Thursday, October 27, 2016

This I Know For Sure

I can't predict the future anymore than I can change the past.  And despite being at a stage in my life where I am very unsure as to what road I'll be taking and to where, there are a few things in life that I am confident about.

This I know for sure:

-I was meant to live in Texas

-I was meant to be a teacher

-I was not meant for city life

-Someday I will be a terrific mother

-I have a tattoo addiction

-Right now is not forever

-Neither Clinton nor Trump should win the election

-28 & 2017 are going to be one of the best years of my life

-You get out of life what you put into it

-Always trust your gut

*Disclaimer I am not pregnant nor am I in a relationship*

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nashville Wouldn't Be Nashville Without You

This past weekend I spent just over 36 hours in Nashville with my friend Alicia celebrating my 28th birthday.  It was a relatively low key weekend, and if you follow me on SnapChat (nrthmeetsouthe) or Instagram (briannemcc) you've pretty much seen all that I'm about to show you.  But, you don't all follow me and a recap was promised so a recap you shall get.

Where We Stayed
I'm going to start off by saying this is not a recommendation, just a fact.  Originally we were going to do AirBNB but I procrastinated too long & everything was either gone or ass expensive.  Why?  Well the Predators played at home, the Titans played at home, it was Vanderbilt's homecoming, & it's Nashville.  

We stayed at an America's Best Value Inn.  It was about a 10-15 min drive from pretty much everywhere we wanted to go.  We stayed there though because despite both of us approaching 30 rapidly, we still stay at places that are just above needing hobo stab insurance.  Kidding.  Kinda.  We lived.  Actually, despite being next to a Hooters & a sketchier looking hotel, the inside had definitely been recently remodled & it served it's purpose.  Plus it was just over $150 for both nights.

There are no pictures because it was nothing was just another motel.

Where We Ate
This is obviously the most important part.  Any trip that one goes on with me is quickly all about food.  What can I say?  Food is life.

We got into Nashville around supper time & we were both starving so before hotel check in or anything, food was first.  We hit up Hattie B's Hot Chicken on Charlotte because when in Nashville...  Seriously y'all I'm so glad we went there.  We both got the small dark plate, medium heat, with pimento mac & cheese and red skin potato salad.  It was so good.  The chicken & potato salad were to die for.  Just thinking about it right now is making me hungry.

We ate again late that night after bar at The Italian Kitchen.  This wasn't our best food choice of the trip.  We didn't really have a choice though.  It was the only place within walking distance of the bar we had been at that was open at 2 am.  Don't get me wrong, the food wasn't bad, but it wasn't stellar.  For starters we ordered a small pizza...they accidentally made a calzone which was supposedly more expensive.  They asked if we wanted our pizza instead but we were hungry & tired so we ate the calzone.  It was mediocre & not worth the $20 we had given them... I wouldn't go back.

The next morning we went & got coffee and breakfast from the hotel quickly before getting ready to head out for our day in Nashville.

While out & about we both decided we need more caffiene, and caffine that tasted better than hotel coffee.  We stumbled across Bond Coffee while we were in The Gulch.  Despite not being a fan of anything pumpkin, the barista talked me into ordering October Sky.  Surprisingly it was really good.  It was a mix of pumpkin spice & salted caramel.  The pumpkin wasn't overpowering at all which is what made it great to me.

Lunch time on Saturday we found ourselves in East Nashville.  We talked about burgers but decided on tacos.  This was a solid choice.  I looked up best tacos in East Nashville & we wound up at Mas Tacos Por Favor.  This place was awesome.  The line was out the door & we quickly understood why.  Despite it's unassuming appearance, the food was incredible.  We both got a pulled pork taco, carne molida taco, elote, & a Mexican coke.  So so good.  I had elote for the first time this summer & I'm now obsessed.  Theirs did not disappoint.  It is cash only but the prices are very cheap.

We knew we wanted to be on Broadway Saturday night so we just ate at one of the bars there.  We decided on Honky Tonk Central.  We each just got a burger with tator tots.  I got the Cowboy Burger which came with provolone and jalapenos & then I added bacon...because bacon.  It was really good & the tots were the perfect crispiness.

