Food, Informational

I Love Pho! Pho Sho!


So I had my very first Pho experience recently! I am a huge lover of any kind of broth + noodle dish, and I’ve always wanted to try pho, but haven’t really been certain where to go for an authentic experience. I had a few places that were recommended to me numerous times. The two restaurants that stood out were: Sticky Rice Cafe and Bida Saigon.

Sticky Rice Cafe is Laotian cuisine. It was pointed out to me, that pho is actually a Vietnamese dish. The reviews led me to go ahead and give it a try. I was NOT disappointed! I tried the seafood pho, with shrimp and squid. The aromatics were fantastic and the broth was SO GOOD. I had no other experiences to compare to at that point, but I could certainly enjoy pho on the regular based off this experience alone!

The staff was fantastic and very helpful. I even heard several customers rave about the cooks preparing special “off menu” items when requested. The only negative is that there simply isn’t a lot of seating at this place. You could have a pretty decent wait time if you go during peak meal hours.

My dinner companion was VERY much into eating authentic exotic cuisines, and did a fair amount of research on Laotian food before our visit. Not only did he order a traditional Laotian dish, but he ordered it completely RAW! His reading indicated that this was the way all the natives eat this dish. The waitress asked numerous times if he was certain that he didn’t want the beef cooked. All the workers seemed pretty impressed that he ate the dish the way that they did! We also shared an order of fried chicken skins, which were AMAZING! I would highly recommend them as an appetizer if you visit. Pictured below is the plate of Beef Laab along with one their adorable little steamer baskets of sticky rice.

Beef Laab with Sticky Rice

Check out their Menu Here – Sticky Rice

Not long after trying Sticky Rice Cafe, I tried out my second bowl of pho. This time I tried out another reputable place that also came very highly recommended. This place is indeed Vietnamese, so I was “fully authentic” this time around. Bida Saigon is located in West Knoxville, and certainly worth a visit! My Mom and I tried this place on Sunday after church. Our visit was my Mom’s first pho experience! This time I tried the Pho Tai, which is basically delicious broth with rice noodles, thin slices of rare beef, and aromatics. I was a bit more adventurous this time, and added a decent amount of spicy pepper paste and fresh jalapenos. It was AMAZING.

*Bida Saigon doesn’t have a website, but you can check them out on Facebook*


My Mom tried the Pho Ga, which is the same base, but with chicken as the protein. Her pho was very mild, but full of flavor. I was pleasantly surprised by the subtle differences in the pho from both restaurants, and would absolutely recommend them both! We also shared some fresh spring rolls with peanut sauce that were a great appetizer!


It’s safe to say that I’m pretty obsessed with this dish now, and will be on the lookout for more opportunities to try more pho! Where is your “go to” spot for pho?




Informational, Uncategorized

Just jump in!

B.loved Images_Christmas 2016_0041Write a blog they said…

It will be fun they said….

Well, here’s to hoping that “they” were right.

As a recently single, working Mom, time is not something that I have an excess of. How will I find time to keep up with one more thing? I’m really not sure. As I’ve discovered often with motherhood, many things that I once thought were impossible, somehow seem to get done. Instead of overthinking, sometimes it’s best to just take the plunge. If you wait until you’re ready, you never will be.

With all of that in mind, I find myself here. I’d like to share my thoughts and experiences with the hopes of encouraging other Moms walking the road of motherhood. I especially hope to connect with and encourage other single mamas out there. God has called us to lift one another up and provide encouragement. I’m ever so thankful for those who encourage me.

A few things about me and what you can expect:

If it isn’t pretty obvious by now, I am a single mom to one amazing little girl. As any mother will know, my baby provided me with instant purpose the day she was born, and lit a passion within me for motherhood that I honestly wasn’t sure that I had before that moment. She is a constant source of adventure, comedy, and (yes if we’re being honest) frustration. Many of my posts will likely center around our activities and adventures. We plan fun and educational activities regularly, and want to share those with others!

I’m also a Christian. I make mistakes and fall short every day, but I am so thankful for God’s mercy for me. I’ve dealt with a difficult season, and am learning every day to walk by faith and trust God more and more. The valley areas certainly test what we’re made of, and what we really believe at our core. I’ve learned through this time that many things I thought I understood were so shallow. God takes me deeper and deeper every day as my faith and willingness to surrender are tested. I’m not sure where the end of this current valley is, but I’m trying to walk each day with purpose and a willingness to be teachable and present for my creator.

I LOVE FOOD. I love to eat food, cook food, and grow food. Thankfully my current life journey has allowed me some time to engage in this passion, and share it with some very special people.

I enjoy decorating and craft projects. I suppose I come by this honestly as my mother, brother, and father are all florists. I can and do arrange flowers, but it isn’t my profession. I’m also about doing my projects on a dime and getting bargains. Yard sale? I’m there. Thrift store? Sign me up. Re-purposing random old objects? I love it.

Finally I am an avid lover of all things animal and outdoor. I’m a Licensed Vet Tech by profession and have always carried an unshakable passion for animals. Their love is so incredibly pure when humans can be so much the opposite. My job is not for the faint of heart, but it is incredibly rewarding to regularly save lives. My personal fur babies include: 2 geriatric huskies (1 of which is diabetic and epileptic), 3 crazy cats, an aquarium full of fish, hermit crabs, and occasional random orphaned critters. Along with animals, comes my love of nature and the outdoors. I truly feel so peaceful and at home all alone in the woods. My love for nature has taken me on some pretty thrilling adventures, including bigfoot research! I’ll be sure to share all of it with you.

This is a place for all things Mom. A place to help navigate the difficulties of life with fun and adventure. A place to learn to live life again with purpose, one adventure at a time.