Posted on May 17, 2019
Nashville is the perfect place for any country music lover. From the Grand Ole Opry to The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, you’ll be singing country songs all day long.
For country-music fans, singers and songwriters from all over the world, Nashville is the ultimate destination. But Nashville isn’t just country music, it is a lively city, breaking out with new businesses, a dynamic food and cocktail scene, and bright lights!
Nashville is full of unique boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants, like Bluebird Cafe where you can sit and enjoy live music from rising stars. For a run by heading over to the full-size replica of the Greek Parthenon. You can go jogging on the beautiful paths in this cherry blossom-filled park right across the street from Vanderbilt University. Roam the streets and enjoy the sweet southern hospitality the city has to offer. Everyone is sincerely so kind and helpful! Not one day went by that someone didn’t offer directions when seeing us struggle with our google maps on a street corner. If you’re lucky you might even run into Taylor Swift. Or Reese Witherspoon. Or Luke Bryan. Or Kristen Cavallari. Such a neat town.
We stayed at The Hermitage Hotel! Outstanding service, food and accommodations. The Hermitage Hotel is located right in the heart of the Music City, and has been a landmark for more than a century.
Decorated in with a blend of Beaux-Arts and Renaissance features, its phenomenal architecture stands out among the historic buildings on the East Coast. My FAVORITE breakfasts and dinner also came from the restaurant located underneath the lobby of this hotel: Capitol Grille & Oak Bar — This restaurant is a MUST. If you are celebrating anything GO HERE. It’s menu was incredible and our plates were phenomenal. We shared a few bottles of wine (Cakebread Cellars, my favorite) and let me just say, THE GRITS!!!! Never have I ever raved about grits in my life. These were out of this world. I dream about those. Each morning we just walked right downstairs for our exceptional breakfast/brunch- with a side of grits of course.
The Hermitage’s longtime status as a local magnet has even inspired the timeless slogan, “Meet me at the Hermitage.” You honestly won’t regret booking a night or two, or three or four here (We stayed Tuesday through Saturday morning)—each room was designed for maximum luxury and comfort. They were filming a few movie scenes a couple of the days we stayed there. Fun fact: Apparently the 1910 award-winning men’s bathroom off the lobby. Once you enter the Hermitage Hotel, turn to the right and go down the stairs to the ever-so swanky Capital Grill and Oak Bar.
There is also a JW Marriott and Westin. The Westin boasts the city’s tallest rooftop bar popular L27 rooftop bar with a pool lounge, tasty drinks, and a stunning view of the skyline.
FORBES: One thing is certain when you make plans to visit the newly opened JW Marriott Nashville you won’t need directions. All 33 floors of this $285 million dollar addition to Music City’s luxury hotel scene rise in glorious, glass-encased curvaceous splendor over the city. The commanding views define this property and its compelling elliptical shape (designed by renowned architecture firm Arquitectonica) has transformed the downtown skyline. Even legendary Chef Michael Mina, whose restaurant Bourbon Steak dominates the hotel’s 33rd floor, is pretty excited about his Nashville debut.
If you’re like me, you love The Marriott International W brand and guess what, W Hotel in the Gulch plans fall 2020 opening! So if you’re planning a Bachelorette Party, Birthday, weekend trip, Etc. Keep this in mind, it’s sure to be amazing. It’s one in a barrage of new hotels in the works in response to booming tourism. About 120 hotels are being built in the greater Nashville Metro area, including the 33-story, 533-room JW Marriott. The W will include two restaurants by Chef Andrew Carmellini of NoHo Hospitality Group: The Dutch Nashville and an Italian chophouse.The lobby will feature the W’s “Living Room” style, with a full bar, DJ booth and local artwork. A 9,700-square-foot “WET Deck” pool area will have luxury cabanas, a yoga area, grill and bar. A rooftop bar with a fireplace will be surrounded by landscaping.
“Based upon our own experience with developing upscale hotels in other US markets, offering hotel guests unique and exciting amenities beyond those typically found in similar hotels greatly enhances their stay and truly sets the brand apart from our competitors,” said David Carlins, president of Magellan Development Group, which will oversee construction. “The amenities and services planned for W Nashville will most certainly accomplish this while setting a new standard of excellence in Nashville’s hospitality market.”
There are about 50 W Hotels around the world, and there will be 75 by 2020, according to Marriott.
There are SO many boroughs and neighborhoods you can explore for a different feel and experience. I asked a few close friends who are from Nashville and this is their *must-see* list:
This is a pretty large tourist spot now, but if you go all the way there, you need to go!
