Official Nashville Hipsters

Hipsters — such an overused word. But still, as I approach my mid-thirties (gulp), I think I aspire to be one. #noshame

Since moving to the Nations, Justin and I have totally embraced being city mice — riding our bicycles as much as possible. Blazing new greenways. Tying the bikes up at the local watering hole, having a craft beer and cruising home. This weekend and its phenomenal weather set the scene just perfectly for another Nashville Hipster weekend. Bring your beard.

Friday night when Justin got home around 5 or 5:30, we tore straight out the door for the 12 South neighborhood. We had a Nashville Originals gift card from my amazing realtor, Frank J. Miles, and it was burning a hole in our pockets! We started with Happy Hour at Bartaco (best margarita in town – no joke) and then headed to Urban Grub for dinner.

Urban Grub. We sat right there by the fireplace. It was perfection.

Y’all — that dinner. We hadn’t been to Urban Grub! It’s rare to find a place that neither of us have been, so this was a treat. They fly their seafood and Oysters in FRESH, like that day, and dry age and butcher their meat in house. Justin had the most massive NY Strip I’ve ever seen. The menu says it’s 16 oz, but I’m not sure how that is possible. It appeared to be about 55 oz if I had to guess. I had the Lobster Casarecce (pasta), add truffle oil. YEP. Oh yeah, and throw in some grits with house-made bacon on top as our side. If you haven’t been to Urban Grub, I highly, highly recommend it. Just wear your stretchy pants and go for it.

Saturday morning, after sleeping off our food coma, we hopped on our bikes about 10 a.m. Justin needed a haircut — so first stop was Scout’s Barbershop in Sylvan Park, which is about 2 miles away. This place is dreamy, y’all. Justin got an old fashioned barbershop trim and a rinse for $15. YEP.

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Scout’s Barbershop

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Scout’s

Next up we cruised over to McCabe Pub right as they opened the doors for a quick lunch. McCabe’s is a staple in Sylvan Park and oh so good. I had the Chef Salad – Justin had the spicy chicken sandwich.

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McCabe Pub

My main priority this day was to get new tires on my bike. They were worn down (I purchased this baby off Craigslist about 4 years ago but it’s mostly been sitting in storage. Still, the tires were ready for a change. I’d already had one flat tube). ALSO, because I own a cougar cub masquerading as a kitten, my handlebar tape looks like this. WHAT did that tape ever do to you, Fiona!? I can’t be driving around looking like that.

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Fiona strikes again

So we left McCabe’s and headed to West End (a short 3-4 miles) to Cumberland Transit. I used to live almost right above Cumberland Transit and these guys are a staple in the Nashville outdoor arena. Fishing, biking, running, camping…they’ve got everything you need.

The guy was like “WOW…dog?” No, cat. He was impressed.

He was like “well, let’s pick out some tape — we have lots of colors.” I said “eh, probably just white again. The bike is orange so I’m not sure anything else will look good.” He said “well, you haven’t seen all the colors we have.” Boy was he right…SEAFOAM!! Seafoam and orange obviously go together.

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Seafoam!

While we waited on the bike (which really needs a name, I think), we went next door to Three Brothers Coffee. This really upped our hipster status. I mean, while we were sipping our lattes a guy came in chewing on a deer antler. Just, you know, chewing on a deer antler like it was a piece of hay or something. I think those are for dogs, but whatever dude. Maybe I should get a deer antler…

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Three Brothers Coffee

Most weekends we head South and see the McCombs family — Justin usually gets involved in some sort of brief manual labor with his Dad. This weekend was moving the grill, which we promptly broke in on the new deck.

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Sunday we finally went back to Crosspoint! We love Crosspoint Church so much. Now that wedding and moving craziness is behind us we can’t wait to get more involved and regular.

After some errands and a workout at Planet Fitness, we’d earned dinner  — so we hopped on the bikes and headed to the other side of the neighborhood for 51st Kitchen and Bar. Y’all. I love this place so much. And this Sunday was particularly special. They were having a neighborhood picnic/pop-up dinner with a guest chef and for $35/head it was all-you-can-eat gourmet picnic food. Like, the best mac n’ cheese I may have ever had. Grilled chicken wings with chimichurri. Homemade slaw with shrimp. I mean, it just went on and on. Delicious. Oh and $5 craft cocktails. YEP!

