Derby City Date Night: Staying In

It’s so nice to get out of the house, dress nicer than normal, and have a beautiful meal that someone else cooks for you. No kids, no less to clean up; just focusing on your date and the conversation.

But let’s be real; it doesn’t always happen as often as we would like. Even though I am blessed to live near both my parents and my in-laws, we don’t get to leave Little Man at home to have a date night with just the two of us whenever we want. In those situations, how do you make a night in special?

This past weekend, I tried to create a date night ambiance by recreating a delicious meal I had the night before. Little Man and I went to Frankfort Ave with some friends to ride the trolley and eat at El Mundo while Bread Man was golfing. El Mundo is amazing, by the way. I had never eaten there before and was really impressed. I’m sure most of the Derby City knows about this amazing restaurant already, but it deserves all the shout-outs!

Since the Bread Man missed out on the deliciousness, I tried to mimic the grilled chicken fajita with roasted garlic that I had enjoyed. I got some bell pepper and onion, chopped it up instead of slicing, and mixed it up with some steak strips that were labeled for stir-fry. Anything to reduce my prep time! I tossed some asparagus in because I had some that was about to go bad; it sounds kind of weird, but it was really good and the Bread Man and I both agreed it didn’t taste any different than the peppers.  I added a few whole, peeled garlic cloves and tossed it all together with a can of fire-roasted tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning (I make mine homemade from Annie’s Eats, but it’s the equivalent of one seasoning packet from the grocery). I baked it all in a 9×13 glass dish at 400 in the oven for about 15 minutes.


Once out, I put the roasted garlic into the garlic press to make it a paste so we could spend it on our tortillas (if you’ve never had homemade tortillas, you need to try these, also from Annie’s Eats. So amazing.) add in some store-bought pico de gallo, some lime juice, and chopped avocado, and we had a really tasty nicer-than-normal meal.


Even though it’s always nice to get out of the house, the best part of a date night in is being able to share the good food with Little Man. I love it when he tries new things and likes it! It gives me hope that maybe he won’t be a picky eater like his dad!


How do you keep date nights special when you can’t leave the house or kids behind? I’d love to hear your ideas, so leave me a comment. Don’t forget to sign up for my email updates! 😊

Worry making me weary?

Yesterday, I read a Proverbs 31 Ministry devotional that really hit home. The writer talked about being stressed and exhausted and overwhelmed, and started praying for God to show her where she could cut things out of her schedule to help her mental and spiritual state. She began to realize that instead of calling her to drop things out of her schedule, God was calling her to stop worrying about it so much. She realized that she was spending just as much time, if not more, worrying about her responsibilities as she did fulfilling them.

This really hit home for me. As I’m nearing the end of my National Boards process (for this year, anyway), the dates for my students’ two major assessments are looming, my kid is always sick, and my to-do list ever stops. As busy as I am, I’m making it worse by spending so much time and energy worrying about getting it all done, how I’m going to get it all done, how much time I’m spending away from my family, what my boss thinks of me, how much I’m worrying, and all the other things I worry about.

What a great reminder to truly cast my anxieties on Christ. He has not called to me to be something that is impossible, but has already equipped me to fulfill the roles I’ve been called to through Christ.

I encourage you to consider how much time you may be spending worrying about everything you need to do, as well. Remember that Jesus calls us to come to Him to find rest and to release those burdens! Check out my sweet friend’s post about choosing joy for more about this topic.

Update: Dealing with Stress

A few weeks ago, I made a plan and a challenge to myself to help me deal with the pressures of my life and the busyness of life right now. Since we are halfway through the month, I wanted to give an update on my situation.

One of my goals was to make my health a priority, and I’ve done really well with that. I have been eating a lot of veggies, fruits, and lean protein following the 21 Day Fix eating plan, and I’ve been working out regularly. Since the weather is finally spring-like, I am running outside 2 or 3 times a week and that has done wonders for my mood and stress management. I haven’t seen a difference on the scale, which I’m trying to not fixate on, but I feel stronger and more confident, which is more important anyway.

In keeping with my focus on my health, I went to the doctor last week to ask for some blood work to check my vitamin D levels; I have been told by a doctor that I most likely have Seasonal Affective Disorder, and this winter has been brutal as far as my mood and energy levels are concerned. I had already started taking a 2,000 IU supplement, but wanted to see where I stood with an official number. My result came back as a 34–30 is the lowest “normal” number. Obviously, I have been dealing with a deficiency if my supplement took me to barely normal. I’m going to finish the bottle of supplements that I have and then up the dosage to 5,000 IU, which is the highest I’ve seen at the store. That should help with my energy and moods more.

I’m also trying to find ways to treat myself more. Running in the sun, drinking tea on the way to school, snacking on almonds and dark chocolate, and listening to my favorite podcasts are easy, doable ways to help relieve stress, at least temporarily. 

