Off The Hoof

There is this rustic old building in Arlington, TN (which is just outside Memphis) not too far from the pretty little downtown square. Every time we pass by it’s super busy. So finally one day we stopped in. It was so great that we’ve been back again since then! Both experiences were amazing so I think it’s high time I finally blogged about it. ;)

It’s required that you wear cowboy  boots in order to walk in the door. Okay, actually that’s not true at all, but it looks like the place where everyone there should be wearing cowboy boots. Or cowgirl boots. I’m not gender stereotyping here. Anyway, this entire discussion about boots is really pointless because in total honesty… we weren’t wearing boots at all when we went. ;)

off the hoofBut seriously, don’t you feel a little like you would want to wear boots walking into a place like this? Okay okay… enough with the boots. ;) Obviously there was a very western, old-timey feel to the decor of this place. :)

fried picklesAlso, they had fried pickles. I’m not sure that fried pickles were a thing back in ye-olden-days of the wild west, but they should have been. I mean, yum. And these were excellent!

DSC_0178I am pretty sure, however, that the wild west had cheesy bacon fries. I mean, it just seems like something you’d order at a saloon. I bet Dorothy Day was  chowing down on these at some point during Calamity Jane (100 you-are-amazing points if you’ve seen this movie!). These particular ones, were pretty fabulous.

DSC_0177I imagine burgers were pretty plain in the wild west if they existed at all. But the ones from Off the Hoof were ah-mazing! You get to build your own burger and Christopher and I both loved them. Definitely ranks in our top 3 favorite Memphis (area) burgers! I got grilled onions, bacon, swiss cheese, and BBQ sauce and it was delightful!

If you are anywhere near Off The Hoof, you need to get there pronto. Order a burger. You won’t be sorry. Just don’t forget your boots (just kidding). ;)

Off The Hoof Burgers on Urbanspoon

Love Rach

Happy St. David’s Day!

Happy March, friends!! Welcome, welcome to the month that will hopefully begin to bring more sunshine than ice! ;) For the past couple of years on March 1st Christopher and I have celebrated St. David’s Day! St. David was the patron saint of Wales and tradition holds that he died on March 1st in 589 AD so the first of March is the day we celebrate in his honor.

to be born welsh{source}

You might be thinking, “Wait a minute! I thought you guys were Italian… this is “this Italian family” blog, right?” Well, as I mentioned on our about page, I’m not actually Italian. I married into it. Christopher is Italian, but my family heritage is from the British Isles – predominately Wales. So it’s a small way of connecting with my people. :) Plus we love to celebrate! And after the first year we celebrated we discovered that we LOVE Welsh Cakes. Sometimes we make them even when it’s not St. David’s Day, haha! So any excuse to make them is good with us!

st david daffodilDaffodils are the national flower of Wales and commonly worn (along with leeks) on St. David’s Day.

Welsh Cakes for St David's Day

welsh cakes{Slightly adapted from NutureStore}

A couple of people requested more cooking videos after the Chinese New Year one and while I don’t think it’s something I’ll be able to do frequently, I was able to make a video of this process for you guys yesterday! :)

If you aren’t interested in the cooking part of this video, you should at least watch the last minute of the video (beginning at 4:21) to see my sister Abby and Christopher talking about how exciting they are about Welsh Cakes. And if you are just looking for the blooper… it begins at 4:58. In case you can’t hear what Christopher says at the very end, it’s “I’ll take two”. :)

Happy (belated) St. David’s Day, friends! I hope spring is on its way to all of us!
Love Rach

But really… what color is the dress?

Last night Abby (my sister), Christopher, and I were sitting around chatting about various things when suddenly Abby hands me her phone to show me a photo and asks what color I think this dress is. Thinking she’s wanting specific shades I’m not really sure what to say.

dress{sourced from the original post}

I finally answer, “Um… some shade of blue and black?”
Abby instantly reactions, “WHAT?! Are you serious??”
A little taken aback, I’m like “Yeah… is that wrong?”
We hand the phone to Christopher who confidently answers that the dress is in fact blue and black.

