SPOTLIGHT: My Fave 5 Coffee Shops (Nashville, TN)

The more I have been blogging, the more I have ventured out of my house and sought the comfort of a cozy Nashville coffeehouse (and let’s be honest… it also allows me to be with other humans beside my 2-year-old and fur babies)

I have many that I like but here are my top 5 favorites!



Want Coffee? Read On!

Book Review: When We Found Home (Susan Mallery)

When We Found Home

When We Found Home by Susan Mallery

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When We Found Home tells the tale of a family who was split apart before they ever knew one another existed. The story begins with Malcolm meeting Delaney where she works, having carefree fun flirting and is suddenly thrust into her world when something happens to Keira, his half sister. To understand the book better, here are the main characters:

Malcolm, a good-looking executive with a past that would wipe you off your feet. A calm, caring man with a big heart and an empty brain when it comes to raising 12-year-old Keira, his half sister. You’ll be in love with him from start to finish.

Keira, a sassy little lass. Way too street-smart and far too scarred from the loneliness and heartache she’s had to endure. She’s a tough one and she helps round out her half-brother’s very distrusting opinions of the newest half-sister, Callie.

As Malcolm put it, “you’re all attitude and no backbone.” Callie is a fiery one, she is. She’s strong and witty but don’t be fooled by her very thin armor. She’s terrified. A convicted felon made heiress to an empire overnight.

Then we have Delaney. Oh my dear smart, beautiful, ambitious, frustrating girl.

Continue reading Book Review: When We Found Home (Susan Mallery)

Book Review: Beartown (Fredrik Backman)

Beartown (Beartown, #1)Beartown by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
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A twist you don’t expect.
A heartbreak you cannot fathom.
A child who inspires the inspirational.
.

Maya, the daughter of a hockey club that finds out the world is not what she thought it was. Ana, best friend to Maya, living in a world, always knowing it’s truths. A broken father, a run-off mother and a bunch of hunting dogs that let her be Ana when no one else will.

Amat, a boy who never will be and then is. Benji, a heart of fire and passion but only sees turmoil and destruction. And there’s Kevin. A boy with it all but nothing at all. Continue reading Book Review: Beartown (Fredrik Backman)

Spotlight Blog: “Keep Drama to Yo-Self”

Story #3: Keep Drama To Yo-Self

 

I played a gig in Mississippi a few weeks ago with an amazing cover band called Downtown Band. We showed up to the gig and started unloading as usual when someone realized that the trombone player Eric was gone. We figured he was in the bathroom, and kept setting up.

Continue reading Spotlight Blog: “Keep Drama to Yo-Self”

Meal Planning Like a Boss

Welcome Back!

Well you got through the budgeting blog! I hope it helped! If you read it, please let me know your thoughts… is there anything I can clear up a bit? Any questions needing answered?

Next up is the Meal Planning portion! This one is much easier and a little more fun 😉

Let’s start with the beginning and work our way down! Continue reading Meal Planning Like a Boss

Budgeting Like a Boss

Well I have had some of you ask me how I got started.

What do you do? Where do you start?

I asked the same questions. I was totally lost. I started small…

…like to the point where I go back to my first template & I laugh out loud at it. Poor little template. But hey – it was my starting point! It’s why I am where I am! So I’m so thankful for it!

So first… the budget. Here’s what you need

(and there will be pictures!):

Continue reading Budgeting Like a Boss

…The Nashville Mom (part VI): The Finale

Photo Credit: Travel & Leisure

Well, here we are for the last time!

Welcome back!

To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about. And now it is coming to an end. 😦

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.

In case you have missed any, we started back on May 14th, 2018 with The Nashville Mom series. Here are all the blogs leading up to this one:

(1) – The Nashville Life through the eyes of The Nashville Wife

(2) – When the Nashville Wife becomes the Nashville Mom (Part I)

(3) – …The Nashville Mom (part II): a blog for Brave Women with Adult Issues

(4) – …The Nashville Mom (Part III): Dreams & Goals (embrace, prepare)

(5) – …The Nashville Mom (part IV): Advice for SAHMs in a New City

(6) – …The Nashville Mom (part V): Becoming a stronger version of yourself through community and connections with others.


Quick Recap

We ended last week with Part V, talking about making connections and nurturing those connections; loving ourselves and in turn loving others. We talked about how to not feel isolated and alone…

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I have been in Nashville now for 4 years this September. I still feel isolated and alone at times, especially being a SAHM. I have often wondered if this feeling will ever go away considering my personality type (aka I love to work and get out!) and I’m honestly not sure if it will.

I learned a while ago now that I had a decision to make: what made me happier? Staying at home with my son and no longer working or working (part-time or full-time) and seeing him half the time? There were obviously pros and cons and I decided to be a full-time SAHM. I chose the isolation. I chose to make that isolation as small as possible and, it seems, so have the rest of these women!