Sunday morning we had intentions of going to The Flipside for their massive bloody mary but they didn't open until 11 & we needed to be on the road before then.  When we were in The Gulch the previous day we had seen a long line outside of Biscuit Love so we decided to go there.  We wanted to get a bloody mary from there as well but because we had arrived before 10 am & it was a Sunday, we couldn't get alcohol.  The food totally made up for it though.  We both got the Southern Benny & holy shit their sausage gravy.  The door guy had talked up their Chronic Bacon so I got a side of that as well.  I wasn't impressed.  The benny was more than enough food though so I wasn't too disappointed.

What We Did
We had no real plan for Nashville.  We knew we wouldn't be there for long so we didn't book any tours or create a long list of things we wanted to do.  Instead we just sort of went with the flow.  We knew we wanted to do karaoke so that's what we did Friday night.  After eating at Hatti B's & getting ready at the hotel we took an Uber to Ms. Kelli's Karaoke Bar.  We met a really fun couple there that we wound up hanging out with.  Alicia sang a little Merle Haggard & Kelli Pickler.  Together we sang 'Somethin Bad' by Miranda Lambert & Carrie Underwood because it's kind of our song.  We sang, we danced, we drank more than we intended, & spent too much money on an Uber back to the hotel after we hit up The Italian Kitchen.  Oh & those pickles?  I deemed those my purse pickles.  I love pickles...and they were extras from Hatti B's which were already in a handy to go container so I put them in my purse.  And yes, I ate them while at the bar.  No shame.  Probably going to make that a new thing actually...

Saturday was our day to really do whatever we were going to do.  Our only real plan was to find some murals.  So after our hotel breakfast of mini muffins & bad coffee, find some murals we did.  We went to The Gulch.  We went to East Nashville.  We went to some train tracks.  We went to South 12th.  In between finding murals is also when we got coffee at Bond Coffee and ate lunch at Mas Tacos Por Favor.

In between East Nashville and South 12th we hit up Centennial Park to see the Parthenon & enjoy the beautiful weather.  It was great to be able to enjoy the fresh air, see some leaves that were changing colors, and even hear the end of an impromptu performance by a couple of musicians.  The random musicians playing everywhere was probably one of my favorite parts of Nashville.

While in the South 12th area of Nashville we found a Sprinkles Cupcake ATM.  We both were wanting something sweet & this was on my "Fun in DFW" list so when we came across Sprinkles we had to make a pit stop.  While waiting for the line to go down for the I Believe in Nashville mural we sat on a bench eating our double chocolate cupcakes.  So sweet but so good!  I considered this a check off for my to do in Dallas even though we were in Nashville.  However, the cupcake was so good that I might just have to hit up the one in Dallas as well.

After South 12th we decided to head back to the hotel to relax for a bit & get ready for supper/going out that night.  As soon as we were ready we called an Uber to take us to Broadway.  Traffic was insane because of everything that was going on in town so we just had the driver let us out once we got close.  Neither of us were starving yet so we found the walk of fame & then tried to find the Johnny Cash & Willie Nelson murals that we hadn't found earlier in the day.  We couldn't find the Willie Nelson mural at all but we did find the Johnny Cash was mostly covered due to construction.

Finally we decided to walk our way to Honky Tonk Central for dinner.  After we were done eating we spent some time there listening to music on the first & third floors.  We quickly decided to find a new place.  I found a place that said they had line dancing, the Wildhorse Saloon.  We walked in the door & right back out the door.  It was bright & the were line dancing to some modern pop thanks.  We were briefly drawn into a couple of other bars simply because of the music we heard, one being Benchmark & the other one I don't recall the name of.  We then made our way to The Stage where we finished out the rest of our night.  While waiting for an Uber home we listened to Lexi Lew perform outside of some of the bars on Broadway.  That girl was good.  You should definitely give her a listen.

