GIVEAWAY: Nashville Word of Mouth - The Perfect Nashville Coffee Table Book!

CONTEST CLOSED! Congratulations, Lisa Zimmer: you're the winner! Thanks everyone who entered - I've got a few more giveaways up my sleeve, so stay tuned!

Friends.

I'm so excited to give away a copy of Word of Mouth, Nashville Conversations to one of my followers! Local author, Lily Hansen, put together a fabulous book which captures the drive, passion, and innovation of Nashvillians who have thrived in – and helped drive the art, culinary, business, and music industries that have bolstered Nashville’s boom. 

The book features stunning black & white photography from some of our town's finest photographers,  candid interviews with the likes of Mike Wolfe, creator of American Pickers, and Patrick Carney, drummer for The Black Keys (+ so much more). Needless to say, it is the perfect addition to any lover-of-Nashville's coffee table. 

Parnassus Book Store sums Nashville Conversations up quite perfectly in their review: "Although it celebrates the spirit of Nashville, Word of Mouth: Nashville Conversations is for creative entrepreneurs everywhere. As a compendium of insight and wisdom shared by those who have pursued their dreams, Word of Mouth presents stories that young and old alike should hear as they embark on their own creative journey."

One of my ABSOLUTE favorite parts about the Nashville creative community is the willingness of its members to meet, brainstorm, encourage, and to simply help one another out (which, randomly, is how author Hansen and I initially connected -- so fun.)  The creative community and its support for one another is further reason as to why I am so proud to be from this town, and, I love love love that Conversations showcases this very idea.

You can meet Lily and get your signed copy of the book at her signing at Parnassus Books Tuesday, August 18 @ 6:30PM. And, to win your very own copy, head over to Experience Nashville Instagram (instagram.com/experiencenash) -- simply follow me, and tag a friend in the comments section of the Word of Mouth, Nashville Conversations picture and you're entered! I'll be announcing the winner on Monday, August 17.

Paddle Board the Cumberland River, Downtown Nashville


Paddle boarding just kinda started happening the last few years, at least around here. They’ve become a staple at beach houses, lakes and I had a friend who got one for his pool. Still trying to figure that one out. But it’s strange they didn’t become popular sooner: they’re easy for clumsy people to ride, but still fun enough for adventurous people to use without getting bored. And if you do get bored, you can just jump in the water or attempt a handstand.


Big Willies Action Sports has capitalized on the paddle board’s potential by offering tours down the Cumberland River in the heart of downtown Nashville. Grab a group of friends and sign up online or just sign up solo and crash someone else’s birthday party like I did. After meeting at the river, you’ll hop in a van with the crew and they’ll take you upriver to load in, so after you paddled in the sun for hours, you end up right back at your car.



Regardless of if you’re visiting or have lived here your whole life, it’s a great way to get a different look at the city. Because unless you worked on a barge, you probably haven’t seen this view. Oh, and watch out for barges.

Visit Big Willie's Nashville to book your Cumberland River paddle board tour. 

The Peach Truck Old Fashioned



As peach season bestows its last glorious weeks upon us, we clearly must take full advantage. Peach cobbler, jam, tartine, ice cream, dishes, and inspired cocktails are currently everywhere in Nashville, and I plan on soaking up every last moment of the goodness before it's gone.

Last night we had a few friends over which inspired me to create a fun cocktail,  and thus, the Peach Old Fashioned was born. Simple to throw together, and destined to be a surefire hit amongst the crowd.

Peach Old Fashioned


1/2 Fresh Peach (If you're in Nashville, you must use a Peach Truck Peach - and if you need any convincing as to why, read my interview with owner Stephen Rose.)
2 Luxardo Cherries
A Dash of Angostura Bitters
1/2 Tsp of Sugar
2 (ish) oz. Bourbon (I recommend Four Roses or Builleit)

Peel, and muddle together the peach with the cherries, bitters, and sugar. Stir in two ounces of bourbon and add ice. 

