Nashvillagers

 

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This past March was my dad’s 70th birthday, and my sisters and I celebrated by taking him to Nashville (similar to the Charleston trip we made with our mom back in October). My father has gotten pretty deep into genealogy research and discovering distant relatives, so he was stoked on heading to Nashville as his ancestors hailed from Tennessee. #TheOnlyTenISee 😉

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We started off at the Ryman Auditorium, the ORIGINAL Grand Ole Opry, with a show from the Gatlin Brothers! It was really neat to sit in the original auditorium pews where many others enjoyed their favorite country and western singers from so long ago. We even did a backstage tour and hungout in Johnny Cash’s old room. My dad was so excited!

30222221_10111451093503700_4163321834030639112_nBEYOND cool.

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The main thing my dad wanted to do was genealogy research, so we headed to the Tennessee state archives for a deep dive into the history of Blount County, on a search for Cindarella Davis. We made memories that I’ll cherish forever ❤ …and if you’ve never been to a state archive, I highly suggest!

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One thing we weren’t expecting was the absurdly cold weather in April (it snowed one day!) so we opted for a tour of the Belle Meade Plantation to take advantage of being indoors. We learned that they bred horses, including the famous Bonnie Scotland, descendant of the majority of Derby winning horses! (What a crazy horse family tree that would be… 😉 ) Also the Derby used to be in Tennessee and only moved to Kentucky because of a law that outlawed horse betting in TN in the early 1900s. Oh and they made terrible wine and decent spirits, but the wine pourer HATED us…. HA ha ha.

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I LOVED our AirBnb house in East Nashville! It’s the sort of Bungalow meets Victorian style home of my dreams and I can’t wait to buy something similar someday. Our neighborhood was ADORABLE and we were even in walking distance (3 blocks) to the gayest, diviest bar around Nashville and had a phenomenal karaoke night out at Lipstick Lounge.

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It was so nice to have some quality time with dad as we stuffed ourselves with artisan donuts, southern fried chicken, BEER, and all the fixins! Eating out at The Flipside (must order the bloody mary) and The Mockingbird (cough cough GET THE COCKTAIL IN A BAG – you won’t regret it) were the most memorable and delish!

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Drinking in honkytonks were a BLAST and made me really question whether or not Austin was really the live music capital of the world….I really felt like I saw so many talented singers and groups all over town, on every floor of every available bar. Bachelorette and bachelor parties EVERYWHERE though, heads up.

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It was cold but these boots kept me fashionable AND warm 🙂

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I had a great time, TN! I hope to come back someday in the WARM WEATHER and swim in some water holes, hike, and also head towards Memphis to Dollywood…. SOME DAY.

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City By The Bay

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It’s well known that San Francisco is gorgeous AF. We really are spoiled here, between the rolling mountains, wine country, ocean and bay, amazing Victorian architecture and more, it’s no wonder SF is one of the most sought out places to live in the world and why I thank my lucky stars that I have rent control.

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But if you aren’t a local there are many other unique and interesting things that make SF eclectic….like:

  • Hanging out “in the park” is what everyone does – there are parks EVERYWHERE, and it’s a perfectly logical thing to get together at one of them (Golden Gate, Alamo Square, Dolores, Crissy Field – many more!) and picnic ALL DAY, day drink, play games, or even smoke on the weekends.
  • There are more costumed events here than in any other city! Bay to breakers, the binge drinking event built around wearing costumes and walking a running race route, is the biggest costumed event in the Bay all year.  Of course there is also Halloween, but there are many themed bar crawls and events that require costumes at all times of the year (Victorian ball, anyone?!), no one bats an eyelash when seeing many people dressed up (or even nude, as we are the biggest nude town in America as well).
  • It’s perfectly acceptable for vendors to walk around parks, selling edibles and their baked good treats like brownies and truffles, for consumption in public.
  • Apparently, as I learned on a documentary show on Vice called Slutever (omg great name BTW) that there are weed oriented sex products and parties on the reg in the Bay. I’ve lived here 10 years and never knew that, but now I do and am not surprised one bit!

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I love this goober’s smile ❤ R E S P E C T

Whether or not you want to partake in any of those things, the Bay is a CHILL place to be, where you can be a mermaid any day of the week and no one would think that is strange. I love this big weirdo of a town! ❤

Jumpin’ Jack Flash – It’s (almost) SPRING!

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We made it! Daylight savings has come and and now we have extra light outside! I am so glad because having darkness after work for a good 4-5 months straight up SUCKS. We live pretty close to Golden Gate Park and I enjoy a good jogging jaunt after work most of the time, so when it’s annoyingly dark outside for months on end – I need to get creative on how to hit my steps. I’ve resorted to running before work (if I can) which is a struggle because I’m not a morning person! GAHHH.

But alas…SPRING!

