NASHVILLE TRAVEL SERIES: THE SOUTHERN

images | lindsey grace photography

images | lindsey grace photography

Hands down the number one question I get asked by you guys is my recommendations for what to do when traveling to Nashville.  Well today I am SO excited to kick-off my Nashville Travel Series where I will be sharing all of my favorite place to eat + stay and play here in Nashville. My first Nashville hot spot to share with you guys is one of our favorite restaurants, The Southern. It is always one of the first restaurants I recommend when people ask where they should eat in Nashville.  It is located in a really cool area of downtown called SoBro, which is a fancy way of saying South of Broadway.  If you have never been to Nashville, Broadway is the main entertainment strip of Nashville where all the great honky tonks and live music is found.  While you might think this area is super touristy, it really is a must see when you come here and the best part of The Southern is that it is a place where locals and out-of-towners a like can mingle.

The Southern is part of TomKats, a company that owns several great restaurants here in Nashville.  Led by Executive Chef Matt Farley, The Southern is all about accessible food made with the highest quality ingredients.  That is what I love about this restaurant.  It is all about your favorite southern dishes with a twist and all made with literally the best ingredients you can find.  Can I get an AMEN!?   You can totally come as you are, roll in from listening to live music on Broadway or come dressed up for date night.  It is so laid back and super unpretentious.


THE CHEF

Here is the cool thing about Nashville, it didn't used to be the foodie destination it has become.  When Chef Matt left New York to come to Nashville to pursue a better work life balance he even said that he totally felt like he was leaving the big leagues and was headed to the minors.  After training at the French Culinary Institute and working his way up in some of the best kitchens in New York, he thought that his best culinary days might be behind him. But in the past 8 years Nashville's food culture has totally changed and a huge part of that is thanks to people like Matt Farley and organizations like TomKats.  But enough yapping, let's start talking about the food.


BAR SCENE

So when Steve and I go, we typically like to belly up to the bar and have some of their oysters.  Their oysters are so fresh and are literally on your plate less than 24 hours after being in the water.  WHAT?!?  In fact, that is how all their seafood is.  They have cut the middle man out so they are able to have their seafood flown in and delivered as fresh as it could possibly be. 


THE COCKTAILS

So if you are going to be at the bar, I have to recommend a couple of cocktails that I really love there.  My absolute favorite is called the Zydeco.  I love spicy things, so if you are like me this is the perfect drink for you.  It is made with mango rum and fresh jalapenos.  So good.  One of their most popular drinks is the Kendall's Cup which is a delicious combination of vodka, strawberries and sparkling wine.  If you are a Moscow Mule lover then you have to try the Coarse Hair Southern Mule for a southern twist on a classic.  Which by the way is a great way to describe everything on their menu.

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LET'S EAT

For starters, I highly recommend the smoked hard boiled eggs and the steak biscuits.  The steak biscuits are made with filet mingnon and home made biscuits and are out of this world.  I absolutely love deviled eggs, so I am obsessed with the Devil of an Egg appetizer.  The eggs are hardwood smoked, which sounds weird but just trust me, and served with pepper jelly and pickled vegetables....see that southern thing again.

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They have so many amazing entree's that it was really hard to pick just one; however, I am a fish girl at heart so my hands down favorite is the Fish and Grits.  Oh my gosh!  So FREAKING good.  If you are a fish lover like me this is an absolute must order.  The type of fish changes based on what is freshest, but it is always served over a bed of sweet potato grits.  If you are a meat lover or love a meat lover like I do, then you have to order their Nudie Steak.  I know, its a crazy name, but such a cool concept.  They butcher all their own beef and pork on site, so you basically get to pick the exact cut, size, and seasoning on a steak and they will cook it up for you made to order.  Basically Steve is in heaven.

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Some other really popular items on the menu are the burger (it is HUGE), hot chicken salad which is a Nashville specialty, and their house made sausages.

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SWEET ENDINGS

And last but certainly not least is the desserts.  Pastry Chef Betsy Johnston is an absolute genius.  Their dessert menu's change regularly, but if you happen to be lucky enough to be there when they have their Blueberry Shortbread Crumble you HAVE to order it.  It is topped with coconut milk ice cream and it is seriously delicious.

