Nashville Life

Tennessee State Museum {Nashville}

Recently, a brand new Tennessee State Museum opened here in Nashville! Growing up as a local, my husband frequently visited the old state museum, and we even went on our lunch hours occasionally to walk around. His love of history – especially TENNESSEE history – adds an extra level of joy to the whole experience.

So last weekend, we took Charlotte to check out the new space! Let me start by saying the whole place was SO well done – the exhibits were beautiful. We did sort of do a “speed race” through them because when the stroller stops, the wiggles start.

As a parent of a toddler though, the best part was the HUGE children’s room. They still plan to add more interactive exhibits here, but right now it has books, blocks, magnets, and story time. Our little one loved roaming across the Tennessee map painted on the floor, and my husband loved telling her about different places in Tennessee.

It was a sweet weekend, and I highly recommend it! It’s free, kid-friendly, and extremely well done!

Life As I Know It

A Note On Christmas Trees

This Christmas marks me and Jonathan’s third married Christmas. THIRD. That’s crazy. As you probably know, we spent our first two years of married life living in Ohio, where we knew no one (at first) and had no family. It was extremely important to me that our house there felt like home for both of us. And for me, that meant some serious and intentional Christmas decorating.

Our first year, we decided to cut down our own Christmas tree, so the day after Thanksgiving, with my visiting in-laws in tow, we drove 45 minutes away to do just that. We even named it Tenny, a nod to the state we planned to end up in.

The next year, my mom visited as well, and again we made the trip to cut down our tree. Tenny 2.

These trees were special to us because they were OURS. Jonathan sawed them down himself, and then I decorated them. These trees made that house feel like home at Christmas, especially with all of the ornaments that represent so many memories from both of our lives.

This year, we have been so busy with remodeling parts of our new house in Nashville that Christmas decorations became an after thought. But last weekend, we knew we HAD to go get Tenny 3. So we went to a tree farm, and no offense to Tennessee, but it DID NOT live up to the Ohio farm we had visited the two years before. So after stopping a few places, we ended up buying a pre-cut tree (hey, we still went to a farm. we TRIED), and put it in our practically empty living room and decorated it.

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Tenny 3 is pretty much just for us. We aren’t having any parties this season, like we usually do. We haven’t invited friends over yet, because our house is still in pieces (but getting very close!). So it’s pretty much just us, enjoying it in the evenings, and watering it every day. It’s not technically as nice of a tree as Tenny and Tenny 2 were, but it’s just right for where we are in life: it’s just what we need.

So cheers to all the Christmas trees that have sat in this window since 1949, and cheers to the many trees our little family will bring in. Merry Christmas!

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Life As I Know It

Fourth of July Weekend Wrap Up {2015}

It was a great weekend in Nashville, except that it RAINED on the night of the 4th, so we didn’t get to watch fireworks from our secret spot like we had planned. MAJOR BUMMER.

But I spent the 3rd with these two little ladies (and also I had to catch a glimpse of my flag dress from Red Dress Boutique)…

IMG_7926And that night, me and the hubs gave a shout out to my hometown, with each of us wearing our Wisconsin shirts:

IMG_7958The hubs had to work during the day, so I headed to a family cookout (with his fam!), and had a great time catching up with everyone: IMG_7961Me and the lovely ladies had to get a photo – two cousins-in-law and a sister-in law:IMG_7965And I just have to show off the adorable back of the OTHER dress I bought from Red Dress Boutique:IMG_7971

And finally, my adorable nephew Jack, because he is the most photogenic kid I know:IMG_7972

Mmm...Food...

State Cookies + Archie Griffin

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Sometimes, you just feel like making cookies from scratch. And you have cookie cutters to represent the states you live in. And so you make state-shaped cookies from scratch.

What?

I tried a new recipe – the hubs didn’t love it, but I did! Whenever you are rolling out dough and using cookie cutters, you need to make sure you are using a recipe that won’t rise or puff up at all, because that would jeopardize your shapes. They are already going to look a little wonky – don’t make it worse!

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I used this VERY simple recipe from Nestle. I ended up drizzling chocolate on them to make them a little extra sweet, but you could also ice them as they show on their website.

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OKAY BUT THEN our department of about 50 people were planning our “Celebrate Archie” day, as Archie prepares for a job transition, which included an Archie “trivia” game with our staff…

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And then an ice cream social, with these adorable balloons…IMG_7834 IMG_7838

And I thought, I SHOULD MAKE OHIO COOKIES! So I made these…some Vanilla Almond cookies with a football cookie cutter, and some of the afore mentioned chocolate chip cookies shaped like Ohio, and with a little extra chocolate love. Also I made a LOT more than six, but I forgot to take a photo, and this is what was left near the end…

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I think he liked them! I’ll miss seeing this face around the building everyday…IMG_7841

Life As I Know It, Traveling Chick

Easter!

We had a great weekend enjoying beautiful Tennessee weather and lots of good time with my husband’s family and a few of our friends. Here are a few pictures to sum it all up!

Life As I Know It, Picture Taking Time

Holiday Favorites {Photo Dump}

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Over the holidays, we spent six nights in my home state of Wisconsin, and then six nights in my hubby’s home state of Tennessee. We spent most of the time with family, a few friends, and each other. It was relaxing and also long enough that by the time it was over, I was very ready to get back to my regular work routine.

Here are a few gems from our travels!!

Life As I Know It, Traveling Chick

Happy 2014!

It’s a new year, y’all!

Before I talk about the new year – what it’s already brought and what’s yet to come – I feel like I need to wrap up 2013, and share a little love from our Christmas adventures.

First, we HAD to have our first, married Christmas tree. So the weekend after Thanksgiving, we went to a tree farm out in the country, and cut down our own! Well, let’s be honest. Jonathan cut it down.

But it was a great time, that we will always remember! Also, we named our tree Tenny, after Tennessee, of course. Here she is!

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I also realized I never shared my Christmas centerpiece and nativity with y’all! I kept it pretty simple, but loved it. Gold and red chargers, with gold and white napkins. A simple, wintry runner. Tall stands filled with gold and red ornaments. Red candles. And my favorite part is copied from my mother – a jewelry tree with “The Twelve Days of Christmas” ornament set hanging from it.DSC_0020 DSC_0027

My nativity was given to me piece by piece throughout my childhood from my mom. It is made by Fontanini, and this was the first year I finally got to take it out and set it up. I love it! It reminds me of home.

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For Christmas, we took 10 days to travel to Wisconsin, and then to Tennessee to be with our families. We had a great time, and it feels like it has taken us a solid week just to settle back in. We had a pretty low-key New Year’s here in Columbus, and I finally feel caught up on the little stuff.

So finally, here are a few favorites from our time in very snowy Wisconsin, then in Nashville for Christmas, and then Gatlinburg for a few nights in the mountains. I hope you had wonderful holidays with your families as well!

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