Monday, April 16, 2018

Thompson Nashville - Nashville Boutique Hotel















Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson


One of the questions that I get asked most is "Where should I stay when visiting Nashville?" and today, I'm going to be sharing a bit about Thompson Nashville, a chic boutique hotel nestled in the hear of The Gulch area of Nashville.

Thompson Nashville is a part of Thompson Hotels and I've got to say, it's one of my favorite local spots for so many reasons.  Thompson Nashville is nestled in one of the most popular spots of Nashville...The Gulch.  This area offers great shopping and dining experiences at some of Nashville's top restaurants.  If staying at Thompson Nashville, you can walk to so many great spots within The Gulch...no Uber needed, which is a plus if you ask me.  I don't know about you but I love exploring a city by foot any chance that I get.  You can always see and experience so much more that way.

I'm certain you will be impressed by the boutique look and feel of Thompson Nashville.  From the warm inviting lobby to the chic modern yet comfortable feel of their guest rooms & suites, you are sure to feel the southern charm that Thompson Nashville exudes.

As I mentioned, the rooms are chic and modern but they do not lack the comforts of home.  You are sure to get a great nights sleep and feel "at home" with the amenities that Thompson Nashville offers.

Thompson Nashville has a restaurant, Marsh House, on property and they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner!  You MUST dine in at Marsh House while staying at the hotel.  Their food is divine...southern with a touch of Louisiana flare!  I wrote a full review on Marsh House so if you want to learn more about my amazing dining experience...read that post HERE!

One of the most popular spots for locals and visitors is L.A. Jackson Bar, which is on the rooftop of Thompson Nashville.  Part of the bar is enclosed and the other half is open air which showcases beautiful views of The Gulch and downtown Nashville.  L.A. Jackson is hard to beat on when the weather is great here in Nashville.  You can expect it to be busy from Spring through Fall!  

L.A. Jackson offers an amazing selection of southern beers as well as an eclectic collection of wine.  Not to mention, their Frose is the best I've ever had...a MUST!  While spending time at L.A. Jackson, you can also order light bites if you want something to snack on while enjoying a specialty cocktail.  Read more about L.A. Jackson HERE!

If you need a good cup of coffee to get your day started, don't forget to stop by Killebrew, which is located inside the lobby of Thompson Nashville.  Coffee is spot on and so is there latte art!

Have I caught your attention yet?  You've got to see and experience Thompson Nashville for yourself!  It's really a one of a kind boutique hotel experience that I know you will LOVE as much as I do!  

To sum Thompson Nashville up...they are a southern boutique hotel that offers some of the best accommodations and dining experiences with top notch customer service!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Friendship, Body Positivity, and More Sizes with LOFT

*Today's post is in collaboration with LOFT.  All opinions are my own.







Photography by Chelsea Rochelle



Meet Madi...

Madi is beautiful, kind, caring, generous, funny, and she is an AMAZING friend!  She is also a Wife, Daughter, Sister, and one of the BEST Photographers I know.  I'm lucky to call her my friend.

Madi and I have been friends for 2 years now but it seems like we have been life long friends. She is that easy to get to know!  Our friendship started this time two years ago when she reached out to me asking if we could get together sometime and capture some outfit images.  She came across so warm and inviting in her message and I immediately knew she would be a person I would want to get to know.

We have developed a great working relationship and an even better friendship!  I'm lucky to call her my Photographer and my dear friend!  We've all experienced friendships that come and go but I'm certain that our friendship is here to stay.

Just as friendships come in all shapes and sizes, so do our clothes.  Madi and I had the best time picking out our LOFT outfits for our shoot together.  LOFT recognizes that every woman's body is different from the next and they are now offering even more sizes to provide an inclusive positive shopping experience for all!

My body is different from Madi's yet we felt confident finding pieces at LOFT that not only fit us well but that also flattered our different body types.  Madi picked this blossomed tassel dress and I picked this crocheted lace flutter sleeve dress.  Hers is off the shoulder and cinches at the waist and mine is a shift silhouette.

Being a long time LOFT customer, I am thrilled to know that they are offering more sizes to fit all body types!  So grab a friend, two, or three and celebrate your friendship with a shopping spree at LOFT followed by a girls lunch or night out!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

My 1st Charcuterie Board









Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson


Easter may have passed but there is ALWAYS a reason to serve a charcuterie board, even it is just for yourself and your family!  Plan ahead for a night in with your family/friends or plan ahead for the next time that you host a get together at your home...a delicious charcuterie board is always a crowd pleaser!  And if I am being honest...I have made mini boards for myself recently too, ha...it is just too good!

