A Few of My Favorite Things

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Well hello, December! You slipped up on me quite quickly! My intention this year was to get a head start on my holiday shopping. I have started a little but have a lot more to go. But I have my nice (and maybe naughty ;)) list made which is half the battle!

So I’m sure I’ve mentioned in other blogs and on my Facebook page that I love supporting independent businesses. My husband is an independent business owner so I see the hard work that goes into owning your own business. Let me just say, it’s not as easy as it looks! You are your own everything….Public Relations, Marketing, Creator, CEO, Assistant, Human Resources, Finance..the list of departments and job titles goes on! And a lot of times it’s rolled up into one person. So my point about this is why I love supporting an independent business owner. Whatever business that may be. I know my money is going towards someone’s business that they love and put their heart and soul in to. They can have an actual shop that I can go to or a virtual one. Both work for me.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite “things,” which are places or people I recommend you shop with!

Vintage or vintage re-production clothing: I love it. And something I spend lots of my monies on. My heart races when my eyes make contact with a 70+ year old garment. I mean, come on, it survived so many years and here I am holding it! So one of my favorite places to shop for these things is Sugaree’s located in historic downtown Murfreesboro, Tenn. This adorable shop tugs at my heart strings. I truly feel like I’ve stepped back in time like I’m a 1950s woman having a shopping day. Staci Higdon, the owner, carries an array of fashion lines including BB Dakota and Stop Staring! Clothing. She also carries many accessories such as jewelry, vintage hats, vintage gloves and shoes. You’re sure to find a gift for someone and probably walk out with something for yourself.

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My next introduction got the spotlight last summer when I wrote a blog about it. Live True Vintage is an East Nashville, Tenn shop with good intentions and amazing vintage items. I follow Live True Vintage on Facebook and Instagram and Tammy Pope, the owner, posts the treasures she finds and I’m constantly having to practice restraint from not wanting to immediately go there and buy it. Her shop is very charming and she carries TONS of items; men and women’s clothing, hats, accessories, posters…the list just goes on. Do yourself a favor and go ahead and put this business on your go-to holiday shopping destination. Another place you’re bound to walk out with a gift for yourself too. Hey, treat yo’self!

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Number 3 on the list starts our journey into the virtual realm. That’s one thing that’s convenient about the internet; you can buy and sell across the globe. Parlor Tattoo Prints caught my eye the first time I saw the owner’s designs. This woman creates the most exquisite artwork. Some designs speak to the old school tattoos that you’re grandfather had inked on him in WWII and some are straight from your favorite movies such as Edward Scissorhands or The Shining. Either way, you’re likely to find that perfect picture for your favorite someone. I bought one for my best friend for her birthday and it was a hit.  I’ve always love artwork as a gift too.

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Next up is another creative designer that creates the most darling ties that have a hidden surprise. Shannon of Truly New Vintage creates peek-a-boo ties that are the bomb! She takes a tie and adds a pin up girl to the underside of the tie. So when you see someone randomly smiling as they are standing there looking totally professional, you can guess they may be wearing one of these cheeky accessories. She has an assortment of pin up pictures and ties to choose from so that you can come up with the perfect gift.

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My next introduction is a destination gift. Natchez Hills Bed and Breakfast is the best gift for a little get-a-way. This quaint and peaceful place has all the right stuff. A nice place to sleep, great amenities, beautiful scenery and best of all, wine! This place is located in the heart of a large wine area in Tennessee with the Natchez Hills Winery being one among them. The owners are the nicest people that you just can’t help but feel like you’re at home when you stay. Don’t live in the middle Tennessee area? Check out what your local area has to offer in this realm.

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To continue the destination gift ideas, why not present your beloved with a ticket to an event, concert or festival?! Whether it be a one-day, weekend or week excursion, plan a trip to an event. Know someone that loves music? Make their holiday by gifting them a ticket to a concert or festival. Or maybe you know someone that is into a specific genre or area and there is an event taking place that specializes in this. Guess what, that’ll be a crowd pleaser too. I love taking mini-trips so if someone bought my ticket to an event I was planning to go to, they’d be number one in my book. The memories are the gift that keeps on giving. Here are my two recommendations for 2015 events. The Nashville Boogie Vintage Weekender & Car Show taking place May 1 through 2, 2015 and the Summer Wine Train Social presented by Muddy Roots Music departing on July 18, 2015. Both are taking place in beautiful Music City, Nashville, Tenn. Don’t live close by? Well, we have an international airport you can fly in to. 🙂

