GET GLOWING: Kalahn Harmon at Glow Medspa

I'm always looking for ways to make myself look and feel a little better!  As a woman in the South,  there are literally gorgeous girls everywhere you look.  I don't think I can even  think of one who is not beautiful.  I guess you could say it's almost a little bad for my self-esteem at times how pretty you all are!  I think the most important thing a woman can have is her own self confidence and self-esteem.  If something makes you feel more beautiful, I say go for it!  At the end of the day, you are the only person whose opinion really and truly matters. If other people don't like you because of something that has to do with your appearance, you definitely don't need them in your life anyways and I can promise you your life will be much better without them in it!  I've been feeling a little blah lately which is why I'm so glad I found Glow Medspa for a little... ok maybe a big pick me up!!  

Glow Medspa, owned by Dr. Jeffery Marvel, Tonia Gibson and Gail Hayes, is located in historic downtown Franklin in the most charming and sweet old house.  I actually used to work about 50 steps from there and I honestly never took a second look at it.  From afar it simply looks like a home.   I just so happened to be at one of my favorite coffee shops right next door and luckily one of the lovely ladies who works there, Leigh, invited me to come over and see it.  I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in and realized that this is actually a spa, not just a house, and definitely my kind of place.  The decor is welcoming, comforting & simply beautiful!  It helps that the staff is so friendly too. 

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I was so excited to realize that this was the place that a lifelong friend and aesthetician,  Kalahn Harmon, is always raving about because she loves working there so much! I can tell you from experience if you work somewhere and still love it, it HAS to be a great place!  Kalahn set me up for an appointment and I left feeling more than fabulous.  I was honestly really impressed by everything, so I want to share with you all about my experience at Glow Medspa and talk about all the services I got done because trust me, you all need to know about this place.  It was like finding a hidden treasure! 

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I want to start by saying it can sometimes be  a little awkward getting services done by a friend, but Kalahn actually made me feel like a client, she took everything seriously and I really appreciate that.  For example, I know sometimes when I have gotten my hair done by someone I know in the past I don't always feel as if I'm getting the full treatment that I'm paying for and deserve, which can lead to stress.  When you're going somewhere to be pampered that should NOT be the case!! I left feeling a million times better than when I walked in and was highly impressed with her level of professionalism. 

HydraFacial MD  & Dermaplaning

When I first walked in Ginger offered me wine, water or coffee, which let's be honest... it's always nice to be offered wine any time or place!  I decided to be healthy and go with water though which also impressed me because it was VOSS water and it made me feel fancy ;).  Kalahn had me change into a spa towel and dipped my hands in paraffin wax.  That stuff is the best! My appointment was on Friday, it's now Monday and my hands still feel so soft.  She had me lay down on what is like a massage table which was very comfortable and the temperature in the room was perfect.  She cleansed my face herself and before she began the HydraFacial asked me if I had ever had dermaplaning done.  Dermaplaning is a method of exfoliation that consists of gently scraping off the top layer of dulling dead skin cells in order to reveal a smoother, brighter complexion.  It also removes that annoying peach fuzz that you sometimes see when the sunlight is beaming down on you.  I was all in!  I was a little scared at first but definitely glad I added this service on!  You hear the word scraping and it sounds scary but I promise it's completely safe!  Next, she did the HydraFacial which was absolutely amazing and I wish I could get one every single day of my life!  

Great for all skin types, the HydraFacial MD® Treatment is not only highly effective at improving overall skin health, but also excellent for correcting fine lines and wrinkles, elasticity and firmness, the evenness of your skin tone and vibrancy, skin texture, enlarged pores, oily skin and the advanced signs of aging.  This multi-step treatment cleanses, evenly exfoliates and extracts to remove impurities and dead skin cells while at the same time replenishing vital nutrients including Antioxidants, Peptides and Hyaluronic Acid.  My favorite part was the  third step which was the extraction part!  Kalahn was able to remove something from my face that has been there for years and not even a dermotologist could remove.  Y'all have no idea how excited I was over this !! I don't get many breakouts, I have more of an issue with blackheads than anything and she was successfully able to remove them all!!  My second favorite part of this treatment was that I got immediate results and my face is still glowing 4 days later!  It was a pain free and super relaxing experience and I already want to go back!!  This service is $199 and you can add on Dermaplaning to a facial for just $50.  Dermaplaning alone is $85. 

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 Eyebrow Tint & Wax

After we were done with the HydraFacial me and my face were feeling amazing.  It was then time for her to work her magic on my eyebrows.  I never realized the importance of eyebrows until Kalahn first did my eyebrows a few years back and she actually gave me some shape and filled them in some.  When done properly they can really help frame your face and make your eyes pop.  She tinted them, sort of like a dye for your eyebrows, but it basically just picked up the little baby hairs that were there making my eyebrows look a little more full without drawing them on like crazy.  I swear some girls these days look like they draw them on with sharpies and that's just not my style.  I was shocked the difference that just the tinting made.  She also waxed them and really took her time doing it.  I love them !! The eyebrow tint is $20 and the eyebrow wax is $20.  

Makeup 

Then we got to the really fun part, makeup!! I have always admired Kalahn's makeup.  Every time she posts a picture I secretly wish I had her skills!  Her makeup always looks flawless without overdoing it, almost like a natural look.  She was nice enough to list all of the products she used on me too for y'all! 

Neocutis Bio-Cream moisturizer

Cover FX Mattifying Primer

MAC Studio Fix Foundation in NW 25

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW 20 blended with a moist Beauty Blender

Cover FX Illuminating setting powder

Anastasia Beverly Hills powder contour palette

Sephora Collection Banana Powder

Anastasia Beverly Hills brow powder in soft brown

MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC15 under brows

MAC Painterly Pro Longwear Paint Pot all over lid

MAC shadow in Amber Lights & Creative Copper

Morphe shadow and liner from 35N palette

MAC Fix + Spray

Sigma brushes F80, E15, F10, P84, F35, E65, F75, E30, P86, E55, E25, F05

MAC brushes 239, 184

BECCA champagne pop highlighter

Shadow on inner eye is from the Tarte Energy Noir palette

Ardelle Demi Whispies Lashes

They're Real Mascara by Benefit Cosmetics

NYX Dewy Finishing Spray

Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray

MAC Soar Lip liner  

MAC Honey Love Lipstick  

Makeup application with lashes is $95.  

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This is the look she created on me but please excuse my hair! I left there feeling beautiful, confident, refreshed and days later my skin is literally still glowing!! Everyone there was so warm and friendly.  They made sure to explain everything in detail, building my trust, and made me feel extremely comfortable.  I'm not the best at taking good care of my skin so I'm sure my skin probably loves me for finding Glow Medspa!  I will definitely be back!!  

They offer many more services such as Botox, Juveder, Restylane, Kybella, Micro Dermabrasion, chemical peels, many different kinds of facials, Microneedling, full body waxing and Coolsculpting !! They also sell various products such as Latisse, Glo Therapeutics and NeoCutis.  Visit their website at www.GlowFranklin.com and Kalahn's website is www.FacesByKalahn.com Check out their Spring specials below and tell them Native in Nashville sent you :)

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I hope you guys go see them & love them as much as I do !!  Thanks as always for reading! XOXO- Amber  

#PatioWeather: 18 of the Best Patios in Nashville

With daylight savings time & warmer, sunnier days ahead, I figured putting together a list of some of the best patios & rooftops in Nashville might be a good idea !! Grab some friends & go enjoy some live music, great food & ice cold drinks in the best city there is to do it in!! 

ACME Feed & Seed Rooftop Patio

PC: @acmenashville

PC: @acmenashville

ACME has some of the best views there are in Nashville!! Located downtown, you are overlooking the Cumberland River, Nissan Stadium and the Pedestrian & Korean Veteran's Blvd bridges and also can see all the way down Broadway.  It's the perfect place to pre-game before Titans games or just plain awesome for any sunny day!  They also have a live DJ which makes for a fun time!