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HONEY LIME PISTACHIO DRESSING

photo | wildnative

photo | wildnative

I know this is not the case for the entire country, but we have had an unseasonably mild winter here in Nashville this year.  Literally things are already starting to bloom and while I know that we will have more cold snaps, it has definitely put me in the mood for spring.  Whether you are enjoying warmer temps or just dreaming about them, I have a salad dressing recipe to share with you today that you will love.  I based this on a similar dressing that my mom makes and it really is so delicious and so easy.

I make mine in my Vitamix blender.  I have used Vitamix blenders for YEARS, so I was so excited when they reached out and asked to send me this new model to test out.  Funny story, I had literally just melted the lid of my blender accidentally so it was perfect timing.  I am freaking obsessed with this thing.  In my opinion, the worst thing about blenders is how LOUD they are.  Literally, you can not make a smoothie in the morning without waking up the whole neighborhood.  The best part of this blender is it is so, so quite.  I LOVE it!  I have also been using it with my Green Blender subscription and I am totally loving it.  As a side note, if you are a smoothie lover (or want to be one) the Green Blender subscription is the bomb (do people say that anymore?).  All the ingredients come pre-measured and pre-packaged so you don't have any clean up and never have to buy more than you need.  Amazing!  Back to the blender for one last second.  I love the timer feature and there is a knob that you can turn up that amps up the power as you are blending.  Seriously it is amazing and I love it.

Xx
Landyn



RECIPE 

1/3 cup fresh lime juice

1/3 cup honey

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

3/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup pistachios, shelled 

serves 4-6


  1. Add first 6 ingredients to your Vitamix, or food processor if you don't have. Cover tightly with lid. Set your VitaMix on manual setting and start out slow, gradually bringing the speed to a 10. 

2. Remove small lid on top of blender, allowing you to add more ingredients while mixing. Slowly add oil and continue mixing on a speed 3 -4. 

3. Stop Vitamix. Remove small center lid, and add pistachios. Return lid, and begin using the pulse button if you have. You want to mince the pistachios, but not puree them. I like leaving a little texture to the dressing. But, if you prefer a smooth texture, by all means turn that baby up and keep blending. 

4. I recommend refrigerating your dressing before serving. This can easily be done by pouring into an airtight container and refrigerating for as little as a couple hours 

I particularly like this dressing served over spinach or arugula. The dressing has such great flavor, I believe it's best to keep the salad simple. I enjoy just a few toppings, like a purple onion + yellow cherry tomatoes + shaved carrots and sliced english cucumbers. 


KITCHEN MUST HAVES


As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible.


DATE NIGHT | GRAND OLE OPRY

Dress (wearing size 8US) | Jacket | Shoes | Bracelets | Wrap BraceletPurse

I get asked quite frequently about different date night ideas, and during this month of LOVE I wanted to share an awesome date night idea if you are here local or are coming to Nashville to visit.  Nothing screams Nashville like a visit to the historic Grand Ole Opry.  Steve and I were able to go see Chris Janson, singer of one of my favorite songs Holdin' Her, this past weekend at the Opry and it was awesome!


THE HOTEL

We actually made a little staycation weekend out of the whole thing because the kids were at Valentine's Day spend the night camp (who is the genius who invented this idea?!?).  We stayed at our absolute favorite, the Thompson and set up shop in the Thompson suite.  Guys, if you are coming to Nashville you have to stay here.  The decor is out of this world, the food and service is top notch, and the location cannot be beat.  The suite is absolutely beautiful.  Think rustic woods + brass detail + eclectic decor + jewel tone leathers + black and white tile....basically all the things.  I am going to do a full feature on the hotel in my new Nashville travel series, but until then just trust me when I say you have to go!
 


THE DINNER

We stopped by Little Octopus, which has just relocated to The Gulch across from the Thompson, and ate at the bar for dinner.  This was actually my first time eating there and it did not disappoint.  The restaurant is basically a Living with Landyn dream, gold and marble, and the food was UNREAL.  It is a tapas style restaurant and it is a perfect place for a date night.  We tried the mushroom risotto, the mixto ceviche, the clams and the octopus and it was all out of this world. I loved the Carribean twist on all of the dishes and throughly enjoyed the whole experience from ambiance and decor to the fabulous food.  Definitely one of my new favorite restaurants. Next time Steve says, Where do you want to eat? LITTLE OCTOPUS, duh.  

ph| nashville guru

ph| nashville guru


THE GRAND OLE OPRY

Now on to the main event, our trip to the Grand Ole Opry.  I am ashamed to admit that after four years of living in Nashville this was our first trip to the Opry.  I can guarantee we will be back though.  It was such a cool and unique experience that you can only get here in Nashville.  Our night started with the VIP tour and it was so interesting.  The Opry offers two different tours on show nights, a pre and post show tour, that take you back stage and behind the scenes so you can see how the magic is made.  It was so amazing to get to see such a huge part of country music's history and be a part of what has been "country's greatest stage" for the past 90+ years.

