10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 13

I took a couple of weeks off from my southern education to go hang out in LA and Hawaii. But I’m back at it, and the air is just as humid and the bugs are just as real. So here’s what’s new now that I have 3 months under my belt:

  1. Whiskey is from Tennessee, bourbon is from Kentucky. Period. Just like actual champagne can only be from the Champagne region of France, and anything else is just sparkling wine. This was all explained to me the other night by a horrified waiter with a vague look of disgust. Something about mash and rye and WHAT AM I EVEN TALKING ABOUT. 4c9f5e8603334cf1ce787919578d993c
  2. Hush puppies are fried pieces of bread. See above for what the waiter’s face looked like when I asked what this was.
  3. There is a CPK IN NASHVILLE! There are also many, many, many excellent restaurants nominated for James Beard awards – but let me tell you – seeing California Pizza Kitchen brought me to tears.
  4. We have about 13 deer that live somewhere in the woods behind our house. Also, we have woods.
  5. Darius Rucker – you know, Hootie, from Hootie and the Blowfish – is apparently a really legit country star now. 
  6. My new friend (they are all “new” friends) Kristen, has a working theory that 1/3 of Nashville is left-handed. Way above the national average. We are in the process of getting to the bottom of it, so I’m sure you will remain on the edge of your seat until we have this mystery solved.
  7. I have more vegetarian friends in Nashville than I do in Los Angeles. I mean, can you even believe that? I can’t. I feel like I’m lying as I type this, but I know I’m not.
  8. In the Nashville Metro area… Red doesn’t necessarily mean stop, and green doesn’t necessarily mean go.. Those are just suggestions, really. If you want to live to see the next day, it’s advised to wait a beat when the light changes.
  9. The state bird is the Crane because NASHVILLE SKYLINE IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION at all times. Get it? Tip your waitresses on the way out. 
  10. I have one friend who thinks I live in Texas and one who thinks I live in Kentucky. Nashville is in Tennessee just in case I didn’t do a good job of explaining that in prior posts. I know it’s confusing, because Connie Britton is in Friday Night Lights which is in Texas, AND she’s in the show Nashville… which is in Nashville.. so I can see how it would be hard to keep straight. And I used to be one of those people on the right or left coast that thought everything in the middle was just a 6 hour plane ride of like, grass. But low and behold, there are real live cities ALL OVER! And even this dude from London was able to get the state of Tennessee right (sorry people in…North Middle?). 

HOUSE TOUR.

It’s been a big two months with our big move. Into a big house. With a lot of big rooms and even bigger closets. So naturally I’ve spent all my time happily arranging, organizing, and styling my house until I got it just right. And if my kids could just live in a separate building, it would STAY just right. But at least the constant cleaning up qualifies for exercise.

Since so many people have been asking for pictures, I thought I would take you on a little tour room by room. The only thing I’m leaving out is the lower level since that won’t be finished until the end of the year. In my dreams, that will be where our au pair lives. In John’s dreams, it will be some kind of music room and movie theater. In Stella’s dreams, it’s where Queen Elsa turns it into a Frozen ice palace. In Sutton’s dreams, it’s where Queen Elsa turns it into a Frozen ice palace because his big sister said so.

[ ENTRY ]

When you enter the front door, the dining room is on the right, and the office is on the left.

To the right of the entry table is a powder room. It’s fairly unremarkable except that it houses the pages from a 1920’s French magazine that I found.

[ OFFICE ]

The office is one of my favorite rooms in the house. It has huge windows, pitched ceilings, and is just not a bad place to spend time at the computer. I think this room was intended to either be a formal study or formal living room, but we had this desk built into the wall so it could function as a proper office.

[ DINING ROOM ]

The dining room is also one of my favorite rooms in the house because I’m a sucker for a coffered ceiling. We kept the room in a gray scale to compliment the Jim Marshall photos hanging on the wall. My husband, being a photographer, was insistent that ONLY Jim Marshall photos hang in this room. I’ve always loved these pictures, but now that we live in Music City, they feel more at home. Particularly the one of Johnny Cash giving us the finger from San Quentin.

In between the dining room and great room is a butler’s pantry.

[ GREAT ROOM ]

This room is the heart of the house. Living in an open floor-plan was new to me since our previous home was built in the 30’s and was so compartmentalized. But I’m finding that large open spaces can be just as cozy.

The doors off the great room lead out to the back porch. I’d take a picture, but it’s too hot. Sorry.

JS1_2348

[ KITCHEN ]

The kitchen is right off the great room (like everything else?) so we spend a lot of time here. It’s also where the food is, so we’d spend a lot of time here regardless. I love the mercury glass pendant lights, the beveled edge subway tile, and the marble herringbone backsplash. But again, I also just love any place that has food in it.

Our breakfast room (otherwise known as the place we eat all our meals since we never use the dining room) is adjacent to the kitchen.

There’s also a door leading to the back porch, and yet another dining table. We try to eat outside when it’s not 10,000 degrees which so far has been about 3 times.

[ MUD ROOM ]

Look… I am a Californian girl. We don’t have mud rooms. So just allow me the indulgence of loving EVERYTHING about the smallest room in the house.