BarTaco 

PC: @ehall0202

PC: @ehall0202

PC: @chelsea_lung

PC: @chelsea_lung

Bar Taco, located in 12 South, is the newest stylish Mexican spot serving serving classic & creative tacos.  Casual atmosphere and great place to go with a group !!  Their food is amazing !! 

Taco Mamacita 

PC: Google

PC: Google

PC: @tacomamanash

PC: @tacomamanash

Taco Mamacita's is located in Edgehill Village.  Another great Mexican restaurant with inventive tacos and enchiladas!  This is also a great place to go with a group! I spent my last birthday there with 25 of my closest friends! Great atmosphere !! 

Tootsie's Orchid Lounge Rooftop 

PC: @olddog64

PC: @olddog64

PC: @m_a_fernando

PC: @m_a_fernando

Tootsie's is one of the oldest and most famous Honky Tonks downtown Nashville has to offer.  Located on Broadway, the newest addition to Tootsie's is their rooftop bar with up close views of the "Batman building", Bridgestone Arena and birds eye view of Broadway.  It's the perfect place to people watch and listen to some great live music!

Virago Rooftop Patio 

PC: @Viragonashville

PC: @Viragonashville

Virago has one of my most favorite ambiance's Nashville has to offer.  Located in the Gulch you can enjoy some sake,delicious sushi and Nashville's beautiful skyline. The music, atmosphere and view is amazing. What more can you ask for.

Rippy's Rooftop Patio 

PC: @Nestorandresstx

PC: @Nestorandresstx

Another one of Nashville's most popular Honky Tonks on Broadway is Rippy's. You are sure to find a big crowd, live music and amazing BBQ!  It's directly across the street from Bridgestone Arena and is a great place to go to pre-game before a Pred's game!

Saint Añejo  

PC: @saintanejo

PC: @saintanejo

PC: Google

PC: Google

Located in the Gulch, Saint Anejo is an upscale Mexican restaurant with a "cantina chic" atmosphere.  The outdoor patio is the perfect place to enjoy one of their signature margaritas or some of their delicious queso or freshly made guacamole.

Tavern  

PC: @nashvilleguru

PC: @nashvilleguru

Tavern is located in Midtown.  It's a sleek gastropub serving retro cocktails, small plates and tacos.  I also HIGHLY recommend their s'mores !!  Seriously to die for.  I actually want some right now!

Rebar 

PC: Yelp

PC: Yelp

Located in Midtown, Rebar has always been one of my favorite places to go out to in Nashville.  It's a very chill atmosphere and always a good time.  Make sure to grab a bushwacker, theirs are the best I've had in town.

Blue Moon Waterfront Grille 

PC: @ambi_bambi

PC: @ambi_bambi

Blue Moon Waterfront Grille is one of my most favorite places to go in Nashville.  It's located on the Cumberland River at Rock Harbor Marina.  It's the perfect little escape and they have delicious seafood.   Makes you want to listen to some Otis Redding.  They will be re-opening in mid-March and I hear may be bringing out some live music right being played right on the water. If you have never been, do yourself a favor & check it out.

San Antonio Taco Co. 

PC: @sprsprty

PC: @sprsprty

San Antonio Taco Co. is located near Vanderbilt.  This Tex-Mex style restaurant is known for their homemade tortillas, award winning Chili Con Queso and awesome patio!!  

Bar Louie 

PC: @live_nashville

PC: @live_nashville

You can find Bar Louie in the Gulch!  They also have a great patio at their Murfreesboro location but the Nashville location is my favorite!  It's a great place to "eat, drink and be happy." I love their relaxed atmosphere and location! Parking is easy so that's always a plus!  

5th & Taylor 

PC: @danieljaes_ent

PC: @danieljaes_ent

5th and Taylor in historic Germantown has a rustic-industrial modern feel. Their patio is beautiful, especially at night & has more of a neighborhood feel. It's very spacious which is good for anyone who doesn't like to be crowded. I love the Germantown area and this restaurant is amazing !! 

M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers 

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PC: @tnbrewworks

PC: @tnbrewworks

M.L. Rose has two locations one on Franklin Road and the other is off of Charlotte Pike ! They are known for their wide selection of craft beers and have the best burgers! Both offer awesome patios but I think my favorite is going to be the one on Franklin rd.  They just expanded it and upgraded it like crazy !! It is going to be such a pretty, fun and chill place to hang out !! 

Jackson's 

PC: @jacksonsnash

PC: @jacksonsnash

Located in Hillsboro Village, Jackson's patio is another one of my favorite patios to hang out on.  It's also great for people watching and don't be surprised if you see Taylor Swift or the entire cast of "Nashville" walking by. 

The Treehouse 

pc: @thetreehousenashville

pc: @thetreehousenashville

The Treehouse is a very unique & creative restaurant located in East Nashville.  It's a very charming place and somewhat romantic!  If you are in the area be sure to check it out.  

Pinewood Social 

PC: @travelinsider

PC: @travelinsider

Pinewood Social is located downtown and down by the river.  They offer bowling , food, cocktails and their outdoor patio even has a pool and bocce ball! It's a social gathering place that can accommodate just about anyone's needs!  

Tennessee Brew Works Taproom 

PC: Google

PC: Google

TN Brew Works is a brewery but they also have the Tennessee Taproom which has live music, food and pints, samplers and even growlers of their brews !! Awesome patio and great set up! 

I hope you all enjoy and as always thank you for reading !! XOXO- Amber

The Southern Gentleman: A Complete Guide

Typically when people think of the South they think of sweet tea, country music, Southern Belles, the word "y'all"( I don't care what anyone says, it's a word around here) SEC football, big hair (the bigger the hair the closer to God) good manners and with good manners comes my most favorite part of the South---SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN!!

This post is good for any man out there looking to really step their game up and for the women out there who need to realize that they need to raise the bar a little higher or that that have struck gold and how lucky  they are to have found a Southern Gentleman!  

Now I'll be the first to tell you that this post won't work for everyone because I can assure you that 18-28 year old me wanted nothing to do with a "Southern Gentleman".  They say your taste buds change as you get older so I guess that must apply to your taste in men as well.   I think we also get much wiser with age too.  Until I met one of these men in question I never realized how I was supposed to be treated and I can assure you I will never settle for anything less than someone who makes me feel anything but respected.  

Here are some guidelines, because some people could definitely use a little help. 

1. Call her!  

Anyone can pick up the phone and send a text.  Let's face it, a text requires no real effort.   I'm pretty sure they even make apps these days that you can set up to send out automatic messages for you.  Call me old fashioned but I love a good phone call full of REAL conversation.  The only texting I like is "good morning" and "how is your day".  The kissy face emoji is always nice too but I think women deserve a little more than just to be communicated with by text.   

2. Speaking of cell phones, pay more attention to her than your phone! 

There is nothing that drives me more crazy than to go to dinner with someone who invited YOU, and they sit there on their phones the entire time.  This doesn't just apply to men, this applies to friends and everyone really.  First of all you got ready, drive there, had to find a somewhat cute outfit, used $20 in makeup products on your face and then they just ignore you?  If they wanted to do that why didn't they just go eat by themselves?  It's just plain rude.  Unless I'm taking pictures of my food (which I do every time) I try to stay off of it, especially when on a date out of respect and plus if you aren't paying attention to the other person, how the heck are you suppose to get to know them?  Exactly. 

3. Pay attention to her!  

There is nothing that makes me personally feel more special than when I mention something that I like and a mental note is taken.  Could be as simple as you remembering her favorite wine, how she likes her steak cooked, what kind of dressing she likes on her salad, her favorite movie even.  Anything to let her know you truly pay attention and listen to her will go a long way.  It's the little things, really!! 

4. Open her car door! 

 I feel like this one should go without being said but a lot of people could probably benefit from reading that simple sentence.  Let's be honest, most of us are independent women and yes we can open our own door but guys, why not walk the extra 10 steps and make us feel special?  It is such a small gesture but will leave a lasting impression!

