Our Trip to Nashville, Tennessee

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Dan and I hopped on a plane a few weeks ago to visit our friend Evan for his White Coat Ceremony. Evan just got into Pharmacy school and we’ve been dying to visit him…so this was our opportunity to support Ev and check out his new town. We had so much fun, eating, drinking and partying our way through the city!
Here we go
^^^Taking-off from SNA our local John Wayne Airport. It had been raining all week – we flew above those grey clouds and burst into a gold n’ pink fluffy sunset. It’s fun to get a bird’s-eye view of your neighborhood. We even spotted our house!
Nashville Lights
We arrived in NASHVILLE! Poor Ev had to wait at the airport all evening…first picking up Dany and then us a few hours later. We all spent the night in his apartment and then woke up early the next day to explore the city, search for good coffee and peruse through antique shops.
Coffee TN
Headquarters Coffee & Tea
4902 Charlotte Pike
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 386-6757
It may be small, but this Charlotte Avenue shop acts as a caffeine oasis in the West Nashville coffee desert. It also offers baked goods from locals such as Dozen Bakery and Vegan Vee. The coffee is superb! Smooth as silk. I ordered a cortado and Dan got a honey latte. Both were fantastic.
Coffee
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Cool Stuff Weird Things
4900 Charlotte Pike
Nashville, TN 37209
(615) 460-1112
Coffee and antiquing…right up my alley! We stopped at Cool Stuff Weird Things to look at antiques and vintage items. They have lots of jewelry, signs, records and clothes. Dan found a funky plaid jacket. Score. It’s right next-door to Headquarters Coffee & Tea! You can grad a cup of joe and walk over to the vintage shop to be entertained while you sip.
antiquing
Danny
Antique Archaeology
1300 Clinton St., Suite 130
(Marathon Village),
Nashville, TN 37203
Dan is obsessed with the American Picker’s TV show, so we had to stop at Antique Archaeology. Danny loves finding old things and making them useful again. You should see this man flip stuff on Craig’s List. It should be his job. Any who… this place is one of the locations where Mike Wolfe stores and sells some of his American Picker’s items. It’s located just a few blocks away from downtown Nashville, you can find them in the old Marathon Automobile car factory dated from the early 1900’s right along I-40.
Antiquing in NashvilleBritt Bryce Dan
^Our adopted son.
Nashville TN Home
The houses here are ri-dic-ul-ous. Huge, gorgeous houses on acres of land. Open lawns, friendly neighbors and trees for days! I would love to dig up this land and transplant it back at home. All of our friends and family can pick a house to live in ūüėČ wishful thinking. Ev drove us around a few beautiful neighborhoods so we could creep on the houses. Would it be weird if I knocked on a door and asked for a tour?
TN houses
1734688-residential-1mrperg-m TN Houses
Broadway Night Life
Later that evening we headed down to Broadway…because that’s what all the first timers in Nashville do. It’s like Vegas…but country themed and no gambling. Haha. The people watching is fantastic. At one point we saw a tractor pulling a trailer-full of boozed-up-bachelorettes and a few sidewalk squabbles between lovers. Perfect country music lyrics in the making…
Acme Feed and Seed
Acme Feed & Seed
101 BROADWAY
NASHVILLE, TN 37201
615.915.0888
Way happenin’! It’s located towards the end of Boradway a 3 story – cocktail, culinary and music venue with an open rooftop bar. The first floor at Acme plays classic honkytonk. The second floor has a lounge and bar and the third floor is home to The Hatchery, the largest one-level event and music venue on Broadway. Their open-air rooftop bar overlooks the entire downtown area. I really liked the concept of a multi-level bar and music venue…if you don’t like the vibes on one level, head to the next. It was the perfect place to spend our night out with friends.
Acme  Broadway Nashville
^^^These ones are classic too!
Friends
^^^Evan’s support team during his White Coat Ceremony – sitting quietly in the balcony. Go Bogard!
Pharm Ev
^^^The Next day we had lunch at The Pharmacy. It seemed most appropriate to celebrate the new pharmacist at The Pharmacy…we should have made him wear his jacket!
pharm
The Pharmacy
731 Mcferrin Ave
Nashville, TN 37206
The Pharmacy Burger Parlor & Beer Garden serves 100% Tennessee-raised beef for their legendary burgers. It’s located in a residential area 10 minutes from downtown. They have a fabulous selection of beers that you can enjoy while sitting in their beautiful biergarten.
Jeni's Ice Cream
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream
2312 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204
I first heard of Jeni’s in Los Angeles (although I think it started in Ohio) and made it’s way to Nashville. Gawwwww this ice cream is the best. Dan and I ordered a scoop of Bangkok Peanut and Bramble Berry. I love their creative flavors. It’s by far my favorite ice cream shop. All natural, no synthetic flavorings, dyes, or off-the-shelf mixes, stabilizers and emulsifiers. Some of their fun flavors include gooey butter cake, sweet potato eclair, juniper and lemon curd, goat cheese with red cherries, brown butter almond brittle, whiskey and pecan, wildberry lavender, hot toddy and pink grapefruit buttermilk etc. the list goes on and on!
Jenis Ice Cream
Urban Grub
2506 12th Ave S
Nashville, TN 37204
After Ev’s ceremony, we celebrated with a fancy dinner at the Urban Grub. Wowza this place is amazing! Their menu is a combination of southern traditions with a “flavored up tweak,” fresh fish, seafood and smoked meats.
Urban Grub
Urban Grub
^^^Miss Thor and I shared an order of their famous shrimp and grits with tasso cream and smoked gouda and Dan had a braised Andouille pork shank with celery root puree, smoked creamed mustard greens, chili butter. Their popover biscuits and strawberry honey butter were a crowd please too!
Over OC
Home again home again. So much fun and so much foooood! OK roll me back to the gym ūüėČ

