How To Spend 2 Days in Nashville

3 July 2019


If you follow me on Instagram {if you don't - it's @beckyderby} then you'll have seen that I recently took a little trip to Nashville, or music city as it's affectionately known. As a big lover of country music, Nashville has been on my bucket list for quite some time and it did not disappoint. It's such a cool city, and unlike anywhere else I've ever visited, and it's also a city I'd definitely visit again - so not a one hit wonder. 

Where to Stay


If you're heading to Nashville, you're going to want to be fairly close to Broadway or Honkey Tonk Row, it's where all of the nightlife is and worth staying close by so you can walk home after a night in town. We stayed in the Bobby Hotel, and I couldn't have been more impressed - it's probably one of my favourite city hotels I've ever stayed in. 



Everything about the hotel is stunning, as you come in you're greeted by a modern lobby with a country twist, which stems through the entire hotel's decor. The hotel also has Sacha, the hotel dog - the cutest rescue dog who wanders around the lobby to greet the hotels guests. 

The rooms are huge, as is the bathroom {it was probably bigger than my room in London!}, the beds are so comfy and you don't hear a peep from the rest of the hotel or the street outside so you're guaranteed a decent nights sleep. 


The hotel also has an amazing rooftop bar, complete with pool, cabanas for the summer, a live music stage and a 1956 retrofitted Greyhound bus, with lounge seating in the back and a driver’s seat at the edge of the building overlooking 4th Avenue. It's the perfect place to start your night, or spend the whole night there before wandering back to your room. 

Another great option if you're looking for a similar vibe is the Noelle, it's very upmarket, very cool and just a stone's throw away from Broadway.  

What to do - Day 1


On day 1 it's likely that you'll be a little tired and jet lagged if you've travelled as far as we did, so you'll need to fuel up for the day. Cafe Bobby at the Bobby Hotel is amazing {and really instagrammable too!}, I had the best avocado toast I've ever had...if you can even call it that, it was loaded up with so many extras that the avocado wasn't even the show stealer of this dish. They also do great coffee, so the ideal start to the day! 



After breakfast, jump in an Uber and head down to 12th South - one of the Nashville suburbs. 12th South is a lovely area and is perfect for tracking down Nashville's famous murals. Here you'll find the 'Nashville Looks Good On You', 'I Believe in Nashville' and 'Looking Pretty Music City' murals, which make the perfect photo opportunity! It's also a free activity...bonus! There's also the prettiest flower truck, lots of cute shops...including Draper James, a must-visit if you're in Nashville for the weekend. It's very twee, and perfect for picking up a more upmarket souvenir of your time in the city {and they also do amazing sweet tea!}. 


After you're done shopping and mural hunting, you need to head to the Five Daughters Bakery just off 12th South...their donuts are out of this world and the cafe itself is just too cute. I went for the Strawberry Shortcake donut and still think about it to this day. 


After you've visited Five Daughters, you probably won't need lunch {I was honestly full until around 8pm!} so instead head back downtown and take a walk across the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge for a great view of the Nashville skyline...and to walk off your donut!


Photo from Dame Traveler
When you're ready for dinner, head down to the river for a bite to eat at Liberty Common. We unfortunately didn't make it here but it was high on our list. The restaurant is so pretty, and the french-american inspired food looks to die for, as do the cocktails! 

For after dinner drinks, head back downtown to Rare Bird, the rooftop bar on top of the Noelle Hotel. It has the best rooftop views of the city and an ultra cool vibe {and really comfy outdoor sofas}...although a word to the wise, their Pimms Cup is basically an alcoholic Pret Ginger Shot! 



What to do - Day 2 

On day 2 we treated ourselves to a lie in and skipped the bigger breakfast in favour of a pastry from Starbucks, but if you're looking for a great brunch spot, Cafe Roze comes highly recommended...and perfect if you like a little pink decor! 