The Gulch is quite popular. This area I found to be so cute and trendy! I had to make a few walks from our hotel down there to go see in person Uncommon James (a jewelry boutique owned by Kristen Cavallari, anyone else watch E!’s show Very Cavallari… or more importantly her start on MTV’s Laguna Beach in high school?) I also had to go see Kittenish (the adorable mother of 3 and wife to Eric Decker, Jesse James Decker’s clothing boutique)
We had reservations at Sambuca which is American food, live music, and offers a rooftop bar. We had a bottle of FAB rosé there.. and the live music played all my favorite 90’s songs! Can’t forget to stop at the wall with the “wings” for a quick pic. Milk & Honey also looked amazing- I didn’t have time to stop in but the menu looked pretty cool. Biscuit Love is right around the corner and SAME thing. Looked GREAT.
No visit to Nashville is complete without a trip to Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. To get the most out of your visit, be sure to book a group tour, which includes a recording session and line dancing at the world-famous Wildhorse Saloon. At Wildhorse Saloon, they have line dancing and there are some great restaurants there, too. The walking bridge downtown is super cute and you can see all of downtown Nashville and the Nissan Stadium from there. Bridgestone Arena is downtown, where the Nashville Predators NHL team plays. It is a super fun atmosphere so if they have a game, you should try and go! ALSO stop for praline samples on Broadway. SO GOOD. We ventured back to the Gulch that night to a sushi restaurant on M Street called Virago! M Street is so cool because it’s one destination and 6 restaurants all owned by the same person! M Street Entertainment offers an eclectic portfolio that includes Virago, Moto Cucina + Enoteca, Kayne Prime, Whiskey Kitchen, Saint Añejo and Tavern. It’s an awesome atmostphere all around with twinkle hanging lights and exposed brick. So whatever you’re in the mood for, chances are- they probably have it. I’d describe it as a chic scene!
Each restaurant is distinct in both its cuisine and atmosphere, with the M Street Signature Style firmly branded in each concept. This signature is synonymous with exceptional quality, consistency, hospitality and innovation.
Category: feature, travel, Uncategorized Tagged: 12 south, 55 south, arrington vineyards, art, bartaco, boutiques, capital grille & oak bar, country music hall of fame, country music hall of fame and museum, dierks bentley, doing things, downtown franklin, downtown nashville, draper james, flower truck, franklin tennessee, george strait, hermitage hotel, infamous men's restroom, Iveycake, Jeni's ice cream, juice bars, jw marriott, kayne, kelsey montague art, kittenish, lifestyle, live music, luxury hotel, m street nashville, madewell, me, nashville, nashville gulch, outdoor voices, photos, Pinewood Social, reese witherspoon, rooftop bars, rooftop pools, rooftops, sambuca, steakhouse, the gulch, the hermitage hotel, The Perch, the westin, travel, uncommon james, very cavallari, virago, what lifts you, wildhorse saloon
Posted on May 15, 2019
I’m Hanna! I’m a business owner and professionally published model. As a former division I athlete, I continued a career into sports as I worked in Media Relations, Video Production and Game Operations for two NBA Teams: Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers, and then as a Social Media and Account Manager for a sports branding company involved with artwork and branding for NCAA, NFL, and NBA, and now own my own design business. I met my cuban bf while on a shoot down in Miami at a gym he owned (so funny!) We both have a heart for travel, service, fitness, food, people, faith, new cultures, laughter, wine (more me than him), The Office, and so forth! My other love is my rescue, Simba, a pitbull mix who just happens to be the most loving pup! Most of the time I’m most likely exploring new cities, somewhere outdoors #doingthings, cooking up fun, healthy recipes, and creating media and fitness videos to help inspire others to get up, get out, and simply move! A few of our favorite recent trips consisted of spontaneous birthday weekend trip to Paris, a week roaming around Rome, the crystal blue, dreamy waters of Bimini and recently, Exuma, and a few salsa dances in Havana! I also wrote a fun guide for my time in Nashville.
I’m just here in attempt to spread light from the content I create. Through my blog, my vision was to offer my help with cities I’ve traveled to, lifestyle items and ideas that I have worked with so that I can share my input and personal understanding of them. The platform I’ve created has given me the chance to hopefully only speak life.
I partner with brands that I feel share a similar outlook on life as I do, value integrity, and are overall just clean and healthy.
