[ THE ] CITY GUIDE: NASHVILLE

We travel as much as we organize, which is why we want to introduce a new theme to [ THE ] blog... [ THE ] CITY GUIDES! 

Every month, we'll be highlighting our favorite places to eat, shop, stay, and hang in the cities we love. 

To kick it off, let's start where it all began: Nashville. Even though Joanna and I aren't originally from here, we are more than happy to call this Southern gem our new home.

[ THE ] PLACES TO HANG-

#1 Pinewood Social: 

33 Peabody St, Downtown 

This past year, we held our holiday party at Pinewood Social. It has everything you could ever want: Bowling, bocce ball, swimming pools, cocktails, CHAMPAGNE, coffee, small plates, and WiFi that never lets you down. Honestly, I'd set up our corporate office there if they let us. 

#2 Kuchina and Keller: 

1300 3rd Ave N, Germantown 

An Eastern European-inspired Nashville favorite. The menu is inspired by Chef Aaron Clemins German and Polish roots. If you want cold beer, a great selection of meat and cheese, and the best hot fudge sundae of your life, this is your spot. 

#3 Patterson House: 

1711 Division St

Think prohibition-era speakeasy, but without the paranoia of getting busted by the cops. Patterson House is intimate (only seats 80 people) and sophisticated with mixologists who really know what they're doing. Trust me, you need to experience it. 

I should also mention they have HOUSE RULES. Nothing crazy. Just things like "you must be seated to order a drink." I'm the daughter of my mother, so I feel right at home #Roberta. 

#4 Ryman Auditorium

16 5th Ave N

Historic Nashville at it's best! Ryman Auditorium is where the Grand Ole Opry began, where Johnny Cash met June Carter, and where you'll experience the best live music and comedy acts around. 

#5 Station Inn

402 12th Ave S

Station Inn has a reputation for being one of the best bluegrass venues in the country. The inside looks like what you'd expect...and that's the best part. 

[ THE ] PLACES TO EAT-

#1 Cafe Roze

1115 Porter Rd

This is where you'll find the most Instagram-worthy avocado toast. To give you an idea of how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING this place is, the owner also a consulting chef at NYC's Jack's Wife Freda. Go there for a weekend brunch! 

#2 Henrietta Red

1200 4th Ave N

If you love oysters, book a reservation here. However you like them, they have it: Fried, raw, wood-roasted, in a stew, in a sandwich, you get the point. 

Dishes like braised pork and farro risotto are also popular on the menu. 

#3 City House

1222 4th Ave N

At City House, you'll find classic Southern dishes like fried chicken and brisket. Or if you're into Italian food, their wood-burning oven serves up some SERIOUSLY delicious pizza. If you've ever referred to yourself as a "foodie," add this spot to your list. 

#4 Rolf & Daughters

700 Taylor St,

We love this place. It's communal table seating is perfect if you're dining with a large group. Every dish is made completely from scratch and the pasta is worth the carb intake and/or pilates class the next day. 

#5 Caviar and Bananas

2031 Broadway

Think of Caviar and Bananas as Nashville's "Joan's On Third" (an LA favorite!) Here, you'll find small plates, salads, sandwiches, charcuterie, pastries, coffee, and items you can grab-and-go. Also, craft beer and wine! 

#6 The Mockingbird

121A 12th Ave N

If you're looking for a unique place to eat/drink, Mockingbird is the place. The menu offers a blend of Korean, Mexican, and French food with fun names like "Japancake" (topped with shredded savory cabbage, aioli and jalapeno) and "Bird Is The Word" (fried chicken with chorizo white gravy, salsa verde and mashed potato). Oh, and they have boozy milkshakes...because who doesn't need one of those? 

[ THE ] PLACES TO SHOP-

#1 Wilder

1212 4th Ave N

Honestly, I'd buy the entire store.The selection of woven ROYGBIV baskets is absurd. GO THERE. 

#2 Hero

2306 12th Ave South

Hero is owned by Claudia Robertson Fowler, the stylist to Miranda Lambert, Trisha Yearwood, and Martina McBride. (And inadvertently, Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin.) 

