Tuesday, June 21, 2016

City Spotlight: Things to do in Nashville

We recently traveled to Nashville for our one year wedding anniversary and had a great time. Between the music, food, and history there's a lot to explore.  We stayed downtown right in the middle of all of the action. As much as the touristy stuff gets old, I recommend staying downtown. It's central to everything and a short Uber ride to the quiet neighborhoods. Here's a round up of our favorite and not so favorite places:

Food & Music: 


Broadway  is a must see for every tourist. It's an entire stretch of bars, restaurants and shops. We went to Rippy's. I  had the pulled chicken and my husband had the catfish. It was pretty standard and the live music was decent. We only needed to experience Broadway once.

Biscuit Love Brunch. This place should be an absolute must on your list. If there's a line around the building, wait it out. We weren't as creative with our selections (I blame the heat). I got the veggie grits (grits, eggs, and kale) and he got the steak and eggs, but they were still delicious. The menu is fantastic and the bonuts (biscuit donut) are incredible. The coffee was great too.

Station Inn: we're big bluegrass and old school country fans, which is probably why we didn't hang around Broadway as much as most tourists do. Station Inn in the Gulch is awesome. It's a little hole in the wall place with some of the best bands we've ever heard. We loved this place so much we went twice in a three day trip. Highly recommend this place.

A photo posted by d i n a y o u n i s (@dinasdays) on

Both the Station Inn and Biscuit Love are in The Gulch, a quiet and developing neighborhood near downtown. We walked from downtown, but most people were surprised that we did. While you're in this neighborhood, stop by the What Lifts You mural and take a picture!

The Frothy Monkey surprised us. We ended up here because the places we had in mind were either closed or had a two hour wait. The place is relaxed and tasty! The baked brie and the shrimp and grits (pictured above) will knock your socks off!

A photo posted by Dan Wilson (@danwilsonguitar) on

East Nashville is an artsy neighborhood with shops and restaurants. It's a $6 uber ride from downtown. We went there on a Monday and Tuesday afternoon and it was a ghost town. I guess it gets really busy on the weekends. We went to The Family Wash and I was pretty disappointed. It got tons of great reviews but it was nothing to write home about. I ordered some spicy egg breakfast and my husband ordered the catfish. Not to mention,  the coffee was awful.

A photo posted by d i n a y o u n i s (@dinasdays) on
Instead, head to Nashville Biscuit House in East Nashville. Another hole in the wall, these biscuits were the best I had in Nashville. Loved this place. After inhaling two egg and cheese biscuits,  we walked along the main road and discovered the most adorable bubble gum pink wall. Of course, photos were taken.

 The line was constantly out the door at Puckett's so I had pretty high expectations for this place, but the food was pretty average. However, our waiter was incredibly friendly and the place has a cool vibe. Although the BBQ chicken was just average, the mac & cheese was delicious.  The live band they had that night was pretty bad, so we went straight to Station Inn afterwards.

A photo posted by d i n a y o u n i s (@dinasdays) on
On our last afternoon, I set out to explore on my own while my husband slept off his BBQ ribs. I took an uber to Five Daughters Bakery and indulged in their 100 layer donuts. This place is a must not only for their delicious pastries but for many photo opportunities. If you love neon signs, pastel colored murals, and donuts as much as I do, you're in heaven. 
A photo posted by d i n a y o u n i s (@dinasdays) on

A photo posted by d i n a y o u n i s (@dinasdays) on

While you're here, take a short walk up the road to visit vintage and local shops. Although they can't compete with Ohio's prices, I loved the vintage scene in Nashville. Lots of bolo ties, bold dresses, boots, and tuxedo shirts.

