barista steaming coffee while a coffee shop playlist plays in the background

Mix Tape #2: Coffee Shop Tunes

Ever so often, I walk into a coffee shop and think, “Man! Wouldn’t it be cool to work here?” And sometimes, all I mean is wouldn’t it be cool to trade my fluorescent-lit office for the warm, naturally lit, indie-music-playing buzz of my favorite coffee shop? To sit in a little wooden booth wearing whatever I’m feeling at the time—perhaps jeans and a black-and-white flannel button-down like the girl I saw this morning—and tap my fingers on my laptop while coffee grinds and milk steams in the background?

And other times, what I really mean is wouldn’t it be cool to work here? To be the girl behind the counter pouring people coffee and warming muffins and oatmeal and seeing people’s eyes brighten at little things like maple lattes and pumpkin bread? To spend my whole day treating people and chirping, “Have a wonderful day!”

And I could, theoretically, quit my salaried job with good benefits to do this, but either I’m not brave enough, or deep down I know that spending day after day in a coffee shop wouldn’t be as grand as I imagine it would be. But still—I dream about it all the time.

Really, though, I think my ache is more about freedom. Freedom to work any time, anywhere, and to have the luxury of doing so in places I find inspiring, whether that’s a coffee shop in the morning or a park on a crisp autumn day or a beer garden in the afternoon or my porch at sunset. Wouldn’t that be so grand?

Until then, I guess I’ll have to make do with listening to my “coffee shop playlist” and pretending that’s where I am. Without further ado, the second installment of our mix tape series, a mix of indie pop/folk tunes that remind me of coffee shops everywhere.

Listen to this coffee shop playlist on Spotify.

Coffee Shop Tunes Track List
  1. “Big Black Car,” Gregory Alan Isakov
  2. “Where Happiness Lives,” Magnet
  3. “Nicest Thing,” Kate Nash
  4. “Snowship,” Benjamin Francis Leftwich
  5. “The Reckless and the Brave,” All Time Low
  6. “Be Okay,” Oh Honey
  7. “Stubborn Love,” The Lumineers
  8. “Even the Darkness Has Arms,” The Barr Brothers
  9. “Alabama Pines,” Jason Isbell
  10. “A Sky Full of Stars,” Coldplay
  11. “What Would I Do Without You,” Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors
  12. “Michigan,” The Milk Carton Kids
  13. “Renegades,” X Ambassadors
  14. “Thunder Clatter,” Wild Cub
  15. “All My Tears,” Ane Brun
  16. “Take Me Back,” Sarah Jarosz
  17. “Heart’s Content,” Brandi Carlile

What music reminds you of places that inspire you?

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coffee

Morning Coffee (Or What You Should Read This Week)

Few things brighten my day like a steamy cup of coffee and inspirational, thought-provoking reads in the morning. It’s a ritual that I daresay I’ll keep until the day I die, whether I’m curled up on my couch with a book, devouring the Sunday New York Times on a plane, or catching up on my favorite blogs amidst the buzz of my favorite coffee shop.

Perhaps your morning ritual looks something like that, too.

Here’s to morning cups of coffee everywhere, and a few read-worthy links to get you started.

What have you been reading lately?

get in the best shape of your life

The Best Workouts for Getting in the Best Shape of Your Life

As a former athlete, I have been exercising and working out for nearly two-thirds of my life. Read: I’ve pretty much done it all. I’ve lifted weights, attended exercise classes, run a half-marathon, done high-intensity interval training, swum laps…the list goes on. Two workouts stand head and shoulders above the rest. Do these, and you’ll be on your way to getting in the best shape of your life.

Continue reading

host a dinner party on a budget

Hostess Essentials: Host a Dinner Party on a Budget of $150

Note: Burrow South is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post contains such affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

I absolutely love dinner parties. Stories and laughter over wine. Bellies full of homemade meals and hearty company.

Being one of the few 20-somethings I know who owns a home, I often find myself hosting, and it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do. There’s nothing quite like sharing your favorite recipes with your friends and opening up your home to help your loved ones feel warm and cozy. It’s a wonderful gift to be able to give for the low price of deep-cleaning your house (which, let’s face it, we all need reminders to do anyway!) and an extra run of the dishwasher.

