One Day in Nashville: Culture, Food, and Fun 

Yesterday was so much fun. My cousin Stephanie is in town so we wanted to show her around some of our favorite places! Here is a run down of our day of local eats and fun exploring! 

We started off at Sweet Biscuits, a locally owned, small business that serves breakfast. We bought several different types of gourmet biscuits to share- ham and cheese, three cheese spinach and bacon, cranberry orange, and chocolate chip. 

 

From there we headed down to the Nashville Farmers Market!! It was bustling with families and local vendors. We made our first stop at my dads favorite booth — the farm milk. We bought regular and chocolate milk there. (The chocolate milk is so rich and creamy, it’s more of a dessert. We are obsessed). Then we wandered through the food and local crafts. It was so pretty! The weather was perfect and somehow it instantly felt like Fall. The fresh veggies, hay bales, and corn stalks set the perfect scene! Also, Nolie somehow slept through our entire time there! After wandering the booths and watching some live music we walked along the timeline monument that’s in the nearby Bicentennial Capital Mall State Park! It’s a beautiful area with gorgeous greenery and several different monuments and statues, including a “natural” amphitheater. The sunny skies, slight breeze, and laughing family made my heart so thankful.  

 

Next we jumped in the car so my dad could take us on a new adventure. We watched out the car window as the downtown skyline faded and we ended up on Nolensville road. After a somewhat sketchy stop for gas, we ended up at a place called Plaza Mariachi. (I’m including a link to their website here because I can’t even explain how cool it was!!) Apparently it’s an old Kroger that they renovated to look like a traditional Mexican outdoor market plaza. It has live music, these hanging curtain dancers, and fun vendors with tasty food! We tried the nachos at one place and a unique honey pizza at another. We also tried some fancy smoothie drinks with fresh fruit and then house made ice cream! There was so much to see and do. It was a seriously fun time. I can’t wait for Michael and I to have our next date night there! I’m definitely going to be taking him for the salsa night.  

 

After we watched a show (which happen in the main plaza throughout the day and is free) we took Stephanie to our last stop, the Shoppes on Fatherland. It’s a thriving new area of East Nashville that is dedicated to local business. We love it! We always go to this one store on the block that sells the coolest basalmic vinegars. Dad has become a sort of collector. Then we wandered around a few other stores, including one shop owned by a blogger I love!! It’s called the Shine Project. She employs inner city, first generation college student to make jewelry, of which the profits go into their college fund. Y’all have to check her out! 
After we finished up there we headed back home. We made delicious pasta and half baked cookies with ice cream. Seriously, it was an A+ kind of day.  



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“Pink-A-Boo” 

Having a baby girl is amazing for a thousand reasons… but one huge one is the adorable clothes! It’s like having a little doll to dress up everyday. (But with a lot more drool). Luckily my sweet girl doesn’t mind all the bows and frills. In fact, when she is bored I just change her outfits and put her in front of the mirror and she stares with wonder! It’s so cute to watch her realize that it’s herself in the mirror every time. 

My current favorite outfit is one of her pajama sets by Kate Spade. I think the soft pink and white make her look so cuddly! 


I also love the detailing. There are pink bows on the sleeves and then adorable ruffles on her cute booty.  It’s so precious!! The shirt reads “pink-a-boo” and the pants have clouds and sheep.  This is definitely one that I’ll keep for her to pass on to her future daughter.  


She’s just too cute not to post a hundred pictures of! Hopefully this adorable, smart girl has brightened your day! 


//Pajama Set: Kate Spade // Doll: Target // Pillow: Target // Bow: Carters 

Labor Day Weekend Getaway 

This past weekend we traveled the 414 miles (one way) down to my cousins Stephanie & Joey’s house! It was so much fun to see my cousins, aunt, and uncle. We took the baby and my sister, Makayla, along and had a total blast.  

We got there late Thursday night and basically went straight to sleep. Friday was the perfect lazy day to just hang around the house.  We also made an exciting trip to a nearby shopping center with a Super Target … inside we found actual gold- a pink teepee with a matching teepee for dolls by the doll company, Our Generation. We immediately got it! (And a $4 clearance swimsuit that will hopefully fit Nolie next year). We were so pumped! That night we ate out at a place called the Afton Tavern. It was delicious! Seriously, next time we visit we’re going back. I had a quesadilla and Michael had a burger.  Both were awesome, however, the best part was the giant cookie skillet! Then when we got home we set up our teepee!! Steph and I had a serious blast. It was so fun. 


