Category Archives: Nashville life

Mental Snapshots

A few weeks ago on The Office, Pam & Jim were on their way to get married and they had this exchange where they talked about taking mental snapshots of the whole wedding experience. I feel like I’ve been doing that for a couple of weeks now as Nashville has been in the throws of peak Autumn color and perfect fall weather (well…once the rain stopped that is.)

October sky

The photographer in me wanted to capture everything with my camera. There were many, many times that I would be out and about and kick myself for not having my camera with me. There were a couple of times that I was able to go back to a spot and take a picture of a tree I’d seen. Yet even when I did take pictures, they never seemed to quite live up to what I had seen in living color.

autumn color

Instead, I’ve tried to soak it all in and enjoy. My weekly routes take me through some really gorgeous parts of Nashville. It’s quite the miracle that I’ve not had an accident since I’ve spent way more time gawking at trees than watching the road. When I accompanied JBelle on her pumpkin farm field trip last week, the scenery along the way was breathtaking. I did have my camera then but most of the really good color I saw was along the interstate and it’s just not prudent to be stopping on the interstate to take pictures!

red leaves

This Autumn has been an unusual one for us. It’s been uncharacteristically rainy and wet. The result has been vibrant fall color juxtaposed again lush green.

tulip poplar tree leaves

I do love this time of year!

red & yellow


I take the pictures, makes them better.


Filed under I take pictures, musings, Nashville life


A little over four years ago, DB and I took a trip to Chicago to celebrate ten years of spousedom. We jam packed a lot into about 3 1/2 days including seeing the musical Wicked. I was smitten from the opening notes. I’ve only had the pleasure of seeing a handful of musicals performed professionally but I knew before leaving the theatre that night, Wicked had become my favorite.

This past Spring, we got an e-mail notification that gave us access to purchasing tickets for TPAC (Tennessee Performing Arts Center) performances before they went on on sale to the general public. TPAC’s season opener? Wicked! We jumped on that opportunity and purchased tickets right away.

We saw it, for the second time, last night. And it was wicked-ly amazing! I’ll confess, the Chicago performance was better. However, the actors on this tour are a very talented troupe of performers and they did a fabulous job! I enjoyed the show immensely. I was able to follow the storyline a bit better having already seen it once and I picked up on some things I’d missed before.

From what I’ve heard, the show is sold out in Nashville but if you have the opportunity to get tickets either for here or anywhere else, do it! You won’t be disappointed!

wicked collage

Pictured above: the playbill with a partial view of the stage from our seats and my Flying Monkey, the featured cocktail of the evening.

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Filed under love & marriage, Nashville life

Yanni Voices

glamour MaliaThanks to One2One Network, I got to attend the Nashville performance of the Yanni Voices tour last Wednesday night! I was very excited about this concert because Nashville’s own Leslie Mills (who, you’ll remember, came to my house last month and performed for a group of bloggers) is one of the Voices on this tour. All four Voices are wonderfully talented and the show boasted an amazing group of musicians. From the “Voices” and the musicians to Yanni himself, the amount of talent in that room was mind boggling!


I’ll admit, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. I’m not very familiar with Yanni or his music but if you had asked me to describe it before Wednesday night I would have said, “kinda like elevator music?” But now? No way. I now have a whole new appreciation for his music. It rocked and it moved me.

The show was high energy, sensual and compelling. I was never bored because each set just got better and better.

Yanni’s “Voices” all have been inspired to put lyrics to his music. My favorite, and yes I’m a bit biased but, was Leslie’s song, “Before the Night Ends”.

If you are in one of their tour cities, you should consider attending the concert, you won’t be disappointed!


Picture set on Flickr


Filed under by Malia, Nashville life

Craziest Woman on the Internet Lives Here

Ultimate Blog Party 2009
It all started with an innocent little e-mail from Alli. 5 Minutes for Mom and One2One Network wanted to have to real life blogger parties to go with the Ultimate Blog Party going on all this week. Alli simply needed someone to host the party. I love having people over even if I do make myself (and my family) crazy with all the prep work I do beforehand. There was something about a singer coming to sing for us. How nice, I thought, so I quickly responded that I would be the hostess with the mostess.

Crikey. Oi. Loco.

I count the evening as a success because 1) we did live stream Leslie’s performance even if it wasn’t the way we were “supposed to” (I now understand why people are not so fond of Vista) and 2) everyone genuinely seemed to have a good time.

