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Style Diaries | Nashville Street Art Appreciation

  • Friday, 13 April 2018



Nashville’s street art is something truly amazing. The talent of the artists is incredible and it is not only pretty to look at, it also makes the most perfect backdrop for a blog photo or two…!


After a few days of exploring the city of Nashville and the main, downtown area, we had an afternoon with no agenda, in which we decided to explore The Gulch. This is a really cool area of Nashville, located about a twenty-minute walk from Broadway, the main strip in Nashville. 

It is a really cool up and coming area of the city with tones of really well decorated cafes, juice bars, eateries and health food shops. It feels very trendy, almost like a mini, modern day Camden. Although there was tones of amazing street art pieces throughout the city, there was some really amazing pieces in The Gulch. 


We stumbled upon this beautiful green wall, located at the back of a car park of all places. I instantly fell in love with the vine-like design that completely smothered the side of the building. 


The weather in Nashville was much more mild than New York and Chicago, so I was so happy that I could slip off my Zara jacket. I had a pretty basic outfit on for a day of exploration, as I opted for Mom jeans, a cropped, high-neck top and a slouchy black cardigan. I also wore my Travel Staples to complete the look.

There was so much amazing street art across the city and I was so happy that we decided to walk everywhere we went as we discovered so much more on foot I am sure. 


Madolyn
xxx

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Travel Inspiration | A Nashville Travel Guide

  • Wednesday, 11 April 2018


A three-day stay is the perfect amount of time to explore the city of Nashville. Whether you’re a history lover (like me) a music lover (like James) or a lover of beautiful street art, great food, a fun atmosphere, beer, live music and everything in-between – Nashville is definitely worth a visit!


WHERE TO STAY


Elliston Place – We wanted to stay somewhere that would feel pretty central, yet we knew that Nashville is well known for it’s nightlife and love of live music. Elliston Place felt like a happy compromise as it was about a half an hour walk to Broadway (or a five min Uber/Lyft) yet we were far enough out of the city center to escape the hustle and bustle. There were also plenty of eateries near by which was an added bonus 

Air BnB – As in my previous travel guides (New York/Chicago) I would again recommend staying with Air BnB. We found a fantastic bargain and it meant that we had access to a fridge, cooker, microwave and coffee machine. We also had a fantastic host, and she provided lots of extra touches that made us really feel like we had a home from home. 


WHAT TO EAT/DRINK


Although we had an Air BnB apartment, we were only in Nashville for a short stay and so we wanted to see what the city had to offer in terms of food. As a result we ate out – A LOT – and so I have quite a few recommendations… 

Mellow Mushroom – We went to this bar on our first night and had so much fun (although I think James was having a little less fun come morning time…) It was a great place to have a few beers and watch the live music. We didn’t actually eat here, but the food they were bringing out looked amazing! 

Whiskey Row – Whilst heading around the states, I have had a fair amount of Mac n’ Cheese. This place however, literally served THE BEST that I have ever eaten! It was loaded with leeks and tomatoes and tasted seriously dreamy. 


Elliston Place Soda Shop – This was a true American diner, so popular that it had loads of signed autographs from local stars and singers. I ordered a chocolate milkshake and grilled cheese sandwich, and felt like I was an extra in Grease the whole time I was there. Also, take a look at James’ hot fudge Sunday - absolute pudding goals!!

Cerveza Jacks’s – This was another really cool bar that we sat and had a couple of drinks in. It had a ‘Day of The Dead’-type theme to it and the food coming out from the back looked soooo good! It was located just off of Broadway so it was a little less touristy and a little more chilled, which was perfect. 

A couple of chains that I would recommend if you visit Nashville or just vist the USA in general are; Logan’s Roadhouse, if you’re in the mood for steak or a good hearty meal; Chili’s Grill & Bar, for really great Mexican food that tastes good, has huge portions and is very reasonably priced; IHOP, for a great way to fuel your body for a full day of exploration. 