THE TOUR

The Grand Ole Opry offers three different types of tours: a daytime tour, a post-show tour, and a VIP tour that are open to both children and adults and range in price from $21-$150.  As I mentioned, our trip started with the VIP pre-show tour.  It was so amazing to be behind the scences as the show was getting started for the night.  When you start one of the tours, you are lead to the artist entrance and get to see where the artist come in and get ready for the night's show.  The backstage is filled with amazing photography and memorabilia.  It really is like a shrine to all of country music's greatest stars.  There are plaques from every performer who has ever performed at the Opry, tons of great photography from the shows, and even a marker of the water line from the horrific flood in 2010 that closed the Opry for 5 months.

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One of the coolest parts of the behind the scenes tour is that you get to go into some of the 18 dressing rooms at The Grand Ole Opry.  Each dressing room is themed to help tell the story of the Opry and they are the actual dressing rooms that the stars and performers use to get ready before they head on stage for the night.  We got to spend time in a dressing room that was dedicated to June and Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner.  There were costumes that were worn during some of their iconic performances, as well as tons of pictures and posters from the performances all around the walls of the room.  It was so cool to know that when you were sitting in the same chairs that some of country music's greatest legends and current stars have sat in.  A definite highlight for sure.

After touring the dressing rooms you are lead to a side stage where you actually get to see the famous red curtain rise and watch the first performance of the night.  It was amazing to be able to see the concert from the artist's perspective and watch all the work that goes into making a live show happen behind the scenes.  It really is a well oiled machine.  You can tell that they have been doing it for over 90 years.  After we saw the opening act we were escorted to our seats and got to enjoy the rest of the show. 

THE GROUNDS

The grounds of the Grand Ole Opry are really gorgeous and I highly recommend either coming early or staying after the show to just stroll around and take it all in.  They have benches and beautiful gas lights all around the property.  It was so nice to just be able to stroll around and sit and reconnect after the SUPER hectic few months we have had.  I love getting to spend one on one time with Steve and this was such a nice alternative to a typical dinner and a movie date.  We both LOVE country music and this was a great opportunity to share that love with each other and experience such a special pieces of Nashville music history.   And who knows, you might even get a little dip from your sweetie like I did!

all images | lindsey grace photography 

all images | lindsey grace photography 


THE DETAILS

The Grand Ole Opry has shows every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday night that start at 7pm.  Ticket prices for the concert range from $38 -$95 dollars and the best part about buying a ticket to a show at The Opry is that it is like getting multiple concerts in one.  There are always several different artist performing on each night so you get to see tons of great performances for the price of one ticket.  It really is a great deal!  You can check out the calendar of upcoming performances here.  If you are coming in from out-of-town and are looking to plan a trip to the Opry, they have an awesome trip planning page that give directions and all the details of planning a visit to the Grand Ole Opry.  I do want to mention to all my out-of-towners that you want to give yourself plenty of time to get to the venue.  It is a very popular location and is right by one of Nashville's biggest malls and the traffic can get SUPER congested.  You definitely don't want to have to be rushing or miss the beginning of the show, so make sure you have enough time to get there. 

Xx
Landyn 


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A special thank you to The Grande Ole Opry for sponsoring this post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible.


VALENTINE'S DAY WITH MINTED

Hi my little lovebugs!  I wanted to pop in today to wish all of my galentine's a Happy Valentine's Day.  We are all hopped up on sugar and kisses over here.  I have made 20 cupcakes that will be hand-delivered to my kid's classes so they can celebrate Valentine's Day with all their buddies.  Speaking of which, I wanted to show you guys which cards my kids ended up picking out from Minted.  They both turned out so cute and they are so excited to be able to exchange them with all their classmate. 

