SheIn.com – What You Need To Know

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While I’m not the most stylish blogger you’ll ever meet, I’m still a sucker for a good deal. I’ve been seeing bloggers all over posting their SheIn.com purchases. When I googled SheIn.. I got mixed reviews. But $33 (free shipping) for the best dupes for the gucci fur loafers? Let’s give this a shot.. Read more…

March 22, 2017
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I am not a Fashion Blogger.

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I am not a fashion blogger.

Now hear me out – I enjoy fashion blogs, but I am not a fashion blogger.

My favorite leggings are three years old from a clothing company that went bankrupt. 

Read more…

March 6, 2017
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Nine Lives Cat Cafe

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FINALLY!! I have been looking forward to the Nine Lives Café opening for what feels like an eternity! For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am a total cat lady. Although, I like to think my cat is more like a dog. He is very skilled in the game of fetch with his favorite. “mousie”. I digress..

Hats off to the Yelp team once again for a fabulous event! If you’re not on yelp … get on there already! I was part of the first group for this grand opening party. I arrived about 10 am hoping to avoid the rush, and I did! The location is on Shelby Street in Fountain Square. Basically, a few doors down from Thunderbird and the Brass Ring. It’s divided into two areas, the café and the cat room. The café is cute! Open space and a long bar which is right up against the windows. It provides a great view for people who do not want to sit with the kitties.

They did not have a finalized menu yet, so I went ahead and ordered a vanilla latte. I was very impressed with how HOT the drink was. I am not a fan of the temperature other “major brand” coffee houses serve their coffee. I like mine piping hot and I don’t mind waiting to drink it! The staff was very upbeat and enthusiastic. Thanks for being such great sports about my filming too 😉 The pastries that you see in my vlog are from Whisk bakery in Greenwood. I had a sample of the brownie and they were to die for. Mmmm brownies..

 

Across from the coffee bar, they have a few shelving units that offer a box of kitty goodies (purr box), shirts and special teas. The teas were available for sampling around the corner, so I went that way. I spoke with a very sweet woman from Nelsons Tea. She started the tea company locally. She worked with the owner to create a special tea blend for the café. Tea with catnip! Yes, it’s a real thing. It has the opposite effect on humans that it would on kitties. The tea I tried had catnip, blackberry and mint notes in it. It was very refreshing! Have you ever tried catnip tea? Now I can say I have! Add that to the list of weird foods I’ve tried for sure!

Kitty time! I’m not sure if you can bring food in, but you can bring your coffee! You must sanitize your own paws and sign the waiver before entering. Inside the cat room are toys, couches, shelving units for the cats to run and jump on, and cat towers galore! This cat cafe concept is huge overseas. One thing I like the most about the cat café is that all of the cats are from the humane society. I adopted my fur baby, Albus (Albie) from the humane society around this time last year and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. He has brought so much joy to my life!

Play with a cat you love? You can adopt them!! They have papers about the cats and I’m not quite sure how the adoption process goes through Nine Lives, but I am thrilled to see that the oldest cat that was at the café a week ago has already been adopted.

Petting animals is proven to reduce stress. I think this café will be very therapeutic. Maybe you have a family member who is allergic – come here and get your fur baby fix! Or maybe you just love cats, like me, and want to play with them! There is a small fee ($5) to enter the room. It covers an hour in the cat lounge and this is a normal fee for other cat cafés. The fees go towards caring for the cats.

Interested? This place is quite the hot spot for just opening. Before you go, make sure to reserve a time in the cat room online here. This ensures that you will be able to play with the kitties. http://www.ninelivesindy.com/reservations/

I cannot wait to see this business grow! Are you planning on checking out Nine Lives? Let me know in the comments!

February 3, 2017
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The Woman On the Mural

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It’s Black History Month! I wanted to highlight two wonderful women (girl power!) that relate to the culture of Indiana.

First up – Madam C. J. Walker


photo credit: biography.com

You may recognize her name from the Madam C. J. Walker theater downtown. That’s the one!