[ GUEST ROOM ]

Since we now live so far from our friends and family, I tried to create a guest room that people actually wanted to stay in while visiting. Like checking into a nice hotel.

[ LAUNDRY ROOM ]

Nothing particular to note. I just think it’s fun doing laundry rooms.

[ MASTER SUITE ]

This is my favorite part of the house. As it should be.

Okay… MY BATHROOM. I can’t.

Also pretty excited by my closet…

I even let John share it (a small section) with me!

[ UPSTAIRS PLAYROOM ]

The kids own the entire second floor. Their playroom and bedrooms are upstairs which means so is the mess. It’s basically the best.

The best part about this playroom is right behind the above doors. It might look like cabinets, but it’s actually a humongous storage room that doubles as a secondary playroom. It also houses toys that don’t need to be out all the time.

It also gives me a place to hang Stella’s artwork because you know it’s not going on the fridge.

Stella and Sutton’s rooms are right off the playroom, and I love the wall that separates them. On the right side, it’s a drawing of Tinker Bell, and on the left side, it’s a drawing of Michael Darling dressed as Indian Brave, and both are flanked by Sweet Dreams and Sleep Tight.

[ STELLA’S ROOM ]

Can you guess what her favorite color is? You’d be correct if you said pink.

The branch above her dresser is a piece of the large cherry blossom tree decal that used to be in her room. I cried when we had to take it down for the move, and I smuggled a piece of it in my suitcase!

Here’s Stella’s closet. I hope she never accuses of me of not doing anything for her.

And her bathroom.

[ SUTTON’S ROOM ]

Sutton’s room has ONLY the toys Stella can’t lift or isn’t interested in. Virtually everything else has been stolen.

So that’s what our house looks like. For now. Because you know I love a project.

10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 6

1. Garden & Gun is the real name of a real magazine. But what’s more – it’s a CHIC magazine. My west coast snobbery refuses to believe this is possible, but it is. Like Southern Living meets Town and Country meets girls who I’m pretty sure shoot guns.

Garden & Gun

2. Someone told me it’s humid here in the WINTER. Is that possible? Are they trying to get me to leave town? I can’t figure this one out.

3. Carnton Plantation in Franklin was home to the bloodiest battle of the Civil War, and oh right, we came very close to buying a house next door without knowing this information. WHOOPS! Don’t like ghosts.

4. We have a college football team named the Tennessee Volunteers. Part two of this piece of information is that apparently we aren’t supposed to be Volunteers fans since they aren’t any good, but I feel like the person who told me this is conspiring with the girl who told me it’s humid in the winter.

5. This one’s embarrassing… but while we are on the topic of sports teams, I learned the hard way we have a hockey team called the Predators. SOMEONE needs to inform the NHL that when out-of-towners are googling facts about their new city, it’s super creepy to keep seeing sites dedicated to Nashville Predators. I honestly thought it was like a neighborhood watch group for sex offenders.

6. THERE IS A PLACE THAT SELLS WINE ON SUNDAY! One place. Just one. The Winery at Belle Meade Plantation. Since it’s technically a non-profit (all proceeds benefit the historic plantation), they are able to still sell wine on Sundays. I think you can all expect me filing for 501c3 status shortly. I am going to be SO CHARITABLE.

The Winery at Belle Meade

7. Not everyone drives American cars and trucks here. I genuinely thought I was going to have to sell my Audi and get a Chevy lest I be judged. File this under the many dumb things Clea assumed.

8. A bug flew on my porch this week that can only be described as a cross between an orange moth, butterfly, and velociraptor.  I still can’t talk about it.

9. That sound I keep hearing at night.. turns out it’s frogs. Who knew.

10. If you eat 3 biscuits each week you will gain weight.

10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 4

1. There are at least three Jews in Nashville, and potentially more. I had lunch with two of them, and between the three of us, we might be able to start our own congregation.

2. Roundabouts. WTF. It’s a miracle I haven’t been in multiple car accidents because every day is an adventure in driving.

3. All sodas are called “cokes.” Which is very confusing, because to me, there are a lot of sodas that are not in fact cokes. But that’s just me and I am no longer living in me-world.

4. “No you’re fine!” is the way people say “that’s okay” or “don’t worry” here. This is the phrase I’ve had the hardest time incorporating because it just does NOT want to roll off my tongue. And I’m telling you, it’s more common than saying y’all. I make 1,000,000 mistakes each day so I get a LOT of “no you’re fine!’s”

5. It’s not THE 65. It’s just 65. Or 440. Or whatever highway (interstate? I don’t know what it’s called!!?!) is named. This might also be the hardest thing I say each day because it feels so unnatural. I don’t think I will ever get it right ughghghg.

6. Pimento cheese. It tastes good if you don’t read the ingredients.

7. Horn honking is not accepted unless you are literally seconds from colliding with another car.

8. Not EVERYONE is nice here because there was that one jerk from West Eim. Almost everyone else is though.

9. There are only two Trader Joes in the state of Tennessee. I live 25 minutes from said Trader Joes and make a pilgrimage every week.

10. Mosquito bites are like having chicken pox, but every day.