Top 5 Ice Cream Spots in Chattanooga

We’re in the peak of summer and it’s hot, hot, hot. As much as I love being outside and soaking up some sun and heat, cooling down is always nice, too. And enjoying some delicious ice cream is one of my favorite ways to do that.

I’m a huge creature of habit, in thatI have my three or four favorite flavors of ice cream and rotate among those, no matter where I get it. Cookie dough and cake batter always speak to me. But if there’s a flavor available that just sounds too delicious or interesting to pass up, you bet I’ll try it. I’m trying to broaden my horizons, after all.

Fun fact: I worked in an ice cream shop for five years. And I still love ice cream.

This Sunday, July 17th,  is National Ice Cream Day. I’ll take just about anything as a reason to eat some of this delicious sweet treat. Fortunately, Chattanooga has plenty of great places to make that happen.

best ice cream chattanooga

Here are 5 top spots for delicious ice cream in Chattanooga!

You might want to visit each of these after reading this. Just so you know.

The Ice Cream Show // 105 Walnut Street (Riverfront, by the Walking Bridge)

This place is so unique! At The Ice Cream Show, guests can pick chocolate or vanilla ice cream as the base, and add in any number of mix-ins to create your own flavor. Then it’s all blended up and served soft-serve style, in a cup or your favorite cone. My usual combo is vanilla with cake batter and cookie dough pieces. You can create your own mix, or follow one of their recommended combinations, like vanilla ice cream with fruit and cheesecake pieces.

Best ice cream in #Chattanooga - what's your favorite? #CHAeats Click To Tweet

Clumpies Ice Cream Co. // 26 Frazier Avenue (Northshore)

One of the most popular ice cream spots in Chattanooga, and recently ranked as the best ice cream in Tennessee by Buzzfeed! All of Clumpies‘ ice cream and sorbet flavors are handcrafted and have been since the operation started in 1999. In addition to their regular collection of delectable flavors (sweet cream, French silk, cookie dough, cookies & cream, mint chocolate chunk, espresso chocolate chunk and more), Clumpies also has rotating seasonal ice creams and sorbets. One of my favorite seasonal flavors is the Chattanooga Whiskey & Pretzel Crunch; it’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty. They announce their seasonal and special flavors on their Instagram and Twitter, so follow along so you don’t miss out!

Clumpies also has a location on St. Elmo Avenue near Lookout Mountain and the Incline Railway.

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Chatt Whiskey + Pretzel Crunch ice cream… yum!

Milk & Honey Gelato // 135 N Market Street (Northshore)

A Chattanooga original and favorite! Milk & Honey is part of a five-restaurant group that include Taco Mamacita, Community Pie, Urban Stack and now Clyde’s. All gelato is made from scratch daily with fresh, organic ingredients, right in the heart of Chattanooga. Flavors range from the classic Milk & Honey, Chocolate, Strawberry, Coffee, to Birthday Cake, to Avocado and Pistachio, and beyond. In addition to gelato, Milk & Honey serves paletas (gourmet popsicles made from fresh fruit and juices), assorted baked goods and snacks, coffee and espresso and breakfast and lunch.

Celebrate National Ice Cream Day in #Chattanooga at these 5 awesome spots! Click To Tweet

Cookie Cow // Everywhere!

Go to the Chattanooga Market on a Sunday and you’ll see owner Hannah Kleban with her bright teal cart. That’s right, Cookie Cow is not a traditional brick & mortar shop – it’s a traveling ice cream cart! Cookie Cow’s specialty is ice cream sandwiches, made with fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies and jam-packed with premium ice cream. Hannah has “traditional” flavors like vanilla, chocolate and mint chocolate chip, and also rotates seasonal flavors as they’re available. Look for her at the market and any number of other events around town! She also does catering.

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Owner Hannah with her Cookie Cow cart!