Day two for us was fully dedicated to country music, although you can't really escape it wherever you are in Nashville! First we headed to the Country Music Museum and Hall of Fame. If you're really into your country music and old school country, then you'll find this really interesting. Personally, it focussed too much on the country music roots for me and I'd have preferred a little more on the modern country stars and how they're influencing country music right now, but it was still really interesting to take a look inside Elvis' car and whatnot...I would say however that the museum could benefit from playing a little music! We then visited the Johnny Cash museum, and although it's only about one country singer we found it much more engaging and it had a better atmosphere - so definitely do both if you can! 

After you've finished learning in the museums, head down to Pinewood Social for a spot of lunch, drinks and a little bowling. We never made it here, but it was on our list and comes highly recommended by the locals! 


In the afternoon, we headed back to Broadway where the tourist activities continued...this time trying on cowboy boots and hats! I didn't end up buying any as they were very pricey {and I'd never wear them back in the UK} but I did have my eye on these blue fringed ones...so cool! We also popped into some record shops and souvenir shops to pick up a magnet for the fridge - a must on every trip. 


If you're looking for the traditional Nashville experience, for dinner you need to head down to Hattie B's Hot Chicken - the dish Nashville is famous for. After dinner, head back down to Broadway for a night of Honkey Tonk hopping which is so much fun! We spent most of our time in Dierks Bentley's Whisky Row as we heard they had the best band playing, and it didn't disappoint. 

So there you have it, two whole days in Nashville! I had the best time in Nashville, and I'd definitely go back again for a party weekend or even just for another look around, so definitely one to consider for your next American city break! 

xo Becky 


Simple Chocolate Chunk Cookies

27 May 2019


There's nothing better than taking a break with a cup of tea and a warm, gooey cookie, and that's exactly what I've been spending my bank holiday doing...It's been a little while since I've been baking, and even longer since I've shared a recipe on here, so today I thought I'd jump back online {and into the kitchen} to share my super simple chocolate chunk cookie recipe. Without further ado...


Ingredients:

115g Salted Butter 
200g Flour 
115g Caster Sugar
50g Brown Sugar 
115g Chocolate Chips {I use a mixture of chunks and chips}
1/4 teaspoon Salt 
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda 
1 Egg
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract 


Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180° and line two baking trays with grease proof paper. 

2. Place the butter into a microwave safe bowl and pop into the microwave for about a minute, until the butter has completely melted. 

3. Combine the melted butter, caster sugar and white sugar in a mixing bowl until a creamy mixture is formed. 

4. Add in the vanilla extract and egg and mix until the egg is only just combined {any more than this and the egg will be too stiff for the mixture}. 

5. Add in the flour, baking soda and salt until the mixture forms a dough type texture and is very slightly crumbly. You should be able to pick up the mixture and mould it with your hands without it sticking - if the mixture is too wet, add in a few tablespoons of flour at a time until the right consistency is reached. 

6. Add in the chocolate chips or whatever you're planning on adding to the recipe {I love adding m&ms as a twist!} and mix into the dough with your hands. 

7. Once everything is properly combined, roll the dough into 12 separate balls {or less if you want giant cookies!} and place each ball on a baking sheet, leaving plenty of room inbetween. 

8. Pop into the preheated oven for 9-11 mins and no longer. Even if the cookies are still extremely soft and pale when the timer is finished, still take them out - if you over bake them they won't be soft in the middle, and the cookies will firm up slightly as they cool. 

9. Leave the cookies to cool on the baking trays for 30-40 mins, then enjoy! 


And there you have it, my super simple cookie recipe! Feel free to customise with different sweets, chocolates, fruit, etc and if you do, be sure to let me know of any winning combinations so I can try them out myself! ☺️

xo Becky 

A Night at the Artists Residence, London

16 May 2019


It's not often that I find myself staying in hotels in London, seeing as it's my home city and there never seems much point when I could just hop on the tube home...but I recently had the pleasure of staying at The Artists Residence in Pimlico and let me tell you, it was the dream little staycation.

It may seem a little excessive to stay in a hotel only 30 minutes from my home, but when you live in a house share with what seems like half of London at times, it's so nice just to get out of the house for a little luxurious night away...no fighting over the kitchen, the tv remote, slamming doors in the middle of the night...it was bliss {and probably the best night's sleep I've had in weeks}


As I mentioned, The Artists Residence is located in Pimlico, just a ten minute walk from Victoria. It's the perfect location if you're wanting a chilled weekend, as there's lots of restaurants around Victoria but it's not exactly the party capital of London {Timmy Green is one of my favourites for brunch/lunch}. For dinner we walked down the road to Franco Manca as we'd both had pretty tough weeks and just wanted something quick and easy, so we could begin our night of pampering.