Another goal I had made was to make my morning quiet time a priority. I have been reading a devotional every morning through an email subscription I have, but this is an area I need to make more of a priority. One of my pastors was recently talking about how he feels that the church in general doesn’t appreciate the reverence required to enter God’s presence, and that really hit home with me. I have been treating my morning devotional as a quick read to check off of my to-do list, when I should be treating it an essential part of preparing for my day. My job can be very emotionally and physically demanding, and I need to better equip my mind for whatever my day might bring.

With only 7ish weeks until summer break, I’m feeling much calmer about the busyness of my life right now. It is a season, and it will pass. In the meantime, I know what I need todo to help make this season happier for me and my family, and I’m excited to continue with my routine!

How do you stay sane when life gets crazy?

Derby City Date Day: Doc Crow’s

The Bread Man and I had a long-overdue lunch date today while I’m on spring break. He has been talking for months about taking me to Doc Crow’s, a barbecue and oyster restaurant downtown (1st and Main). With all of the construction going on downtown, we missed the exit we should have taken and ended up in Indiana. Oops. 

  

Once we made it back into Thr Derby City, it was still a little difficult to get to the restaurant: there is a building being worked on across the street, and the sidewalk right beside Doc Crow’s is blocked off. If you know this ahead of time, it’s not a big deal and totally worth the extra effort! The service was great; you get a service team as opposed to one server, and everyone in our team made us feel like we were their only customer, despite being busy with the lunch crowd. The menu has something for everyone, from apps to salads to sandwiches to entrees to desserts. They even have a kids’ menu!

I ordered the House Salad with beef brisket; I needed protein and veggies, and this fit the bill. The salad is comprised of field greens, red onion, tomatoes, and a tomato vinaigrette. The brisket was sliced thinly and was so moist and easy to cut through with just my fork. The salad was the perfect mix of light and satisfying. I loved that the dressing gave a lot of flavor without weighing the salad down. I didn’t eat many of the Doc Crow’s croutons, but they were really tasty. They are made in-house with thick Texas toast and some kind of delicious seasoning mix. So good!

  

The Bread Man got BBQ wings and green beans on the side. I tasted the wing sauce, and it was amazing. Though not quite as sweet as I had expected (I guess because I’ve had too much store-bought sauce with all of the added sugar!), it had a really nice spiciness that makes it unique. The Bread Man had nothing but praise for the wings, and was actually a little bit covers with sauce. He had to ask for one of the moist towelettes you get at BBQ places! That’s our litmus test for good wings. 

  

I had some of the green beans, and they were amazing. They still had a little crunch to them, which I don’t really prefer, but the flavor made up for that. The green beans were cooked with bacon, onion, and tomato in a sauce that tasted like a white wine butter sauce. I’ve never tasted a sauce like that with green beans, but now I’m inspired to try and recreate this dish at home, which is saying a lot for a girl born and raised on canned green beans. 

 

I really can’t say enough praise for Doc Crow’s. It is a great atmosphere for a lunch date or a dinner date, with lots of locations nearby for before- or after-dinner entertainment. If you haven’t been, you are missing out! 

Spring Break Shopping

My mother-in-law and I went to the Bluegrass Outlet mall off of the Simpsonville exit on 64 and had a very successful shopping day! I wanted some spring and summer clothes that fit me better than the clothes I have now; even though I’m back in my pre-pregnancy clothes (woo hoo!), my tops don’t fit me very well with my different body shape. 

We went into several stores, but I only purchased from Old Navy, Ann Taylor Loft, and Rack Room Shoes. My favorite store is Off 5th, but I never buy anything. I honestly just like to look at the designer dresses and laugh at how expensive they are. Yesterday, we found one that was ON SALE for $6000, with an original price of almost $20,000. Who has that kind of money? Lol.

At Rack Room, I was looking for a pair of comfortable, dressier sandals that I can wear to work. The ones I have are almost 6 years old and are falling apart. I found these adorable Tommy Hilfiger Linsey sandals and it was a done deal.  The store was having a BOGO sale, and my MIL generously paid for her shoes and mine so I could benefit from the discount. She rocks!

  

At Old Navy, I was looking for layering camisoles and maxi skirts. There weren’t many maxi skirts to choose from, but I ended up getting a basic black skirt and a couple of nude Tamis, which are layering tanks. Very comfortable, and very inexpensive. Less than $30 total!

   

 

I found another maxi skirt at the Loft Outlet. It was the first thing I saw when we walked in, and it was even a petite size! Everything is always too long on me, so petite sizes are exciting. Between sales and gift cards, I ended up paying $16 for a regularly $60 skirt. #winning

 

After leaving the outlets, we headed to Target so I could get some solid tees that fit me well. I opted for four pastels: pink, mint, periwinkle, and orange. Also on sale!

 

 

It was a very successful day. I have really cute clothes that fit me well, make me feel good about myself, and that I can wear to work as it warms up.