And yet, hosting seems to scare people. The two concerns I hear most often? “I don’t have enough space,” and “I don’t have nice things.” While there’s only so much you can do with the space that you have, you can easily host a dinner party on a budget by stocking your kitchen with the essentials. Start with the basics (classic white dinnerware, simple flatware, wine glasses, etc.), add some candles or fresh flowers, put on some music, and voila! Everything you need to host a simple dinner party.

Bonus: You can buy everything that you see below and serve six people for less than $150! Ever better—all are available on Amazon Prime, so shipping is fast and free. Links below.

Hostess Essentials, host a dinner party for $150 or less

01. Dinnerware set for 6
02. Flatware set for 4 (Buy two!)
03. Drinking glasses for 6
04. Serving utensils
05. Wine glasses for 6
06. Serving platters, set of 4
07. Bar set (includes cocktail shaker, bottle opener, wine opener, and other essentials)

What are your hostess essentials?

Hiking Mount Cheaha, Alabama’s Highest Point

“Are you ready?”

My dad obviously didn’t think so. But in all fairness, I couldn’t blame him. We hadn’t hiked in over a year, and we were about to tackle one of the most difficult trails in the southernmost Appalachians. One that dropped more than a thousand feet in the first half a mile. My mom (smart woman, it turns out) decided not to join us.

man looking down at a valley from the top of Mount Cheaha

To begin with, we were brave. We planned to start at the top, hike down, take a break, and hike back up. We thought we’d finish the whole hike, two miles in total, by lunch.

rocky mountain

One mile, two hours, and the shakiest of shaky legs later, we reconsidered. Lucky for us, Mom had anticipated that we’d change our minds. While we were finding footholds between rocks and grabbing tree limbs for balance, she had driven our car down the mountain, parked at the trail head, and walked a few hundred, very flat feet down the trail. We found her reading a book by a stream when we reached the bottom.

creek from above

creek

A few days later, we set our eyes on waterfalls. For starters, we went looking for a classic–Cheaha Falls, named after the nearby mountain. The hike was flat but sunny, and when we reached the waterfall, I nearly cannon-balled into the pool below.

Waterfall

cliff from below

The most stunning was Devil’s Den, a three-tier waterfall nestled between two cliffs. We began at Lake Chinnabee and walked half a mile alongside Cheaha Creek to the falls. As we got closer, the trail rose with the cliff, giving us expansive views of the canyon and waterfalls below.

hiking trail beside a creek

creek

two-tier waterfall

whitewater rapids

whitewater rapids

waterfall from above

creek between two cliffs

three-tier waterfall

creek

Our final day at Cheaha, we took one last leisurely hike out to Pulpit Rock. The trail ended in one of most beautiful, sweeping views of the valley below. The day we went, there was no one in sight, and the wind was gusty, ruffling tree leaves and blowing our hair into our faces.

mountain overlook

mountain overlook

THE DETAILS

WHERE TO HIKE

Lake Trail: By far the most difficult, steep trail in the area, but a short, one-of-a-kind hike down the mountain. Feeling a challenge? Hike up!

Chinnabee Silent Trail: This six-mile, out-and-back trail passes both Cheaha Falls and Devil’s Den. Experienced hikers can easily hike the entire trail in one day, but I recommend a shorter route, starting at either the Lake Chinnabee Recreation Area (off County Road 12/Forest Service Road 650) or the Turnip Seed Parking Area (off Highway 281). This part of the trail is about three-and-a-half miles one-way. Cheaha Falls is about three quarters of a mile from Turnip Seed, and Devil’s Den is about half a mile from Lake Chinnabee. Hike the entire length for a nice stretch of the legs!

Pulpit Rock: Located inside Cheaha State Park, this trail isn’t quite a third of a mile but ends on a rocky ledge at the mountain’s edge. Don’t let the beginning of the trail scare you–it starts out rather steep but flattens out quickly. It’s my personal favorite because it’s easier than the Lake Trail but just as pretty as, and more rustic and secluded than, the more popular Bald Rock.

WHERE TO EAT

Cheaha Brewing Company: Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommend and well worth the 45-minute drive. Located in an old train station that was built in 1885, the atmosphere is one-of-a-kind, but I’d argue that the food and beer are even better. This small, local brewpub has some of the best craft beer around, and its food (equally delicious) is made using locally grown, organic produce and dairy products and all-natural meats. And with more than a dozen beers on tap at any given time, you’re sure to find something for everyone! Tip: Bring a growler. You might like the beer so much that you’ll want some to-go!

