Last August, I posted about our visit to the Chihuly exhibit at Cheekwood in Nashville. We had such a wonderful time that we decided to go back after dark. The glass sculptures were that much more incredible at night, all lit up. I came across these photos and realized I never shared them. They are just too stunning to keep to myself!
One of our favorite Christmas traditions is visiting the Gaylord Opryland. An iconic Nashville hotel with three massive atria (the plural of atriums, if you, like me, didn’t know that), it is gorgeous on a regular day, but even more so at Christmastime.
We visit a handful of times each year, and we always make sure to stop by at least once during the Christmas season. It’s loveliest at night when the Christmas lights are on, but this year we were only able to go during the day. It was still magical.
With pregnancy, I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable, so our walk through the atria was on the slower side. Little Buddy definitely enjoyed the towering Christmas trees and glistening decorations, but it almost seemed like he was just as entertained by the hand sanitizer stations and gold letter signs indicating the names of the plants. I suppose you can say he is easily pleased.
Since Little Buddy was born, I have had fun searching for his clothes at children’s used clothing stores and consignment sales. Very few of his outfits have been purchased new because I find it painful to spend double or triple on something that he is only going to wear for one season.
For the past year, many of Little Buddy’s clothes have come from a friend with boys who are two and four years younger. She buys her clothes new, mostly from Carter’s, but keeps them in great condition. When her youngest son grows out of them, she sells them to me, usually for about $50 per season.
I then pick up any other items that I need at my go-to used clothing stores. Both are located in Franklin; one is called Once Upon a Child, and the other is called Kid to Kid.
Each store has it’s pros and cons. Once Upon a Child is double the size and has great toys and larger items, but the quality of the clothes and shoes tends to be lower. Kid to Kid has a smaller selection (almost no selection when it comes to shoes) but the quality is usually higher. They are only three minutes away from each other, so I am able to hit up both in a single shopping trip.
Do you buy used clothing for kids? If so, what stores do you shop at, or do you prefer consignment sales?
Cheekwood is one of our favorite spots in Nashville. It isn’t far from the center of the city, and it’s such a beautiful place to walk around.
During the fall, Cheekwood has a pumpkin exhibit for children. This year, it was even bigger than last year. Little Buddy and I visited with one of his friends. Even though it was the end of October, it was a scorcher (the last hot day of the year). Being pregnant, I was pretty miserable, but my friend understood how I was feeling because she was further along than I was. We were both determined to make it fun for our boys, and I think we succeeded.
The pumpkin house (pictured at the top of the post) is a kid favorite. This year, Cheekwood had a new feature that was simple but a huge hit among the toddlers: piles of pumpkins to climb on. What fun!
The one downside of Cheekwood is that it’s very hilly, so a great place to visit if you are wanting a gentle workout. Not so great if you’re pregnant and pushing a stroller. But we knew ahead of time and came prepared with plenty of water.
Last weekend, we visited Gentry’s Farm in Franklin, Tennessee, for the first time. I had heard good things about it from other Nashville moms, but it far exceeded my expectations.
The farm is located in a beautiful area of Franklin, with a breathtaking view of rolling hills. It is a working farm and for that reason is only open to the public a few days a week in October.
Gentry’s has multiple playgrounds and play areas, plenty of pumpkins, a four-acre corn maze, putt putt golf, tons of farm animals, and more.
My favorite part was the hay wagon ride through the cow fields and past the historic buildings.
The farm has been in the Gentry family since the mid-1800s and is currently run by the great-great grandson and great-great-great grandson of Samuel Fielding Glass, Jr., the gentleman who began purchasing the land in 1848. His father had moved to Franklin in 1812 and started a hat making business.
Construction on the main house began before the Civil War and was completed several years later.
There are two log homes on the property that were built in the early 1800s.
Do you enjoy visiting pumpkin farms in the fall?
As a reader of our blog, you have probably heard us mention Cheekwood before. It’s an outdoor garden in Nashville, complete with a historic mansion built by the family who previously owned the estate. We have been to Cheekwood to see Christmas lights, the Chihuly exhibit, and the tulip festival.
This month, we took Little Buddy to Cheekwood for the Nature POP! exhibition. Sean Kenney, LEGO sculpture extraordinaire, scattered a few dozen of his works across the grounds for guests to find. He used more than 800,000 LEGOs to build his creations.
We thoroughly enjoyed wandering through the gardens and marveling at all the beautiful sculptures. The dog is made up of 39,800 bricks and took the artist 155 hours to build.
The woodpecker is made of 32,650 bricks and took 124 hours to build.
I found the lion to be the most impressive because it’s all one color, but yet the artist was able to create incredible definition in the face. It consists of 45,150 bricks and took 167 hours to build.
The mama and baby polar bears were also pretty incredible. They are made of a whopping 112,450 bricks and took Kenney 389 hours to construct.
