Friday Favorites #17

Happy Friday! This has been a busy but interesting week with a lot more travel than usual. Matt and I attended a friend’s wedding over the weekend, and then I was in Ohio for a work trip for the majority of this week. Both were great but also exhausting. I’m definitely ready to be home spending some quality time with my husband this weekend! I'll also be focusing on mindfulness for Mindful May.

Once again I’m checking in to share the things that made me happy this week. As always, I’d love to hear what things you’re loving in the comments.

Discovering Thriving Mint

mint leaves

YAY to not killing a plant. Last year my parents and in-laws visited for a weekend and helped us set up a raised bed kitchen garden. If you recall my fig tree, you know caring for plants is not my forte. I love vegetables and herbs enough to at least be motivated to try, so it was such a gift to have our gardening-expert parents help to set us up for success. The garden ended up doing quite well (likely despite me), but has been 100% neglected since the winter.

I currently have a raised bed of weeds which are doing quite well, thank you. I do plan on changing that and planting some veggies and herbs again, but that hasn't happened yet. As I was checking out my family of weeds, I was thrilled to discover that one thing did survive the winter and my gardening skills: mint! The mint even multiplied and seems to be thriving.

bowl of berries with mint

Fresh herbs are THE BEST for adding loads of fresh flavor to dishes, right? I love adding mint to a bowl of fruit or salads to make them feel way more fancy. Another great use for mint? Mojitos. I see some fun cocktail and mocktail experimenting in our future. Now I love mint even more because it's delicious and difficult to kill - YAY.



Matt and I both arrived back into Charlotte around the same time this Thursday, which was an amazing treat. On the way home from the airport, we picked up CAVA for a quick and healthy meal to enjoy together once we got home. If you're a local reader, I highly recommend this spot if you haven't tried it!

A few months ago this fast casual dining option opened up in Huntersville and I *love* it. They have locations scattered throughout the country and seem to be growing quickly. They're basically a Chipotle-style restaurant but with mediterranean food. You can create your own salad or grain bowl with lots of protein options (I love the chicken and roasted vegetables), a variety of dips and spreads, and loads of toppings including lemon and...MINT! It's the kind of meal that is fresh, packed with flavor, and leaves you feeling satisfied but not weighed down.

Tepper Reunions and Weddings

photo booth wedding pics

Last weekend we attended the wedding of a good friend from Tepper (where Matt attended business school). The wedding was beautiful and served as a great opportunity for a reunion with Tepper friends. We were fortunate to meet such a great group of people during our time in Pittsburgh, and we don’t get to see them enough. Thank goodness for weddings as the most effective way to get large groups back together once you've entered adulthood. Weddings are also always a fun reminder of our wedding and what an amazingly perfect day that was. My permanent plus one makes for a pretty fun wedding date, too.

My April workout playlist

Turns out this April workout playlist is good for more than just workouts. It’s also helpful for staying awake while driving late into the night. It’s more difficult to fall asleep while driving when listening to this music and bouncing up and down in your car seat. Not that I recommend driving at 3 am in the morning. I definitely do not. I'll explain.

So speaking of weddings, my drive to attend the one outside of Atlanta this weekend was slightly longer than anticipated. By slightly I mean much much longer. I started my drive after work on Friday hoping to make it to my destination by 10 pm. Around 9 pm I made the hugely depressing realization that I failed to bring the single most critical item for the wedding: Matt’s custom GROOMSMAN suit. Yeahhh...

Matt was traveling for work that week and understandably wanted to travel light. Since I was driving, it made sense for me to bring all the items he needed for the weekend in the car. He had a pile of items like his duffel bag and shoes that I needed to bring. I even remembered random little items he asked me to bring during the week. But I did not remember that I needed to bring the suit hanging in our closet. Until I was almost to Atlanta.

Sometimes there really isn’t an easy solution to a problem. Once I realized that the best option was turning around, picking up the suit, and then repeating the drive I had just done I turned around and worked on trying to accept that this was the situation. You know when toddlers have a mini meltdown and just collapse into a puddle of exasperation? I kind of wanted to do that.

Instead, I worked on pumping myself up and staying awake. Yay- think how many podcasts I can listen to! Yay- now I can chat with my mom (thanks for keeping me occupied that first hour :-))! Yay- I’m going to listen to super loud music and have a little dance party in my seat! I saved the playlist until I was starting to get tired half way through my drive back as something to look forward to. Long story short: It helped to add a little fun energy to my drive. Lesson learned: My husband is giving me a checklist of everything he needs in the future. And I’m never driving until 4 am again.

Learning *Insert nerd emoji face*

Jameson, pit bull
Jameson doesn't look like he feels like learning here but this is pet related and he's cute, so here he is.

As a veterinarian, there are two major things I'm always striving to do: 1) deliver the most up to date and progressive medicine for my patients and 2) connect with and gain the trust of their owners so that we can work together as a team to achieve that high quality care. Any time I have the opportunity to learn more about a topic and then think about ways to better connect with and educate my clients it makes me excited.

My trip this week was pet food related. Pet food is a sensitive and exhausting topic. There is a huge amount of misinformation in the pet food industry about what is best for pets. And it’s a constant challenge to find time or energy to broach that subject with owners without having it dismissed because of information they gained from Google, a commercial, their groomer or breeder, or the employee at PetSmart.

My trip was packed with useful information that I’m excited to bring back to my hospital and patients. It was also a great reminder that there are pet food companies creating awesome diets supported by innovative research and quality control instead of the latest trends. While I don’t want to put much focus on veterinary medicine in this space, I am considering writing a post about some common pet food myths and how to read pet food labels. If that’s something you’d be interested in, please let me know in the comments!

Exploring new breweries when traveling

Carillon Brewing Co. Dayton, Ohio

I love that craft beer has become so popular, because local breweries make for a fun destination when traveling. We arrived in Ohio on Tuesday and had a couple hours before the scheduled events started. My coworker and I decided to check out a local brewery less than a mile from where we were staying. We were impressed and surprised when we walked into Carillon Brewing Company.

Carillon Brewing Co.

Carillon Brewing Co.

Carillon Brewing Co. is one of the most unique breweries I've visited. The brewery is a museum with a history exhibit in addition to a functioning brewery and restaurant. When you walk in there's an exhibit with historic ingredients and equipment that were used in the 1850's as well as costumed staff. They offered a variety of their beers created from historic recipes as well as a few options from local breweries. I ordered a couple of small pours: their ginger pale ale and a local IPA (Branch & Bone's Earth Calling). Both were great, and I was impressed with the flavor of the ginger pale ale. Guess they knew what they were doing in 1850...   

What things are you loving this week?

Are you growing a garden this year? What are you planting?

What's the most unique brewery you've visited?


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