My worldview came into focus when my focus shifted to Him, Jesus. God changes our point of view when we understand just how blurry our vision really is without Him. “My hope is that my vision would move further away from my own thoughts, opinions and interpretations- and closer to the way God sees things.” I love these words from Elisabeth Hasselback in a book I recently read because it’s always a prayer of surrender that by the power of the Holy Spirit, “I line up my point of view behind the lens of the gospel in order to see myself, others, and all that is happening as God wants me to see it.”
Romans 12:2 | Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.
Posted on May 14, 2019
Looking into a Bahamas getaway? Have you visited Bimini yet? If you’re traveling from Florida it’s quite the easy-breezy route, a 15 minute sea plane journey to be approximate! What better place for a Bahamian getaway than just around the corner? The Bimini Islands are a quick 50 miles from Miami. Located right in the middle of the Gulf Stream, Bimini attracts hundreds of marine animals and pleasant temperatures year-round- so going in February like us, was a perfect idea, the chillier ocean temps were the only drawback + we realized after the fact that February is the only month that the island offers a dive with great hammerhead shark- WOW! Though relatively overlooked in the Caribbean, the Bimini Islands have always been popular with deep-sea fishermen. It’s a quiet island; gorgeous beaches, no cruise ships and one of the best places for a tropical vacation. Did I mention GORGEOUS beaches!? Absolutely stunning views.
Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when planning:
To Know Before You Go: Arrive in a timely fashion from the air–the best way to enjoy exhilarating views of the emerald waters! Board the Cape Air seaplane, which offers 4 daily flights from Miami in an intimate 8-seater. Or opt for the comfortable Silver Airways plane, (which we did, since the ferry was out of season) direct from Fort Lauderdale to South Bimini. Once landing, you can hop onto a ferry to North Bimini! Some hotels offer direct flights from Miami via seaplane– Resort World offers daily flights direct to the resort in North Bimini, so that is another terrific option!
Here’s a glimpse of what the view is like walking down the pool steps to the ocean.
A breathtaking sunrise taken right from the rooftop of the Hilton Bimini.
A FEW THINGS TO EXPECT WHEN PLANNING A TRIP TO BIMINI:
Bimini is the westernmost chain of islands in the Bahamas, located about 50 miles east of Miami. Bimini is made up of three islands: North Bimini, South Bimini, and East Bimini. The largest islands are North Bimini and South Bimini, so you’ll most likely stay on one of the two!
North Bimini is about seven miles long, and home to Alice Town, a collection of shops, restaurants, and bars on a road known as “The King’s Highway”. Scuba diving and snorkeling are popular activities, because there are many shipwrecks in the area that make for fun diving experiences!
South Bimini is home to the airstrip, South Bimini Airport, and offers a quiet alternative to the lively nature of North Bimini. There is a small community of homes on South Bimini known as Port Royale, and an epic nature trail.
Language: The official language is Bahamian English, so it is quite easy to converse and talk with locals!
Currency: Bahamian dollar– same value as the USD!
Credit Cards and Banks: The majority of retailers and restaurants accept debit card as payment, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you. Some larger resorts may except credit cards. But keep in mind when visiting this small island destination, cash is king!
Climate: Bimini has a warm and tropical climate– averaging 70 degrees in the winter and 80 degrees in the summer months. The rainy season in the Bahamas runs from May to October, and October and June are the wettest two months.
The greatest way to get around the gorgeous 7-mile North Bimini is with a golf cart or bike! Shuttles are usually a little slower, making them a secondary, not best option for cruising down King’s Highway for some snacks or souvenir-shopping.
Taxi: Bimini is so small that cars are limited. Taxi service is available by telephone, radio (VHF Channel 68), or you can flag one down on the street. We never actually found any use for one so didn’t experience it.
Boat: There is a daily ferry between North and South Bimini. We only used this to and from the airport (which is quite small, but you might want to bring a book for the way home, as we sat inside a very tiny terminal for a few hours before boarding our flight
Golf Cart: The main form of rental transportation available on North Bimini is a golf cart. You can also rent a bicycle to get around. Pedestrians should remember to first look right and then left before crossing streets. For maximum mobility, pick up a golf cart ($75-90 per day) first thing in the morning before they sell out!!
Bicycle: You can find several bike rental spots on the islands.
Check with your hotel to see if they supply any bikes/ golf carts before renting from a vendor. You never know, they could offer them right in front! We actually rented a golf cart this day and took it down to the other side of the island where we stumbled upon a ship wreck!