Now, prepare thyself as life will certainly be immeasurably better.


A Weekend in Lexington, KY

A beautiful drive from Nashville through the Kentucky Bourbon trail leads you to the green, white-fence-lined hills of Lexington, KY. This gorgeous city is only four hours away and makes for a perfect weekend getaway from Nashville.


Darby Dan Horse Farm
The two obvious musts of Lexington culture that one must experience: bourbon and horse racing. Prior to my traveling to Lexington, I must admit my experience with burbon was (is) plentiful, but racing was limited to a few years of drunken stupor via the Steeplechase infield, and likely (read: actually) never even seeing a horse. Now, thanks to a visit to Keeneland, I must admit I've officially been seduced by the world of live Thoroughbred racing. The culture, history, beauty of the sport is enamoring -- from the excitement of betting, to the clothing (+ subsequent people watching), food, and of course the drinks this world offers -- there is so much to entertain. You can catch the live racing for three weeks in April and three weeks in October, or if you want to partake in a tour, they are open anytime throughout the year.

Race day at Keeneland, image courtesy of America's Best Racing

What to check out while you're there:

Nashville's Greatest Chefs Team up with Goo Goo for Summer Chef Series (also known as - the best idea ever)



Ya'll. Tis the time to be in Nashville.

Downtown's Goo Goo Shop is kicking off their “Goo Goo Summer Chef Series” this week. So, Goo Goo + my favorite chefs in town? I don't even know where to start. Let's just go with I am truly overwhelmed, but in oh-so-the-best way possible.

Here's a quick rundown of those participating:

Matt Bolus – 404 Kitchen
Karl Worley – Biscuit Love Brunch 
Maneet Chauhan – Chauhan Ale & Masala House 
Deb Paquette – Etch
Hal Holden-Bache – Lockeland Table
Dale Levitski – Sinema
Matt Farley – The Southern Steak & Oyster 
Trey Cioccia – The Farm House

Street. Cred.

So for you, my sweet readers, I have some delicious insider-info on one of the flaves. "The Gertie", Karl Worley's Premium Goo Goo (which, the first to be launched in the series), will be made up of peanut butter, pretzels, caramelized banana jam, and vanilla wafers drenched in dark chocolate. OK? Yeah, ok, With that info, I believe we can count on this effort being nothing short of FABULOUS. 

The series will run July 1 - September, and will sold at the Goo Goo Shop downtown in the months leading up to Music City Food + Wine in September. Flavors will rotate periodically, with around two or three chefs featured each month.

Stay tuned for flavors announcements via Goo Goo’s social media + googoo.com as they are launched.

It's CMA Fest Bingo Time

Ya'll. CMA Fest week brings upon us a TON of crazy to Nashville (but tons of tax dollars, but tons of tax dollars, but tons of tax dollars. keep. reminding. self.) But, thankfully for those who have to leave your house this week to brave the depths of downtown, I am bestowing upon to you CMA Fest Bingo 2015.

Mad props to my friends at Stunt Double Creative for creating the board for 2015 - and - good luck out there!



Cheap Date Night in Nashville



Everyone loves a special night with their significant other, bestie, or soul mate (or all of the above) - but, this special night out doesn't necessarily need to break the bank.  Below, I present to you my best effort for a budget-friendly and fabulous night out in Nashville. Why, you ask, do most of these establishments make the cut? A combination of specials, BYOB options, creative factor, and overall cheapness round out my overall criteria.

Onward.

Mas Tacos Por Favor
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, this gem of a restaurant is open until 8pm - allowing you plenty of time to grab dinner with your loved one(s). BYOB (free) makes drinks happen on-the-cheap. Must try: Chicken Tortilla Soup, fresh Guac, and Fried Sweet Cream Plantains. Note, Mas Tacos is cash only.

732 Mcferrin Avenue, Nashville, TN 37206