I could start a whole new blog about things to do in East Nashville and never run out of things to say. I already talked about my favorite East Nashville coffee shop here. Today I am highlighting two areas that are filled with joyous shops […]
It is impossible to explore a whole city in one day, it is barely possible to do so in a lifetime. But sometimes it is hard to find more time to travel so you just make do with what time you have. I traveled down to Chattanooga a few weeks ago, and have only now had a chance to write about my experience. Much like when I visited Saint Louis HERE, I realized that we did so much, I had to make it two posts. So be sure to check out my visit to Rock City HERE for more fun things to check out in Chattanooga. This is a city filled with art and culture, so I decided to go to the center of it all, The Bluff Arts District. Here we enjoyed the galleries, sculpture garden, and incredible food. Then we made our way over the pedestrian bridge and down to the Northshore to check out some shops.
Both a coffee shop and bakery, it was obvious that we would need to stop in. Following the rest of the neighborhood, Rembrandt’s has a classic European flair to accompany their tasty treats. Trust their espresso because Rembrandt’s knows coffee. As you walk in there is a station where you can buy a pound of coffee beans. Before you buy, you can smell them to better gauge the flavors. My personal favorite was the sweet coconut blend.
The shop is filled with wooden tables and wire heart chairs, inviting you to sit for a while and relax. But on warm days you can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. As part of the arts district, they also feature art from local artists on the walls so you feel as if you are in a gallery. Of course, the best part of the shop is the food, but for once I can’t decide if the desserts were better or the meals. The fruit tart and chocolate boats were to die for, rich and creamy. But the sandwiches are divine thanks to the homemade bread. Normally I am not a fan of tomato soup, but their tomato artichoke soup blew my mind. After a spoonful of my friend’s, I had to go up to order myself a whole bowl. It is deliciously creamy and the vegetables are perfect to scoop out and scatter on your sandwich. Even if you’re not up for a whole meal, you must stop in when you visit Chattanooga.
Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria:
After ten minutes walking around the Bluff View Arts District, you begin to crave Italian food. The whole area is filled with European inspired architecture and the small alleyways and gardens around each building make you feel like you’ve been transported. Tony’s is the perfect cure to the unreasonable desire to buy a plane ticket and plan a trip abroad (even if it only rids you of that desire for a few hours). They boast hand-cut pasta and original recipes from Sicily, passed down by the owner’s grandmother. As if that isn’t enough, the pasta is made using herbs and tomatoes grown in their own garden. When we were exploring, we found a small garden behind the building and although we never asked, I’m willing to guess that those budding plants will soon be harvested for their next batch. While the pasta was the star of the show, I’d nominate the bread for best-supporting actress. Maybe I was just hungry, but this was the best Italian food I’ve had since exploring Little Italy in NYC.
There is art all around this neighborhood. There is a large sculpture between Tony’s Pasta and the Sculpture Garden that we had to take some pictures of.
River Gallery Sculpture Garden:
The Sculpture Garden is just behind the Pasta Shop, so it was the perfect final stop for this part of town. Here you’ll find a two-acre space to walk and relax. The Garden has gotten media attention, being chosen for a listing in the International Sculpture Center’s Sculpture Parks and Gardens Directory and the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens. There are dozens of sculptures throughout the gardens, mixed in with the greenery. As if the garden weren’t beautiful enough on its own, it also overlooks the Tennessee River.
Across the street from the River Gallery Sculpture Garden were other gorgeous buildings.
Our next stop was the pedestrian bridge connecting Walnut Street to Frazier Ave. While we were exploring the area, there was a community concert at the park beneath the bridge. Although it ended just as we crossed the Tennessee River, we got to listen to the music as we walked across the bridge.
Northshore/ Frazier Ave:
Stopping on this side of town almost made me feel like I was still in Nashville. They have a NoBaked Cookie Dough, Milk & Honey, and Taco Mamacita. Since I have already explored all these shops in Nashville, I decided to skip them in favor of something new.
I love finding weird and wacky clothing. Every time I go to Goodwill it seems that I leave with the obscure item that everyone else makes fun of. My favorite find is a feminist chicken sweater that probably belonged to an old blind woman. If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind piece that is also stylish, Collective Clothing is your perfect shop. They spend over 60 hours each week traveling to find the best vintage clothing and accessories for the store so you don’t have to dig for a statement piece. I naively sauntered in the first time I went to Chattanooga over six months ago, unassuming and optimistic. I did not expect that I would continuously think about this store. One of my biggest regrets of 2018 was not spending more time in the shop while I had the chance. They have some of the coolest clothes and unlike other secondhand stores, it is reasonably priced, double win!
