Bourbon, Lifestyle, Personal, Places to Eat

8 Things I Loved About January

what i loved about january

I can’t believe that January is already over and that Valentine’s Day is around the corner. I have quite a bit of Valentine’s Day content coming up, which of course will feature local businesses and businesses I love (which is something I’m passionate about!).

January was an exciting month – there were some fun opportunities that came my way, some new changes in my life, and lots of yummy food from restaurants here in Lexington!

Let’s see what I loved the most about January…

bourbon barrel head whiskeymade

RINGING IN 2018:

My husband and moved into our house back in April 2017, but we hadn’t got around to hosting our own party until the end of the year. For New Year’s, we had about 10 of our closest friends come over to ring in 2018 with us.

Major fail: It seems that every time I find a recipe that has gone viral, it turns out to be a disaster. In 2016, I kept seeing a recipe for White Chocolate Fireball Fudge, but it turned out to be so gross. Well, for 2017, I saw posts on facebook being shared for Champagne Jello Shots. I figured it was super festive and would be perfect for our party. I was so wrong. Next time, I’m going to read the comment section to see what people have said. Unbeknownst to me, they were going to turn out to be disgusting, per the people in the comments. Well, they were right! The texture and taste was way off and they turned out to be so yucky. I’m sticking to flavored gelatin from now on!

NEW BEGINNINGS:

I don’t really mention too many personal things on my blog or instagram, but my husband got a new job. Previously, he had been working a third shift schedule for about 4 years. He would leave the house around 3pm and wouldn’t come home until around 2:30am, and that’s if there wasn’t any overtime. He started his new job in early January and it’s a life-changer for us. Now, he is home around the time he would’ve been starting work.

the amsden versailles kentucky the amsden versailles kentucky the amsden versailles kentucky

LEX BLOGGER FAM BRUNCH AT THE AMSDEN:

Around mid-January, the Lex Blogger Fam got together for brunch at The Amsden. The Amsden is originally the site of the Watkin’s Tavern, which burned down in 1886. In 1890, the Amsden bank building was constructed and is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Versailles. Since the closing of the bank in 1931, the building has been host to a variety of businesses. After being neglected for many years, the building has been restored, keeping its original character. It’s a great place to have coffee and to shop and support local businesses!

Wasn’t our setup just gorgeous?!?

j alexander's lexington

J. ALEXANDER’S

I was excited to be invited out to J. Alexander’s, which is located at The Summit at Fritz Farm, for dinner. The food and service were both amazing! If you like bourbon cocktails, I’d recommend the Doppelgänger, which is made with Angel’s Envy Bourbon, Disaronno, and Luxardo Cherry Tree Ginger Beer. Whenever I go back, I plan on ordering The (859), which is another bourbon cocktail. It is made with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Elemakule Tiki Bitters, Blueberry Jam, and Fever Tree Ginger Beer.

We started our meal with an appetizer –  the Mexico City Spinach con Queso, which is served with warm tortilla chips. For my entree, I got the New York Strip (medium rare) with NYO macaroni and cheese. NYO stands for Not Your Ordinary. I just couldn’t resist saying no to mac and cheese! My husband got the Steak Maui, which is a marinated ribeye and the side it comes with is a baked potato. Dinner wouldn’t be complete without dessert, so we opted for the carrot cake. Let me tell you… it was outstanding!! I normally wouldn’t have chosen the carrot cake over other options, but since I heard so many great things, I decided to give it a go, and I’m glad I did!

shake shack lexington kentucky

SHAKE SHACK INTRODUCES A NEW CHICKEN SANDWICH:

Shake Shack, which is also located at The Summit at Fritz Farm, invited me out to try their new Griddled Chick’n Club sandwich before it launched nationwide on January 26. The brand-new, limited-edition Griddled Chick’n Club is a griddled all-natural chicken breast with Niman Ranch smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and buttermilk herb mayo on a potato bun. It was really tasty! I’m actually a huge fan of Shake Shack’s chicken sandwiches, so I always opt for one over a burger.

cru food and wine bar cru food and wine barcru food and wine bar cru food and wine bar cru food and wine bar cru food and wine bar

CRU FOOD AND WINE BAR – AN AMAZING PLACE FOR A DATE:

CRU Food and Wine Bar invited me out for dinner to try it out and let me tell you, it is SO good! It definitely ranks up there with one of the best meals that I’ve ever eaten! Everything was amazing – from the appetizer to the entree to the dessert!