Adelle’s Ice Cream & Creperie // 400 E Main Street (Southside)

This little shop just opened in the last couple of weeks and it’s already getting some great traffic! Adelle’s is a business borne from the mind of a local 12-year-old girl (named Adelle, of course) who wanted to share her love of crepes with Chattanooga. Adelle’s serves sweet and savory crepes and ice cream, all made from fresh, wholesome, hormone- and antibiotic-free ingredients. My strawberry Nutella crepe was indeed wonderful. Maybe next time I’ll try it with a scoop of cinnamon brown sugar ice cream.

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Ice cream is a delicious sweet treat, especially on hot summer days. Visit any of these places around Chattanooga to get your ice cream fix. You won’t be disappointed!

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor?

24 Goals by 25: An Update

2016 is over halfway through and I can’t believe it. Does every year go by this fast, or is it just me?

Back in November, for my 24th birthday, I wrote a post about 24 goals before I turn 25. Some of those are pretty ambitious, while others I knocked out with ease. I’ve made a pretty decent dent in my goals and I’m proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished so far. But I’ve got much more coming and six more months to make it all happen.

In the meantime, I figured it’s time for a goals update. I’ve been up to a lot in the last six months, after all.

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Which of my 24-by-25 goals can I cross off? What’s still to come?

So far, I can cross off…

Write every day. Yup, staying pretty consistent with this. Whether it’s on my blog, at work, a new essay or short story, or writing in a journal, I’m doing really well with this.

Make progress on a novel or essay collection. Okay, so I have about three things started. I just have to pick one and commit. But it’s a start!

Learn to make jam. Strawberry, strawberry orange, strawberry peach, and strawberry blueberry! Y’all think I like strawberries? Jam makes a great gift, too!

Take a step forward in my career. You know those things you tell yourself you’ll never do, and then you do it anyway? I found something I love doing outside of my day job, and it might be something I enjoy way more than I thought I would. And that’s a pretty cool feeling.

Try 3 new foods. Traditional Japanese ramen, falafel, and chicken & waffles. All delicious. Want to know a great way to try new foods? Take a food tour.

Maintain a healthful diet and lifestyle. I may not exercise or eat healthfully every single day (who does?), but I’ve done well staying consistent with my habits. And consistency is half the battle!

Take a Pure Barre class. I’ve taken many more than just one! Now that it’s summer, I’m spending more time outside, but I loved Pure Barre (and other barre classes) in the winter and early spring when it was still too cold to be outside.

Submit an essay to a magazine/website/some kind of publication. The life of a writer…

Play violin in church again. What better time to play in church again than at Christmas? I loved playing a couple of my favorite Christmas hymns at my church in Chattanooga before the holidays. I’ve played a few more times since then!

Meet other bloggers in my city. Bloggers, small biz owners, all kinds of awesome people.

Attend a concert of a band/artist I’ve never seen. Riverbend Music Festival counts, right? I saw lots of artists I’ve never seen in those eight days: Thomas Rhett, ZZ Ward, Blackberry Smoke and more.

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And now… What’s next?

Make homemade pasta. One day, I will do this. Maybe ravioli.

Get published (again). I’m still working on getting published, but my blog got an awesome press hit back in January!

Bake a cake, completely from scratch. Channeling my inner Pioneer Woman here.

Make it through another whole series on Netflix. I just started The IT Crowd, so maybe that’ll be my next show. I tried How I Met Your Mother and I only made it through season 4. Just couldn’t do it.

Stick to an editorial calendar for the blog. I’m up and down with this. I’ll do well for a month, and then fall off, then get back on track… there’s definitely room for growth here.

Go hang-gliding and/or zip-lining. Before the summer is over, I will do one of these things.

Try a new outdoor activity. I love stand-up paddle boarding, but I’m not so huge on kayaking. For a while I said I wanted to try rock climbing, and there’s a huge climbing community in Chattanooga.

Travel to a city and country I’ve never been to before. Yeah, definitely still working on this one.

Be able to play one of my old favorite songs on violin again. Working on it! I’m close to being able to play a couple of my old favorites.

Host a dinner party. Do I need an occasion, other than “I just want to”?

I’ve accomplished a lot in the last six months, but I know there’s much more ahead and I’ve got plenty more goals to cross off my list before I turn 25. It’ll be a great time.

What goals do you have for the next six months? 

