10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 17-18

Look, I missed a week or two of posts.. But read my last entry and you’ll see why. I’ve just been busy! And don’t you want me to be busy? So I’m not just your loser friend who moved to Nashville and binge watches reality TV while drinking champagne? Okay fine, I do that too. Now without further adieu:

  1. I went to temple on Yom Kippur (there ARE jews here) and the temple is called The Temple. Because what would you confuse it with? Another temple? Nope.
  2. I just found out that Sheryl Crow bought a CHURCH on EBAY and had it shipped to her Nashville house. When I say house, I think it’s more like kingdom of barns and architectural digest mansion – but I haven’t been, so let’s just call it a house. Still, she bought a church on ebay. And paid for shipping. Even Kanye West hasn’t done that. 
  3. Speaking of churches, I’ve discovered two types of Sunday traffic patterns: Utterly deserted and flying around town like you own the city, and DEAD STOPPED because church just let out. Avoid the latter.
  4. Pretty much everyone I have become friends with in Nashville is married to a Jeffrey or a Jermey. I have no idea who is who so as their name is coming out of my mouth its a 50% chance I’m getting it wrong.
  5. I went to brunch at Josephine, a restaurant in 12 South. I ordered the J’breakfast. The waitress was relatively mortified and told me it was the “J Breakfast” and not to be an uppity french asshole. My bad! Also, missed opportunity Josephine… J’breakfast is tres chic.
  6. I was told “you can’t swing a dead cat” is a southern expression… Well let me say for the record, it’s a GROSS one. But fine, I looked it up, because that’s what I do.. And the etymology is from the Mark Twain book Innocents Abroad. The book is about being abroad. Not in the South. But do we take credit for all things Mark Twain? Like how we take credit for all things Taylor Swift? What the hell, add it to the list.
  7. Taylor Swift, her holiness, came to town and IT WAS THE MOST FUN NIGHT EVER. Like, ever. I went on Friday and saw her perform with Steven Tyler and thought it was the best. Then John shot the second night and Mick Jagger came out. So number 1, a night of marital difficulty. Number 2, I want to kill myself just thinking about it. Here’s one of John’s show-offy-look-how-great-life-is pics. 
  8. Don’t hate me but gas is $1.95… It just keeps on dropping!!! Like will it be free one day? I DON’T KNOW!!!!
  9. A couple of days ago it was really windy and there was some pollen fluttering around the house. Stella thought it was snow. This might not go well in the winter!
  10. You can ship lox and bagels from New York. I know this because I just organized someone’s house where he had a file of lox and bagel receipts. #goals 

10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 15

  1. Apparently tea cozies are different than beer koozies. Why would someone give a slightly different name to something that’s so similar? One’s to keep it warm, and one’s to keep it cold? Did they intend on making me look stupid in front of my southern counterparts? Did they WANT me to look like a Californian tea drinker? Whatever. So rude.
  2. Y’all. There are snakes out here. I really can’t talk about it or I will be on the first plane to wherever there are no snakes.. But my neighbors have indeed informed me that they exist. And don’t tell me that they aren’t poisonous BECAUSE I DON’T CARE. They still make me want to light myself on fire. I also purchased $150 of various snake repellents on Amazon that may or may not do a single thing.
  3. There is a historical place here called The Hermitage. It was home to president Andrew Jackson and it’s pronounced like Hermitedge. In one quickly spoken word. So just a quick heads up if you come here from LA, do NOT pronounce it like L’Hermitage (L’Air-mi-taj) or you will sound like a real asshole. 
  4. My friend just got a gel manicure and gel pedicure for $110 WTF LOL.
  5. BUT gas is now $2.05.
  6. There is a state or county fair every week. I can’t even keep up. I feel like there are even state fairs for OTHER states.
  7. John finally gave in and had to register his car in TN – but the upside is they have the greatest license plate options EVER. You just flip through a book, pick which one you want, and they pull it out of a drawer. Kind of like getting an ice cream cake at Baskin Robins.
  8. I found an AMAAAAAZING store in Cool Springs, and Cool Springs is the least cool place of all time. It’s 15 minutes away from our house and as close to White’s Mercantile as you can get outside of Nashville proper. Separate post coming soon.
  9. My neighbors drive around with boxed wine and red cups in their car because YOU NEVER KNOW. 
  10. I’ve been told I’ll need Uggs. 

