Animoto Video

5 Dec

Ian and Me.

‘Nashville’ crossed over to my heart!

15 Nov

I have never been a big fan of country music, and wouldn’t you know that the city of Nashville is now the place that I call home. Since I had already made this monumental step towards country, I decided to take one step further and start watching ABC’s new hit TV show Nashville, which turned out to be a decision I don’t regret making.

Unlike the musical TV shows Glee and Smash, the characters in Nashville have actual substance, and with acclaimed actors like Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton to bring them to life, the show could do no wrong.

The show revolves around the rivalry between two big-time country singers: legendary Rayna James and up-and-coming teen star Juliette Barnes. Rayna (Britton) is no stranger to the country music business. After 21 years in the limelight and an impressive collection of Grammy’s, the 40 year-old superstar’s stardom is finally starting to fade out when her new album isn’t selling well, leaving her with half empty arenas and an unhappy record label. Meanwhile, young and beautiful Juliette (Panettiere) is a worldwide sensation with her catchy teenage tunes that hardly rank her the respect she craves from the country business.

In other words, each country star has what the other wants: Rayna has the respect built from many years of hard work and fame, and Juliette has the sold-out arenas. The obvious jealousy between these two women combined with the entertaining country music and background stories involving the supporting characters all mesh together to form a fantastic show!

What makes the show so enticing to watch other than the fresh characters and the great actors to portray them is the recognition of so many beloved bars, locations and restaurants within the city of Nashville that were used in the shots. It makes it that much more fun to watch knowing that you’ve seen or been to all of these places and that they’re now being used as the background of a big time TV show.  I, personally, went nuts when I heard them talking about Tootsie’s because I’ve seen that place so many times!

What really put the icing on the cake was when Loucas George, producer of Nashville and other hit shows like The OC and Commander and Cheif, visited Lipscomb and spoke about the show! It was really great to hear from him how the show got started and what it was like to work with the cast. He also mentioned how much he was falling in love with Nashville, which made me an even bigger fan!

I don’t watch TV that often, but because of how awesome Nashville is, that might change very quickly. I highly recommend giving this show a shot if you haven’t already! If you don’t like country music, you’ll definitely like the show for the addicting story line and mesmerizing characters. Trust me, if Nashville can change my tune, it can change yours!

For those of you that have seen it or have been watching it religiously, what do you love about it and who is your favorite character?

I’ve put together a survey if you feel like filling that out too! 🙂

Walking down Broadway: the musical diversity of downtown Nashville

8 Nov

So far, if you’ve been reading my blogs, Nashville is known for its amazing coffee shops,  pizza restaurants, and just its overall food in general. The one thing that I haven’t mentioned is probably what Nashville is most known for and just happens to be my biggest passion in life — music.

Nashville may be the home of country music, which no one will ever find me blasting on the radio in my car. However, Nashville isn’t limited to twangy vocals and acoustic guitars. There are so many places that provide diverse, live music in downtown Nashville. Yes, country music is generally what will be playing the majority of the time, but you’d be surprised at how many places play blues and rock ‘n’ roll as well.

If you’re looking for some great live music besides the repetitive country genre, 12th & Porter is what you’re looking for! I have been to this place once and was very impressed by the amount of people that were there and also that great music that wasn’t country! That day they just had some local talent playing some rock ‘n’ roll, which I am a huge fan of. Even if there isn’t a live performance already playing, they always play rock ‘n’ roll, indie, and even American hits on today’s radio!

Since I am still new to the Nashville area, there are still so many awesome places that I still have yet to experience! Some of the few places that I definitely want to go to and have heard of are the The Big Bang, famous for its dueling pianos, and the Red Rooster, famous for its rock ‘n’ roll!

You don’t even have to go into buildings to hear the variety of music when walking on Broadway street. Either the bars or saloons are playing their music deafeningly loud, or there are people on the  sidewalk  playing their instruments and singing (which, I recently learned, is called busking!).

Being a singer and piano player for the majority of my life, I very much enjoy walking down Broadway street and hearing all of the sensational musical talent — country or not. There are so many in and around Nashville that are musically gifted and have no problem sharing their God-given talents. Having the opportunity to live in a city where music is held at such high esteem makes me realize how blessed I am to be here and confirms that I made the right decision to leave my small hometown of Meadville, Pa.

