North comes South: Part II

Day 2 of my friend Blair’s visit was quite busy.  We started off the day with a plan to hike part of the Natchez trace and suited up in several layers of athletic apparel to face the nippy wilderness.  But first, we made a stop in downtown Franklin for a little retail therapy and sustenance.   I took Blair to several of my favorite spots: Iron Gate, Gino, Philanthropy and Anthropology.  Blair found a couple of cute pieces for Easter at Gino and then we decided a sweet treat was in order as delicious smells wafted over from the adjacent Meridee’s.  I had a strawberry pastry that I intended to eat just half of, but before I knew it, it had disappeared on me.  Blair got a cookie that I made a note to try sometime.  And by sometime, I meant later that afternoon.

As we walked to the car to head on to the Natchez trace, I lost Blair.  She was behind me one minute and as I went to unlock my Jeep and hop in, she was nowhere to be found.  I circled the car only to find Blair trying to get into another car two spaces ahead of mine.  We had a good laugh over that.

Our drive to the Natchez trace took us through the beautiful farms in Leiper’s Fork. I had never been over that way so it was an uncharted adventure for both me and Blair.  We saw lots of different animals. Blair was particularly taken by the horses wearing “sweaters.”  They were pretty darn cute.

IMG_5334

Don’t let this clear, sunny sky fool you; it was about 45/50 degrees.

IMG_5337

We arrived at the trail entrance and embarked on our hiking adventure a little leery of the heavily wooded/potentially creature filled path.  Thankfully, we didn’t encounter anything questionable except a swampy patch and a little horse poo.

IMG_5345

Not too far into our journey, we stumbled upon this beautiful view.

photo(11)

Selfie alert!  Here we are at a large bluff along the trace.  You can’t judge us because there was not a soul within miles who could have possibly taken our picture.

IMG_5362

Limbo anyone?

IMG_5365

I was very interested in the neat shadow patterns of the trees.

IMG_5366

About 2 miles in, the trail opened up into this lovely lawn.

IMG_5368

Lots of pretty wildflowers.  Seeing this reminds me that I once suggested to my Dad that we turn part of my parents’ lawn into a meadow.  It was a no-go.

IMG_5369

We came across this memorial honoring the soldiers who traveled along the Natchez Trace during the war of 1812.

IMG_5377

We hiked the trail for roughly 4-5 miles.  Our pedometer seemed to be confused by our frequent elevation changes through the hills so our mileage was a little ambiguous.   We weren’t terribly concerned about it.  It was a nice hike and a nice chat and we were happy to have made it out of the wilderness alive.

It was 2:00PM by the time we wrapped up our hike and we were kind of hungry.  Just a little ways down the road, we stopped in “downtown” Leiper’s Fork for some lunch.  We first ventured into Puckett’s, which looked delicious, but neither of us was really in the mood for a rib-stickin’ meal of BBQ or meatloaf.  I was craving a salad (a very rare occurrence for me) and Blair thought something a little bit lighter sounded good, too.  We were about to head back to downtown Franklin when we spotted a little café.  Perfect! We walked in the door and started reading what looked to be a lovely selection of salads, soups and sandwiches.  The “host” greeted us with a very confused look on his face as he speculated, “Lunch?”  Not knowing any other commonly accepted term for a mid-day meal, Blair and I responded, “Yes?” (duh?).  He then informed us that the grills had been turned off.  We said no worries; we were hoping for salads anyway.   His frown deepened as he informed us that he wouldn’t be able to serve us salads either because apparently when the grill is shut down, this establishment that serves many things not prepared on a grill is paralyzed, and it is impossible to prepare anything edible for two hungry young ladies even though there were pre-packaged items staring at us in the refrigerated case in between us and Mr. No.  We left a little miffed and happily noshed on salads and fried pickles at 55 South back in downtown Franklin.

We arrived back at my place mid-afternoon and inadvertently took a power nap while catching up on some March Madness.  Then it was time to get ready for dinner.  On to the next meal!

