Monday, September 11, 2023

Nashville Favorite Spots

I had the pleasure and luck to visit Nashville TWICE this September. 
The first was over Labor Day weekend for my birthday with girlfriends and the second was the end of the month for a friend's stunning wedding. I could go on for hours and hours about the city and my thoughts but I'll stick with my top spots and tips and why! 


First and foremost, this is the perfect hotel to stay at for a girls trip. Hands down. The aesthetics, the attention to detail, THE PINK!, the Dolly Parton inspirations, the glittery wallpaper and cowboy boot carpets and light fixtures, and more. We were SO happy to have picked this hotel.
The lobby when you walk in. It's a tapestry- just so fun and unique. 
Even the coffee shop in the lobby is "extra". I mean, the chandeliers. Can you even?!

The lobby decor is so unique and has such a fun twist on style. 

These couches and loveseats set up as stadium seating were adorable and a very popular spot to sit. 

The vintage signage when you walk in adds some fun character too.

 Even at night it's just gorgeous!

We had a junior king suite and the attention to detail was so fun. Not only the painting of Dolly Parton over the bed, but there's a mini chandelier inside the headboard top. Different textures, stripes on floral on more stripes, and PINK, so much pink!!

Look closely at the mirror- under the bird, do you see the two guitars?! Everywhere there were hidden details. I don't think we found them all, although we surely tried!
The rooftop has the Governor's Pool. It's small, but if you have a few people, book (and pay!) for your pool time. They only allow 24 people in the 3 hour block of time. You either get lounge chairs, a day bed (we had this), or a bench (so glad we did NOT have that- it was tiny!) 
The pool is not heated but you're greeted with a cocktail and have a $25 credit for food and drinks while you're there.  Our server, Kent, made our morning pool time extra awesome! 

You're greeted with a mimosa or beverage of your choice upon arrival. Terrible, just awful I tell ya. LOL.

We had a daybed for the four of us and it was perfect! 
Important to note- the pool is not heated, so on a hot summer day it's glorious yet also refreshing. 

We did this a lot. Cheers!

On my first trip, we stopped for drinks and to browse the stunning lobby. 
On my second trip, we are staying here. 
Stay tuned for a blog update after that trip!


Dinner here was so fun and delicious! We had so many things we wanted to try and share but kept it simple. We were in the back dining room and were so glad- we could still talk AND enjoy the music from the band in the main section. Highly recommend that room if you want to talk at all, otherwise you can't hear anyone but the band. 
All of our cocktails were amazing. We had the steak frites (delish), lobster lemon pasta (also delish but heavy) and several of the sushi rolls (the 1230 roll was the best!) 
However, one dish I MUST recommend is their baked potato bread - we would've ordered one for each us if we knew how amazing it was ahead of time!!  

I will be completely honest. It is absolutely gorgeous. It's stunning, The decor and aesthetic is just remarkable. The food is fine. The service is solid. The drinks are delish. BUT it is totally an instaworthy location. It is insanely difficult to get into (reservations open 14 days before your date at 6pmCST and you have to be ready at 5:59 or you're out of luck) 
The outside is first come first served but if it's hot, you'll be miserable. The bar is also first come first served and its small. The entire place is not as big as it seems but it's adorable. We went once and checked it off the list. I'd only go back for a drink to sit on the roof deck. You also have a time limit and they are strict! Depending on where you sit it's either 90 minutes or 2 hours. 
The patio that's first come first served is so cute. The attention to detail is amazing, I mean, the pink umbrellas with fringe, I can't even. 

The inside includes a few tables and a LOT of adorable sitting areas like this. So be prepared you might not get a real table and chairs. We did, but that wasn't our original spot. I can't imagine eating eggs benedict on a large circle bed!

A Sean Brock restaurant, a James Beard award winner, and a dining experience. You have the choice between an 8 or 16 course tasting menu (we did the 8, it was plenty) and every step of your evening is memorable. You walk in to an introduction of the menu focal points and some information on each. That was the best part honestly! 

Each course has that focal point and they were SO accommodating to my friend who's a pescatarian (they subbed out the meat in 2 courses for a fish/seafood/vegetarian focus)  
It is a pricey dinner but it's not a dinner, it's a full dining experience. We were there for 3 and a half hours and probably could have stayed even longer! 

The kitchen was right by our table so we could watch it all happen! The open format is just the icing on the cake!

