Happy Wednesday! It’s time for everybody to join up today with me and Shay to let us know WHAT’S UP this fine Wednesday!
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NASHVILLE GIRLS TRIP
Today’s What’s Up Wednesday is going to be different than a typical WUW post. This week I’m mainly going to be recapping my girl’s trip to Nashville! At the end of the post, I’m also going to highlight some new FABULOUS spring finds and link a really great lululemon sale going on right now, but first…it’s ALL ABOUT NASHVILLE!
My biggest takeaway from our time away together is this: TAKE THE TRIP.
My girlfriend Erika did a post all about this yesterday, and it really resonated with me. Her post was so good! Is it hard to take time away from your family? YES? Does it take effort to line up activities and get everything planned before you go? YES. But is it worth it? HECK YES! Take the trip, Ladies! I only add 1 kid to the mix… but there are 27 kids between these ladies, so you know it takes some effort to get away. #WORTHIT
The Nashville weather threw us for a loop at the last minute and turned cold. When I knew I was going to be packing two different jackets for night, two different pairs of tall boots, and several heavy sweaters…I instantly became worried about my 50 pound weight limit in my bag. I mean, I travel with rollers and my volumizing drying brush for crying out loud, so your girl isn’t known for packing light.
I bought this handheld luggage scale on Amazon the day before we left, and I was so happy to get a 49.4 pounds reading on Thursday morning! It was easy to use, super inexpensive, and it has over 40,000 5 star reviews! I even ended up sneaking 1 more clutch in the bag before heading off to the airport.
Before moving on, can I get a round of applause? 50.0 pounds on the airport scale thankyouverymuch.
We arrived at the hotel and were so excited to start our trip! #elevatorselfie
This is a group of girls that I’ve been friends with for almost 15 years now. We started meeting as a bible study when I was pregnant with Carter, and now he’s 14! We’re not a formal bible study anymore, but we do pray for each other like crazy and lift each other up. I know that anything I need, these women will have my back. We’ve been through so much together both individually and as a group, and we’ve supported each other through it all. I’m just incredibly thankful for their presence in my life.
On the way to Nashville, I wanted to be both comfy and festive for the airplane. I think I nailed it.
My girlfriend Jeni found this Let’s Go Girls tee on Amazon, and I ordered so fast it would make your head spin. Sizing: medium in the tee and a medium petite in the leggings (I’m 5’4″). I highly recommend the SPANX faux leather leggings all the time, but they are especially great for travel. Super comfy for travel days and then they are so easy to wear again later in the trip with a sweater and booties!
When we first got to the hotel, we had time for a quick unpacking session before heading downstairs to meet everybody in the lobby.
I can’t recommend my suitcase enough.
Here’s the suitcase open. In addition to the hard shell and how easily it glides all over an airport, one of its very best features is that both sides zipper shut. My items are SO SECURE.
AND GREAT NEWS! It’s on CRAZY SUPER SALE RIGHT NOW! Mine is the champagne white 28″, but there are several different sizes and accessories in this line. This 28″ suitcase is normally $413, and right now it’s ONLY $240.50 (until Amazon sees that it’s popular, and they’ll hike the price back up). With the sale going on, I’m thinking of grabbing the coordinating tote bag or backpack.
And look how easily my packing cubes fit into the suitcase! These little bags are UNBELIEVABLE.
Here’s one of the compression Gonex bags…
I have two different sets from Gonex, but I like this set the most because each bag has two sets of zippers. You zip the bag up once, and then you squeeze out the air and zip it up again to kind of compact things down further. They save an incredible amount of space, and I love how they keep my packing so organized!
Here are the 4 items I fit in this one bag! 3 dresses and a sequin blouse!
And in the larger bag, I was able to fit a puffer jacket, a sweatshirt, my heavy Free People tunic sweater, and 3 other lightweight sweaters. All in one bag!
Here are a couple more bags that I never travel without.
Let’s start with this travel jewelry organizer. I’ve ordered a lot of jewelry organizer in my day, but this is the best one by far. It holds so many earrings, rings, and necklaces. Notice on the left how the necklaces can be snapped in and they have elasticized holders to keep them from getting tangled. There are also two pockets to hold more earrings and bracelets as well as as a couple of fabrics rods for you to slip rings over. It really is awesome.
The travel toiletry bag is totally legit. It holds sooooo much, keeps things super organized, and you can just hang it on a towel bar, in a closet, or on any bathroom hook. Look how much it holds! And then it folds up and zips closed with ease.