Why Everyone Should Move to a Brand New City

Last July, I moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee for my first job out of grad school. While I was somewhat familiar with the city–my family had visited several times when we lived in Atlanta–I didn’t know a soul when I moved here, aside from my soon-to-be coworkers, and I didn’t really know how life was going to be once I got settled.

I’ve moved seven times in my life, more if you count moving houses but staying in the same area. Sometimes I joke that moving is like second nature. While some of those moves were definitely harder than others, each move has come with its own set of challenges. With those challenges came a whole host of lessons learned and new perspectives on my life and where I’m going from here. My move to Chattanooga was most certainly one of the most challenging moves I’ve made.

move to a brand new city

[Read more…]

Summer Goals

Disclaimer: This post was about two weeks in the making. Internet troubles at the home base are not conducive for blogging. Or anything, really. Le sigh.

Happy Summer, y’all! The calendar says summer arrived earlier this month, but I feel like it’s been in full force in Chattanooga since May. I feel like I’ve already sweated out half my body weight. Thanks, humidity. Fortunately the humidity doesn’t bother me that much. Thanks, growing up in Atlanta.

Summer is a time for getting out and exploring, trying new things and pushing your limits. The great weather makes it easier and more enticing to get outside; that is, if the heat doesn’t bother you.  Summer is a season of immense opportunity for growth and exploration.

I’m trying to be better about setting goals for myself and writing about them here on the blog. But I want to do something more than just a “monthly goals” roundup, because I’m not entirely sure if that will “work” for me. That’s why, instead of setting monthly goals, I’m setting goals by the season. And I’m starting now with summer.

summer goals

Here are my summer goals for 2016!

Because summer is a time for serious goal-kicking.

Hike 3 new trails. There is an abundance of amazing hiking trails in and around Chattanooga. When I moved here last year, I went hiking with my coworkers pretty often, and I always enjoyed those hikes. We checked out Foster Falls and Blue Hole, and this past weekend my friend and I ventured to Edward’s Point on Signal Mountain. I’ve got Lula Lake, Cloudland Canyon, Fall Creek Falls and several other Lookout Mountain trails on my to-hike list. Who’s with me?

edward's point signal mountain

Make 2 new flavors of homemade jam. I’m pretty happy with how my strawberry jam turned out a few weeks ago. The Sunday farmer’s market usually has a bunch of fruit, and jam is best when made with fresh-picked ingredients. Bobby Flay has a recipe for blueberry orange marmalade that I really want to try. Now I just need some fresh-picked blueberries, which brings me to my next goal…

Pick fresh berries (or some kind of fruit). We used to go berry-picking frequently when we lived in North Carolina years ago, and I miss doing that. Last fall, I discovered a wonderful orchard down in North Georgia that I’d love to check out again.

What #goals do you have for yourself this summer? Click To Tweet

Go paddle boarding on the Tennessee River. Okay so I’ve technically already done this, but I’d like to do this regularly. The rental shop downtown has several discount nights that help make this a bit more affordable. I’ve gone twice already, and it’s been a great way to decompress after work and get my zen time. It’s also a really great (and somewhat underrated, if you ask me) workout, between balancing on the board and paddling through the water. Killing two birds with one stone, for the win!

paddle boarding tennesse river

Cover a(nother) really cool event. In addition to Riverbend Music Festival, I mean. Covering this week long music festival was an amazing experience, and I’d love to keep covering bigger local events. We’ve got a few events later this summer that may be calling my name. Look for me at these events downtown – I’ll be there!

Go to a Chattanooga Lookouts game. I’m admittedly not a huge baseball fan, but going to games is always a good time. The Lookouts are Chattanooga’s minor league team (associated with the Minnesota Twins) and they play from April through about August. Tickets are super affordable and Lookouts games are some of the best social events in the city. Or so I’ve heard.

Summer 2016 is going to be a heck of a season. Best summer yet? I think so. I’ve still got a couple months to make it all happen.

What do you have on tap for your summer? What are some of your summer goals?

