take: 3 ways I’m like my Mom

  1. I like to make things.

When we see things we like we try to figure out how to make them ourselves. My mom is very talented in all things sewing and quilting and most other handicrafts. One year for  Christmas I received balls of yarn, needles, and an instructional CD-rom. I didn’t know how to knit, but my mom was right in guessing I would enjoy learning how. Then two years ago I received fabric and a pattern for my birthday, now I have a new wall hanging!

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Preparing to celebrate my brother’s graduation back in 2007


Showing off handmade items at the Chilhowee Fair


2. I like denim.

My mom has always had a thing for denim. Denim jeans, jumpers, dresses, capris, and shirts. While I’ve always liked denim jeans recently I’ve acquired several denim shirts and just the other day my mom told me about the new Gap denim dress she got while I told her about my new Gap denim jacket.

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Posing at the State Fair with her award winning denim skirt


Wearing a denim shirt while touring around the National Mall


3. I can’t say no.

We are both hesitant to say no to anything. From helping a friend with a sewing project to volunteering. But I also think that is where my willingness to explore new places and try new things comes from (and willingness to sing with the band).


Singing along with the band 


Traveling through Germany, one Christmas Market at a time



take: Nashville

A few weekends ago I headed to Nashville with seven friends to celebrate our friend Jenn’s upcoming nuptials. We got an amazing Air BnB in East Nashville that was retro cool. I really liked the East Nashville area, some of the spots we checked out:

  • The Pharmacy, Burger Parlor and Beer Garden– Great burgers and beer in a casual cool setting. We sat on the porch which was great, half inside and half out. The staff was great too our waitress gave us suggestions on going out in the area.
  • Lockeland Table– This was our nice dinner out. They had great cocktails and delicious food. Another awesome waitress. She gave us detailed descriptions of most of the drinks and food and told us of a dance party going on that night in the area, which we hit up and had a great time.
  • No. 308– We stopped here on our walk home from the dance party. The music the DJ was playing pulled us in. Great atmosphere and great dancing.
  • Barista Parlor– I went with one friend early Sunday before the rest of the house got up. The whole side of the parlor opened to the outside and it was a beautiful day. We both got ice coffees and shared a doughnut and breakfast bagel. They were both delicious and the place had so much character.

But a Bachelorette party to Nashville is not complete without heading down to Honkey Tonk row. Broadway. We didn’t realize when we booked the trip, but Nashville is currently the bachelorette party capitol of North America. You couldn’t turn around without seeing three or four groups of ladies. We didn’t have matching shirts, but everyone else did. Our favorite places downtown were:

  • Acme Feed & Seed– We stopped here for lunch and drinks and they had a live band and we liked it so much we came back later for drinks on the rooftop and then dinner again downstairs. You order at the counter and they bring your food to you. They had a great selection of southern food with creative twists.
  • Robert’s Western World– The Bride-to-be had good memories of this place from a prior visit so we headed back. It was dirty and gritty and great. The band on stage was dressed in retro country attire and they played one of my favorite songs “The Battle of New Orleans”.
  • Johnny Cash Museum– It was a little expensive, but a nice museum. They kind of glaze over the bad times of Johnny, but also focus on some other little known facts. I liked how they had lots of interactive exhibits.
  • Mike’s Ice Cream– A few of us stopped in here one day because it was HOT out. We all got two scoops, but quickly figured out that one would of been enough. The ice cream was delicious and we all finished, because we didn’t want to throw any of the deliciousness away.

take: the rest of Paris


We went to this hipster bar in this hipster neighborhood. Ordered two beers, stared at the bartender blankly when he tried to simply tell me $12 in French. But then we were rewarded by watching the man in this picture dance around for awhile.


Napoleon never got to enjoy the arch, but we did.


We ate here on our first night, then realized we could see it from our hotel balcony.


Somewhere in Paris…




From inside the Louvre


They removed the love locks from the bridge, but left them on the fence leading up to the Pont des Arts bridge.


I got all up in the gargoyles of Notre Dame’s faces

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Our walking tour was wet and wild. Ok, just wet.


Luxembourg gardens


take: Versailles


When you look at these photos from our day at Chateau of Versailles you are going to think “what a beautiful perfect day” but the reality is very different. The day we headed out to Versailles ended up being one of the hottest days of our vacation. As we walked up we noticed people, hundreds of people, but since we had already taken the time to ride the train out we got in line to buy our tickets. The first line wasn’t bad, but once we got in the line to get in the Palace we winded around and around for two hours. Once we got inside the crowds didn’t subside and the French Kings’ decisions to put marble on marble on marble wasn’t the most impressive. After wandering along the hallways of the palace we got some French sustenance in the royal cafeteria and headed out in to the gardens.


The gardens made the trip worth the crowds. Only a few of the fountains were running due to a water shortage. However when the few fountains did turn on they were magnificent.

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We didn’t have enough time (or energy) to walk all of the gardens or even most of the gardens, but we did see some beautiful things.

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take: Paris, Eiffel Tower


We took a morning flight to Paris from Copenhagen. Dropped our bags at the hotel and went to the nearby Luxembourg gardens to walk around a bit. Since we skipped lunch, we did a Parisian  local no no and went for dinner around 6pm. We were hungry and were talked in to going in a very Parisian restaurant. It was a great choice as we got olives and bread and wine and steak and fries and it was delicious.  Since it was still so early we walked to the Eiffel Tower to see it lit up at night. We got there a few minutes before the 9pm light show and enjoyed the sights as it started raining.

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As with any 986 foot tower we saw it from all over and we took pictures of it from all over. And headed back a few days later to go to the top.

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We read all kinds of reviews and opinions on going to the top, that it was crowded and overhyped. I have to disagree, but to reduce the line waiting time we decided to take the stairs up the first two sections. The line to take the stairs only took us around a half hour and the stairs were not crowded at all. Its something like 670 stairs to the second level. We took a break on the first level for photos and catching our breath and then headed on up to the second level. There is another line to take the elevator to the top, but from this line you have views of Paris so the time flew by. The first and second levels were honestly more fun. Once you got to the top it was really crowded and they kept reminding us there were pick pocketers all around.


The views however were amazing… Nothing like going up a tall building/tower.



A surprise to us was a snack stand on the first level. We each got a cold beer, split a granola bar and enjoyed the view from the swinging chairs. Just chilling on the Eiffel Tower was a fun way to relax after two lines and 700 stairs (which didn’t hurt at the time, but we definitely felt them in our legs the next day).