5. Always walk closest to the cars on a sidewalk! 

 Make sure you always have your lady on the side away from traffic.  I never had any idea this was a thing but I've got to admit it makes me feel extremely safe and protected.  That brings me to my next topic...

6. Always sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door.   

Being a woman myself I can speak from experience when I say we all want to feel protected.  Some of us may try to act all tough like we can handle anything but in realty it's nice to have a little extra safety in this crazy world in this day and age.  

7. Help her out! 

If you see her struggling with something... anything at all, help her out.  Whether she is putting on or taking off her jacket, struggling with cutting her own steak (like me) , trying to carry something, taking out the trash or pulling her chair out for her.   If she's cold, offer her your jacket.  

I'm sure there are some things I missed here but this is definitely a good way to get started in the right path !! Ladies if you find someone who does any or most of these things, chances are you have a keeper.  Thank you for reading and please share with anyone you think could benefit from it :) 

XOXO- Amber  

 

 

 

6 New Ways to Look & Feel Gorgeous at The Hot Spa by Hot Spot Tanning

I bet when you all think of having a "spa day" you would never think having one at a tanning bed, right ? Yeah I wouldn't either, until now.  Hot Spot Tanning has always been my go to place if I ever need a last minute spray tan and where I have gone in the past years, when I tanned regularly.  Their locations are convenient because just about anywhere I've ever lived (yes, I'm a gypsy) there always seems to be a location nearby.  There are several in Murfreesboro(Memorial, Rutherford Blvd, Church Street, Rucker Lane) some in Smyrna (Almaville & Sam Ridley), even a Brentwood( Nolensville Road) and a Nashville( West End) location.  With my busy schedule, convenience is key!  I was lucky enough to get to try each of the new spa services yesterday & let me tell you, when I left, I felt ahhhh-mazing!  

Before I begin telling y'all about my experience with each of the spa services, I want to talk a little about the atmosphere of their location on Memorial Blvd. beside the Murfreesboro Athletic Club or the MAC.  This is their Hot Spa location but some of these services are offered at other locations too.  When you walk in, other than there being tanning lotion for sale behind the front desk, it doesn't have a tanning bed feeling at all.  Most tanning beds I've ever been to have been very bright and almost tropical feeling but this was very soothing.  Calming colors and the smell of essential oils were in the air.  I felt more relaxed as soon as I walked in the door. 

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Here comes the fun stuff:

Blue Light Therapy:Acu-Clear 

This blue light therapy is Dermatologist recommended for people of any age with current acne breakouts or red spots.  It uses medical grade blue LED lights to kill bacteria that causes spots and helps to prevent new breakouts, regulates oil production , calms and relaxes you as well as minimizing any scarring you may have on your face.  I don't usually get breakouts too often but I tried this one so I could tell you all what it's like.  When you see the mask and put it on it looks like something out of a Black Eyed Peas video.  It was really futuristic and almost astronaut helmet feeling, but very lightweight.  They place it over your head and you sit in a massaging chair the entire time (20 minutes) , you even get to put your legs up and they get massaged too.  Very relaxing to say the least.  The room was also very comfortable, smells great and they even offered me a spa robe and shoes.  When I think about light therapy of any kind I would almost expect that it would hurt but it was completely painless and when I took the mask off it only made my face feel a little tingley and good. My favorite part was sending my friends snapchats, looking crazy.  None of them probably even realize it wasn't one of those crazy snapchat filters until now.  This service is $20 a visit.  

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Lumiere Excel

 Anyone who is looking to slow down the aging process, correcting current aging effects such as minimizing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and blemishes , evening out pigmentation or someone who wants a painless, non-invasive anti-aging regimen; this is for you.   The Lumiere is a twenty minute treatment and again completely painless.  You sit in the same massaging chair as in the blue light therapy.  You wear goggles and when they initially turn on the red light it's very bright, even with your eyes closed, but don't worry it goes away after about ten seconds so don't let it freak you out.  This treatment uses red light LED therapy to restore radiance back into the skin, detoxifies, stimulates collagen synthesis and can even smooth out dry or rough skin.  The red light therapy is able to penetrate deeper than just the surface.  I really loved this treatment!  I somehow have the wrinkles of a 90 year old so I will be back. This service is $20 per visit and they can discuss with you how many you may need. 

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Kwik Fit 

 The first thing I will say about this machine is that you stand on it for just 10 minutes and it's the equivalent of doing 30 minutes of cardio.  How can you can really beat that? I personally hate doing cardio so I was sold !! It's perfect for anyone who has a very limited amount of time to work out or someone who has physical limitations to workouts at the gym. It has vibrating plates that help with arthritis relief, restoration of balance, strengthening bone, weight management, blood sugar balance, sleep improvement and a healthier heart.  You will most likely feel silly on this machine, but you will definitely feel the effects when you get off! This is $10 a visit.  

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Believe Bed: Red Light Therapy Rejuvination

The Believe bed is perfect for anyone wanting to add hydration back into the skin, relax muscles or improve scarring and uneven skin tones.  This one looks like a tanning bed but it's actually your whole body getting the benefits of the red light therapy.  This is more of an over all skin ehancing machine!  I have some scars I want to get rid of so that was the most exciting part of this to me.  It can fade scars or stretch marks and can reduce spider veins or broken capillaries.  This also provides several benefits for people with injuries or pain by reducing inflammation and pain, increasing circulation, restoring range of motion and can speed up the healing of wounds.  Only takes 15 minutes and $10 a session.  

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Cocoon Wellness Pod "The Pod"

I don't know if there are enough good words to say about this one !  I've never experienced anything like it or felt so good as I did when I got out.  This would be great for anyone who wants a quick way to relax, relieve pain or muscle tension.  This detoxifies the body, alleviates stress, helps with water retention , bloating and even cramps !! It combines heat, massage and magnetic fields to create a SUPER relaxing, healing environment.  You put on a sweat suit (this will make you feel like you're in a Missy Elliot music video from the 90's), which is extremely comfortable, then lay in a bed which your body will absolutely melt into.  It is almost like being in sauna, without the almost suffocating feel that comes with it because your head remains outside of the heat.  Your neck and  down will only be inside the cocoon and you are able to adjust the intensity of the massage speed and intensity on both your upper and lower body.  There are even little holes that your hands come through if you need to make any adjustments.  Being in "the Pod" you will burn up to 300 calories in just 30 minutes.  The temperature inside by the time you will be done with your session gets up to 170 degrees, which sounds crazy but it's abslutely refreshing.  If you ever get too hot you are able to get   I don't think I have ever sweated that much in my entire life.  I normally don't like to sweat at all but I guess there's a first time for everything.  I think I fell asleep a couple times, which I think most people do in there, and when I left there I felt better than I do after getting an hour massage that I pay between seventy to one hundred dollars for!  When you get out you will want to drink plenty of water(room temperature so that your body doesn't go into shock) which The Hot Spa provides you. There will be a towel to dry off your body, a cool wet towel for your face, spray deodorant and body spray so that you can freshen up.  This was actually heavenly and really helped out with my super sore muscles from working out.  I've had a pretty crazy week and it was just what I needed.  I highly recommend this! A session is just $35. 

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 Vevazz

This system is good for anyone with trouble fatty areas, anyone who would like to get a jump start on weight loss, has cellulite, needs skin tightening or diminishing stretch marks. This LED system is designed to contour the body by losing inches off specific body areas such as the waist, hips, thighs, arms and neck.  You go to a series of visits to see a change but typically people will lose 2-4 pant or dress sizes in just 42 days.  The LED alters the fat in the cells and allows it to seep out from the cell into space where it can be processed by the lymphatic system.  The fat is either used by the body as energy or the body will process it out.  They place 8 pads on your choice of troubled fatty area ( I chose my stomach to try) for 7 minute treatments, so this is very quick.  I felt absolutely no pain at all, only little tiny pulsing.  When I heard about this originally I was also expecting it to hurt but nothing at all me feel the least bit uncomfortable.