Here are few other spots for eats, drinks and sight seeing that were on my list:
Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art
Fido
Grand Ole Opry
Colts Chocolates

Epice
Old Glory
Pinewood Social
Two Ten Jack
Holland House Bar & Refuge
The Crying Wolf
LA Jackson
Frothy Monkey
Crema
Bastion
Biscuit Love
Sunflower Cafe
Belmont Mansion

 


Burn Boot Camp

Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees

This will be my 3rd month at Burn Boot Camp Costa Mesa (BBC). I’ve been seeing great progress in my strength and overall health! I love spending my mornings with a fun group of ladies that inspire me to reach for my personal best. It’s such a friendly and uplifting environment. Here are a few words from some of the wonderful ladies that I workout with:

“This is no normal gym, this place feels like home. The women that come here work hard and they work even harder at supporting each other. This is why I love Burn and why I come back even when my body is threatening to fail me. Give up all the excuses, shut off your brain, just put your pants on and show up. Do what you can plus a little more and repeat.”- Elizabeth Bader

“I could have given up long time ago but with all my ladies at Burn Bootcamp encouraging and supporting one another is what motivates me the most. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all my beautiful strong Ladies and¬†Jeffrey Lawler¬†and¬†Britt Sturg¬†for always pushing me.” ‚ÄďKarla Murillo

“I love coming to this place, putting in a challenging workout and doing it with all of these amazing women!” ‚ÄďMindy Murrieta

“I want to say thank you to every single person who made a change in my life, especially in this new chapter. Burn Boot Camp – Costa Mesa, every day there is motivation to keep going, every single face that shares the same passion to see all these lady’s giving a 100 %. Thank you to Brittanny Sturgess and Jeffrey Lawler for pushing me everyday to not give up, Thank you to Dale Lawler for opening this place to make a better community.”-Gabriela Rosales
Burn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees KneesBurn Boot Camp | A Bit of Bees Knees
Working out everyday is wonderful, but exercising alone will not get you results. You need to change your eating habits. Fresh veggies, fruit and lean meat should the base of your nutrition. Get rid of the junk food at home. Throw out the artificial sweeteners and processed foods.
Understanding macronutrients is the next step in the BBC nutrition philosophy. Learning about protein, carbohydrate and fat ratios and how they impact your body will help you determine food options throughout the day. This plan involves monitoring your calorie and macro intake to hit the correct %  of protein, carbs and fats. I like to use my fitness pal app on my iPhone and computer to track the food I eat. Here are a few charts that I find helpful. I printed these out and posted them on my fridge to remind me.
BBC

BBC

and a few helpful tips from BBC headquarters for meal prepping!