Abby is even more aghast. She tell us that she sees the dress as white and gold. Suddenly we’re looking at her like she’s lost her mind. But with a quick Google search we realize that the majority of people seem to see the white and gold. So naturally we started texting random people to ask their opinions (which were of course mixed). A little further Google searching led us to this photo:

the dress and swatches{source}

Christopher and I acknowledged that the lace parts were more chocolate brown than black, but Abby still couldn’t see it at all. She could CLEARLY see the swatches beside the dress, but still thought the dress looked white and gold! This blew our minds! So Abby and I both jumped up off the couch and began excitedly (and loudly) gesturing at the screen to try and make our point. Naturally Christopher finds this hilarious so he begins filming. And naturally I’m sharing with you guys today. ;)

{as seen originally on Christopher’s Instagram}

So then, since she was still in disbelief I opened up Photoshop on my laptop and used the eyedropper tool to pull colors directly from the different spots on the dress and then painted them on the side while she watched. Confounded, she watched me pull blues from what appear WHITE to her and pull browns from what should be GOLD. She still maintains that regardless what Photoshop shows, the dress itself looks gold and white.

dress and color swatches

Of course now that I’ve outed Christopher and me as seeing black and blue, it’s probably some massive conspiracy theory that proves we are more likely to have eye cancer or something, haha!

So tell me, what color do you guys see?
Love Rach

All the cute things

Yesterday my sister, Abby, and I went out to run some errands to pick up home renovation things (paint for a new room, knobs for the nightstand, etc). We hit up Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, Tuesday Morning, and Target. I found not only the things I needed for our current projects, but several things that had been on the back burner for a while. Win, win, win. And because I know you guys want to see all the adorable things we found, I’m sharing! :)

rae and absAbby and me!


We are redecorating one of our guest rooms right now and I’ve been looking for a mirror to go above a vanity in that room. We found this mirror on clearance at Tuesday Morning for $12!! It’s huge and sparkly and gorgeous. It’s exactly what I was looking for! :)


I’ve wanted a globe for our office for a couple of months. I nearly bought one off Amazon, but I was afraid that while it looked good in pictures that it might look cheap in person. So I decided to wait. And I’m so glad I did! I found this gem at Target! At 18″ tall it’s the perfect size for the office! And it’s HEAVY! That’s actual metal not plastic. I just love it! :)


I found this kid’s clip on seer sucker tie at Target. I always have a couple of items I keep on hand as photo props (especially with kids stuff) and this was a perfect addition to my collection! I’m so excited to photograph a little boy wearing this!

hello spring

Also in the Spot section at Target was this adorable little spring decoration. I’m trying to be better about decorating our house for more than just Christmas. I’m definitely ready to go ahead and display this in the house… maybe it’ll help spur the arrival of spring? #wishfulthinking ;)


I found these two journals at Tuesday morning. I loooove them! Can you see what the one on the left says? “Life is a great adventure” :) I haven’t decided if it will just be my next journal or if I’ll save it for our  next overseas trip (which might tentatively be next year… *squeal!*). When we went to Italy Christopher and I kept a journal together of everything we saw and ate and experienced. I’m SO glad we did that! There are so many little things that we would have forgotten otherwise. :) So we might use that journal as our next travel journal. We shall see!

travel suitcase

Speaking of travel… I found this decorative travel suitcase at Tuesday Morning as well.  We have a ton of papers and tickets and random little things leftover from our Italy trip that normal people would probably just throw away. But I hate to throw them away so they’ve just been in a big Ziplock bag in the office until I found a good place for them to go. Ha! Well this little suitcase is PERFECT to store them in. :)

vase filler

When we got married 6 years ago we were given a set of vases. And we thought to ourselves, we should buy something to put in those. And we just never did. Then a couple of years later one of them got knocked over one day and broke. And we thought to ourselves, we really should put something in that other vase because it looks kind of weird just sitting there. And a few more years passed to present day. And finally yesterday, I bought something to go in the vase, ha! So thanks to Abby’s helpful advice and Hobby Lobby’s selection… I finally have something in my vase! ;)

Have you bought anything adorable lately? 

Have you been inside Tuesday Morning? Abby suggested we go there to find some of the things on my list and I’m so glad she did! I am officially a huge fan of that store! :)

Have you found yourself putting off a small house project for a long time?