In Photos: Riverbend Music Festival

Okay y’all, I know I’ve been absent for a while, but life has been cray. If it drives me to say “cray” instead of “crazy,” then you know I’ve been insane lately. #sorrynotsorry But crazy busy for all the best reasons!

One of those reasons was the Riverbend Music Festival, which happened June 10-18 right here in Chattanooga. I had the amazing opportunity to cover the festival for PrettySouthern.com, so I was there for most of the eight nights. Riverbend was also my first music festival, so lots of firsts in just eight days!

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Wouldn’t be a good photo without a photobomb, right?

I could write a whole post about how incredible the experience was and how much I loved listening to live music down by the Tennessee River for a week. I could talk about seeing Thomas Rhett (oh be still my beating heart), ZZ Ward, Get the Led Out, Kane Brown, Heart and so many more incredible acts. I could write a whole other post about seeing the city of Chattanooga come together to celebrate great music in a great city and talk even more about how much I love living here. But I do that all the time anyway.

So this time, I’ll just show y’all all the pictures I took. Well, maybe not all of them; I took a lot.

Here are my top highlights of Riverbend Music Festival 2016, in photos!

The world-famous Coca-Cola Stage, where all the headliners performed.

riverbend chattanooga coca cola stage

Thomas Rhett was night one’s headliner. Oh my goodness gracious. What a man.

thomas rhett riverbend 2016

thomas rhett riverbend 2016

Best part of his set: about halfway through, he handed his guitar to a stage assistant, hopped on the drum set, and then broke out into “Cake by the Ocean” by DNCE. So unexpected, so awesome.

ZZ Ward also killed it on night one.

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Little known fact: I am a huge Led Zeppelin fan. So when I heard tribute band Get the Led Out was performing, I had to check them out. Lead singer Paul Sinclair is Robert Plant to a tee.

get the led out riverbend 2016

And can we observe this crazy awesome 12-string guitar?

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Southern rock band Blackberry Smoke was also pretty rad.

blackberry smoke riverbend 2016

Another really awesome act was Chattanooga-North Georgia native Kane Brown. He’s 22 and signed with RCA Nashville earlier this year and has since released his EP Chapter 1. He’s really talented and I can’t wait to see where his career takes him!

kane brown riverbend 2016

For all y’all American Idol fans out there: does the name Bo Bice ring a bell? He’s now performing with rock-jazz group Blood, Sweat & Tears.

blood sweat & tears riverbend 2016

Richmond, Va.-based rock/jazz/jam band The Shack Band jammed for fans at the Chevy Stage.

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And I didn’t actually “watch” Chris Young’s set, but I listened to him from the other side of the river. This view = worth it.

riverbend 2016 chattanooga

Riverbend Music Festival is definitely a highlight of 2016, and of my time in Chattanooga. I’m already super excited for next year’s festival and will be anxiously awaiting the lineup announcements next spring.

Sam Hunt please?

Side note: my one-year anniversary of moving to Chattanooga is coming up. Talk about something crazy to think about!

2 Simple Ways for Anyone to Create Abstract Art

This post is coming to y’all from Allie Bigoness of Allie Explores!

At the beginning of this year I had a sudden urge to start painting. I had done my fair share of paint and sip classes and found that I was pretty good at it. Next thing I knew, I found a hidden talent and passion with painting as it became something I would do in my free time and would delay my blog posts. It’s sort of become a passion project of mine and I just sold my first painting about a week ago; I’m still pretty excited about that. Sort of unbelievable actually, that for me to start painting at the beginning of this year and to be able to start selling my pieces so soon is pretty impressive, or at least I think so.

Today I wanted to share with you two ways to create simple abstract paintings for your home. I’m a self taught painter and I have found some methods that have resulted in some kickass pieces that are so simple you don’t need to have years of experience. I sure don’t, in fact I thought I was terrible at painting because of my one experience in a high school art class. My teacher told me my painting was awful. He gave us no direction or technique, just sat us in front of a still life and told us to paint. When you have to paint curtains and the shadows of objects with no experience doing so of course it’s not going to turn out great. That’s where my loathing of still life paintings comes from. Both of the paintings today will be a way to create a blended look, my personal favorite technique and style.

