Some Random Things I’d Like To Recommend

I do not consider myself an expert on pretty much anything, let alone what you should be spending your money on. But! Here are a few of my favorite things as of late, Oprah-style, should you be interested. Sure wish I could give them away to each and every one of you. YOU get a Uniqlo shirt! YOU get all-natural deodorant!

This Uniqlo shirt — The high neck and half-sleeve make my neck and arms look long and slim, and the material and ribbing are soft. Plus, it’s 10 freaking dollars.

Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders — I am a big Saunders fan, but this novel really blew me away. It is unusual and touching and funny and sad and I’ve thought about it a lot since reading it.

Schmidt’s Sensitive Skin Deodorant Stick
— If you’re anything like me, you’ve been desperately seeking a natural deodorant that doesn’t leave you smelling like a gym sock or make your pits burn. This one works great for me! I have the geranium scent.

Numi Rooibos Chai Tea
— I love making my own Chai tea, but I am often lazy and want tea right NOW. This caffeine-less rooibos tea has a nice balance of spices and tastes great with a little dollop of honey.
Volunteering or Giving to Planned Parenthood
— I’m a volunteer and a donor and it’s awesome, and you should be, too!

Some Random Things I’d Like To Recommend

Nashville Round-Up, 2016

image via The Tennesseean

In case you weren’t aware, I’m from TN, and Nashville is the nearest airport. I typically visit my family there twice a year, and I try to make a trip in Nashville at least once each time. At that slow rate, there’s always new things to eat, see, and do. Since I’ve just come back from another visit, here’s a round-up of some of my favorite things from my last couple of visits to Nashville. Note that these are all relatively recent additions to the Nashville scene, therefore new to me.

  • Marathon Village – Nashville commercial developers have been focusing on large swaths of space to turn into full-on experiences. Whatever your feelings about this approach, Marathon Village is a nice use of a huge, historic space. Once the home to Marathon Motor Company, the brick complex now houses shops, a coffee house, salons, a candy company, a theater, and a couple of distilleries.
    • Nelson’s Green Brier Distillery – A successful distillery many moons ago, the recipe has been revived by descendants of the original owner. They offer tours and tastings and the guides are knowledgeable. You can buy their offerings in the gift shop, including their Belle Meade Bourbon.
    • Corsair Distillery – This outfit also offers tours, but tours are not required for a taste. Visit their tasting room next door for a taste, a flight, or a whole cocktail. They make all manners of spirits, so you’re not relegated to just whiskey. The tap room (where tours begin and end) also offers craft beer.
  • Cochon Butcher – You may know Cochon as a distinctly New Orleans institution, but now there is one other Cochon Butcher location in downtown Nashville. They sell meats and wines, but mostly you’ll come to eat their fancy sandwiches. Get the Le Pig Mac.
  • The Escape Game – My family and I participated in an escape room during the holidays and we had a blast. Their Heist room was the highest quality escape room I’ve done so far. I hear the Gold Rush room is especially good, so we’ll be back. Keep an eye out for Groupons and/or coupons.
  • Olive & Sinclair factory – O&S makes totally delicious bean-to-bar chocolate in East Nashville. They have a factory store where you can taste the bars and buy a few, and they offer cheap tours on Saturdays (book ahead). I didn’t make it for a tour, but they were making chocolate the day I visited the shop and it smelled a-mazing.
  • Jackalope Brewery – For a laid back, beery good time, try Jackalope. Their tap room offers plenty of options with lots of comfortable seating. Food trucks regularly visit, and you can buy beer-to-go as well.
  • The Family Wash – A great spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A nicely sized menu offers Southern-tilted but modern fare, and live music and other shows frequent the small stage. You can also stop by for a coffee on the go.

p.s. I have a Facebook page now just for my writing! It’ll feature occasional recipes, articles, and any book news. Give me a like!

Nashville Round-Up, 2016