Things I’ve Got a Big Crush on at the Moment

1. Quadron — Danish duo. Listen and fall in love. My fave songs: LFT, Hey Love, It’s Gonna Get You, Favorite Star, Crush, Befriend, Better Off, Sea Salt…wait, I’m naming the entire album. Just listen to “Avalanche” on Spotify.

Quadron

2. “Adulting” by Kelly Williams Brown–So, remember the first time you read “Bossypants” by Tina Fey? You burst out laughing in a very quiet B&N and people stared at you so much that you felt it was only right to just buy the book and scurry away before someone called security considering that you’d gotten to the snorting level of your laughter which should really be preserved for private consumption. Okay, I guess that was just me. Well…the same happened with me and this book. Kelly Williams Brown has taken the word “Adult” and turned it into a verb. Being an adult is about how you choose to behave. She’s hilarious in a way that multiple parts of my identity greatly appreciate which means that she’s a bit crass and engages in “REAL TALK”. She gives you some steps to help you with acting as an adult but also makes sure that you know that you’re a grown ass person and you can do what you want. Just know that every choice leads to consequences. She’s got a blog. Read it: http://adultingblog.com/.

Adulting

3. HuffPostWomen–I “Like” this page on Facebook and receive numerous articles throughout the day that serve as productive distractions (or so I tell myself). Check it out here and let me know your thoughts.

4. The Skimm–So, I’m not a big TV news watcher (I stand with Ann Curry) and I haven’t picked up a newspaper in ages. I mean, when I’m at home and the Sunday paper comes I still read The Comics, Parade, and The Daily Break. Does that count? No. I get most of my breaking news from the interwebs and as things become more and more complicated in my world and the world around me, I enjoy a cliffs notes version of what’s happening beyond Nashville, TN. I turn to The Skimm.

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Website
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Now you know and knowing is half the battle. “G.I. Joe, American Hero”–wait, was that too much? Oh, well.

Firefly is my GI Joe name. Don't ask why I have a GI Joe name. We've all had previous lives.

Firefly is my GI Joe name. Don’t ask why I have a GI Joe name. We’ve all had previous lives.

5. ios 7–There, I said it. Come at me, bro! Love the look, the “remind me” feature on my phone, all the camera updates, and iTunes Radio. I mean, I love it because I can still call people (SHOCKER), text people, take pictures, get my email, and keep my calendar in the palm of my hand. I understand this means that I would be happy with the first iPhone ever made. Fine! All of y’all griping about it need to sit down. Talk about manufactured problems. Grr! Do you think Alex G. Bell ever thought this mess would be happening?!

Later Y’all.

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Psst…

Do you know about these things?

House of Cards on Netflix

If you have Netflix, then you’ve got to watch House of Cards. A friend of mine mentioned it in conversation and I spent the next two days watching Season 1. Kevin Spacey, politics, Robin Wright, scandal, Kate Mara, murder, intrigue, intelligent dialogue, southern asides, sex, suspense, and whatever else you need to make one helluva show. Get into it! Season 2 is in production. You have time to catch up on this gem.

Ruby Amanfu

Ever heard, Jack White’s “Love Interruption“? The female voice belongs to Grammy Nominee Ruby Amanfu. You might have seen her perform with Mr. White on the Grammys. Perhaps you saw her perform as a part of “The Collective” on The Singing Bee or are a fan of Sam & Ruby. She performed at this weekend’s Musicians’ Corner and she didn’t disappoint. Her voice is soulful, soft, and powerful all at the same time. This was her first solo performance in 10 years! I really hope I don’t have to wait that long to see her again in concert. I was also quite giddy that she favorited and replied to my tweets (squeal). Follow her @RubyAmanfu.

St. Paul and the Broken Bones

Another musical act that performed at the last Musician’s Corner of the summer. I’m a fan of “blue eyed soul”. These dudes from Birmingham light up the stage with their James Brownesque lead singer. He wails.

The Home T-Shirt

A cute shirt, with my favorite place on the front, and supports a great cause. That would be the Home T-Shirt. Wore it, posted a pic on Instagram and Facebook, and contributed to many new purchases. I’m a bit homesick and plans to return this month fell through :(. Oh, well I will be there again before I know it. Until then, I’ll just wear my home on my sleeve or rather my chest ;).