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51st Kitchen – Blood Orange Mule and a Malbec

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All you can eat? Yes please.

We finished the weekend on our back porch with the babies. Right where we should be. They cannot get enough of the back porch and watching the birds and eating bugs (OK, mostly Fiona. Dixie prefers eating mulch). We are loving life and loving Nashville so much. Don’t even deserve this beautiful life — but thanking God for every moment we get it.

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Our backyard oasis

XOXO,

Jenn

If Heaven is a Restaurant, it’s the Catbird Seat

For my 30th birthday, all I wanted to give myself (treat yo’ self, as Kim would say) was a dinner out at the Catbird Seat. For those of you who are living under a rock, the Catbird Seat is a restaurant in Nashville that’s been featured in Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, etc. It’s one of the top restaurants in the country, and I’d venture to say a trailblazer in putting Nashville on the culinary map.

So what’s all the fuss about?

The food. Dear baby Jesus – the food.

But the experience, too. You see, you don’t walk into the Catbird Seat and order some chicken fingers. You must have a reservation. You can only get a reservation within 30 days of when you’d like to go, and you must do it online. You cannot call from your prepaid cellular device. So if you want to go eat there 30 days from now, you get online at midnight and start clicking before the reservations are all gone…because they will be, in seconds.

Then you arrive 15 minutes apart from each of the other parties for that evening. And you sit at one of 32 seats at a square bar around the kitchen, where award-winning chefs greet you, prepare your meal and serve it to you while explaining what it is, how you eat it and then stand there and shoot the breeze with you about things like music and Amsterdam.

You eat 10 courses of the most delightful culinary treats you’ve ever experienced. You don’t order anything – it’s all chef’s choice. Oh, and you have a wine or cocktail pairing with each course. (insert drunk face here).

It is a nearly three-hour-long, foodgasmic party in your mouth where no one overstays their welcome.

And y’all. I don’t really get star-struck in this fair city often – but being the food lover that I am, I knew I’d totally GEEK out over eating here and seeing Erik Anderson in the flesh. In front of me. Cooking food for me. Serving food to me. Talking about food to me. I want to be his best friend and awkwardly show up for dinner unannounced every Sunday.

So we went. We ate and drank. And it did not disappoint. Here is the play by play.

The Catbird Seat.

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We arrived, were welcomed by the hostess and rode up the elevator with her babbling about I don’t know what because OMGI’MABOUTTOEATATTHECATBIRDSEATSHUTUP!

We were seated and then greeted by a tiny plate already waiting on us, with the chef’s version of Nashville’s famous hot chicken.

Crispy chicken skin and a “Wonder Bread” puree. Y’all.

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The wine and cocktail pairing is $40 per person and worth every dime. (Also, take a cab).

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This was another one of our “snacks” and part of the first course. I failed to take a photo of the others before I inhaled them. But this was a beef tartare. Amazing.

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Oh hey famous chef Erik.

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This was a melon salad. And you’re all like “oh melon salad, whatevs.” No. It was to die for. Those little melon balls almost changed my life. There was an avocado puree, some sort of foam and mint and salt something or another that made it to die for.

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This was a celery root that was served on a super hot plate with foie gras shaved over the top. (Foie Gras = duck or goose liver that has been especially fattened). That foie gras melted like butter on the hot root and hot plate and we were encouraged to eat it quickly. Um, no problem.
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Mashed potatoes. But not your grandmas. These had golden caviar underneath and cured sturgeon with lemon thyme. You know, like you do. Amazing, but probably the least impressive thing we ate.

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Now we’re getting to the good stuff. I had known three other friends/acquaintances who ate at the Catbird Seat and two of the three were served Pigeon. Make that three now, counting me. I was so scared and excited when this came up. LOOK at that claw.

And aren’t pigeon’s referred to as “rats with wings?” They are gross, annoying animals. But I would have eaten a frosted turd if Erik Anderson served it to me.

So, he put this in front of us and explained it and I had heard to ask a lot of questions, when you eat at the Catbird. So the best I could come up with was, “How far down this little claw leg can I eat?” Well played.

He said, “well, that’s a bone – so don’t eat it.” Sweet, dude. Y’all. A real, single tear came to my eye when I ate this dish. We will all be eating pigeon in Heaven. Real talk.