I’m not that really knowledgeable about wine (I’m more of a bourbon connoisseur), so obviously when it came to wine, I had lots of questions. The staff is really knowledgeable about wine, and will help you with your wine selections. What’s really cool about CRU are the wine flights, which allows you to try three wines at once. This is a perfect way to find out which one that you like the best!

We started with the appetizer – Cheese Fondue (fondue and black truffle tartufo), which was served with apple, pear, herb flatbread, and jumbo asparagus. The bread was freshly baked and I probably could’ve ate a whole loaf – it was THAT good!

My husband and I each got a wine flight. My husband chose the flight, First Class Chardonnays, which included:

  • Shug ’15 Carneros, California
  • William Fevre Chablis “Champ Royaux” ’15 Burgundy, France
  • Cakebread ’15 Napa Valley, California

I chose the Sexy Reds flight, which included:

  • Catena Malbec ’13 Mendoz, Argentina
  • Concannon Petite Sirah -14 San Francisco Bay, California
  • Seghesio Family Zinfandel ’15 Sonoma County, California

My husband and I both ordered one of the specials for Saturday night. I chose the rack of lamb with a potato parmesan risotto. David got the fresh sea bass served on a bed of mashed potatoes with a red wine reduction. We enjoyed both of our meals, and we both agreed that this was one of the best meals that we have ever eaten!

For dessert, we got the Lemon Tart with raspberry and pistachio crumbles (I can’t remember the exact name – but it was so heavenly!)

cha cha's lexington kentucky

Phase 3 of my blonde transformation. Pictures of Phase 4 coming soon!

PHASE FOUR OF GOING BLONDE

Those that know me in real life, know I’ve been going through the process of going blonde (For those that don’t, I had dark brown hair. I even used to dye it to be a little bit darker). I started the blonde process in September and have been going to the salon about every six weeks. January 30 marked the fourth time of me going to the salon, and I return in five weeks for phase five! We are working towards a particular shade of blonde, which is one of the reasons that I’m going back so often.

The above picture was taken on January 27, which was when it was still in phase 3. I plan on taking pictures of how my hair looks now (phase 4) over the weekend, so stay tuned!

kentucky mule bourbon

BEING AN OFFICIAL BOURBON BLOGGER???

In December, I came across a “casting call” for this pretty well known bourbon blog. They were looking for blog contributors, so I figured that I would apply. The day after the deadline, I found out that I was picked as a semi-finalist and was sent instructions on how to move further through the process. I wrote a post and sent it off for them to read, and now I’m just waiting. I’m crossing my fingers. Either way, it was still cool to even be considered!

 

I can’t wait to see what February brings!

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  • That steak looks pretty incredible! The brunch looks really lovely as well, love all the table décor. It’s a shame that the fudge and prosecco jelly didn’t work out so well! Definitely going to take note to read reviews of recipes before I try them haha x
    Alice http://www.accordingtoalicex.com

    • All the food was so tasty! Definitely read the comment section of recipes. I learned the hard way twice hahaha!

  • Seeing all of this food is making so hungry!!!
    How awesome for being an official bourbon blogger.

    • I’m not an official bourbon blogger yet, because I’m not sure I was even chosen yet or not. However, I still blog about bourbon on my own, since it’s a part of my niche 🙂

  • Trish

    What incredible food photos! The presentation for your brunch was just gorgeous. Also — that lemon tart looks delicious! (Your post made me hungry, LOL!)

    • Hehehe… All the food was so delicious! I wish I was eating it again right now lol!

  • OH man I wish we had a Shake Shack — and all of this yummy food, now I’m hungry!