10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 14

  1. There is a ONE lane underpass for TWO WAY TRAFFIC. With a blind curve and no mirrors to see oncoming cars. Which means you are driving down the street and all of a sudden approach an underpass tunnel with blinking lights, warning you that THERE IS TWO WAY TRAFFIC FOR ONE LANE. WTF. I was told the proper protocol is to honk while you’re driving through so the car on the other side can hear you….because they can’t see you…. and will know to wait their turn. HAHAH OKAY. Sure. Sounds like a really well thought out plan.
  2. Okra appears to be the food controversy of the south. In LA, people sometimes debate the merit of cilantro.. and whether it ruins food or makes it better. But Okra seems to put people in two camps: Your mom makes it just right, or the thought of it inspires nausea. 
  3. The Franklin Farmers Market has booth after booth of vegan, raw, organic, gluten-free errrrythang. Also a booth for tie-dye apparel. Who knew it would be like living in San Francisco?
  4. I have seen only 2 people in cowboy hats in 3 months and believe me, I’ve been looking. 
  5. I live in such fear of freak torrential storms that I bought a $29 rain jacket at COSTCO to keep in my car.
  6. Peaches are officially out of season, but humidity didn’t get the memo about summer being over.
  7. My daughter can watch Frozen 3 times in a row for days on end. This is not a southern discovery, I’m just impressed by her stamina.
  8. Dinner guests bring gifts. Really really nice gifts. I can usually be counted on to bring a bottle of wine, but it looks like I’m going to need to step up my game.  
  9. Gas is $2.20 – but my manicure and pedicure costs $75. What is happening.
  10. 311 DAYS UNTIL TRADER JOES CARRIES WINE!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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?). 

10 THINGS I DISCOVERED: WEEK 8

1. Not all storms are tornados. Not all sirens are tornado sirens. And if I don’t get that into my head I will continue to look like a crazy person every time it’s windy and there’s an ambulance in the distance.

2. Jack Daniels is made in a DRY county in Tennessee. You can literally go visit the plant and do nothing but sniff the whiskey. No tastes, no sips, no drinking. Someone needs to explain they are making less money this way.

3. Hayden Panettiere is my favorite country artist. Her character, Juliette Barnes, has catchy songs and Nashville is a catchy show. WHAT OF IT! I’m not ashamed.

4. Speaking of the show Nashville, Rayna James’ house in Belle Meade is for sale, and is 20 million dollars. So basically I never left LA.

5. The Band Perry is actually the real full name of the band. Not a band thats called “Perry” like I thought for the last 2 months.

6. There is EVEN live music at Whole Foods. Like no one here even bothers with an iPod because they can surely get a full band to play at any given time.

7. Trader Joe has a less successful, and less well known brother named Aldi. Okay their names are not Joe or Aldi, but they ARE brothers and they had some stupid feud over like, whether to stock cereal bars and went their separate ways. So one started Trader Joes, and one started Aldi. POOR ALDI, am I right? They carry almost identical products and Aldi is actually cheaper since they basically make you do everything yourself and don’t believe in customer service or bags, or even free grocery carts. There are lessons to be learned here, I’m sure of it.

8. In related news, the black widow has a creepy cousin named the brown recluse. It basically just lurks in your shoes and furniture waiting to ruin your life.

9. Why is my manicure more expensive here than in LA? This is an actual question – not just a discovery. Why.

10. Dolly Parton lives just up the road from me and I drive by her house (compound?) on the way to the park. So let me say this for emphasis, DOLLY PARTON IS MY NEIGHBOR, Y’ALL!

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.

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[ 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 7

1. There is a bug called a Chigger. What. The. Do bugs have a PR department? Someone needs to get this name changed because it is actually the worst.

2. It’s worth trying to drink a Moscow Mule because they are served in the cutest copper cups.

3. One of my FAVORITE BRANDS ever, Turkish-T, is based in Nashville and I never knew it. Currently trying to figure out how to get them to hire me.

4. There is a lot of attention right now on anything bearing a confederate flag or symbol – but nothing compares to the statue of General Nathan Bedford Forrest off I-65. General Forrest was a general for the Confederate Army, but also the first Grand Wizard of the KKK. So clearly…. his likeness surrounded by several confederate flags sparks some controversy. But there is no way even the most offended person can look at this statue without laughing. It’s literally so ridiculous looking that Gawker had to chime in on the debate.

5. Second part to the General Forrest statue: THAT’S the general that Forrest Gump was named after! Remember when he said he was named after some army general that used to ride around on a horse in bed sheets? And that his mama named him that as a reminder that sometimes people “do things that just don’t make no sense” – remember?? I did. At 10pm last night…So I naturally I spent the next hour researching Forrest Gump trivia to verify my evolving theory.

6. Cheekwood Gardens, from my last post, was actually a 55 acre estate owned by the Maxwell House Coffee family (the Cheeks). The current museum sits in their former 30,000 sq foot mansion. Moral of the story: Invent a coffee brand.

7. More people are on Zyrtec in Tennessee than anywhere else in the country. Bummer.

8. The Peach Truck. OMG it’s the best. It was founded by a married couple: The wife was from the north and the husband was from the south, and they settled in Nashville. But when he discovered he couldn’t get decent peaches in Tennessee, he made it his mission to drive down to Georgia farms, bring them back by the ton, and sell them right out of his car. And now they have many, many trucks. And Uber, who will deliver the peaches as well. (**I still think there’s more money in coffee)

9. Shopping carts are called “buggies” here. I’m sorry, but no. I’m a grown-ass woman and will not call a cart a buggy.

10. Gas is $2.63 #sorrynotsorry