Ahhh, friends. Welcome to almost-fall. (I keep telling myself it’s almost fall, anyway, because it helps me make it through the end of summer heat here in the South).
I’ve spent all summer compiling a list of favorites to share with you, and when it came time to actually write this post, I found I had more than a post’s worth. So I’m saving some for September. There’s just too much goodness in the world. That said, let’s get to it.
Craftsy. I know–I’m probably way late to the table on this one, but it’s new to me. As I began getting back into knitting this summer, I stumbled upon the writing of Clara Parkes, which led me to Craftsy. In a recent post, I talked about how handicrafts can help eliminate stress, and if you’re someone who would like to learn a new skill but don’t know where to begin, Craftsy is a great place. I’ve already taken a couple of classes, and I was impressed by the quality of the lessons. The cost is reasonable (and they seem to have regular sales), you get plenty of content and quality video. I’ve been watching lessons during my morning ride on the stationary bike.
The How Do You Write? podcast with Rachael Herron. If you’re a writer, this podcast is for you. Rachael interviews a wide variety of writers about their favorite writing habits, writing spaces, and writing tricks. Each episode is packed with inspiration that will get your creative juices flowing. Rachael herself is a writer and a knitter, author of my shelf favorite A Life in Stitches and a whole host of novels.
IKEA’s Kallax line in smaller sizes. I’ve had several Kallax modules for a while–the big four-by-four bookcase and a couple of four-by-two units. When I realized I needed some more handy storage in our main living area for books, crafts, and toys, I added a couple of two-by-two units and a one-by-four. They’re not too high, not too wide, and they’re so versatile. I can see lots of other possibilities for them in other rooms in the future. I also like this handy post from Pastels and Macarons with some great Kallax hacks.
The Ninja. With single serve cups. I visited my sister in Hawaii last month, and I confess I had smoothie envy. My old blender (circa 1994) always left me with chewed up bits of ice in the bottom of my cup. With the Ninja, I can make a single serve smoothie in about five seconds and walk out the door with it. It’s dreamy–and a lot less expensive than a Vitamix.
And now, I’ve decided that in the spirit of embracing and showing love for this city that’s become our home, I’m going to highlight one local favorite every month. A little bit of what I truly love here in Memphis, for my local readers. You may also see some favorites pop up in other locations, like Nashville, Grand Rapids, or wherever else we travel, so you can add them to your bucket list.
Gibson’s Donuts. This is Memphis’ most famous donut shop, and for good reason. Its unassuming store front may not look like much, but the selection and quality can’t be beaten. We don’t often hit Gibson’s on our regular Friday donut excursions, because it’s a bit of a drive from our house, but it’s totally worth the jaunt on a weekend. If you’re ever in Memphis, make this a stop.
Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha. I seriously didn’t know what shave ice could be until my sister took us to Uncle Clay’s. We’re not talking snow cones, here–and in fact, let’s just erase the word snow cone from our collective vocabulary, shall we? Uncle Clay’s uses pure fruit syrup to dress their shave ice, and tops it off with a scoop of the best vanilla bean ice cream you’ll ever taste. I can hardly bear to think about it now that it’s out of reach for who knows how long.