(Low quality pic, high quality family bonding) 

Saturday we slept in. I needed it after staying up late giggling and talking with Stephanie.  Michael and Joey started our day when they went and picked up some doughnuts. Then we slowly got ready and then headed out to do a low key walk around the greenway at the University of North Carolina. It was gorgeous outside and that made the day incredibly fun. 

 Afterwards, Michael headed off with my sister, uncle, and Joey to a local comic book store! The rest of us headed home for naps. (Man, I can’t believe I’m old enough to be in the group that has to go home and sleep to funaction hahah). Then we all helped to make dinner! Michael grilled chicken and shrimp while I prepped the veggie. Stephanie and my uncle Jon put together an amazing alfredo sauce from scratch.  It turned out nothing short of delicious.  That night we ate a few too many desserts while watching the BYU game- they were destroyed. 

// Aunt Stephanie 

Matching outfits! // shirt & shorts: Old Navy // shoes: Birkenstock // Nolie’s shirt & bow: Carter’s // Nolie’s shorts: Cat and Jack by Target 


Sunday we headed off to church (Nolie screamed every time I tried to sit down, so that was fun.  We spent the rest of the day laughing, telling stories, and just enjoying each other! We grilled dinner, walked the neighborhood, and settled in with the most mouth watering lemon dessert to watch movies. 


(that stank face, goodness child) //dress: Old Navy // cardigan: New York & Company // shoes: Old Navy // Nolie’s dress: Janie & Jack // Nolie’s bow: Carter’s

Labor Day started slow- (are you noticing a common trend)? We packed and then headed out with the cousins to IKEA.  Michael has a serious love for that store – and I can’t help but feel like it’s a lot of fun too!  We picked up a cute play table and chairs that I’m going to DIY for Nolie’s playroom.  We ate in their funky cafeteria too. It was seriously so much fun! It was hard to say goodbye, but we headed home that afternoon.  

It was such a great, relaxing trip.  I’m so thankful that I’m so close to my family! It was an awesome weekend. Shout out to my darling husband for taking us! 

Hand-Me-Down Sunday Best 

In case you hadn’t heard- hand me downs are the coolest. This past Sunday my sweet girl wore my old Sunday dress and shoes. It was incredibly precious! My heart was seriously melting. I am so thankful that my parents saved it (and a few others) for me. (Don’t mind her frowns, she was fighting sleep after being wide awake the entire church service and also kicking down a candlestick on a nearby table which caused the entire congragation to turn around and stare). 

// dress: Rebellion // Nolie’s dress: mommy’s memory box 


I think it’s so special. I am determined to keep a few of my favorite outfits, as well as my old clothing, for her future daughter! I think it would be amazing to keep that family history. 
That said, Nolie recently moved from her newborn to 0-3 month sized clothing. It’s been hard deciding what to keep and what to donate or give away! Even though I know we want one or two more kids, I don’t necessarily want to hold on to everything. If we don’t have another girl we will have BOXES AND BOXES of clothing. As of right now, we just don’t have the space- and the clothes keep on coming. My current method is to donate the clothes that didn’t work well for Nolie. For example, sleeper gowns. She HATED them. So I’m not necessarily attached to them! Besides that… the clothes are really just accumulating! 
Do you have any suggestions for how to decide what to keep? I would love to hear it! Comment below. 

The Third Annual Peach Festival 

Yesterday Michael and I took little Nolie to her first little festival! The Peach Truck hosted an event with live music, food trucks, face painting, local vendors, and … PEACHES! It was so much fun. We started off rocky when I accidentally gave Michael directions to the wrong farmers market.  However, once we finally got there it was so much fun. 

There were several local vendors.  We saw some companies we love like the Frothy Monkey and Baby & Company. However, we also were introduced to a ton of new finds! It was a great experience.  

I think the highlight of our time though was buying our bag of peaches! Michael had one for breakfast and said it was wonderful. 

 
I’m so happy that we got to take the little one out on such a gorgeous night. Also, I won’t lie.  It was fun having people gush over the baby everywhere we were! She was so good and didn’t fuss once. She just had wide open eyes watching everything! I can’t wait for next year. I think we found a new family tradition. 