Shortly after our arrival I had a quick facetime with the boys back home because Carter found out that afternoon that he had made the school soccer team! I thought I got a picture with his beaming face, but alas, I just got a big ol’ blur. I’m so happy when he’s happy and it really started my trip off on the right foot!
After everybody got unpacked we met in the lobby, had a drink and talked about our upcoming days. We stayed at The Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville, and it was both gorgeous and close to all the action! And let me tell you, the beds were DREAMY.
I always get asked how we decide who rooms with who, and we simply draw our roommates every year. If we draw somebody we’ve already roomed with, we draw again! In another couple of trips, we’ll start cycling back thru. This year I roomed with Lori!
On our first night out on the town, I loved wearing this Farm Rio dress. I think it had Nashville vibes for sure, especially when I layered the suede jacket on top (no longer available). However, this is definitely a dress I’ll wear at home too. The colors are totally vibrant and the fit is awesome. Looking back, I do wish I would have chosen my brown leather boots that weren’t quite as tall. Oh well, next time. For size reference, I’m wearing a small in the dress.
I absolutely love it!
Our first night we had dinner at Stateside Kitchen, and it was gorgeous and such a cool vibe.
We had the hot chicken sliders as an appetizer, and OH MY were they good! So crunchy and only mildly spicy. I also had the blackberry margarita and the Jumbo Prawn Pasta for dinner. I highly recommend it all.
After dinner we went to Kid Rock’s Big Honky Tonk. This wasn’t a stop we had planned, but we took a chance. Um, it was a lot, but we still had a lot of fun singing along with a handful of songs and did some really great people watching. If you are with others who want a break from country music, this is definitely an option. I however want allllllllllll the country I can get, so it wasn’t a favorite stop for me.
We left Kid Rock’s and grabbed a quick pic before heading to another bar. Check out the street life behind us!
We ended up at Blake Shelton’s bar Ole Red and my goodness did we have a good time. So good of a time in fact, we went back on our last night there. The bands were all incredibly talented, and they played tons of 90s country. Y’all. NINETIES COUNTRY IS MY JAM.
See? Told you I was having a good time. 😉
Friday morning we slept in a bit and then all met up for a 10:00 food tour IN A VAN! It was cold that day, so we were all happy to be nice and cozy in a heated van between food stops.
First stop, the Donut Distellery!
We had mini donuts and mimosas!
Next stop was the Far Better Distillery where we sampled local whiskeys and other spirits. It was fun, but mama was hungry!
Lucky for me, Martin’s Bar-B-Que was next and it really hit the spot.
Ribs, briskets, broccoli salad, and a hush puppy. YES M’AM!
Next stop, Red’s 615 Kitchen for some more famous Nashville hot chicken. I got the medium and thought my mouth might burst into flames. 🙂
Our last stop on the food tour was for chocolate truffles at Tempered Fine Chocolates.
I went for the peanut butter truffle and was quite pleased with my decision.
We wrapped up the food tour and had the rest of the day ahead of us for exploring and shopping!
We hit up Stoney Clover and oohd and ahhd over how cute their store was and some of us grabbed souvenirs. I got a classic small pouch in the Kelly green with my initials in bright pink and a cute little “YeeHaw” patch to represent our Nashville trip.
No surprise here, we saw tons of gorgeous boots.
And some of us got permanent bracelets (that they actually solder on to your wrist) at a local jewelry store.
We ended the day of shopping with some of the group custom designing some super fun hats at Rustler hat company. I didn’t get a hat, but it was so much fun watching everybody put their own personal spin on their hats. It’s hard to tell from this picture, but they were all very different. They had so many ribbons, feathers, beads, and charms to choose from.
We declared that Friday night was sequin night. I mean #wheninnashville.
I borrowed my dress from my friend Keely and thought it was so fun! Everything I’m wearing is no longer available. So sorry! 🙁
We all threw something sparkly on and headed out to dinner at Justin Timberlake’s The Twelve Thirty Club. It was FABULOUS. The space was STUNNING, there was live music, several levels, and the food was amazing.
After dinner, part of the group went home, but some of us headed to Miranda Lambert’s bar for some more live music. I’m telling you, I couldn’t get enough. It was a smaller venue and so much fun.
We sang and danced our hearts out. Again.
And then there were some late-night shenanigans. Our tour guide from the food tour had told us that the men’s bathroom at our hotel was cool, so we of course had to check it out.
And I shared a street hot dog with Andrea. Because why not.
Saturday we did a little shopping in the morning, and I opted for comfy.
