Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tour Guide Tuesday: Tomato Art Festival


The 8th annual Tomato Art Festival starts Thursday August 9th, 2012.  This unique East Nashville festival is surrounded by a weekend full of fun.  The highlight of the festival is an art show featuring tomato art.  Voted top Nashville festival by the Nashville Scene readers pole the last several years, this festival needs to move to the top of your August calendar. 

Tomato 5k, New Orleans style 2nd line parade, tomato costumes, bobbing for tomatoes, a cornhole tourney and a Bloody Mary competition are just a few of the highlights of this unique festival in the 5 points area.

About the Festival from http://tomatoartfest.com/events/

History of the Tomato Art Fest

The Tomato Art Fest was founded by Meg and Bret MacFadyen, owners of East Nashville’s Art and Invention Gallery. In 2004, the gallery hosted an art show celebrating the tomato in late summer, and planned a few neighborhood events to promote the show. The Tomato Art Fest proved so popular that it immediately turned into an annual, signature event for the hip, urban neighborhood of East Nashville. National and Local Publicity A community builder, the Tomato Art Fest has steadily drawn larger crowds with each.

This event is on my social calendar for next weekend.  I can't wait to see what all of the buzz is about and can't wait to report my findings for you after trying out this Nashville original.

Monday, July 30, 2012

High School Reunion!

Saturday was a big day for JK, his 10 year high school reunion (Of course I'm not old enough yet :)).  We headed to his hometown, Paris, TN this past weekend, and had an absolute blast!  I loved meeting all of his classmates and best guy buds from his past life.  With all of the stories and reminiscing, I couldn't help but reflect on my high school years. 

I went to a small Catholic school from K-8 and headed to a large (1500-2000 kids) public high school in 9th grade.  I focused on my academics from day one and primarily took honors classes, knowing college was my end goal.  I breezed through most subjects without an ounce of trouble.  Until I got to pre-calculus, that class quickly taught me how hard I would have to work to succeed.  I was on the yearbook staff a couple years, and I loved the creativity of the group.  I was very involved with my church youth group and treasured every minute of it.  I grasped at every chance of a leadership role whether it be co-president of our youth group or a club president, if I was a part of it, I wanted to influence it.  I played tennis, for the high school team, and while I wasn't the all star, I had a ball with the girls on the team. The tennis coach was also my chemistry teacher and he led me to choose chemical engineering as a major in college.   
During high school, I was introduced to a wide array of cultures.  I learned what a hair weave was because it was left over on the sidewalk after a fight.  Through the kids participating in See You at the Pole, I saw what separation of church and state really meant.  My eyes were opened to teen moms, drugs, and alternative school.  Suddenly my small world was not so black and white.

It wasn't until high school that I started to notice boys in a different way.  I had plenty of things going on, so having a boyfriend was never my first priority....but of course one eventually came along.  I had my first dose of how life changes once girls get boyfriends. 

I'm not sure what clique I would have been classified in....I wasn't in the populars, or the athletes...I wasn't in the nerd clique and I sure wasn't goth :)  I had a small group of friends and we did well in our classes, participated in school activities, and kinda kept to ourselves.  We were nice to just about everyone and hung out with people from every clique. 

I don't know if I will go back to my HS reunion, frankly I think it would just be awkward....maybe I will, who knows ;)

I can say this though....high school helped mold me into the person I am today.  In the big world of HS, I was able to stay true to myself and the great morals and values that were instilled in me.  I had the opportunity to interact with teens with so many different backgrounds.  I didn't love high school, I wasn't academically challenged often, the school was older and needed major physical improvements, the teachers spent most of their time with dicipline issues instead of being able to teach, and I was a little awkward :) but it did help me learn one life lesson.... 

When you step out of your comfort zone, that's when you grow as a person.   

And for that life lesson, I will be forever grateful. 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Girls Lake Weekend!

This past weekend, my bestie Emily hosted her 8th annual girls trip!  We ventured to Hot Springs, AR to visit her family lake house at Lake Hamilton Thursday after work.  Our girls trips are always a blast, and this one did not disappoint :)  One of my favorite part of girls weekend is surrounding myself with fabulous women....our group has a CPA, a couple marketing gurus, an MBA graduate, a bilingual businesswoman, a sweetheart teacher and one hot momma (what a group!?!?) Here is a rundown of our weekend...