Cheaha Restaurant: We never ate here, but the convenient, in-park location and expansive views from the restaurant’s floor-to-ceiling windows are hard to beat. Described as “country cooking at its best.”

WHERE TO STAY

Cheaha State Park: For weekend and short trips, I highly recommend that you stay at Cheaha State Park unless you want to drive upwards of an hour to and from the nearest town each day. The best option, in my opinion, is a semi-primitive campsite (approximately $18 per night), where you can sleep in a tent under the stars but benefit from nearby bathhouses. Other options include hotel rooms, chalets, cabins, improved campsites, and primitive campsites.

Talladega National Forest: For adventurers seeking seclusion, camp in the nearby Talladega National Forest, which surrounds Cheaha State Park. According to the U.S. Forest Service, permits aren’t required except during gun deer hunting season, and primitive camping is allowed in most areas of the forest. Just be sure to follow the rules!

AREA HIGHLIGHTS

High Country Wine Cellars: Located just off the interstate a few miles east of Cheaha, you MUST visit this winery, even if only to stock up before heading home. High Country sells 50+ wines at any given time, including a mix of dry, semi-sweet, and sweet wines made from nearly every fruit imaginable–peach, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry. My personal favorite (which might be my all-time favorite wine of any variety) is the “sweet” Charred Peach. I’d say it’s about as sweet as your typical Riesling, and while I’m not typically a fan of sweet wines, the Charred Peach is phenomenal. Tastes like a fresh peach that’s just been taken off the grill. Not sure if that sounds like your cup of tea? High Country offers free tastings during business hours, which are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

What are your favorite trails and places around Mount Cheaha?

people running on a bridge

How to Make Exercise a Habit: 10 Tips for Staying Motivated to Work Out

Making time for exercise is hard.

If you’re like me, much of your day is already spoken for. You work 9-to-5 (or some other shift that takes up an entire third of your day), and you somehow manage to eat/sleep/spend time with family/shop for groceries/manage your finances/clean your house/take care of pets/whoknowswhatelse during the precious time that you have left.

And you know that you also need to exercise…and that exercising even a little bit has tremendous health benefits…and that consistency is the key to being healthy…but staying motivated to work out is just so darn hard.

Believe me, the struggle is mutual.

I’m not perfect by any means, but I’ve recently (many failed attempts later) made exercise a habit. True story: I’ve exercised at least three days every week for nearly 15 weeks straight! Another true story: This is the most consistent I’ve been since I got engaged and tried to get in tip-top shape for my wedding more than three years ago.

Note: I am not a doctor or any other kind of health expert. I am speaking purely from personal experience here. You should always consult a trained health professional before making any drastic changes.

So how do you stay motivated to work out when life tries to get in the way?

1. Find a long-term workout program, and stick with it.

This has been a game-changer for me. In the past, I’d go to the gym and stop at whatever machine looked appealing to me at the time. And this is a perfectly fine approach if you’re merely looking to increase the number of minutes that you exercise.

But if you’re looking to make exercise a habit, and if you’re looking to make the most of the time that you do spend exercising, this willy-nilly approach will fail you. Because nothing else is motivating you other than the fact that you know you need to exercise (which, as we’ve already established, isn’t very motivating).

Enter a long-term workout program like P90X, 30-Day Shred, or any other workout program four weeks or longer. Once you get over the hump of completing the program’s first few workouts, you’ll have started a program. And if you’re like me, once you start something, you’ll want to finish it.

Plus, most long-term programs were created by professionals, so these programs tend to work every part of your body without overworking any part of it. Just be sure to follow the recommended order, rest days, time between workouts, etc. And don’t keep going if you feel like you’re hurting yourself. When in doubt, consult a professional.

2. Be flexible.

I know, I know—I just told you to have a plan and stick with it. But do you know what’s worse than not having a plan? Dreading your workouts. Because if you dread your workouts, you won’t continue to do them.

My advice? Listen to your body. If you wake up one morning and can’t stand the thought of a gut-wrenching cardio workout but yoga sounds awesome, then give yourself the freedom to do yoga or whatever other exercise sounds appealing to you that day. You can always get back on track with your long-term plan tomorrow.

3. Decide what is and isn’t acceptable.

The other key to having a plan while being flexible is to decide what you are and are not willing to accept from yourself. My own, personal standard? Exercising for at least 30, consecutive minutes three days a week. (Four or five days and 45 minutes would be better, but three and 30 are acceptable in my book.)