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After. Like a boss!

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This was maybe my favorite cocktail that got major points for creativity. It was sweet tea, but real tea leaves were infused in riesling instead of water. That’s how we should all be drinking our tea, folks.

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This was a top contender for favorite dish, as well. Wagyu beef ribeye that simply melted in your mouth. The watercress puree was really strong — watercress is just such a distinct flavor. I loved it, but it could have ruined it for you if it’s not a flavor you like.

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We should always have a cheese course – with every meal. This was harbison cheese, which was kind of the consistency of brie, but twenty times tastier – served inside a hollowed out shallot with a mushy cherry compote of some kind. I don’t know — but it was good.

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Hey drinks! And the first of three dessert courses. YES! Sweet corn ice cream, y’all. It was SO good. Served in a potato cone with shaved truffle on top. Truffle is such an overwhelming flavor when served in this quantity — but with the ice cream it was on point. This was a super savory dessert, as well.

IMG_2455Another savory-ish dessert. Maple, bacon, thyme custard served inside a real eggshell with a tiny real piece of bacon. I almost licked the inside of the egg.

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Finally — a little smorgasbord of vanilla cake, cherry crisp, oak wood ice cream and pineapple gelee. But the star of this show were the bourbon beads. Close up in the next photo.

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So that bourbon bead you see there was a tiny, gel casing that when bit into shot straight bourbon into your mouth. It was the craziest thing and I don’t know how they made them, but I could have eaten a million. I would have died, but it would have been sort of worth it. They were delicious!

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Lastly, a tunga vanilla espresso drink with an espresso ice cube. Eh, it was fine. I had a lot of food and alcohol by this point, so I would have enjoyed anything.

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Chef Erik, cutting some lady’s pigeon off the bone for her because the claw freaked her out. Really lady? This aint Burger King — you can’t just have it your way.

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The view of the restaurant from the door when you walk in. This is pretty much the whole thing.

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Lastly, here is a photo of our menu that they give you to keep as a souvenir. You can read all about everything here if you’d like. But I suggest you just fork over the cash and go yourselves. It was worth every penny. (FYI — it’s roughly $100/person plus the $40/person alcohol pairing plus service charge and tax, so…yeah).

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We decided we’d treat ourselves once a year to this kind of experience, if possible. The menu changes constantly, so hopefully each time will be new and different.

I love Nashville and I love food. I’m so glad the two have teamed up to make our great city a foodie destination, as of late. There’s so many new eats to be excited about.

Thanks, Catbird. We’ll be back.

XOXO,
Jenn

Eight Years

Eight years ago, on May 7, 2005, I graduated from the University of Tennessee. I walked across the stage, had lunch with the family and hopped in my already packed car and drove to Nashville. I walked in my apartment that I’d picked out the month prior and started my journey into grown-up land. I was scared out of my gourd and so excited at the same time.

I knew about two people in Nashville and they were only here for the summer before going back to school. I had only been on Facebook for a couple of weeks (weeks!) so even these “friends” couldn’t help me get rooted. Gawd, how did we ever survive?

I moved Saturday and started my new job on Monday, May 9. What a moron! I had no idea to ask for a week or even a few days to get settled. Also, I was making a whopping $24,000 a year and couldn’t WAIT to bring home that first paycheck. SUCH.A.BALLER.

The first week I was in Nashville some belt in my car started making a funny noise. I called my Dad – naturally. I’ll never forget him reminding me that I was “off the teet” (one of his favorite sayings, to this day) and I better take it somewhere to get it looked at. WTF! You fix it! I already spent my money on booze, frozen chicken and crap at Hobby Lobby to hang on the walls. Ugh – being a grown-up is so hard.

Again – MORON. Little did I know – and I have it good, y’all, that the real fun stuff was yet to come. In retrospect and my old sage-like wisdom, I know I have it good. But I was still in no way prepared for the fun little curveballs life throws you when nobody is around to say “DON’T BE A MORON, moron.” I still have my health, my family and my fur baby – but the last eight years have been eventful, that’s for sure.

I thought about making this post some big “if I knew then what I know now” post, but everything I thought of just sounded dumb and petty. Because I’ve watched friends go through losses that would absolutely wreck me. I’ve watched friends my age lose children, parents, pets, jobs, family and even themselves over the past eight years. I have nothing to do but give thanks for my last eight years of grown-up-dom. I have approximately zero room to complain.

