June 23, 2014


Manuel Cuevas was my favorite discovery during our trip to Nashville. Somehow I've gone through school for fashion design and been a music lover my whole life without ever hearing his name. He is the man responsible for Elvis's white jumpsuits in the 70s, the jackets the Beatles wore for the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Neil Young's black crop duster and the list goes on and on. He's dressed Dolly Parton, Prince, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Jack White, Neil Young and Madonna. I could keep listing some of the biggest musicians and performers of all time, but I'm sure you get it. 

My husband and I stayed in a hotel downtown near his shop and randomly decided to stop in and take a peak. We thought we were walking into a vintage clothing store and really just had no idea what we were about to discover. Inside was a magical place full of history and craftsmanship taken to a level that I've rarely seen. 

The walls were covered with photos of Manuel and his clientele throughout the years. There were sales associates working who were more than happy to tell us all about Manuel. It felt as if the people working in his shop were his close friends and been working for him for a really long time. One of them kept having me try on these beautiful, heavy rhinestone jackets inspired by each and every state in the USA. I tried on Illinois and Minnesota, of course. It was awesome! There were seamstresses working and hand embroidering in the middle of the shop. I was in heaven in that little corner shop. It was like a little museum that combined so many wonderful things. If you're ever in Nashville this shop is a must see.

June 15, 2014

summer vacation

Ryan and I got to do a little traveling this month and spend some much needed alone time together. We headed to Ruby's grandparent's house in Indianapolis on her birthday, June 4th, and had a little party for her with family and friends the next day. Ruby got to go swimming and eat cake for the first time. Just a few days later we left Ruby with her grandparents and drove to Nashville to spend some quality time together. We were both a little worried we would miss her way too much, or that she'd be really unhappy or fussy without us. But we were wrong, she was just fine and everyone had a really wonderful time. We did miss her, but it was a very manageable amount. 

We wanted to stop in Nashville years ago on our honeymoon/road trip, but never managed to squeeze it in. I'm so glad we waited, because the city has been growing and changing a lot over the past few years. We were able to spend a little more time there on this trip than we would have on our honeymoon. We did so much while we were there, but it was still relaxing enough. We had some amazing dinners at Josephine, Tree House and Rolf and Daughters. We met a really interesting and super friendly man named Robert at Marathon Village. He is the owner of and original roaster of Garage Coffee Company among many other things. We explored a few neighborhoods that we loved; Germantown, 12 South, Five Points and walked around downtown. We heard some live music on writer's night at The Bluebird Cafe, saw some exhibits at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, discovered the legendary work of Manuel Cuevas (which is a whole other post), checked out Pinewood Social and went to the top of Love Circle. I think I might already be forgetting a few things. 

I definitely got the feeling that there was a whole lot more to Nashville, and that we just cracked the surface on our trip. We could go back again and again and keep discovering new places and things to do. There were so many genuinely friendly, interesting and stylish people. Many of them we learned were transplants from all over the country and globe. The city had a buzz and was full of creative energy but still managed to keep a nice, slow, laid-back feel. There was endless green space, beautiful scenic hills and so much natural beauty. We loved our time in Nashville and can't wait to return. We are even toying with the idea of moving there in the future. 

father's day

Father's Day has been sort of a hard day for me most of my life. I usually just ignore it and can't wait for it to be over. For complicated reasons I grew up not knowing my dad. There was a brief period when I thought I might finally get the chance to meet him, but then he died suddenly of a heart attack. That was back in June of 2004. It's been exactly ten years that I put to rest the idea of ever knowing the man who genetically plays a major role in who I am.

This is the second year that I've been able to celebrate father's day, and I'm so happy to have this day become a happy one. Last year Ruby was barely a few weeks old, so I had no idea what an amazing father Ryan would turn out to be. I'm not at all surprised, though. He is so loving, playful and present with her. He makes it easy for me to be a good mother. Ruby lights up when she sees him. We're both so lucky to have him in our lives. Happy Father's Day to the best papa I've ever known! You are so loved.