#3 H. Audrey

027 Hillsboro Pike

Believe it or not, we own more than just "THE" merch and black leggings that we try to pass off like dress pants. And most likely, we bought the rest of our wardrobe at H. Audrey. Here you'll find designer brands like Rag & Bone and Loeffler Randall. 

#4 Lemon Laine

1900 Eastland Ave #102

The place in Nashville to pick up the latest in clean, non-toxic beauty. Lemon Laine even offers an oil bar where you can mix your own skincare, depending on your needs. Yeah, it's safe to say we found a new place to "shame spiral" in. 

#5 Apple & Oak

717 Porter Rd

The eclectic vintage shop that makes dreams come true...like my dream of owning a one-of-a-kind Turkish boho rug for my entryway. 

#6 White's Mercantile

2908 12th Ave South

If it's any consolation, I purchased my "HOWDY" doormat here. From that point on, I see White's Mercantile less as a store, and more like a treasure trove where dreams come true. 

#7 Draper James  

2608 12th Ave S,

When Reese Witherspoon does ANYTHING, we're all in. Her Draper James storefront is the perfect spot to find all your Southern-inspired clothing and entertaining accessories. 

[ THE ] PLACES TO STAY-

 

#1 The Thompson

401 11th Ave S

This luxury hotel overlooks The Gulch and Downtown Nashville, and it’s HAND’S DOWN our favorite place in the city. Sometimes Joanna and I stay there on a week night just to escape our families. When we check-in, the front desk says, “where are you traveling in from?” - and we say, “from 15 minutes away and not sorry about it.”

#2 Urban Cowboy B&B

1603 Woodland St

From the outside, this unique bed & breakfast looks like an old Victorian home. But on the inside, it's a Western rustic paradise. Urban Cowboy houses 8 suites with the same cozy feel. 

#3 The Hutton

1808 West End Ave

This hotel is located right in the heart of Music Row. Plus, we've heard that Gwyneth Paltrow stayed here and loved it. NEED WE SAY MORE?

[ THE ] PLACES FOR KIDS-

#1 Cheekwood Botanical Garden

1200 Forrest Park Dr

It's not just pretty scenery, y'all. The botanical garden offers activities for kids year round, from special exhibits to art classes. 

#2 Adventure Science Center

800 Fort Negley Blvd

I promise if you take your kids here, you'll win "Best Mom Award" (for at least the day.) The entire building is devoted to child-size activities like a three-story soft jungle gym, a spaceship that simulates zero gravity, firetrucks, and what we're actually here for: LEARNING.

#3 Sevier Park

12th Ave S Kirkwood Ave

For those moments when you need a break and your kids need a playground. 

#4 Nashville Farmers' Market

900 Rosa L. Parks Blvd.

Every third Friday of the month, Nashville Farmer's Market hosts a Night Market featuring guest artisans, live music, and family friendly activities. Plus, all proceeds a local non-profit or organization in the Nashville community! 

Are we missing any Nashville favorites? Let us know! 

Xo Clea + Joanna 

[ THE ] TRAVELS: HOW TO PACK YOUR SUITCASE

If packing a suitcase was an Olympic sport, Joanna and I would be fierce competition. Just picture a duo of Tonya Hardings but without the crowbar-to-the-knee situation, and that's us. 

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And since we've been traveling and packing non-stop, our skills have reached GOLD MEDAL EXCELLENCE. Also, a well-packed suitcase calms us, particularly pre-flight.Honestly, I'm beginning to think that packing squares are a form of Xanax. 

ANYWAY. For our most recent work trip to LA, I went full-blown ROYGBIV with Oh Joy!'s new line with Calpak. I'm thinking I'll just live in this suitcase for the rest of my life...

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The trip was EIGHT DAYS but I still managed to pack what I needed with some space to spare. Here's my strategy...

[ THE ] SUITCASE + [ THE ] CARRY-ON 

Let's start with the basics. A suitcase should be big enough to hold your things and light enough to avoid back pain if you're forced to pick it up by someone like my mother, Roberta

And to make life easier at baggage claim, choose an easy to spot suitcase like these: 

1. Confetti Suitcase Set

2. Sunset Suitcase Set

For your carry-on, a smaller suitcase can fit more items and it's easier to keep organized. 

1. Confetti Carry-On

2. Sunset Carry-On

[ THE ] PACKING SQUARES

The key to packing success is to maximize space and use packing squares to keep everything contained and organized. 

