Nashville Recap! (Part One)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

I just returned from a fabulous girl's getaway to Nashville! If it's a place you'd like to see someday too, you really should! I would love to go back because, although we were there for a full 4 days and we got to see and experience a lot, we didn't even begin to see everything!

So Nashville...we ended up taking this trip because my Aunt wanted to go for her birthday and it worked out perfect because her and my Mom's birthday are days apart so we all celebrated together while we were there. I'm so glad she had the great idea to go and that it worked out for us all to getaway together! We took the red eye flight on Thursday morning so we arrived in Nashville at about 9 am local time. We stayed in East Nashville at the cutest Airbnb and our hosts so graciously allowed us to check in early so we were able to drop our luggage then head out to explore right away. It was the perfect location for us to easily get downtown and it was also right around the corner from two popular eating spots-Mas Tacos and The Pharmacy Burger Parlor!
By this point it was about lunchtime and we were starving so we hit up Mas Tacos. It was even better than I expected and this picture of course doesn't do it any justice! I got the fried avocado and pulled pork taco and I'm still upset we only got to eat here once (and also because I don't know how I'll possibly be able to recreate them at home!)

Next we wanted to go to The American Pickers antique store called Antique Archaeology, but we never actually made it to that store because we were so fascinated by all the other stores we came across in the process of trying to find it! Luckily too, it turned out to be the perfect Nashville photo opportunity that we stumbled into by total mistake. I am glad we were able to get a picture by it because honestly, the rest of the popular murals and artwork you see along the streets were packed...literally, people were waiting in lines around the block to snap a photo. We had no time for that!
After a little shopping, we picked up my Aunt's friend from the airport, returned home to freshen up then headed downtown to Broadway to check out the Honky Tonks for the first time! I must say half the fun of this trip was getting ready with my Sis, doing each others hair and makeup, and just getting to all be together because we really aren't that often.
My friend Sarah used to live in Nashville and she had some great recs for us so we kicked things off at Robert's Western World, a popular place for locals with great music and fried bologna sandwiches. We were lucky enough to snag a table upstairs and enjoy the band for awhile. After this, we strolled down Broadway a few bars down and walked into Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row because of the lively band that was playing. They were an absolute blast to dance to and the perfect way to start our trip! Most of the bands play covers to songs and not a whole lot of their own original music, although we did hear some. Another thing she told me that was helpful was that if you're facing the Cumberland River, that the bars on the left are non-smoking and the one's on the right are smoking.
The next morning, we all slept in as we attempted  to catch up on our lost sleep from the day before. Our Uber driver the night before recommended The Diner for a hip breakfast spot and it was close to downtown again so we headed there. The decor and atmosphere were so trendy and would definitely make JoJo proud. The black and white hex tile, marble top tables, and chic chandeliers were so fun! I had the waffle sliders and smoked Gouda grits (which were amazing!). The service was good, and the decor super cute, but the food was just okay.
Travel tip: Speaking of drivers, although we had a rental car, we used Uber and Lyft to visit downtown and nearby attractions. We found Lyft to be cheaper, plus our hosts provided us with some promo codes that helped. But use your driver's expertise and ask them about places they like. They were a great resource and told us about Nashville Guru which was an amazing website!
Also, when in Nashville, you have to try a Bushwhacker! It's basically a boozy chocolate frosty!
From here, we walked and checked out the pedestrian bridge which overlooks the Cumberland River and gives the best view of the Nashville city skyline. Perfect photo backdrop as well! Down the street is the Johnny Cash Museum (which was closed for touring unfortunately this day) & the Patsy Cline Museum, not to mention a ton of cute boot shops. The FGL House is next door as well although we didn't go here. We were determined to get boots on this trip so we shopped a bunch of stores, but didn't find any that we loved! Along Broadway, we jammed to more music and enjoyed drinks on the rooftop at The Valentine and then headed around the corner to The Ryman Auditorium, which is the original Grand Ole Opry. I had no idea they still did shows or I would have loved to have seen one there too. Instead, we took the self guided tour before they closed for the day.
The displays of American flags everywhere made me so proud! There's just something about Americana decor that gets me...
Travel tip: Some of the local attractions will give you a discount. For example, if you plan on going to the Grand Ole Opry (WHICH YOU SHOULD!) then you'll get a discount to get into The Johnny Cash Museum, then the Ryman Auditorium gives you a discount to get in if you've been to The Johnny Cash museum, so you'll save yourself a few bucks each place by going in that order.