    • It’s so good!! We just got one last year!

  • Ruthie Ridley

    Loved this post!! All the food looks AMAZING!

  • All the food looks AMAZING. Those donuts in particular!

    • The donuts were so yummy! I wished I had more than one hahah!

  • All of this food makes my mouth water! It sounds like you had a great January, and I can’t wait to see your Valentine’s content this month!

    • I’m so hungry now… I wish I was eating all that food right now again haha!!

  • Kristen Jones

    That brunch was SO cute!! And that’s amazing that your hubby’s schedule changed–definitely a game changer for you both. I can’t wait to see your dream hair color!!

    • Thanks so much girl!! I go back in a few weeks for phase 5. Slowly getting closer!

  • Gosh all of that food is making me so darn hungry! I understand about your husband’s schedule. When mine worked in hospitality still it was so rough because of the crazy shift times and me working in the day – it felt like we never saw one another! I’m also so glad you said that about those champagne jello shots! I totally was going to make them but now I know to stay awayyy!

    • I work from home, so I was lucky that I was able to match his schedule. However, we didn’t get to spend that much time together, since he was gone so much and would miss out on all the events I was invited to. He would get home around 2:30am (if there wasn’t any overtime) and we would eat dinner together and then we would go to bed around 6am. I would definitely find another recipe hahah!

  • 1. LOVE that photo of you – so break-taking! 2. That brunch spot is all the perfection.

    • Aww thanks girl! You’re so sweet! Isn’t it such a dreamy setup?!? 🙂

  • Beth Shankle Anderson

    The food presentation is beautiful! Also, so is your hair! Can’t wait for the next phase…

    Beth || http://www.TheStyleBouquet.com

    • Thanks so much! I go back around the first of March for phase 5. I’m so excited!

  • Jennifer Maune

    I love the setup at the Amsden! & I love the sweater you’re wearing in the “blonde” section. Looks like you had a wonderful month!

    • Thanks so much!! I believe I got it from Target a few years ago!

  • Congrats to your hubby on his new job. Shift work can be really tough if it doesn’t mesh well with your partner’s. I’m happy for yall. Also, champagne shots sound so good! I don’t blame you for trying. I also don’t look at comments when trying new recipes. Thanks for that tip!

    • Thanks so much!! I work from home, so I was able to match my routine/schedule with his, so we didn’t have to do the whole opposite schedule thing. He was just gone so much, which left little time when he was home. The shots sounded so good, but I totally should’ve read the comments first. I definitely will next time hahah!

  • What a great January! Blogger Brunch?? I so want to start a blogger get together of some kind in my area. Got any tips?
    🙂 gwingal

    • You can always search hashtags or search through google to see if there are any other bloggers. If there are, you can always reach out to them/send them a message/send them an email and meet up 🙂

  • Taylor Smith

    Love this! January is one of my favorite months!!

  • Sara Walther

    SO MUCH YUMMY FOOD. Oh my goodness, sounds like you had a great month!

    • I wish I could eat it all over again hahah!

  • Leela Foley

    Oh my I must try that lemon tart! I loved the blogger brunch too ☺️

  • Holly Jo Johnson

    I absolutely love Shake Shack, but haven’t tried the chicken sandwich! I will be trying that next time.
    And I have been wanting to have a little date night at Cru with the hubs. It looks like so much fun. Your January looked like it was a big success.

    • I love their chicken sandwiches so much more!! CRU is amazing! You’ll love it!

  • Priyanka Patel

    Loved this – so many great things and so much yummy food! I especially loved the positivity behind this, it inspires me to do something similar in the future to spread more positivity and light!

    Priyanka | Glamour and Giggles
    http://www.glamourandgiggles91.com/

  • So happy I got to experience some of these things with you! That lamb looks AMAZING!!!

    • Yes girl!! It was so much fun! It was so tasty!! We still need to go to Pasta Garage together!

  • Erinn Foglesong

    I have been dying to try shake shack!!! And your hair looking amazing!