I didn’t have a rocking horse as a kid. I had a rocking rooster, but whatever, this isn’t about me. Kids today have a legion of beeping blooping electronic doodads to keep them occupied. Here in Kentucky, we keep our kids entertained with beautiful handmade items, like this miniature rocking horse. Perfect for your kid’s pet squirrel to ride. Get back to basics with a range of beautiful hand-carved wooden toys and give the kids some good old-fashioned fun.
Reading to kids has been shown to increase verbal skills, strengthen problem-solving abilities, and give you a chance to bond with them. That’s science. I was read to as a kid and look at me. I wrote a whole book full of just words and I’m also writing this blog. (I should have that t-shirt that says “I’m a big deal in Kentucky.”) Until your kids are old enough to read themselves some of the great Kentucky writers, check out Goodnight Kentucky. With colorful artwork and simple language, your child can learn a little more about the Bluegrass State.
You may not know this, but Kentucky is a very kid-friendly state. I was a kid here for a while and I can attest to this as a fact. I remember going to the Patton Museum in the fifth grade and being very popular with the boys in my class when I brought in my camouflage pencil. ( #iamkindofabigdeal) If you’re looking for more fun things to do that are all within a few hours’ drive, look no further. Kids Love Kentucky is chock full of ideas for exploring the Bluegrass with your younguns. Here you’ll find tips on traveling with littles, ideas for saving money, and info on over 400 sites, spots, and stops. So pack the minivan and get out there!
Looking for the perfect baby shower gift? Yeah, I know, she’s got a registry, and you should definitely get something off there, but come on. Let’s stand out from the rest of the gift-wrapped wipes and diaper cakes, shall we? How about an adorable hand-stitched Stitch Ninja from Kentucky? Locally made with reclaimed fabric, these toys are durable, adorable, and unique. Buy a flock and give them to all the babies you know because they always need something else to drool on.
They’re taking art out of schools now. Did you know that? It’s a funding thing. I loved art class in school and I once won $50 for my pencil drawing of a duck. I don’t have time to go into this now but suffice it to say, art is good for people and communities and that’s also scientifically proven. Kentucky has a thriving and unique art culture and L is for Louisville! A Children’s Abecedary & Art Book highlights the city’s contribution to that culture. (Also, an abecedary is an ABC book, in case you didn’t know. I didn’t.) It’s full of cool trivia, beautiful art, and every letter of the alphabet. Bonus: purchase of this book supports the Art Sparks interactive kids’ gallery at the Speed Art Museum.
Sara O. Thompson’s first attempt at a book was prepared on a Remington typewriter and bore a suspicious resemblance to a famous novel whose title rhymes with ‘Gourd of the Spies.’ Since then, she’s written diaries, advertising copy, and a lot of poetry, besides short and long fiction. In her spare time, she performs improv comedy, occasionally tells stories on stage, and loves ballroom dancing. Sara lives in Louisville, Kentucky, with her husband (who is an ICU nurse) and their twin sons. Her book Muddy Waters is available at 5-0-Lou!
A person of taste knows how to choose a restaurant, order from a menu, wear a scarf, and mix a cocktail. If said person of taste is especially talented in the latter skill, then they are forgiven the absence of the former skills. Meaning, if you can mix an impressive cocktail all wrongs are temporarily forgiven when you begin to shake, stir and pour. Gents Original knows how important the ability to mix and mingle is and have developed a line of cocktail mix products that allow the person of taste to spend less time mixing and more time mingling.
Ingredients in these mixes are all-natural and often organic. Drink responsibly, drink ecologically is the new mantra of the party class and Gents Original, made in Lexington, Kentucky is creating a niche for themselves as the premier Kentucky-made beverage company for the 21st century.
The most important character trait in a cocktail mix - punctuality.
How cool is this tagline, “Make Better Bad Decisions”? Too cool. Well played On-Time Mixers, very well played.
On-Time Mixers are all natural, GMO and gluten free and made with the highest quality ingredients so a health-conscious cocktail lover can imbibe confidently. 5-0-Lou carries the Key Lime Sour Mix to mix with whiskey sours, margaritas, or anything else you can dream up. The Bloody Mary Mix is a brunch lovers’ dream. Just add vodka and a celery stick.
Louisville Tea Company
Fancy a spot of tea? How ‘bout a tea blend created in your very own hometown (that is, if you're from Louisville, Kentucky dear reader)? Louisville Tea Company is dedicated to the subtle pleasures of loose leaf tea. Founded by a couple of artists/tea lovers, Nick and Nicolette Spears often hand blend their teas. However, their love of the leaf also inspires them to discover new flavors from different parts of the world that they import to incorporate into their own recipes.
Buy these products and more from the 5-0-Lou online store or pick them up at our Frankfort Avenue storefront.
Southern Cooking Heals All Wounds: Bourbon Barrel Foods and Weisenberger Mill Products on 5-0-Lou’s Online Store
Matt Jamie, founder and owner of Bourbon Barrel Foods, is a modern day food hero in the South. A clever culinary rogue who dared to tell the public to “eat their bourbon." While the Bourbon Barrel Foods “about” section highlights the special-ness of the food products, and they are Special, with a capital “S” - they are award-winning, make-chef-happy, Kentucky-huggin’ special - they omit the intriguing tale of how Jamie decided to brew up a batch of soy sauce in aged bourbon barrels in the first place.
Was he eating Chinese take out on a distillery tour and tripped over a discarded bottle and fall head first into an empty barrel, which caused a mild concussion and a moment of genius? I’d like to think the story was as accidental and miraculous as that for those make the best stories. But something tells me that there was more method in his soy sauce madness.
But when you taste the stuff, when that first drop of salty, smoky magic graces your lips the story won’t matter. What will matter is that your life just got a little better, for not only did you discover a flavor your previously did not know could exist in the world, you’ll swell with pride when you think that this flavor was developed and made right here in Kentucky.
Yep, Matt Jamie is a Kentucky food hero. He will soon achieve the coveted household name status of Colonel Sanders (minus the grease) with his cooking products. Long live Matt Jamie!
5-0-Lou proudly carries Bourbon Barrel Food products on our shelves and in our online store. Shop Bourbon Barrel Foods products and more here.
You know those places in dreams you see over and over again? You wake up the next morning and you say to your mom, “I had a dream about that house again. It’s weird.” Then your mom freezes and looks at you wide-eyed, “What house?” and you say, “You know, that house I’ve been telling you about.” Then with trepidation, she says, “Is it the white A-frame house with the red door, a broken porch swing and a single oak tree in the yard?” You ask, “How did you know?” Then she’s all like, “I dream about it too.”
Anyway, Weisenberger Mill is one of those places. If you Google it and click on the “images” tab you’ll see a lot of high school seniors in the ubiquitous (and inexplicable) senior-photo squat position in front the iconic mill wheel. You’ll also see a smattering of over-saturated shots by photographers who got too handsy with Photoshop.
It’s a hauntingly beautiful place, something from another time. Because it is from another time - 1865 to be exact. In American historical thinking, that’s like... forever. And if that weren’t impressive enough, it has been owned and operated by six generations of the same family.
I’m not even going to talk about their products, ‘cause I mean SIX GENERATIONS?! You know their stuff is gonna be the bomb. That’s like 152 years of experimenting in the kitchen.
Their quick mixes are only $2. If you haven’t yet tried them I’d recommend buying one of each and treating your family to an evening of Southern favorites. Order Weisenberger Mill products with the 5-0-Lou Online Store.