My daughter is in 7th grade, so her years of exchanging Valentine's cards is coming to an end, so we wanted to make sure we chose something a little more sophisticated and less childish.  We ended up going with these cute foil cards

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Luke is my sports lover, so we knew he had to have a sports themed card to give out.  They really had so many cute ones to choose from, so it was actually pretty hard to narrow it down. We are a football family at heart so we ended up going with these and I love how they turned out.

I hope you guys all have a fabulous Valentine's Day and who ever is special in your life, whether that be your husband, friends, parents or siblings, is going out of their way to make you feel loved today.  I know I sure love and appreciate ALL OF YOU and I promise if it was socially acceptable, I would have totally sent you a class Valentine's Day card.

Xx
Landyn


MY MARRIAGE RULES

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Here we are again......Monday. WOW, I'm still coming off a high from last night! The jewelry collection launch was CRAZY AMAZING!! Thank you all for the excitement. I could have never dreamed they would go that fast! Not to worry, I will be doing another run. Just hang tight while I figure out all the details. If those little fingers weren't so fast, you can add yourself to the wish list at the bottom of the page by clicking here

 Last month, in preparation for Valentines's Day, I asked you guys if you had any questions about love + marriage? And boy, did those emails ever start flying in. They now have a dedicated folder on my computer called "February Love". I certainly don't have all the right answers. I'm still figuring it out daily, but I will clue you in on a few things I've learned thus far. Things I repeat to myself daily and the rules I live by. 

Xx
Landyn


IF YOU WANT IT, MAKE THE INVESTMENT 

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Here's the deal. Men are very simple creatures. Let's don't over think it. They need FOOD + SEX + TO FEEL LOVED. And not necessarily in that order. Now, let me just start by saying I'm a 50's wife at heart. Some of you may find what I'm saying to be sexist or generationally extinct. But these are all cues I took early on, from the women before me. Women that have strong marriages. Are happy. Are fulfilled. Feel empowered. Walk with confidence. Are treated with respect. Loved. Raised good kids. Kept it real, and laughed along the way. I soaked it all in and wanted the same. So here I am..... 25 and about to get married. Now what? My girlfriends had different view points on relationships. Marriages around me didn't follow the same rules, and seemed to just be going through the motions. Was everyone truly happy? Was this just what happens after years of being with the same person? Whatever it was, I wanted more. I didn't want the butterflies to go away. I made up my mind that day, that I wouldn't let them fly away. My marriage IS a priority. Just like anything else, it takes work. Isn't it worth the investment? 


A WISE WOMAN ONCE SAID 

Jolene is my grandmother. She once was a blue eyed 17 year old catholic girl raised in Birmingham, Alabama. She fell in love with a 19 year old hunk with brown eyes in the spring of 1949. He proposed and she hid the ring from her family for months. But during that time she worked on embroidering the collar of a blouse each night, with a flashlight under her sheets. The one she would wear when they eloped. On Sunday, December 18th, 1949 along side their friends, they drove across the state line into Tupelo, Mississippi and said I do. Months went by and Earl couldn't keep the secret any longer, he wanted to be with his new bride. One afternoon he slipped the marriage certificate inside her mother's book. She turned to that page and the certificate fell out. She looked at him and called Jolene's father. Let's just say, they moved in together that day. A modest tin house with two rooms, no indoor bathroom, but they were in love. Big time. 

Fast forward. Together they've created 68 amazing years of marriage + three homes + four kids + seven grandchildren + 8 great grandchildren and countless memories. They are still going strong. Still holding hands. Still kissing goodbye. Still very much in love. They are what I wanted. I've been lucky enough to witness their love story. She's said some things over the years that have just resonated with me. I chat with them weekly, and last week was especially sweet to have them both on the phone sharing their tidbits about marriage and what has worked for them for almost 70 years. They have a real American love story and I continue to take pages from their book.


 JOLENE'S WORDS OF WISDOM


 

KISS THEM WHEN THEY'RE SWEATY

It's never gross. They've been working hard for you. Let them know you appreciate them, with a kiss on their neck and tight squeeze. No matter how dirty they are. 

ALWAYS HOLD HANDS

It's that touch that helps you stay connected. It let's them know you're there. A simple touch can do wonders for a marriage. Even if you brush their shoulder as you walk by.  

NEVER GO TO BED MAD

This can be a hard one, but is so important. Communication is key. Admit when you are wrong. Be a good listener. Put yourself in their shoes. Remember, it's okay not to be right.  

