Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Nashville: Food, Pipeline, & Thrifting

 Dress: Sunflower Print Mixed Media Dress by eShakti (size 30) via Gwynnie Bee Try Then Buy
Cardigan: MAK (size 4x) via Modcloth
Teggings: Re/Dress
Sandals: Born
All Jewelry: Wendy Baker
Photography: Super Boo & Me
Stats: 5'7" 55-50-64
This sunflower dress just makes me SO happy...I love sunflowers & yellow is the color of happiness! I bought this last summer after it was sent to me & I couldn't quite send it back. I nearly didn't wear it this year, but then Nashville happened & it turns out the end of October is still sandal season there. 
I picked the same teggings & sandals as the first time I wore this dress, but all the jewelry is different. 
How fabulous is this street art?! Nashville has so many murals that I would never have to use the same one as a backdrop twice! I could probably do something like this, right??? Our backyard wall needs some splashes of color & pattern. 
On our second day in Nashville we had breakfast/lunch at Puckett's. My mom & I had dinner here when we were in Nashville & I thought it was pretty tasty. We shared some fried green tomatoes that came with a cheese dipping sauce & I had the fried chicken with a side of mac & cheese. Yum. 
After lunch...we headed to the Nashville Rep to see Pipeline. It may seem like a weird thing to check out local theatre on vacation, but it's my thing now. This play was SO GOOD. And the set design was amazingly creative. 
After the play, something more traditionally touristy...we waited in line to take my picture with the What Lifts You Wings...
Then went across the street to take outfit photos in front of a much less famous wall. And, back to the less popular tourist destination of thrift stores. David scored big time at Music City Thrift (I nabbed this photo online because I forgot to take any)...he must have gotten ~60 button up shirts. I got two tops & some yoga pants for sleeping in...& nothing at all at ThriftSmart. But I must say...both stores had the biggest plus size section I'd ever seen.
After thrifting...dinner at Uncle Bud's Catfish Chicken & Such. We barely made it before they closed & they were so kind to us. It's an all you can eat place...I got catfish & David tried their chicken...the multiple sides were also bottomless, but the only one we took advantage of was the hush puppies...look at the size of those babies. I'm not sure why this is mostly just a southern thing...they are addictive. Relaxing back at our cute airbnb.  

Sunday, November 24, 2019

World Famous Skull's Rainbow Room

 Dress: Lily Patch Maxi Dress by City Chic (size XXL/24)
Teggings: Re/Dress
Sandals: Born
Necklace & Earring: Wendy Baker
Bracelet: Sobral via eBay 
Photography: Super Boo & Me
Stats: 5'7" 55-50-64
I adore this kimono style dress from City Chic...I have it in 5 different patterns. This dress calls for a bodysuit underneath...why don't I own any bodysuits?! I wore the under slip that came with it & matching black teggings so it wouldn't be obvious when the slip bunched up around my waist. I last wore this dress in fall of 2017
I wore this dress on our first day in Nashville, then on our last day in Nashville, & to drive home...I was the fanciest road tripper on the road. We didn't have time in the daylight to get photos the first day...so that is why I wore it again. I had to take advantage of as much street art as I could. 
I didn't wear any of the same accessories as I did the last time. Isn't this dramatic diva necklace divine?!
We stopped for lunch on our way to Nashville...at a place in the middle of nowhere...in a strip mall next to an auto repair shop...that I discovered via Google reviews, Courtney's Diner. It was delicious. We started out with fried green tomatoes, served with jalapeƱo ranch...amazingly delicious. Then I had a loaded hot dog...chili, cheese, cole slaw, & onions...I'd never heard of putting slaw on dogs...but I liked it. 
After we checked into our cute Airbnb & got Rye settled in...we perused The Nashville Flea Market...which is held every 4th weekend of the month...we lucked out. It was not nearly as nice as the all antique Elkhorn Flea...there were all kinds of vendors at this one (food, crafts, knockoff designer sunglasses)...but there were gems to be found. I snapped a photo of this lamp that caught my eye...but I thought...it's not really us...now I'm obsessed with it & can't stop thinking of how fabulous it would have looked in our dining room. We came home with the grape sconces David is holding, a bit of antique silverware (including the pictured cake server for Angie because that is her pattern), & some vintage jewelry for me. 
The jewelry I got all came from one nice ladies booth... Ellen was sweet & when David showed me the bracelet below...she let us know she made it, so we should be kind. She was delighted when we both loved it. I'm going to gold it up a bit on the white & silver spots...but I think it's fabulous! 
The rest of the jewelry...I'm trying to stick to colors I don't already have a lot of...
World Famous Skull's Rainbow Room...they only take reservations two weeks out & even though I had it on my calendar...I forgot until about 5pm...so the best I could do was 8:30. I was worried they wouldn't let us linger until the burlesque show started at 11...& a long night for us. None of it was a problem.
None of the entrees looked exciting...but many of the starters did...so we ordered appetizers two at a time, along with craft cocktails to accompany them...it took us over two hours to finish our delightful meal. 
We began with carpaccio with arugula & tuna tartare...followed by crawfish risotto & veal sweet breads. If you blow up the photo below, you will see my drink, The Skull No. 3, had a skull in it...
We finished the evening with duck empanada & foie gras. Every single dish was delicious & the cocktails were expertly crafted with unexpected touches such as mustard, porcini mushroom, bell pepper, & herbs. 
After dessert...the burlesque began. After much digging online, I discovered the group that performs at Skull's is Alley Cat Cabaret. I sent a message to them asking the performer's names on this night so I could credit them, but I got no response. They do burlesque shows each week... Thursday, Friday, & Saturday...& according to the hostess, each show is completely different. 
Skull's has a fantastic stage that has a catwalk past the dining area...many famous people have performed on this stage...including Johnny Cash, Elvis, Bob Dylan, Patsy Cline, & Etta James. 
The live band was a wonderful touch to this fantastic show.
All the outfits are created & sewn by, I believe, the performer below. In Tennessee you are not allowed to show under boob or the triangle just above your butt crack...so they have to get creative.
This woman has the most shapely legs...
My favorite performance of the evening...
Performed to the band's rendition of Devotchka's Such a Lovely Thing...
A short video I took...I wish I would have filmed the entire piece...

