Soaking Up Summer

September 2, 2015

College towns are best in the summer time… I love the activity of the school year, but I relish the quiet while the students are away. Plus, you can always get a parking space, waits at restaurants aren’t nearly as long, and you can enjoy the lake without hundreds of double decker pontoon boats scooting around.

School is back in session, but since it’s the last official weekend of summer and there are plenty of hot days ahead this September, I wanted to share a few of my fav summer spots in Bloomington with y’all.

Lake Monroe

lake monroe

If I can’t be on a beach with my toes in the sand and surfing the salty waves a big blue lake will do. I got hooked on paddle boarding when we lived in Hawaii and love having this huge lake ten minutes from town. If you don’t have your own paddling gear check out IU Outdoor Adventure for rentals. They have a wide variety of gear and it’s extremely affordable. Don’t want to do the work? You can rent boats from Paynetown Recreation Area.


Bloomington Farmers Market

bloomington farmers market

Ride down the B-Line (urban walking biking trail) and stop by Le Petite Cafe for a bite, croque madame and crepes are my favorite. Then meander through the farmers market to do some shopping (and maybe some more eating), and enjoy the people watching. The Farmers Market is open from April-November.

Cardinal Spirits

cardinal spirits

cardinal spirits

My favorite patio in town is Cardinal Spirits, hands down! It’s right on the B-Line making it really bike friendly and is the perfect place to soak up some sunshine and enjoy a cocktail. Bonus: On Tuesdays they create special tiki drinks and most nights you can enjoy delicious Mexican food from the La Poblana food truck.

Upland Brewing Co.

upland brewing co

You can often find me here on Sunday afternoons eating pulled pork nachos and drinking beer. This Friday they’re hosting one of my favorite bluegrass musicians, Larry Keel, and a slew of other Americana bands for their annual fundraiser for Sycamore Land Trust. Can’t wait! BTW if you don’t have tickets yet their doing a giveaway on their instagram account now! 

larry keel



feast bloomington

croque madame anyone?

My ideal Sunday is sleeping in, coffee, bike ride through Bryan Park to brunch at Feast on their patio. Lunch and dinner are equally delicious.

Charles Deam Wilderness

Charles Deam Wilderness

When Ryan and I want to get away but don’t have time for a big trip, we head to the Charles Deem Wilderness Area. They have miles of trails to explore and plenty of camping spots. This area is seems to be less used than the state parks in the area so if you’re looking for solitude, this is the place. For an even more remote camping excursion, try paddling to one of the lakeside camping spots not accessible by trails. For maps and more info click here.


Hope y’all have a fun Labor Day Weekend!


Burgers and Dogs

July 14, 2014

Hamburgers and hot dogs are summer essentials. As an avid fan of both, I’ve put together a list of favorites down South.

The Varsity – Atlanta and Athens Georgia


75 years and still going… What’ll ya have? Continue reading “Burgers and Dogs” »

Happy Summer

June 21, 2014

happy summer

Whether at the beach, shopping around town, or on a road trip, my summer must have is a great pair of shades.  Currently coveting this polarized, graphic pair, Banks, from Warby Parker’s new Summer line. If you’re not familiar with Warby Parker, they offer sharp, stylish shades online at affordable prices and with every pair sold they provide a pair of glasses to someone in need. Win, win.

Other Warby Parker shades on my wishlist.
warby parker

Time to grab your shades and hit the road… Happy Summer!

Sunday funday photo

August 25, 2013

farmers market

Bloomington Farmers Market

Blooms in Bloomington

Sweet Summer

July 15, 2013

Summer is the sweetest of seasons… growing up I longed for the summer months.  No school, long days at the beach, movie matinees, summer vacations, and visits to the ice cream shop. A particularly favorite summer past time for me as a young child was going to the country with my grandparents and picking all the fruit we could possible carry.  My siblings and I were quite young and often dragged our buckets along the way unable to carry our found treats. When we had buckets full of peaches, strawberries, blackberries, or blueberries, we would head back home to “put them up.” The majority would be made into preserves and some were used for a cobbler or two.

My grandfather, a surgeon by day, also enjoyed playing farmer and cook in his off time. My grandmother often referred to these hobbies as his golf game. When we were in the kitchen helping him prepare the rewards from his garden, he would move us about the room much like his nurses in the ER.  “Hand me that jar!”… “Keep stirring!”… “No, not that pan, hand me that one!” He ran a tight ship in and out of the kitchen, and we were overjoyed to be his sous chefs. Many times, we diligently assisted him in creating some delicious delights for our family and countless friends to enjoy throughout the year.

This summer in particular, like those of my childhood, have been fruitful.  Every chance I get, I head outside of town visiting the area’s U-Pick farms filling up as many buckets as I can carry. I love to eat the freshly picked fruit by the handful, and then I take the rest (if there is any left) and make a batch of preserves or bake a sweet summer fruit cobbler just like I had been taught as a child.

strawberry picking

friend and berry enthusiast- Dorothy


found the tooth berry

thomas orchards

Thomas Orchard Stand

I love all the summer fruits, but the star of the summer for me are blueberries- sweet, a little tart, and delicious. Here’s a simple recipe that has been passed down in our family that is perfect for summer blueberries and sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

blueberry picking
Hamrick Family Cobbler (does well with any fruit)
Fill a large pot on the stove with approximately 3 cups of washed blueberries. Add as much sugar as desired for sweetness.  Cover the blueberries just slightly with water.  Cook the blueberries on low heat until soft.
In a separate bowl, gradually mix all purpose flour into a half cup of water until smooth then add this to  the berries on the stove. This will thicken, but the mixture still needs to be juicy. Reduce the heat and put to the side.
Grease the bottom of pyrex dish with butter.
Use your favorite biscuit recipe.  Roll the dough out to 1/4″ thickness and cut four 3 inch wide strips to line the sides of the pyrex dish.
Pour the berry mixture into the dish.
Cut the remaining dough into 3 inch wide strips and cover the top of the fruit mixture. Dot top of pie with butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees until brown. Top with vanilla bean ice cream to rock your world.
blueberry cobbler

via pinterest

My husband and I devoured ours before I remembered to photograph it.