Love Rach


Rock and Worship Road Show

Last night we drove down to Southaven, MS for the Rock & Worship Road Show. My sister, Abby, is staying with us right now so she came with us!

christopher abby me at concert

Us at the concert! Only $10 at the door for 8 different bands! Seats are first come, first serve so since we arrived early we got great floor seats! As a side note… don’t we look amazing as Smurfs? ;)

rock and worship road show

See those floor seats down there? That’s where we were sitting. I snapped this shot near the end as we left a little early (it had started sleeting outside so we left about 20 minutes before the show ended). The floor seats were great, but it was SO.LOUD. Seriously, next time I must remember ear plugs. I get so used to out door concerts that I forget how loud indoor ones are. #oldladyprobs ;)

matt maher2

The first time I ever heard Matt Maher live was about 3 years ago when we went to the Rock & Worship Road Show for the first time. That year he sang “Christ is Risen” (which I’ve shared on the blog before) and I remember tears streaming down my face as I heard it for the first time. This year he sang several favorites of mine, but my absolute favorite was “Lord, I need You”. That song has definitely been the cry of my heart many days. I loved getting to hear it live and worshiping with thousands of fellow Christians. :)

david crowder2

David Crowder Band was the other group that really touched my heart last night (and Christopher’s favorite of the evening). They sang several of my favorites, but my absolute most favorite was when they sang “Come As You Are”. The lyrics to that song are all excellent, but my favorite line is: “Earth has no sorrow that Heaven can’t heal“. Amen, my friends. Amen.

It was an amazing night of worship and music and I’m so glad we got to go. The other bands were also excellent and I definitely recommend going if the Road Show is coming to a venue near you! :)

Love Rach


Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy 2015, friends! The Chinese New  Year arrived yesterday and Christopher and I celebrated as we always do by making homemade Chinese food! As a bonus addition… we made a video this year. A little cooking video if you will.

Here’s the thing about this – I wasn’t planning to do a video. So what you see is 4 day old hair (yes, same hair from the pictures on Monday), a make up less face complete with dark circles under the eyes, and a giant (warm) tacky sweater. :) Don’t judge me for not washing my hair. It has been SO cold here this week that I have tried to keep my shower to 3 minutes or less because the longer I’m in the hot water, the worse it is when I get out. I often let my hair go 2-3 days without washing, but 4 is pushing it even for me. And definitely not the day I’d want recorded, but this is real life my friends. ;) {and for those concerned… I did wash my hair last night after this video and survived without turning into an icicle}. So enjoy a peak at our real life on Chinese New Year. :)

For those of you who don’t care to watch a 7 1/2 minute long cooking video, you should watch the last 30 seconds to see our adorable mutt eating Chinese food. Because, well, he’s adorable. ;)

chao fen

chao fen{Click recipe card to see larger}

jiao zi and man tou

We also had jiao zi (dumplings) and man tou (steamed bread)! Two of our other favorites. I cheated and bought both of them from the frozen section of our international market and then just steamed them for 15 minutes. So quick and delicious!

Happy Chinese New Year, friends!

Do you like Chinese food? 
Would you buy soy sauce that was marketed as “luscious”? 

Love Rach

A Craigslist Rescue and Chings Hot Wings

We have a house to-do list. And it’s long. And every time we mark something off of it, we add another two things. It’s just the way of it. ;) One of the things that has been on our list for awhile is to find a nightstand for our bedroom. We have a little mini bookshelf that we’ve been using since we got married and it works just fine. So we haven’t been in a rush. But when I saw this $10 dilapidated nightstand on Craigslist this past weekend, I knew we had to rescue it.

nightstand collageIt just needs a little TLC (and paint) and this will be perfect for our room! I mean, ten dollars! Such a steal! I’ll keep you updated as we finish it. :)


Just down the street from where we picked the nightstand up is a hole-in-the-wall place called Chings. Probably the most popular place in Memphis to get wings. Normally we just get them to-go, but since we weren’t headed home we decided to eat at Chings. It may be a hole in the wall, but it’s clean inside and there are TVs everywhere playing sports (basketball right now!).


Ching’s wings are delicious, but our favorite are their chicken tenders because they are just so amazing. The best sauce (in our opinion) is the honey gold. You must try it. Really, you must. Just as a heads up, though, there’s a 20-30 minute wait for your food. Sometimes longer. Call ahead and get them to go!

Ching's Hot Wings on Urbanspoon

Now just to get started on restoring this nightstand! :)

Have you ever rescued an inexpensive piece of furniture and restored it?

Do you  have a favorite wings spot?
Love Rach