The Bluegrass Box Brand Ambassador|The Bourbon Soaked Mom

We have some exciting news from TBSM! The Bourbon Soaked Mom is now the first official brand ambassador for The Bluegrass Box! What is even more exciting is that I’ve learned the September box will be FULL of “Appalachian” goodies.

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The Bluegrass box is a quarterly shipment filled with ALL “Kentucky” based products that coincide with a theme for that month. I am so excited to be promoting their products, because nothing makes me proud like being a Kentuckian. The Bluegrass Box really gives local businesses a chance to showcase their best and brightest products and ship them around the state, and the country! Another great deal for all of my TBSM readers is that now you can use the code BSM25 and get 25 percent off for all new subscribers!

How it works: The Bluegrass Box can be purchased two ways. You can opt to do a yearly subscription, or a quarterly subscription. The quarterly subscription renews every three months and is 35.00 dollars plus 5 dollars for shipping. The yearly subscription is 135.00 plus shipping and covers the entire year. You may also choose to cancel this anytime you’d like, but I wouldn’t see why you’d want to! All you have to do is sign up, and Bluegrass Box takes care of the rest!

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The Bluegrass Box is a family owned business who truly loves and takes pride in their products and in the state they call home. Their mission is to showcase Kentucky proud artisans and allow their talents to shine.

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“Our mission is to shine a spotlight on the artisan makers across the Commonwealth who are making amazing products, and introduce you to some of them along the way. Some may be new products, or some may come from a recipe that has been handed down through generations.  Kentucky is about tradition!

Daniel Boone once said, “Heaven must be a Kentucky kind of place.” And our family feels the same way.  There is no place we would rather raise our sons. We are both life-long Kentuckians and have no plans to change that! We love that there are so many hard-working people that are making things with their hands across the bluegrass everyday.  Every three months you have the opportunity to receive a box of products that are uniquely Kentucky in The Bluegrass Box!  Our family loves the products that we include in each Bluegrass Box, and we feel confident that yours will too!”

After receiving the “June” box, it was clear to me that the theme was summer centered. Think cookouts, sweat tea, kids playing on the lawn and eating a nice, juicy steak. Southern traditions, but of course with a Kentucky twist. In the June Bluegrass Box I received:

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  • Integritea Bluegrass Breeze- This amazing tea is flavored with passion fruit and mango which gives it it’s unique flavor.
  • Bourbon Barrel Foods NEW Barbecue Sauce-The tagline for this says it all, “Eat Your Bourbon”. You don’t have to tell me twice.
  • Shell-Bee’s Gourmet Steak Seasoning-This awesome steak seasoning can make ANYTHING taste good! I recently used it on cube steak in the crock-pot and it will absolutely knock your socks off!
  • Funky Junk Gifts Kentucky Coasters-Funky Junk gifts takes things that would normally be thrown away and turns them into works of art! These unique “Kentucky” coasters were formally a fence post. My husband ended up sneaking and stealing these from my house and are now proudly displayed in his law office waiting room! You can’t never have too much “Kentucky” stuff in your area!

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If you’re a proud Kentuckian and want to discover amazing products that are from our great state, and support the shop local movement, be sure to subscribe to The Bluegrass Box! I look forward to my quarterly shipments because I absolutely love each and every single product they send me. Plus, getting to support small, local businesses who will be keeping their money in our area is something I always try to do, and obviously something I stress to my readers. It is SO important to buy local. Our communities THRIVE on this concept. Keeping our money in state and helping our locally owned shops will enable our small towns to grow!

You can also grab one of these super-soft Kentucky farm plate tees for 24 bucks! I absolutely love mine, and I’ve gotten so many compliments when I’ve worn it out!

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To subscribe to The Bluegrass Box, please visit their official website at:

www.thebluegrassbox.com & don’t forget to use the discount code for TBSM for 25 percent off!

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Windy Corner Market. Rustic Dining with No-Nonsense Food. Bryan Station, Kentucky.|The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Nestled delicately (and abruptly) along a country back road on Bryan Station Road, The Windy Corner Market is a rustic, and no nonsense eatery serving up delightful country cooking, and no fuss breakfast foods. Situated quaintly right slap in the middle of horse country, the scenery and atmosphere not only coincide with the restaurant theme, but actually makes the food taste better, the lemonade fresher, and lead you to be even more proud that you are from the Bluegrass state.