But it’s still fun to reflect and think about the steps that got me right here where I am today, which is a place I’m thankful and so pleased to be in. So I’ll just leave it at that.

Nashville, you keep getting better with age. You fine, country wine, you. Now I’m going to go hug on my family real tight for the next seven days.

XOXO,
Jenn

My Juice Cleanse Experience — The Juice is Loose!

juice. Nashville

**I preface this post by saying, I am not a doctor. What works for me may not work for you. This is my opinion and backed by no professional or medical knowledge about basically anything, ever.**

Several weeks ago I got serious about researching a juice cleanse. I don’t really know why – it was a combination of things probably. I have been really serious about trying to eat healthier foods, watch my calories and overall be healthier since the new year rolled around. I also read about it on Beth’s blog when she did it last year – and I pretty much trust that anything she says is awesome, will be awesome. The day I picked up my juice, she was there picking hers up too – for her third cleanse in six months.

Since it seemed to be the best around, I settled on Juice Nashville – a local company who does not have a brick and mortar storefront – they are a mobile, family-owned, cold-press juicery. That means no preservatives are added, no sugar, no nothing. The juice has a shelf-life of 3 days, so you get it and use it – or freeze it immediately. And if you open a bottle, you drink it within 8 hours. All this to say, it’s fresh, y’all.

So I placed my order for a the 3 day cleanse and was ready to pick it up on Saturday morning. I made sure I had no dinners planned, no fun events, etc. I was just going to hibernate all weekend with my juice and wrap it up on Monday at work.

I went to pick the juice up at the Nashville West Farmer’s Market where Wes (the husband half of the Juice team) sells on Saturdays. As he sifted through paperwork to locate my order, my juicy heart sank. He didn’t have it. Even though I had my confirmation email, something happened and my order was missing. I left thinking I might not be juicing after all – but Stephanie (the wife half of the team) called me as soon as I got to my car and said they were trying to figure out what happened to my order – not to give up yet. I went home and put on my PJs and Tweeted my feelings – and in true 2013 customer service style, Stephanie replied to my tweet in about two minutes and said that she was moving heaven and earth to find my juice.

WOW – customer service gold star for you ma’am. About 45 minutes to an hour later I got a tweet that said “found your juice! Calling you now.” And my cell rang. (I did drink a Naked fruit juice in the meantime that I had in the fridge because I was getting hangry = hungry + angry).

I zipped back down West and got my juice. I could have hugged Wes. I couldn’t believe they were so responsive to my juicing woes and were just so, so nice. Turns out, they had my order all along and the paperwork had just been misplaced so the two couldn’t be matched up.

So, let’s Juice.

The Juice Cleanse includes NO food. No drinking ANYTHING other than water or green tea. (I missed coffee dearly). You drink 5 juices a day (the same 5) and one almond milk a day.

The juices are:

 the cleanse 5 juices

I’ll be honest – I liked some of these more than others, but I hated none. I LOVED the C Ya – orange, apple, grapefruit and ginger. OMG. Snap – apple, carrot, ginger. Delish. But I think, crazy enough, the almond milk might have been my favorite. I love almond milk.

The Whoa (apple, beet, kale and ginger) was a bit harder to swallow. The Oh Yeah (apple, kale, collard and lemon) got old by the third day. But again, none were terrible. And the nutrients they clearly contain kept me chugging!

The experience:

Were you hungry? Not really. To know me is to know how much I love food. I love to eat. Food = love, to me. If you love me, cook me dinner. Buy me dinner. I love to eat. I exercise so I can enjoy food. Some people eat to live – I live to eat.

So a liquid diet with no chewing and salty food was a real challenge. But was I hungry? Not really. I did yoga Sunday night (day 2), and the calorie burn made me momentarily starve, so I ate a cutie (one of those tiny mandarin oranges). Juice Nashville says if you are desperate, you can have a raw fruit or vegetable.

By the third day I had a screaming headache, but I still think that may have been from three days with no coffee more than anything. I don’t think it was from no food as much as it was caffeine withdrawal. Although I will say, when that last juice was gone, I ate a spoonful of peanut butter straight from the jar. Sorry I’m not sorry.