After dinner, we headed back to the hotel to settle in for the night with face masks, prosecco, snacks and a movie - it was the perfect way to relax after a long week. As the hotel is located on a pretty quiet street, we had the best nights sleep. The boutique feel of the hotel meant that there was nobody walking past our room in the middle of the night, barely any traffic to wake us up and the bed was one of the comfiest I've ever slept in. I'm pretty particular about having comfy pillows...and this place nailed it 👌🏻.


In the morning {after my first full 8 hours of sleep in forever}, we treated ourselves to a dreamy little breakfast in bed before packing up and checking out...and pinching a few of the free sweets on the way 🤗.



If you're on the hunt for a little slice of understated luxury for a London getaway, I'd really recommend The Artists Residence, and I'll definitely be looking into their other locations in Cornwall and Brighton {and their new hotel opening up in Bristol}.

xo Becky

Brilliant Blossoms with Jo Malone

29 March 2019


If you follow me on Instagram, then I'm sure you've seen that earlier this week I attended the launch of the newest Jo Malone collection, Brilliant Blossoms. Being invited to this event was a dream come true for me, so I wanted to document the day on this blog before I forget any of the details! And of course, I took so many photos of their stunning installations that I just had to share them! 



The day started at around 1pm when we arrived at  Victoria House just off Bloomsbury Square {one of my favourite areas in London}. We were lead through a dark tunnel and through a heavy black curtain into a floral wonderland, set up ready for lunch. Before lunch there was time to mingle, take it all in and of course, discover the new scents - each one of them housed in their own scented booth with their matching flowers hanging from the celling. 


We then found our places at the lunch table, and listened to a short introduction to the newest blossom fragrance - Frangipani Flower, which smells incredible. The whole blossoms collection is stunning, but I think Frangipani Flower may be my new favourite, quickly followed by Orange Blossom. 

Lunch was served and was divine, we had goats cheese and beetroot ravioli followed by lemon curd posset...served in a frozen lemon which I got a little too excited about! 🍋 After lunch, and a few more rhubarb lemonades, we were guided through to another room, and just when we thought Jo Malone had outdone themselves, we walked into a room with an actual tree hanging from the ceiling! 




In the workshops room we were taught how to design and make our own flower crowns, which was so much fun! I laughed my way through the whole workshop, as honestly I am not the worlds best flower crown maker...mine was definitely more of a fascinator, maybe one for Ascot 😂. After we'd made our flower crowns we moved on to the paint marbling station and marble painted our own Jo Malone boxes to keep our flower crowns in. I went for a pink and yellow theme and the whole process was so relaxing...the perfect way to finish the day. 


As I said before, being able to attend this event was a dream come true for me...and one which may never repeat itself so I wanted to lap up every minute and took photos of every single thing in every room 😂...so sorry for the spam, I was just so excited! 

xo Becky 

My Spring Skincare Routine

22 March 2019


Ahh spring, the season of new beginnings...otherwise known as my yearly excuse to chuck out half of my clothes, completely redecorate and of course, switch up my skincare for the new season now we're finally out of the depths of winter. 

I'm constantly testing out new skincare, but the truth is, more often than not I'm going back to using the same products and only using the new bits to treat problems when they arise. However, I've completely revamped my skincare routine recently, after my skin started reacting badly to a few products that I've been using for years {sob} - so I thought I'd share that with you today!


The Double Cleanse

I wear quite a lot of makeup on a daily basis and love to slap the foundation on, so when it comes to cleansing I like to do a double cleanse to ensure that I've got all of it out of my pores and I can go to bed feeling fresh {and not wake up with an army of spots the next morning}. I start by removing my eye makeup using the Garnier Micellar Water. It works like a dream, and gets all of my stubborn waterproof mascara off without tearing out my lashes or irritating my sensitive eye area. 

