Where to Go for Breakfast in Milwaukee

Out of the two of us, Nate is more of the breakfast person in our relationship. I like a good plate of eggs, bacon, and crispy hash browns though and can’t deny a good breakfast spot so I’ve put together a list of our favorite breakfast restaurants in Milwaukee.

Blue’s Egg: This is a bit nicer of a place than your average breakfast diner. And the food is kiss-your-lips-with-the-tips-of-your-fingers-worthy.

Ma Fischer’s: This is an awesome spot on the east side of Milwaukee. It may appear a little divey-but doesn’t that make for the best restaurants sometimes?

Mad Rooster: This spot is ALWAYS packed with a long wait time, but you can hop on the Yelp app to put yourself in line so you don’t have to wait at the restaurant necessarily. Oh, and it’s totally worth the wait.

Build-A-Breakfast: They serve lunch here, too, where the name changes to ‘Build-A-Burger’ but I’ve only been here for breakfast and I’m here to confirm it’s delish!

Michael’s Family Restaurant: While this is a small space with not much to look at, their tasty breakfast definitely delivers!

Bruegger’s Bagels: I usually shy away from chains, but this place is just too good. Their bagels are top notch with a lot of awesome choices.

Grebe’s Bakery: They offer all kinds of deli food here, but what you really wanna snag here is their donuts, because they are outta this world!

If you’re in the mood for pizza or dessert, then check out these posts as well!

The Best Outdoor Adventures in Arkansas

While Arkansas lacks in having a major metropolitan city, it makes up for it in amazing outdoor adventures. There are endless outdoor activities to take part in in this state, but I’ve compiled a list of the absolute best!

Crater of Diamonds State Park southwest You can actually come here and dig for real life diamonds!! It’s a state park in the middle of no where southern Arkansas but it’s worth the trip out to dig for a few hours. While it’s likely you may not find anything worthwhile, the experience in itself you can’t beat!

My get rich quick scheme

Float the Buffalo River northwest This is an amazing experience that you must add to your list. You can rent a canoe at any one of the local stores in the area and paddle your little heart out all day. The views of the cliffs above are breathtaking.

Paddle time

Mt. Nebo State Park northwest Another hidden gem in the northwest part of the state. They’ve got several pretty views and awesome hiking trails here.

Mt. Magazine State Park northwest close to Mt. Nebo, Mt Magazine offers even more fantastic views. You can also reach the highest point in AR on a trail here.

Head in the clouds always

Big Dam Bridge central Right over the Arkansas River there is a huge bridge Little Rock citizens go to for recreation and exercising. It’s so fun and offers the best river views.

River gazing

The Old Mill central This is a spot right out of a fairy tale. There’s a mill of course, gardens, wooden bridges, water fountains and it’s all right in the city of Little Rock. It was even a film location for Gone with the Wind!

Call me Scarlett

Pinnacle Mountain State Park central Lots of hiking is to be had at this state park. It can be a little scary climbing the top of the mountain but the view at the top is totally amazing!

The tippity top

Emerald Park central Another awesome spot right in the city of Little Rock, this is a city parking that offers easy hiking trails with awesome views of the Arkansas River.

Down by the river

Petit Jean State Park central There a some rigorous hiking trails here but ones that lead to beautiful waterfalls, caves, and scenic views.

Cavin’

Hot Springs National Park central This is an awesome National Park filled with history, hiking, and even bathhouses on ‘Bathhouse Row’! It’s amazing and you can’t miss it if you’re planning a trip to AR.

HSNP ❤

If you didn’t notice, I added a lot of spots on here located in central Arkansas as well as northwest Arkansas so be sure to check out my other posts if you’re planning a trip to this beautiful state. Mega book nerd like me? Then you’ll also want to check out this post. You’re welcome.

All the Bars to go to for Your 21st Birthday in Milwaukee

When I turned 21, I did not live in Milwaukee at the time. I wish I would have though, because let me tell ya there are some *perfect* bars to add to your route of your 21st birthday bar crawl here in Miltown. All the bars in Milwaukee are pretty cool, but allow me to lay it out for you which bars are a must for your fun night of legal drinking.