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Pink and purple pastels! ICE CREAM! Cherry blossoms! BEING ABLE TO WATCH THE SUNSET AT 8-9pm! It’s all happening y’all … ❤

BTW – I’ve been loving this designer Hayley Elsaesser from Toronto. I found her through Instagram and bought this bold sweater dress late last year; I LOVE her funky style. Finding new designers and small business owners through Instagram is something that I thoroughly enjoy, and if it’s run by a woman – DOPE! Support small business owners!

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We have some spring travel plans coming up including a weekend in Carmel, a wedding weekend in the Santa Cruz mountains, and a trip to Nashville. Gotta get some rest in to catch up on my lost hour of sleep.

K bye!

¡Viva México! #tequilastrikesback

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At the end of January a big ole gaggle of girls headed out to Los Barriles, about an hour drive north from San Jose del Cabo, to celebrate our bride to be Kate! I had never officially been to Mexico before, only border towns, and was ready for some girl time in a new place. Kate asked me to be in her wedding last year and we are getting really close to the whole 9 yards! Their wedding is coming up at the end of the month in the mountains of Santa Cruz.

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While I’ve been in all 3 of my sisters weddings growing up (when I was 9, 14, and 23) I haven’t been in a friends wedding and haven’t had that whole adult wedding party experience (my sister’s bachelorette party when I was 23 though…one of the weirdest chain of events I’ve experienced in my family).

But #tequilastrikesback was all about a chill house in the middle of January in Mexico, in a remote town. We danced to silly 80s songs (thank you Whitney and Janet) and had the BEST food prepared for us by the sweetest ladies! When food is made with love, it tastes even better ❤

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Look at them wigs! WIG POWER.

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I live here now…k thanks. DREAM HOUSEEEEE ❤ ❤ ❤

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Coconut chic.

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We rented ATVs and drove down the beach to the closest town, had lunch, and explored a little through some shopping. I was nervous, not gonna lie, about the ATVs toppling over on the sand but luckily that didn’t happen and we all lived happily ever after! PLUS I got the best Michelada of my lyfe!!!

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Some strange Barbie collection that I stumbled upon in a random store in town. Gotta love that Amidala Star Wars doll right in the middle there…. Kate and Josh are obsessed with Star Wars so she opted for the #tequilastrikesback hashtag and coincidentally pointed out that doll out to me. HA!

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Me, in the rear-view mirror, trying to get an artistic shot along the bumpy road.

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And our bride to be, Kate, in her happy place. I had a lovely time and made some new friends with some rad ladies! Butttt I could have done without the Federales stopping our car, searching it with ginormous guns, and taking photos of us unknowingly. Luckily we didn’t have to pay any bribes and safely made it to the airport where we proceeded to have another round of drinks to relax. LOL. #isurvivedmexico2018

Until next international trip!

 

 

 

33 And Me

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEE ❤ . Last Friday I turned 33 years old and had a big ole Olympic themed birthday extravaganza to celebrate. It was a special birthday and the vibrations were high on life! Maybe because of the energy of the Olympics, since it comes every 4 years, but things felt great and now I’m even older than I was before.

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I’m aging like a fine wine and some things that I’ve really started to love in my 30s are:

  • Staying in to cuddle / play with my cat. Yes I am a cat lady and have always been. But I didn’t get Beatrix until about 3-4 years ago. My 20s were all about exploring events, meeting new people, finding things outside of my home to occupy my time. I wanted to have my own cat for many years before I finally did it, and I’m glad I waited because I don’t think I would have had the full 20s social experience that was mine here in one of the biggest cities in the country. Plus my cat rules so hanging out with her is always a win in my book! I think it makes me MORE creative…
  • Habitually reading before bed / going to bed at a reasonable hour / getting up earlier in the day. YES. I know. I am NOT a morning person by any means. However getting up around 8am on a Saturday morning to make tea and head to an early yoga or boot-camp class…SIGN ME UP. I love being productive earlier in the day and relaxing at night. And the crazy books I’ve been getting into lately….MORE PLEASE!
  • Realizing that food / drinking / lack of sleep affects my body differently now. You have to change your habits from your 20s because they make you feel like ass in your 30s. It might sound sad to you if you are in your twenties now, but believe me it’s not sad at all. In the last few months I’ve realized a LOT about my health and patterns that I needed to change, and honestly I LOVE FEELING PHYSICALLY good!
  • Personal / life reflection. I’ve been really introspective in the last year. 32 was a super challenging year for me emotionally, realizing things about myself that I wasn’t very aware of in the past. I believe it’s always good to be open and honest about who you are and where you want to go. Sometimes you can’t get there without letting go of some baggage.
  • Wanting more podcasts and documentaries. YES. I never thought I would not listen to music regularly or want to watch something scripted, but LEARNING is where it’s at in your 30s my friends. WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF REAL LIFE STORIES!

 

IMG_1036.jpgI can haz Rick & Morty?!