How did you feel? I felt detoxed, just like they promised. I felt pumped full of vitamins and nutrients and I felt healthy.

Why did you do it? To detox. To cleanse the system. To purge the crap. I did NOT do it to lose weight.

But did you lose weight? Yes. I lost 4 pounds. It was an added bonus – yes. AND, it did jumpstart my fitness this week when I finished the juice. I wanted to keep that four pounds off. I worked out twice a couple days this week. I was determined. But I also ate pizza, which I did crave while I was abstaining from solid foods during the cleanse! Ha.

Let the record show – I just weighed myself this morning and gained every bit of those four pounds back this week. Even with two-a-day workouts and overall watching what I ate, I gained it back. So it’s my advice not to do this cleanse for that reason. Or any cleanse. Clearly.

How did it work for you and would you do it again? I think it totally purged my system. I was drinking a huge glass or two of water between each juice and I was peeing every half hour. My system was cleansed. I was so hydrated – TMI, but my pee was so clear you couldn’t tell I’d peed at all. It was insane. SO I would venture to say that a lot of the weight I lost was water weight and as soon as I started consuming regular food and salt again, it just came right back. I’m not near as hydrated as I was.

Would I do it again – yes. I would definitely buy their juice again and incorporate it into my regular diet, probably before I would juice again. They have lots of other flavors I want to try! But I would juice again if I started feeling sluggish and full of crappy crap. I’d do it again.

Can you work out during the cleanse? I’m no doctor, so I say just do whatever you feel like. I went to power yoga on Sunday evening, two days into the cleanse. This is a 400+ calorie burn class, so it’s intense, and I was totally fine. Again, you aren’t starving yourself – this isn’t a lemon juice and cayenne pepper cleanse. You HAVE nutrients in your system, so just do what you feel like.

How much is it? Lots of people asked me this. It’s not cheap – but when you realize how much fruits and veggies are crammed into every bottle, they can’t be marking it up that much, y’all. It’s quality product, so you pay for it. The three day cleanse was $123 with tax and the refrigerated tote that the juice comes in (which I’ll definitely be using again!). Full disclosure, in the name of stellar customer service, Stephanie gave me half off my juice cleanse because they misplaced my order. Thanks gurl!

So there you have it. Oh – one more thing. Again in the spirit of full disclosure, this juice cleanse did things to my bowels that you would not believe. And the worst day was on the third day when I was back at work. (You’re welcome, coworkers!) I mean, when you’re stockpiling fruits and green veggies in your system and they are in liquid form, there are going to be some touch and go situations. So, that’s all I’ll say about that. Just be prepared, if you do the cleanse.

Huge thanks to Juice Nashville for being overall awesome and wonderful to work with. I can’t say enough good things about Stephanie and Wes, how adorable they are, the customer service they provide and the product they deliver. They truly have it figured out. Nashville needs you – so thanks for being here.

XOXO,
Jenn

Bring It, 2013

I’m excited to ring in the new year, friends – hope you are too. However, it’s a little bittersweet. 2012 has pretty much been a banner year. Let’s see:

–I finally sold my dang townhouse. For the love of everything holy – it was on the market three years to the DAY. Can you believe that? I can. I lived every aching moment of that horrible process. June 27 – damn you and bless you.
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It wasn’t without more heartache, tears, cursing and courtrooms that I finally became free of it, but it was so worth it. Some days, now six months later, it still hits me that I’m free of that physical and emotional burden and I almost float off my feet. What a blessing. (Frank J. Miles, realtor extraordinaire and friend, I’m forever indebted to you).

–I used that newfound freedom from my mortgage payment to send my 11 year old Eclipse on to her next stage in life. I got a new car! Well, new to me. I am loving my little Mazda 6. She is a good one and I hope to have a long, happy 10 or so more years with her. It’s what me and cars do. The peace of mind I have now when I hop in the car to go somewhere, or go get in my car after work, is so nice. No more “will it start?” or “Oh it’s supposed to rain? Great – bring on the flooded floorboard and mold.” Blessing, again.
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–I got a new, fabulous job. Y’all. This is the kind of job I pictured myself in when I majored in PR. You know, you sit in class and picture yourself in some fast-paced corporate environment, looking snazzy and professional in a suit and actually using your degree to do something cool. I’m doing that. And it’s like, corporate. I’m loving this place and my coworkers. I am so thankful for every previous job that prepared me to do this one, but I look around and think “so, this is what it can be like.” People get.stuff.done. And take care of their employees. Corporate America – I love you.