City Lounge Southside: City Lounge is a hidden gem on the south side of Milwaukee. They’ve got a DJ, dance floor, large seating area, and reasonably priced drinks.

Belmont Tavern Downtown: Located near Cathedral Square, this is must to hit up because of alllll the aesthetics. It really is a friggin awesomely decorated bar.

Blackbird Bar Bayview: Another hidden gem. This is on my list because it’s such a cool, quaint bar but with big booths for a small party. And because Bayview.

Trinity Downtown: I’ve had many a fun night at Trinity. They have a DJ and dance floor here with booths off to the side. There’s actually three bars total connected here so it’s a huge space.

Red White & Blue Downtown: This place is huge! It’s got a big bar and an even bigger dance floor. It’s always a fun spot!

McGillycuddy’s Downtown: This is another big bar with lots of seating. It’s on popular Water Street and is always lively.

Who’s on Third Downtown: Located on Old World Third Street amongst a row of bars, Who’s is a great place to grab some delicious bar food and a shot!

Harp Downtown: Harp has all the best vibes especially in the summer. It’s a popular spot right on the Milwaukee River and has a dock for boats, too.

Victor’s Downtown: This is an underhyped bar, as it doesn’t shine along with the other more well-known bars downtown, but it’s a blast!

Flannery’s Downtown: Flannery’s has two different areas, the bar and then the dance floor in the back with another bar. It’s more low key compared to the other bars in the area but a must to add to your list!

I’m sure I left some awesome bars out on this list as there are so many amazing bars in Milwaukee. This should get you started and make for a super fun and memorable (or maybe not) night!

7 Tips for a Family Vacation

Thinking of embarking on a vacation with the whole fam soon? I think that’s a great idea! But I also think you should put some thought into some do’s and dont’s before you hit ‘book vacation’. A couple years ago, Nate and I went on a family vacation to Cape Cod and Niagara Falls with his parents and siblings and while we got to see some awesome stuff, there’s definitely some things we learned along the way. Here’s my suggestions below…

  1. Limit the Number of People: The word ‘family’ can be a broad term so let’s just stick to immediate family as far as who will be going on this trip with you. So that would be parents and siblings and their S/O’s. Any more than that would be mega stressful I can imagine. There were 7 of us on our family trip and that was plenty! The more people you have, the more people you have to consider and keep track of.
  2. To Fly or to Drive: Now that you’ve got your number of people decided on, how are you going to get there? We drove on ours and it took two days and two cars to get to our destination. Looking back, I would say it would be more expensive, but also more efficient to fly instead. This is because you have to stop so many times with that many people for breaks, as well as for gas with that many cars and hours on the road. It makes getting there even more of a lengthy drive. If your family is small-choose the car and hit the road. If it’s a big group-fly baby, fly.
  3. This is No Time for Spontaneity: Leave last minute decisions and activities at home, people. When you’re traveling with X amount of people, you’re going to want to plan out EVERYTHING and thus get all your tickets and seats purchased ahead of time.
  4. Speak Up: Don’t be afraid to tell the group if there’s something you want to see or do while on your trip. As long as you say so ahead of time (see Tip #3), then it should be fair game for anyone who wants to add in an activity. This is your vacation, too.
  5. Find Alone Time: If your family doesn’t go for that activity you want to do, then this would be a great opportunity to do something alone. You’ll get sick of each other if you spend every waking minute together. Spending at least a day or evening apart on a multi-day trip is no big deal and it will give you a breather from the group.
  6. You Don’t Have to Stay the Whole Time: Is this a week long trip as opposed to a long weekend getaway? If so, be part of the vacation for as long as you feel comfortable. Whether it be because you can’t get away from work, or you’re concerned with spending that much time together with everyone, I’m sure your family will understand if you can only stay for part of the time. I’ll bet they would rather you do that than not come at all, so don’t feel obligated to stay the whole week.
  7. Discuss Your Financial Contribution: This can be brought up when everyone is talking activities to do on the trip, but I would definitely ask what your expectations are so you can budget accordingly. Are you paying for one part of the whole trip, only your needs, or nothing at all? However y’all work it out, I would at least have some kind of idea of what you’ll be spending.

There you have it! Those are my best tips to offer you if you’re planning a family vacation. The most important thing to do of course is to have fun and make memories!