As I said before, I haven’t been here that long to know all of the great saloons, bars and clubs that offer some sweet music! If you know Nashville and are as big a fan of music as I am, what are some of your favorite places to go? (I just might be willing to make an exception for country, if you catch me on a good day).

On that note, I’m going to veg out and listen to some John Mayer: the only man that gets me through the day. I highly recommend that you do the same. =)

Nashville Halloween heart attack!

1 Nov

I am about to reveal to you why Halloween in Nashville is better than any place else on this earth.

This year marked my first time ever celebrating Halloween in Nashville; to my utter disbelief, I had the amazing opportunity to attend a Halloween party thrown by Trevor McNevan,  my favorite singer of my most favorite band, Thousand Foot Krutch! I cannot even begin to describe my excitement!

Trevor and his wife, Erin, are notorious for their annual Halloween bash because of the trophies presented to the person with the best costume and the best couple. Needless to say, everyone was dressed to impress. The photo above doesn’t even do everyone justice, nor does it even show half the people that were there! Which brings me to the person that isn’t in the picture that most everyone worldwide knows and idolizes.

If meeting Trevor wasn’t enough to make my whole life (which it was, trust me), wouldn’t you know that Carrie Underwood and her husband, Mike Fisher, showed up to the party and caused me to have a heart attack!

Carrie came to the party wearing a cute bumblebee costume — the same one that I almost purchased before finally deciding to go with a pirate dress!

I would love to be able to tell you that I had a lengthy conversation with Carrie and Mike, but as Mike and she did not stay long, I did not get the opportunity — no matter. Even being in the same vicinity as them was enough to have me starstruck!

Aside from the fact that there were celebrities everywhere I turned, the party was hugely entertaining, and I had a blast! I don’t know how any Halloween in the future is going to be able to top this year’s. Gosh, I really do love Nashville.

Since Halloween usually goes hand-in-hand with some fun and exciting stories, I would really love to hear them! What was your most amazing Halloween experience and why?

My life-long affair with pizza

25 Oct

This blog is long overdue because my favorite topic (and past-time as it turns out) happens to be food. One of the best things about Nashville is its endless list of mouthwateringly good and diverse restaurants! Thai, Italian, Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, Mediterranean, American, I could go on and on about the many different cultures of delicious food. As I do not wish for you to be reading this blog for a disgustingly long period of time, I am forced to limit my topic to my most favorite comfort food of all time: Pizza.

Pizza was, is, and forever will be my guilty pleasure. There’s nothing better than eating a hot-out-of-the-oven slice of pepperoni and cheese, and there’s nothing worse than the moment you realize that you’ve eaten the entire large pizza by yourself.

Nashville just happens to be the home of some awesome pizza places, including and not limited to Mellow Mushroom, which in my opinion serves the best pizza I’ve ever tasted!

Mellow Mushroom stands out because of its wide variety of traditional and non-traditional pizzas to satisfy your personal cravings. It provides an extensive list of toppings to build your own perfect pizza, and the light and buttery crust is unlike any other I’ve ever tried.

My personal Mellow Mushroom favorite other than the traditional pepperoni and cheese is its buffalo chicken pizza that includes mozzarella cheese, buffalo chicken, caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon and your choice of ranch or bleu cheese dressing (heaven).

Besides the amazing pizza, Mellow Mushroom’s menu also includes calzones, salads, snacks, deli and grilled hoagies. They even have a gluten-free menu! If you’re looking for some yummy or even gluten-free food besides pizza, Mellow Mushroom is the perfect place to go.

Another reason Mellow Mushroom ranks first above other great pizza places in Nashville is because of the, well, mellow atmosphere that it provides. The vibrant artwork and colors take you back to the “trippy” era of the 70s, which allows you to chill out and enjoy the experience.

While it was made clear in this blog that Mellow Mushroom is most certainly my favorite pizza place, there are still a number of great pizza restaurants that I still have yet to devour — i mean, try. I’m sure by then end of the school year I will be well acquainted with all of them.

If you would like to save me a few trips and few million calories (yes, please), you can tell me your opinion on who has the best pizza in Nashville!