Fashioned after an old country store, Windy Corner is authentic as they come without being decades old. Bead-board on the walls,red tin roof, reclaimed barn wood flooring, antique pictures adorning the walls with a screened in porch out back and fields of wildflowers on all sides. One of the aims for Windy Corner is to provide a market for local farms and farmers, and boy, do they provide.

 

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A part of the “buy local” movement, Windy Corner purchases the majority of their food from local farms. Everything is fresh, the vegetables brought in from nearby gardens, the catfish farmed locally in nearby ponds, even the beef is Lexington cattle. You can taste the difference in terms of freshness and quality. Situated between some of America’s most celebrated and famous horse farms, Chef and owner Ouita Michel aims to create another legend with a restaurant that honors local farmers and great food.

My favorite menu item has to be any of their “Po’Boy” sandwiches, on locally made brioche. The menu is not limited, Windy Corner is about variety, including the country ham, a local favorite, and fried catfish dinner. My husband’s favorite. Dinner specials range from meatloaf to steamed lobster, with many “Kentucky” favorite wines and beers to accompany your meal.

I am a country eater, and I always have been. I am a fan of anything that I can use my hands to eat, and anything that automatically comes with a sweet and tangy pickle on the side. Comfort food is what I was raised on. As delicious as the food is, and great as the atmosphere might be, there is another added bonus. Windy Corner offers a wide variety of locally made, or hand crafted gifts or edibles. Jams, jellies, cook books, table linens, glassware, and soaps just to name a few odds and ends. The Bourbon honey and Bluegrass Horse tumblers were my favorites.

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I feel familiarity at Windy Corner. I feel very comfortable, and at home. Every time I have visited, I’ve felt that this restaurant is a place for everyone. College students sit outside, wayfarers and UK gear in tow, on the farmhouse picnic tables and sip their craft beer, or Kentucky Ale. Elderly couples wander in, hand in hand, usually regulars, and order themselves Ale 8’s and a slice of delectable homemade pie. Families huddle in corners, waiting for a table big enough to seat their brood, the Dad in a visor and golf shirt, holding a jovial toddler and cocking his ear for his name to be called. Young, old, rich, poor. Everyone frequents Windy Corner, and everyone seems to love it. Always a smile when you pass, despite how crowded it usually is. Always a friendly “Hello” to be exchanged from table to table, forks clinking and ketchup running down hungry chins. Windy Corner is undeniably Kentucky, which is one of the most beautiful things in the world, to me anyways.

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Stop in and enjoy Windy Corner Market, and experience a true “Kentucky Proud” restaurant.

For more about Windy Corner, the menu, and hours of operation, click the link below!

http://www.windycornermarket.com/about-windy-corner-market/

 

 

The Pantry Shelf; A Hazard & East Kentucky Staple|The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Opened in 1967, The Hazard Pantry Shelf has been going strong for decades, and has served generation after generation of East Kentuckians. The business was Hazard’s first convenient store, opened by Shirley Martin, and later continued by his daughter, Susan Brotherton, who has been running the family business since 1981. Through the years, Pantry Shelf has gained many faithful customers, and proven that local Mom & Pop shops can survive in small communities. Every time I drive by or stop in, the place is packed the brim with locals, or those passing through who have heard of the legend of the Pantry Shelf doughnut. This Hazard icon has stood the test of time, and has some exciting things coming up for both patrons and employees.

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There’s one tradition, in Hazard, (my favorite) that started in the 1970’s that would really put Pantry Shelf on the map, and distinguish it from any other convenient store in the area. They began to make and serve their own donuts. Today, the tradition is strong as ever. My husband brought me home a half of dozen of these delicious Hazard delicacies yesterday, and I hid in the bathroom to eat one so I wouldn’t have to share with my kids. The plain glazed donuts are my favorite, but they serve a wide variety including cinnamon rolls, danishes, creme or jelly filled, chocolate and doughnut holes! Many folks crowd in the shop early morning to buy a dozen, or just buy them by the doughnut. They sell them all throughout the day, and it’s not been unheard of for someone to drop by the Pantry Shelf and pick up a dozen glazed as an offer of apology, or to impress someone. The way to anyone’s heart or forgiveness is Pantry Shelf doughnuts, or least, it works on me every single time.

