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moving on and on and on

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When I moved to Nashville two years ago, I thought I had found the place I was going to land and set up my adult life. I had friends around me, all the music I could ever want, and a good job. The first month was pretty tumultuous and saw me clamoring to move back to Virginia, to try to take it all back, but I made the best of it and soldiered on for a few more rough months, before finally landing a dream job and spending a lot of time on the go, enjoying the best of Music City.

nashville venues

I think I really did take advantage of it – there’s not a lot I felt I missed out on (except for sleep.) The second year, things started to become a bit more clear, though – like maybe Nashville wasn’t the last stop on my journey after all. The pace, the number of hours I had to work in order to afford an apartment I had no business moving to in the first place, and the desire to see friends whose schedules never meshed (because they were also running around the city to afford a life that is becoming unsustainable for the artists and young professionals that have given Nashville its soul) – I started to second guess the plan. The last straw came on a visit home when I saw how exhausted my mom was – as a third shift nursing home nurse, she was also caring for my grandparents alone, running them to doctors appointments during the daytime and trying to sleep on their couch between helping with making meals or getting my grandma to the bathroom. It felt irresponsible to not help out, since I don’t have a job that ties me down to a particular location.


For a few years, Dani and I had been talking about living together and last fall, it got super serious, finally deciding to move to Chicago when she finished her degree. We’ve both lived away from home for a few years, and we desperately miss the midwestern culture we’ve abandoned, so it’s time to come closer to home. I decided that once my Nashville lease was up, it was time to move home for a few months to help out where I can, and start saving and planning for moving to Chicago.

I love Nashville, and it will always have a piece of my heart. I learned a lot, I changed a lot, and I’m grateful for the time I spent there. This is my goodbye to the beautiful Nashville skyline – I’ll see you later, Batman.

September 10, 2016

holiday gift guide: this is a man’s world

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We’re just a few weeks out from Christmas, and in the crunch for wrapping up the holiday shopping lists! If you’re feeling stuck on gift ideas, I’ve put together a week of ideas to help you get inspired! Today we’re shopping for the men in your life.

Ladies aren’t the only ones who get the nice, luxe hair products these days. Lockhart’s Authentic, a Michigan company, creates their product based on customer feedback, improving them as they continue to produce them. Get your man in the holiday spirit with this Black Christmas hair pomade, or opt for their Goon Grease.

A candle might not be at the top of your man’s list (or even register on that list at all,) but it will certainly go a long way in his studio, office, or man cave – a little decor and plesant (but still manly) scent makes it more inviting for the ladies. I’m a fanatic of this Amberwood Fire candle from Target, and buy it like an addict any time I find it in store.

This is a really fun one, and an idea I’m tucking away for my friend’s birthday present in February. ManCrates will send a wooden crate with gifts surrounding a theme (like video games, beer, or sports). If you’re feeling truly brain dead on ideas, or just looking for an extra special gift, their crates range from $19.99 to $179.99 for the man who wants to be truly prepared for the zombie apocalypse!

Craft cocktails are gaining in popularity right behind craft beers, so if someone in your life is jumping on this trend, let Wolfmoon Mixers help you stock their bar! I’m a fan of their Pineapple Jalapeno – perfectly sweet and spicy and begging for tequila or rum.

Many guys take pride in their facial hair, and well they should! Help him keep his beard and face fresh (and keep him away from your expensive face wash) by getting him Kalamazoo from Lush. One wash for both face and beard cuts down on maintenance for him, plus the fresh scent and moisturizing ingredients are great to ward off dry winter skin.

And if you’re looking for a free idea to load on his iPhone, Newman is really into this podcast Uhh Yeah Dude. Hosted by Seth Romatelli and Jonathan Larroquette, they riff on current events, news, and more. If he needs some new comedy for his commute, he’ll thank you for this suggestion!

Do you have any great gift ideas for guys? Let us know in the comments below!

December 7, 2015

thankful thursday: travel

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 I’m sitting in the railway station, got a ticket to my destination. on a tour of one-night stands, my suitcase and guitar in hand.

I’m very thankful for airplanes and cars all the time, but especially so this year. I proclaimed this year as my “year of travel” – finally having the freedom to pack up my laptop and work from anywhere, I certainly made the most of that this year. From Grand Rapids to Cincinnati to Boston to Gatlinburg to Siesta Key to Raleigh to Denver to Charlottesville to Montebello to to to… it doesn’t escape me that I’ve been very lucky. Today, I’m thankful for the places I’ve been, the people I’ve gone with, and the modes of transportation that have taken me there (spoken like a true Michigander!)

Not including commuting to and from work, I have traveled an estimated 15,935 miles this year. That’s so crazy to me!