Although I've enjoyed many charcuterie boards over the last several years, I have never made one at home until recently.  As I planned for Easter, a charcuterie board was part of my menu.  I knew what I've seen and enjoyed on other boards that I have tried so at least I had a slight idea of where to start.  And as much as I love cheese, I don't know much about specialty cheeses so I had to ask for a little help.  Luckily my friend Madi helped guide me with advice on what cheeses and meats to buy!

I shopped at Whole Foods for all of the yummy goodies to create this beautiful and flavorful charcuterie board.  They had everything that I was looking for and so much more more!  You can build and build and build your charcuterie board but sometimes sticking with some classic flavors and crowd favorites is best.

So let's talk about what all I used to build my 1st charcuterie board...

Cheeses:
Robusto Gouda
Manchego (3 months)
Humboldt Fog

Meats:
Pepperoni
Salami
Prosciutto

Fruit:
Strawberries
Green seedless grapes
Gala Apples

Other goodies:
Marcona Almonds
Fig Jam
Raspberry Jam
Flatbread crackers
Crostini
Peppadews 
Honey

Arranging your charcuterie board is simple and fun...it's like a little piece of artwork!  You start with your cheese and meats and then you place your fruit, peppadews, nuts, etc around them and to fill in the space on your board.  We wrapped our apples with prosciutto as well.  My board wasn't large enough to place the two jams on it so we set it over to the side of the board along with the flatbread crackers and crostini.

For my 1st charcuterie board, I was so pleased with the way it turned out and with all of the flavors...the cheese/meat selections were the perfect pairings and the fruit, jam, peppadews and nuts complimented them so nicely.

I'm sure many of you have made a charcuterie board before!  I'd love to hear from you...leave a comment below and let me know what you include on your board!  Maybe you include a cheese that I didn't think of or something else that is a nice compliment to the meat.

Charcuterie boards are one of my new favorite ways to dine and enjoy others company...I will be making many of these in the future!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great day! 

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Eva Mendes Spring Collection for New York & Company

*Today's post is in collaboration with New York & Company. All opinions are my own. 






Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson


I love the change of seasons and when welcoming spring, I always move in the direction of brighter colors!  What can I say, color makes me happy!  With more sunlight each day and warmer temps as well, my wardrobe shifts and I start wearing more dresses too!  

For those of you who know me well and who have been following along for a while, you know how much I love and LIVE in dresses from spring through the end of summer.  I'm a dress girl...I love how versatile a dress is especially when it can be worn for both day and night!

I've always shopped at New York & Company and have found some of my absolute favorite dresses there!  Ever since Eva Mendes launched her brand with New York & Company I have been a big fan of her beautiful collections and have loved the quality and fit of her dresses.

Eva Mendes launched her spring collection and I'm smitten with the bright happy colors, bold prints, maxi styles, and simple figure flattering silhouettes.  

This bold bright colorblock maxi dress immediately caught my eye!  Not just for the happy colors but for the light airy silhouette too!  I knew immediately this would be a dress that I could wear for so many different occasions...one that's perfect with wedges for daytime wear and with heels for a night out or evening event.  Not to mention, it is the most PERFECT vacation dress too!

This dress is so gorgeous and truly looks amazing on!  I'm wearing a size small, which fit perfectly!  Can't you just see yourself wearing this dress on your next vacation or to a spring soiree?!

You must check out Eva Mendes' spring collection...I'm certain you will love everything as much as I do!  I'm also loving this Liv Strapless Dress, which comes in other colors too, this black Floral Del Mar Dress, and this Polka-Dot Wrap Dress!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

What to Pack for Disney






Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson 

DISNEY GEAR C/O WWW.SHOPDISNEY.COM

I'll never forget the first time that we took Reins and Addison to Disney World.  We went over Thanksgiving break back in 2016 and had one of the most memorable weeks of our lives!  Since then, we have visited Disney World over fall break, 2017, and we are now heading back for our 3rd visit for spring break, 2018.  To say we have the Disney bug is an understatement...WE LOVE DISNEY!!!

Peter and I both remember the magic of Disney when we visited as children and it is even more magical now as we experience everything with our children.  It is such a happy place and we truly have no cares in the world when we are there...with the exception of when we are going to get our next Mickey ears ice cream. ;-)

We've learned something new each time that we have visited...there is so much to "know" about Disney and I'm sure many of you who are reading this may not be first timers.  If you are a Disney pro, I'd love for you to share some of your tips too...share them below by leaving a comment!  But if you are a first time Disney goer, I wanted to share just a few packing tips with you!