This post was previously published on The Southern C

Friday Five #11

July 12, 2013

Summer Reading List

5. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: John Berendt

midnight in the garden

Seductive murder mystery set in Savannah, Georgia- I need to revisit this one.

4. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls: Anton Disclafani


summer reading


I got this recommendation from fellow C-Team member, Mary Boyce Hicks. High society Southern debutantes at an equestrian boarding school set in the 1930s- sounds right up my alley. Check out Mary Boyce’s full list of Southern Summer Reading here.

3. Sookie Stackhouse Series: Charlene Harris

sookie stackhouse

Addicting is the word that comes to mind when talking about this series.  I’ve read several and can’t get enough.


2. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

fried green tomatoes


Hard to beat this classic Southern novel.

1. The Prince of TidesPat Conroy

pat conroy

I’m so embarrassed to admit that I haven’t read any of Pat Conroy books. My stepfather, was a huge Conroy fan, told me this is the one to start with.

What’s on your summer reading list?


Win a Free Pass to The Southern C Summit!

June 17, 2013

Win a Free Pass to The Southern C Summit!

The Southern C is having another #tscsummit ticket giveaway until July 15!  Share your favorite summer photos via instagram tagged #tscsummer!  A winner will be chosen at random for a free pass to The Southern C Summit in Athens, Georgia August 1, 2013. Good luck y’all and Happy Summer!

Peachy Keen

July 6, 2012

georgia peaches

Does it get much better than fresh peaches? Continue reading “Peachy Keen” »

Sunday funday: Peaches

July 1, 2012


Georgia Peaches…stay tuned for old school peach cobbler recipe!

Indian summer

June 27, 2012

Hey y’all- This is a post I did for the Southern C a few weeks ago but with the heat wave coming, I thought I should share with my fellow bloggees.  If you haven’t checked out the Southern C yet…you should!  Its a great place to read about all things Southern from a fun and diverse group of bloggers…

The Southern C

Summer is officially here!  Why do I love summer so much?  It’s the
perfect season for my favorite food: ice cream.  Not that I don’t eat
frozen desserts all year round (because I most certainly do), but I
feel like the summer heat makes copious amounts of ice cream eating

I got to thinking about my love affair with these sweet concoctions
and it all leads back to spending a part of every summer at my
grandparents house in Birmingham, AL.  My sweet grandmother kept her
freezer stocked with the finest treats “the Pig” (aka Piggly Wiggly)
had to offer- Firecracker pops, Flinstone push-ups, and Blue Bell Moo
Bars.  After a long afternoon of swimming in her pool, we were allowed
to pick out a dessert from the freezer…it was always a tough

In recent years with the food carts craze, I’ve noticed more and more
handmade ice cream and popsicle carts and businesses.  Being a total ice
cream addict- I welcome this trend.

king of pops

One of the major dessert players down South is the King of Pops.  This super cool company started by three brothers is taking over the frozen dessert scene (at least in Athens).  They have a year round menu of creative concoctions like Arnold Palmer and Chocolate Sea Salt, and a seasonal menu with options like Bluegrass (blueberry lemongrass) and Georgia Peach Basil.  They have popsicle carts in Atlanta, Athens, and Charleston and they’re even popping up in local restaurants like The National, Ike and Jane, and Jittery Joes.  Check their website for the cart’s location; they’re a must try!

hip pops

I recently heard about a new local Athens popsicle company called Hip Pops that serve up all natural popsicles named after favorite hip hop stars and rap songs.  Who doesn’t want to try a popsicle called Blu Pop Shakur and Kanye Zest?  Luckily my friend Julie, another frozen treat fan, spotted them at that the Daily Co-Op off of Prince Avenue and we immediately made plans for a taste test.  After a long day of thesis writing for me, we headed out on a brisk walk with her puppy dogs, and headed to the Daily for a pit stop.

daily coop

daily coop

Julie and I; Katie is hiding

daily coopThey had several Hip Pop flavors that looked very appealing….all fruity and sounded delicious.  I had the MC Slammer: blackberry, mint and lemonade; Julie had the Kanye Zest:  Cucumber, Honeydew, Margarita; and Katie had the Big Peppa: pineapple and cayenne. They were just what we needed….cool, icy, refreshing, and mighty tasty.

The other day I bought a chocolate and sea salt King of Pop downtown, and as I walked back to the office eating my popsicle I realized that I had a ridiculous grin on my face, with melting chocolate was dripping all over my hands.  Despite my having to return to work (not to mention I am nearing the age of 30), I licked the melting chocolate off my hands, because God forbid I waste any of my delightful dessert… just like I did when I was 8 sitting on the edge of my grandmother’s pool (don’t judge- you know you do it too).  Maybe it has something to do with feeling like a kid again, or maybe its  because they taste so damn good- either way is fine by me.

Happy Summer y’all!

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