Monday, June 20, 2011

48 Hours in NYC Without a Single Cupcake

Getting to spend 48 hours with one of my best friends Ryan was an absolute blast. We never stopped moving from the moment I pulled up in a cab in Times Square and was greeted with a Snapple Orangeaid.
Red Velvet Cheesecake from Southern Hospitality

Food was a primary objective for this trip and I dare say, we had great success. I'm going to go through four desserts worth adding to your bucket list.  First we'll start with the Red Velvet Cheesecake from Justin Timberlake's NYC restuarant "Southern Hospitality." How can you deny two of the best things in the planet? This did not last long on the plate and was a spectacular finish to a great southern meal!

Shared Dessert Sampler at Max Brenner's Chocolate Bar
Max Brenner has an unreal establishment. They serve chocolate any way you could imagine it! They even have specific mugs for their different chocolate drinks! We decided to roll with the sampler dessert platter so we could have a little of everything! It featured a milk chocolate fondue with strawberries, bananas, and marshmellows, a Carmalized Banana Belgian Waffle, a chocolate eggroll, and two chocolate barks. Of course you also were able to pour a melted chocolate glaze (dark, white, or milk) over everything to make it even more delicious. Two thumbs up! (

Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity! 
A New York City staple. The Frozen Hot Chocolate from Serendipity is clearly a great option in the summer. What I didn't know is that it comes in several different flavors...including PB and Chocolate!

Cinnamon French Toast from Iguana
This Cinnamon French Toast from the Iguana restuaruant in NYC wasn't really a dessert...but it should have been. Prepared with Orange Pecan butter and Maple syrup, this French Toast is also topped with a fresh berry compote that was simply delicious. I try really hard to pretend this was healthy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1 Year Down...

If you were to ask me a year ago where I thought I'd be today, I'm not really sure what my answer would have been. A year ago from today, I had just graduated from Baylor. I thought I knew everything. I was at the top of my game after climbing the huge mountain called college, had the best friends anyone could ask for, and life couldn't have been better. I can say it's been a crazy ride with twists and turns, most of which I didn't expect.

A year ago, I was in Nicaragua, with BRH (Baylor Religious Hour) Choir. We were on a mission trip to build latrines for a community that didn't have running water, much less electricity. It was there that I found out that one of my best friends, Katy Reeves, was diagnosed with cancer. Watching close friends deal with their own journeys have been really motivating for me. Katy is knocking out the CPA exam,  Lisa Sorenson has started her own design firm, getting to do what she loves, Ryan Brinson has started his own venture in the online magazine world called Bleep! Two of my other best friends Ryan and Cheryl are chasing their dreams in education and I couldn't be more proud of them. Seeing theSix (it's a brand) do so well in a year has been awesome.

I returned to Austin from Nicaragua on a Thursday and had to start work in Nashville on the following Monday, so I quickly gathered my things, piled them all into a Uhaul, and started my new life in Nashville. I moved away from pretty much everyone I knew to chase after this Nashville dream of mine. I've been incredibly blessed with amazing co-workers and a great job. I get to talk to people all over the nation on a daily basis. This week the Baylor students came in to learn about the music industry and I was able to tell them about what I do. It was crazy to think that I was sitting in their seats two years ago.

Many sweet tea, biscuits, and pancakes later I can say that it's been a pretty awesome year. Meeting awesome new friends, going to concerts, and living the Nashville life has been such a treat. Adjusting to the lack of Spring Break and Summer vacation, mixed with the snowy weather, and icy roads have proven to be a challenge, but one that I've grown a lot from. Today I'm saying goodbye to that apartment that I moved into a year ago, and am ready to see what this next year holds.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Life's a Symphony

It's been a while since I've been able to post! It's been a crazy busy few months! Lots of "firsts." I've been published for the first time! Who knew that talking about food would be something that other people would want to read? Check out my article on some of my favorite local Nashville restaurants in the latest digital issue of Bleep Magazine! It's free of course!

A year ago when Nashville had the flood of the century, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center had large amounts of flooding and had to close. I hadn't been to the symphony before the flooding but it opened up this year and I have had two opportunities recently to go. Let me just tell you that it's worth it. It's very rare that a young twenty-something like myself has the opportunity to mix and mingle with the elite socialites of Nashville, but I guess with my old soul I love every time it happens.

The first opportunity I had to check out the re-opened symphony center was for the Lifetime Tribute to Bill & Gloria Gaither. It was incredible event with the Nashville Choir and Orchestra. Performers included the Gaither Vocal Band, David Phelps, Michael W. Smith, Sandi Patti, Larnelle Harris, Buddy Green, Russ Taff, the Voices of Lee, Gordon Mote, Steve Green, and the Issacs.

Larnelle Harris and Sandi Patty singing "I've Just Seen Jesus"
Performances that gave me goosebumps included Sandi and Larnelle singing "I've Just Seen Jesus" with the choir and orchestra as well as Michael W. Smith singing with the Voices of Lee. David Phelps singing (blasting) "Because He Lives" was also a moment I wont soon forget.

Me and Bill Gaither
Getting to meet the Gaithers afterwords was incredible. They're so humble and sweet. When we talked to Gloria, she already had her shoes off and sat them on the table next to her and she told me "I just can't stand to wear those for another second." I can't say that I blame her. It was wonderful getting to see the things that they have done over a lifetime.