DO THINGS FOR ONE ANOTHER

Want to take care of each other. He still gets her coffee every morning. She makes sure he has what he needs, before she gets her own.  He starts her shower.  She brings him the paper. It's these simple gestures that let's the other person know, you care and don't mind putting them first. 

CONSIDERATION

Think of each others feelings. Do things you don't necessarily want to do. If she wants to go shopping, then go. If he has a work dinner that you're invited to, and it's the last thing you want to do, go anyway. Being there for each other is part of the deal. Support in a marriage is crucial. 
 


A FEW RULES I LIVE BY

 

#1 NEVER SAY NO

You may not be in the mood. You may not be feeling sexy. Luckily men don't see our flaws and imperfections. We really are our own worst critics. The things we don't like, are often times what they love the most. Don't put yourself down in front of them. Don't call out what hate about your body. Love yourself, they do. Go with it, relax and enjoy the intimacy. It's one of those things..the more you do it,  the more you'll love it. It's one of the simple things that seem to help make other parts of your marriage work better. It's not just sex. It's the connection. 
 


#2 MAKE DINNER

He works hard all day. Sitting down to have dinner together is very important to me and a huge deal to my family. We look forward to that time together. I believe having dinner ready when he comes home from work is a priority. It doesn't necessarily need to be fancy or straight out the pages of a cookbook. The sheer fact that you thought to have a meal prepared means the most. It's like celebrating his home coming. Some days it might be a can of soup and a turkey sandwich. The point is that you thought about it and put forth the effort. I cook Monday through Thursday and Friday we go out. You remember the old saying...a way to a mans heart is through his stomach. Truth be told. 


 

#3 PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER

I might look like the hot mess most of the day. Chances are I'm still running around in my own sweat till 4 PM. I typically only get to shower and put real clothes on twice a week. Whateves. But I DO take 10 minutes to pull myself together before he walk through that door. Often times it's a mad dash when I hear the garage door open. Sometimes it means putting makeup on top of sweat. Adding a little lipgloss or changing your shirt. Putting fourth the effort and looking presentable when he walks through that door is a must for me. I've never let the rush of those early dating feelings go. Don't let yourself go. Be the girl he married. When you take the time, he will too. Remember, you should want to look and feel good for each other. 

 


#4 DON'T BITCH ABOUT THE KIDS

Nobody wants to hear that as soon as they walk through the door, not after a long day. The LAST thing he wants to be hit with is how Timmy didn't nap and Susie spilled her drink at lunch. Woman up. Yes, it's crappy and it almost brought you to tears, but it's #momlife and it's what we do. Bite your tongue. It's our job. We can bitch to our girlfriends. By all means, DO THAT. You need to in order to keep your sanity. Chances are he's not going to come home a tell you how Bill didn't have the bid back on time and Martin pissed him off during the meeting. So, do what you can to keep that façade of having it together. You got this. If you MUST, let him walk through the door, eat dinner and then hit him with it later. 


#5 A TIDY HOUSE 

Listen, it's a thankless job, with no pay. And picking up after people is NO FUN. As a matter of fact, it's all I do. But in the same breath, I run a tight ship and since my kids have gotten older they've become quite helpful, or they know I'll go mommy dearest on them is a hot minute. Either way, everyone has a job around here. I don't know what it is, but there is some part of me that wants everything to be picked up and in its place before he gets home from work. It's amazing what you can do in 20 minutes. It should be a place he wants to come home to. We all need a place that is calm, and somewhat in order. It's a crazy world out there. Let home be your place of peace. 


 

#6 DATE YOUR HUSBAND

This is VERY important. Something we vowed to do from day one. It happens weekly. It's definitely been postponed from time to time. Whether it's been because one of us is traveling, a sick child or the babysitter cancels last minute. All sorts of things have tried to get in our way, but no matter what, we've kept a standing date night for almost 15 years. Even if it meant starting our 'date' at home after the kids went to bed. Whatever the circumstances, it's important that we get that time together. Just him and I. Most weeks we pick our favorite spot or try a new restaurant that's all the rage. Maybe even grab a movie if we're not too tired. It's an opportunity to wear that new shirt, he shaves and I lay on that eyeliner just a little bit thicker. The kids don't cry when we leave, they never have. They've all always known the importance of our relationship and I believe it's important to lay down those foundations early on. It doesn't have to cost money or be elaborate. It's often times as simple as picking up a Publix sub and eating it on a park bench. We've even gone grocery shopping, alone. I have to tell you, that's kind of nice. The importance of it all, is blocking off that time in your schedule for one another. It is necessary and should be a priority. No talk of the kids. Instead, try starting a conversation with, remember when we....


