News And Notes
Jul 6

DIY Wedding Photo Booth

When you hear “DIY wedding,” your first thought is either A) “UGH, never! That’s why wedding planners exist,” or B) “Let’s get started! I’m all about crafting.” Whichever camp you fall into, a DIY photo booth project is one that every type of bride can handle. With all of the apps and selfie sticks available, there is really no need to rent a photo booth. Plus, making your own photo booth saves you money, earns you bragging rights and adds a personal touch to your wedding. With the help of my bridesmaids and close friends, I managed to create my dream photo booth.

For those still doubting me, I’m going to walk you through the process, step-by-step.

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Posted at 3:15 pm | Permalink
Jul 6

Interview: The Junk Gypsies Talk Their Latest Projects

If you know (and love) the Junk Gypsies, you probably can’t get enough of their newest season on Great American Country. Sisters Amie Sikes and Jolie Sikes-Smith bring their rebellious spirit and colorful imagination to “gypsify” what most would consider garbage. Their unusual design masterpieces this season bring life to celebrities’ Airstream campers, a friend’s home and plain ol’ junk that they restore to sell in the Junk Gypsy Store.

We had the chance to interview Amie and Jolie about their projects so far this season, what’s coming up next and advice they have for fellow junkers. Read on to learn more about the newest season of “Junk Gypsies”!

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Posted at 3:10 pm | Permalink
Jul 6

Your Ultimate Summer Activity Checklist

Ah, summer — the season of lazy pool days, spontaneous road trips and day drinking on patios. Unfortunately, we only have three months to fit in the aforementioned activities plus hundreds more. This year, we’re determined to make the most of June, July and August. So, come September, we have no regrets, only tan lines. To keep you on track this summer, we created the ultimate summer fun checklist. Follow along with us, and tell us how many items you checked off the list!
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Posted at 2:45 pm | Permalink
Jul 6

6 of Nashville’s Best Honky Tonks

They don’t call Nashville ‘Music City’ for nothing! Not only is it home to the infamous ‘Music Row,’ a street of recording studios and record labels where some of the best music ever recorded was made and produced, it is also home to some of the best venues to hear live music. Here are six of the best honky tonks and juke joints in Music City.

The Bluebird Cafe. Blink and you might miss The Bluebird Cafe. It is located in an old strip mall, but don’t let that fool you. The listening room is steeped in country music history and is a favorite of songwriters. Vince Gill cut his teeth on its intimate stage and a then-unknown Garth Brooks first heard “The Dance” there in the ‘80s. The Bluebird still offers live music seven days a week — and you never know who might drop in to play a few songs.

Legend’s Corner. Located just steps away from the front door of the Nashville Convention Center, Legend’s Corner may be your first stop on a tour of Lower Broadway’s honky tonks. The venue’s interior is decorated with hundreds of classic country album covers and memorabilia. Keep your eyes open for a familiar face — Vince Gill and Bill Anderson drop by from time to time.

Robert’s Western World. Jake Owen has been known to say that some of the best singers in the world perform at Robert’s Western World. A boot store by day and honky tonk by night, visitors will find a healthy mix of tourists and locals, enjoying some of the best rockabilly around. It also happens to be a hotspot for star sightings! Continue Reading

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Posted at 2:41 pm | Permalink
Jul 1

6 Best Fourth of July Destinations

Fourth of July in Nashville – Photo courtesy of Travel Channel

Fourth of July celebrations are one of my favorite parts of the summer. The birth of our nation goes hand in hand with family time, hours spent on a lake, barbecues, camping trips and spectacular fireworks shows. With Independence Day falling on a Saturday this year, it’s the perfect time to take a long weekend and explore the patriotic traditions in a different part of the country. We’ve rounded up some of America’s best destinations for the Fourth of July to help you plan your holiday road trip.

Nashville, Tennessee
The country music capital of the world is any music lover’s dream July Fourth destination. This free celebration in the heart of Music City includes performances by Martina McBride and the Nashville Symphony, and provides guests with a host of family-friendly activities. And, most importantly, Nashville’s fireworks display promises to be the largest in the country this year. Be sure to check out our Nashville travel guide if this sounds like your kind of Independence Day.

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Posted at 2:31 pm | Permalink
Jun 19

Father’s Day French Toast Strata

Father's Day French Toast Strata

Photo courtesy of Nan Kelley.

Dad’s big day is this Sunday, and while gifts are always appreciated, a home-cooked meal would be the thing my daddy would appreciate the most!  Make Dad a great breakfast or brunch, sit down, and share a meal and some good conversation.
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Posted at 6:17 pm | Permalink
Jun 18

6 Summer Boredom Busters

Summer is here and the kids are out of school. While the break from homework is surely welcomed, kids may find themselves bored after a couple of weeks without seeing their friends on a daily basis. Here are six creative ways for you and your family to beat the summertime blues.

Hang A Tire Swing. Does this bring back childhood memories? This “throwback” outdoor activity will be the hit of the neighborhood, and adults might even want to take a turn! Get instructions from DIY Network »

Lemonade Stand. Let the kids be summertime entrepreneurs. Follow these instructions on how to build a stand, and then let the kids try their hand at the homemade lemonade business. Besides beating boredom, the kids will be working on their math skills while making sales.

Summer Across America Sweepstakes »

Homemade Ice Cream. As Mother Nature turns up the heat, cool off with Great American Country star Kimberly Schlapman’s recipe for homemade waffle cones and ice cream. You may never buy ice cream at the grocery store again after you sample her Simply Southern Salted-Caramel Ice Cream » Continue Reading

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Posted at 9:07 pm | Permalink
Jun 17

5 Easy DIY Father’s Day Gifts

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 21, and if you are still in the market for a gift for Dad, look no further. We have you covered! Whether your dad is a grill master or a suit-and-tie kind of guy, here are five easy DIY Father’s Day gifts he is guaranteed to love.

Photo courtesy of HGTV.com

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Posted at 5:29 pm | Permalink
Jun 14

Affordable, DIY Bridesmaid Gifts

Between buying their dress, attending the bachelorette party and bridal shower, and providing overall emotional support, my bridesmaids have done a lot for me. I can’t imagine going through the wedding planning process without them. The least I can do is give them a small gift expressing my love and appreciation. Today, I’m sharing a few bridesmaid gift ideas that perfectly convey sentiments of friendship, gratitude and affection.

Bridesmaid Gift: Glitter-Dipped Spoons

Photo courtesy of Made+Remade.

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Posted at 6:57 pm | Permalink
Jun 13

5 Quirky, Cool Places To Visit In Oregon

Did you know Oregon is the only state with an official nut? The state proudly calls the hazelnut its own, but it also offers everything from breathtaking scenery and quirky artist hangouts to the world’s smallest park and largest new and used bookstore. Here are five reasons to plan a trip to Oregon this summer.

Porland's Voodoo Doughnut Continue Reading

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Posted at 9:42 pm | Permalink