I had easily one of the best steaks ever here. Hands down. And we go out A LOT. 
Not only were the steaks fantastic, but the ambiance, the staff, the cocktails, everything about it was a 10 out of 10! 

The views are 10 out of 10. Everyone said they have the best views of Nashville and it is 110% true! 

Lots of cheersing! 

The cocktails here were some of the best we've had. 

How do you say no to a tableside old fashioned?! 

More cheersing! 


We weren't fans of the downstairs part, it was very young and since it's right on the street level of Broadway, on weekend nights you'll watch a lot of fights, brawls, and honestly things we're just past that stage for. HOWEVER, we loved loved LOVED The Supper Club, it's the second floor. You *should* have a reservation but you can walk in and hang in the bar area. There's also a  dress code on that level so make note. 
The live band was amazing and super fun and the food upstairs there was fantastic (see info above) I cannot wait to go back again. Was a top pick on our first trip and we were so glad it was our first night, it gave us a true taste of Nashville and the music scene.    

This is a fun bar/karaoke bar inside the Graduate Hotel. We had an absolute blast and we sooooo grateful it was in our hotel after a few failed attempts at other locations.  

Get tickets ahead of time, they say you don't need tickets but you do. 

Don't. Just don't. 

We were not able to go but it was one of the top spots recommended by every local we spoke to. It's in Painter's Alley and on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 11pm they have a burlesque show- you can get in starting at 9 and it's first come first serve. They also have live jazz other nights as well. 
We absolutely loved our tour with Sean. When we got there, he customized it for our group and even gave us some spots we would never have thought of ourselves!! Cannot recommend doing this more. This was the top pick of one of my friends who came on the trip.  
Our main man, Sean, he made our last day in the city so memorable. Entertaining by far, incredibly knowledgeable about the city, and so many random fun finds we'd never heard of!

A mural we absolutely loved, another Sean share! 

Tennessee Whiskey & Jack Daniels tasting!
My favorite, Ole Smokey, has a full tasting room in Nashville. We LOVED our time there!

The Dolly mural with Miley Cyrus in her lap was one of our favorites, we'd never heard about it. Thanks to Sean we had a lot of these "never heard about" finds!

Did you really go to Nashville if you didn't take this pic?! 
What are your go to spots in Nashville? I feel like you could visit every month for years and always find somewhere new and fantastic!  
And I had a bunch of requests for links to my outfits from the trip... here's what I can share: 
My white dress is from the Love Shack Fancy collection from Target a few years ago. 
My colorful caftan is from Sara Joy
My red lace blouse is from Tuckernuck
My blue and white striped dress is from Banana Republic last year. This is the new version here
My hot pink dress is about ten years old from Ted Baker that I stole from a friend.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Disney Tips from the Non-Disney Mom

Before I start, allow me to preface this with I am NOT a Disney mom. I don't dream of trips to Disney all the time, I don't go every year, it's just not a trip I do often or even plan to do often. Drop me and my family on a beach and we're gold. BUT my son is now 7 and loves the characters, the songs, the movies, and everything Disney and truly is at the perfect age to experience the "magic" of Disney. And that we did.

I recently shared in my Facebook group how we were going to Disney and while I received a lot of tips and tricks, I also have a ton of friends who are Disney gurus and planners so I pulled from them as well. Born and raised in Florida, Disney World was just over an hour from my home so if we didn't have something to do we'd just hop in the car and go for the day. But times surely have changed from the 1980s Disney to now. Here are some top tips and hope they help you on your trip to the happiest (and most expensive) place on Earth! 

Overall tips:

The App. Download it. The best part of the app is it shows you the live wait times at all of the rides in every park. So you can open and see how bad the lines are at any given time. You can also find where characters are and if there's a line.  

Magic Bands. Get them. It made everything so much easier. Even for my 7-year-old. You can scan into the parks each day but you can also link payment to them to buy food and drinks and souvenirs without needing to reach into your bag. 

GeniePlus. This was a thorn in my side because I said I wasn't going to do it. So we did not do it day one. But days 2, 3, and 4 we did. It ended up between $50-60 additional each day for our family to utilize but there were a few rides that we (the parents) wanted to be sure our son go to do and it was just easier to pay the extra money to skip a 2 hour line to do so. Here's the deal with GeniePlus. First, you cannot purchase it until day of. So, at 12:01am you can buy it. BUT you cannot book anything for the day until 7am. So, at 6:59am TONS of people are on the app trying to book their rides. You can only book ONE ride at a time and cannot book the next one until after you're scanned into your first booked ride. For example, at 7am I was able to get a Lightning Lane (what the GeniePlus gets you into) for the Test Track ride for 9:10am. That LL could be used between 9:10-10:10. Once I got to that ride and all of us were scanned into the ride, I could THEN go and book the next LL for another ride via the app. While it is annoying to have to pay additionally for this, it ended up being worth it in the end. 

