I’m back from a ridiculous, fun, amazing weekend in Music City and couldn’t be more excited to share my trip highlights with y’all. Saddle up:
- The Southern: This place came highly recommended for both brunch and dinner, so we moseyed on over after touring the Grand Ole Opry. The drinks were delish, the food phenomenal and the service stellar. Highly recommend checking it out — maybe even for more than one meal!
- Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum: I’m a total history nerd, and what better way to escape the sultry southern heat than step back in time and learn about country music’s roots? There’s a super cool exhibit chronicling Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash’s musical mojo, too. I dig it.
- The Listening Room Café: The now-canceled show, “Nashville” led plenty of people to the famed Bluebird Café. But within walking distance of Broadway is this fabulous venue with local musicians and satisfying menu selections. Tickets for the 6pm show were FIVE DOLLARS each. It doesn’t get much better than that.
- Rose Creek: Among the many talented musicians we saw this weekend, these guys were my favorite. They had great stage presence, were fun and engaging, and I even got a signed CD… you never know where they’ll be in a year! Check out their first single, “High,” here.
I’m low on sleep but high on energy to bring you all this week’s finds. Here’s hoping I don’t crash before I finish…
- La Croix Cocktails: I previously mentioned my love for La Croix flavored sparkling water. Well, I’m hopelessly addicted now that I have an endless supply at work. Good thing a writer at Gizmodo curated nine cocktail recipes to make with La Croix! Happy hour just got a little happier.
- RunKeeper: With my newfound Run Club at work, I wanted to try this wildly popular app to map my route and pace. The welcome series of emails was a little aggressive, but I’m otherwise pleased with the experience so far. Bonus: It’s on sale for just $20/year — get it while you can!
- Firefly: I recently celebrated three months with my company by joining my referring co-worker and our mutual friend at this spot in Noe Valley. It’s largely veg-focused, but I can attest that the fried chicken and biscuit were also stellar. It was a nice departure from my usual menu, especially with the tart and vibrant fried green tomatoes. Yum!
- Jay Pharaoh: SNL’s king of impressions has done it again — this time, mimicking various rappers. Best of all, host and musical guest Drake had something to say about it. Despite the crap quality (thanks for hoarding your videos, SNL), you won’t be disappointed, fam.*
*Am I using that correctly? I’m too old and white to be cool.
I’ve been in Florida the past few days, and despite the suffocating humidity and daily thunderstorms, my heart is very full. One thing is for sure: Precious time with friends and family is priceless.
- The Girl on the Train: I’ve been meaning to read this heavily reviewed thriller for a while, and a six-hour flight did just the trick. Full of twists and turns, it blurs the lines of reality and alcohol-induced visions. I could hardly put it down and highly recommend it to fellow bookworms.
- Ford’s Garage: This restaurant opened recently in Brandon, FL and is kitschy fun for the whole family. From onion rings served on funnels to a huge tire sink stand, the decor is unmatched. And the food? Simply awesome.
- High School Reunion: This weekend finally brings the event I’ve helped plan for a year — dun dun dun! The weather doesn’t want to cooperate, but I’m still confident we’ll have a great time bullshitting and remembering all the stupid stuff we did. Take that, Christy Masters Christiansen.
- “Poor Unfortunate Souls” – The Little Mermaid: Obviously, my niece is obsessed with Disney movies. And the cutest thing I ever did see was her bobbing along to their soundtracks. This song is particularly entertaining — she waits quietly all the way through until Ariel sings and then belts it like a diva.
It’s been one of the craziest workweeks ever (didn’t I say that last time?), so I’m honestly just proud of myself for knowing it’s Wednesday.
Doesn’t matter that someone corrected me, when I made a “Throwback Thursday” reference at 9 a.m.
- Mint: This app is perfect for someone who tracks their budget and bills in their brain, but could use a helpful reminder of spending habits and upcoming payments. Hint: That someone is me.
- Bartlett Hall: A friend and I ventured to this swanky spot the other night, and despite some of the offbeat clientele, the drinks and service were on point.
- Magz Visits!: My mom gets into town Friday for a weeklong visit, and I couldn’t be more excited for some BFF time 🙂 She’ll take this city by storm, so stay tuned for a very inspired WO next week.
- “Classic” – MKTO: What girl doesn’t want to hear that she’s shining like a 5th Avenue diamond? These guys wanna thrill you like Michael and kiss you like Prince. I’m sold.
It’s been a weird week, getting back into the swing of things at work and trying to get the last of my movers’ boxes unpacked. Weird, I thought staring at the boxes for hours on end would prompt them to unpack themselves. Hmph.
- National Singles’ Day: You guys hear about this? Apparently November 11 is China’s National Singles’ Day. The most impressive feat of all? Alibaba (similar to Amazon in the US) took full advantage to have more than $9 BILLION in sales. Dayummm, girl.
- Straw: This carnival-themed restaurant in Hayes Valley serves up delicious food and whimsical decor at a decent price. We didn’t get to sit in the Tilt-O-Whirl booth this time … all the more reason to go back soon!
- OKCupid: I recently joined this dating site in an attempt to take my relationships more seriously (had nothing to do with Singles’ Day, I swear). So far, it’s a better experience than my first few days on Tinder. We’ll see how long this lasts.
- “Secrets” – Mary Lambert: This soulful singer is well-known after last year’s “Same Love” with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis — and now her upbeat and honest follow-up is sure to be another smash. In the words of my mother: You go girl!
I spent the first part of this week in San Francisco for work and got back to New York, exhausted, today. I’m not even entirely sure it’s Wednesday, as I’ve been awake since 5, but we’re gonna just go with it.
- The Grove: I reunited with a dear friend over adult PB&Js and a bottle of vino at this fabulous little find. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming, and the company was even better!
- Alibi: My Cali co-workers introduced us to this swanky Financial District spot for happy hour. While they were out of quite a few liquors, they had my trusty blueberry-vodka-and-soda available — so I was thrilled.
- Gracias Madre: After happy hour, it was only fitting we stuff our faces. This vegan restaurant in the Mission District served plate after plate of amazing food. ¡Que delicioso!
- “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” – Tony Bennett: OK, so maybe I didn’t leave my heart there … but I thought I left my contact lenses and glasses case, so that’s pretty close. And in all seriousness, I hope to make it out to SF for a longer stay very soon.