The salon manager Mitzi as well as Jami both thoroughly explained every single thing I was having done and made sure I understood it as well as felt comfortable the whole step of the way!  They were extremely professional and I appreciated the fact that they believe in the services they provide.  Any of these services can be available at a lesser rate and you can even take a tour of them all, everything I mentioned except for the Vevazz , for just $49.99.  That is huge savings!! They also have an all access pass of those same services for $149 a month.  There are other ways to save money on the services by becoming a member there.  You can visit Hot Spot Tanning at http://hotspottanning.com/ or find them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Hot-Spot-Tanning-208396012535145/ 

 

Everyone there is awesome ! I highly recommend going to check them out for yourself, especially these new spa services. Thank you as always for reading ! XOXO -Amber 

"A Change Would Do You Good"

Today's post is more like a dear diary post than anything else, and I think that's ok.  I made some MAJOR life changes today.  I literally quit my job, got another one, and applied to college. I also worked out which was also a major life change, because simply walking up the steps to my apartment is the extent of my athleticism.  Seriously embarrassing but it feels as if I just ran a marathon every time I get to the top.

 Life is so strange sometimes.  It only took me almost 30 years but I think I finally figured it out.  I've never felt like a "normal" person.  I was the kid watching "I Love Lucy" or "Bewitched" instead of cartoons, and what felt like the only high school kid in my senior class who couldn't pick a major.  I've done it all, went to MTSU straight out of high school but that didn't last long. Cosmetology school right after that.  Unfortunately I'm a perfectionist and it once took me two hours to do a haircut, I never would have made it.  Real Estate school. Literally done it all.  I've been at a job for quite some time that quite frankly did not make me truly happy.  I would go to work everyday and the more time that would pass by I realized there is something more out there for me, and that was not what I wanted to do my entire life.  The more time that went by the more things started happening that made me realize what I actually want to do.  I also got the best advice from a friend "If you don't like where you are- MOVE, you aren't a tree" and I can be the first to tell you, it's some of the best advice I've ever gotten ( thanks Brianna).

 It all started out when I had a nose bleed so bad that I lost 1/4 of my body's blood(sorry graphics), it lasted about four hours and nothing could make it stop other than three doctors, two trips to the emergency room in 24 hours and two nights staying at the hospital.  The first thing that I realized here was how the blood did not gross me out at all whatsoever.  I can handle that.  The second thing was the fact that out of the ten nurses I encountered, only about 3 of them were actually nice to me or seemed like they cared.  I thought to myself, this is crazy, if this was the other way around I would be way more passionate about taking care of this person.  I've always been a very caring person in general.  Most times, almost too caring, which can either be a blessing or a curse.  I feel like most times it's a curse but it is what it is.  I think I get that from my mom (thanks Sue).  Another thing that sort of changed my life is when I sat next to a blind woman named Terry on an airplane while traveling last month to Denver.  I will never forget her, she was such a sweet woman.  She made me appreciate things a whole lot more.  She openly talked to me about being blind since birth.  The statement that touched my heart the most was when she said "it doesn't really bother me, I don't know any other way, but I wonder if an apple looks like an apple feels". We then talked about how she doesn't even know what red looks like, she's never seen it.  I can't even imagine that. She was still such a happy person.  I found myself talking to her and helping her out with everything she needed the entire flight.  It made me feel genuinely happy and good inside to know I was taking good care of her. I've always loved any possible way to make a difference in someone's life & I can't think of a better way for me personally than to become a nurse. At the end of my flight Terry told me that I would make the best nurse.  That felt really good. 

I've been wanting to go back to school for awhile, like I said the more days that would go by being unhappy and settling made me want it that much more.  There would have been no possible way for me to go back to school working where I was.  I took a leap of faith and realized life is too short, if you want to do something no one is stopping you!  You are in charge of your own happiness.  I wasn't going to be miserable any longer.  I'm actually switching to another job where I will likely be making a lot less money but I've realized lately that money truly really does not buy you happiness.  I understand money can buy you all kinds of things, but true happiness comes from within.  I figured my family would be upset with me so I avoided telling them right away.  Most found of from my facebook status but I was shocked when the first comment was from my dad.  The first thing he said was "YOLO" , not kidding.  He then followed it up with this: "Sometimes a bold move is what it takes to find happiness. I am proud you are courageous and ambitious!!!  Most miserable people SETTLE!!  They spend life miserable and at an old age, look back with regret!! I love you and we are proud of you!! I got your back Doll!!"  You guys have no idea how much this comment meant to me coming from him.  

I don't want to look back with regrets!  I want to make myself happy and make myself and my family proud.  These next few years are likely going to be a struggle.  Financially, mentally and probably physically but I have no doubt in my mind I finally "know what I want to be when I grow up."  It sounds crazy and almost weird to me to be so behind in life compared to others but I guess it's never too late.  Change can be very scary but so can walking out your front door these days.  If you have been thinking about making a change to better any aspect in your life ask yourself like I did "What are you waiting for?.  Hold your vision and trust the process!! Life is too short to not be ridiculously obsessed with yours.  

It was the best day ever, and I couldn't be happier because I am taking a chance and making a change.  Thank you for reading, friends and for all my friends and family being so supportive of my decision, I really appreciate you! 

XOXO- Amber

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Murals You Don't Want to Miss: NASHVILLE

I never have a free day, where I don't have any plans or something I absolutely have to do.  I finally had one so my best friend Jennifer Cody (who also happens to be a fabulous photographer) and I decided to go exploring around Nashville to find the best murals we could find. Some of these you have probably seen before (if not in person, definitely on social media.) I'm almost embarrassed to say that I waited in line to take a picture in front of one in particular but  it's seriously a "thing" here.  You can't live in Nashville & not have your picture made with the "I believe in Nashville" mural at least once.  You can't come here as a visitor and not take a picture with it either.  I am not ashamed to say I have at least 10 pictures with said mural.  You can never have enough!  I want to share with y'all some of the great places I found today!  They definitely make for some great pictures.  I will probably end up with another post some day in the near future because we were mural hunting, literally until the sun went down.   There definitely are never enough hours in the day but this is a great list of must see and must experience beautiful artwork around town.   Luckily my best friend is a photographer so we decided to turn the hunt into a photo shoot !  I decided to actually do my makeup on a Sunday, which is not a normal thing & just so happened to have the perfect shirt for it from The Nashville Shirt Co. It says "Native" how convenient, right ?

I will start with one of my most favorite new walls.  This is on the side of Draper James which is Reese Witherspoon's new boutique located in 12 South.  It is a lovely Southern boutique.  To the left of these stripes it reads "Pretty as a picture."  Looking at it just makes you feel good.  Thanks Reese :)

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

The wall directly across from Draper James is one of the many "I Believe in Nashville" murals around town.  If you go, be prepared for a complete stranger to hand you their phone so you can take their picture for them too.  This is a Nashville favorite by Adrien Saporiti of DCVX Industries. 

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

The next place I want to take you guys is right down the street, still in 12 South, the wall on the right side of Green Pea Salon.  This wall is covered in beautiful flowers and makes for some beautiful colorful photographs!!

Photo: Jennifer Cody

Photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

Directly across from this beautiful flower painting is not necessarily a mural but to me its a really cool wall, especially for photos.  As you can see below we really had fun taking them here.  We must have taken a hundred.

Photo: Jennifer Cody

Photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

Yall my be sick of my face by the time this is over, whoops. The next place I want to tell you guys about was my absolute most FAVORITE place we went to.  It was like finding a hidden treasure and I have NO idea how the heck I have never seen this amazing place before today.  I am about to share probably 20 pictures from there.  Sorry in advance.  There wasn't just one piece of wall art, there were several.  Even the fences were painted.  I'm SO excited to share.  This is in Berry Hill at the House of Blues Studios.  I had no idea we even had that here, but I guess you learn something new every day.  Some of these are iPhone photos, so don't judge me.

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

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Y'all know I had to take a picture with Snoop !  

Y'all know I had to take a picture with Snoop !  