She was an entrepreneur, activist and philanthropist. She is recognized as the first female self-made millionaire in America. She was born in Louisiana, however, she established her headquarters for her manufacturing company right here in Indianapolis! She built a beauty school, factory and hair salon. She cultivated “The Walker System” which was a beauty hair care system. It boasted that it would take your hair from drab to beautiful. It was well known that Ms. Walker employed several thousand women (not common at the time). I remember touring the museum as a child. I believe it was for a girl scouts field trip. The current tour offers: guided walk through the facility, photo opportunity on the stage that wonderful musical acts such as Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Gladys Knight have all performed (many more!),  and original pieces of the plant and products. It’s really a fun tour and I highly encourage checking it out! It’s by appointment only so be sure to schedule something.

http://www.thewalkertheatre.org/students-and-educators/tours

Second – Mari Evans

photo credit: AALBC.com

Who is the lady on the mural of Mass Ave? Mari Evans! I’ll be the first one to admit that I knew that Kurt Vonnegut was the other mural, but I didn’t have a clue who Ms. Evans was.  Mari is a well-known American poet. In 1984, she edited one of the first books devoted to the critical work of Black women writers. She also dabbled in producing and writing for television.  The Black Experience was a historical documentary which aired in Indianapolis.  One of her best well-known poems is titled “When in Rome”. It’s a poem between Marrie and her possible slave owner.

Marrie dear
the box is full . . .
take
whatever you like
to eat . . .

(an egg
or soup
. . . there ain’t no meat.)

 

there’s endive there
and
cottage cheese . . .
(whew! if I had some
black-eyed peas. . . )

 

there’s sardines
on the shelves
and such . . .
but
don’t
get my anchovies. . .
they cost
too much!

(me get the
anchovies indeed!
what she think, she got —
a bird to feed?)
there’s plenty in there
o fill you up . . .
(yes’m. just the
sight’s
enough!

Hope I lives till I get
home
I’m tired of eatin’
what they eats in Rome . . .)

Mari currently resides in Indianapolis. She is 97 years young. I came across this awesome video created by Big Car Collaborative that shows the mural being painted.. check it out!

February 2, 2017
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Is Devour Indy Worth It?

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Is Devour Indy (formerly known as devour downtown) actually worth it? I mean, let’s be honest. Unless I’m starving, I’m not ordering an appetizer and dessert along with the main course. If you are someone who orders all three of those, then depending on where you go, it could be totally worth it. Let’s dig deeper..

2 for $30 Dinner –

Bru Burger – NEUTRAL – Bru offers an appetizer (1), sandwich (2) and a dessert (1). The average price of the appetizer options is $7. Their average price of a burger is $9. The average price of dessert is $5.  If you add those numbers up (appetizer + entree x 2 + dessert), you are sitting exactly at $30.  I’ll be using this math to calculate the prices throughout this post. Honestly, I’d rather order off the menu and not be restricted.

Mama Carolla’s – NEUTRAL – Again, when I added up the averages of the offered antipasti, two salads and two entrees, I came up with $30.58. 

Giordanos – WORTH IT – Giordanos offers an appetizer (garlic bread or brushetta), salad, a small deep dish pizza and sodas. The average price of the small pizza is around $22.75. If you are planning on ordering an appetizer, it’s worth it. plus, the pizzas are so filling, you will definitely have leftovers. 

 

3 Courses for $40 – 

Salt On Mass – NEUTRAL – Salt offers a choice of a salad, entree and the chocolate caramel brownie for dessert. They did not have the grouper, trout, or the dessert listed on their sample menu online so I took an average of the dish prices. I came out around $42-$45. Go if you are planning on getting the filet, that alone is listed at $41 on the menu. As for the other dishes? I’m a big fan of their pan roasted sea bass which I wish was on the devour menu. 

 

$30 Dinner Per Person

Eagles Nest – WORTH IT – Uh, Devour Indy people, the price isn’t actually listed on your menu. You might want to add that. Luckily, a quick google search brought up that in previous years they have charged $30 per person, so we’ll go based off that. This usually ends up being an “always worth it” on the list. If you’ve never been to the eagles nest, It’s a cool restaurant on top of the Hyatt. It overlooks the entire city, and spins slowly at 360 degrees. Making reservations during devour is a MUST.  The entrees alone average $31. I’ve tried the salmon and the maple glazed chicken breast in the past. 

Melting Pot – WORTH IT – Melting Pot is a fun restaurant that I honestly don’t go to unless it’s Devour or I have a groupon. It’s fun but it can be pricey and I honestly don’t eat everything that comes out. You can even compare on their website what their four entrees normally cost on average $39.95. If you are a vegetarian, it’s the same price for the good earth vegetarian four course option.

Fogo de Chao – WORTH IT –  Technically, this is $39.95 a person, but still worth it. The full churrasco experience (includes market table and feijoada bar) is $49.95.  I don’t believe that includes dessert. I’ve also heard from many people that making a reservation is worth it. However, if you want to save even more, go for lunch. Lunch is $32.95.