Exercising less than three days a week? Absolutely, positively not acceptable. Exercising for more or less than 30 consecutive minutes? An added bonus, but those minutes don’t count towards my minimum threshold.

The goal here is to set a realistic expectation that will work with your life but also push you to be more active. I chose three days of 30 minutes because I know that I stay too busy to commit to four, and I know that those 30 minutes will be heart-pounding, sweat-dripping, muscle-shaking goodness.

Maybe you can commit to more days or minutes, but you prefer more moderate exercise. Great! Set a standard that works for you.

4. Write it down.

Okay, so you’ve come up with a plan, set expectations, and promised yourself to be flexible. To keep yourself accountable, I HIGHLY recommend that you write everything down (preferably in the same place).

Choose whatever method works for you—a simple app like Evernote, a planner, a pretty journal. Don’t feel like searching for an effective method? Download a copy of my free, tracking-oriented planner/journal. It has spaces each day, week, and month for you to plan out your workouts and write down and track your goals, plus some blank pages in case you’d like to make something custom. The simplest method: Use the 2017 calendar (on page 1), and circle every day that you meet your exercise goal. By the end of the year, you’ll be able to see very quickly whether you’ve exercised consistently or not.

click here to download my 2017 planner for simply better living

 5. Set yourself up for success.

Now, the hard part: Sticking with it. The simplest, most effective thing that you can do to help yourself exercise consistently is to set yourself up for success.

For example, pack your workout clothes the night before, so they’re ready to grab when you inevitably run late for work.

Make plans to meet your friends no sooner than an hour after work, so you have time to swing by the gym or take a quick 30-minute walk or run. (Even better: Pack extra shampoo, deodorant, makeup, and towels in case you need to freshen up!)

When you’re expecting a busy week, decide at the beginning of the week which days you plan to work out. On those days, make no excuses. Just do it!

When you’re traveling, pack a set or two of workout clothes AND your oh-so-important tennis shoes. Whatever you do, don’t forget the tennis shoes. At least with the right shoes, you can take a long walk!

In sum: Don’t be surprised and forced to react. Instead, anticipate potential obstacles and plan accordingly.

6. Talk yourself up.

Do you have everything planned and ready to go, but you still feel unmotivated? Convince yourself otherwise. Start making a list of all of your favorite motivational quotes, and keep them somewhere convenient. (In your tracking-oriented journal, perhaps.) Then, when you need extra motivation, recite as many of them as you need to. My personal favorites:

  • “The body is never tired if the mind is not tired.” –General George S. Patton
  • “Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was your body.” –P90X founder Tony Horton
  • “Just do it!” –Nike

Better yet, intersperse motivational quotes throughout your planner (like I did in mine), so they’ll surprise you when you least expect them. Then you won’t need a list; the quotes will be in your head, ready to be retrieved when you need them!

click here to download my 2017 planner for simply better living

7. Multi-task if you have to.

Who said that when you exercise, you can only exercise? Why, nobody ever!

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been binge-watching a TV show on Netflix with my husband when I wimper, “I really want to watch another episode, but I really need to work out…”

Well do you know what I’ve started doing? Both. Watching that next episode while doing push-ups and squats and planks and burpees on my living room floor. Remember what I said about flexibility?

Consider another scenario: You need to work out, but you also need to spend time with your family. So take your family hiking, walking, swimming, or biking. Or make your workouts a game and ask your kids to join you. (For inspiration, watch Carrie Underwood do yoga with her 2-year-old.)

No excuses; just make it happen!

8. Start small. You don’t have to do everything perfectly to begin with. (Or ever, actually!)

I’ve noticed that when most people decide they’re going to “be healthy,” they try to change everything all at once—they say they’re going to eat better, exercise more, stop ____, do more ____. I’ll admit, I’m guilty of it, too.

I’ve also noticed that when I try to make too many changes at once, I can’t seem to sustain those changes for the long-haul. So this time around, I started my fitness journey with a single commitment: to exercise. (Well, that and “drink more water,” because getting dehydrated from exercise is no fun!)

Did I change my diet? Nope. Not immediately.

Instead, I focused on making one thing, exercise, a priority. Would I have seen results faster had I changed my diet? You bet. But did changing my diet have any power over whether or not I exercised? Nope. So I didn’t worry about.