–The Wades renewed our family vacation tradition in Destin. Wow – what a trip. It was so fun and just what the doctor ordered. We are already looking forward to 2013’s Wade family extravaganza and have added Aunt B, this time! YES!
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–Rog and I renewed our lease on our fun West End flat, and our landlord changed for the better. Whoop! On the topic of Rog – we’re just great. 2012 has been a good year and we just keep on doing life really well, together. It’s just easy and fun and we are on the same page about 99.9% of the time. We just do life well, that’s what we say.
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If 2013 I’d half as good as 2012, I’ll feel super blessed. Cheers!

Xoxo,
Jenn

Happy Birthday, Little Brother!

My LITTLE brother is 27 today, which means soon he’ll be older than me! (In a couple years we can celebrate our 29th birthday together, Josh! I’m holding).

I am continually impressed by you and every day spent as your sister is a blessing, little brother.

You have gone from “my baby” that I couldn’t wait to hold…

josh my baby

…to such a fabulous young man. So proud of you.

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Oh, and there’s this picture, just because it’s one of my favorites ever. 🙂

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Happy birthday, buddy.

XOXO,
Jenn

See ya, Summer

Tell your friend Fall to hurry on over.

We’ve been enjoying the last days of Summer but craving Fall so much.

Here are some of our end of summer happenings.

I recently went to Atlanta for my friend Crystal’s bachelorette party. She is a sweet friend and Phi Mu sister from UT. I can NOT WAIT for her wedding in Austin in a few weeks! We had a blast in Atlanta. The crew was about half friends from college and half friends from her post-college days in Atlanta. So that was really fun. We all got along so well and had a blast – duh, Crystal picked us all as friends, so we’re clearly all awesome. 🙂 It was so much fun.

We spent Saturday “shooting the Hooch,” or tubing down the Chattahoochee River. So nice! It was like redneck tanning. Just laying in a tube, getting some sun and drinking from your floating beer cooler next to you. Yes indeed.

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Then, it was bachelorette time. On the right is Edgin and I – my freshman year roomie!

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There was a serious game of Jenga. Each piece had a question about the bride and groom on it or had a “drink three drinks” or “never have I ever” kind of phrase on it. It was hilarious.

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Me and the bride!

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OMG – dinner at Two Urban Licks. I had scallops over gouda grits. GOUDA! I love you.

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Jen Hester and I have a mutual friend back in Nashville – like, besides the ones who know Crystal. Small world.

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Beginning of night – end of night. 8:30 vs. 3:31. Wow.

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Back in Nashpatch, we went to Bartender Bash. Just as fun as I remember! But the drinks were not as yummy as last year. There were only a couple that blew my mind. The rest were just, eh, so so. But when you’re in good company, it doesn’t really matter.

Stud!

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Alice and I, and Samantha and I. Samantha, our month-long roomie, has moved back to GA since her rotation, and we miss her so! Hopefully she’ll do her residency at Vandy. 🙂

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Beautiful Union Station Hotel where Bartender Bash was held.

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End of the night – sorry so blurry, but things were…well, blurry.

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Also while Samantha was here, there was a Food Truck contest in Centennial Park across the street from our place. We headed over because Samantha won a spot as a judge! She got to try like 20 food trucks on her last day in Nashville. Jealous.

I ordered lunch from Riff’s Fine Street Food, my favorite food truck that I’ve tried.

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I had the shrimp and grits (OMG) and the salt cod fritters, which was their “tasting” portion available for the event. Y’all. I could eat those one more time, top it off with their cucumber basil (I think that’s what it was) lemonade and die happy.

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Look at Samantha and all her loot! Fortunately, she left a lot of it in our fridge when she drove back to GA the next day. Muhahahah. I ate it. All.

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Come on, Fall! I’m tired of sweating every.where.I.go.