——Meal Prep——

1. Plan your meals around THE SAME MAIN PROTEIN. Choose a lean protein (boneless skinless chicken breast, lean ground turkey, etc.) and structure all of your lunches and dinners around that item. For beginner meal-preppers, chicken is by far the easiest protein to deal with. (Cook 4-6 pounds of chicken in your slow-cooker for 4 hours on low. Chop or shred the chicken and use as the base for your main meals.)

2. Wash, dry, slice and pre-portion all fruits and vegetables so they are ready to go.

3. Pre-portion snacks such as almonds, cashews, or chickpeas in small bags to be sure you are eating a proper serving size.

4. Choose recipes with ingredients that overlap to save time and money (green peppers, onions, etc.).

5. Make double-batches of items and freeze for future meal planning.

6. Invest in reusable and stackable microwave-safe containers to store individual entrees for the week.

7. Grab an inexpensive food scale to help with portion control and serving size.

Melissa at eat.lift.play.repeat has a great shopping list that is perfect for the BBC lifestyle.
BBCBBCBBCBBCBBC


One Skillet Spinach Shakshuka

One Skillet Shakshuka
It‚Äôs been cold, rainy and wildly windy for the past few days, so staying in my PJ’s until 12 and making a big shakshuka sounded like the best thing to do! It‚Äôs an easy one-skillet recipe that originated from northern Africa and is now served all over the Middle East. Lots of spicy flavors, sliced onions, peppers, tomato, feta cheese and eggs. I added some spinach for a fun twist. Serve with crusty bread or chapati style flat bread. Mmmmm. It’s the best ‚Äď especially when you cook those eggs just right! And it makes the whole house smell wonderful!

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (thinly sliced)
1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
4 garlic cloves (thinly sliced)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 (28oz) can tomatoes with juices (chopped)
salt (to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
3 cups fresh spinach (chopped)
¬Ĺ cup feta cheese (crumbled)
6 eggs
cilantro and parsley (chopped)

In a cast iron skillet, cook onions, bell peppers and garlic in a tbsp. of olive oil until browned. Add spices and tomatoes. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Turn off heat. Add feta cheese and eggs. Place in preheated 350F oven for 10 min or until egg whites are cooked and the yolks are just beginning to harden around the edges. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro and parsley. Serve with crusty bread or chapati style flat bread.

One Skillet Shakshuka


The Lace Studio Wedding Dress Necklace : Giveaway

Lace Studio Necklace
I have admired Liz Cater’s jewelry for quite awhile now. I posted about her fabulous idea for wedding dress necklaces back in 2013. What a wonderful way to remind you of your special day. Liz will encase a piece of your wedding dress lace in a clear waterproof resin and sterling silver backed pendant to wear as a necklace. But this idea expands beyond just wedding dress lace. Any special material will work… a hospital baby cap, a piece of your past loved ones favorite shirt or tie, military uniform or any¬†piece of cloth that means something special. I love it Liz! A necklace that reminds me of a moment in time, my very own time capsule. It’s something that I can look down at and feel all warm and fuzzy when I remember that day. Thank you!

I caught up with Liz a few weeks ago for a meet-the-artist interview! She is so nice and offered to send a¬†GIVEAWAY¬†kit to one lucky Bit of Bees Knees reader! And a shoutout to all you guys¬†out there…Valentine’s day is just around the corner and I think this would be the perfect gift for your lovely lady.

-GIVEAWAY RULES-

The contest will be held on my INSTAGRAM at the time of this post and runs until January 23rd.
1. Like this picture and tag 1 friend in a comment below.
2. Check out @the_lace_studio on Instagram and like one of Liz’s pictures.

