A Friday in Bolton

As I’ve mentioned before, one of my fav PIC (partners in crime) is my mum. On a particularly beautiful late October day, we decided we would head out to Nashoba Valley Winery, which isn’t too far from where I grew up / where my mother still lives. When we got there, we found out they weren’t accepting walk-ins for lunch, but they directed us down the street to The Fireplace Room at The International. Surprisingly, given the number of people we collectively know from the general area and the number of events we’ve attended over the years, neither of us even realized this gem existed!
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Being that it was a Friday around 1, there weren’t too many people there and we were able to sit next to a huge window overlooking the golf course and soak in the sunny, late autumn view. We both loved our lunches (burger for me, Thanksgiving style turkey sandwich for her) and the fries were to die for as well. The service was great and I’d go back in a heartbeat! On a related note, I left my favorite druzy ring in the bathroom as we were leaving, which lead to actual tears (embarrassing yet true) when I realized later that night. When I called the next day and spoke with a manager, she told me that she had it in her office and it turns out our waitress had found it. When I told her I lived near the city and wasn’t sure when I would be able to get back out there, she offered to mail it to me! I was super grateful and impressed that they went out of their way to help me out.
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After lunch, we headed back to the winery to poke around the shop– which lead to buying tickets for wine sampling! My mum had never done it before, and I’d never done it there, and so we had a lot of fun trying varietals we wouldn’t have otherwise. I ended up buying the dry pear wine, my favorite of the more uncommon offerings. If it had been less windy out, we would have sat outside. It’s a great place to check out with anyone who enjoys New England fall activities– they offer apple picking in addition to the winery and the restaurant.
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Nashville!

I added another city to my list this past weekend — Music City!

The girls and I got a great deal on a flight, so we rented an adorable house in West Nashville and headed south. I absolutely loved the vibe– a great mix of country and hipster. I’m not a country music fan typically, but it’s so much fun to hear so many talented people performing all over town. When in Rome…

Having a car was clutch since it allowed us to check out more neighborhoods and spots. I ate my weight in BBQ (Edley’s in 12South had the best pulled pork of my life), fried chicken (Hattie B’s Hot Chicken — a perfect bird) and washed it down with cheap moonshine drinks (they’ll getcha). Also need to shout out Hermitage Cafe’s $5 patty melt, which is  pretty much perfection!

Recommendations (besides those mentioned above and below in captions):

Pedal Tavern tour

Grand Ole Opry backstage tour

Tootsie’s Wild Orchid Lounge roofdeck on Broadway

Tin Roof on Demonbreun

I took well over 200 pics, but here are just a few:

The five of us at the Johnny Cash mural10703119_10100219397917113_411394008_o

I was obsessed with this mason jar chandelier at Bootleggers Inn on Broadway

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East Nashville, by 5 points

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Looking out from the stage at the Grand Ole Opry

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GalaxSea Reality

I won the contest I mentioned last week! I will be working with Ji Baek, Rescue Beauty Lounge Founder, to make my dream a reality over the coming months.

I won’t be able to talk further about the process, but I will DEFINITELY let everyone know when my nail polish shade will be released for sale. The name mentioned in the post header is my working title and not final.

Congrats to my co-winners and thank you for the support!

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A Dream Come True! Also known as a shameless plug for votes.

RBL 3.0 Finalist
Back in July, I submitted my idea for a new nail polish shade, at the urging of my sister Mary, to Rescue Beauty Lounge (http://www.rescuebeauty.com/) for their Fan Collection 3.0 contest. The company makes “5 free” (there are no known harmful chemicals included) upscale nail polish and this contest has run for the past few years where 6 finalists will work with Ji Baek, the founder, to have their idea brought to life as part of a limited edition collection.
…and from thousand of entries, down to the top 50 and now the top 14, I was chosen as finalist #5!!
Now– it is turned over solely to voters to determine who the top 6 will be!
This is where you come in 🙂
Voting runs for only 48 hours– from now until noon Wed. Will you please vote for me before noon this Wed, 17 Sep?! One submission is allowed per IP address, but if you’re willing to help spread the word or use more than one device (and I hope you will be!), I’d be even more grateful.
Thanks so much for your time– and I hope your vote!
xoxo Danielle

Summer, you saucy minx!

My last couple of posts have been uncharacteristically dark– well, for me–, but with the warmer weather and a little “attitude of gratitude” (thanks, yoga mindset), I’m ready to return to my positive self.

Embracing the light, I have returned to my, in my own words, “offensively blonde” self and it feels so, so good. I realized immediately after how much more ME I feel. Hair color is such a shallow aspect of someone, but it is the hair color that suits me best and it’s good to be back 🙂

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5 Years.

My wonderful, gregarious, selfless dad passed away five years ago on the 11th. I miss him so much year round, but with Father’s Day, the date of his death and his birthday (the 25th) all within a month of each other, it obviously makes this time a little trickier,

I take a lot of joy in the fact that I was named after him and I’m often told how much I am like him. I have a lot of sorrow in all he’s missed these past five years– and everything ahead he will not be able to witness (in the flesh at least). I so badly wish he knew my boyfriend, A, but I know without a doubt they would have been thick as thieves. Despite their difference in stature, the two men share many incredible traits.

It’s a time for tears, but also of gratitude at the sheer luck that he was MY dad. I wouldn’t trade more years with another father, that’s for sure. He taught me about working hard and a zest for life. A love of traveling (even locally) and trying new places. Enjoying beer and Cheez-Its. I also remember all the support of family and friends, both in those whirlwind first months to every year on the anniversary when I get the “thinking of you xo” texts that mean more than their senders can possibly know.

It’s a time to reflect on all I’ve done, accomplished and persevered through since he left this world– and there’s a lot. From a career I’m proud of to caring for my mother (he always told people he knew my sisters and I would take great care of her when he was gone) and all the highs and lows along the way. Whenever I would leave the house, he would always yell, ‘Pay attention!”, which cracked all my friends up. I know he’s looking over me and that he’s paying attention to all he loved.