Good night Skull's & Printer's Alley. Two days later, on Monday...we ate breakfast at Biscuit Love before taking outfit photos & leaving town. 
Despite making all the best of Nashville breakfast lists, the food was most certainly not worth the long wait in line to get in...the coffee was the most acidic I'd ever had...undrinkable. However, those bonuts *swoon*...yep, worth the wait. Bonuts are fried biscuit dough, tossed in sugar, topped with lemon mascarpone, served over blueberry compote. Wow. 
After breakfast...we headed to The Parthenon to take photos, which turned out to be more difficult than we'd imagined. Taken next to the pillars, you can't tell they are pillars...taken far away...people, construction, & not much beauty. I've looked online to see how other people do it & there are some great shots, but none as up close as I want for outfit photos. So, just across the street...there was some lovely street art that we used instead. About an hour-ish outside of Nashville, I found this fantastic family owned coffee house where we had some of the best coffee we'd ever had. 
Me & The Parthenon...

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Tennessee: Mountains, Music, & Moonshine

No fashion photos in this post...just a photo album of our visit with my parents in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. We woke up to this gorgeous view from the porch & a bit of breakfast. Some visiting...& French onion soup for lunch. 
After lunch we went for a drive around the mountain to stare at all the beauty & take photos at a waterfall...
The colors were in the middle of turning...this was the same time I came to visit 3 years ago...I never did finish my blog post on that trip. Nearing sunset...a drink on the porch.
When I was a kid...8 years old? I collected driftwood from the beach across from our house on Lake Superior...then for Christmas I decorated one for each season to give to my mom for a present...she still sets the appropriate one out on the kitchen window sill throughout the year. See...I've always had a thing for glitter. Dinner was amazing pork chops on the grill with an apple onion chutney on top...& then some time by the fire pit on a lovely autumn evening. 
The next day we drove to Chattanooga to take a riverboat cruise on the Tennessee river...unfortunately, it was cold & rainy. We had lunch while a band played...then my parents taught us how to play the dice game they play with their friends...& my mom won all our money. Also, there was Bingo. David & I were the youngest people on board.
Aye aye captain...I bought this cute tea pot dress by Effie's Heart from Gwynnie Bee...but we never got any outfit photos of it. I'll wear it another time this autumn. 
Baylor School on the river in the rain...I had to look up what it was because no one told us anything. The band...& some adorable ladies dancing.
After our 3 hour cruise (and yes, the band did play that song)...we went to The Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel, a former train terminal...
& had some drinks at The Frothy Monkey...
Driving to dinner...it started raining quite hard & we decided it would be better to get home & not have to drive in the dark in the pouring rain...so, dinner at home. My parents keep tiny bottles of alcohol in their glove compartment...because it is totally legal to drink in the car as long as you aren't driving. Nachos & leftovers for dinner. Also, my mom & her car were featured in a car magazine.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Magnolia Hall

