The Ultimate Guide of Where to Eat in Memphis

When we found out we were pregnant, we decided to do all the things that people say you aren’t able to do (at least as easily) once you have kids. One of those things is to eat out. So we picked our favorite places and made sure to eat at them all. Which made me realize that I should share all these amazing places with you guys! So if you are in Memphis and looking for some awesome food, here’s a little guide! Each one is linked to a blog post with more pictures and information.

corky's ribs

BBQ Ribs: Corky’s

Showboat BBQ
BBQ Sandwich: Showboat BBQ

rendezvous
BBQ Nachos: Rendezvous (but don’t bother going to the restaurant – the line is always long because it’s a touristy spot. Instead, get these at any event you attend at the Fed Ex Forum or at the Red Birds Stadium).

las delicias guacamole

Mexican: Las Delicias (all their food is awesome, but the guac is a MUST here!)

rock 'n dough pizza

Pizza: Rock ‘n Dough (the Ridgeway location is closed now, but we really like their Germantown location!)

ciao bella

Italian: Ciao Bella

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Sushi: Tokyo Grill (their sushi is awesome both in restaurant and to-go!)

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Pho & Chinese Food: Tycoon

kookamonga

Burgers: Kooky Canuck’s (the 7 pound burger is what they are famous for and it’s definitely fun to order, but their other burgers are super awesome too!)

celtic crossing fish 'n chips

Fish ‘n Chips: Celtic Crossing

Casablanca2

Middle Eastern: Casablanca

zamzamz3

Mediterranean/Greek: Zam Zamz

majestic ribeye steak

Steak: The Majestic Grille

the mempho

Best Sandwich: Patrick’s (get the Mempho! It’s awesome!)

brother juniper's

Breakfast: Brother Juniper’s

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Pancakes: Staks

Putting this post together has made me so hungry, haha! Memphis is full of incredible food, my friends!

Love Rach

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Lately

I turned 30 at the end of last month. On the 30th, in fact. My golden birthday. 🙂 Our original plan was to go to Disney World and then go on a cruise (much like we did Universal & a cruise for Christopher’s 30th birthday). However, when we found out that we were due with a baby during my birthday week, we decided to postpone the big birthday trip. Which meant that for my 30th birthday, we hung out at home with our 5 day old daughter. It wasn’t our original plan for how to celebrate, but so much better. I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

rach

And speaking of celebrations… this past Wednesday was mine and Christopher’s 9 year wedding anniversary. This was our first year to be home instead of traveling to some fun location. Definitely different than normal, but a good different. Life these days has been slower paced and extra sweet.

toph

Next week our little one will be a FULL MONTH old and Christopher will return to work. It’s hard to believe how quickly this time has gone by. This first month together as a family of three will always be a time that I look back on with fondness. These early weeks have been filled with so many sweet firsts and memories. Figuring out this parenting thing together has been pretty great. Life is good, my friends. 🙂

Love Rach

Nursery Tour

Lately I’ve spent my days staring at the cutest baby ever (in my very unbiased opinion). Christopher took the month off so the three of us have fallen into a sweet little routine. Mornings on the back patio, afternoons marked by visitors (usually bringing dinner), and evening strolls around the neighborhood. We’ve gotten out most days to run an errand here or there, but for the most part the days are slow and sweet. We’re all getting plenty of sleep which has been such a surprise to the adults in the family (though we’re hoping the trend continues!) and these first couple of weeks have been pretty amazing. We are soaking up every minute and absolutely loving it.