9 of the Best Local Pizza Spots in Milwaukee

What’s your favorite food? Mine is pizza! I could it eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have decided to pair together two of my loves in life: blogging and pizza. Read below for some of the best pizza Milwaukee has to offer!

  1. Pizza Shuttle: Located on the east side of Milwaukee, this is a great spot to stop in after a night of drinking as they’re open uber late. You can order a whole pie to yourself or ask for a slice or two instead.

2. Ian’s Pizza: Another spot open late but only ont he weekends and they also offer pizza by the slice here. They get real creative with their toppings, too. Oh, and their slices are HUGE but thin like NY style!

3. Balistreri’s Pizza: If you love a greasy, garlicy pizza then Balistreri’s is your spot. I, for one am obsessed with garlic so I love the pizza here!

4. Riverfront Pizzeria: The amazing pizza here is matched with an amazing ambience. They’re located right on the Milwaukee River so if you sit outside you’ll get some beautiful views while you dine.

5. Organ Piper Pizza: This is a buffet spot so it’s very family friendly. They’ve got delicious pizza and a fun game room, what more does one need?

6. Glass Nickel Pizza: Glass Nickel is probably the best local pizza restaurant in all of Milwaukee! It’s so delicious, with thick, doughy crust, crispy toppings, and the perfect combo of flavors. Heart eyes for dayssss.

7. Jet’s Pizza: Another awesome spot that presents their pies in squares. Just go with it-you won’t be disappointed!

8. Mamma Mia’s: This is an Italian restaurant offering much more than just pizza but they’re pizza is legit so if you’re not sure what to order here go with the za for sure.

9. NYPD Pizza: Another great spot open late and perfect after hitting up some bars downtown. Their crust is a bit on the thin side but their pies are delicious!

I take my pizza with thick crust and pepperoni-so very classic (and boring) but hey I like what I like. Check out my other post 13 of the Best Casual Restaurants in Milwaukee for more restaurant recommendations in Milwaukee.

Relocating South: What to Know Before You Go

Do you currently live in a northern US state and looking to head south? Before you relocate, there are a few topics we need to discuss so that you’re fully prepared and happy with your decision of heading down to the dirty south. I live in the north now, but I lived in the south for 22 years of my life. Here’s my list of tips, advice, and what to think about:

Fashion is delayed Certain fashion and hairstyle trends for men and women may appear to be a bit delayed in the south. The look on a lot of people will seem so ‘last season’. I’m not sure why this is, and it certainly doesn’t apply to everyone who lives in the south. By moving from a northern state, you may have the best style around! Speaking of fashion, people also tend to dress a little more modest and may gawk if you don’t. Individualism and expression with style is harder to find as well. People in the south are more comfortable blending in with their neighbor than standing out.

You’ll See Churches with Different Sects of Christianity Popular sects of Christianity in the south are Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal to name a few. It may be more difficult to find a church or religion that hold your beliefs here, as they differ from those of the north.

There are Dry Counties and Hours It’s very common for stores to stop selling booze by a certain hour of the day, not at all on Sunday, or even not at all in a particular county. They call them ‘dry counties’. If you’re one who enjoys a drink fairly often, I’d look up any possible dry counties in your state of interest.

All the Bugs! The summers here are much longer and therefore the bugs and insects hang around outside-or inside-for more months out of the year. Stock up on bug spray, and it would definitely behoove you to invest in a dehumidifier (thank me later). You’ll also see a lot of different species of bugs that are larger, and with wings!

Marrying Young It’s also common in the southern states to marry young-some people right out of high school even. The south gives a whole new meaning to ‘high school sweethearts’. It’s simply a way of life for some people there. I know several old classmates from high school who married the person they were dating at the time.

Long Summers As I mentioned earlier, a southern summer is long and hot. It starts getting warm here and there in March and you won’t see a chilly day until about November. In my personal opinion, it’s pretty rad that it starts warming up in March but honestly by October you’re ready for it to cool off and you still got about another month to go! Also, the summers aren’t quite as enjoyable as the temp can reach 100 degrees in July and August. Whew!

