A Playlist for August (With Sophie Roads)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

It is that time of the month again! (Not that kind, ladies. We celebrate real lives here, but that may be getting a little too real.) Sophie is back to share her August playlist with us (check out last month's here), and give us all a little musical boost as we head back full-force into school, work, etc. Enjoy!


Sophie: Hello! The playlist I've created for August is not cohesive in any sense of the word, but I've done my best to curate a grouping of songs that excite and evoke different emotions. Some songs are killer for car rides with friends (see: fun + upbeat), while others are better for rainy days (see: soft + cozy), or you may even need something encouraging before school starts (see: indie + uplifting).

I hope you enjoy it just as much as I do!

Soft + cozy:

Earned It // Bootstraps
Mountain Song // Little Chief
Lost in the Light // Bahamas
Still // The Japanese House
The King of Cape // Alfred Hall
Fake It // Bastille

Fun + upbeat:

Don’t Let Me Down - Illenium Remix // The Chainsmokers

Wanna Lose You // Borgeous
Can You Tell // Ra Ra Riot
Jackpot - The Him Remix // Jocelyn Alice
Not My Day // Keith James
Little Numbers // BOY
Closer // Chainsmokers + Halsey
Monster Lead Me Home // Sara Hartman
Side Note // Palastic + LissA
Outlaws // Alessia Cara
Thinking of You - Roulsen Radio Edit // HEART FX

Indie + uplifting:

Sirens // Woodlock

HAPPINESS // Needtobreathe
TESTIFY // Needtobreathe
Don’t You Cry For Me // Cobi
Home // Dan Croll
Runaway // Ziggy Alberts
Beat & Weathered/One Hundred Years // Typhoon
You Know It // Colony House 


You can follow the playlist on Spotify under the name Sophie Roads, or click the link HERE. Additionally, if you want to keep up with Soph's adventures, follow her on Instagram (@sophsyke). As I emphasized in last month's playlist post, everything is better with a good soundtrack in your ears. This month is a big season of change for me personally, so having music that is comforting to fun to soft, lifts my spirits. And, I hope it will lift yours a bit, too. 

Thanks again, Soph - you are KILLIN' these playlists for us over here on Habit & Heart.

Six Must Do Things in Nashville, TN

Monday, August 8, 2016

Location: Biscuit Love
About a month ago, my friend, Abigail, and I took a long weekend trip to Nashville. It was something  we had planned for a while, so there was lots of prep involved. And by "prep", what I really mean is some extensive Pinterest research. We found tons of blogs and websites on "25 things to do in Nashville" or "How to do Nashville in a Weekend", and gathered a few ideas of restaurants or coffee shops we would be interested in checking out. Yet, the majority of these sites were focused around tourist activities or cliche spots that only allowed you to see the city from one perspective. I am no local, but here is my attempt to tell you how to do Nashville, and do it right in just a few days.

*First things first: Before you read the rest of this post, log onto Spotify and let yourself listen to "Nashville" by Kel as you scroll. You're welcome.*

01 | The Frist. On our first night in town, we spent the evening at the Frist Art Museum. It was one of their "Frist Friday's" nights, accompanied by a Beatles cover band and free admission for 18 and  younger. This experience was not only super fun, but allowed us to truly get a local feel for Nashville on just day one. Also, I would highly recommend visiting the Frist in general - great art, great space. If you plan on visiting in the heart of summer, this stop would be perfect to beat the afternoon heat. 

02 | Picnic at the Parthenon / Centennial Park. Except for the extreme June temperatures in the South, our picnic on the grounds by the Parthenon was one of my favorite parts of our trip. We picked up some sandwiches in the Hillsboro neighborhood, and enjoyed some great people-watching while on my newly purchased picnic blanket. (Note: I've decided this blanket is a must for my summer plans. Because, who knows when a picnic will arise?) Yet, what I think is even better than a summertime picnic over salads and subs, is a crisp fall picnic with soup and tea. I may be biased, but truly everything is better in autumn. 

