Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Swaller and a Holler for Nashville

Earlier this month I had the chance to visit Nashville! I am going to go ahead and admit something knowing full well that I may be labeled an idiot, but...I didn't know that Tennessee was so far south. As in, it touches Georgia. I imagined it to be where Northern Kentucky is. Geography has never been my strong suit.

Anyway, they do love their sweet tea (the best!) and man do they every enjoy their fried pickles, which is a good thing because so do I!

Fried pickles became an addiction.

I drank a lot of beer. My friend and I were there as part of Yelp Elite Spring Break, so there were events already scheduled included the Nashville Brew Bus which was oh-so fun, and highly recommended. They seem to love their craft beer in Nashville almost as much as they do in San Diego.

Just one tray of the many beers I consumed.

And then there was honky tonk a.k.a country music...


There is an ease about Nashville that makes you feel welcome, but the heat and humidity will definitely kick your ass. If you're planning a weekend getaway, it's always best do some research first.

Use that thing called Google and get advice from friends so that when you get to where you're going, you at least have an idea of things you want to see. That's not to say make every hour appear on your itinerary; you always have to leave room for fun surprises, but if you don't plan a little bit you could end up wasting money and a lot of energy.

When I started thinking about my travel plans this year, I didn't anticipate that I would already have been to San Antonio, Chicago, and now Nashville even before the year was half over. 

It makes me think, do I simply work so I can afford to travel?

The pictures and blogs don't do enough to capture the actual adventure of travel. It makes my heart and soul happy to experience as much as I can as often as I can. 

My next travel adventure is this week back to Kansas to meet my new baby niece. Then, plans for a summer trip to NYC is already in the works.

Working my way across the U.S. and hope to include some international travel soon.

For a more in-depth guide of where I went, what I saw, and the things I ate (and drank) visit my Nashville City Guide here

Monday, May 19, 2014

50/50 Challenge: Long Overdue Update

I've been so busy reading and watching movies for the challenge (among a million other things) that I haven't had time to document my progress. 

Airplane rides are probably one of the best times for me to get reading done. I read nearly every night before bed, but sometimes by the time I'm ready to settle in and read a few chapters, my body feels like sleep is necessary sooner rather than later. Who else has fallen asleep with the light on and book open? 

On my recent travels to Nashville, which I will posting a blog about soon, I finished two books! 

Book #15: Then and Always by Dani Atkins which was an Advance Reader's Edition:

Then and AlwaysThen and Always by Dani Atkins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was lucky enough to receive this book as an Advance Reader's Edition. After reading some of the other reviews on here, I see that it was originally titled "Fracture," which I like better than its current "Then and Always" title...

(read more of the full review)

and Book #16: One More Thing (Stories and Other Stories) by BJ Novak: 

One More Thing: Stories and Other StoriesOne More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved every story from this collection and I'm glad because I am a fan of B.J. Novak as a writer/actor for The Office. I would have been disappointed if his short story writing fell flat, but it was the opposite. It was engaging and well-edited, funny, heartwarming and clever...
(read more of the full review)

Movie wise, you can read all my reviews here and let me know if you agree or disagree by tweeting to me: @mscourtneybeth, but I can give you my three-word rundown right now. 

#10: Neighbors - Zac Efron's abs
#11: Chef - Jon Favreau's awesome
#12: Locke - drive faster, Bane!
#13: Baggage Claim - Do better, Paula
#14: The Other Woman - I love Leslie
#15: Million Dollar Arm - Top monthly pick
#16: Godzilla - Please God, no
Movies #13, #14, and #16 will have reviews up within a week from this blog post. But before I post my review on Godzilla, please save your money, and do not see it. Wait for it to come to Redbox if you must, but even then save your $1.
By the end of next month, to reach my halfway point of the challenge I need to have read 9 more books and watched 9 more movies. Can. it. be. done?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

April, I'm Over You

April seemed like the longest month, but oddly, also went by fast. There were some bumps in the career road but also real boosts. Do you ever feel like sometimes you are trying to swim faster than the wave that will most likely overtake you and hold you under? Surely I'm not the only one that thinks in such dramatic terms. 

April felt like a month that it was more important than ever to be five steps ahead of every situation and now I have safely made it into May and let me just say, it's off to a good start!

Last month ended on a high note with a trip to Chicago that I've recorded on my travel guide in three different posts. I love to travel and explore; it's one of my favorite parts of life. Earlier this year I had a fabulous girls weekend in San Antonio and then promptly scheduled three trips that all now are happening in a matter of months.

Carefree in Chicago!

I will be updating the travel guide with every city I visit with tips and fun places to go, and I am thinking of doing short videos as well. For my upcoming trip to Nashville, my friend and I have a long layover in Denver, a perfect time to give it a whirl. Nothing fancy or too edited, just an on-the-go look to pair with my blog.

I've also been collaborating with some amazing creative women who are proving invaluable to helping me reach my goals. Surrounding yourself with positive, ambitious people can really do wonders for your psyche, aspirations, and overall sanity.

So, it's off to Nashville this week, but you'll hear from again soon. Hope your May is starting out just as great as mine! I'd love to hear from you and what you're most looking forward to this month. Comment below or send me a tweet at: @mscourtneybeth