I wasn’t exactly the most gracious of hostesses. I made the guests set-up the food, open wine bottles, find ice on their own, help my daughter with her homework, get my son a drink, serve my kids cake, find the bathroom on their own and scrounge for serving utensils. That’s because I was busy playing technical director for the live streaming video and having a well concealed* but nonetheless huge nervous breakdown!

The following are the brave women who came to my house and in spite of my questionable mental state managed to have a great time:

Busy Mom










If you are so inclined, go show them some bloggy love and check out each of their sites!


Many thanks to Leslie Mills and Chris for performing for us! Y’all were such good sports about our most unprofessional set-up and technical snafus. And thank you for taking my son’s questions and neurosis in stride! Everyone went home with a copy of Leslie’s CD: Everlasting Road. If you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win a copy of it, too! (Leave comment by Saturday, March 28, winner will be announced Sunday, March 29. You must use a valid e-mail to comment so that I can contact you. I can only ship to U.S. addresses.)

Thank you to Barbara Jones of One2One Network for being on Skype with us the whole evening, walking us through the process and for providing for our party! Barbara is hosting the 3rd IRL UBP party tomorrow night in NYC!

Thank you to 5 Minutes for Mom for the Ultimate Blog Party and allowing us to represent you last night!

Finally, thanks to Alli for keeping it together and making sure the guests were taken care of! You can include me in your crazy schemes anytime!

You can view Leslie’s performance and interview and the blog interview here. Pictures from the part on Flickr.

*at least, I think it was well concealed!


Filed under by Malia, I blog they blog wouldn't you like to be a blogger too?, life as a domestic goddess, link love, Nashville life

Me Greek, You Greek

My favorite season of the year is upon us! Do you know how I can tell? It’s not the cooler temps, though we’ve had a bit of that from remnants of Gustav. It’s not the changing color of the leaves, that comes a little later in the season here in Middle Tennessee. It’s not even the beginning of football season or the anticipation of the season opening gala of the Nashville Symphony or the season premieres of favorite television programs. No, it’s much tastier and culturally inspriring than all of that.

I am, of course, referring to the annual Greek Festival hosted by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church here in Nashville. For one weekend of the year, we can all be, or at least feel, Greek. For our family, the autumnal season has its official kickoff with the Greek Festival. There’s lots of fun things for the kids to do like pony rides, inflatables, a rock climbing wall, petting zoo and games. There’s always live music being played and several times a day there’s dancing. You can tour the church building and shop in the “bazaar”. But the best part is the food! Gyros, spanikopita, baklava, dolmades, souvlaki, loukoumades, and more! Yum!

It’s also a great place to meet-up with friends. We saw friends from church, blogger types and even my OB-GYN! I guess you never know who you’ll run into at the Greek Festival. You may even see this guy:

(Click on the picture to learn more about why Bobblehead George showed up at the Greek Festival.)

If you’re in Middle Tennessee, the festival runs through tomorrow. Drop by and be Greek for awhile.



Filed under by Malia, Nashville life

Week in Review

We had a little more success this week wrapping up those loose ends of summer activities before school starts. (on Monday – Eek!) The theme of the week turned out to be: Water. Four of the five week days were spent at some kind of pool. Monday was the YMCA, Tuesday was the neighborhood pool of a friend, Wednesday was Wave Country and today we’ll be back at the YMCA.

Yesterday I took the kids to paint pottery at my favorite pottery painting place. Then we headed to Macy’s for some last minute back-to-school clothes shopping. (Hmmm Malia, procrastinate much?) We were very fortunate that not only did Macy’s still have a decent selection of “Standard School Attire” worthy clothing but it was also on sale for 40% off! Then when we were checking out, our cashier scanned a coupon that was featured in a newspaper circular and we got another 15% off! Love that!

Our Frozen Friday treat last week was Las Paletas! I’ve been wanting to get to that place all summer and finally it worked out! If you ever come to Nashville to visit, remind me to take you to Las Paletas. They have the yummiest popsicles on the planet! JBelle picked out the Raspberry Lime (which she said was sour but she liked it because what 8 year old kid doesn’t like sour treats?), GMan chose plain ole Strawberry, I picked out a creamy Strawberry Chocolate Chip (So good!) and I got Las Paletas’ signature paletas, the Hot Chocolate for DB. Hot Chocolate is a creamy chocolate made with hot peppers! And it’s surprisingly good if you like spicy foods.

I started seeing a chiropractor last week and had a couple more visits with him this week. I really like him, he’s a good doctor. Many thanks to Laura for referring him to me! I feel like I’m on the road to recovery.