WHAT TO PACK FOR DISNEY 

- Clothing appropriate for the season!  This may be obvious but many people think that just because you will be in "sunny Florida" that it will be warm every day.  We have been there during various seasons and one day can be cold, the next hot, and the next raining so...you must be prepared for all weather.  Of course, I don't tell you this so you will overpack, I just recommend planing ahead and ensuring you have packed appropriately.

- Speaking of clothing...lightweight comfortable clothing and a great pair of walking shoes are a MUST.  You will be doing a TON of walking and there is nothing worse than being uncomfortable in what you are wearing and to end up with sore feet by the end of your 10 hour day (or longer).  I learned that "looking cute" should never come before comfort when at Disney...comfort is key!  Pack hats for the family as well as a change of clothes for your kiddos in your backpack (accidents happen and so do head to toe soaking water rides).  A lightweight jacket for each family member should be on you list too!

- Ponchos...purchase disposable ponchos and carry those in your backpack!  In the cooler months, you will want these when you ride the water rides and in the warmer months, you will want these in the case mother nature decides to cool you off herself.  No one wants to walk around in wet clothes or wet shoes.

- Pack a backpack...this is an absolute MUST!  It is crucial to have a backpack with all of your belongings while at the parks.  Keep in mind that many backpacks look alike and there are LOTS of black packsacks around so be sure to tie a ribbon or tag onto yours to make it easily identifiable.  This also applies to strollers!

- SNACKS, SNACKS, & SNACKS...do I need to say snacks?!  You are allowed to bring your own snacks into the parks and I highly recommend that you do that.  We still purchase special treats and snacks but having snacks for your kiddos while waiting in the long lines can be a life saver.  I pre-pack all of our snacks in little zip lock bags and then I fill our backpack each morning before heading to the parks with enough snacks to get us through the day.

- Water bottles...yes, you can still fill up your souvenir cup with other beverages but I highly recommend that you bring water bottles each day.  Fill them up with ice and water in the morning and take them each day to the parks.  You will get very thirsty, especially during the warmer months, and it is nice to have cold refreshing water handy.

- Devices (iPad/Phone)/games/chargers...the lines can get VERY long at times so I recommend that you travel with and pack  an iPad as well as some other games (think a deck of cards).  Some may not be comfortable packing their iPad but we have taken ours each time and have never had any problems.  Again, be sure to mark your backpack as well as your stroller.  We carry our backpack onto ever single ride therefore we are never leaving our iPad behind in the stroller.  Don't forget your chargers either!

- Sunscreen!  You should always wear sunscreen but especially during the warmer months.  Apply it before you arrive to the parks and apply it throughout the day.  Many of the rides have covered areas but not all are shaded so you may find yourself standing in the sun.  And don't forget your sunglasses!

- Camera...be sure to bring your camera with you and carry it in your backpack. There will be so many special moments that you will want to capture and although many people purchase the photo pass, you will want to capture your own special moments as well!

- Spray bottle...we have not had to take this before but we will be taking this on this trip to help stay cool.  It will be in the upper 80's/90's and sunny while we are there so a little squirt here and there will keep everyone cool and happy!

- Bandaids...sometimes boo boos happen or you get a blister from all of the walking so I recommend that you travel with and pack some bandaids in your backpack when you go to the parks.  This will save you the time of trying to find a first aide location within the parks!

And don't forget your magic bands or passes!

So...what do you pack for Disney?!  Do you have any great tips/tricks to share?!  I'd love to hear them!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a magical day!  We sure will!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Sun-dried Tomato Deviled Eggs - Easter Recipe





Photography by Madi Flournoy Henderson

PINK RUFFLE TOP || DENIM || EARRINGS 

FLORAL PLATES || BUNNY PLATES || CABBAGE PLATES ||  CABBAGE PLACE MATS || NAPKINS || NAPKIN RINGS

Today I'm sharing a delicious healthy sun-dried tomato deviled egg recipe!  I recently shared an avocado deviled egg recipe and you can find that HERE as well!  I love deviled eggs but I am not a big fan of mayonnaise so I've made two versions for Easter that don't have any mayonnaise in them!

What I love most about these sundries tomato deviled eggs, besides being a healthier version of a classic recipe, is the melody of flavors!  These are sure to be a crowd pleaser!