Location: 12th South next to Edleys
Location: Five Daughters Bakery
Location: Sprinkles Cupcakes

03 | 12 South District. Since I am not one for the country music scene in central downtown Nashville, hitting up lively neighborhoods was top on my list. And, the 12 South district did not disappoint! Just a short drive from Belmont and Vanderbilt, this strip of restaurants, coffee shops, and stores would definitely be considered the "hip" part of town. (Did I just put that in quotation marks? Yikes.) My favorite stops were Five Daughters Bakery, Frothy Monkey, Bar Taco (Note: Good limeaids, great tacos, friendly service. Big fan.), and of course - the famous "I Believe in Nashville" mural*. 

*Tip when visiting the mural: Take the photo then leave. We hung around after our quick snap to decide our next plans, and ended up taking the photos of the next 10+ visitors. It is all fun and games until the subjects ask "can we try a different pose, now?" about seven times. 

04 | See the City from a New Perspective. We decided on a bike ride along the greenway and John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge downtown, and from personal experience, I would not recommend this. But, what I would suggest is to get outside of the hustle of the city and see it from new heights. Whether it is a bike ride along the river (Tip: Rent closest to where you want to start riding) or a walk throughout a neighborhood, exploring through being active allows you to take a mental rest during a planned-down-to-the-minute trip. 

Location: Local Honey
05 | Belmont / Hillsboro Neighborhoods. If you love admiring homes and picturing your future life as stare at large front porches and ivy on brick, then the Belmont and Hillsboro area is for you. After walking around the Belmont University ground and ooo-ing and aah-ing too many times, we walked along Belmont Avenue and popped in a few shops. My favorite was a vintage and thrift store, Local Honey. I picked up the perfect pair of vintage jean shorts, so I declared it a success. Another place to stop in while near Belmont -- Proper Bagel. 

Hillsboro is a neighborhood just a short drive or walk from Belmont / Vanderbilt, as well. For a meal, a quick and delicious spot would be Fida. I would also recommend walking along the main strip to aimlessly explore the various shops. As book nerds, our favorite stop was Bookman/Bookwoman. Wall to wall, ceiling to ceiling books -- this place was to die for. If I had more time, I would of curled up with a good book in one of their many reading alcoves throughout the store. 

06 | Stay in an Airbnb. For the first part of our trip we stayed with family who live outside of Nashville in Murfreesboro. It was an easy commute, and most importantly - free! (Just kidding. Spending some extra time in the summer with my sweet aunt & uncle was the best thing about our accomadations. Very thankful.) However, on our last night we stayed in the cutest Airbnb just five minutes from downtown. We were seeing a concert at Bridgestone that night, making it a short Uber ride to and from the venue. I think the best thing about our set-up in our Airbnb was how easy it was; communication with our host was simple and mostly done by text, and though we shared the space with her, our room & bathroom were in the back of the home making it very secluded. 

Personally, I think that Airbnb is changing the game in travel. Rather than a hotel, you are able to truly experience living like a local in a city.

Location: Nashville Farmers Market
Location: Barista Parlor Golden Sound
Location: Biscuit Love
Other highlights of the trip include: Brunch at Biscuit Love (the "bonuts" are amazing & you can get the perfect snap of the light-up "Nashville" sign), Hatchshow Print (Simply Amazing. A typography lover's heaven), The Barista Parlour (We went to Golden Sound, due to its proximity to Urban Outfitters. Priorities.), and the Nashville Farmers Market.

There you have it! If you cannot tell, I would highly recommend exploring Nashville as a long weekend trip. I felt as if we did it all in just three and a half days. It was one of those places that I thought "I could live here" (I have only had those feelings a few other times -- once in D.C., and another in Kansas City), and I love those urges. So, I say -- plan a trip and GO.

Which of my top six places to visit interests you? And, if you are a Nashville local (or feel like it if you visit often), what are your have-to stop spots? Let me know in the comments below or connect with me on social media. 

Tips for Organizing Like a Pro + Why Living Simply Is Good (With Abigail Nowell)

Monday, August 1, 2016

If I know one thing to be true, it is that my dear friend, Abigail, knows how to organize. Through the years of our friendship, we have bonded over our love for the Container Store and our shared giddiness when our room is clean. Not to mention, we could talk about the pros and cons of our planners for hours. No joke.