No A/C is in fact the end of the World Because the summers here are so hot, you’re gonna want to take central and car air conditioning quite seriously. It is possible to get a heat stroke and it sure makes it hard to sleep at night in the relentless heat. Most homes and cars will come equipped with this amenity, but be sure you don’t waste time getting it repaired if something breaks!

There’s a Lot of Strays People have pets here, sure but what isn’t as common is people spaying their animals, and they let them roam outside more often in an unfenced yard. That makes for a lot more stray cats and dogs than what you might see in other parts of the country. This always saddens me; I hate seeing all those babies without a home.

The Job Market This varies from state to state but there are a lot of industries hiring in the south. And a lot that aren’t. Trades and tech degrees and certificates seem to go a long way here, whereas 4 year arts degrees aren’t as thriving in the south. Word to the wise- whatever your educational background may be, scope out the job market in the areas you’re looking to move to before quitting the job you’re at now.

Everywhere you live comes with a list of pros and cons, and the south is no different. It definitely has its perks and I totally miss living in that area of the country at times. What gets me through is reading my list of books set in the southern US. I highly recommend reading these if you’re planning on moving to the south!

15 Date-night Worthy Restaurants in Milwaukee

I’ve been with my fiance for over 4 years now, and we still do date nights! One reason is because he’s amazing, but another reason is because Milwaukee’s food scene is friggin awesome! There are countless incredible restaurants to choose from but if you’re looking for upscale, fancy shmancy spots perfect for date night then take a look at my list below!

Number One Carson’s: Downtown Carson’s originates in Chicago, which is just down the road from Milwaukee but it explains why the steaks here are so insanely delicious! Best steaks you’re gonna find in Milwaukee-hands down- is at Carson’s. This Nate’s favorite spot.

Number Two The Noble: Fifth Ward One of my favorite places in Milwaukee, this is a smaller quaint spot but with a menu that will knock your taste buds outta the park. They change up their menu every week and you can find their updates towards the end of the week on their Facebook page.

Number Three Crazy Water: Fifth Ward A lively spot in the Fifth Ward of Milwaukee, Crazy Water won’t disappoint for your next date night!

Number Four Crawdaddy’s: West Allis We recently visited here not knowing what to expect other than a Cajun-themed menu. We were blown away by the food here! It was an absolutely unforgettable meal.

Number Five Tess: East Side Another smaller place but with an awesome menu and quaint vibes.

Number Six Balistreri’s Bluemound Inn: Wauwatosa This is truly the perfect spot for date night. The menu is great, of course, but the ambience is quiet and dark and very romantic!

Number Seven Maxie’s: Southside Another Cajun-themed spot in Milwaukee serving delicious food.

Number Eight Tenuta’s: Bayview A beautiful Italian restaurant in the heart of Bayview neighborhood. Don’t Italian food and date nights just go hand in hand?

Number Nine Caterina’s: West Allis This is such a great spot! When you walk in, you feel like you just walked into an Italian village. Oh, and the food is delish!

Number Ten Pasta Tree: Eastside Another quaint Italian spot, it has all the romantic feels and vibes.

Number Eleven The Packing House: Cudahy The Packing House is a perfect date night restaurant and even has a slight 1970’s retro feel to it. Seeing as I love that era-this place calls to me!

Number Twelve Elsa’s on the Park: Downtown Omg. Elsa’s is awesome. They serve great food, of course but really gives this place its ‘wow’ factor is their ambience. They change up their large art installation -yep- every couple months or so. Check. It. Out.

Number Thirteen Odd Duck: Bayview They do things a little differently here by serving small plates which is a different concept to most Americans. Small Servings-delicious food.

Number Fourteen Ward’s House of Prime: Downtown Ward’s is best known for their Steaks and Prime Ribs of course so if you’re in the mood for exactly that this is the place to go.

Number Fifteen Open Flame: Greenfield If you wanna avoid downtown this is the spot for you. A lovely ambience with great food without having to find parking.

Ok, now it’s time to get all dolled up and head out for a night on the town! Be sure to check out my more casual list of Milwaukee restaurants, too for a more laid-back night out!

13 of the Best casual restaurants in Milwaukee

Milwaukee’s Food Scene is legit! Sure, this city definitely has its fare share of fine dining spots to scope out, but sometimes you just want something quick, fun, and casual while still satisfying your taste buds. So, here is a list of excellent restaurants to go to when you want to go somewhere casual in Milwaukee, straight from a local!