 Dress: Leo Amiya Surplice Dress by Leota (size 4L) via Gwynnie Bee
Cardigan: Croft & Barrow, thrifted
Leggings: Torrid (size 4x)
Shoes: Aerosoles, thrifted 
M Earring: etXarte
Necklace: former Etsy seller
Leopard Earring & Bracelets: Vintage
Glasses: LaFont
Photography: Super Boo & Me
Stats: 5'7" 55-50-64
I can never say no to a leopard print anything. This Leota dress was great & fit perfectly...it was cute with or without the cardigan & since I donned it in Georgia & Tennessee on lovely fall days...I wore it both ways. 
I could have been neater about rolling up my leggings. However, I am quite pleased with plaid & leopard together. 
I most likely would have worn my red bubbles necklace from Wendy Baker with this outfit...but it is being fixed by the jewelry artist herself.
I'm not sure why I decided to stick both earrings in one hole instead of separate openings or different ears...I would have done that differently today...but I really wanted to wear this leopard hoop that I found a few years ago at a garage sale...because leopard.
My make-up with this outfit included...Urban Decay eyeliner in Perversion, UD Naked Cherry palette, Russian Red lipstick from MAC, & Red Heads Ahead nail polish by OPI. 
I wore this butterfly dress to drive from Madison to Tennessee with David & Rye. The only photo I took on that day was this giant cross on the side of the road somewhere in Illinois...the enormity of it is not captured in this picture. With stops along the way, it took us ~13 hours to get to our Airbnb in Chattanooga. It was the worst Airbnb I've ever stayed in...& David's first. It was fine for a short overnight visit, but spottily cleaned & bits falling apart. David stated, "it's like painted mold"...I gave her a good review anyway because she was super friendly via online messages.
The next morning we got up early & found a Starbucks for our caffeine fix & a bit of breakfast. Then on to Jasper, GA to pick out fabric for our furniture from Magnolia Hall. I'd been searching for just the right living & dining room pieces for us & when I stumbled upon this shop online...I was deliriously delighted! Finally. These were our people. We quickly were able to pick out the furniture we liked best...so much amazing stuff to choose from! 
We'd been working with Sasha via phone & email...but it was going to be difficult to pick out fabrics that way. We already had a visit to Tennessee planned to see my parents...& I decided to Goggle how far apart they were...less than 2 hours! Perfect. So, that is how we ended up here. I fell in love with these curtains they had custom made for all their windows...we got the ladies contact info, but not sure how that would work since we aren't local. 
Sasha was amazing (so was the owner, Michelle)...she had printed out photos of each of the pieces we'd chosen & on a second sheet she had cut out samples of the fabric that standardly come with it & where those fabrics were located...so it was much easier for us to envision & replace textiles as we wished. Sasha was patient & fun to work with...& we were served muffins & coffee while we perused the fabrics...I felt like a Muffin Queen. 
After Magnolia Hall, we went to a local restaurant that Sasha recommended...& there were frog legs! My grandma used to take me to fancy restaurants in Detroit when I was a wee one back in the 70s & she often got frog legs...so I did too & I have loved them ever since. They taste like a meaty fish with a slight nod to chicken wings. The real star of this plate though...the hush puppies. 
After dinner, we took outfit photos & drove on to my parent's house in the mountains. My mom had sent me directions & specifically told me not to follow GPS instructions...so of course we glanced at her email, then followed what Siri told us to do. Big mistake. We ended up on the narrowest mountain road with constant sudden twists & turns...in the dark. Occasionally a vehicle would be coming the other way, but David had to make sure not to pull over too far because there wasn't much of a shoulder...& then there was a drastic drop down where you would die a tragic death & never be found. When we arrived at my parent's place...David said something to my dad I'd never heard him say before..."Gary, can I have a drink?"

In the weeks since, we have finalized small details like fringe on pillows...here is what we ended up with...this is mostly for me, but perhaps you enjoy these things too. The fainting couch, the brown leather shown was exchanged for pumpkin orange & the fabric on the pillows will be different. 
The chair is the same line as the couch David is sitting on above in the showroom...we are only changing the ruched bit in front to a fabric with a bit of color. 
We decided to change every single fabric on this loveseat...
When given an option of beaded tassel poufs...of course I said yes...
We changed this sofa to mostly mustard leather...oh, no...now I'm worried this will be too boring...

Two end tables & a coffee table...
This table looks hideous as pictured, but we think it will be delightful in cherry mahogany with gold tipping...we wanted a dining table without corners or legs that would get in the way of squeezing people in if necessary.

Of course we couldn't just go with the matching chairs for the table...these were fancier...& we picked a gorgeous combination of fabrics. 
The actual chair that matches our dining room table swivels...so we chose it as the perfect office throne for me...