Michael Cavanaugh and the Nashville Symphony
The other opportunity I had to visit the symphony was for the Nashville Symphony Pops Series. Michael Cavanaugh, who was the original lead in Movin' Out on Broadway, sang the music of Billy Joel. Let me just tell you that Billy might have not been in my generation but those of you who did have him in yours were lucky. He has some awesome music! Michael did an incredible job with the Nashville Symphony and made the whole concert a great experience. Being in a box for the concert certainly added to the "cool factor" as well.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A New Lease on Life, Music, Ice Cream, and Film Festivals

I feel like sometimes life can get pretty slow. Some people start feeling "bored" and don't really have any excitement about life....that's pretty much not at all what my life has looked like in the past few months. 

RIP TX Plate

It came time to retire my Volkswagen, and I got a new (to me) car. It was a huge process and I learned a lot but had to give up the last part of Texas I was holding on to, my license plates. From title transfers to emissions testing to registrations between counties I got it all covered, and I had to do it all in about an hour and a half. I still owe the sweet lady at the County clerk's office Gerber Daisies, she hinted those were her favorite and she gave me an easy TN plate with 123 in it...I love the new car, it drives like a dream and it's all mine! 

Waiting for Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry's

I was also recently introduced to that glorious one day a year that Ben & Jerry's has "Free Cone Day." It might be my new favorite holiday. I also might have been the last person in Nashville to know about it, but you can bet I'll be ready for it next year for sure. Thankful that I got my "Bonaroo Buzz" on a cone. Also, props to their line system. It flew by.

I was also introduced to the Nashville Film Festival this week, kind of by surprise. I had a friend that asked if I'd want to go check out a movie, and so we went to check it out. We ended up walking in on the red carpet for the opening of the Film Festival 2011. Surprise? Yes. It's one of the top film festivals in the country and we had a great time! 

The Adley Stump

My new friend Adley Stump, who I met because I her mother and I worked together at a cheerleading nationals in Houston, came to Nashville for a showcase. I feel like the world gets smaller and smaller every day. Her mom found out I lived in Nashville and she insisted that I meet her daughter who would be moving there. Adley's a senior at OSU and is well on her way to fame. She's got a killer voice and has been working with some well known industry people in getting her artistry off the ground. Well it worked out that we ran into each other and we were instantly great friends. It was great to see her (and her mom) when she came to town and I got to see her do her thing!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

In The Heights

As a part of my season tickets to the TPAC's (Tennessee Performing Artist Center) Broadway series, I got to see "In the Heights" last night. I had several people telling me that this show was incredible. I hadn't really researched any information on the play or listened to the music before I went so I didn't have any preconceived thoughts.

Moral of the story: It's one of my favorite musicals; period. The music was incredible and with my limited Spanish background, they were able to create an awesome blend of Spanglish. The lyrics of the songs rhymed english words with the spanish equivalent with incredible harmonies. I will absolutely be seeing this musical again if I have the opportunity. The characters are so relatable and the set is amazing. The dancing was true to the culture but refreshingly new age.

Jordin Sparks had a small stent in the roll of Nina for the show in New York. If you've never seen the musical, do it, but also check out her performance.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

One Republic at the Ryman

When I heard One Republic was coming to the Ryman, I went ahead and bought tickets because I knew a few of their songs. Apologize, Marching On, Made for You...the usuals. I'm not sure what I had in mind for expectations of the concert but I assure you all of those expectations were surpassed. They are such an incredibly talented group. Ryan Tedder is a genius and probably one of the best writers in music out there right now. 

The Daylights
 The concert was opened by the Daylights. They were awesome, had a great sound, and set the mood for a great night.
One Republic
One Republic came out and had a killer opening. I realized really quickly that I knew a lot more of their material than I thought. Ryan Tedder produced and co-wrote "Bleeding Love" for Leona Lewis, and is currently working with Kelly Clarkson and several others on new releases.

Ryan Tedder
There were so many fluid transitions between songs whether Ryan was on keys or guitar, or when the famous cello was playing every song was seamless. I'm also relatively positive that there were some vocal runs that had never been done before.

Sons of Sylvia and One Republic
At the end of the show, Ryan brought out his cousins. The Sons of Sylvia have been on tour all year with Carrie Underwood. They have a musical family and did a killer blue grass closing for the concert.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Surprise, Surprise....

This weekend I had the opportunity to work together and pull together a great surprise party for my friend Mandi. She and I have known each other since Baylor and had several classes together. We interned together at Word and now have the opportunity to work together in the same department. She rocks.

Her birthday was on Friday and little did she know...we were going to celebrate. Her boyfriend Dan and I were working together to put something together for her. Sherrie, one of my favorite co-workers, makes incredible baked goods. So she brought Mandi some carrot cake cupcakes...I might have eaten 6.

I spoke with Mandi several times during they day and she literally had no idea what was going on. So that night, Dan took Mandi to the Nashville Symphony and I was gathering everyone at the new location of this awesome sushi place in town called Virago. I realized when I got there that I didn't really know a whole lot of Mandi or Dan's friends outside of work. I randomly spent time asking strangers..."Do you know Dan or Mandi..." or "Do you  have anyone in your life named Dan or Mandi" I got a great response rate.

Sherrie made Mandi an incredible piano birthday cake. She even crafted a baby grand piano out of chocolate on top of it!
Sherrie's Birthday Cake for Mandi
There ended up being about 25-30 people there to celebrate and once Mandi arrived she was SO surprised. We had a great night of celebrating! 
Mandi first noticing that there were about 30 people yelling SURPRISE at her.