Number 1: Oscar’s Frozen Custard Super cheap, consistent, and satisfying, Oscar’s never disappoints. AND their portions are the perfect amount of food, so you can definitely save room for custard!

Number 2: Sammy’s Taste of Chicago Chili dogs, anyone? A humble spot known for their hot dogs, Sammy’s is great for quick-fare easy dining.

Number 3: Taqueria Buenavista They have a small dine-in restaurant as well as a food truck parked around town. It’s perfect for some quick and delish Mexican food.

Number 4: Golden Gyros There’s ALWAYS a line out into the street for their drive thru, but with a place constantly this busy-you know their food has got to be amazing. And it is! And so worth the wait!!

Number 5: Jonny Hammers This is a small neighborhood bar, but oh man their grub-primarily their wings- is the best in town, hands down.

Number 6: West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe This is a great spot for breakfast or lunch, with yummy bloodies and mimosas mmmm!

Number 7: Fortune Restaurant I love me some Chinese food and this casual restaurant does not disappoint. They have the best traditional Chinese dishes. It’s my fav spot to order take out from in all of Milwaukee.

Number 8: The Wicked Hop A hip spot located in the Third Ward of Milwaukee serving brunch, lunch, and dinner, and of course cocktails.

Number 9: Paul’s Fish Market Another casual restaurant located downtown serving some amazing seafood! I love fish so it’s right up my alley for a delicious meal.

Number 10: Grebe’s Bakery Ok so, I’m guilty of primarily going here for their perfectly baked donuts, but they also serve deli-style hot foods here, too.

Number 11: Ian’s Pizza With locations all over Milwaukee, they sell whole pizzas or even fresh pizza by the slice here. They also get quite creative with their toppings. It’s one of the best places to grab pizza in the whole city!

Number 12: Milwaukee Ale House They brew their own beer here, so what’s not to love about that?? It’s also a water front restaurant on the Milwaukee River. You can sit on their patio and watch the boats go by while enjoying a tasty beer.

Number 13: Sobelman’s Y’all ever scrolled Pinterest (addict for several years now) and saw those bloody mary cocktails with a whole fired chicken in the glass? Yea, they’ve got those here. Known for their insane bloodies and mouth-watering burgers, this is the perfect location for casual dining!

All of these restaurants offer delicious, budget-friendly menus with a very laid back atmosphere. They’re perfect for when you just want to grab something quick, or dine in but without the pressure of having to apply a full face of makeup before arriving. From one foodie to another-bon Appetit!

How to Feed your Wanderlust While Working a Full-Time Job

Sounds like a challenge, right? It can be. I am wanderlusting 24/7 while holding down a 40-hour a week job. I manage to travel multiple times a year. But how, you ask? How do I have time to fit it all in? Let me show you the way:

Strategy #1 Travel around a national holiday: Ok, so this is my best strategy and the one I most depend on to get all my vacations in each and every year. For our week-long vacations, we center them around a national holiday because we get one or two paid days off from work depending on which holiday you travel during. We are gone over Memorial Day week, Labor Day week, and Thanksgiving week. So, instead of asking off work for five days, we only need to request 3 or 4 days away. By doing this, we save several vacation days a year to put towards other trips!

Strategy #2 Negotiate more PTO at your job: Most corporations or large companies will give you any where from one to two weeks of PTO (paid time off) during your first year of working there, along with about 7 paid national holidays off in the U.S. That’s not much, I know. With my current employer, I receive 3 weeks and have from the get go. However, at my previous job, I was offered one measly week but that just wouldn’t do what with all my wanderlusting, y’all. So, I negotiated an extra week totaling two weeks instead, yaye! Negotiating vacation time when starting a new job is totally doable. I would explain to them that low PTO it is a deal breaker for you (put in nicer terms) and that traveling is something you deem highly important in your life. Hey, everyone’s got their hobbies, right? Yours just happens to be seeing the world and until teleportation is invented, traveling just takes time, simple as that. Up for a review at your job? This is another opportunity to ask for more vacation days. The worst they can say is no! But it’s worth a shot.