Some trips really were one-night stands (out to Denver to see Counting Crows) and some were relaxing trips where I got to work with a beach view. Some were trips where I talked nonstop, some I walked nonstop, and some I stayed up late drinking with my co-workers playing dirty games of Cards Against Humanity. It’s been a really great year of travel and being on the go, but I’m ready to buckle down and nest for a bit now!

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November 12, 2015

underwater sunshine (or what i did on my summer vacation)

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Where do these summers go?! For the second year in a row, the summer was jam packed in the best way, but it absolutely flew by. If I wasn’t spending afternoons by the pool, I was jetsetting somewhere every week, it seemed – it’s pretty amazing to finally be living the kind of life I really want. Here’s a quick recap of the summer:




I started the summer off with two trips to the water – first to see Dani in Boston, then down to the Florida beach with my family. There is nothing I love more than being on the beach and cooking in the sun with the people I love most, so this was a really great way to kick the year off (and a good indicator of exactly how busy I would end up being)!


IMG_2754IMG_2752Even though I made it a point not to travel out of state in July, I still managed to pack the month full. Hands down, Outlaw Roadshow was one of the best days of music I’ve ever been lucky to see, and the surprise Counting Crows set to close out the night didn’t hurt matters any. I went hiking to some waterfalls with some of my best friends to celebrate my Nashversary, and spent many afternoons napping by various pools throughout the city.


IMG_4124.JPGIMG_4121.JPGIn early August, I finally moved to Nashville proper after a year of commuting from the burbs, and honestly, I couldn’t be happier with the new place (no matter how stressful and time consuming moving ended up being.) Before I set off on another big trip, I finally got to see one of my bucket list bands when I saw Gin Blossoms play two shows in one night. No one will ever be able to tell me any differently – they are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I really had a great night. CF and Sixx came with me, and it was pretty nice to not be there alone!

The next morning, I flew to Montreal for my company retreat. Even though I have “known” my co-workers for almost a year, it was nice to meet in person for real, do some heavy bonding, and exchange treats with friends!

SupportMeeting  IMG_4221.JPG BZ Support Singles


September has been a really great way to end the summer. Over Labor Day, some friends from Charlottesville came to visit, and I had friends from college staying with me as well. It was a busy weekend for sure, but super fun to get out and sing some karaoke again (and have a band full of boys to buy me drinks all weekend :))

After that, I made a last-minute trip back home to the mitten. My best friend had her baby, and I was just homesick for water. Turns out the 10 hour drive isn’t so bad, especially when the trip back is broken up with visits to wineries and dinners with Sixx!

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Last week saw what I consider the most wonderful time of the year – Americanafest in Nashville! A full week of my favorite kinds of music, plus panels and meetings with some of the smartest and most talented folks in the industry. A co-worker came into town for the event, and we exhibited during the conference and at night, I ran from venue to venue checking out showcases and discovering new loves. (I managed to make it to seven Nashville venues in one evening, which felt like a world record.)

In the middle of all that craziness, because I wasn’t getting enough music or activity – I flew to Denver to see Counting Crows for the third time this summer at Red Rocks. It was really otherwordly – Red Rocks is like nothing else, and I can’t recommend going there enough.


Pairing Americanafest with Red Rocks and a comedy show at Zanies in Nashville on Friday night, I ended up seeing shows at ten different venues in 2 states within 48 hours. That is definitely some kind of record.

I have one more trip to Raleigh next week, then off to Cincinnati in mid-October, but other than that and Thanksgiving, my travel looks to be done for the year. So, yeah! It’s been a really great summer. I am so lucky to be able to get to do these amazing things and hang out with such great people. If only this summer heat could last forever, I’d be all set…

September 19, 2015

listen to the mitten / tune tuesday

Posted in Michigan, Music by


In honor of the recent recognition by Thrillist that Michigan is the best state in the nation (because DUH, it totally is, and how can a list on the internet be wrong), I thought I would do another Listen to the Mitten edition of Tune Tuesday. Whenever I get to hear great new Michigan music, the first thing I do is add it to my playlist (and force everyone I know to listen to it.)

And of course Michigan is the best state – where else would Stephen Colbert hijack a public access station and interview Eminem, one of our state’s greatest prides?

Citizen Speaking With a Ghost
overnight it’s getting cold, when every day is different in Michigan you never know. it’s been a while since you’ve called, I’m speaking with a ghost and I’m wondering how you’re making out.

Matt Nathanson Detroit Waves
all of Detroit waves goodnight, spread out beneath me now. if I could, if I could change, believe me, I would.

Sweet Japonic Two O’Clock Sirens
I could hear those sirens singin’, leaving me no choice but to follow through

Mayer Hawthorne Her Favorite Song
friday night at the scene is bright at Avalon. walked straight to the bar in her party dress. told the bartender pour her a shot and make it strong because she needed cheering up, she proceeded to get drunk

Half Light Music On the Floor
just look over your shoulder, ’cause I won’t let you in

July 7, 2015