Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sweet Week

The past 7 days have been so busy, but also so full of blessings. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to celebrate them!

Last Sunday I FINALLY got to meet my dear friend's precious twins, Henry and Jackson. They were born January 22 in Denver and were visiting Atlanta for the first time.  I couldn't pass up the opportunity to see these completely UNIQUE boys and spend some quality time with my friend. I mean, aren't they just awesome?!
My only regret was not getting any pics with them! (I know I know... you'd think that would be an impossibility with me since I am constantly taking pics, but alas... I forgot.)

On Monday I left for a business trip to New Jersey/Philadelphia. My company is Canadian, but our US headquarters is located just outside Philly. It was a great few days with my team and even allowed for some adventures in Old City, hosted by my fantastic coworker Kieron.
Kieron's renovated flat in Old City is so charming!
 I simply adored the original windows
 and all the sunshine radiating through the space.

First stop of the evening was La Peg which is immediately adjacent to the Ben Franklin Bridge and Delaware River. It was the perfect night to sit outside and enjoy an ice cold drink!
Bridge details (est. 1926)
History is tucked away behind every corner in Philly.
As luck would have it, we managed to get in at Buddakan, a very popular modern Asian restaurant. We enjoyed various dim sum and flavorful Thai dishes. It was a great night!

When I returned to the showroom Thursday I was met with the most amazing gift from my colleague/partner in crime in Santa Monica. She had just returned from vacationing in Denmark and sent me the most thoughtful collection of Danish treasures. I was blown away by her kindness to me. Thanks Gols :)
Since I had been out of town for 3 days, Zach and I spent some quality time together in town, driving around looking at pretty houses and trying a new restaurant - The Spence. I've had a gift card burning a hole in my pocket since last November so it was nice to finally use it!
On Saturday I took a mini road trip to Greenville, SC with my friend Jenny to celebrate the wedding of our sweet friend Allie B. It was SO FUN to be at this blessed event and reconnect with friends from Charlotte. Gosh I miss my people!
 The radiant bride!
As I sit here watering my periwinkle-filled flower boxes (thanks to my MIL who filled them for me),
my heart is full. I am blessed no matter what because of the grace of Jesus, but... it sure is nice to have fun adventures from time to time and get to spend your days with treasured souls. Life is beautiful and so fragile. Lord help me to never take it for granted no matter what my circumstances are.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Music City Sights, Shops, and Sustenance

Last weekend our family had an amazing weekend in Nashville. Nashville is quite possibly our favorite American city and it's not why you think. Although we love the music culture, Zach and I truly love this part of the country. It's so beautiful - the natural topography as well as the architecture. We stayed in the 12South neighborhood and fell in love with so many homes. (Why can't Atlanta suburbs have amazing housing? Arghhh... I digress.) Speaking of housing, we rented a ridiculously lovely apartment for this trip through Airbnb and it did not disappoint. It was perfect -the location, the layout, the design. I mean, we could not have been happier.

The owner had great taste in decor, books, and her attention to detail was spot on. (She even left us frozen cookie dough from a local vendor and baking instructions!)
We loved the color of these cabinets, the raw wood counter, and the clean, modern backsplash. So simple.

Oh and remember what I said about attention to detail and good taste? That totally extended to the guest gift bag we received which included a welcome note, tea, and a Field Notes notebook and pencil. I mean... I LOVE THIS PLACE.
After settling in we walked down to check out some local shops such as Imogene + Willie

(Warby Parker store)
and White's Mercantile. I've been following White's on Insta for long time now so it was awesome to be there in person and look through all the treasures with Al.

One day I want a pantry that looks this organized and well-branded. :)
And these boots. Pretty please.
Cute Franklin Juice truck.
Most of our trip centered around shopping, amazing restaurants, and coffee shops. All 3 of us were simply giddy to experience so many new places that inspire us to create, think differently, and enjoy the little things. YOLO right?

For dinner on Thursday we went to Burger Up.

We had the good fortune of getting the perfect table on the patio nestled in the corner between flowering window boxes and some trees shielding the area from the bustling sidewalk. The weather was also perfect and I could not have been happier about everything. One of the reasons for this was this:
Fried mac n' cheese. It was the best fried food I have ever tasted. I mean... I'd go back just for these!
But the bison burger buried beneath this bib lettuce was also so so good. Vacation has become my time to splurge and enjoy amazing flavors and textures that I don't normally get to partake in for health reasons. This trip was no exception as we bounced from restaurant to restaurant enjoying all that Nashville has to offer.

(Oh yeah... Burger Up has homemade ketchup that is very unique and delicious! 6 thumbs up for Burger up!
On Friday, Allie and I started our day with 100 layer donuts from Five Daughters Bakery. Nom nom nom.
Lunch was spent in East Nashville at AMOT Eatery. 
It's such a cute, cheery place. 

To work off our pesto chicken sandwiches, we browsed the ever-charming Hey Rooster General Store

 Love Big Spoon butters and spreads!
And some very Scandinavian looking pottery.

Most stylish fanny pack you ever did see. LOL
 Oh this guy and guitars. It's a love affair that will last a lifetime. :)
Maybe our most favorite find of all on this trip was Barista Parlor, a truly one-of-a-kind coffee shop in this developing neighborhood of Nashville. 
Zach's happy place - drinking exceptional coffee while sitting with Allie. :)

 Cute chocolate packaging
 While Zach got his fancy shmancy pour over, Allie and I got the chocolate brownie espresso ice cream sandwich.
 Oh yeah. You know it was ridiculously good.
On another trip to BP, I tried the earl grey lavender macaron with white chocolate ganache. I seriously love these little French delights!
The table markers at Barista Parlor are HUMONGOUS and pretty funny. Look at that thing compared to Allie! haha 
After a lovely time chatting at the coffee shop, we took the scenic route to our second favorite town in this area - Franklin.

More boutique shopping/browsing happened for the girls

 (A very patient Daddy sits and waits for us to be done. :)
My favorite shop in Franklin is Iron Gate - a high end furniture and home decor store that is chockfull of amazing treasures. 

 Repurposed spoon tea light holders. So cute!
And of course... if there is an Anthro within 5 miles of me/Allie we must always go in!
Family adventures in Tennessee!
Friday night we headded to Edgehill Village for some pizza at Bella Napoli. 

Again, another incredibly lovely time sitting out on this quaint patio and enjoying food and fun conversation. At first I thought we were going to have bad weather the whole time we were in Nashville, but it actually turned out to be perfect for my outdoor dining hopes and dreams. 
Silly Allie with "raspberry hats". Love this quirky girl!
 On Saturday we had planned on going to Biscuit Love for brunch, but when we got there the line was wrapped around the building! I was SO bummed! We tried a few other places including Marche` Artisan Foods, but it too had a long line out the door. After much discussion and about an hour of driving around looking for the right lunch spot, we finally settled on just trying The Local Taco back in East Nashville.
We were all pleasantly surprised with the spin this establishment took on some original Mexican dishes such as street corn, Mexican tater tots, brunch tacos, and even more fried mac n' cheese using queso!
After filling our bellies yet again we returned to Edgehill Village to do some shopping we couldn't do the night before. 
 Allie and I were dying to go into Kore
and see the new Rifle Paper Co. clothing line! We oohed and ahhed over the tops, dresses, and shorts produced in Anna Bond's signature prints.
Before leaving the city, we grabbed a quick pop at Las Paletas
and visited Gruhn's Guitars one more time. (Even though I don't have pics, Zach did get his fix visiting numerous music stores while we were here. :)

Thanks for an absolutely marvelous time Nashville. We love you now more than ever and can't wait to come back again soon!