Friday, May 30, 2014

Nashville Anniversary Trip

Hello, Birdies! I was just working on my YouTube channel and realized I never shared anything here about our anniversary trip. What a ding dong!  For our honeymoon, we had gone to Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg. For our second anniversary we went back and for our fourth we came to Nashville. Tennessee holds a special place in our hearts, especially in the Spring time. 

The day we said, "I do."
Our honeymoon and first time to stay in the great state of Tennessee.

Our wedding anniversary falls in April and this year and it just so happened to come right after paying off our house. I anticipated this so, a bit before, I started planning an anniversary surprise for my hubby! One of our dreams was to go down to Nashville, TN to meet Dave Ramsey and shout "WE'RE DEBT FREE!" live on his show so that was where the planning began for me. I contacted his staff via the website a month before the trip. The process to apply is easy-peasy! From there, I searched high and low for a decent hotel at a decent price. To say that hotels down there vary greatly is an understatement or at least that was my experience. It seemed they were either super swanky with a super swanky price tag OR they were Dump City with a still slightly hefty price tag. If you've been reading my blog for a while then you know I am going to try to find a bargain. Well after searching and searching, the clouds finally parted and a great deal seemed to float down from Heaven! I used about 10 different sites and apps to locate a great hotel but out of those 10, Expedia scored the winning goal in the form of a stay at The Courtyard by Marriott in Goodlettsville which is located approximately 15 minutes north of Music City. In the meantime, I contacted Eric's boss to get approval for time off. I got a big thumbs up on some vacay time along with keeping the whole sha-bang a secret. I continued to communicate with the Dave Ramsey staff but in the end we were unable to actually secure a spot on the show, however, they informed us we could still stop by, see the show and meet Dave. I won't lie, I was pretty bummed because going on the air would have really kicked up the trip a notch but I didn't let the disappointment slow me down. There was still a lot to do like plan the details without Eric figuring it all out! My original idea had been to tell him the night before we left that we were going somewhere and he had to be ready by 7:30 a.m. but I totally caved and told him the night before that we were going to Nashville and that we were going to see Dave. If only I had captured his reaction!! He was so excited. We talked about it forever, packed, and before I knew it we were Tennessee bound! 

Once in Nashville, we went straight to the Financial Peace Plaza (a.k.a The Dave Ramsey studios.) We were so impressed by the kindness of his staff. They were genuinely interested in us and our story to becoming debt free. As a cherry on top, they offered us free refreshments. I totally had Eric snag me a chocolate chip cookie while he enjoyed a nice, hot cup of coffee. While we waited we could see the studio where Dave does his show. I will admit, I may have fan-girled a bit when I saw him walk in and sit down. "ERIC! ERIC! IT'S HIM! IT'S DAVE RAMSEY!!" Definitely had to tell myself to "simma' down now!" There were several other couples and families there so during commercial break, when Dave stepped out of the studio to meet people, he was instantly surrounded. We were willing to wait. I mean we had already driven several hours, a few more minutes wasn't going to kill us. The cool thing about Dave is that he is a real down to earth guy. He made direct eye contact with us and instead of one of his people saying, "Ok, hurry. You can meet Dave now", he walked right over to us and striked up a conversation. We chatted for a short bit (he is a busy man after all), snagged a pic and had him sign the cd case for our Financial Peace cd's from the class we took 3 1/2 years ago. Such a cool moment! It was like closing one chapter and opening a new one all at the same time. 

From there we darted to the Antique Archaeology store. It was in a cool part of Nashville that was slightly off the beaten path. The store is housed in an old automobile factory. The red brick building is an impressive one both in size and character but it is not home just to Antique Archaeology. There are a myriad of businesses there ranging from little boutiques to art galleries to coffee shops to candy stores. 

We hopped around town a bit soaking in the sights then had a last minute dinner with my cousin and her sweet family. Sidenote: She has a website called Shopping From the Heart which is phenomenal! Go check her out! :-) After chowing down on hamburgers and chocolate cream pie we finally arrived to the hotel. Eric and I were so pleased with Courtyard by Marriott. The reviews and pictures are true to form, the staff was very friendly, the location was great because it was just off of the interstate and it was very clean. It is so much easier to relax in a clean space rather than in one where you are worried about getting bed bugs. Yikes! 

The next day we had originally planned to go to the Gibson Guitar Factory in Memphis but that would have been a 3 hour drive so we opted to visit downtown Nashville instead. First stop was the original Grand Ole Opry. We aren't huge country music fans but the history of that place is incredible and the magic of it undeniable. Over the next few hours we walked the main strip, drove around the city, visited some cool guitar shops (my husband is a self-taught rock star and major guitar enthusiast), tried some popsicles from the famous Las Paletas and generally just enjoyed the day. Everything was at our own pace so we were able to really relax and enjoy the beauties that the city offers. The weather being perfect helped add to the splendor! 

Day 3 was Sunday so we ended up at the Opryland mall to kill some time since most businesses don't open till noon or after. Boy! I could have some done major shopping in that mall but it would have seemed a bit ironic since we had gone down to celebrate being debt free, don't ya think? We went to The Parthenon and that was a neat experience. I never knew the replica structure had such a long history in Nashville! 