Reusable Water Bottle. Bring one for everyone in your family, buying water there is $$$. There's places to fill your water bottle all throughout the park. You'll save a fortune. 

Popcorn Bucket. Buy a refillable popcorn bucket on day one, then refill it for two bucks the rest of your trip. Best affordable snack option we did. And, at Epcot, in Canada, they have maple butter popcorn! 

Park Hopper. Get at least one day of a park hopper pass and hit up Magic Kingdom a second time. This is my biggest and best tip: skip the fireworks the second time at MK and hit up allll the rides while people are prepping for the fireworks and watching them. We rode 14 rides in under 2 hours!! Every ride we missed the first day because lines were too long we got to ride when we skipped the fireworks, some twice! We walked directly onto Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan, Little Mermaid, Small World, Magic Carpets, Barnstormer, Buzz, and more without waiting even 30 seconds. It was phenomenal!

Celebration Pin. Whatever you're there to celebrate, a birthday, anniversary, first visit, whatever reason, get a free pin when you get there day one and rock it. Disney wants to celebrate you. Ness wore his birthday pin every day and it was so sweet to hear the birthday wishes (and songs) all week!  

Plans. Don't have them. Seriously. Make a few reservations for meals but don't rush to make it to this ride or that character. Just go, have fun, enjoy the time, and watch the magic light up your child's face and experience the true joy Disney can bring. 


Spring Roll Cart. Hands down our favorite snack in this park. It's at the entrance to AdventureLand and they have cheeseburger spring rolls. Get them, and the sauce to dip. There's always a line for a reason. 

Be Our Guest. We went for a 10:15am rez and it was very good but we heard dinner is fantastic. Beast is there and the decor is exceptional and the servers were the best of anywhere we ate! But definitely a one time thing, we won't do it again.  

Liberty Tree Tavern, next door is a Christmas shop, pop in and grab yourself a souvenir ornament. 

Sweets & Treats. We did not do this as we couldn't get a reservation for it, but it was highly recommended by a ton of people. It's pricey but worth it because you get a table to watch the fireworks from and unlimited desserts.

Character Parade. Definitely grab a spot to watch it. It's glorious!

Snacks: Cheshire Cat Tail (near tea cups). Lava You Float. Nutella & Fruit Waffle in Sleepy Hollow. Dole Whip. Mickey Ear Ice Cream. Mickey pretzel.    


Nomad's Lounge. Stop by before lunch and put your name on their list. It's usually a few hours of a wait but they text you when your table is ready. Ask to sit outside along the river. Characters go by on boats for the kids and their cocktails are exceptional for the parents. Plus, comfy chairs and overstuffed outdoor couches are fantastic for a break from 24,000 steps a day.

Tusker House. We did this as our only character meal because we couldn't get into Chef Mickey. I personally prefer Chef Mickey for food and characters, plus it's smaller than Tusker House, but this was a great option for a delicious buffet and not being rushed.

Dole Whip. Get it. Twice.

Safari tour. Go in the morning, animals are more active and awake. Afternoon you'll see less. We went around 11am and saw almost every single animal up and active! 

Playground. There is a MASSIVE playground (and I mean MASSIVE) at Animal Kingdom that kids of all ages will enjoy. It's near dinosaur world so definitely make it a point to go there, let the kids go wild, and sit back to rest your feet! 

Snacks: Mr. Kamals seasoned fries. Night Blossom at Pandora. Street corn in the marketplace.  


France. Hands down my favorite country, we could've stayed there all day. The food, the drinks, the shopping, the ambiance, everything. 

Coral Reef is a fun dining experience because you're practically inside of the aquarium tank but the menu is very limited, especially for kids so just check it before you book it.

Snacks: Norway Lefse's bakery. France macaron ice cream sandwich. Ratatouille nutella crepes. France Les Halles Patisere every single thing. Test track food cart with cinnamon bites topped with candy bacon.   


Oga's Cantina. Try your darndest to get in. You're only allowed 45 minutes for your reservation so maximize it. The drinks are fantastic but the Star Wars decor and ambiance is like nothing you'll ever experience.