Location: Alice Town, North Bimini
These are cute, pastel villas available. Seaside, and several pools on the property and gorgeous oceanic views.
Location: North Bimini, new as of 2017! This is taken on the rooftop pool deck 🙂
We stayed here and oh, it was absolutely perfect. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets. Since we went in the off peak month, I think we were one of just a few other couples in the entire hotel! The casino connected had amazing food too.
We absolutely loved the infinite pools that overlooked the clear blue ocean! Who knew?!
I have a feeling this little location right here would make an awesome wedding or events’ venue! Talk about an incredible view. (It’s elevated on a cliff-like level)
On this night, we drove our little golf cart to dinner at Big Game Resort where we were told they would be feeding the bull sharks! It was a lot of fun and casual atmosphere.
The Conch Salad is Bimini’s main claim to fame–a tasty mixture of tomatoes, green peppers, onions, raw conch, orange and lime juice spiced with Scotch Bonnet peppers. Never have I ever had a conch salad so FRESH! Nobody does it better than Stuart’s, a beachside wooden hut and favorite with the locals. We actually saw it on the following week’s episode of The Bachelor! We enjoyed some Bahamian beer too! I miss that pink!
More Restaurant Recs:
SHERRY’S PARADISE BEACH BAR
Dive down to the floating Prohibition-era liquor cargoship, which ran aground in a 1926 hurricane. The tip of the boat is visible above water, making it perfect for snorkeling. You’ll find every form of coral, sponges and lobsters here!
The best time to visit Bimini is in February, the month when huge hammerheads collect off the coast of Bimini. This is the only time of the year you can swim with these shy animals–so don’t miss your chance to get up close and personal! Join a qualified diver for this fun and unique dive of a lifetime. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch the shark feed at Triangle Rocks Reef.
If you don’t have your own sailboat, you can rent one from the marina and take it out for the afternoon.
SNORKEL WITH SHARKS:
The Bimini underwater is a rich playground for snorkelers and divers. The crystal-clear water makes for unforgettable swims with fish and coral….and SHARKS.
On the Bimini Nature Hiking Trail you’ll learn a lot: ecology, wildlife, history. Guided tours are led by professionals. You’ll find birds, iguanas and the endemic Bimini Boa that call the islands home!
I mean, what would the Caribbean be without the beach! The islands’ top three are Radio Beach, Blister Beach and Spook Hill Beach, plus a couple of really cool cays more south.
Category: feature, travel Tagged: atlantis, bahamas, bahamas vacations, bimini, biminibahamas, birthday, blogger, carribean, carribean getaways, crystal clear water, deals, diving, dolphin encounter, exuma, exumas, fashion, fishermen, fitness, florida, hilton bimini, hilton bimini worlds resort, hilton honors, hilton hotels, lifestyle, love, nassau, north bimini, ocean, photos, seaplane, sharks, silverairways, snorkeling, south bimini, tips, travel, tropical vacation, vacations, views
Posted on November 2, 2018
Perfect Complexion? As if.
If you’ve been blessed with perfect skin, please know how fortunate you are and appreciate it! I’ve struggled with uneven skin tone for as long as I can remember!
I’ve been working with Tula Probiotic Skincare for about 2 years now. I’ve seen such a transformation in my once hyper pigmented and acne prone skin! I can finally say that I am content with my complexion at age 29! Ha, I think I’ve met the right people to cost-efficiently take care of my skin and keep it hydrated and healthy!
In my twenties, I had to constantly switch my dermatologist to find one that could get to the bottom of my breakouts, but also having a topical gel that wouldn’t be so harsh on my skin! I took a huge hit when I was exposed to the sun one week in Florida. Because my skin was extra sensitive due to my harsh dermatologist prescribed facial cleansers and topical gels, I had a severe sunburn that would forever affect the way my skin reacted to direct sunlight!
I won’t lie, it’s been quite a burden. Especially because I spend a lot of time working and visiting Miami, FL. I have to always have a high SPF on my face, covered with a hat. In addition, I deal with the aftermath of sunspots after only a few minutes in the sun without my face covered. IT SUCKS. Then I am so self-conscious about the uneven skintone that I spent $$$ trying to find products to cover it up. All of these efforts are so draining!
I’ve been up in the Midwest this fall for about two months straight and I think staying out of the sun has truly been SO helpful for the recovery of my hyper pigmentation. I also attribute my skincare regimen, which took me FOREVER to finally find the products that HELP my skin and not just break it out, or have any results.