That’s it! Contest runs until January 23rd! I will notify the winner via private Instagram message the night of the 23rd for your shipping info.¬†

The kit is for the 20mm sterling silver necklace, so a little bigger than the one I’m wearing (mine is 15mm, or dime sized, and the 20mm is nickel sized) and retails for $85. ¬†I will mail the lucky winner a necklace kit from The Lace Studio. It comes with complete instructions on how to send in your material, pick a background color and mail it back to Liz (stamps included). Any material can be sent in!

Lace Studio Necklace

Meet the Artist

L I Z Z   C A R T E R

What inspired you to make jewelry?  

I was inspired to make lace jewelry from¬†my own wedding. ¬†I asked my seamstress to save any lace she cut off during alterations with no real plan on how to use it, I just knew I didn’t want it to go to waste! ¬†After searching for gifts to give to my family for helping me plan the wedding I fell short, the typical robes and monogrammed cups were great, but didn’t seem personal enough. ¬†I started with the idea of putting the lace in a locket, but really wanted it to last a lifetime, and that’s when I started experimenting with resin. ¬†It took many different processes and resins before finding what worked best, but now that I have the basic process down, the ideas are limitless, and I really enjoy encasing all types of materials in resin now, it no longer has to only be lace. ¬†¬†

What do you enjoy doing in your off time?  

In my time off I enjoy hiking and yoga, and spending time with family. ¬†My son is 11 now and it’s a really fun age. ¬†

Where can you be found online (websites, social media etc)?

I can be found at thelacestudio.com, on Facebook (facebook.com/thelacestudio), and Instagram (@the_lace_studio), I’m also still on Etsy where I started in 2011 at lacestudio.etsy.com. ¬†

What is the most rewarding aspects of starting a handmade business? Do you have any tips?  

I love that I am able to be creative and work with my hands. My favorite thing is hearing the stories behind the material that I work with. I am honored that my clients let me be a small part of that story, and that I can help keep that story alive by creating something they can wear everyday.  I am so grateful that I am able to work from home with flexible hours, it allows me to put my son on the bus every morning and be here when he gets home from school.   My tip to anyone who enjoys creating is to go for it!  Even if it starts as  a hobby and not your full time job, you never know where it will take you unless you try.
Lace Studio Necklace Lace Studio Necklace Lace Studio NecklaceLace Studio Necklace


Vanilla Bean Purple Sweet Potato Creamy Cashew Berry Cake

How about a slice of vanilla bean purple sweet potato creamy cashew berry cake? These cakes are vegan, gluten free, wheat free, refined (cane sugar) free, dairy free, soy free and yes they’re still delicious! Flavor packed little squares! Here is the easier-than-you-think recipe!

Ingredients: 

Crust
6 soft dates (pitted)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp almond meal
1/2 nuts (almonds, peanuts whatever you have)
1/2 cup rolled oats

Bottom Layer
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours and drained)
1/2 purple sweet potato (peeled and steamed)
2 tbsp coconut BUTTER (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Top Layer
1 cup cashews (soaked in water for 3 hours and drained)
10 raspberries
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp maqui powder
1 tbsp pomegranate powder
2 tbsp beet (finely shredded)
2 tbsp coconut BUTTER (melted)
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Directions
Make each layer separately in the food processor (wash the container between each layer). Starting with the crust – throw all ingredients into the processor and blend until a ball is formed. Crust should be pliable and easily to shape without falling apart. Line square glass dish with parchment paper and press the crust into the paper and the edges of the dish. Spread evenly.
Wash out the food processor and blend the first layer ingredients together until smooth and silk. Pour into the dish. Wash and repeat with the second layer.
Place the layered “cheezecake” in the freezer for 3 hours. Cut into squares and top with desired goodies (I used chocolate covered cacao nibs and blackberries). If you want to drizzle it with a magic chocolate sauce shell, mix 1 tbsp cocoa powder with 1 tsp of coconut oil and maple syrup. Serve when cakes are thawed, yet still cold. Like cheesecake.