Although it appears small, the dragonfly is made of 66,655 bricks and took 502 hours to build.
We also saw gardeners, a mother and baby duck, and a bunch of fluffle of colored rabbits.
Which LEGO sculpture is your favorite?
A few years ago, we stumbled upon a little shop called Five Daughters Bakery and decided to give it a try. Little did we know that it would quickly become our favorite place in Nashville. In fact, Mr. Handsome is often counting down the days until the next time he can eat a Five Daughters doughnut. Whenever we have visitors from out of town, we always introduce them to Five Daughters, and our repeat visitors always beg to go back.
Founded in 2015, Five Daughters is owned by a husband and wife, Isaac and Stephanie Meek, who have five daughters. A love for baking runs deep in Isaac’s roots, as his great-grandfather owned a cake shop and his grandfather a pizzeria. With four locations in Nashville and two in Atlanta, the expansion that Five Daughters has experienced in a mere six years is incredibly impressive.
A doughnut from Five Daughters is more than just a doughnut. In fact, neither Mr. Handsome nor I are fans of conventional doughnuts, but we adore Five Daughters. They are famous for their 100 layer doughnuts, which is a type of doughnut called a cronut. It looks like a doughnut but is made from layered dough that gives it the consistency of a croissant. Conventional doughnuts are mass-produced, but these decadent treats require individual handling and take four days to create. Our favorites are the ones that are infused with cream.
Aside from their 100 layer doughnuts, Five Daughters also offers a variety of other pastries and cookies, including items that are vegan, paleo, and gluten free. So whatever your dietary restrictions might be, chances are good that you will find a dessert to indulge in.
Oh, and everything is free of chemical preservatives, genetically modified organisms, hydrogenated oils, artificial colors, and artificial flavors. As a mom who avoids fake ingredients, even in our treats, I truly appreciate this. The bakery uses organic and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
In honor of Father’s Day, we picked up a mint chocolate chip doughnut for Mr. Handsome. We encourage you to give Five Daughters Bakery a try. It will completely revolutionize your idea of doughnuts, and you won’t regret it.
This is a sponsored post, but because of our policy to only promote items we actually use (or in this case, eat), you can rest assured that we are genuine fans of Five Daughters. It is our go-to when we want to celebrate a special occasion, or just for an everyday treat.
Spring has sprung in Middle Tennessee, and we are heading into summer. Last month, I took these photos of wildflowers in our area, and I thought it would be fun to share them. Isn’t is incredible how God created so many unique, intricately designed flowers for our enjoyment?
If we have any plant enthusiasts in the audience, feel free to chime and tell us what these are called.
For several years, I have we wanted to tour the historic Carter House in Franklin, Tennessee, located about 20 minutes south of Nashville, and we finally go around to visiting for my birthday. It’s an incredible place, not because of the size or grandeur of the home, but because of what happened there almost 160 years ago.
The house was built by a man named Fountain Branch Carter, who was born in 1797. He and his wife, who passed away in 1852 at the age of 46, grew the farm from 19 acres to nearly 300 acres. They had 12 children, although only eight survived until adulthood. By the time the Civil War broke out, most of the kids had a moved away to start their own families.
On November 30, 1864, the Battle of Franklin (technically the Second Battle of Franklin) took place on the Carter Farm. By that point, the house was bursting at the seams, as some of the daughters whose husbands were fighting in the war had returned to the farm with their children temporarily. The Carter family, as well as their slaves and a family from across the street (whose house, the Lotz House, still stands today) took refuge in the Carters’ cellar for 17 hours, as the battle raged around them.
The battle that took place around Carter Farm resulted in nearly 9,000 casualties. The hand-to-hand fighting was some of the worst in the war and occurred right next to the house, within earshot of the civilians huddled in the cellar.
On the tour, you can see bullet holes in the sides of the house and other buildings on the property. There is also bullet damage to some of the furniture inside the house. One might wonder why the family didn’t repair the bullet holes after the war. The tour guide explained that when slavery ended, the Carters were nearly broke.
My favorite part of the tour was the view from inside the farm office. How incredible is it that this wooden building has survived 157 years?
My second favorite part of the tour may seem small and insignificant, but it really helped bring the story to life. These contraptions, which sit outside the house and all the outbuildings, were used to clean the mud off one’s boots before going inside. Through pictures, historians were able to confirm that they were there on the day of the battle. These tiny pieces of metal sure have been through a lot!
Have any of you been to Holland for tulip season? I know I have some readers who are from the Netherlands. The photos I have seen online are beautiful, but I would love to hear more about it.
This week, we visited Cheekwood, an outdoor botanic garden in Nashville, for the tulip festival called Cheekwood in Bloom. It was fantastic! So many colorful flowers. I wish they would stick around for another month so we could enjoy them a few more times. We had two days of major storms, including some historic flooding, but the tulips survived. Sadly, though, they are on their way out.