June Coffee Date

Let's pretend we're drinking coffee right now, even though I had a coke instead because we had too much fun at date night last night. I've been dealing with a bit of writers block lately? I have a lot of things I want to talk about I just struggle finishing them. I wrote a whole long draft about that #WhereIsGabe engagement thing, but didn't post it because I got some more information and the whole thing I was upset about was not the thing worth being upset about.. 

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If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that I just booked my flight to Cancun for next month, and I definitely should have gone with my gut and booked way back in March. You live, you learn, you pay $350 more for the flight than you should have. It's cooooool. I would ask what your packing tips are, I usually fly southwest so I can check bags fo'free, but we're flying Delta, because it's international. So I don't know if I want to pay to check my bag, we're going for 5 days and I'm prettyyy sure I can get all of that luggage in a carry on. I'm thinking about getting some packing cubes, I've never used them before but everyone raaaaves. I'm also, maybe, in the market for one more swimsuit...

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you I've had a slow reading month compared to last month. I'm on my third book for June, so maybe I'll finish that one. I'm currently reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo but I'm only on page 12 or something silly. I don't know what I'll read next though, any suggestions, in case I finish this one?

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you I'm working on some more adventures for Can I Bring Albus? maybe mixing it up with not just breweries but using it as an excuse to go back to Fetch.. I realize that's a dog BARk and obviously pet friendly, but I mean it's a good excuse to go back anyways, right?

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you I've been feeling very overwhelmed for who knows what reason. It's a super cool feature of my anxiety. It's a vicious little cycle, I'm overwhelmed and anxious, but don't know the reason, then I get more overwhelmed and anxious because I don't know the source. I've been working on "training" for the Peachtree next week, so that's been a helpful way to get out of my own head, and Chelsea has been saying all the things I need to hear in her pep talks lately. 

Speaking of the Peachtree, if we were having coffee, I would need your help! I've been struggling to pick out a tank top for this year's race. It's been tough to live up to the "raise your hand if you've ever been personally victimized by King George III" I found year before last. Since the race is on Thursday, maybe I can just re-wear that one for #TBT? I've also giggled at this Elle Woods quote, this hide & seek world champion, or maybe one from Luke's Diner?  I don't know. In the past, I've seen one and been like, YUP that's the one! This year, I'm running out of time, and I don't have anything. Help pleaaaaase. 

What would you tell me if we were having coffee?

Friday Favorites

HAPPY FRIDAY! This has been the longest week, since the last time I said it was the longest week. Every day this week has felt like Friday, except for today. So, I thought I'd share some Friday Favorites! 

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This Sunday, Albus turns THREE YEARS OLD. That's 21 in dog years. Of course his birthday happens to fall on Father's Day this year, so we'll have to get a little creative with the celebration. I saved his BarkBox to open on Sunday and I think I might make him some pupcakes. Last year I got this Nerf Gun, which was just as much a present for me as it was for Albus... I feel like since I held the BarkBox, I don't need to get him a toy. Maybe a dapper new collar? I'm really cutting it close here on a birthday present...

Last night, Taylor Swift dropped a new single, and I am a fan. I've almost listened to it enough times to know all of the words at this point...

I started reading Born A Crime last night, because my library is silly about their hold times. I'll put books on hold and they say "oh it'll be about two months" and then a week later I get an email saying my books are ready, so I also picked up The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo so it's a big reading weekend for me this weekend!

I've also been LOVING Influenced the Podcast -- I am very late to the whole podcast bandwagon, I have a hard time focusing on people talking while I'm driving, but I love this one! Everyone should listen to it, blogger or not. It's fun and I honestly feel like I'm just chatting with a couple of friends while I drive home. In case you're wondering, sometimes I do respond out loud. It gets a little weird when I have the top down and it happens at a light. I just lean into it & pretend I'm on call on the bluetooth (which my car doesn't even have hahahahaha)

Also, bonus, one thing I'm not loving. My instagram engagement has been super weird, so I tried to task myself with posting something every day in June, to see if maybe consistency would make it better? Then I got so stressed out trying to come up with something I wanted to post on Wednesday of this week, that I let myself not accomplish that goal. I don't want to put any kind of content out there that's half assed or forced. (A thing Lindsay & Christine hit on in the podcast that day, maybe they're related....) Have you been fighting with Instagram lately too?

What have you been loving lately?

What I Read in May (and a little bit of April...)

I wrote my April reading recap before the month ended, you know because it was World Book Day. It was just right there, had to do it. So today I'm talking about everything I read after that post and in May. I mentioned that I discovered the library app for ebooks and I have essentially turned into a real life version of Belle, with my nose literally always in a book. It's too easy, I have them right there in front of me! I'm also linking up for Show Us Your Books this month! I haven't figured out a catchy way to give my rankings, so I guess I'll just go with stars for now. Maybe baseballs? Is that cheesy? It feels cheesy.

