even now, sitting here thinking about it, it makes my stomach hurt.


they are sometimes short and sometimes ugly and and sometimes necessary.

i've been saying a lot of goodbyes this week, which is why i've been absent here. i have a ton of food posts waiting in draft mode, but it doesn't feel right to hit publish when my days are taken up with things much more important.

i don't want to go into great detail of my feelings for the friends i have here in nashville. it would make me cry.

and, i hope, it isn't needed.

i hope that each of them already know what they mean to me. what they've meant to me. i hope they understand that walking away from them is the h a r d e s t part of moving to denver.

leaving somewhere has a lot of perks - including coming to grips with how much you're loved. and, so, in that sense, goodbyes are bittersweet.

i feel so much joy in knowing that i will be missed here.

but i have a pain in my chest knowing what i'm leaving behind.


nashville originals week: yellow porch.

yellow porch was my first choice when the nashville originals restaurant week menus went up.

first point: it is in the weirdest location. i guess it's the 100 oaks neighborhood? i am only ever in the area to go to applebee's. they also have a very nice movie theater, though, as well.

they were a two for twenty location, as opposed to holland house's three for thirty.

although, i always add on a cocktail, too. my work friend erica said the lemondrop was a must have. super sweet, as expected.

the most-raved about menu item: cheddar fritters. holy guacamole! really, really amazing. b and i should have split an order. it was a generous portion and so filling.

b's choice: pork chop. he is still talking about how good this was. i witnessed him lick the plate clean, so i can vouch for his enjoyment level.

and mine: salmon. it was very good.

i want to talk about the fritters again: you must try them.

better than a hushpuppy by a mile.


and the service - wow, wow, wow. it had been suggested to me to not try a new restaurant during this busy week, but we had nothing but excellent experiences at both yellow porch and holland house.

restaurant week, i will miss you.

you too, cheddar fritters.


nashville originals week: holland house.

if i could sum this review up in three points it would be:

1. holland house is so hipster/fancy.
2. the service was incredible.
3. it was restaurant week and not crazy overcrowded.

photographic evidence:

the waiters in suspenders? um yes, please.

probably the best beverage i've ever had. in my life. definitely the best thing i had all night. "a walk in the park" if you're going soon. try it.

salad. okay, if i had one bone to pick with hh it would be their overuse of bacon. which, most people would word as, "if i had a favorite thing about holland house, it would be their overuse of bacon." so, i know i'm alone in this, but there was only one salad option without it.

yep. this is beef. what can i say: chicken is a gateway drug. the steak was good. what i must tell you about is the ketchup. courtney and i both got this and kept saying, "these fries are SO spicy!" b tried one, and was like, "that is not spicy." i was using more and more ketchup thinking i was cooling down the fries when we realized... it's the ketchup that is spicy. duh. however, it burned so good. i would get anything they serve with that condiment next time i go.

creme brulee. i actually don't like creme brulee and took a chance that this would be more of a mint pudding. {what can i say, it said mint.} but, it was just reg creme brulee. however, courtney ate most of it - after finishing her bread pudding - so i would say our general review of the dessert course was two noms up.



holland house, if i wasn't moving out of the state and if you weren't in the deeeep east side, you would be my new park cafe.

and THAT is a seriously compliment.


seven medium-sized things.

i know you all were probably worried about me with the distressing news that hostess is filing for bankruptcy. i'm trying not to get too upset, since they did it before, and my favorite food continued to be created. a moment of silent prayers for the hohos, just in case.

i've put a hard stop to all shopping during the month of january. it's going really well, except that i keep running into things i would REALLY like to have. like this headboard, these magnets and this hair dryer.

speaking of, i've gotten so old and forgetful that i've been sending myself detailed emails so that i can search my gmail. all the items i listed above are in there with subject lines like "good headboard, buy later, grey, must have."

