SO BUSY, Y’ALL.

Sometimes I can’t believe a single person reads my ramblings on my rambling blog. But it turns out, when I got really busy, and didn’t have time to post about my humdrum southern life, people actually noticed! Again, shocking. Maybe you all don’t realize there are interesting things to read by interesting people.. but whatever, I’ll take it.

At least I’ve been busy for a good reason, right? Last month, I co-founded a home organizing company called The Home Edit. I did not expect to be this busy this quickly, kind of like I didn’t expect anyone to read anything I wrote. But I sure am grateful for both.

Here are some pics of what I’ve been working on. I mean…. What could possible say I’m Southern Now more than organizing someone’s koozie collection?


See you soon, y’all.

ALOHA.

Okay look, before you start coming after me with pitch forks forged from beach umbrellas, I am in Hawaii with my TWO CHILDREN. There are no vacations with children. Only trips with varying degrees of scenery. Granted, the scenery here is pretty spectacular… And we are here for my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday, so we do have our family to help… But traveling with kids means still having to get-up at 7am, be in the room by 7pm, and balancing a piña colada in one hand, with a sippy cup and baby wipes in the other. So I just wanted to preface these pictures with a small sprinkle of reality to prevent you from completely hating me. Or actually, go ahead, Hawaii is the best.

For starters, there are rainbows. In this case, double rainbows. Stella informed us she had never seen a rainbow in real life, which I realized is because she grew up in California WITH NO RAIN.

Stella was also pretty excited that you get jewelry made of flowers. I mean, even Queen Elsa doesn’t have flower jewelry.

Sutton was just excited to play with an empty left over water cup because he’s a second child and is content with such things.

Meanwhile, I was happy drinking cocktails from large pineapples.

The kids love the ocean as much as John, but my pale skin requires me to make 5 minute breaks in the water and 55 minute breaks under the umbrella.

(Tankinis forever, amirite? Nothing like the beach to realize you have a mom bod.)

After we all got our fair share of sunburn, we decided to take a day trip to the Dole Plantation. Which basically consisted of a ride on the Pineapple Express and giant cups of magical ice cream called Dole Whip. Which I didn’t get a picture of because I was too busy eating it.

We’ve been actively trying to get a group shot these last couple of days, and so far, it is just not happening. Stella and I managed a semi-decent mother / daughter shot, and we were able to get one pic with my mother-in-law. But considering we are a party of 11, we are operating at 50% capacity at best.

So today is our last day.. we are trying to soak up the sun (in 5 minute increments) and enjoy the views. John and I even took Sutton on a hike.*

(*a 30 second walk up the grassy bluff)

 

It’s always hard saying goodbye to vacation, but it’s also a nice feeling to miss your home. More specifically, my house. And my bed. And my shower. And my wine fridge. Heading back to real life, and a VERY REAL DIET, tomorrow (right after the plane ride of snacks).

CHEEKWOOD BOTANICAL GARDENS.

Being so far away from friends and family means we get visitors. Which means I’ve done more touristy things in the last 7 weeks here than most people have done in their whole natural Nashville lives.

Cheekwood is one of the places I insist people visit because it is truly the most magical place I’ve ever been. There is an exhibit right now with Spanish artist Jaume Plensa that cannot be missed. There is no point in describing it because it’s indescribable. So I’m just going to leave these pictures right here…. Enjoy.

THE RED WHITE AND BLUES.

The 4th of July this year, in a word, sucked. Which is tough because I’ve been dealing with brutal homesickness lately and really could have used a star spangled day.

On the docket: A street festival in downtown Franklin concluding with a kids parade at 5pm, a cookout (formerly known as a BBQ) and dinner outside, fireworks at 9.

In reality: We wake up to dark rain clouds that do not understand patriotism. But WE do, so we dutifully put on our red, white, and blue attire and head over to Franklin. There were a ton of vendors and food trucks, and a live band, and bounce houses for the kids.. But there is just nothing fun about a looming rain storm. We walk down the street, take a picture with some flags, and pretty much run back to the car MINUTES before it started absolutely pouring.

And it kept raining. And raining. We ate outside anyway since the back porch is covered, but it was so depressingly gloomy. Not shockingly, the fireworks in our neighborhood were cancelled because it turns out it’s hard to watch fireworks in a monsoon. Downtown Nashville still had fireworks, but at that point, there’s no way we were going downtown in said monsoon. I actually think the only major win on the 4th was for the M80 business, because no storm was going to stop our freedom loving neighborhood from enjoying loud explosives while terrifying dogs and waking sleeping children.

The moral of the story: Droughts are bad, but on the 4th of July, droughts are kind of helpful. 2016 in Los Angeles.

TOUR GUIDE.

You know what would be hilarious? Move to a new city where you know nothing, and then have friends come visit you 3 weeks later and pretend to be knowledgable and informed. Meanwhile, I need navigation to get to the nearest grocery store. But sure, I’m game! Let’s do it!

The Marlos, consisting of Mary Michael, Dave, Claire, and Grant arrived on Thursday afternoon and were leaving on Saturday – so my itinerary had to be pretty compact. It also had to be pretty GOOD since I’m campaigning for them to move to Nashville. I think for 2 and a half days, I did a pretty decent job. Please note: If any of y’all come visit me for 2 days, you will likely get the same tour so don’t be surprised.