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If you pull out of the street this is on and head towards Wedgewood you will see this ! I loved this one because it's painted as a cassette tape, gotta love anything old school.   Kids these days will never know the struggle.  

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I couldn't resist heading downtown off of Korean Veterans Bridge on Almond Street to see the Willie Nelson wall! 

Photo: Jennifer Cody

Photo: Jennifer Cody

The last 2 murals I want to show you all are both in East Nashville and about 45 seconds apart (driving)  We got a little lost so it took us more like 15 minutes but that's ok,  they were both awesome!  The first one actually says "East Nashville" and is by : @ColorTheoryStudios. 

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

This last one is also by Adrien of DCXV Industries and names "Stay Tuned". This is at the Center 615 Building.

iPhone photo: Amber Ford

iPhone photo: Amber Ford

photo: Jennifer Cody

photo: Jennifer Cody

Photo: Jennifer Cody

Photo: Jennifer Cody

Photo: Jennifer Cody

Photo: Jennifer Cody

 

I have lived here my entire life and it's crazy the things you can see if you actually just open your eyes.   Pay attention to something other than your phone for a change ( don't worry I'm guilty too) and really take the time to go enjoy the beauty that is all around you.  If you know of any other great wall art in Nashville please share with me so I can share with others !!  I never knew how much I would enjoy blogging or how much work it would be but I really do love it!  I sincerely appreciate everyone who has reached out to me about my new blog and it means a lot to me to know people actually enjoy reading it. Be sure to follow me on Instagram at @NativeInNashville and Jennifer Cody at @JenniferCodyWeddings. I hope you enjoy this one, we had lots of fun with it & thank you for reading ! XOXO - Amber

If you would like to book Jennifer Cody for photographs you can contact her by visiting her website at  http://www.jennifercody.space/ she specializes in weddings, engagements & boudoir and adventure photography :) (shameless plug) you'll love her ! 

Brunch So Hard: Nashville Style

Now that the weekend is here, it's time to think about the most important & "Nashvillian" meal there is, BRUNCH!   As we all know, eating really good food is my all time favorite hobby, and I go out to eat just about every meal so naturally people are always asking me for suggestions of where to eat.  This one required a little work and opinions of some of my friends, but I think you all will thoroughly enjoy this list I have put together for y'all of the best places to brunch in Nashville !!  I have also spoken to someone at each of these restaurants to ask what their most popular brunch item people order is or what they are known for.  These are not in any particular order but here we go!!

Saint Añejo 

 1120 McGavock St

Nashville, TN  37203

brunch hours: Saturday & Sunday 10-3

Saint Añejo has killer bloody Mary's, margaritas and chicken and waffles !!

Photo credit: @Styleblueprintnville

Photo credit: @Styleblueprintnville

 The Southern 

 150 3rd Ave S

Unit 110

Nashville, TN  37201

http://thesouthernnashville.com/menu/

brunch hours: Saturday & Sunday 9:30-3

The Southern is one of my personal favorites because I love the atmosphere.  I especially love the way it's laid out.  Their three most popular brunch items are "The Highway" , "Steak & Biscuit Benedict"  and "Hot chicken salad" 

Photo credit: @kath_fessler on Instagram  

Photo credit: @kath_fessler on Instagram  

Tavern 

1904 Broadway 

Nashville, TN 37203

brunch hours: Saturday & Sunday 9:45-3

Tavern is located in Midtown and the three most requested brunch items are the "Singapore Stirfry", "Benedict Uno",  "Huevos Rancheros"  and of course their Bloody Mary.

Photo credit: Andy.elizabeth Instagram  

Photo credit: Andy.elizabeth Instagram  

 Mad Donna's 

 1313 Woodland St

Nashville, TN  37206

 http://media.wix.com/ugd/007501_57957ef0892142029d29c01ad3ef579e.pdf

brunch hours: Monday - Friday 11-3 Saturday & Sunday 9-3

Mad Donna's is known for their build your own Bloody Mary bar, mimosas "Captain's French Toast" and the burgers !!  

Photo credit: @the_southern_wave Instagram

Photo credit: @the_southern_wave Instagram

5th and Taylor 

 1411 5th Ave N

Nashville, TN  37208

 http://www.5thandtaylor.com/menu-marquee/

5th and Taylor is located in Germantown and it's most popular brunch items are the "Monkey Bread" as a starter and the "chicken sausage scramble"

Photo credit: @5thandtaylor Instagram  

Photo credit: @5thandtaylor Instagram  

 Biscuit Love Brunch 

 316 11th Ave S

Nashville, TN  37203

 http://www.biscuitlove.com/

brunch hours: Monday through Sunday from 7-3  

Biscuit Love Brunch is located in the Gulch and their 3 most popular items are the "Bo-nuts" (biscuit donuts)  "The East Nasty" and the "Southern Benny" 

Bo-nuts (photo credit: @biscuitlovebrunch on Instagram)  

Bo-nuts (photo credit: @biscuitlovebrunch on Instagram)  

Kitchen Notes

250 5th Ave S

Nashville, TN 37203

brunch hours: Sunday 9-2:30

Kitchen Notes is located in the Omni Hotel right downtown.  It's known for its large buffet as well as the carving station that features different items such as meat, poultry or seafood each week.

Photo credit: @healthfullyeverafter

Photo credit: @healthfullyeverafter

South 

1524 Demonbreun St

Nashville, TN 37203

http://south-nashville.com/provisions

brunch hours: Saturday 11-2 Sunday 11-3

South is always a good time for brunch! Located on Demonbreun and they offer bottomless mimosas & bloody Mary's for just $15.   Most people order the French toast or "South Eggs Beauregard".

Photo credit: @southnashville

Photo credit: @southnashville

 Jackson's  

 1800 21st Ave S

Nashville, TN  37212

http://jacksonsbarandbistro.com/nashville/menus/

brunch hours: all day every day

Jackson's is located in Hillsboro village and the favorite items are the chicken biscuits, the French toast and the Bloody Mary's.

Photo credit: @jacksonsnash Instagram  

Photo credit: @jacksonsnash Instagram  

 Flipside 

2403 12th Ave S

Nashville, TN  37204

 http://www.theflipside12south.com/menu/

brunch hours: Saturday & Sunday 11-3

Flipside is located in 12 South and known for it's drink "The Big Fix" , chicken and waffles and the "AM Tots" 

Photo credit: @theflipsidenash  

Photo credit: @theflipsidenash  

Urban Grub 

2506 12th Ave S

Nashville, TN  37204

http://urbangrub.net/the-menu/

brunch hours: Saturday & Sunday 11-3

Urban Grub is located in 12 South & the most desired items are the chicken & waffles and the "Oscar Benny" 

Photo credit: @down2eatNash instagram

Photo credit: @down2eatNash instagram

Sinema 

 2600 Franklin Pike

Unit 102

Nashville, TN  37204

brunch hours: Sunday 10:30-2

 http://places.singleplatform.com/sinema/menu?ref=integration#all-menus

Sinema seems to be a favorite of almost everyone I asked.  The most desired items are "Mazel Toast!" and the "Croque Madame".

Photo credit @sinemanashville Instagram  

Photo credit @sinemanashville Instagram  

 Marchè Artisan Foods 

1000 Main St

East Nashville, TN  37206-3626

http://www.marcheartisanfoods.com/menus/sunday-brunch

brunch hours: Friday 8-4 Saturday & Sunday 9-4 

Located in East Nashville,  two of their most popular brunch items "Crossiant French Toast with powdered sugar & Vermont maple syrup" and the house made granola.

