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July 25, 2016

Nashville's Best Milkshakes

When it's sweltering out, then there's only one thing you need: more milkshake.

(More cowbell is always a close second, no matter the temp.)

In order to stay cool in Nashville, here are our top 10 milkshake options, as chosen by our Nashville team (stop in our retail store to thank them for their genius-ness).

1) Bobbie’s Dairy Dip

Bobbie's Dairy Dip | Milkshakes and burgers in Nashville, TN

The original walk up window. Order The James Brown.

2) Fat Mo’s

Stay in your car. Eat a burger as big as your face while you're at it.

3) Elliston Place Soda Shop

Elliston Place Soda Shop | Nashville milkshakes

They know what they're doing, and have been for 75 years.

4) The Pharmacy

The Pharmacy | Burgers, beer, and shakes in East Nashville

Sit outside and grab a craft beer to wash down your shake.

5) Pied Piper Creamery

Take a stroll down some East Nashville sidewalks while you sip your shake.

6) Burger Republic

With two locations, a great shake is always nearby.

7) Gabby’s

Live the dream with these simple - but perfect - shakes. 

8) Dalt’s

Dalt's American Grill | Nashville milkshakes

Diner vibes make their shakes seem even colder and sweeter. 

9) The FlipSide

You want doo wop with that shake? Of course you do.

10 ) The Band Box

The Band Box Nashville | Nashville Sounds | Whiskey and Coke ICEE

The whiskey and Coke ICEE isn't technically a shake, but we don't care. It's on the list.

(And click here to see our roundup of Austin's best shakes and ice cream.)

July 20, 2016

The Coolest Milkshakes and Ice Cream in Austin

In these dog days of summer, you need to get cool and stay cool - fast. Thank goodness George Washington invented the milkshake 700 years ago today (or so we're told).

But where do you get one of these cold beauties? Take our advice and stop in at any of these five spots to get a milkshake or ice cream that will bring the boys (and girls) to the yard. 

1) Lick Honest Ice Creams

Lick Ice Cream | Honest Ice Cream from Austin, TX

Lick is "honest ice cream." They only use the finest ingredients and local Texas farmers and artisans. Interesting flavors fill their menu: Dark Chocolate with Olive Oil & Sea Salt, Texas Sheet Cake, Too Hot Chocolate (featuring our purveyor friends Srsly Chocolate), Goat Cheese, Thyme & Honey (one of their most popular flavors), and Roasted Beets & Fresh Mint. They also feature dairy free and vegan options

2) Hopdoddy

Hopdoddy | Burgers and craft beer restaurant in Austin, TX

We love Hopdoddy for their incredibly flavorful and yummy hamburgers, but we love them even more for their signature shakes. Some of our favorites: Oreo Cookie, Caramel & Sea Salt, Red Velvet Cake, Nutella, and Chocolate Pretzel.

3) MOOJO

Gourmet ice cream and fresh baked cookies in Austin, TX

This is truly ice cream Cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth. Moojo stands for "Moments of Joy" and after eating one of these treats, you're sure to feel exactly that. After all, everything is made with love and all natural, fresh ingredients. (They also cater weddings and events.)

4) Spun Ice Cream

Spun Ice Cream | Artisan ice cream and milkshakes in Austin, TX

Spun's ice cream is unique because they use liquid nitrogen in the freezing process. Why? Because it tastes better that way. (Thank you, science!) Chef Christina offers a rotating menu of house-made original pairings, such as chocolate waffle cones, Texas pecan brittle, corn cookie crumble, citrus confetti, pickled jalapeño glass, and caramel popcorn sprinkles.

5) Gelateria Gemelli

Gelateria Gemelli | Gelato, cocktails, and coffee bar in Austin, TX

Gelato, coffee, AND cocktails? Oh, my! This adorable shop is sure to delight. Located right off East 6th, you can pop by for a gelato to go or stay awhile and sit by the window. Best of all, they're open late!

