Nashville: Travel Diary


Hey y’all! I was in Nashville recently for one of my absolute favorite human’s bachelorette weekends. It was delightful so I thought I’d share a couple of highlights in case you ever find yourself in Music City.

First of all, we stayed in a cute little Airbnb which I would definitely do again. Ubering everywhere was easy and getting around the city was never more than 10-15 mins in the car.

We kicked off our first night with a Sprocket Rocket bike tour – one of those mobile bar thingies where you blast music, drink, and pedal around the city. We had a bartender pouring beer and a driver who took us around Broadway – a can’t miss. It’s honkey-tonk central with bars and live music galore. We actually went to Broadway again a few nights later because there’s sooooo much good music (and people watching).

Layla's Nashville

The next day we did some wine tasting, whiskey tasting, and beer…. drinking. We had a lovely little private tasting room for the wine part of the day at Grinder’s Switch Winery. The wine was on the sweet side – which, as our sommelier told us, is pretty standard for the south – so if that’s not your thing, the winery is a part of Marathon Village. Housed in an old automotive factory, this seemingly unending row of shops, tasting rooms and cafes is the perrrrrrfect place to do a little drunk shopping. I may or may not have bought all of the t-shirts. And a large candle that may have caused airport security to double search my carry-on bag. Whoops.

Okay, okay. Get to the good stuff.

My Family’s World Famous Cookie Recipe

It’s National Cookie Day! Which means it is finally time for me to share my family’s heavily guarded and world famous chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s been passed down several generations and truly is incomparable.

Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Recipe

Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Recipe

My Family’s World Famous Cookie Recipe

    2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2 large eggs
    2 cups semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl.
  • Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate morsels.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • My great(x4) grandmother, Nesleé, from France originally developed this recipe. Her family name was Toulousé.

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    Okay you caught me. This is obviously the classic recipe for Original Nestle® Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.

    But you can’t blame me for ripping it off. It’s delish! Hope you have a delightful National Cookie Day.

    Oh! And Pro Tip: do not look at the nutrition facts. A serving size is apparently one cookie. Who eats one cookie?? We’ll worry about that on National Sit-Up Day. Or never. Whatever.

    Nestle Tollhouse Cookie Recipe

    Fast Fashion. Stay Woke.


    There’s a fashion trend that’s bubbled up recently that I am completely getting behind.

    The apparel world has transformed over the past ten years. We’ve gone from fashion by season to fast fashion.

    I’ll explain.

    A decade ago, clothing stores would flip their collections pretty much four times a year. You had the basic fall, winter, spring and summer seasons when a designer’s work would go from runway to showroom. The refresh would mean sales of the prior season’s clothes to make room for the next season. It was methodical and sensical.

    Fast forward to today when, thanks to instant gratification everything, fast fashion has taken over. Brands like H&M, Zara, and Asos have become mega-players replacing brands like GAP, J.Crew, and many others in a ranking of top retailers.

    Why? Well we won’t get into an entire global economy / macroeconomics lesson BUT, basically those brands that have reduced development time and production costs so drastically are now able to restock and flip merchandise in a fraction of the time. They’re essentially able to go from runway design to ready-to-buy extremely quickly.

    There’s a ton of criticism of fast fashion around it’s root causes and implications – including shoddy craftsmanship, labor rights, environmental impact, etc.

    I think there’s a lot of work to be done to address some of the issues above. They’re heavy issues and I recommend an amazing documentary, The True Cost, if you want to learn more. Stay woke.

    Something that has come out of the ires against fast fashion is a prevalence of garments with time-consuming detail work.

    What’s the opposite of churning out fast fashion? The slow, meticulous work needed to emblazon an article of clothing with highly detailed stitching and embroidery.

    Ironically, fast fashion brands are picking up on a trend that was meant to call them out as inferior.. but nonetheless, I am loving the movement toward detail.

    It started with brands that can charge a fortune for this kind of intricate detail like Gucci (check out this sick jacket) and has also ironically made it to fast fashion brands like Asos (classically taking high fashion and making it accessible, for better or worse)…

    The more you know!

    xo

    ~j

    Q: Something Everybody Loves

    Skull Suit 5

    A: A good sale.

    Friendly reminder – now is about the right time to keep an eye out for those amazing annual summer sales. I know, I know. But it’s only the end of July! Well, lucky for you this is actually a good thing for us.

    The stores may be pushing lightweight fall sweaters already but that means they need to make room by clearing out all their late summer apparel. And let’s be honest, thanks to global warming it’s going to be beach / pool weather well into October.

    I’m on the lookout right now for a few new bathing suits to add to my rotation.

    Since they’re likely hugely marked down, now is the time to spend the money on a bathing suit for which you likely wouldn’t shell out the big bucks.

    I grabbed a couple from Zara including these shorty-short blue skull trunks.

    Happy shopping,

    ~j

    Skull Suit 2

    Skull Suit 1

    Skull Suit 3

    Skull Suit 4

    National Tequila Day

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    It’s Monday. This means, if you’re anything like me, you’re open to suggestions on ways to brighten your day.

    Well let me also tell you that today is National Tequila Day.

    You hereby have my permission to get a margarita at lunch or make yourself a little tequila + soda after work.

    I’m still working my way through a stockpile of tequila from my friends at Casa Noble so that’ll be my first stop when I get home tonight.

    Salud, mis amigos!

    ~j

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