Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Lauren Moffatt Fall 2011

Lauren Moffatt's Fall 2011 collection is a spot on interpretation of a modern day prairie girl. That is, if that prairie girl left her bucolic homeland and ended up in Manhattan with a healthy wardrobe budget.

Of course, I'm loving the lace dress, but I was also surprised to find myself drawn to the cape with the leather pockets. I'm not sure if I could pull it off, but I certainly wouldn't mind giving it a try. I probably wouldn't set foot anywhere near a farm while wearing it, though. 

Dial "M" For Murder

A few weeks ago, Nate and I had a bit of an old movie viewing spree on Netflix. Our favorite by far was the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, Dial 'M' For Murder, starring the always elegant Grace Kelly. The movie was amazing, the kind of edge of your seat drama with incredible dialogue that keeps you glued to your seat. But I have to say that my favorite element by far were the gorgeous costumes. I mean, even the guys looked incredible. It would not bother me at all to see more women in dresses and men in bowties.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Memoir Project

Ernest Hemingway's Typewriter in Sun Valley, Idaho

So, I did it! I wrote and submitted an essay for Glamour magazine's "Real Life Story" contest.

A friend told me about it several months ago and encouraged me to apply, but I just couldn't seem to find the time to actually sit down and write. There was always an excuse:

"The baby needs to be changed." 

"I need to do laundry."

"The dog has to be walked right now!"

"We have family coming into town."

Blah, Blah, Blah.

That last excuse proved to be my saving grace. Nate's dad came to visit us the weekend before the essay was due. I had not even written one word, and at that point, I knew.

It was never going to get written.

But I was wrong. I love it when that happens! My sweet, supportive husband literally pushed me out the door.

"Go. Write. We've got this covered," he said as I slipped out the door, watching Maddux play on the floor with his Grandpa. So I did. I went to the Starbucks in Green Hills, and sat and wrote like I haven't written in nearly a year, since Munchkin was born. And I came home and wrote some more, and again the next night, until it was finished. 

Looking back, I realized it was the first time since Maddux was born that I completely let go and let Nate be in charge of taking care of him. I've had time away from him where Nate watched him while I ran errands or got a massage, of course, but I always found myself worrying and thinking too much. As a stay at home mom, I think that I tend to hold on a little too tightly and forget that Nate is just as capable (if not more so....I mean, you should see those two together) of caring for our son.

But this time, when I was away writing, I forced myself to think of nothing else but the words I wanted to put down on paper. I didn't worry about whether or not Nate would remember to feed him (he did), or if he would change his diaper (he did that, too).

And you know what? When I got home, everything was fine. There were no fires to put out and Maddux hardly even glanced my way when I walked in the door (which, if I am honest, kinda bummed me out). He was his usual smiling, giggling self, so ridiculously happy to be rolling around on the floor with his Daddy and Grandpa.

15 minutes before the submission deadline passed, we pressed "Send" and my essay was on its way.

At this point, it doesn't matter whether I win or lose (although winning would be awesome!).

I am just so happy that I actually did it!

P.S. I've become addicted to this website and am dying to attend one of her memoir writing workshops!

Check out this amazing series on Writers' Rooms, which profiles the spaces where authors and musicians, both past and present, have written their most famous works.

One of my favorites is the little hut where Roald Dahl wrote some of the most enduring stories of our time, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Road Trip: Charlotte, Tennessee. The Sequel.

Nate, Maddux and I headed back to Charlotte for their Fair in the Square on Saturday afternoon. As expected, sweet tea and fried food was in abundance, there was a bluegrass band playing and the locals were laying on the down-home charm. Basically, it was Heaven.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Portland Music Festival

My brother Chad and I had the opportunity to play in the little town of Portland, Tennessee last weekend for a music festival. This was the first year, so there weren't a whole lot of people there, but the venue was amazing: an awesome outdoor bandshell with a stellar sound system. 

Hopefully as the word gets out, this little town will fill the place to capacity for future shows. It's definitely worthy of some great gigs.

My favorite moment of the day by far was, after the announcer introduced us and the audience was clapping, looking over to the side of the stage to see little Munchie clapping for his momma. Love it!

Thank you Tori Harris for the great shots!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Shrimpton Couture

1950's Jaques Fath

Oh. My. Goodness. If you are a fan of vintage clothing (and you should be!), check out Here you will find gorgeous, museum quality pieces ranging from the late 1800's all the the way to the 1990's.