July 18, 2016

Ways to Make Your Airbnb Stand Out

If you want to make your Airbnb stand out from the hundreds - or, more like it, thousands - of others in town, then these few quick and affordable fixes will help you get the attention of guests very quickly

Upgrade the soap

Even if your guest is packing her own assortment of bath products, a higher end soap in your shower can transform a bathroom into a spa (well, almost). For example, this memorable body wash from Latika has an instant detoxifying action and is composed of pure organic vegetable oils, scented with a unique blend of Vetiver, Mint and Patchouli.

 Austin, TX Airbnb gift ideas | Latika charcoal body wash

Coffee? Tea? Both.

Your guests - after an awesome night out in your city - will need something to get them going in the morning. Showcase the unique coffee roasted nearby instead of the cheap stuff from the grocery store. Better yet, make sure you have some flavorful teas on hand, too, to round out the breakfast experience.

Make it smell memorable

Sure, your place looks clean before each guest arrives. But does it smell clean? A few spritzes of a robust room spray will provide a fresh atmosphere and a zen-like mood. We suggest you go with this Caribbean Driftwood option from Southern Firefly.

 Southern Firefly Room Spray | Nashville themed Airbnb gifts

Help them write home

No one writes letters or postcards anymore. Until they stay at your place. Go to your favorite local shop and grab some local letter sets or postcards. Even put a stamp on them and leave them out on the desk or table for your guests to find. They'll be prompted to send a postcard to Mom, or they may even simply be thankful for the free souvenir. 

With Love From Nashville stationery set | Airbnb gift ideas from Nashville

We can't all afford to outfit our place with the latest sound system, install granite countertops, or add a rooftop pool. But we can offer up a few perks that make sure guests leave a happier review.

And, if you're ever interested in Airbnb gifts for your place, drop us a line so we can tell you more about our customized gift and welcome service.

July 15, 2016

New Places to Eat in Austin

Whether you call Austin home or will be visiting soon, these are the 6 hottest, new places you have to check out. 

Irene's | hot new Austin, TX restaurant

Irene's

Irene's is located off West 6th street and is a new adorable gem I can't get enough of.

What I love: their (yummy) adorable soft serve with sprinkles, Easy Tiger cinnamon roles, record playing, $3 rose on the weekends and biscuit & booze brunch. AND! I love how the decor feels like a living room I wish I owned. This place is my new favorite hang on West 6th.

Snooze, an A.M. Eatery opens in Austin, TX

Snooze

Brunch, brunch, we love brunch! It's my favorite meal of the day and Snooze AM is serving some of the best around and they encourage custom creations!

What to order: 1) Their Spuds Deluxe (a heaping portion of their hash browns topped with cheese, scallions and your choice of two fillings (we recommend an egg!); 2) Their Bella! Bella! Benny - Thin slices of prosciutto, Taleggio cheese, and perfectly poached eggs on toasted ciabatta, topped with cream cheese hollandaise, balsamic glaze and arugula; 3) Any of their pancakes - they have so many mouth watering options to choose from!

Kitty Cohen's | new bar and lounge in Austin, TX

Kitty Cohen's

Webberville Road just got a whole lot cooler with Kitty Cohen's on their block. This is a 1970's Palm Beach lounge serving up some delicious signature cocktails. And they have a public watering hole/pool (o you can bring your suit or just dip your toes) - the perfect way to cool off on these hot Texas nights.

Nightcap | cool new restaurant and bar in Austin, TX

Nightcap

Serving up delicious desserts (and more) & cocktails in a beautiful house off West 6th street? I'm there! Nightcap serves not only desserts and cocktails but savory bites, boozy milkshakes and brunch!

To try: Peanut Butter in a Jam boozy milkshake (peanut butter ice cream, deep eddy vodka, strawberry jam), the housemade pretzel, or the roasted beets (just to name a few of my favorites).