And do you know what happened? Several weeks in, my body started craving healthier foods. So I made small changes. I cut back on sweets and alcohol. I bought whole-grain bread instead of white.

By about 10 weeks in, after exercise had already become a habit, I started to make bigger changes. I made salads for lunch. I committed to eating healthy, wholesome foods 80 percent of the time and treating myself only 20 percent of the time. Personally, I find eating healthy to be harder than making time for exercise. But it’s been so much easier tackling them separately.

Remember: You don’t have to do ALL the things ALL the time. Small decisions can have huge impacts, so don’t be afraid to start small and work your way up from there!

9. Forget about how much you weigh and notice how you feel.

Repeat after me: Exercise is not about how much you weigh.

Say it again: Exercise is not about how much you weigh.

Consider: How many times have you exercised and felt incredible (i.e., sore) afterwards? All of the time, hopefully. Now answer me this: How many times have you exercised and saw an immediate drop in your weight? Like, never? No kidding!

Exercise is incredible for a number of reasons. It’ll give you more energy, lower your blood pressure, relieve stress, decrease your risk of heart disease, diabetes, even cancer. And yes, exercise can help you lose weight. But as a daily habit, losing weight is not what exercise is all about. And if your main motivation is to lose weight, you’ll get discouraged quickly because 1) losing weight takes a while, 2) exercise isn’t the end-all be-all factor to losing weight, and 3) you won’t see results every day.

Heck, I’ve been exercising consistently for nearly 15 weeks, and I’ve only lost five pounds.

Because exercise is not about losing weight. Exercise is about building muscle and shredding fat and feeling empowered and doing what’s right for your body now and forevermore.

If you start noticing and tracking how you feel rather than focusing on how much you weigh (or don’t weigh), you’ll be a whole lot happier and a whole lot likelier to make exercise a habit.

10. Remember: Consistency is key.

Lastly, but most importantly, remember that consistency is key. Or as my favorite workout instructor Tony Horton says, “Rome wasn’t built in a day. And neither was your body. Do you best, and forget the rest!”

Did you have a bad day? A bad couple of days? A bad week, even? Don’t let that make you have a bad month or a bad year. Consistent good choices are just as impactful as consistent bad choices, so strive for the former. (But don’t beat yourself up when you fail because, let’s face it, nobody’s perfect!)

Take me, for example. I keep saying that I’ve worked out consistently for nearly 15 weeks. Notice the world “nearly”? I messed up two entire weeks during that stretch. Separate weeks with several good weeks between them, but two weeks nonetheless.

The first was in April, the same week that I went on a mini-vacation to the lake with friends, celebrated my husband’s birthday, celebrated our wedding anniversary, and attended a boozy reunion/retirement party. I didn’t exercise AT ALL.

The second was in June when I visited some friends in Massachusetts, where I had never been. We did a decent amount of walking, and we hiked for about two hours one day, but as far as exercise goes, that was it. I was on vacation and wanted to see as much as possible!

Both times, I put my bad week behind me and kept going. And look at me now—nearly 15 weeks in and still going strong.
Make exercise a habit with these 10 tips for staying motivated to work out, plus a free journal/planner to help you track your progress. Get fit, stay fit, and live healthy!

How do you stay motivated to work out?

woman driving in vintage car with the windows rolled down

Mix Tape #1: 70s Summer Playlist

I know that podcasts are the hip new thing, but I have to admit: I just can’t seem to get into them.

I know, I know: I probably haven’t found the right one or I’m simply not giving them a fair shot. But every instance that someone talks about listening to a podcast—while doing housework or on a long drive—I choose music every time. My choice probably stems from my days pretending to be a radio DJ and making mix tapes with my younger brother, but I also think that music is just different. Podcasts feed my head; music feeds my soul.

Enter our Mix Tape series. Whether you need a break from podcasts or whether you want to be inspired by a new mix of soul-quenching tunes, follow along. I can’t promise the abrupt and screechy transitions that would have accompanied the songs on my original mix tapes, but I can promise songs that, at some point, will be exactly what your heart and soul are looking for.

Up first is a peppy but chill 70s playlist. It’s perfect for summer road trips or simply driving with the windows rolled down. Good thing we have a month of summer left to do just that.

Listen to this 70s playlist on Spotify.