I've fallen in love with several of the dresses already and loved just browsing through the pages. Check it out if you have a spare hour!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Road Trip: Charlotte, Tennessee

One of the many reasons that I fell in love with Nate is that he loves road trips as much as I do. I'm not even talking about the pack up the car, be gone for days kind either, although those are pretty awesome. Sometimes, even just getting gone for a few hours will do the trick. We love to explore, and now with Munchie, we have an even better reason to get out of the house. I want him to see as much of this incredible world as possible, even if it's just down the street from his house.

This week, we took a late afternoon drive to the tiny (think no stoplights) town of Charlotte, Tennessee. It was only about a 45 minute drive from Nashville, and filled with gorgeous scenery, like rolling green hills and thick vegetation. 

The town itself mostly consists of a tiny square centered around the courthouse, which we learned is the oldest in the state still in use. 

There is some Civil War history here, and several of the buildings around the square that date back to this period (and before) are still standing.

We were only gone for less than three hours, but we returned feeling like we had been on a week-long vacation! Sometimes, you just need to step outside your own front door and look around a bit.

The old Presbyterian church, formed in 1830 and used by Federal troops during the Civil War.

This house is located just off the square and is in a pretty deep state of disrepair. It has an old National Historic Marker outside, but we couldn't make out what it said. I told Nate I want to buy it, restore it and turn it into a front porch music venue and vintage clothing store. Well, I can dream!

P.S. We are thinking of going back on Saturday to the town Fair in the Square. I have a feeling that sweet tea and buttered biscuits will be readily available!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Travelogue: On The Road To California. Day 7

Our sweet childhood friend Meadow and her daughter, Irene.

Today's the day! The whole reason we decided to make this crazy road trip in the first place. So here's the deal: One of Nate's favorite bands in the whole world is a group called Animal Collective. You can listen to them here.
Apparently, they very rarely tour, and when they do, they certainly don't come to Nashville. Back in January, we were browsing through their website, listening to new music when we decided to check out their tour schedule. Well, lo and behold, we discovered that they were indeed touring, but they were only doing five shows and they were all in remote locations in California.

Not ones to be deterred by a lack of geographical closeness, we started hatching a plan to go see one of these Cali shows, specifically the one in Big Sur.

For those of you who have never been, I would certainly recommend placing Big Sur, and the entire California coast for that matter, on your bucket list of places to see before you die. It is literally breathtaking. I had the privilege of living in the area when I was growing up, and really wanted to show Nate.

We had originally planned on flying and just taking Maddux to the show. It would be outdoors in the redwoods, and we could spread a blanket, put these on, and just relax and listen to music.

Well, Mother Nature had other plans apparently. Big Sur experienced a deluge of rainfall which caused a part of Highway 1 to literally fall into the ocean. And guess where that part was? Yes, right at the Henry Miller Library, which is where the concert was to be held.

Obviously, they had to move the show, which bummed us out. We were looking forward to camping near the concert site and breathing in the ocean air. But, we figured Animal Collective would be good wherever they ended up playing. The show was moved about 30 miles up the coast to the cool, laid-back town of Santa Cruz. The venue was now indoors in an 18 and older, dark club, so there was no way we could take the Little Guy with us. Thank God for Nana!

Mom, Maddux and I would drive (since my mom won't fly), and Nate would join us in L.A.
It worked out perfectly! Mom and I got to have an incredible girls' trip together, Maddux got to see some of our beautiful country, and Nate still got to see Animal Collective.

The icing on the cake was the fact that one of our good friends that we had grown up with in California now lived in Santa Cruz, and she graciously let us stay with her for the night.

Meadow and her gorgeous daughter took us to eat the most delicious organic Mexican food. It was just a little place downtown, with a few tables outside for seating, but it was amazing!

After dinner, Meadow and Mom took the kids back to the house, and Nate and I headed across the street to the concert. The people who had Big Sur tickets got to go in early, so we ended up at the front of the stage right in front of the speakers. Nate's ear suffered a bit, but I had remembered my earplugs. :)

The show was amazing! I have to say I wasn't quite sure if I would like them live or not. Their music is very textured, with lots of sounds and intricate harmonies. I didn't know if they would be able to pull it off live, but they did, and then some. We had such an incredible night. There was an after-party, but we headed home to snuggle up with Munchie. We wanted to get an early start the next morning so we could spend as much time in Monterey as possible.