Thai-Kun | new restaurant in East Austin

Thai-Kun

The Rock Rose in the Domain is the new hot spot to hang in North Austin and Thai-Kun is serving up some exceptional dishes sure to wow your taste buds, like their Sticky Rice, Thai-Kun Fried Chicken served with pickled cabbage and cold cucumber. I also love their fresh fish cakes. They are open 4 days a week from 1p-1:45a.

General Tso'Boy | New sandwich shop in Domain in Austin, TX

General Tso'Boy

Also located on Rock Rose in the Domain is General Tso'Boy, An American Chinese Sandwhich Shop. Try their Honey Walnut Shrimp, their Cheeseburger Springrolls, or their General TSO Chicken Sammie. All sandwiches can be substituted for a salad. 

Where is your new favorite Austin spot to eat or drink?

July 14, 2016

Talking Nashville With Belle Founder Armand Lauzon

Recently, Batch partnered with Belle to offer an exclusive platinum version of our Nashville Spa Day gift batch. Now, you can give someone an enhanced local spa experience because they'll receive a gift card they can use towards any services Belle provides, such as a massage, manicure, or hair styling.

Nashville Spa Day Platinum Gift Batch

We had a chance to chat with Belle Founder Armand Lauzon about Nashville, why he decided to grow his company here, and where he likes to hang out when the work day is done. 

Armand Lauzon | Founder of Belle in Nashville, TN

Batch: What was the AHA! moment when you knew Belle had to be in the world?

Armand Lauzon: A few years ago, I was spending time with my cousin who is a manicurist. She explained that professionals in her industry forfeit anywhere between 50% to 85% of the revenue they generate to a salon or spa to pay for rent, utilities, marketing, etc. Manicurists also need to abide by strict shift schedules where they ultimately waste time waiting for appointments to walk through the door. From my experience working in venture capital, I knew that technology could improve professionals’ compensation, save them time, create flexibility and best of all - bring clients a new type of service with superior convenience.

Batch: Why did you decide to build your company in Nashville?

Armand Lauzon: We soft launched Belle in Boston and Nashville. Over the first few months of operation, we saw Nashville take off. I woke up one morning and knew we had to focus our financial and mental resources in one city to optimize our success. Nashville was that place.

Belle | In home spa and beauty services in Nashville, Tennessee

Batch: What's the best thing about doing what you do?

Armand Lauzon: Free massages all the time... Just kidding. But seriously - one Belle professional recently told me she had the best week of her career because of Belle. Believing in her and supporting her meant the world. Knowing that what we are doing is having such a positive impact is so meaningful to me. It’s the core mission of the company. It’s what gets me up in the morning.

Batch: How is Belle "keeping it local?

Armand Lauzon: First, we are newly headquartered in Nashville. Second, we are building relationships and partnerships with some of the finest businesses in town, including Batch, Results Fitness, Destination Nashville and others. Third, we are empowering local beauty and health professionals and therefore, the local economy.

Batch: It's Friday and the work day is done - where are we going for drinks and then dinner later?

Armand Lauzon: I still have so much to explore in this city, but I’m a big fan of M Street. If I had to choose, I’d go with St. Anejo for drinks. For dinner (and more drinks), we are going to Little Donkey in Germantown. I just moved to that neighborhood and love that restaurant. Well priced, excellent Mexican food with great margs.

Belle | Nashville TN in home spa services

Learn more about Belle on their website. And snag the platinum version of our Nashville Spa Day gift batch for someone special.

July 12, 2016

Favorite Summer Cocktail Recipes from our Purveyors

Justin & Jonathan, makers of Coop's Hot Chicken:

The Armadillo

Start with a Modelo in a can, barely pop the tab raising it without opening the can. Hit the top with Lime juice, a dash of salt, and a splash of hot sauce, then pop the top.  Everything rushes in and it's time to get to work.

Heather at Southern Firefly Candle Co.