During the weeks of planning and preparing for this blog, I knew I wanted to somehow incorporate an organizing aspect. Yet, I wanted these posts to reflect more that physical cleanliness. Because, here is the thing: having an organized space you love is all about living simply. It is about surrounding yourself with items that are purposeful and make you happy (flashback to last week's post, here). It is about coming home to a clean home in order to spend more time on moments that matter-- family, friends, hobbies, leisure, etc.-- rather than hanging up clothes for the fourth night in a row. It is about making a house not just four white walls, but a home.

Therefore, I am beyond excited to introduce you to Abigail's first of many posts focused on the art of organization and the wisdom behind a simple space. Get ready for some serious tips, my friends. This girl is the definition of a pro.


Abigail: So, right off the bat, I have to say that organizing is my go-to stress reliever. It is one of the only ways that I feel like I have a grasp on things. Plus, living in a clutter-free space is nice too. Here are a few of my tips for organizing like a pro. 

01 | Beware of what you buy. 

Y'all I am all about a good ole shopping spree, but lately (especially since I'll have a shoebox closet in about two weeks) I've been very conscientious of what I buy. I've downsized my closet in the past few months and realized that a lot of the items I get rid of, I've only worn once or twice. That being said, I make sure I really love something before I buy it

02 | Find a Place for Everything

As soon as I bring something new into my room, I automatically find a place for it. It could be hidden away in a junk drawer or displayed on a bookshelf, but it has its own spot. Now, it will not be cluttering my desk and I won't be straining to find where I put it. 

03 | Group Things of Similarity Together

This one seems kind of obvious, but people with cluttered spaces often forget it. If you have a mountain size pile of "stuff" on your closet floor, go through it and figure out what is inside. Do you need to grab a few storage bins for t-shirts? Should you group all your shoes together? Chances are, your clutter will filter out because things will start having more of a place.

04 | Two Words: STORAGE. BINS.

I cannot reiterate it enough when I say that storage bins are your best friend when it comes to organizing. Every time we go in Target (which is too much for the average person), Cate and I linger around this section of the store. Bins, containers, baskets, etc., are perfect because you can put whatever you want in them and it looks clean (even if the contents of your last three purses are inside). I keep two big bins of workout clothes, several with scarves and swimsuits, and one massive bin of my hoarded t-shirt collection on my closet shelves. 

05 | Find a System that Works for you

The term "organized" is different for everyone. I would like for my definition to be somewhere along the lines of "we are getting ready to have an open house and your room needs to be spotless", but that never tends to happen. If organizing for you is putting your laundry away, then great! If it is making sure every lipstick has its own spot in an acrylic drawer from the Container Store, even better. I have my jeans, pants, and shorts neatly stacked on a shelf. A lot of my friends keep their in drawers. It is all about personal preference! Just keep in mind that your room/space is yours. 

06 | Take Inventory

If you notice a particular collection of something seems to be expanding a little too quickly, take a little time to sort through it. If you have a collection of bottle cap necklaces from elementary school that are collecting dust, it is probably time to trash them (or donate!). If there is something you are questioning whether or not to give away, give it another chance. My rule is to keep it throughout the season (i.e. if it is March, try though May), and if I do not wear or use it, then I get rid of it. 

*Cate's Closet Organization System: Ditch the plastic or wire hangers, and invest in some huggable hangers by Joy Mangano. Not only do they look nicer, they take up less space and are sturdy. 

All in all, what I have realized as I have tried to clean through my room/closet is that I have way too much stuff. When we start to get too much stuff, we become overwhelmed by the amount but also by how it is affecting our lives. I try to keep my space clean because it helps me have a clearer mind throughout the day (instead of worrying about how much laundry I have to put away when I get home), I can fully use everything I already have, and I get to be more creative with outfit choices! (All that to say, I still have a terrible online shopping habit. The college student budget will be changing that soon.) A fun idea is to spend an afternoon with a friend going through a space that needs some major organization. Turn on some fun music and make day out of it!


Abigail, thank you so much for sharing your wise words concerning not just the physical space that surrounds us, but shedding light into how that affects all aspects of our lives. I think we are all prepared to head to the Container Store this afternoon to grab some storage bins. Who's with me?

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Included content provided by: Abigail Nowell, 18
by mlekoshi