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WHEN IN NASHVILLE

The other day I accidentally said ‘y’all’ instead of ‘you guys’ and realized it’s been almost two years since I moved to Nashville! I’ll always be a Canadian girl at heart, but the ol’ South has really grown on me. How could it not? Nashville’s got such an energetic vibe. There’s live music everywhere you go, a happening restaurant scene, and the night life—well, let’s just say there’s a reason they call it Nash Vegas…

Because I travel so much, it’s always a treat to stop and smell the roses (the fried chicken?) here in Nashville and spend time exploring the city. These are a few of the best places I’ve been to so far.

Honky Tonk Central

When in Nashville, you go Honky Tonkin’ (it’s basically a law) and Lower Broadway is packed with watering holes to hit for a drink and a good time. My personal fav? Honky Tonk Central. With three floors, three bars, and three dancefloors—it’s the place to let loose. There’s a live band on every floor, so bring dancing shoes and get ready to HOLLER AND SWALLER!

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Photo Credit: Instagram @honkey_tonk_central

Husk Nashville

Next level Southern cuisine? Check. Steller service? Check. Cocktails so nice you’ll want to drink them twice (I did)? Double check. I’ve never been a huge food snob, but this place takes the whole ‘fine-dining’ thing to the next level. All of their dishes are fresh takes on Southern classics, and every ingredient is locally sourced. The décor is simple and elegant (the building itself is 147 years old!!) and the servers will make you feel like a real Southern belle.

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Photo Credit: Husk Nashville 

Country Music Hall of Fame

Is it a tourist trap? Probably. It is still worth a visit? HECK YEAH! The first time I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame, I fan-girled HARD. Was it the life-sized replica of Taylor Swift’s tour bus? Elvis Presley’s gold Cadillac? RCA Studio B where Dolly Frickin’ Parton recorded the vocals for “Jolene?!” I don’t know, but I was star-struck the entire time. Even if you’re not a huge fan of country, this is a must-see. There’s a 52 ft. guitar that doubles as a slide (it’s not just for kids you guys…) and enough interactive exhibits to keep you entertained for hours.

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Photo Credit: Country Music Hall of Fame

Ascend Amphitheater

It may not be as old and prestigious as the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium, but when it comes to outdoor concerts, Ascend Amphitheater is where it’s at. Every seat in the house has a great view (even the lawn seats), and the beer gardens keep the fun flowing. If you catch a concert at sunset, not only do you get a great show, but you get a preemo view of the sun going down over the Nashville skyline (date night anyone???)

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Photo Credit: youvisit.com

Belle Meade Plantation

I’ve never been a huge history buff, but when I heard the tour of this plantation ended with a wine tasting, I was there faster than you could say Greek-Revival architecture. Back in 1807 the plantation was just one tiny log cabin. Now, it’s a 34-acre property with a Victorian mansion, carriage house, horse farm, Boxwood Garden and more. Started from the bottom now we here.  Apparently, lots of people have weddings here, and I can see why. The property is breathtaking, and did I already mention they have a winery?!

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Photo Credit: Instagram @bellemeadewinery

Arrington Vineyards

When I want my wine without the pre-happy hour history lesson, I head to Arrington Vineyards. Rolling hills, a private wine loft, some great-tasting grapes—the only thing that could make this vineyard even more amazing would be live music. Oh wait, they have that too (cue angels singing.) Yup, every weekend jazz and bluegrass bands bring the tunes to Arrington Vineyards for ‘Music in the Vines,’ so pack a picnic, grab a bottle of their Antebellum red wine (trust me on this one), get cozy on the lawn in front of the jazz tent and voila! You’ve got yourself a preemo date night.

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Photo Credit: Arrington Vineyards (Facebook)

Pedal Tavern

If you’ve never been to Nashville, Pedal Tavern’s tours are by far the best way to see the city. I mean, a 15 seat bar-on-wheels manned by a hilarious guide beats a walking tour any day of the week. All Pedal Tavern tours are BYOB so stock up on your go-to beverages, grab a few friends, and get ready to hit the open road. The best part? With 15 people, no one notices if you don’t pedal.

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Photo Credit: Pedal Tavern

There’s so much left to explore, and I’m always looking for new suggestions. Any places I need to check out?

Love,

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MAKEUP I WEAR TO BEAT THE HEAT

There’s a lot of things I love about summer but shiny, melted makeup isn’t one of them. Nothing’s worse than leaving the house rocking a fresh face, then coming back with smudged mascara.

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Luckily, I have a few tricks that keep my makeup looking fab all day long. Hot weather does not have to equal hot mess! Here are the holy grail products I use to beat the heat.

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1) Cleanser | When summer rolls around, I like to swap out my cream-based cleanser for something light that can cut through oil and sweat. Philosophy’s Total Matteness totally does the trick (see what I did there?) It absorbs oil and never leaves my skin feeling dry.

2) Moisturizer | Tinted moisturizer is the way to go when I want to get that dewy summer glow. I’ve tried out a few tinted moisturizers in my day, but Laura Mercier’s is by far my favourite! It has just the right amount of coverage and leaves my skin feeling sooo soft when I take it off.

3) Powder | I don’t always use setting powder, but when I do, it’s Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Basically every big-time beauty guru recommends this powder and let me tell you…the hype IS REAL! It’s ultra-fine and never clumps.

4) Blotting Paper | A dewy glow is one thing, but when people can see their reflections off my forehead, it’s time to bust out the blotting papers. These ones by Tarte are big-time shine busters, plus they’re infused with green tea extract, which soothes my skin.

5) Highlighter | No matter how much I powder and blot my face, my complexion is always going to be a bit shinier in the summer, so I say, “if you can’t beat em’, join em’!” I like to play up the “dewy” look by dabbing some highlighter on my cheekbones and the bridge of my nose. Milk Makeup’s highlighter in ‘Lit’ is one of my favs. It melts into my skin and has a super natural finish. What can I say? It’s lit (sorry I had to!)

6) Eyeshadow | When it comes to summer eyeshadow, I keep things simple and usually wear just one shade. Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Shadow doesn’t budge, and you can literally apply it with your fingers! Right now I’m OBSESSED with “Beach Bronze”.

7) Mascara | As much as I love the whole “raccoon eye” look, I love when my mascara stays on my lashes even more. Too Faced’s “Better Than Sex” Waterproof Mascara can survive anything— swimming, sweating, patio snacking. It’s almost better than sex.

8) Lip Balm | What can I say? This tinted balm is the BOMB! It makes my lips feel silky smooth and adds a pop of colour to my look. Sugar Nude by Fresh is my go-to.

9) Makeup Setting Spray | When I need my makeup to stay put all day AND all night, this stuff is my go-to. A couple spritzes, and I can go straight from strolls with Doodle at the dog park to Bellinis with my babes. How are you guys keeping your look cool this summer?

Love,

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