Watermelon Gin Fizz

Watermelon Gin Fizz

4 cups diced watermelon

6 oz. gin, pided

8 tbs. lime juice, pided

1 1/3 cups giner ale, pided *use diet for low cal.

4 lime wedges, for garnish

Puree the watermelon. Strain; pide the juice among 4 iced filled {Southern Firefly glasses}

Top each glass with 1 1/2 oz. gin, 2 tablespoons lime juice & 1/3 cup ginger ale.

Kristin Walker of Walker Feed Co.

My favorite summer time treat, The Bomb Pop, takes me back to my childhood chasing the ice cream truck down on our bicycles trying to figure out which street it's on by the sound of the song. The adult version is even better!

The Adult Bomb PopThe Adult Bomb Pop

Ingredients

2 shots of Walker's Honeysuckle Sour

2 shots of Bacardi Razz Rum

2 shots of Blue Curaçao Liqueur

splash of Eli Mason grenadine

Directions

Fill glass with ice. Put splash of grenadine over ice.

Pour Bacardi Razz, slowly over ice.

Then Honeysuckle Sour, then Blue Curaçao over ice.

Jennifer Glover of Carolina Girl Cookies

I developed this for my food blog a couple years ago and it’s one of my favorites for sipping by the pool or on the porch with friends for an impromptu cocktail hour/boozy Saturday afternoon.

The Southern Teajito

Serves 4

2 cups of sweet tea (I like homemade)

sparkling water

30 mint leaves, plus several sprigs for garnish

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

2 limes, 4 if they’re really small, cut into small wedges

4-6 ounces of white rum

Ice

In a small saucepan, dissolve the water and sugar together over high heat.  Allow it to cool completely.

In a small pitcher, muddle the mint, simple syrup, rum and lime wedges together.  pide between 4 glasses.  Fill each glass half way with ice and then pour over 1/2 cup of sweet tea into each glass.  Top with a little sparkling water, give it a stir, garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!

 

To make your own summer cocktails, check out our selection of mixers.

June 09, 2016

Father's Day Gifts from the South

Wondering what to get Dad for Father's Day? Wonder no more. We've put together three exclusive gifts featuring handcrafted goods and treats.

Cheers Dad Father's Day Gift Batch

Cheers to Dad Gift Brunch

Here's a toast to the Dad with the most. Elderflower tonic from Jack Rudy and Old Fashioned Mix from Eli Mason are the building blocks of artisan cocktails that any Pop, Papa, or Daddy can make at home. Whatever concoction is concocted will travel in this exclusive "Cheers Y'all" flask designed by Batch. The cherry on top is literally bourbon cherries to add to any cocktail that will make Dad feel like he's at the Patterson House.

Father's Day Grooming Kit Gift Batch

 

Father's Day Grooming Kit Gift Batch

We've found manly bath and body products for Dads who aren't afraid to admit that they like smelling nice. While Old Spice might have been what he grew up using, these Southern-made grooming products make a special gift. He'll be fresh from head to toe with soaps, body washes, lip balm and after shave.

Dad's Sweet and Spicy Gift Batch

Dad's Sweet and Spicy Gift Batch

Handmade snacks and sweets are the gift for the Dad who has everything. 

 

Still don't know what to get for Dad? How about giving him a Batch Subscription Discovery Box? We'll send him a box of goodies in August and every three months after.

 

June 08, 2016

Where to Eat Outside in Austin

It's heating on up, but you're in Austin, so the only option is to suck it up, grab a cold one, and head to a patio. Here are seven Austin patios and outdoor dining options that we're loving right now.

Contigo

Contigo | Austin Texas patio and outdoor bar

One of the best patios in the city, Contigo's outdoor space offers gorgeous views and beautifully strung lights from their ranch style venue. Happy Hour runs from Monday to Thursday, from 5-7PM This will get you reduced price bar snacks, $1 off draft beer, $1 off Wine, and $2 off signature cocktails.