Blair loves sushi so I knew I had to take her to Virago at some point during her visit.  Not only does it have great sushi, but it’s also one of my favorite restaurant designs in Nashville.  Good lighting, not too loud, different dining formats, great use of texture, interesting crowd, prime location in the Gulch.  It’s a pretty swanky spot.

photo(7)

We sat at the bar so we could watch basketball.   After thoroughly reviewing the menu, we ordered sushi and drinks and settled in.  I can’t explain it, but something possessed me to order a cocktail spiked with jalapeno.  It was very interesting and mostly enjoyable until my sushi that contained sriracha entered the mix.  It probably didn’t help matters that I also dunked each bite into soy sauce mixed with a sinus-clearing portion of wasabi.   Towards the end of the meal I ordered a bowl of plain rice to counteract the inferno building in my mouth.

It was still a reasonable hour when we wrapped up dinner so we headed down the road to Patterson House, a throw-back speak-easy in Midtown.  We ordered fancy, chemically-engineered, hand-crafted drinks.  And doughnuts.

photo(8)

We got to talking to the bartender (as this is the south after all) about the concept of this establishment and how it reminded us of a “mixology”-type bar in Boston, called Drink.  Much to our surprise, this bartender knew Drink because Patterson House had hosted several guest-bartenders from Drink recently.  This world is impossibly small at times.   We chatted with the bartended some more about her favorite places to eat in Nashville.   She recommended City House and Rolf and Daughters, two places high on my list to try in Germantown.  She also mentioned the Catbird seat, which is located directly above Patterson House.  I made a note to check it out.  Sadly, our new friend was moving to San Francisco in the near future, but it was nice to meet her.

And on that note, we concluded day 2 of our adventures.

Y’all hurry back,

Sugarlump

Advertisements

Tax Avoidance (Not Evasion)

It’s funny how, when faced with doing your taxes, vacuuming the sofa and ironing your socks become wildly appealing activities.  Suddenly, tackling that oil painting for my living room that I’ve been putting off since I moved in 11 months ago seems very urgent.  Brushing the cats’ teeth and cleaning out that “catch-all” basket of receipts, screw-drivers, lotion samples, paperclips and nail polish is just too hard to resist.

Doing my taxes really isn’t all that bad.  Because I own a business, I have an accountant who sends me a really nice tax organizer that makes the experience as painless and straight-forward as possible.  Every year, after I complete the document to return to her, I remark on how surprisingly simple it was.  And every year, I put off doing my taxes because something about it makes me want to do just about anything else.  I can’t explain it.

Today, instead of doing my taxes, I’ve done 4 loads of laundry and 1 load of dishes.  I’ve vacuumed, changed the sheets on my bed, rearranged the furniture and cleaned out the refrigerator.  Then I happened to find myself at Homegoods where I purchased 2 mirrors that were not the size I needed, but I had to have them.  Consequently, I have spent the last hour re-hanging everything on the walls in my apartment to accommodate said purchases.

At least I will have a fresh environment in which to do my taxes…whenever that may be.

IMG_5262

Off to French-braid Scarlett’s fur.  Doesn’t she look excited.

Y’all be responsible,

Sugarlump

Handy (Wo)man

This precious little furball is a real trouble maker.

She gets into EVERYTHING.

And almost always leaves evidence.

“Who, me?”

I mentioned before how quickly she took to my new drapes.  I thought she was just cuddling up on them, but I should have known better.  This is Scarlett we’re talking about after all.

She likes to cocoon herself in the drapes and then have a crazy spell, which invariably results in tangled drapes.  The other day, however, she took it too far.  Literally.  Scarlett got caught in the drapes and decided to take them with her, thus pulling the drapery rod bracket out of the wall.

As the only member of the household with opposable thumbs, I had the privilege of buying new wall anchors and installing them to fix the drapes.

I also bought a new vacuum cleaner yesterday while I was out buying wall anchors.  Talk about an annoying way to spend several hundred dollars.

After I played handyman again and put the vacuum together, I got Scarlett back for her destructive behavior by running my new airplane engine of a vacuum for about 10 minutes.

Scarlett does not like the new vacuum cleaner as well as the new drapes.

Y’all hurry back,

Sugarlump

Mugged

Yesterday, I was mugged at Homegoods.  Mugged by coffee mugs, that is. I have been mugless since I moved to Tennessee.  The set of dishes I inherited came with teacups, but no coffee mugs.  I knew I wanted something interesting … Continue reading

Things I Never Tire Of

Things of which I never tire:

1)      Sunsets

2)      Laughter

3)      Shoes

4)      Floor plans

5)      Chocolate

6)      Family and close friends

7)      Mystery

8)      Sitting on a porch

9)      The unconditional love of my little furballs

10)   Mexican food

In an ideal moment, I would be sitting on a porch of a home I designed the floor plan of, with family and friends, furballs at my feet, eating Mexican food followed by something chocolate, while laughing in a fabulous pair of shoes, pondering the great mystery that is life, as the sun sets.