Friday Fun on the Lake and
Polar Bear Club at the Dam
We always spend most of the day on the lake, and one of our family traditions is to jump in the lake near the dam.  The water near the dam is always around 50 degrees!  We have all jumped in, but this year there were only 4 brave souls. We decorated coozies Thursday night with foam markers (who knew?) They worked wonders, so next time you are decorating a foam visor or foam crown, grab some foam markers (you heard it here first ;)


Friday Night Trip to Sam's Pizza and Smyly's
Sam's Pizza is an all time favorite.  They have almost world famous pies along with fried pickles and jalapeno poppers.  Smylies is another must do.  We have been hittin' up Smyly's since we were 21, and always have to go back to reminisce about our "wild" days :)  We may not be the life of the party anymore, but it sure is fun to people watch! 

Saturday NEON day at the Lake 
Last year we tried a theme day, Red, White and Blue.  This year we embraced the current trend of neon!  Complete with neon coozies, bikinis, sunglasses and bracelets, we were the brightest boat of girls on the lake.

Thank you Emily for hosting another infamous girls lake trip!  It is always such a treat to catch up with our crew and catch some rays. 

Counting down til next year,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tour Guide Tuesday: Titans Open Practice


Training Camp

We are approaching the best time of the year, FOOTBALL SEASON!  You can catch a preview of the Titans 2012-2013 squad during open practices in July and August.  It is free and open to the public!

Open practice dates at Baptist Sports Park are July 29-31, Aug. 2-3, Aug. 7-9, Aug. 13-15 and Aug. 19, which concludes the open sessions. The full schedule with specific times follows:

DateCentral Time,
Unless Noted
Sunday, July 296:30-8:30 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Monday, July 303-5 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Tuesday, July 313:45-5:45 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Thursday, Aug. 26:30-8:30 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Friday, Aug. 33-5 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Monday, Aug. 64:30-7 p.m. (ET)Coahulla Creek H.S.,
Dalton, Ga.
Tuesday, Aug. 76:30-8:30 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Wednesday, Aug. 83-5 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Thursday, Aug. 93:15-5:15 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Monday, Aug. 133:30-5:30 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Tuesday, Aug. 146:30-8:30 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Wednesday, Aug. 153:15-5:15 p.m.Baptist Sports Park
Sunday, Aug. 193:30-5:30 p.m.Baptist Sports Park


Friday, July 20, 2012

Arie or Jef?!?

The finale for the Bachelorette is SUNDAY!  Will it be Arie or Jef?  Let's discuss :)

Key Stats: Age 30, lives in Arizona, Race Car Driver
Pros: Emily obviously likes to kiss Arie, he loves racing, she loves racing, he is pretty
Cons: Have they stopped kissing long enough to see if they have anything in common?

Key Stats: Age 27, Lives in Salt Lake City, Entrepreneur
Pros: His family lives on a really nice farm, he is cool, he and Emily have goofy fun together
Cons: His hair is different, he only spells his name with on f, he wears skinny jeans

Who will she choose?

JK has his money on Jef...I'm making a game time decision ;)  Emily has been such a fun bachelorette to follow.  She is genuinely sweet, classicaly beautiful, and keeps her priorites in mind always.  Tune in Sunday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday!

I'm loving that tomorrow marks the beginning of GIRL'S LAKE TRIP 2012!  My dear friend Emily has hosted her 7 closest friends on an annual girls lake trip for as long as I can remember :)  I'm heading to Hot Springs, AR after work tomorrow, and can barely contain my excitement!!!  The weather report looks amazing as well!

I'm loving that we are 6 short weeks away from the kickoff of COLLEGE FOOTBALL!  My beloved Vols kickoff the season on Friday, August 31, and I'm ready.  Shopping for orange and white is always fun too (Val's Boutique in Knoxville is my FAVORITE place to shop for orange and white)....check out these game day looks :)

Val's Boutique in Knoxville

Val's Boutique in Knoxville

I'm loving that HOPEFULLY JK and I will be taking a vaca with my parents in August.  Mom and I have run into a few roadblocks in our planning, but the beach is calling our name, so we MUST answer.