Speaking of keeping things organized, as if the ROYGBIV prints weren't enough, JOY ADDED A SPOT FOR PERSONALIZED LABELS. Yes, she's the true hero in our society. 

The packing square kits come with 5 pieces including 2 small, 1 medium, 1 large, and 1 envelope pouch in Stripes, Confetti, and Floral

I used the large packing squares to fit 8 DAYS worth of shirts and pants. To maximize space, I prefer to roll my clothes rather than fold them. The strategy worked so well that I was able to fit my laundry bag and toiletries comfortably to the side. (THIS IS WHERE I'M HANDED A MEDAL. THANKS.)

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The packing squares also fit my pajamas, underwear, and bras, which I categorized and labeled separately.

The heavier items like bulky sweatshirts were rolled on top at the end. For shoes, you can either store in a separate packing square or a side pocket within the suitcase. 

Just in case, each square comes with a zipper compartment on the back and can hold any excess. 

[ THE ] TOILETRIES

For your toiletries and cosmetics, it helps to have compartments. And if it can hang, that's a plus. 

1. Pro-Traveler Hanging Toiletry Bag

2. Herschel Supply Co. Travel Kit

3. Nylon Hanging Cosmetic Bag

4. Hanging Travel Bag

5. Jumbo Framed Travel Kit

If you choose to keep your toiletries in your carry-on, use a set (including a bag) that's guaranteed TSA-friendly. P.S. it helps if you label all of the bottles and jars! 

1. TSA Travel Bottle & Jar Set

2. To-Go Bottles & Jars

3. Clear Travel Kit

[ THE ] CARRY-ON ESSENTIALS

Since we aren’t private jet material, my carry-on bag is a survival kit, including items to comfort and distract myself. 

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If I'm traveling for work, I pack my laptop, camera, and a collection of chargers. And since I have no patience to speak to Apple Care customer service, I keep my tech devices in cases to avoid damage. If I'm not packing an actual carry-on suitcase, a leather tote bag works. 

To keep my chargers from tangling, I found these genius cord keepers from Paper Source.

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All Tied Up + That's A Wrap

I keep the tied up cords in a canvas pouch (specifically, a rainbow one from Meri Meri) so I know where to find them AT ALL TIMES. 

And just in case, a wireless backup charger in is always necessary. It saves you from having to fight off your fellow travelers for power outlets. 

1. Ban.Do Back Me Up Charger

2. Mophie Power Case

3. "I Am Busy" Backup Charger

4. Power Bank Mirror

5. Mophie Power Bank

Everything included below gives off the impression of "I'm not here to talk to strangers." 

1. Noise Cancelling Headphones

2. Hoodie Neck Pillow

3. "Everything Is Gonna Be Okay" Thermal Mug (Holds tea, coffee, or your favorite champagne that you poured in from the airport bar.)

4. Travel Blanket

5. Contour Travel Eye Mask

Safe travels!

Xo Clea + Joanna 

THE x LAUREN CONRAD

Let's get real here. Do you know how intimidating it is to walk into the home of someone that's, in our opinion, the crafting and entertaining version of OPRAH?! 

Well, it happened to us. We are talking about Lauren Conrad (a.k.a LC). Yes...she's the walking Pinterest board you imagine. And since Joanna and I are only good at one thing (organizing), we had the opportunity to help make her life even more Pinterest-worthy than it already is. 

Our primary goal for Lauren was to de-clutter and pare down (she's a self-professed collector). Not only did we organize her kitchen, office, closet, and bathroom--she even taught us some tricks in the process (I mean, of course. It's Lauren Conrad). Thanks to her crafty skills, she let us try out her Cricut machine, and we ended up labeling her office cabinets with gold vinyl. WE. WERE. FREAKING. OUT. 

Here is a look at our finished project + the tips and products we used for each space:

[ THE ] CLOSET

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TIP #1: Stack Your Shoes

Stackable shoe storage is a great way to optimize your closet shelves. You can not only increase the amount of shoes each shelf can hold, but you also keep them protected from scuff marks and dust.

TIP #2: Bring on the Baskets

If your closet doesn’t have drawers, create your own by using baskets! We suggest folding shorts, work-out clothes, pajamas, t-shirts, and even socks and underwear.