Here’s some words of wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love:

“I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return. I am having a relationship with this pizza, almost an affair.”

I’m glad there’s someone out there that feels exactly the way I feel!

In conclusion, go have an affair with some pizza!

Caio!

Tailgating, touchdowns, and my run-in with Brandt Snedeker

18 Oct

Saturday, Oct. 13, was a fun-filled day because it held a number of first-time experiences for this little girl from Meadville, Pa. (that’s me!)

On this particularly beautiful fall day in Nashville, I had the pleasure of attending the Vanderbilt Commodores football game against the Florida Gators with my good friend Jennifer Zepparelli and the people that she calls her “American family.” (Jennifer is from Italy!)

On my way to the game I didn’t expect anything more than watching the game along with a bunch of enthusiastic fans wearing black and gold or blue or blue and orange, but it turned out to be so much more than that.

Sinfully enough, I have never had the notorious tailgating experience before a football game. Thanks to David and Claire Hannah of Nashville, Tenn., this depressing fact was finally remedied.

Besides devouring a disgusting amount of chips and dip, I saw so many dedicated fans dressed in their teams’ colors, preparing delicious hot dogs and hamburgers, playing corn hole, and watching other football games on their flat screen TV that they conveniently brought. It was quite the scene. I never knew that so many people would be willing to spend their whole Saturday dedicated to their team and watching them play.

When it was actually time to pack everything up and head to the stadium, I was totally ready to watch some football. However, nothing could have prepared me for what I got myself into next — or ran into, rather.

When inside the stadium, I found myself casually walking beside Brandt Snedeker, professional golfer that just conveniently won the  Tour championship on Sept. 20. Can anyone say, photo opp?

Needless to say, this turned out to be quite an eventful day already — and the game hadn’t even started yet!

The game itself was great overall, although disappointing for Vanderbilt fans. Even though the Commodores lost, they put up a good fight until the fourth quarter, resulting in 31-17 loss. I’d give more details but as sports are not my forte, I cannot give the play-by-play without embarrassing myself and actual sports writers and lovers. Sorry, you’ll have to visit another blog site!

My first Vanderbilt football game/tailgating/meeting a pro golfer experience was, unexpectedly, the highlight of my semester so far at Lipscomb (it was also the first time I lost my North Face jacket, but we won’t get into that). I had a great time and am looking forward to my next football game with hopefully another celebrity run-in (Channing Tatum please and thank you).

If you have anything else to add about this exciting game or were actually there to witness it yourself, tell me about it! Other interesting stories are more than welcome as well!

Coffee shops: how important is a hot cup of joe?

11 Oct

Apparently, extremely important — at least to the community of Nashville.

Exploring Nashville and the countless coffee shops was a lot to take in, especially after the huge caffeine rush that it gave me. Ever since the beginning of my college years, coffee has been my drug — a mug full to the brim with hot, steamy coffee was the perfect start to every day (and the perfect ending, too, for those long nights with endless homework).

However, to my fellow Nashvillians, coffee is a lot more than just a simple cup of coffee. It’s where you go to get that cup of coffee that makes all the difference.

Ian Hough, a 20-year-old musician from Brentwood, Tenn., avidly stated that Crema, an urban-like coffee shop on the outskirts of Nashville, was the total package. “Crema is the best coffee shop in Nashville because it roasts its own coffee beans and provides an ideal atmosphere to relax and enjoy my amazing cup of coffee,” he said.

While Crema is an amazing coffee shop appraised by Ian, there are so many shops in Nashville that are sure to lure you in with their strong coffee bean scent.  The Frothy Monkey, Bongo Java, Fido and Ugly Mugs are just a few of the many talked-about coffee shot hot spots in Nasvhille.

To a coffee rookie that has barely been drinking it for a year, Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte does the trick every time. As for all Lipscomb students, the line out the door at all hours of the day is explanation enough for the craving of Starbucks’ tall, grande, and vente cups of delicious joe.

I know that I have not covered all coffee shops in Nashville, for the list is so extensive! It would be awesome if you could help possibly extend this list by telling me your favorite coffee shop in Nashville and why. While you’re thinking, I might just go grab myself a pumpkin spice latte.