THURSDAY:

  • Lunch at Burger Up in 12 South. SOOOOO GOOD. Need to go back since it deserves it’s own post.
  • Walked around and looked at all the cute shops.
  • Ice cream popsicles at Las Paletas. Again, this needs it’s own post because I can’t. I CAN’T!!! I’m obsessed and if I lived near this place I would be 400 pounds because it’s all I would eat.
  • Dinner at Puckett’s in Downtown Franklin. I don’t care if you’re visiting for 2 days or 2 weeks, this is somewhere I will take you. I love the food, the atmosphere, the live music at night, even their bottles of BBQ sauce. And it’s in the historic part of Franklin so you get some charm served with your chicken.
  • Ice cream (this is becoming a theme) at Kilwin’s Candy Store. And some fudge samples but seriously stop judging me.
White's Mercantile
White’s Mercantile
Kilwin's Candy Shop
Kilwin’s Candy Shop
Downtown Franklin
Downtown Franklin
Puckett's
Puckett’s

FRIDAY:

Those Marlo kids get up early. I woke up at 7:30 and they had been up for 2 hours. So breakfast turned into the quickest thing we could get to..

  • Breakfast at Mama Java. From the outside, I thought this was going to be kind of like a Starbucks and I was getting ready to apologize. But when we walked in, it had great communal tables made of reclaimed wood, cool vintage signs hanging, and a full breakfast menu. BECAUSE OBVIOUSLY I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING AND PLANNED THIS. I didn’t. But the biscuits were homemade and the coffee was amazing so I’m adding it to my future lists.
  • Snack and Iced Tea (unsweet tea? I still don’t know how to say it) at Crema. I love Crema. I love everything out about it. File this under a longer post at a later time.
  • Country Music Hall of Fame. Obsessed. We were only able to see a pretty small section since it’s massive, but this place is amazing.
  • Dinner at Desano’s Pizza. The pizza was so good, but the best part of the night was that I was so focused on ordering wine that I missed Sutton take his first steps. I was up at the counter trying to concentrate on the menu and everyone was calling me to come see… But no, I REALLY was focused on the wine list. Mom of the year per usual.
Crema
Crema
Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame
Country Music Hall of Fame

SATURDAY:

Those Marlo kids wake up early every day. But this time we had our agenda planned!

  • Breakfast at The Feed Mill in Nolensville. It does not get more awesome than this place. You pay for your plate and get 3 breads, 3 meats, and eggs. The biscuits are worth the weight I will gain by eating all of them.
  • My next mission was to take them on a driving tour of the neighborhoods in and around Nashville. Not just the hip parts, but the parts they might actually want to move to. Now remember, I have basically spent zero time going anywhere but Target and Whole Foods, so I am largely unequipped for this tour. But thanks to Google Maps and Nashville Guru, I kind of pulled it off. We started in Belle Meade just to see the Beverly Hillsy area of the city, and get a quick glimpse of the plantation (um, myself included because I’ve never seen it). Then we did Hillsboro Village for lunch, Sylvan Park, Green Hills, Belmont / Hillsboro, and then back to 12 South for another ice cream popsicle because I told you I would go there every day and to stop judging me. Right across from Las Paletas is Sevier Park so we walked over and let the kids run around a bit. The humidity was magically non existent, the skies were blue, and there was a breeze. I mean, I would totally move to Nashville if I hadn’t already moved.
  • Quick detour down Music Row on the way to dinner to see all the record labels, publishing houses, etc that line the streets.
  • Dinner at Adele’s. Our local favorite and much like Puckett’s, where everyone who visits us will likely dine. And they have the best kale salad which makes people from California feel warm and fuzzy.
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
The Feed Mill
Hillsboro Village
Hillsboro Village
Dragon Park
Dragon Park
Sevier Park
Sevier Park

And that’s a wrap on the family-of-four-who-might-move-to-nashville guide.

BOOKCASE OBSESSION.

For an OCD type-A girl like myself, bookcases are a love affair written in the stars. For starters, it’s a way to give every THING a home. And there’s nothing more annoying than things without a home. That leads to piles. And clutter. And that is just a gateway drug to chaos. If you don’t want to end up staring on an episode of hoarders, you really need to take advantage of the shelves in your home.

First: Figure out what you want to display. This means your good looking books (sorry, get an iPad if you actually want to read) and a variety of those pesky things you have accumulated.

Second: Make piles according to color. Depending on the shelf space, I like to go with grayscales / neutrals and color in separate spaces. But for a smaller space, they can all live together.

Third: Start making vignettes on the shelf by altering height and position of the books. In connecting spaces you can place one of the objects to tie the color together. The spine of the book generally has more than one color, so the object becomes an important underscore for the section.

Living room built-ins with all colors used.
Living room built-ins using only black and white.
Kids playroom using books and toys.
Kids playroom built-ins using ROYGBV colors only.
Kids playroom built-ins using only grayscale and neutrals.
Study built-ins using wedding and family photographs with coordinating objects.
Kids playroom art unit using containers and supplies.

THANKS, PINTEREST.

I keep buying chalkboard things because I think it’s cute and in my head I think I’m the kind of person who uses chalkboards. In my real life world however, I’m not crafty and don’t own chalk. So today I decided I would conquer my fears of chalk writing (I have so many fears) and get to work.

It turned out pretty well, but of course I accidentally bought the PERMANENT chalk pen because I know nothing. This is living life on the edge, folks.