This is just a handful of the places we visited on our trip. It's a great place to explore so keep your options open! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Beach Waves

Guys, I'm not kidding when I tell you this is easy. I'm really not that creative with my hair. Half the time I have no idea what I'm doing. Ever since I chopped my hair off this past winter, it's been much more manageable so I've been open to new ideas. Thanks to YouTube and beauty bloggers I finally figured out how to add a little movement to my hair with subtle waves, but still have a long way to go before I can do braids or anything that takes more than 10 minutes. My hair is extremely fine and straight, so a few beachy waves helps to add a little volume. Here's what I do:

  1. I wash my hair with Wella Enrich Shampoo & Conditioner
  2. Spray a little It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In spray 
  3. Dry my hair with Legacy Lite blow dryer. Here's a similar Lite Dryer on Amazon. 
  4. Part my hair down the middle and use a 2" wand barrel. Here's a wand barrel set similar to mine. I separate my hair into small sections and wrap it around the wand only once away from my face for a subtle wave. 
  5. Once I'm finished waving, I apply a small amount of Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Hair Cream throughout the tips of my hair for a beachy look. 
  6. I flip my hair over, and switch my part from the middle to the side to achieve a loose look. 
That's it! It's super simple and perfect for those who are like me and really have no idea what they are doing with their hair.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Bell Sleeves

Anyone else try to eat while wearing bell sleeves? Not a good look.

I love 70s fashion. It's one of my favorite decades for fashion.  I find myself constantly drawing inspiration from that time, so I'm thrilled to see many of the styles - both in home decor and fashion- make a huge comeback this season. I found this shirt on the clearance rack at Francesca's and appreciated its nod to the 70s without being completely over the top. I usually wear it with jeans but this week I paired it with a pencil skirt for work. At $40, this pencil skirt was a splurge for me, but it's really comfortable and totally practical.  I vowed to get the most out of this piece as possible. I'm not joking when I say I wear it once a week to work. Each time, I pair it with something different.

Shirt | Francesca's | $15 | Shop Similar
Skirt | JCP | $40
Shoes | Amazon | $24 |Shop Exact
Clutch | Thrifted | $5
Necklace | c/o Aaraa Jewelry

Decorating with Houseplants

Decorating with plants if one my favorite things to do around the house. I've replaced many of our knick knacks with plants and succulents over the last year and I couldn't be happier with this decision. Plants are not only inviting and good for the air in your house, but they are inexpensive and totally making a decor comeback. The only bad thing about it is that once you start, you'll find it's hard to stop!

My favorite ways to decorate with plants: 

Thrifting unique planters
I love to buy planters from the thrift store and always look for neat little bowls or mugs for succulents. One of my favorite finds are these brass bowls I got at Goodwill Akron for 50 cents a piece. Do a quick search to see how to plant your plants in planter without drainage.

Floating shelves
This area at the top of our stairs has to be one of my absolute favorite places in our house. These floating shelves from Amazon were perfect for a collection of succulents.

I always find bottles at the thrift store and opt for the simple, clear ones. I put baby's breath in a glass bottle in our dining room and a simple green branch in a teal bottle for a pop of color in our living room.

My friend Katie taught me the trick of taking off the covers of hardcover books to expose their color and typography. I opt for grass green covers or bright pink to contrast with the green plants. This spot at the end of our hallway is another one of my favorite spots.

Hanging planters
This is where I have to refrain myself from going overboard. If I move into a place with a sunroom I think I'd have half a dozen of these hanging at different lengths. This plant hanger from Amazon was very inexpensive and easy to work with.

Fake plants
I do this carefully and in moderation. If I can buy a real plant over a fake one, I will any day. However, there are certain spots in our house that don't get enough light but call for a pop of color. Our bedroom is a well lit room but we keep the blinds closed most of the time so I didn't want to risk killing a plant in there. These fake orchids are beautiful and totally look real from afar. Highly recommend them for a neutral space like a bathroom or hallway!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Your next manicure: 4 colors to bookmark

Manicure anxiety is real, guys. I've mentioned several times on this blog about my lack of decision making skills and the nail salon is no exception. One time the manicurist got so impatient with me because I went in with full intentions to get a nude color and ended up with fire engine red after going back and forth about a dozen times. The last time I went in, I actually took an online quiz to help me decide which color to get. It's kind of insane, I know. Because I always get gel manicures, I can't bare the thought of ending up with a color I don't like. Here's a round up of some of my favorite shades in case you're anything like me. Good luck out there.

  1. Longing For London is the perfect shade if you're looking for a neutral with a little extra something. I love it for the office and workwear.
  2. If you want to match every hanging basket in your neighborhood, Carnival Hangover is the way to go.
  3. I'm always looking for a great coral, and Pacific Sunset made the cut.
  4. Another great neutral, Forever Beauty is a pretty peach-ish nude.