When we finished our tour of the Ryman, we wanted to get a quick snack and see some more live music and we ended up around the corner at Layla's. They were in between shows, but it worked out perfect. We took a shot off the gun, enjoyed some fried goodness, and then got to enjoy the full show that kicked off soon after.
 One thing that you can expect is to pay a lot for drinks. Funny story because it's not exactly where I pictured ending up in Nashville, but Coyote Ugly had $2 beers and my little Sis wanted to go so we did. It actually turned out to be such a dive, but we practically had the place to ourselves and we had too much fun dancing away! I'll spare you the ridiculous videos or pictures...haha! When we got home and most of the gals had headed to bed, I hung a few birthday decorations, because yes, I am that person that travels with festive decor!
And that wraps up our first two days in Nashville! Come back to see what we did the rest of the time there. And as always, feel free to email me or comment if you have more questions!

Baskets for My Bunnies

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

While browsing the aisles of Target recently, I stumbled across these absolutely adorable bunny tote bags and I couldn't resist picking them up for some special bunnies in my life! The ears and bunny noses got me! I'll be dropping them off to the boys tomorrow so they will have them to celebrate with because I thought the bags would be perfect for collecting eggs too! I wanted to share them here in case you're looking for inspiration for somebunny special in your life!

Our best family friends who I have grown up with and used to babysit their kids, now have kids themselves and they are like nephews to me. I absolutely love that I get to watch them grow and be a special part of their lives! Since we don't have kids of our own yet, it's fun to get to do things like this on holidays.

I filled the bags with goodies I found at the Dollar Tree like play dough, a foam football, bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and rubber ducky. Oh, and a harmonica because I'm the fun aunt like that. ;) Then I finished them both with a galvanized personalized name tag so they know whose is whose or they can reuse it somewhere else.

Happy Egg Hunting!

Self Love

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

I know we've all heard the saying, "You can't pour from an empty cup." Sort of like when the flight attendant tells you to put on your own oxygen mask before helping others. So why do we as humans feel bad sometimes about taking care of ourself? I don't get it!
Via Pinterest
I am 100% guilty of this. I feel bad when I take time off of work. I feel bad if I make myself an appointment just for me. I feel bad if I don't have enough time for all the things and everyone in my life that matter.

It really doesn't matter what stage of life you're in or what you have going on in your life, you've got to make the time for you because you are important too. I thought the above picture was so fitting and also with today marking the first official day of Spring. Although I don't have quite the green thumb, I've found that there's always room to improve and grow and it really starts within yourself.

A few things I've started doing for me:

Making myself a priority and more importantly, not feeling bad about it. I mentioned I invested in my health and started a new nutritional program and that has really gotten me on the right path to feeling good and moving in that direction. It felt good to take control of my health and put myself first. And it's true that I feel like I have more energy to give, more motivation to do the things I love, and to be the best version of myself that I can be.

Make more ME time. This might simply mean brewing a cup of special tea and indulging in one of my shows, making a massage appointment, getting that pedicure on my lunch break, or simply setting some time aside to go in my office to write or drawing a hot bath and skimming through a magazine for inspiration. Whatever you're feeling, feel it and don't apologize for it.

Allow yourself to be vulnerable. This is a tough one, especially in the world we live in today. It's like we want to show the world the best version of us and hide the rest. That's absolutely not reality and for me it's hard because even when bad things are happening, I always want to see the good in each day and try to get through it so I often don't share. I feel like we all have our struggles so why do I need to tell others about them when they have their own issues? But if we don't allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to feel those feelings that are present and open up a little, we are really doing ourself a disservice and missing out on the opportunity to feel supported and encouraged.

Unplug + Disconnect. Technology is all around us and we've become so accustomed to everything being right at our fingertips in an instant. It's overwhelming. Even when I am trying to be present in the NOW, it's like my mind has been programmed to multitask and think about what is next. Remember, almost everything will work again if you unplug it, even you.

Spread Kindness. One of my favorite things to do that is an instant mood booster is to simply do something nice for someone else. It's no secret I am obsessed with finding the perfect card and sending it via snail mail to someone.

What have you done for YOU today?