it is really starting to hit me all that i am going to miss when i leave nashville. it's like when you realize that your college continued to exist even after you left town. i still can't believe someone else is sitting in my seat at the junction bar alden library right now.

i finally put my resume up on some job sites and i am getting an insane amount of offers to sell insurance. how do they even know i would be good at that? i really don't want to do sales and i'm officially scared about finding a job in denver.

my blog next week is ALL about food. i've had some "last meals" at places and we hit up two restaurants for nashville originals week. it is going to be gooood.

we officially leave town on jan. 30. it's a 19 hour drive. i already bought all three of "the hunger games" in audio book form. they better be good. otherwise, it's t. swift on repeat for three days.

this blog post is a link up with one of my favorites, e tells tales. it's supposed to be ten little things, but i really think i went a bit past "little". seven feels like a good number. happy weekend bloggies!


michelle's baby shower.

last month, courtney and i threw a baby shower for our friend michelle. it was a fun day and totally took away any cravings i was still having for babies {it was mostly ladies and the talk was very... open and detailed}.

some of the spread.

ahhmazing petit fours from sweet + sassy.

the happy couple, ryan and michelle.

hostesses with the mostest. and the tiniest, most active pregnant lady ever. no kidding, she just texted me and asked me if i wanted to go bowling this weekend. people, she's due in less than two weeks.

p.s. photo credit to vickie for all of these. a notice for potential husbands: this is just one of her many skills.

p.p.s. i am going to miss these people so much.


food truck feastival.

this weekend, wanderland food park organized the wanderland feastival, an all-day event where the nashville food trucks gather. we had perfect weather and i was thrilled to get the chance to try multiple food trucks i hadn't run into around town yet. before we move we're hitting some of our favorite spots again and trying some "nashville must haves", like deg thai truck.

my choice: riffs truck! i've heard a lot of great things about it and they won the battle of the food trucks event last fall.

woh, woh. out of tacos.

veg paella. with a surprise soft tofu cake.

b's pork and macaroni from rollin + smokin.i tried the mac and really liked the use of the spiral noodle. his official review was positive, especially about the sweet cornbread pancake.

my wait ended up being about 30 minutes. b's was about 10 minutes longer. i've read a lot of negative reviews online, and talked to some people who were very crabby at the event. it's true: i was bummed out that the truck i really wanted to try was out of food less than two hours after it opened. however, it didn't ruin the day for me. i think it's a great idea and i'll definitely be giving riffs another try and will continue to support this awesome explosion of food truck goodness around nashville.

plus, you can't beat the view.


a life less predictable.

while the decision to move to denver was not made lightly, it was made quickly.

i am not unhappy with my life in nashville. if you've been a reader of this blog, you know i love our downtown, our growing food scene and our concerts.

but, i had a sense of unsettledness that i just could not shake. a lot of people chalked that up to quarter-life crisis, which, i'll admit, may play a part in this.

then, we visited denver. and i said, for the first time out loud, "what if we left nashville? what if we moved here?"

and, at first, b was hesitant. neither of us are the kind to throw caution to the wind, and he especially is comfortable with what we have here in nashville.

but, he's going. i think he knew i was serious when i said that if i didn't try, at least TRY, i would regret it.

so, we're leaving in less than two weeks. neither of us have jobs. we've yet to sign a lease. no close friends live there.

we are leaving a good, good life for the unknown.

i've never been so excited.


a big announcement.

there really is no way to build this up, so here it is:

b and i are moving to denver.

yep, the one in colorado.

in two weeks.

more, much more, to come!


fill in the blank friday.

i have really missed blogging this last week and a half that i've been in life limbo, so i thought i'd ease back in with lauren and her fill in the blank friday.  

1.   The last thing I ate was  a blueberry muffin. we're out of yogurt and now i feel like a muffin in pink cords. blerg.

2.   The last song I listened to was katy perry's teenage dream. SO sad about her and russell.

3.  Using the letters in my name I can spell kate, ate, late, nate, yan, ken, len, neal, lean, eat. that was fun! i'm sure i missed some, too.