But Wait!  There's More! Memphis
The next morning we ate breakfast at Biscuit Love, failed to get more coffee from Bond Coffee because they're closed on Sundays, & then made the drive to Memphis.  Alicia had flown into Memphis because it was cheaper for her to fly into there than Nashville, & because I was driving through there since it was cheaper for me to drive to Nashville than it was for me to fly into there.  With it being a Sunday, & us not having a ton of time, we didn't really do much.  I took her to Beale Street so that she could see it since she had never been & also so that she could try some Memphis BBQ since she had never had it before.  We each got a bloody mary at Rum Boogie Cafe.  She also got a BBQ sandwich but I decided not to eat there.  I am definitely more of a Texas BBQ kind of girl & since I had already tried Memphis BBQ in the past I wanted to eat elsewhere.  After that we crossed the street & went to Silky O'Sullivans.  Silky O'Sullivans is actually where I spent part 2 of my 26th birthday/Halloween 2014.  We each got another drink & I got an order of oysters.  It had been so long.  It was a good choice.  We listened to some blue's music, ate, drank, talked, & then it was off the the airport.  I then made the remaining 7 hour drive back to Fort Worth.

I definitely want to go back to Nashville someday.  But next time with more time & money.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

28 by 28 Check In

Two days ago I turned 28.  I already shared with you my 29 by 29 list, & today I'm here to show you how I did on my 28 by 28 list.

1. Get into grad school PASS

2. Be in a real relationship FAIL

3. Visit a new state FAIL

4. Have my smallest loan paid off: PASS

5. Attend 9 concerts: PASS

6. Try 24 new restaurants/bars: PASS

7. Cut my credit card debt down by 1/3: FAIL

8. Go 1 month without using a credit card: PASS

9. Run a 5k FAIL

10. Read 15 books FAIL

11. Get another tattoo PASS

Technically I didn't have it before I turned 28...but I made the appointment before I turned 28 & I'm getting it today so...

12. Get back down to 150-155 & maintain it PASS

13. Have $1000 in savings PASS

14. Stick to my new 1-48-5 rule when it comes to dating PASS

15. Get my CDL FAIL
But that's because I didn't really want to get it.  I was supposed to get it as a coach but I never finished it & now that I'm not coaching there's no point.

16. Get my CHL FAIL

I could have easily done it.  I took the class a couple of years ago & had until this past September to turn in the paperwork/pay the fee.  Ultimately I decided not to.  Why?  At this point in time it just seemed unnecessary.  I work in schools & in a bar... and I'm there all the time.  At neither place could I carry a weapon either.  Also, I don't even have a firearm in Texas. 

17. Kiss someone on NYE: PASS
This was a very generous pass.  I spent NYE with Mr. Midwest.  We did not kiss.  I wasn't even awake at midnight.  But I was with a guy I cared about & that's what counts.

18. Have my tarot read PASS

19. Donate blood FAIL

But I did try...I was just turned away for having too low of iron.

20. Meet a blogger PASS

Much like the tattoo, technically a fail.  But I had a blate schedule BEFORE I turned 28 & that's also happening today.  Still counts.

21. Learn to play a song on the guitar FAIL

This is going to stop being a goal...I have the guitar, I've had the guitar.  I just don't sit down to learn.

22. Don't get any type of traffic ticket FAIL

I got a red light ticket...which I still think is BS because I made a right turn on red, which was allowed, but because I yielded instead of coming to a full stop (other cars were making a left turn so I knew there were no cars coming) I got a ticket.

23. Go horseback riding FAIL

24. Go to a Twins, Vikings, & Wild game: PASS 
I'm going to count it as one anyway.  I didn't make it to a Twins game but I did go to a Vikings & Wild addition to a Rangers game so all 3 sports were hit.

25. Go to Fort Worth, San Antonio, & Houston rodeos: PASS 
I'm also going to count this as a pass even though I didn't go to the one in Houston.  I made it to the other 2 & went to 2 other ones in Minnesota.

26. Complete 3 30 Day Challenges PASS

27. Learn Spanish PASS-ISH

28. Finish a 1000 piece puzzle FAIL

16/28...could've done better, could've done worse.

Monday, October 24, 2016

To Nashville & Back

Happy Monday!  I hope that y'all had a fabulous weekend!  Yesterday was my 28th birthday & I spent it wrapping up a weekend in Nashville & driving back to Fort Worth.  I plan to have a full recap of my Nashville birthday trip on Wednesday.  I didn't get back until late & was too tired to write up a recap for today.  I can't wait to read all about your weekends though!