 

#7 HE'S MY NUMBER ONE 

I once sat bouncing my 10 month old baby girl on my knee while watching an episode of Oprah. This show was titled, I love my husband more than my kids. It was an article written in the New York Times. As you can imagine, it caused quite an uproar. I felt this way. Was it wrong to feel this way? How was this audience full of husbands and wives going to react? They were divided into two sides, 100 women that felt that way on one side, and 100 women that love their children more than their husbands on the other side. I was intrigued. The author explained her feelings and view point to Oprah. How she always valued her husband and that he was her rock. He was number one in her life. It wasn't that she loved her children any less, It was a different kind of love and that he would always be a priority. It's like she took the thoughts right out of my head. It was on that day that this 27-year-old girl realized that it was okay to put him first. And that my kids we're going to be okay and not feel any less loved. I've continued to say that loud and proud over the years. You can imagine the reaction you get when saying that in a group of women. Some of them look at you in disgust and their reactions are quite interesting. I never backpedaled or felt the need to explain myself to them. This is truly how I feel. He is the reason I have these beautiful children, and he was here first. He is my rock and I will not be ashamed to say that. My children are well aware and secure. They realize the importance of our relationship and how it provides a beautiful and happy environment for them to grow up in. It's especially important to lay this foundation when raising a daughter. I want her to seek out a partner that treats her with the same respect and love. While it's just as important for my son to witness. Teaching him how to treat a woman and how to be a great man. Whenever I come across a young woman about to be married, and she asks for any pieces of advise. My answer is to always put your relationship on a pedestal. It's very easy to let that slip to the side once children come into the picture. Remember, one day they will move away and you'll be standing there looking at that someone you really haven't seen in 20 years. Keep feeding your union and it will continue to reward you. 


DON'T GET ME WRONG

There will be times when the above just doesn't work. That's ok. That's life. But I do my best to stick to these 7 rules. Why? Because they work for me. They work for us. Like I said above, they may sound like something that your mother read out of a Dear Abby column and will make most feminist wanna gag, but I do believe these ways of thinking are a lost art. Let me be clear, I'm not going to just give, give, give and not expect the same respect and care in return. That's just it. We are a team and he does all the same for me. It's a beautiful game of give and take. I've shared this exact advise with my own girlfriends, because they've asked. Wanting to know how WE do it? How are we still this happy after being together that long? (25 years) Why does he still look at you that way? How do you get him to help around the house? Well, I shared, they listened, and often times came back to tell me how these simple tweaks made other aspects of their marriage better. Give it a try. Isn't your marriage worth it? 


 

 

 

 

 

 

ANTIQUES & GARDEN SHOW RECAP

I was able to spend last Saturday afternoon taking in all the sights + sounds and great design that was The Antique & Garden Show that took place in Nashville over the weekend. What a treat it was to be asked to cover this prestigious event. 


THE INTERVIEW

I was fortunate to sit down with the one and only Mary McDonald. We talked about all things life + design. I can only imagine at these events she gets hit hard with all questions pertaining to design and rightfully so, but you know I'm a girls girl and really just wanted to know what kind of cocktail she drinks and her favorite paint color. We had fun and talked about all the things! I wish you could have been a fly on the wall. She's a hoot and I just loved spending those 20 minutes together. Here are some of things I was curious to know...

LWL | We wanna know your go-to paint color? 
MM | I actually don't have one. I'm one of those people that don't really like to do the same thing twice. Of course everyone has to use white and black. I guess I do use and love the color Clunch by Farrow & Ball. It's an off white when I'm looking for something that's not supposed to be white. It has an aged, slighty ecru quality and perfect for when I'm looking for a color that's supposed to look somewhat old. 

LWL | Who's your style icon? 
MM | There's so many that I like. I don't just like interiors. I love fashion too. But some of my favorites are Nancy Lancaster and Sister Parish.I really love an old school look. But I'm really loving this more contemporary designer out of Spain, his name is Lorenzo Castillo. 