SUN-DRIED TOMATO DEVILED EGGS
  • 6 large eggs (double recipe if making more)
  • 1/2 cup of non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of chopped sun-dried tomatoes (canned/jared sun-dried tomatoes will work well)
  • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 tsp table salt
  • 1/8 tsp of ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

Place eggs in a deep sauce pan and fill with cold water, 1-2 inches above the eggs.  Bring to a boil and then turn off heat and cover.  Let eggs cook for approximately 15 minutes.  Remove the eggs from sauce pan and move to an ice bath to chill.  Once the eggs have cooled completely, you can then peel the eggs.  *tip...peeling can be tough so I recommend that you crack the egg all the way around as much as possible by tapping them lightly on the counter...this always makes peeling the shell much easier.

Cut your eggs in half and scoop out the yolk while keeping the egg white intact.  Transfer the egg yolks to a bowl and then add the remaining ingredients.  Stir and blend the mixture until smooth.  Fill your egg whites with the mixture.  Garnish with a piece of sun-dried tomato and basil. *tip...use an cake decorating icing bag and icing tip to squeeze the egg mixture into your egg whites.  This creates a beautiful deviled egg!

Hope you enjoy these sun-dried tomato deviled eggs!  I'd love to hear if you decide to make these for Easter and if not for Easter, deviled eggs make a great appetizers for so many other occasions!

As always, thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you have a great day!

Monday, March 26, 2018

It's Here...The Belk Beauty Event

*Today's post is in collaboration with Belk.  All opinions are my own.









Spring is finally here and one of the ways I like to welcome spring is by freshening up my beauty routine with some new products!  Lucky for me, and all of you, the Belk Beauty Event has kicked off and they have some of THE BEST beauty products!  Talk about perfect timing..

The Belk Beauty Event is happening now through April 1st and you can shop so many amazing beauty brands on Belk.com or at any Belk store.  Not to mention Belk will be offering free gifts with purchase, special offers & events, an exclusive Belk tote with purchase, and so much more!  I don't know about you, but I always love additional incentives for shopping!

Picking out the right beauty products can be overwhelming at times however, if you visit a Belk store there will be plenty of Belk Beauty Specialists on hand to help you select the right products for you.  They are so knowledgeable on the latest beauty trends including the best skincare products, foundation, lipstick, mascara, eyeshadow, bronzer, etc.

Being able to shop some of the best beauty brands during the Belk Beauty Event really excites me and it should excite you too!  Some of the amazing brands that are included in this event include Kiehl's, Philosophy, Laura Mercier, Clinique, Bobby Brown, Elizabeth Arden, MAC, and Urban Decay (to name a few).

I'm excited to share what I picked out from the Belk Beauty Event so let's chat more about two of my favorite brands...Kiehl's and Philosophy!



Starting with Kiehl's...I picked up the Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate and the Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask.  I've tried numerous Kiehl's products before, all of which I was super pleased with, but I have never tried either of these until recently.  I must say, I love love love both of these products.  Being that I am in my late 30's it has become much more of a priority to take excellent care of my skin and when I find a product that works, I tend to stick with it.  

Although it has been a short time since I started using these products, I can tell you that I know I will see a positive difference in my skin over time.  My skin has responded so well to both.  The Powerful-Strength Line Reducing Concentrate has both Vitamin Cg and Hyaluronic Acid which are both key ingredients to help minimize the look of fine lines & wrinkles and to give your skin a smoother texture and overall glow.  This product is a MUST my friends!

The Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Overnight Mask is a must have too!  I've never used an overnight mask before but I'm completely smitten with this mask.  This mask smells so good and in the morning my skin feels smooth, refreshed, and more firm! A little goes a long way and I actually recommend rubbing it into your skin versus letting it sit on the surface.  I truly think you will love this mask as much as I do!


Now let's talk for a moment about Philosophy and the two new products that I picked up at the Belk Beauty Event.  I've always loved Philosophy...their products are amazing and over the years I have mainly used their lotions and perfumes.  I've worn Amazing Grace perfume for years...it is one of my absolute favorites!

I decided to try Philosophy's Purity Made Simple One-Step Facial Cleanser and their Made Simple Moisturizer.  What I love about the one-step cleanser is that it melts away my makeup (even eye makeup), it cleanses my skin, and it tones my skin all at the same time.  It breaks down makeup build up and deep cleans pores as well...what more could you possibly ask for from a daily cleanser?!

Follow up your cleansing routine with the Philosophy made simple moisturizer. This moisturize is lightweight and it leaves your skin feeling smooth and hydrated.  It is a great daily moisturizer as well and the perfect compliment to the one-step cleanser.

Have you tried these Keihl's or Philosophy products?!  I'd love to hear what you think about them.  What will you be shopping for at the Belk Beauty Event?!  If there are any products that you think I should try please let me know...I still have some shopping to do and will be taking full advantage of this event.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by...I hope you have a great day!