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The Other Einstein: I honestly didn't even know Einstein was married before I read this book. I really identified with the main character and watched her as she kind of lost herself in her marriage. (Not that I've lost myself in a marriage, obviously, just a pretty substantial fear I have as an Aquarius.) This one kind of broke my heart and mended it again. I loved the undertone of strong female friendships in there, I give it all five stars. I would definitely recommend it.

The Little Paris Bookshop: This one has been in my "books you might like" suggestion forEVER. My mom even told me to read it. Y'all. It should have ended about 80 pages before it did. It was heartbreaking several times over and that was really uncalled for. Like, every time you think "okay, things are looking up" they stop looking up. I almost quit several times because it kept happening. I really did like the arch of the book barge and the writer that the main character ends up basically adopting. There was just too much to this book. It would have been 5 stars if it had ended sooner than it did. Overall, I give it 3 stars.

Poirot Investigates: I mentioned that I've decided I'm just going to read all of the Hercule Poirot stories, and aside from reading the Murder on the Orient Express out of order, I'm reading them all in order. This is the third of the Poirot novels, and it's a fun collection of Hastings being a sidekick. I really love Hastings's character in these series, and it's always fun to read his side of things. None of the stories takes more than 15-20 minutes to read, so it was a good one to read in the between times. I give it all five stars. (I'm really bad about giving everything five stars, this may be an issue..

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd: This is the fourth book in the Poirot series. I learned from goodreads that it's the one from 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and after reading it, I can see why. If you're only going to try one Poirot novel, it should be this one. I don't think you'll be able to stick to just one Poirot novel after finishing it. I can usually figure out the twist, but I didn't see this one coming. Five stars!

The Big Four: ANOTHER Poirot novel! This one was a little different than the other ones I've read so far, a little more adventure and action compared to the focus on solving sneaky crimes. I tore through this one too, I think it took me two days. I decided after finishing this one to switch to another book that's not Poirot. I think I was getting in too deep with the mysteries. ANYWAYS. I give this one five stars too, because I have a problem.

Their Eyes Were Watching God: This one slowed me down a little, I have a hard time reading books written in any kind of accent that isn't mine. I really loved the story though, I also learned that this author's work disappeared for a couple of decades and was brought back to light by the author's biographer! I loved this story because it just felt so real. Sometimes stories have a happy ending and you're just like "yeah, that's not realistic" and some stories just seem like a genuine experience. This one is a genuine experience, and it'll break your heart a little bit. Five stars!

Burial Rites: I actually came across this one while seeing what everyone read on Show Us Your Books last month, and there was a wait list at the library, so I joined it. All of the holds I have are like 6 months out, so I was really surprised when I received the email that this one had been added to my shelf! The description of this book reminded me a little of Alias Grace, for some reason I really love the term murderess. It's right up there with a new word I learned since I've started reading the applications for variances, executrix. How fun is that? ANYWAYS. I liked this one, the story is told in two parts, and you really start to feel for the main characters. It was interesting to see them grow and I really did enjoy this one! I'd give it five stars too! (maybe this is why I haven't been nominated as a Yelp! Elite reviewer....)

The Paris Wife: This one broke my heart too. I knew about all of Hemingway's wives, like I learned about them and all of his women in a blurb. Maybe even a little in that Midnight in Paris movie. They were always an aside, but I learned so much about the relationship he and Hadley had and when I finished it, I was literally just ugly sobbing all over the place. I don't know if it's just because they were real people or what, but it's told so well that you're going to get invested in all of these folks' lives. I absolutely loved it.

Then She Was Gone: I picked this one up because Chelsea wrote in her review "All the things I want to say are spoilers" so I felt like I had to read it, if just to talk about it with her. I agree with her assessment, it's one I want to talk about but I can't tell you anything about it or it might spoil the ending. I loved that it was a quick, easy read, and that the whole story kind of builds and slowly untangles the story lines, I think it was very well written and if you're at all into mysteries, you should check it out. All the stars!