Photo credit : Sinclair Dotson 

Photo credit : Sinclair Dotson 

I know I missed some really great places and will be doing more lists of places to eat in Nashville for dinner , and will do one of any brunch places I come across that I fall in love with!  Please share & I hope you all enjoy !!   Happy Brunchin' XOXO- Amber 

Made in Nashville: #TwoRoast

 

I don't know about y'all, but the only thing that gets me out of the bed in the morning is the thought of freshly brewed coffee or the smell of bacon!! The smell of both together is even better.  But I absolutely love it!  It's weird because I remember being little and swearing to my mom I would never in my entire life drink coffee because back then I thought it was the nastiest thing I had ever tasted, I actually used to feel the same way about wine (can you believe that?). What was I thinking?  Growing up is mind blowing to me.  Anyways I want to tell y'all a little about this fabulous coffee + cacao mix by Two Roast!! Incase you're like me and wondering what the heck is cacao exactly, the cacao bean is the most elemental ingredient in chocolate-making and who doesn't love chocolate?  If you don't, I almost question your character, ha.  The absolute BEST part of this product, other than the taste, is the fact that it was made right here in Nashville!  I am a firm believer in supporting local businesses and especially obsessed with anything made in Nashville!  Two Roast is made by a couple, Dan and Jenny Oliver.  There are only 2 ingredients, coffee and Cacao and it's completely organic, all natural, contains no sugar, dairy, gluten or chemicals.  

I love the aroma of coffee and the smell is delightful!  I almost think the smell alone wakes me up.   I am normally a Keurig coffee user, because to be quite honest, I'm a little lazy and usually in a rush, but I love the fact that this is actually ground up to where I can see what I am putting in my coffee machine.   Now let's talk taste.  When you hear the description you would think it may taste like chocolate but it does not, it's a perfect blend of coffee and cacao. Doesnt lean more either way.  The other thing I love about this product is the resealable bag.  Most coffee brands you just fold them over and clasp them, Two Roast actually seals up completely.  I'm also big on catchy logos and theirs is great!!  If you would like to try some for yourself, you can order online at http://www.tworoast.com/  I don't know about you, but I love to shop & support local.  Hope you all enjoy.  XOXO- Amber 

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Top 10 Can't Live Without Beauty Products

Y'all know those products you find and you try out once, then can never live without them again?  No matter how much they cost you, you have to have them?  Well I wanted to share with you guys some of mine!!  Some of them are a little on the pricier side and I almost wish I never tried them, but it's too late now and they work perfect for me so here we go.

1. I will start with my most favorite makeup wipes in the history of ever.  You can buy them at Target and a pack of 45 will run you about $10.  I love the way they make my face feel and the smell is awesome!! The brand is YES TO.  I like to make them last so I actually tear them in half so I don't have to go back to Target so often.  You know how that goes, walk in for one thing (a $10 dollar pack of makeup wipes, leave with a new chair for your living room, 12 picture frames, 17 bags of candy, 5 new shirts for a grand total of $1542. Yeah, I try to stay FAR away.

2. EVO "Water Killer" Dry Shampoo.  This product will run you about $25 and its the absolute BEST dry shampoo I've ever found in my life.  I use to be the girl who had to wash my hair every single day, but lets be honest, who really has time for that?  I know if I have to make the decision between wash my hair or sleep an extra 30 minutes in the morning, I'm going with sleep, EVERY time.  I can go about 4 days until I have to wash my hair again.  This gives you body and fullness as well as makes your hair look and smell clean.  It's basically like magic.  I buy mine at Parlour 3 in Brentwood.

3. Strobe Cream from MAC.  I love this face lotion.  It makes my face shimmery like Edward Cullen, and I mean c'mon who doesn't love a good shimmer? This moisturizes and makes your skin more radiant.  I guess you can say it takes away any dull or tired appearance.  It brightens your skin with vitamins, green tea, andioxidants and iridescent particles.   So in a nutshell I would say it gives you a healthy looking glow, without even being pregnant. Ha . This is $33 for 1.7 ounces , so it will last you awhile !! 

 

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4. Anastasia Beverly Hills contour kit (powder version) .  I bought mine at Ulta for $40.  This kit is amazing for contouring and highlighting, and quite frankly making my cheek bones look way cooler than they actually are.  I have the light to medium shade kit and it includes 3 highlighting shades and 3 for contouring. Using this can help emphasize your cheeks, jawline, nose and even your eyes.  A complete game changer !  

 

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5 and 6:  Honey Love lipstick & Nightmoth lip liner both from MAC.  I actually tried this combination out by mistake and ever since I've been hooked.  When you see these next 2 pictures y'all are going to think I'm crazy but I promise people ask me what lip color I'm wearing almost every day. It is a nude lipstick with a very dark lip liner . And put together it makes (for me) the perfect shade of mauvey nude. 

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7. "They're Real" mascara by Benefit.  This mascara is $24 and can be purchased at Ulta or Sephora.  I've tried a million different mascaras it seems and this is the one that works best for me ! It actually makes you look like you're wearing fake eyelashes. It seperates your lashes perfectly and makes them look super long. Not like tarantulas like other pricey mascara I have tried.   

 

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8. "Burgundy times 9" eyeshadow palette by MAC. $40 I'm a BIG fan of eyeshadow palettes in general because I love a good bargain. When you think of how much this would cost if you bought all these colors seperately, your head would spin.  As I said in my last blog post I have green eyes and I really like to wear colors (when I wear eyeshadow) that make them pop.  Mauvey, pinkish or purple shades really do the trick ! I love this palette in particular because it has some shimmery colors and some matte colors and I like to change it up sometimes. My absolute favorites I wear are the top 2 on the left and the bottom middle.  

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9. Frankie Rose "matte perfection foundation" in the shade neutral.  I was only introduced to this foundation Saturday and I'm already addicted. Same with my item number 10.  I've been getting compliments ever since I got it. I have heard things like "it's not as cake like" (yes apparently my face looked like dessert before) and "your face looks a lot more smooth".  It doesn't feel like I'm wearing a lot of makeup and it matches perfectly. So happy I found it!!  $33 and I think it can only be purchased online or at Parlour 3 in Brentwood.

 

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10. Amazing Cosmetics "Amazing concealer" in light beige.   $42 and I purchased at Parlour 3 as well.  I have naturally very dark circles around my eyes and I can't ever seem to figure out how to cover them up!  This has actually done the trick!  I apply my foundation first and the concealer afterwards.  It's definitely the best concealer I've ever used. It says "The World's Best Concealer" right on the box & I like a company confident enough to put that right on the product!  Seriously where has this stuff been all my life !? 

 

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I hope if you get the chance to try any of these amazing products you love them as much as I do and as always thanks for reading and sharing !! XOXO- Amber

In the Name of Beauty: Cali Jeffries at Parlour 3

Meet Cali Jeffries.  She is a very talented hair and makeup artist at Parlour 3 salon located at 144B Franklin Road in Brentwood, TN.  Cali specializes in hair styles, Blowouts, braids, updos and makeup.  I was fortunate enough to have Cali work her hair and makeup magic on me yesterday, to help get me ready for a special night.  She truly made me feel beautiful.    

I hardly ever wear eye shadow anymore and couldn't tell you the last time I even wore eyeliner.  I knew if I wanted to feel really pretty I needed some serious beauty help.  I honestly don't remember how to properly apply makeup.  I feel like I use to be fairly decent at doing my own makeup, but like anything else that you don't practice for awhile, you forget how.  I have known I wanted Cali to do my makeup for awhile.  I met her while she was doing my best friends hair and her mom's makeup on her wedding day.  Both looked perfect.  It also happens to be a plus that she just so happens to work at the most stunning and beautiful salon I have ever stepped foot in.  If you are getting your hair or makeup done there, you will be sitting in front of Hollywood style lights.  It almost makes you feel as if you are a famous actress and you are in your dressing room getting ready.  There are tufted couches, plush chairs, marquee lights and chandeliers hanging everywhere.  It is the epitome of glamour.  I posted some photos below but you need to see this place for yourself, my pictures don't even do it justice. The owner, Melissa, not only has an eye for making people beautiful, she decorated this entire two story salon, herself.  I seriously wish she would come decorate my house.  Parlour 3 is a full service salon and offer a wide variety of services from facials and waxing to hair cuts and color, makeup, airbrush tanning and extensions.