WHAT TO DO


The Redneck Comedy Tour – One of James’ friends recommended that we book a spot on this tour and I am so glad that we did. Tickets will push you back about $35 per person, but it is well worth the two hour, light-hearted tour of Nashville. There was a lot of audience participation, and with James and I being from the UK we got picked on quite a bit! But it was all in good fun and the tour itself was very informative and gave us a great overview of the city. 

The Johnny Cash Museum  - James is a huge Johnny Cash fan so this was already on our list before we even got to Nashville, but I would seriously recommend going, regardless of whether you’re a fan or not. We watched Walk The Line (a film about Johnny Cash’s rise to fame) the night before to get us in the mood, and it was great at providing a bit of perspective. The Museum itself walks you through the whole of Cash’s music career and it was so interesting! A little tip: have a look online for tickets, we paid $8 each rather than the $20 on the door…!


Watch Some Incredible Live Music – So this is something that is pretty much impossible to avoid, especially when walking down Broadway. Practically every other building is a bar, and practically every bar has live musicians playing every day from 12pm – 2am. There is something for everyone and there is no cover charge, so be sure to tip the band on the way out if you liked their stuff! 

Explore The Street Art – Nashville is covered in tones of street art. Literally ever corner we walked around had something painted onto it. We spent a lot of time walking around the city and I’m so glad we did, as we found so many cool pieces of art. 


INSTA WORTHY SPOTS


The street art in Nashville was truly incredible, there was so much skill and effort involved and it really brought something extra into the city. You can see more of my Insta-Worthy spots throughout my time in the USA, as well as in Nashville on my Instagram page @madolynthinks.

The Green Wall – This was such a pretty wall that was actually located at the back of a car park of all places. It was painted in The Gultch, a little area between Broadway and Elliston Place. There was also a multi-coloured wall just around the corner from it that was also very picturesque and worth a visit.


The Blue Wall – This was actually a much much bigger piece of art. The blue part was at the bottom of the painting, which I thought looked stunning on it’s own. The picture itself covers nearly the whole side of a building and is beautiful woman pouring water from a jug. 

Elliston Place – This wall art was seriously pretty and I love that the person that painted it left room at the bottom for people to pose in front of! The wording and the birds are so pretty and it made me start to think of potential tattoo ideas…

Be sure to have a watch of my Nashville vlog!


Madolyn
xxx

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Style Diaries | Dunkin Donuts & Pink Chairs

  • Friday, 6 April 2018


Donuts have easily become one of my favourite things whilst traveling through the USA…

On our last day in Chicago, James and I decided to take a wonder around the neighborhood we were staying in. Our Air BnB was located on Madison, about a half an hour walk from downtown. As we were exploring the area, we decided to make a little pit stop at a Dunkin Donuts for a quick treat and a coffee. 



The weather was pretty chilly in Chicago, not unlike NYC, which was where we had visited previously. We decided to chow down on our donuts inside, and I found the cutest little pink, bucket chair, tucked away in the corner. 

I opted for a classic, ring, glazed donut, (I often feel that simple it best) whist James devoured some sort of cream filled monster. It gave us the perfect excuse to reflect on our time in Chicago, and we reminisced about what we had done over the past couple of days. 

Due to the cold, I was wrapped up warm, and had thrown on my black, crossover, long-sleeved, swing dress from Tobi, and tucked it into my New Look Mom jeans. It felt like the perfect, coffee/donut date attire, and I completed the look with a double-buckle belt that I picked up from Topshop early last year, and my burnt orange hat from Oliver Bonus. I was feeling a little peaky, so before we left the apartment I popped on a bit of pink lipstick, which perfectly tied the look together when I plonked myself down on the cutest pink chair. 


Chicago was difficult to get my head around. I had a great time, but it almost felt like there was something missing. Perhaps it was the time of year that we went, or maybe New York was a tough city to follow. Either way, Chicago in my mind feels complete. I didn’t leave wanting more, although that isn’t to say that I was disappointed either. I guess I just feel as though it is done. I had a great time, but I don’t feel the need to return any time soon… 


Don't forget to have a watch of my Chicago Vlog!