This Love More sweatshirt is definitely expensive (especially for a sweatshirt!), but I really really like it. I think it’s cute with jeans and sneaks, and I think it’s just as cute with faux leather leggings and a denim jacket. I’m wearing a medium in the sweatshirt because I wanted it to be long enough for leggings…and it’s just barely long enough. If I knew I was only going to wear it with jeans, I probably would have gone with a small.
On Saturday we grabbed lunch at The Hampton Social. It was the most adorable spot for a girl’s lunch or brunch. The food was delish, and the atmosphere was adorable. The Monkey Bread appetizer is a must, and I shared a lobster roll and beet salad with Jeni! Everything was super yummy, and there was live music here too!
And don’t forget the Bloody Mary. The pickled asparagus was next level.
After lunch we headed to Franklin (about 30 minutes away). The town had an adorable little town square, and we really loved popping in and out of all the stores and just enjoying the atmosphere.
Jeni got us all set up to take a picture with the Franklin Theatre in the background, and as a father and son were walking by, Jeni asked they if they would take our picture. The dad politely obliged and after Jeni gave him her phone, Erika exclaimed “It’s Kirk Cameron!”. We couldn’t believe it! So after he took our picture, we of course asked him to hop in a picture too. SO MUCH FUN! I mean, if we would have seen him walking, we never would have asked for a picture….but the way it happened was just perfect! Who had pictures of Kirk on their wall when they were growing up?!? #idid #mikeseaver4ever
That night we met back up for dinner and grabbed a pic on our way out the door. You can see all the hat girls were rockin’ their new hats!
We had dinner and a perfect photo opp at Layer Cake Social Kitchen.
After dinner, it was time to see some more live music!
When we were in line at Ole Red again, Lisa realized she couldn’t find her license. I left with her to backtrack to the places we had already been, and WE FOUND IT! We couldn’t believe it! Somebody had turned it in at Miranda Lambert’s bar. We were SO HAPPY!
And then we spent the next SEVERAL hours dancing our hearts out and singing at the top of our lungs. It was so freaking fun, but I don’t seem to have any pictures from this portion of our evening. It was a night I will never forget!
A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to Shay for planning the entire thing. She puts so much time and energy (and love!) into planning this trip each and every year, and I can’t tell you how much fun it is to just show up and be told where to go. It’s really such a treat! (And listen, I realize it looks like I’m wearing a seatbelt, but it’s the strap to my crossbody bag. Haha!)
The next morning, we got up and headed home with lots of memories and full hearts.
For this travel day I broke out my Vuori joggers and had to sport another country graphic tee. This one said “Beg Your Parton”. 🙂 I’m wearing a small in the joggers (they are a MUST HAVE!) and a medium in the tee. Seriously, right now I’m finding I’m wearing these joggers several times each and every week. I have several colors, so it’s super easy to throw them on!
These next several finds are all from Social Threads, and you can use the code STMT10 for 10% off of all of them (as well as anything else you want to throw in your cart)!
This flutter sleeve sweater is what spring dreams are made of. It’s super soft and has kind of a retro vibe that I love. The colors are interesting, and I love the cut with the flutter sleeve and the banded hem. Listen, as I get older, I appreciate any extra arm coverage I can get. This sweater is definitely on the short side, but it’s not cropped. Don’t worry, I don’t do cropped. For size reference, I wear a medium.
I love it with my white jeans. They are stretchy, comfy, flattering, and just so fresh! I’m wearing a 4, but because they are super stretchy, I would size down if between sizes.
And it looks super cute with my must have denim shorts too. These are the denim shorts I’ve owned for maybe like 4 years now. Maybe 5? I’ve started buying a new pair every year because I’m absolutely wearing them out every year. I’m telling you, I wear them at least 4 days a week all summer long. For size reference, I’m wearing a 27.
And how adorable is this mixed media tee! The body is a bright pink tee that is super soft and the sleeves are a stiffer cotton with a cute little trim. For size reference, I’m wearing a medium. Remember to use the code STMT10.
And look how cute with the denim shorts. COME ON SUMMER!!!
Okay, so I’m DYING over this embroidered dress. It’s 100% cotton with gorgeous embroidery and bell sleeves. It features a V-neckline, 3/4 bell sleeves, and a tiered silhouette. Oh, and it is lined! For size reference, I’m wearing a medium… but I’m returning it for a small. It was too big all over and definitely longer than I would like. It’s a gorgeous dress, and I can hardly wait to receive the small!
Once again, remember to use STMT10 for 10% OFF.
This pic gives you a closer look…
I was going to make a collage of things that caught my eye, but yesterday got crazy.
That’s all for today, y’all!
Remember if you want to participate in the regular ol’ What’s Up Wednesday post, don’t forget to link up!