Strategy #3 Don’t just stick to one area during your whole vacation: You don’t really want to only hang out at the beach for a whole week, do you? Let’s get some bucket list destinations in! When I vacay, I try to hit up as many different attractions and activities as I can in one general area. I’ll stick to one spot for a day or two and then move on. Ok, so you’re not going to see everything that one spot has to offer, but what you gain is seeing multiple different cities, states, national parks, etc. in one whole trip by changing up the scenery! I’d recommend limiting the number of spots you want to get to as too many can be overkill and stressful but I would at least try to make it to a couple different destinations within a day’s drive from each other.

Strategy #4 Consider a weekend getaway: I love a good week-long trip so I can see all kinds of different places over one vacation. However, something can be said about a weekend getaway. Pick a place that’s about a half-day’s drive and leave on a Friday after work. This way you’ll get all of Saturday and most of Sunday to go exploring! By traveling this way you get to fit some traveling in without dropping a lot of cash and you won’t have to use any vacation days!

That’s it-that’s how I do it, folks! If you love traveling as much as I do, where there’s a will there’s a way so try these out this year to meet your traveling goals. Comment below how you manage to travel often while working full time!

13 Books to Read Before Your Southern U.S. Vacation

The southern part of the U.S. is a beautifully wanderlusty area and it has a special place in my heart. I’m from there! Even though I have since moved away from that area I love reading books that have a southern U.S. setting. I’m always finding myself reading a book I haven’t read yet set in the south before we head down there for a vacation. It really gives me alll the southern U.S. vibes. Here are 13 book I recommend you pick up for a great read before your next vacation down south:

  1. The Heat of the Sun by Louis D. Rubin, Jr.: Set in South Carolina in the 1940s, this book has romance and southern twang. What more could you need?
  2. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: Following The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I liked this one better. I liked reading about Huck and Jim cruising along the Mississippi River and the shenanigans they get into to.
  3. Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin: You guessed it, this book is set in Mississippi (and yes, I sing the song in my head to spell it correctly). I absolutely loved reading this book-it’s hard to find a great southern setting novel set in contemporary times.
  4. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston: Wow. This book. It’s probably my favorite classic American novel of all the ones I’ve read. And I’ve read my fair share, believe me. Read about Janie and Tea Cake’s adventures in this beautiful story set in Florida.
  5. A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines: I was actually assigned to read this story in high school in English class, but man am I glad I was because it was such a page turner and very deep. Set in Louisiana and about a man who is sentenced to death, and another man who must visit him in jail to educate him during the last days of his life.
  6. True Grit by Charles Portis: This is an awesome story set in Arkansas (my home states, yea!) and follows a girl who wishes to avenge her father’s death.
  7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Set in 1920s Alabama, this is a wonderful story about a young girl, her recluse neighbor, and an unfair trial happening in town.
  8. The Little Rock Nine by Stephanie Fitzgerald: The Little Rock Nine were the first black students in Little Rock, AR to attend a public all-white highschool. This book recounts the horrors they faced during this process of segregation.
  9. A Painted House by John Grisham: Of course John Grisham must be on this list. My favorite of his has to be A Painted House. Set in the farming days of Northeast Arkansas, this story is told from the viewpoint of a young boy who recounts one summer on the farm and all that went down that season.
  10. The Whisper of the River by Ferrol Sams: This is actually the second book of a three book series, but you can read them out of order. I loved reading about Peter Osborne and his college days at a university in Georgia. He learns a lot and grows as a person over his 4 years away at school, meeting all sorts of characters along the way.
  11. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: This is a bit of a sad story but ends happy, I promise! A little girl is deserted at a young age and raises herself in the marsh of the North Carolina coast. She must learn so much on her own and become independent fast.
  12. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice: Set in New Orleans when the Parisians first settled in the area, this story follows the lives of three vampires over several decades.
  13. Lightning Bug by Donald Harrington: A strange but interesting book following the lives of the residents of a tiny town in Northwest Arkansas. It has all the humor and mega southern U.S. vibes.

I hope you find that you enjoy reading at least a few from this list. They’re all different genres so it just depends on what you like! I have another recommended list strictly for an Arkansas vacation if you want to check that one out, too. Happy reading!