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The Pantry Shelf is open 365 days out of the year from 6 am to midnight, faithfully. Storms, sleet, snow, rain, the Pantry Shelf is always open to it’s customers. During the blizzard of 2015, my husband hitched a ride down the mountain on a side by side to get provisions. Folks around here really remember and appreciate that, especially since the Pantry Shelf is in easy walking distance of those of us who live downtown, or at least right in the heart of town.

Donuts are not the only thing that Pantry Shelf specializes in. They have a deli where they make some mean sandwiches at cheap and competitive prices. You can also get convenient foods and groceries here, milk, bread, beer and cigarettes. The service is always top tier, with at least two clerks on duty at all times, (which is better than I can say for most chain stores around here) with two employees having been working at Pantry Shelf for over 30 years.

The Pantry Shelf is also dedicated to the community and community organizations. In addition to donated time and money to various churches, schools and committees, last year alone Pantry Shelf donated over 4,000 dollars to The Imagination Library (a program that gives free books to any kid in the county who signs up) and are continuing to raise money this year as well.

The Pantry Shelf also has some huge news coming up! The store will be expanding, adding more space and doing a total remodel. There will be a second doughnut fryer, a better and more spacious layout to ensure optimal service is provided to customers, but at the same time, the atmosphere and overall feel of Pantry Shelf will remain untouched.

Remember your local businesses. Especially local businesses like this that really and truly care about the community and the people in it. Pantry Shelf is a store that has been locally owned and operated since it’s beginning. It’s so easy to get so used to something being there you forget how important it is to stop by. Shop local, buy local, give your money to those who will keep it in your small town and use it to benefit Hazard. Why would you not? Plus, the Pantry Shelf doughnut is the best I’ve ever had. I’ve been to Spalding’s in Lexington, and numerous other “acclaimed” bakeries and none has ever came to close to a PS Doughnut. I could be biased, but I feel that most who have had both would completely agree.

 

 

 

The Makery’s Grand Opening. Manchester, Kentucky. |The Bourbon Soaked Mom|

Saturday, I rolled myself out of bed to drive an hour away to hit up this amazing little handmade-handcrafted boutique grand opening that I just happened upon on Instagram. Jessalynn, the fabulous owner, visionary, fellow Mama and blogger (link to follow) personally invited me to the shindig, so I was super excited to go!

Manchester has always held a soft spot in my heart because half of my family calls Clay county home. I spent countless summers on my Dad’s farm in Sexton’s Creek, and I have many dear memories, whether it was going to Pat’s or just crusing downtown in a beat up pick up truck.

When I found out the Makery would be a brick and mortar shop that would be opening directly downtown, I thought it was a fantastic idea, and such a positive step to attract both young and older generations to not only come and shop downtown once again, but to also invest in downtown business. So many of our East Kentucky downtowns that were once booming have suffered such losses with the onslaught on commericalism, and the dwindling demand for Mom & Pop shops. Revitlization depends on the people, and the only way to help the problem, is to take steps to make downtown tangible again. The Makery certainly does just that.

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With it’s custom made signs, tiffany blue door, and old time/artisan feel, The Makery has found a perfect home in the building that it inhabits. Hard wood floors, a rustic vibe and beautiful decorations all add a perfect atmosphere for a place that specializes in handmade, handcrafted & vintage goodies. Three things that I both love and know a few things about. Jessalynn and her team have done a wonderful job bringing the building back to life, and matching the mood to the merchandise.

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Vintage clothing and dresses adorn the walls, along with Kentucky themed tee shirts & designs like jewelry, necklaces, rings and earrings. All of the jewelry is handmade and handcrafted to give it that special one of a kind feel. I bought a wire wrapped “Ale8” bangle, and I absolutely love it. I wore it out on date night later that evening and got so many compliments. I also came away with a Boho inspired camera strap, and a coffee mug with “Vintage” Pyrex inspired graphic designs on it.

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If you’re in the Clay County/Manchester area, I highly suggest you stop by the Makery. They have a little something for everyone, artisian soap, hand printed graphics, specially designed duffels, and boho chic purses. You;re in for a real treat, and I dare you to try and buy only one item!

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IMG_6393Head on to Main Street in Manchester and the Makery a shot! Shopping local and supporting our locally owned and operated businesses is so important to revitalizing our small towns and making our downtown areas special again!

Follow the Makery on Instagram to see cool items listed every day! @themakeryky