All Things Groovy:
Continuing my vintage trend, we decided to stop in All Things Groovy. Aptly named, the store evokes a 1960s-70s nostalgia. Filled with tie-dye, long dresses, psychedelic posters, and peace signs, it is hippie heaven. They have incense and crystals for holistic healing and dresses and vintage t-shirts for some style therapy.
Clumpies Ice Cream:
Our last stop on Frazier Avenue was for some highly-recommended sweets. In Nashville, you recommend Jeni’s to tourists looking for something tasty. In Chattanooga, you recommend Clumpies. We probably had five people tell us that it was a must-see and I completely understand why. They are on a mission to make the best ice cream possible by handcrafting every flavor in small batches. They offer no-frills treats like their sweet cream and chocolate, as well as more intense flavors like their firecracker and specials. The firecracker is insane, made with Tutti Frutti ice cream and pop rocks! Be sure to stop in next time you’re in the area.
I left with more things to do than I came with and I hope to visit again. Let me know if you have been to Chattanooga and what your favorite places to visit are HERE. FOR MORE TIPS AND PLACES TO VISIT, BE SURE TO FOLLOW ME ON ALL MY SOCIALS! I AM ON INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK AND PINTEREST SO BE SURE TO CHECK THOSE OUT. ANOTHER GREAT WAY TO KEEP IN TOUCH IS BY SIGNING UP FOR MY MAILING LIST HERE TO HAVE MORE CONTENT LIKE THIS DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOU!
Did someone say they wanted to explore the cutest neighborhood in Nashville? Germantown is home to many of my favorite places, but the greatest part of any trip to this side of town is just checking out the area. Rent one of the pay-per-minute […]
Nashville is growing so quickly, it seems like new restaurants and coffee shops pop up every day! With so many great options it’s becoming more and more difficult to choose where to get your morning cup of joe. I decided to take matters into my own hands and share some of my favorite coffeehouses to make your choice a little easier. Here you’ll find coffee shops in The Gulch, East Nashville, 12 South, and Wedgewood Houston to get handcrafted espresso drinks or drip coffee. I even included my favorite tearoom and liquid apothecary for those willing to brave the withdrawal symptoms of their caffeine addiction. Hold your mug a little closer and read on!
For years, I have driven past the kooky Koffee sign on 8th Avenue, but I never had the chance to pop in until this week. (See, I told you I would stay true to my mission of crossing places off my “Must See” list!) Since I went midday on a Monday, I am not entirely sure I got the whole experience, but it was so good. First off, they have a 10% discount if you bring your own coffee cup so major props to them for helping to save the environment! Or double props if they just don’t like to do extra dishes because I can also get behind the initiative to do less work.
For some reason, I never realized that the shop was connected to Jackalope Brewing on the inside. I always thought they were just separate entities sharing a building. Coffee and beer don’t usually mix, but they have done a great job combining the two. The interior decorator deserves a raise because the space really feels like both a chill place to sit alone and blog midday and an upbeat atmosphere to grab a beer with friends later at night.
Kettner Coffee Supply:
I have been to a lot of coffee shops, but I think this is my new favorite. Before I even get into how amazing the shop is itself, I have to talk about the perfect location. It is right in East Nashville by some of my other favorite places, five minutes from Slow Hand Bakeshop, East Park Donuts and Brightside Bakeshop. Anyone who knows me knows that I love sugar. I work at a bakery, it’s basically a requirement. Kettner has me covered, adding to my impending diabetic coma by serving soft serve ice cream along with its amazing coffee.
Connected to a bookstore on one side, it is very easy to get distracted and accidentally spend an extra hour in the shop. But it will be an hour well spent. Is there anything better than sitting on soft blue loveseats in a coffeehouse, reading a new book with a coffee by your side?
The high ceilings and white walls make the otherwise small rooms feel massive and welcoming, even if you’re not one of the cool, artsy, East Nashvillians that lives nearby. The décor is my favorite part of this shop, filled with sassy, feminist, beautiful art all around. The coffee bar features a line work woman on aqua blue. The wall to the right has a huge, abstract mural with women’s legs and colorful shapes. Every detail of the store is perfect, even the designs on the carboard cups are beautiful. The ice cream bowls say, “I dare you to lick it” with a woman’s face. Instagram adores the coffee cups that say “high standards, low morals” and “will trade cold heart for hot coffee.” After all, we eat with our eyes, but we drink with our Instagram.
On warm days, you can sit out front at the metal picnic tables. Enjoy watching the 12 South tourists as you sit back on a sunny day, reminiscing about the rainy weather you left back home in the Pacific Northwest.