*side note: I am not saying anything regarding whether or not deciding to choose isolation verses working is right or wrong. There IS no right or wrong. Everyone has to decide for themselves and for their family what is best. 🙂 

So how does one that chooses this way of life in Nashville (or ANY city really) go about making the isolation smaller?

Let’s see what these other Nashville Moms have to say about this. Let’s finish out the last of this series by creating a community and helping each other to grow out of our loneliness.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #6

 “What did you do to make Nashville feel like home?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“I loved Nashville from the beginning, so that wasn’t hard.  I don’t know that I did anything super specific, other than just get out and enjoy the city- Cheekwood, the zoo, The Frist, whatever.  Nashville has SO much to offer!

Bonus: One other thing, although you didn’t ask- get financial ducks in a row.  Starting out a music career isn’t as financially stable as a lot of other jobs, and sometimes requires some financial investment.  The last thing you need in a new town with a brand new career is money fights.  Get your debt under control, have some savings in the bank, and talk OFTEN about your money, where it’s coming from, and where it’s going.”

– Martyne Palmer

“Still in the process. We are currently renting a hotel room until we find jobs and housing.”

– Heather Abbott Burback

“I’m not sure it’ll ever be “home” but it’s a good place for now. It’s inexpensive, quality of life is better because we have more disposable income. It’s cheaper here to pursue our dreams and save then move somewhere we really love then struggle somewhere else financially and never be fulfilled.”

– Allison Klein

“Again. Friends. They are my family now.”

My follow up question: Did you guys explore the city together? Find new places to hang out with each other? It’s so much easier with someone else, isn’t it? lol

“We have done quite a bit of exploring. We mostly go where other people recommend. We actually ended up moving to Mount Juliet because my husband tours with Charlie Daniels often. He’s pretty much the only person we knew before moving here so that’s why we chose this particular town. Charlie lives here, too. We love it here so much. We never imagined that Nashville would be where we settle down. But even if something happened and Scott stopped playing music for some reason, I’m pretty sure we would stay..”

– Vicki Mason Brown

“The primary thing that has helped me to not feel alone or isolated is joining the Nashville Moms Facebook Group.  I have found one SAHM that lives in my area so we can schedule play dates. I would love more SAHM friends but with working and watching my little guy I am pretty complete having the one friend to call on days that we are home alone all day.  We go to the Cornerstone indoor playground about once a week and occasionally on the weekends we find other activities.

I absolutely love Nashville! My husband is much happier here and is finally finding the musician connections he has always wanted.  We feel like people in Nashville are much more understanding of the musician lifestyle and that it is treated more like a career and less like a hobby.  Since my husband is much happier and I have found my own small place here we are truly happy.  We wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. 

In conclusion, it is definitely hard to get settled but its totally worth it.  You have the same issues in any city with making friends and adjusting to being a couple with a child but if the ultimate goal is music you can find your place and make your own happiness!”

– Jamie Angsten 

 


 

 

Copy of ...people in Nashville are much more understanding of the musician lifestyle that it is treated more like a career less like a hobby.To those that are married or in a relationship, I feel like when either of you are getting to do something you love and like Jamie said, it’s taken seriously, that in and of itself creates community. Because there are so many others doing the same thing and wanting to always be around others who share their passion. You can actually find that connection, that lack of isolation, in the passion of your significant other. Basically what I’m trying to say is it doesn’t have to be in your circle that you find your isolation getting smaller. You can unite with those in someone else’s circle to find that connection, too.

Even better? You can find life and friendship and communion in BOTH circles.

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To the ladies who helped me with this blog, it has been an HONOR sharing your thoughts. This has been a fantastic project for me and I really hope it’s reached others as well.

Thank you – Thank you – Thank you!

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Photo Credit: Working Mother

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…The Nashville Mom (part V): Becoming a stronger version of yourself through community and connections with others.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

Welcome back! To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about.

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.


Quick Recap

We ended last week with Part IV, talking about making it happen while giving yourself some grace.

Do your bestI struggle with this one, personally. I have a lot of battles in my head (I promise I’m not crazy.) I see other moms making friends, being outgoing, seemingly living the highlife of being a Nashville Mom. Living the dream.

However, (a) what you see on FB or Instagram is not always what it seems and (b) it doesn’t matter. I just need to do my best and give myself some serious grace. What matters is that my husband is happy, living his dream in this beautiful city. What matters is that my 2-year-old is happy, knowing he’s loved by his family and friends. And for me? I matter. I need to do what makes me happy, too. I need to do what needs to be done, what works for ME, to not feel alone or isolated here… as a musician’s wife… as a  Nashville Mom.

