INSTA-LOVE // NASHVILLE SUMMER

Insta Love Nashville Summer If you've ever wondered what Nashville, TN looks like during the summer time, now you know. It's warm, green, open and filled with endless sunshine, beautiful people and wonder.

These fellow Nashvillians and instagrammers capture Nashville in such a beautiful way. It makes me so incredibly grateful to have such a lovely home.

01. BLAIRITA 02. HEYWANDERER 03. RUBYANDPEACH 04. LADYKATEGAZAWAY 05. RUTHIELINDSEY 06. HEYROOSTER

NEW FRIENDS

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Leaving friends behind when we moved to Nashville was hard. But we were hopeful and looked forward to what Nashville had in store for us.

When we first moved here we were surprised at how friendly and welcoming everyone was. We felt lucky and wondered if any of these friendships would last.

This weekend we met a whole new group of friends at a beautiful little gathering my friend Allison hosted. Allison moved down to Nashville just a few months after we did. Allison's been much more successful at making friendships than I. Maybe it's those adorable freckles she has, or maybe it's that she puts herself out there. Allison has such a warm and welcoming heart, a sweet Fiance and a daughter that reminds you to live slowly and savor every moment.

I marvel at Allison's bravery. She's made so many lovely friendships from reaching out to Instagram friends. This weekend she shared her friendships, new and old, with us and others.

She had us gather a Arrington Vineyards, a beautiful winery that welcomes anyone to bring your own food and friends to enjoy the scenery and celebrate. She decorated picnic tables, laid fresh food and flowers out for everyone to enjoy and watched the connections unfold.

There were moments I got the talking with someone and asked how they knew Allison and they said they hadn't met her yet. It was exciting to know that I wasn't the only one that wanted to connect. That other people just like me were looking for friendships.

Naturally, I think we all want to connect. We all want to feel like were part of a community and part of something bigger than ourselves. We want to contribute, support and grow together. Make a difference and be remembered. Live and love more fully. Cry, laugh, fall and get back up again, together.

And on Sunday we did.

FREEDOM

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20140716-095305.jpg For Independence Day this year Nick and I celebrated our freedom by renting bikes, riding around the city till we found a place open for dinner and watching fireworks from a local park.

Note: did you know Nashville is has the 2nd largest fireworks show in the country? It was an incredible show! They even had a live symphony playing downtown that they broadcasted on the radios.

As we rode our bikes past gobs of traffic and laid our blanket down to watch the sky fall, I reflected on how fortunate we are to have independence from so many worries, laws, governments and restrictions that other parts of the world have never had.

I never recalled feeling so grateful to have the freedom I have until this year.

Maybe it's because I'm thinking of our future children and the world we bring them into. Or maybe it's because I'm an entrepreneur, who helps others to discover their God given talents and bring value to the world doing what they love. I couldn't imagine not having having these freedoms.

Regardless of why, I felt to much gratitude, pride and joy this year for being an American. Proud to live in such a beautiful country, grateful to have all of the freedoms we have and joyful of what's yet to come.

RECORD NIGHT

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I miss the days I'd spend an entire evening laying on the floor with headphones on or the speakers positioned to let the sound seep into my ears perfectly listening to an album for the first time. Giving music my undivided attention and committing to the entire album front to back would change me. My mind would create visuals, almost like reels of a movie, of beautiful places, people and things. My subconscious would come alive and my inspiration would expand indefinitely.

These days I still listen to the entirety of an album but it's typically while I'm working and it's through Spotify. I missed my relationship with music. I missed the experience music provided me. I missed supporting talented musicians and their art.

I devised a plan to remedy this; Record Night.

Basically every week Nick and I take turns purchasing a record, and sharing it with one another. We dedicate the night to listening to that album, on our living room floor with the speakers positioned just so. It's kind of like date night expect instead of dinner or a movie, it's music.

Our first night we went to Grimey's record store here in Nashville to pick out a record. I forgot how magical, colorful and inspiring walking through a record store can be. It was Nick's night to choose and he picked the new album Lost in the Dream by The War on Drugs. We had peppermint tea, homemade raw and gluten free donuts (recipe) and escaped to another world that night.

Here's how to have your own Record Night:

  1. Each week choose one night you will dedicate to Record Night
  2. That evening go to your local record shop and pick out and purchase a record you've never listened to
  3. Pick up some wine, snacks, tea, anything special and delicious to enjoy with your record
  4. Go home and spend the night listening to the record from-to-back
  5. Repeat weekly and share with me on instagram #recordnight

Anyone out there have a way they incorporate music into their lives more intentionally?

Side note: To my friend George of Angry Mom Records back in Ithaca, NY - I spotted your record and snapped a picture of it above. Can you find it? And I miss you. And you should come visit. 

NASHVILLE FOR GOOD

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You know when you run into a friend randomly that you're in a familiar place. This happened to me last week for the first time here in Nashville. And again this week.

If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably watched the slow transition of us moving from Ithaca, NY to Nashville, TN. Digging up your roots to replant them in a new city is scary, exciting, crazy, stressful, amazing, hard and beautiful. But things are finally starting to feel like home.

We've got our Tennessee tags and licenses, we're navigating the city without our GPS, our guest room has had 3 visitors, we've hosted 2 house parties and several dinner parties, we've sang karaoke with the locals, we've danced to bluegrass while they filmed a music video, we're going to live music that never came through our small town, we're getting to know our super creative, talented and ready-for-big-things community, I started to teach art classes with The Skillery, I attended my first conference as a presenter, I starting collaborating with these talented Nashville ladies and was just asked to contribute illustrations and lettering for a local magazine. Nick's manifested his music into vinyl, is recording with some really talented musicians and bands, formed his own band, has his first show next Tuesday (!!!) and has even played bass in a recording session with Jars of Clay members.

I'm proud of us. We did it.

We're growing and accomplishing dreams we hoped we could moving here. We're pretty darn happy and grateful we took the big leap of faith to move to a new state, so far from home. It couldn't be clearer how right this move was for us.

We're home, in Nashville for good.

MY BIRTHDAY

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Yesterday was my birthday and I took the day off with my husband. The day began with husband-made pancakes, selfies with my cat, a hike around the lake in Nashville, a movie (Her), buying some of my favorite lipstick, husband-made pizza, lots of FaceTime with my family and finally ending the night with TV (Blacklist anyone?). It was great.

What do you like to do on your birthday? Any Aquarius's our there?

I posted most of these pictures on my instagram or Facebook page where you'll find the most up-to-date and behind-the-scenes photos, do you follow me yet? Oh, and if you're curious what my husband is like, check out his blog here (he just started blogging a few months ago on this site I designed for him).