4.  If I had to dress in one color for the rest of my life I would pick blue? i should pick blue, because i look best in that, but probably black or grey. i love color, but grey has my heart.

5.  If you were to look in my bag right now you'd find a hot mess. i'm currently carrying my huge michael kor's bag {a gift from b last christmas!}, so i'm lugging around anything that will fit in there. a notebook, my huge wallet, probably a dozen chapsticks, loose change, a 12 oz of mt. dew {although i'm trying to quit that since the whole "mt. dew would melt a dead rat" thing}, colored sharpies, sunglasses, etc. etc.

6.  When I finish filling in the blanks I'm going to work, work, work.

7.  My all time favorite song to dance to is  "paradise by the dashboard light" by meat loaf. you weren't expecting that one, were you?? also: lady gaga's "bad romance."


on hold.

well. honestly, i was hoping i'd have different news to blog today.

but, i don't.

until at least the end of the week i'm going to be spending my free time thinking {read: worrying} about a big decision that b and i need to make.

i'll be back with the outcome {whatever that may be!} next week.


hot pot.

can you see me there? with my amazing camera?

last week, vickie invited us over to have hot pot. i just wiki'd that and they called it "chinese fondue"! which i think is a really cute name. we had hot pot in china and it was one of our favorite {of many} culinary experiences. you basically get a mini fondue pot at your seat and cook various foods, typically meat, noodles, vegetables. so fun, so delicious.
v! the only one would would let me practice with my new camera. this is actually a norm face she makes in front of the camera, so i don't think she'll mind that i'm sharing.

hot pot ingredients.

the hot pot! we used a shared pot and then mixed our own spice blend in individual bowls. lots of tofu and veggies for me.

obligatory cat photo.

so lucky to have such great friends. {who also happen to be talented cooks.}


currently craving: a quiet moment.



does anyone else need a breather? i'm sure i shouldn't say that since we just kicked off 2012, but after the rush of the holidays i'm craving a day with nothing on my to-do list.

these images get that. a soft landing place, a close-up of something so everyday that we usually miss it  and a scene so beautiful you think you saw it in your dreams.


nye at red pony.

happy new year! how was your big night?

we had a great meal at red pony. it's a nashville original, which means it's locally owned and operated, and i had heard a lot about it. it's right on the square in downtown franklin just a short drive outside of nashville.

the menu was different than their usual, with set choices for each course. round one was a cheese plate with champagne! such a fun way to kick off new year's eve.

course 2. i ordered the "italian butters" plate. which was mascarpone cheese, tomato sauce and super soft flat bread. yum yum yum. i could go for that again right now.

salad course. and they were nice enough to let me order without bacon. i do not like to make special requests, but the whole atmosphere is so laid back - most people were in jeans and, so, as you'll see in a min, i looked totally overdressed - but our waiter was cool about it and my salad was delish.

b's main course: a HUGE prime rib. typically when you go somewhere with multiple set courses all of the plates are very small bites. not at red pony. illustrated clearly by this photo.

i got the crab cakes. so good, so fresh. i was surprised by the mexican feel of the plate. i not only got two crab cakes, but also a huge chimichanga with mushrooms and spinach and guacamole.

not gonna lie, my favorite bite of the evening. a "chocolate demise" lava cake with vanilla ice cream.

there we are! great picture thanks to our waiter. and we had the best seat in the house right in front of the kitchen window. an added bonus getting to see the chefs at work. my dress is from asos and i wish i had a better picture of the awesomely 80s poof on the other shoulder.

after that we came home, started a fire in the fire place, cracked open a bottle of sparkling wine champagne and counted down 2011 from the couch. it was totally grandparental of us, but perfect after the whirlwind year we had. 

can you believe it's 2012? i'm so excited for things to come. let's get to it, bloggies!