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To top off my list of holiday shopping recommendations, I must insist you look into photography. As in contacting a professional photographer and getting a session as a gift for someone or even for yourself. It’s a timeless investment and worth every penny. A lot of professional photographers offer gift certificates so don’t be shy to ask. Much like a day at the spa, a photo shoot is a pamper session as well. Makeup artists and hairstylists are often included in packages so all you have to do is show up and let the professionals do their magic. Don’t know of any? Search in your area and read reviews to get a feel for it. You can view their website to see their work and make a decision from there. This may be an uncommon gift but I assure you, if you give that special someone this as a gift, you’re sure to be loved for life. And the plus side? Photo shoots are fun!

My recommendations for photographers that I’ve worked with and love to death are La Photographie Nashville, And How! Imaging, Blast ‘Em Photography, Shannon Brooke Imagery, Retrospect Nashville and Uvudu Imaging.

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Now that you’ve been given some recommendations, what are you waiting for?? Get to shopping! 🙂

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Weekend Wine-Filled Getaway

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I’m a big believer you don’t have to travel too far for a good time. There are tons of fun things to do within a days drive. My husband and I are ambassadors to this way of living because we’re always interested in travelling and exploring the world, near or far.

Recently we indulged in our local “wine country” and visited a few wineries and stayed at the bed & breakfast that one winery owns. My husband found a groupon for the Natchez Hills Bed & Breakfast, which to our delight, included the opportunity to visit the winery, Natchez Hills Vineyard, too.

Our trip gave us the option of taking the scenic route or interstate to get to our destination. The scenic route took us on the Natchez Trace Parkway. We were running short on time so had to save the scenic route for our return home. We arrived at the bed and breakfast first but learned we had to check in at the winery. I took a little video of the drive up the bed & breakfast. It is tucked away off a two-lane country road. The long drive-way made it feel very secluded and the perfect get-away from city life. No one around but you and nature.

We drove to the winery to introduce our taste buds to some sophisticated wine. The winery is just a few miles from the bed & breakfast, right off the main road. It was quiet and serene when we pulled up. The grapes glistened with their plum color in the late afternoon sun.

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Our wine tasting host gave us a friendly and warm smile when we entered the room to taste the wine. We sipped on delicious and rich red and white wines, each time figuring out which one we’d like to purchase a bottle of. Our host entertained us while we went through the list. When we finished our wine tasting, we knew it was getting close to dinner time and inquired where we should dine. Our host suggested we go to Mt. Pleasant Grille in a nearby town. So we hopped in the car for our dinner destination.

By the time we arrived, it was dark but the quaint downtown the restaurant was located at was lit up. The restaurant had a modern but vintage diner look to it. Each booth had a little lamp and the floors were checked with black and white tile. There was a counter-top with the matching diner seats, which I’m always a sucker for sitting at for some reason.

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And what diner-inspired restaurant would be complete without milkshakes? 🙂

The bed and breakfast itself was such a treat. They have two individual cabins and one room in the main house. We stayed in the main room but will definitely be checking out one of the cabins in a future stay. In the house is a living room, dining room and kitchen area. Guests can watch t.v. or choose a book from their large library. They had plenty of ways for guests to peacefully entertain themselves. Whether it be curling up with an old book or sitting out on the deck and soaking up nature.

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We slept in an antique bed and sipped on the wine and chocolate we purchased. Enjoying every minute being away from the busy city and hectic work-life environment. When we woke up the next day, the wife of the husband and wife owner of the winery and bed & breakfast was preparing coffee and our breakfast. She was truly the most gracious and warm host I’ve ever met. Ironically, as a result of a morning chat, we found out she is originally from the same area my husband is from in Southern California. We had a great conversation getting to know her and her husband. There were two other couples that joined us for breakfast as the place can accommodate up to six it seems between the room in the main house and the two cabins nearby.

It was one of the nicest weekend getaways I’ve experienced. Between the peacefulness of the bed and breakfast, our kind hosts, the beautiful wineries and the scenic route we took on the Natchez Trace Parkway, it was a weekend not to forget. And a reminder that you really don’t have to travel far to soak in life and everything it has to offer. We’ll definitely be back to stay at the Natchez Hills Bed & Breakfast & visit the Natchez Hills Vineyard.