The warm browns and café tones indoors create a welcoming, cozy environment. Filled with leather couches, white concrete walls and red brick accents it’s everything you want in a coffee shop. The Portland Brew logo is embossed on every wooden table. This is mainly to save you from suffering short-term memory loss and forgetting where you are. It also helps when people post pictures on Insta, but the main goal is definitely to avoid confusion. The walls are filled with photographs and artwork that make you feel comfortable, but remind you that you’re not at home. Please keep your shoes on and your voices low.
Hipster, hipsters all around, in Portland brew they can be found! I am sorry to anyone from Washington or Oregon, tired of being called hipsters, but there is no other title quite as fitting. With a name like Portland Brew, this is the home away from home for many Northwesterners. It also explains the six beanies I counted as I walked in. Don’t worry though, these customers are the real deal, they know their coffee as well as they know their style. Their presence alone proves how great lattes are at this shop.
In some ways, it is like Frothy Monkey, the famous coffee house just a few blocks down the road. They both share the classic coffee shop aesthetic, but Portland Brew is far better. Here you can get the same quality lattes, without the hour-long wait beginning before you step through the door.
Humphreys Street Coffee Shop:
In combination with their normal chairs, you can find a row of church pews to sit on at Humphreys, building a community environment. In adulthood, I have come to realize that stranger danger is very real. No longer afraid that someone will lure me to their van with candy, I fear the emotional danger of awkward social encounters. Somehow the pew seating at Humphreys doesn’t feel uncomfortable though. The pews are relaxed to the point that people can sit and interact with one another if they want. However, it is also acceptable to sit in silence, sip a coffee and get work done.
These pews work to promote their overall ethos and remind you of their non-profit mission. The shop’s profits are reinvested into the employees as much as they are into the business. More than just your average barista, the employees are students taught by the business. They can enroll in training programs for life skills like financial literacy, and apply for scholarships. Humphreys is a force creating positive change. They keep true to the motto painted on the walls “Drink Good Coffee for a Change.”
Pro tip: Try their matcha latte, it is the best in town.
Although they don’t serve coffee, High Garden had to make my list. This is probably my favorite place in Nashville, period. The owners spent over a decade studying herbalism, then began making tea for other restaurants in town. When they finally opened their own shop, they made a paradise for tea lovers. The back of the store is a tap room for Kombucha and other fermented options. In front, you’ll find hundreds of options for teas by the pot. You won’t find better tea anywhere else, I guarantee it!
Stepping into High Garden is like stepping into another world. It feels like a magical land, home to good witches and fairies. I am constantly in awe of the earthy décor. Dried herbs and flowers hang from the ceiling in front of windows covered in antique lace. Teas sit in glass jars and paper bags, each labeled with a handwritten note explaining what treasure’s inside. It is an apothecary with herbs and teas to help rid you of any ailment.
The second room has benches and tables each with a wooden canopy above them and murals painted on the walls. It is the perfect place to sit with friends and share a pot. The one downside is that this is a no-tech zone, no wifi, and no laptops. The goal is to create a space that encourages you to interact with everyone around you. In the center of the room, you will find games, books and tarot cards available in to. Unlike other shops, you will never feel rushed as it is a place to relax and put yourself first. But if you plan to visit on a busy day, they ask that you are mindful of other customers. You could even invite them to sit with you.
If you’re looking for another great tearoom, I mentioned one in my Rainy Day post so be sure to check it out!
For more tips and places to visit, be sure to follow me on all my social media pages! I am on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest so be sure to check those out. Another great way to keep in touch is by signing up for my mailing list here to have more content like this delivered straight to you! Last, but certainly not least, I want to hear from you. If you have an idea for a post or have a question you want me to answer, I am taking suggestions here.
It’s the first week back after spring break and after exploring (and being a little rude to your budget) it is the perfect time for a relaxed night in. Lucky for you, I have the perfect steps to creating the best possible girl’s night in. […]
Last week was International Women’s Day and that means I need to push a post out before we return to another 364 days of Men’s Days. On this day to celebrate women, a man spilled chicken in my purse. So although I had another one planned, nothing seemed more important than a post for women. I am surrounded by the most amazing, hilarious, supportive, and driven women and I feel so blessed. But today that feeling is so intensified I just had to write about it. I waited until I could find the words to express how much I value and appreciate each of the following businesses, artists, and organizations so I could do my best job to highlight them the way they deserve.
