30 Things You Need To Try With Ranch

30 Things You Need To Try With Ranch

The dip of the Midwest.

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As any Midwestern knows Ranch dip/dressing is the best thing to happen to

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Ranch is by far the best condiment and maybe even the best thing to ever come out of the Midwest. Anyone who dislikes Ranch is wrong. It goes on everything from sandwiches, burgers, and wings to salads, fries, cheese curds, and tortilla chips. I don't just love Ranch I admire it. It makes bad food taste delicious, it cools your mouth after something spicy. Some might even say there love for ranch has ended every argument they've ever had. It's truly the best thing ever.

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5 Places You'll Want To Instagram Your Food In Savannah

I went to Savannah for 3 days and all I did was hang out in trendy coffee shops and take photos of food.

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Savannah is the perfect weekend getaway for any of y'all living in the Southeast. I've been at least 5 times; sometimes as a stand-alone trip and others as a brief stop on my drive to Florida. It's 4 hours from Charlotte and 4 hours from Orlando, so it was the perfect midpoint to meet my mom last weekend. I imagine it would also be super convenient for those who live in South Carolina, other parts of Georgia, and maybe even Alabama. Enough GPS coordinate facts and more about why you should go. Hint: It's not only because it's convenient and would make your US History teacher proud.

I have to admit, on all of my previous Savannah trips I was never particularly wowed and I was usually just there for one night. I've been on a Girl Scout trip specifically to see the Juliette Gordon-Low house, I've stopped while passing through just to eat at The Lady and Sons, and I've stayed overnight to run the Women's Half Marathon in April. I never left feeling like I missed anything and it made me wonder what in the heck I was going to do in Savannah for 3 and a half days. I found more than enough to do and it all comes down to this list of local eats and drinks you cannot miss.

1. The Grove

disneygirlie

When we checked into our Airbnb, the host recommended this place since the weather was perfect and The Grove has rooftop seating. All I had to hear was "rooftop" and I knew this place would be gorgeous for the 'gram. As soon as we walked in, I was tempted to stay seated on the first floor because it was so gorgeous. I love a clean, white shiplap look. It feels good and it looks good. We walked up to the rooftop and while the view was stunning, we couldn't stay. The wind was chilly and there was only one server for the whole rooftop.

It would have taken forever to get service. The server acted like this was not typical though, so I'd definitely recommend giving the roof a fair shake. We came back down and I got to eat in the room I fell in love with after all. The menu is "New American" aka "We serve trendy instagrammable food." I got grilled cheese with the add on of grilled chicken inside and a side of cheese grits. I wasn't impressed by the sandwich, but loved the grits. They had appetizers that looked like they would have been good as well.

2. The Lady and Sons

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This is *the* place people tend to eat (or used to eat) in Savannah. Paula Deen caused herself quite a controversy a few years ago and I think the restaurant has suffered. There used to be a line down the block and this time, we walked right in and were immediately sat. While the restaurant itself isn't super trendy (unless you wanna Instagram Paula's Family Photos), the food is. The food is most importantly delicious, which is why I try to go every time I'm in Savannah. I don't care for buffets, so I always order an entree a la carte. If you do this, you MUST order the Chicken Pot Pie. It is gorgeous and tastes like the Gods baked this for you.

Insider tip: The menu will only list two desserts for purchase (Key Lime Pie and Pecan Pie), but there are more! Each person who gets the buffet gets one of these special mini desserts included. I believe there are 3 options, but the only one that matters is Banana Pudding! I went to this restaurant with the sole intention of getting banana pudding and was devastated when I didn't see it on the menu. The server explained why this was and said I could order it a la carte for only $2. I should have ordered 4. Best Banana Pudding ever.

3. Little Duck Diner

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Go here, go here, go here. If you go nowhere else in Savannah, go here. I cannot stress this enough. I stumbled upon this place on Instagram under the Savannah tag and I'm so glad I did. When I saw the photo of the rubber duck drink, I knew I had to have it. The inside is absolutely adorable and instagrammable if you're in the right spot. It was hard for me to get photos because I was in a busy corridor in the center of the restaurant. What I was pleasantly surprised about was just how good the food was. When I saw the drink, I knew I had to go for the novelty and aesthetics, but I never expected the food to be amazing.

I ordered Shrimp and Grits and it was the best I've ever had. Great flavor without being too spicy and best parts of all: no sausage and no tails on the shrimp. Almost every Shrimp and Grits dish I see has sausage in it, which I hate. This did not. Also, a lot of places leave the tails on the shrimp. I like the shrimp and grits from the Grand Floridian, but even they serve the shrimp with tails on. The drink with the duck is called the Lavender Bubble Bath Bellini and while I don't know what they use to create the extra foamy bubbles, it's delicious. You have to get it and you have to go. End of story.