We are all unique individuals who live on this rotating planet, on the third rock from the sun (anyone else here grow up watching that gem??) and it’s a pleasure that shouldn’t be taken for granted. I MADE IT ANOTHER YEAR! I get to learn even more crazy things I like about myself and evolve! Here’s to many new adventures in 33 🙂

 

 

February Vibes

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It’s Groundhog’s Day and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow earlier this morning. What a strange tradition we have, waking this little guy up consistently at dawn every February 2nd and have him predict the weather. Why him? WHY NOT A GIRL GROUNDHOG?  6 MORE WEEKS OF WINTER?! All that really means for the Bay is more rain, but the next two weeks are completely clear and sunny for us soooo maybe Phil isn’t a genius? I kid I kid…I love that we have this weird annual ordeal (and it IS AN ORDEAL people! Have you ever watched it on TV?! I wanna go!!) and I will also not pass up an opportunity to watch Ground Hog’s Day starring THE BEST comedic actor of our time – Mr. Bill Murray!

Anyways – February is one of my favorite months. I would say it’s a toss up with October, but I love Halloween so much that it usually wins. But the energy in February is where it’s at. January is pretty slow, a time to reflect and start new habits and take it easy from the busy holiday period. January is awesome if you are an introvert, or an introverted extrovert, but February is when people start coming out of their cocoons and you’re like WHO DIS? ❤

Best things about February:

  • Groundhog’s Day, DUH
  • It’s my birth month! And John’s! And my nephews! And my sister’s! And like 100 of my friends and like MILLIONS of other people! (seriously, EVERYONE has birthdays in February and I share my actual birthday with my nephew, and have same birth week as my sis, so I never felt like it was MY BIRTHDAY growing up. That whole, THIS IS MY BIRTH WEEK thing? NOPE. Do y’all have a lot of Febby babies in your lives too or is that just me?)
  • My love-hate relationship for Valentine’s Day! Seriously, I like the idea of Valentine’s Day, but I HATE the marketing around it. And I hated the way Valentine’s Day made me feel when I was single, like I was supposed to be on some cosmic date that SHOULD have been the best night of my lifeeee. But in reality I would go to the movies alone and LOVE every minute of it or I would meet up for dinner with another single gal pal. I also hate the restaurant culture of Valentine’s Day, with the special pre-fix menu BS. They hike up the prices and the wait times are like 1000x longer than normal for a table and it’s so annoying because MARKETING TOLD US TO DO THIS Y’ALL! Buttt at the end of the day, I know I’m lucky for my main squeeze and don’t need Valentine’s Day to remind me of how we should be treating each other. We always opt for making dinner together, usually some sort of pasta dish, and snuggle while watching some crazy movie marathon or something with our cat. Awwww. I will say though, the BEST part of Valentine’s Day are the cute red and pink dresses for sale – I would love to have that year round!
  • My love-love relationship for Galentine’s Day! YAS QUEEN! Celebrate those badass female friendships in your life all while nodding your praise for Parks and Rec – I’m all about that! ❤
  • Black History Month – there are so many awesome documentaries are out there and I am always eager to learn more.
  • President’s Day Weekend – BUILT IN LONG WEEKEND PERFECT FOR A RANDOM TRIP, sign me up!
  • Spring clothes start to come out to all of the stores and the days get longer! (time change is around the corner I can feeeeel it!)

What do you love about February?

 

It’s the Lands End Of the World as We Know It

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As January comes to a close I reflect over the past 31 days with fondness. January felt really awesome in a lot of ways! Did you feel that too, or was it just me? From slowing down and being more available “with myself” to incorporating more yoga into my routine to FINALLY getting a DSLR and embarking on a new hobby (and goal) –  I feel very pleased with how 2018 has blasted off. Nope, I didn’t watch the State of the Union Address either because I am focusing on things that make me happy at this time in my life, but I heard about the crazy drinking games surrounding it and I think that WOULD be the only way I could have watched it tbh… but let’s move on to the BEAUTIFUL LEFT COAST!

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Just creepin’ around….INTO YOUR SOUL.

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Lands End is one of my favorite places for a nice trail walk in the city. It’s at the edge of the city (hence the name Lands End…DUH) right where the cliffs meet the ocean and the thick fog meets the gorgeous forest. It’s not super close to our house but also not too far either. It’s a great way to enjoy the outdoors without having to drive away from the city or embark on a strenuous 8 mile hike. Or as I would say, lazy nature. ❤

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I am really getting into this photography thing and I’m also pleasantly surprised that John is taking a liking to it too, maybe even more so than me! But that’s all good news because #instagramhusband and all. (Who else is going to take my picture to prove that I’m a #realblogger? 😉 )

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Look at the surfers from way up top! They look like ants. The ocean is like a center for ants….

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This view is so gorgeous. The west coastline takes my breath away for real. When I get overstimulated, I take a walk outside, find a park, breathe in the fresh crisp air, and think about all of the things that I am grateful for, like THIS CITY OMFG Y’ALL!!!!!

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And what a perfect flower to stumble upon at the end of our walk, SPRING IS COMING and I’m taking it all in! But right now, let’s live for today and focus on what is in front of us…like BIRTH MONTH FEBRUARY – HOLLA! ❤