Barbecue & Bourbon – WORTH IT – The 4 meat platter is $20. You also get to choose 4 sides ($8), an appetizer ($4) and a dessert. Plus, if you’re here.. might as well indulge in one of their 50+ bourbons.

 

$20 Dinner Per Person

The Legend Classic Irvington Cafe – NOT WORTH IT – This one was a little harder to calculate because they did not have everything on the devour menu listed on their “normal” menu online. I took an average and for the soup/salad, entree and dessert.. we’re sitting at… you guessed it.. $20. 

Charbonos WORTH IT – This is $25/person dinner. They do not have the dessert prices listed online but with just the average entree price and soup/salad, you’re looking at $30.50. I’ve never been here but their menu looks awesome.

 

Overall, It seems that the places that are “worth it” are more chains than local restaurants. It’s a little disappointing, but understandable.  I am not trying to discourage you from trying any of these.  However, don’t feel confined to the devour menu. These restaurants all have wonderful items to offer. If it’s devour that sparks your interest in a restaurant, go for it! I’d like to try the barbecue and bourbon place.. I’ve never heard of it until now!

What is your must-try restaurant during Devour?

photo credit: DevourIndy.com

January 24, 2017
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Indianapolis Public Library

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This weekend, I finally decided to go get a library card! I’ve been to the Indianapolis Central Public Library location a handful of times for events, but never to pick up some books. With the recent transition to being a vegetarian and also learning more about web development, I need some BOOKS.

I was thrilled to discover the overdrive app (I know, apparently I live under a rock). Overdrive is an awesome app that allows you to download e-books, music, and other media. I try to keep busy so I don’t always have time to stop in to the library. However, with Sunday’s weather being so lovely, I decided to stroll over and do a bit of filming for my YouTube channel. I’ll be adding that video tomorrow, so stay tuned!

The entrance of the library is absolutely stunning. There is sort of a mini entrance, with additional steps into the main part of the building. The main part is surrounded by beautiful windows and natural light. 

To sign up for a library card, you need to head over to the “Check-out” station which is to your left. The two ladies that helped me sign up were very kind and informative.  All you need is your ID. If your id does not state that you live in Marion County, a bill with your current address will work as well. The application took barely 2 minutes to fill out – easy as pie! I asked both ladies what they enjoyed most about the library. The first answer was the reading room, followed by the Indianapolis room.

There are two reading rooms, both located on the east and west sides of the main level. The rooms are surrounded by older books, dark wood, and a cozy fireplace.  Both restorations are possible through generous donations. The east room is sponsored by a well-known Indianapolis family, the Sextons.

 

Each floor has different genres of books. I was searching for an amazing cookbook – Thug Kitchen. You can have any of the librarians look up the number for you. I learned that cookbooks are located on the 4th floor. Unfortunately, I was not able to locate my Thug Kitchen book. I had three wonderful ladies all try to help but it seems that it may still be on a cart.. somewhere in the library. I will say, I got quite a laugh seeing their reactions to the title of the book. Not to mention, the full title is “Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give a F*&#”. It was entertaining, to say the least. And I promise it’s a killer book!

I was able to come across some other great cookbooks which were awesome to flip through. I continued up to the 6th floor to the Indianapolis Special Collections Room. 

This room provided a beautiful view of Indianapolis. Many glass cases had the original blue prints, letters, and newspaper clippings from when the library was originally built! Letters from James Whitcomb Riley, Kurt Vonnegut, and many other well-known Hoosiers. Inside the actual room (staff only, to help preserve the materials), they offer many books by local authors, photographers, scrapbooks and newspapers. I had no idea this existed and I could spend a whole afternoon exploring it. Did you know the creator of Raggedy Ann and Andy spent his childhood in Indianapolis? Yes! 

Did I mention the views? They are incredible! Even for a gray day, I love the views the library provides of the park and our skyline. 

When I got home, I got online and immediately went to the overdrive app. I am really excited to start using this. I love audio books and I can download them to my phone, score! 

The library has everything – books, dvds, computers, and even classes! Looks like they have several computer classes and even a few classical concerts on the books for February. Here’s the link to check out the calendar. You can check out up to 125 items at one time. If I had kiddos, I’d be coming here as much as possible to treat them to their wonderful children’s collections. And the best part about it? It’s TOTALLY FREE!

Overall, I enjoyed my time at the library. It’s hard to believe that the last time I went to a library (for something other than an event) was back in college. I spent many nights at the famous Herman B. Wells Library on the IU Bloomington campus. Can’t say I miss those all-nighters 😉 I look forward to making a weekly visit to my new local library :).

Have you been to the Central Library? What kinds of books do you usually check out?

January 23, 2017
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