GMan received his “Snoopy Letter” in the mail yesterday. That’s the letter that tells us when “Snoopy Day” is and most importantly, who is teacher will be! (Snoopy Day is the day the kids get to go and “snoop” around their classroom, meet their teacher and classmates while Mom & Dad sit in a meeting with the preschool Director!) We were most pleased to see that he got the teacher we hoped he would get! Miss “A” is a good friend of mine, the mother of one of JBelle’s good friends and a really amazing preschool teacher! Yay!

I’ve updated my “10 things I’ve learned from children” post to include pictures that inspired #10. Go take a look.

We’ve got some good stuff in store for the weekend as well! Happy Friday to everyone and have a great weekend!

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Filed under by Malia, kids & family, Nashville life

Week In Review

At the beginning of the week it occurred to me that I could try and squeeze four weeks worth of summer activities into two weeks. Well…that’s not exactly working out the way I’d thought it would! No worries though, we’re still having tremendous fun. That is when we’re healthy…

Monday evening, after a day of swimming and errands, GMan came down with a nasty stomach bug. He was still ill on Tuesday (which, you may remember, was our wedding anniversary), so we ended up staying in all day. Thankfully, he perked up later in the day. Also thankfully, the rest of us did not get it!

Wednesday, JBelle, had an appointment with our hair stylist, “Miss” Holly. She’s been wanting (since seeing a certain movie this summer about a spunky little girl who sports a spunky little haircut) to change her hairstyle, so off we went.



Almost Done:

And After:

She looks really different! And she’s very happy with her “new do”!

Yesterday we headed to the Adventure Science Museum. It was a first for all of us. It was fun, a bit cheesy and disturbingly “germy” but we’ll go back (since certain grandparents bought an annual pass!) We didn’t do any of the extra stuff like the planetarium or IMAX. I think I’d like to take JBelle by herself sometime. In trying to keep up with GMan and keep him entertained and not waiting on his sister all the time, we got separated from JBelle…twice! The second even included my name being called over the intercom to come to the front desk. Good times.

Fun plans are in place for the weekend, some especially fun plans for JBelle! More on that later. Now it’s (past) time to get ready for the pool and other Friday adventures.

Have a great weekend!


Filed under by Malia, kids & family, Nashville life

Girls Night Out

An opportunity to have a ‘Girls Night Out’ basically fell into my lap several day ago. DB and JBelle had plans to go to an IRL race this past Saturday night and I was trying to figure out what the GMan and I would do in their absence. I had already decided that I would take him to a movie (WALL-E). Then I got an e-mail from church about ‘Parents Night Out’ (a free* babysitting night sponsored by our Singles group) that was scheduled for Saturday night. We try to take advantage of these ‘Parents Night Out’ events as much as possible. First, because the kids really enjoy them and second because it supports this group in their missions efforts. (*It’s technically free babysitting but they set out a jar to take donations for their current missions projects.)

So, I signed the GMan up and e-mailed some girlfriends to see if any were available to join me for some ‘Girl Time’ on Saturday night. I got three takers: my sister, Jamie & Holly.  We met at Nero’s Grill in Green Hills for dinner & drinks.  I had wanted to go shopping/browsing at a new outdoor shopping venue in Green Hills after dinner but as we left the restaurant we noticed that the skies looked rather threatening so we decided instead to go to The Mall at Green Hills (TMaG for the locals). It was so very nice to just wander through shops and look at things without saying “Stop that!” and “No touching!” and “Put that down!” and “Get back here!”, etc, etc. I splurged on some new lip gloss and nail polish whose name is somewhat of an enigma and usually not uttered in polite company but if you’re curious you can go here to see it (the color I chose starts with an “O”!)

It started storming while we were in the mall which made us very glad that were inside and not stuck in a random store somewhere waiting the storm out! We got coffee and chatted some more then parted ways for the evening.

I had a great time and I hope everyone else did, too! It was some much needed “me” time (as you could probably tell from my last couple of posts!)


Filed under by Malia, I blog they blog wouldn't you like to be a blogger too?, life as a domestic goddess, Nashville life, parenting

Proposed Metro Nashville Public School Changes

  This post is written in response to a post at Aunt B’s place concerning the proposed Metro Nashville Public School cluster changes.  It was originally a comment on her blog but it seemed a bit long for a comment.

I think the resegregation argument is a non-starter based on the current and proposed enrollments of Metro Nashville Public Schools.  Even only looking at high schools one can see that Pearl-Cohn is no racial exception.  Pearl-Cohn is currently 88% black and proposed to be 91% black, certainly the highest on Metro, but two other schools have black populations greater than 80% (Whites Creek and Maplewood). A total of 6 out of 11 high schools are currently a majority black population (above plus Stratford, Hunters Lane, Hillsboro) and 7 of 12* will be majority black under the proposed plan (add Antioch to above schools).