Star Wars. Everything Star Wars. It's mind blowing. And I've never seen a movie but was still blown away. Also, make note, Star Wars fans take it VERY seriously so just soak it all in. We saw a grown man cry when he met Chewbaka. I'm not joking.

50s Diner. Cousin Perry. Our best meal with best server was Cousin Perry at the 50s Diner. He was a riot, hysterical, and we almost took him home to be our au pair!

Skyliner. Go for a ride on it just because. Goes between a few resorts but also between Hollywood Studios and Epcot (lets you in the back of Epcot with no lines and right by France too!)   

Snacks: Backlot Express wookie cookie. Galaxy's Edge black spire cold brew. Woody's Lunch Box pop tart (a fav of ours!!)  

I hope these tips help you in planning your Disney trip! Got any tips of your own? Please share with me!    


Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Fashion Friday Revisited

Fashion Friday has been my favorite part of social media over the years. Each week on my Instagram page, I would take an item and style it 3 ways. Eventually, my friend Stacey joined me in the fun and our Fashion Fridays evolved from an item 3 ways to themes. Well, we recently took a little hiatus from it and are bringing it back, the old school way, in September! 

In honor of the return, I wanted to share a few of my favorites! 

Monochromatic looks all of the same colors always elevate a look. When we did white, I felt fancy! 

If you know me, you know I love a good stripe. This was when we styled our favorite stripe looks. I could wear stripes every day. 

Are we sensing a theme? It was stripes again! Actually, I think it was a red, white, and blue theme but obviously I had stripes on my mind. 

One of my favorite themes we did was brunch with my babes! These were what I would've worn for going out to brunch with my friends. Who doesn't love brunch?!

Another twist on brunch outfits was a girls night out outfit ideas. The faux leather leggings never fail as an option. 

Finally, a go to item in my closet that I have multiple colors of: joggers. They are an easy item to dress up or down and I turn to them often because, well, they have an elastic waist. Just... keeping it real folks. 

Are you excited to join us for Fashion Fridays again?! I hope so! 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

CT Hidden Gem: Townline Farm, Woodbridge

When we find a hidden gem, we can't help but shout it from the rooftops. Townline Farm in Woodbridge is just that, a pure hidden gem. 

We stumbled upon it this past weekend and not only were we in love, but also lucky we got them at a time in the day where they weren't crowded so we could find out so much about the farm. 

Cristian bought the 90-acre farm earlier this year. It is directly on the Woodbridge-Derby line. In fact, the line goes directly through his property. He even put up a cute little sign to let you know exactly where it is. 

They have a cute little spread of pumpkins. They're already picked so it's not a go-out-into-the-field-and-pick-your-own. Plus, a cute sign for the kids never hurt either. 

The corn maze was a HUGE hit for us. There are so many corn mazes out there these days and we find a lot of them are challenging with small kids. Honestly, the last thing I want to do is get lost in a corn maze with frustrated kids for over an hour. This one took us 25 minutes. There are 6 trivia questions in the maze and a map that is pretty easy to follow. 
Fair warning: if you give the map to your 5-year-old you'll likely get lost. Ha! 

There's also a cute hidden photo opportunity inside the corn maze!

Our favorite part was the tractor ride. Cristian takes you on a tractor ride and gives you a tour of the property, He tells you all about the plans of the property as well. So far this year they have had a fruit and vegetable garden, wildflower garden, the corn maze and pumpkins. His goal is to build up the farm to be a pork and beef supplier to the local community. This has been his lifelong dream. With his passion and drive, you'd never know he's in his early 20s! 

His property is stunning and it's being turned back into a fully functioning farm. He's cleared land to make an area for the cattle as well as pigs. He's also cleared land and started the plans for their barn. He also has trees prepped to make his own maple syrup! Be sure you and your family count the trees to see if you find them all on your ride! 

Be sure you bring your family to check it out. And definitely listen to Cristian tell the history of the property. It's incredibly fascinating. He's only the third owner in the 350 year history of the property. There's a path through his property where the soldiers came through on horseback during the revolution. It's educational yet also fascinating. Our 5-year-old actually enjoyed listening to him tell us all about it. THAT says a LOT! 

We can't wait to see all of his plans and dreams come to fruition. 

Did you really do a corn maze if you don't take a selfie in it?! 

Let me know what you think of Townline Farm after you visit. It truly is a hidden gem of Connecticut!