The reason I only really use it as an eye makeup remover is because I love using a cleansing balm to remove my makeup, but I hate using it around my eyes, so I just separate these steps. The cleansing balm I've been using lately is the Omorovicza Thermal Cleansing Balm. It's a bit of a love/hate product I've found, as whenever I speak to someone who has tried it, they either are completely obsessed or they used it once and never again, and admittedly it did take me a few different attempts to fall in love with it. The balm is black in colour which is slightly different for a cleanser, has a very faint smell but nothing too overpowering and fragranced, so it's perfect for my sensitive skin. 

My second cleanse is actually from Omorovicza too, and it's their Moor Mud Cleanser. My skin is quite blemish-prone and oily, and I love this cleanser for pulling out all of the excess dirt from my pores, and leaving my skin feeling really refreshed without stripping my skin completely - any oily skinned girls will know what I'm talking about here!

Toning and Treatments

After cleansing, I tone using the REN Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic to add some much needed glow to my skin. This product smells amazing, and the flat pump is perfect for soaking cotton pads making it so easy to use and minimising wasted product. I've been a fan of REN for a long time and this new addition to my routine has cemented my love for the brand. 

Once I've let the toner completely soak into my skin, I use one of the Elizabeth Arden Retinol Ceramide Capsules as I've started to get a few fine lines {especially around my eyes} and want to combat these before they get any worse! These capsules also make my skin feel so smooth, so they're worth every penny in my opinion. 



Masks

Once or twice a week I like to use a face mask, more as a pampering ritual than anything else, but my skin definitely sees the benefits. If my skin is looking particularly dull or I've been stressed/tired/been eating badly I always reach for the Elemis Peptide4 Thousand Flower Mask, which is designed to revitalise your skin and bring some of it's natural glow back with its gentle exfoliation - perfect for when I'm looking a bit tired! Just be warned, the mask is black and will stain any white face cloths {rest in peace my beloved White Company cloths}. 

If my skin is going through a particularly bad breakout, I've been using the Omorovicza Ultramoor Mud Mask, which honestly transforms my skin whenever I've got a lot of those pesky sugar spots. It's quite tingly so I can really feel it working, and the next morning my skin is usually completely clear and smooth.


Moisturiser

Last but not least, I finish up with moisturiser. Recently, I've been using the REN Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel Cream and nothing else, as it's made my skin SO glowy and soft that I've not needed anything else. It's perfect for adding a little spring glow back to dull skin, even when I had a chest infection and the flu, my skin was glowing - so if that's not a result, I don't know what is! 

I hope you liked having a peek at my current skincare routine, I'm so nosy so I always love these kinds of posts, but please do let me know if there's anything specific you'd like to see that's more beauty related! 

xo Becky


Where Have I Been?

17 March 2019


As always with this blog, Ive been terrible at keeping to a regular posting schedule...which is completely okay, I never want to put pressure on myself to post and turn this into something that I never wanted it to be - a second job. However, I wanted to give you all a little update on where I've been and what I've been up to as it's rather exciting! 

For the past few months now I've been working to develop my very own scented candle brand - Nest Candle Co. It's been something I've wanted to do for years but my other time commitments {university, moving to a new city, new jobs} have always left me putting it to the back of my mind, but this year I wanted to stop putting things off and jump in head first. 


It's been quite a long process testing scents, working out which wax would work the best and burn the cleanest, working on packaging, branding, shipping, etc but we're SO close to being able to launch now {we're hoping for mid-April!} that I wanted to share a few snaps of what I've created and some of the scents we've picked. 


So without further ado, here are the scents which will form the core collection and our Summer collection...

The core collection

Vanille - A french vanilla scent which smells just like sweet vanilla ice cream. 
Fireside - A smokey, woody scent reminiscent of a crackling wood fire on a cold evening. 
Bouquet - A true floral scent with layers of peony and rose. 
Sleepy - Lavender and Camomile to send you off into the land of nod. 
Fairydust - A powdered floral scent perfect for those with a feminine aesthetic. 