What you will need:

  • 2 Canvas (any size you prefer, I picked a smaller size to change it up)
  • Some paint (any colors you prefer)
  • A brush
  • Water
  • Paper plate or towel (this is to put your paint on)

Blending Tip: When doing both of these paintings, do not wash your brush. You can wash your brush if you plan on banging both of these out in one sitting; otherwise don’t do it. Blending works best when you have a messy brush, as it allows for the two colors to combine easier.

Gradient/Ombre Painting: So many people find blending challenging but I find blending relatively easy which is great because it’s the style I prefer. For this you will need a ton, I repeat A TON of white paint and whatever other color you want to be fading from light to dark.

The first step of this painting will be to paint a white streak down the edge of the canvas, I typically do light to dark from left to right but if you want to do from right to left you can. It doesn’t matter where you start as the process of the gradient will be the same, so change it up if you like. Then you will put your paint brush in mostly white with a little bit of the color of your choice. I chose green and this is illustrated in the photo below. 

Allie Explores Photo 1

Then add to your canvas painting up and down right next to the white. This will create a very faint color, mostly white. Then you are going to repeat that step but add a little less white and a little more of whatever color you chose. 

Allie Explores Photo 2

Allie Explores Photo 3

Then we are going to continue to do until we are only left with our color. Now if you find you reach this step with a good amount of the canvas left you can add the tiniest amount of black to darken your color. Sometimes with lighter colors will need this step, if you have already started with a deep purple or deep color in general you will most likely not need to darken your color. Easy right? You end up with a beautiful color gradient abstract piece.

Allie Explores Photo 4

Allie Explores Photo 5

Blending tip: Reminder to go up and down, or side to side depending on the direction is going. Just keep it up and you will notice the colors will start to mix, when you see that, keep going until you are satisfied with how it looks. If you are using a different canvas you might want to stand up. I totally do when I do pieces like this on a standard canvas size. In fact it looks like I’m angrily painting because to blend across that length you really need to spread the paint. I tend to put some momentum behind it when standing up to get the results you want. Don’t be afraid to rotate the canvas either, once you get towards the bottom it’s easier to flip it, again don’t be afraid to move the canvas or change up how you paint. Do what feels comfortable to you. You might notice a difference in the way you paint, who knows you might like it better.

Abstract Pattern Painting: So I don’t really have a name for this technique and you are about to see why. I just want to do a disclaimer about how easy these techniques are. This was the first time I approached/tried painting this way and I’m head over heels for this piece. So much so that I’ve decided that I really love painting abstracts; it was so easy and it turned out beautifully.

First, you are going to choose one background color and a few standout colors. I chose light gray as my background color and then four standout colors (magenta, yellow, black, and a weird mix between green and teal). Then I took the background color and painted randomly all over. Basically I was messy and all technique or neatness went out the window. Try and be as messy as possible with your strokes to add some texture. Only leave a little bit of canvas blank where you think you would ideally like to have your stand out colors. 

Allie Explores Photo 6

The next step is to add dots/globs of these stand out colors in the blank parts of the canvas illustrated below. Then spread those colors out, it’s okay if they don’t all blend well or easily, I have a trick to help you make them blend like you want. 

 

Allie Explores Photo 7

Allie Explores Photo 8

After you’ve done that, don’t wash your brush, add the background color and paint over the edges of the stand out color. If you want the color to remain a statement and not completely blended, just do this over the edges to keep them soft. Unless you want the colors to remain sharp, you don’t need to do this (I prefer soft blends). If you want the color to be muted, paint the background color over your color, continue to move the paint up and down without adding any more, you will notice that the original stand out color will start to peak through and eventually blend with the background color. Continue to do so until you are happy with your piece and voila! You have a kickass abstract piece for your home. 

Allie Explores Photo 9

So there you have it, two awesome abstract pieces where the techniques were simple and you can hang these on your wall to decorate your home. I would love to see if you guys create these yourself! Feel free to tag me on Instagram @allie.explores or on Twitter @abigoness. I can’t wait to see what you guys create!