nashville state of mind

well, i've finally recovered from my food coma from our visit to nashville, and managed to download our pictures (and make a little video too, of course).  we visited nashville in early october of last year for a vanderbilt vs. florida game (go gators)!  we had a wonderful time, but definitely decided that we needed to come back for a longer stretch of time to enjoy all that nashville has to offer.  when we saw that one of our favorite bands, shovels and rope, would be performing at the ryman auditorium (the original site of the grand ole opry, by the way) in february, we figured it would be the perfect opportunity to book a return getaway.  here's a look at our getaway (sorry for the ridiculous amount of photos... there's just so much goodness in nashville):

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 we arrived in nashville crazy early (7:45 am to be exact), so our first stop was to the famous biscuit love.  it just so happened to be conveniently located across the street from our hotel, so we actually went there for breakfast twice.  if you go, you MUST get the "bonuts" (see above).  seriously, life changing.

check-in time at our hotel wasn't for a few hours, so we decided to walk to broadway and do some sightseeing!

the world famous tootsies (last time we were in nashville, kid rock gave an impromptu performance here)!


nashville has the coolest floors!

hanging out at the ernest tubb record shop.

we visited the johnny cash museum, which was really cool!  it was really neat to see the handwritten notes by johnny cash describing all of his personal items.  so much nostalgia!

no big deal, just handwritten lyrics to "folsom prison blues" and a few grammys.

guitar designed and played by johnny (this particular one had a beautiful mother of pearl inlay)!

this dress was worn by reese witherspoon in the movie, walk the line!

dolly! 😍

more dolly!! 😍😍

no better way to wait to check-into your hotel room, than with a beer on broadway!

we finally checked in to the hotel!  we stayed at the thompson nashville, and it's definitely in the top five fanciest hotels i've ever stayed at!  also... quick question... is it normal to have emotional feelings for a bathroom?  because this one got me like 🙌

complimentary bathrobes and slippers???  this hotel spares no expense!

adorable patsy cline sketch!

see!  cool floors!

dear interior designer for thompson hotels,
please come to my house next!
-thanks, beth

more cool floors!

guitar laden wall

the perfect boots for cory!  too bad they were over $2000 😳

i had some of the best bloody mary's of my life on this trip!  notice the freshly sliced jalapeno floating about!

i had more hot nashville chicken than the law should allow!

afternoon cocktails at our hotel!

getting ready for the shovels & rope show at the ryman!

our seats were pretty decent! 😜

they do this really cute thing where they share a microphone and rock out!  #relationshipgoals

we even scored a copy of the setlist they used!

my favorite part of our last day was spent lounging on the rooftop of our hotel (l.a. jackson).  we could not have asked for better weather in february (70 degrees, y'all), and the view was incredible!  we enjoyed (some more, haha) bloody mary's, prosecco and beer... and may have toyed with the idea of moving to nashville after consuming said drinks (hey, it is exactly 8 hours from nashville to each of our hometowns.  just sayin').

nashville, you're pretty cool!  till next time!

some other places on our itinerary i would recommend (wherever you go, try to make reservations):

pinewood social: brunch, dinner or drinks & bowling... you can't go wrong with this place
merchants restaurant: we opted for the more casual dining downstairs.  great food and service!
saint añejo: go here for brunch on the weekend.  two for one cocktails and excellent food!
the station inn:  bluegrass dive bar, with reasonably priced beer.
skulls rainbow room:  great late night hangout, in the heart of downtown.
the stillery:  first come, first serve on the top floor... wonderful food & live music!
e. allen boutique:  adorable clothes, great place to shop for a day or night out on the town.


DIY: refinished vintage pie safe

i've been dying to share this (not so little) project i recently completed!  this vintage pie safe has been in my mother's family for many years (the best i can tell from online research, it was produced in the late 1800's or early 1900's).  my mom remembers having it in her house while growing up, ever since she was a little girl.  they called it "the old safe".  i can remember it sitting in our garage ever since i was a little girl (haha).  it's where my dad kept pipe cleaners, old oil cans, etc.  but even amongst the darkness and dinginess of our garage, i always loved this piece of furniture and i knew i wanted to have it in my house one day when i grew up!

fast forward to me growing up and getting a house... and there i was, back on my way up to north carolina after a visit to my parent's house, with this vintage pie safe rolling safely behind me in a uhaul trailer!  i could hardly wait to unload it and get started with the refinishing process!  it ended up taking many more hours than i originally anticipated, but the specifics basically involve the following:
  • i used a liquid stripper and medium steel wool to remove the old dark finish (this was undoubtedly the hardest part)
  • sanding first with medium grit, then followed by fine grit sandpaper
  • staining the bare wood with a light walnut stain (to maintain the woods natural beauty)
  • painting the inside cabinets and shelves with an ivory enamel paint
  • applying pretty new knobs and handles i picked up at world market
once i got started and saw the beauty of the wood grain underneath the old dark stain, i knew this was going to look incredible!  they sure don't make things like they used to (ah hem, ikea... i'm talkng to you and all of your particle board furniture).  my kind, thoughtful and adorable mother recently passed down this beautiful pink depression glass that belonged to my great grandmother and my great great aunt, some clear fostoria depression glass (my grandmother's wedding china), and a gorgeous set of white china (also my grandmother's)... and i figured there would be no better place to display these family heirlooms than my newly refinished pie safe!  it looks so beautiful in our dining room... just how i envisioned it would look one day when i was a little girl!  here's a few pictures from beginning to end:

this is how it stood in my parent's garage for years.

i started with the top, and became so excited when the beautiful wood underneath the dark stain was revealed.  however, considering how long just this small part took to strip, i began to ask myself "what was i thinking"?

a few months later (haha, i definitely took my time), halfway there... completely stripped and sanded with one coat of paint on the shelves in the background.

the back of the safe.  there was a sticker where that dark blob was, which probably had information regarding when and where this was made, but sadly none of that is visible anymore.

i binge-listened to a lot of podcasts in our garage for those few months while i was working.

the finished product (now in our dining room)!!!

complete with all of my beautiful china and depression glass.  i think the ivory paint on the interior really makes the china pop!

can i just tell you how happy pink depression glass makes me?

 seriously.  so happy.

plenty of storage underneath, too!

beautiful, hand carved details!

pretty hardware i picked up from world market!

this is still the original glass... it's kind of hard to see the detail, but up close with the naked eye you can see tiny imperfections and ripples, which i just love!

when i was younger, i never understood why people had things they never used (one reason why i foolishly didn't register for my own wedding china).  luckily, the women in my family who preceded me were far smarter than myself... and i'm so lucky to have all of this beautiful vintage dinnerware on display in my home.  and now, i totally get it!  :)