Madolyn
xxx

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Travel Inspiration | A Chicago Travel Guide

  • Tuesday, 3 April 2018


Chicago has been a place that I have wanted to visit for a number of years, although I have never been able to quite pin-point why. Maybe it was because The Windy City has been dubbed as the second New York of the USA, but with a little more comedic value. Or maybe it was the glamour of the old school gangsters, Al Capone and the Prohibition. Either way we had decided early on that we wanted Chicago to be one of our first stops when it came to planning our six-week road trip. 

WHAT TO EAT


The Silver Palm Restaurant – This eatery is in an old train cart, converted to sell it’s famous Three Piggy Sandwich. It had a really cool, easy vibe and I enjoyed a lovely salad with mac n’ cheese *balance*. 

The Windy City Café – A cute little café on the outskirts of Chicago downtown. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast, which set us up perfectly for a day of exploring the Windy City. 

Lou Matianos – We had been recommended to go here ourselves by a few of the locals so on our last night we headed out to try this award winning Pizza. Lou’s is well known for it’s butter-milk crust, so we ordered that as a base for our classic peperoni pizza. Oh my, it was fantastic and I wish we hadn’t waited until out last night so that we could have gone back for more!

WHERE TO STAY


Madison Avenue – we stayed on Madison Avenue, which was about a half an hour walk to downtown Chicago. We ended up getting Lyfts everywhere just because it was so cold (and also because James is a wizard and found some great money off promo codes!) but it was a really safe and quiet area to have as a base.

Air BnB – This was our second Air BnB stay of the trip, and again, it did not disappoint. Our host was so lovely and we even had a little cat to look after whilst we were there. 

WHAT TO DO 


Watch A Comedy Show – Can you really go to Chicago and not go to a comedy show? We were really lucky and stumbled upon a really cool bar that hosted a comedy night every Wednesday. The show is called, Comedians You Should Know About and it showcases five or six up and coming comedians. Tickets were only $5 online and it was such good value for money. James and I shared a pitcher of beer and laughed until we cried – literally, I had no makeup on by the end!! 

Eat Pizza – Although I have mentioned a great place to it proper, Chicago Pizza, it really is something to go and do whilst you’re visiting the city. It is definitely something to tick off your list, and if you’re a pizza lover like me, you certainly won’t regret it. 

Navy Pier – I was slightly disappointed that we weren’t able to see Navy Pier in it’s full glory. As we went in March, the fairground, lights and outdoor entertainment wasn’t there, and a few things were shut due to it still being classed as winter. However, looking back over the city’s skyline was pretty cool and well worth a look. 

The Chicago Bean – This is a must see as it one of the most pictured things in Chicago. However, we walked from Navy Pier, took a few pictures and felt as though it was ticked off of our list. It is definitely a ten minute job, but it is worth seeing and is located in Millennium Park, which is really pretty to walk around. 

Lincoln Park Zoo – The first thing to mention is that it is free! Yes, really! It is a truly amazing zoo made all the better that you can enjoy everything it has to offer without spending a penny. There is a huge selection of animals, a lot of them being rescued, and they have lots of room and great living quarters. They have a feeding/talk schedule that I would really recommend having a quick look at before hand as they are definitely worth attending! 

INSTA WORTHY SPOTS 


Bridges To Downtown – Especially at dusk or when then sun is about to set… There are a number of bridges that will take you from main Chicago across to downtown, which is where the majority of the shops, the zoo, Navy Pier etc. are located. But the views of the buildings as the sun starts to set really are pretty. 

Dunkin Donuts Pink Chair – Although maybe not the most glamorous of locations, on our last day in Chicago we popped into a Dunkin Donuts at the end of the street we were staying on and found this beautiful, pink, bucked seat. I fell in love and as I had pink lipstick and my cute Oliver Bonus hat on, I made the excuse to take a picture or two for the gram. 


Millennium Park At Sunset – Much like the Brooklyn Bridge, Millennium Park in the heart of Chicago, comes to life once the sun begins to dip below the tops of the skyscrapers. There is just something about the orange glow of that time of day that hits everything just right and makes it a perfect location to take some shots for Instagram. 

Be sure to have a watch of my Chicago Vlog!


Madolyn
xxx

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