VA Home T

Riffraff

I’ve never been to Fayetteville, AR but my debit card has made the trip a few times. Check out RiffRaff! This boutique drew me in with the ability to order items directly from their Facebook Page. Over the course of two years the shop now has a gorgeous website. If you’re a Razorback Lover, these ladies always have the goodies for you. However, if you’re just a girl who loves fashion, check this place out. The owner is super precious and I’ve always received the best service. My two fave purchases include my red asymmetrical dress that I wore to an Ole Miss game and my flower bracelet in a golden color that is perfect for Vandy games.

Currently coveting:

TN Love

Love TN Comfort Colors Tank

Bow Sheer

Striped Bow Back Blouse

Rejoice School of Ballet in Nashville, TN

The Junior League of Nashville does amazing things in the community. I’m honored to be a member of this organization. One of our partner agencies is the Rejoice School of Ballet. This school offers reduced price dance lessons (mostly ballet) to students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. A girl might pay $100.00 for what would typically by $1800.00 of dance lessons. The final recital was on Friday and I had to go and support these beautiful girls who have worked hard this summer to learn complicated ballet techniques. They were beautiful and I was moved to tears more than once by their radiance. God is so good! Programs like this are exposing girls to lives outside of their everyday world. It is giving them hope and letting them know that they can be ballerinas or whatever it is they choose to be. It isn’t where you’re from that determines your destiny. As someone who doesn’t come from money, I am always supportive of programs like Rejoice because things like this opened up entirely new worlds for me. If you’re looking for a new cause to support, I would strongly encourage you to donate to Rejoice.

That’s all for now. Hope you found something new :).

Later y’all.

Nashville 4 Free

Here’s my 2nd installment of Nashville 4 Free:

Day 2 & 3 & 4

– My sweet friend Annie, who is about to move to Rhode Island, surprised me with a free ticket to the Ryman to see Secret Sisters and She & Him. Obsessed with Secret Sisters! Not only do they have heavenly voices but they are precious. She & Him was okay, but really it was just cool to see Zooey Deschanel. She funny, cute, and quirky. My favorite moment was when She & Him did “You Really Got a Hold on Me” totally acoustic without any amplified sound (no mics). That is always a baller move in The Ryman. To be honest, I don’t really get the allure of She & Him, but it is always great to go to The Ryman.

– My free movie was a bit of a letdown last time at Belcourt but I didn’t hesitate when a colleague sent me a link to get a free pass to see “The Heat” starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. I’ve been in love with Sandy since Speed and McCarthy got me hooked, like most people, with her performance in Bridesmaids. The movie is HILARIOUS! Now, the process to get into the theatre which included being searched by a security guard and relinquishing your cell phone was not that great, but I’m really happy I saw this movie. The women bring it in their performances. I would suggest venturing to the theatre for this one. Cost: $6.50 for popcorn and a soda

– Sometimes, things are accidentally free like when the woman working the ticket counter at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts asked me if I was a college student because college students get free admission on certain days at the museum. Now, this was probably really unethical BUT I work with college students all day long and all of my gray hair is the result of college students. I also still have the good fortune of being able to pass for a college student. I showed her my ID, she gave me a sticker, and I don’t really think anyone was harmed in the process. Eek! Now that I’ve made that confession, let’s talk about the actual exhibit. My friend Leslee Mitchell, who is an incredibly talented photographer happens to be obsessed with cars. Sensuous Steel: Art Deco Automobiles is certainly worth a visit. In a strange turn of events, you are actually allowed to photograph the cars. Cost: Free, but I did purchase one cider at Flying Saucer post exhibit so $5.00.

– I had so much fun at Musician’s Corner in Centennial Park last week that I ventured back out this Saturday. The Bird and the Bear, Stacy Lantz, Matt Giraud, and Humming House were the acts I was able to see before I headed out to a friend’s engagement party. My favorite would have to be Matt Giraud and anything the female lead singer of Humming House sang during their set. She’s phenomenal! “Pick It Up” and “Seven Days a Week” were great from Giraud. His soulful voice “took us to church”. I don’t watch American Idol but apparently he was on the show. He also did a cover of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Gone Come” mashed up with Jackson 5’s “Whose Loving You?” Humming House did a fun cover of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”.

While at the show, the Music City Roots bus was present and giving away free koozies and if you could answer one trivia question you could get a hat or tickets to an upcoming show at Loveless Café. I happened to know the name of the host of MCR and I picked up 2 tickets for an upcoming show. I’ll certainly tell you about it in a future post.