I'm loving that last Saturday, during the ZUMBA class I attended at the Y, the instructor serenaded us with a Backstreet Boys song for the cool down song, AND BSB are planning a 20th anniversary tour!  OMG I'm officially old.  Have they really been around 20 years?!?

I'm also loving my new inspirational quote "Pray or Worry, not both".  It has opened my eyes to a whole new appreciation for prayer. 

What are you loving this beautiful, sunny, and happy Wednesday?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

ESPY's Tribute to Pat Summitt

Did you see the tribute to Pat Summit during the ESPYs?  Pat was presented the Arthur Ashe Courage Award by Peyton Manning during Wednesday night's award show.  The video tribute, to the 8 time National Championship coach, was outstanding...if you didn't get to see it, check it out here....

Needless to say, Pat will go down as one of the best coaches in basketball, period.  She is an Olympic Silver medalist, was the head coach of our beloved Vols since age 22, and won 16 SEC titles.  The tribute describes her humble beginnings in rural Tennessee, her college career at UT Martin and highlights some of her personal life struggles.

I found the players commentaries throughout the tribute the most touching.  Each Lady Vol had so much respect for Pat, she inspired them to do their best in everything.  Every one of her student athletes graduated from UT with a bachelors degree.  Her passion for greatness filled the hearts of her girls on and off the court.  To be such a fearless, passionate, respected leader is something I aspire to be.

Pat is now fighting early onset dementia, and is not giving up.  With the support of her son, her family and all of her loving Vols fans behind her, she is striding forward in her battle. 

Pat, you are my inspiration!  ESPN, thanks for sharing the beautiful, remarkable story!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Meet Nowville! Nashville love :)

According to GQ magazine, Nashville is the Now-ville of the south. They published an article this week about the young, hip and trendy crowd of Music City. GQ also gave Nashvegas a shout out, naming Catbird Seat #5 on their list of top new restaurants across the country.

Here is what the article had to say about Nashville's hottest restaurant:

The Catbird Seat is perched above The Patterson House, Nashville's finest cocktail joint, and stands out as a hybrid of highbrow cooking and chilled-out southern charm. To salute Nashville's famous hot chicken (a local specialty of fried bird doused in hot sauce), the boys came up with a chile-flake-coated chip of chicken skin that packs all the crunchy lusciousness of southern fried chicken in a single bite. A plate of vanilla-bean cake and charred-oak ice cream is scattered with glistening balls that look like salmon roe but are really made of Bulleit bourbon. The drinks are just as inventive, but even more intoxicating is the vibe behind the chef's table while Anderson and Habiger work, finishing each other's dishes and sentences. It feels like you wound up with two totally sweet roommates who just happen to be world-class chefs.

-Jessica Glavin

The Nashville food scene even got a spot in the NY Times!

Also, have you seen the previews for Nashville on ABC to premire in the fall?

AND, can you say Real Housewives of Nashville?

From the Producers of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and The Real Housewives of Orange County comes a NEW Nashville based docu-series for a major cable network! If you or someone you know is a successful, powerful WOMAN, single or married, with an outstanding personality, who frequents the Nashville social scene - we would love to hear from them! Entrepreneurs, Power Couples, CEO's, Wives of Music Execs and Sports Players etc etc - Please encourage anyone you know who considers themselves part of Nashville's Elite, to apply now. Referrals are certainly welcomed!
Email NashvilleCastingCall@gmail.com
Include your name, recent photos, contact information and a brief bio about you/your family ASAP for further consideration

It seems as if Nashville is getting her 15 minutes right now, and we are lovin' it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What I'm Loving Wednesday, Camera Edition

I'm going to take a little different approach to WILW this week :)  I need your help!  I'm currently loving fancy cameras.....you know like these:

But I don't know much about them....

Nikon or Cannon?

Easiest to Use?

Best for the money?

Where to buy from?

What kind do you have?  Tips, advice and recommendations are needed here :)