Friday, October 21, 2016

28th Birthday Weekend

It's Friday!!  As you read this I am making my way to Nashville to celebrate my 28th birthday with my friend Alicia.  There's a solid chance that I won't be able to read any of your posts today but I promise to catch up when I return.  

You can follow along with my little trip on IG (briannemcc) & SC (nrthmeetssouthe)

Thursday, October 20, 2016

29 by 29

**Tomorrow I leave for Nashville tomorrow celebrate my birthday weekend!! You can follow along on IG (briannemcc) & SC (nrthmeetssouthe)**

Here we are again.  In just 3 short days I'll be turning 28.  I feel like I say this every year, but 28 just seems so daunting.  I'm definitely not in my early 20s anymore, I'm not even in my mid 20s.  I'm in my late 20s.  I'm long since over where I "should be" at this point in my life.  I'm just living my life my own way & doing my best to make the most of it.  I decided to pull the goals for my 29 by 29 from my 101 in 1001 list since I have just under a year & a half left on that.  Without further ado, my 29 goals that I hope to complete by my 29th birthday.

1. Pay off my car [#23 on 101 in 1001]

2. Go to CA, WA, or OR [#47 on 101 in 1001]

3. Donate blood 3 times [#42 on 101 in 1001]

4. Make a pie on Pi Day [#60 on 101 in 1001

5. Run a 5k [#24 on 101 in 1001]

6. Have credit card debt at 5k or less [#69 on 101 in 1001]

7. Have student loans at 60k or less [#2 on 101 in 1001]

8. Spend NYE with a S/O [#13 on 101 in 1001]

9. Eat at 24 new bars/restaurants [#21 on 101 in 1001]

10. Track spending for a month [#28 on 101 in 1001]

11. Get my own place

12. Go ziplining [#51 on 101 in 1001]

13. Attend Austin City Limits [#55 on 101 in 1001]

14. Watch the sunrise on New Year's Day [#81 on 101 in 1001]

15. Send out Christmas cards [#86 on 101 in 1001]

16. Do a spending freeze for a month [#92 on 101 in 1001]

17. Finish my Netflix watch list [#99 on 101 in 1001]

18. Read 24 books [#9/10 on 101 in 1001]

19. Do a 30 day fitness challenge [#15 on 101 in 1001]

20. Complete 52 week money challenge [#20 on 101 in 1001]

21. Have $500 in savings [#44 on 101 in 1001]

22. Photograph the same spot each season [#59 on 101 in 1001]

23. Visit a new ballpark [#62 on 101 in 1001]

23. Attend 2 MLB games [#63 on 101 in 1001]

24. Run a 1/2 marathon [#66 on 101 in 1001]

25. Sing karaoke [#67 on 101 in 1001]

26. Watch 2 movies in a theater in 1 day [#71 on 101 in 1001]

27. Build a snowman [#84 on 101 in 1001]

28. Take motorcycle license class [#26 on 101 in 1001]

29. Visit 3 museums [#31 on 101 in 1001]

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

An Open Letter To The Man I'm Going To Marry

I am so glad that God brought you into my life.  I know the path that lead each of us to here wasn't the smoothest.  I also know that the path that lies ahead of us won't be without it's own bumps, twists, and turns.  But knowing that we've made it here, and will make it through whatever God has in store for us makes it all worth it.

I love you like I've never loved another man before.  My love for you is unconditional.

I promise to be patient, even when patience isn't always my forte.

I promise to be kind and understanding.

I promise to be there for you when you need me, and to give you your space when that's what you need instead.

I promise to make you laugh.

I promise to never stop trying.

I promise to compromise.

I promise to take a step back & breathe when I know I'm about to say something bitchy just because I'm mad.

I promise to tell you how I feel.

I promise to listen to how you feel.

I promise to support you.

I promise to be a good mother.

I can't promise that I'll like you everyday, but I can promise that I'll love you everyday.

No matter what path we go down, I promise to stand by your side.

I knew the moment that I first met you that you were something special.  You really were different.  I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I loved you far earlier than I was comfortable admitting even to myself.  I knew almost instantly that you would be the man I was going to marry someday.

Life hasn't always been easy, and it won't always be easy, but it's a journey I'm excited to be on knowing that you're a part of it.