parts of summer. At home in Iowa City, we have two farmers markets a week and it's a great place to kill some time, eat some delicious food, and stock up on the amazing fresh summer produce. But since I'm currently in Kentucky visiting my parents (although  by the time you read this I supposed I'll be in Wisconsin), I got to experience another farmers market in Louisville.

We went in with a mission to have a great breakfast, and to buy a bushel of corn to put up for the coming months when fresh produce isn't so readily available.

Breakfast consisted of breakfast burrito bowls for my parents and a delicious breakfast sandwich on a fresh pretzel bun for me. We sat at picnic tables and talked about all of our plans for my visit. The list included lots of food to eat and lots of shopping. My kind of vacation!

After scarfing down our breakfasts, we headed into the stalls to buy peaches, tomatoes, berries, and of course, corn.

Don't you love all of the colors!? The peaches were SPECTACULAR! Perfectly ripe and juicy without being smooshy. yum.

One of my favorite parts of farmers markets is the fresh flowers. While I rarely feel like I have enough of a budget to stock my house with fresh flowers at the moment, I can't help but admire them. Especially when there are sunflowers (my favorite flower) in abundance!

Corn in hand, mission accomplished, we headed home to put up our 60 ears (and eat a few too!) but more on that later.

What do you love about the farmers market?


Bucks Chicken & Biscuits Chicago

Good morning Joyflakes!

One of the best things about Misha's family living in Chicago is that we get to eat at new places almost every time we go to visit them. On our recent trip to celebrate Chicago Pride, we got in touch with my southern side at Bucks Chicken & Biscuits.

Bucks is located on Division in Wicker Park and it is a perfect little oasis of southern hospitality in the bustling big city. We chose to sit out on the patio and soak up the summer evening along with our delicious food and my favorite, Cheerwine!

The fried chicken is delicious and the biscuits come with a pot of honey so you can drizzle to your hearts content. I however, opted for the head on shrimp and grits which were pretty dang good, I couldn't wait to dig in and managed to totally space on taking a picture.

No dinner at bucks is complete without a little dessert and in my opinion even if it's not Cookout, you can't go wrong with a Cheerwine float.

If you ever find yourself in Wicker Park, make the time to stop at Bucks. It is definitely a place I would like to go back to again and again. What are your favorite Chicago eateries?! Where should I try next?


Camping at Geode State Park

Hello Joylfakes!

This summer has been BUSY and it has included some pretty great adventures. A couple of weeks ago Misha and I packed up the car and Izzy and headed south to Geode State Park. This was our first camping trip of the summer and we couldn't wait to get away for a weekend of camp fire cooking, hiking, and sleeping outside. 

We made it there in just about an hour and a half and we stopped to pick up some firewood and grab a quick dinner on our way. 

Our campsite was tucked into the woods just across from the main campsite which meant not only did we have a little extra privacy, our neighbors weren't literally right next-door. 

For christmas last year I gave Misha a 4 person Kelty Acadia tent and it was SO easy to set up! The whole process probably took less than 15 minutes and there was plenty of room inside for us, all our stuff, and Izzy. Plus, with the rain fly on, there is extra room outside of the tent to keep firewood dry and store any extra odds and ends. 

The next morning, Misha treated me to some delicious eggs and sausages for breakfast and we headed out to hike around Lake Geode.

After a long hike and a little bouldering, we settled in for an afternoon of relaxation and then cooked an FANTASTIC dinner. There is something about cooking over fire that just makes food taste better. The Potatoes were probably the best part and they were so simple to make! We cleaned and sliced up some golden potatoes, mixed in some diced onions, garlic powder and adobo and then folded them up in tin foil with a couple of pats of butter. Put the whole things on the grill and voila! Buttery, soft, flavorful potatoes and onions. YUM.

Our second night of camping didn't go quite as smoothly as a raccoon decided our campsite was the perfect place to terrorize humans. After some seriously scary glimpses of glowing eyes in the woods, a lot of live tweeting, and lots of banging of pans and fire pits we finally decided to pack anything that smelled remotely like food away in the car and go to bed. It seemed to do the trick until something ran into our tent just above our heads at about 1am. Apparently our raccoon friend doesn't have very good night vision and tripped over the ties for our rain fly.

The next morning dawned grey and ominous and after the third giant clap of thunder in about a minute we decided that a little extra sleep wasn't worth packing everything up in a downpour. Luckily, the Kelty Acadia was just as easy to take down as it was to put up and we got the campsite torn down and cleaned up with seconds to spare before the heavens opened up and it started pouring. 

It rained all the way home so I'm glad we didn't try to wait it out! Who knows when we finally would have gotten back or how much mud would have been caked to our stuff. 

So our trip may have ended a little early, and it may not have gone perfectly, but it was a great trip that I'm sure we will always remember and laugh about. And we will definitely be camping at least one more time this summer and a fall. Do you have any camping stories?! I would love to hear them!


Recently: June & July

Aloha Joyflakes!

The last few months have FLOWN by and I can't believe that summer is almost already over. It feels like just yesterday I was quitting my job and heading back to school full time. Now, I've finished two semesters worth of french and I'm only 8 classes away from finally graduating. Tomorrow I'm heading to Louisville, KY to visit my parents but for now, here's an update on what I've been doing recently.

Reading: More Outlander! I know you're shocked. I finished up books 5 and 6 during June and July and am about a 1/4 of the way through book 7. I know I've said it before but I absolutely LOVE these books. They're incredibly well written and I love the attention to detail that Diana Gabaldon uses. Plus, the books are set during one of my favorite periods of history so you really can't beat 'em.

Writing: I haven't been on the blog nearly as much as I wanted to be this summer, but I have been journaling again. Currently, I'm trying to journal a few times a week so that when I look back on this year (which may be my last year in Iowa City) I'll have a record to look back at. Who knows, maybe it will become the outline for that book I've been wanting to write but haven't ever gotten more than a paragraph into.

Moving & Shaking: It's been a busy couple of months! As I said above, I've been back in school full time so a lot of my life has revolved around my french classes. One year worth of french classes boiled down into twelve weeks was INTENSE! But, I'm also working and trying to have a social life so things have been jam packed. Misha and I took a few trips to Chicago and we've spent our weekends camping or up at my families cabin. Tomorrow I'm off to Louisville and then next week we're heading up north to the cabin again for some final relaxation before classes pickup again, so we're making the most of our summer and loving every minute of it. I can honestly say this has been one of the happiest summers of my life.

Sounded like: Ahh, the sweet sounds of silence. But seriously, I've been living without a soundtrack these past couple of months and I'm loving it! At the beginning of June I lost my headphones. One second they were in my backpack and the next second they were gone. Rather than running out to pick up a new set, I put it off and I've been loving it. I'm not sure if I'll ever get a new pair. Not having music playing in my earbuds has also carried over to my car. I rarely turn the radio on and when Misha and I have been taking weekend trips, we've left the radio off as well. It makes you have real conversations with the people around and you allows you to actually take note of your own thoughts and feelings. I know it sounds kind of hippy-dippy, but my accidental, totally Kae, act of losing my headphones has helped me to become more mindful in my everyday life.

So there you have it! The last two months have been great and I'm looking forward to a whirlwind year of school, work, and preparing to leave my home town for real. I can already tell it's going to be a good year. What have you been up to recently?