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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Currently Enjoying: Foals

I listen to a lot of music, but I rarely talk about it on the blog. I know lots of really talented music writers and critics and I won't pretend to hold a candle to them. But, I figure it might be nice on occasion to share what I am enjoying, sans criticism.  Maybe people would like to check it out and make up their own conclusions. And thus, I recommend Foals new album Holy Fire

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

March Ad Space and SWAPS!

I don't know about you, but I'm really happy that February is almost over. Spring is on the way, I can taste it. To celebrate the warmer weather and the longer days, I'm offering FREE small ad spaces on my blog for the month of March!  Just head on over to my sponsor page and select small and use the code MARCHSWAP. Be quick about it, because space is limited!

If you would like to purchase an ad spot, offer a giveaway or have a product you would like me to review, please email. I'm always available for exciting partnerships!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Old Mill Babe

Happy Monday internet land! I had a great weekend and coming back to real life this morning is hard. Hard, I tell you. Steve and I went on a little getaway to the Smoky Mountains. We rented a cozy little cabin on a hill and had a chance to relax. The cabin had a hot tub, which I was excited about, and a wood burning fireplace which Steve was excited about. Everything was covered in wood and had bears on it. No joke, the couch in the living room had bear-themed upholstery. All-out tacky goodness.
During the day on Saturday we went to Gatlinburg.  It was like a redneck version of Disneyland. It was SO gaudy and overwhelming. There were a bunch of arcades, candy stores, airbrush t-shirt shops, as well as PLENTY of stores where you could buy guns and knives. Every block appeared to have the same stuff, yet everything was packed. Also, the FASHION of Gatlinburg... Wow, just wow. I've never in one location seen so many hot pink velour track suits with glitter hearts. But we did some fun things! We went to Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum and the Aquarium. The aquarium (another Ripley's outfit) was actually quite enjoyable. They have a tunnel under the shark tank where you can walk through and see all the sea life. Plus, PENGUINS. How can you not enjoy penguins?
On Sunday we headed into Pigeon Forge (home of Dollywood y'all!) and had lunch at The Old Mill. These pictures were taken after lunch so please excuse the food baby that I'm sporting. The Old Mill had really good southern food - I had country fried steak and Steve had chicken and dumplings. It was my first time ever trying chicken and dumplings and I was impressed. The dumplings are like gnocci's long lost American cousin.
After our fat-ass lunch we went into Great Smoky Mountains National Park and went for a scenic drive and some small nature hikes. We took a rocky path down to a river and just listened to the sound of the water falling over rocks. It was one of the most perfectly beautiful things I have ever seen. And the best part was we were all alone, just the two of us. Not another human in sight. Absolutely perfect.
So this outfit got me quite a few odd looks in Pigeon Forge. I guess because it was not a hot pink track suit. And yes, once again, I'm wearing the New York City leggings. I love these things and the fact that they don't really match anything means that they match EVERYTHING. The dress was something I picked up at Modcloth's cabin fever sale and I'm very happy with it. The collar is perfect!

So now I'm back in Nashville and back to real life. Real life consists of work, unpacking, and getting 4 cats to get along with each other. Oh how I will miss you, cabin in the mountains!
Dress: Modcloth
Leggings: Romwe
Boots: Old Brown Boots
Glasses: Specs

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nashville Food Friday: Noshville

Noshville Delicatessen located in Nashville Tennessee
Noshville is a little taste of New York down south. Granted, it's a very cartoon-ish version of a New York deli, but it does the job in a pinch. I'm used to the real old-school style kosher delis that have massive pickle buckets on your table (sours, dills, and even pickled tomatoes) and the idea of getting cheese on your sandwich is pure blasphemy. Noshville could be describe as "kosher deli light." And as much as I despise the giant statue of liberty out front, I have a soft spot for this place.
Noshville Delicatessen located in Nashville Tennessee
Noshville Delicatessen located in Nashville Tennessee
Just look how cute the inside is! I'm a sucker for Formica counter tops and vinyl seating. Noshville is the ultimate retro throwback diner in town and I love it just for the kitsch factor. I always ask for a booth because to me it isn't a real diner experience if you aren't in a booth. Especially a vinyl booth that makes that squeaky fart sound when you move on it.
Noshville Delicatessen located in Nashville Tennessee
Now, on to the grub. Noshville carries a lot of my favorite foods that you can't find anywhere else in town. I love chopped liver and they make an excellent chopped liver salad sandwich (don't go rolling your eyes at me- don't knock it 'till you've tried it!). Their Matzoh Ball soup is quite good, although they use the big fluffy style balls and I personally prefer the smaller/denser balls. Their sweet and sour cabbage soup is also quite good, but that's also an acquired taste. My go-to deli sandwich is a hot tongue on sourdough with mustard. Tongue is my favorite kosher deli meat- it's fatty, soft and flavorful. This is also my Mom's deli favorite as well (and yet another case of the apple not falling too far from the tree). Noshville makes a pretty good sandwich. But compared to the delis back in New York, they give a pretty small portion of meat. I think this might be the only case of a southern place providing LESS food than a northern equivalent.
Noshville Delicatessen located in Nashville Tennessee
Steve went for a healthier option of a salad, but it turned out to be just a huge pile of meat on some lettuce. Don't get me wrong, this is not a complaint. What my sandwich lacked in size, Steve's salad made up for in meat portions. He chose the New York Chef Salad which came with roast beef, tongue and brisket. I got to try the roast beef and I was quite pleased. I guess it's hard to find something "healthy" in a deli!
Noshville Delicatessen located in Nashville Tennessee
I really like Noshville. It is a great place to go and grab some lunch, have a cup of coffee, and read the paper. With my family living so far away, it has been a nice little slice of home. There have been quite a number of times I've been sick and stopped by to pick up some Jewish Penicillin (ie: chicken soup) on my way home from work. It isn't as good as my Mom's, but it will do.