LWL | What's your go-to hostess git?
MM | I'm still really old fashion. I like giving soaps and hand towels. I always have them on hand. 

LWL | Is there a design trick you swear by? 
MM | If you have a dark room, make it darker. I do that everywhere I can. People are scared and say, we have no light here, so let's make it white. I need it lighter. The bottom line is it will never get lighter. So make it a jewel box. Paint it a dark color and put light furniture against it. 

LWL | Favorite cocktail?
MM | Caipirinha  
*curious to know what goes into that, click here for the recipe  

LWL | Is there any color combos you are done with? 
MM | Electric lime green. I'm sick of anything that's sort of electric. I'm done with pink and green. I never need to see that combo again. 

LWL | You'll never regret splurging on what?
MM |  Jewelry. 

LWL | What are your thoughts on layering rugs? 
MM | Yeah I do. I love layering a wool rug on top of a jute area rug. I like a bohemiam look. 

LWL | What is your favorite room to decorate? 
MM | The bedroom. 

LWL | Who's your dream client? 
MM | Prince William and Kate

LWL | Is there something you can do for under $100 that will make a big impact?
MM | Paint is a budget worthy decorators best friend. Paint will do the most to a space. 

LWL | Do you shop at Target? 
MM | Yes. I'll be there getting stuff. I'll see some huge photograph that's so great looking. They do have really great things there. I can see things anywhere if it catches my eye. I'm not a snob about things that are stylish. 
 


THE DESIGN PANEL LECTURE

After the interview I was invited to sit in on the designer panel lecture. Made up of four of the top designers in the US today; Mary McDonald + Nathan Turner + Jesse Carrier & Mara Miller.  The dream team moderator was none other than, Robert Leleux. He guided a spirited and often times funny discussion amongst the panel. Watching all these tastemakers interact was a real treat. They covered topics of travel. Where they go and how it influences their design. Which led to social media and how that's deepened their inspiration. Things that we all use as well, such as Pinterest and Instagram. They get down those same late night rabbit holes as we do. How finding a guy from a village in Austraila that makes pottery, and now his art is sitting on a coffee table of client that just graced the cover of Architectural Digest. It's crazy how big this world is, yet one image connects us all and inspires even the most talented minds. 


THINGS THAT CAUGHT MY EYE

Next for me, was to walk all the many booths of vendors from all over. I was completely over whelmed by all the beauty that was on display. The first thing that really grabbed my attention was this absolutely stunning pink piece by artist Ed Nash. And I don't even like pink. But WOW, I'm in love and kinda think I'd like that somewhere. If you're into abstract art, you really need to check him out.

Strolling through all the garden spaces that were designed by the top landscape designers in the country was such a treat and really has me ready for spring to get here.  I loved taking in some of the unique furniture and accessories that were on display in all the vendors booth's.  It was basically like shopping at the world's biggest and best antiques mall.  Thinks Scott's on steroids!  If you are a lover of home decor and design then you definitely need to make a special trip to Nashville for next year's show so you can check it out in person!


ALL ABOUT THE DRESS

photos/ lindsey grace photography

photos/ lindsey grace photography

I am excited to be back today with my besties from Nordstrom to talk all about dresses.  And we are not just talking about any dresses, I am going to show you how you can transition your spring/summer dresses into late winter and early spring with the addition of one simple piece.  What is that one simple piece you ask?  This incredible faux leather motorcycle jacket that I found. It's literally the find of the year for me! Here is the best part, all of the pieces, including THE jacket that I am wearing are under $100!  Yes you read that right, Nordstrom kills it again with their selection of stylish and affordable dresses. Oh Nordy's, you just totally get me.  See why we are best friends?  So let's just get to it, okay?


THE DATE NIGHT DRESS

Whether you are looking for something slinky and sexy or flirty and fun, I totally have you covered with my first two choices.  I am obsessed with this gorgeous knit sweater slipdress.  Slipdresses are really on trend right now and I love that I can get on board with a trend without having to spend a ton of money.  This dress is definitely slinky and SEXY, but the fabric is a thicker so it hides some of our "imperfections"...I am looking at you cellulite.  The hem detail is perfection and definitely adds an element of uniqueness to the dress.  I also love that by throwing on the leather jacket, you give it a little edge while also helping define the waist area some. 