The World Vision Experience was parked in Centennial Park. If you arrived early enough, you could help assemble promise packs for kids in Africa. I took a tour of the interactive World Vision Bus and went on a journey through Tanzania with a sweet little boy who told us about the difficulties his village has had with obtaining clean water, having time to attend school, and the devastation of Malaria. By serving as a sponsor, participants could donate money to purchase mosquito nets, finance a Micro Loan, donate chickens to a family, a clean water source, or just donate to the education fund. It was quite the adventure to Kisongo. We learned a couple phrases in Swahili and I also learned that we say “Tanzania” incorrectly in the States. Cost: $5.00 for some Dark Chocolate “Jeni’s Ice Cream

Can’t wait to report more fun and free Nashville adventures.

Later Y’all

On Friday, I’m in Love

This week I’ m in love with…

Writing and receiving thank you notes. Make this a habit if you haven’t already added this practice to your life. Gratitude is the new black. They can totally match your style and personality since there are a huge variety available at all price points. I tend to collect them from Target, Paper Source, and Hallmark. Please know that you can make any blank card a thank you card simply by altering your personal handwritten message.

Top center- Paper Source, Middle row- Target, Bottom row- Paper Source & Target

Top center- Paper Source, Middle row- Target, Bottom row- Paper Source & Target

My new Kate Spade coin purse. I purchased it on a whim and it was on sale. I love the stripes and sometimes all you need are the essentials as opposed to the pieces of luggage I carry around called “purses”. Also, great color scheme so it is perfect for games in the fall :). Go ‘Dores!

Coin Purse

The new Civil Wars song, “The One That Got Away“. Just listen. Also, if you ever have the opportunity please see them in concert.

Hoda Kotb and this picture of her displaying her love of Delta Delta Delta.

Check out #4! DLAM

Check out #4! DLAM

A good breakfast. Thanks Sky Blue Café. If you’re ever in town, check this place out for delicious food and a charming atmosphere. I chose to create my own omelet with spinach, cheese, and chicken. It was delivered with breakfast potatoes, a small cup of fruit, and one of the best biscuits I’ve ever eaten in my life. Yum! East Nashville does food well.

Photo c/o Sky Blue Cafe's Website

Photo c/o Sky Blue Cafe’s Website

The new buddy comedy, The Heat with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. I was able to see a sneak preview and did nothing but belly laugh the entire movie. Love these two sharing the same screen.

What are you love with this week?

Later Y’all.

Music to My Ears

headphones

Here’s what’s on my fun summer list right now:

Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I.–I fought it but I can’t help but move to it as soon as it pops up on my Spotify.
Cruise (Remix) by Florida Georgia Line and Nelly–It’s just pure fun.
Tonight I’m Getting Over You by Carly Rae Jepsen–Yes, the Call Me Maybe girl
My Songs Know What You Did in The Dark (Light Em Up) by Fallout Boy
Done by The Band Perry
Heart Attack by Demi Lovato
I Love It by Icona Pop feat. Charli XCX
Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ray Lewis feat. John Legend
Next to Me by Emeli Sande`

I’m also pretty obsessed with Lady Antebellum’s new album Golden and One Republic’s new album Native.

In the next few weeks, I’m seeing Humming House (I’ve heard great things) and of course some girl named BEYONCE is coming to town ;). I’ve got to get some more shows on my agenda.

Give your ears some lovin’ and let me know what you’re listening to this summer.

Nashville 4 Free

Confession: I’ve been feeling a little blah lately. I’m good at not falling prey to everyone’s highlight reel but I can’t help but wonder if certain things will happen for me in my life or if I’ll ever understand how to make those things happen. I know that I live a blessed life but we all wonder sometimes, don’t we?

Post dinner Friday night, I came home and blogged. I fell asleep with intentions of doing absolutely nothing the entire weekend. When I feel this way, I hibernate. However, I guess God had a different plan because I popped up at 7am on Saturday morning. After as much defiant laying as I could muster I ventured to the gym and then because it was such a beautiful day I made my may to the pool while reading my new book club selection, Wife 22.