Noshville Delicatessen on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 18, 2013

Gold Glitter Prom

Happy Monday lovely people. I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Mine was once again filled with cohabitation-related activities. We got a lot of stuff unpacked and put away. I'm really starting to feel better about the whole thing and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm looking forward to having our nights back. Whoever thought that sitting on the couch watching television would be such a luxury?
This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the QDP Prom. QDP stands for Queer Dance Party and one of the best dance nights in town. They happen about once a month at the 5 Spot and are a guaranteed great time. For their one year anniversary they decided to throw the BIGGEST QDP yet. It was held at the Mercy Lounge and had live bands (Ponychase, Tipper Whore, and My So Called Band) as well as your favorite QDP DJs. There was even a choreographed dance number to a Robyn song! 
So this is the outfit I chose to wear to this awesome party. I know it isn't a big ball gown and I don't have an up-do, but that was never my jam. While there were a few people decked out in prom attire, retro 80s puffy dresses and even *gasp* lingerie. I decided to focus all my energy on the bling. Because I don't think there is anything classier than simple black and gold.
I can't express how much I love this jacket. I picked it up during a crazy sale from Modcloth during their Cabin Fever deal. I don't have enough sparkly things in my wardrobe so when I saw this for a very reasonable price, I pounced. I got tons of compliments on it so I gather it was a worthwhile purchase. Now I just need to attend a few more events where this sucker would be appropriate.
 Jacket: Modcloth
Dress: American Apparel
Tights: Betsey Johnson
Shoes: Urban Outfitters
Necklace: Betsey Johnson
PomPom Crown: The BombPom

Friday, February 15, 2013

Nashville Food Friday: Sonobana

I'm a sushi girl. If I had to eat one meal every night for the rest of my life, I would pick sushi. It is the ultimate comfort food, leaving you happy and full. And because sushi is relatively healthy, you don't get all that food guilt if you ate, let's say, mac and cheese. Living in a land-locked state like Tennessee, you would expect that our sushi options are quite limited, but you would be wrong. I was skeptical myself at first, coming from New York and Boston where the fish is fresh off the boat and there is an abundance of talented sushi chefs. So I tried a bunch of sushi places around town, some good, some terrible, some mediocre. But the one that I enjoy the most is Sonobana. It reminds me of my sushi joint back in New York. Everything is fresh and they have a mixture of traditional rolls and some very creative ones. Also, what I enjoy the most is their variety of traditional Japanese appetizers and non-sushi entrees.
 sushi at Sonobana located in Nashville Tennessee
The signature roll at Sonobana is the Cherry Bomb. It is a pretty traditional shrimp, cream cheese and avocado roll with a maraschino cherry thrown in. I know that sounds pretty bizarre, but it really is a delicious combination. I have convinced many a skeptic to try this roll and all have been pleased.
 sushi at Sonobana located in Nashville Tennessee
The photo above was a special roll that Steve ordered, but right now the name escapes me. It had crab, salmon and avocado and was deep fried tempura style. It even came with the traditional tempura dipping sauce and some good steamed veggies. This roll was way more than what we were expecting from the description on the menu.
 sushi at Sonobana located in Nashville Tennessee
One of the other things I really like about Sonobana is that they offer a good variety of rolls without rice and a nice variety of shashimi. Since I eat paleo most of the time, I like having the option of not eating rice, and that is much easier to do at Sonobana than at other sushi places I have tried. My favorite is the White Bridge roll which has tuna, salmon, egg, crab, and some mint rolled in radish. This roll is very fresh tasting. The other rice-less roll is the Big John #1 (be careful if you're eating paleo, because #2 has rice!). It has eel, avocado, and roe rolled in cucumber. 