To evaluate economic disadvantage one can look at the statistics for the Free and Reduced Meal (FARM) program.  Currently, 7 of 11 schools have a majority of students in the FARM program including 3 greater than 70% participation (Pearl-Cohn, Stratford, Maplewood).  Under the proposed plan, 8 of 12 high schools will have a majority of students in the FARM program with ‘only’ two above 70% (Stratford and Pearl-Cohn).  All schools in the Pearl-Cohn cluster currently have greater than 70% (some near 90%) participation in the FARM program.  The proposal exacerbates that issue by increasing some of the percentages at some of the Pearl-Cohn cluster schools.  However, this is a bigger problem than just the expansion of the Pearl-Cohn cluster to include some neighborhoods that have been transported to Hillwood and Hillsboro.


Based on the numbers, I don’t see that switching the districts to neighborhood schools in the Pearl-Cohn cluster (and minor tweaks elsewhere) is in any sense a resegregation of schools.  We are already there.**  The population estimates for Davidson County by race are white-66%, black-28% yet the high school population in Metro Nashville Public Schools is roughly white-32%, black 53% (calculated).  Currently, only one Metro high school has a majority of white students, that is McGavock at 50% white.  The proposed changes would make Hillwood the lilliest of them all at 63% white (still under the population numbers, especially in that part of town) and make that ‘only’ the second Metro high school with a majority of white students.


Given the history of destruction that inner city neighborhoods have endured from the introduction of interstate highways dividing communities to the forced busing of students to the suburbs, I think it is high time that neighborhood schools are given an opportunity.  It already can’t get much worse and the added emphasis on the local community can only help…hopefully.


**In evaluating the data, I would say the segregation is a public school-private school segregation rather than a segregation between the various zoned public schools given the average household size being roughly the same between white and black.  I can’t find any comprehensive data on Metro nashville private schools or the Metro magnet schools which would impact any complete evaluation of segregation based on public-private school. 


*Cane Ridge is a new high school coming on-line with no current stats but they have projected stats.







Filed under by DB, Nashville life, Politics

Anticipating Summer

School is almost out. And I’m simultaneously looking forward to and dreading summer. Summer can be fun. There are lots of things we get to do during summer that don’t happen at other times. Like: spending hours and hours at the pool; not having to get up early to get ready for school (though GMan has been waking terribly early lately which doesn’t bode well for summer sleeping in time); our annual trip to Camp Manatawny; JBelle will be going to Girl Scout sleep away camp for the first time; Fourth of July party and fireworks; a visit from Granny & Pa!; Sounds baseball games; playing in the hose in the backyard; catching lightning bugs.

Summer can also be a drag. Like: sunburn; mosquitoes; I hear that we will have to contend with cicadas at some point which will probably cut into our pool time; extreme heat. Our children are at the ages now where they really get on each other’s nerves and there is A LOT of bickering and telling on and general aggravating that happens on a daily basis. Our children also have this insatiable need to know “what are we doing now/next/today/tonight/tomorrow/5 weeks from now”! or “where are we going now/next/today/tonight/tomorrow/5 weeks from now”! I’m trying to get myself prepared for the inevitable. I’m working on a “calendar” of summer days and activities (currently it resides in my brain which is a scary and dangerous place for planning such as this). About all I’ve come up with is that we will be at the pool 3 days a week, one day will be “field trip” day and the other day will be “stay at home and do nothing and don’t bother Mommy because if you do you’ll be sorry” day. Sounds good, huh?

Oh, and Frozen Fridays. I’m really looking forward to Frozen Fridays which will actually start this Friday! What are Frozen Fridays you ask? Nashville has several delicious and unique ice cream stores, many of which I’ve never even tried but I’ve heard a lot about them. Places like Las Paletas, Bobbie’s Dairy Dip, and Pied Piper Creamery that are locally owned and operated and then places like Dippin’ Dots, Cold Stone Creamery and Maggie Moos that are chain restaurants. Every other Friday we’ll go to one of these shoppes and get ice cream. On the other Fridays, we’ll have homemade ice cream! DB bought an ice cream maker several weeks ago. So far, we’ve only made chocolate (which was delicious!) and we’re looking forward to trying new recipes and concoctions in our ice cream maker.

I guess all in all, there is more to look forward to than to dread so…I’ll brace myself and say, “Bring on Summer!”


Filed under by Malia, kids & family, life as a domestic goddess, Nashville life, Uncategorized