The summer collection

Soleil - A warm tropical scent with hints of coconut and citrus fruit. 
Maison de Plage - Blue agava flower blended with notes of cacao and grapefruit. 

I will be posting updates when I next have them with where you can buy the candles and when we will be launching, but I hope you're all equally as excited as I am for this little project of mine! 

xo Becky 


Beating the January Blues at Emilia's Crafted Pasta

5 February 2019


A few weekends ago now, I was invited along to Emilias Crafted Pasta in St Katherine's Dock to try out their menu for myself. I wasn't really intending on writing a blog post on my visit, but the food was so incredible that I just had to share, as I'd hate for you to miss out! 

Located just by Tower Hill {so perfect for a touristy stroll to walk off your dinner!}, Emilias Crafted Pasta has a waterfront view over the docks, which I imagine is so pretty in summer...not so much on a dreary January afternoon! 

The restaurant is small and cosy, and all of the food is handmade in the restaurant, giving it that cosy 'homely' feel. As we were testing the menu, we decided to really test the menu {and the size of our stomachs}, going for a few sharing plates to start, mains, and of course...pudding!

For starters, we shared some cured meats, burrata and a rocket salad with lemon and parmesan and I can confirm it was all divine. After we finished our starters we were raving about the food for a good ten minutes before we'd even thought about how good our mains were about to be. Needless to say, the mains didn't disappoint and it was one of the best carbonara's I've eaten in London so far {and I've had my fair share!}.

Thinking we couldn't fit much more in, we decided to share a pudding and went for a brownie and ice cream. The brownie was gooey in the middle and lovely and crisp on the outside - just as a brownie should be. In fact, it was so good that we were all cursing ourselves for choosing to share.


I was blown over by just how good the food was at Emilia's Crafted Pasta. The small cosy vibes were perfect for our Sunday get-together and we all left promising to return, which isn't always the case with restaurants that we've heard of through Instagram. If you find yourself in Tower Hill {or near their new location in Aldgate}, definitely pop in for a bite to eat and a glass of wine - you won't regret it!

xo Becky 

*post contains gifted items

A Small Charlotte Tilbury Haul

26 January 2019


Can you believe that up until now, I've never tried Charlotte Tilbury Makeup?! I've been makeup obsessed for years, and you really can't miss her pretty palettes and lipsticks scattered all over Instagram...but up until recently, there wasn't anything that really caught my eye, that was different enough to something I already owned which would justify the price. Enter the Pillow Talk palette...Eyeshadow palettes are my weakness, so when I saw that this palette was back in stock online, I couldn't resist popping it into my basket {along with a few other spur of the moment purchases!}


Pillow Talk Palette 

As I said, this was the palette that finally made me jump on board the Charlotte Tilbury train that I'd managed to avoid for so long. The Pillow Talk palette is a pretty everyday palette with golden pink tones, containing a soft shimmery pink toned champagne colour, a matte warm pink brown, a rose gold glitter and a warm matte brown. A lot like the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay {but a little more sophisticated}, Pillow Talk creates a subtle rose gold look which is perfect for everyday wear. If I wanted to wear this for more of an evening look I would definitely have to add a little pencil liner as it doesn't really go far enough alone, but that's no problem as I love to add a little of my Urban Decay Glide On Eye Pencil in Underground {the prettiest shimmery brown!} or MAC Teddy Kohl.

However, whilst this palette is pretty and the perfect 'quick grab' for an everyday look, I'd say if you're a bit of an eyeshadow junkie like me, you probably own some very similar shades. I could find dupes for most of these in my NARs Wanted Palette, Urban Decay Naked Cherry and Naked 3 Palettes, so if you own those - I'd say this is more of a want than a need.


Bigger Brighter Eyes Palette in Exaggereyes

Whilst I was browsing the website {why can I never check out with just one thing in my basket?!} I saw that the Exaggereyes palette was back in stock and immediately added it to my basket. I saw this one back last year in one of Charlotte Tilbury's YouTube videos and knew straight away that it had to be mine, but unfortunately it was out of stock.