XOXO,
Jenn

It’s Cool — I’ll Just Sleep Here, Too

If you’ve read the blog for long you know my love hate relationship with running. Some days I love it and some days I’d rather bang my face against the wall than run. Several months ago I started switching up my workout routine to try and come out of my “I hate running, especially in the summer” funk. I did a couple of bootcamps, which I loved, got addicted to BarreAmped, which I cannot afford, and bought a couple of random Groupons here and there.

Speaking of – if you are in the Nashville area, I have about 15 day-passes to the Delta gym if you’d like them. Lemme know.

I told myself that as soon as I sold my house I’d get a YMCA membership. All my friends (i.e. all the cool kids) are members and I wanted to be too – but just needed to wait until the damn house sold before incurring any extra expenses. (That’s what grown-ups do…ahem ahem).

Anywho…

So I joined the Y a little over a month ago and HOLY gym rat, Batman. I am one of them. I am LOVING the Y and all the options I have now. I’ve gotten totally addicted to yoga, circuit blast, swimming and am dabbling in cycling, now. I just took my first cycling class last night and can barely sit down today. You know – in the crotch area. Wow.

But I LOVED cycling! I had no idea. Riding a bike up pretend hills while listening to rap music as someone yells at you to “BREAK AWAY FROM THE PACK!! You’ll come in last if you don’t KICK IT!” through a microphone? What’s not to love?

So, here’s what a typical week looks like for me now – of course, meetings and happy hours occasionally drop in there on the evenings, but if I had NO obligations, this is how I’d roll.

Monday
6:00 a.m. – swim a mile downtown (indoors, friends)
5:30 p.m. – yoga with Debbie downtown. She rocks!

Tuesday
6:00 a.m. – Circuit Blast (in East Nash.) with Nikole, my Hungarian beauty. This is 50% of why I joined the Y. (No, not to meet hot girls). My friends are in this class and (rightly so) talk about Nikole non-stop. She seriously is amazing. She’s so encouraging, puts so much thought into planning workouts for us and pushes us till we about die every time. YES! We fondly call it “hell class.” The folks in our class recently raised over $2,000 to send her and her daughter back to Hungary for a visit since she pines for it regularly and hasn’t been in many, many years – so that should tell you what an impact she has on her classes.

Evening – rest

Wednesday
6:00 a.m. – swim a mile or run 2-3 miles, depending on how I feel
5:30 p.m. – cycling downtown

Thursday
6:00 a.m. – Circuit Blast with Nikole again
5:30 p.m. – rest or yoga downtown (am trying this class tonight for the first time). How well I like the instructor totally makes or breaks yoga for me.

Friday
5:30 a.m. – Pancake Run! 3 miles.
6:00 p.m. – Yoga with Gina in Green Hills (Nashville peeps. Have you been to Gina’s class yet? Lawd. She about killed me. It is hardcore, but awesome. Come with me if you’re here!)

Saturday
REST! Eat and drink. It is football season, after all.

Although…there is a spin class at 8:45 a.m. that I’m checking out this Saturday. 🙂 I’m addicted.

Sunday
4:30 p.m. – power yoga with Ed. Again – quite the challenging class.

Start it all over again.

So, you’re probably wondering how in-shape I am and how much weight I’ve lost after doing this routine for a little over a month, now? Well, first thing first….I’ve GAINED a couple pounds. UGH! Dang it. It sucks being a woman. I workout like crazy and eat mostly healthy and I GAIN weight because my body is all like “OH NO! Reserve the fat! What if we want to have babies one day?! Must.hold.onto.fat.” DUMB.

In other news though, I know some of the weight gain is from muscle strength. I have lost inches, I can tell, and am much stronger than I was when I first started Nikole’s class, for example. So, I’m not too mad about the scale. So long as my pants continue fitting and I don’t bust out of them like the Incredible Hulk when I walk, I won’t worry about it.

I don’t have a recent picture of me in a sports bra to show you my workout bod progress — but this one looks pretty much just like me, so it’ll work.

source

Ha.

Are any of you members at the Y and have a class that you just love? Tell me! As you can see, I like to try new things. 🙂

XOXO,
Jenn

Happy Anniversary, Wades!

Happy 3rd Anniversary to these two little love birds.

Love you, Josh and Ashley. Congrats on a wonderful three years. The way you’ve been there for each other and grown together through good times and bad is an inspiration to everyone around you. We all love watching you be so in love. Don’t ever stop.

XOXO,
Jenn