Businesses I love:
Baked on 8th
Today, I especially wanted to highlight this Nashville gem because of the amazing women (and one man) who work there. No matter when you walk through the doors, the laughter and excitement hits you just as fast as the fragrant scent of almond and cookies. I have never met a staff that gets along better, jokes and laughs as much as they do, or support one another this much. It is important to note that I am a part of this staff, which gives me some credibility (but also some bias) when I say that Baked on 8th has the highest concentration of capable, passionate and insanely creative women.
Baked on 8th is owned by two of the most amazing people I have ever met. Just now, one of them (Adam) just came over and scared the life out of me, just for fun. Until my heart rate returns to normal, the love is hiding a little further below the surface than normal. Leah, the other owner, is one of the most inspiring, driven and accepting women I know. In under a year, these two have managed to make their new business profitable and already it feels like a part of the community. If anything, they have found a way to manage their staff in the most compassionate way, respecting us, lifting each of us as individuals to the best we can be and creating our own community.
Come in and see for yourself, crack a joke and become a part of the crew! And when you stop in, be sure to try a slice of cake. Trust me, the strawberry cake is worth making an unprotected left onto 8th when you leave.
You know a company is owned by women when the bras it sells are inclusive to all types of bodies. While boasting inclusivity, they live up to the standards they have set for themselves; they include all sizes they offer in store, not just online (ahem cough cough, Aerie cough cough cough).
This is another new business (opened February 2018) making strides in the local Nashville community. Today, they even offered a 20% discount to anyone who brought in feminine hygiene products to donate to local shelters. Additionally, they work with the First Saturday Art Crawl to promote local female artists. As if this isn’t enough women power, each item in the store was each handpicked by the owner to maintain their high-quality standards. I personally believe that if you want to look and feel as sexy as you are, you might as well support a small (and incredibly forward thinking) business while doing it.
People I love:
This blog was a huge inspiration for my own. Believe it or not, I didn’t read too many blogs before starting Old Soul, Free Spirit, but this was one of the few that I’ve followed for a while. Two best friends take on Nashville, DIY projects, weekend trips and offer the best lifestyle advice out there. These women demonstrate a level of authenticity and transparency that I can only hope to achieve. Read more by them here.
On International Women’s Day, I posted 6 amazing female bloggers on my Instagram stories. But I love them so much and wanted to promote them so much that I created a permanent Instagram Story here! Be sure to pop over to Instagram and give them (and me please!) a follow, I promise you won’t regret it!
Songs That Will Change Your Life:
I aimed to share a compile a short list of songs I am currently obsessed with, all by female artists. Unsurprisingly, I got a little carried away and created a mixtape worth. Naturally, in the year 2019, I had to create a playlist on Spotify for you to listen to while you read along here. If you’re one of the confused youths, convinced you were born in the wrong generation, then please buy them on iTunes and pop them onto your iPod! These are all songs from my personal playlists over the past year and I can only expect that you will enjoy them as much as I do.
Rothwell – Velvet Heart (Acoustic)
Moonrise Nation – Common Fear
Silver – Drinking Games
Taylor Edwards- Jeep
Chloe Olivia – Gilded
Sammy Rae – Kick It To Me
Eli Shoen – Mumma
Ivory Layne – Committed
Mali-Koa – Pretend
Trella – Crash
Livy Jeanne – Easy On You
Maggie Miles – Belief
Organizations I love:
T.J. Martell Foundation
An incredible team of women on a mission run the Nashville branch of this national organization. This all-woman staff puts on events throughout Nashville and the surrounding states to act as Music’s Promise for a Cure. The T. J. Martell Foundation was created by a distressed father after his 19-year-old son, T. J. Martell passed away from Leukemia in 1975. The organization aims to raise money for AIDs, Leukemia and Cancer research and has raised over $280 million dollars since its formation. Be sure to check their calendar to see upcoming events to attend and support the cause here.
As a long-time scout and current adult member, I had to include the organization that has impacted me most. Girl Scouts of America is the perfect end to my International Women’s Day post (no matter how late it may be). Working to empower girls through programming and activities that teach them leadership skills and the benefits of volunteering, Girl Scouts gives young women the freedom to be themselves along with a safety net to make mistakes. There is nothing I can say to demonstrate how many opportunities Girl Scouts has created for me, so please trust me when I say that they do great work. Please read some of the stories on their website and help to benefit the women of tomorrow here.
Do you know any great businesses you think I should write about? Make a suggestion and help me find them! While you’re at it, subscribe to my mailing list to get updates on my adventures!
Since moving to Nashville, “Have you seen any celebrities?” is one of the first questions my family asks me when I get on the phone. When I was first accepted to Belmont, they sent out a postcard with all the things to do in the […]