And as an added bonus, Sonobana has a small Japanese market attached. So after you stuff yourself silly with sushi, you can go next door and pick up some Japanese candy, some manga, or a video!

Sonobana Japanese on Urbanspoon

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

Photo By Jamie Goodsell
Dear Steve,

Thank you for being supportive and loving. I'm sorry for being a Grinch that kind of hates Valentine's Day. But honestly, you are so amazing, I'm changing my tune. I love you with all my heart.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Check it out: East Nashville Beer Festival

I love my neighborhood. East Nashville is truly my favorite place in the world. Despite all the hipster jokes and Portlandia references, this place is pretty amazing. Where else can you go to Kroger and run into 5 friends? Or attend a Twin Peaks prom? Or a delicious beer festival?

Well my friends, this little (best) part of town hosts the annual East Nashville Beer Festival and it's one of my favorite events of the year. It's marked on my calendar way in advance and I'm always telling people that they REALLY NEED TO GO. So mark your calendars for March 23rd this year! I had the best time ever last year. I got to try a ton of tasty beers, talk to the brewers themselves and meet tons of other awesome beer fanatics. I'm going again this year and promise to bring you a full post on this thing. As you know, I love reviewing beer and food. Just take a look at all the breweries you can sample from! The beer is not the end of it, either. Seeing as I'm a food blogger I want to try the delicious offerings from the local food trucks that will be there including Riff's, The Grilled Cheeserie  and Biscuit Love. But the best and newest addition is the beer and food paring put on by Whole Foods. They will pair 12 specially selected beers with 12 small plates and you can eat as much as you like. This is a special additional $45 ticket and is limited to 200 people, but hopefully I can get in on this.

Plus, the whole week leading up to the beer festival is Craft Beer Week! There are tons of events around town at breweries and bars where you can get into the craft beer spirit. Last year I went to an event at Woodland Wine Merchant (Thanks Green Flash!) and got to have a delicious and FREE beer tasting. I highly recommend checking out these events- and you can probably find me at the Sexy Beer Night at 12 South Tap Room or the Brooklyn Brewery Night at Craft Brewed.

So mark it on your calendar folks! Tickets go on sale February 21st at 9am sharp (and get your fingers on the button because this event will probably sell out in under an hour, if not 30 minutes). So head on over to Rhizome Productions and get your tickets- I'll see you there!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Twin Peaks Prom

There are few things in this world I like better than Twin Peaks. It's my favorite TV show of all time and I know that there are a lot of people out there who have been just as influenced by it as I have. When I heard that Boheme Collectif, a local Nashville art collective/gallery/venue, would be putting on a Twin Peaks-themed art show and prom I was so excited! The night was full of really creative TP inspired art. There was pie, doughnuts, "damn fine" coffee and a spiked punch called David Lynchburg Lemonade, as well as a black lodge photobooth. I went as the Log Lady and Steve came as my Log. We took 3rd place in the costume contest which was pretty good for a last minute idea! I met another wonderful log lady and I got to hang out with my friend Stephen who came as Dr. Jacoby. This needs to be a yearly thing, and I've heard that BC does indeed plan to make it such.