70s Summer Playlist Track List

  1. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?,” Creedence Clearwater Revival
  2. “Bennie and the Jets,” Elton John
  3. “Straight On,” Heart
  4. “Piano Man,” Billy Joel
  5. “Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac
  6. “The Chain,” Fleetwood Mac
  7. “December, 1963 [Oh What a Night!],” Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons
  8. “The Passenger,” Iggy Pop
  9. “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl),” Looking Glass
  10. “Rich Girl,” Daryl Hill & John Oates
  11. “Best of My Love,” The Emotions
  12. “Stayin’ Alive,” Bee Gees
  13. “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Gladys Knight & The Pips
  14. “Me and Bobby McGee,” Janis Joplin
  15. “Grease,” Frankie Valli
  16. “American Pie,” Don McLean
  17. “Sultans of Swing,” Dire Straits
  18. “Let It Be,” The Beatles

70s playlist summer road trips spotify

 

What music are you listening to this summer?

Snapshots from Boulder, Colorado

Nothing beats Colorado in October.

We flew to Denver on Thursday, visited friends in Boulder, and flew back South on Sunday. The weather was perfect—a comfortable 60 degrees in the afternoon, a crisp 40 in the morning, and sunny most of the weekend.

While in Colorado, we admired the Rockies from a distance, and we hiked Boulder’s Flatirons, large rock formations at the edge of the city. The views were absolutely stunning, so I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. Happy Friday!

Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
Boulder Flatirons
University of Colorado at Boulder
Maple in Boulder

The Bright Light Social Hour

Band Interview: The Bright Light Social Hour

I first learned about The Bright Light Social Hour a few weeks ago when the Austin-based band was featured on The Huffington Post. Intrigued by their music’s focus on millennials, the South, and social justice, I jumped at the chance to interview them. Despite busy schedules and 700 miles between us, band member Jack O’Brien and I spent an afternoon discussing, over the phone, the band’s recent tour of North America and what came out of it—a powerful sophomore album about struggle, but also dreams and looking ahead. I hope you enjoy, and continue, the conversation.

…read the rest at Literally, Darling.

Farmhouse

Weekend at the Farm

Have you ever felt like you were in a book? I have, once, a few Saturdays ago.

Farmhouse Kitchen

We drove about two hours outside of town to our friends’ farmhouse, and although we’ve been there dozens of times, something about this time was different. I felt like I was being guided, almost pulled, by some crafty writer who kept making grasshoppers chirp and laughter bellow and who just couldn’t keep from  jumping and pointing and saying, “Did you know that a place like this could exist? Look! It does! Let me show you.”

Farmhouse Table

I started noticing it that night when I fell asleep to the smell of vanilla, wrapped in fleece and hand-sewn blankets in a room bound by wood and family heirlooms. Sunday morning, it felt like my writer was pleading, “Look! Look at the sunshine streaming through the windows! Look how it makes everything glow! Forget the vanilla. Smell the coffee, the leftover smoke of late-night cigars! Listen to the bacon hit the cast-iron and sizzle!”

Liquor Cabinet

It continued through breakfast. We gathered around the table and drank coffee, black, over 1920s jazz. We ate potatoes fried in bacon grease; cheddar melted over grits; and avocado, bacon, and egg atop toasted sourdough.

Pouring Coffee

I tell you, the farm really is like a house you find in books, the ones that most people dream about but wouldn’t know how to live in even if they had the chance. Our friends, however, have perfected the art, and they make a weekend in the country everything it should be. I’m crossing my fingers that it’ll be cold enough next time to light the stove.

Breakfast

(And, because I’m sure all that talk about bacon made you hungry, here’s  a recipe. It’s especially great served with hash browns, cheese grits, and fresh bananas.)

Avocado, Bacon, and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Avocado, Bacon, and Egg Breakfast Sandwich

Start to finish: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 sourdough buns, cut in half
  • 4 slices of thick-cut bacon
  • 4 large eggs
  • Spicy brown mustard
  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick

Preparation

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Toast sourdough halves 10-12 minutes or until lightly brown.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp and brown.
  3. Meanwhile, fill a medium saucepan with cold water and eggs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 3-4 minutes. Immediately remove from heat, drain, and soak eggs in cold water and ice. Once cool, remove eggshells and slice eggs.
  4. Layer sourdough halves, spicy brown mustard, avocado slices, egg slices, and bacon.