PHEW. That was a lot of books y'all. I'm slowly becoming a bit of a shut in, and I'm kind of okay with it? Anyways! I'm linking up for Show Us Your Books this week! So make sure to pop over there and see what everyone else is reading. Do you have anything I should add to my TBR stack? I'm about halfway through Little Fires Everywhere so I'll need a new book soon! What have you been reading?
Life According to Steph

Can I Bring Albus? - Red Hare Brewing Company

I had so much fun rounding up my favorite dog friendly PATIOS on the Marietta Square (I emphasized patios because the City of Marietta shared my post (!!!!) and some guy commented "It's a great list and all, but you forgot Bark Street Petopia! It's the best place for dogs" It's true, I did leave them off, because you could clearly tell the list was my favorite human places that Albus gets to come along to. Bark Street is a boutique pet store. Anywhoodles) Without further ado, let's get down to the first edition of Can I Bring Albus? -- Red Hare Brewing Company
dog in front of red hare rabbit logo on bar
I have been a fan of Red Hare for years, and not just because it's super close to my house. They have a cool little spot towards the back of an industrial park, right across the street from a Mayfield Dairy, complete with a giant cow. Red Hare has an ever growing beer selection, my current favorite is the SPF 50/50 Lemon Lime - soo tasty and refreshing, and very light. The 50/50 is described as "A light, refreshing blend of IPA and lemon & lime juice. Sweet citrus zest mingles perfectly with citrusy hop notes." on Untappd  (PS, anyone else on Untappd? I freaking love that app, because I'm a beer nerd. We should be friends if you are! I'm always looking for a new brew)
pint glass of Red Hare's SPF 50/50 Lemon Lime Beer
They've been working on the patio out there, every time I've been there's been something new. There's a lot of space, plenty of shade, seating gets tight on busier nights, but you can usually snag a chair. They have a court for horse shoes and corn hole too! Dogs are allowed both on the patio AND inside the taproom. Last time we were there, the bartender tried to get Albus to jump up like he was ordering a beer himself, but he absolutely refused and just showed her all of his other tricks instead. Silly little nugget. She had a secret stash of puppy treats, they have water bowls available if you don't bring your own, and they have a poop bag dispenser in case you accidentally run out and there's a smelly situation. (Running out of poop bags is a legitimate fear of mine, I keep an extra roll stashed away everywhere)
Albus, a black lab, stares thoughtfully into the distance
Red Hare is kid friendly, they even have a root beer on tap, so I would keep that in mind if your pup is a little hesitant around the tiny humans. Albus loves them so I only get a little stressed out if there are a bunch of unsupervised ones running around. Red Hare is a brewery you've intended to go to, like there's not really anything else close, so you have fewer kids than say Glover Park where you can walk there from a lot of other kid friendly places. They are closed on Monday, something I forget pretty regularly and try to swing by for some brews to be disappointed. 

Have you been to Red Hare? What are your thoughts? Want to go tonight? Where should we go next on Can I Bring Albus

May Highlights

You'll have to wait a little while longer to hear about all the books I read in May (it was a ton. Having the library app on my phone has turned me into a book monster...) I thought instead I'd talk about all the things I loved in May. I love the way Becca does her monthly recaps, so she's my inspiration for this post! (I mean this quite literally, I read hers and thought "oh I loved a lot of things in May also!


We caught THREE Braves games, sat in three completely different parts of the ballpark. We even got in line early enough for the giveaways at two games: new hats & bobbleheads, CHECK!  
We drank plenty of beer, with and without Albus. Jeff Francouer did a specialty brew at the Terrapin BrewLab and so we obviously had to try that. Also, RedHare released a summer 50/50 that you need to try. Don't forget the Naturday!
The pool is OFFICIALLY OPEN. You will be able to find me here all summer long. I'll be keeping the sunscreen industry in business and tearing through my library books while camped out under the umbrella. I am also going to up my collection of fun pool toys this year, I see a pizza slice float in my very near future. I got this float swimsuit from amazon! affiliate links 
We took a quick little girl's day trip up to Ott Family Vineyards -- sampled some wine, had some snacks, enjoyed the views. It wasn't a bad drive from Marietta at all, maybe 90 minutes if I had gone straight through (I stopped in Woodstock to pick up my mom & grandmother) They're currently adding some space to make it an even prettier backdrop for weddings, the place was huge & my first (hopefully of many) visits to a Georgia vineyard. We volunteered to help them harvest the grapes in September.....


We installed a new storm door on the house! We've been tackling tiny little home improvement projects, one weekend at a time. This door came with an "oops free installation guarantee!"and we only managed to install it backwards once... Albus looooves it because he can sit and keep an eye on all of the neighborhood cats hanging around to torment him. 

I took the doors off the Jeep for the first time, discovered they're much heavier than they should be, and putting them back on nearly put me over the edge. I used all of my favorite four letter words to help get them back on. I will have to reassess before I take them off again... I put them back on because I kept having dreams about a cat having kittens in the car. It's one of the many days I do wish we had a garage..

All in all, we had a very eventful May and June is shaping up to be even more eventful, if that's possible. We have game four of the Stanley Cup Finals tonight (let's go Blues!) and I have become a fully dedicated Blues fan in the last year or so. Plus we have a wedding, ALBUS TURNS THREE YEARS OLD, and we might even try to catch Bark in the Park. I am looooving summer, how about you?