Again, the Exaggereyes palette is more of an everyday quad, the perfect neutral selection to create a range of looks in one palette. The colours are fairly warm toned which I like, and the sparkling mauve colour is basically what I look for in every palette I purchase as it's my most worn shade. Again, this palette is similar to one of the Tom Ford palettes I use religiously, so you could probably find alternatives on the market...but I've used that Tom Ford palette to death so this looks like it will be a good purchase for me. 



Kissing Lipstick in Penelope Pink 


I thought I was pretty much done with the two palettes in my basket, or at least my bank balance was hoping I was, but I couldn't leave without adding a lipstick into the mix. I've heard so many good things about Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks, so really it was an easy decision. I decided to go for Penelope Pink from the K.I.S.S.I.N.G range, as they're a little more creamy and moisturising, which is perfect for me to wear everyday. Penelope Pink is described as a pink toned nude on the website, so I was expecting it to be a little more pink toned when it arrived, as it's definitely more of a straight up nude on my lips, but nevertheless it's still a pretty shade.

The colour is extremely opaque for a lipstick as creamy and moisturising which was a nice surprise. I'm not sure how much wear I'll get out of the colour, as I was expecting it to be a little more pink, but I'll give it a go and I'm sure I can make it work with a bold eye look!

xo Becky  

Weekly Roundup #2

25 January 2019


Well, well well...So far my 'weekly roundup' series has lasted a grand total of one week - honestly I can't say I'm surprised 😂. However, I'm back and trying again, so lets see how long it lasts this time.

This week has been a bit of an odd one, as it was completely derailed by a nasty chest infection and asthma attack {who knew you could even get that when you don't normally suffer with asthma?!}...plans were cancelled, I couldn't go into work and I basically couldn't do anything which is so unlike me. Before Christmas, the last time I got so much as a sniffle was November 2016, but recently my immune system of steel has been letting me down time after time. 

Anyway, you can all put away your tiny violins, I still have plenty to update you on from the past few weeks! Some of you may have seen on Instagram that I recently started making my own scented candles. I've always been someone who loved to make things and design things, over the years its been wedding dresses, outfits for my teddies, coasters made out of plastic beads, the list is endless...However, I've recently decided instead of spending a fortune on scented candles, I could just make my own in scents that I love, and in a style that matches my home decor. 

So off I went to research how to make them, the best ingredients to use and I set about making my first few batches of scented candles. Now I feel like I've mastered the art of making scented candles, and I've designed the branding, I've started sharing photos of my progress and designs over on Instagram at @nestcandleco - so do give it a follow if you like that sort of thing! 

I've also been continuing on with my 'healthy baking' and have recently also been making sugar free gummy bears! When I posted a picture on Twitter the other day I got a few of you asking how I made them, so here it is: 1 sachet sugar free jelly in 90ml of boiling water, half a sachet gelatine, poured into silicone bear moulds {you can purchase these here}, and leave to set overnight - so simple and easy! 

Links I've Loved




Our New Home: The Library - Pink Peonies by Rach Parcell


What I've Been Reading

One of the upsides of being sick is the extra time on my hands to finally get through the pile of books I've been meaning to read for months. This week I managed to read the entirety of 'Everything I Know About Love' by Dolly Alderton. I don't normally go down the route of 'real life' books as I often find them quite self indulgent and I much prefer to get lost in a novel, however this one really gripped me. It is so relatable, completely hilarious and a joy to read from start to end. A lot of the topics in the book really hit home with me as I too attended an all girls school, moved to London after University and found myself quite lost...But I'll stop there as to not ruin the book! I've also just started reading Becoming by Michelle Obama, so will let you know what I think of that one when I've finished the book, but so far it's an amazing read!


What I've Been Buying

This week I've also been treating myself to a little retail therapy {and a lot of Ben & Jerry's!}. During one of my many hours staring at the ceiling this week I found myself on the Anthropologie website, as you do, and just had to pick up this cute little dog ring holder. It comes in two different designs {the other is a pretty Dalmatian} and is the perfect size for just a few rings and some earrings at the bottom, so I've used it to store my everyday jewellery. I also picked up this pretty pencil cup, I've had my eye on it for months but it's been out of stock for just as long, so as soon as I saw it was back in stock I snapped it up!


xo Becky

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