Vendetti 3

But I realized yesterday that I never shared photos of the nursery with you guys. So I thought I would pop in here to do today. 🙂

nursery1When you first walk in the door you are greeted with this sign I made thanks to Photoshop. 🙂

nurseryThe dresser originally belonged to my grandparents and the crib was mine when I was a baby (my sisters and niece and nephew also slept in it). The rocking horse was a gift from our friends, Heather & James, whose little boys have outgrown it. The pink blanket was made by my Aunt Denise with some sort of magic that enabled her to make those adorable hearts. And the “Ciao Bella” (Hello Beautiful) sign was made by our friend Mandy.

nursery2The rocker belonged to my sister, Holly, when her babies were little. The sign above the bookshelves was made by our friend, Whitney. And the shelves above the rocker are filled with sweet handmade gifts. You can read the specifics here.

nursery7Why yes, yes, we do have a LOT of books in her room. Clearly she is going to be the smartest baby ever. 😉

nursery8

My cousin’s wife made the Be Still sign. She has an Etsy shop with some of the prettiest prints!

nursery6A peak into her closet! We have SO many clothes for her that these are just the newborn-3 month clothes. And this doesn’t count the onesies in her dresser. Not to mention the totes of clothes upstairs that have 3 month – 2T in them. We were gifted so many things by so many sweet and generous people!

nursery4My sister hand-made the pink bunny! Isn’t it precious? And the fish may seem random to you, but… well, okay… it is kind of random. We’re not exactly into fish. But it was given to us by a close friend who is very into fish. No doubt it will end up being our little one’s favorite just because it’s the least cute thing in her nursery, ha! 😉

nursery3That little pink picture frame was in my nursery when I was a baby! And those shoes were my sister, Abby’s.

It’s the sweetest room and in the afternoons the sun streams in the windows on that side of the house creating the most beautiful golden glow. I just absolutely love this space. And even more… I love the little girl who lives here. 🙂

Love Rach

Welcome Baby Girl

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Our little bit arrived safely on July 25th. As of her appointment yesterday she is 5lbs, 2oz and 18.75″ inches long. I have so much to say and share and process, but this week has been a time of adjusting and soaking in time with this little miracle of ours. I’ll be back soon with more to share. 🙂 Thank you all for your prayers!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

Lately

This week was my very last week with the kiddos that I started nannying five years ago. Initially a full time gig that changed to part time just as my photography business took off. And over the past year I’ve really only had Will in the summers when he is out of school and only had Mallory for about 10 hours a week. So hardly even part time. But enough that we’ve still been a big part of each other’s lives. It’s hard to believe that this time is coming to an end. But it couldn’t be timed more perfectly. Mallory will be starting Kindergarten in August just as I’ll be figuring out this new mom thing. You better believe that the kids’ mom and I were both pretty emotional over that incredible timing.

will and mal 5 years later

On the left was them in 2012 not long after I started nannying them. And on the right is them from earlier this week. My oh my do I love these kids!

rach and mal 5 years later

Me and Mallory in 2012 on the left and the two of us again just this past week on the right. I have loved this little girl since she was an itty bitty baby and now she’s obsessed with all the details of my own baby girl which I think is so sweet!

will and mal 2017.jpg

They both love to poke my belly and say “Wake up, Baby!” to get her to start moving. It’s more than a little adorable. This week has been an extra sweet one as we’ve enjoyed our last days together. But now I need to stop talking about it before I turn into an emotional mess, haha! Thankfully they live less than five minutes from us and we are good friends with their parents so I’ll still get to see them! 🙂

us before flight.jpg

Christopher and I have been spending tons of quality time together lately. Our goal was to finish our “house/baby to-do” list by June so that we could spend the month of July just enjoying time together (unless of course Baby V had already arrived in which case we’d be glad we had things finished early). And that’s exactly how it has worked out. We’ve eaten at all our favorite restaurants, spent tons of time with friends, stayed out late, eaten frozen yogurt far too frequently (if there is such a thing as too much frozen yogurt), explored new coffee shops, enjoyed lots of pool days, and we’ve even eaten out at a couple of fancy spots that we normally avoid because they are on the pricy side. It has been a sweet end to the “just us” time we’ve had over our nearly 9 years of marriage. I’m so thankful for this time and we are so looking forward to the next chapter of life!