Tips and products from Cali for the look she created on me

Always start with a nice clean face and a good moisturizer/primer that's correct for your skin type (if you're dry you would want a hydration, and if you're oily you'd want a matte)

EYES: I used the self made *Anastasia Beverly Hills* eyeshadow palette / *Anastasia Beverly Hills* gel liner/ *Anastasia Beverly Hills* brow pomade in medium brown / *too faced* mascara and *red cherry lashes* in DW.

FACE: *Frankie Rose* foundation and *Amazing Cosmetics* concealer (those two products are MUST HAVES of mine. Best concealer and foundation combination) set the concealer with *amazing cosmetics* setting pressed powder/ contour with *Anastasia Beverly Hills* powder contour palette/ *Frankie Rose* 3 blush in 1 set and highlight in *Anastasia Beverly Hills* So Hollywood highlighter

LIPS:  I chose to use my normal lipstick/ lipliner combination so that I could have it with me for touch ups all night.  I use "Nightmoth" liner which is a very dark liner and mixed with a nude shade "Honey Love" both from MAC.  It sounds like an odd combination, but when blended together, it makes a nice color and people frequently ask me what color I wear.

HAIR: Cali curled my hair with a wand and teased it up at the crown.  I wanted to incorporate braids of some kind into it so she did two small braids back around the sides and pinned them in the back almost if my hair was pinned up. (photo in slideshow below)

This is the look Cali created on me and I absolutely loved it.  I have naturally really dark circles under my eyes and she was able to cover those up, which was my main concern.  Secondly I have green eyes and I wanted them to pop.  Any coppery or pink to purple shades look great on green eyes bringing out the color.  I showed her a picture of the eye I was going for and she nailed it.  I always love trying new makeup products and will be purchasing several of the products she used on me.

Radnor Lake: Good for the Mind, Body and Soul

Can we talk about what a gorgeous day we are having here in Nashville.  Last time I checked it was 71 degrees, which is crazy considering just yesterday I had to wait 10 minutes for my icy windows on my car to melt.  I think it's safe to say that we have the most bipolar weather in the history of anywhere.  There is nothing better in the South than a good sunshiny day that feels like Spring or Fall and being able to ride around with your music blasting and windows down.  I am off work today and luckily my roommate asked me what the weather was supposed to be like and at the time it was sixty degrees so I knew I had to get out of the house.  Last time we had a day like this, the only thing I walked outside for was to get something out of my car, and I'm still mad at myself about it.  I just spend about 70 percent of my life (aka the only time I'm not at work) in sweatpants or Yoga pants these days and I guess I just didn't want to leave them.  PS I have never done yoga in my life but Lululemon yoga pants are still my BFF.

Today I decided to do something where I could wear my sweatpants and no one could judge me because I look sporty.  I think the key to life is wearing workout clothes all the time in public, that way you can be comfortable and if you look like crap people won't judge you because they will think "she just worked out" and they can't hate on that. See what I mean? 

There is this magical place that unfortunately I never knew about until about 6 months ago that makes me genuinely happy anytime I have ever been, Radnor Lake State Park.  Radnor Lake is a 1,332-acre park and is protected as a Class II Natural Area. It is unique due to the abundance of wildlife viewing opportunities, environmental education programs, hiking opportunities and its location in an urban area. The park is day-use only and the more than six miles of trail are strictly used for hiking, photography and wildlife observation. Pets, jogging and bicycles are only allowed on the Otter Creek Road trail. The Lake Trail is accessible to people with all-terrain wheelchairs.

Radnor Lake is located at 1114 Otter Creek Road in Nashville and pretty close to Brentwood. The trail I go on is the Lake Trail, I start in the parking lot and head into the woods (there are signs up to show you where to go.)  The route I take is about 2.5 miles long and it's mainly flat but there are a few inclines and it will get your heart rate up and fresh air in your lungs, your legs a little more toned, as well as seeing some beautiful scenery.   You seriously never know what you are going to see while walking through the trail.  You are in the woods walking the trail surrounding the beautiful lake, so naturally you will see lots of different animals.  I have seen deer, owls, turtles, ducks, geese, and turkeys so far.  These deer will literally be walking 3 feet away from you.  It's pretty awesome actually.  I remember the first time I ever went, feeling like Snow White in a forest.  I even tried talking to the deer to get them to look my way for pictures.  Don't worry they didn't talk back, lol.  I chose this trail because it's not as difficult as some of the others. Have I ever mentioned I'm not very athletic?  Blogging is now my cardio.

I actually love going by myself.  Although thinking about being in the middle of the woods with nothing but a bunch of animals and strangers who pass by, mostly in groups of 2, is a little bit creepy, I thoroughly enjoy it.  It gives me time to reflect on my life and get some fresh air.  I literally am not worried about anything else while I am there. The only reason I take my phone is incase I want to Snapchat the deer I pass by or take pictures.  Today I took my camera and I will be sharing photos below.  If you aren't familiar with it, it's such a beautiful and wonderful hidden treasure that I think just about anyone would enjoy.  It's a perfect place to take your kids also.  I was walking by a little pack of turkeys today and I had a little boy who was carrying a walking stick he had picked up from a broken tree, tell me to "shhhh" because he didn't want to scare them off.   It was really cute.  It's the perfect place for all ages and best of all it's FREE!  So get up, get out and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!! XOXO- Amber

You can read more about Radnor Lake State Park here www.RadnorLake.org

More Than Just Juice: Juice Bar

I think I told you all this before, but my life is a constant struggle of trying to lose weight and eating dessert.  I have been eating a little too much dessert lately & the proof is in my clothes not fitting anymore.  I've been feeling kind of blah lately and that my body is screaming "feed me something healthy".  That's why I decided to go to the Juice Bar the past 2 days for lunch. I am normally more of a meat and 3 type girl but I knew this would make me at least feel better about my life.

Juice Bar is overwhelmingly vegetarian, gluten-free, organic when possible, and always uses 100% whole fruits and vegetables.  They are definitely a  “I want to eat healthy and feel great” type place. They offer juices, smoothies, juice cleanses, superfood salads, soups and more.  Please see my pictures below to see more of what they have to offer.

On Tuesday for lunch (day about 27 of me feeling blah- I told you guys I am a procrastinator) I walked into the Juice Bar, took about 10 minutes to make a choice on which smoothie to get, which you would have thought I was making a major life decision, I decided on the "Green Smoothie."  I went with a smoothie because I like a little more substance.  To me it feels a little more like actual food , which y'all know I  love.  It's made with spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, lemon, apple juice and coconut milk.  It is the perfect blend of healthy and sweet tasting and absolutely DELICIOUS.   The best part was that it actually filled me up, and smoothies never fill me up.  They are always more like a drink to me.  I also enjoyed watching them actually placing all of the vegetables and fruits in and mixing it up in front of me, where I can see all of the fresh ingredients.  While I was there waiting on my made to order smoothie, I noticed a sign with a large bowl of soup.  Their featured soup of the day was black bean.  The nice man working asked me if I would like to try a sample.  I am not a big fan of black beans in general, so I politely declined.  He told me they have a different soup everyday and they had just finished making tomorrow's soup, which was his favorite, the garden veggie; so he gave me a sample of that.  It was so delicious I couldn't wait to get back there today on my lunch break.  I posted a photo of it below so you can see how absolutely packed with healthiness it is, but it has broccoli, carrots, celery, onions, kale, red beans, zucchini, quinoa, cilantro and maybe a little bit of a tomato base.  I seriously have never felt so healthy in my life after eating that many vegetables together at one time.  It was so filling and packed with enjoyable flavor.  I am very excited about Wednesdays now, thanks to this soup!  I also got to try their four most popular juices, the "Orange You Glad" and the "Sweet Greens" were my two favorites!!

Juice Bar has a different soup each day; Monday-tomato basil, Tuesday-black bean Wednesday-garden Veggie, Thursday- red lentil and Friday through Sunday butternut squash.  I went to the Franklin location located at 232 Fifth Avenue North Franklin, Tn, but they have locations all over the Middle Tennessee area.  Locations include Green Hills, Berry Hill, Hillsboro Village, The Gulch, Germantown, Belle Meade, Murfreesboro, Brentwood and of course Franklin.