With that said, let’s see what these other Nashville Moms have to say about this.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #5

 “What did you do to not feel so alone and isolated?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“I found girlfriends with no kids that could come hang out at my house.  When the hubby is gone for long stretches and I’m “stuck” at home with the kids, I make the after bedtime hours as fun as I can- game nights, movie nights, whatever.  Bring the party to me!”
– Martyne Palmer

“I still feel that way sometimes but I’m hoping that since we are in a new city we will start to meet new people and find our groove. “
– Heather Abbott Burback

“Made friends, joined Facebook groups, networked, put myself out there, found a job that could get me new friends. I didn’t isolate, I put my son in a great in-home daycare. He is thriving…enrolled him at Waldorf. Just doing as much as I can to make sure [everyone] is getting what they need (including me!)”
– Allison Klein

“I decided I was going to be all-in on making friendships.”

My follow up question: Was this hard for you to do? I’m basically an introvert. Once I meet someone, I am suddenly this extrovert. It’s the getting out of the house, taking that first step that’s hard for me. Did this come naturally for you?

“This really does come naturally for me. I do have some anxiety when it comes to social settings, but like you, once I get there, I’m fine. Of course as women, we tend to worry about what other people think of us not only as women, but also as mothers and wives. But if you find the right people that just love you for who you are, those worries tend to disappear.”
– Vicki Mason Brown

 

“The primary thing that has helped me to not feel alone or isolated is joining the Nashville Moms Facebook Group.”
– Jamie Angsten

(This is a snippet of a larger summary she wrote that I will post in the last of the series.) 

 


I feel like no matter if you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or somewhere in between, we all need friends. We all need community.

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As an introvert, I can tell you first hand it’s hard. But with practice, the more you do it, the more comfortable it is to do. It’s so very scary at first to join groups, go meet new people, but when you do? You find that connecting with others that share your story tends to cause our hearts to bloom and our souls to flourish. We grow & become stronger versions of ourselves.

So as hard as it is, go out there! Whether you’re a Nashville Mom or someone that moved to Nashville (or hey – ANY new city!!) for whatever purpose… try and branch out. Start a blog and meet new bloggers! Join a FB group. Find something in your niche and see what happens. Just don’t isolate. Don’t live your life without community. You are wonderful and others should see that… 🙂

I’ll leave you with this…

 

When we love ourselves, we tend to love others.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

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…The Nashville Mom (part IV):  Advice for SAHMs in a New City

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

Welcome back! To those who haven’t been following this series…

I am writing about what it’s like in the world of The Nashville Wife (myself) and what it was like coming here without my own purpose. Along with that came The Nashville Mom. I had to find myself within both titles and I wanted to share my experience. I spoke to many other lovely ladies who have been through the basics of my story but in their own versions.

That is what this series has been about.

Their voices. Our voices. A community of people who share a common thread within our life story, willing to branch out and reach for the lonely or the broken.

These women are wonderful people who have volunteered their time to answer these questions and discuss their life with me. I am so grateful for their willingness to share and I hope this meets someone where they’re at in their story.


Quick Recap

Part III ended with some of the best advice I have ever heard…

STHE NASHVILLE WIFE Support. Embrace. Dream. GRateful. Prepare.upport. Embrace. Dream. Grateful. Prepare

I think I may even print out my own blog graphic, frame it, and remind myself of this every single day. If you’re in a new city for any other reason than for your own purpose, find yourself some support. Embrace your new life. Dream bigger things. Be Grateful for what you have and oh my goodness PREPARE! For what’s ahead, for what’s to come… mentally, physically, financially, you name it. Job well done, ladies.

Beautiful words spoken by beautiful women. It’s time to hear their voices once again.

Question #4

 “If you had one piece of advice to give a new SAHM in a new city, what would it be?”

Here’s what they had to say:

“Find your moms.  Join a moms bible study, book club, mops program, whatever.  Get you some girlfriends STAT.”
– Martyne Palmer

“I’m that mom so I guess what I would say to myself is reach out. Find your community whether that be at a church, a gym etc but you have to put forth an effort. 
– Heather Abbott Burback


“Join Facebook groups, find a school you like, find a good MDO program to give yourself a break at least once a week! ”
– Allison Klein

“Jump all in to your community. Find a moms group and a church. Make all the friends you can, find your tribe, and love them well. 
– Vicki Mason Brown

Jamie Angsten basically combined this question along with the next (and the last) 2 questions of this series. It’s a GREAT summary of advice so I have decided to wait and post it at the end. I will give you a great snippet, though!

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I feel like the overall arching theme here is MAKE IT HAPPEN! We have the choice to be miserable or to be happy. This is OUR life and we live it so vastly different than everyone else around us. It can take a long time to find your happiness or for some, it can be a quick turn around. Try not to place big expectations on yourself in that area.

Do your best

My counselor – yes, I am in counseling. The best decision I ever made – said one time before, “You don’t seem to give yourself much grace. I wonder what it would be like if you gave yourself as much grace as you give to others?”

I do wonder. So let’s keep that in mind.

Give grace to others and be gracious to ourselves.

Photo Credit: Tony Mellinger

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