 

Y’all keep it real,

Sugarlump

The Sunshine Award

Thank you to Elisa Cashiola at http://elisacashiola.com/ for nominating me for the Sunshine Award! I am just tickled. 🙂  As a designer myself, I have a great appreciation for what you do and share. Your posts offer wonderful lessons on making … Continue reading

Chichi-cago

I was in Chicago yesterday and today for the ASID Design Awards and NeoCon, one of the biggest interior design trade shows.   I spent several hours yesterday wandering around the hundreds of thousands of square feet of showrooms in the … Continue reading

Heirlooms

Having recently moved to my first big-girl apartment, I needed a lot of stuff.   I needed dishes and glasses and living room furniture and a cake stand and a compote dish. Who doesn’t need a compote dish, right? Many of my … Continue reading

Apartment Update

I have been working hard to make my apartment feel like home since I moved in almost 4 weeks ago.  I brought with me most of my major furniture so I’m just missing the smaller accent pieces like a coffee table and an end table.

And barstools for my desk so I have a real place to eat a meal instead of on the sofa.

And an armoire for my bedroom, but that may take me a while to find just the one and, thanks to my closet handywork, it’s not critical.

Here’s a peak at the situation:

Currently, I have a pair of lovely storage bins from Walmart acting as my coffee table.  It’s a great look, don’t you think?

I think the label really sets it off.

And here is my end table.  Who knew that not only were the pots and pans useful, but also that the box they come in is the ideal end table height when turned up sideways?

This may start a trend.  I think it will be called “makeshift chic.”

While it may be a while before I upgrade my “tables,” I have been making considerable progress on the dreadful, soul-sucking white walls that come standard in my apartment complex.

I painted my kitchen and my bedroom in the past 24 hours and I painted my bathroom last week.  (I will post pictures once I get everything accessorized.)

My cats were super helpful with the painting.

Not.

They slept all day in the sun.

Can I be a cat?

The room in which they spent their leisurely afternoon is giving me some heartburn.  Not only does it have the makeshift tables and a chairless desk/dining table, but it also has lots of different walls that catch light very differently.  This is making it difficult to find a color that looks good on all of the walls throughout the day.

By the time I decide which color to go with, the walls will probably be covered in paint swatches, I will have taken out a loan for paint and it will probably be time to move.

I think I am up to 8 colors so far and they all are either too gray, too yellow, too green, too light or too dark. I’m seriously considering mixing some of them together to get my ideal color and then taking it to the paint store and having them color match it.

This is my “dining” area that houses my enormous desk and will also serve as a place to eat once I get some barstools…

So this is how all of the colors look on this wall.

This is the space between the living and dining areas on the window wall, which is perpendicular to the wall with the desk.  It is the darkest wall.

This is the wall opposite the desk wall on the other side of the rectangular room, behind my sofa.

I swear, these are all the same color swatches on each wall even though they look quite different.

Turning another 90 degrees, this wall is opposite the main window wall and thus receives the most natural light.  This is where we see the true colors.

Doesn’t that white make you want to cry? It does me.

And these are two more walls that form a bar-height counter around my kitchen.  That little bit of chair rail on the right is part of the desk wall.

Congratulations, we have just completed a 360 degree turn around the room.

There are actually 3 other walls that will also be the same color in my entry way, however trying to add them into the mix for consideration might just send me over the edge.

It’s a miracle that I can get dressed in the morning.

So you see, I have a lot of walls to consider and the lighting is kind of drastic, not only from one wall to the next, but throughout the course of the day since my apartment is South-facing.

These pictures make the colors look a little bit greener than they actually are, but if anyone wants to vote, please feel free to leave a comment.  (I don’t know how you will possibly describe to me which color it is since they are painted haphazardly and differently on each wall, but it’s worth a shot.)

You would think this would be easy for me since I’m a designer.  While I know exactly what to suggest for clients, it’s really hard to do my own place.  Please send help.

Y’all come back,

Sugarlump