4. Blends: A Coffee Boutique

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I visited this place for the first time when it was brand new. I can't remember the year, but I know I've been going every year since if I'm in Savannah. It's my go-to coffee after the Savannah Women's Half Marathon and on this trip, I went twice in one day. The decor is everything I want for my home and more. It's clean, polished, and mid-century modern. They roast their coffee in house and they have a giant old school roaster in the back. The coolest part about this place is with every drink ordered, they ask where you want your coffee sourced from.

They offer coffee from Guatemala, Colombia, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Ethiopia and Sumatra. I ordered a mocha with espresso from Brazil the first time and Ethiopia the second time. They didn't taste significantly different, but I love the concept. I also love the giant window that allows you to see the world going by on Broughton. Recently, a Starbucks opened literally across the street from this place. Can you say rude? Do not go to Starbucks. I promise you, Blends is worth it to try something new.

5. Jen's and Friends

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I have no one to thank for this other than some of my lovely Instagram friends. This place is so small and so casual, I would have never sought it out or discovered it on my own. Their door states that they're the home of 300 Martinis and 200 beers. The inside is quaint and dark, which makes it cozy. Unfortunately, there's not much seating and with a bachelorette party inside, I took my drink to go. Fortunately, it's Savannah where walking around with open containers of alcohol is totally legal. Some of the martinis offered are a candy lover's dream! There's a Reese's, served with a full sized Reese's cup on the rim, Rice Krispy Treat, and even S'mores.

I could have tried them all and wish I did try one that was more chocolate based. I went for a Lucky Charms martini because I had seen photos and it was SO cute. Plus, the concept of cereal in alcohol intrigued me. Mine was served complete with a marshmallow fluff rim and pink milk with a spoon. The good news is, they're strong drinks. Or at least I thought they were. You can definitely taste the alcohol and I was feeling good after. The drinks are so instagrammable, I couldn't even decide where in Savannah I wanted to take photos with it.

Savannah's old southern architecture is gorgeous and it's the perfect sized town for a long weekend getaway. After a day or two of walking the town, it starts to feel very small. Despite walking across the same squares and down the same streets every day, I was always stumbling across a cafe or restaurant I wanted to try. Savannah may not be famous for its cuisine, but at the very least it should be instafamous for its food and drinks.

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Excellent Advice From Unexpected Places

Who thought aliens from a silly space app could give good advice. Welcome to Walkr.

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GI recently got a pedometer app (a step tracker) called Walkr: Fitness Space Adventure. Along with tracking your steps, it unlocks planets that have little alien inhabitants. These creatures send you messages occasionally, some silly, some helpful, and everything in between. I thought I would share with you my favorites thus far. Here are my top 15 inspirational messages from aliens:

1. When you are doubting yourself...

Maddy McKeever

Zombies love you for who you are, no matter what.

2. Take care of those you love...

Maddy McKeever

No one deserves to be sad. Especially the moon who is the light of your night.

3. I love eating...

Maddy McKeever

Envy is a deadly sin, but ice cream is not. Snowmen know sometimes you need a snack.

4. There are no shortcuts in life...

Maddy McKeever

Shortcuts in life leave you shorthanded and unprepared. Be the diamond in the rough, or the pearl.

5. Eat your vegetables...

Maddy McKeever

Take care of your body and it will take care of you. And avoid space pirates.

6. Take time to take care of yourself...

Maddy McKeever

Little things for self care can make a big difference. Musical Andrew reminds you to eat and drink lots of water.

7. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes...

Maddy McKeever

Walking help you clear your head, and gives you a reason to get out of the house if you don't have a dog that wants to go to the park.

8. Where words fail, music speaks...

Maddy McKeever

Bon Jovi probably liked space. Express yourself with music, or tune out the world to take care of yourself.

9. Don't trust strangers...

Maddy McKeever

Don't take food from strangers unless it's Halloween. And don't follow them into the woods, even if they are trees.

10. School is a necessary evil...

Maddy McKeever

School may seem like torture now, but you'll be grateful you did it when you are older, even if you want to set your work on fire right now.

11. Never stop believing...

Maddy McKeever

Keep hope and imagination in your heart and you will feel young forever.

12. Sometimes it's about the journey, not the destination...

Maddy McKeever

It's not always about progress, but about the process, even if the idea of success tastes sweet.

13. Success is relative to each of us...

Maddy McKeever

Your idea of being courageous may not be the same as someone else's, but that doesn't make their any less valid a success.

14. Don't let others hold you back...

Maddy McKeever

We all want to escape to a different continent, or even a different planet sometimes. Take a moment and breathe. You've got this.

15. Don't judge a book by it's cover...

Maddy McKeever

Some people that look odd on the outside may be diamonds in the rough. But don't forget also that some people who look harmless can secretly bite.

Some of this advice may seem silly, but rooted deep in it can be found inspirational advice. You may not see it now, but when you need to hear it, that advice becomes very clear. Who knew that a ball of ghost fire or a sugar cube could give such good advice? I hope at least one of these little aliens gave you some useful inspiration today.

For other enjoyable apps to stay healthy, including Walkr, see this article.

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