Photos by Chris Scruggs of Lens Distortion

Monday, February 11, 2013

New York State of Mind

Happy Monday everyone! I can't believe it's already Monday. My weekend was so busy and not restful at all. It seems like I have only been away from my desk for 5 minutes and not a full two days. On Friday night I met up with some of my favorite ladies to play Cards Against Humanity at a local bar. The biggest surprise was that whoever played the game before us left an unused condom in the box. Imagine our surprise when we pulled that out of the box! It's performance art, people.
On Saturday I had the complete thrill of attending a Twin Peaks Themed Art Show and Prom. I am obsessed with Twin Peaks and it was wonderful to spend an evening with people who love it just as much as me. There was lots of fabulous Twin Peaks inspired art as well as a black lodge photobooth. Even some of my favorite burlesque performers did their take on TP. Steve and I also came in 3rd place in the costume contest! I was the log lady and he was my log. (I hope to have some photos of that later). The night even ended with some karaoke at Fran's. Fran's is easily the most Lynchian place on the East Side.
I also have a lot of big personal news going on right now. The reason why I have been so busy and tired all the time is that Steve is moving in! I'm super excited about cohabitation but at the same time a tad bit freaked out because I have never lived with anyone before. Also, moving is VERY stressful. I wish I had some magical house elf help for this. Where is Dobby when you need him?
I wore this outfit on Sunday to get my nails and toes done with some of my best ladies (Jen, Lauren and Meredith). Those girls are so amazing and I'm incredibly thankful to have them in my life. They knew I needed to take a break and relax from all the moving stress. They convinced me to leave the house for a few hours and take some time to myself. It was much needed. Thank you ladies.
I feel like this outfit is very New York of me. Not only because the leggings depict the city skyline, but also the whole feel of it. I love the abstract neon design on the sweater and how it contrasts the photo-realistic tights. I would be very comfortable walking around NYC in this outfit.
I'm wondering if I'm starting to get a bit boring with my outfits. I seem to have discovered my winter uniform: bright tights + big sweater. I don't think there is anything wrong with this combination but I'm beginning to wonder if I'm stuck in a creative rut. I'm sure warm weather will allow me to wear all the skirts that have been hiding in the back of my closet for the last 4 months, but I'm pretty sure I won't give up my winter uniform that easily.
So how about my new glasses?! After my recent dealings with online glasses providers, I decided to go visit my friend Allison at local optical shop called Specs and get some real-deal frames. These beauties are vintage and I love them so much. They are a really pretty steel-blue-gray color and just the right level of loud.
And the cat bag? I've seen this sucker all over the interwebs lately and I knew I had to have it. It's so much easier to carry all of your crap when it's being held in a sweet kitty cat. And this cat holds a lot! Inside is a pair of flip flops, wallet, glasses, kindle and an umbrella. Not bad for a sweet kitty face!
Sweater: Modcloth
Tights: Romwe
Shoes: Anthropologie
Collar: Modcloth
Glasses: Specs

Friday, February 8, 2013

Food Fiday Boulder Edition: Tangerine

brunch at Tangerine located in Boulder Colorado There are few things in the world I love more than a good brunch. I'm a fan of breakfast foods but my weekday schedule doesn't really provide me with time to enjoy a "balanced breakfast." Most days I just shove a banana in my purse and hope for the best. That is why during the weekend (or if you are on vacation and you don't have to wake up by 7am) you can enjoy the wonder that is breakfast. And when I am on vacation I want to eat brunch every damn day to make up for my deficit. At some point during our visit to Colorado the idea chicken and waffles came up, at which point I expressed my desire to "put them in my mouth." Emo.Matt knew just the place- Tangerine.
brunch at Tangerine located in Boulder Colorado
brunch at Tangerine located in Boulder Colorado
Tangerine might be the cutest darn breakfast joint I've seen. The decor was modern and light, with just pops of, well... tangerine. The metal chairs were all different colors and I loved the green tile behind the bar. We were lucky enough to get a booth by the window that was drenched in window light.
brunch at Tangerine located in Boulder Colorado
Their coffee menu looked pretty sweet, but since I was already two cups in by this point I opted for a chai. But to my surprise when I ordered it our super kind waiter asked me what kind of milk I wanted. I said almond milk hesitantly because I find it hard to get lattes and such done with almond milk in Nashville. And do you know what he said?! "SURE." I had the best almond milk chai latte ever. It was thick and creamy and I couldn't tell that it wasn't straight from a cow. Steve ordered the fresh squeezed orange juice that was delicious. I'm a sucker for pulp and this one was as pulpy as they come.
Chicken and Waffles at Tangerine located in Boulder Colorado
Since the menu was full of lots of tasty options, Steve and I decided to order two things and split them. Obviously, we went for the chicken and waffles. It was a fried chicken breast sandwiched between two sides of a Belgian waffle with cashew cream on top and real maple syrup. The chicken breast was tender and spiced well. The fried bit was delicious, wasn't too thick, and didn't overpower the meat. Why don't all waffles come with cashew cream? Fo' Real.
Eggs benedict at Tangerine located in Boulder Colorado
My personal favorite go-to breakfast of  choice is usually eggs Benedict. I have eaten this dish all over Nashville and I love to try it out at new places. Tangerine offers a nice variety of Benedict offerings. I went with the the Green Eggs and Ham. It was made with Prosciutto, brie, walnut pesto and hollandaise sauce. I have never had this exact combination on a benny before and I am in love. How have I never had Brie on a benny before?! That seems so unfair seeing how it melts beautifully with the runny egg and hollandaise. Also, one can never ever go wrong with pesto as far as I'm concerned.

Overall, I loved Tangerine. We didn't have to wait for a table at all and our waiter was a really sweet guy and very attentive. I can only hope I make it back to Boulder to try out more of their benedicts!

Tangerine on Urbanspoon
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