Monday morning we woke up relaxed but ready to go home. Partially to just get back into the swing of things but also to pick up a few special items for our updated bathroom. A post to come on that soon! In the meantime, head on over to YouTube to see some more fun pics from our time down in Nashville! It was so nice to have some us time. To be free from the little every day stresses and distractions of life. Going to meet Dave was such a highlight. Being there symbolized, for us, where we started and where we have gone. Nashville has so much to offer that we didn't get to see so we look forward to visiting again and making even more memories!

Have you ever been to Nashville?? What is your favorite thing to do there? What about the Dave Ramsey show....have you been able to scream "We're debt free!!!!" to the money guru?!? 

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!! 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Peanut Butter Pie Yogurt

HELLO Birdies! Sometimes magic seemingly comes out of nowhere and this morning was no exception. As I stumbled my way into the kitchen while in a sleepy stupor, Old Faithful began rumbling (i.e. Momma wanted to eat) so I scoured the pantry for a quick option. I was a bit peckish but didn't want a full blown meal or anything heavy. When I remembered I had gotten some PB2 from Whole Foods last week, I pulled that out along with some hemp hearts. I mixed those 2 gems (1 Tbsp. Of each) into some lowfat vanilla Yogurt. 

Ladies and Gents, if you are needing a quick, easy yet still healthy option for the a.m. this is it! Prep time is roughly 45 seconds and you could even make these into individual servings and store them in the refrigerator for grab-n-go purposes. Oh! And did I mention it tastes like peanut butter pie filling?!? You're welcome.
Give this recipe a whirl! Share your pics of this tasty breakfast treat with me on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. If you come up with your own variation, let me know. :-)
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great day!! :-)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Honest Company Review

Hello, Hello! Today I wanted to share my thoughts with you on the Honest Company. Unless you've been living in a cave then you should be aware of Jessica Alba's brand, The Honest Company. Yeah, Jessica Alba the A-List star. In a nutshell this is a line of products that are purposefully as simple and natural as possible. They sell anything from baby diapers to vitamins to hand soap. Anything you might need to run a household on the daily is included in The Honest Company's line-up which I adore! I'm not a mom but I am a gal who is concerned about what comes into my house. I've been eyeing their website for a while now and when I realized they offer free samples, I was on it like cheese on macaroni. (Cue the rewind noise) Yes, Friends. You read that right....FREE samples. Okay, okay you pay shipping but other than that the samples are F-R-E-E. There are three sample boxes to choose from: Diapers & Wipes, Essentials, and Health & Wellness. 

I chose the Essentials option because the other two were a little more geared for families and since we have no little ones bopping around, I felt the essentials would be the best fit for us. My order was placed on a Tuesday afternoon and arrived on my doorstep the following Saturday. Speedy shipping makes me a happy camper! The packaging is very pleasing to the eye because it is simple, clean but with a touch of flair. In my box I received 5 items: Household cleaner spray, hair/body wash, lotion, healing balm, and hand soap. Let me break this all down for you...
The cleaner has a very light, airy, clean scent and does a fantastic job tackling every day cleaning. I don't know if I would put this up against a real heavy duty job but. again, it does really well for the day to day messes.
The hair and body wash combo was interesting. The scent (orange and vanilla) was subtle but not quite my cup of tea. In regards to being a body wash, I would give it two thumbs up. I walked out of the shower squeaky clean. For the purpose of being a shampoo, I am going to give it one thumbs up and one down. For an all natural shampoo, it was what I expected. It didn't get delightfully foamy and I had to use the whole sample to tackle this mane of mine. I understand it shouldn't get foamy....I just have a hard time letting go of my preconceived notions of what a shampoo should do in my hair.
Lotion time! Initially, I was unimpressed with this product but then I continued to rub it into my hands and I was made a convert. This lotion has everything a girl like me could want. No offensively strong scent, no greasy residue and it actually makes my hands softer. I will definitely be repurchasing this in the future.
Next up is the healing balm. I will cut to the chase....stinky and a bit too greasy for my taste. It did smooth out rough patches but I don't know if I would seek this item out on my own.
Lastly, the hand soap. I found this product very simple which is what I like in a handwash. The scent was very light and it didn't dry out my hands after several trips to the sink. All in all, a winner in my book. 

With signing up for a free sample. you have to be ready to cancel with them within 7 days or else they will send you a full sized bundle the following month. I kept forgetting to contact them so I guess I should be expecting an Honest Box next month which is fine because overall I did like their products. The monthly cost for the service is $39.95. Only you can know if that is a good fit for your family. For mine, it is not so I will most likely be cancelling the subscription (who wants to remind me to do that??) but I definitely see myself buying individual items from their site.  All in all, I was happy with my experience and with this brand. I like what they stand for and I see them going far!

Have you tried out The Honest Company?? What did you try, like or dislike? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out my Youtube video sharing a bit more detail about this sample!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great day!!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

2014 Favorites: April Edition

Hello and Happy Sunday! It's that time of month, Mother Nature is not calling but my monthly favorites are! You may have noticed there was no love for March. I tried filming a video several times and it felt so forced. There were no products that truly stood out to me and I just couldn't tell you that there were. I don't ever want to post any thing that isn't genuine to who I am or to what The Chirp Tree is all about but thankfully April came in to save the day! This past month there were a lot of things that caught my attention or that I found I used a lot so I definitely wanted to share those gems with all of you. Give the video down below a little look-see, won't you?

So tell me, what have you been loving lately? Beauty products, home decor, a recipe? I would LOVE to know so don't be shy. Leave a comment! :-) 

Thank you for stopping by and have a lovely week!

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