Moral of this story if you pass by a Juice Bar, GO!  It will make you feel good on the inside as well as out.  I Just hope my clothes start to fit better.  I'm one of those people who feels like you can eat salad once and you should automatically lose 5 lbs.  I'm almost 30 and I have never known this to be more untrue. Baby steps though, baby steps.  XOXO- Amber

For Juice Bar's full menu click here www.ilovejuicebar.com

What's On My Plate: Cork & Cow

Hello again, it's me. It Is time to discuss my most favorite subject: food.  I told you guys I am an avid taker of food pictures and to know me is to know I have an opinion, about any and let's just admit it, everything.  I hope I can even write this while the Grammy awards are on in the background and all these opinions are going through my head, but I'm gonna give it my best shot.

Tonight I want to discuss my dining experience at Cork & Cow, located at 408 Main Street, in Downtown Franklin, Tn.  Franklin is a 25 minute drive from Nashville headed South.  If you have never been Downtown Franklin, you are missing out and my advice to you, go check it out.  You will not be sorry you did.  I can assure you will have a good time, even if you are just walking around.  There are several really great paces to eat, but I especially loved Cork & Cow. 

First let's talk about this presentation and the ambiance in there.  It's almost dreamy, especially in the evening.  With chandeliers, elegant white table cloths, dim lighting and my most favorite Edison lights hanging over the very well put together bar. 

We started by ordering a Moscow Mule and a "Sugarbear".  The Sugarbear was delicious an made of Picker's Vodka, blackberries, strawberries, blueberries, rubar, bitters and soda.  My favorite part about it was that it was not too sweet, and definitely not as sweet as it sounds.  I'm not a Moscow Mule person, but apparently they have one of the best around.   Next we got an order of fluffy bread, served in a small cast iron skillet that was very buttery and delicious as well as an order of one of my most favorite things I ate, the grilled lamb chops.  The grilled lamb chops were served with Mint Pepper Jelly, Chimichurri, Fried Onion and let me tell you that mint pepper jelly sounded strange to me at first but when I tasted it, it made complete sense.  Make sure you dip your lamb chops in it. SO perfect together. The next item that came out was the entrée, dry rub New York Strip.  This steak was 14 ounces and topped with lemon butter & sea salt, served with complimentary house potatoes.  I didn't realize when I ordered, that the potatoes came with it, and they were a very nice addition to the meal.  Another one of my favorite parts of dinner.  The steak was excellent and if you order appetizers and sides, you have more than enough steak to share.  I am normally a filet person when I go to nice restaurants, but this was a nice change.  For the sides, we chose the "Mac n Cheese" with applewood bacon and chilies mixed within as well as the sautéed spinach with grated parmesan.  And let me tell you, it may have been the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had at a restaurant in my whole life.  I am not sure I would order the spinach again, I would probably order an extra order of the mac n cheese again, ha. The spinach was good but I like calories and carbs a whole lot more.  The sides are a la carte and the perfect size for sharing. They had a great dessert selection, but by the time I was finished with all of this I couldn't even dream of eating dessert, and I NEVER turn down dessert.  SO FULL.

The food was very filling and I give it 5 stars!! I will definitely be back.  If you go, I recommend sitting upstairs if they have it available.  It's nice being able to enjoy seeing the beautiful décor from up there.  Thank you all for reading.  I hope if you go you enjoy it as much as I did. It's perfect for a date night or a special occasion.  Be sure to check out my photos below.  You can see their entire menu by clicking this link: http://corkandcow.com/menus . XOXO-Amber


The Truth about Valentine's Day

I have such a love/hate relationship with Valentine's Day.  I am positive it is the most anxiety filled "holiday" there is.  Let's get something straight though first so you guys and girls don't think I'm a complete Negative Nancy, I absolutely LOVE love.  I love seeing people in love.  I love watching guys kiss their lady on the forehead.  I love seeing old people holding hands.  I love the feeling of being in love, honestly there is nothing like it.  Unfortunately this post isn't about love, it's about Valentine's Day, which I wouldn't even necessarily say are the same topic.  I saw a bag at Target today that read "Obligatory Gift" and I feel as if every person could probably use one.

For my next topic I will be discussing all the reasons why it gives me anxiety.  First I will start with the mandatory rose sending, nice dinner having, candy eating and mushy Facebook posting. Don't get me wrong, I never turn down a nice dinner.  I hate roses, but wouldn't turn those down either.  I can assure you that I would rather have those things any other day of the year though.  I don't ever want someone doing something for me simply because of a date on a calendar or because they feel like they have to.  I feel like it's important to make the person you are with feel special and show them you care every single day you are together.  Another thing that gives me anxiety is the whole gift giving situation.  I guess it all depends on how serious things are for most people, but no matter the case for me these questions always seem to arise: "What should I get him?"  "What if he doesn't get me anything" "Am I going to look stupid" "What if I get too much/not enough" All of these things stress me out.  Another thing is the ridiculously overpriced candy and places jacking up the prices on roses, like why?  They are THE SAME EXACT thing as any other day of the year.  They were trying to charge me almost two dollars for ONE Reese's heart. No thanks!  Lastly, picking out a damn card! I know personally for me it's the biggest challenge.  I spent 30 minutes today picking out one.  That's even longer than it takes me to pick out a nail color.  I ended up going with funny.  When in doubt, always go with funny.  Just being in that card aisle gives me anxiety.  There were so many people picking out cards, I feel that I should win The Nobel Peace Prize just for getting out of there without catching a charge of some kind.

For my last topic I will be discussing last minute gift ideas for the procrastinator type like myself.  I personally feel that the most important thing you can give someone on Valentine's Day is a card.  I mean c'mon, we have been giving out Valentine's cards our whole life.  I feel like it's just the right thing to do.  To me it is hands down the most important card I receive all year, and let's face it probably the only one I read.  I would say 9/10 times, I just shake them for money( sorry mom/grandma)  Moral of this story , you don't have to spend a million dollars to show someone you care.  Grab them a card, maybe throw one of those $2 Reese's hearts in there and give them your TIME.  It's the simple things, really.

Happy Valentine's Day Lovers XOXO- Amber

Hello, so happy you stopped by...

Who Am I?

My name is Amber Ford, a lifelong Nashville "native". I would love to say I am a genius computer geek or a biochemist or something, but the truth is I am a scatterbrained almost 30 year old (let's not talk about that, I don't have enough Kleenex) childless, husband-less regular girl. Ok, so maybe I'm not so regular.  I work full time and spend most of my free time making the most out of experiencing all of the beauty and greatness Nashville has to offer, trying to lose weight and eating dessert. Makes sense, right?

Why Did I Want To Start a Blog?

I feel almost as if it takes me back to the good ole' days aka the Myspace and Xanga days ( man, I feel ancient).  Plus hey, what's one more form of social media?

What Can You Expect To See Posted?

Like I said in my introduction, I am very scatterbrained.  To answer this question is like someone asking me to speak in a foreign language, going to be tough.  I will be posting lots of food, I forgot to mention earlier but I am a self proclaimed food critic and an avid taker of food pictures. Yes, I am the annoying girl taking pictures of all my food with the flash on at fancy restaurants.  I will be posting about things to do around town, photos ( I just got a new pretty nice camera so I guess you could say I am an amateur photographer, but just for fun and hobby, not trying to make a career out of it) giving credit to other talented people who deserve for their talent to be showcased, probably Nashville related fashion, probably a little makeup and hair products.... you know...stuff. :)

That Wasn’t So Hard Now, Was It?

I know I won’t win any prizes for this post, but for me it’s good enough for letting people know about this blog.

Epilogue

 I’ve finally done it. I’ve set up my own blog, bought my own website, thought of a blog name, which I must say was THE hardest part of this whole thing, created my own logo and published my first post.. I hope you all will find it interesting and useful, and I look forward to your comments. XOXO- Amber