TULA has been spectacular. I now have a gentle probiotic cleanser that is so easy on the skin, it doesn’t redden it, it doesn’t make it extra sensitive. It’s perfect, it keeps it balanced and smooth. It fights break outs too which is UH-MAZING. They even gave me a 20% discount to my friends! It is HANNA20. Feel free to use this anytime at checkout!
My top 3 Tula products:
PURIFYING GENTLE CLEANSER
ACNE CLEARING + TONE CORRECTING GEL
CLEAR COMPLEXION KIT ( COMES WITH MY FAVORITE AQUA-INFUSION OIL-FREE GEL CREAM)
BRIGHT & BALANCED KIT (saves you 40%) + HANNA20 discount for 20% off
Any questions? Let me know! Again the discount is HANNA20, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. 100% of people who tried it said they’d recommend it to someone else! 100% of customers saw noticeable differences in 2 weeks.
Category: feature, health & wellness Tagged: aquagelcream, blemish, blogger, complexion, daily routine, deals, dermatologist, discount, discountcode, evenskintone, facials, fallblogger, fitness, gentle, gentlecleansers, hanna20, health, home, hyperpigmentation, lifestyle, midwestblogger, oilfree, photos, probioticskincare, sales, sensitiveskin, shopping, skin, skincare, spf, tips, travel, tula, tula.com, tulalove, tulaprobioticskincare, tulaskincare
Posted on August 3, 2018
*Orders 4 gallons of coffee.*
Ever feel like even that crazy amount won’t suffice? We all have those days! I struggle some days with too much coffee or too little. I have my favorite spots depending upon which city I am in, where I order my speciality drinks.
My morning coffee routine is something I always look forward to! One thing I absolutely cannot go without, is my FAVORITE Collagen Coffee Creamer
I love it because it’s sustainable energy! I use to be on that bullet proof-coffee kick, where I would add MCT oil and ghee to my coffee each morning. It is full of healthy fats so it kept me alert and sustained longer. Then I found Vital Proteins Creamer!! health & wellnessThis creamer is made from a company I trust: Vital Proteins!
Vital Proteins Coconut Collagen Creamer features healthy ingredients served alongside 10 grams of collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed, pasture-raised bovine. Rich in healthy fats from organic coconut milk, our Whole30-approved Coconut Creamer is completely free of dairy, soy, carrageenan, gluten, artificial sweeteners, and added sugars.
Let’s talk about collagen. Whether it’s in the vitamin aisle of the grocery store, on the menu of your fave café, or swarming your Instagram feed, this supplement is taking the world by storm. Regardless of where you’re finding it, collagen is easily one of the biggest trends in wellness right now. So why is that the case?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It’s found in our tendons, bones, muscles, skin, blood vessels, and digestive system, and is basically the glue that holds the body together. Furthermore, collagen sends out important signals to our cells telling them when to fight off inflammation or repair cellular damage. Essentially, it keeps you looking youthful, holds everything together, and fights for your long term health.
Here’s the thing: As collagen production tends to slow down with aging, especially if one consumes too much sugar, smokes, or spends too much time in the sun. But supplementing your diet with collagen is a great and easy way to counteract unhealthy habits and better your overall health.
Glycine, an immunonutrient that supports healthy inflammation and promotes deeper sleep, is the number one acid in collagen. Studies have illustrated glycine affects our neurotransmitters to quell chaotic thoughts and promote better sleep. Animal studies went so far as to illustrate glycine’s power in increasing the release of serotonin in the prefrontal cortex.
That being said, collagen doesn’t make you sleepy and you don’t need to take it at the end of the day to harvest those sleep-boosting benefits. Adding collagen to your morning or afternoon routine will still allow you the opportunity to snag some more of those well-deserved Zs. One of our personal favorites? Collagen creamer. Vital Proteins makes an organic and Whole30-approved (!!!) collagen-based creamer that tastes great when added to your tea, coffee, or smoothies. (@vitalproteins)
My favorite coffee orders on the go, would have to be iced almond milk/coconut milk/macadamia milk lattes with just a little bit of white mocha or hazelnut! Not too sweet, but creamy- and so good. I also love Iced Maca Lattes… these include almond milk, espresso, maple syrup, cinnamon, and maca. Maca helps to balance out your mood and your hormones! I try to add it to my smoothies or oatmeal when I remember!
Let me know your favorite coffee orders and how you make yours in the morning!