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TIP #3: Swap with the Seasons

Create seasonal closet bins for summer and winter. Place one on a high shelf, and one within reach, and rotate them as the weather changes.

TIP #4: Abide by the One-Year Rule

We abide by the one year rule, and we suggest everyone else do the same. If you haven’t worn something in the past year, there’s a good chance you never will. Donate it, give it away, or store it in a sentimental box for safekeeping - but never let an item you DON’T wear, take space away from the items you DO wear.

SHOP [ THE ] LOOK:

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TIP #1: Divide and Conquer

Almost every single pantry can be divided into Breakfast, Dinner, Snacks, Sweet Snacks, Baking, and Cooking.

For Lauren’s pantry, we made oversized labels for her pull-out shelves instead of labeling the bins themselves.  

TIP #2: Embrace Open Bins

Be realistic with your time and lifestyle. If you’re a busy parent, or have a time consuming job, you’re not going to want to come home from the grocery store and empty everything into canisters. Open bins are much easier to manage, and require no extra work.  

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TIP #3: Spend 15 Minutes a Month

A quick 15 minute pass through each month to weed out expired or nearly finished items goes a long way in long term maintenance.

SHOP [ THE ] LOOK:

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TIP #1: Pare Down Your Products

People tend to over-collect makeup and beauty products, so it’s essential to go through your cabinets and drawers and remove the ones you don’t like and won’t use.
 

TIP #2: Create Categories

Sort your items into general categories to account for ALL your items. Try not to get overly specific since you want everything to have a home. For instance: Nails, Hair, Face, and Body.

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TIP #3: Have a Daily Drawer

Create a daily drawer or bin that holds all of your everyday items. It will save you time in the morning since everything will be at your fingertips.

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TIP #1: Go for Easy Access

Consider which items you need within your immediate reach and make sure they remain visible and accessible. Items that you need to hold on to, but don’t need constant access to, can be stored.

TIP #2: Highlight Your Happy Items

Highlight the items that make you happy on a daily basis. Whether it’s a jar of colored pencils on your desk, your sewing supplies, or in Lauren’s case - her balls of yarn! Keeping them in clear view helps inspire creativity and adds a personal touch.

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TIP #3: Have a Specific Spot

Create a spot for current, on-going, or pending projects. Having a specific spot will decrease piles of clutter that can otherwise accumulate.

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SHOP [ THE ] LOOK:

[ THE ] GIFT GUIDE: SURVIVING NOT THRIVING VALENTINE EDITION

January has been a busy and exciting month for us. We've been traveling non-stop and working on projects with clients we are basically obsessed with. Oh, and our Target project launched...AND I'm getting further with our book. 

Is it possible that we are thriving as much as we are surviving? Eh, always debatable. I'm exhausted and so is Joanna. We are both looking forward to Valentines Day so we can relax in honor of ourselves. 

Here's an example of what the perfect Valentines Day looks like to each of us: 

Joanna: Alone, on her couch, with a cup of warm tea and wrapped in a blanket. She's reading a book and no one is calling her name or needing anything. 

Me (Clea): Alone, in my bathroom, with a bottle of champagne. No one is calling my name because my husband took the kids out to dinner. Don't worry, they promised to bring me home my to-go order! 

Speaking of...

I just found out that Queen Elizabeth ALSO enjoys drinking champagne every day. My whole outlook on life has changed. Have I been living like a royal this entire time?  

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Due to this recent discovery, our Valentines Day gift guide is dedicated to treating yourself...just like my royal counterpart. 

So let's raise a glass and start with the basics...

[ THE ] CHAMPAGNE IS BASICALLY SPARKLING WATER GIFT GUIDE 

Do you think there is a "Press For Champagne" button at Buckingham Palace? Just wondering. 

1. Rose Prosecco Candle | Voluspa

2. The Art of the Bar Cart Book

3. Champagne for Breakfast Tote | ShopBop

4. Press for Champagne Keychain | Anthropologie

5. Piper-Heidsieck Brut NV

[ THE ] LOWBAR LIFESTYLE GIFT GUIDE

Because nothing says self-love like accomplishing the bare minimal and celebrating it.