Dress | Jacket (wearing size 6, fits TTS) | Necklace | Bracelets | Watch


FLIRTY + FUN

photos/lindsey grace photography

photos/lindsey grace photography

Dress | Jacket | Shoes | Necklace | Watch | Bracelets

How cute is this dress?  I absolutely love the drop waist and the flared skirt.  So flirty and fun!  You can sex it up a little bit with heels, like I did, but it would also look so cute and casual with flats or a sandals.  Perfect for a day date! I promise it is going to be a great addition to your closet for the spring and summer months.  And are you loving how my new favorite jacket gives it life so you can wear the dress as the weather is starting to warm up? <high five> And seriously guys, we HAVE to talk about this jacket for a minute.  It is literal perfection and get this, it is only $90!  Yes, you read that right.  I basically dropped dead when I saw it and had to scoop it up immediately.  It looks SO expensive and is a good heavy weight.  I promise you every girl needs this jacket in her closet.


THAT SUMMER MAXI

Dress | Jacket | Shoes | Bracelet

Girls, you know I LOVE a good maxi dress in the summer time. I practically live in one as soon as the weather warms up.  But now I can wear my favorite maxi's throughout the year (especially in Nashville's weather) by throwing that jacket over it.  This dress is so pretty and light and has the best ruffle detail down the front.  To help transition this look and make it less summery, I added a gray peep-toe bootie; however it would look great in the summer with a pretty strappy sandal or casual tennis shoe.

photos/lindsey grace photography

photos/lindsey grace photography


AROUND TOWN DRESS

Dress | Purse | Shoes (similar here and here)

We all need a good throw-on, around town dress.  I love dresses because they are so easy to wear, but they make me feel instantly pulled together.  This dress is so fabulous and I am obsessed with the flutter sleeve detailing. It definitely takes a plain shift dress up a notch.  And we HAVE to talk about this purse for a second. It is the most perfect Chanel knock-off in the land and it's less than $50!!!! Not even kidding!!! It looks expensive, it has great construction, and the latch is a really good detail.  I paired mine with my Chanel espadrilles, but I found two awesome look-a-likes for less than $100 that I linked above.  It would also be so cute paired with a pair of Converse sneakers for a day with the kids or running errands around town.


Alright ladies, I have taken all the guess work out of this one for you.  I have sourced my favorite dresses for all occassions from Nordstrom below.  Best part, I am like 99.9% certain they are all under $150 and most of them are under $100.  Score!!!  Hope you find something you love!

Xx,

Landyn


THE POWER DRESS


THE DATE NIGHT DRESS


THE EVERYDAY DRESS


Thank you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.  As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  A note of thanks to all my readers who support the brands that help make Living with Landyn possible.


VALENTINE'S GIFT GUIDE FOR GIRLS

You know that I would never leave my girls hanging, so today is all about Valentine's Day gifts for her.  Whether you just need to quickly email this post off to your husband or your looking for a gift for the girls in your life, I totally have you covered.  So send your honey the gift guide for you and then pick something fun out from our Galentine's Gift Guide for the friends, daughters, sisters, and nieces in your life.  There is literally something on there for everyone.  Speaking of everyone, maybe even sneak a little something in your cart for you while you are at it.  I promise your secret will be safe with me!

Xx
Landyn 


VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT GUIDE FOR HER

VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT GUIDE FOR HER, WHAT TO GET YOUR WIFE OR GIRLFRIEND FOR VALENTINE'S DAY

VALENTINE'S GIFT GUIDE FOR YOUR GALENTINE'S

GALENTINE'S GIFT GUIDE

VALENTINE'S GIFT GUIDE FOR GUYS

photo/ lindsey grace photography 

photo/ lindsey grace photography 

ring | cuff | tulle skirt | black tank | necklace (similar) 

So, you thought that it was hard to buy for your guy for Christmas?!?! You racked your brain and were finally able to come up with gifts for him and then...BAM it is Valentine's Day.  This is a tricky holiday to buy for.  Steve and I don't always do the gift thing for Valentine's Day, but I have picked out a couple of things he has that he really loves, as well as some things I know he would really like to receive. I bet you can pick out his favorite. (wink, wink) Hopefully this can be the one stop shop for all of your Valentine's gifting needs, with your guy in mind. 
 

Xx
Landyn


LWL Valentines Gift Guide for Guys