I decided to go through my email and I found the world famous “Work Life Balance” sent out by one of my colleagues. It pretty much chronicles all Nashville happenings. Basically, if you want to know what to do in the city then you should get on this distribution list. I wasn’t in the mood to spend money so I scanned through and thought, “What could I do for free?” This got me thinking about possibly adding a feature to the blog called “Nashville 4 Free”. I don’t have buckets of disposable income so being able to do things for free or at a very minimum cost is super important. Luckily, I live in Nashville and there are actually free things going on all the time especially during the summer. I made a plan and then got myself ready for my “free” day. If I’m going to get out of this funk then I’ve got to be active and not be a sloth.

Day 1

Musicians’ Corner in Centennial Park featuring Westbound Rangers, Striking Matches, Skyline Hotel, Jess Bostic, and a couple other artists on the acoustic stage. On Saturdays from 2-5pm for the rest of June you can hear FREE music in the park. All I needed was a lawn chair (sit under one of the big shady trees) and I took my Baggu filled with other desirable items like a bottle of water, blanket, and sunscreen. Food trucks, a beer garden, and music are all a part of this event. I’d never heard of any of the musical acts before but left a huge fan of Westbound Rangers and Striking Matches. I also enjoyed the blueberry and lemonade shaved ice from Blue Monkey Shaved Ice that I indulged in for a hot weather treat. So many people and so many cute dogs. Centennial Park is beautiful and you can take a look at the lovely Parthenon and feed the ducks while you’re there. Planning on going back next Saturday to see Ben Sollee, Mat Giraud, and Humming House. Cost:$4.00

Belcourt Theatre Saturday Outdoor Cinema: Batman at Sunset
Now, this was a bit of a disappointment simply because the ’89 version was advertised but they ended up showing the original Batman, like black and white with super racist attitudes towards Asians and Asian Americans. Some of the dialogue actually led to people making audible comments of discomfort. However, I’m sure when you show up and see the movie you expect to see then it has the potential of being a grand time. Food trucks (a staple of any event), beautiful weather, a free movie, and once again all you need is a chair or blanket (you’re sitting on gravel so I would bring a chair). I would also bring a cardigan in case of chill. Cost: $0.00

I’m excited to continue this adventure. It just made me think about all of the money I spend on fun when I have the great fortune to live in a city that creates affordable options for folks like me.

Oh, and I took this really good selfie. Cost: PRICELESS

IMG_2238

What can you do in your city for free?

Later Y’all

The Thrill

So, I needed a pick me up on Friday and a buddy of mine let it be known that tickets had been released for the previously announced as SOLD OUT The Black Keys concert.

bk

I breathed for about two seconds before I went online in search of a treat. I put one ticket in my Shopping Cart–thought, “no, I better not buy this ticket.” I then looked at my list of things to do and immediately went back to search for another ticket that was a bit cheaper and closer to the stage. Well, I ended up getting an obstructed view seat and felt a bit peeved but then thought, “whatever, I get to hear The Black Keys live and that is enough.” I felt good about Section 108 Row GG Seat 8. I was off to the side of the stage which is quite an interesting perspective and turned out to be quite a blessing.

I saw the band enter and exit, I saw Dan Auerbach’s little girls watch Daddy at work on stage, I saw them exit the stage and then re enter for the encore. Dan waved at us as he walked past and had a face full of gratefulness as we were screaming for his attention. Patrick isn’t much of a waver. I saw the videoscreen up close and personal but never really saw the seldom used backup band.

What got me–the thrill was when I finally looked out into the audience. From my vantage point I could see the entire arena staring back at me. Not really at me, but you know what I mean. It took my breath away. To see all of those people just loving what was happening on that stage. I got to thinking, “How does it feel to know that all of those people are there for you?” Now, many of the audience members were high off of various substances, but every time I looked out into Bridgestone Arena, I got high off the thrill of being in a place with that many people and the opportunity of looking back at them. Imagine holding that crowd’s attention. Chills, I say, chills! It was one of those times that I paused, breathed deeply, and took in as I wanted to remember what I felt like at that very moment.

I’m a fan of the stage. I love a microphone. I love the opportunity to speak to the masses. It is a place of comfort for me and where I’m at my best. I could have looked out into that audience the whole night without issue. The two large disco balls that appeared prior to the encore added to the beauty of the moment as everyone was sparkling in the audience.

I’ll never be a rockstar. I don’t have an inkling of musical talent that extends beyond middle school show choir. However, something about that moment charged me up to figure out how can I get back on a stage (large or small) and experience the best high I’ve ever known.

bk 2

Later Y’all.