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My mornings are still marked by prenatal yoga and then followed by gym time. I definitely have to take it easier than I did pre-pregnancy, but I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to continue working out throughout this entire pregnancy. Those endorphins are great and I know it’s good for both me and Baby V. Plus I’ve been told that it helps with delivery and recovery so hopefully that’s true!

38 weeks with stuffed dog

As of today I am 38 weeks and 3 days pregnant. And on this coming Monday, at 38 weeks and 6 days of pregnancy, we’ll go in to the hospital to begin the induction process. I get so emotional when I look back at this pregnancy and see every answered prayer. And there have been so many. Odds have been beat, miracles have happened. And we are so close to Monday. If you are the praying type, please join us in praying for continued safety for our daughter and that her delivery will go safely for both of us. Thank you!

Love Rach

Chocolate Chip Scones

A little over six years ago I found this recipe for Cinnamon Chip Scones on the How Sweet Eats blog. With a tiny swap (to dark chocolate chips), these are my favorite scones!

Chocolate Chip Scones (1)

Chocolate Chip Scones

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar-in-the-raw
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cups cold butter
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425.

2. In large bowl combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter until it forms coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently.

3. Divide in half and pat into 7 inch round circles. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut into 6 or 8 wedges.

4. Bake at 425 for 13-15 minutes.

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I recently made a batch of these to pop in the freezer for after Baby arrives. I stored them in gallon size bags with wax paper separating them. They reheat from the freezer so well! Just pop however many you want in the oven while still frozen at 350 for 10-12 minutes and they are delightful!

Speaking of Baby’s arrival… we are SIX DAYS AWAY!! Less than a week. It is truly amazing to me (and my high risk OB, ha!) that she has stayed safe and sound right where she is all the way to this point. So thankful for so many answered prayers!

Love Rach

Christopher, this photographer’s BFF

I’m currently on maternity leave from photography, but I’ve been thinking recently about how thankful I’ve been to have Christopher as such a big part of my photography business. Since the beginning of this photography business, Christopher has come to every photo session that he can. Many sessions happen while he’s at work, but if he’s able, he likes to come along. And I love for him to be there. It’s nice to have the sweet encouragement, but even more than that – he is super handy to have around!

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First of all, I like to be able to check the lighting before my clients arrive. So having a person to model for me helps a TON! This shot was taken to test lighting just before a client arrived and it has turned into one of my favorites. I just love how cozy Christopher looks with his scarf and coat and beard. 🙂

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Kids love him! He is great at keeping kiddos occupied while they wait their turn for photos. In the photo above he was playing with the kids while I took couple photos of their parents. Christopher is quite the child wrangler. 😉

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He helps out with lighting! Usually by using reflectors to reflect soft light onto the clients, but in this case we had one giant shaft of sun coming down in the middle of the photo so he’s actually using the reflector to block the sun.

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He’s great at getting kids to laugh! You can see here that he has a toy in one hand and a burp cloth, paci, and ball in the other hand. Not only is he great at lugging around purses and diaper bags as we move from spot to spot, he’s also great at getting natural smiles from kiddos while I snap away. He usually stands right behind me while he does this so he has been known (on many occasions) to drop a toy on my head to elicit laughter from kiddos. Works every time. 😉

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And best of all… he has become my second shooter for weddings. All along the way, he has been interested in what I’ve learned so I’ve shared it with him as well. He may not have quite as much hands-on practice at photography as I have over the past few years, but he has a natural eye and the practical know-how to take beautiful photos. I absolutely love having him as my second shooter for events! 🙂

I am so thankful for the way he has supported me from the beginning and has helped out all along the way! I love my lenses and lighting equipment and Photoshop, but Christopher is the most invaluable asset to my business of all. He is definitely this photographer’s BFF. 🙂

Do you have a person or thing that helps make your job much easier?

Love Rach