Vinaigrette

This new Austin gem offers the most adorable and perfect back patio. Vinaigrette's menu is filled with fresh and flavorful salads & sammies. We recommend this patio for a gal pal lunch meet or even a romantic dinner for two.

Lustre Pearl East

Lustre Pearl East | Austin Texas patio and bar

This is probably our favorite summertime bar. This classic spot was the first "house turned bar" off Rainey St creating the "house turned bar" theme that now populates this infamous street. They've moved the original house, added a sweet side patio and a killer menu there on East Cesar Chavez. Parking is easy, the crowd is friendly, and drinks are top notch.

Yellow Jacket Social Club

The best tuna melt and sweet potato fries in Austin also has one of the best patios in town. Sitting right on East 5th, the back area is covered with strings of twinkly lights & bamboo trees. Our favorite dishes? That's easy: anything on the menu.

Stay Gold

Stay Gold | Austin Texas food truck and outdoor bar and restaurant

The same owners of The White Horse also own Stay Gold. Be sure to visit their resident food truck, Toaster, out back on their patio for some of the best fried treats around.

Lucille Patio Lounge

This charming bar is located in the heart of downtown, off Rainey Street. Their dog-friendly patio has two full-service bars, classic outdoor games, and even hammocks. Hammocks! Lucille offers the best front porch patio for people watching on Rainey. They specialize in Texas beer & superb cocktails.

Lichas Cantina

The atmosphere at Lichas is fun and familiar and their patio is a must, even if you have to wait in line. Their spicy margaritas are the perfect summer drinks, especially if you like a little kick.

June 07, 2016

How to Do CMA Fest in Nashville Like a Local

Want to live like a Nashvillian during this craziest of weeks when CMA Fest descends upon the city for a week of music and mayhem? Just follow these steps.

How to Do CMA Fest Like a Local Nashvillian | Batch Nashville

Step 1: Hop online for some research. Google things like "beaches within a day's drive of Nashville" or "cheap plan tickets to anywhere but Nashville."

Step 2: If you live near downtown Nashville, then make sure your home and its contents are properly insured before you AirBnB it to strangers in cowboys hats or backcountry bros who think "shower optional" means "shower never."

Step 3: Pack your suitcase wisely. You're going to another city for a whole week!

Step 4: Before you get in your car to drive to 30A or to get to the airport, take one last look around at this city you love. No telling what will happen once the Jason Aldean after party shuts down Friday night. 

Step 5: Enjoy your time away! Check in to Facebook regularly to laugh at your friends who didn't have the good sense to pack up and leave. While you're sipping a Mai Tai in Seaside or walking Magnificent Mile in Chicago, they'll be updating their profile with observations like "What happened to all the denim sacrificed to make all these cut off shorts?" and "Nothing like taking 45 minutes to get from the Gulch to Germantown. #thanksCMA." 

Step 6: Do yoga. Read a book outdoors. Revel in what it's like to not be asked "Where does Kenny Chesney live?" or "Y'all really got a girl mayor?" while continuously circling a roundabout. 

Step 7: Come home Monday morning and pretend it never happened. Go ahead and make your plans to visit Europe between June 8-11, 2017.

May 28, 2016

Video: Thistle Farms - Magdalene Graduation 2016

Thistle Farms is a social enterprise of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. Based in Nashville, Tennessee, Thistle Farms houses the bath and body care company, the Thistle Stop Café, and paper and sewing studios. All proceeds support Thistle Farms and the residential program, Magdalene.

The community provides housing, food, healthcare, therapy and education, without charging residents or receiving government funding. Thistle Farms and Magdalene stand as a witness to the truth that in the end love is the most powerful force for change.

Last week, new graduates finished the program, and well, just take a look at these two minutes to see what a difference this program is making.

And, remember that when you buy a Thistle Farms product from Batch, you're helping to make a difference in the lives of so many. Click below to take a look at how you can change the world. 

Thistle Farms bath and beauty products

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