The First Moment I Felt Like a Parent

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In every friend group there is the “mom” friend. The friend that has extra snacks, a bandaid, and two bottles of hand sanitizer in her purse at all times. This friend is me. I’m the friend who can’t help but fold your laundry if I see it out. (Not because I don’t think you can, it’s just a reflex). I am the friend who is forever the designated driver, who worries you’ll be kidnapped if you use dating apps, and who feels the need to cook you food if you seem sick.
However, now I am actually a “real” mom!! So many people have asked if I feel any different. If I feel like a parent. In some ways I feel the same! But in a lot of ways I do feel different. Several people have asked when I felt like a parent for the first time, when it hit me.
In my post about Nolie’s birth I mentioned that I was dishcharged a full day before her. This was because when they came in Friday night to run some tests they discovered she was jaundice. I’m not a doctor, and I really didn’t understand everything they said. However, basically her body had too much of something which can cause brain damages if levels get too high. They told us to strip her down to just a diaper and we put her in this plastic crib. She was laying on top of a UV light and there was one above her as well. She had to wear this little headgear to protect her eyes. Let me just tell you- Nolie hated it. Oh she hated it so much! The second you put her down she would begin to scream at the top of her lungs. It was non stop. It was the most heart wrenching sound I had ever heard.
Every three hours we could take her out and feed her, they gave me a max of thirty minutes each time. The second I pulled her to me she immediately stopped crying. She didn’t make a single sound. I could feel her whole body relax and she would immediately fall into a deep sleep, exhausted from the non stop wailing. I couldn’t even get her to stay awake to eat. (I ended up having to pump and Michael syringe fed her. She seriously was so worn out).
After several hours I found myself sitting in the dark in a rolling desk chair. Michael was trying to sleep. I had my head leaned up against the plastic with my hand slid under the light, trying to soothe her. This was the hardest moment. I knew if I just took her out and held her that her screams would silence. No one would know, the nurses wouldn’t be back for hours. However, I knew for her health she needed to be under that light.
I was suddenly reminded of a time I got in trouble with my dad. I don’t remember what for and I don’t remember what the punishment was other than I was devastated. I remember my dad looking at me with sad eyes and telling me that he didn’t want to, but he had to punish me for my own good. I think I had gotten grounded and I desperately wanted it to be lifted for a night for something that at the time felt incredibly important. I couldn’t comprehend why if he didn’t want to punish me and I didn’t want to be punished, why were we still talking about it!
The answer was that he was instilling in me a great understanding of consequences that has served me well every day of my life. He taught me to trust his word – whether he promises to take me to the movies or that if I missed curfew I would be punished. He had to play an un-fun role so that I could grow.
Sometimes being a good parent means you don’t get to be your kid’s friend and that’s okay. Sometimes being a parent means that you have to follow through with something, even if it breaks your heart because the most important thing is the long term physical and moral development of your child.
Listening to my brand new baby scream with such vigor absolutely broke my heart. I just cried and cried because it felt like I could feel her fear and pain. I have never felt more helpless. I knew I could short term fix it in a second, but I couldn’t do that. She was under that light for 23 hours and I’ve never been so emotionally spent. It took everything in me to leave her laying there screaming. I think that is the first time I truly felt like a parent.

DIY Gold Frames 

I really wanted some gold frames to match the accenting on our ADORABLE target lamp. It was surprisingly hard to find a matching shade of gold though! I didn’t want anything too shiny.  So we decided to try spray painting some IKEA frames we had bought a few years ago.

I put it off for a few weeks because I was extremely nervous about it. I have never spray painted anything before! But eventually we went down to Joanne’s and bought Design Master Color Tool spray paint in Antique Gold. We also picked up some sandpaper.


Michael was the true MVP of this product. He did most of the manual labor. First we opened the frames and took the matting and glass out. Then Michael sanded the frames down. I was worried because I thought they were plastic. It turns out they were wood with just a weird plastic paint on top! Perfect for spray painting after we finished sanding.

We then spread out newspaper and Michael sprayed the frames. (I tried and it ended up a little globby… ) They sat out to dry for literally twenty minutes. Then we put the glass back in, “windex”-ed it and then hung! It took like an hour, and they are perfect! I am so pleased with how they turned out. It was a great way to incorporate more gold into the living room without doing anything drastic.


Special shout out to my super talented husband who pretty much did all the work on this. I  love you!! Also, photos framed are by SwakPhotography.